Fruit & Vine Issue 10 July/ August 2024

Page 1


FdSc Sustainable Horticulture

FdSc Sustainable Land Management

FdA Wine Business

FdSc Wine Production


BSc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology

MSc Viticulture & Oenology

2023 01273 890 454 Plumpton College Ditchling Road, Lewes East Sussex BN7 3AE IN PARTNERSHIP: LEARN MORE OR EVEN CHANGE CAREER?
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Out & About

Fruit & Vine editor, Rachel Hicks, headed to Hawkswood Vineyard & Winery in Thurston, Suffolk this month to chat with owners Michael and Irene Rhodes, who have won various awards for their winemaking. You can nd out more about what WineGB believes to be the smallest commercial vineyard and winery in the UK on page 43

Fruit & Vine machinery contributor

David Williams visited Croxford Wine Estates in Northamptonshire in late May, to nd out how owner Will Croxford (pictured on the right with Kirkland UK sales manager, Tom Wheatley) is getting on with his recent machinery purchasesincluding a Friuli two-row sprayer and Orizzonti Multy 2 mounting system


Foliar options for healthy, productive vines 06 13 17 22 27 31 32 35 41 43 47 52 66 49 37

Products, research and events you need to know about

Special report

A look at consumer behaviour and the future of apples and pears


Contractor's investment will bene t local vineyard and orchard owners

Grower pro le

Labour-saving innovations help Scottish grower in post-Brexit world

Show preview

Looking forward to Fruit Focus 2024

Special report

Sustainability drives summer berry innovation

Case study

Irrigation solutions for a Herefordshire fruit farm

Technical advice

Improving sprayer e ciency


Case study

Using biostimulants in winemaking

Grower pro le

This Su olk vineyard is small, but perfectly formed

Technical advice

Assessing alternative formats for wine packaging

Technical advice

Reaping the rewards of vine canopy management

Professional advice

Getting it right: Fruit thinning in vineyards

54 Pest update

Evidence of overwintered Asian hornets has been discovered

In the know Tom Gilbey discusses English and Welsh wines to get excited about

July/August 2024 4 WELCOME
Fruit & Vine magazine is published by Early Bird Fruit Publications Ltd from its o ce at Unit 3-4 Boudicca Road, Suffolk Central Business Park, Stowmarket IP14 1WF Tel: 01473 794440. Full contact details for staff can be found at Original articles and advertisements created by Fruit & Vine are copyright-protected and are not to be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Editor. No responsibility can be accepted by Fruit & Vine for the opinions expressed by its contributors. ISSN: 2753-474X fruitandvine fruit_and_vine 01473 794440
Printed by
Gibbons & Sons Ltd



Managing director

Julie Goulding


Greg Goulding

Editor Rachel Hicks

Deputy editor

Sarah Kidby

Machinery editor Neale Byart

Machinery contributor David Williams

Multiplatform journalist Aleksandra Cupriac


Sales director Zohra Mitchell

Fruit & Vine specialist Samantha Wilson

Senior sales executive

Joanna Blower

Senior sales executive Jana Moyes

Sales executive Rosanna Sweet

Sales executive

William Taylor

Classi ed sales manager

Nicki Procter


Marketing manager

KM Sharp

Digital marketing executive Patrick Over

Publishing assistant

Kat Morton

Design & Production

Production manager

Martyn Smith

13 22 41 32 17 37 43 49 Contents

£750 million deal

between Aldi and British fruit farm

A family-owned Kent-based fruit farm has signed a new £750m deal with Aldi.

AC Goatham & Son has supplied Britain’s fourth largest supermarket with a variety of apples and pears since 2016 and was announced earlier last year as Aldi’s sole supplier of British apples.

The new 20-year deal will also see the introduction of the 'Aldi Orchard' – a 200-acre plot on New Green Farm in Gravesend, which will grow a mix of Gala and Braeburn apples for Aldi stores across the country.

This long-term deal will provide vital support for British farmers — assuring them of supply and helping to give them the security they need to grow and thrive.

The news comes as British Apples & Pears Limited (BAPL) named Aldi as 2023 Apple Retailer of the Year and the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) awarded Aldi Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year 2023.

AC Goatham & Son, named Supermarket Fruit & Veg Supplier of the Year at the FPC Awards 2023, also has plans to plant an additional 100 acres of apple trees exclusively

Plumpton College receives some ‘outstanding’

inspection results

Plumpton College has announced its exceptional performance in the recent OFSTED inspection, achieving outstanding grades in multiple key areas with an overall ‘Good’ awarded.

The college is the leading provider for land and environment training and education for the South East, with over 19 specialist subjects including agriculture, animal and veterinary sciences, horticulture, and viticulture.

Highlights of the OFSTED report include:

The learning culture –inspectors noted the students ourish in a positive and inclusive culture at the college and celebrate one another’s di erences and enjoy learning in a diverse environment. Inspectors also found that students value the purposeful and professional working environment at the college, which replicates the industries they wish to progress into. All students therefore have very positive attitudes to learning, they enjoy their studies and are motivated to be successful. The majority of students progress to positive destinations.


Apprenticeship provision –achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade, pointing out that employers value the extensive knowledge and expert skills that apprentices learn while at college. As a result, apprentices make excellent progress, are highly motivated and the majority achieve their apprenticeship, many with high grades. They become more con dent and make a very positive contribution to their workplaces.

Personal development –achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade highlighting that students bene t from an outstanding personal development curriculum. Leaders and sta provide students with a wide range of activities and opportunities that develop their interests and talents. Students bene t from enrichment activities and additional quali cations that are of exceptional quality.

for Aldi.

Founded in 1947, and run by Clive Goatham and his son Ross, the business supplies an estimated 250 million apples and pears to Aldi stores each year – more than ve times the volume it initially supplied to the supermarket in 2016.

The business has big plans for its future, including working with Aldi to extend the growing season with controlled atmosphere storage and working in partnership with the supermarket on its journey to net zero.

AC Goatham & Son managing director, Ross Goatham, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a real testament to the work both AC Goatham & Son and Aldi have put into the agreement to have created something truly collaborative, a rst for the British Top Fruit Sector.

“This gives us the con dence now to invest for the future and to grow more British apples and pears for Aldi, guaranteeing sustainability, viability and most importantly UK food security.”

Adult education provision – achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade highlighting that leaders and managers have developed a highly relevant range of adult education programmes with the aim of teaching people, who are out of work or retraining, the skills they need for employment. For example, students swiftly learn the required skills in forestry and arboriculture to gain the licences to practise in the industry. The Royal Horticulture Society adult provision prepares students well for entry into employment, addressing skills gaps within the horticulture sector. Adult students progress exceptionally well on to higher level quali cations, employment or selfemployment in their chosen

Provision for learners with high needs – achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade highlighting that managers and teachers implement highly e ective teaching strategies and tailored support to make sure students reach their full potential. Students with high needs make excellent progress towards their planned outcomes.

The college, which also boasts on-campus accommodation for up to 200 of its 4,000 students, was inspected last May under the social care common inspection framework and was graded Outstanding in all areas for its residential provision.

July/August 2024 6 NEWS

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century of

and equipment to the fruit and vine industries.

agricultural service

This year marks the 100th anniversary of L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd – one of the oldest agricultural machinery dealers in the UK.

In 2024, L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd says it is proud to announce that the business has recently acquired several franchises from Agrimec. Among these franchises are renowned names such as Perfect Van Wamel, SFM Technology, and Florida Sprayers.

Free mobile scheme to polythene launches reuse waste

Oxfordshire-based Polythene UK has launched a free national waste polythene collection service, using a van with an onboard compactor to collect, compact and bale the polythene, allowing it to be reused.

Polythene UK’s van has a polythene baling/compactor tted inside which enables the company to help customers recycle their waste polythene without the expense of buying or hiring a polythene compactor themselves. This will potentially save customers a £3,000 initial cost, as well as the ongoing maintenance charges. Polythene UK says its service is free of charge, and takes away the hassle.

When asked how green it is to add another vehicle onto our roads, Polythene UK says it has carefully considered its strategy, as the

company keeps its green credentials at the heart of everything it does.

Managing director, James Woollard commented: “As a waste product it’s an inconvenience, but it’s 100% recyclable. So it’s very frustrating to know that around 800,000 tonnes per year is going to land ll or incineration.

“Our van will be collecting nationally when we have visits to that part of the country on our normal day to day supplier/delivery visits –each trip will have a minimum of two purposes.

“Once we have collected your

L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd has experienced continuous growth and success, establishing itself as a reliable supplier for a remarkable number of 17 diverse franchises. The dealer’s unwavering commitment to excellence and its ability to meet the unique needs of each franchise has contributed to its ongoing success, the company says.

Through its dedication and expertise, L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd has solidi ed its position as a trusted partner in the industry.

These new additions to the business further strengthen L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd’s commitment to providing top-quality machinery

waste lm and recycled it, Polythene UK would aim to o er customers that recycled material back as the 30% post-consumer waste in your future orders. Polythene UK is creating the perfect closed loop/circular economy solution for polythene packaging, supplies and recycling service.

“Hopefully if we have solved the commercial issue of collecting the waste polythene we will always be able to o er customers a cheaper end

Moving forward, the team behind L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd aim to provide ongoing assistance to apple growers and other farmers involved in the cultivation of soft fruits. Their support extends to farmers in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire, covering the entire Midlands region. By doing so, L. Evans & Son (Hereford) Ltd ensures that farmers in these areas receive the necessary support to thrive in their agricultural businesses.

polythene lm/bag/cover because the recycled waste polythene is far cheaper than the virgin grade oil by-product currently being used.

“Polythene has a particularly poor CO2 e ect on the planet – unless it’s being recycled, in which case it’s then it’s transformed to one of the most positive packaging products on the planet.”

Visit for more information.

July/August 2024 8 NEWS

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Next generation of return from international conference UK growers

The NextGen Fruit Group recently returned from their bi-annual international conference, an ambitious trip taking 53 members to California to tour a range of crops and businesses to gain a greater understanding of worldwide horticultural production.

The packed agenda saw its members hosted by 14 di erent businesses, over seven days, travelling more than 900 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

NextGen Fruit Group, formerly known as the ‘Under 40s’, is a long-standing member organisation focusing on engaging and empowering the ‘next generation’ of the UK’s fruit industry. One way the organisation supports members is by organising events as a way of creating a collaborative network of growers, tackling the largest challenges faced by growers within the UK and how best to tackle these.

Members represent a range of growers, marketing desks and supporting businesses across tree fruits, soft fruits and viticulture.

While the NextGen Fruit Group usually focuses on UK events of networking and educational visits, there is a long-standing tradition of each committee o ering an international trip at the end of their two-year tenure, the aim being to give members a chance at seeing something totally di erent, may it be crops or growing styles, understanding similarities and di erences to their own growing situations and inspire members on the vast possibilities of the industry. Previous visits have included Chile and South Africa.

Broad spectrum

The international conference aimed to cover a broad spectrum of what California has to o er. From 500ha organic strawberry production with Driscolls growers, to small-scale peach and plum grower Brian Fien to the regenerative vineyards of Jackson Family Winery.

More detailed accounts of hosts and experiences during the trip can be seen by checking out the NextGen Fruit Group’s social media.

Commenting after the event, Oli Pascall, chairman of NextGen and managing director of Clock House Farm said: “NextGen Fruit Group represents the best of UK horticulture, eagerness and talent. It was a pleasure to organise this trip for our members to engage and inspire the future of industry.

“We do it in the aim that practises and experiences will be gained and brought back to promote and develop the UK horticulture industry.

“We are so grateful to our members for engaging at all opportunities, our most generous American hosts as well as our UK partners and supporters, in attending the events and supporting nancially to the group and all its endeavours.”

New committee

The trip also marks the handover to a new

committee. Alana Deacon, head of operations at Hall Hunter, now takes on the baton and has begun to form her committee. “I’m really excited to take on the mantel from the current committee, who I thank for their sterling work and organisation over the last two years delivering a range of very successful events. As a member the group has continually inspired me and helped me to link with like-minded individuals in the industry. I am excited to continue this tradition on and by all that can be achieved.”

The NextGen Fruit Group is open to all young people working in the fruit growing industry, who are keen to link with others, learn and share experiences together. For more information visit:

Conference agenda included:

• Plenty in Compton, LA. An ambitious vertical farming business at the forefront of technology as well as strong focus on community engagement

• Driscoll's in Santa Maria. Demonstrating regional focus of the business across the state and breeding succession across cane fruit, as well as the strawberry breeding program and variety succession

• Advanced Farm demo of robotic packhouse systems for automatically tipping and sorting strawberries

• Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. How California is prioritising their next generation, educating the horticultural leaders of tomorrow.

• Bloom Fresh, McFarland. Grape and cherry breeding and genetics

• Brian Fien, Dinuba. Small-scale stone fruit production

• Family Tree Farms, Fresno. Large scale stone fruit and blueberry grower with a large focus on variety development

• SunBerry Farms, Monterey. Large scale organic strawberry production

• Taylor Farms, Salinas. Food service salad production

• Fog City Farms. Cannabis production, marketing and branding.

• Evening at Trattore Farms and Winery, Healdsburg. Inspirational talk from Tim Bucher, owner of Trattore Farms and founder of Agtonomy, autonomous systems and software application

• Jackson Family Wines at La Crema Winery. Regenerative farming techniques and wine tasting.

July/August 2024 10 NEWS
The entire NextGen Fruit Group is pictured at Jackson Family Wines
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A closer look at consumer behaviour and the future of apples and pears

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, retailers and top fruit growers heard from experts about the latest consumer behaviour, as well as discussing key issues facing the apple and pear sector, during the recent British Apples and Pears (BAPL) retailer webinar. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby reports.

2023 saw one of the smallest apple harvests of the past ve years, at 166,000 tonnes compared to 207,000 the year before – and is an example of what happens when the weather doesn’t play ball, BAPL chair Ali Capper said. Gala in particular saw a drop (from 88.3t to 75.6t), as did Braeburn (40.9t to 28t) and there was a slight dip in the all other desserts line (see Table 1). Despite this, the apple and pear sectors are in comparatively good shape when it comes to class one sales – up from 103,800t last year to 107,700t (see Table 2).

Grower returns, on the other hand, are a concern, with a recent analysis by Andersons consulting predicting the cost of production for apples and pears will increase by 5.5% this year. In the past two years, the cost of production has increased by over 30% but BAPL surveys show growers received an average increase of just 8%. Premium packs need a much higher price point to subsidise a greater volume of value pack lines with the price matching mechanisms in supermarkets, Ali added.

Consumer behaviour

Hannah McIlfatrick, commercial director at Worldwide Fruit Ltd, said consumers have been actively looking for ways to mitigate in ation, such as buying less volume, trading down to cheaper

products, shopping in cheaper stores, and using promotions to save money. However, consumer con dence is starting to improve, and people are beginning to invest more in product mix. Apples have bene tted from shoppers dropping out of other fruit categories to save money.

Nearly 90% of consumers have bought apples or pears in the last year, according to Kantar gures. The apple market is worth £977 million, with a growth of 6.6%, while pear is worth £240m, with 8.9% growth. Apples saw growth in market penetration, frequency of purchase, volume bought per shop and price/kg.

Gala is the largest apple variety in value, and volume is growing signi cantly, with market share rising from 25.4% to 27.7%. There is also growth in varieties like Pink Lady and Jazz apples, and William and Rocha in the pear category. Key British varieties like Cox and Bramley remain important, and Conference still dominates the pear sector.

When it comes to shopper mindsets, for apples, there is a movement away from loose and organics, and growth in the ow wrap entry point, but also in the core packs – i.e. the six pack and premium four pack trays. Similarly for pears, there is growth in the polybag entry point and also ripened packs.

Supermarket performance

The biggest grocery retailer for apples and pears is Tesco, with a 27.3% overall grocery market share, closely followed by Sainsbury’s. Aldi sold nearly 20% of the UK apple and pear crop in 2023, against a grocery market share of 9.8%, while Lidl sold 16% of the crop against a market share of less than 8%. Waitrose is also selling above its market share and Sainsbury’s has shown real improvement in the last 12 months, selling 18.2% of the British apple and pear crop against a grocery market share of 15.2%.

Whilst it’s disappointing that Tesco’s sales aren't closer to its grocery market share, the picture is improving year on year – but BAPL would like to see a better performance from ASDA and Morrisons.

There is also frustration about the level of imports that continue into October when British apples are in abundance and wanted by consumers, Ali said. “We really want to see and support those retailers that can start selling in September, and then really, we expect everybody to be hitting maximum volume on British in October. There were some great examples of retailers that achieved that in 2023.”

Ali’s key asks of retailers were: TV advertising, Union Jacks dominating in store, online campaigns covering other varieties, not just Gala, life size posters of UK apple growers, and social media promotion. And most importantly, to increase their grocery market share for British apples.

In 2023, BAPL used product photos to target consumers on social media and tested three messages – ‘new season’, ‘back British farming’ and ‘superfood’ – with superfood coming out on top in terms of engagement.

July/August 2024 13 SPECIAL REPORT
British Apples & Pears Ltd.

Biggest concerns

One of the biggest concerns discussed was the new ‘employer pays’ principle of the SEDEX/ SMETA. “The idea that every employer will have to pay travel and visa costs is quite extraordinary,” Ali commented. “In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, we believe this is going to add at least £1,200 per worker. [...] It means £50–55 million added to the bottom line with no warning.”

Additionally, rule changes introduced on 30th April mean imports are now checked at the border, rather than point of destination. For top fruit growers who import most of their two-yearold trees from Europe, delays at the border could result in un-watered trees deteriorating, and strawberry and tomato plants etc, perishing.

Meanwhile, weather volatility is something that we now need to take much more seriously, Ali noted. The UK is seeing much hotter summers, periods of drought and much lower levels of water. Just 18 months ago, there were reports that Europe could be on the verge of catastrophe as groundwater reserves were drying up. Not to mention, spring 2024 has been one of the wettest on record, meaning many growers have had trees sat in water for weeks, resulting in root death and impacts on nutrient uptake, explained James Simpson, managing director at Adrian Scripps Ltd. Cool, dull conditions also meant that at the time of the webinar in late April, there had been only around two days above 15ºC, when the apple ower is receptive to pollen germination.

“I think we’ll see some challenges over the next few months with the development of tree death

in orchards possibly, or restricted growth and production. And then of course, the wet weather predisposes us to pest and disease so we’re ghting on all fronts. This is one of the most challenging springs we’ve had for many years,” he said.

Whilst climate change presents challenges, the UK is still a very good growing region for top fruit, but infrastructure and investment from government will be needed, including adjustment to planning approvals for water management on the ground and reservoirs.

Temperature change in itself “may not be a big issue for UK horticulture, however – even if we have a 1.5–2ºC rise in average temperatures, James added. “But will some of the more traditional varieties that we grow be suitable for that climate? Some will work very well, but others won’t. So we'll need varietal development to take us forward. And that's a really exciting area. At the moment, we are seeing warm apple breeding programmes.”

Additionally, there is work being done to develop sweeter apples to meet a potential shift in the palate of the consumer.

Another area for future development is robotics and Tom Hulme, director at A C Hulme & Sons, acknowledged that it’s a “pipedream at the moment, and certainly not an a ordable one”. Whilst an exciting development, it needs to be scalable and a ordable. Speakers also called for more opportunities for fruit growers in the Sustainable Farming Incentive and PO scheme.

Long-term relationships

Speakers emphasised the importance of longerterm partnerships between growers and retailers.

Mark Gaskain, director at Gaskains Ltd and Prime Produce Ltd, acknowledged that the war in Ukraine, increasing uncertainty and climate change, as well as a 28% increase in the national minimum wage in just over two years, has made the cost of production skyrocket – “and it’s putting UK food production at risk”. Grubbing up of orchards has attracted media attention and James Simpson said BAPL data suggests a signi cant reduction in orchard replanting.

Whilst cheaper fruit is available in Poland or Serbia, Mark warned: “With food supply, cheap labour rates are only ever temporary, and they nearly always come with additional costs and risks.” Recent months have seen signi cant frosts in Europe, and at the other end of the spectrum, Mediterranean countries have su ered crop losses due to extreme heat.

The key is a sustainable food supply, and the UK needs to de-risk the situation. With orchards being a 20-year programme, longer term approaches are needed. Achieving this is all about partnerships – and a competitive relationship based on price isn’t the answer, he concluded.

Ross Goatham, managing director at A C Goatham & Son, agreed. “As an industry, we’ve had far too many years now of the transactional nature with our customers and tenders. That doesn’t bring reinvestment. It doesn’t bring sustainability into the industry.”

Deals lasting 3–5 years “don’t scratch the surface in our industry” and “we need to be looking at a 15–20-year contract that will bring investments and might just help o set the labour cost as well,” he added.

July/August 2024 14 SPECIAL REPORT
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Final 19/20Final 20/21Final 21/22Final 22/23Final 23/24 ‘000 Tonnes Gala All Other Desserts Braeburn Total Pears Barmley Cox Total British picked crop 2019/20
Table 1 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Total Apples Total Pears Total Apples & Pears 19/20 20/21 21/22 21/22 21/22 ‘000 Tonnes Table 2
to 2023/24 Total apple and pear sales to multiples
October to March inclusive each year
British Apples & Pears Ltd.
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Will Croxford has invested in a eet of specialist machinery for his Northamptonshire-based vineyard and orchard contracting service

Contractor’s investment will bene t local owners and


A new, Northamptonshire winery will accept its rst grapes during this year’s harvest, and the owners have also invested in a eet of modern vineyard machinery which will be available for use by other growers through a new contracting service.

David Williams reports.

“Plenty of excellent contractors already o er their services to growers in the South East,” explained fth-generation farmer and second-generation vineyard owner, Will Croxford, of Croxford Wine Estates.

“However, although there are several longestablished vineyards as well as newer ventures in the Home Counties, there isn’t the same access to modern, specialist machinery. Windows for vineyard operations are typically short, and we have found that contractors based further away

would rather work within a short travelling time of their bases, allowing them to serve more growers during windows available, rather than spending unproductive time travelling.

“Our new winery is designed with capacity not only for our own crop, but also so we can provide a contract wine making service for other growers in our area. Therefore, it makes sense for us to utilise our eet of modern vineyard and orchard machinery to o er growers the full package; from initial planning, preparation and planting

to seasonal management, plus harvesting, processing and bottling.”

The new Nene Valley Winery is just outside Northampton, and has initial capacity for 250,000 bottles annually, with future increases planned. It is owned by, and operates as a partnership between, Croxford Wine Estates and Patch Lodge Estate.

High-end wines

The vineyard contracting operation is owned and run by Will Croxford and his partner, Victoria. The Croxford family farms just over 100ha, of which 10ha is down to vines planted in 2019–20 by the previous owner, and which produced their rst harvest of 24t of grapes for Will last year.

Of those, 16t were sold under contract and the rest were bottled to launch the family’s own Robinson Croxford wine brand. The high-end

July/August 2024 17 MACHINERY


The Friuli two-row, 1,600-litre sprayer features a droplet recovery system which can reduce chemical use by up to 50%, without any reduction in spray e cacy

The Friuli drift recovery system increases opportunities for timely applications, as it can continue operating when the wind is too strong for conventional sprayers

The 1,600-litre tank is mounted on a twin-axle, four-wheel carriage to spread the weight across a larger ground area, reducing rutting and compaction

quality market is being targeted and renowned wine maker, Salvatore Leone is working with Nene Valley Winery to ensure best possible results from the start. Supply will be mainly to trade, with the focus on sparkling wines from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Solaris varieties, and still wines from Bacchus and Pinot Noir Précoce.

A 10-year plan for steady growth of the enterprise includes establishment of additional vineyards to produce grapes for the onsite winery. The Nene Valley has a rich history of wine making, including some of the largest vineyards outside Italy established during Roman times. There is no shortage of suitable land in the area belonging to extended family and neighbours.

Ensure timely operation

“We knew we needed modern, reliable machinery to operate in a timely manner and ensure grapes of the highest quality for our winemaker, so investment was essential.

“We also recognised that selecting the right equipment would give us spare capacity to provide services for other growers too,” stressed Will. “As far as I’m aware, we are the only business o ering the full range of vineyard services including making and bottling the wines.”

Latest machinery and techniques

Will’s specialist narrow tractors are sourced from a local dealer, and most of the new vineyard machinery is from Kent-based orchard and vineyard machinery manufacturer and importer, Kirkland UK.

“My agricultural background meant I was already familiar with the bene ts of precision farming techniques, including reduced operating costs and lower environmental impact,” Will continued.

“I’m keen to utilise these techniques for vine growing too, including variable rate spraying where chemical or nutrient application rates are matched to the needs of the crops, and spot spraying where treatments are only applied where needed.”

Reduced chemicals, no e cacy loss

The 1,600-litre Friuli two-row sprayer selected by Will features a drift recovery system. “We can signi cantly reduce chemical usage and costs, without compromising on application rates and risking reduced treatment e cacy or creating resistance,” he explained. “We apply at full rate, but spray that misses the leaves or berries is sucked back in through the recovery system to be applied again, rather than ending up on the ground or drifting across neighbouring rows and over-dosing the vines.

“Typically, we can achieve 40–50% chemical savings and an equivalent increased sprayed area between re lls, but that all depends on the conditions. It’s more environmentally friendly than a conventional sprayer as more chemical ends up where it’s needed, and cost savings can be considerable.

“We expect annual savings of £7,000–£8,000 for our own vineyard, and customers using us for their applications will bene t from similar savings too, depending on the conditions and sprayed area. This could potentially ‘pay’ for us doing the spraying for them on a contract basis, rather than doing it themselves with a conventional sprayer.

The drift recovery system also increases exibility in terms of weather windows. “We usually wouldn’t use conventional sprayers when wind strength exceeds 7mph, but the drift recovery system allows us to work in winds up to 12mph,” added Will.

The sprayer has twin axles and four wheels which spread the weight of the tank across a large surface area, reducing rutting and compaction. “The sprayer came with a premium price tag, but we believe the advantages it o ers will bene t us for our own crop treatments, and also appeal to our customers,” he con rmed.

E cient, accurate trimming

A Provitis two-row trimmer has also been purchased. With four cutting faces and rotating

July/August 2024 18

blade cutters, it mounts on the front of the tractor and trims branches and foliage projecting beyond the desired vine row width. “Ideally, we would carry out three to four passes per year, and that will maintain a tidy box shape ideal for spray treatments and harvesting,” suggested Will.

Foliage control improves crop development and ripening

The rotary leaf stripper is also from Provitis. Mounted to the front of the tractor, it uses a fan to create suction and draw excess foliage into pairs of rollers that gently strip the leaves from the vine. “Removing excess foliage means the growing fruit intercepts extra sunlight, and it also improves spray treatment e cacy as coverage is more even,” explained Will. “It’s extremely gentle, and there is no damage to the berries.

“We regard foliage management as an area of increasing importance as more customers realise the bene ts. The Provitis machines weren’t supplied by Kirkland, but we are already discussing additional solutions with the Kirkland team.”

Maximising cover crop bene ts

As cover crop popularity increases, di erent methods of managing the bene cial vegetation are of interest. “We’ve seen many customers using cover crops as an alternative to grass between vine and tree rows,” explained Kirkland UK sales manager, Tom Wheatley. “Mowing or mulching it is an option, but during the season this damages the bene cial insect habitat, so Orizzonti Bio Rollers are a popular alternative. They are simple and cost-e ective, and are pushed along in front of the tractor, where they roll and atten the cover crop, while blades on the roller cylinder have a crimping e ect.

“The owers and seeds remain rather than being destroyed by mowing, then at the end of the season the residues are pulverised as usual.

Being able to maintain areas between the vine and fruit tree rows without losing bene ts of expensive cover crops is a signi cant advantage and we believe that Will’s Bio Roller contracting service will be in demand.”

Under vine management

Solutions for under vine management are of growing interest as the industry moves away from chemical ground vegetation control. The Orizzonti Multy 2 mounting system is compatible with a wide range of attachments, from mechanical cultivation heads to shallow plough shares, rotary mowers, bud rubbers and powered rotary heads. “It mounts on the tractor front linkage, and the base unit comes with an integral hydraulic drive system which means attachments tend to be simpler and cheaper than competitor versions and they are easier to swap,” explained Tom.

Will agrees: “We considered alternatives from other suppliers too, but we preferred the design of the Multy, and it’s supplied and backed up by Kirkland, which is an advantage.

“We like the Ecology head, which features a rotating horizontal shaft with durable nylon cutting lines to e ciently clear dense vegetation between and around vines without damaging the trunk, and it also removes low shoots at the same time.

“With the two cutting heads working under vines on both sides and a mower at the rear, we achieve a very tidy nish in one pass, making it an e cient and cost-e ective operation.”

Mechanical harvester maximises quality for processing

Will has also invested in a Gregoire Trailed Grape Harvester, from Kirkland. “We started importing Gregoire harvesters four years ago, and o er the full range including trailed, de-mount and self-propelled models to cater for all types and sizes of operation,” said Tom. “Back-up for these

July/August 2024 19
With a pair of Ecology heads trimming the vine rows on both sides, Will uses a rear-mounted ail to achieve a tidy nish between the rows The Provitis trimmer The Provitis leaf stripper uses a vacuum to draw excess foliage between a pair of rollers, which strip it gently from the plant without damaging the berries

machines is critical, so we carry every part likely to be required in stock in the UK, and our workshop team is fully trained to service and repair the machines so that downtime is minimised.”

Before ordering his Gregoire trailed grape harvester, Will visited several vineyards in France to see the main makes and models in action. “They each had advantages and disadvantages, but we liked the exibility of the Gregoire machine, and the gentle way it handled the berries.

“A big advantage is that the de-stemming system can be quickly and easily engaged and disengaged in the eld, making it easy to adapt to changing conditions. If grapes are very ripe and come away from the stems easily, then the destemmer is lifted out of work to minimise berry damage.

“Another good feature is that tailings are lifted over the front of the machine, making it easier for the operator to monitor what is happening from the tractor cab. If too much is coming over, then the speed can be reduced, and the settings altered to correct the situation.”


Will said that compared to hand harvesting, the mechanical grape harvester is a cost-e ective option that can also improve quality of harvested fruit. “In the Home Counties we don’t have the number of regular pickers that are available to growers in the South-East. This means it’s even more important to make the most of every weather window when crops are perfectly ripe. Using the Gregoire harvester, we can harvest the required tonnage of grapes much quicker than a team of hand pickers, so they can be transferred to the winery for processing before the condition deteriorates.

“Typically, machine harvesting is slightly harder on the crop than hand picking so there is more damage, but the reduced time between harvesting and processing more than compensates. Another advantage is that we retain the grape juices, so these are available for processing too adding value to the machine harvesting technique.”

Contract machine harvesting will be o ered to growers nationwide. “We bought the Gregoire harvester primarily for our own crop, so we can o er very competitive prices for our service,” he explained. “Typical hand harvesting cost in our area is approximately £300 per tonne, but we can o er machine harvesting for approximately £100 per tonne, depending on the situation. It’s expected to be popular and will reduce the stress of trying to assemble teams of experienced pickers who know what they are doing.”

Reliant on a good dealer

Working with Tom Wheatley and the rest of the Kirkland UK team made selecting equipment for the contracting eet very straightforward, said Will. “We found the team easy to deal with. Backup in the event of problems occurring is going to be critical to our success, especially providing a contracting service for other growers as we don’t want to let anyone down.

“We know that we can call Tom, or Kirkland partner and product specialist Scott Worsley, at any time. Soon after delivery, when a minor teething issue occurred, Scott understood exactly what we were talking about and provided a solution by phone. The parts team knows the products inside and out, and anything we need that is ordered by the evening will be delivered the next day.”

The Ecology head features durable but environmentally friendly nylon lines to trim vegetation, rather than relying on herbicides

The two cutting heads are adjustable and spring mounted, and move in and out as they pass each vine

Fully exible contracting service

Will is con dent that his family’s new venture will prove successful. “It’s all about two families with a passion for English wine working together. The winery and contracting business complement each other, and it means we o er the full process from planting vines to managing and maintaining the vineyards and producing quality wines.

“News of our new contracting service has been welcomed by growers in the Home Counties, and we will continue investing in additional machinery and equipment to ensure we o er the best possible service.”

July/August 2024 21 MACHINERY
Will Croxford is offering his customers under vine management solutions, which don’t rely on chemicals Northamptonshire-based contractor Will Croxford (left) with Kirkland UK sales manager, Tom Wheatley


innovations help Scottish grower in post-Brexit world

Tim Stockwell, who farms 80ha of soft fruit in Fife, has invested in labour-saving tools to help the farm cope, not only with the cost of labour, but also lack of availability since Brexit – which he says has particularly limited the number of seasonal workers with managerial skills. Deputy editor

Sarah Kidby spoke to Tim to nd out more about the farm’s fruit growing enterprise.

Barnsmuir Farm has been owned and run by the Stockwell family since 1990, when they moved to Scotland from the South of England and started farming vegetable and cereal crops. Tim Stockwell and his brother took over the running of the farm from their parents, with Tim concentrating on the soft fruits and Rob on the vegetable enterprise.

Fruit growing began with strawberries in 2005, to make use of the casual labour which was already being utilised for the vegetable and cereal crops.

Feeling that there was room for growth, Barnsmuir has since expanded into other fruits –raspberries, blackberries and blueberries – which

helps to extend the season and give an even pro le of labour with blueberries being late season. Delving into new fruits allowed them to expand their existing business, rather than starting a completely new enterprise, Tim explained.

The farm’s year starts with husbandry jobs in early January, such as pruning blueberry bushes, and planting and trimming strawberry plants. Picking begins with strawberries in April, followed by raspberries, blackberries and nally blueberries, which nish in November. Blueberries were rst planted around 10 years ago and the return was initially quite good, though it takes 3–4 years to

get a decent crop. However, blueberry prices have not been particularly good recently due to the large quantities of imports, Tim said.

Variety choice

The farm’s fruit is packed on-site, marketed though Angus Soft Fruits, and goes into M&S, Sainsbury's, ASDA and Morrison’s. Tim’s wife Alice Stockwell uses some of the farm’s waste fruit to make jams, chutneys and fruit cordials to sell at local farmers’ markets and in the farm shop, which also sells fresh produce.

Flavour and shelf life are key to the farm’s variety choices, especially for fruit destined for the premium supermarkets, Tim explained, and waste reduction is an important element. Varieties are also selected for their resistance to mildew, which is a constant threat.

Barnsmuir is now growing a new raspberry variety, Ava Monet, which entered commercial production this year in response to mounting cost pressures on growers. Developed by the Angus Soft Fruits breeding programme, Ava Monet has short, compact laterals. Yield, crop management and picking costs were a major focus in the variety’s development, according to the breeding programme director, Lucy Wilkins. It produces larger berries that are easier to access, making picking easier, as well as o ering high yields (1.4kg per cane in the UK) and nine days’ shelf life from harvest. Ava Monet is a late primocane variety but at Barnsmuir and other fruit farms in Scotland, it is grown using long canes due to the success of this technique north of the border.

Other varieties grown:

Strawberries: Magnum is a June-bearing variety that is described as ideally suited to the mild Scottish climate, where long summer days result in exceptionally sweet berries. Aurora Karima is everbearing and o ers high yields, a juicy texture with a fresh taste, good shelf life and high disease tolerance. Meanwhile, Falco produces large strawberries in the mid-season. It is a very robust variety, remaining rm even during warm conditions, as well as good botrytis tolerance, according to the breeder.

Raspberries: Italian variety Lagorai is a late autumn variety and known for its high yield. The plant is very vigorous and has short laterals, meaning it is easy to pick.

Blackberries: Barnsmuir grows Sweet Royalla

July/August 2024 22

Barnsmuir employs around 300 workers per year via the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, and has 10 permanent staff

Magnum strawberries are June-bearing and ideally suited to the mild Scottish climate, where long summer days result in exceptionally sweet berries

which is a thornless variety with a juicier avour and larger berries than average. Plants have strong roots and a higher harvesting performance, plus low susceptibility to fruit rot and mildew.

Blueberries: The farm grows Last Call blueberries, which are very late season, producing high yields of large berries with a classic sweet and slightly aromatic blueberry avour.

Success with biologicals

With growers facing the withdrawal of many chemicals for controlling pests and disease, Barnsmuir has turned to biological pest controls, which are reintroduced every year, and they have had some success with these, particularly in resisting thrip y. A biological supply company also provides bees for pollination in the polytunnels, and the farm has ve of its own bee hives on site which produce honey for the farm shop.

Locations for growing certain soft fruits are carefully selected to ensure the best growing conditions in terms of temperature, Tim added. The cooling breeze from the nearby sea is an added bene t. Early season soft fruits are grown in heated polytunnels and crops susceptible to frost damage are grown in tunnels that are located close to the sea where there is less risk.

Labour issues

The farm’s primary task is managing the workforce, to ensure seasonal workers arrive at the right time. The farm currently employs around 300 workers per year via the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, and it has around 10 permanent sta .

As is the case for all growers, labour is a challenge for a number of reasons. For Barnsmuir, a major di culty since Brexit and the loss of many

Eastern European workers, has been the lack of managerial or supervisor level sta – plus, the limited amount of time that seasonal workers are able to stay under the visa scheme.

Machinery on the farm is bought either new or secondhand, depending on cost and availability and Tim makes use of labour-saving machinery where possible. For example, a biological applicator that blows predatory insects over the top of the crops is used in the polytunnels to reduce the labour cost associated with biological control. It was originally supplied by Royal Brinkman and has been mounted on a frame built in the farm’s workshop so it can be towed by a small tractor.

Barnsmuir has also invested in a Weterings grow-bag conveyor belt system for removing grow bags from polytunnels – previously they used barrows and trolleys. Explaining how the conveyor belt system works, Tim said: “You lay out a mat on the oor and [the machine] pulls it in

Last Call blueberries are very late season producing high yields of large berries with a classic sweet and slightly aromatic blueberry avour

Farm owner: Tim Stockwell

Location: Crail, Fife, Scotland

Total farm size: 800ha

Fruit operation: 80ha

Varieties grown: Strawberries: Magnum, Aurora Karima, Falco. Raspberries: Lagorai, Ava Monet. Blackberries: Sweet Royalla. Blueberries: Last Call

Soil type: Sandy loam

July/August 2024 23

Groundbreaking project

trials autonomous robots on farm

Fox Robotics Ltd says it is at the forefront of technological advancement in agriculture, “revolutionising the industry”

with its leading logistical robot solution – Hugo RTTM.

In autumn 2023, Fox, in collaboration with the University of Surrey and the Agri-Epi Centre, along with three prominent farms was awarded a grant of nearly £1m for its groundbreaking Flexbot project, from Defra and Innovate UK.

Fox Robotics developed the Hugo RT (Rough Terrain) robot, which can transport fruit at harvest, as well as performing other essential tasks such as mowing and transporting soil and handling delicate seedlings outside the growing season. From Q2 2024, Hall Hunter Partnership has joined the project and taken over Secretts Farm’s scope in the Flexbot project. This initiative aims to trial autonomous robots on farms, addressing critical labour shortages and enhancing productivity.

Introducing Hugo RT

The Hugo RT robot is designed to meet the diverse needs of horticulture farms. According to Fox, it is versatile and robust, capable of transporting fruit during harvest, mowing, spraying, and even security patrolling outside the growing season. Its all-terrain capabilities and autonomous navigation make it an indispensable tool for modern agriculture, Fox says.

The Hugo RT robot’s unique ability to perform tasks without human intervention signi cantly eases growers' labour challenges by automating logistics operations, the company continues. This allows fruit pickers to focus on the intricate task of harvesting delicate fruit, thereby increasing daily yields, reducing waste, and boosting pro ts.

According to Fox, the implementation of

Hugo RT can lead to a 20% increase in overall productivity for growers.

Advanced tech for farm environments

The Flexbot project is currently being trialled on multiple farms, including Barnsmuir Farm in Scotland and Hall Hunter Partnership Farms in Surrey.

Scientists from the University of Surrey are enhancing the AI system used by Hugo RT to navigate complex farm environments. This advanced system employs outward-facing cameras to create a bird’s eye view, ensuring collision avoidance and smooth operation in busy farm settings.

Jams, chutneys and fruit cordials, as well as fresh produce, are sold in the farm shop

and rolls it up, then puts the bags onto an elevator and into a trailer.”

The farm also has a wind turbine which generates power for the farm, and a biomass heating system.

Tim is keen to continue introducing new working and labour-saving methods, and this year will be involved in a project with Fox Robotics. The project, Flexbot, has been awarded £1 million from DEFRA and Innovate UK to trial a robotic transport system for berry trays in UK farms (see below).

“I suppose we are all waiting for some sort of autonomous vehicle to come along, and obviously robotic pickers, which I believe some growers are already working with,” Tim commented. “There are machines around now that can autonomously transport fruit to the pack house or the cold store. So I see the potential of that, hopefully in the near future.”

• Interchangeable table and weighing table

• Passive suspension

• Two removable and rechargeable batteries

• 3G and 4G capability

• Dimensions: Length 107cm, width 63cm

• Top speed: 3m/s.

Christian Gordon-Pullar, chairman of Fox Robotics, emphasised the collaboration's goal: “The aim of this collaboration is to enhance technology that simpli es the adoption of robotics in agriculture. By mitigating the complexities associated with advanced technology manipulation, we empower farmers to harness the bene ts of robotics without the need for extensive technical expertise.”

Duncan Ross, business development manager for crops and horticulture at Agri-EPI Centre Ltd, added: “Fruit growers are interested in tech innovations that address seasonal labour shortages. While picking robots are still evolving, robotic platforms like Hugo RT, which can move fruit and crates, allow pickers to focus on harvesting. This project aims to foster increased on-farm adoption of such solutions.”

The project’s core objective is to enhance the robustness of the Hugo RT robot’s navigation system, ensuring it can operate autonomously even in the most bustling and dynamic farm environments.

Traditional navigation systems have struggled with the challenges of autonomously moving robots into polytunnels and around essential items. Hugo RT overcomes these obstacles with precise mapping and autonomous navigation, making it a reliable solution for various agricultural contexts, including husbandry, fruit, and ower farming.

Another of the Hugo RT robot’s standout features is its scalability. Fox Robotics has designed the robot to adapt to varying farm sizes and layouts, o ering farmers the exibility to optimise resource distribution and eld planning.

The Hugo RT robot’s speci cations for maximum e ciency:

• Carrying capacity: 200kg

• Towing capacity: 500kg

• Weather-proof design

July/August 2024 24 GROWER PROFILE
Hugo RT overcomes these obstacles with precise Another of the Hugo RT robot’s standout

FOX ROBOTICS focuses on improving and automating logistics tasks other robotics companies have overlooked in the horticulture industry. FOX ROBOTICS is currently concentrating on improving the e ciency of the UK's soft fruit farms and vineyards.

Hugo RTTM is a durable, e cient, battery-powered robot designed to reduce the reliability of seasonal labour. The outdoor logistics robot helps to automate several all-year-round tasks, from supporting the transportation of picked produce to carrying delicate seedlings and soil in narrow polytunnels. Automating these tasks will help to reduce overall costs and increases productivity.

25 July/August 2024
WWW.FOX-ROBOTICS.COM ww w.po lyt heneu k 0845 643 1601 We guarantee to reduce your cost and carbon footprint Our products will revolutionise your packaging operation: Post consumer waste - reused Tough, lightweight polythene Bio-based, carbon neutral 10-day compostable starch bag
Unit 4, Abbey Business Park, Monks Walk, Farnham GU9 8HT

Spotted wing drosophila solutions from Russell IPM

SWD Dry Lure, MaxDro & Suzukii Trap

The SWD Dry Lure and MaxDro (liquid lure) are highly attractive lures for monitoring of SWD. SWD Dry Lure is a versatile attractant that can be paired with the Red Impact Trap or hung inside the Suzukii Trap. MaxDro is a liquid attractant for monitoring of SWD. It can be paired with the Suzukii trap and SWD Dry Lure to maximise trap catch.

ProBandz is an effective food bait adjuvant which is mixed with insecticides to enhance the control of fruit flies such as SWD. It increases the uptake of insecticide which leads to a faster kill of the target pest with a much reduced insecticide rate. It can be used with all authorised plant protection products and is applied to plants as a band treatment.

50% reduction in active ingredient costs (estimate)

Red Impact Board with SWD Dry Lure

Red Impact Board is a ready-to use, quick and effective monitoring tool for SWD when paired with the SWD Dry Lure. It comes with UV- light stable, high-tack adhesive for easy capture of SWD.

We’re exhibiting at 10th July 2024 STAND 12

Contact us: Russell IPM Ltd, Unit 45, First Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2NU, UK

Phone: +44 (0) 1244 281 333, Fax: +44 (0) 1244 281 878, Email:

Take a look at our Soft Fruit Brochure

Looking forward to

Fruit Focus 2024

Fruit Focus will be taking place once again at NIAB, East Malling, on 10th July.

The scope of research out of NIAB East Malling is hugely impressive, from new varieties through to pest control and water e ciency.

The NIAB Research Tours showcase this research and development throughout the day at Fruit Focus. All tours will depart from the signed tour departure area near the NIAB stand.

The WET centre tour: The WET Centre allows NIAB to showcase the latest technology available for precision production of strawberry and raspberry. It has successfully demonstrated signi cant savings in water and fertiliser use and how plant yields are in uenced by row position in tunnels. Learn how Malling Ace is performing this year and how NIAB’s growing understanding of tunnel environment can help to optimise yields.

Sustainable innovation for fruit growing: Growing Kent & Medway is investing in sustainable innovation and technologies to help the horticultural and plant-based food and drink industry in the Kent and Medway region to continue to thrive. Learn about some of the research and innovative projects being funded that will help fruit growing businesses to become more sustainable whilst creating circularity and reducing waste.

Precision pollination in strawberry: NIAB is working with several industry partners to understand if growers are achieving complete levels of pollination to maximise nutrition and shelf-life in protected strawberry. Find out how a new acoustic detection method is counting functional groups of insects and whether it will allow growers to detect areas of high and low pollination. New tools are also being assessed to direct insects from areas of high to low pollination.

Plum Demonstration Centre tour: The Plum Demonstration Centre is part-funded and directed by UK plum growers, who are interested to learn more about how to maximise yield and quality through manipulation of tree growth and

irrigation/nutrition programmes. Find out what has been learnt about tree management and water use in recent seasons, and which varieties are performing best in the variety trial area.

Produce Quality Centre tour: Learn about some of the latest innovations in fruit handling and storage including an explanation of how monitoring produce response to storage environments enables NIAB to optimise packaging solutions, storage atmospheres and energy use.

Research Vineyard tour: The Research Vineyard forms part of the research support being developed by NIAB for a burgeoning grape and wine sector in the UK. Learn more about research comparing spur with cane pruning, along with the impact of di erent groundcover management practices on soil health, yields and juice quality, and emissions. Also view facilities to monitor vine root growth in NIAB’s rhizolab.

Sustainable innovation for fruit growing: Growing Kent & Medway is investing in sustainable innovation and technologies to help the horticultural and plant-based food and drink industry in the Kent and Medway region to continue to thrive. Learn about some of the

research and innovative projects being funded that will help fruit growing businesses to become more sustainable whilst creating circularity and reducing waste.

Informative seminars

There will also be a host of informative seminars, delivered via the NFU Fruit Forum 2024. This year’s topics include:

• Innovating strawberry cultivation and marketing through breeding

• A tale of three saw ies: Pheromones of saw y pests of horticulture

• Calcium mobility technology and the role of calcium in fruit production

• Priorities for the horticulture sector, ahead of a general election

• Getting crop protection right for the future

• Cutting edge AI monitoring of spotted wing drosophila

• How can diagnostic services help ensure a successful integrated pest management strategy

• Carbon measurement and environmental engagement

• Circular economy at work: Biostimulants from waste wool

• Maximise your yields with coir substrates

• The holistic approach to plant disease management

• Drone spraying in UK horticulture

• Automation and food safety for the fresh fruit sector.

NIAB Research Hour will also be taking place, which will include the following topics:

• Developing alternative methods of control for apple canker

• Precision pollination for improved nutrition and shelf-life in protected strawberry

• Screening for resistance to spotted wing drosophila in strawberry and raspberry

• Integrated biological control of large raspberry aphid

• The latest developments in coir recycling.

Fruit Focus 2024 will take place on 10th July 2024 at NIAB, East Malling, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ.

Tickets are free of charge if pre-registered or cost £10+VAT if purchased on the day.

The Fruit & Vine team will be there, and we look forward to chatting with our subscribers on the day, as well as nding out the latest industry information.



Extensive product range on display

Russell IPM and Russell BioSolutions, trading under the Russell IPM Group umbrella, say they are thrilled to announce their participation in Fruit Focus 2024.

On the Russell IPM Group stand, you will discover an extensive range of high-quality organic certi ed soft fruit protection products and solutions. Russell’s products include specialist traps and lures, novel trapping systems and adjuvants, as well as a proven range of biological fermentation and formulation products including biostimulants, biofertilisers and biopesticides.

Russell IPM Group is particularly excited to showcase TruePest –the company’s new mobile phone application and software suite powered by arti cial intelligence (AI) systems. This innovative tool is designed for the monitoring and identi cation of key economically important insect pests, such as the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) on sticky boards. TruePest represents a signi cant advancement in pest management technology, providing precise and e cient solutions for farmers.

Dr Dhurgham Al-karawi, head of AI at Russell IPM, will be a guest speaker at the event. He will provide essential information on TruePest and discuss the industry advantages of using AI for informed decisionmaking against pests such as spotted wing drosophila.

Additionally, by visiting the Russell IPM Group stand, you will meet industry specialists with extensive knowledge, ready to o er product information, advice, and solutions tailored to your needs.

Visit the team at stand 12, where you can pick up a soft fruit protection brochure and enjoy some product freebies.

Discussing bene ts of unique technology

Hortifeeds says it is excited to be exhibiting at Fruit Focus again this year, and the team is looking forward to welcoming existing and new customers to stand 504 to discuss the company’s extensive range of fertilisers and biostimulants.

Alongside regional sales managers Paul Wright and Ben Dalton, and agronomist Mike Wainwright, the company will also be welcoming Robert Kempster from Plant Impact to the stand.

Robert will be giving a presentation in the NFU Fruit Forum on the bene ts of Plant Impact’s unique CaTTM technology, utilised in calcium mobility product AmētrosTM. He will be available for questions at the Hortifeeds stand throughout the rest of the day.

Hortifeeds is involved in the BASIS Knowledge Trail, so visitors to the stand can claim CPD points.

Below is a selection of Hortifeeds’ proven products:

• HortiMix – a range of water-soluble fertilisers specially formulated for soft fruit crops grown in all substrates

• HortiHydrate Bio – a high performance wetting agent formulated from a unique blend of sustainable ingredients. This environmentally friendly product boasts equivalent performance to standard synthetic surfactants

• HortiBoost – powerful package of 20 essential amino-acids, humic acid complex, seaweed and major and minor nutrients. The complete all-round biostimulant

• Amētros – powered by Plant Impact's CaT technology, Amētros leads the market for optimisation and distribution of calcium

• HortiPhyte – highly mobile phosphite fertiliser that increases crop resilience and improves rooting and nutrient uptake

• HortiHydrate Pro – Hortifeeds’ new specialised horticultural wetting agent. Ideal for use both in coir and other substrates.

Fertiliser expert to exhibit at Fruit Focus 2024

ICL Growing Solutions says it understands that producing high-quality fruit requires precision, expertise, and reliable solutions tailored to your speci c crop needs. As a result, ICL Growing Solutions is dedicated to providing advanced fertilisation products designed to enhance fruit yield and quality while promoting sustainable farming practices.

One of ICL Growing Solutions’ o erings for growers is its range of watersoluble NPK (WSNPK) fertilisers. These products are formulated to provide balanced nutrition throughout the growth cycle of your fruit crops. The WSNPK fertilisers ensure optimal nutrient uptake, resulting in increased yield, quality, and pro t. They are ideal for use in fertigation systems, allowing precise nutrient management tailored to your crop’s requirements.

In addition to WSNPK fertilisers, ICL Growing Solutions also o ers controlled release fertilisers (CRFs) that provide a consistent and steady supply of nutrients over an extended period. These fertilisers are designed to match the nutrient release with the plant’s growth needs, minimising leaching and maximising nutrient use e ciency. CRFs help in reducing labour and application costs while improving the sustainability of your farming practices.

ICL Growing Solutions says it is excited to showcase its innovative solutions at Fruit Focus. Visit the team at stand 30 to learn more about how its products can support your fruit growing endeavours. Engage with its experts, explore its comprehensive range of products, and discover how ICL Growing Solutions can help you achieve exceptional results in your orchards and plantations.

July/August 2024 28
29 July/August 2024 EU basic substance to be used as a bio-fungicide. improve the 'terroir' of clay soils with a high calcium / low nitrogen feed. organically certified silicon feed for improved stress tolerance. Primary manufacturer of biological fertilisers, biostimulants, and bio-pesticides Product highlights for fruit/vine crops: Discuss your requirements at Fruit Focus - Stand 30 Get in touch: ICL are experts in crop nutrition. from water soluble fertilisers to controlled release technology.
Quality – consistent purity and hassle-free
Knowledge – on-farm expert advice
Innovation – research and tech support
Choice – a solution for every need Your Precision Nutrition Specialists COMING SOON! Polysulphate Minis now available in 25kg
30 July/August 2024 Charles Moon & Sons personal touch to contract spreading. We have a wide range of unique and custom machinery suitable for all types of fruit, vineyard and arable spreading applications. Lime, compost, fertiliser, GPS, soil sampling and dung etc. 07711 593316 . 07860 395334 email: covering the south east offering the Make ever kilo count! Find out more at: or call 01423-324221 Spit Green KRM offer a range of flail mowers with specifications and working widths ideally suited to working in orchards and vineyards. The Spit Green model places the shredded material at the base of the growing plant, smothering weeds and providing nutrients. Hydraulically adjustable outlets allow for easy adjustment from the tractor cab. Heavy duty hammer flails leave a clean finish on grass and can also handle crop residue and pruning's. FETF Grant Qualifying!

innovation Sustainability

drives summer berry

The Summer Berry Company (TSBC) has recently announced that it is able to offer year-round strawberry production, lengthening the season by ve months.

The transition to this model has begun, with plans to develop a ‘Green Energy Solution’ (GES). This will reduce the site’s reliance on fossil fuels, incorporating a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, a state-of-the-art combined water/air source heat pump, a site-wide heat network and LED lighting on the glasshouses.

Once it is operational, the GES will reduce the overall spend on energy by around 40%, cut CO2 emissions by 20%, and allow the site to provide extensive additional lighting to the crop in winter.

“We’re aiming to achieve net zero by 2030, and we are looking at a number of sustainability initiatives across the farm,” explains head of growing at TSBC Micky Riggs.

“We have state-of-the-art glasshouses which we’re using to grow strawberries on gutter swing systems, meaning we can increase plant density per hectare and manoeuvre the gutters when we come to harvest,” he says.

“We will soon have a unique LED system in place ready for planting in late summer. Combined with the GES, this will enable us to produce delicious strawberries throughout the late autumn and winter, and into spring next year.”

Complexities of fruit

TSBC grows strawberries, blueberries and blackberries in the UK, with a mix of eld and glasshouse production, and its Portugal operation mainly focuses on raspberry production.

Among the innovations being employed by TSBC in both countries is robot harvesting and forecasting. Micky explains how this works in the UK: “The robots pick in the glasshouse and the eld, and while they have signi cantly improved over the years, they still have a way to go in terms of fully replacing humans.

“Due to the complexity of the fruit presentation, it currently still requires people to go in afterwards and pick the berries that have been missed. But they are learning as they pick using Arti cial Intelligence, and they will continue to improve.”

We're aiming to achieve net zero by 2030, and are looking at a number of sustainability initiatives.

Tackling disease

“Alongside the UV treatment, we also try to use biological controls as much as possible, as part of a more sustainable approach to growing. We utilise ‘bio-applicator machines’ and this year two machines are out in the elds requiring only one driver each, resulting in very timely applications and a reduction in labour required for this critical job,” says Micky.

Producing around 7,000 tonnes of fruit annually in the UK, and supplying all major UK supermarkets means that quality, yield, and optimising timing is key for Micky.

“We produce around 750 tonnes of blueberries and over 6,000 tonnes of strawberries, with ambitions to grow more as part of our year-round supply. We also produce a small of amount of blackberries and are carrying out multiple varietal trials with a view to expanding production in the future,” he says.

“Pinch points, where we don’t want too much fruit production are often the middle of June and also during August, when people are on holiday, so control and steerability of the crops is really important.”

Growing media

TSBC has worked with coco coir producer, Botanicoir, for over 10 years, and says the consistency of the product is key to supplying UK supermarkets. “Consistency in terms of coir quality is critical.

“Botanicoir consistently delivers quality and there is not a year when this isn’t the case, it’s always the same and as a grower this is really important,” says Micky.

TSBC started using Botanicoir products on raspberries and it was the only supplier at that time who could meet the bespoke requirement. “I was after a very particular type of substrate and I didn’t want any bres below 2mm in the mix, so anything below this size was removed and the mix had to be very free draining.

“We had great success with it, so we also transitioned it on the strawberries in our tunnels and we haven’t looked back,” Micky explains.

The consistency of the coir will be crucial when the year-round strawberry growing is in full swing. “Steerability in the higher-pressure season is paramount,” says Micky.

The team is also trialling recycling the coir. “At the end of the crop’s life, we shred all the plant material, and the waste coir is taken o to be sterilised and sent back for us to re-use.

The company also uses ‘UV robots’ to apply ultraviolet light to the strawberries, to tackle powdery mildew –the number one disease in strawberries.

“We have successfully trialled smaller areas over the previous two years, with di erent varieties of strawberries. So far, so good – the yields are on a par with normal yields, but we need to extend the trials further in order to use it on a commercial level across the farm.”

The future

Plans for fruit expansion in the UK are afoot, alongside the year-round strawberry production. “We’re converting some of our old raspberry elds into strawberry elds to maximise our utilisation of area in our eld cropping systems.

“The mix of the state-of-the-art glasshouse growing with renewables and LED lights, combined with eld-growing will help us move to 12 months of UK production, and then it’s about optimisation,” Micky concludes.

July/August 2024 31 SPECIAL REPORT

Irrigationsolutions for

Via fertigation, a regular, small, uniform application of soluble nutrients is delivered around plant roots ensuring a rapid uptake, as well as a reduction in fertiliser waste, labour and compaction in the eld.

The drilling process encountered several geological challenges – particularly the transition from soft sandy mudstone to harder sandstone layers. Igne’s experienced team utilised advanced drilling techniques and equipment to navigate these conditions, ensuring the successful completion of each borehole in turn.

The ability to source water from these boreholes has signi cantly enhanced the farm’s irrigation capabilities, allowing for more consistent and e cient water usage.

a Herefordshire fruit farm

In the Herefordshire village of Upton Bishop, family business Chicory Crops is at the forefront of innovation – including when it comes to irrigation.

Founded in 1971 by Robert Simpson, who inherited his love for growing from his father, the family-run business has evolved from its initial focus on chicory to become a diverse and thriving fruit farm.

Igne (formerly WB&AD Morgan) has played a crucial role in supporting the irrigation needs of Chicory Crops since 1997, assisting the Simpson family’s continued success and sustainability ambitions.

Robert Simpson’s journey into horticulture began under the guidance of his father, who managed Castle Fruit Farm in Newent after World War II. Inspired by his father’s work, Robert established Chicory Crops with a pioneering spirit, initially focusing on the production of endives.

His passion for producing excellent produce and his love of growing soon led to his diversi cation of the farm’s produce to include strawberries, raspberries, apples, and cherries.

The success of Chicory Crops can be attributed in large part to Robert’s exceptional relationship building with major retailers, including Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

These partnerships have ensured a reliable market for the farm’s produce and have encouraged the continuous improvement of growing practices to align with the high standards expected by these premium retailers.

The next generation

When the time was right, Robert passed the reins of Chicory Crops to his two sons, Jake and Rupert. As the third generation of growers, Jake and Rupert have further expanded the farm’s product range to include elder ower and honey.

They inherited their innovative spirits and commitment to sustainable farming practices from their father, and these have ensured that Chicory Crops remains at the forefront of the fruit and vine industry in terms of quality and excellence.

Irrigation requirements

As all growers know, uneven rainfall can cause plant stress during critical growth periods, which will a ect both crop productivity and produce quality. The solution is e ective irrigation.

Whilst Herefordshire’s climate is generally conducive to e ective fruit farming, the diversity of Chicory Crops’ produce requires careful irrigation planning to maintain optimal soil moisture levels and ensure high-quality produce.

To support Jake and Rupert’s e ective management of their farm’s water resources, Igne’s expertise has been invaluable.

Igne’s involvement with Chicory Crops began in September 1993, with the drilling of the farm’s rst borehole to a depth of 35m. Drilled to replace an abstraction point from a stream, this hole is still producing well and uses the original Grundfos torpedo pump installed 31 years ago. Following a successful hydrogeological survey, two further boreholes were installed in May and October 2003.

Drilling progressed through varying ground conditions, including soft sandy mudstone to a depth of 5m and sandstone with mudstone horizons.

These three boreholes are strategically drilled to provide a reliable source of irrigation water, ensuring the farm can meet its growing demands. They also support the fertigation e orts on farm.

Impact on production and sustainability

The impact of these boreholes on crop production has been profound. With a reliable water supply, Chicory Crops has been able to maintain optimal soil moisture levels, leading to improved crop yields and quality.

Consistent irrigation has particularly bene ted the most water-sensitive crops including the strawberries and raspberries and latterly cherries under plastic, which require precise moisture management to thrive.

The installation of the boreholes has also contributed to the farm’s sustainability e orts. By reducing dependence on surface water sources and minimising water wastage, Chicory Crops has taken signi cant steps towards more sustainable farming practices. This aligns with the broader industry trend towards environmental responsibility and resource conservation.

Looking ahead, Jake and Rupert Simpson are committed to further enhancing the farm’s sustainability. Plans are underway to explore additional water-saving technologies and practices, such as reservoir creation, soil moisture sensors and mulching, to complement the existing borehole system. And the development of a water bottling plant could be on the horizon, allowing for the commercial sale of the pure water Igne’s boreholes deliver. These innovations will help to ensure that Chicory Crops continues to thrive in an increasingly water-conscious world.

This experience exempli es the importance of innovative irrigation solutions in modern fruit farming. The successful partnership between the Simpson family and Igne has not only ensured the farm’s continued success but also highlighted the critical role of water management in sustainable agriculture.

July/August 2024 32
Jake and Rupert in 1993 when the rst borehole was drilled.

At Igne, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities growers face.

That’s why we provide end-to-end support for your water supply needs.

From hydrogeological survey to borehole drilling and well development, your sustainable water supply is in safe hands.

We’ve been delivering water resilience for decades.

Empowering You to Diversify and Thrive

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Catch up with the NP Seymour team and fellow growers while watching a range of specialist fruit and vine machinery at work.



Amsbury Farm, East St, Hunton, Maidstone, ME15 0QY by kind permission of Clive Baxter

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Improving sprayer


In mid-April, as part of WineGB’s Conference for Growth, there was a practical demonstration of best practice sprayer usage and calibration, undertaken by the NP Seymour team.

The demonstration was conducted by NP Seymour sales specialist, Tim Sillence.

During the demonstration, Tim explained that before calibrating your sprayer or undertaking any spraying, you should already have in mind a desired application rate. He pointed out that all sprayer operators should have completed a PA3 course, and therefore would be aware of how to correctly work out the desired rate based around litres per minute per nozzle and so on; but a handy checklist written by Hutchinsons agronomist, Rob Saunders was presented to attendees earlier in the day as a reminder.

For the demo, the spray was calibrated based on a 5kph speed, with a 2.2 row width, and a target rate of 400-litres/ha.

“Once you’ve worked your sum out and have your desired litres per minute, you will be able to put this into a ow rate chart which will point you in the direction of which nozzle to use,” explained Tim.

For this particular calibration, the application came out at 0.92-litres/min per nozzle, which pointed to a yellow nozzle on the chart. Tim uses an Albuz ATR, which he explained have a really high parameter to work at di erent pressure levels, and are one of the most popular nozzles on the market.

Tim continued: “Once your gures are con rmed, it’s time to check the sprayer. It’s really important when you do your test that you do it exactly the same as you would if you were actually operating it, so don’t let the PTO just tick over – it needs to be running at the speed and pressure that you would actually be operating at.

“Every time you change your application rate and recalibrate, you should be re-checking the sprayer.”

Calibration checklist

The sprayer calibration checklist provided by Hutchinsons agronomist Rob Saunders o ers a useful summary of the key sprayer set-up and calibration points:

• Decide your target spray volume

Read the label, consider the canopy size, consider the target pest or disease, and be aware of the characteristics of the products to be applied

• Calculate forward speed

Mark out 100 metres (over terrain similar to that being sprayed). Measure the time taken to cover the 100m, recording the result in seconds. Forward speed (kph) = 360 / time per 100m (seconds)

• Measure sprayed width

This is the width of the area treated in one pass of the sprayer, for example when spraying a vineyard, passing down every alleyway, the sprayed width would be the distance between the centre of one row to the centre of the next. For herbicide application, this would be the width of the herbicide strip

• Calculate sprayer output

Sprayer output (litres per min) = Volume (litres per ha) x speed (kph) x sprayed width (m) / 600

• Calculate nozzle output

Nozzle output = sprayer output/number of nozzles (litres per min)

• Select nozzles

Consult the nozzle manufacturer’s handbook to select the appropriate nozzles to achieve the required output, operating within their rated pressure range

• Check actual output

Nozzles wear and pressure gauges can be inaccurate, so measure actual output using ow meter or jug and stopwatch. Repeat for each nozzle, and replace any nozzles whose output varies by +/-10%. Alternatively, as a quick (less accurate) check, record the amount of water gone from the tank over a timed period

• Adjust pressure

Repeat step 7, adjusting pressure (within the rated pressure range for the nozzles) until the target output is achieved

• Record all settings, and le for future reference.

Reliable sprayer

The demonstration featured an OCLL NPA directional sprayer, provided by NP Seymour. According to director Claire Seymour, if you’re looking for a reliable sprayer that will provide e ective and e cient coverage, the range of OCLL sprayers from Carrarospray, including the NPA directional sprayer, remain the most economically priced sprayers for growers with smaller-sized orchards or vineyards. She comments: “We have stocked Carrarospray since the mid-1980s and have always noted how these well-built sprayers have consistently proven to give many years of reliable service.”

The rear-mounted sprayer is available with 400, 500, or 600-litre tank capacities.

The NPA air-assisted nozzle system ensures even distribution and penetration of the spray through crops. By e ectively producing micrometric-sized droplets in a mist, which completely and uniformly cover the leaves with a very ne protective lm, a more concentrated, even and e ective application of protection products can be achieved.

Claire also points out that all sprayers should be put through a National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) test as the regulations have been changed to require an annual test for air-assisted sprayers. Weed sprayers are still on a three-year test cycle. This is a mandatory requirement for anyone operating a sprayer and involves a thorough inspection to ensure that the equipment is operating correctly and within legal guidelines.

NP Seymour is an approved test centre and can carry out these tests at its workshop in Kent or directly on the vineyard or farm.

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Foliar options for healthy, productive vines

Foliar applications are an effective way of topping up vine nutrient requirements in-season, and for applying other inputs such as biostimulants or natural plant protection products. Fruit & Vine explores some of the options this summer.

Maintaining healthy canopies with the photosynthetic capacity to supply developing bunches with everything they need is crucial to maximising yield and quality; skimping on the canopy now risks undoing all the hard work gone before.

Yes, the weather has a big in uence on harvest prospects; but as that is beyond growers’ control, our focus must be on aspects we have some in uence over, and foliar applications are a fast and e ective way of delivering key inputs directly into the vine when required.

Foliar fertilisers o er predictable, e cient, plant uptake, and may be particularly useful for keeping vines going when soils are very dry, or on newly planted sites where roots are yet to establish, although growers cannot rely on foliar fertilisers alone for building large amounts of extension growth.

Identify requirements

Nutrition – however it is applied – should always be tailored to individual crop requirements, and many growers base in-season applications on the results of petiole or leaf analysis, usually done at owering. Knowledge of site history and soil status is also useful.

Leaf sampling carried out slightly later, through June into July, can still provide useful information though, so may be worthwhile if not done already, says Hutchinsons agronomist, Rob Saunders.

“Relative to the value of the crop, leaf analysis is a small investment that can have signi cant bene ts.”

Focus testing on areas of the vineyard that have previously underperformed; those where potential de ciencies have been seen; or where vines are relatively recently established and may not yet have well-developed roots, he explains. Sites carrying big crops are another to prioritise.

“Occasionally, leaf analysis may not show obvious issues, despite crops not performing as

expected, so in such cases, delve deeper, looking at other physical soil conditions and biology.”

Feeding canopies

Magnesium, iron and nitrogen are key nutrient de ciencies that can inhibit chlorophyll formation, and low levels of the rst two commonly show on tissue testing. Nitrogen de ciency is not usually an issue on deeper, richer soils in wetter regions, however it can be a problem in some areas, especially thinner soils in the drier south east, says Rob.

For magnesium, there are two main treatment options – the most popular being magnesium sulphate, which is low cost and proven to work well. Another option, where growers require additional nitrogen, as well as magnesium, is magnesium nitrate, which o ers a more plant-available nutrient form than sulphate, he advises.

“Urea is another e ective nitrogen source, while a more plant-available option would be products based on amino acid feeds, such as Bridgeway or Megafol, which can be particularly useful during stress periods, or when there is a large energy demand on vines.”

Rob points out care is needed when applying any nitrogen to vines, as excessive levels fuel canopy growth, particularly where it is applied in readilyavailable foliar forms. Non-nitrate based feeds can help ‘toughen’ cell walls within leaves, without delivering the nitrogen element responsible for generating excess sappy growth, therefore reducing the risk of mildew or botrytis, he adds.

For iron, EDTA chelate forms are cheapest, but Rob says they are generally not as plant-available or e ective as iron metalosate, which supplies amino acid chelated minerals in a ‘softer’ form that can be used immediately by plants.

“Note that for ground applications, EDDHA iron chelates are used, as these are resistant to becoming locked up by the soil chemistry and remain available to the plant.”

Feeding grape quality

From veraison onwards, Rob says the nutrition focus generally switches from feeding the canopy, to bolstering grape quality.

“Two nutrients are pivotal in this respect; potassium supports strong fruit ll and Brix accumulation, while yeast-available nitrogen a ects fermentation and the wine’s avour pro le. A high potassium:nitrogen ratio also helps reduce botrytis risk.”

Potassium can be applied in various forms, including non-chlorinated pure foliar products, such as PureTech Potassium, or as potassium sulphate. For those wanting extra nitrogen, potassium nitrate is another option. Metalosate potassium is also available, although experience is limited.

Other bene cial foliar nutrients include:

• Calcium: Key to building resilient cell wall structures, helping to protect vines against botrytis infection. Balanced calcium feeds containing magnesium and nitrogen can also protect against bunch stem necrosis

• Magnesium: Can help reduce bunch stem necrosis

• Boron: Often not held well in certain soil types. Boron is important to improve berry shape, size and sugars. It plays a role in botrytis protection too

• Zinc and iron: Both can improve grape quality

• Manganese: Helps prevent chlorosis in foliage and a ects alcohol and sugar levels in berries. Following the loss of mancozeb (which contains manganese), Terramap soil analysis and tissue testing is highlighting more cases of sub-optimal manganese.

Building healthy vines

Targeted foliar nutritional products can help bolster plant health and natural disease resistance, Rob continues. Cultigrow (CBL), for example, is based on avonoids, and in AHDB trials and empirical observations, it appears to reduce powdery mildew incidence due to improved plant health.

Similarly, other products, such as Procrop ISR, can stimulate the plant’s natural defence mechanisms to resist downy mildew, for which

July/August 2024 37

One useful elicitor option to consider is Fytosave, which uses two naturally occurring complex carbohydrates called COS (Chitooligosaccharides) and OGA (Oligo-galacturonans). These provide a “double alarm” signal to stimulate the plant’s defence mechanisms, he explains.

fungicide options are limited, and the disease is challenging to control through cultural techniques alone.

Such options are purely a defensive strategy though, so Rob says programmes should ideally start early in the season once there is su cient green leaf area for uptake, and while disease risk is low, with no visible signs of infection.

“Once disease risk increases, it can be worth applying a good quality phosphite (e.g. Phorce) to further improve the robustness of plants to resist infection. Phosphites have been shown to stimulate production of antimicrobial compounds (phytoalexins), thereby enhancing the vine’s natural disease defence mechanism.

“Equally, calcium is known to help reduce botrytis risk due to its role in building stronger cell walls.”

More growers are taking the plant health concept further by incorporating biofungicides or elicitors, such as Romeo, Fytosave or Prestop, into programmes, to boost natural defences and support, or even supplement conventional chemistry.


Nutrient utilisation and fruit set can also be enhanced with timely biostimulant use, and Rob says this is particularly important if trying to get secondary buds to fruit due to losses of primary buds.

The avonoid-based treatment CropBioLife has consistently performed over several years, so is often a popular choice, he says.

Natural disease protection

Optimising nutrition is fundamental to building healthy, productive vines, and Rob says natural disease resilience can be further improved with elicitor products.

Elicitors are based on components that essentially mimic microbial attack (e.g. by a powdery mildew pathogen) when they are detected by receptors in the plant cells, tricking vines into activating various defence mechanisms.

“They can be a useful addition to late season disease control programmes, when traditional fungicide options can be limited by strict harvest intervals, typically 21 days to one month, but can be up to 63 days for those containing mancozeb.”

Biostimulant brand

offers free samples for Fruit & Vine readers

MJP Supplies, the UK distributor of Algifol, is offering free biostimulant samples to vineyards and strawberry growers.

Marcus Palmer, who has been using and selling the seaweed-based biostimulant since 2005, is o ering 10 Fruit & Vine readers the chance to use Algifol for a season free of charge.

Algifol is a concentrated brown algae gathered from the North Atlantic, dried and re ned to maximise its wealth of trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, polyuronides and growth-regulating plant hormones.

Marcus’ customers predominantly apply Algifol to cereals, potatoes, peas and sugar beet to improve yields and root establishment as well as increase the crop’s resistance to stress caused

by extreme weather conditions, such as droughts and prolonged heavy rainfall.

Research undertaken by NeoMed-Pharma, the manufacturer of Algifol, has shown that it can increase the sugar content of fruits such as grapes and strawberries. As well as improving sugar content, strawberries treated with three, one-litre applications of Algifol were stronger and healthier than the control sample and had leaves with regular colour and no mildew. The overall quality was better, with more robust rooting and improved soil conditions.

“We have previously worked with agronomists and farmers to establish eld trials and show how

COS is detected by cell membrane receptors as a “foreign” molecule from a pathogen, while OGA is detected as coming from damage to the plant’s own cell walls. The double biochemical alarm works quickly (within 30 minutes of application) and spreads systematically around the plant, activating three main responses. These include thickening of cell walls, thereby providing a physical barrier to disease, and increased production of anti-fungal toxins and oxidising chemicals toxic to attacking fungi.

Because of this action, elicitors must be used preventatively, before disease symptoms are visible, Rob advises. “They do not have a direct e ect on plant pathogens, so are not something growers can turn to where curative action is required.”

The recommended approach is usually to start using elicitors earlier in the season, around preowering, however natural defence processes can be initiated at any point in the growing season, providing no disease is present, he says.

“It typically takes three initial applications to fully build up the plant’s defence mechanisms with a product like Fytosave, so depending on disease pressure, it may be necessary to support the elicitor with conventional fungicide chemistry to prevent mildew coming in during this build-up period.

“Once natural protection has been established, it should be maintained with regular follow-up applications throughout the remainder of the season to harvest. Treatment intervals are typically every 7–10 days, although this varies according to the product and disease pressure.

“Always check the recommended intervals between applications and maximum number of treatments allowed on the label.”

In high disease pressure situations, Rob says elicitors will need supporting with conventional fungicides, but generally there is good tank mix compatibility.

using Algifol can increase both yields and quality,” says Marcus. “In the rst couple of months of this year, we have had several enquiries from fruit growers, and we’d like to undertake more research in this area, so we are o ering the rst 10 fruit growers and vineyards who get in touch a chance to use Algifol. All they have to do in return is let us know how using the biostimulant a ects their produce.”

Readers wanting to participate in the project or requiring further information should contact Marcus by emailing marcus@, calling 07702 293727 or visiting

July/August 2024 38 AGRONOMY
Hutchinsons agronomist, Rob Saunders

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in winemaking

contacting Demeter to establish whether biostimulants could be used under its guidelines. Following con rmation that the products made by Orion FT did not contravene any of Demeter’s rules and following approval, he and Jean began a trial with the oldest vines on the estate.

Hidden potential

“The idea was to see if we could unlock the hidden potential of the vines. We trialled three biostimulants in 2023, starting on 7th April and making 14 applications through the growing season, with the last on 13th September.”

The biostimulants used included Fossil, a dual action, silicon-phosphite formulation designed to enhance and stimulate natural plant defences; Trident, a copper and zinc formulation to boost immune pathways; and Sirius, a biostimulant with 21% bio-available silicon, designed to enhance natural plant resilience.

There are just seven certi ed biodynamic vineyards in the UK. One of these is Ancre Hill Estates, near Monmouth in Wales – a boutique vineyard that is currently working with biostimulant specialist Orion FT to improve its vines.

Ancre Hill Estates founder and owner Richard Morris says that since planting the rst vines in 2006 and making the decision to become organic and biodynamic in 2010, he has never stopped learning and adapting how the estate grows its vines.

“My vision was not to grow too large that we became dependent on chemicals to produce wine. I wanted to make the most of what the land already had – uncultivated rich soils, south facing, sheltered slopes, and a climate that can grow grapes just as well as many established wine growing regions.”

The estate bene ts from sheltered sites protected by the Cambrian Mountains and Brecon Beacons to the west and north. The mudstone and sandstone soils of the estate have not been used for arable farming and his elds were historically grazed by livestock that only enhanced the fertility and nutrient value of the soil.

“We grow higher o the ground with the Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) trellising system. Good canopy management is vital to ensure maximum air ow and sunlight penetration to combat potential mildew diseases. This higher system is also better for combatting frosts. Our vines yield high quality fruit

with intense avours, and, with just 22 acres, it is about quality not quantity.”

Richard and his South African head winemaker, Jean du Plessis, have worked hard to understand the terroir and climate that the vines have to live in. Warmer winters threaten the vines’ ability to rest in a dormant state for long enough, and late frosts can also be of concern. However, the wet conditions over winter and early spring are potentially a greater threat to the vineyard.

Preventative method

Hearing a presentation by biostimulant specialist and agronomist Kate Williams from Orion FT, Richard was impressed by the approach that described biostimulants as a preventative method, rather than a cure.

“It was so refreshing to hear an approach that wasn’t using words like ‘control’ or ‘management’ and was instead plant-focused, advocating a methodology based on improving the plant’s natural defences to cope with attack, disease or climate extremes.”

He immediately began his own investigations,

“Thankfully it was a good growing year, so the vines were not subjected to too much stress. However, we could see the di erence in plant health and vitality. The vines were visually healthier, and it was evident that the addition of silicon was making a di erence, but how much di erence is impossible to say.”

However, biostimulants are only one element when it comes to the mixes that the estate is using to improve its vines and the quality of its crop.

“We make our own tisanes as foliar sprays both for nutritional and disease prevention purposes, much of which is grown here on the estate. Willow, nettle, yarrow, dandelion, comfrey, valerian, and chamomile all have a part to play in our spray programmes.

“We are not expecting any one measure to miraculously overcome all the challenges we face, which is why we use a wide variety of natural treatments that are all designed to promote plant health.”

The estate also uses its own vinegar solution made with cider apples grown on its land, which lowers the pH and activates sulphur to help prevent disease and pests. This approach has also seen Richard reach beyond the estate to source local organic raw, unpasteurised milk to combat powdery mildew. It is applied as a foliar spray after a couple of days settling to enable the bacteria to build up, the idea being for the bacterial population to out-compete any fungal spores that may be present in the vines. He recommends that milk is only used at temperatures of 25ºC and above.

Natural biodiversity

“We don’t worry too much about aphids because we have a thriving population of ladybirds. I frequently nd dozens in the bathroom of the house and, most years, we do counts to assess the population of bene cials and the potential threat of pests, but because we haven’t tampered too much with the biodiversity of the estate, it manages itself.”

The result is a grape that is full of natural avour and, in his words, “not dulled” by the interference of using too much copper or chemicals.

“Over the past dozen or so years we have moved away from using copper altogether in some seasons which some may nd hard to believe, but we have faith in our methods, and we can see the results.”

July/August 2024 41 CASE STUDY
Founder and owner, Richard Morris.

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Small, but formed


Having grown 100 vines in their Norfolk garden, where they began their winemaking journey, Michael and Irene Rhodes moved to Suffolk in order to found Hawkswood – possibly the UK’s smallest commercial vineyard and winery – in 2019.

When the opportunity came for Michael Rhodes, a consultant general surgeon, to retire in 2018, it was the chance to turn a hobby into something much more.

It all started way back in 1977 when Michael discovered the German ‘Weinfests’ whilst working in Ingelheim am Rhein, which inspired a lifelong interest in wine. Then, around 15 years ago, while living in Attleborough, Norfolk, Michael and his wife Irene, who still works as a theatre nurse a couple of days a week in the nearby private hospital, made the decision to leap into the world of winemaking. “One day, I just turned to Irene and said: ‘I wonder if we could make our own wine?’” explains Michael.

“I suspect it was a bit of a mid-life crisis precipitated by the increasingly unpleasant atmosphere in the NHS; but whatever the case, we visited a vineyard a few miles from where we lived in Norfolk and were invited to help with the harvest.

“At the end of a long day, as the grapes were loaded onto a truck for transport to the winery, the owner of the vineyard – the late Mike McCauly – beckoned me over and said: ‘Take these grapes if you want to make wine’, indicating a dustbin with 50kg of Rondo grapes inside.

“To cut a long story short, I proceeded to make something utterly undrinkable!”

But, undeterred, the couple planted 100 vines in their Attleborough garden, and decided to continue on their winemaking journey.

Michael explains: “As a result of my complete failure, Irene and I set about researching winemaking with some zeal, including attending a couple of day courses at Plumpton; but mainly

visiting wineries all over the world and picking the brains of dozens of winemakers.

“Gradually the wines improved until we ended up making wine for a small vineyard near us – and accidentally won a WineGB East silver medal for it.

“Several more medals for other small vineyards followed as a result of our gradually improving winemaking endeavours; but we still made new mistakes every year, albeit gradually fewer.”

Irene adds: “We had such a tiny little space for the winery. Our wine tanks were all outside, and at rst we literally crushed all the grapes by hand and put them into the press. We had 100- and 200-litre Spiedel stainless steel tanks and a hand wound crusher destemmer from Italy feeding into a 180-litre press.

“As the tonnage of grapes arriving grew, we had to invest in larger tanks and an electricallydriven crusher destemmer.

“But we found the situation was becoming unmanageable. Delivery lorries couldn’t get into the drive, and we just needed more space.”

Mission to nd more space

So, the couple began looking for somewhere to retire with enough land suitable for a small vineyard. After two years of searching, they settled upon Thurston Place, near Bury St Edmunds, which sits on 3ha of sandy soil with a couple of acres of gently sloping south facing slopes. The old stable block on the property was ideal for conversion into a small winery with tasting room, and they invested in a second-hand half tonne pneumatic press and standardised 675-litre Spiedel tanks, with several 300-litre tanks for smaller batches.

Ask the experts

Having moved to Thurston Place in 2018, Michael and Irene reached out to James Dodson of VineWorks for advice. As a result, the main vineyard was planted in May 2019, with 1,000 Pinot Noir Précoce (Fruhburgunder), 1,000 Bacchus and 125 Rondo vines on SO4 rootstock being mechanically planted by VineWorks, using single Guyot trellising.

More vines followed later, as Michael explains: “As a result of winning some winemaking medals on behalf of a small vineyard in St Albans, who grew Solaris, James hand-planted 300 Solaris vines in 2021. And due to the popularity of our own Rondo rosé, which also won some awards, we planted a further 100 Rondo vines in 2023, which James just about managed to squeeze in!”

While the vineyard is still relatively young, the couple picked ve tonnes in 2023, which Michael comments was “probably too much and we will be more rigorous in dropping bunches this year”.

He adds: “Yield was massively up in 2023 compared to 2022, with very little if any disease, thanks to our agronomist Penny Meadmore who helps us with a spray regime.”

July/August 2024 43

Hawkswood Vineyard & Winery

Location: Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, Su olk

Total vineyard size: Just under 0.6ha

Soil type: Sandy loam with very good drainage

Aspect: 38m above sea level, south facing gentle slope

Varieties grown: 1,000 Pinot Noir Précoce (Fruhburgunder), 1,000 Bacchus, 300 Solaris, and 225 Rondo vines on SO4 rootstock

Pest management

The rst thing Michael and Irene did when they planned the vineyard was to rabbit and deer fence the property. Then Irene took up falconry, and has her own hawk Ruby who ies each day round the vineyard. This got rid of two rookeries at the north end of the vineyard and reduced the pigeon population by 80%. “Archie, our Cairn terrier deals with rabbits and hares when they breach the defences, whilst Nellie our golden retriever runs around watching Archie kill whatever he catches (including the odd pheasant or partridge),” adds Michael.

Wasps have been a big issue, but they hire a pest controller to eradicate nests as soon as they nd them and use wasp traps at the end of each row.

As with most vineyards, botrytis, powdery mildew and downy mildew can be a problem; but, explains Michael, since they have engaged Penny as their agronomist, this disease burden has been greatly reduced. While the vineyard does su er from late frosts, so far it’s not caused enough of a issue for Michael and Irene to invest in any frost control measures. “This year, the one-year-old Rondo did get frosted in the vine-guard tubes, but so far the rest of the vineyard seems ne. For now, we’ll just go with what nature throws at us!” says Michael.

with the two of them hand-applying the labels.

Currently, the wines produced are all still, and include Bacchus, Solaris, Rondo rosé, Pinot rosé, Pinot Noir, and a Rondo red. The couple have no plans to branch into sparkling wine production due to the varieties being grown and winery limitations.

Despite the increased winery capacity, Michael and Irene no longer make wine for other vineyards, as they are kept busy enough with their own grapes.

In 2022, the couple completed their new tasting room in order to welcome guests for vineyard and winery tours and wine tasting. As Michael explains: “We keep production to between 1,500 and 3,000 bottles of white, red and rosé wine each year, –quite simply because we do everything ourselves! We concentrate on quality rather than quantity, as con rmed by various Bacchus wines made in our winery winning medals every year for the last six years, as well as winning the prize for the best rosé in East Anglia in 2019.”

The tasting room above the winery can accommodate groups of up to 20, and Michael says it is great fun to welcome small groups for tastings. “We o er tours and tastings by appointment and can welcome folk Monday through to Saturday, from 9am to 5pm, which is what our premises license allows (and boy, was it a struggle getting that!)

Michael carries out the spray programme recommented by Penny using a John Deere Gator, and the grass is kept under control with a John Deere mower – both pieces of kit are maintained by local dealer, Tomlinson Groundcare. He also recently purchased a second-hand John Deere vineyard tractor from Tomlinson, and hopes to t a sprayer to it before the summer is out.

recently purchased a second-hand John Deere

Labour of love

Grapes are hand harvested by Irene and Michael, with help from Irene’s twin sister Helen, who puts in several shifts as well as friends from church and visiting family.

Wines are made just 100 yards from the vines – from vine to press takes less than an hour, and Irene hand-bottles the wines,

“We sell most of our wines this way, although a few local restaurants do take our wines. The di culty is that if we sell a wine at £15 per bottle to trade, it ends up costing £49.90 on local wine lists, so sales are fairly slow on that front.”

Looking to the future

When asked what their future plans are, Michael comments: “Simply to try and make the best wine we can – maybe even improve on our WineGB National silver medals.

“We cannot really manage any more vines with just the two of us, so expansion is not on the cards – besides, ultimately we are both really pensioners. So we’ll enjoy our retirement while making and drinking wine.”

Friends and family pictured during harvest are (l-r) Rachel, Ed, Alex, Irene’s twin sister Helen, Irene and Michael
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The and

Alternative wine formats: proscons

Sustainability is a hot topic in the agricultural and horticultural worlds right now – including the debate over wine packaging. Fruit & Vine looks into the alternative options.

Glass bottles are the most recognised and popular packaging option for the presentation and storage of wine. From a technical point of view, glass o ers a fully neutral environment suitable for controlled maturation over long periods, and currently, no other material can o er that. But when it comes to wines that are not intended for the wine cellar, perhaps it’s time to think outside the bottle.

In recent years we have seen a number of alternative formats come to market. But what are these formats, what are the pros and cons for both the producer and the consumer, and why is there so much reticence to make the leap from bottles?


While producers may consider reducing their carbon footprint by simply reducing the weight of glass bottles, there comes a point where weight savings come at the expense of bottle strength and, consequently, an increase in breakages. So, the three primary considerations for the producer when it comes to wine packaging formats are:

• Environmental sustainability – Although the challenge of reaching net zero a ects every business, there is a distinct spotlight on the agricultural and horticultural industries when it comes to environmental credentials. The production and packaging of wine contribute hugely to carbon costs, as does transporting the bottles. The shape and weight of wine bottles make them particularly ine cient to pack and transport, leaving a substantial carbon footprint

• Cost – The cost of producing wine bottles, along with recent shortages, has made wine producers question their options

• Consumer opinion – While historically, wine sold in anything other than bottles has been seen as a

lower quality, or ‘inferior’ product, more recently the increased awareness of the importance of sustainability and environmental impact among consumers means that they are becoming more open to alternative formats.

Bag in box

Bag in box (BIB) formats have been widely available for many years, particularly on supermarket shelves.

BIB is essentially a cardboard box containing a exible bag made from either plastic or plastic with aluminium, with an external tap. Shelf life is around 8–10 months, and as the bag limits oxidation, once opened the wine can stay fresh for up to six weeks. Capacity is usually 2.25-litre or 3-litre boxes (the equivalent of three or four 750ml bottles) although larger options are available.

The BIB format, while tried and tested, has historically been associated with lower quality wines. This, however, is changing and many premium wines are now introducing boxed formats.

BIB is more lightweight than glass, therefore more e cient in terms of both transportation costs and carbon emissions. The cardboard box and plastic bag need to be separated for recycling.

Plastic (PET) bottle

Standard shape or at PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles are gaining popularity among producers, due to their recyclability, low carbon footprint and lighter weight compared to glass. The more recently available at bottles are also easier and more e cient to pack, store and transport.

PET bottles are most often used in standard 750ml size, although smaller single-serve bottle sizes are available. Wine in PET bottles has a shelf

life of approximately 18 months.

Consumer opinion around single use plastics and media reports of ‘leaching’ of plastic into the wine are a challenge to overcome.

Paper bottle

Another innovative bottle format currently on the rise is the paper bottle. Essentially, this is a bottleshaped BIB with a screwcap, made from recyclable paperboard with a food-grade lining. As with BIB, these are lighter than glass bottles, but their shape retains the ine ciencies for transport in terms of volume/palletisation, and the lining needs to be separated from the outer before recycling.

Sold in traditional 750ml size, shelf life is claimed to be around 12 months.


Aluminium cans, lined with a lacquer, are generally sold in single servings of 200ml or 250ml. It’s becoming more common for producers to replace their single serve bottles with cans as they are more lightweight, convenient and are generally recyclable. If acidity and sulphite levels are managed carefully during production, wine in cans can have a shelf life of 12–18 months.


Wine pouches are made from similar materials to the bags used inside boxed wines, but with an additional layer to reduce the e ect of light spoilage.

The pouches are lightweight, unbreakable and portable, but require specialist recycling.

Pouched wines have a similar shelf life to a BIB and t neatly into most fridges once opened.

Carton/Tetra Pak

Regularly used for milk and fruit juice packaging, Tetra Pak cartons are made using layers of cardboard, plastic and aluminium. These multiple layers are what make them more di cult (although not impossible) to recycle conventionally.

This format is lightweight, unbreakable and easy to transport due to its shape and robustness. Tetra Pak also potentially o ers a shelf life of around 12–18 months.

However, public perception of cartons has led them to be associated with low quality wine.

Increasing marketability

Unlike glass bottles, where you are mainly restricted to labels only, the materials of these alternative formats o er wine producers a fantastic opportunity to come up with eye-catching branding and designs, which should pique the interest of consumers and, when sustainability credentials are also highlighted, potentially increase uptake.

Marketing the portability of these alternative formats is also key. Cans, cartons, BIB and paper bottles are much more convenient and portable than glass bottles. Cans, cartons, BIB, paper and PET bottles are easy to open and robust, and therefore ideal for outdoor activities such as picnics and festivals; while single use cans and even pouches can easily be transported when travelling.

It’s not just consumers who need to think di erently, though – winemakers also have to consider that not all wines will tolerate all packaging formats, and as such either pick the best format for their particular wine, or adapt their winemaking accordingly.

July/August 2024 47 TECHNICAL ADVICE

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vine canopy Reaping the rewards of


cient canopy management brings its rewards in clean quality fruit t to make pro table wine; the challenge is to do it with low input costs.

The world wine market is increasingly fragile, with French producers complaining about poor returns and limited, if any, support – so UK producers must remain vigilant and match, or even better, their competitive rivals.

A well-managed canopy has the bene t of enabling better spray penetration and disease control. More advanced spray equipment is also having a signi cant e ect on grape quality, with many vineyards seeing the bene t of using recirculation sprayers such as the Lipco with accurate placement of spray through the entire height of the canopy, little or no expensive losses through drift, good environmental credentials, an annual saving of 30–40% on the chemical bill, and with a double row unit half the driver and tractor costs.

While canopy management can be expensive, it's a vital part of the production process. Traditionally, much of the work has been done by hand. But as this is becoming more expensive and unjusti able, other methods need to be explored.

Buy or hire?

Naturally the smaller vineyards can't justify expensive machinery purchases, and some are overcoming that barrier by either hiring from the likes of Vitifruit Equipment, sharing with neighbours, or getting the contractor in. With over 40 years’ experience, Vitifruit has seen how e cient many machines have become compared to hand work where one man, his tractor and machine can perform in a day what is otherwise

done by many workers’ hands.

Having organised customer trips to Alsace, the Pfalz, Bordeaux, the Loire and so on, and discussed with vineyard owners how they cope, it’s plain to see that in recent years the access to foreign workers, students and even family members has shrivelled or become too expensive and they now have had to rely on equipment to do the work and stay in business.

Multi-function is key

Typically, the types of equipment they are using are trimmers, leaf removers and tucking/tying-in kit.

