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MONTHLY National

April 2014

Inside this issue... Renewables | Focus on AD

Buildings Latest industry news |

Sheep Movement reporting |

On Topic | HGCA Monitor Farms

Grassland | Grassland & Muck 2014 preview Also Inside: Groundcare | Forestry | Grain | Education | Silage | Pest Control | ATV | Motors




April 2014

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10 24 37 38 41 45 48 51


06 12 16 21 54 58


Arable news

Grassland Grassland & Muck 2014 preview

Security Look after your CAT

Fencing Fencing requirements? Call the professionals.

Beef Expo Beef Expo preview

Tyres Sector news


All the latest need to know commentary

On Topic HGCA Monitor Farms

Renewables Focus on AD

Feature Paterson & McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmers

ATV The essential workhorse round-up

Motors Subaru Forester reviewed


Latest sheep industry news

Cereals 2014 preview

Buildings Latest industry news We welcome feedback and encourage readers to air their views. Have an opinion on a story or something you want to get off your chest? Write to us at the address below or email Whilst every attempt is made to ensure accuracy, the opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor. The Editor also reserves the right to alter or edit material as necessary and no responsibility is accepted for inaccuracies. Full copyright applies. All rights reserved 2014.

Andrew Poulton EDITOR

Connect with us: Published in the UK by Farming Monthly Ltd, 15-17 Dugdale Street, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV11 5QJ Tel: +44 (0) 2476 353537 Editor Andrew Poulton Editorial Assistant Advertising Director Shona Beedham Advertising Sales Jessica Hopper Advertising Sales Oliver Shorrock Accounts Manager Cheryl Arnold Production Subscriptions For editorial and general enquiries or to advertise please call Tel: +44 (0) 2476 353537 or email

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| News

Satellite broadband prize trial for Northants farmer A Northamptonshire farmer is experiencing faster broadband for the first time - via satellite - as part of a trial by Northamptonshire County Council to explore options to enhance connectivity in the most rural parts of the county. he Superfast Northamptonshire project aims to secure fibre-based Next Generation Access to all homes and businesses by 2017 - three years ahead of European targets. However, there are some very rural parts of the county where connectivity is a real issue. The County Council has partnered with the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Avonline Broadband to provide a Northamptonshire farmer a year's trial of Avonline's 20Mbps broadband package. Members of the NFU in Northamptonshire were asked to fill out a Broadband Survey to capture information on current service availability, usage and demand for faster speeds. A prize winner from participants was chosen at random. The winner was KM Wilkinson and Son in Glapthorn, East Northamptonshire. Farmer Bruce Wilkinson has had his satellite dish installed and is now able to access a wider range of online services, including BBC IPlayer. Cllr Andre Gonzales de Savage said: "The farming community is a key sector for Northamptonshire and through this partnership with Avonline we are able to provide an enhanced service for Mr Wilkinson and his business. This will make day to day activities such as online reporting and trading much quicker and easier. "The information from the Farmers' survey highlights the growing importance of access to


faster broadband for everyone in the county." The County Council received over 100 responses to the survey, out of approximately 350 NFU members in the county. Avonline Broadband is the UK's largest provider of the leading Tooway satellite broadband service, and managing director Mark Wynn said: "Our satellite broadband service delivers download speeds of up to 20Mbps anywhere in the UK immediately. Everyone can get fast broadband today through a satellite broadband system, no matter where they live. There is no phone line needed and no lengthy wait for an upgrade programme. "We were delighted to install our service at Bruce's farm so he can enjoy a more reliable broadband connection." Bruce Wilkinson farms almost 500 acres at Glapthorn, near Oundle and now mostly grows Miscanthus, a biomass crop which goes to create electricity at DRAX power station. He said: "For the past five years we have had an unreliable and slow broadband service. Before the satellite was installed we certainly couldn't consider watching catch-up TV and managing business requirements online was difficult. "We can now watch videos and download data much better than before - some videos were impossible previously." Both Bruce and his wife Liz, who runs an agricultural training business from home, need

broadband for their work. Bruce said: "Farmers are increasingly required to return reports to DEFRA online and for many that is a real problem so fast reliable broadband is very important to us." Avonline Broadband is the UK's largest provider of the leading Tooway satellite broadband service. Satellite Broadband can offer an immediate solution to get faster broadband and it is available almost anywhere as an interim or alternative solution. The County Council will be drawing on the experience of Bruce Wilkinson and his family, through the trial, to help other people in need of faster broadband, to make more informed decisions on options available whilst the project to deliver fibre based superfast broadband comes forward between now and 2017.

Next Auctions on 7th April 2014 & 12th May 2014 commencing at 10.30am

06 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

| News

Change Finance & Leasing More fodder off to A different approach to finance.

Somerset from Ceredigion

hange Finance and Leasing is a trading name under the holding company Change Finance Ltd. We are discrete specialist financial brokerages with a proven historical pedigree stretching back over 15 years, one of the best established brokerage in its field. Our core expertise has been in the provision of unsecured funding for qualified professionals. But that is not all. We now arrange finance for Industry, manufacturing and have now added to our portfolio farming & agriculture products arranging equipment leasing, farm buildings, fertilisers & Feeds. Martin Kent, MD for Change Finance & Leasing says “we live and work in a rural area surrounded by many agricultural businesses such as traditional farms, feed & fertiliser merchants and market garden growers to the trade & public. It seemed the obvious and right decision to offer our financial expertise and our credit facilities to the farming community. We combine the values of experience and accumulated

A lorry load of fodder donated by farmers in the Aberystwyth area has been sent to Somerset to feed livestock on a farm struck by the recent floods.


Martin Kent (centre) & the team

knowledge with the virtues of modern vision and technical competence and are able to discuss the best way forward, offer the most competitive rates available and advise on which type of funding is appropriate to their needs. We have a proven historical pedigree stretching back over 15 years. Our clients enjoy complete peace of mind whilst working with us; often because we let you get on with your busy lives whilst we sort out the details. Over the years, thousands of satisfied clients have expressed total confidence in our solutions, people and products.” Contact us on 01543 473400 or visit our website.

he load of silage was delivered from a collection point at Aberystwyth livestock market directly to a farm more than 160 miles away at Stoke St Gregory, near Taunton. Donors Dafydd and Delyth Jones, of Brynceiro, Ponterwyd, also co-ordinated the deliveries from the other farmers including John Hughes, Pencwm, Penrhyncoch; Dafydd Jenkins, Tanrallt, Talybont; Glyn Rowlands, Creignant, Bontgoch; James Raw, Tyllwyd, Cwmystwyth; Emyr Davies, Llety Ifan Hen, Bontgoch; and Julian Fenwick, Llynlloedd, Machynlleth. Cefin Evans, of Cwmwythig Farm adjoining the collection point at Lovesgrove, loaded the bales on to the lorry generously donated by D J Thomas a’i Feibion, of Lampeter, and driven by Richie Richards, of Aberaeron. Farmers' Union of Wales Ceredigion county executive officer Caryl Wyn-Jones said: "We are working closely with the official co-ordinator for fodder in


Somerset as the procedure has now changed. Instead of fodder going to Sedgemoor Market it is now being transported directly to the farms in need of fodder. "We have also set up a special fund to collect donations to help pay for diesel and haulage costs. If anybody wishes to make a contribution, cheques can be made out to ‘Apêl FUW Somerset’ and sent to any FUW office. "A total of five loads have gone to help farmers in Somerset from Ceredigion with another five loads currently being organised in south Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. All donations of fodder and money are greatly appreciated by us, and the farmers in Somerset struggling to feed their animals." Farmers able to donate fodder and hauliers able to provide transport to make deliveries to Somerset can contact FUW's Ceredigion county chairman Aled Rees on 01239 810379 / 07968 386039 or via email:

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 07

| News

Combines CaseIH 9120 with 35’ header & trailer, 2010, Full GPS. Auto Steering & Mapping. CaseIH 9230 with 35’ header & trailer, 2012, 175 Rotor hours, Pro 700 screen, Air kit, CaseIH Warranty for 2013 season & subsidised CaseIH finance subject to terms & conditions. CaseIH 7230 with 30’ header, 62 drum hours, Guidance ready, Pro 700 screen, CaseIH Subsidised Finance. CaseIH 7120 Four Wheel Drive, 24’ header, 2009, 720 Rotor hours. CaseIH 5130 with 20’ Vario header, CaseIH Warranty, CaseIH subsidised finance available subject to terms & conditions. CaseIH 2166, 18’ header / trolly, 2140 hours. John Deere 9780 CTS Hillmaster, 2002, 22’ header & trolly, chopper & Chaff spreaders. New Holland TC56 c/w 15’ header / trolly, chopper, 2082 hours. New Holland CSX 7080 c/w 20’ header / trolly, approx 800 hours. Tractors 885L 4wd c/w Quicke loader, 4600 hours, one owner. 856XL Plus 4wd. 1993, 3994 hours, one owner, excellent condition. Maxxum 5130 Plus Synchro, 8000 hours, very clean. Maxxum 5150 Plus Powershift, front linkage, very clean. MX135 ,1999, 6374 hours, 40kph + Creep, front weights, 20.8 x 38 tyres. MX135 c/w front linkage, 2003, loader brackets & controls, one owner. Quantum 65c two wheel drive, 2010, 3771 hours, front weights. JXU 75 4wd. 2012, 590 hours, 16.9 x 34 tyres, 40kph. weights. JXU 1080 4wd. 3053 hours, 2004, Turf or Ag tyres. JXU1100 Powershuttle 4wd. 3100 hours, 2005, 16.9 x 34 tyres. JXU1100 Powershuttle c/w Quicke loader, 3800 hours, 2006, 16.9 x 34 tyres. NEW Farmall 55 two wheel drive, Roll bar, CaseIH Finance Package. Maxxum 125 Suspension c/w LRZ loader, 2009, 2920 hours. Maxxum 125 EP c/w Quicke loader, 2012, 887 hours. Maxxum 125 c/w Loader, 2011, 1562 hours. NEW Maxxum 110 EP Cab Suspension3 speed PTO. large hyd. pump. CaseIH Subsidised Finance package subject to terms & conditions. NEW Maxxum 125 EP. 17x16 gearbox, Suspension, 540/1000 pto. air conditioned cab, 520/70 x 38 tyres, boosts to 165hp. CVX150 Suspension, 2009, 2900 hours, 650/65 x 38 tyres. CVX1155 Suspension, 2004, 3338 hours, 460/85 x 38 tyres. CVX160 Suspension 50kph. 2011, 2369 hours, 650/65 x 38 tyres.

CVX160 + Quicke loader, 7200 hrs. one owner. CVX175 Suspension, 2009, 2578 hours, 50kph. trailer air brakes. CVX195 Suspension, 2009, 4297 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma 125 Suspension c/w LRX150 loader, 2011, 2423 hours. Puma 140 MC, 2010, 553 hours, Pro 300 Screen, 3 spd.pto. Puma 140 Semi Powershift, 2011, 570 hours, 40kph. Puma 140 Powershift, suspension, 2010, 700 hours, 40kph. Puma 145 EP. 2012, 800 hours, 600/65 x 38 tyres, 40kph. trailer air brakes. Puma 155 2009, 2611 hours, Powershift 40kph. 650/65 x 38 tyres. Puma 155 PowerShift, 2008, 5000 hours, Front Linkage, 50kph + Creep. Puma 165 Suspension 50kph. 2010, 1406 hrs. trailer air brakes. Puma 170 EP Suspension 40kph. 2012, 1517 hrs. 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma 180 Suspension, 2012, 560 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres, 50kph. Puma 180 PowerShift Suspension 50kph. 2011, 2554 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma 195 MultiController, 2008, 976 hours, AFS Pro 200 screen. Puma 210, 2010, 4183 hours, Front Linkage, 620/70 x 42 tyres. Puma 215 Suspension 50kph. 2013, 220 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma 215 Suspension 40kph. 2013, 253 hours, trailer air brakes. Puma 215 Suspension 40kph. 2013, 500 hours, trailer air brakes. Puma CVX 160 Suspension 50kph. 2012, 950 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma CVX 160 Suspension 50kph. 2012, 931 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma CVX 160 Suspension 50kph. 2011, 1975 hours, 580/70 x 38 tyres. Puma CVX 160 Suspension 50kph. trailer air brakes, 2012, 272 hours. Puma CVX 180 Suspension 50kph. Front Linkage, 2010, 2524 hours. Puma CVX 210 Front linkage, 2011, 2780 hours, 650/65 x 42 tyres. Puma CVX 230 c/w Front Linkage, 2013, 650/65 x 42 tyres, Premium pack. Magnum 225 Suspension, 2007, 2361 hours, 50kph. Magnum 225 Suspension, 2011, 3120 hours. Magnum 270, year 2000, 4760 hours, 710.70 x 42 tyres. Magnum 230, 2003, 5120 hours, 650/85 x 38 tyres, front weights. Magnum 260, 2011, 1795 hours, Full Accuguide, air brakes. Magnum 310 Suspension 40kph + Creep gears, 2010, 1480 hours. Magnum 310 FULL GPS, 2011, 2255 hours, 710/70 x 42 tyres. Magnum 310 Suspension, 2010, 2632 hours,

08 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

800/70 x 38 tyres. Magnum 340 Suspension 50kph. weights, 2011, 588 hours. Magnum 340 Suspension 50kph. 2011, 1746 hours, Front Linkage. Magnum 340 Suspension, 2012, 747 hours, Full Accuguide, 710/70 x 42 tyres. NEW Magnum 340 Anniversary model, Silver & Red livery. Steiger STX325, rear linkage & hitch frame, 2004, 5647 hours. Massey Ferguson 399 4wd 12x12 Shuttle, 1992, 5185 hours, 16.9 x 38 tyres. 4455 4wd 12x12 Shuttle, air conditioned cab, front weights, 2005, 3534 hours. 6455 Dyna 6 c/w Front Linkage, 2006, 825 hours, air conditioned cab. Ford / New Holland TD75D 4wd 12x12 Shuttle, 2003, 4238 hours, air TL 80 two wheel drive, 2002, 5190 hours, 12x12 Shuttle. TL 90 4wd PowerShift & PowerShuttle, air conditioned cab, 2003. TL 90 4wd Row Crops, Front Linkage, air conditioned cab, 3 speed pto. 2006, 4663 hours. TS100 Plus 4wd Row Crops, 40kph. 3 speeed pto. 3845 hours, 2007. TM175 c/w Front Linkage, Suspension 40kph. 2005, 5933 hours. T6010 Delta 24x24 PowerShuttle & PowerShift, 2008, 1845 hours, passenger seat. T6070 Range Command, 40kph Eco, 2010, 1335 hours, Creep gears, 650/65 x 38 tyres. T7040 Power Command Suspension 50kph & Creep gears, 2008, 5800 hours. T7070 Auto Command c/w Front Linkage, 40kph. 2010, 2087 hours. T7220 Suspension, 19 speed, 2011, 2373 hours, trailer air brakes. Other Makes McCormick CX85 Xtrashift c/w Quicke loader, 2004, 2368 hours. Fiat 100-90DT, 1992, 7641 hours, good tyres, front weights, nice tractor. Claas Ares 826 c/w front Linkage, 2347 hours, air conditioned cab, 20.8 x 42 tyres. Claas Arion 640 c/w front linkage, 1535 hours, 50kph. air brakes. Renault Ceres 436 4wd c/w Chillton Loader, 2003, 5900 hours. Valtra N151 c/w Valtra 65 loader, 2010, 3050 hours, trailer air brakes, 40kph. John Deere 6220 Powerquad 4wd. 2005, 2484 hours, 16.9 x 38 tyres, passénger seat. 5620 4wd PowerQuad c/w front linkage & pto. 2007, only 1430 hours. 7530 Premium TLS 50kph. trailer air brakes, 710/70 x 38 Michelin. Telescopic Handlers & Forklifts JCB 524-50, 2007, 2500 hours, pallet forks. JCB 525-67 Farm Special Plus, one owner, very straight.

JCB 526 - 56 Agri PowerShift, 2009, 2500 hours, Q fit carriage, air conditioned cab. JCB 528-70 Telescopic, year 2000, 2160 hours, PowerShuttle, Ex Water Authority. Manitou 420 Buggiescopic, 4200 hours. Hedgecutters & Grass Mowers Bomford Kestrel 1.2m head, cable control, linkage mounted. 2012 PA5455 XTC. 1.2m head, excellent condition. McConnel PA55, 1.2m head, XTC controls, 2008. McConnel PA6570T, Linkage mounted, 2011, 428 hours, Revolution controls. NEW ex stock McConnel 6565T XTC controls, 1.2m head, linkage mounted. NEW ex stock McConnel 6570T, 1.5m head, Revolution controls, Linkage mounted. NEW ex stock McConnel 6570T EDS & Hydraulic roller, 1.5m head, Revolution controls. NEW ex stock McConnel 5455, 1.2m head, XTC controls, linkage mounted. McConnel 2.7 Elite flail mower, rear roller, 2008. Plant JCB 2cx StreetMaster, Extenda Dig, 2006, rear breaker, good tyres. Case 580 Super M, 2003, 8000 hours, buckets, pallet forks, ride Control. Hitachi Zaxis 210 LC-3 excavator, reversing camera, breaker lines. JCB 8008 Micro digger, roll bar, breaker lines, 1315 hours, buckets. JCB 8035 ZTS excavator, 2007, 1750 hours, breaker lines, bucket. JCB 8080 ZTS excavator, 2006, buckets. JCB 8080 ZTS excavator, 2005, buckets. Machinery Vaderstad Carrier 500, Packers & Levelling board, 2009. Vaderstad CR300 Carrier, Linkage mounted, weights. Quivogne 4m Tinemaster c/w Terracast V2 Seeder. Quivogne 4.8m Tinemaster c/w V2 Seeder. Simba 23c Hydraulic fold Discs. Simba 3.8m SOLO 380, Scalloped Discs. Vaderstad Concorde NZC 6 metre. Twose 12.4m Hydraulic folding Roller. Vaderstad 6m Drill, Rigid tines, Hydraulic fan. McConnel 3m Discaerator, 7 leg. AbbI 1000 Litre Fuel bowser. Trailers A S Marston ACE 14 grain trailer, hydraulic door, air brakes, Super singles. Larrington Majestic 17 ton grain trailer, roll over sheet, ABS. air brakes.

Website with photographs : Finance offered subject to terms & conditions.

| News

TB Busters – a history so far... The young and enthusiastic Alan Hughes talks about the history and evolution of the TB Buster. B Busters started because most of the farms in my area closed down with TB, and with vets constantly telling us to raise our mineral buckets, I struggled to find anything suitable on the market to hold them. This inspired me to start designing and producing mineral bucket stands and testing them on our cattle. After many prototypes, I made one I was happy with, which the South West TB Advice Group tested and approved as a successfully badger proof mineral bucket stand and TB biosecurity measure. I started testing my product with larger cattle and found that bulls could damage the original design, so I started a redesign to increase strength in the stand to prevent damage from the bulls. Now the stand is made fully of 50mm box section steel and can withstand any bull, even one using it as a scratching post. Next, the stand was sent to The Royal Agricultural University of Cirencester for full scientific tests on a three month trial aimed to provide robust scientific evidence


to assess the effectiveness and practicality of the TB Buster; monitoring badger interaction and cattle interaction with the measure on two separate farm sites, which was monitored using night vision and motion sensing cameras. Throughout the duration of the three month trial, badgers were found to be unable to access the mineral lick holder held by the TB Buster, whereas badgerts regularly accessed a conventional mineral lick bucket. In addition to this, the trial established that once secured, the TB Buster can withold substantial interaction from cattle, including cattle leaning against the stand and using it as a scratching post. As well as this, the TB Buster is also one of only three products covered by Defra's latest round of forestry and farm improvement grants or FFIS founding under the TB biosecurity improvements so farmers can claim 40% of the costs of buying these items to help reduce the impact of TB on their businesses. Alan Hughes himself is an active member of the NFU and currently represents Shropshire on the NFU livestock board, as well

as being chairman of Ludlow Young Farmers throughout 20112012. Not only did he design and create the TB Buster, but he even set up the website and designs his own adverts and fliers. TB Busters are the only company to provide a tailor made biosecurity service that is customised to each individual farmer, by doing a full farm biosecurity survey and suggesting the best way to reduce the impacts of TB on your agricultural business. If you would like to know more about the TB Buster or require any additional information, Alan Hughes is available on mobile 07890 325 264, by email or you can visit his website

Arla signs up a further 150 million litres rla Foods has secured over 150 million litres of owner milk, in its latest recruitment initiative, just three months after 1,200 British farmers were offered co-ownership of Arla Foods amba. The volume has been signed up in one month following the decision of Arla’s board of Directors to secure a further 300 million litres of owner milk into its UK milk pool during 2014. The dairy farmers supplying the volume will become co-owners of Arla Foods amba through Arla Milk Cooperative (AMCo). Commenting on the success of the recruitment drive, Ash Amirahmadi, Arla’s head of milk and member services, said: “Arla is paying its highest ever milk price


in its history. We are winning business and growing so need to increase our milk pool to meet the demands of the business. “I would urge farmers interested in our cooperative ethos to get in touch quickly. We have exceeded the mid point and are continuing to sign up more co-owners on a daily basis. “We are interested in recruiting farmers who want to own processing assets and take responsibility for the marketing arm of their milk, who see the benefits of being part of a progressive European dairy company with global reach, able to access markets including Africa, China and the Middle East, and who believe in investing in brands to maximise their milk price.”

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 09

| Arable

Spring beans join in the battle to control Blackgrass Rothamsted work has indicated that including a spring sown crop – for example spring beans - in the rotation is likely to be the most beneficial single element in the battle against blackgrass, says PGRO’s Jim Scrimshaw. he nature of our rotations and that they predominantly include autumn sown crops, is a major reason why blackgrass is a problem. Around 3 million hectares of the 4.3 million hectares of arable land in the UK is sown in the autumn. “Rothamsted work suggests that spring cropping achieves 88% control of blackgrass on average and the blackgrass threat is on the increase. Back in 1990, work at Rothamsted suggested that one seed could produce 4 heads - now up to 15 heads are being seen, with each head producing up to 200 seeds. Cultural techniques are one weapon in the battle. Blackgrass seeds generally germinate from the top 5cm of soil and are not particularly robust. Hence, good ploughing can reduce the seed bank by around 70%, and is particularly useful if seed returns have been high in the previous season. Historical knowledge, seed returns, previous cultivations, and any drainage issues can help build up a picture of the seed bank and help identify problem areas when considering rotational ploughing. Shallow non-inversion


10 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

tillage also has its place, depending on the circumstances. Whichever cultivation technique is used, PGRO work has shown that beans do not need to follow the plough and can be successfully established and be profitable when direct drilled - providing soil conditions were favourable in the first place and the equipment being used is appropriate. In addition, current work indicates that higher populations may deliver better returns which in turn would increase the crop's competitiveness and help in the blackgrass battle. There is, however, more work to be done to verify this. While herbicides available to continue the blackgrass fight may be limited, beans have the active ingredients prosulfocarb, triallate and pendemethalin available, which are widely used in cereal herbicide programmes. In addition, Dual Gold (S-metolachlor) which also has some blackgrass activity is now available via an EAMU. There are also post-emergence graminicides with activity. But these should not be relied upon for control as there may be resistance issues in some situations.

Jim Scrimshaw sums up: “Diversifying rotations to include more spring crops so that cultural and chemical control can be used together are a way to give growers the most effective long term means of addressing blackgrass issues. “Rothamsted work suggests that spring cropping achieves 88% control of blackgrass on average and the blackgrass threat is on the increase.” “A spring bean crop has the potential to return over £1000/ha, needs no nitrogen, leaves residual nitrogen for the following crop, and can increase the yield of the following cereal by 0.8t/ha. “If you also bear in mind that newer varieties such as Fanfare and Vertigo can significantly outyield more traditional varieties, then the chance of achieving the higher returns is increased.”

| Arable

Severe disease pressure this spring sees more emphasis on early season fungicides Independent agronomist Bill Barr of Prime Agriculture says that the high levels of yellow rust and septoria infecting wheat crops will mean that early fungicide sprays will need to be more robust than usual. or one of Mr Barr’s clients, farm manager Giles Benson of Turney’s Farming in Quinton, Northamptonshire, this has meant that a T minus 1 spray (T-1), has already been applied on his rust susceptible wheat varieties. “Robigus, Viscount and Solstice received the early fungicide treatment but the more resistant varieties such as Crusoe did not warrant it and will get their first spray at growth stage 30, T0.” “The T-1 applied at the end of February consisted of a reduced rate of triazole and is really just used to dampen down the rust early”, he says. For those crops that did not get the T-1 spray, the T0 will be a standard low dose triazole plus chlorothalonil spray with or without a mildewicide. Where an early spray was planned but has not been applied, a strobilurin will be added into the triazole plus chlorothalonil mix to boost rust control. Mr Benson sees the T-1 approach as one of risk management. “It buys time and takes the pressure off the T0 spray. Cost wise it does not add too much more onto the overall programme at around the £5/ha mark so it’s well worth it for the peace of mind.” For Mr Barr the T1 spray is still not defined as he prefers to wait and see how the crops and season progress. “We now have much more chemistry choice at T1; as well as the standard triazoles there are the SDHI’s to consider and we still have the option of strobilurins.” “This year Mr Barr will up his spend at T1 to reflect the early threat from disease. “The T1 is protecting the upper leaves, and I don’t want to be chasing disease all season, so its critical to get it right and it needs an appropriate spend, I would be looking at around the £30 to 40/ha mark.”


Mr Barr adds that this higher cost earlier in the programme reflects a shift in emphasis between the T1 and T2 sprays to a more balanced spend; traditionally the T2 flag leaf spray has been the main emphasis of the fungicide spray programme reflected in the total spend at T2 in relation to the remainder of the programme at around 50%. For the last five years Mr Barr has used Tracker + chlorothalonil at T1 with very good results as the boscalid plus epoxiconazole mix is very effective on septoria and rusts, and importantly at this timing, boscalid remains the most effective active on eyespot. Mr Barr will consider the newer SDHI chemistry at T1 on disease susceptible or fungicide responsive varieties, however he will use newer SDHI’s across the board at T2, where there is a better yield response. Nick Myers, Head of Crop Production at ProCam UK Ltd, will consider using an SDHI at T1 this year as disease pressure is potentially very high. “It is important to ‘frontload’ the fungicide programme to minimise the risk from rusts and septoria from the outset. Adexar plus a multi-site inhibitor will be an option where disease pressure is particularly high.” “Crops generally have good yield potential this year and will justify the investment in the best fungicide technology.” Mr Myers also sees a place for strobilurins at T1, particularly this spring where plants have been waterlogged.” Whilst the potential of crops above the ground looks good, some roots could be suffering from prolonged waterlogging and in later sown crops that may be

BASF's Jonathan Ball

“This year Mr Barr will up his spend at T1 to reflect the early threat from disease.” struggling, strobs can have a good effect at T1 in both promoting and retaining green leaf area.” “It’s important not to underestimate the physiological benefits of strobs in times of stress, and they are certainly proven to add persistence to triazoles for rust control.” BASF cereal fungicide manager Jonathan Ball adds that recent HGCA trials show the value of pyraclostrobin (as in Comet 200) to rust control hence the company’s recommendation for the addition of 0.4l/ha of Comet 200 to 1l/ha of Tracker and CTL in high rust threat situations at T1, and if necessary at T2 to 1.25l/ha Adexar + CTL to further boost rust control.

Bill Barr and farmer Giles Benson

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 11

| On Topic

On Topic

HGCA monitor farmer Jo Franklin

HGCA monitor farmer Mark Wood

HGCA monitor farmer Julian Gold

HGCA monitor farmer Mike Daniells

Fawley, Herefordshire

Royston, Hertfordshire

Wantage, Oxfordshire

Louth, Lincolnshire

Business profitability is the focus for eig arable Monitor Farms

Eight arable growers have joined HGCA’s Mon large-scale, farmer-led initiative of its kind in E

ollowing the successful call in November 2013, the eight new Monitor Farms were selected from 136 interested farmers. The eight farms are the first in a network of 24 HGCA Monitor Farms to be rolled out over three years, with a focus on business improvement, benchmarking and cost of production. The Monitor Farm model is based on the sharing of best practice and the challenge of decision making through group discussion. This network of HGCA Monitor Farms representing different business models and farming systems will face the same challenges and need to find rapid solutions to the same daily issues confronting their peers and the wider industry. Each farmer will be in the scheme for three years, hosting meetings of local growers to share best practice and knowledge. The monitor farmers, their steering group and associated HGCA Arable Business Groups will deliver benchmarking activity and peer review of decision-making on farm. While highlighting cost of production and efficiency, this will also bring a new focus on day-to-day farm decision making. HGCA’s Regional Managers, supported by a network of Regional Officers, will facilitate


12 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

activities at each site to deliver technical input and a detailed analysis of production costs. They will also work with farmers on knowledge exchange and dissemination to the wider industry, to promote best practice. Richard Laverick, HGCA’s Head of Regional Development, said: “The potential for impact in the industry is huge, because this is the first farmer led, farmer centred and farmer driven business improvement initiative to be delivered on this scale in England and Wales. “The farmers decide the agenda and programme of activity for each site, with a clear aim to achieve a demonstrable improvement in business performance over the three years of the programme. “The underlying premise is that farmers learn best from fellow farmers. Hard evidence of business improvement and the demonstration of new techniques on a commercial scale are the keys to bringing about behaviour change and spreading best practice.” He added: “A willingness to share information with peers is vital for growers wanting to engage with the HGCA Monitor Farms. Through the project HGCA aims to highlight opportunities for greater cooperation between neighbouring growers, helping to spread risk, develop understanding and ultimately to build sector resilience.”

The new HGCA monitor farmers are: • Phil Meadley, Driffield, Yorkshire • Mike Daniells, Louth, Lincolnshire • Jo Franklin, Royston, Hertfordshire • Tom Bradshaw, Colchester, Essex • Julian Gold, Wantage, Oxfordshire • James Lee, Crediton, Devon • Rob Fox, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire • Mark Wood, Fawley, Herefordshire In the north of the country, Phil Meadley farms 250ha near Driffield, approximately four miles from the North Sea coast. In a four-way family partnership, he grows milling wheat, oilseed rape, peas and barley. Phil is particularly interested in soil health, reducing fuel usage, addressing mycotoxins and looking at his whole approach to cultivations. Also in the north, Mike Daniells is a farm manager at Swaby near Louth. On land totalling 2,000ha Mike grows first wheat, winter and spring barley, oilseed rape, spring beans and vining peas, as well as keeping a herd of 60 suckler cows. Like many growers around the country Mike is finding black-grass control more difficult, and wants to address this, in addition to making a steady move towards a no-till system. He is already in an ELS scheme, with Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on his land and has started using GPS to achieve variable fertiliser rates.

| On Topic

Crediton, Devon

HGCA monitor farmer Phil Meadley

Driffield, Yorkshire

HGCA monitor farmer Rob Fox

On Topic

HGCA monitor farmers James and Jonathan Lee

Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

ht new HGCA itor Farm programme in the first ngland and Wales. Jo Franklin is a partner in her family farm and grows approximately 930ha of combinable crops just to the west of Royston, Hertfordshire. The chalk-based land is part owned and part rented with the rest on a mixture of share and contract farming arrangements, and includes an area of grassland used to support a flock of sheep. Jo has a keen interest in soil and crop health, and uses a number of precision farming techniques to ensure accuracy of application. She provides agronomy advice for some of her neighbours and carries out in-house trials. She is currently developing a commercial grain storage facility on-farm. Financial viability and pushing yields are her other main interests. The second monitor farmer for the east of the country is Tom Bradshaw. Tom is a partner in his family farm and grows 1,485ha of combinable crops – malting barley, milling wheat, peas and beans - to the west of Colchester in Essex. Apart from a small area of owned land, the majority is farmed under contracting arrangements and includes a wide range of soil types. He has been involved in Recommended Lists trials, and appeared on the BBC Harvest programme in 2013. Tom was recently elected to the NFU combinable crops board. The HGCA Monitor Farm with the longest recorded history is at East Hendred near

HGCA monitor farmer Tom Bradshaw

Colchester, Essex

Wantage, managed by Julian Gold. The farm has been in the Eyston family since 1300, a family which can trace itself back to Sir Thomas More. Julian farms 800ha on a five-year rotation of oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring beans, winter wheat and second wheat, winter or spring barley. The farm is primarily arable, although there are also sheep and shoot enterprises. Julian is passionate about sustainable intensification, reducing wastage, soil health and controlled traffic farming. Further south, James Lee is HGCA’s new monitor farmer near Crediton. A family partnership, the Lees farm a total of 260ha, of which 140ha is arable. They also have 70 suckler cows and 350 ewes. Farming hilly terrain with thin to medium loams, James has experienced benchmarking and peer review in New Zealand and wants to emulate this in the UK. James and his family currently grow oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring barley and oats, and want to expand their diversification. Robert Fox is a farm manager based just outside Leamington Spa. The business is highly diversified, with a large enterprise around general storage and document storage, as well as machinery and labour sharing with another arable farm. Robert farms 400ha of owned and rented land, with a rotation of winter wheat, winter barley, winter oilseed rape, spring

“The underlying premise is that farmers learn best from fellow farmers.” beans and spring barley. His challenges in the coming years include black-grass control, improving soil quality and introducing controlled traffic farming. Mark Wood is a farm manager based half way between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye. The farm is 250ha owned, 250ha rented and 500ha contract-farmed, primarily growing feed wheat as well as peas, oats and oilseed rape. Mark has three full time staff, and is a member of the Rosemaund Farmers Association. The issues facing Mark and the farm include precision farming, staff replacement and achieving consistent yields under variable conditions. Mark has hosted trial work for other organisations in the past. The Monitor Farm concept is a proven model that originated in New Zealand and has been developed in Scotland over the past ten years. Independent reviews have confirmed the industry impact and benefit of the programme in Scotland, with sharing of experience highlighted as the most beneficial aspects of the concept. Each of the new Monitor Farms will hold an opening meeting in June or July 2014.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 13

| Groundcare

New lightweight and easy brushcutters The first STIHL power tools with Ecospeed economy mode. brushcutter that combines power with fuel efficiency not only saves time it can save running costs too; and a brushcutter that is reliable and easy to use makes its task simply more pleasurable for the user to do. Now STIHL has launched a duo of new brushcutters that bring those benefits and more to users of these versatile power tools. The new STIHL FS 94 C-E and FS 94 RC-E are light weight, dependable and simple hard-workers, and the first power tools from STIHL with new Ecospeed variable speed control. Light weight power Proving the strengths of STIHL’s advanced 2-MIX engine technology, the new brushcutters’ 24.1cc engines deliver an impressive 0.9kW output power, driving their cutting heads comfortably through unruly lawn areas or tough grass and reeds. The STIHL 2-MIX engine is very efficient to run; with low emissions and low fuel consumption it is kind on the pocket and the environment too. The use of strong yet light weight materials in the new brushcutters’ design mean their performance is delivered in very low weight machines. Weighing in at just 4.9kg, the new bike-handled FS 94 C-E model offers one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class; the loop-handled FS 94 RC-E is even lighter at 4.6kg. What is particularly impressive is that low weight is achieved without any compromise on the brushcutters’ standards; their solid drive shafts are just one example of robust build quality. Further demonstrating their suitability for professional use, the new models’ ergonomic design ensures they are wellbalanced and highly manoeuvrable, and an efficient anti-vibration system makes them comfortable to use. Easy and efficient : new STIHL Ecospeed A new development from STIHL, the new brushcutters are its first power tools to feature Ecospeed technology, enabling users to set the working speed of the brushcutters to suit either the conditions or task. Ecospeed adjustment means the brushcutters can work more quietly and economically in partial load mode, or their speed can be reduced when the user needs particularly accurate control. The Ecospeed switch is set in the brushcutters’ handle, so saving fuel and cutting noise is literally at fingertip control.


14 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

More new features found on the brushcutters’ control handle are a simplified start switch with just two starting positions, plus a separate ‘off’ switch. Easy and reliable engine starting was another focus in the new brushcutters’ development, so the FS 94 models feature both a simplified 3-step starting system and the STIHL ErgoStart ‘gentle’ starter as standard. New to STIHL’s professional brushcutters, the simplified 3-step starting system means all a user needs do when they start a cold tool is purge the fuel tank, set the choke to ‘cold’, then pull the starter rope for the engine to go. They no longer need re-set the choke after that first engine start; it sets automatically to ‘normal’ once the engine has fired so there is no more uncertainty over warm/cold choke controls. Additionally, when the ‘off’ switch has been pressed the controls again re-set to the ‘normal’ starting position, so the user then just has to pull-start and go. The system is not only forgiving of operator starting errors, it means the risk of engine flooding is virtually eliminated. Designed for professionals STIHL’s many years of experience in the outdoor power tool sector, ensure it knows just what a professional demands of their tools. Added to the new brushcutters’ great handling, simplicity and performance, users will also welcome their easy maintenance. Take their air filtration system for example – important for ensuring the engine’s optimised performance. The new models feature the STIHL long-life version and the cartridge-style fleece filter is positioned for easy inspection or replacement without tools. The same attention to detail applies to the spark plug, which is located for easy access and protected by a cover that is removed by just one screw. STIHL engineers have certainly considered ease of maintenance in the brushcutters’ design, and of course the extensive STIHL Dealer network provides fully trained back-up and support for long-term servicing of its tools. Two models plus a choice of cutting heads The new brushcutters include a bike-handled model (FS 94 C-E: £325.00 ex VAT RRP) and a loop-handled version (FS 94 RC-E : £312.50 ex VAT RRP). The FS 94 C-E’s bike handle is ergonomically shaped to enable a broader sweeping action around the front of the user’s left thigh. Both models come with a grass-

cutting blade as standard: the steel, doubleblade is ideal for working on tough areas of grass. STIHL’s many years of experience in the outdoor power tool sector, ensure it knows just what a professional demands of their tools. STIHL cutting heads available for the new brushcutters range from double and quadruple line heads, through PolyCut mowing heads with pivoting plastic blades, up to an 8-tooth grass cutting blade for mowing thick dry grass and reeds. Speak to an Approved Dealer for advice on cutting head selection and on the STIHL range of protective clothing for brushcutter users, including face protection and special brushcutter trousers with impact protection to the front of the legs. The new STIHL FS 94 C-E and FS 94 RC-E brushcutters are available now from Approved Dealers nationwide. For more information on the STIHL brushcutter range and to find local Approved Dealers, visit the website : or Freephone 0800 137574.

| Renewables

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 15

| Renewables

Green Investment Bank to present their investment plans at UK AD & Biogas 2014 The Green Investment Bank has an important role to play in the uptake of AD in the UK. It invests in ‘UK projects which are both green and commercial. elcoming the opportunity to address the AD industry at the sector’s largest dedicated event, UK AD & Biogas 2014 (2-3 July), Partha Vasudev, Vice President Waste & Bioenergy, Green Investment Bank (GIB), has been confirmed a key speaker at the ADBA organised annual show. The Green Investment Bank has an important role to play in the uptake of AD in the UK. It invests in ‘UK projects which are both green and commercial’. The bank has identified waste as a priority sector for its investment, appreciating the potential for anaerobic digestion to deliver against the bank’s mandate to deliver sustainable green growth. “Anaerobic digestion is an exciting market for the Green Investment Bank. The technology is at the core of government waste policy, and with a good pipeline of projects it can help us meet our


investment goals and accelerate investment in the green economy,” said Partha. “The strong growth in the marketplace over the last year is exciting and we look forward to working with the industry to achieve its potential.” GIB has identified that AD capacity already ‘available to be developed’ requires investment of around £650m, and GIB support in this investment would make a significant difference to the UK’s AD infrastructure and the speed at which it develops. The bank’s investment funds have already committed a combined £10m to TEG’s Dagenham AD plant - where build was completed this week and Earthly Energy’s Teeside AD plant, where construction began in April 2013. The potential for further investment in both the waste and farming sectors is an exciting prospect. Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive, ADBA, said: “I am

delighted that the Green Investment Bank will be presenting at the industry event of the year, UK AD & Biogas 2014. The bank has already made a hugely valuable contribution to the industry, through its early investments and its first market report, and we look forward to hearing how they have seen that market develop. “In the future, there are huge opportunities to support the market more widely. The government’s response to the Ecosystem Markets Task Force recognised the key role that smaller AD plants can play in supporting climate-smart farming and confirmed that they ‘will work with WRAP and the Green Investment Bank to explore the financing of farm-scale AD projects at an aggregate level... both for equity investments and for debt financing.’ “Given the challenges facing smaller scale AD, GIB’s analysis of

the market in general will be fascinating.” “The strong growth in the marketplace over the last year is exciting and we look forward to working with the industry to achieve its potential.” The anaerobic digestion and biogas industry looks forward to the annual exhibition and conference, UK AD & Biogas 2014 which will be held on 2-3 July at the NEC Birmingham.

Minister of State to officially open new Edina Group headquarters Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd, TD, will officially open the new headquarters in Dublin. rish based Edina, Europe’s leading renewable energy power generation company is proud to announce that Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd will officially open their new headquarters in Swords, County Dublin on the 1st May 2014. The company has been a leading exponent of developing Anaerobic Digestion(AD) power plants in the UK and recently Australia, and built the first AD projects in Ireland. Established in 1985, the Edina story is one of constant growth even during the worst of recessions and now the company has 160 employees and exports its products, manufactured in


16 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

Ireland, all over the world. Minister of State, Fergus O’Dowd was recently given responsibility for the bioenergy sector at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. Already he has held meetings with local organisations promoting the benefits of AD and shown a keen interest in how these can help both the economy of Ireland and the well being of its citizens. The official opening will be a show case for local organisations, companies and other interested parties to learn about AD and to promote Irish technological solutions.


April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 17

| Renewables

Progress continues on new Kirk project Back in September 2013, KIRK ENVIRONMENTAL shared with us a project they were set to commence, a new on-farm Anaerobic Digestion Plant for the production of electricity from crops and livestock manures at the Wilcross Farm in Gisburn, Lancashire. IRK is now half way through construction and the 3000m³ Concrete Digestion Tank has now been completed with the 1430m³ BIODOME® Double Membrane Roof set to be installed later this month. The plant will be capable of treating a total of 10,000 tonnes per year of crops and livestock manures, not only from Wilcross Farm, but also from three other farms nearby. The crops and livestock manures will be treated in the concrete digester through the anaerobic digestion process, with the biogas produced captured in the roof and held there until ready to be realised as renewable energy, up to 500Kw which will be


exported to the National Grid. The land used to grow the feedstock will be re-fertilised using the digestate bi-product produced during the AD process. KIRK’s award-winning BIODOME® Gas Holder is a durable structure specifically designed for the purpose of biogas storage which can be installed on any wastewater digestion plant, agricultural and biogas schemes, landfill sites and combined heat-andpower plants that utilise digested organic materials to generate biogas as an energy source. Placing a BIODOME® Gas Holder on top of a digester tank provides a number of benefits such as: no concrete base required for a ground mounted gas holder, no additional pipework required to ensure a constant flow of

biogas between the tank and the gas holder, reduced capital costs by eliminating the need of a steel roof for the tank and space saving. KIRK is no stranger to on-farm anaerobic digestion plants, with a large number of completed projects in their portfolio and an exciting pipeline of new projects soon to begin. Present at this year’s UK AD & Biogas exhibition at the NEC Birmingham on the 2-3 July, KIRK will be taking a leading role as the only UK company in a position to offer an unbiased opinion on the subject of tank selection for anaerobic digestion plants thanks to an industry-leading product portfolio that includes all the different options currently available in the market.

Prism Planning and JFS & Associates secure planning permission for anaerobic digester Prism Planning and JFS & Associates are celebrating after getting planning permission for a 1.5MW anaerobic digester to process food waste from nearby Leeming Bar. he consent was granted by North Yorkshire County Council at their planning meeting on 25th April 2014. The decision marked the end of a long running application which saw the layout and configuration of the site redesigned to prevent interference with the radar emissions from RAF Leeming whose main runway passes close to the site. The plant will process around 50,000 tonnes of food waste produced by nearby food and drink businesses with the material being


18 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

brought to the site via tankers. The scheme will take food waste that would otherwise have gone into landfill to generate electricity to go into the grid and help to reduce the country’s dependence upon imported gas. It is widely recognised as the greenest of all the renewable technologies and operates 24/7, regardless of the wind or amount of sunlight. This is the 8th anaerobic digestion scheme that Prism have obtained consent for in the last couple of years, making us one of the country’s leading practitioners and acknowledged

experts in this field.

The plant will process around 50,000 tonnes of food waste produced by nearby food and drink businesses with the material being brought to the site via tankers.

| Renewables

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 19

| Renewables

Large Scale Solar UK: 29th April - 1st May 2014 Sponsorships snapped up as large scale solar conference returns. K's largest utility scale solar PV developer, Lightsource Renewable Energy have confirmed as headline sponsors for forthcoming conference Large Scale Solar UK. Hosted by publishers Solar Media, the event which sold out quickly last year, will be held at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire on 29 April – 1 May. 207 delegates attended the conference last year which was supported by Cornwall Council, the Solar Trade Association and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This year, organisers have included a dedicated planners’ workshop to provide information on how to best engage with the community during the planning application process. The workshop on 29 April will be free for local authority and parish council planners to attend followed by a site visit to Hawton Solar Farm. During the conference on 30 April and 1 May, farmers and landowners can learn about attractive investment and business diversification by integrating solar PV into multipurpose land-use for agriculture and biodiversity from Dr Jonathan Scurlock, Chief


Advisor on Renewable Energy and Climate Change, National Farmers' Union. Speakers participating on ‘The importance of site selection’ session with Dr Scurlock also include James Lloyd, Senior External Affairs Advisor, The National Trust and Simon Stonehouse, Environmental Analysis Advisor, Natural England. The programme will also cover market analysis, post subsidy solar, unlocking and enabling more development on commercial and utility scale projects, responsible management of solar assets, grid access, connection and electricity pricing. Large Scale Solar UK 2014 has received overwhelming interest from companies involved in the large-scale solar sector such as gold sponsors Jinko Solar, Schneider Electric, Trina Solar, silver sponsors Conergy, Freeth Cartwright, SunEdison, Vikram Solar and supporting sponsors Power One, SunEdison and Suntech Power. NFU farmers and growers can apply for a concession rate through their member’s website:

207 delegates attended the conference last year which was supported by Cornwall Council, the Solar Trade Association and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. For further programme details and delegate packages, visit: or contact: Hilda Ho, Marketing and Events Coordinator: Email: Tel: 0044 (0) 207 871 0122

Conergy completes new solar plant with total 39MW output for Primrose Solar Conergy, one of the world’s leading PV solution and service providers, announced today the on-time completion of a portfolio of four solar farms in the UK totaling 39MW in installed capacity. he construction projects began end of last year and continued through the record-breaking wet weather of January and February that caused widespread flooding across many parts of southern England, disrupting many solar farm projects. The solar farms, located in the countryside close to Great Yarmouth (14MW), Cardiff (7MW) and in Dorset (18MW), were connected to the grid at the end of April and are now exporting enough green electricity to the grid to power 12,000 British homes. By cutting Britain’s reliance on gas and coal, they are expected to reduce carbon emissions by some 344,000 tonnes over the next 20 years. The projects were developed with Camborne Energy, which identified suitable sites and obtained planning permission and grid connections, while Conergy funded the development cost, managed the development process, designed and built the projects, and will provide ongoing maintenance. The projects are owned and managed by Primrose Solar. Giles Clark, CEO of Primrose Solar, said: “Building these large projects was a challenging task, particularly given the heavy rain and flooding that we have had this winter. We are very pleased to work with Conergy, which has been outstanding in delivering on time and in the most difficult conditions.”


20 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

Alexander Gorski, COO and CEO for Europe, Conergy, said: “The weather in the UK was among the worst we have experienced at Conergy in fifteen years of building large-scale solar projects all over the world. We’re proud of our teams’ outstanding work and efforts to connect the Primrose Solar projects on-time and to the highest Conergy quality standards that stand the test of time.” Robert Goss, MD Conergy UK, said: "The IPCC’s latest report shows that the move to clean power generation is vital to reduce flooding in the future. This winter, the British solar industry has shown we have the scale and experience to quickly deploy large

“Building these large projects was a challenging task, particularly given the heavy rain and flooding that we have had this winter.” amounts of zero-carbon power plant, with minimal disruption to the countryside. Project by project, solar is helping Britain generate more of its own energy and reducing the amount of carbon emissions coming from the power sector.”

| Feature

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson meets McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmers at worldclass beef production facility in Scunthorpe Owen Paterson met with students who are taking part in the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer training programme at OSI Food Solutions in Scunthorpe today to discuss the importance of skills and training in farming. he Secretary of State highlighted the importance of equipping young farmers with the range of progressive business and practical skills needed to succeed in the sector and ultimately help secure the future of British farming during a 30minute Q&A with three students, who are on a 12-month training programme with McDonald’s. The minister met with the young farmers on a visit to the head office of OSI Food Solutions, which has provided McDonald’s with 100% beef burgers for almost 40 years. He was given a tour of the production plant by McDonald’s UK’s Supply Chain Director Connor McVeigh and John Gray, Commercial Director Europe, OSI Food Solutions. McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer programme, now in its third year, is designed to help young farmers kick-start their careers in the sector. Each student is mentored by a progressive farmer and is offered first-hand experience of practical farming and business management as well as a unique opportunity to trace the entire supply chain of McDonald’s ingredients from farms and abattoirs to the restaurant front counter. In the final stage of the training programme, students Niall Morrow, Lindsay Carnell and Lauren Hladun will spend a week working in a McDonald’s restaurant where they have the opportunity to interact with customers and prepare food using ingredients that they have seen grown, reared and harvested. Owen Paterson, Secretary of State, Department


for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “British farmers produce some of the best quality food in the world and it’s good to see companies like McDonald’s supporting the industry. The food and farming sector contributed a staggering £97.1 billion to the UK economy in 2012, employing nearly four million people. It’s the largest manufacturing sector we have. “I want the industry’s future to be a vibrant one and helping support new entrants to get the skills and experience they need is one of my top priorities. That’s why I’m working hard with partners across the food and farming sector to provide more funding for young farmers, establish new courses and improve apprenticeship schemes. “Initiatives like McDonald’s ‘Progressive Young Farmer training programme’ are an important part of how we can help the industry’s economic prosperity in the long term and ensure its future remains bright.” Connor McVeigh, Director of Supply Chain, McDonald’s UK, said: “McDonald’s is one of the biggest customers of British and Irish farming, so we have a responsibility to help more young people break into the sector. For our customers to continue enjoying great-tasting, high quality and responsibly sourced food we need a strong UK farming sector now and in the future. That’s why we will continue to invest in initiatives such as our Progressive Young Farmer programme and equip young farmers with the range of skills they need to succeed in the sector.

Niall Morrow, one of McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmers, commented: “Farming is a technology-driven and forwardlooking industry. To succeed today, it’s important for young people not only to gain practical farming skills, but also technical and business knowledge. What appealed to me about this programme is the opportunity to see the entire supply chain and learn from experts across different parts of the industry. This has given me a much better understanding of why what we do on-farm is so important. It will make all the difference when I start looking to set up my own business.” “British farmers produce some of the best quality food in the world and it’s good to see companies like McDonald’s supporting the industry.” The Progressive Young Farmer programme is part of Farm Forward, McDonald’s long-term commitment to help secure a sustainable future for British and Irish Farming. Farm Forward aims to address some of the challenges facing the sector, such as an ageing workforce, and is built around five core commitments: championing quality ingredients; improving animal welfare; providing work and training opportunities for young farmers; promoting environmental improvements on farms; and encouraging knowledge sharing within the industry.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 21

| Groundcare

Contact your local participating dealer Morris Corfield & Co Limited Benthall Works, Shropshire TF12 5BB Tel: 01952 881000

Oliver Landpower Limited Home Park Works, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8LW Tel: 01923 265211

Craven Arms, Shropshire Tel: 01588 673325

A14 Telford Road, Bicester Oxfordshire OX26 4LD Tel: 01869 329988

Bromyard, Herefordshire Tel: 01885 488884 Chester, Cheshire Tel: 01829 749391

22 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

Brian Robinson Machinery Ltd East Cowton, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 0DX Tel: 01325 378552

Wandon End, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 8NY Tel: 01582 727111

| Spraying

Prep your sprayer now for success this Spring With warm weather starting to dry fields, growers are advised to ensure sprayers are ready to take advantage of forthcoming opportunities to get on the land. hile many sprayers have been stuck in the yard for months, black-grass plants have continued to grow freely in the fields – with a real risk that, diverting vital nutrients and light from cereal crops, they’ll soon start to affect yield potential. So preparing your sprayer now could be the difference between excellent and poor control of black-grass this spring, says Professor Paul Miller from NIAB TAG. “If we start preparing machines now, it means more time on the field once they’ve dried and a spray window presents itself. “First things first: start with a clean machine. When conducting any tests or calibration of the sprayer with water ensure this water can be safely disposed of. If there is any risk that there is any pesticide in the water, it should not be put down the drain. And remember, any residue remaining in the tank could antagonize whatever active substance you’re using next. “Then, make sure your machine has been NSTS tested. Twelve months is the recommended service interval to achieve a full compliance test.” Professor Miller advises that if a machine has been tested, but was out of action for a few months, a good start would be a static boom test. overlooked, this involves fully extending the booms and setting them to half a metre above the ground. Then make a visual inspection to identify any mechanical damage or faults. Test the boom suspension by pushing down on either end of the boom and releasing it. The boom should bounce only once before returning to its original position. Any overshoot indicates a problem.


“If your boom wobbles, check to see if the dampers need replacing. If the boom is slow to return to the start position, lubrication may be required. Check that pipes running from the machine to the booms are correctly positioned and in good order. “Cleaning all nozzles and filters is crucial. You want to prevent any build up of chemical behind the nozzles. This will reduce the risk of nozzle blockage resulting in striping and applying uneven chemical loads to the weed canopy,” concludes Prof Miller. “There’s no point making considered decisions on which herbicide to use for black-grass control if you don’t take time to look after the sprayer,” says Ben Giles, Commercial Technical Manager at Bayer CropScience. “Black-grass is now at various stages of tillering, depending on when the crop was drilled and whether a pre-emergence was applied in the autumn. “While there is clearly a need to get on as soon as conditions allow, when black-grass plants are as small as possible, the method of application will have a significant bearing on product effectiveness. “Good application technique will help deliver good levels of control. A forward speed of no more than12km/h, using 100L/ha of water and flat-fan nozzles producing a fine to medium spray quality is the most efficient way of covering the most hectares per day, which is vital if you’re to make the most from your window.” “When the chance comes, by all means act swiftly. But make sure you apply to a reasonably dry leaf, and follow the application advice,” concludes Ben.

Make sure your machine has been NSTS tested. Twelve months is the recommended service interval to achieve a full compliance test.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 23

| Grassland

Visit this year’s

ith every major manufacturer exhibiting, it is your chance to see all the latest machines in action. The 190 acre event covers every aspect of grassland management, helping you make the most of your grass, from varieties and establishment to harvesting, baling, ensiling and feeding. Grassland & Muck is a chance to showcase products to over 14,500 livestock farmers and contractors from across the UK and Ireland. It offers a range of exhibiting options to maximise exhibitors presence from open ground space


24 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

• • • •

and tented bays to grass, silage clamp and muck machinery demonstration packages. Manage your Muck - visit the muck area for the latest on storage, handling, analysis and application of manures, with demonstrations of all the latest muck spreaders and slurry tankers. Over 240 companies will be showcasing their products and services: Seed supply and plant breeding Crop establishment and pasture management Crop protection and nutrition Forage harvesting

• • • • • •

Handling equipment Ensiling and clamping Livestock feeding and management Muck and slurry storage & application Soil and nutrient management Business advice and services The biggest and best grass and muck event – put the date in your diary now! Trust us, Grassland & Muck 2014 is an event you can’t afford to miss!

| Grassland

Launch of the BGS UK Grassland Farmer of the Year competition he British Grassland Society’s annual ‘UK Grassland Farmer of the Year’ competition, sponsored by DLF Trifolium and GrowHow UK Ltd has been launched. The Society is looking for entries from BGS members or members of local grassland societies from across the UK. The competition is designed to award the 'best' grassland farmer in the country; a farmer who demonstrates overall excellence in grassland management, as well as profitable and sustainable farming practices. In the past the competition has been won by some of the UK’s top dairy, sheep and beef farmers, who carry out grazing, soil and nutrient management, reseeding, silage-making, livestock production and environmental management to the highest level. Each of the 67 local grassland societies can nominate a member they think is using their grass in an interesting and sustainable way, to go forward to be judged in the regional round. Winners of local silage competitions are also eligible to enter. Entries can be submitted on-line at

T from 6 June. BGS Regional Council Members based around the country, will organise the judging of the local society winners across their region and inform BGS of their winner by 18 July. These farmers will go through to the national stage of the competition. As well as the title of BGS UK Grassland Farmer of the Year, the overall winner also receives a trophy and a cheque for £500. Key dates in 2014 By Friday 6 June – Local Grassland Societies to notify their Regional Council Member of their winner (excluding Wales where dates are set by the Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies). By Friday 18 July – Regional Council Members must notify BGS of their regional winner. August – National judging takes place to find the overall winner for 2014. For full details on what the competition entails, how to enter and a list of Regional Council Members, please visit or contact Rachel Greenow at BGS

RDS on board weighing Grassland and Muck 2014 will see RDS Technology Ltd exhibiting its extensive range of on-board weighing scales including the WEIGHLOG α10, which has been specifically designed for agricultural loaders he WEIGHLOG α10 incorporates a 4.3” colour, hi brightness resistive touchscreen display and additional physical keys providing a user-friendly on-board weighing system that can be used for trailer & hopper loading, batch blending or check weighing. Suitable for use with up to 10 different attachments e.g. buckets or forks, the system can be retrofitted onto compact wheeled loaders, telescopic handlers, forklifts, skidsteer type loaders and tractor loaders. The system measures hydraulic pressure using up to 4 sensors at a certain position on the lifting cycle compensating for pressure changes in the system. Enhanced stores capability comprising 30 products, 30 customers and up to 5 different recipes designed around animal feed mixing, dispensing and grain handling enable accurate record keeping and traceability. The system provides communication and data storage


via SD card reader and USB 2.0 host allowing quick, safe and efficient uploading and downloading of data. Grasslands and Muck 2014 will also see RDS Technology Ltd exhibiting its wide range of monitoring and measuring instruments for farming applications including Delta 34i slurry logging system providing accountability and traceability, Apollo spreader control, Artemis variable rate seed drill control system, the Ceres 8000i yield monitor system for combines and the Combine Moisture Meter 100. For more information on how RDS can help improve your farming operations - visit us on stand 309, go to or call 01453 733300.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 25

| |Grassland LAMMA

Test fertiliser equipment to maximise efficiencies As spring fertiliser applications get underway, farmers should check their spreaders are properly tested to ensure optimum coverage and efficiency. Failure to do so could result in wasted fertiliser and variable crop and grass growth. ccording to Rob Foxall, managing director at SCS Spreader and Sprayer Testing Ltd, two-thirds of fertiliser spreaders are not tray tested to check their application accuracy. “Fertiliser is not cheap, so it’s important to use it at maximum efficiency,” he says. Recently, Mr Foxall carried out a full-width tray test on the spreader at the site of the Grassland & Muck Event, before spring topdressing of the grass. “It’s a three-stage process,” he says. “First, we check the equipment, to ensure it’s working as it should and doesn’t have any worn parts. Then we check the fertiliser size, strength and weight, which all affect the spreadability. Finally, we go out into the field with a full set of trays, do a pass with the tractor and spreader, and collect the contents to assess the fertiliser distribution pattern.” Any final adjustments can then be made. The evenness of application is measured using a co-efficient of variation, says Mr Foxall. “We aim for a COV of less than 10%. Between 10% and 20%, the unevenness won’t be visible in the crop, but over 20% you will see stripes in the grass, which will affect grass quality and palatability.” According to research by Yara, reducing the COV from 30% to 10% will boost grass productivity by £15/ha, based on a silage value of £100/t, says Mr Foxall. “A full width tray test


26 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

costs just over £200 + VAT, so it pays for itself in just 14ha. It’s an absolute must for anyone with a focus on the bottom line.” Visitors to the Grassland & Muck Event on 21st and 22nd May will be able to see a wide range of grassland machinery on display, including fertiliser spreaders, and meet more than 240 exhibitors with the latest products and innovations. They can also see muck spreading

Two-thirds of fertiliser spreaders are not tray tested to check their application accuracy. equipment in action and earn four BASIS points for attending. For more information or to book early-bird tickets visit

| Pests

Featured Dealers: Sharnford Tractors Ltd Lutterworth, Leics LE17 5EH T: 01455 209300 Ravenhill Hereford HR4 9QJ T: 01432 352333

Farmstar Limited Marr, Doncaster DN5 7AU T: 01302 786786 Market Weighton, York YO43 3GA T: 01430 875900 Brigg, North Lincs DN2 8NF T: 01652 654944

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 27

| Grassland

New Holland to showcase latest equipment at Grassland & Muck 2014 New Holland will be exhibiting at this year’s Grassland & Muck Event, on 21st – 22nd May 2014 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, showcasing a range of its latest equipment. working demonstration of the FR500 and FR600 from New Holland’s forage harvesters range will be available to view. Also on show will be the latest of New Holland’s balers; the Roll Baler, which enhances flexibility in terms of bale density and wrapping as well as the RollBelt™ variable chamber round balers which deliver capacity increases of up to 20% on


28 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

previous models. The Big Baler will also be exhibited at the show. In addition, New Holland has completely redesigned the heavy duty six to nine metre LM range of telehandlers, which will also be showcased, working, at the event. New Holland’s T4 and T5 models from its agricultural tractor range will also be on display along with Basildon built T6 and T7 Autocommand™ models.

