Nearly 600 exhibitors are putting together their final plans ahead of the 2010 LAMMA show, which takes place at Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground on 20 and 21 January.
Mainly machinery and tackle manufacturers and suppliers, the exhibitors reflect the early days of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association annual show, first held in Lincolnshire in 1981 to provide a low-cost opportunity for exhibitors to display their wares to an audience admitted without paying an entry fee.
To this day the show is still free for visitors, with free car parking and even free transport from Newark's railway stations.
Tractor stand proves a major draw
Many visitors make a beeline to the tractor stands at shows and this year AGCO — the parent organisation of Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Valtra and Challenger — will be exhibiting the new range of Fendt narrow tractors for the grower.
With a completely new engine and new transmission, the 207 VA, VF and VP provide three width options for vineyard, fruit and plantation hops and fruit respectively. A standard agricultural version is also available, as are four-wheel drive specifications.
Fendt claims that these tractors offer maximum ride comfort and optimum efficiency and are also the first and only step-less speciality tractors with Vario transmission on the market. The newly developed three-cylinder common rail Sisu-Power engine develops 51Kw/70hp and meets Tier 3 regulations.
If your shopping list includes the new Fendt tractor, perhaps you need a new mower to fit. Suitable for hedge, grass or verge, between bushes or trees or for mowing of blueberries, cranberries and other vacciniums, you might like to see the new Kestrel S forward arm machine from Bomford Turner.
Like many exhibitors, Bomford uses LAMMA to launch new machinery onto the market and the show will be the first outing for the Kestrel S - "S" stands for power slew, increasing the flexibility of the machine, which is suitable for 50hp tractors and above, including the narrower variants. The mower comes with a choice of six flails, depending on application.
Also brand new from Bomford Turner is the larger-scale Falcon 6.5T forward arm mower - 6.5T referring to a 6.5m reach on a telescopic arm. This puts the cutting head comfortably at the side of the driver cab but on a larger machine of 90hp or above.
When a machinery show grows to the size of LAMMA there must be a temptation to raise prices, which results in a showcase for major international manufacturers only. But LAMMA has avoided this and you will see specialist vegetable and fruit manufacturers and distributors among the mighty multinationals.
British company Jones Engineering has been in business since 1987 and in the last decade has established a reputation for innovation and robustness. The only manufacturer of British irrigation equipment, it will introduce a new pump unit at LAMMA. This has a JCB four-cylinder diesel engine complete with Caprari pumps mounted on a 1,000-litre diesel tank. All pump units come equipped with full engine protection unit, exhaust primer and acoustic engine canopy, all of which can be tailored to the customer's needs.
Also new from Jones is a triple-bed potato planter and triple-bed formers. The planter has a four-tonne hopper capacity, hydraulic folding and steering and automatic filling of mini hoppers. There are infinite options on spacing and this can be changed on the move. The unit requires only 120hp.
Jones has a reputation of gold medal-winning success with the triple-bedformer and the new machine marks significant progress for the larger grower or contractor.
Importers and distributors of several different manufacturers also congregate among the manufacturers themselves. An entirely different Jones - Thomas Jones, who runs Salmac - is exhibiting two small-trailed harvesting machines from Ortomec, two exhibits from Hortech and also hopes to have on display the entirely new "Culticlean" machine from Hoaf.
The first Ortomec exhibit is the "multi-seed" mechanical line seed drill. Tractor-drawn with up to 30 outlets with a minimum 4cm row spacing, it is suitable for vegetables such as rocket salad, baby leaf, spinach, parsley and beets. The Ortomec "TP" salad and baby leaf harvester is the baby of the range, available in 1-1.5m cutting widths. A self-contained unit, it only requires a tractor PTO output and minimum of 15hp.
As for the Hoaf CultiClean, this is a bed-former combined with infrared weed-burner, producing a completely sterile seedbed. The machine is still on the shop floor and technical details will not be available until the show.
LAMMA awards medals for engineering excellence. In previous years, Garford Farm Machinery has won medals for its highly innovative "Robocrop" precision guided hoe. Now, Garford will be back with a new version, the "Robocrop InRow". This truly innovative all-round weeding machine operates within the row, rather than simply between rows.
Using digital video image analysis techniques such as those used on the Robocrop 2 high-speed hoes, Robocrop InRow analyses images of the crop immediately in front of the weeder. Applying a predetermined grid and best fit logical deduction techniques, individual plants are pinpointed and tracked through the image. The weeding rotors are then synchronised to work around each plant, the rotor speed being continually adjusted to take into account plant spacing variations.
The InRow rotors are then followed up by a set of inter-row cultivation units to complete the all-round process. Performance is two plants per second per row in transplanted salads or vegetables, with different sized legs available to suit the height of the crop. So far, weeding coverage of up to 98.5% surface area has been achieved.
New kit to be displayed by Standen
Standen Engineering, the manufacturer of internationally acclaimed Standen-Pearson potato systems, has a new outdoor display this year featuring the Unistar soil separator, the Standen SP potato planter and two new machines fresh from their debut at British Potato - the T2 two-row trailed harvester and the front-mounted Powavator 150/70.
The two-row trailed harvester is a "clean sheet" design, developed for high output and efficiency with low crop damage. T2, built in Ely, is a bigger capacity machine than its predecessors and offers significantly more output. An additional front digger web and a longer sieving web provide a dramatic increase in total web area.
VariSep adjustable web step separation, between the digging and sieving webs, provides another major boost to output and on-the-move adjustability. The harvester is suitable for potatoes, bulbs, onions, carrots, parsnips, red beet, Swedes and turnips
The same crops, together with leeks and vining peas, can all potentially utilise the Powavator rotary tiller. This has immense strength for long life and efficiency and the front mounted version is entirely new.
Dowdeswell Engineering is synonymous with cultivations in general and ploughing in particular. Many vegetable growers will plough deep, utilising the DD board, while on-land ploughing is proving increasingly popular, particularly with the Dowdeswell 145 Series MA.
This is a heavy-duty range of fully mounted reversible ploughs for working in the furrow or on the land. With manual furrow width adjustment, suitable for tractors up to 300hp, maximum offset on the land is 57 inches (145cm). With furrow width adjustable by six inches (15cm), it is possible to select the right width for the soil type and conditions, maximise work rate and optimise power usage. The 145 Series is available in Shearbolt and Reset form.
Carrs will have an intriguing phosphate fertiliser enhancer called "Avail" on its stand. AVAIL-treated phosphate will remain accessible by the plant for the whole growing season, supplying the crop requirements throughout its lifetime, the company claims. This is a significant advantage over conventional phosphate fertiliser, which starts locking up in the soil soon after application.
Trial results for winter crops are encouraging. Is it reasonable to hope that similar benefits will accrue to vegetable growers, notably potatoes?
Starting life as a local machinery show, LAMMA has now achieved national status, but has done so without losing touch with its roots. Today you will see far more than just machinery, but every exhibit is still relevant to the grower, horticulturist or farmer.
Among the exhibits you may find books, lawyers and accountants mingling with building suppliers, hedging, ditching, tyres and spare parts. You can specify computer programmes, buy oil and paint, discuss agronomy and complain about the price of nitrogen.
LAMMA 0845 331 6123
AGCO (Fendt) 024 7669 4400
Bomford Turner 01789 773383
Jones Engineering 01427 752171
Salmac Ltd 01243 263248
Garford Farm Machinery 01778 342642
Standen Engineering 01353 661111
Dowdeswell Engineering 07831 400015