One common feature which all of these need is a carrying frame, commonly called a mast. If the mast can be used as a support for many machines, so much the better. This is mounted at the front of a tractor with the use of a bracket as the interface between the two.

The mast enables the attached tool to be lifted to height and tilted so as to position it accurately by or over the vine row. If the mast is to be a multifunction carrier it has to be strong enough to carry the weight and versatile enough to perform all functions with ease. Mechanical trimming is fast with even an L-shape trimmer (half row cutting, one side and top) trimming 3–4ha a day; and a U-shape (both sides and top of one row) giving double the output. There are many models and manufacturers to choose from according to size, weight, strength and functionality.

Most trimmers have ve rotary blades in

the vertical position cutting 1.75m and two top horizontal rotors cutting 760mm. It’s possible to have more or fewer blades according to canopy height and width. Positioning the trimmer over the canopy requires moving and o setting the mast away from the side of the tractor and adjusting the angle of cut, requiring the driver to be vigilant especially if motoring at speed and trying to avoid obstacles like uneven ground, tractor tyre ruts and rabbit holes.

The ability to make quick and accurate movements without damaging the canopy, wires or posts depends not only on the driver but also on the level of sophistication of the control system at his or her disposal. Some tractor control levers can be very ‘hit and miss’, whereas others with joystick controls are a lot better; however, if more demanding equipment is used requiring more hydraulic functions, then it is better to use the

Provitis Trimmer Provitis Lifting & Tying-in machine

multi joystick controls supplied by the equipment manufacturer which also o ers a smoother and more responsive control of all functions.

More air ow and sunlight

When leaf removing to allow more air ow and sunlight into the grape zone, it has become more commonplace to use a tool at the front of the tractor and typically on the ‘universal’ mast. The quality of work a orded by modern machines is equal to that done by hand.

There are two basic types of leaf remover; the rst is normally used early to mid-season and has a fan which draws the leaves into two contrarotating rollers or drums which pluck the leaves o .

The amount of plucking is altered by adjusting forward speed, fan speed and position against the canopy normally driving at 3–5kph. Some, like the Provitis LR350, can be tted with an automatic system which moves in and out against the vine wall according to its density, saving the driver from having to slow down and steer in and away; it can also be tted with a short cutter bar to trim away any branches which are hanging out.

The second type is pneumatic, and normally used mid to end of the season as it is better at dealing with denser foliage however both types


are used the day before or on the day of harvest to make picking so much easier. Pneumatic types have had a mixed reputation as they can be rather aggressive however more modern types like the Provitis LB260 are safer as they have a higher air ow but it’s directed at the leaves through wider nozzles and the double contra rotating heads also increase e ciency.

They can be rear-mounted or have the rotating head at the front on the mast with the PTO driven compressor at the rear.

Tucking in

As the vine grows through the season it is also necessary to stop it opping out into the alley by tucking it behind parallel wires or strings. Most vineyards have two sets of parallel wires set at di erent levels to deal with the vine as it grows. The wires are movable and are lifted up by hand under the vine growth so as to hold them in the vertical position and clipped into hooks on the posts.

The faster mechanical method is to use the Provitis PA 5000 which is tted to the universal mast in front of the tractor and has two wide driven belts either side of the canopy which lift the vine growth up into the vertical as the tractor moves forward, while at the same time paying out string either side of the canopy to hold the growth into position. The driver pushes a button every couple of metres to x a staple to hold the two strings together.

It’s normal to do this twice in the season at the same height as would be done with the parallel wires. With this system it is not necessary to have

Vitifruit Equipment has been providing machinery solutions and customer service to the vineyard and fruit industries in the UK for over 25 years.

The company aims to help the customer to reduce production costs while increasing quality, yield and pro tability with equipment that best suits their budget and speci c location requirements.

Vitifruit Equipment is always sourcing new technology and products appropriate for viticulture and aims to provide a range of new machinery o ering cutting edge technology for growers, so please look out for updates from the company via email, on its website, on Facebook and on X (formerly Twitter).

For any further information on any products for sale, hire, or demonstration, for machinery parts and yearly machinery servicing available, please contact the team at Vitifruit Equipment.

For more details visit or

double parallel wires, although if they are already in place, they do not have to be moved; however, if a trellising system is planned, it’s not necessary to install the extra wires but only have the fruiting wire, top wire and two intermediates.

Cost-effective canopy management

Contractor Andy Brown of Leaf Culture o ers various operations within vineyards including the use of the ERO Professional double-sided defoliator. This has proved highly e cient and cost e ective as he says it can cover 20–25 acres per day with a skilled and experienced operator, and has multiple bene ts.

“Using mechanical operations can provide a more accurate and cost-e ective way of managing the vine canopy throughout the summer growth period, whereas labour costs and work rates can vary depending on foliage cover. It is key to get on top of your canopy management as soon as owering has nished. As the fruit develops this will encourage spray penetration through the canopy wall which will assist in prevention of any potential diseases developing, it is important throughout fruit growth to keep this area as clean and aerated as possible which will help to enhance crop,” explains Andy.

Andy has contracted into both large and smaller companies throughout the fruit and vine industry for over 25 years across the South East, and uses his knowledge gleaned over this period to carry out mechanical operations to date with e ciency and attention to detail –experience, he says, that you can only gain in the eld over time.

July/August 2024 50 TECHNICAL ADVICE
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Fruit thinning in vineyards Getting it right:

VineWorks business director and acting head of vineyard services, Chris Buckley, gives Fruit & Vine readers his expert advice on the importance of fruit thinning.

Fruit thinning is an important exercise for managing crop load to achieve yield and quality parameter goals. This practice allows the vineyard manager to alter the ratio between fruit and vegetative growth (vine balance) which is particularly important in our cool climate where growing degree days (GDD) can be limited and ripening fruit in a UK autumn is most certainly a challenge.

Predicting yield

How much should you remove? Or should you remove anything at all? Those are the key questions. Before any potential crop is removed, it is important to accurately de ne what you have out in the vineyard in terms of potential crop. This

is preferably done through early season counts of in orescences ( owers). This should be done the earlier the better, as leaving fruit thinning to later in the season limits the impact the exercise will have upon fruit quality.

Use a reliable and accurate yield estimation method like this:

• Diligently count large enough samples of in orescences ( owers) – typically 30 per variety/clone (or block) – in a manner to avoid bias, making sure that you count those vines that have no fruit as well as those that do. Doing this thoroughly provides you with an accurate estimated average number of bunches

• The next step is to establish an estimated

bunch weight. Either use bunch weights (at harvest) from previous years, or a standard industry estimate. Multiply this average bunch weight by the number of bunches and the number of vines to calculate predicted yield.

How much to remove?

In short, it depends. Armed with the numbers, the adjustment to be made – if any – will depend upon several factors, such as the growing season thus far, variety/rootstock, vigour of the vine, target parameters and the minimum/maximum quantities as per a grower contract (if applicable).


Fruit thinning will have the greatest impact in areas where vines are deemed to be carrying a high crop load. By removing a portion of the fruit, we alter the ratio of leaves generating energy and supplying nutrients and the fruit in receipt of it, improving the overall fruit quality.

The timing of fruit thinning is closely linked to the impact upon the nal fruit parameters. It can be done at any time during the season when owers are visible, but done at an early stage, such as shortly after fruit set, will have the greatest impact as the vine’s resources are then directed into the remaining fruit for a longer period. It is, however, a longer and slower task as the bunches are not that obvious as small green berries blend in perfectly with the other foliage. To make this task easier, it is recommended that this should be done shortly after the rst leaf stripping pass.

Done at a later stage, thinning at veraison or shortly after, is likely to have a minimal impact as the remaining fruit has a shorter period of time in receipt of the vine’s increased resources, at a period which is likely to have cooler days/nights and lower sunlight hours. However, the task is easier as the fruit is now easily visible. Bunches are larger and will have also started to change colour and identifying those that have not changed or are signi cantly lagging in development is easier.


VineWorks has been establishing and supporting UK vineyards since 2006. With over 4.5 million vines planted, 300 vineyards established and thousands of tonnes of grapes handharvested, our expertise comes from experience. Visit for more information.

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overwintered Evidence of Asian hornets

Beekeepers and the public are being asked to be extra vigilant following reports that Asian hornets have overwintered in the UK for the rst time.

On 20th May, the UK’s chief plant health o cer, Professor Nicola Spence released a statement urging UK beekeepers and the public to be increasingly vigilant to the presence of Asian hornets and report any sightings as we move into the peak summer season.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and insect pollinators.

Asian hornets are distinctive and can be identi ed by their very dark body, wide orange stripe on the fourth abdomen section and yellow leg ends. Any sightings can be reported via the Asian Hornet Watch App.

2023 saw a record number of Asian hornets found in the UK. The Animal and Plant Health Agency’s National Bee Unit attended every credible sighting, locating and destroying 72 nests in 56 locations with the majority of nests found in Kent.

Prof Nicola Spence said: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, the public can help us take swift and e ective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets. While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than other wasps or hornets, they can damage honey bee colonies and harm other pollinators.

“Please continue to be vigilant for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one,

report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.”

This announcement coincided with the start of the Chelsea Flower Show, where DEFRA and APHA were hosting an interactive exhibit highlighting the spread of Asian hornets and the risks to our honey bees and wild pollinators with the aim of raising awareness of the Asian hornet amongst gardeners and the industry.

However, an update was released in early June, with new evidence that Asian hornets have overwintered in the UK. Genetic analysis conducted by APHA’s National Bee Unit, found that three Asian hornet queens trapped in May in Sussex are the o spring of a nest that was destroyed in the area, in November 2023.

Whilst this is the rst evidence of Asian hornets overwintering in the UK, it is not considered to be strong evidence of an established population.

For a species to be considered as established, there should be evidence of a reproducing population having been present in the wild for a signi cant number of generations and which is

considered to be viable in the long term without any human intervention.

The National Bee Unit continues to stand ready to respond quickly and e ectively to any further possible sightings.

What to do if you spot an Asian hornet

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this via the Asian Hornet Watch app or the government’s dedicated online report form. Alternatively, e-mail including a photograph if you can safely obtain one. Identi cation guides and more information are available and if you keep bees you should keep up to date with the latest situation on the sightings page and on BeeBase at

It is important to take care not to approach or disturb a nest. Asian hornets are not generally aggressive towards people but an exception to this is when they perceive a threat to their nest.

July/August 2024 54 PEST UPDATE
Courtesy of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright.

JOHN Deere 865M, 2019, 1239hrs, full LED lights, bush guards, electric tip, new belt & tyres last year. £16,500 ono. D Roberts Tel 07811 013868 (Flintshire)


40-FOOT shipping container, in good condition, watertight & secure. £1,950 ono. L Emery Tel 07811 122089 (Bedfordshire)

MOBILE home, 32x12, with wood burner fitted, needs a bit of tidying up. £1,000. M Scarborough Tel 07836 257363 (Leicestershire)

LOG cabin, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, new fitted kitchen hardly used, rewired & tested, 40x20 splits, welcome to view, used as temporary accommodation whilst house renovation was completed. Open to offers. J Dixon Tel 01359 259034/07823 555210 (Suffolk)


FLEECE 33 rolls, new & unused, all are 250m x 12.8m x 17g, palletised ready for collection. £75/roll ono. C Negus Tel 07934 444823 (Norfolk)


CATERPILLAR D6D, 1984, new u/carriage, engine overhaul inc pistons, liners, injectors & turbo, all hyd seals replaced, inc track adjusters, new track spring, Cat 3 3pt linkage with hyd top link, 10’ carry blade, a/c & fire suppression. £30,000+VAT. G Springell Tel 07831 096485 (Buckinghamshire)

JCB JS131 LC+ tracked excavator, 2018, 6800hrs, good tracks & sprockets, runs very well, full set of buckets (5), auxiliary piping. £27,500. B Button Tel 07799 682612 (Lincolnshire)

CONCRETE breaker, came off Priestman Mustang 120 Mk3, sold as seen. £900+VAT ono. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

JCB 8015 mini digger, 2004, 5960hrs, c/w 3 buckets & a breaker, in good all round condition, ready to work, 2004, 5960hrs, everything works, heater, lights, wiper, horn, pins are nice & tight, call to arrange viewing. £3,950 ono. C Lloyd Tel 01983 655062 (Hampshire)

RARE 2t swivel hydraulic high discharge dumper, working order, 2 cyl Petter diesel engine, may suit farmers or small builder, useful for concreting. £2,900+VAT. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

PRIESTMAN Mustang 120 MkI, 360deg, vgo & working condition, starts on the key every time, new pins, sprockets, etc, for wide filled tracks, 95% wear left, 2 buckets, can still get spares, selling as project finished & I’m 90 now!

£6,500 ono. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

BENFORD 2t 3-way hydraulic tipper, easy to start, in very good working order. £2.750+VAT ono. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

BENFORD 6T dumper, 4 new tyres, used condition, reliable workhorse. £4,500+VAT. T Thain Tel 07803 500610 (Norfolk)

BOOM extension from Priestman Mustang 120 Mk3 digger, in good working order, may fit other machines. £2,200+VAT. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

THWAITES 9t dumper, 2007, Perkins engine, 6380hrs, floatation tyres, road lights, forward/reverse shuttle, green & amber beacon, starts up instantly & runs great, bodywork a bit scruffy, viewing & trial welcome. £3,000. C Lloyd Tel 01983 655062 (Hampshire)

HITACHI ZX80 8t digger, 5400hrs, rubber tracks, blade, 2 speed tracking, quick hitch, air con, radio, piped for 2 external hydraulic services, c/w grading bucket, 3’ bucket, 2’ bucket & grab attachment, good condition. £17,500. A Burt Tel 07970 111353 (Northamptonshire)


LODDON Ascot stables (8), 2018, galv metal/poly infills, hinged door bottoms, grill tops, 12.5 x 13.5 area or larger, three 11’x12’, two 11’x16’, one 11’x8’, two 12’x12’, buyer to dismantle, manual, drawing & parts list, good condition. £9,600 ono. H Howie Tel 07710 183758 (Essex)

WESSEX Dung Beetle poo picker, in great order, it has hardly been used, stored inside, works well behind a quad bike or small tractor, petrol engine powered so no PTO needed, 1.2m working width, Honda engine. £1,950 ono. J Skelton Tel 07747 763040 (Lincolnshire)

DAF LF45 150 horse box, 55 reg, partitioned for 4 ponies or 3 big horses, seated day/living with tack locker & storage locker, access through cab, tilt cab for easy maintenance, low mileage, good tyres & year’s MOT, smart, reliable box. £9,500. S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex)

July/August 2024 55 Growers - place your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting THE PLACE TO BUY AND SELL ATVS/UTVS

IFOR Williams 505 horsebox, excellent condition throughout, good solid box, no rust, brand new tyres, solid floor. £2,000 ono. T Smith Tel 07546 107654 (Somerset)


FENCE eyebolts, 10” x 3/8” welded, BSE10W BZP, 2225091 reference model, qty: 6000, galvanised, assembled & c/w two bolts & two washers. A Mughal Tel 07424 621944 (Berkshire)

DEER fencing posts (122) 10’ x 4/5” peeled soft treated fencing posts. £1,100+VAT. R Gardiner Tel 07961 347047 (Essex)


SDMO TM20K diesel generator, 2003, 36,000hrs but engine runs fine, see picture for spec. £1,895+VAT ono. M Stephens Tel 07720 696282 (Staffordshire)


WOLSELEY electric fencer (3 strand wire system), needs 6V battery. £40. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

SOFT treated 4” x 1.5” x 10’ rails (27). £120+VAT. R Gardiner Tel 07961 347047 (Essex)

DEER gates 6’ x 10’ (4) new. £1,100+VAT. R Gardiner Tel 07961 347047 (Essex)

EIGHT 8” x 10’ soft treated posts. £425+VAT. R Gardiner Tel 07961 347047 (Essex)

CREOSOTED 10’ x 6” soft treated deer fencing posts (15). £900+VAT. R Gardiner Tel 07961 347047 (Essex)

BERTI Teagle TA200SX offset flail mower topper mulcher, 2008, very low hours, excellent condition, regularly maintained & serviced by current owner, selling due to bereavement, call for any further information. £2,250+VAT ono. T Fox Tel 07493 946389 (Lincolnshire)

harrow, 8’ wide, mounted, vgwo. £550. M Fisher Tel 07970 894244 (Cambridgeshire)

SITREX 1.8m finishing topper, 2007, gwo, 3 blades & depth wheels, little used, although cosmetically a little weathered, ideal for small tractors & paddock maintenance. £1,050. M Fisher Tel 07970 894244 (Cambridgeshire)

ACROBAT hay turner, average condition. £100 ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)

SPEARHEAD Multicut 300 rigid front mounted mower, late 2022, ONLY USED ONCE - AS NEW, always stored inside, selling due to bereavement, call for any further information. £6,000+VAT ono. T Fox Tel 07493 946389 (Lincolnshire)

BERTI Teagle TMB250 offset flail mower topper mulcher, very low hours, excellent condition, regularly maintained & serviced by current owner, selling due to bereavement, call for any further information. £3,000+VAT ono. T Fox Tel 07493 946389 (Lincolnshire)

HEAVY duty ballast roller, in good condition, converted to use pick up hitch, roller 30” dia x 100” long, drained every winter, currently empty, can load. £950 ono. I Thompson Tel 07800 866337 (Somerset)

RANSOMES 5 gang Kubota engined mower, 2005, 4wd, good tyres & great condition, ready to go, with excellent blades, etc. £2,950+VAT can deliver at extra cost. R Lane Tel 07831 615912 (Cambridgeshire)

FERRIS 5100Z zero turn mower, 2021 build, low hrs, in perfect working order, for sale due to loss of contract, very high output machine, hours may go up slightly as still in occasional use.