Also on show will be the latest of New Holland’s balers. Finally, making a special appearance will be the Golden Jubilee editions of T7.270 which have been built to commemorate 50 years of tractor production at the Basildon plant.

| Buildings

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 29

| Buildings

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| Grassland

New mowers and tedders at Grassland On display at this year’s Grassland & Muck 2014 will be the latest additions to the CLAAS DISCO mower and VOLTO tedder ranges. wo new front mowers, the DISCO 3200 F and FC, have been added to the CLAAS DISCO mower range which replace the popular DISCO 3100 PROFIL. Three new VOLTO tedders have been introduced the 900, 800 and 700, all of which feature the unique MAX SPREAD crop flow concept. DISCO 3200F and FC The new DISCO 3200F/FC mowers have a mowing width of 3.00m and are available either as a straight mower (F) or with a tine conditioner (FC). The new design features an improved safety frame and access to the cutterbar has been made easier to help reduce routine maintenance and make it easier to carry out jobs such as changing the mower blades. In common with the rest of the DISCO mower range, the new DISCO 3200F/FC is fitted with a new updated P-CUT mowing bar which is designed to leave a clean finish and can be used at just 850rpm to help reduce fuel consumption by up to 16%. A new unique feature that has been developed specifically for the UK and Ireland is the ability to tilt the mower bed forward using an adjustable spring system on the top of the mower. This avoids the need in certain conditions, such as in a laid crop, to have to alter the length of the top link which can then reduce lift clearance. The mower bar is fitted with seven mowing discs with two


knives per disc. Each disc is protected using the CLAAS SAFETY LINK system whereby a defined shear point protects the drive and brings the drive to the disc to an immediate halt in the event of an overload. To ensure optimum ground contour following, the new DISCO 3200F/FC incorporates the well proven PROFIL kinematics system which features a three-dimensional guidance system. To leave the best possible finish in undulating conditions the mower bed is pulled from the very low pivot points rather than being pushed

across the field. The DISCO 3200F/FC is fitted with Walterscheid universal drive shafts as standard, with a 250h lubricating interval. Hydraulically folding protective side covers are available as an option. The DISCO 3200F/FC is fitted as standard with spring suspension, but the CLAAS ACTIVE FLOAT hydraulic suspension system is also available as an option. Using two single-acting hydraulic rams, as ground conditions vary ACTIVE FLOAT enables the mower's ground pressure to be adjusted from the cab on the move, so that forage quality and an even stubble height is maintained. New MAX SPREAD VOLTOs Following the introduction a year ago of the VOLTO 1100, which was the first in a new range of tedders featuring the revolutionary MAX SPREAD crop flow concept, CLAAS has extended the range with the addition of three new models. The new 8-rotor VOLTO 900 and 6-rotor VOLTO 800 and 700 models have working widths of 8.70m, 7.70m and 6.70m respectively and replace the proven VOLTO 870, 770 and 670 models. All three new models feature the new MAX SPREAD crop flow concept. Instead of straight spreading arms, the MAX SPREAD concept uses slightly angled arms to improve crop flow through the tedder. The tine arms are cranked by 29°, this generates a 33% longer collection phase as the tines move the grass from the ground.

As a result of this improved flow through the tedding rotors, this creates a greater space for the crop to pass through, so helping increase throughput but also provides a wider and more even spread pattern. The new DISCO 3200F/FC mowers have a mowing width of 3.00m and are available either as a straight mower (F) or with a tine conditioner (FC). The gearbox has continuous lubrication and is connected via massive square tubes. Power is transmitted between the rotors via the well proven, maintenance free PERMALINK drive concept. The round spreading arms are secured to the rotor plate and stabilised via an additional support ring and each of the rotors are fitted with five-coil 9.5mm diameter tines. For different crop conditions, the spreading angle can be adjusted between 16° and 12°, without the use of tools. The standard specification includes a manual headland crop guard with the option of hydraulic folding. All three new VOLTO tedders incorporate a new heavy-duty headstock and include the patented CLAAS CKL suspension system which has been updated. They also feature a mechanical braking cone, whilst two strong springs on each side balance the tensile and compressive forces and provide smooth operation of the machine.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 31

| Grassland

New John Deere balers & mower-conditioners at Grassland A new John Deere 800 Series mower-conditioner plus three new 400 Series fixed chamber round balers, including a wrapping baler model, can be seen working for the first time in the UK at this year’s Grassland & Muck 2014 event at Stoneleigh in May. he 830 centre-pivot mower-conditioner is available in working widths of 3 or 3.5m, with a choice of impellers or adjustable rubber rollers for the conditioning process. As an exclusive feature, the modular cutterbar allows high-speed mowing, and has been engineered to duplicate the load conditions of a self-propelled machine. The mower’s balanced design and high ground clearance also increase field performance, while a new floating suspension system allows the machine to closely follow ground contours. The 830 is equipped with six discs and 58 preloaded tines, which significantly increase capacity and crop flow under varying harvesting conditions. Even in heavy and wet crops and at high working speeds, the parallelogram design of the conditioning hood maintains the optimum distance between the impeller tines or rollers and the hood at all times. The F440R round baler and C440R wrapping baler are suitable for large livestock farms and contractors who produce more than 3000 bales per season and focus on silage production.


32 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

These are premium specification balers with long-life components, and have been specially designed to operate well in wet silage conditions. There is a choice of 2 or 2.2m pick-ups feeding a high capacity inline MaxiCut HC rotor with 13 or 25 knives. In addition to the rotor, these machines utilise a number of other components from the 900 Series variable chamber round baler, including a five tine bar pick-up with heavy-duty bearings, and a full width drop-floor system which enables the operator to remove blockages instantly, from the tractor cab. Cab monitoring and control systems include a GreenStar Display 1800 or new Implement Display 1100. The F440M round baler is a multi-purpose machine aimed at small to medium size farms. Designed to produce between 1000 and 3000 bales of hay, silage or straw per season, this model offers a choice of 2m RotoFlow HC or MaxiCut HC 13-knife rotors, and is available in MultiCrop or Silage Special versions. It also features the 900 Series baler’s high performance feeding system, new driveline and rotor, stronger shielding, wider and bigger tyres

and other improved components. All three 400 Series machines offer a choice of CoverEdge or Edge to Edge netwrap or double twine wrapping systems.

| Fencing

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 33

| Grassland

New machinery on display and in action on the OPICO stand Visit the OPICO stand at the Grassland and Muck Event - May 2122, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. isitors to OPICO’s stand at the Grassland and Muck Event [May 21-22, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire] can see a working demonstration of the Slit Injector – the combination slitter and slurry injector, and view the new 4.5m hydraulic-folding Sward-Lifter, now the widest model in OPICO’s range of grassland subsoilers. Farmers can also get advice on assessing and resolving compaction issues, and the options for grassland rejuvenation and reseeding. The new 4.5m wide Sward-Lifter is ideal for contractors and use on large farms, allowing higher work-rates than the 2.7m and 3m models. The new 5-leg model is available with either shear-bolt or hydraulic reset leg protection. It is suitable for tractors of 150hp upwards and folds down hydraulically to 3m for transport. The Slit Injector is a slurry injector mounted onto a 6m hydraulic-folding Sward Slitter. It gives improved nutrient utilisation over splashplate applicators as slurry is delivered down to the ground and into the slots made by the slitter blades, reducing nutrient losses due to volatilisation and evaporation.


34 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

After an exceptionally wet winter, restoring grassland to productivity will require a strategic approach, says OPICO’s James Woolway. He explains: “Standing water will not only kill grass but it will have been exerting a steady downward pressure which will have exacerbated any existing compaction issues. Farmers should first assess what depth the compaction is, so that the appropriate action slitting or sward-lifting – can be taken to restore soil structure and stimulate grass growth. “Where areas of a field have become waterlogged and grass has died, then these dead patches can be overseeded using an OPICO grass harrow and seeder which allows seed rate and application to be controlled from the tractor cab.

The new 4.5m wide Sward-Lifter is ideal for contractors and use on large farms, allowing higher work-rates. Mr Woolway adds: “Slitting can be carried out at any time of the year – the sooner the better after the winter. However, sward-lifting is best carried out in the autumn. Visitors to the OPICO stand at the event can find out more on the ground conditions required for successful slitting and subsoiling, and ensure they are carrying out the right activities in a given field situation.”

| Grassland

Kubota key to Grassland & Muck Show preparations Agricultural machinery experts, Kubota (U.K.) Limited, is set to play a central role in this year’s Grassland & Muck Show, not only showcasing a range of its tractors and utility vehicles but also assisting show organisers with the logistical challenges of preparing the venue. ubota is already recording bumper sales in 2014, with its agricultural and midrange tractors continuing to grow in popularity among those who rank high-performance, reliability and engine quality as key factors in machinery purchase. Kubota’s 135HP MGX Series and M60 Series agricultural tractors, and its mid-range L4240 model will be on show alongside its best selling utility vehicle, the RTV900, as well as Kubota’s RTV1400; the only 4-seater model in the range. The Grassland and Muck Show, held 21-22 May 2014 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, is a key date in the show calendar for Kubota, with the company keen to show off its current fleet to the 14,500 livestock farmers and contractors travelling from across the UK and Ireland to attend the event. Covering 190 acres, the show offers a range of exhibiting options from open ground space and tented bays to grass, silage clamp and muck machinery demonstrations. Always keen to lend a hand where needed, Kubota has, this year, generously offered items from its professional tractor and groundcare fleet to help set up the venue for the waves of visited expected over the two days. “We are delighted to be asked to supply some of our machines to aid with the logistics of the show; it speaks volumes about how positively Kubota is perceived in this market,” says Adrian Langmead, Business Development Manager Tractor & Groundcare.


Kubota has, this year, generously offered items from its professional tractor and groundcare fleet to help set up the venue. “There’s no better way to sell the virtues of your products than by putting them into practice. This show gives us a great opportunity to connect with existing customers, meet potential new ones and gain a better understanding of what the end user wants to make their job easier. Visitors will be able to see our machines in action across the site, as well as on the stand, where our technical team can offer the insight and expertise needed to guide prospective buyers.” Kubota is the market leader in

the mid range tractor market, with its L4240 model popular among livestock and dairy farmers and with contractors who need a machine which can handle a variety of duties. The L4240 is up to the task, fitted with Kubota’s HST Plus for exceptional versatility and ease of use. This compact favourite also comes with Glide Shift Transmission (GST), Fully Synchronised Main and Shuttle Transmission (FST) and Kubota’s unique load sensing mode selection to maximise ease of operation. This year, Kubota has also set out its stall to boost its market share in the higher horsepower tractor range, with the news of the opening of a new European production hub in northern France. The most powerful in Kubota’s current tractor fleet, its MGX Series, is one of the front runners in the field, enjoying the highest crop clearance in its class and equipped with a host of performance enhancing features including PTO and RPM control, 3 stage suspension and high performance hydraulics. For those with smaller estates, the M60 Series, available up to 100HP, is packed with many of the same features as its larger agricultural counterpart, boasting a

5 cylinder C-CDIS engine, category II 3 point linkage with 4100KG lift capacity (6100KG on the MGX Series) and Eco drive functionality for unrivalled fuel efficiency. For more information on Kubota

and its extensive range of solutions for the groundcare and agriculture sectors visit or call 01844 268000.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 35

| Grassland

Manage forward grass growth to maximise yields Grass growth is well ahead of normal after the fifth warmest winter since records began. ith temperatures averaging 5.2°C between December and April; 1.5°C above the UK average, it’s hardly surprising that many farmers are concerned about managing their grass, particularly as soils remain saturated following the wettest winter on record. It is no different at Stoneleigh, the site of the Grassland & Muck Event, where agronomists are monitoring conditions to ensure optimum silage grass for the machinery demonstrations on 21st and 22nd May. The grass is so far ahead that they have suggested it be mowed, and fertiliser applications split into two, to try and control the growth. “The grass has not really stopped growing all winter,” says Nigel Hester, area manager at Yara. “One of my customers in Cornwall already had 3200kg/ha of dry matter at the end of February, before anything had been fertilised.” While early grass growth presents a wonderful opportunity for farmers to turn livestock out early or take an early cut of silage, the practicalities are not quite so simple. “If you turn stock onto wet ground it will cause too much damage – and yet if you let the grass get away from you, it has longterm implications for the rest of the season,” says Mr Hester. “On-off grazing is one possibility, to maximise grass intakes in a limited number of hours per day.” One option to check grass growth is to delay nitrogen fertiliser applications. “But the problem with that is that after such a wet winter soil nutrients will be at low levels, and having been growing all winter, the grass will need feeding,” he


adds. “Optimising spring applied nutrients will ensure high yields of quality forage - efficient utilisation is the real challenge.” Farmers should test their soil nutrient indices before creating a fertiliser schedule, says Mr Hester. “Don’t forget sulphur – only 8% of grassland is getting bagged sulphur; it will improve nitrogen utilisation and you will most likely get a yield and quality response. And be patient – wait for the right soil conditions before travelling, or you will end up creating compaction problems.” The key to managing grass, whether grazed or ensiled, is to be flexible, says Dr Liz Genever, beef and sheep scientist at EBLEX. Farmers with good infrastructure could graze their driest fields to take off winter growth and then shut up the leys for silage, for example. “If taking an early cut of silage from a small number of fields, you could bale it rather than starting a clamp,” she says. “Also, adapt your nitrogen regime to make sure you aren’t stimulating more grass growth, which without good management, will affect quality later in the season.” If grazing, farmers should choose sheep or their lightest cattle – weaned calves and yearlings – as they will do less damage than heavier stock. “And don’t turn everything out at once – try a small group to start with; don’t be too ambitious because grass can quickly disappear at this time of year.” For optimum grass yields and quality at this time of year, grass heights should be kept below 6cm for sheep and 10cm for cattle, says Dr Genever. “Monitor your grass growth every week

or fortnight using a sward stick or measurement on the side of your wellies. That way you can plan ahead to ensure supply is matching demand.” Another problem caused by the wet winter has been the ability to get on land to spread slurry and manure. “There is the danger of grass contamination when applying slurry to high covers,” says Dr Genever. “If the grass is forward and you have to apply slurry, use a trailing shoe to minimise contamination.” “One of my customers in Cornwall already had 3200kg/ha of dry matter at the end of February, before anything had been fertilised.”

If possible, farmers could store slurry for later in the season, and apply bagged fertiliser in its place, she adds. “Don’t forget about phosphate and potash – after the warm winter, the grass will be in need of it.” Where farmers delay applying nitrogen, or opt to take an early cut of silage, they must remember to leave one day of growth per 2.5kg/ha of nitrogen applied before cutting it. “If you’re applying 100kg/ha you need to leave it 40 days, otherwise you’ll get high nitrates in the grass which can affect fermentation and palatability of the silage,” says Dr Genever. “The key is to plan ahead now and be flexible - how you manage your grass now will affect yields and quality for the rest of the season.”

See us at Grassland

36 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

| Security

Catloc partner with Kwik Fit and Halfords Catalytic Converter (CAT), Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and Exhaust Theft protection market leaders Catloc have just confirmed Halfords Autocentres and Kwik Fit as their new national fitting partners. ith CAT, DPF and exhaust theft on the increase in the UK, Catloc wanted to ensure that potential customers had easy access to fitting of their solutions and to partner with a fast fit chain who had the size and experience in covering the whole of the UK. With over 900 centres between them nationwide; Kwik Fit and Halfords Autocentres were the obvious choices. Over 25,000 vehicles were


targeted by thieves between January 2010 and June 2013. It was believed that the majority of these vehicles targeted were vans, 4x4s, pickup trucks, people carriers and motor homes. However, according to the results of a recent freedom of information request, there is a growing trend for thieves to target any vehicle with a Catalytic Converter including; saloons, hatchbacks and sports cars. Thieves target Catalytic Converters as they

contain precious metals like Platinum or Gold and are easily removed with no specialist tools required. Thieves can then sell on the parts either via the second hand parts market or to scrap dealers for anywhere between £50 and £400. However, the cost to vehicle owner of replacement is on average a hefty £2,000, with some costing up to £10,000. Catloc have developed several solutions to protect vehicles from this type of theft utilising either universal or bespoke fitment products for a wide range of vehicles. All of their solutions contain a Police & Thatcham approved Catloc marking & registration system which is also available as a separate product. Halfords Autocentres and Kwik Fit are able to fit Catloc solutions purchased either from themselves directly or from elsewhere. Catloc solutions include a fitting voucher with all of their products purchased from 24th April 2014 which entitles the bearer to have their Catloc fitted at either a Kwik Fit branch or Halfords Autocentres branch for only £29.95 inclusive of VAT.

Catloc's Managing director Paul Chase said "Partnering with Halfords and Kwik Fit was an obvious choice for us as they are both well known brands who are trusted in the market place. We believe these partnerships will offer motorists & fleet operators an easy and cost effective way of protecting vehicles from Catalytic Converter Theft". Catloc is the only company in the UK to focus solely on a solution to the problem of CAT, DPF and exhaust theft. Their solutions are approved, recommended and supported by vehicle manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Renault and Volkswagen. Many large fleets also specify their solutions as standard equipment on new vehicles such as BT, PHS and Balfour Beatty. Having protected around 40,000 vehicles in 2013, Catloc are now seeking to increase their already healthy market share by working with other OEM vehicle manufacturers, distribution partners and resellers across the UK and Europe.

Crime & safety event Advice and re-assurance from local police for farmers and rural communities. outh Warwickshire Police, in partnership with Warwickshire Horse Watch and Warwickshire Equine & Agricultural College held an extremely successful Crime & Safety Event at the college's Moreton Morrell site recently. The aim of the evening was to provide crime prevention and safety advice to local rural communities, including farmers, horse owners and rural


businesses. This unique opportunity to gain expert advice from suppliers of the latest crime prevention equipment, coupled with advisors from Trading Standards, the British Horse Society, NFU and many more, plus the opportunity to meet the local police teams made it a very productive event.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 37

| Fencing

'The perfect storm' Prices increase as a timber shortage impacts the UK. hose in the market for timber fencing products are in for a shock when it comes to settling their bill due to an acute timber shortage. This shortage has been caused after Britain was lashed by five major storms over the winter and an increased demand for fencing and construction timber as housing projects boom. Prices have also increased due to 'panic buying' after the storms and these costs are obviously having to be passed on to the consumer in one way or another. Timber prices rose in the last two quarters of 2013 and are set to rise again as demand increases further. This in turn, has a knock on effect on other aspects of the timber market, such as the saw mills, many of which are unable to hit their delivery deadlines due to the shortage. The mills cannot meet the demands of current customer's orders, so many are currently not taking on any new custom at the moment. With the economic recovery well under way there is high demand from the construction industry and mills are


currently operating at full capacity. Shortages are being further compounded due to timber logs being chipped for Bio-fuel in addition to the excess harvesting of larch due to Phytophthora ramorum disease. These factors are all putting a strain on regular supplies from the mills. The terrible storms witnessed by the whole country, have had huge impacts in other areas too. Landowners who do have the timber resources available are unable to utilise them. Ground is sodden and equipment would churn land up far too much, so felling is pretty much out of the question until the land is drier. Timber yields are also being affected by birds, who start their nesting around this time of year another problem encountered when felling. As the weather improves, things can only get better but BEWARE...unfortunately, there are a few 'unscrupulous' characters out there who are taking more than full advantage of this shortage and are charging prices that are considerably higher than they need to be, even in the current climate!

38 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

Simon Foale of Wooden Supplies commented, “We have definitely seen a massive impact due to the weather and I have seen fencing panel prices rise to in excess of £80 per panel. Although

we have seen our costs increase, we would never take advantage of our customer base in this way.” Our vigilant and shop around!

