Visitors to the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers' Association (LAMMA) show in January are sure to find a full exhibitor list of agricultural and horticultural machinery, tools and equipment.
Tractor stands are always a central feature at shows and John Deere is exhibiting two machines of particular interest to the horticultural sector, traditionally dominated by the ubiquitous 50hp machine.
First up is the 3036E compact tractor, newly available in Europe, which is a more economical alternative to the high-specification 3020 Series machines. Typical applications would include smallholdings, orchards, stables and paddocks, or any area of land that needs a quality tractor without the extra cost of a full professional specification.
Powered by a 36hp Yanmar three-cylinder diesel engine, the 3036E uses an established two-range hydrostatic transmission with easy to operate Twin Touch pedal controls, making it the only value-line hydro compact tractor on the market.
Perhaps of even more interest to specialist growers will be the arrival of the Mannheim-built 5R and 5RN Series tractors. Based on John Deere's proven full-frame concept, these three new premium tractors are rated at 80hp, 90hp and 100hp. The Narrow (5RN) version has a maximum overall width of 1.86m and is particularly designed for orchards and vineyards with row widths greater than 2.5m. The maximum permissible weight for carrying heavy implements has increased to 6,600kg. This results in increased productivity and reduced costs per hectare. You can expect a typically high specification for these new machines from John Deere.
Amazone is a seasoned exhibitor at LAMMA, and will show cultivation and drilling equipment alongside sprayers and fertiliser spreaders. The company also has a range of grounds-care, landscape, construction and municipal machinery. The KE rotary harrow is suited for soil tillage after the plough and mulch sowing on pre-cultivated soils. The strong frame, one-piece rotor head and shaft and a sprung-tine fixing result in a very robust implement. The large clearance above the rotor heads ensures the free passage of large amounts of straw or clods of soil.
For growers, the KE Special is the ideal solution for tractors up to 140hp as it is both strong and lightweight. The KE Special is available in working widths of 2.5m and 3m. The 3m-wide unit weighs just 850kg.
For more demanding situations, a rotary cultivator might suit better. The KG rotary cultivator incorporates all the design features of the Amazone KG rotary harrow but has an even thicker-skinned trough, larger-diameter shafts and stronger tines. Rotary cultivators are equipped with the proven "On Grip" tines to pull themselves into work and automatically maintain the desired working depth. In dry and firm fields, the tines break up the soil without any problems and intensively incorporate any trash. The large clearance above the rotor heads ensures the free passage of trash and soil mixture.
The GL 34T potato planter from Grimme (UK) will also be on display at LAMMA. It comes in two-, six- and eight-row versions. Grimme's range not only includes machines for planting but also separating, cultivation, harvesting and storage.
Another machine on display from Grimme will be the new Varitron 220 self-propelled potato harvester. This is similar to the 270 but has a buffer bunker with discharge elevator, better suited to UK box-based systems. Operators appreciate their unrivalled view of the intake unit. A good inspection illustrates the machine's capability for increased harvesting, sieving and separating facility and the benefits of the buffer bunker. It is possible to adapt the powerful machine to the individual potato- or vegetable-harvesting conditions to ensure efficient and gentle harvesting. A choice of 280hp or 326hp Mercedes-Benz engines ensures the machine always has ample power to do the job.
Separator options available include Roller separator, Vario RS, Multisep, Double-Multisep, and fine haulm elevators bottom and top (single or in combination). Customers can also choose from wheels all round, or a combination of wheels and rubber-track unit to extend the harvesting season in adverse conditions. A powerful ring elevator with large pockets and patent-pending active side finger combs ensures a smooth crop flow from the separation system to the picking area. The crop can be delivered directly from the picking table to the consumer.
Of particular interest to Jersey-based growers, Grimme has also launched a single-row bunker harvester this year, the SE 140.
Today's higher fertiliser prices mean that, more than ever, inputs must be precisely applied to prevent waste and maximise yield potential. Boroughbridge-based cultivation and fertiliser application specialist firm Keith Rennie Machinery (KRM) has a range of both Bredal and KRM twin-disc machines, with the L1 and L2 Trend machines being of particular interest to growers.
The L2 Trend has been successfully adapted for row crops and vines. Built by Bogballe, it features extensive use of stainless steel and is available in capacities of 1,150 litres, 1,600 litres and 2,050 litres. The L2 can spread between 6m and 24m.
All KRM fertiliser spreaders feature the same unique agitator design. The agitator is mounted eccentrically above the disc and relies entirely on the resistance of the fertiliser to make it oscillate. Therefore, if a light material such as urea is in the hopper, the resistance will be low and the agitation will be gentle and avoid powdering the material. Equally, if a heavy material such as potash is in the hopper, the agitator is forced to oscillate hard and ensures good agitation and even flow onto the disc.
Rather than a single outlet, these machines utilise a patented double shutter design. This ensures that as the opening increases in size the drop-on point at which the fertiliser hits the disc remains the same - so when changing application rate it is not necessary to alter any machine settings. This simplifies machine setting on all models and is an essential feature on any machine fitted with electric control and using variable application rates and forward speeds.
Electronic control compatible with leading GPS systems is available for these machines, thus allowing variable-rate spreading. This is increasingly important to provide evidence of applications to meet compliance with food assurance schemes.
Yara will exhibit an innovative piece of machinery, the N Sensor. It is already in use for cereal growers but is showing great potential in the potato crop.
N Sensor determines a crop's nitrogen demand by measuring light reflectance from the canopy. The operator sets the required average application rate and the machine adjusts for variability in the crop. A new version with its own light source is now available, allowing it to operate at night. The sensor sits on top of the tractor cab and is linked electronically to a variable-rate spreader. This piece of kit has won a Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) gold medal. Next on the list for N Sensor development are onions and asparagus.
LAMMA is not just the place for planning the next machinery purchase, although in recent years it has evolved into probably the most comprehensive exhibition of its type in the UK. The show also has a great cross-section of advisory and consultancy exhibits, along with places where you can stock up on tools and spares.
Spaldings has a full amenity and grounds-care catalogue on its stand, alongside its comprehensive agricultural volume. This year, one of the new tools on display is the £230 portable TruCraft 19.2 volt impact wrench. Spaldings will also launch a new weather station to interface with PCs.
Date: 21-22 January
Times: Wednesday 21 January, 9am to 5pm; Thursday 22 January, 9am to
Venue: Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground