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INSIDE: Websites that get you noticed page 14-15

Farming MONTHLY National

April 2021

I Defra announces funding boost

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| On Topic

| What is Regenuary? Also inside this month..

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Women in farming

Dynamic Command Transmission

Scotts Windrower

PLUS: Arable| Grain | Potatoes | Building | Mental Health |Security |Tyres| Livestock| ATV | Motors


Exceptional sprout suppression in fresh and processing crops


Peter Hall 01622 821276 Nick Tapp 077 75785748


A p r i l 2021




18 Women in farming

42 Livestock

20 Arable

48 Muck &Slurry

24 Potatoes & Root Crops 30 Grain


66 Tyres


34 Mental Health

06 News

56 Machinery

36 Security

16 On Topic

68 ATV

40 Energy

38 Buildings

74 Motors


Farming Monthly | April 2021




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For editorial, general enquiries or to advertise please call +44 (0) 2476 353537 or email Farming Monthly National is published monthly in the UK by Farming Monthly Ltd, Tel: +44 (0) 2476 353537 Printed in the UK No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the publisher. Whilst every attempt is made to ensure accuracy, the opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor or publication. The Editor also reserves the right to alter or edit material as required and no responsibility is accepted for inaccuracies. Full copyright applies. All rights reserved. ISSN 2044-0190 (print) ISSN 2044-0200 (digital)

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| News

A new vision for grant management requires familiar IT By Netcompany

Richard Davies, Country Managing Partner at Netcompany.

ith the UK’s exit from the EU, the Government has a golden opportunity to re-think how grant funding can better support policy, while also increasing its effectiveness and reducing loss from fraud. But big challenges remain from grant management platforms stuck in the 1950s.


At its very heart, the business of government is mostly about either taking in money or giving it away. Of course, that’s a simplified view grant management is a large, important and complex area of government. Its raison d’être is to support policy objectives across government from education, health, rural affairs, innovation and research as well as abroad through international aid for public good. Adopting prevention strategies to minimise long-term risk At present many government departments simply do not possess the necessary technology, time and employee availability to action the plethora of grants available. Not only that, a number of departments may be incorrectly actioning grants and creating more complicated matters further down the line during an audit, such as revealing that expenses were not accounted for. With these hidden costs not factored into the process from the get go, there could be an increasing chance that the spending will not be reimbursed. Grant management requires both process flexibility and mandatory security and monitoring to ensure safe case management and the payment of grants. And while the funding mechanisms, rules and scopes may differ, grant management is something nearly every department of every government does. The challenges 6|

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are familiar across governments too – with the need to improve the efficiency of grants administration, the effectiveness of the grant funding and reduction in losses from fraud driving innovation. Grant management following exit from the EU While the Grants Management Function in the Cabinet Office is continuing with its ambitions to make grant management more effective efficient and safe, the UK’s exit from the EU is ensuring that grant management is rising up the agenda across many other departments as they re-think how grant funding can better support policy. For farming in particular, the end of EU farm subsidies represents one of the biggest changes to farming policy in half a century. With the end of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Defra will assume responsibility for designing, implementing and managing its own domestic agricultural policies and schemes. And is now starting its 7-year transition towards a system that pays farmers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions. Essentially, they are moving away from decades-old practices of funding based on land size, to instead reward farmers for work that only they can do – whether that’s ensuring the survival of threatened species or locking up carbon on their land. Work that benefits everyone in society. This move will have to be both driven by long-term policy, and reactionary to need. Yet, the UK grant management function is underpinned by platforms and processes formed in the 1950s. Platforms that are clunky and rigid, and not realistically up to the job of delivering what government

and society wants. Innovate around proven solutions If government needs to underpin a reimagined grants management function with a new platform to ensure it meets its ambitions, how should it do that? It could, in the established way, start from scratch and build something that might work. Yet we know projects often fail to deliver on time, exceed the budget, and do not provide the value promised. The alternative is to look at what others are doing. As we said before, the grant management function remains relatively the same from government to government, as do the challenges and aspirations to streamline processes and improve transparency. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be better to adopt proven solutions that create agile, future-proof systems, based on open components that ensures full flexibility and the opportunity for ongoing innovation? Take this approach and government can spend 20 per cent of the effort getting 80 per cent of the way to the digital national scale grants solution they need. Why should Defra and the like build their own when suppliers have already delivered these proven solutions to other governments? With little effort government can create a cutting-edge grant management system, own it and be responsible for it, leaving more space to innovate around the edges creating the impetus, through data-led funding and subsidies strategies, to create behaviour changes that will benefit society.

| News

Defra announces funding boost and new partnership with Forest for Cornwall efra and Forest for Cornwall have today [19 March] joined forces to form an innovative new National Woodland Creation Partnership pilot to drive regional tree planting. This new partnership will be supported through an initial £120,000 uplift from the Nature for Climate Fund, the Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith has announced.

D •

Funding boost and new woodland creation partnership formed between Defra and Forest for Cornwall Trees are a precious natural asset and central to the fight against climate change

Following on from the successful Northumberland Forest Partnership announced by the Environment Secretary in 2019, the Government is backing this Cornwall Council-led woodland creation partnership to help identify sites in Cornwall for woodland creation and bring local stakeholders on board. Partnership Forum members include Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Duchy of Cornwall, Forestry Commission, Environment Agency, Natural England, Woodland Trust, National Trust, Tamar AONB, ConFor, CLA, NFU, South West Water, Cornwall Association of Local Councils, and West Country Rivers Trust. The ambition of Forest for Cornwall, set out and led by Cornwall Council as a key part of it’s Carbon Neutral Action Plan, is to ensure that the woodlands created are best suited for the needs of communities in Cornwall. A mix of targeted tree and woodland planting will be carried out to achieve this, including: •

planting trees to provide shade in urban areas to help counter the high rates of skin cancer shown in the county

planting trees in areas of high deprivation to provide well-being benefits for local communities

enabling economic benefits for the county by developing well-designed woodlands of scale to encourage visitors

planting woodlands to enhance nature’s recovery and flood mitigation

Today’s announcement highlights the essential role that local authorities and their partners have to play in achieving the Government’s ambition to increase tree planting rates to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025. To meet this ambition, a locally led approach to tree and woodland creation is needed, and local partners are in a unique position to inform the delivery of tree planting on the ground. Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “This exciting new partnership in Cornwall emphasises the importance of working together and using a locally-led approach to help build back greener. “I am pleased to announce that through the government’s Nature for Climate Fund, trees will be planted where they are most needed, allowing more communities in Cornwall to have access to nature and in turn, to experience real benefits for health and wellbeing.” Forestry Commission Chair Sir William Worsley said: “Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. As the largest land managers in England and the government’s expert forestry advisors, we are excited to be part of this new pilot. This partnership will be crucial for deciding where trees need to be

planted in Cornwall to provide maximum benefits for people, climate and nature. Councillor Edwina Hannaford, portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods and Climate Change at Cornwall Council, said: “We are delighted that Defra is supporting our Forest for Cornwall Programme. “As part of our commitment to tackle climate change, we are working with partners to appropriately plant hundreds of thousands of trees in our beautiful county. This funding will enable us to support more landowners and land managers who want to plant trees in different areas. “In 2019 Cornwall Council issued a climate emergency and has set the ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2030. As it grows the Forest for Cornwall will help us towards reaching that goal and help us create a better, greener future for the next generation.” By growing, protecting and restoring our trees, forests and woodlands we can help reduce carbon emissions, encourage biodiversity and nature recovery, grow our sustainable timber market, and improve people’s health and wellbeing. Defra is committed to protecting and restoring our natural environment. This is part of a series of Nature for Climate Fund announcements this spring, leading up to the publication of the government’s action plan on trees, woodland and forestry. In recent months, the government has announced £12.1 million of investment for tree planting in Community Forests across the country, as well as a new £3.9 million pot to support innovative planting schemes in towns and cities and near rivers to reduce flood risk.

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| News

NEW HayBoss 7 Series Application Equipment fot the Massey large baler ayBoss is releasing the NEW 7 series system for the Massey large square baler. The 7 series bucks the normal trend of price increases for new products. There has been approximately a 15% reduction on list prices while improving the automatic applicators functions and quality over the previous 600 series. New star wheel moisture sensors built with sealed bearings while still being the market leader for moisture accuracy, range. The sensors pulse 10 volts between the 2 star wheels reading moisture through the entire width of the bale with no calibration required between crop types and densities. The 7 series utilises integrated encoders for monitoring the baling performance replaces the external proximity sensors of the previous 600 series. The pumping system is more responsive replacing 3 variable rate pumps with a single high-capacity bypass pump with twin pulsing solenoids for instant application rate changes. As the balers performance or the crop moisture changes the 7 series responds immediately controlling the correct amount of Baler’s Choice hay and straw preservative. Job records are now downloaded via the



Farming Monthly | April 2021

USB port located in the tractor cab IIC control unit. As with the previous 600 series the system still fully integrated to the Massey Ferguson large square baler electronically and mechanically. The HayBoss data is displayed via the baler’s terminal whether on the baler or Tractor ISO terminal. For those operators who require to see the full HayBoss data while baling utilising the new PRECISION BALING app for iOS or Android tablets. This new feature bringing Android tablets into the line-up provides a more cost-effective solution to adding an additional terminal. The ISO terminal displays the live and previous bale moisture along with preservative application rates. Adding a

second terminal increases the data, providing a live baling speed, time lapse moisture data and adjustment of settings on the go. The HayBoss range also includes systems for round and small square balers with simplified systems to suit a full range of budgets. Contacting you HayBoss specialist to work out the most suitable system for your specific needs.

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Vantage strengthens service backup with engineering expertise edicated to delivering up to date products and the best back up in the business, Vantage England & Wales have added a new installation & Service engineer to their team. Harry Hamer is the most recent addition and will be based in the North West of the companies trading area, England, and Wales. Joining the company from a CNH dealership, Harry is looking to apply his knowledge of modern machinery architecture and develop it further with Trimble solutions. “I have had an interest in agriculture and equipment from a young age which has seen me pursue a career in mechanical and electrical engineering. Joining the Vantage team will allow me to build on this with the added benefit of being exposed to all makes, models and types of machinery’. Harry’s family have been involved with Agriculture, which triggered a natural interest in the industry. After graduating from Reaseheath college with a distinction in Land Based Technology, Harry went on to operate equipment in the local farming community which included harvest/ cultivation work using GPS. Looking for a new challenge Harry then joined a CNH dealership where he witnessed first-hand diagnostics, service management, integration with implements and first-class customer service. “Having used the systems on farm and then supporting customers who use them, I can see the pitfalls in not being dedicated to a particular area of technology as there are so many variables. Joining Vantage allows me to focus on the technology side of


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Agriculture, which is what I enjoy, it will allow me to focus on delivering a solution for customers. Being able to provide support and back up on farm, by phone and remotely using the WIFI connectivity will be hugely satisfying, for both me and the customer”. Mark Griffiths, national sales manager at Vantage England and Wales, says ‘Harry’s appointment will help strengthen our customer promise regarding service. We support customers, dealers and OEMs to deliver the best technology, having people on the ground is key to support it on farm’. ‘Harry will be located in a key area of the UK helping us to cover challenging geography associated with the West such as North Wales and the Peak District, but with the benefit of travel links to service all of our customers. Having experienced our equipment on the

farm as a user and technician, we look forward to Harry helping our customers and increase their performance further than even they expected’.

| News

New mini robot could tackle farm labour shortages he availability of seasonal labour is of huge concern to vegetable and flower farmers - particularly given Brexit - but it could be a thing of the past thanks to an innovation from Kernow Robotics. Founded in 2019 by Ben Green, Kernow Robotics aims to ease pressures on seasonal labour by introducing selfdriving mini tractors to farms. Having gained experience of fruit picking robots when working with Fieldwork Robotics at the University of Plymouth, Mr Green saw potential to overcome the labour issue. “This pressure is unlikely to change so we started looking at using robots for tasks instead,” he says. With Brexit restricting availability of seasonal workers from abroad, labour shortages have been an ongoing trend, explains Mr Green. “I think Cornwall got 200 workers on the new seasonal worker scheme, which is enough for one daffodil farm – nowhere near the requirements.” However, the robot isn’t necessarily designed to replace jobs, but to supplement them. “For example, you wouldn’t pay someone to walk around a field scaring crows all day but with a


mobile robot there’s no cost.” Working with Agri-Tech Cornwall, Mr Green secured a £7,200 grant to create a self-driving agricultural robot. The first step in the design process was to create a mobile platform, known as a mini tractor. “On top of this will be tools, such as precision spraying and weeding options.” Mr Green hopes the first prototype will be up and running by the end of April, with the machine ready to hit the commercial market in three years, priced at a likely £10,000. “We are looking to form partnerships with local producers and key parties – not necessarily to sell the product but to work together while generating some interest about what the robots can do and set about solving some of these problems.” The mini tractor will have interchangeable tools and Mr Green plans to offer the whole service as a package, in which the farmer will contract the Kernow Robotics team to bring several of the robots to a field and oversee the process, without the farmer needing to be there or having to shell out for the robot itself. “Practices like ploughing are energy

intensive and you need a big tractor, but for precision spraying you can have a small robot driving over every row of vegetables with a camera that specifically identifies a weed and has a nozzle to spray it,” explains Mr Green. “Chemical usage could be cut down astronomically to more sustainable levels. That’s the exciting bit for us because we’re enabling brand new schools of thought on how we can approach these barriers that have always seemed insurmountable.” Beginning with local challenges, Kernow Robotics will focus on how the machines can help Cornish daffodil farmers before looking into options on livestock farms. “As we go forward, we will discover more uses for the machines; for livestock we have researched monitoring which could be used for calving or lambing. The robot will be able to identify when an animal is in labour and send a message to the farmer in case it needs assistance. “I’m really focussing on local problems and helping local farmers – I hope to make a real difference to the future of Cornish farming.”

FARMERS NEED TO GET THEIR AFFAIRS IN ORDER AFTER BREXIT CHANGES armers are being urged to ensure they have up-to-date succession plans in place following the start of the Agricultural Transition Plan which came into being after the UK’s departure from the EU. Tom Chiffers, from leading national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, says farmers have entered into a period of great change and need to be ready to deal with the consequences to avoid future costly disputes over succession. The government’s Agricultural Transition Plan (ATP) outlines a timescale to change the way farming is funded, managed and incentivised which will have a significant impact on the income of farms and the farming industry. Tom, a partner in Clarke Willmott’s Private Capital team, says that the support payments farmers currently receive in the form of BPS will start to be phased out from 2021, becoming delinked in 2024 and eventually getting replaced with a system which pays farmers for specific types of environmental land management. “All direct payments will be reduced progressively but with bigger reductions on the higher payment bands; operating much like income tax bands. For example, everyone will have a reduction of 5% on their first £30,000 of payments in 2021.


“The higher reduction rates will apply to those farms currently receiving larger direct payments. A farm receiving more than £150,000 will see a 25% reduction in 2021 followed by 40%, 55% and 70% reductions in the subsequent scheme years with the last of the direct payments being made in 2027. “Meanwhile the direct payments will be replaced by a new universally accessible Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, that will reward farmers, growers and land managers for delivering public goods, with an anticipated 50-60% drop in funding in real terms by 2030. “Defra is also offering a lump sum exit scheme from 2022 to help farmers who wish to retire in place of any further BPS and delinked payments enabling them to capitalise the future stream of direct payment income that would otherwise be available until 2027. “Whilst there is still much uncertainty and lack of clarity as to what the new payment schemes will look like, there is an expectation there will be a significant drop in funding for all farmers at the end of the transition plan in 2027.” “In addition to the ATP, the government has also been applying greater scrutiny to both inheritance tax and capital gains tax and given its current pandemic spending, there are concerns that the generous inheritance tax reliefs currently available to farmers in the form of Business Property Relief and Agricultural

Property Relief could be cut or even abolished to help pay for the furlough scheme and other COVID-19 support schemes. The government may announce their future plans for changes to the inheritance and capital gains tax regime as part of their post budget announcements on 23 March. All of this means that farmers need to be in a state of financial and legal preparedness with a robust succession plan in place which should include the right kind of will.” Clarke Willmott has recently launched its #GoodWill campaign which aims to encourage people to take steps to safeguard their family’s future wealth by pledging that they will make a will this year. The firm has developed a free, online ‘Which Will?’ tool to help people that prompts the user to think about what is important to them when making a will and recommends which will best meets their needs. Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton. It is also the NFU legal panel firm for Dorset, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. For further information contact or visit

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| News

UK’s biggest ever farmland bird count shows farmers committing to conservation articipation in an annual nationwide survey of farmland birds has more than doubled. Britain’s farmers and gamekeepers have shown their long-term commitment to conservation alongside productive land-use by completing this year’s GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count in record numbers.


The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Dr Roger Draycott, who organised the count, said “We could not be more delighted with the response to this year’s GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count. Despite much of the country being blanketed in snow during the count (5-21 February) participation has shot up, with 2,500 counts returned, representing a 65% increase in the number of counts submitted compared to 2020, which was also a record year. The land area covered by the count has more than doubled to over a million hectares and 81% more birds have been counted this year by more than 700 additional volunteers. “All of this helps us to build a detailed national picture of the state of Britain’s farmland birds, allowing us to better understand what is really going on in our countryside. It clearly shows that farmers, land managers and gamekeepers care for the land they work and, given that they look after 71% of all the land in the UK, that is extremely good news for the future of our treasured bird species. “We would like to thank everyone who took part for demonstrating that land managers can lead the way in protecting our countryside alongside effective food production.” The 2021 GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count has shown some encouraging results. A total of 25 species from the Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern were recorded in this year’s 12 |

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count, with 8 appearing in the 25 most frequently seen species list. Of these, Starlings, Fieldfare, Lapwing and Linnet were the four most abundant red-listed species recorded, with over 112,000 spotted in total, which equates to 22% of all the birds counted. The five most abundant birds counted were woodpigeons, starling, rooks, fieldfare and chaffinch. A total of 190,000 were seen, making up over 37% of the total number of birds recorded.

The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count asks land managers to spend 30 minutes recording the bird species they see on their land as part of an annual nationwide survey which helps to identify any species which are struggling. The count is a simple way for farmers and gamekeepers to assess the natural capital on farm, an increasing requirement under the government’s Environmental Land Management scheme, and to chart the effects of any conservation they carry out. Completing it year after year can help to establish the bio-diversity gains from long-term conservation efforts. The scheme was launched in 2014 to highlight the positive work done by farmers and gamekeepers in helping to reverse the decline in farmland birds. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has sponsored the count for the last three

years. NFU President Minette Batters said: “These results are tremendous and I would like to thank all those farmers who responded to this year’s count in record numbers despite the wintry weather back in February. It’s great too that so many different threatened species were spotted such as Lapwing and Linnet. “British farmers are proud to produce your food and it is often unappreciated that they also provide habitats for wildlife and additional feeding for farmland birds during the winter months. The Big Farmland Bird Count is always a fantastic way for farmers to record the birdlife found on their farms and why I am really pleased that the NFU could sponsor this year’s count once again.” Land managers from around the UK took part in the 2021 count. Surveys were undertaken in every county of England and across much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with Norfolk topping the leader board with 189 submissions and Lincolnshire in second place with 131. Participation rates increased in England, Wales and Scotland. Word of the scheme had also spread beyond the UK’s shores, with surveys coming in from a number of farmers in Austria. The average farm size of those taking part was 1,027 acres. 48% of participants were in agri-environment schemes, demonstrating their long-term commitment to environmental management. 39% provide some form of extra support for birds, through growing bird seed mixes or by winter feeding. The GWCT would like to thank the NFU for sponsoring the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count, which it delivered in partnership with the CLA, FUW (Farmers Union of Wales), Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), Kings, CFE, the FWAG Association, National Sheep Association, Camgrain and LEAF.

| News

Staying sunny side-up: Farmlay continues to put its eggs in Aldi's basket


runch enthusiasts continue to enjoy a full range of 100% Scottish hens eggs at Aldi thanks to cracking success with Aberdeenshire-based supplier, Farmlay.

Now one of the largest egg production units in Scotland, the family business started rearing poultry on a farm in 1946. Farmlay then went on to specialise in eggs in the 1970s, and now packs almost 5 million eggs of the highest quality each week. Farmlay's Robert Chapman says the secret to their eggs is having happy hens. The business is devoted to the highest levels of bird welfare and ensures it provides the best conditions for its almost-one-million hens. Farmlay, run by husband-and-wife team Robert and Ethel Chapman along with their son Iain, has supplied Aldi with its finest quality Scottish eggs since 2010 as part of the supermarket's ongoing commitment to championing Scottish produce. Farmlay has continued to enjoy success over the years thanks to this strong partnership and is Aldi's sole

supplier of Scottish eggs, currently sending almost 2 million eggs to Aldi stores in Scotland each week. Now in its third generation of familyownership, Farmlay manages each stage of the production process and even uses its own transport fleet to ensure safe delivery. It works with 23 contract producers and is committed to making sure each egg is enjoyed as fresh as it possibly can be. Robert Chapman, Managing Director of Farmlay, commented: "We are a proud Scottish company and it has always been clear that Aldi echo our beliefs in championing the best produce that Scotland has to offer. It was definitely one of the main attractions to working with Aldi. "Their support has been key for our growth over the years, and I am very proud that we are still their sole egg supplier in Scotland. We are so pleased that our delicious eggs are available for customers across the country to enjoy at a fair price."

Farmlay supplies Aldi with its full everyday range of 100% Scottish eggs, which include Free Range, Golden and Organic. Together with Aldi, it is now working to refurbish its barns to coincide with Aldi's commitment to be 100% cagefree across all their shell eggs and egg ingredients in products by 2025, due to this commitment, Aldi was awarded the 'Good Egg Award' for Compassion in World Farming in 2020. Graham Nicolson, Group Buying Director, Aldi Scotland, said: "I am extremely proud of our long partnership with Farmlay, which epitomises the kind of companies that Aldi is keen to support – those that produce top quality Scottish produce. I look forward to a long future of working with Robert and his brilliant team." The full range of Farmlay's 100% Scottish eggs are on sale at all 96 Aldi stores as part of their everyday range. You can find your nearest Aldi store here.

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Farming Monthly | April 2021

April 2021 |

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| On Topic

What is Regenuary: a gu I

| On Topic

uide to the latest eco-initiative

Grafton Flock's Owner, Karen Green, tells her inspiring story, on how she became a successful sheep farmer, after years of specialising in horses.

am Karen, a first-generation farmer and originally a townie from Yorkshire! I relocated to Warwickshire in 2011 and having always had horses, I decided that after my last mare passed away, I needed to take a break from them. Having been offered some grazing to manage, I thought about how to utilise the land and what to graze on it. At that point, I decided my new vocation in life would be sheep! Having no knowledge of sheep farming, in June 2018, I had my first experience of them at the local livestock market in Stratford. Two, skinny, young ewes with new lambs at foot, in the very last pen caught my eye. I bought them along with five store lambs: that was the start of what would become the ‘Grafton Flock’. However, nine sheep wasn't enough! I regularly attended the market and made friends with the local farmers, learning and observing as I went along. I managed to acquire another three 18 |

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Cheviot ewes (the most mismatched flock ever) and in November that year- with help from a great friend and sheep guru- I borrowed one of his Charollais ram lambs and let him work his magic. Fast forward to spring and my first lambing season begun! I enjoyed it so much and it reinforced my passion for sheep farming. The lambs were finished a little too slowly, but it was a huge learning curve for me. The following year, with the same flock of ewes, I fed ad-lib creep and they were finished by 12 weeks onwards The downside to this was that it was costly, and I didn’t feel it was the direction I wanted to be taking the flock in. I was also struggling with limited grassland and couldn't expand: the sheep were grazing selectively and not clearing up the ground efficiently. Having reviewed my farming practices, I decided that I needed to change direction to achieve my goals. I wanted to focus on the land, the soil and grazing more productively. I did some research and

learned more about different grazing options. I switched to rotational grazing in August 2020 and immediately saw a positive in that the grass was utilised far more efficiently, the ewes were not selectively grazing, and I could grow more grass. This meant that the same area would allow a higher stocking rate, whilst improving the grass and soil structure. It was a win/win situation and I have not looked back since, but I still continue to learn and adapt the system to suit the land and livestock. An opportunity then arose with some ‘High Level Stewardship’ grazing locally which I took up. The rotational grazing suited the land as it meant that I could utilise the sheep to meet the aims and objectives of the landowner, and also grow more grass which resulted in increased stocking rates. I started with three acres of rented permanent pasture in 2018, and through building good relationships with landowners and managing the grazing well with what I have had, I hope to have over 100 acres of grazing available by summer 2021. This will include building for lambing and storage of hay and straw. As I’m currently running at just under 100 ewes, this means that the flock has the potential to expand to 200 ewes by the end of the year. In 2020, I purchased some Pedigree Southdown ewe lambs. Then came the arrival of

Suffolk ewes and a tup. The focus is now on the original flock being phased out over time and being replaced by Suffolks - the Southdowns will be a smaller side-line with a focus on breeding stock to sell on. Having the additional grazing has also provided other opportunities, such as offering B&B grazing for other farmers who want to send ewe lambs away pre-tupping. Again, in providing an opportunity to build my flock through trading relationships like this one, grazing in return for ewes means that I have a good working knowledge of any replacements coming into the flock, with a high health status. This minimises the chances of buyingin problems from ewes with no known history. Alongside the growth of the grazing and the flock, I looked at what I wanted to offer to the consumer. My lambs are bred for meat. However, I wanted more control over the end product. Hence Grafton Lamb was born focussing on high welfare, pasture-fed lamb with provenance, low food miles and a low carbon output. I have also embraced the idea of social media in promoting my story and providing a showcase for the Grafton Flock. If nothing else, my journey proves that there are opportunities for first-generation farmers. It has been a huge struggle at times trying to juggle lambing, lockdowns, homeschooling and shepherding on my own but absolutely worth the perseverance. I hope my story will encourage other ladies with an ambition to go for it: it may take time, but you will achieve it if you work for it! Follow Karen on Instagram: @grafton_flock

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| Arable

Green fertiliser is the latest drive in sustainability from Yara s one of the global leaders in fertiliser products and crop nutrition expertise, Yara have championed the need for greater sustainability and a carbon-neutral food chain. In recent years, numerous projects have launched in order to make that a reality. Their latest, a heavy investment in "green ammonia" production that makes use of renewable energy sources, is the latest in a long line of such initiatives.


What is green ammonia? "Fighting climate change is crucial for all of us," says Anke Kwast, Vice-President of Yara's Climate Neutrality Roadmap. "For Yara, the ambition is to become climate-neutral by 2050 for our own production, and actively contribute to carbon neutrality for the whole food chain. This is a vital mission for agriculture, and all industry players need to see what they can contribute." Unlike "brown" ammonia, which is made

using fossil fuels, green ammonia can be obtained via water electrolysis and nitrogen from the air. This process can be powered by renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and tidal energy. Why does this matter? Because ammonia does not release any carbon emissions if used as fuel. Ammonia also accounts for an annual production volume of over 180 million tonnes, mostly for the agriculture sector. "Speaking globally, agriculture accounts for about 25% of all emissions," says Anke. "Crop production accounts for another quarter of that figure. There is no one big solution to climate change but making significant changes from different angles, including green production of ammonia, will have a tangible impact." Currently this process is more expensive. However, Anke is keen to stress that prices will balance as the wider value chain gets on board with more sustainable practices. This is also

far from Yara's only initiative – they have recently been heavily involved in developing digital farming tools that improve nitrogen use efficiency and launching Action Africa, a project to supply and support 250,000 farmers across East Africa. "It's not just the right thing to do," says Eva Ross, Strategic Marketing Manager for Yara UK & Ireland. "Once we all work together – with full traceability and transparency – sustainability can be a big opportunity for those in food production. It's where a lot of business opportunities will exist in the future." A more sustainable future For their part, Yara has big plans for sustainability within agriculture and want to play a key role in leading the way towards a green future for all. "We want to contribute," adds Eva. "We mean it when we say that we want to remove hunger and improve food production. There is so much potential in seeking a way forward for everybody."

Kent farmers urged to share their views on environment schemes he survey run by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is looking for arable farmers to share their views on how agrienvironment schemes can benefit them and their local wildlife. It's hoped that farmers across Kent will complete the survey, with findings being presented to Natural England.


The survey is quick, anonymous and gives you the chance to share your 20 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

views about the type of measures you would like to see funded, your impression of the inspection process, lengths of contracts and much more. One lucky participant will also win 20 kg of the seed mixtures and everyone who takes part will receive a summary of the findings. At the GWCT, Dr Julie Ewald is leading the survey. She says: “For the sake of 20 minutes, you can get your opinion in front of those making the decisions that

will shape the future of farming subsidies. We know that for any system to succeed, it needs to work for farmers, and we want to make that happen. Kent has a proud farming tradition and we'd love to hear what you have to say” The survey runs until 1 May and organisers hope the hear from 1,000 arable farmers. You can complete the survey at

| Arable

Contact your nearest dealer: Agratech NW Ltd Unit 8 Dale Mill Burnley Road East Lancashire BB4 9HU 01706 211399

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Arable

PGRO TRIALS REVEAL SEAWEED-BASED BIOSTIMULANT INCREASES PEA YIELD ield trials of 13 biostimulants on a crop of Combining Peas have shown that a seaweedbased product delivered a several benefits, including increased yield.


Undertaken by the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO), the UK's centre of excellence for peas and beans, the trial results show that the use of Algifol delivered the highest yield. The seaweed-based biostimulant, which is marketed in the UK by MJP Supplies, produced an almost 3% increase in yield (2.94%) compared to the untreated crop. Aligfol was 11.3% better than the worst performing biostimulant, which actually reduced yield by nearly 3% (2.94%). The report also shows that the presence of foot rot infection was lower in the sample crop treated by Algifol compared to the control crop (0.6 and 0.7, respectively) Manufactured in Germany by NeoMedPharma, Algifol contains significant levels of trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, polyuronides and growth-regulating plant hormones. "The field trials were undertaken in

PICO has appointed Matthew Ashton as Maschio Territory Manager to cover Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, adding strength to the Maschio Gaspardo sales team.


A farmer’s son, Matthew joins OPICO with a strong agricultural background having studied agricultural engineering at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, before working for a series of agricultural dealers as both a demonstrator and salesman. Matthew is also a keen sportsman having only recently retired from club rugby. Commenting, Charles Bedforth, OPICO UK Sales Director said, ‘Matthew’s background in farming and his enthusiasm for the role make an exciting combination. We’re pleased to have him on board.’

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Farming Monthly | April 2021

Lincolnshire in 2020, following one of the wettest periods on record. The field had not recovered from the dreadful weather in 2019 and it was difficult for the grower to establish a good seed bed," says Marcus Palmer, director of MJP Supplies. "Despite the conditions, Algifol delivered several marginal gains, and in today's economic climate, these small improvements can make a big difference to profit levels and return on investment." The PGRO results show that Algifol generated 3.84 tonnes per hectare compared to 3.73 tonnes per hectare of untreated peas. Marcus predicts that this increase of almost 3% in yield (2.94%) could be worth as much as £40 per hectare to a grower. With the farming community increasingly interested in natural fertilisers and stimulants, Marcus believes it is interesting that the PGRO trial shows that ten of the biostimulants performed worse than the control crop. "The Government is very keen for pesticides that can harm the environment to be removed, which is driving an interest in biostimulants," says Marcus. "The results of these trials are quite worrying as they indicate that quite a few biostimulants can have a negative effect on crop health and yield. Thankfully, this is not the case with Algifol, which has increased the yield.

On his new appointment Matthew said, ‘I’ve followed the OPICO brands for a while and I’ve sold the Maschio brand with my dealer hat on. This opportunity was too good to ignore. It felt the right time for me to move from a dealer to a machinery distributor and I am looking forward to my new role.’ Since joining OPICO, Matthew has been fully immersed in product sales training with Dominic Burt, Maschio Gaspardo’s recently appointed Product Manager.

"Every farmer is trying to increase their return on investment, and it's very pleasing to see that this field trial shows that Algifol will more than pay for itself if an application delivers a 3% increase in yield. "There is also the added benefit of Algifol being more concentrated than other biostimulants. This means you can apply less, and we have reduced the amount of packaging in which Algifol is supplied." As well as having a yield-enhancing effect, NeoMed-Pharma says its biostimulant also helps lower the crop's carbon footprint by improving fertiliser uptake through better rooting and improved photosynthesis, thus reducing leaching and losses to the atmosphere. Algifol can be used on all crop types, with MJP Supplies recommending a one litre per hectare rate of application via a knapsack, trailed or mounted sprayer. The product can be applied alongside most crop protection products. For more information about Algifol or to make a purchase, with a one litre can costing just £21.99+VAT, visit, call 07702 293 727 or email

Matthew will be based from home near Holbeach, Lincolnshire and his contact details are: M | 07860 335228, E |

| Arable

ADM Agriculture Wheat and Oilseed Rape Market Report A

s wheat prices come under pressure and fundamentals remain weak, the market will need a catalyst to spark a turnaround in sentiment.

Market longs are staring at a huge old/ new crop inverse in prices. Given the size of the US carry and increasing freight rates, US prices are not enticing buyers, particularly as key international buyers’ own domestic harvests are only a matter of weeks away.

with traders exporting 13.9mln t of wheat, 14.9mln t of corn, and 4mln t of barley. Egypt purchased 360,000t of Romanian wheat in its recent tender, with offers oversubscribed, as traders believed this could be the country’s final tender for this season. Egypt expects to procure 3.5mln t of

wheat from local farmers when the harvest starts mid-April, with current strategic stocks standing at a four- to five-month supply. China sold 2.26mln t of wheat last week at an auction of state reserves, continuing the strong demand from the feed sector, which is using the grain to replace pricey corn.

US wheat prices have traded down a further $4-5/t over the past week due to the current sluggish sentiment and an improving new crop outlook. EU and UK prices have followed the global downward trend, losing €6/t and £5/t respectively. Spring sowing has commenced in the northern hemisphere, under mostly favourable conditions. Weather will now take greater importance as US plantings begin. The EU’s crop monitoring unit MARS reported winter grain crops in the EU are entering spring in fairly good condition and yields should rebound in 2021. Spring sowings are making good progress in Western Europe, particularly in France and Germany, both key producers. However, a drop in the planted area is expected from last season’s unusually high levels. Most regions in Ukraine will have optimal soil moisture reserves and near-ideal conditions for the start of spring sowing over the next few weeks. Australian farmers are scouring the market for crop-planting machinery, with many betting on back-on-back bumper harvests, buoyed by good moisture levels in the main growing areas. There have been some rumours that the Russian government is prepared to stop interfering in the regulation of grain exports when the market stabilises and will consider various other approaches to secure domestic supplies. Looking at more immediate events, Ukraine’s grain exports have fallen 23% so far this season to 33.4mln t,

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Potatoes & Root crops

Potato growers prepare for yet more difficult harvests


cotts report a significant surge in Windrower kits and “Retro fit” Evolution separator sales.

With the potato industry having to adapt to a host of market changes and an increasingly changing weather pattern, potato growers have been looking seriously at their wet weather harvesting capacity.

“Over the last 8 years or so we have seen an increasing number of growers leaving crop in the field and at times here in Lincolnshire as much as 50%. Almost all growers have lost some crop over the last decade due to adverse weather now being the norm. Having been in the industry for almost 40 years working with relatively basic harvesting machinery compared to these days, I am staggered that we seem to have gone backwards in managing our potato lifting. Of course the weather is the primary factor, and most of all the relentless topping up of 24 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

rain in already saturated fields. Whilst we cannot control this, we can prepare better for future harvests both in the field and store. Increasing lifting capacity is an obvious one with many more of the larger growers now adopting self propelled harvesters and more recently the addition of windrowers. The latter providing a significant benefit when opening out fields in wet conditions”

The latest Grimme GT170 extended cross conveyor conversion allows up to 8 rows to be gently lifted and deposited into adjacent rows without moving the crop twice, creating plenty of space for the following harvester and trailers to operate without fear of “nipping” the unlifted rows and eliminating the need for an opening out trailer with narrow wheels, It is universally accepted now that windrowing correctly will reduce damage overall (by filling the sieving webs and reducing roll back). Furthermore the windrower generally lifts more crop per day than the harvester, for 2 main reasons. The

windrower never has to wait for trailers to be in position and can start sooner in the day to create an opening yet only needs to be a few yards ahead at the end of the lifting period. Off the back of another challenging lifting season there has been a real surge towards upgrading in-store equipment too with a distinct focus on better cleaning. “We think there is a 2 fold driver behind this. In the first part its really about dealing with high soil and clod content, inevitable when we are lifting in extreme conditions but Its also about those marginal days where lifting is going reasonably well but you might be only performing at 70 or 80% of capacity from the grader. Our customers are asking for the ultimate in cleaning systems to make every day as close to 100% efficient as possible. These days we fit much larger systems in graders with 6 and 8 rows common place and the occasional 10 row where space allows. We offer a full turn key solution ourselves here in Boston and through our dealer network. The investment cost of a high performance cleaning system compared to the value of crop in the ground negligible. Yet quite possible the most important part of the chain and certainly the most labour saving and definitely worth some consideration” Scotts Precision Manufacturing Ltd can be contacted anytime; Office 01205 270 128 Email

| Potatoes & Root crops

New Quantis gives relief to heat-stressed potatoes


yngenta has launched its first biostimulant in potatoes, Quantis, that has shown to effectively help crops cope with the impacts of heat stress.

Following the UK’s most extensive research field trial of a biostimulant, analysis of the huge data resource has revealed significantly increased yield for crops that had been under prolonged or extreme heat stress. The results indicate that Quantis can have an important role in potato agronomy programmes from tuber initiation, through the crop bulking phase. Its value is even more apparent with the increasing incidence and severity of heat events in the UK, reported Syngenta Head of Technical, Dave King. Quantis delivers a readily available blend of organic carbon, amino acids, potassium and calcium that supplement the plant’s own molecular cell function, he pointed out. “Acting directly as an anti-oxidant it can help to counter reactive oxygen species (ROS - free radicals) that can cause significant damage, particularly within the foliage if leaves get too hot,” advised Mr King. “It is believed to activate and enhance the potato plant’s natural capability to adapt to heat stress, to prevent damage.” He explained that the strength of Quantis lies in its relatively high proportion of short chain carbon molecules, which are particularly effective at helping the plant to prevent the creation of ROS during periods of stress. Furthermore, it helps with the

scavenging of accumulated ROS, to minimise their adverse effects. “By filling the organic carbon gap when a plant comes under stress it can act to minimise its effects,” he advised. Quantis also contains a level of amino acids that can help to protect plant structures from nitrogen and protein degradation when under stress. Furthermore, Quantis also provides osmoprotectant regulators to help plants manage cell osmosis, which could help contribute to the heat stress mitigation. Whilst other biostimulants, typically with higher amino acid content, may have an earlier role for plant development, the greater understanding of how Quantis works has highlighted its position for stress prevention through the season, he advocated. The highest returns in tuber yields were generated from three applications of Quantis at 2.0 l/ha, applied from tuber initiation through the bulking phase. Application trials had shown it was fully compatible for tank mixing with all the blight fungicides tested.

Reporting results of the extensive Quantis trials last season, Mr King outlined that of the 32 sites experiencing conditions of greater than 25⁰C for more than four hours through the application window, yields were an average 2.2 t/ha greater. The 14 sites that experienced a heat event in excess of 30⁰C over that period recorded an average 1.9 t/ha

yield increase. In previous years of Quantis trials, the greatest effects on yield and tuber size were recorded in 2018, which coincided with an extremely hot and stressful growing season, he recalled. “It was notable from in season assessments that effects were apparent in the second phase of tuber bulking, when the crop came under extreme stress.” Reviewing historic weather has shown the variability in heat events from season to season and location, but at some stage most crops will be subject to some effects, he warned. Furthermore, as climatic conditions have changed over recent years, extreme and prolonged heat periods are becoming more frequent Continued Syngenta field research in 2021 will look at refining application timings, he reported. More controlled trials will also seek to tease out differences between varieties and other variables, such as irrigation and crop duration. Syngenta’s New Farming Technologies team is pioneering predictive heat forecasting models, with the aim to identify potential for precision targeting of applications prior to stress periods in the potato growing season, along with some other crops. New Syngenta research funded at Nottingham University will also lead an in-depth investigation into how Quantis is working to alleviate heat stress and drought effects within potato plants. Quantis will be available for use in the 2021 season. April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Potatoes & Root crops

A new vision for high quality onion sorting at Elveden

turnkey optical onion sorting line featuring a collaboration between UK vegetable handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering, and French machinery manufacturer MAF Agrobotic, has enabled leading UK vegetable producer Elveden Farms Ltd to minimise labour requirements whilst increasing capacity and yield across its onion processing operations.

within a complete Tong line. Working closely on the project with Tong and MAF for almost 2 years, performing many tests with Elveden onions, it was clear that the turnkey optical sorting solution they could offer was going to be the best. We were very impressed by the scale of MAF Agrobotic expertise and development resources which provided confidence that the bespoke solution would fulfil our current and future requirements.”

Based on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, Elveden Farms markets over 45,000 tonnes of onions each year to the supermarket, wholesale and processing sectors, handling up to 300 tons of onions per day.

The new optical sorting line at Elveden features custom built infeed equipment from Tong, with a focus on effective topping of onions to ensure the best presentation of crop to the MAF sorter, for optimum sizing and defect sorting. For maximum flexibility, the Tong design includes both conventional fan topping alongside scroll topping equipment with bypass options. Once the onions have been received and topped, MAF’s flagship optical sorting machine, the Pomone, weight-grades crop as well as externally and internally sorting. The 10lane model of the Pomone is capable of sorting over 30 tons of onions per hour at an average onion weight of 130 grams.


Andrew Francis, Farms Director at Elveden Farms explained; “Our requirements for the new optical sorting line were very specific. We employed an independent, specialist consultant to research the market and determine the optical sorting machine that would provide the highest quality results on our onion crop. As the UK distributor of MAF Agrobotic equipment, Tong presented the optical sorting capabilities of MAF, which could be integrated

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The proven MAF Pomone sorter features high-performance optical sorting technology. The G7 is MAF’s exclusive LED external optical sorting system, which uses cutting-edge imagery to detect any blemishes or defects to the onion’s skin finish. Its ability to identify blemishes on both white and red onions is a unique, unrivalled attribute of the MAF Pomone. In addition, highly efficient artificial intelligence algorithms can be used to allow the G7 technology to progressively learn defect specifications for even better categorisation. The G7 camera system rapidly captures multiple images of each onion, enabling extremely accurate and consistent external sorting. This, coupled with accurate size grading ensures nearperfect sizing of crop. Even more impressive are the internal defect detection capabilities of the MAFdesigned and patented IDD8 internal defect technology (previously IDD4). The IDD8 detection system effectively identifies internal defects within the onions including accurate detection of translucents, base rot, neck rot, fusarium rotten core and several other internal issues. Any internal defects

| Potatoes & Root crops visible with standard optical vision,” explains Charlie Rich, Sales Manager at Tong Engineering. “Our long-standing relationship with MAF allowed us to work in close partnership to design and manufacture a completely bespoke optical sorting facility for Elveden. It incorporates state-of-the-art handling technology to ensure the most advanced and automated processing, with minimal labour requirements.”

In addition to this advanced MAFexclusive internal and external optical sorting technology, the MAF Pomone also uses Insight 2, which is a halogen, near infra-red optical sorting system like those more commonly known and utilised throughout the industry.

Of the new optical sorting solution at Elveden Farms, Andrew added, “We have significantly reduced the number of inspection staff required to process our onion crop, so much so that for some customers we are able to process their onions without any inspection staff on the line. The MAF sorter has noticeably increased our throughput and our yield of saleable onions. We are now able to sort crop so effectively that we are often saving good onions that may have previously gone to waste. This means we are utilising our crop more efficiently than ever before, knowing that the right crop is directed to the right outlet for sale.”

“The unique MAF external, and particularly internal optical defect technology sets the MAF Pomone sorter apart from other optical sorters on the market, detecting defects that are not

MAF Agrobotic export sales manager, Vincent Boulbes confirmed how pleased the team at MAF have been to see the optical sorting project at Elveden come to fruition. “We are delighted that

within the load are easily recorded and directed to the correct outlet. The new and advanced IDD8 is very easy to use and is managed from a user-friendly interface connected to MAF Ophea software, which is seamlessly integrated with Elveden’s ERP system for detailed data management.

Elveden chose the optical sorting solution from MAF and Tong. Elveden’s independent consultants evaluated all options for onion grading currently available on the market and identified MAF as the best supplier for a robust and reliable optical solution that offers superior inspection of crop that meets the high standards of UK retailers. The intense development work that our team of engineers have dedicated to ensuring highly effective onion quality sorting has really paid off.” The MAF management team are also very proud of the latest onion installation. Fabrice Blanc, MAF Agrobotic General Manager and Director of MAF South Africa, has acknowledged MAF’s commitment to continuous development of their onion grading capabilities. “We are very grateful to the team at Elveden for their involvement in the project. We worked closely together to identify the capabilities of the MAF optical sorter on onions. MAF considers the trust and close relationship we have developed with Elveden very highly. With a focus on innovation and reliability, MAF will continue to develop new solutions in onion grading for the highest standard optical grading. MAF’s success with Tong in the UK will help to lead the way in expanding this market throughout the world including in the USA, Europe and South Africa, where I work closely.”

Liquid fertiliser offers sustainable choice for potato growers recent trial in potatoes has shown that using smart liquid fertilisers can significantly reduce the amount of phosphate required to generate one tonne of yield when compared to traditional granular fertilisers.


