The Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association show, popularly known as "LAMMA," has rapidly gained its worthy place as Britain's leading exhibition of farm and horticultural machinery and services.
As its organisers point out: "For visitors, the volume and range of equipment on display is impressive, with many new products making their debut on the UK market. In addition, the policy of keeping exhibition rates low, in comparison with other events, gives many small manufacturers and service providers the rare opportunity to display their products to a national and rapidly growing international audience."
Historically, the Royal Smithfield Show was the industry's iconic winter event. That prestigious occasion is no more but LAMMA has already filled the void, not least by offering free admission and free car parking to all visitors. This year, there are many horticultural products on display for growers at the show, taking place on 19-20 January. Some of the highlights include exhibits by:
Edwards Farm Machinery
"LAMMA is our best show," says Robert Edwards of Edwards Farm Machinery. "We try to give visitors the opportunity to examine a wide range of equipment. There's really no substitute for seeing the real thing."
Edwards hopes to exhibit 6m and single-set Agricola Italiana precision air drills, inter-row rotavators and cultivators and the Checchi & Magli transplanters, among other items.
Agricola Italiana drills are highly versatile and custom built to specification and are able to handle different types of seed. They are also fitted with a vacuum cleaner-type seed-saver attachment to enable efficient hopper cleaning and reduce seed loss at the end of the day. These pneumatic drills have proved popular among visiting growers in the past, with a wide range of options available such as clod pushers, three types of press wheel, hydraulic markers and micro granulators.
Vegetable Harvesting Systems
Another regular exhibitor, Vegetable Harvesting Systems (VHS) of Spalding, is using LAMMA 2011 for the UK launch of the Leozann "Ecogreen" asparagus harvesting machine from Rennazo in Italy.
"This is an exciting project for us," says VHS sales manager Andy Wilson. "We expect the Ecogreen to be a popular, versatile machine, with its 24-volt system giving more power and torque than conventional 12v harvesters, a stronger frame and larger wheels."
The Ecogreen can cover one, two or three asparagus beds and carry up to three operators. The one on display at the show will be the first of its kind in the country.
VHS is also displaying detachable tracks for tractors from Westtrack of Holland. Tracks considerably reduce the ground pressure of the machines per square cm and increase the load-bearing capacity by increasing the rut, giving more tensile force. Westtrack allows users to quickly switch wheels with minimum adjustment of the base machine.
VHS, which imports harvesting machines and trailers for the fresh and processed markets, is also featuring "Extractacore" de-coring and floretting machines that are used to remove the core from crops such as cabbage and lettuce and to produce florets from cauliflowers and broccoli.
Sometimes its not an individual piece of machinery that is new and catches the eye, but a package that gives a tried and tested piece of equipment a new lease of life. So it is with Micron Sprayers, which is launching a package at LAMMA to greatly enhance the economy of weed removal between rows of crops including vegetables, strawberries and raspberries.
The package is based on the inter-row Varidome sprayer, which is a low-volume shrouded sprayer with controlled droplet application atomiser technology. What makes the package unique is that the sprayer is linked to a bespoke electronic controller that allows application rates to be altered on the move - the first time this technology has been used for an inter-row sprayer. There is also an optional GPS add on.
The package from Micron includes a new specific off-label approval (SOLA) from the Chemical Regulations Directorate. Known as SOLA no. 20102519, this allows growers to use the weedkiller Monsanto Roundup Ace on carrot, beetroot, garlic, horseradish, leek, onion, parsley root, parsnip, salad onion, salsify, shallot, swede and turnip crops.
Sales manager Terry Royston says he is looking forward to explaining the new concept to customers at LAMMA and demonstrating the existing range of hand-held sprayers, the Weedswiper and Enviromist.
Irrigation may not be uppermost in growers' minds at this time of year, but a visit to the Wroot Water stand could be time well spent. The company deals with every aspect of water management from advice and hiring and selling systems to weather stations, fabrication, pumps, pipes, filters and valves.
Of special interest to growers is a uniquely mobile, diesel-powered ultraviolet filtration unit to control pathogens in water. This has been successful in controlling brown rot in potatoes and pseudomonas in salad crops, but can be used for many other types of application. The units, either static or mobile, operate at a flow rate of 2-250cu m. Operation with a hose reel is possible, up to 12-bar pressure.