Fencing specialist secures Chester Zoo Chester Zoo, the UK’s number one zoo and leading charity for wildlife conservation, was the first of its kind over 80 years ago, not to use bars to house its animals. oday, it keeps 11,000 animals inside its huge 110-acre site, and CLD Fencing is helping the zoo to keep with the ‘no bars’ tradition by providing rigid mesh fencing to ensure the safety of animals, keepers and visitors alike. Dave Rogers, Estates Manager at Chester Zoo explains: “The first project we completed with CLD Fencing was around the cheetah enclosure, and parts of the perimeter fencing where the zoo is separated in two by a road. We used CLD Fencing’s Exempla system: an innovative close-mesh segregated and crank top fencing, a standard that most zoos in the UK use to ensure complete security.” The Exempla system features a rigid welded steel wire mesh panel with a full length clamp bar to ease installation and increase security. Rogers continues, “The cheetah enclosure originally housed onagers, so it was important that we stepped up the security as different animals have different requirements. CLD Fencing provided the fencing to keep the animals safe, and mesh enclosures with trap doors for the keepers so that the cheetahs can’t get in. It ensures both animal and staff are kept safe. “Since then, CLD Fencing has provided us with a variety of solutions around the zoo to make the premises more robust, from an automatic trial gate system for the public, to a new entrance scheme which was opened by Her Majesty The Queen. “The fencing for the entrance scheme was completed in a very tight timescale to make it ready for Her Majesty’s visit. The scheme houses the zoo shop, memberships and adoptions


office, and ticket booths with a modern and robust stone fencing system. We decided straight away that the stone fencing was the most suitable as it fitted the look and feel of what we were trying to achieve with this new scheme.” CLD Fencing meets the Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) standards of estate management and is suitable for insurance purposes in any situation. The fencing specialist has worked with a number of other zoos including Yorkshire Wildlife Park, through contractor North Eastern Plant. Utilising CLD Fencing’s double wire panel Dulok system in a number of enclosures, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is currently constructing Europe’s largest polar bear sanctuary, with the provision to house up to 20 bears. Polar bears are a dangerous and difficult endangered species which will be preserved in captivity. Yet with a specialised 10 acre reserve at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, built to replicate the Arctic Tundra, the bears should be kept safe and secure. Jim Turner, owner of North Eastern Plant, comments, “CLD Fencing enables us to use its products in diverse ways so that we can be innovative in enclosure design when working closely with the keepers, vets and owners to create the right facilities and environment for the different animals.” CLD Fencing has also completed works at Blackpool Zoo using the Dulok system to house the lions and tigers safely. To find out more about CLD Fencing and its secure fencing solutions visit or call its Cheshirebased office on 0800 0742 861.

| Fencing

Problem timber posts? Timber shortage? McVeigh Parker finally has the answer with the new CLIPEX® fence solution. cVeigh Parker landscape the future with the new permanent quick clip steel post system. Clipex posts are sensationally quick, lightweight, yet exceptionally strong, easy to install and longer lasting, in most cases three times longer than traditional timber posts and surprisingly cost effective. Huge savings in both time, labour and plant can be achieved. The lowest fence life costs in the market. Clipex steel system has many advantages over traditional timber stakes. The posts are easier to handle and erect, the heavy duty galvanized coating provides a longer maintenance free life. The simple stainless steel clip system makes erecting fencing three to four times quicker, no stapling required. When used with XTM fence® premium wire netting a life in excess of 30 years can be expected. The simple Y shaped design is fabricated from 450-grade high tensile steel with dissimilar metal components, which take boundary fencing to a new level and life expectancy. The three way pointed end and steel construction make driving in most soil types an easy operation, whilst the even parallel flanges give a stronger strength to weight ratio and superior holding in most ground conditions. All Clipex® posts have a strengthening ground level plate and below ground an anti lift device which holds the post down in undulating ground. Ever since Brussels banned the use of CCA chemical treatment, farmers and landowners have been left doubting the new replacements effectiveness. Unfortunately it is not an exact science; there are many contributing factors such as timber species, air-drying, kiln drying, treatment chemical and treatment procedures. Consumers are bombarded with so many options, what timber species, Larch, Pine, Spruce, Chestnut? What guarantee if any 10, 15, 25, 30 year? What is guaranteed, the treatment or the full post? What treatment specification UC4. Sector 4, with what treatment Alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), Micronized, pressure creosoted, peeled chestnut? Then quarters, half’s, full round or sawn dimensions? This has left many consumers confused as to what to purchase and what offers the longest life. Now, not only do they have to choose the quality of timber, when they do it might not be available. Recent British timber sector reports


state there could be shortages. With the economic recovery well under way there is high demand from the construction industry putting a strain on regular supplies from the mills Timber prices had increased in the last two quarters of 2013 and they are escalating further in 2014 as demand increases - McVeigh Parker now has the answer in their Clipex post solution. Farmers and landowners alike have been very impressed with the whole system. Initially they have a degree of apprehension and doubt, not believing the marketing hype but once shown working they are pleasantly reassured. A 30 year guarantee is offered on all Clipex® posts solutions that use Clipex® Beefy posts and an alu/zinc coated stiff stay XTM fence® wire netting and benzinal black coated barbed wire. There are so many other advantages using Clipex such as the posts small foot print, which is of great importance on archeological sites and SSSI areas. When used with X fence results in less stakes, less labour, less ground disturbance. Their minimal design means that when used in areas of outstanding natural beauty, rather than impact on the landscape they blend in and are more aesthetically pleasing and less imposing than timber or plastic.

No more gambling with expected service life of timber posts, no carcinogenic leaching such as creosote, no more stapling, hugely reduced machinery and labour costs, lightweight yet extremely strong. Clipex® has the solution to your future fencing projects. Before you invest in hard earned capital, remember to contact a member of the McVeigh Parker team. We are confident that we can offer you a more cost effective and innovative solution that will help you achieve a more sustainable, effective and profitable fence. Watch Clipex® in action by logging onto McVeigh Parker web site at E-mail: or call 0845 1207755

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 39

| Grain

HGCA welcomes cereal New generation of Driers buyers from Morocco T and Algeria The 2014 range of Master Driers that will be on show at this year’s Cereals show have many new features.

HGCA’s exports division, BCE, last week hosted a visit to the UK for the main buyers from the state purchasing agencies of Morocco and Algeria.

he inward missions programme ran over two days, and allowed representatives from both countries to experience the processes involved in the UK’s grain markets, and learn more about farm assured grain. ONICL of Morocco and OAIC of Algeria are responsible for the imports of milling wheat into their countries, and have a combined annual import requirement of around 8 million tonnes. The inward missions were designed to help develop and maintain grain exports from the UK. First on the programme was a visit to HGCA Chairman Jonathan Tipples’ farm in Kent, where delegates saw how grain is produced and looked after on farm. Delegates were then shown around a cooperative grain store and the Port of Tilbury, where they learned more about the quality controls and regulations relating to ukp and uks, the industry’s wheat export classifications. Aziz Abdelali, General Director of ONICL said: “It’s important for us to see the level of investment in


he popular 12 Ton Model is fully Galvanised and the whole range introduces ‘New Age’ Technology which can be personalised to meet individual requirements, with capacities from 10 Ton - 45 Ton and flexibility in specification. We have also imposed a price freeze! All models are available for a limited period at 2012 retail prices! The principle of drying remains the same, but, the emphasis has been to make Master Driers ‘user’ friendly. New operating systems are incorporated in both the Electric and PTO driven Driers. These operating systems include an Audible Alarm or Auto ‘Cut Off’ which will alert the Operator when the Drier is loaded, to avoid overflow of grain. Also included as an option is an internal Moisture Meter for monitoring temperature and moisture. The Master Eye Telephone Combinator Messaging System will keep you in touch with your Drier, alerting the operator when drying is completed or if the Drier is in need of attention. One unique standard feature on all models is the “3 Stage Burner”.

It is designed with three fuel nozzles which operate in any sequence to give a wide range of temperatures. The main advantage is that it is not necessary to change the fuel jet which simplifies the operation of the burner when drying different crops. This option is available at no extra charge! Electric Drive Models are becoming more popular as they can be fully automated and are operated by a small Siemens Computer Unit with ‘Touch screen’ controls. All programmes are offered with full Automatic Mastermatic ‘Touch’ Screen Control System with manual override, all of which allows the crop to be dried to meet individual circumstances. Again this option is available at no extra charge! Masters have also introduced a new range of square section fully galvanised wet grain bins to complement its range of grain driers. These are available from 3 – 30 Ton capacities and are supplied as a flat ‘self-assembly’ kit. For more information Tel: 01787 228450 or visit www.

the UK supply chain as this gives us confidence in a professional supply of quality wheat. I would like my colleagues to see what I have seen, and I will urge them to watch this market seriously.” Salima Tacherifet, Head of Quality Control at OAIC, added: “The whole supply chain in the UK is very well organised. We saw the whole traceability in the chain by following the paperwork from the farm to the store to the port and the laboratory. This is very good. I don't normally get to see the quality control checks at the port so this was really useful to see.” BCE has worked closely with ONICL and earlier this year was successful in opening up the feed wheat market in Morocco, which had previously been closed by the Moroccan government. BCE has also helped Moroccan biscuit manufacturers import uks biscuit wheat. OAIC currently imports all wheat into Algeria through a tender system on which the UK is listed as a supplier. ukp has previously been imported to Algeria, and BCE is hoping also to introduce Algerian buyers to uks varieties.

40 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

| Beef Expo

NBA Beef Expo 2014 unveils packed programme Industry showcase gearing up to be the biggest and best ever. packed programme of events and a record showing entry will form the centrepiece of this year’s National Beef Association (NBA) Beef Expo, which returns to Hexham Mart in May. Putting the spotlight on better efficiency for better returns this, the key beef industry event is returning to the NBA’s North East heartland on May 21 and 22, 2014, for the first time since 2010. The farm tours form an integral part of the sector showcase, before visitors converge on Hexham Mart for a programme exhibiting the best of British beef and highlighting new developments in the industry and with seminars being presented by key experts from the sector. NBA Beef Expo, being held in Northumberland, gives visitors the opportunity to see some of the finest store cattle in the country. The farm tours on Wednesday 21st May will take in three leading Northumbrian beef farms, Willie Woodman’s Great Chesters upland farm and his lowland enterprise at Bradford, plus John and Andrew Hunter’s Steel farm. The Charolais and Limousin cattle that guests will see are key features in the seasonal sales at Hexham Mart, where Beef Expo is returning after an absence of four years. Mr Woodman will provide a glimpse into a traditional Northumberland beef enterprise. He farms 1,650 acres at two bases, which are 30 miles apart – 1,200 acres at Great Chesters in the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall, and 575 acres at Bradford House near Belsay. The Woodmans have 270 cattle, mainly Limousin crosses with a few Belgian crosses, with 50 to 60 bulling heifers, plus 1,100 sheep made up of 700 Blackfaces and 400 Mule and Texel crosses. Using Charolais and Limousin bulls the Woodmans calve in the autumn and spring, and sell their stores in the spring. The majority are sold at Hexham Mart at 18-22 months, replacement cattle are bought in. Andrew Hunter and wife Caroline farm The Steel near Hexham just outside Elsdon. The Steel, an 800-acre farm with an additional 55 acres at West Woodburn, has 110 Limousin cross suckler cows and 720 Hexham black face ewes. This is an upland farms that really is trying to breed good commercial store cattle. The stock that those visiting The Steel are going see are some 12 to 14 month-old cattle ready to sell through Hexham Marts, and autumn and spring calving cows running with calves at foot. For breeding the Hunters use Limousin bulls. Cattle are sold through Hexham Mart, aged between 11 - 13 months. The quality is apparent by their record in the Suckler Championship for a pen of four Limousin Cattle at Hexham, which the Hunters have won for the last two years. Robert Addison, Chair of NBA Beef Expo 2014, said: “The farm visits, will provide a great insight for farmers from all over the UK to see how successful Northumbrian beef farmers run their enterprises. Hopefully, visitors will see some ideas they can take home and put into operation on their own farms.” Some of the stock on display during the tours will be shown at the Spring Spectacular Show and sold at Hexham on the Friday after the event. The Spring Spectacular Show show with


over 120 head of the very best of Britain’s beef cattle features 16 classes that will be appraised by top class judges. Philip Parrott from Buckinghamshire will do the honours in the Native, Continental and Supreme Championships and Bedfordshire-based Kevin Ludgate will assess the Baby Beef and Young Handlers classes. The show has a prize fund of £6,000 and £700 prize for the Supreme Champion, which is sure to attract top professionals from around the UK. Special classes have also been organised for young handlers and showing novices to gain experience without having to worry about competing against the experts. The Young Show Stars Challenge, which takes place throughout the day, will be a highlight for both competitors and the audience. With competitors aged between 14 and 23, the challenge for the twelve teams of three including one from Canada, is to show off their skills in preparing, presenting and parading an animal for the show ring as well as a stock judging and promoting different cattle breeds and types. NBA Beef Expo chair, Robert Addison, said: “The Young Show Star Challenge puts the next generation of exhibitors in the spotlight and gives them the chance to experience the entire showing process in a competitive atmosphere. “We are already expecting record entries for the main Spring Spectacular Show and we anticipate that the Young Show Star Challenge will be just as keenly contested. “The showing element of this year’s event is shaping up to be the best we’ve ever seen at a Beef Expo and I’m looking forward to seeing the very best of British beef cattle in Hexham.” The specialist industry seminars are always an important element of NBA Beef Expo, and this year there are individual seminars on Beef Marketing and Animal Health, with three speakers all specialists in their field covering different aspects of the chosen beef industry themes. These seminars provide a platform for an open questions and answers forum. In addition to showcasing some of the finest livestock in the country there will also be twenty beef breed society displays of cattle. Beef Expo is a renowned forum for sharing technical advice and industry developments, and the event will feature over 150 commercial and educational trade stands. The Dairy Herd demonstration will be one of the specialist displays, in addition to machinery displays and demonstrations, educational platforms and industry stakeholders. One of the more light hearted attractions of

the day will be a culinary demonstration. Showing off their skills with some beef recipes in the Ready, Steady, Cook-style competition will be auctioneers from four local marts, Trevor Simpson Senior Auctioneer at Hexham and Northern Marts, Andrew Atkinson, Mart Manger at Darlington Farmer’s Mart, James Little, Auctioneer at Harrison and Hetherington and Ryan Roddan from Longtown Mart. “Beef Expo is an essential date in the calendar for serious beef farmers and exhibitors, but the programme of events and the grassroots showing classes we’ve organised this year, means it’s also a great day out for anybody interested in farming and the countryside. This year’s show is definitely shaping up to be the biggest and best ever.” concludes Mr Addison. “The showing element of this year’s event is shaping up to be the best we’ve ever seen at a Beef Expo and I’m looking forward to seeing the very best of British beef cattle in Hexham.” For further information and advanced tickets which are now available online go to or contact the organiser Euan Emslie Tel: 01430 441870 Email: or NBA HQ Tel: 01434 601005 Email:

Ticket Information NBA Members & Students – tickets bought in advance for main event day £10 Non NBA Members – tickets bought in advance for main event day £12 Groups of more than 8 – tickets bought in advance for main event day £10 Farm tour tickets bought in advance £25 NBA Members – tickets bought in advance for farm tour and main event day £30 Non NBA Members – tickets bought in advance for farm tour and main event day £35 All visitors buying tickets on day of event £15 Children under 16 FOC

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 41

| Tractors & Tyres

According to a recent survey carried out by the National Farmers Union, this year’s extreme weather and soaring costs have seriously hit farmers’ confidence to invest in their businesses in the short term. Some 42 per cent of farmers told the NFU that their farm businesses were in for a tougher year, up from 30 per cent in 2012. Conor McGuigan However, in spite of the gloom and uncertainty, increasing numbers of farmers have been discovering a way to reap a weatherproof, guaranteed income over a 25 year period – with zero set up costs to themselves. They have achieved this by renting out land or roof space to the UK’s leading solar energy generator, Lightsource Renewable Energy.

“Earn a guaranteed monthly income or 20% off your monthly bill.”

some, solar farms do not harm the land they are installed upon. In fact they safeguard it for future generations and provide further options for farmland diversification like grazing small livestock or providing an ecological habitat for rare birds like the English Grey Partridge. If you are a farmer with land or a large roof available for rent, it is best to come straight to us because we prefer to cut out any ‘third parties’ or ‘middlemen’ who will sometimes have their own agenda. You can choose to rent your land to us for an attractive income or we can install a system on your roof and reduce your electricity bills by at least 20%” Any farmer or landowner with a site of at least 25 acres or a large agricultural building wishing to discuss its suitability for a solar installation should...

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Lightsource has already developed over 100 solar installation, across land and rooftops in the UK and aims to double this capacity by December 2014. The company is confident that its solar power stations will boost rural business providing options to landowners across the country to diversify their income with a solar installation on their property. Conor McGuigan, Business Development Director for Lightsource comments, “Contrary to the unfounded opinions of

42 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

| Beef Expo

NBA Beef Expo returns New Easy Flow Calf Teats to Hexham with a boost from JFC for grassroots showing JFC started life designing, making and selling the famous double and triple buckets for rearing calves.

he National Beef Association (NBA) is returning to its Northumberland roots for NBA Beef Expo 2014, which is also putting grassroots showing back on the agenda. The key beef industry event will be staged at Hexham Auction Mart on Thursday May 22, 2014 for the first time since 2010. One of the highlights of the event will be the National Spring Spectacular Show, featuring 16 halter-led classes for baby beef, native and continental cattle plus championship classes. With an overall prize fund of £6000, the overall Supreme Champion will take home a £700 prize. Robert Addison, Chair of NBA Beef Expo 2014 reiterates the importance of the show classes: "Building on the successes of 2010, we are absolutely delighted to be hosting this event once again at Hexham Auction Mart. We are working on a very exciting programme, and hope that this will be well supported by all aspects of the agricultural community. The National Spring Spectacular Show is a very important element of this showcase as it really does demonstrate the very best of British Beef." Information about all of the classes can be found on Four special classes have been organised to encourage young handlers plus novices who have always fancied a crack at showing, but were concerned their animals would be overshadowed by some of the high-value cattle shown by experienced competitors. Class 7, is restricted to steers purchased at auction for less than £1,400 and class 14 is open to heifers bought under the same criteria. To ensure absolute fairness, competitors must submit their purchase receipt with their entry form. The final two classes of the day are open to young handlers aged between 12 and 21, showing an animal that was previously entered in the beef section of the show. To widen the scope of the classes, the animal does not have to be owned by the handler or their family. Entry for the young handler classes is free of charge.National Spring Spectacular Show co-ordinator Julie Sedgewick said: "The idea of these classes is to give people a first taste of showing, whether they are young handlers or older


people who want to experience a competition without the added pressure of competing against seasoned professionals. "Young handler classes are always great fun and are often the first rung on the ladder for handlers who are bitten by the showing bug and go on to great success in the ring. But we've also found that many people who fancy having a go, but are too old for the young handler classes, have been put off because they can’t afford the expensive animals that tend to dominate many of the big showing classes. "By introducing the £1,400 limit for two classes, we hope to encourage novice handlers to come to Hexham and try their hand at showing. We're hoping for a big entry in both these and the young handler classes." The full line-up of classes open to both NBA and non NBA member is: Class 1 - Heifer by a Registered Native Sire Class 2 - Steer by a Registered Native Sire Class 3 - Steer by any other Continental Sire Class 4 - Steer by a Registered Charolais Sire Class 5 - Steer by a Registered British Blue Sire Class 6 - Steer by a Registered Limousin Sire Class 7 - Steer by any Sire, purchased at a public auction/livestock market up to a maximum of £1,400. Class 8 - Baby Steer (12 mnth & under) upto and including 425kgs Class 9 - Baby Heifer (12 mnth & under) upto and including 425kgs Class 10 - Heifer by any other Continental sire Class 11 - Heifer by a Registered Charolais sire Class 12 - Heifer by a Registered British Blue sire Class 13 - Heifer by a Registered Limousin sire Class 14 - Heifer by any Sire, purchased at a public auction/livestock market up to a maximum of £1,400. Class 15 - Young Handler, 12 years to 16 years Class 16 - Young Handler, 17 years to 21 years The closing date for entries is April 14, 2014. For entry details, contact Julie Sedgewick T: 01325 314650 M: 07836 773888 Email: juliesedgewick@btinternet. com

e have produced other milk feeders during the interim years, now we have the most comprehensive range of teat based milk feeders that are available from one Company. The New Easy Flow Calf Teat has been specifically designed to replicate the natural sucking action of a calf on the udder. It is fitted with a non-return valve to prevent milk from flowing back into the feeder, openings on each side encourage the calf to correctly place the teat in its mouth thereby reducing leakage. Manufactured from natural rubber it has a soft texture but at the same time sufficiently durable


to last a complete calving season. This teat can be used with any calf feeder that has a 20mm opening. The New Easy Flow Calf Teat has been specifically designed to replicate the natural sucking action of a calf on the udder. During the last 2 years JFC have developed several new innovative solutions for today’s farmer the full range of their agricultural products can be seen on the website or for details of your local stockist call 01691 659226

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April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 43

| Pig & Poultry

‘Growing your business’ focus of 2014 British Pig & Poultry Fair With a theme dedicated to helping pig and poultry farmers grow their businesses, the British Pig & Poultry Fair 2014 is set to take place at Stoneleigh Park on the 13 and 14 May. s a Royal Agricultural Society of England event partnered by ABN, the Fair is the pig and poultry industry’s leading technical event. Taking place biennially the Fair is a must-visit for pig and poultry producers, with 92% of 2012 visitors rating the Fair as valuable to their business and 74% planning to make changes to their business following their visit. These findings have helped to steer the theme for the 2014 Fair, explains Alice Bell, Head of RASE Technical Events. “We will focus on helping pig and poultry producers develop their businesses and put the spotlight on four key issues.” The free technical forums at the 2014 Fair will cover subjects which can enable business growth and development. These include planning, energy diversification, raw material security and the use of media to positively promote the industry. Kevin Sketcher, ABN’s Commercial Director, comments, “These sessions have all been


chosen due to their topical nature and relevance in growing businesses. We want to provide pig and poultry producers with useful, practical advice that they can implement in their businesses. “As a must-attend event, we want to encourage producers and the wider industry to get the date of the British Pig & Poultry Fair 2014 in the diary.” BPEX will also be holding a forum during the event covering the outlook of the industry and what will influence farm businesses over the next 12 months. Andrews Knowles, BPEX Head of Communications, explains why 2014 is going to be an exciting year for the UK pig industry. “Producers are constantly looking at opportunities to invest and continue to drive improvements in physical performance. There is also renewed interest in herd performance recording, and feed efficiency remains a key priority for farmers who are faced with trying to combat raw material costs.”