Carl Gibbard, Agro-Vital technical manager, explains this insight could pay dividends as growers plan their crop nutrition programme for the upcoming season and seek more environmentally sustainable products. “The healthy establishment of potatoes has significant effects on the final yield a grower can achieve. Therefore, delivering the right nutrients to the plant at the right time, particularly phosphate, is incredibly important for the success of a potato crop,” says Carl. “Our 2020 trials, carried out in collaboration with Oxford Agricultural Trials (OAT), looked at exactly this – the efficiency of P-Focus, an NPK liquid fertiliser, against a farm-standard triple

super phosphate (TSP) measuring yield repone and quality of Maris Piper potatoes.” The trial results showed no significant difference in yields from the plots grown with the farm standard TSP and the liquid fertiliser when applied at planting, but the total amount of phosphate used to generate each tonne of potatoes was drastically reduced when using the liquid starter fertiliser. “In the farm-standard TSP plots, 3.56 kg/ha of P2O5 was required for each tonne of yield. Whereas the potatoes grown with P-Focus liquid fertiliser only needed 0.28 k/ha of P2O5 per tonne of yield which shows a significant reduction,” explains Carl. “This difference highlights a reduced need for high volume applications of fertilisers which can help growers to save both time and money. “Choosing effective and more sustainable fertilisers for crop nutrition is

going to be a really important consideration for growers over the next few years particularly in light of ELMs and rising input prices. “Having options such as P-Focus on the market will be invaluable for growers in order to combat the day-to-day farm pressures they face and will allow farmers to adopt a more sustainable approach to farming while still producing a high yielding, quality crop,” he concludes. April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Potatoes & Root crops


hile an official opening might not be possible, the team at GRIMME UK's new £3m depot have still found a way to celebrate supplying the 2000th GRIMME destoner to one of the country's leading vegetable growers.


A month after moving into the Market Weighton depot, GRIMME UK has supplied a milestone CS 150 CombiStar separator to one of Yorkshire's largest root vegetable growers.

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The CS 150 Combi-Star, which features a unique mix of star rollers and main webs to deliver excellent stone and clod separation, was sold to MH Poskitt and was the first separator to be received by GRIMME UK at its new 15,000 square feet depot. Like all of GRIMME's machinery, the CS 150 Combi-Star was manufactured in Germany but received by the team at Market Weighton for pre-delivery inspection and customising to MH Poskitt's exact requirements.

Poskitt's, which grows, washes, packs, and distributes carrots, potatoes, swedes, parsnips and pumpkin for supermarkets, will use the de-stoner on its Yorkshire farms. "It's fitting that this milestone machine should be the first separator to leave our new Market Weighton depot," says Patrick Graf Grote, Managing Director at GRIMME UK. "It was a real surprise to us all to see that the serial number indicated that this was the 2,000th CS 150 Combi-Star to be manufactured,

| Potatoes & Root crops


and it is great to see it going to one of the UK's leading vegetable growers and a long-standing local customer for GRIMME UK." The CS 150 Combi-Star offers 25% more sieving capacity than traditional systems due to the highly efficient and powerful patented RotaPower shaft, which crumbles the compacted soil and prepares it for increased sieving. The RotaPower shaft also significantly reduces the wear and tear of the star rollers and main web. GRIMME has also incorporated a robust V-belt drive into the CS 150 Combi-Star to ensure low maintenance costs. "We have some very stony and cloddy fields in Yorkshire, so wanted a machine that could perform well. We already own six GRIMME de-stoners and they never let us down, that's why we went for GRIMME's CS 150 Combi-Star," says James Bramley, Farm Manager Vegetables. "As always, GRIMME UK has customised the machine to suit our exact needs, and now they are just down the road it will be very easy for us to have the machine serviced and to get hold of spare parts when we need them.

The fact our machine is the two-thousandth one to be manufactured shows what a great piece of kit the CS 150 is!" GRIMME UK relocated to the Market Weighton site in the middle of February, following 11 years in Dunnington, near York. A significant increase in both the size of the GRIMME UK team and the number of customers the company is supporting, combined with the need to hold more stock and have space to work on larger machines, meant the company simply ran out of room. "Our new purpose-built, state-of-the-art depot means we can carry probably the largest stock of replacement webs in the North of the country. We can also easily undertake servicing and repairs on

machines of all sizes - from the smallest to the largest. And, when circumstances allow, we will be able to welcome groups for operator training and refresher courses on our machines," adds Patrick. For more information about GRIMME UK, the CS 150 Combi-Star and the broader range of vegetable harvesting machinery, please visit

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Grain

What do you look for in your chosen grain handling, drying and storage manufacturer?

Is it a company that has been a specialist in grain handling for 70+ years so fully understands your needs? Is it a company that understands the importance of specifying machines that are built to last multiple harvests and not just ones that meet your budget but then need replacing very quickly? Is it a company that’s fully based in the UK with a decent level of spares and stock so can respond quickly when needed? erry of Oakley Ltd. specialise in manufacturing a full range of handling, drying and storage to meet all requirements from smaller farms through to large grain stores.


To meet a range of needs there are two drier models available: the entry level “Mistral” and the top specification “Savannah” series. Both driers have Perry’s own advanced touch screen PLC panel, which can be linked to any smart phone for full control of the drier from any location. Perry also provide fire detection systems that can be retro-fitted to any make of drier, giving you vital early warning of fire helping you reduce the damage to the drier and surrounding plant. The system can be stand alone or integrated into your control panel. 30 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

Then Perry of Oakley Ltd. tick all of those boxes. We have numerous stories of Perry manufactured machines from the 1960s that are still in active use and we still provide spares for. We often do rapid turnaround on breakdowns even on Sundays if that’s what is needed to keep our customers going. We even offer a 10 year guarantee on our up to 60tph agricultural range of machines against trough perforation because we know we build them to last.

In the handling range, Perry manufacture and supply a full range of handling equipment including chain & flight conveyors, aspirator pre-cleaners, belt & bucket elevators, belt conveyors, U-trough and tubular screw conveyors, which come in three different performance levels: industrial (1501000tph), light industrial (60-150tph) & agricultural (8-60tph). The extensive silo range includes flat bottom & hopper bottom silos from 3m to 32m; storage capacities from 27m³ to 26,000m³. The silos are manufactured on state of the art equipment and can be specified to meet either ANSI or Eurocode standards. Perry regularly handle jobs as small as a single conveyor up to full greenfield plants by working with an extensive range of dealers throughout the UK.

The Perry sales and technical support team have over 450 years of industry knowledge. That combined with their 70 years experience in manufacturing of handling, drying & storage equipment, make Perry of Oakley Ltd. the supplier of choice. They have won several awards for being one of the top companies in the country and also from SHAPA which demonstrates their performance in the sector. In this new period where parts and machinery entering the UK from Europe are less certain and more costly this is the best time to choose the UK’s most experienced manufacturer for your handling, drying & storage equipment. Contact Perry today for all your handling, storage & drier requirements on +44 (0)1404 890 300 or email, and receive a free, no obligation quotation..

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Grain

Grain and oilseed weekly market report key drivers of market volatility. We need to watch stories for both the northern and southern Hemispheres. The price risk is heightened by the massive net long position held by managed money funds in Chicago corn futures. Net longs as a percentage of open interest now stand at 22.3%, the most bullish position for funds since February 2011. In Brazil, Safrinha (second crop) maize planting is almost complete, but soil moisture is lacking after la Niña. Longer range weather forecasts suggest only average rainfall in the next month, which may hinder crop prospects. StoneX have trimmed their estimate of Safrinha maize by 3.65Mt, to 77.65Mt. Conab will release their latest forecast on 8 April. North American weather will also be key as maize planting progresses and other crops develop. The first USDA crop report of the year was published yesterday and showed winter wheat conditions to be broadly in line with the five-year average. Finally, Russian analytics firm Sovecon cut its estimate of 2020/21 Russian wheat exports by 200Kt, to 38.9Mt.

UK focus Global markets


lobal grain markets ended last week strong; the USDA plantings and stocks report was bullish for maize, which drove the whole complex higher.

The 2021 US maize area was seen at 36.9Mha, 2.2% below trade expectations in a pre-report poll by Refinitiv. US stocks of maize as at 1 March were 195.6Mt, 1.7Mt tighter than trade expectations. The bullish signals for maize were enough to outweigh the bearish wheat news. US farmers intend to plant 18.8Mha to wheat in 2021, 3.1% above trade expectations and 4.5% up year-on-year. Further, US stocks of all wheat were 2.8% above trade estimates at 35.8Mt. As we move through April and into May, weather stories will likely be

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It was a short week of trading for UK markets last week, with Friday a Bank Holiday. In the run up to Wednesday’s USDA reports new crop (Nov-21) feed wheat futures moved lower. The bullish USDA reports saw Nov-21 feed wheat futures move up £3.25/t, on Wednesday. We saw a further downward move on Thursday, with new crop wheat closing at £163.25/t, down £0.75/t ThursdayThursday. UK physical trade remained thin. This, combined with the volatility in futures caused by Wednesday’s reports, made pricing UK grain challenging last week. UK delivered values were largely flat or down, with some reductions to new crop delivered premiums.

| Grain

Global markets Oilseed Old crop oilseed prices fell or were broadly static last week, while new crop prices rose. All prices moved lower in the in early part of last week due to speculative traders re-positioning ahead of Wednesday night’s USDA report. Prices then rose sharply in response to the report, which showed a smaller than expected US soyabean area. Old crop prices retreated again as speculative traders booked profits, but new crop prices held onto their gains. Nov-21 Chicago soyabean futures closed at $464.30/t on Thursday, up $20.76/t from 26 March. The contract rose a further $1.93/t yesterday to $466.28/t, the contract’s highest price to date. US farmers intend to plant 35.5Mha to soyabeans this year. This is 5% more than last year but far less than the 8% rise the industry expected, according to a poll by Refinitiv. Higher prices could change some farmers’ minds, driving further soyabean acres. If this area is confirmed, the market is worried the US could produce a smaller crop than is needed.

The Brazilian soyabean harvest is now 78% complete (AgRural). While this is still behind last year’s pace of 83% complete, the advancing harvest means increasing confidence in production estimates. This could remove some risk premium from old crop prices.

Rapeseed focus Rapeseed prices followed the trends set by soyabeans and old crop prices ended last week down, while new crop prices were up. New crop (Nov-21) rapeseed delivered to Erith was reported at £391.00/t on Thursday, £4.50/t more than on Friday 26 March. This was a similar gain to new crop Paris futures in percentage terms. Something to watch going forward is the recent rise in sterling. On Thursday (01 April) £1 was worth €1.1745, compared to €1.1556 on 01 March (Refinitiv). This strength in sterling is expected to continue in the short term. This means that even if global prices rise, UK prices may not rise as much. The 2021 EU-27 rapeseed crop is forecast at 16.8Mt by Stratégie Grains (Refinitiv). This is down from the 17.1Mt forecast last month. This would keep European OSR supplies tight next season and keep European and UK rapeseed prices high compared to those for other oilseeds.

Foliar Application Boosts the Zinc Content of Wheat Grain by Up to 50% A team from the Department of Agronomy at the UCO has demonstrated, through field tests carried out during 8 agricultural seasons, that foliar feeding with fertilizer increases the concentration of zinc in wheat more than if it is applied to the soil. icronutrient deficiencies pose health problems for a third of the world's population. Worldwide, zinc deficits are more problematic in the rural areas of developing countries, where diets are largely limited to vegetable products grown in soils suffering from low nutrient availability. Biofortification, the process of bolstering the nutritional value of crops by increasing the concentration of vitamins and minerals in them, has arisen as a remedy for this problem.


In the search for solutions, the Edaphology Unit of the María de Maeztu Excellence Unit in the Department of Agronomy at the University of Cordoba (DAUCO), headed by the researcher Antonio R. Sánchez Rodríguez, has spent 8 years searching for the best biofortification strategy in terms of applying zinc to wheat grown in calcareous soils in southern Spain. Between 2012 and 2019 this team tested different methods to biofortify wheat in 11 field trials in zinc-deficient soils. The effects of applying different doses of fertilizer to the soil (up to 10 kg per hectare) were evaluated, in addition

to the results of applying different doses of zinc by spraying the plant in various phenological stages of the wheat's growth. While application to the soil was not very effective, foliar application, or feeding, was shown to be a very efficient strategy to increase the zinc content in plants, "augmenting the concentration in grains up to 50%," says the researcher. That is, foliar application was shown to be much more effective, as, with just a tenth of the product (1.28 kg per hectare) better results were obtained than when applied to the soil. Taking into account the variety of wheat, this direct application to plants was more effective after the start of growth or during flowering. Nourishing the plant itself, and not the soil, thus, was demonstrated to be an effective way to tackle the problem of zinc deficits in calcareous soils in the short term. In addition, if at some point wheat were purchased based on its nutritional content, growers could see increases in their profits. This solution "is very valuable for places where there is no other source of zinc in

diets, although it would entail adding another task to wheat cultivation, or combining it with the application of other phytosanitary treatments" notes Sánchez. Predicting wheat yields after fertilization with zinc On this project the team from the Edaphology Unit also looked for a soil indicator that would help predict the response of durum wheat to zinc fertilization, in terms of its yields. However, they found that conditions in the field make it very difficult to verify this parameter, and that a simple indicator cannot predict this response. While at the laboratory level some indicators could be defined, in the field this task is difficult, since it is highly dependent on factors such as precipitation, and would require many more years of study. Sánchez-Rodríguez, A.R., MarínParedes, M., González-Guzmán, A. et al. Zinc biofortification strategies for wheat grown on calcareous Vertisols in southern Spain: application method and rate. Plant Soil (2021). 10.1007/s11104-021-04863-7 April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Grain

BDC Systems to represent Gibbons Agricultural in Scotland

Extension of partnership now covers Scotland in addition to southern England

DC Systems Ltd and Gibbons Agricultural have extended their longstanding partnership. BDC will now act as Gibbons' Scottish agent as well as continuing to represent the company across the south of England.


"BDC, a complete grain handling solutions provider, has been successfully selling our highperformance grain cooling fans across the south of England for over 20 years," said Matthew Gibbons, MD of Gibbons Agricultural, a division of Gibbons Engineering Group and a specialist grain storage equipment manufacturer. "Under the able stewardship of its Scottish Sales Manager, John Wilson, BDC already has a strong and 34 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

established presence across Scotland, so it made absolute sense to ask BDC to represent us across this region," continued Matthew.

Gibbons' simple plug and play products have been designed to make grain conditioning easier for farmers. Its Airspear works alongside the Plug&Cool Pedestal to help cool hotspots in grain piles. The Plug&Cool wireless differential temperature control panel range supports grain store fans. "Gibbons has always provided a wide range of high quality, robust and reliable low volume ventilation fans but the Plug&Cool solution which includes pedestals, ventilation towers and automatic fan controls now delivers a complete grain cooling package for farmers," explained John Wilson.

A valued BDC partner, Gibbons is one of the market leading manufacturers the company represents. The Gibbons' Plug&Cool system is another grain handling solution which BDC is able to deliver for its customers. Not being limited to offering products from a single manufacturer means that BDC is able to give farmers the grain handling solutions that exactly meet their requirements. "Farmers across the south of England are already benefiting and will continue to benefit from deploying Gibbons' Plug&Cool system. BDC is confident that Scottish farmers will quickly understand just how Plug&Cool can cool their grain the easy way, saving them time, energy and most important of all, money!" concluded Andrew Head, BDC's MD.

| Tools


akita UK has been appointed as the dedicated outdoor equipment supplier to the Eden Project. The leading power tool manufacturer has been awarded the prestigious contract to exclusively supply its cordless garden machinery and power tools to assist with maintenance and redevelopment work at the home of the famous Biomes near St Austell in Cornwall.


With its wide range of cordless machinery offering a reliable and powerful alternative to petrol powered equipment and a one battery fits all solution for cordless construction and grounds maintenance tools, Makita was the ideal choice to help Eden meet its sustainable vision and ecological ethos. The partnership will see the Eden Project team replace its existing petrol and corded machines with Makita’s battery-powered products. Si Bellamy, Interim Chief Operating Officer at the Eden Project, said: “Eden is dedicated to using sustainable methods and we wanted to update our grounds equipment with more environmentally friendly kit without compromising on power or performance. “With Makita’s extensive range of cordless power tools and garden machinery, we can make the transition over to cordless incredibly easily. Makita’s cordless range will enable us to complete day-to-day maintenance tasks and larger projects in a safer, quieter, more efficient way. “The use of battery power as fuel completely eliminates the need for our

team to transport and handle petrol and as no fumes are omitted during operation there are zero gas emissions – which is fantastic for reducing our carbon footprint further. What’s more, there is no need to consider the safe placement of cables as with corded machines. As a result, we will be able to safely carry out work when visitors are on site.” Makita’s innovative cordless technology also means that the machines work for long periods of time without needing to be charged. As a result, Eden team can work on large areas and tasks without needing to stop to replace or recharge the batteries, improving productivity further. Mark Earles, Business Development Manager for garden machinery at Makita said: “The Eden Project is an educational charity and visitor attraction focused on showcasing the power of nature and inspiring visitors to think more sustainably. We are thrilled to be working with the team, as part of its efforts to improve environmental efficiency, by delivering cordless solutions to help the team work more

efficiently on site. “With over 270 cordless products in our LXT portfolio, we can ensure that the Eden Project have access to the machines they need, no matter the task. Our battery platforms also mean that the team can switch between tools and tasks effortlessly, reducing downtime and improving productivity.” Makita’s product range is designed to work in tough outdoor environments, making the partnership an ideal backdrop for the Eden Project team to put the kit through its paces in unique settings, such as the heat of the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome. Makita will be using this as a long-term opportunity to gain user feedback on the performance of the machines, to assist with research and development into new models and tool technologies. Si Bellamy added: “We are really excited to kick off our partnership with Makita and see what we can achieve together over the next five years and beyond. It is really important for us to develop a strong partnership with Makita and work collaboratively with them to further our capabilities here at the Eden Project.” To find out more about Makita and its range of cordless machines visit: For more information about the Eden Project visit:

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Mental Health

NEW TRAINING MODULES TO SUPPORT YOUNG FARMERS' MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. FCN has over 400 volunteers, located throughout England and Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture and therefore have a great understanding of the issues farm workers and farming families regularly face. Our volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, regardless of whether the issue is personal or business-related. In addition to local groups of volunteers, FCN runs a confidential national helpline (03000 111 999) and e-helpline ( which is open every day of the year from 7am-11pm.

he Farming Community Network (FCN), National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs (NFYFC) and The DPJ Foundation are working together to support young farmers' mental health and wellbeing through the development of new Rural+ training modules.


This initiative, titled 'Supporting Together', has been made possible by funding from The Westminster Foundation, which is Chaired by the Duke of Westminster and aims to encourage young people in farming families to take action early and to plan for the challenges and restructuring that the industry now faces. NFYFC and FCN have worked in partnership to develop and deliver mental health awareness training to Young Farmers' Clubs in Wales and England through the Rural+ module since the launch of the project in 2013. The name Rural+ was chosen to encourage young people to feel positive about rural life and to utilise the great network of friends and support that comes with being a member of a Young Farmers' Club. Rural+ was the brainchild of the National Chairman of Council (2013/14) Claire Worden. FCN, along with NFYFC and The DPJ Foundation, are working together to develop the new Rural+ mental health training module, which is aimed at 1026 year old YFC members and 16-25 year old agricultural students yet to embark on their first placement or role in the industry. The training is collaborative and is being developed with young farmers, young agriculture professionals and volunteers from FCN and The DPJ Foundation to ensure it is relevant and beneficial to young farmers. The training will focus on understanding stress and anxiety; managing personal mental wellbeing; how to talk about mental health; 36 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

seeking support and supporting others. This focus on mental health awareness is timely. FCN, a charity and voluntary organisation with volunteers in Wales and England, has seen an increase in the percentage of calls to its Helpline (03000 111 999) from the farming community over the past year that contain a mental health component, such as stress or anxiety. Meanwhile, The DPJ Foundation has seen an increase in access to professional counselling through its Share the Load service (0800 587 4262) and high demand for its Mental Health Awareness Training. Jude McCann, CEO of The Farming Community Network, said: "This training comes at an important turning point in farming. With significant change and restructuring affecting farmers and farming families throughout the UK, supporting young farmers' personal resilience and providing mental health training will help to ensure they're equipped with the knowledge, understanding and tools needed to thrive and create a sustainable farming future. We look forward to collaborating with The DPJ Foundation and NFYFC to deliver this training, working together to support future generations of farmers." Kate Miles, Charity Manager of The DPJ Foundation said: "We know that the last 12 months have been especially difficult for young people. We have supported many with concerns around isolation, social anxiety and adapting to studying online alongside farming as well as supporting parents who have concerns about their children. As such, we are really pleased to have been able to work alongside NFYFC and FCN to develop this resource which will enhance the offer available to the farmers of the future to help them cope with the challenges that they may face. We are now looking forward to rolling this training out and reaching as many young people as possible."

Richard Jeyes, NFYFC's Youth Forum Chairman, said: "The development of the Rural+ training module will give Young Farmers' Clubs an essential resource to support their members' wellbeing. We hope this training will help to improve resilience as we face major changes in the industry and additional pressures from the pandemic. We are delighted to be working with FCN and The DPJ Foundation to develop training that will equip young farmers with vital skills to help them manage future challenges." The Duke of Westminster, Chair of the Westminster Foundation, said: "It's widely recognised the farming industry has some of the highest levels of mental health issues compared to other sectors, yet too many people still suffer the silent pain of loneliness and isolation, without knowing how or where to seek help. "Rural+ will play a vital role in enabling the next generation of farmers tackle the pressures facing the industry with renewed resiliency in the years ahead. It is a brilliant example of how the most positive initiatives for young people are usually borne out of collaboration among like-minded organisations and through listening to youth voices. The farming sector is an important community to us all, whether you are from a rural background or not, and we owe it to the next generation of young farmers to provide them the best possible opportunities to succeed." With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, the training will initially be delivered remotely by experienced Rural+ trainers, however, additional in-club modules and activities will be available later in the year. The first of the new training modules are planned for delivery from April. For more information about the Rural+ training, please contact Vicki Beers, National Partnerships Manager, on

| Mental Health

Four in ten men are more at risk of suicide since going into lockdown – Are daily men’s groups the answer?


ith the end of lockdown in sight, it’s more important than ever that men get help to keep them safe, sane, and out of trouble!