UV filtration systems are rapidly growing in popularity thanks to the germicidal nature of UV light. It deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens and destroys their ability to multiply and cause disease. The UV filtration unit provides a safe way to irrigate without using chemicals.
John Deere is using this event to showcase its shiny new tractors - the five newly styled wheeled models in the 8R Series range, from 260-360hp and designed to meet European Stage IIIB emissions regulations while maintaining excellent fuel economy.
The 8260R, 8285R, 8310R, 8335R and 8360R tractors are available from March 2011 in the UK and Ireland and feature a new fuel-efficient PowerTech PSX nine-litre, six-cylinder engine, which provides higher horsepower and torque and meets new emissions standards.
The new 8R Series offers an increase of 15hp on existing models as well as the potential to add a further 35hp boost using intelligent power management in non-stationary PTO and transport applications.
The engine utilises exhaust gas recirculation and variable geometry turbocharger technology, with the addition of an exhaust filter that contains a diesel oxidation catalyst and a diesel particulate filter that automatically cleans itself during normal machine operation.
In addition to the new engines, the tractors have simple-to-use controls in the cabs that allow increased productivity. The new ActiveCommand Steering option delivers driver comfort and control, especially for those who do a lot of road work. Variable ratio steering also means fewer turns at slow speeds, and quicker headland turns.
Precision farming customers will benefit from looking at the new StarFire SF3000 receiver, which gives a quicker start-up and signal acquisition than its predecessor and can operate more effectively in shaded conditions.
Palintest soil test kits, a new range, will be shown to LAMMA visitors by dealer Martin Lishman. The kits enable growers to carry out "on the spot" analysis of the soil and can be used to measure pH and lime requirements, or for soil fertility testing including nitrate phosphate and potassium.
It also includes a professional soil management kit that incorporates the testing of minerals such as iron, copper, manganese and sulphur.
Martin Lishman representative Gavin Lishman says: "Although we have been offering testing kits for some time as part of our wider soil sampling and testing range, this new professional range from Palintest has impressed us greatly. Apart from being well made and packed in sturdy carrying containers, the extraction and reagent tablets provided for each of the tests makes analysis very simple and the instructions are very easy to follow."
Following the successful introduction of its Mycolife peat-free compost tea, Martin Lishman has also linked up with Laverstoke Park Laboratories to offer growers a comprehensive soil testing service. Analyses of organic matter and exchangeable nutrients in the soil and tests on active bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes in compost are just some of the features now available.
Sprayer manufacturer Hypro EU is launching two new nozzles at this year's show. The ProClean Plus and the GuardianAIR Twin have been developed in response to feedback from growers who want to improve the speed and efficiency of their spraying operations.
Product manager Roger James says: "With the ProClean Plus, we have produced a rinsing nozzle specifically designed to shift the stubborn layer sometimes left at the base of a container by certain crop chemicals.
"The GuardianAIR Twin is a new design concept that incorporates two low-drift air inclusion jets, inclined forward and backward at an angle of 30 degs, into a single compact bayonet cap."
The introduction of these two unique nozzles confirms Hypro EU's commitment to a product development programme that is led by research and development and takes feedback from growers into account about the aspects of spraying they want to be improved.
"In both cases, growers have helped in the final development of these nozzles by testing and reporting on their practical use in the field."
LAMMA 2011 takes place on 19-20 January at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground in Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. It is set to host 600 exhibitors from the UK and abroad. Entry and parking are free.
- Edwards Farm Machinery, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire WR15 8HL. Tel: 01584 810713
- VHS, Quadring, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 4PU.
Tel: 01775 821222
- Micron Sprayers, Bromyard, Herefordshire HR7 4HS.
Tel: 01885 482397
- Wroot Water Systems, Wroot, Doncaster DN9 2BU.
Tel: 01302 771881
- John Deere, Langar, Nottingham
Tel: 01949 860491
- Martin Lishman, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 9LQ. Tel: 01778 426600
- Hypro EU, Longstanton, Cambridge CB24 3DS. Tel: 01954 260097