He adds, “The 2014 Fair is a must for all involved in the pig and poultry industries with the latest ideas, solutions and new technology on show, and the opportunity to talk with experts to answer all those burning questions.” The free technical forums at the 2014 Fair will cover subjects which can enable business growth and development. Over 10,000 visitors attended the Fair in 2012, with 300 exhibitors also present. It was seen as an excellent opportunity to explore new products and make purchases. 93% of the visitors rated the fair as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. The 2014 British Pig & Poultry Fair looks set to continue as the sector’s leading event in the industry calendar, with a commitment to covering the issues that can really impact farm businesses whilst driving growth.

Utilise media to grow your business Harness the power of media to grow your business is the message to be delivered at a forum being held at this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair. he Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) event, partnered by ABN, is the pig and poultry industry’s leading event, and will be held at Stoneleigh Park on the 13 and 14 May. “With a commitment to covering the issues that can really impact producers, we have dedicated this year’s programme of forums to helping pig and poultry farmers ‘grow their business’,” says Alice Bell, Head of RASE Technical Events. “Utilising the media has been identified as a key way in which this can be achieved,” she explains. “We are very fortunate to have Malcolm Munro, a communications specialist who has many years experience in the media, including time at ITN, to present the forum ‘Unlocking the power of media to grow our businesses’.” The forum, which will take place on the Tuesday at 11.30am, will provide an understanding of how the media can be exploited to positively influence the consumer and ultimately drive demand for high quality British pork, poultry and eggs.


“The industry needs to make an emotional connection with its consumers,” says Malcolm Munro. “Story telling is one of the most powerful ways to do this. It is much more powerful than just delivering information,” he says. Commenting on the problems faced when trying to reach consumers, Malcolm believes that too often industries become too focused on the challenges or issues that they face and not enough on the positive things achieved. “The pig and poultry industries have a lot of good stories to tell. It’s these stories which need to reach consumers.” However, Malcolm adds, “There is no silver bullet; changing consumer perceptions is a continuous process of correcting misrepresentations and balancing out the coverage with positive news,” he adds. “In the pig and poultry sectors, there is a large interface between the industry and consumer, providing huge opportunities for this,” says Malcolm. “But it is everyone’s job to make sure good news stories happen, with producers playing a critical role as well as the wider allied industry.” At the forum, Malcolm will explain

44 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

exactly how the industry should be connecting with consumers. With his vast expertise in the media industry, he will deliver practical ways to achieve this, that all involved in the pig or poultry industry can go on to implement. Chairing the forum is Meurig Raymond, NFU’s president. “We shouldn’t underestimate the power of the media to help the sector better connect with consumers and the wider audience. This forum will provide the perfect

platform for generating industry enthusiasm in utilising the media at a time when agriculture is so far up the news agenda.” The British Pig & Poultry Fair is a free business event; however visitors are reminded they must complete a registration form to gain entry. Online registration is now open and can be completed online at

| Tyres

Bridgestone brand to enter agricultural tyre market in Europe Technology to meet the special needs of larger, more powerful farm vehicles. ridgestone Europe has announced that it will expand its multi-brand strategy and introduce the Bridgestone brand in the agricultural tyre market in Europe. Bridgestone agricultural tyres will target the growing high-end segment of the European market, meeting the special needs of the largest, most powerful agricultural vehicles and equipment. The company plans to launch its first product during the REIFEN international tyre show in Essen, Germany in May 2014, making it available for sale in Europe during the second half of the year. Multi-brand approach In line with the company’s multi-brand strategy, the new Bridgestone range will complement the existing Firestone agricultural tyre business. Firestone has invested heavily to renew its product portfolio and has built a strong position in the European market, offering a large number of farmers high levels of performance and productivity. With Bridgestone focusing on the largest vehicles and equipment


at the top end of the market, the Company aims to avoid overlapping sizes and standards between the two brands. “Bridgestone and Firestone have different brand strengths and attributes. Together in our multi-brand approach they can provide farmers in all segments the optimal solution” says Lothar Schmitt, Director Agricultural and Off-the-Road tyres of Bridgestone Europe. Changing farm landscape The opportunity for Bridgestone is the rapidly changing face of farming in Europe. Farms today are becoming fewer in number but larger in size, often sharing their resources and equipment to maximize efficiency. Their equipment is also becoming larger, more powerful and more specialized. This evolution in farming in Europe represents a serious challenge to manufacturers of agricultural tyres, as they struggle to keep up with the pace of change. As the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer, the company is responding to the challenge with a target-oriented multi-brand

The company plans to launch its first product during the REIFEN international tyre show in Essen, Germany in May 2014. product portfolio that will meet the needs of all players in the agricultural sector. Bridgestone committed to sustainable agriculture The Bridgestone Corporation’s mission has remained unchanged since it was first formulated by the company’s founder Shojiro Ishibashi in 1931: “Serving Society with Superior Quality.” The Company works to fulfil this mission every day, not only by providing its customers with world-class products and services but also by serving local communities and helping to ensure a sustainable environment for current and future generations. Producing superior quality agricultural tyres that help boost productivity while protecting crops and valuable topsoil are a natural outcome of this commitment.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 45

| Tractors & Tyres

46 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

| Tyres

Tyre choice and pressures critical following extreme weather, warns Mitas Unprecedented wet weather across all regions of the UK this winter could cause lasting damage to soils and soil structures that may take years to put right. But, through careful choice of tyres and optimum setting of pressures, the effects can be minimised, according to Mitas Tyres Limited, the UK’s leading offroad tyre manufacturer. ecord rainfall over the last few months has created potential long-term issues with the soils on most farms, so careful management will be the watchword going into the spring, advises Ron Wood, a Technical Consultant who works with Mitas Tyres. The correct choice and operation of tyres will, he emphasises, be even more important than normal in minimising the damage caused by agricultural machinery, as well as obtaining optimum machine performance under unusually difficult conditions. With many fields at or close to their maximum water-holding capacity and many having lost a considerable amount of their structure, it is vital that operators recognise the importance of correct tyre choice and settings under these conditions. Spending time focusing on these areas will deliver significant benefits.


The aim should be to select a tyre which will operate at the lowest possible pressure for a given load and speed. “There is generally a conflict between what is required of tyres and the demands placed on them in the field and on the road, particularly in the case of tractors which operate at higher speeds,” Mr Wood explains. “Field work typically requires low inflation pressures, whereas higher pressures are required for road work. The best way to reduce the pressure differential between field and road use, and thereby the need to adjust pressures, is to fit the largest tyre possible.” Where there is no limitation on tyre width most farmers will opt for a wider tyre to maximise traction, such as the Continental SVT (Super Volume Tyre) which will also allow an approximate 20% reduction in inflation pressure to carry the same load compared with a standard tyre when working in the field. For

specialist applications which require a narrower-section tyre to be fitted, such as rowcrop working, a considerably higher inflation pressure is required. There has been a trend to mitigate this by fitting wider row crop tyres up to 380 mm or even 480 mm in width from the more typical 300-320 mm, the increased air volume allowing a useful reduction in inflation pressure. The relationship between ground pressure and tyre inflation pressure is approximately one-to-one, so the aim should be to select a tyre which will operate at the lowest possible pressure for a given load and speed. This will maximise the area in contact with the ground and help to keep the machine on top of the soil, avoiding ruts which will cause operational issues and have to be removed at a later stage. Setting tyre pressures correctly will also minimise wheel slip, reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%, increase work rates, result in less wear-and-tear on machinery, improve operator comfort and significantly reduce maintenance costs. At higher speeds on the road, higher pressures will be required and adjusting them to the correct levels recommended by the manufacturer will improve steering accuracy, braking performance and stability, contributing to much safer operation and avoiding overheating of the tyre. Correctlyadjusted tyres will also reduce rolling resistance and fuel consumption, wear more evenly and last longer. Mr Wood suggests that in difficult field conditions operators should consider reducing the loading on the tractor to allow lower tyre pressures to be used, whilst remaining within manufacturer’s guidelines. In the case of a draft implement such as a plough that could mean dropping a furrow or only partially filling linkage-mounted or trailed equipment such as a sprayer or fertiliser spreader.

Contact a local operator:

Cambridge: 01223 835222 Swansea: 01792 310031 Penrith: 01768 210055 April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 47

| Sheep

No need to panic about changes to sheep movement reporting system By Joanne Briggs, National Sheep Association. he National Sheep Association is currently taking a number of phone calls from members who are concerned they don’t fully understand the changes to sheep movement reporting that were introduced by Defra in England on 1st April. The good news is that there is no need to panic, as the compulsory changes are incredibly slight and the more complicated changes are entirely optional. The changes are the result of a new electronic database being introduced in England for reporting sheep movements, but while it is compulsory for auction markets, collection centres and abattoirs to report electronically, farmers have the choice to stick with the paper system if they do not feel ready to embrace online reporting. The only real change is that the old AML1 form has been replaced with a new ARAMS1 form. The ARAMS1 is virtually identical so you should have no problem filling it out, but be aware that you need to post or fax it, not to your Local Authority, but to SouthWestern (the company delivering the new electronic database on behalf of Defra). The address and fax number is on the new form, which you can pick up from markets, abattoirs, collection/assembly centres and shows. And there is even more good news, as if you mistakenly fill out an old AML1 form SouthWestern will still accept them for the time being. Local Authorities have also agreed to send on any forms sent to them in error, although this will obviously delay the movement being officially reported. If you make an error on the ARAMS1 form this will not stop the movement going ahead, but you will be contacted by SouthWestern if e.g. the CPHs you’ve included are not valid or


registered to keep sheep, if the first three digits of postcodes don’t match records, the tag numbers listed are not valid tag numbers from the ETAS database, or you’ve forgotten to sign the form. SouthWestern’s office at Milton Keynes will contact you by telephone, email and/or letter to remedy an error and, only as a last resort, refer it to the Local Authority. This will not automatically trigger a cross compliance penalty, as incorrectly reporting a movement is not an offence. The only document that needs to be correct for cross compliance purposes is your holding register, so it is important this is up-to-date and correct should you receive an inspection. A holding register that can be automatically updated by the electronic database is one option on offer to farmers who chose to report electronically rather than on paper. You can find out more about this and have a look around the SouthWestern website, with no obligation to committee to online reporting, by opening an account at The system is set up so you can report electronically even if the other end of the move is still using paper, and while there are too many combinations of moves to detail here, there is information available from Defra, SouthWestern and NSA if you wish to explore this route. So in summary:• You MUST swap from the old AML1 form to the new ARAMS form and send it to SouthWestern instead of your Local Authority. • You are ENCOURAGED to check that your local AHVLA office has the correct name, address, postcode and CPHs(s) for you, and those CPHs are registered for sheep. • You can CHOSE to register an online account and report movements electronically. Of course the arrival of this new electronic database does have one negative element, as

at the same time as Defra introduced the new system it also removed the option of using a non-EID slaughter tag in finished lambs. The one tiny consolation in this disappointing news is permission to use non-electronic tags up until 1st January 2015 and that Defra has accepted there will be a transition period during 2015 when not all animals are yet electronically identified. The derogation from the EU regarding EID and the historic flock also ends on 1st January 2015, which means that if you want to move old ewes anywhere other than direct to slaughter (via an auction market if you wish) you will need to identify them individually (with or without the use of EID tags) on the movement form. The only real change is that the old AML1 form has been replaced with a new ARAMS1 form. The issue of EID and read rates never goes away for farmers living with the threat of a cross-compliance penalty, and NSA fights hard to ensure Defra does not forget that. The absence of an electronic database and the use of non-electronic tags has always been the reason Defra and the EU has refused to allow a tolerance on read rates, so these latest changes will remove that excuse once and for it. Once the electronic database is working, Defra will also be carrying out a CPH review, increasing the ‘five-mile rule’ to 10 miles and making it easier to link associated land parcels. Longer term there will be a full-scale review of the six-day standstill rule – and while progress is likely to be slow, at least it is being made in the right direction.

The official Defra guidance was posted to all registered sheep keepers on Friday 24th April. SouthWestern guidance can be viewed at, while the SouthWestern helpline opened on 1st April and is available 8am-8pm Monday to Saturday on 08445 730137. NSA members can also call us to check any details or access the members-only area of the website to view Defra’s official guidance, answers to frequently asked questions and a presentation made by SouthWestern at the recent NSA electronic database roadshow. Call 01684 892661 or visit

48 | Farming Monthly | April 2014

| Sheep

Lambs face production Roxan colour coded pins set-backs if coccidiosis is left untreated An extra depth of visual identification at no extra cost.

Managing coccidiosis at the right time and with the benefit of veterinary advice is paramount for farmers who want to stay in control of this challenging disease this spring. occidiosis can be difficult to control on farm and will cause production setbacks if not managed correctly,” explains Sharon Cooksey, a vet who works for Bayer Animal Health. “Coccidiosis outbreaks can differ from farm to farm, but that’s not to say the disease can’t be effectively controlled on every farm.” Sharon adds that to fully understand the disease, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis which will then help in planning an effective control strategy. “By working with your vet to accurately diagnose the species of coccidiosis present through faecal sampling with speciation, it is possible to confirm that pathogenic coccidiosis is present on your farm and then stop the disease causing further setbacks.” The role of the lambs’ environment as the source of infection is also important to be aware of, explains Sharon. “Once a single coccidial oocyst is ingested by a lamb, it will multiply internally and around 16 million will be excreted back into the environment. This massively amplifies the disease challenge for future batches of lambs,” cautions Sharon. She also warns that when you see clinical signs such as scours, dirty back ends and lambs that generally appear tucked up with a dull poor appearance, the damage to the gut has already been done. “By this point the lambs will suffer losses from growth set-backs, through to mortality in the worst cases. Treating the affected and all in-contact lambs with a coccidiocide like Baycox at this point is essential, but prevention of clinical signs is always better,” details Sharon. Recently published research has shown that using one dose of toltrazuril (Baycox) to treat lambs is an effective means of preventing and controlling the disease, killing coccidiosis at all intracellular stages. Baycox was also shown to considerably reduce the amount of faecal oocysts excreted back into the lambs’ environment, compared to that of a group treated with


nlike other tags which only offer colour-coding options for birth year, Roxan provide the same service but with the added advantage of custom multi-coloured pins. This allows you to trace not only the year the animal was born, but also its Sire. All pins on Roxan TagFaster and Rubba tags can be customized with up to six different colours; green, blue, white, pink, orange, purple, yellow, red and black. Farmers have tried and tested this system and have reported that assigning a Roxan coloured pin to a Sire is a simple and effective management method that bypasses the need for extra work,


diclazuril and an untreated group.* “The advantage of using Baycox is that there is some flexibility around treatment timing for prevention because it persists in the lambs’ system and kills at all stages. To achieve the best results, lambs should be treated about a week after they have been exposed to coccidiosis,” explains Sharon. “Treating with the right product at the right time, usually during the high risk period of four to eight weeks of age, is invaluable because it not only treats the lamb and thus prevents losses, but also acts to reduce the shedding of oocysts from infected lambs.”

an electronic reader or a computer. Female fixings on all twin EID tags match the colour of the visual tag, and pins on both EID and visual tags will be colour coded to your specifications. This means that from either side of the animal, birth year and it’s Sire are easily visible. Roxan is the only tag company to offer this range of customizable tag information, and all at no extra cost! Add an extra option of profitable farm management by asking about our different pin colours, and make sure you get the most out of your tags.

“Once a single coccidial oocyst is ingested by a lamb, it will multiply internally and around 16 million will be excreted back into the environment.” Sharon concludes that it is very important that farmers work with their vets to minimise this disease and reduce production losses. “The more informed farmers are and the more precise the diagnosis, the better the treatment plan for further batches of lambs; allowing effective management of the disease in the long term.”

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 49

| Sheep

NSA puches for ANC as a potential lifeline for hill farmers Ongoing discussions around the implementation of CAP reform in Wales suggest designating farmland above the moorland line as an Area of Natural Constraint (ANC) could provide a much needed lifeline for upland farmers, say the National Sheep Association’s Cymru/Wales Region. elen Davies, NSA Cymru/Wales Regional Development Officer, says: “During discussions at a Wales Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020 meeting last week it became clear that the Welsh Government would consider an ANC approach using RDP funding streams if they can agree an appropriate approach with the European Commission. “With the absence of Tir Mynydd and the precarious nature of farming in upland areas, NSA Cymru/Wales would be in agreement with this and urges the Welsh Government to use ANCs as a tool to support fragile farming communities. Using ANCs to provide support to upland farms who will otherwise only receive £20 per hectare for moorland will ensure those businesses survive, which is vital given the many public goods they provide over and above their farming activities. It will also attract young people who will manage this landscape


into the future.” The ANC approach is an option available to all EU member states to recognise areas that are seriously constrained by natural conditions, such as climate and topography, but which are crucial to the ongoing management of the land, its wildlife and ecology, as well as to isolated communities and their economies. The Welsh Government is currently consulting on how the new Rural Development Programme (RDP) will run from January 2015 to the end of 2020, including the option for designating ANCS. Mrs Davies continues: “The proposals within the consultation outline how the Welsh Government intends to spend £953 million allocated to Pillar Two of the Common Agricultural Policy between 2014 and 2020. NSA Cymru/Wales asks any farmers wishing to share their views to contact us soon as they can input to their opinions on the future of RDP. We are very interested to receive comment

from all sheep farmers in Wales and utilise them as we formulate our response to the consultation, which must be sent to the Welsh Government by Friday 11th April. Farmers can also respond to the consultation themselves via the Welsh Government website.” To input to the NSA Cymru/Wales consultation please contact Helen Davies on 01938 590535 or

Healthy profits predicted in 2014 lambing season Sheep farmers had a pretty rough ride in spring last year and this year the wet weather has meant housing for longer, with all the associated costs and effort that involves. n the midst of all the clouds there are some definite silver linings – with lower concentrate prices and rumours of an anticipated above average lambing percentage in many flocks. The key now is to take precautions against diseases affecting young lambs, such as coccidiosis, as James White, Elanco Ruminant Marketing explains… “Every year lambing brings new challenges and this year our customers are telling us they are optimistic. Good grazing at the end of 2013 and supplementary feeding around tupping last year is widely anticipated to deliver good lambing percentages. Yes, it’s been wet this year but lower concentrate prices have meant that it is more cost effective to house ewes and start lambs on creep feed. We fully expect this to improve lamb survival and fuel better growth. That’s great news as lambs are making good prices.” This combination of lamb value and low concentrate costs means that some farmers intend to finish lambs indoors to take advantage of those early to market prices, while many more lambs will be finished on concentrate fed from troughs outdoors. To make the most of this windfall farmers must make sure they don’t take their eye of the ball when it comes to coccidiosis. There are anecdotal reports that last year many farms experienced trouble with high levels of coccidiosis and this year there is concern that there may be a knock on effect due to higher oocyst challenge as a result. The very thing that makes the picture rosy


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this year – increased concentrate feeding – might also increase the risk posed by coccidiosis. Troughs placed in the same position year on year – often in the driest places on the field – may create hotspots for the disease, allowing oocyst build up. Higher lamb percentages resulting in more animals, kept indoors for longer, may also allow oocysts to increase in numbers in the environment, with outbreaks increasingly likely as a result. But overall, this is a good news story. Farmers are ideally placed to get more lambs to market earlier and to make sensible levels of profit this year. With better margins there’s more than enough wriggle room to invest in making sure those lambs really deliver on their potential. A single dose of diclazuril (Vecoxan® 2.5mg/ml Oral Suspension) given at the correct time allows natural immunity to develop, while reducing coccidial oocyst spread in the environment and can result in better feed conversion efficiency and weight gain.1 Where there is a known pattern of disease on the farm, Vecoxan® can be given metaphylactically 14 days after a known stress trigger, such as weaning or castration, or 7 days before the time when disease normally occurs on that farm. Discussion with the farm’s vet or animal health advisor may be useful in determining whether there are factors that might change the pattern for individual farms this year – perhaps batching up age grouped lambs isn’t going to be as practical, or increased trough feeding will raise the level of risk, or the usual wet weather trigger has been dealt with by housing but longer housing has brought new challenges.