14 weeks from now it will all be over. The third and (hopefully) final lockdown will have ended and people everywhere can rejoice in the notion that they can, if they wish, shake hands, high five, hug, kiss, hold, and embrace others from outside their immediate family, or chosen bubble, once again. It will no doubt be a joyous, long awaited occasion, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the hazy springtime sun will make an appearance to add some warmth and colour to the occasion. All will seem suddenly right with the world again. But for many people, men in particular, the end of lockdown might put them on a collision course with dangerous bad habits and push them back into a now alien society that they’ve been sheltered from for over a year. Nearly four in ten (38%) men surveyed by YouGov and Jacamo say they have noticed a negative effect on their mental health since going into lockdown last March. Feedback from 1,920 Samaritans charity volunteers – who have been taking calls throughout lockdown – has also revealed that poorer middle-aged men are the group most at risk of suicide during the current Covid-19 crisis, with a third of the 7,000 requests they receive every day relating directly to the pandemic. [1] One outstanding lifeline for many men through the last 12 months has been the MenCheck-in online daily men’s groups, the brainchild of man-guru Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz, which celebrates its first anniversary on the exact same day that England went into its first National lockdown on 23rd March 2020. It was back in March of 2020, just as sight of the first lockdown appeared that Kenny Mammarella-D’Cruz set up the MenCheck-in groups after recognising that these sessions would become a key way to keep men sane and families safe during times of social isolation. The MenCheck-in online group sessions have been attended thousands of times over the three lockdowns and have helped men become more able to deal with their displaced emotions, by speaking things out rather than lashing out on others, or over-thinking and

getting into depression, suppression, and suicidal thoughts and feelings. The meetings began as lunchtime, bydonation bitesize events, and now nearly 365 days and over 500 groups later, Kenny has created an engaged online community that provides social medicine for group participants, where men can share their situations and stories, the can be heard, learn from one another’s experiences and simply belong. Something that Kenny himself yearned for almost two decades ago. “It was 20 years ago and I was traveling, I’d worked with dying people with Mother Theresa in India, I lived in Fiji, and when I came back to the UK I really missed my friends, but they were distracted by money, power, drink, drugs and partying, and I basically said where are you?! I don't know what a men's group is. I'm starting a men's group now - I need to be met at some depth!” At these groups, men are empowered by listening to others who are going through similar situations, amongst peers, without having to navigate pecking orders, experts, bigots, or boisterous behaviour. With no pressure to speak and no-one telling others what to do or how to fix their lives, men have a safe online space to hang out, be heard, and get real, taking the edge of their lockdown situations and often against all odds, grow as self-aware, able men. Kenny is confident that once lockdown ends and men are free to resume their own version of a normal life, they will continue to attend the daily sessions to ground themselves and remember what’s important, as they venture back into the world and potentially back into old habits. “The sessions allow men to be in the company of good men without the need to drink or be in the surroundings of a pub or bar. In a place where there’s no need to compete, where men can become more of who they are rather than who they should be” Kenny considers mental health to be a highly gendered issue. “In general, men prefer side-by-side communication, and tend to avoid clinical language and settings,” he says. “Sessions are traditionally held in clinical rooms and swanky offices, but now, because MenCheck-ins happen online, it’s much more personable. People feel more comfortable in their own surroundings and therefore safer and

easier to share their feelings and explore their lives, their motives, and even their pasts.” Essentially, a MenCheck-in is a great space to share whatever is on your mind, release some pressure and connect with others in a welcoming, confidential, and non-clinical space. It’s simply a men’s group, not limited to being a mental health support group, which allows for other needs to be met, like needs for connection, community, growth as an authentic man and having a good laugh. "We aim at early prevention of mental health issues. If a man has nowhere to share the small stuff or 'just hang out' before he knows it he could be facing bigger problems down the line." Mammarella-D'Cruz says. For Kenny it’s simple “We want these groups to be as available as 12-step programmes such as Alcoholics Anonymous and feel as normal a routine for men as heading to the gym for a workout or the pub to wind down.” Echoing those sentiments, MenCheck-in group regular Bertie Harriman-Smith explains “The groups are essential for me for maintaining my sanity and remembering what life is really about… I can chat, hang out, laugh, talk about real issues and feel connected in such a disconnected and chaotic time. I’ve checked in while I’ve been dangerously on the edge and I’ve also shown up for good company with nothing in particular up at all.” These mini-men's groups are currently running online every day, Mon-Sat 12.30pm-1.30pm, Sun 10.30am11.30am, and you can donate however much you like towards the running of the online MenCheck-Ins. Recently, MenCheck-ins big brother MenSpeak celebrated accreditation of all facilitation training sessions, meaning that anyone of any gender can become a group facilitator. The trainings are led by founder, Kenny, who shares the knowledge and experience he’s gleaned from two decades, the world over, in facilitating groups. Additionally, you can grab yourself a copy of Kenny’s No.1 best-selling ebook Online Men’s Group Success: A step-bystep guide to facilitating personal development groups for men here. Kenny will launch an online training program in November (Movember).

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Security

Persistent farm quad bike thieves threaten critical lambing season, NFU Mutual warns standard and fitting cost.


etermined rural thieves are targeting expensive quad bikes used by farmers to tend to livestock during the lambing season, latest NFU Mutual claim figures reveal.

The leading rural insurer's theft claims data for 2020 reveals that while the number of quads stolen fell in 2020, thieves are increasingly targeting more expensive, higher specification models. •

NFU Mutual statistics reveal thieves are targeting newer, higher specification quads

Insurer launches free tracker and immobiliser scheme for customers to catch return thieves, following a paid claim

Insurer warns thieves could become more active as lockdown restrictions ease

Farm thieves are also stealing more allterrain (ATV), larger off-road vehicles. These machines, which often seat two people side-by side and have a load space at the back, can cost two or three times as much as a quad bike. These vehicles now represent 14% of all quad and ATV thefts, compared to 11% in 2019. To help farmers protect their quads from increasingly sophisticated thieves, NFU Mutual is providing updated security advice. It is also launching a pilot scheme with manufacturers starting with Yamaha and Honda to provide customers with free tracking and immobilisation equipment on vehicles bought to replace stolen quads and ATVS, following a paid claim. Bob Henderson, Technical Engineering Manager at NFU Mutual, said: "Quad bikes are a vital tool on modern livestock farms. During harsh, cold months and at lambing times farmers face a massive struggle to keep their sheep fed and safe if thieves strike and leave them without a quad at the busiest time of year.

Bob explained that while many types of rural theft had fallen during COVID restrictions the overall cost of agricultural vehicle and machinery theft remained high, as thieves were getting more 'bang for their buck' by targeting high-value portable items such as quads and tractor GPS systems. The insurer is concerned that lockdown easing could see a surge in thefts from farms and other rural properties as thieves become more active again. Welcoming the scheme DC Chris Piggott, Agricultural Vehicle Lead for the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, said: "After removal of keys, trackers and immobilisers are the most effective measures against quad theft acting as both a deterrent and also increasing the chance of police recovering the vehicle and catching the people behind these crimes." To help farmers cover the costs of fitting security devices to their equipment, NFU Mutual already offers insurance discounts for a range of devices from mechanical measures, CESAR marking, electronic tracking to immobilisers. To protect quads and other ATVs from thieves, NFU Mutual and the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service is issuing the following advice: •

Always remove keys and keep them stored securely, away from the vehicle

When not in use, keep quads and allterrain-vehicles locked up out of sight

Install tracking devices and immobilisers to make it easier for police to recover stolen vehicles - most modern tracking devices are GPS enabled, with alarms/alerts that will send a message informing you if your machine is being tampered with. You can also set working hours and Geofences to alert you if a machine is being moved outside of a pre-set working area.

"Rural thieves target quads and other farm all-terrain vehicles because they're expensive kit with a ready resale market in this country and abroad. However, their light weight makes them easier to steal than heavier equipment such as tractors.

Use CESAR marking to deter thieves and enable police to identify stolen machinery

"We know that thieves often return to a farm where they have stolen a quad in the hope of being able to steal its new replacement. That's why we're working on a scheme initially with manufacturers Honda and Yamaha with Datatool to install free tracking devices and immobilisers to protect our customers from repeat crime.

Target-harden your quad by creating a security cage or use a mechanical device such as steering brake/lock, ground anchor or wheel clamp when not in use - these devices are both visible and physical deterrents to thieves

"We also want to help keep farmers - who often work alone - safe. The immobiliser systems have smart technology which can raise the alarm if a machine has been impacted or rolled over." To help members who have been the victim of quad theft to get up and running again, NFU Mutual is covering the cost of the tracker and immobiliser installation and the first year's subscription. The insurer is also looking to install trackers and immobilisers on other brands if they meet the required

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Farming Monthly | April 2021

Know what you own – keep records of serial numbers and photographs of your kit including unique identifying features When buying a new quad insist on a chipped key and immobilisation system

More advice on farm vehicle security and details of security premium discounts is available in NFU Mutual's 2020 Rural Crime Report: farming/ruralcrime/ Repeat theft case study DC Chris Piggott, Agricultural Vehicle Lead at the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence

Service which works closely with NFU Mutual to combat quad theft said: "Unfortunately the police find that once criminals know the layout of a farm they may return to steal the replacement vehicle or other goods that they have scoped out previously." Richard Willcox runs a 220-acre livestock farm near Highbridge in Somerset, rearing dairy heifers and a flock of 80 ewes. He grew up in a farming family and has lived and worked on the Somerset farm for over 30 years. In May 2020, Richard had a quad bike stolen, almost exactly a year to the day from when one was stolen in broad daylight in May 2019. Richard explained: "My quad bike was stolen from inside the workshop on the farm overnight. They also took a strimmer, some scrap batteries and other tools from the workshop too. "A similar incident happened the year before, but that time the quad was taken in the middle of the afternoon. Returning after being out for the afternoon, I found the padlock on the gate broken and the quad was gone. CCTV from the property opposite captured a white van leaving and entering the property and they were in and gone within just a few minutes. "I have my suspicions that it was the same gang that returned this year. The quad is such a vital piece of kit that they must have known that I would replace it. "Since the second theft, I have invested in a steel roller shutter on the workshop and a motion sensor inside that alerts us at the house to any movement at night. The new quad also has a tracker installed. "The theft in 2019 occurred when I had left the farm for the afternoon and you have that thought in the back of your head each time the farm is vacant that something like that might happen again." Richard has also experienced cases of "cold-callers" coming to the farm to stake out what is there and, having spoken to neighbours and fellow farmers, knows that there are often sightings of suspicious vehicles in the area. "It is unsettling to think that people might be staking out the farm and trying to work out what we have here, particularly as it's not just a place of work but my home too. I'm sure the thieves know the layout of farms in the area and come prepared to load up quads and any other equipment they can get their hands on. "I get cold callers coming to the farm offering to buy scrap metal, but I can tell which ones are genuine and know that the others are using it as a chance to get on site and see what's here." As a sole trader, Richard relies on his quad to get him out and around the farm quickly, using it for everything from rounding up sheep to getting feed to cattle. "I use the quad almost every day so it had a real impact on my work not having one when it was stolen, I really couldn't do without it," he added.

| Security

Tracking technology leads the fight in rural crime s crime in rural areas and particularly on farms and smallholdings continues to rise, agriculture tracking experts, ATVTrac, have reported a significant increase in the adoption of their tracking technology and dealer uptake across the UK.


Initially launched into the UK market in 2012, following the parent company’s experience and proven track record in motorcycle security, ATVTrac offered a dedicated security product, enabling owners of farm machinery to have a live link to their machines 24/7 regardless of location. Bringing updated security functions including GPS, GPRS and Radio Frequency, ATVTrac added new functions in 2017, including lone

worker security, battery voltage alerts and service reminders too, offering a more than just a security focussed product.

As well as dealer and customer interest, ATVTrac is now endorsed by ten manufacturers with discounts available on Insurance from the NFU too. Most recently, Polaris adopted the system as standard fitment on its adult models too, with a handful of thefts thwarted due to ATVTrac since. ATVTrac’s key attribute is the unit’s physical size and internal battery, allowing for fitment to virtually every piece of farm machinery, from ATVs to UTVs, to Tractors, Land Rovers, 4x4s and even trailers too. And thanks to an online portal and dedicated iPhone and Android apps, owners can check 24/7 for location

and even see multiple assets on one screen. As well as proven security features, ATVTrac also offers useful additional functions too, such as the log of usage (hours and mileage), the ability to set alerts for servicing or maintenance and even an emergency alert should the vehicle be involved in a roll-over incident; a great function for lone workers. ATVTrac can be installed on many types of farming machinery, with full support provided via the 24/7 Secure Operating Centre as well as additional support from Securitas too in circumstances where police resources are stretched. For more information on the unit and pricing, please visit

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Buildings

Design for Youngsters ood design should allow resources applied after a building has been constructed to be safe for the inhabitants, safe for the user, safe for maintenance tasks and have a sustainable impact on the environment. The owner and the investor, will require the design to provide profitability for the business and to mitigate any factors that might produce a negative response from the authorities.


If we take the factors listed above and apply them to the health and welfare of livestock, there is much to consider. Some items are relatively easy to apply, such as rules on stocking density, a requirement to keep stock in discrete groups but without causing injury, and therefore solid pen divisions and gates

and components that last over time. For young cattle there is a requirement to allow stock to see each other but ideally have no nose-to-nose contact. Floors should inspire confidence of movement but not be so harsh that they create foot problems and become an additional factor in the average £330 loss per cow case from foot issues. In previous articles I have written about specific issues related to some building designs that make it intrinsically difficult to maintain suitable levels of hygiene for maintenance of good health, namely appropriate hygiene. The poultry industry, and to a significant level in the pig industry, have embraced the requirement for good building hygiene by adopting systems that balance building and room design along with group sizes that allow all-in, all-out (AIAO) management. Animals of the same or similar ages enter a clean pen, grow to a size that hits maximum permissible stocking densities (kg/m2), and then over a few days or weeks, the pen is emptied for enough time to allow effective cleaning. Once the pen or building is dry, the process can start again. The design works to support good health. However, many aspects of cattle systems have not yet reached this level. Losses in cattle systems can be high, and variable costs rise, labour efficiencies decrease, and the working environment can become stressful. Research from 1990 indicated that when pneumonia is present in young cattle, 40 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

the increase in labour to manage each case of pneumonia contributed to 14% of the financial losses. The negative cost to stock people is indicated by the fact that ill health in stock is top of the list of factors that people dislike about their work with livestock. Health can be supported with vaccination and medication, but the environment has a major role to play. As mentioned previously, the increase in size of cattle buildings can lead to a natural increase in risk from spreading disease pathogens. Large buildings and pens may be provided at a reduced cost per m/2 at the construction stage compared with smaller units, but over the lifetime of the building it may become less efficient. The challenge is to persuade the farmer producer that sometimes small is better, and will provide a better and more sustainable financial return. There is an absolute requirement for competent buildings for young cattle in the UK, and around the world. The mortality rate of dairy calves and replacement heifers from day 3 to 60 (i.e. from 3 days old to 60 days old), 61 to 365, and 366 to first calving was 5.5%, 7.4%, and 8.7%. The data is from China’s dairy industry, but the UK has been there too. That is a 20% loss in the youngstock population before they have the opportunity to produce a calf and milk, and start to repay more than two years of investment costs. Figure 1 shows losses of calves in the Netherlands, home to a very advanced agricultural industry, amounting to a steady 10% per annum. Recent data from the UK show that 25% of all mortality on cattle units takes place in the first 3 months, with 6% mortality in female dairy calves. Mortality data is the tip of the iceberg, because animals that are affected but survive (morbidity) result in a massive financial loss to the industry. The final statement from the UK research group involved in the study, “Environmental conditions play a significant role in calf mortality rates and further research is needed to explore how to optimize conditions to reduce calf mortality rates in GB.” Whilst the researchers gather the money and do the research, I am pointing directly at the building sector and saying there is a significant gap in the market here. The youngstock sector in northern Europe and America/Canada has made considerable use of calf hutches (Fig 2), leading to widespread use on dairy

farms in the U.S.A., Europe and the UK. The data shows that businesses use hutches because of the measured improvements in animal health compared with traditional fixed housing. Hutches are easy to clean, and provide easy to apply AIAO practice. Low unit cost allows numbers of hutches to be adapted to any changes in throughput of calves. All true, but might this be a reflection on the poor design of alternative youngstock housing? Consider the winter wind and rainfall data from the South West of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, where most of our dairy herds are located? Lovely working conditions on a sunny day; slightly less so on a dark, wet November afternoon with a gale blowing. And don’t even mention diffuse pollution. Figure 3 is an example of a Europeanstyle approach, with significant benefits to stock over some systems. But some of the savings on construction costs compared with a fixed structure are steadily lost to rainwater ingress and the impact of air speed on calves in the winter months. “Environmental conditions play a significant role in calf mortality rates…” Which of course they do. Figure 4 shows a building designed for youngstock in UK conditions, 12 months of the year. It certainly will have a higher capital cost than hutches or calf pods but it tackles the full design requirements of suitability for the livestock, hygiene management, working environment and management of variable costs compared with other available systems. There is opportunity here. The rural buildings sector may prefer a small number of contracts that involve large areas of floor covered by an even larger area of roof, and plenty of steel, but there is a gap in the market. The cattle sector needs help for youngstock, and the building sector can provide that thinking small, detailed, and sold on performance. Written by Jamie F. Robertson BSc., MSc., MIAgrE, RIDBA Livestock Consultant.

| Buildings

Beware oversold energy installations, warns Roadnight Taylor


enewable energy offers huge potential for many farms, but landowners should be warned that some energy firms are trying to sell unfeasibly large installations.

The appeals of investing in an on-farm renewable energy project range from cutting energy bills to reducing carbon footprint, but farmers are being mis-sold large-scale systems that they do not need, explains Hugh Taylor, CEO at independent energy consultant Roadnight Taylor. “When firms quote for a new renewable installation, they may push for the ‘biggeris-better’ option, however most farms are unlikely to need anything that large or expensive.” Dairy farmers Clive and Andrew Gurney installed a 38.4kW photovoltaic unit on his farm in 2012, but when later looking to expand this, a solar installer encouraged him to invest far beyond his needs. Having installed four robotic milkers in 2016 and when they were milking 250 cows at Abbey Court Farm, Leominster, the Gurneys were keen to continually invest in their business and improve upon the already high standards of animal welfare and

environmental care. “The whole objective of the farm was to be as sustainable as possible– from growing almost all feed to recycling farm manures and collecting runoff,” explains Clive Gurney. “The original PV system fitted perfectly into this ethos as we have so many large, south-facing roofs and it was common sense to make use of the subsidies for self-generated energy.” As part of the investment plan, the Gurneys started to look at reducing their carbon emissions as much as possible – something their milk buyer was also encouraging. “One idea was to put more solar panels on the roofs, so we arranged a visit with a salesman.” This visit resulted in an initial quote of £143,268 plus VAT for a 120kW installation plus a battery storage unit. “The salesman said it was fool-proof and we wouldn’t have to buy any electricity, especially if we used storage batteries, plus we could sell back to the grid,” says Mr Gurney. “We immediately thought it was worth getting independent advice so went to Dairy Tech to source this. With anything like this, if you invest you get locked-in, so it’s important to do as much research as possible,” he explains. “I met Hugh Taylor from Roadnight Taylor at the show and had a long conversation with him which fired off alarm bells. Roadnight Taylor then carried out a

feasibility study and said the 120kW quote was ridiculous.” Spilling so much excess energy onto the grid would have earned relatively little, and the business would have had to invest in extra plant to handle the extra power, adding £10,000 to the costs. The independent study highlighted that the business needed no more than an extra 25kW of solar panels to best meet its demands, with a payback of about eight years and a net benefit of around £2,000 a year, after the initial installation costs. It also identified low-cost energy efficiency measures, and noted the potential for a small AD plant to use the farm slurry. “As a result, we didn’t undertake any further expansion to our solar panels and are now looking at the other potential areas in which to invest.” Given the complexities of running a farm business and the changing renewable markets, seeking independent advice is incredibly valuable, says Mr Gurney. “An important thing for me was the element of trust with Roadnight Taylor – they weren’t trying to sell me something but were trying to look after my interests. It means I can approach them again and know that the information they provide will be worthwhile.” For more information call 01993 830571 or visit

The Ideal Stable Floor Protection Solution by the Mastic Asphalt Council (MAC)

f concrete floors are not protected in stable areas, they can quickly deteriorate due to attack from fluids such as urea, along with cleaning and disinfecting agents. A number of floor coatings can be applied to concrete stable floors, but many need to be regularly renewed in order to restore their protective and aesthetic qualities.


In several European countries such as Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, mastic asphalt has a long tradition of being used to protect stable floors, and here in the UK more agricultural owners are recognising the benefits of using mastic asphalt as an effective long-term protective flooring solution. Mastic asphalt is one of the world’s most traditional construction materials and it is ideal for application to surfaces where a smooth, seamless, durable and waterproof surface is required. Impermeable and free of cavities, it is easy to clean and cannot be attacked by vermin, bacteria or conditions of high humidity. Due to fine sanding during application, mastic asphalt is skid resistant which is especially important for dairy cattle

keeping. Due to mechanical stresses, concrete surfaces lose grip and become smoother as opposed to mastic asphalt, which becomes rougher by tendency.

By adding suitable aggregates, mastic asphalt can be made acid resistant to counteract attack from urine or silage saps. To avoid animals such as cows getting injuries on their hooves due to rough surfaces caused by abrasion, round grain aggregates can be used instead of sharpedged chippings. When float finishing, the mastic asphalt application contractor can also incorporate natural sand to prevent injuries on hooves. In comparison with concrete, mastic asphalt has reduced thermal conductivity, which means little heat is taken away from animals on lying surfaces. If animals have the choice between lying on a concrete and asphalt surface, more often than not they will lie on a mastic asphalt surface. Mastic asphalt is also highly wear resistant, and is able to withstand mechanical cleaning without deteriorating.

During application mastic asphalt is exceptionally rapid curing and stables can be used as normal the day after application, meaning that facilities do not have to be out of service for any length of time. If mastic asphalt ever needs repairing, spot repairs can be quickly carried out with minimal disruption. As mastic asphalt is seamless, it is far easier to clean than many other floor coverings with joints. As a general rule, joints are only necessary at rising units such as walls, penetrations such as floor drains or when coverings change. The Mastic Asphalt Council (MAC) is the trade association for the mastic asphalt industry in the UK. Representing more than 80 companies, MAC members include mastic asphalt manufacturers, specialist application contractors and associated suppliers of equipment and services. MAC can recommend experienced contractors to carry out mastic asphalt projects. Further information is available at, e-mail: or on Tel: 01273 242778.

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Energy

Finland Relies on Sustainable Nutrient Recycling for Water Protection W ELTEC BIOPOWER recently commissioned a biogas plant near Turku in southwestern Finland. This region is characterised by livestock farms and therefore the 250kW plant runs entirely on liquid manure. The energy plant belongs to a group of three pig farmers. In this project, the German plant builder cooperates with its long-standing Finnish partner Doranova. The orientation of environmental policy in the Scandinavian state is increasingly based on sustainable nutrient recycling. Agriculture in particular plays a strategically important role in regions with intensive animal husbandry. While in other parts of the world manure and slurry are seen as waste, the Fins rely on the advantages of the so-called black gold. Fertilisation with this organic substance improves the structure of the soil and increases the carbon storage in the ground. Moreover, an upstream biogas process delivers climate-neutral energy and ensures even better plant availability of the fertiliser. Both the farm structure and the location of the Finnish pig farmers present an ideal setting for the new anaerobic 42 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

digestion project. Currently, three fattening houses are being built in addition to the existing piglet production sites. In this way, some 40,000 t of pig manure are available as input material for the stainless-steel digester, which has a capacity of 4,903 m3. Other substrates will not be used. The heat generated by the 250-kW CHP unit is used to preheat the liquid manure, which is first buffered in an upstream slurry pit.

To minimise the loss of heat in the harsh Finnish winter, WELTEC equipped the digester cladding with an extra-thick insulation layer. This will result in a more efficient digestion process. The fully automated biogas plant operation culminates in the separation of

the digestate. By compressing the nutrients, the transportability is increased and this helps to balance any regional nutrient surpluses and reduce the entry of these nutrients in the Baltic Sea and other bodies of water. „Back in 2013, we received the ‚Baltic Manure Handling Award‘ in Helsinki in recognition of our biogas technology to reduce the accumulation of nutrients close to waters“, reports Hajo Schierhold, Head of Sales at WELTEC, and adds:„We emphasise individual engineering and a high technical standard. This is something our customers in 25 countries greatly appreciate.“ With the help of biogas technologies of experienced manufacturers like WELTEC BIOPOWER, Finland is sure to reach its recycling target. By 2025, 50 percent of the approximately 17.3 million tons of animal dung are to be processed. Apart from the energy production, this will cover more than three quarters of the phosphorus required for arable farming.„Such efficient nutrient recycling effectively prevents the eutrophication of the water system and eliminates the need for elaborately produced artificial fertiliser“, says Mikko Saalasti, Head of the Biogas department of Doranova. According to Saalasti, the use of nutrients from the black gold thus represents an essential step towards the improvement of all water systems in the country. In addition to water protection, the production of green power will also ensure climate protection.

| Energy

Carbon is the new ‘crop’ for land managers arming carbon was a hot topic at Low Carbon Agriculture show online on 9 and 10 March, where carbon was discussed as a new ‘crop’ for land managers.