This could mean differences in the timing of disease on farms where there has previously been a known pattern. “Good grazing at the end of 2013 and supplementary feeding around tupping last year is widely anticipated to deliver good lambing percentages.” In the face of an outbreak, early treatment of all the animals in the batch is recommended. James White puts it this way, “There’s no dilemma this year over whether to skimp or spend; the priority has got to be getting big, healthy lambs to market as early as possible to make sure that 2014 is the year that makes it all worth it.”

| Buildings

Farmlite brings light to farm buildings Agricultural buildings are an important investment for any farmer so when it comes to their design, it’s crucial they incorporate the highest standard of products into every building element. Guaranteed to improve the working life of a farm building for over 25 years, the new Farmlite GRP rooflights from Brett Martin Daylight Systems are tough, cost effective and will deliver agricultural facilities that stand the test of time. RP has been the rooflight material of choice in the farming industry for well over half a century, but if an inadequate grade of GRP is installed as a rooflight, its performance and appearance can be compromised quickly by the effects of age and weathering. Inferior performance grades of GRP are unfortunately commonplace in farm buildings as construction costs have been driven down and rooflight quality has suffered as a result. These lower quality rooflights are characterised by the alarming speed by which they deteriorate, suffering rapid surface erosion and advanced yellowing often within months of installation. Utilising the company’s 50 years of experience in the design and manufacture of GRP rooflights, Brett Martin has developed the Farmlite GRP rooflight to help combat these problems by providing a more durable, transparent and longer lasting agricultural rooflight. Each Farmlite GRP rooflight sheet comes with dual action UV surface protection and specially formulated UV resistant resins as standard, so the long term effects of weathering are greatly reduced and as a result stay clearer for longer than the traditionally used inferior grades of GRP. By maintaining their natural translucency, Farmlite rooflights provide free,


quality natural light which is proven to encourage healthier, more disease-resistant livestock and improved conditions for farm workers. And, when used in combination with lighting controls, Farmlite GRP rooflights can also contribute to energy savings by helping reduce the consumption of electric light in the farm building. As well as improved clarity for longer periods, each sheet is also more resistant to surface erosion and weakening. With greatly improved durability, Farmlite GRP will continue to be structurally strong and fit for purpose for at least 25 years under normal working conditions. In terms of composition, Farmlite GRP rooflights are stronger due to their weight (1.8 kg/m², 2.4 kg/m² and 3.0kg/m²) and a typical glass fibre content of at least 33%. Some recently tested sheet commonly used in the farm buildings sector has been found to have as little as 25% glass fibre. Manufactured to EN 1013 under the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, Farmlite GRP rooflights are available in Big 6 profile and there are a range of options to achieve the required safety levels, U-values and fire ratings as stipulated in current Building Regulations. It can be used in single skin, double skin and triple site assembled rooflight applications or as

slidelights in barns, sheds, milking parlours’, animal housing, stables and equestrian buildings. Inferior performance grades of GRP are unfortunately commonplace. What about the cost? Surprisingly this advanced technology is affordable and available at very little additional cost compared to the performance improvements offered. For example, assuming a 10% rooflight area of 30m2 on a farm building of 20m x 15m the cost of Farmlite rooflights would be approximately only £90-£100 more than lower grade GRP sheets which will fail within a year. It is clear that the additional price for Farmlite rooflights is negligible in comparison to the clear benefits of long term durability, protection from yellowing and quality light transmission. Rooflights make a vital contribution to every building, from improving internal conditions to reducing energy use and running costs. With the company’s new Farmlite GRP rooflights, Brett Martin Daylight Systems has once again set the standard for the industry with a range that will transform the performance of agricultural buildings across the UK and Ireland for minimal extra cost.

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 51

| Buildings

Adapting general purpose buildings for pigs BPEX, which represents pig levy payers in England and is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, reports on the importance of providing natural ventilation for pig buildings. any growing and finishing pigs in the UK are kept in straw-bedded pens in naturally ventilated general purpose buildings, the BPEX article notes. The pigs are usually provided with some sort of kennelled area within the building for warmth and an area for dunging and exercise. The temperature within the building is not controlled and is usually a degree or two above the outside temperature. In cool weather, the pigs huddle up together under the kennelled area in plenty of straw for warmth. The climate in the UK is generally without any extremes of temperature, however, it is becoming increasingly common to see changes with rapid fluctuations in temperature and humidity in a matter of a few days, rather than more marked seasonal changes. This is putting increased pressure on building ventilation and those responsible for managing it. Extremes of weather, hot or cold, can cause problems affecting pig behaviour and reduce feed conversion efficiency and pig


growth rate. There are two main sources of heat in a general purpose building the pigs themselves and the roof which radiates heat into the building, particularly in strong sunshine. It is possible to improve the air flow through these large buildings and consequently lower the temperature inside but it is never possible to reduce the air temperature inside the building to less than the exterior temperature. Ventilation amount can be increased by: • Opening in the ridge of the building over the ‘standard’ crown cranked ridge. The size of the opening needs to be calculated and the following information is required: • Number and size of the pigs being housed • Height of the building • Height of the solid side walls below the space boarding. Usually, the easiest way to create the extra ventilation in the ridge is to remove the ridge cap sheet with the crown cranked openings in it and replace it with a

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raised ridge cap. The cap must be high enough off the roof to allow the exhausted air to escape easily which means it must be at least as high as half of the width of the roof ridge opening. The top purlings often restrict the width of this opening but any opening down the full length of the ridge will be better than those in the standard crown crank ridge sheets often provided with a building. An open ridge allows heat from the pigs to be removed and is a very efficient way to allow the hot air from under the sun heated roof sheets to escape from the building without heating up the whole space. Correctly designed, they do not give rise to rainfall entering the building and making the bedding wet. It is also beneficial to increase the amount of air entering the building from the side walls. If any of the space boarding is blocked up either deliberately for the winter or accidently with undergrowth or trees, it should be opened up, or action taken, to ensure the maximum air flow possible. In

periods of hot weather, it is beneficial to have sections of the cladding which can be opened up fully; this is particularly important if the building has some solid cladding. The best way to do this is to have hinged ‘drop down’ panels in the space boarding which can be opened as required Extremes of weather, hot or cold, can cause problems affecting pig behaviour and reduce feed conversion efficiency and pig growth rate. The other problem in hot weather is the build-up of heat under any kennelling which can make the pigs dung under it and lie in the rest of the pen. In reality, the kennel is not needed whenever the weather is warm but it often has to be there to give the pigs a warm lying area in cooler weather or at night – so what can be done? By far the best way to ensure pigs are warm enough in cold weather in a general purpose

| Buildings building is to create a kennel over the lying area. The kennel should be big enough for all the pigs to lie under when they are fully grown. Many kennels are made with a straw layer or straw bales as insulation to keep the pigs warm but, as mentioned before, straw is a definite fire hazard and using it also means it is not possible to adjust the kennel lid height easily. If the lids are made of an insulated ‘sandwich’, it is possible to raise and lower the lids with a winch motor or by hand. In order to keep the pigs warmer under the kennel many farmers close up part of the front of the kennel to keep the pigs warmer when they first go in. In summary having the correct ventilation within a kennel will improve: • Lying/dunging behaviour and in turn improve pig and kennel cleanliness • Food intake and growth rate • Ventilation amount can be increased by opening in the ridge of the building • over the ‘standard’ crown

An open ridge allows heat from the pigs to be removed and is a very efficient way to allow the hot air from under the sun heated roof sheets to escape from the building without heating up the whole space.

cranked ridge • Ventilation can also be controlled by increasing or decreasing the amount of air entering the building from the side walls • Storing straw on top of kennel lids is a fire risk, instead construct the kennel lid of lightweight framing and cladding with a sandwich of insulation material such as polystyrene or polyurethane in between • Manually control kennel lids to alter ventilation rates • In cold conditions close up part of the front of the kennel to keep the pigs warmer when they first go in.

Advantages of Steel Framed Farm Buildings

East Anglian success A. C. Bacon Engineering is a well-established family firm that has been providing farm buildings in East Anglia for over 50 years. he key to their success and level of repeat business is down to the high quality of product and service they deliver at competitive prices. Since 1961 they have produced an enviable list of very satisfied customers and a reputation that is second to none. A. C. Bacon Engineering is a proud holder of the Royal Warrant of Appointment as a tradesman to The Queen for the manufacture of steel-framed buildings. Extensive in-house production contributes to achieving the quality and flexibility that delivers projects on time to the required high standards of CE marking. Operations include state-of-the-art cutting, drilling, welding, shotblasting & painting. Services offered include initial consultation, planning assistance, design, production and site installation of steelwork, cladding, grain walling and doors. Membership of RIDBA & BCSA provides assurance of competence and financial standing. They directly employ an


in-house Health & Safety Officer, leading to an exceptional safety record. Since 1961 they have produced an enviable list of very satisfied customers and a reputation that is second to none. Customers say that they can rely upon the A. C. Bacon team to be dependable, proactive, attentive and genuinely good people to work with.

Graham Heath Construction talks about the advantages of Steel Framed Farm Buildings. he UK’s recent bad weather has proved a powerful reminder of the importance of having strong and durable outdoor buildings, says the company. The key to ensuring your farm buildings are economically viable and long lasting remains in choosing high quality materials that can resist threats to its longevity. Often appearing in residential structures, steel framed buildings are being used more commonly in industrial and agricultural buildings. The advantages of using steel to construct buildings are numerous, the company explains. Touted as a ‘green’ construction material, steel doesn’t emit any toxic chemicals and doesn’t cause any environmental damage. Furthermore, to farmers looking for clever, bespoke structures, steel is easily manipulated and amenable to almost any design. Perhaps most significantly, as steel is an inorganic material, buildings constructed with it are resistant to mould. Mould requires moisture and oxygen to survive, searching for a damp space from which to draw


nutrients, digesting carpet, wood or paper before taking hold of its surroundings. As steel doesn’t hold moisture and features primarily in constructions that are tightly built using bolts and screws it doesn’t provide any of the qualities necessary to support fungus, mould, mildew or other micro-organisms. Not only is steel easily installed without much equipment, as it does not disintegrate or distort, buildings made from this material resist damage, require less maintenance and last a long time. Whilst there are many companies happy to provide you with a quote and then supply and build your steel structures, relative to its benefits steel is actually one of the more costeffective materials available on the market, the company says. Steel can also help reduce energy bills. An excellent conductor of heat, steel buildings are usually very warm, especially in winter, making them great for combating the traditional stereotype of the draughty farm shed!

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 53


The best just got better Honda brings decades of car design know-how to boost efficiency, comfort and handling of utility ATV range onda has applied decades of technology and design know-how from car manufacturing to enhance its utility ATV range. Developed at its Car R&D centre in Ohio, for the first time using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), the new models offer fuel efficiency gains of 10% over their predecessors and enhanced rider comfort, handling and durability. With changes to both the best-selling all-rounder, the TRX420, and the ultimate workhorse, the TRX500, the new models further underline Honda’s reputation for build quality, reliability and value for money with its uniquely ‘Built for Purpose’ utility ATVs: - Developed using CAE for the first time - Enhanced fuel injection system increases fuel efficiency by 10% - Stiffer, lighter frame enhances ride and comfort - All-new bodywork offers better protection for ATV and rider - Automotive spec fuel pump offers optimum efficiency - New swingarm and enclosed rear axle bring increased durability - 21% increase in on-board power increases capability - Rack weights up on TRX500 for greater utility Efficiency up, running costs down An important aim of the development process was to improve fuel economy by 10%


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to reduce running costs and meet emissions regulations, without sacrificing performance. The new models deliver just that, with the added benefit of smoother throttle control and power delivery, thanks to an enhanced fuel injection system with optimised mapping, using feedback from an O2 sensor located in the exhaust. Comfort and control up for more time in the saddle Ride is more stable, predictable and smooth as a result of using CAE to develop the new frame, now some 20% stiffer and 5lb lighter than previously. Handling and comfort are further enhanced with increased travel to both the front and rear suspension – now adjustable for preload - delivering more precise traction and rider comfort whatever the job in hand. The TRX500 also now features an ondemand electronic diff lock system, providing a selectable front differential lock for maximum traction in tough terrain. Additionally, the rear brake on the TRX420 now sits inside the wheel to give increased ground clearance. The new models also benefit from a secondgeneration EPS system, offering increased

manoeuvrability at low speed when either loaded or unloaded, decreased kickback and lower driver fatigue. Significant changes to the shift map in the ECU also deliver improved shift performance, to reduce the chance of gear ‘hunting’ and giving greater responsiveness. Durability up to protect both the rider and their investment One of the most immediately noticeable changes to the new models is the all-new bodywork; more rugged and functional to improve durability and better protect the rider from mud and debris. To keep servicing costs down the new models feature an automotive-specification fuel pump from a Honda CR-V, with new filters

| ATV offering a fivefold increase in life to 100,000km. Uniquely, the result of some clever Honda thinking, the pump now sits within the fuel tank to reduce exposure to heat. Additionally, a new onepiece centre cover means no tools are required to access key engine components and the fuel tank. A host of further durability enhancements offer better protection of key components including a new swingarm, an enclosed rear drive shaft axle and sealed knuckle bearings. Plastic CV boots now replace rubber, offering 65% greater puncture resistance and twice the tear strength.

Capability and usability up to get the job done To further increase the capability of the range-topping TRX500, rack weights are increased significantly, from 30 to 40kg on the front and from 60 to 80kg on the rear, with maximum weight capacity up from 220 to 250kg. This increases loadcarrying ability and allows use of a wider, heavier range of applications and attachments. On-board electrical power is also increased by more than a fifth (21%), with the addition of a new dry-type battery with an uprated ACG; allowing the use of higherpower applications such as sprayers and slug pelletters. Usability enhancements include a revised digital meter, offering better visibility of key indicators; while a thicker, more cushioned seat and an optimised rider triangle offer greater comfort for a wider range of operator. Higher output lights give more focused

light distribution at both low and high beam; while the assist light on the TRX500 now works independently of the main headlights, increasing ease of use when the front rack is loaded. The new models will be available in both red and green, with a wide range of accessories, from Authorised Honda Dealers

across the UK from February 2014. Prices remain the same as for the outgoing models at 1st November 2013, starting at £7068 inc. VAT for the TRX420FM and £8184 inc. VAT for the TRX500FM. The new models continue to enjoy a two year warranty, subject to following the service schedule.

Ambulance First Aid Unit is the course’s Ranger Diesel, again used as a fast transport for the paramedics to reach an injured jockey or member of the public, carrying oxygen and equipment. It’s also used to transport members of the public back to the unit. “People have falls or simply become unwell. Older people really appreciate it for getting them comfortably back for treatment. Polaris have been fantastic over the years, we value Polaris and

what they provide,” adds Sebastian.

A day at the races The climax of the Jump racing season is the Cheltenham Gold Cup in mid-April and for many it is seen as the best day’s racing of the year. ver two hundred and thirty two thousand racegoers flocked to the Cotswold venue this year to enjoy the four terrific days of action. The concentration of such a crowd in one place over those days is a logistics challenge to the people responsible for ensuring the fastest response to emergencies, on and around the course. As in any sport, injuries occur, horses may suffer heat exhaustion, jockeys may fall. Equally, amongst the crowd, the odds are on considerable numbers of people needing medical attention throughout the festival. Cheltenham has four Polaris ATVs/UTVs to provide the swiftest reaction to any emergency. A Sportsman 400 is used as a general purpose vehicle by groundscare staff and as a backup vehicle. Tony Twiggs is the Race Course Medical Co-ordinator and he predominantly uses a Sportsman 550, as well as the 400. He is responsible for mobilising the emergency services and the Polaris is his fast way to move around the large area of the racecourse. “The Sportsman is such a versatile tool, very manoeuvrable and ideal when you’re dealing with crowds.” Says Tony. “One of its uses is to drive ahead of an ambulance. As it’s open and quiet


enough for people to hear me, I can clear a way between the crowds to get the ambulance through. We have a blue flashing light on it and people take notice and move. It’s also small and compact to move around freely in all conditions. While the acceleration is quick, it’s easy to drive slowly as well and comfortable for working the hours we do.” Race Horse Ambulance Ltd. is one of the organisations working with Cheltenham and director Sebastian Garner uses the course’s Ranger 400 as a rapid response vehicle to treat horses on the course. “We have horse ambulances parked up in readiness but initially we use the Polaris as the fastest means of reaching a horse that may be injured or in distress,” he says, “the Ranger enables us to carry water and all the equipment we need for initial assessment and treatment. A horse may be just overheated and getting water on them quickly is essential.” Horses winded or lame may need transporting back in a horse ambulance and Sebastian’s aim is assess the need for this and be able to quickly return with the vehicle. “The Ranger is a fantastic piece of our kit, it’s quick, easy to manoeuvre and operate, just what we need for rapid response.” On standby at the St John’s

“The Sportsman is such a versatile tool, very manoeuvrable and ideal when you’re dealing with crowds.” Polaris is now the world’s No1 in All-terrain Vehicles. Call 0800 915 6720

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 55


Suzuki ATV: The easy choice l range encompasses over 30 years of Suzuki is the original innovator of 4-wheel ATVs. Today, each of the 8-mode miles. The result is Suzuki’s well deserved development and customer feedback, backed by millions of hard working available. reputation for designing and building the most operator-friendly ATVs

ll ATVs in the Suzuki range come with outstanding features, build quality, power and performance as standard. This commitment to excellence in engineering is backed by our promise of value for money, aftersales support and a two year warranty. From farming and estate management to recreation, there is a Suzuki ATV to meet all your needs. Suzuki KingQuad 500 Power Steering The engine’s specially designed cylinder head and piston provide outstanding power and torque across the rev range for making light work of shifting hay bales and heavy kit around the farm. With plenty of power and precise handling the KingQuad 500 ensures your daily route is anything but routine. When things get serious, the 4-wheel drive, fully independent suspension


and advanced engine braking system will overcome the sinking feeling in your stomach on the way up and down misconceiving slopes. The power steering model is perfectly suited to long stretches in the seat or regular riding on bumpy terrain, whilst the standard model is a smart choice for those with less extreme demands, but equal needs for the rest of the great features. From farming and estate management to recreation, there is a Suzuki ATV to meet all your needs. Whichever model you choose, you can rely on the KingQuad 500 to toil long before and past a nine-to-five.

Key Features

Suzuki electric power steering

Push button 2WD/4WD selection

493cc fuel injected engine

Independent suspension

The option of speed sensitive power steering allows easy manoeuvring at low-speed and eliminates bump-steer at higher speeds.

Whether you need to tread carefully or storm over obstacles, the selectable 2WD/4WD with optional differential lock is at the touch of a button.

More power and torque is ideal for towing heavy loads and traversing demanding terrain, the fuel injection supplies it in a controllable manner.

Fully independent double wishbone front and rear suspension, with 5-way adjustable settings, provides the ultimate comfortable ride even over rough terrain, making it easy to ride all day long.

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Contact your nearest participating dealer... Abrey Agricultural Pond House Pamphillions Farm Debden, Saffron Walden Essex CB11 3JT 01799 543208

Martin Pears Engineering Three Corners Halwell Totnes Devon TQ9 7JE 01548 857956

D.H. Wadsworth & Sons 28 Derwent Road, York Road Industrial Estate, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 6YB 01653 692244

D.H. Wadsworth & Sons 204 Barnsley Road, Flockton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4AB 01924 840319

April 2014 | Farming Monthly | 57

| Motors

See the Forester for the trees The latest generation of Subaru Forester has begun to make compromises in order to appeal to more than the usual country crowd – but has it worked? ave you noticed the alarming tendency for off-roaders becoming soft-roaders – with increasing emphasis being put on more luxurious interiors, gadgets and gizmos that claim to make your life easier, more comfortable and more pleasurable? Manufacturers are forcing sporty looks and sporty rides to the top of their agendas in order to please the urban “rural wannabes” who, for a lot of the time, a puddle and playing field at school will be the toughest 'off-road action' they'll ever see. UK sales were down 23% in 2012 but Subaru is continuing to focus on the ever-growing SUV market. Leading the charge is the fourthgeneration Subaru Forester aiming to snag both Subaru’s traditional rural buyers, and appeal to the urban throng that taxi their offspring to school every day. And alas, that's where the issues start for these new potential owners– for one thing, the styling isn't something that's universally appealing, especially when compared to similar models like the Kia Sportage for example (where the looks can overcome the badge). And Subaru still doesn't have the same cache as a VW or Audi. Another minus for this crowd would be the less than extravagant interior – and the fact that if you choose the diesel model (as tested – and our model of choice) – you have to do without an automatic gearbox. That's no great loss anyway as the automatic is a nasty CVT. When it comes to the power plant, there is only one choice for us – the afore mentioned diesel is of the 'boxer' variety, well known in


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Subaru circles. Whilst this power unit isn't as refined as some (sounding positively agricultural at times), the 145hp 2.0-litre unit does deliver satisfying performance and pretty good fuel economy to boot – easily achieving in excess of 40mpg during normal driving even with the (excellent) permanent all wheel drive system. Gearchange in the manual is a bit notchy but first and second gear pull will put a smile on your face, hinting at the10 second 0-60 capability. This is no slouch and will pull a horsebox with ease. I found the ride to be pretty comfortable – though a little jiggly over uneven roads. You have to remember that this is a 'proper' workhorse and is at home both on and off-road, so the set-up has to accommodate both possibilities. I'm sure that Subaru could do a better job here though. That being said, the Forester is confident into corners a delivers less body roll than you would expect. Steering is light enough around town but get on a fast road and you'll be making constant adjustments. Inside, the cabin is extremely light and airy due to the ample amount of glass and 'maxi' sunroof. All round visibility is excellent, the driving position is lofty and legroom has been further improved both in front and at the rear. A minor point here is the drivers footrest – great in normal foot-ware – not enough room in boots! Speaking of boots...lifting the tailgate gives access to a decent amount of luggage space at just over 500 litres (though not as roomy as some rivals) but it is wide with a flat entry lip. Dropping the rear seats does offer a more

cavernous option, though they don't fold fully flat. The boot lining is definitely fit for purpose and there is a retractable luggage cover to hide what you're carrying. Equipment levels are fine though I disliked the Panasonic head unit for audio, satnav, bluetooth etc. The touch screen isn't that sensitive and it can be a real struggle to connect your phone to the unit via the Bluetooth option. Not good. Our model had heated front seats (which worked like a charm), cruise control, auto wipers and lights - and though the plastics in the cabin are not really up to scratch at least the door handles are solid – a major gripe of mine! When it comes to the power plant, there is only one choice for us – the afore mentioned diesel. Should you buy one? The Forester harks back to a time when a 4X4 was 'proper'. It might lack some of the bells & whistles of current rivals but it will swallow the family, a wet dog and drag a trailer to wherever you want it to go. Rivals may be more modern and chic and they may offer even more economy, lower CO2 emissions, be priced slightly lower and offer more standard equipment....but they don't offer the same utility and off-road ability. So the Forester may not be for urbanites – but it is still definitely 'country'. Prices start at £24,995 for the 2.0-litre DX. Andrew Poulton - Editor

| Motors

MRG Chippenham Wiltshire Tel: 01249 443300

Cross Roads Warwickshire Tel: 01608 661544

Beechwood Subaru Derbyshire 01332 381 900

Dorset Sports Cars & Subaru South West 01202 825911

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Unity Automotive Cambridgeshire 01733 893704

Cross Roads Warwickshire 01608 661544

Warners Motor Group Gkoucestershire 01684 2977575

Tallis Amos Group Leominster Herefordshire 01568 613434

Bob Gerard Limited Leicestershire 01162 592224

MRG Chippenham Wiltshire 01249 443300

R. Hunt Isuzu Hampshire 01264 860532

Jeffries of Bacton Suffolk 01449 781087

Hammonds of Halesworth Suffolk 01986 244085

Mark Weatherhead Ltd Cambridgeshire 01954 210355

Garland Motors Ltd Hampshire 01252 367373

York Van Centre North Yorkshire 01904 470170

Tallis Amos Group Bibury Gloucestershire 01285 740115

Isuzu North London Middlesex 0208 804 6135

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Isuzu has the edge with special edition pick-up Isuzu UK has enhanced the rugged appeal of its award-winning pick-up range with the addition of a special edition, exclusive-to-the-UK model, the Isuzu D-Max Blade. ith the new Blade, Isuzu hopes to attract new customers to the Brand including those who may not have considered a pick-up vehicle previously. The new special edition, which goes on sale this month, boasts a long list of unique style enhancements and technology upgrades certain to help the vehicle stand out from the crowd. Based off a premium model from the D-Max range, the new Blade special edition features more than £5,000 worth of additional equipment and yet is available from just £24,995 (CVOTR), representing a saving of £1,000 if the accessories were bought separately.Prices for the new model are £24,995 (CVOTR) for the six-speed manual or £25,995 (CVOTR) for the five-speed auto, which compares favourably with similarly specced special edition models from Isuzu’s nearest rivals. The head-turning style of the D-Max Blade starts with the bold 18-inch, six-spoke ‘Shadow’ alloy wheels shod with 255/60 R18 Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres. The exterior upgrades continue with a ‘Shadow’ grey front grille, privacy glass windows, black door and tailgate handles, black roof bars and rear bumper, and heavy-duty side steps. Each exterior addition creates a striking contrast to the two available body colours, solid ‘Splash White’ or mica ‘Cosmic Black’. The Isuzu D-Max Blade also comes standard with an under-rail bed liner for added


practicality while customers can then choose between an Aeroklas hard top complete with internal light or a Mountain Top Black Roller Top Cover which is unique to the Blade and cannot be purchased as a separate accessory. Whichever option customers choose, the tops come supplied and fitted within the on the road price. The high-value additions to the five-seat pickup continue inside. Automatic climate control and premium black leather seats – which have been factory upgraded for 2014 and are heated in the front – will cosset Blade occupants. Customers of the new Blade will also benefit from DAB digital radio via a state-of-the-art Pioneer AVIC-F950 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system, complete with integrated rear safety camera. The Pioneer system offers an enhanced audio experience and convenience over the already class leading ‘surround’ system found in Yukon and Utah models. The Isuzu D-Max Blade is matched to the powerful-yet-efficient 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, producing 163 PS and 400 Nm of torque, while still returning a segment best fuel economy of 38.2 mpg (combined). The running gear has also been carried over by Isuzu, meaning customers benefit from a towing capacity of 3.5-tonnes and 1-tonne payload. William Brown, General Manager at Isuzu UK, said: “The new Isuzu D-Max Blade is a high-value, high-quality proposition that we

hope will widen the appeal of the D-Max further and take us into new market segments. It’s been designed to appeal to urban tradespeople as well as recreational lifestyle users looking for a pick-up that stands out from the crowd. The Blade meets the growing demand for a stylish pick-up that doubles up as an everyday workhorse for those who need it.”Isuzu UK enjoyed its best-ever sales in the UK in 2013 and continues to be the biggest market in Europe for the Japanese Brand by a considerable margin. Isuzu has ambitious growth plans in the UK, and the new Blade forms an important part of its push into new business areas. In addition to product developments, Isuzu is aiming to strengthen its 100 dealer strong network throughout 2014 with new dealer appointments in key areas. The new Blade special edition features more than £5,000 worth of additional equipment. Like all new Isuzu models sold in the UK, the D-Max Blade comes with the company’s pioneering five-year / 125,000 mile warranty. For further details of the Isuzu D-Max Blade, or to find your nearest Isuzu dealer, please visit

First glimpse of Bentley SUV Bentley Motors released the first picture of the Bentley SUV, due to hit roads in 2016. t will be the most luxurious and powerful SUV on the market, setting it apart from any other SUV, true to the brand hallmarks of luxury, performance, quality and craftsmanship. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive at Bentley Motors, commenting at a


press conference in London, said: “It will create a completely new segment in the SUV market.” The SUV forms part of Bentley’s £800 million investment in new model and facilities development in the next three years. A sales volume of 3000 SUVs is hoped for.

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Land Rover continues support of Prince’s Countryside Fund with five Freelander 2s to help British rural communities Land Rover and The Prince’s Countryside Fund announce applications open for 2014 bursary helping support rural Britain. ollowing the success of the inaugural Prince’s Countryside Fund and Land Rover Bursary in 2013, the two organisations are once again joined forces to support rural Britain in 2014. The scheme, part of a three-year partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund first announced by HRH Prince of Wales last year, offers the use of a Freelander 2 for a year to five individuals or groups who can demonstrate that it would enable them to support their rural community. Entrants can apply online via five successful candidates in 2013 were a diverse group including James Rebanks, a Herdwick sheep farmer from Penrith, Cumbria, Sian Curley, who runs a firewood social enterprise in Ullapool, Ross-shire and Edward Richardson who supports isolated farmers in Cornwall. The successful candidates were those that exuded community spirit, exhibited a genuine need for a Freelander 2 and were the most likely to use the bursary to make a long-term, positive difference to the community around them. Applicants underwent a selection process comprising an initial application, character references and interview. Sian Curley said: “I would encourage anyone thinking about entering the 2014 Land Rover


Bursary to do it. The bursary has been a real help to my community and the Freelander 2 has proved an excellent workhorse. The application process was straight forward and both Land Rover and The Prince’s Countryside Fund have been excellent throughout the process.”As part of the bursary the successful candidates recorded a short ‘day in the life’ film of their projects. Sian and Tom’s videos can be seen here: Sian Curley - Tom Hartley - The Land Rover Bursary serves to award the rising stars of rural Britain and recognise their efforts to revitalise British countryside communities. Following one of the wettest starts to the year since 1910 and with floods finally receding across the UK, many of the areas which have been worst hit are among the most remote and it is hoped that schemes such as this may help those who have been affected.Victoria Elms from The Prince’s Countryside Fund said, “It is fantastic to be able to announce the opening of our 2014 Land Rover Bursary. We have seen the difference that the vehicle has brought to our 2013 winners and their communities and it has been brilliant. The Prince’s Countryside Fund is all about supporting the people who live and work in the countryside and we had some excellent entries for the 2013 bursary and hope to see

even more for 2014.”The Freelander 2, and the rest of the Land Rover family, is the natural choice for those who live and work in the Countryside, offering true capability and versatility to tackle all weathers and terrains. Laura Schwab, Marketing Director, Land Rover UK, said: “We are delighted to demonstrate our on-going commitment to the bursary and look forward to making a dramatic difference to more worthy projects. The Applicants underwent a selection process comprising an initial application, character references and interview. Freelander 2 has always provided reliable and dependable transportation for those in the countryside and rural communities, and we are excited at the prospect of being able to offer the vehicle to more projects in 2014.” The partnership aims to help to people living and working in the countryside who are dedicated to building a sustainable future in rural locations.

Toyota GB supports BEN with new RAV4 Toyota GB is once again backing BEN, the automotive industry charity, by supplying a new RAV4 for use by the team at its northernmost residential centre. he SUV will ensure the care and administration staff at Birch Hill, near Berwick upon Tweed, can keep on the move when the winter weather does its worst. Not only does the new RAV4 have an intelligent all-wheel drive system, it's large and flexible interior also make it an ideal carry-all with plenty of passenger and load space. The loan vehicle replaces a previousgeneration RAV4 that's done sterling service at Birch Hill since 2011. Birch Hill is now dedicated to providing specialist dementia care for those connected to our industry. Nigel Rothband, the charity's Chief Operating Officer, was presented with the BEN-liveried RAV4 Toyota GB's headquarters in Surrey. He said: "Because of Birch Hill's very rural location and the frequent risk of snow and ice, it's extremely important they have use of a 4x4. We're very grateful to Toyota for once again stepping forward to ensure they have just the vehicle they need for the job, its generosity is much appreciated."


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Rob Giles, Toyota GB director leading the company's corporate social responsibility programme, said: "BEN does exceptional work providing care, help and advice to thousands of men and women who work or have worked in the UK's motor industry and related businesses and we are pleased to provide practical support in the form of the new RAV4. We're sure that it will provide great service to BEN, at Birch Hill

and elsewhere when needed." For more information about BEN and its charitable work across the country, visit http// For further information on BEN please contact Amanda Clements, Communications Officer at or on 01344 294760

| Motors

Contact your local participating dealer PMS Greens Ltd Pembrokeshire Tel: 01437 767767

Ryedale Garages Ltd North Yorkshire Tel: 01751 431343

David Cook Motors Lancashire Tel: 0161 624 1441

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2014 SsangYong Korando Sports pick-up A pick-up that's easier to live with. amily friendly or farm workhorse? You can have both with the newly revised SsangYong Korando Sports pick-up and at a significant saving over competing models. This car-like work tool is tough enough for demanding duties yet offers a level of refinement previously unseen in the tough pick-up market. The basic Korando Sports SX starts at just £17,995 (inc vat) and that gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and remote central locking. Audio & communication duties are handled by a Kenwood MP3 CD player, which includes a USB port and a Bluetooth phone connection. Two and a half grand more will get you leather upholstery, bigger 18-inch alloys, parking sensors, heated front seats, electricallypowered driver's seat, and heated electric folding door mirrors. There's a more pricey auto 'box option too and all models come with selectable 4 wheel drive.


This car-like work tool is tough enough for demanding duties yet offers a level of refinement previously unseen in the tough pick-up market. What's it like to drive? There's just one option for the power plant – a 2.0 litre diesel unit producing 155PS at 4000rpm. This will pull a trailer or horsebox (or whatever you like) as long as you don't exceed the maximum towing capacity of 2.7 tonnes. Economy isn't fantastic at 37.7mpg combined and neither is CO2 at 199g/km putting road tax in the late £200's. The auto 'box knocks this down further to a claimed 35.3mpg and CO2 of 212g/km. However, it is a fairly smooth unit and not too noisy – even at speed. Equally useful is the ride quality when 'towing the family'. Multi-link suspension at the rear helps to smooth out the bouncy ride often associated with pick-up trucks. It's also nice to see that the outgoing model's 'vague' steering has been updated with a speed sensitive arrangement, vastly improving this previous flaw. Inside, there's room to seat 5 in comfort though quality issues again rear their head in the form of rather cheap-looking plastics and

'dodgy' doorhandles – a particular bugbear of mine. I really do think that motor manufacturers should consider this issue more closely – it wouldn't take much to fix and would convey a more positive impression of overall quality. Rant over. The vehicle tested came equipped with a hard-top and the 'boot' was enormous and provided easy access (see pic). There are 3 options for load covers: The Classic hard-top offering rear brake light, interior light, side opening glass, fixed front glass and interior lining. The Elegance hard-top (as tested) comes in at just under £2000 and offers the same as the Classic but with additional heated rear window, sliding front glass, LED interior light, central locking, pop out opening windows, & roof bars. Alternatively, you could opt for the Top-up cover - a flat glass fibre cover, hinged to offer flexible opening options. One thing to mention is that if a hard-top is specified, as I understand it, it comes bonded to the body and is not easily removable. Whilst this might aid refinement in that many squeaks and creaks are eliminated, it does not help in the versatility stakes. There is obviously a 'naked' pick-up option available too. The 2014 SsangYong Korando Sports then comes with a lot to commend. It's rugged but with a certain refinement making it extremely versatile, has excellent equipment levels for the price and comes with SsangYong's 5 year unlimited mileage warranty. We think it makes a good proposition. One more I the only one thinking it needs a name change so as not to confuse it with the 'other' Korando? Just saying... Andrew Poulton Editor

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| Motors

The limited edition Amarok Canyon. Virtually unlimited extras. Our new limited edition Amarok Canyon comes packed with extra spec including, 19-inch ‘Cantera’ alloys, RNS 510 satellite navigation with Bluetooth and a 6-inch colour touchscreen, heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, load area with protective coating and high-gloss black side styling bars and rear bumper. There’s also an optional light bar with four round headlamps. Drive away Amarok Canyon for just £29,855,* powered by a top of the range 2.0 litre BiTDI 180 PS engine, and in a distinctive choice of copper orange, reflex silver or deep black. So to see the Amarok Canyon and its load of extras, drop by our showroom. But make it soon as there are only 350 models available in the UK.

k Canyon o r a m A The new now. available

*On the road price excluding VAT.

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| Motors

Greenhous Volkswagen Van Centre Ennerdale Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Telephone: 01743 600 031. Find us on your sat-nav using SY1 3TL.

Greenhous Volkswagen Van Centre (Bilston) Trinity Road, Bilston, Wolverhampton. Telephone: 01902 546 561. Find us on your sat-nav using WV14 7EF.

JCT600 Van Centre (Hull) Saxon Way, Priory Park West, Hessle, Hull, East Yorkshire. Telephone: 01482 908 520. Find us on your sat-nav using HU13 9PB.

JCT600 Van Centre (York)

Imperial Commercials Van Centre

Centurion Park, Clifton Moor, York. Telephone: 01904 848 302.

Ashbourne Road, Mackworth, Derby. Telephone: 01332 902 429.

Find us on your sat-nav using YO30 4WW.

Find us on your sat-nav using DE22 4NB.

Alan Day Van Centre

Citygate Van Centre (Colindale)

Citygate Van Centre (Wooburn Green)

78 Capitol Way, Colindale, London. Telephone: 020 8045 6162. Find us on your sat-nav using NW9 0EW.

Holtspur Lane, Wooburn Green, High Wycombe, Bucks. Telephone: 01494 256 064.

Find us on your sat-nav using HP10 0AU.

Pinkham Way, North Circular Road, New Southgate, London. Telephone: 020 8920 4000. Find us on your sat-nav using N11 3UT.

Volkswagen Van Centre (Leicester) St Margarets Way, Leicester, Leicestershire. Telephone: 01164 080 015. Find us on your sat-nav using LE1 3EA.

Listers (Coventry) Van Centre

Listers (Worcester) Van Centre

347-367 Bedworth Road, Longford, Coventry, West Midlands. Telephone: 02476 644 747.

157 Bromyard Road, St Johns, Worcester, Worcestershire. Telephone: 08433 208 285.

Find us on your sat-nav using HR1 1LQ.

Find us on your sat-nav using CV6 6BN.

Find us on your sat-nav using WR2 5EA.

South Hereford Van Centre Centurion Way, Roman Road, Hereford, Herefordshire. Telephone: 01432 509 223.

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Nissan Navara Visia means business With rugged off-road capabilities and robust and practical styling, the affordable and versatile business vehicle.

he Navara Visia, starting at £17,995, introduces a new version of the respected 2.5-litre dCi common-rail diesel four-cylinder engine, producing 144bhp and 350Nm of torque and is capable of up to 39.8mpg on the extra urban cycle. Farmers used to driving and boggy terrain will certainly appreciate the Navara’s versatile four-wheel drive system, which provides drive to the rear wheels under normal conditions or a 50/50 torque split to all four wheels when 4WD mode is engaged. The grip and control provided by this system is enhanced by the presence of Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) technology as standard fit. The system helps maximise the Navara Visia's driver control in all conditions by detecting and then reducing loss of traction. Users can also manually select between the Navara’s high and low ratio modes, with the latter providing outstanding levels of traction and pulling power, especially on steep slopes and sticky situations. This can provide huge benefits in rural conditions and on off-track roads, especially if users are faced with the similar weather conditions that the UK has endured in early 2014. For the new business-oriented Navara,


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entry-level Navara pick-up offers users an

Nissan engineers have worked to provide smart savings in its design and specification. For example, the interior door handles are finished in black rather than chrome. Similarly the front bumper is specified in body colour rather than having a two-tone element, while the grille struts are painted rather than chromed and conventional wiper blades are used in place of the flat blades found on higher specification versions. None of the changes affect the vehicle's outstanding ability and functionality with the Navara Visia providing a generous 2.36m2 load bed and a practical internal bed length of 1,511mm. Hardworking businesses will also value the Navara's 2,600kg towing capacity and a maximum 1,250kg payload. The Navara Visia's specification includes part-time four-wheel drive, air conditioning, central door locking, six airbags, CD player and Bluetooth connectivity. Jon Pollock, Corporate Sales Director at Nissan said: "We're working hard to develop our LCV offering as well as respond to customer needs and the introduction of the Navara Visia is a shining example of this. We've listened to our business customers' desire for an affordable pick-up and the Navara Visia is proving to be a popular choice already."

Farmers used to driving and boggy terrain will certainly appreciate the Navara’s versatile four-wheel drive system, which provides drive to the rear wheels under normal conditions or a 50/50 torque split to all four wheels when 4WD mode is engaged.

April 2014 Farming Monthly National  

ISSN 2044-0200 Inside this month: Grassland & Muck Preview, On Topic: HGCA Monitor Farms, Farm Security, Tyres, Renewables - focus on AD, Bu...