“Carbon will be a new income stream to build into farm businesses,” said Stephen Briggs, head of soil and water at Innovation for Agriculture speaking in the Carbon Storage and Management conference session. Also speaking at the show, Mark Broadmeadow, the Forestry Commission’s principal advisor on climate change, said that planting trees needs to fit in with the farm business and if creating woodland with the ambition of selling carbon on the open market, it’s important to register with the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) at the beginning so you can secure benefits in future. “Through the Woodland Carbon Guarantee, the government guarantees a minimum price that it will pay successful bidders, but there is no obligation for the contract holder to sell to government if the open

market will pay more.” “Or you may wish to use the carbon for your own business emissions accounting,” said Mark. Jonathan Smith, director at the Farm Carbon Toolkit, said that getting ahead and understanding where your footprint is now is crucial. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure and carbon footprinting your farm allows you to see it from a different perspective."

engagement and content, and the conference was referred to by several visitors as ‘the best ever,’” said David. Stuart Roberts, NFU Deputy President was a panellist in the lively ‘Reaching Net Zero in Agriculture’ debate and was positive about the show. “Like others I thought it was an excellent session and the retention of viewers was really good. We have all done these things where the audience numbers start to drift off after a while. Really well chaired and organised and thanks for letting us be part of it.”

Low Carbon Agriculture show online was held in association with the National Farmers Union and supported by key organisations from across the sector. David Jacobmeyer, show organiser, said: “The audience was nearly entirely (95%) made up of agricultural and rural business owners, interested in renewables, environmental best practice and mitigating climate change.”

The online event took place over two days on 9 and 10 March 2021, and included four key areas of focus: Energy Now Expo, Environmental Business Expo, Low Emission Vehicles Expo and Farm Technology Expo. The event featured 72 expert speakers, 30 exhibitors, 20 live sessions, 5 prerecorded sessions and 7 group advice clinics.

“We were very pleased with the digital platform, the level of interest in the rebranded show, the general

Visit the website for more information

The next Low Carbon Agriculture show will be a physical event and will take place on 8 and 9 March 2022 at the National Agriculture and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Advertise here with us Get in touch with our team: Email: Tel: 02476 353537

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Livestock

Optimising suckler herd performance with strategic supplementation in final stages of pregnancy he final six weeks of pregnancy are key to supporting short and longterm performance of suckler herds, says Dr Alison Bond, nutritionist for Rumenco.


“At this point in time, cows should be maintaining a body condition score of 2.5-3 with the nutritional focus shifting towards supplementation for colostrum development and prevention of metabolic issues that can lead to complications such as difficult calvings and milk fever,” explains Dr Bond. Meeting these critical nutritional requirements can be done with a multipurpose product like LIFELINE PreCalver, balanced with vitamins, minerals, trace elements and specialist nutrients in the form of mannan-oligosaccharides and beta-glucans. Importance of Colostrum Colostrum is the sole source of antibodies for disease resistance in newborn calves, with quality and quantity of colostrum being essential for priming the immune system to prevent youngstock illness such as scour and respiratory disease. “Colostrum quality should be at least 50g/l of IgG or a 22% BRIX reading and can be influenced as it starts to develop in the final five to six weeks of pregnancy – with the final two weeks having the greatest impact,” says Dr Bond. In a farm study validated by Harper Adams University College, a high performing spring calving herd in Shropshire was found to have a 9.46% increase in colostrum immunoglobulin over the control group when fed LIFELINE Pre-Calver. Colostrum management is equally 44 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

critical, says Dr Bond, with a calf’s ability to absorb IgG antibody molecules reducing from 40% at birth to less than 5% after 20 hours. “To ensure the passive transfer of antibodies, calves require three litres of colostrum (or 10 percent of body weight) in the first two hours of life, followed by similar size feed within 12 hours. For a suckling calf, this requires around 20 minutes of continuous suckling, which can be difficult to achieve” says Dr Bond. “Emphasising colostrum quality and management will have a significant impact on the long-term health and performance of the herd.” Mobilising calcium and preparing for labour Another essential nutritional focus in the final stages of pregnancy is to increase magnesium levels while simultaneously decreasing calcium. “Milk fever (hypocalcaemia) is a common issue in suckler cows at calving. As soon as a cow calves down and starts milking, her body is going to have massive calcium requirements. While she should have plenty of calcium available in store, she won’t be able to access it quickly enough if it is tied up in bone, which can often lead to milk fever,” says Dr Bond. By reducing calcium supply in the diet in the weeks leading up to calving while increasing magnesium, a cow’s calcium reserves will become mobilised so she can access it more quickly at calving time. Research from SRUC has also indicated that magnesium is critical to aiding uterine contractions to help shorten the birthing process. “The combination of supplementing with magnesium while pulling back calcium

has proven to be an effective way of switching on the system to start pulling available calcium from the bone to be made more available to the cow postpartum while simultaneously supporting the birthing process,” explains Dr Bond. The vital role of trace elements In many suckler systems, poor quality silage is reserved for the herd’s winter ration, making it essential to give them a lift in nutrition in the final stages of pregnancy. According to Dr Bond, trace elements are an essential part of this equation, directly impacting the calf’s immune response and vigour, along with the cow’s future productivity. “Vitamin E supplementation is essential during this time to maintain the cow’s health in the run-up to calving and both her and the calf’s immune system postpartum. It also has a huge influence on colostrum quality,” says Dr Bond. “Selenium is another essential trace element ahead of calving to develop brown fat in the calf, which supports vigour at birth.” To support the cow’s future fertility, she recommends producers ensure copper requirements are being met with multiple copper sources to avoid nutrient lock-up and to trigger the luteinising hormone which plays a key role in fertility post calving. “In these last weeks running up to calving and shortly after, a cow is going to have a lot of stress put on her system as her nutrient stores are utilised to support the final stages of foetal development while starting the production of colostrum,” says Dr Bond. “A multi-purpose supplement like LIFELINE Pre-Calver helps fill all of those final nutrient requirements to prepare her to give birth to a healthy and thriving calf.”

| Livestock

Long-awaited trading certainty for livestock sector eef producers can finally plan ahead with confidence, following the launch of the world’s first smart, datadriven beef contract which sets a secure price 24 months ahead.


In a development which is set to transform the British beef industry, Breedr has launched the UK’s first ever long-term minimum-priced contract based on lifetime animal data. With price certainty giving producers confidence to invest, and the data used to improve efficiencies throughout the supply chain, this will not only reduce the industry’s environmental footprint but also improve the consistency and quality of the end product. In addition, the team has launched a new risk-free way to buy and sell livestock, based on lifetime animal data and weights. The Breedr live trading platform means producers can buy and sell through the free app with certainty, with a price guarantee in case of any differential in the weight of weaned calves and stores between farms. Sellers are also ensured payment within 72 hours of collection, and trades will be commission free until later this year. “As beef producers ourselves, we know how tricky it is to plan ahead with confidence – one batch of bad calves can ruin a farm, as can a downturn in the beef market,” says Ian Wheal, founder of Breedr. “But by making better use of data we can buy and sell with transparency, predict growth rates, and know that we’re supplying the processor with what they


ritish beef suckler farmers will be able to share realtime cattle data with their vet while in the field thanks to a new mobile app.

Created by the Veterinary Services team at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the Herd Health Planning app enables farmers to collect and record data as events occur – and immediately share this with their vet.

want – ensuring a secure end market and price.” The contract is worth more than £130m to British beef producers over the next seven years, offering a 24-month minimum price for any cattle with lifetime data, with producers also receiving a proportion of any uplift in price above that. Rearers can opt to be paid on a per kg growth basis, eliminating the need for capital outlay on youngstock, while advanced payments are available to smooth cash flow.

“With Brexit, the whole food industry is facing an uncertain time – but British agriculture is innovating to meet UK and global needs,” says Mr Wheal. “Being able to plan ahead with certainty finally gives farmers the peace of mind they need to invest and build profitable businesses.”

“We run regular webinars for our members, bringing in expert speakers to help farmers improve efficiencies every step of the way,” says Mr Wheal. “This is a true community of forward-thinking farmers, who are sharing their own top tips and forming robust business partnerships. Together, farmers have the power to drive this positive change.”

Farmers using the free app are finishing animals five months earlier than the industry average, with 24% more

For more information visit

updated instantly. No internet is required to record events, with all data stored locally on the app and sent to both BCMS and SAHPS systems as soon as Wi-Fi and/or mobile data become available. The Scottish Government-funded app, which is now downloadable for Android and Apple devices, allows farmers to: Provide early communication of herd health to their vet

Download all cattle currently on the holding through BCMS

The app - which is free for Scottish farmers registered to the Animal Health Planning System (SAHPS) and available to others for a small subscription includes an e-medicine book which complies with farm assurances and other statutory requirements.

Record bulls in/out dates

Record movements, births, deaths and upload to BCMS

Record disease incidents and production data

It is also connected to the British Cattle Movement Service’s tracing system (BCMS), meaning cattle records such as births, deaths and movements, can be

Record animal treatments, creating the e-medicine book

Record and save data off-line

Adam Quinney, chair of beef and lamb at AHDB, says: "At AHDB we are very supportive of technology that is helping bring certainty, and collaboration between farmer groups in the supply chain. The benefit of these supply chains encourages improvements to genetics, farm productivity and therefore environmental impact in the long term. Breedr is a good example British innovation utilising technology to develop supply chains for farmers and processors alike." The network now has over 2,000 members and 120,000 registered animals across the UK, many of whom are joining forces to create integrated supply chains to further improve efficiencies. By collating data on genetics, growth rates, health, and carcass grades, producers can identify the most productive breeding lines and management methods, optimising productivity throughout the supply chain.

Vets can then analyse the information and help farmers set priorities, and improve efficiency and animal health, through the health planning process.

carcasses reaching the target specification. They are saving 1.8t/head in feed and reducing their carbon footprint by 20%, he adds.

Enter information once and use it multiple times

Health Planning Development Manager Dr Foteini Manolaraki said: “We recognise that time is a precious commodity for today’s farmers. Rather than taking notes while out in the field or in the shed and then copying them into the computer, this new app allows them to share their cattle data with their vet while on the move. This information is then shared multiple times via BCMS and SAHPS software, which could allow earlier vet intervention if necessary.” For more information or to sign up to the app, visit: or email: April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Livestock

Galebreaker launch new tube ventilation system to help reduce livestock heat stress


alebreaker have launched a brand new tube ventilation system for farmers looking to combat the negative effects of heat stress on livestock.

The VentTube Cool – the latest addition to the successful VentTube range – provides a chill effect and replenishes barns and sheds with clean, fresh, equally dispersed air at animal level. Fully retractable and more cost efficient than traditional fans, it addresses and solves the damaging impact of high ambient temperatures and damp environments on milk yield, fertilisation rates and animal comfort. "The VentTube Cool has a unique design which allows it to distribute clean fresh air and provide a stable environment for livestock," says William Johnson, Sales Manager at Galebreaker.

"With strategic air holes running down its length, the VentTube Cool quickly and easily optimises air circulation and removes the problems associated with traditional fans. The result is significantly improved animal productivity and far less instances of respiratory disease." The VentTube Cool is a perforated retractable tube inflated by a specified fan. The fan, mounted to an outside wall, draws fresh clean air into the building which passes through a horizontally mounted tube. By providing outside air, internal bacteria and polluted inside air is pushed out of the building by the positive pressure principle. Strategically sized and positioned openings then direct the air giving a consistent airflow. The innovative Retraction System, unique to the VentTube Cool, reduces the surface area of the tube and minimises the risk of damage from crosswinds.

One customer said: "We have been running the VentTube Cool constantly since it was fitted and the results have been noticeable. This winter we had less instances of pneumonia, which we believe was due to better ventilation and movement of air in the building. During the autumn and winter months when the air outside is cold and still, we found that the VentTube Cool helped to push the stale, warm air out and bring in fresh, clean air." To find out more about the VentTube Cool, contact the Galebreaker Sales Team at

NEW MILK VENDING MACHINES AT CONNAGE HIGHLAND DAIRY onnage Highland Dairy, based at Ardersier near Inverness, have this week opened their brand new 'Connage Express' vending machine operation.

vast range of cheeses and other items, and many of our customers from further afield shop online, many people just want to come to a vending machine and take something away quickly. The fact that the Connage Express is open for longer hours than the shop also fits around people's busy lives.


Selling their own organic milk, both prebottled and also for self-service customer refills, is relatively new for the dairy which is better known for its range of multi-award-winning organic cheeses. Open from 7 am until 7 pm, 7 days a week, and accepting cash as well as cards, the express machines not only sell Connage produced milk and cheeses but also products from other local businesses such as eggs and bacon as well as chutneys, biscuits, honey, coffee and more. Milk customers can buy a pre-filled bottle 46 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

of milk or purchase a 1-litre bottle to refill themselves each time they return. Connage bottled milk is also now available to customers of Ardersier based Macleod Organics as part of their box delivery scheme. Connage Highland Dairy Owner, Jill Clark, said: "Whilst many customers still come into The Cheese Room where we stock a

"During our first few days of opening we have seen a fantastic flow of cars coming along and customers seemed to be really enjoying the experience. The range of items is large enough that everybody can find something that they will enjoy and I think that people enjoy getting local, quality products in an easy and efficient way." Visit to find directions to the farm or for more information about Connage Highland Dairy.

| Livestock

New research from the RVC explores the genetic adaptions and evolution of livestock and wild animals in response to extreme climates ew research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia has identified the genetics of extreme climate adaptation which help the world’s most northern Yakut cattle population in Siberia survive their extreme cold environment. This work, published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, paves the way for a greater understanding of how livestock and wildlife are coevolving to adapt to climate change.


have been lost in European cattle due to human selection and breeding for milk and meat production. However, retaining these variants has enabled Yakut cattle to adapt to changing environment conditions and extreme cold. The findings also suggest that the same genetic variants could help cattle breeds in Asia and Africa to adapt to their own challenging climates. While sharing some traits with Asian and African counterparts, one finding did differentiate Yakut cattle – the presence of one specific high-frequency coding nucleotide variant, which changes protein features. This particular variant was not found in any of the more than 100 other sequenced cattle breeds, nor the ancient DNA samples from closely related species from Siberia, excluding possibility of introgression.

While the origins of Yakut cattle are unknown, this population, which can be found up to 200km above the Polar Circle and survive temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius, has had little interbreeding with other cattle populations, or closely related species such as yak, bison and guar. With their last common ancestor traced to European cattle breeds from approximately 5,000 years ago, researchers have surmised that the adaptations to extreme cold climates found in Yakut cattle are mostly derived from their own genetics. It was also found that Yakut cattle share many genetic variants which are similar to those found in Asian and African cattle breeds, but not those found in Europe. The research, led by Dr Denis Larkin, Reader in Comparative Genomics at the RVC, also found that these genetic variants likely represent the ancestral alleles, or variant form of genes, that

This mutation affects a highly evolutionary conserved position in the nebulin-related-anchoring protein (NRAP), which links actin filaments in muscles, including heart muscle. Interestingly, from the more than 100 mammals studied, only 16 species displayed the same change, likely enabling them to hibernate, enter torpor, deep dive or adapt to the cold. Convergent evolution at the same nucleotides is rare and, before this study, were reported for different species only. For example, in bats and dolphins the same mutation is present in a gene involved in echolocation, while multiple fish species have a mutation in the protein called rhodopsin, to adapt to different marine and freshwater light conditions. This research suggests however, that a convergent evolutionary change has occurred at the same nucleotide of the NRAP gene in many cold-adapted species and a single northernmost cattle breed. It has therefore discovered that convergent evolutionary changes can form quickly in breeds of domesticated species, likely providing them with

features absent from the rest of the species. There are multiple studies showing that NRAP is involved in climate adaptations in mammals, reptiles, and even fish. However, this research has now discovered that it is involved in adaptation to cold climates in the Yakut cattle as well. Interestingly, work on humans and mice shows that mutations in NRAP cause cardiomyopathy, a disorder when pumping ability of the heart is altered. Dr Larkin and Dr Laura Buggiotti, Bloomsbury SET Innovation fellow at the RVC, hypothesise that a similar mechanism could help the heart in cold adapted and deep diving species, pumping blood more efficiently when it is cold. Given the growing body of research highlighting the link between climate change and extreme weather, the research could mark an important step in mitigating the worst effects of extreme cold in the context of livestock farming. Dr Denis Larkin, Reader in Comparative Genomics at the RVC and who led this research, said: “This study is a breakthrough because it shows for the first time that convergent evolution acts not only at the species level but on the human-made breeds as well. It is amazing to see that exactly the same amino acid change has formed and become nearly fixed in a single breed of cattle adapted to extreme environment and 16 species of mammals.” Dr Laura Buggiotti, Bloomsbury SET Innovation fellow at the RVC and first author on the paper, said: “The Yakut cattle still holds a lot of mysteries but now we know it is very close to the ancestral cattle population and contain genetics which made them adaptable to extremely cold temperatures. This is something we need to pass to other breeds to be able to survive climate changes”. April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Livestock

Supplementing to support fertility and milk production on grass


trategic use of rumenprotected fat supplements help meet energy requirements and support milk quality

As grass growth takes off in the early part of the grazing season, nutrition focus tends to be on completing the transition from the winter TMR to a grass-based diet without succumbing to post-turnout milk fat depression. While this remains important, fertility also needs to be made a priority, says Dr Richard Kirkland, ruminant nutritionist for Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients. “For spring calvers, there’s a short window to support a cow’s body condition to help secure her getting back in calf. During early lactation, cows cannot eat enough to meet the high energy demands of milk production and enter a state of ‘negative energy balance’, using energy from body fat stores to support the genetic drive for milk production, and lose condition. Research indicates a fall-off in conception rate of around 10% for each 0.5-unit loss in condition through this period,” explains Dr Kirkland. Early spring grass can support reasonably high levels of production 48 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

though intakes can vary considerably depending on weather conditions, putting pressure on energy intakes.

through the transition from the winter diet to the spring grazing scenario,” he says.

“Perfect grazing conditions may support 25+ litres of milk per day, but dry matter and energy intakes can be significantly reduced in wet, overcast conditions. We can see similar effects in the peak of summer where grass availability and heat stress will reduce intakes,” says Dr Kirkland.

To support both fertility and milk production during this time, Dr Kirkland advises feeding a rumen-protected fat supplement with a research-proven ratio of C16:0 (palmitic acid) and C18:1 (oleic acid) to strategically influence the partitioning of nutrients between milk and body condition.

Milk fat is also a challenge to maintain in this period as the low fibre, high sugar, high unsaturated oil levels disrupt rumen activity and lead to conditions where milk fat production is not favoured.

“Fatty acids, the building blocks of fat supplements, influence the partitioning of nutrients to specific areas of cow performance, enabling producers to choose supplements according to milk contract requirements at particular stages in the lactation cycle,” explains Dr Kirkland.

“While early grass growth may be akin to rocket fuel, it is more rapidly fermentable which will cause disruptions in rumen pH and pass more quickly through the digestive system. These conditions lead to an increased risk of acidosis and along with the high oil loads a significant milk fat depression,” says Dr Kirkland. Strategic use of rumen-protected fat supplementation in buffer rations According to Dr Kirkland, using a combination of digestible fibre sources and rumen-protected fat supplements in buffer rations will help protect milk production and support fertility in early lactation. “Rumen-protected fat supplements have around 2.5-times the energy content of cereals, making them ideal to help maintain energy supply through variable springtime grazing conditions while reducing undesirable rumen effects

During the early lactation period C18:1 (oleic acid) is a key fatty acid, increasing partitioning of energy and nutrients to improve body condition as well as improved development of fertilised eggs. However, given the challenges of early spring grass, products containing higher levels of C16:0 (palmitic acid) can be considered as effective ingredients to increase milk fat production. “Careful choice of supplements is essential at grazing to provide those vital megajoules of energy in a form that stimulates the rumen and milk fat production,” Dr Kirkland concludes. “Selecting a rumen-protected fat supplement such as Mega-Max, farmers can support both fertility and milk production performance while helping ensure energy demands are being met.”

| Livestock

Chicken donations create 55,000 meals D onations of chicken equating to 55,000 meals have been shared with some of the country’s most needy charity groups.

More than 23 tonnes of poultry, from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and poultry breeding company Aviagen, have been donated to the food redistribution charity FareShare. The donations of chicken breasts and legs, from the SRUC/Aviagen poultry processing plant in Edinburgh, started in April 2020 and have continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic to alleviate stock pressures caused by the closure of hospitality and food services during lockdown. FareShare has then redistributed the chicken to charities across Scotland. Colin MacEwan, Director of Commercialisation and Innovation at

SRUC, said: “These donations quite simply go to the people who need it most - particularly during this difficult time. “Currently we are alleviating our own problems in part with these donations, but we hope to continue supporting FareShare in some form in the future.”

Magnus Swalander, General Manager, Aviagen Limited, said: “Aviagen is committed to helping our local communities, especially in this time of urgent need. We’re in the business of putting food on every table and feel fortunate to be able to donate a nutritious source of protein to such a worthwhile charity.” Teresa McGoldrick, Food Sourcing Officer for FareShare in Scotland, said: “Our relationship with SRUC and Aviagen has really blossomed since early 2020 when they began providing us with chicken.

“Thousands of families and community groups affected by food poverty across Scotland have benefitted from this nutritious and delicious food and we are very grateful for their continued support.” Grace Muir, from the Fidra Court Community Kitchen in Edinburgh, said: “The chicken we get from FareShare is fantastic. The chicken breast portions are huge and go down a treat with our service users. We are very thankful and would love to see them keep coming in.” Since the very first donation in April 2020, SRUC and Aviagen have donated 23.1 tonnes of chicken. Using the WRAP calculation of an average balanced meal weighing .42kg, this equates to 55,001 meals. For more information, contact:; 0131 535 4219.

Great British Beef Week is 'going green' as its 11th year focuses on sustainability ritish beef farmers are to receive industry-wide recognition at the end of April, with their support for sustainable production practices being the focal point of Great British Beef Week 2021.


The campaign is to take place between 23-30 April 2021, with organisers Ladies in Beef (LiB) once again supported by AHDB, as well as Red Tractor, National Farmers Union, The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and Hybu Cig Cymru. Great British Beef Week (GBBW) 2021 will proudly showcase the strides being taken by British farmers in the sphere of sustainability, with Britain continuing to maintain its position as among the most sustainable in the world. The campaign is to be run predominantly

via digital channels, with regional media and in store activity also being used to highlight innovative and sustainable farming methods from producers across Britain. Jilly Greed, who co-founded Ladies in Beef with NFU president Minette Batters, said: “Great British Beef Week enables us to shine a light on all aspects of the beef production process. Our farmers are passionate about the beef they produce and are committed to delivering high quality red meat for consumers to continue to enjoy. “Managing land in a sustainable way is a fundamental responsibility of the modern-day farmer. This includes farming regeneratively, improving grasslands and paddock grazing, planting trees, maintaining wildflowers for the bee population, harvesting and

giving cattle rainwater to drink. British beef production boasts a carbon footprint of just less than half the global average, and reflects the hugely important and positive work our farmers are putting in day-by-day. It’s vital that we keep bringing attention to the ways our producers are respecting the land, whilst also producing the foods we enjoy eating.” Industry representatives and other stakeholders who are keen to support Great British Beef Week 2021 can do so by visiting Extra information on the campaign, as well as some useful downloadable content, is also available. Further campaign-related news will be released in the weeks leading up to Great British Beef Week 2021. Look out for #GBBW21 to join the conversation. April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Muck & Slurry

INDUSTRY-FIRST FEATURES FOR NEW JCB TELESCOPIC WHEELED LOADERS new range of telescopic wheeled loaders that set new performance standards has been launched by JCB with an industry-first 50kph eight-speed powershift transmission and the most powerful engine in a machine of this type.


Together with a new cab that gives the operator outstanding visibility, these developments feature in the 173hp TM420S, a new flagship model for JCB’s ‘Stage V’ telescopic wheeled loader lineup. JCB Agriculture Managing Director John Smith said: “This new range underscores JCB’s leading position in agricultural materials handling. As tough, durable and highly manoeuvrable machines, the ‘TM’ telescopic loaders have always been at the top of the popularity charts with farmers and agricultural contractors.” There are four models in the range with new variants and performance upgrades throughout. Lift capacities and lift heights continue at 3.2 tonnes and 5.20 metres for the TM320 and TM320S, and 4.1 tonnes and 5.45 metres for the TM420 and new TM420S. They all feature the new cab with a one-

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Farming Monthly | April 2021

piece windscreen extending into the roof for much-improved upwards visibility, an increase in total glass area and a rear view camera, plus illuminated steps and a courtesy delay when the lights are switched off in the dark. The TM320 gets more power at 130hp while outputs for the TM320S and TM420 rise to 150hp, and all models have the new fuel-saving Autostop feature for JCB 448 DieselMAX engine that avoids wasteful prolonged periods at idle speed. As standard, the range-topping TM420S with its 173hp engine comes with a 50kph version of JCB’s new eight-speed auto Powershift transmission, with Torquelock direct drive in every gear. The TM320S can have this transmission as an option but otherwise is equipped with the 40kph version also used in the TM320 and TM420 that has Torquelock in forward gears five to eight. In auto mode, the transmission responds to light use of the accelerator pedal by shifting up and down at a relatively steady engine speed for optimum fuel economy, but more aggressive pedal use results in delayed up-shifts to exploit the full power and torque available at higher revs for maximum acceleration

and productivity. Forwards visibility from the new Command Plus cab is effectively increased by 13% while the overhead glazed area is 52% larger than before thanks to the one-piece windscreen that sweeps up and over the operator’s head, where an optional roof wiper keeps the maximum area of glass clean. Inside the cab, the new ‘memory’ steering column can be pushed away to leave and enter the cab more easily, the cab steps are illuminated, and having parked the machine in the dark, the programmable 360-degree lighting can remain switched on for a while before turning off automatically. An assignable ‘hot key’ button on the hydraulics control joystick is a new feature that can be used for switching between transmission auto and manual modes, torque lock-up engage/ disengage and auxiliary hydraulic valve control. Alternatively, it can be given the task of muting the radio, answering or hanging up calls on a Bluetooth-connected mobile phone, or acting as a master switch for the work lights.

| Muck & Slurry

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Muck & Slurry

SyreN: stabilizing liquid manure for optimal nutrient utilization F

ully utilize nutrients with SyreN

To optimally utilize the nutrients in the liquid manure and make them more available to the plant, Vogelsang cooperated with Danish company BioCover to expand its product portfolio with SyreN. The partnership applies in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux states, France, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The chemical process stabilizes the liquid manure by adding sulphuric acid and reduces nitrogen losses by up to 70 percent. The SyreN system uses a sensor to automatically measure the pH value of the liquid manure and adds the necessary quantity of sulphuric acid to lower it and stabilize the liquid manure at the target value. This is 52 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

because liquid manure contains a high quantity of nitrogen that is dissolved in the liquid manure fluid and appears in the form of ammonia and ammonium. Both forms of nitrogen are chemically balanced in the liquid manure medium. When the pH value of the liquid manure is lowered, this balance changes. A greater share of the gaseous ammonia is then converted into ammonium (salt), which does not evaporate from the liquid manure. A pH value of 6.0 triggers this chemical reaction and is considered the target value for SyreN. Lower nitrogen losses and emissions The concentrated sulphuric acid is kept in a front tank and is fed into the liquid manure stream in a mixing chamber directly upstream of the

linkage. The mixture of sulphuric acid and liquid manure splits into ammonium and sulphate of sulphur. Both compounds are optimally suited as plant nutrients because the plants can directly absorb them as nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers. Harald Vogelsang says, “SyreN is a closed, reliable system with which farmers and contractors can retrofit their existing technologies, such as dribble bar and trailing shoe systems, and thereby achieve low emissions comparable to those achieved with the slitting technology. At the same time, they benefit from the power and high area coverage of this spreading technique.” For more information, visit: or take a look into our virtual showroom and discover SyreN: agricultural-showroom

| Muck & Slurry

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Muck & Slurry

Agri machinery and innovation by Mastek astek Ltd was established in 2000 by Paul Quinn and is based in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Ireland. Since 2009 Mastek has become a world market leader in slurry handling and umbilical equipment. Mastek manufacturers a full range of umbilical and tanker dribble bars, trailing shoe applicators, reelers and associated equipment. In 2016, Mastek officially opened a new state-of-the-art 924m2 factory unit, specifically for agricultural machinery. This has helped to increase production and grow their export business with machines now heading as far as Finland, Denmark, Sweden,


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Farming Monthly | April 2021

Russia and New Zealand. The UK is a key market for Mastek’s slurry equipment with Mark Roberts based near Shrewsbury and Ben Willcox based in Somerset.

dribble bar is fully galvanised with sprung loaded arm protection and weighs in at only 450kg, ensuring not to off balance the weight distribution of the slurry tanker.

Mastek have two key partners in relation to their slurry systems, firstly Snap-tite lay flat slurry hose is a key part of the business. The second key partner is Bauer who supply Mastek with their full range of separation and pumping equipment.

Mastek have recently launched a brandnew 7.5m Micro Trailing Shoe. This tanker-mounted trailing shoe is designed to provide the ultimate value to the farmer, with a simpler design that is easier to operate compared to their Eco Trailing Shoe and other trailing shoes on the market. Like the Eco Trailing Shoe, each spring is capable of putting up to 8kg of pressure on the coulter to ensure the slurry is placed under the grass cover and to

The company continues to have great success with their Professional Universal Dribble Bar (PUDB) with sales of over 2,000 units to date. The unique system is achieved by mounting the dribble bar directly onto a custom-built replacement door, with the fill point and splash plate moved to the rear of the dribble bar. This allows the dribble bar to be fitted “on farm” within a matter of hours. The dribble bar requires two double acting hydraulic services, one set for the folding mechanism and the macerator operated by a changeover switch in the cab and the other service to open and close the dribble bar gate valve. Mastek fit their own award winning “SuperCut” macerator to the dribble bar which was designed specifically to handle long fibre and debris by using 6 unique V-shaped cutting discs to shear long fibre and plastic. Each hose outlet has a one-way air valve, this gives an even flow and helps to prevent blockages. The full specification “professional” universal

| Muck & Slurry Macerator is specifically designed for smaller applicators, where it is much more efficient and 35% lighter.” Just like its big brother, it is capable of macerating high fibre slurry, plastic and other foreign objects. It is also capable of distributing slurry evenly on uneven ground. The Mastek Micro Trailing Shoe can be fitted

prevent grass contamination. The machine is light, yet it is a very strong and robust machine. This machine has a specially designed hydraulic system where it lifts and tilts for headland turning and continues to fold the booms for transport with one single hydraulic service. On this machine, Mastek have launched their new SuperCut Micro Macerator. After the renowned success of their awardwinning SuperCut Macerator, the SuperCut Micro Macerator is a variant designed for smaller applicators. Speaking to Mastek’s Managing Director Paul Quinn, he explains that “the SuperCut macerator was designed for our 12m booms which have 48 outlets. When we were using our SuperCut macerator on 7.5m applicators, only 28 of these outlets were required. Our new SuperCut Micro

any linkage or fixed bolt holes which are available on the rear of the tanker. These larger dribble bars are suited to larger tandem axle tankers and have the benefit of reducing the number of wheel markings across the field. The 12m dribble bars are also being used in conjunction with 24m tramlines. These linkage mounted dribble bars feature a unique hydraulic accumulator arm protection system meaning if the arm comes into contact with a hedge or post it will allow the arm to pass the obstacle then hydraulically return to its working position. Mastek pride themselves on the build quality and reliability of their products and are keen to provide solutions for small slurry tankers on family dairy farms all the way up to complete systems for large scale farming operations and agricultural contractors.

to existing tankers that are equipped with brackets, or on all new tankers. The other new product to Mastek’s range is the larger Linkage Mounted 10 & 12m dribble bars. These machines follow on from the companies umbilical dribble bars which can be supplied without a umbilical arm to reduce weight and with the addition of brackets to suit

Featuring Mastek’s award winning SuperCut Macerator






MARK ROBERTS : 07432 589562

BEN WILLCOX : 07930 876941

“Our Ambition is to cut Emissions”

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Muck & Slurry

Hi-Spec muck and slurry spreaders W

hen it comes to comes to the handling of muck and slurry, HiSpec Engineering have the ideal solution in their comprehensive range of machinery.

Vacuum tankers The Hi-Spec tanker range includes a wide range of models with capacities from 800 gallons (3,600 litres) up to 5,000 gallons (22,700 litres), all available with numerous filling and other options, allowing you to tailor tankers to your specific needs. All Hi-Spec vacuum tankers are

manufactured using high quality British steel and incorporate internal implosion rings and a collared dished end as standard to ensure the strongest possible construction. All tanks are fully supported by the complete chassis frame and models are available with both standard or stepped recessed axles. The recessed axle lowers the centre of gravity, which not only improves stability both on the road and on undulating ground. Options include a wide range of filling options, including high capacity pumps and a cab operate filling arm. The intake system can also incorporate a Vogelsang Rotacut 5000 chopping unit to avoid any potential blockage to the injectors caused by straw or silage in the slurry. A wide range of spreading attachments are available, including the Hi-Spec Trailing Shoe, available in working widths of 6.0, 7.5 and 9.0 metres. This features a robust chassis mounted mast which ensures that the tanker and shoe are perfectly balanced and that the shoe is properly supported to the tanker. It are also designed so that both the fill points and splash plate can be used without any modifications. The Hi-Spec trailing shoe can also be used as a dribble bar if needed without any contact with the ground. Rear and side discharge muck spreaders The range of spreaders from Hi-Spec Engineering 56 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

| Muck & Slurry include the unique rear discharge XCEL 1250 spreader. The Hi-Spec XCEL 1250 is unique in that it uses a rotary chain and flail system to achieve a good break up of material, which is then spread using a pair of spinning discs. The shredding rotor carries 22 heavy duty chains, which in turn carry 12mm Hardox flail heads, mounted under a 4mm Hardox hood, that shred all the material to an even consistency and ensure no lumps are deposited onto the spreading rotors. An adjustment plate on the shredding rotor hood, evenly places the manure onto the spreading discs to ensure an even spread. The Xcel 1250 has a capacity of 12 tonnes and can evenly spread material up to 24m. The material to be spread is moved rearward by a single slat marine grade floor chain, drivenby a hydraulic motor with overload protection and variable speed adjustment. Options include various tyre sizes, a weigh cell and the ISOBUS compatible RDS iSOCAN Apollo spreader control system or the straightforward Digi-Star GT400 weighing system.

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Machinery

T5 & T6 DYNAMIC COMMAND TRANSMISSION ew Holland first took to the centre stage with advanced transmission design back in 2009 with the pioneering solutions introduced in its Auto Command constantly variable gearbox, this in-house design and built transmission was the first step into dual clutch technology. Today, the company has changed up a gear, it now uses the same dual clutch idea in its new concept within the 110 to 180 horsepower sector.


The 3-range, 8-speed Dynamic Command transmission Dual Clutch is designed and built to offer a wide range of gears that perfectly combine the tractor speed with the task at hand. The new Dynamic Command dual clutch gear box has also been added to the popular T5 range of tractors, to further complement introduction to 58 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

the T6 family. The Dynamic Command is simple and efficient to use. Combining a simple semi-power shift with automotive style gear changes and user-friendly operation, the operator can choose manual or automatic modes to maximise both comfort and efficiency. Dual Clutch technology is made up of two separate clutches on two separate drive shafts within the transmission, ‘It has been carefully designed to make a Synchromesh gearbox act and feel like a full line variable transmission in the field” says David Redman High Horsepower Tractor Product Specialist, “It works by utilizing the 2 clutches in synchronization, one clutch controls the odd gears 1,3,5,7 and the second the even gears 2,4,6,8. This means the transmission can change gear without any torque and power interruption to the wheels in a

very seamless way.” The power is transferred between the two clutches in a seamless and straightforward way; when an odd gear is disengaged by one clutch, the even gear is engaged by the second clutch within milliseconds, ensuring smooth shifting and no loss of power says David. One feature is Smooth Shift, this can be likened to racing motorcycles, it blips the engine throttle a few RPM to perfectly align the synchronizers in the transmission for an uninterrupted shift. Link this to the Kick Down feature, where the tractor will downshift and increase the engine revs when under load, and the operator has the ideal transmission for road haulage. An optional feature of Dynamic Command

| Machinery

transmissions is Ground Speed Management 2 or GSM2 option as it is termed. This feature is available in 3 different modes: field mode, road mode and PTO mode. The operator can now set a target speed for a selected task. For example, during cultivations with a required speed at 8kph, the tractor will maintain this speed by utilising the transmission gears, seamlessly changing while keeping low engine revs for optimum fuel consumption. The tractor’s targeted speed can be controlled via the proportional handle backwards and forwards or simply by pressing the cruise/auto function button on the command grip. Ground Speed Management can be ordered from the factory at the time of build or hardware allowing this function can be unlocked via

software. An additional feature made possible by the design of dual clutch technology is called Dynamic Start Stop. This offers the operator the ability to control the tractor on the brakes without depressing the clutch pedal, it’s just like driving an automatic car. This feature is especially useful in a front loader situation when entering up to a stack or loading a lorry. Once the task is dealt with the operator can simply release the brake pedal and drive will be resumed. Cycle times are reduced while operator comfort is increased. The Dynamic Start Stop will also have added value if used with Custom Steer, a unique option giving the operator the preference on the number of revolutions they turn the steering wheel from lock to lock on the front axle. Small movements of the steering

wheel could have a big impact on front axle steering movement saving time and effort required from the operator especially in tight stock yards or buildings. Overall, the Dynamic Command Transmission (DCT) offered in its current T5 and T6 range of tractors is like a Swiss army knife. Providing all the tools for any application on the farm or in the field and designed with the most experienced operator through to the new starter. Low cost of ownership is ensured through proven fuel efficiency. Mark Crosby UK/ROI Marketing Manager states “Adding to the T6 line up is our newly launch 6-cylinder T6.160 model, this complements the DCT line up giving a further six-cylinder option to satisfy owner choice and versatility.”

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Machinery

G Series receives Red Dot Design Award 2021 Valtra design once again earns international recognition

“Winning the Red Dot Design Award is also the best possible way to kick off Valtra’s 70th anniversary. It says a lot that, even with such an impressive history behind us, our eyes are still set firmly on the future. In fact, we will see several other interesting new products already this year!” Wihinen reveals.


he Valtra G135 has received the Red Dot Design Award 2021 in the Red Dot: Product Design award series. This marks already the sixth Red Dot award in Valtra’s history and demonstrates how Valtra’s success story continues with the latest, fifth, product generation of tractors.

“The Red Dot Design Award presented to the new G Series is certainly encouraging, especially since this is Valtra’s first product in a completely new generation of tractors and even in what could be considered a new product segment. The G Series is a popular tractor that has already been named Tractor of The Year, which suggests that we are indeed doing things right. Thanks for the award also go to the entire Valtra team, as it takes the seamless collaboration of hundreds of people to make such a successful product,” says Valtra's chief designer Kimmo Wihinen. It takes a particularly high-quality product to win the Red Dot Design Award, which takes into consideration the quality of both design and planning, as well as innovations. The Valtra G Series was praised for its exceptional quality in all these areas.

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Farming Monthly | April 2021

The Valtra G Series was unveiled in August 2020 and elected Tractor of the Year 2021. The Valtra G Series is a small giant, a compact multipurpose tractor that can be operated comfortably while performing tasks effortlessly. The G Series combines a compact size with agility and a modern design. The G Series is also the perfect tractor for front-loader tasks. Work is facilitated by easy and unobstructed access to the cab via self-cleaning steps, as well as a comfortable and spacious cab for two people with excellent visibility in all directions, including upwards, thanks to a combined glass area of 5.7 square metres. The Valtra G Series cab also features other awardwinning design in the form of the Valtra SmartTouch armrest, which has won the Red Dot Design Award in 2017. The history of the Red Dot Design Award stretches back 60 years. It is one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world. This year, a record number of companies and design studios from around 60 countries worldwide took part in the competition.

| Machinery

New Stage V versions of Kubota’s L1 and L2 series now available ubota has launched two new ranges of compact tractors, building on the success achieved with previous L1 and L2 series. Both new ranges are now equipped with Kubota’s Stage V engines, and the exterior and interior designs have been refreshed giving a stylish new look.


The new Kubota L1 series compact tractors have been designed to be highly durable, easy to operate and simple to maintain. There is a choice of three-range HST hydrostatic transmission or a synchronised manual gearbox featuring eight forward and eight reverse gears. The L1 tractors are powered by four-cylinder 45hp, 51hp and 55hp Kubota Stage V diesel engines, which make them exceptionally clean-running.

One of the key advantages of Kubota compact tractors is the spacious, comfortable design of their platform, and the L1 series is no exception with a folding rear ROPS frame and a height-adjustable steering wheel. The L1 series also features generous rear lifting capacity, with a maximum lift of 1750kg. Compact tractors in the L2 series feature an improved combination of comfort and efficiency, which makes them ideal for demanding professionals. The L2 range allows users to choose between three different engine outputs from 45-61hp, spacious and well-equipped cabin or ROPS versions, 16F+16R mechanical or three-range hydrostatic transmission. Rear linkage lift capacity is 1750kg.

Another key aspect of this latest L2 range is its user-focused design, and an example of that is the one-piece engine cowling that can be fully opened, giving operators effortless access to all important service points and daily checks, in the engine compartment. In addition, the front axle with bevel gear drive and the integrated power steering deliver effortlessly agile manoeuvrability, suiting use in tight spaces. Both L1 and L2 tractor ranges can be specified with Kubota front-end loaders offering even more versatility and expanding the range of tasks that can be performed. Prices for the L1 models start at £15,549 for the L1452, while L2 models are priced from £22,126 for the L2452 ROPS version.





• • • •


Horsepower Increase Torque Increase Great Fuel Saving Fantastic discounts available on multiple bookings Nationwide Service

Call us today for any of your specialist software solutions for ANY agricultural or construction machine. Office: 01271 268013 Mobile: 07919 181218 April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Machinery

Digital precision with new app ith a new site-specific app developed by the German start-up company Solorrow, farmers can easily create variable rate application maps for fertilising and other field operations and share them with the John Deere Operations Center.


From there, maps can be sent wirelessly to machines in the field to enable more precise applications, so that fertilisers and crop protection chemicals can be used more effectively and the environment protected in a sustainable way. Software and app developments are becoming increasingly important in precision farming. Solorrow offers an affordable and

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Farming Monthly | April 2021

very easy solution, which allows users to quickly identify fields and their boundaries in a map view on their tablet or smartphone.

Based on five years of biomass data, the selected areas can then be divided into different soil zones that act as the basis for fertiliser and spray application maps. These maps can be sent from the app to the John Deere Operations Center and then also sent wirelessly to the appropriate vehicle. The John Deere in-cab display receives the data and then gives the ISOBUS controlled fertiliser spreader or sprayer the site-specific application rate based on its current position in the field. This interaction between the

Solorrow app and John Deere’s Precision Ag technology solutions not only has agricultural benefits. The collaboration also demonstrates that a smooth exchange of data between different manufacturers’ software solutions is both possible and practical. In this way farmers always maintain full control over their data flow and data ownership. With this new app, Solorrow and John Deere are combining their marketing and sales activities. This allows John Deere dealers to offer farmers and contractors an even wider range of Precision Ag systems, and customers can continue to benefit from the usual services for consultation, commissioning and technical support.

| Machinery

TWO-YEAR INTEREST-FREE FINANCE FOR FARMTRAC A spring deal for those who need a great value tractor now ach year Reesink Agriculture, UK distributor of Farmtrac tractors, offers customers the chance to buy the reliable and economic multi-tasking tractors from Farmtrac with competitive finance. This year’s spring deal sees customers able to take advantage of zero percent finance for two years on eight tractors from 1 April to 31 May.


Reesink understands that for most annual forecasts, plans and budgets have been hugely affected by the effect of COVID-19 and it’s essential that as a distributor we support our customers in delivering against their objectives. Having dependable tractors in the shed is vital, now more than ever, considering the unprecedented circumstances the agricultural community finds itself in, hence this finance deal from Reesink now. It’s a deal that allows smallholdings, vineyards, orchard farms, smaller farms

or hobby farms, and those in industries like equine or plantation management, to identify the specialist tractor they need to help their business and then get it quickly, without the wait. Reesink tractor sales manager Steven Haynes says: “We’ve kept things simple for 2021. It’s one scheme offering zero percent finance on all diesel tractors. We find this option suits the majority of customers – with repayments over a two year period it allows the customer to budget effectively and get the tractor they need whilst interest rates are so low.” The deal comes from Reesink Agriculture and its finance partner DLL Group, who have financed over 50,000 tractors in the UK. It’s based on a 1+23 payment profile, which is monthly payments over a two year period and financing up to 60 percent of the tractors’ RRP value.

effective, intuitive, comprehensive and innovative nine-strong smart-looking tractor range, excluding just the FT25G electric. There’s plenty of choice with tractors ranging from 22-113hp, 7503100kg hydraulic lift capacity and 9x3 manual to 24x24 power shuttle transmissions. Steven continues: “These finance options are designed to help customers buy the tractors they need without compromising cashflow, allowing them to replenish or add to their fleet in a way that suits their financial situation.” This finance deal is available at participating dealers from 1 April until 31 May 2021. Finance is subject to acceptance and only available in the UK. To find out more contact Reesink on 01480 226800, visit to view the tractors or email

The deal applies to eight of the costApril 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Machinery

First Bobcat Compact Wheel Loader Leaves Production Line


obcat reveals detailed specifications and features for new L85 model.

With the first completed machine coming off the assembly line, Bobcat has announced that the company’s first new compact wheel loader (CWL) - the L85 model - is now in full production at the Bobcat plant on the Dobris campus in the Czech Republic. Bobcat has also confirmed full details and features for the L85 CWL, which was part of the company’s revolutionary ‘Next is Now’ launch event in October 2020. The first machine is heading to the Bobcat Institute on the campus, where it will be used to train Bobcat dealers and customers. By entering the wheel loader category, Bobcat now has the largest loader portfolio of any manufacturer in the world. To meet demand, an additional fourth production line has been built at the company's plant in the Czech Republic. The capacity of the new production line is around 1000 machines per year and will be operated by 15 workers per shift. The overall new investment involved was worth over one million Euro. Created in the Bobcat Innovation Center Jiri Karmazin, Loaders Product Manager at Bobcat, said: “A product of the Bobcat Innovation Center on our Dobris campus, the L85 has been designed to set a new market-leading performance 64 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

benchmark in this segment of the market. The L85 is built with proven components including the engine, structures, axles, electronics and hydraulics sourced either from Bobcat or our prestigious Tier 1 suppliers. Many components are already widely used in our market-leading compact loaders, mini-excavators and telehandlers, and the L85 undergoes the same final assembly and test procedures as these products." High performance is assured by the combination of the powerful Bobcat engine and the hydraulics. This is complemented by the high stability, breakout, push and pull forces and a comprehensive selection of Bobcat attachments. Combined with intuitive controls, high operator comfort and ease of use, the L85 compact wheel loader is ideal for a multitude of tasks in a very wide range of industries. The L85 can be used in construction, landscaping, rental, industrial, waste, recycling and agriculture, but is also ideal for road work, snow removal, maintenance and many other applications. A Truly Multi-Purpose Machine Already, there are multiple Bobcat loader attachments approved for use on the L85, with more to be announced in the near future. The current portfolio includes a general purpose bucket, light material buckets, a combination bucket, pallet forks and angle broom and snowblower attachments, making the L85 a truly multi-purpose machine.

The L85 is equipped as standard with the Power Quick-Tach system compatible with widely used industry standard couplers. To run high-flow attachments like a snow blower and an angle broom, the L85 can be fitted with a high flow option, providing a hydraulic flow of 100 l/min. Another unique feature of the L85 is the Advanced Attachment Control. This revolutionary system enables the operator to switch to an alternative machine control pattern at the touch of a button. This offers independent control of the engine speed (and maximum auxiliary flow) and the machine travel speed. Thanks to the 7-pin connector, the operator can control even the most complicated attachments intuitively and effectively. Focused on Ease of Use The engine is generally started by the standard key, but for quick engine start and stop during the day, the operator can also use soft-touch buttons conveniently located on the right-hand console. The machine is also equipped with Automatic Parking Brake and Slope Assist features, ensuring the parking brake on the L85 is automatically engaged and disengaged as required. These automotive-style features are unique in the industry for this type of machine. The location of all the controls is designed to make the L85 easy and comfortable to operate even during long

| Machinery shifts. The direction-changing switch [Forward-Neutral-Reverse] is located on the front side of the joystick and is indexfinger operated. Controls for differential lock, turtle/rabbit mode, boom float and auxiliary flow control are all at the operator’s fingertips on the top of the joystick. The jog shuttle is used to reach, navigate and confirm the set-up of the L85 on the 5-inch LED display, and also to switch quickly to the view provided by the rear-view camera. All the machine’s vital information display and set-up screens are managed via the jog shuttle. Designed Around the Operator Designed around the operator, the cab on the L85 provides high comfort and easy operation, ensuring the operator can work for as long they want. Seat and hand controls can be easily adjusted to fit the operator’s needs. The joystick’s position is adjustable horizontally and integrated in the operator’s suspension seat to assure the best operation experience and comfort. The steering column is also adjustable in two directions – horizontal and vertical – a feature unique in the CWL industry. The cab is fully enclosed and pressurized, meeting the strictest FOPS II safety requirements. There are two full glass doors either side of the cab, providing excellent visibility on both sides. This is combined with the low front window corners, the hood design which offers both toughness and high visibility, the output from the rearview camera and the tight turning circle. This ensures that even less experienced operators can quickly begin using the machine, manipulating loads and moving

around the work site with confidence. Soft switches to control the main functions of the L85 are conveniently located on the right-hand console, and there is plenty of storage space for large water bottles and cups as well as a 12 V charger and USB ports.

Choice of Comfort and Performance options

The L85 is equipped as standard with a heating system, with a full heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system available as a factory option. As well as ensuring the best working conditions all year round, the HVAC system helps with defrosting and reducing humidity in the cab during cold weather.

Wheel options Road Package

Brief Specifications for the L85: Standard bucket:

0.8 m3

Bucket range:

0.6 – 1.2 m3

Operating weight:

5091 kg

Lift height:

3250 mm

Other comfort and performance features available include:

Cab height:

2498 mm

High-flow hydraulics


Bobcat D24

Automatic Ride Control

Engine power:

50.7 kW (68 HP)

Bucket Level Indicator

LED Road Lights

To watch the product walkaround video for the L85 click here: 4EfobNEczLU

30 km/h speed option

For more information about Bobcat and Bobcat products, visit the website

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Machinery

Claydon adds two new rigid 4m Hybrid models to its range of mounted drills


laydon has added two new rigid 4m Hybrid models to its range of mounted drills.

The M4RF features a dual 2100-litre hopper with 50:50 seed/ fertiliser split, allowing fertiliser to be applied at time of seeding. Growers can choose to apply fertiliser either below the seed on the front leading tine or above the seed on the seeding tine or new LD low disturbance twin tine. There is also an option of splitting the fertiliser between the front and seeding tine/twin tine. The M4R is the seed only version of the 4m rigid drill and has a hopper capacity of 1750 litres. Both new Hybrid models come with the Claydon leading tine and 7” A share as standard, together with shear bolt stone protection, a rear double toolbar with

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metal boards and following tines for seedbed levelling and consolidation. Optional extras include seed/fertiliser blockages sensors, pre-emergence markers and bout markers.

The M4R and M4RF Hybrids have a recommended minimum power requirement of 200hp and are priced at £43,255 and £54,995 respectively for a standard specification machine.

Both new rigid Hybrid drills also have GPS speed sensing, electronically driven metering systems and a 4channel drill computer allowing the addition of up to two extra applicators for micro granules and slug pellets.

In addition to a comprehensive range of tractor-mounted and trailed Hybrid drills from 3m to 8m wide, the Claydon OptiTill® product line includes Straw Harrows from 3m to 15m and the 6m TerraStar® light rotary cultivator. Claydon also manufacture the TerraBlade inter-row hoe in widths from 3m to 8m, which helps growers to control weeds in band-sown crops more efficiently and more effectively than chemicals alone, with significant cost and environmental benefits.

A complete range of seeding share, tine and disc options is offered on both drills, including the new LD Low Disturbance kits. These are made up of a twin tine and single or double cutting disc and can be swapped with the standard Claydon set-up in a matter of minutes. This gives the Hybrid range great flexibility and versatility in meeting a whole range of seeding scenarios and requirements in one drill.

For more details contact your local dealer, call Claydon on 01440 820327, or visit

| Machinery

Successful Wheel Loader Deployment for USUM Recycling ince September 2020, the company has been using a new Hyundai HL965 wheel loader with an operating weight of 20-tonne and 201 kW net power (with a 3.5m3 bucket) in addition to a new 13-tonne HL940A machine of the same series, with 116 kW net power (2.5-m3 bucket). Both wheel loaders are used for assembling and turning compost piles, loading recyclable materials onto trucks, and general loading operations and cleaning work.


Heinisch bought the new wheel loaders from the Hyundai dealership Tecklenborg Baumaschinen GmbH based in the town of Leisnig and had them custom-equipped to meet his specific needs. "The 45% subsidy we received from a programme for reducing CO2 emissions enabled us to buy these modern, highly economical Hyundai wheel loaders, and trade in two very old vehicles," explains Heinisch. Wheel loader operator Udo Hartung, who operates the HL940A daily through difficult and heavy recycling operations, is also delighted with the high-precision operability of this quiet-running wheel loader. The vehicle's low fuel consumption of some six-litres per hour is also a winning factor. A climate-controlled operator's cabin is an indispensable feature for often odourintensive recycling operations. The HL965 wheel loader is additionally equipped with a protective ventilation system from the company SEKA. The SEKA system isn't required on the HL940A as the machine is fitted with the latest-generation cabin technology, however, it was the company's choice as an added comfort benefit for the operator. Tecklenborg takes charge of all loader service and repair work, and USUM Recycling is highly satisfied with the service they have provided. The wheel loaders are used for up to 1,500 hours annually. The HL wheel loader series from

Hyundai Construction Equipment Automatic engine shutdown control keeps fuel consumption and emissions under strict control at the right time. When HL-series loaders are idling, the engine switches off automatically after the time limit set by the vehicle operator. The standard five-speed transmission with direct-drive clutch further reduces fuel consumption. An ECO gauge enables consistently economy-oriented operation by frequently checking the machine condition. The ECO display changes colour with the motor torque and fuel efficiency. In addition, fuel consumption values such as average consumption and total consumption are monitored and shown on the monitor. The standard ECO accelerator pedal distinguishes between economy operation and power operation. Fuel consumption in economy operation is significantly lower. HL-series loader operators can set a "speed limit" for the vehicle anywhere between 20 and 40 km/h, as considered optimally effective for the given deployment. Intelligent Clutch Cut-Off (ICCO) In the H mode, the Intelligent Clutch CutOff (ICCO) reduces the power lost at the torque converter. The lower heat production through ICCO is of overall benefit to the fuel economy. The hydraulic limited-slip differential both increases productivity and has a fuelsaving effect by preventing tyre slip. New cabs with enhanced operator comfort Quiet, safe and comfortable, and 10% larger as well – the new cab with rollover protective (ROPS) and fallingobject protective (FOPS) structures and fully adjustable driver seat provides the vehicle operator with an ergonomic and very pleasant workplace. The cab has a high level of soundproofing and uses state-of-the-art noise-reducing technology to ensure maximum quiet during work in noisy environments such as gravel pits and waste dumps. The new air-conditioning system maximises

the heating or cooling performance with optimised air flow within the cab. The electro-hydraulic joystick enables simple control of the accessories, which benefits productivity and reduces fatigue. An infotainment system is provided for the operator's comfort and pleasure Operating the seven-inch monitor is similar to using a smartphone display. The display is also larger than in the previous models, and easy to read. The audio system, including the radio, has an integrated Bluetooth hands-free device and a built-in microphone with which the driver in the cab can receive and make phone calls. The infotainment system also offers the operator the means of using the Miracast wireless communication standard, which enables the operator to use the WLAN of his or her smartphone to put the functions of the mobile phone on the large screen – including navigation, Internet access, and playing videos and music. All HLseries wheel loaders are optionally available with joystick steering. Soft end stop The touchscreen monitor and electrohydraulically controlled levers are used to adjust the soft end stop, bucket priority and stop position for the boom arms and bucket. The soft end stop reduces impacts and vibrations when an attachment approaches the end of its travel and provides impact-free "arrival" by automatically reducing the speed of movement at this point. This function can be deactivated at the monitor. Precision weighing system All models of the HL900 series are fitted with a weighing system. This system offers automatic and manual settings, and weighs individual bucket loads and total load weights within an accuracy range of +/-1%. April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Tyres

BKT LAUNCHES THE NEW EARTHMAX SR 412 There is a new OTR tire in the EARTHMAX range. Ideal to equip dump trucks, loaders and dozers, it guarantees resistance to damaging attacks and excellent stability in all operations. KT's range of over 2,700 tires is expanding again. The latest is EARTHMAX SR 412, designed to equip articulated dump trucks, loaders and dozers.


Excellent stability and resistance to damaging attacks are the main qualities which distinguish this new tire. The

robust casing and the All Steel belts let EARTHMAX SR 412 transport heavy loads while avoiding tears and punctures. The tread has a unique design with an E-4 depth, guaranteeing exceptional traction and high heat resistance, while the square shoulder ensures EARTHMAX SR 412 has a solid grip on the ground, which gives the vehicle greater control and

maneuverability. EARTHMAX SR 412 is available in the 29.5 R 25 and 750/65 R 25 sizes. The new product thus joins the EARTHMAX family, the range of OTR radial tires designed to operate in the most extreme and adverse situations. Specifically designed for dump trucks, wheel loaders, dozers and graders, the tires in this range are true partners in the toughest operations, guaranteeing these vehicles better load distribution on the ground and ensuring comfort, safety and stability for end users. Originally launched in 2008, EARTHMAX now numbers over twenty different product lines with numerous models and sizes, to which can now be added the new EARTHMAX SR 412 tire: further confirmation of BKT's commitment to continuously finding solutions which can meet the widest-ranging needs of its end users. The All Steel structure which characterizes all the tires in this range makes the different EARTHMAX models especially suitable for operations on large worksites, in quarries and in mines, resisting puncture, penetration by foreign bodies and other damage to the casing. The launch of this new product, which follows on just a few months after the announcement of the prototype of the gigantic EARTHMAX SR 468, the biggest tire ever made by BKT, bears witness to the extraordinary work of the Group's Research and Development team in always finding new solutions to help end users in their operations in the field. The watchword: focus on customer. As, moreover, it is always the case for BKT.

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| Tyres

Apollo Vredestein expands agriculture tyre production in Europe

pollo Vredestein is enhancing its European agricultural tyre production activities at its Enschede factory in the Netherlands by bringing a new 104-inch tyre press into service in mid-March.


The demand for Vredestein Traxion XL tractor tyres is growing strongly in Europe and North America. This increasing demand is initiated both from end-users such as agricultural contractors and farmers, and from agricultural machinery manufacturers fitting tyres as part of their OEM

strategy. As the new generation of tractors become larger, stronger and heavier, Apollo Vredestein has responded with a range of innovative tyre solutions. The high-end range meets the latest requirements for traction, comfort, durability and soil protection. A good example is the awardwinning Vredestein Traxion Optimall tyre featuring VF technology, which allows for better performance in the field at lower tyre pressures. The newly installed tyre press will mainly

produce tractor tyres for the XL segment (diameter up to 2.30 m and weight up to 550 kg), suitable for tractors between 200 and 500 hp. The commissioning of the press in Enschede represents a significant increase in capacity for this tyre segment. The new tyre press is the first part of a 5-year investment programme in the production facilities for agricultural tyres in Enschede. With this expansion, Apollo Vredestein aims to increase availability of its premium product range in Europe and realise further international market share growth.

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |



Genuine Accessories available for the Kawasaki Utility Range

he Kawasaki 2021 range comprises of four MULE utlity vehicles and the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS ATV: the MULE PRO-DXT, MULE PRO-DX, MULE PRO-MX and MULE SX. The range is designed for use over various terrain found on arable and pastoral farms, providing the ability to easily transport equipment and animal feed. A range of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories are available across the utility range to provide additional comfort and ease with everyday tasks.


The MULE SX 4x4 is equipped with a 401cc four-stroke, OHV, air-cooled engine, sporting a 16-litre fuel tank, delivering power reliably and

economically, with a restricted top speed of 25mph. The tubular steel chassis provides the best balance of rigidity, strength and ride comfort with off-road pursuits. The MULE SX can be fitted with either a Canvas Cabin or Hard Cabin, which includes wiper and washer, to provide protection against the elements for use all year round. Also available as an additional accessory is a Cargo Bed Liner or thick Cargo Bed Mat, to reduce damage to the original bed surface from heavy loads. The easy-toload tilting cargo bed can carry up to 181kg of tools and materials, and an extra 500kg can be towed behind by fitting a tow ball to the ever-eager MULE. The MULE PRO-MX offers the ideal

For more information

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balance between compact and full size UTVs, fitted with a single-cylinder 700cc petrol powered engine, the MX is perfectly positioned between the MULE SX and MULE PRO-DX, giving customers even greater choice to find the perfect vehicle for their needs. The MULE PRO-MX can be fitted with a Hard Cabin made of high grade steel with a quality black finish. The flip-up style tinted safety glass windscreen features rubber seals and locks to ensure you stay dry and warm when tackling the most difficult tasks. Heavy Duty Springs are available to firm up the suspension and improve the handling of the vehicle whilst transporting heavy cargo or when fitted with a cabin. With conveniently small dimensions (2,795 mm long x

Southam Agri. Services Southam, Warwickshire CV47 2DH 01926 813426


1,525 mm wide x 2,005 mm wheelbase with a turning circle of just 4.2m), the carrying and towing capacity does not suffer at 317kg and 680kg respectively. A Bed Extender is available for the MULE PRO-MX to further increase usable cargo space for extra-large loads. At the top of the MULE range is the MULE PRO-DX and MULE PRO-DXT, offering a class-leading 453kg carrying capacity of the long and low tipping cargo bed and impressive 907kg towing potential. The 993cc liquid-cooled, 4stroke Diesel engine provides ample power to navigate over tough terrain and working environments. Dirt, terrain and weather won’t stop the ultra-rugged MULE PRO-DX and PRO-DXT, with all

essential systems designed to resist water, dust and debris. The MULE PRODX and MULE PRO-DXT are available to purchase with a Hard Cabin, featuring doors equipped with hydraulic stoppers, automotive style locks and sliding safety glass side windows. The DXT Hard Cabin also includes a clear sliding window partition between the front and rear seats to allow complete cab enclosure whether in 2 or 4 passenger mode. Additional accessories include a bed extender, cargo dividers and under seat storage bin to provide additional easy-to-access space, which stays outof-sight. The Kawasaki 2021 ATV offering is the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS, available in

either Camo or Super Black colour options. This high-performance allterrain vehicle is equipped with a 749cc liquid cooled, 4-stroke V-twin engine, providing all-day working performance. Industry leading features including speed variable Electronic Power Steering and greater chassis control providing all-day working performance. The Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS can be installed with a front or rear case to create extra storage when on the move. The full Kawasaki utility range and Genuine Accessories are available on the Kawasaki website or through your local Kawasaki utility dealer. To find out more visit

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |



Ranger Stor i e s : A helping ha n d at a UK smallholding ardest working. Smoothest riding. The Polaris Ranger is one of the bestselling utility side-by-sides across the globe, and has earned its reputation as the ultimate utility vehicle with over one million vehicles built and counting. To showcase the versatility of the Ranger, Polaris has embarked on a journey across Europe, Middle East and Africa to discover and film how customers are using the Polaris Ranger in their day-to-day lives. The initiative, called Ranger Stories, is set to demonstrate the many ways in which the Ranger line-up is servicing customer lives worldwide.


Episode 7 – UK The Clements family have always wanted to own and manage a smallholding in the UK, so when the opportunity came up in 2018, Jane Clements,

along with her family and her horses, moved to Corbetts Hill Farm to make the dream a reality. Situated northwest of London in Bedfordshire, Corbetts Hill Farm is a 10acre smallholding surrounded by the beautiful English countryside. Peaceful and picturesque, what might not be obvious at first glance is how much manual labour and time is required to maintain and manage a smallholding of this size. To give a helping hand, the Clements family bought a Polaris 72 |

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Ranger 570 last year and haven’t looked back since. Jane Clements said, “Being able to keep the horses on our own land is amazing, but it is hard work. We bought our Ranger about a year ago, and what a difference it’s made. I can’t actually remember how we managed before.” For the seventh episode of Ranger Stories, Polaris follows a day in the life of Jane to see exactly what goes into the management of Corbetts Hill Farm, from sunrise to sunset. With its large cargo bed with 227kg capacity, the Ranger 570 makes light work of transporting materials like horse feed and water, and with the addition of the Polaris Engineered CargoMax system, they can move even more in one load. The Clements’ also have a Polaris Pro Heavy-Duty winch fitted to the Ranger to help with fallen trees around the land.

in and around barns and sheds, between gates, and through woodland – all the areas that a 4×4 wouldn’t be able to travel. With its 25.4cm ground clearance and all-wheel drive capabilities, any difficult tracks or muddy fields are no match for the Ranger. Whilst there are no days off and an endless list of jobs to do whilst living on a smallholding, the Ranger 570 allows the Clements family to work smarter, not harder, in order to get the job done.

Homologated for road use in the UK, Jane can use the Ranger 570 can visit her local equestrian supplier as well as the local allotment, and thanks to being small in size, the Ranger 570 can easily travel around the farm;


Polaris Reveals Plan for All-New Full-Size Electric RANGER olaris Inc. (NYSE: PII) unveiled plans to debut an all-new 2022 electric RANGER utility side-byside in late December 2021, advancing the Company’s strategic rEV’d up electrification strategy. This fullsize RANGER is the first electric vehicle Polaris developed through its powersports industry-exclusive partnership with Zero Motorcycles®, which the two companies announced last September. The Company expects the new electric RANGER to start arriving in dealerships in early 2022.


“Our rEV’d up strategy positions Polaris to help define yet another chapter in powersports innovation,” said Mike Speetzen, interim CEO, Polaris Inc. “With the rising interest in electric vehicles, we are investing in electrification in order to meet the needs of current customers as well as appeal to tomorrow’s riders. The all-new electric RANGER is our latest effort aimed at leading the industry forward in this area.” As part of the Polaris rEV’d up strategy, the all-new full-size electric RANGER spearheads the company’s long-term plan to accelerate its leadership in powersports electrification. Design and development efforts for the all-new electric RANGER are currently underway in North America.

“The strength of our partnership with Zero Motorcycles and our own investments in electrification R&D enable us to leverage advancements in electric powertrains and performance to drive the off-road industry into the future,” said Mike Donoughe, senior vice president and chief technical officer, Polaris Inc. “This will be one of the most technically advanced off-road vehicles on the market and reinforces Polaris’ position as the innovation leader in powersports.” “As our top-selling off-road vehicle brand, RANGER has continually set the benchmark as the hardest working, smoothest riding UTV, leading the market in rider-inspired innovation,” said Steve Menneto, president of Polaris Off Road. “The new electric powertrain will elevate the RANGER platform to a whole new level of capability, durability and performance.” “We’ve actively engaged our RANGER customers, and without a doubt, there is significant demand for even higher levels of performance and capability,” added Menneto. “They’ve expressed some very specific unmet needs, and our new electric full-size RANGER will effectively address them, unlocking a truly enhanced off-road experience.”

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |



fter relying on Honda ATVs for more than 30 years to carry out transport duties around a Suffolk shoot, an experienced gamekeeper selected a Honda Pioneer 700 UTV as a replacement and is delighted with his decision.


David Burder is the gamekeeper for Tendring Hall Shoot which is run by Tendring Hall Estate, close to the Essex-Suffolk border. The shoot is across 800ha of rolling countryside including woodland, grass and cropped land, and ATVs have been used there since soon after David became the gamekeeper in the late 1980’s. Loyal Honda user “Most of the shoot is on light land, but

which are susceptible to rutting and damage in the wet winter months,” explained David. “We rely on ATVs and UTVs for shoot transport, as their low ground pressure tyres allow travel across the same areas day after day throughout the year without creating ruts. “Before moving to Tendring I worked at another estate for seven years where we used Honda ATC250 three-wheelers. Their ability to transport people and materials in all weathers had impressed me, and they were almost totally reliable. When I started at Tendring and needed an ATV, I automatically chose a Honda.” According to David, his first TRX350 4wd was ‘a league above’ the three-wheel machines he had used previously. The TRX350 was replaced by another the same, then a succession of five or six more Hondas of various models were purchased over the next 30 years. “Despite travelling an average 12,000km per year they were all incredibly reliable, and there was never a need to look at other brands,” he commented. Diesel disadvantages

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Five years ago, the estate’s trustees suggested that a load-carrying UTV should be purchased to replace the ATV so that larger loads could be

transported without needing a trailer, and passengers could be carried safely. Because Honda didn’t offer side-by-side UTVs at that time, David had to look at other options. He tried several different brands before selecting a dieselpowered machine with generous loadcarrying capability. “As soon as we started using the diesel machine there was an immediate issue with damage to sensitive ground which we had never experienced in over 30 years of using the Honda ATVs,” said David. “It carried heavy loads, but it was too slow and noisy for vermin control, so the Honda ATV remained on the shoot.” Versatile and efficient In autumn 2016, a new option became available when Honda added the Pioneer 700 side-by-side UTV to its range. There were two models – the Pioneer 700-2 with two seats, and the Pioneer 700-4 with four – including two QuickFlip seats which are stowed away below the front section of the load bed until they are needed, and then can be


folded out in just a few minutes to provide safe and comfortable transport for two extra passengers. Both models come with a tipping rear load bed capable of carrying up to 386kg, and an optional hitch for trailers up to 680kg. A powerful 675cc, liquid-cooled petrol engine drives through a mechanical torque converter automatic transmission with power transmitted by shafts to the wheels for high efficiency and excellent performance.

have been delivering feed around the estate, transporting pen sections by trailer when ground conditions are too soft for the diesel UTV, and vermin control – most of which is at night. “It’s a brilliant tool,” said David. “When ground conditions are soft and wet we use it instead of the diesel machine. It’s got plenty of power, so even fully loaded it handles our slopes easily. It can travel almost anywhere the ATV could and the

A demonstration of the new Pioneer 700-2 was requested from the local main dealer. “I was very impressed,” said David. “Our diesel UTV can carry more but the Honda Pioneer was much lighter and more compact. Its offroad performance was similar to the Honda ATV and, unlike the heavy diesel model, it didn’t create ruts on soft ground. We placed an order then while we waited for it to arrive I persuaded the dealer to leave the demonstrator with us, as it was proving so useful.” Brilliant tool In the three years that David has used the Pioneer it has recorded 9,400kms and 641 working hours. Its main tasks

narrow width and its extreme manoeuvrability mean we can use it wherever we want in the woods, rather than being restricted to wider

established tracks. The petrol engine is smooth and very quiet so it’s ideal for night-time vermin control. It’s economical too and uses only slightly more fuel than the ATV, despite its ability to carry a passenger plus bigger loads.” David said that he can rely on the backup from his local authorised Honda dealer, MKM Agriculture. He has the Pioneer serviced annually by the team there and is confident that if it is ever out of action then a loan machine will always be available. Daily checks are straightforward and take just a few minutes, and there is very little routine maintenance. “None of the other petrol UTVs that we tried offered the performance and durability we needed,” concluded David. “The Pioneer has the best combination of off-road capability, operator comfort and load capacity, so we would definitely choose the same model again. It’s a great machine, and the only improvement we would suggest would be the addition of power steering to the options list.”

April 2021 |

Farming Monthly |


| Motors

XC40 leads Volvo success in 2021 Fleet World Great British Fleet Awards

olvo models have collected new honours in the 2021 Fleet World Great British Fleet Awards, led by the XC40 which has been crowned Best Medium SUV. The S60 saloon has also taken a share of the limelight, being highly commended in the Best Compact Executive category.


The success demonstrates how Volvo is meeting the requirements and preferences of business customers with cars that combine quality, tax efficiency and desirability with contemporary

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March 2021

Scandinavian styling, cutting-edge connectivity and peerless safety. The across-the-board availability of electrified powertrains adds a crucial dimension to Volvo’s appeal to customers – business and retail alike – seeking both lower emissions and strong performance. Announcing the XC40’s success, the Fleet World judges commented: “The XC40 is in its fourth year on sale, but its sharp styling plus attractive and highquality interior keep it at the top. The Swedish manufacturer hasn’t been resting on its laurels, either, with plug-in or full electric versions of the XC40 launched in the past year, adding to the range of efficient engines that have already marked out Volvo’s baby SUV. This all adds up to a strong package, in a hard-fought sector, that is getting more attractive and relevant to fleet buyers.” The judges also praised the S60 for its advanced safety and driver-assistance features, and its “sharp styling and hightech, high-quality interior”, factors that

make choosing the model a “head and heart” decision. Rob Morris, Volvo Car UK’s Head of Fleet and Remarketing, said: “Fleet and business customers have to make hard, rational decisions when it comes to choosing a car, going beyond outstanding design and high-tech solutions. This latest success in the Great British Fleet Awards demonstrates how our models blend a low cost of ownership and, crucially, a wide range of efficient electrified powertrains, including the new pure electric XC40 Recharge. I’m confident that our range of cars provides an intelligent solution for fleet and business customers.” For more information on the XC40 and S60, and to use the online configurator, please go to For more information on Volvo business sales, please go to uk/cars/business-sales

| Motors

Next Generation Ford Transit Custom All-Electric Coming in 2023; New Vehicle Built in Turkey by Ford Otosan

ord today confirmed that the next generation Ford Transit Custom range will include an allelectric model in addition to plug-in hybrid, mild hybrid and conventional engine variants.

conventional internal combustion engine to allelectric vehicles in a single jump. This is why its range of powertrain technologies from mild hybrids through to plug-in hybrids are essential and will continue to be a significant part of the next generation Transit Custom range.

The new Custom range – which includes the Transit Custom van and Tourneo Custom people mover – goes into production in the first half of 2023, with all-electric versions of both models

Continued growth in Ford’s strong commercial vehicle business is key to its European profitability. It is supported by new products and services, working with an extensive network of commercial vehicle converter partners, with Ford’s strategic alliance with Volkswagen and its Ford Otosan joint venture providing cost-effective vehicle development and sourcing.


part of the most extensive Transit Custom range ever offered to European customers. All versions of the next generation Transit Custom will be built by Ford Otosan – Ford’s joint venture in Turkey – in Kocaeli, the home of the Ford Transit range. In addition, the next generation Volkswagen 1tonne commercial vehicle also will be built in Kocaeli, adding valuable scale to vehicle platforms and enhancing the customer experience by bringing more technologies to market, faster. “The next generation Transit Custom range – including the all-electric versions – will strengthen Ford’s position as Europe’s No.1 commercial vehicle brand,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “Transit Custom is the jewel in our commercial vehicle crown and key in our drive to grow our commercial vehicle business as we continue to create a sustainable, profitable Ford business in Europe rooted in an electrified future.” Ford said in February that its entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with twothirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030. In the interim period, however, Ford understands that not all commercial vehicle operators will make the move from the

to keep their vehicles on the road. Today’s announcement also is positive news for other Ford manufacturing facilities in Europe and for the European and Turkish supplier industries providing components for the next generation Transit Custom Range. Ford manufacturing facilities will supply advanced technology diesel engines from Dagenham, UK, and transmissions from Cologne, while more than 100 Turkish-based suppliers will provide components.

“Today, we are starting another strategic investment that will help shape the future of the automotive industry. Our Kocaeli plants will be transformed into Turkey’s first and only integrated production center for the assembly of electric vehicles and batteries. We consider this investment, which will span over a decade, as a forward-looking strategic move. I would like to thank Ford Motor Company for their trust in Turkey and Ford Otosan which made this significant investment possible,” said Ali Koç, chairman, Ford Otosan, and vice chairman, Koç Holding Board of Directors. In 2020, Ford achieved its sixth successive year as the leader in commercial vehicle sales in Europe. The trend has continued into 2021, with Ford maintaining its position as the continent’s best-selling commercial vehicle brand. Driving further growth in Ford’s commercial vehicle business is an ecosystem built around connected services co-developed with customers and designed to enhance the customer experience and help their businesses to thrive. These include, connected uptime and productivity services such as FordPass Pro for fleets of up to five vehicles, and Ford Fleet Management, created by Ford and ALD Automotive last year to maximize productivity for fleet customers seeking bespoke services

“Commercial vehicle growth and leveraging partnerships such as our joint venture with Ford Otosan are key enablers to Ford of Europe’s future success. We are committed to reaching our 6 percent EBIT margin goal as part of Ford’s plan to turnaround our global automotive operations,” said Rowley. Ford Otosan – home of the Ford Transit Custom The relationship between Koç Holding and Ford dates back to 1928, and today Ford Otosan is the leading company in the Turkish auto industry and one of the longest running and most successful joint ventures in the global auto industry. Ford Otosan’s Kocaeli facilities opened in 2001, and since 2004 has been Ford’s global lead plant for the production of successive generations of the Ford Transit Custom range and the Transit 2-tonne. The Ford Courier range is manufactured at Ford Otosan’s Yenikoy Assembly Plant also located in Kocaeli. In total, around 85 percent of the sales of the complete Transit family of commercial vehicles are from vehicles manufactured by Ford Otosan in Turkey. Ford Otosan stated last December that it plans to invest more than €2 billion to increase vehicle and battery pack assembly capacity production at Kocaeli, and that it expects to increase employment by around 3,000 people.

March 2021


Farming Monthly


| Motors

CARGURUS RESEARCH SUGGESTS EV GRANT CUTS ARE OUT OF STEP WITH UK DRIVERS N ew research from CarGurus ( suggests that recentlyannounced cuts to electric vehicle (EV) grants are at odds with the steps most likely to persuade drivers considering switching to alternatively-fuelled vehicles. •

More car buyers would make switch to EVs if policy changes created the right conditions

Greater number of charging stations (64%) and tax incentives (60%) most impactful for prospective EV buyers

News comes shortly after UK government announces further cuts to EV grants

Increased fuel prices, tax incentives and expanded charging networks all weighed in the balance for potential shoppers

The UK government has announced its intention to reduce grants for EV buyers from £3,000 to £2,500 (a further reduction from the £4,500 offered this time last year) while also decreasing the price cap for eligible vehicles from £50,000 to £35,000. According to new research commissioned by online automotive marketplace CarGurus, however, these steps are at odds with the actions which UK drivers say would be most likely to 78 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

push them toward choosing an EV as their next vehicle. The impact the grant cuts might have on consumer adoption of EVs is clearly a concern for manufacturers, too. Peugeot, Citroen, Kia and Vauxhall are among the brands to have announced price reductions to ensure their models remain eligible for the plug-in car grant. When questioned on which changes would be most effective in coaxing them away from their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)-powered vehicles, tax incentives / rebates (60%) and a greater availability of charging stations in their area (64%) received the highest frequency of strongly favourable responses. Recent freezes in fuel duty for drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles are similarly unlikely to expedite electrification. In fact, the survey results indicated that if fuel prices reached £2 per litre, a third (34%) of drivers would be much more likely to consider an EV. While if they climbed to £3 per litre, over half (55%) of drivers would be more inclined to go electric. CarGurus, the fastest-growing online automotive marketplace in the UK, also revealed that nearly 41% of buyers planning to buy an EV in the next decade would consider buying it as used.

turning to the used car market, where many of the financial incentives linked to running an EV (including their very low running costs) can still be enjoyed. For the scores of drivers interested in purchasing a used electric vehicle, CarGurus’ site features a dedicated Used EV Hub to simplify the buying journey, from the first stage of research through to the vehicle handover. Chris Knapman, Editor at CarGurus UK, said: “There’s no doubt that the rate of adoption of EVs will need to accelerate if the Government is to meet its ambition for the UK to be a world leader in transitioning to zero emissions motoring. As such it is a surprise to see that the grant for purchasing new EVs has been reduced yet again, particularly when our own research shows these grants are so important in the quest to drive EV adoption. “While the reduction in the plug-in grant might impact the sales of new electric cars, those keen to explore EV motoring will find that the used market has more choice than ever. To complement the extensive used EV listings from toprated dealers on CarGurus, we’ve complied everything somebody considering the purchase of a used EV might need. This includes detailed reviews of the most popular models, advice around home charging, information on battery degradation, and lots more.”

This latest cut to the plug-in car grant for new cars could result in even higher numbers of prospective EV buyers

| Motors

ŠKODA confirms Enyaq iV still eligible for £2,500 Government grant

n light of the Government’s realignment of the Plug-in Car Grant (effective 18 March 2021), ŠKODA is highlighting that its new allelectric Enyaq iV model remains eligible for the scheme. Under the new grant guidelines, buyers of electric vehicles with an On-The-Road (OTR) price of £35,000 and under will qualify for a grant of £2,500.


With the new grant applied, the entrylevel Enyaq iV is available from just £31,585 OTR, making it one of the best value all-electric family cars on the market. ŠKODA officially opened order books for the all-new Enyaq iV, on 10 March 2021. Based on the Volkswagen Group’s modular electrification toolkit (MEB), the highly-awaited all-electric SUV range is offered with two battery size options and capable of returning a WLTP combined range of up to 333 miles on a single charge*. The Enyaq iV 60 Nav model delivers a WLTP combined range of 256 miles* and can be charged to 80% in just 35 minutes when fitted with the 100kW charging option. The model comes with a generous equipment list that includes 19-inch Proteus alloy wheels, an infotainment system with satellite navigation and 13-inch screen, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and keyless go.

All models in the Enyaq iV range also feature ambient interior lighting, multifunction leather steering wheel and Front Assist as standard. The new Enyaq iV introduces a new way for customers to perfectly tailor the car to their tastes and requirements. Instead of selecting from traditional trim levels, customers choose the battery size they need, select an interior design and then personalise their vehicle from a comprehensive range of equipment packs and individual options. New Enyaq iV charging options All Enyaq iV models have a minimum DC rapid charging capability of 50kW as standard. Customers can specify higher 100kW (for 62kWh battery) and 125kW (for 82kWh battery only) DC charge rates as options. The Enyaq iV offers customers three charging options. In addition to using a standard household 230V socket with 2.3 kW alternating current (AC), it can be charged at home overnight using a wallbox of up to 7.2kW. Depending on the battery size, the charging process with a 7.2kW wallbox takes approximately 9 hours 30 minutes for the 62 kWh and approximately 13 hours for the 82 kWh battery (both to 100% charge). As a third charging option, the vehicle can be connected to rapid DC charging points with a charging capacity of up to 125 kW. This allows the Enyaq iV 80 to be charged from 10 to 80 per cent in as little as 38 minutes and 35

minutes for the Enyaq iV 60 Nav. Performance and range The entry level 62kWh battery model is equipped with a 179PS (132kW) motor that drives the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission. It has a WLTP combined range of up to 256 miles on a single charge. The larger 82kWh model generates 204PS (150kW) and is capable of returning up to 333 miles on a single charge (WLTP)*. Design and practicality Measuring 4,649 millimetres long and 1,879 wide, the Enyaq iV delivers the space and practicality customers have come to expect from ŠKODA’s awardwinning SUV models. Thanks to its allelectric platform, ŠKODA’s design team has been able to completely reimagine the Enyaq iV’s interior architecture. With the traction battery housed in the floor and a compact motor mounted beneath the boot floor, the Enyaq iV has a cabin unburdened by the packaging compromises of a traditional internal combustion engine car. As a result, occupants can enjoy a spacious interior with a flat floor and a boot that can hold 585-litres of luggage. This can be extended to 1,710 litres with the rear seats folded. For more information, images, media and other assets, please visit www.Š

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1949 LAND ROVER SERIES I - Sold for: £23,865 ne Land Rover in their catalogue is this 1949 Land Rover Series I. It is presented in this beautiful Bronze Green with a new interior and khaki canvas tilt and ready for its next adventure! This is amongst the earliest Land Rovers built and is bought from leading marque specialists John Brown 4x4 of Yorkshire in 2015. Classic Car Auctions are offering this superb Land Rover in their sale this Friday and it is estimated at £25,000 - £30,000.


Another car included within their sale is this fantastic looking 2012 Land Rover Defender 110 TD XS Crew Cab. This highly sought-after XS model is freshly MOT’d, 39,245 miles indicated and is increasingly in demand. The 5-seater is finished in Aintree Green with upgraded Bowler wheels and tyres – with the launch of the new Defender, late examples of its predecessor, particularly in this condition – it is estimated at (£): £30,000 - £35,000.

1991 RANGE ROVER 'CSK' - Sold for: £31,080

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1958 LAND ROVER SERIES 2 STATION WAGON - Sold for: £16,872 Gary Dunne, CCA’s Sales Manager commented “We are so excited for Friday and the amount of Land Rovers and Range Rovers in this sale is exceptional once again. We can’t wait for a weekend of online celebrations of classic cars with our sister company, Silverstone Auctions, to host our forthcoming sales on consecutive days”. Classic Car Auctions are also offering this 1991 Range Rover 'CSK'. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the

Range Rover, this is number 39 of 1 of only 200 made in 1991. The CSK was the first sports Range Rover and is finished in Beluga Black and luxuriously equipped with bespoke leather and American Walnut Trim. The car has been with Classic Car Auctions vendor for the past three years and has a fresh MOT and will be going under the hammer Friday 26th March with an estimate of £30,000 - £35,000. The last of four cars to be previewed

from the catalogue is this originally Bronze Green soft top, 1958 Land Rover Series 2 Station Wagon. This example has been retained by Land Rover, and is understood by Classic Car Auctions that the Chassis 002 is the oldest production Series 2 in existence. With unique features, a full restoration in 2011 and accompanied by a large history file, this lovely Station Wagon has been rebuilt on new galvanised chassis with a total work of £12,500. Estimated at £18,000 £22,000.

2012 LAND ROVER DEFENDER 110 TD XS CREW CAB - Sold for: £33,855

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| Motors

KUMHO LAUNCHES NEW ALL-SEASON TYRE FOR THE VAN AND LCV MARKET umho’s first new European product of 2021 is an allseason tyre for vans and light commercial vehicles. It has been created by combining the strengths of the company’s much-praised all-season SOLUS 4S HA32 passenger car pattern and its existing winter specification van tyre, the WINTER PorTran CW11. The result is the PorTran 4S CX11 that ensures safe, secure driving and excellent braking performance throughout the year.


New cutting-edge compounds and an advanced tread design that optimises the tyre’s contact pressure with the road will lead to reductions in fuel consumption. The tread has also been developed for maximum traction on snowy roads – a capability that’s been recognised by the CX11 being granted 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) European certification. The versatility of the tyre is further emphasised by Kumho’s own all-season icon on the sidewall.

Initially the PorTran 4S CX11 will be produced in 15 sizes ranging from 15 to 17 inches, which between them will accommodate the most popular vans and LCVs operating on Europe’s roads, including: the Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Fiat Ducato, Renault Kangoo and Volkswagen Transporter. The new tyre will be available from the second half of this year, and its arrival will complete Kumho’s portfolio of all season-tyres that now encompasses passenger cars, SUVs, vans, LCVs, trucks and buses. Summing up, Kim Sang Yub, Head of the Sales & Marketing Division with Kumho Tire, said: “The popularity of the SOLUS 4S HA32 launched last year has enabled us to release this new product

for LCVs. We are striving to build on our technological excellence to be recognised as a smart mobility partner not only in Europe but throughout the world.” For further information about Kumho and its products for road and motorsport use see

THREE TIMES AS MANY MOTORISTS MISSING MOT EXPIRY DATE BY MORE THAN THREE WEEKS ata released today by Kwik Fit, the country’s largest MOT tester, reveals that the number of drivers missing their MOT expiry date by more than three weeks tripled in the last six months, compared to the equivalent period the previous year.


One in eleven drivers (9%) booking their MOT test in the last half year only did so three or more weeks after their current MOT had run out. This compares with a figure of just 3% in the whole of 2019. These drivers are in danger of incurring the wrath of their fellow motorists. Research for Kwik Fit has found that 26% of car owners think the authorities should have the powers to impound a car if it is being driven without a valid MOT. This figure rises to more than a third (35%) of people in Yorkshire and the Humber. 14% of UK motorists think that those stopped in a car with an expired MOT should face a driving ban of at least six months, while 12% think that the courts should be able to impose fines of up to £2000. The government introduced six month 84 |

Farming Monthly | April 2021

MOT extensions in the early stages of the first lockdown and this shifted the pattern of when many cars’ MOTs become due. However, not only has this changed the time of year when drivers need to get their car MOTed, there has also been a significant change in when drivers book their MOTs in relation to their expiry date. As well as the number of drivers taking much longer to get their MOT carried out, and driving illegally as a result, there has been a similar increase in the number of drivers planning ahead. Kwik Fit has seen the number of drivers booking their test five or more weeks in advance of their expiry date also triple. Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, says: “It may be a result of the MOT extension or people having greater flexibility of when to book their MOT but the booking pattern has become much more spread out. We are seeing many more drivers plan in advance, and get their MOT sorted well ahead of its expiry, which is great news.

“Unfortunately, we are also seeing a big increase in owners not getting their car tested until three or more weeks after it has become illegal to drive. This is especially dangerous at the moment as people will not have been driving their cars as much over the last year. As a result, any safety issues may not be as apparent to them as they would be with more frequent use of their car.” Kwik Fit reminds those delaying their MOT that they can have their car tested up to one month (minus a day) before their expiry date to maintain the same anniversary and are therefore not losing any time from their previous valid MOT. Drivers should book as far in advance as possible, rather than hoping to get an appointment at the last minute. Kwik Fit is the UK’s biggest MOT tester and has expanded its online booking service to provide even more options to drivers.

| Motors

60 per cent of motorists consider selfdriving cars a threat to road safety

study from the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has revealed that 60 per cent of motorists consider the growing ability of vehicles to drive themselves as a serious threat to road safety. While female drivers (66 per cent) and drivers over the age of 70 (64 per cent) had even higher concerns.


This is despite well-documented evidence that most road incidents are actually caused by human error, suggesting that giving greater control to the vehicles themselves in the future might actually reduce the number of collisions. However, while automated vehicle technology could have the power to improve road safety, this will only happen if the new systems are used correctly, including through driver training to understand their capabilities and limitations, believes the road safety charity.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: “Autonomous and automated vehicle technology is becoming an integral part of everyday motoring and while it does have the capacity to improve road safety, its capabilities must be fully understood to ensure we don’t over rely on them. “Over reliance on these systems, and a lack of training on how to use them, could have a negative effect, with potentially worrying results for motorists and pedestrians alike.

“As an ever-increasing number of vehicle systems take on the tasks that drivers used to perform, IAM RoadSmart is calling for an understanding of automated features to be included in the UK driving test.” According to government projections, 40 per cent of UK new car sales could have self-driving capabilities in less than 15 years.

towards autonomous vehicle technology also highlight the financial benefits to the UK economy, possibly almost worth £42 billion by 2035 together with the creation of nearly 40,000 British jobs.

Concerns still remain however around the high cost of research and development, making autonomous vehicles too expensive for some, together with possible malfunctions, data security issues and moral dilemmas as to what the vehicle should be programmed to protect. Neil added: “Our research clearly shows that many motorists remain to be convinced about the safety of self-driving vehicles. While we wait for completely autonomous cars to take over from human drivers driver training will be paramount in ensuring that increasingly automated vehicles are an asset rather than a drawback.”

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