£12,500+VAT ono. P Evans Tel 07885 795485 (Norfolk)

TEAGLE 9’ shaft driven topper, new/unused. £2,950+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

MUTHING MUE Mario 160, 2021, 1.6m cut, 60hp gearbox with over-run clutch, hydraulic sideshift, on original flails, tidy flail mower. J Ward Tel 07985 277493 (Lincolnshire)

TEAGLE Topper 10, 2002, 3pt mounted, 3 rotors, transport kit, owned from new, belts renewed this year. £850+VAT ono. C Blood Tel 07752 610172 (Leicestershire)


BEARCAT Echo CH9540H PTO chipper, very light use, outstanding condition, always stored inside, selling due to bereavement, call for any further information.

£6,250+VAT ono. T Fox Tel 07493 946389 (Lincolnshire)

MASPORT petrol chipper/ shredder, hardly used, barn stored. £700. R Smith Tel 07836 252598 (Hampshire)

STIHL HS75 hedge cutter & MS171 chainsaw, Suffolk/Cambs border. Offers. P Tarry Tel 01638 507459 (Cambridgeshire)

MORRISON 4 Olympic 600 cylinder mower, Briggs & Stratton engine. £100 ono. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

1-METRE cut flail mower, for small tractor, reasonable condition but fully functioning, new set of flails with it. £350 ono. C Wootton Tel 07780 828018 (Hertfordshire)

KRONE EasyCut 6210 conditioner mower, 2002, average condition.

£8,500+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)


RAINSTAR SE4 Irrigator, not used for 12 months, located at Frinton on Sea, fair condition. £1,950+VAT ono. J Barrett Tel 07970 549036 (Suffolk)

IRRIGATION pulling out bar, 3pt linkage, good condition. £250+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)

IRRIGATION pipe, 70mm, approximately 250m long, always kept in the dark at the back of the shed. £300 ono. L Emery Tel 07811 122089 (Bedfordshire)

July/August 2024 56 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: EQUESTRIAN (cont)
July/August 2024 57 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: BR Strathern Ltd . New Holland Specialist . Sales Agricultural . . Service & Repair . Hydraulic Hose . . Used Fruit & Vineyard Tractor& Machinery Specialist . Tel: 01621 828318 . Mobile 07715 565606 Chelmsford, Essex

FIVE sand filters for sale, various sizes, all good condition, phone for more info. C Grant Tel 07802 514444/01250 884389 (Perth & Kinross)

GREENCROP GCEP125W irrigation pump, exc cond, bunded fuel tank, 4 cylinder engine, new in 2017, delivery can be arranged. £16,000. C Grant Tel 07802 514444/01250 884389 (Perth & Kinross)

NETAFIM Uniram16mm irrigation pipe, approx 10,000m, drippers spaced at 60cm, flow rate 1.6L/ hr, 1,000m unused, the rest down for three seasons. £1,000. D Hoogland Tel 01379 668809 (Suffolk)

4-METRE wide plastic reinforced with holes in, good condition.

£40+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

NEW polypipe, twin walled, perforated & non perforated, ranging in size from 150 to 600mm, in 6m lengths, Milton Keynes area. C Smith Tel 07831 479966 (Buckinghamshire)


RARE breed North Ronaldsay ewes with lambs at foot, pedigree & registered, excellent friendly temperament & wonderful to look at with a glorious fluffy fleece and a pretty face. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

SIX full pedigree Norfolk Horn ewes, 2022 born, been running with the ram, bucket trained & very easy, perfect lawnmowers. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

BOTTLE-FEEDING Anglo Nubian nanny & wether kids available shortly, disbudded by vet, nannies registered & from award winning cheese making herd. . E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)


SHEEP hayrack on wheels, 8’ long, barn stored, good condition & had little use, tin work is galvanised & then painted. £140+VAT. H Pearce Tel 07947 344310 (Essex)

EAR tag ID board, left & right hand. £25+VAT each. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorkshire)

FREE-RANGE poultry shed (2), insulated naturally ventilated galvanised metal, tow bar & wheels, 7 nest boxes with manual egg collection belt, feeders & drinkers inc sectional construction, rated for up to 400 hens per shed, good cond. £2,000 ono. A Salisbury Tel 07599762961 (Suffolk)

TOMBSTONE ring feeders (4), 12 feeding spaces around each, one nearly new, others in good condition. £325+VAT ono. J Dalby Tel 07788 722165 (Warwickshire)

IAE calf creep feeder, good condition, no holes, feeds 5 calves. £425+VAT ono. J Dalby Tel 07788 722165 (Warwickshire)

PRESCOLD milk tank compressors, 3hp, good working order, gas removed & pipes sealed by engineer. £500+VAT. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorkshire)

STICK Reader SDL 44OS scanning wand, 2016, compatible with Windows & Mac, c/w printer & other accessories, excellent condition. £500 ono. A Barnes Tel 07771 461120 (Staffordshire)

IFOR Williams DP120

Demountable livestock trailer. Dividing gate, loading gates and vent rail. Spare wheel and hitchlock with keys. £2150 + VAT S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex)

IFOR Williams DP120 6G 12’ livestock trailer, used only for a small herd of cattle since we’ve owned it, all in good working order. £1,700. E McGowan Tel 07427 511924 (Essex)

MILKMINDER 2000 milk tank control box, full working order when stopped milking. £200 ono. R Gray Tel 07939 443353 (South Yorkshire)


STRAWBERRY topper, 2 bed, manufactured in 2014, by Jones Engineering, excellent condition, call for more info. £2,500 ono. C Grant Tel 07802 514444/01250 884389 (Perth & Kinross)

PTO driven auger. £500. D Hoogland Tel 01379 668809 (Suffolk)

SHOTBLASTING gun c/w 20kg of shotblasting grit. £50. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

BOMAG compactor, V8 engine, 2859hrs, average condition. £5,000+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

RIVETER head machine from new, making pallet collars, excellent condition. £3,500+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

BEDFORMER/ROTOVATOR, good working order, also good for horticultural plots, etc, rear linkage fitted, call for details. £950. R Littleworth Tel 07944 640696 (Lincolnshire)

3t concrete mixer with Villiers petrol engine, sold as seen, for spares or repair, mixer OK but engine needs attention. £120+VAT. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

July/August 2024 58 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: IRRIGATION/ DRAINAGE (cont)

FLAME thrower weed killer in weathered condition. £20. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

PUNCH-SHEARER with 3 phases, repainted, good condition.

£3,750+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)


FARMER elevators, average condition. £3,000+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07863 777595 (Suffolk)

JCB 536-60 telehandler, 2006, unknown hours due to clock malfunction, welcome any viewing, delivery available at a charge. £17,500+VAT. J Watkins Tel 07598 244972 (Essex)

TOE tip handling bucket, Volvo fitting (2), good condition.

£1,000+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

3-POINT linkage Arrow 1/12t forklift, good working order, c/w sideshift & tilt. £600+VAT. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

WEIDEMANN 1260 c/w pallet tines & GP bucket (other attachments available) ballasted wheels, extra counterweight, will lift 1t, fold over canopy/roll cage, perfect working order, very low hours but may rise slightly as still in use. £26,000+VAT ono. P Evans Tel 07885 795485 (Norfolk)

JCB 526S Agri Special farm shovel, 1997, tyres all 50%, hydraulic pick up hitch, hydraulic head stock, 4/2wheel steer & crab steer, torque very good, 115hp, c/w new Johnston bucket & toes, good condition. £14,995+VAT ono. J Christie Tel 07740 987577 (County Londonderry)

HYSTER 4T forklift, 2002, 2wd forklift, vgc, solid tyres, great cab, new battery, sideshift, etc.

£4,500+VAT ono. R Lane Tel 07831 615912 (Cambridgeshire)

PALLET truck, 2t, good condition. £120 ono. C Law Tel 07850 877794 (Leicestershire)

CROWN hand operated 2t pallet truck, gwo. £80 ovno. L Blanchard Tel 07771 611728 (Lincolnshire)


20-TONNE holding hopper (2), fair condition. £5,000+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

APPROXIMATELY 450 well-based fruit bins, 122cm x 102cm x 54cm. £5 each. D Hoogland Tel 01379 668809 (Suffolk)

BLOWPLAST plastic milk bottles & cap, 1 , 2 & 4 pint, many uses. J Shipton Tel 01255 870323 (Essex)

PLASTIC rolls, plain clear 2+m wide, new, 40+ rolls. £30+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)


TWOSE slurry scraper. £200. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

MALGAR used fully working PTO stirred slurry tank/store, height: 4 rings, capacity: 480,000 gallon, stirrer: PTO driven, access ladder, buyer to dismantle & collect. £10,000 ono. R Keeling Tel 07780 974334 (Lancashire)


HONDA pressure washer, petrol, starts & runs like a Honda, 2200 PSI, new lance, new pipe, 10m. £250 no VAT. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)


ARWANA Premium Pumps RS32EA water pump, 18.5’ outlet hose, auto shut off, 1.5” diameter hose. £70. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)


MARTIN Lishman quad bike mounted sprayer, 3m booms, 70L capacity, hand lance, blue BFS bubble jet nozzles with individual shut off, excellent working order. £750+VAT ono. P Evans Tel 07885 795485 (Norfolk)

HARDI Zaturn 1000 air assisted orchard sprayer, very good condition, been used for raspberries & blackberries, new in 2017. £7,000 ono. C Grant Tel 07802 514444/01250 884389 (Perth & Kinross)

TRAILED sprayer for quad or mini tractor, 250L boomless nozzle, variable spray width up to 4m, 12 volt pump & hand lance. £250 no VAT. T Bonsall Tel 07977 598930/01335 310258 (Derbyshire)

CHAFER Sentry 6000, 2012, 6000L tank, 500L clean water tank, 12/24/36m booms (c/w 32m sections), 710 flotations & rowcrops, 400L pump, steering axle, auto shut off, auto height control, twin lines, some spares, good cond. £27,500+VAT ono. M Sutton Tel 07970 658813 (Warwickshire)

GMR 3200 Voyager 3200 24m trailed sprayer, 2012, c/w Trimble auto shut off, Teejet 844E controller, steering axle & drawbar, good strong sprayer with a low centre of gravity, 12 month NSTS test. £10,000+VAT. J Freeth Tel 07583 008699 (Cornwall) For all your CLASSIFIED

July/August 2024 59 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
ADVERTISING contact... SAM WILSON 01473 794440
NICKI PROCTER 01473 794440


2019, 3309hrs, 24F/12R Power Reverser 40kph transmission, 380/70R28 – 280/70R20, a/c cab, front linkage & PTO.


Stk No A1072787 £34,000

JOHN DEERE 6155R 2020, 3469hrs, Autoquad Plus 50kph, 520/85R38 - 480/70R28, front & cab susp, Autotrac ready. PREMIUM USED MACHINE

Stk No. 21055207 POA


2021, 250hrs, hydro transmission, Kramer euro headstock c/w pallet tines, 1,400kg lift capacity, 2630mm stacking height.


Stk No B1068708 £40,000

JOHN DEERE 5090GF 2018, 4337hrs, 24F/12R hi-lo transmission, 380/70R28 –280/70R20, front linkage & PTO, a/c cab.

Stk No A1065860 POA

JOHN DEERE 5075GL 2021, 324hrs, 24F/12R 40kph transmission, electro – hyd hi – lo including creeper.


Stk No A1074186 POA

JOHN DEERE 6110M 2020, 4828hrs, Commandquad 40kph, 420/85R38 - 340/85R28, 4 x electric SCV’s, front & cab susp, front linkage, Autotrac ready.


Stk No A1074681 £49,950

July/August 2024 60 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: New GF, GV and GN available in stock PREMIUM USED MACHINERY 6MONTHS 500 HOURS OR
Tuckwells Premium Used is available on selected machines EXPERT CHECK INCLUDING… •Air Conditioning check •Full Hydraulic Test •Full Service History •Engine Dyno Test •Minimum 30% tyre tread SPECIAL FINANCE OFFERS LOW % APR FOR TUCKWELLS PREMIUM USED MACHINES

JOHN Deere 1000L fertiliser tank, was mounted on a subsoiler used for establishing OSR, but can be mounted on 3 point linkage, c/w hydraulic pump & pipework used from its previous machine, average condition. £500+VAT. T Franks Tel 07521 724276 (Rutland)


MEADOW Hay for sale, approx 1000 quality bales of June 2023 soft meadow hay off ancient grazing land, barn stored. £4.50/ bale. D Barrnes Tel 07979 724438 (Norfolk)


TWO IBC 1000L containers. £40 each. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

IPSON 750 gallon tanker. £1,200. N Giblin Tel 01277 840384 (Essex)

10,000-GALLON steel cylindrical storage tank with three mounting saddles, 26’ long x 9’ diameter, stored inside and unused for 10+yrs, very clean inside & out, free loading on site. £1,100+VAT. R Painter Tel 07836 660758 (Suffolk)


of the Forest of Dean Ltd

We stock plenty of IBC tanks & fittings

Tank & Drum Experts

Collect from stock or nationwide delivery available

Visit or call 01594 833308

BUNDED 1300L fuel tank/ dispenser, 2021, owned from new, always been indoors, perfect working order, now surplus to requirements. £750+VAT ono. P Evans Tel 07885 795485 (Norfolk)

1000-LITRE fuel bowser, unused, 12V pump, 4m hose, new condition. £1,500+VAT. T Allsop Tel 07824 707916 (Derbyshire)

TITAN 2500L diesel / fuel / heating oil tank with electric pump - as new, only had 54L through it, selling due to bereavement, can be delivered locally, call for any further information. £1,500 ono. T Fox Tel 07493 946389 (Lincolnshire)

25,000-LITRE fibreglass tanks with 2” hiplock connections, surplus to requirements, 3 in total. £850+VAT ono each. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

OIL tank, 1800L. £100. N Giblin Tel 01277 840384 (Essex)

STEEL water tanks (2), one approx 10,000L, the other approx 25,000L, the smaller one has been in use recently, however the larger not for a long time, buyer to collect, but we can help load, fair condition. £750. M Sills Tel 07587 142844 (Suffolk)


ZETOR 8540 4wd, 1999, 80hp, V5C, Jubilee monitor, weights, 3 spools, hyd valve for trailer brakes, recently engine recon, fuel pump, injectors, crankshaft reground, new oil pump, clutch, compressor, small farm, retirement, good cond. £16,000+VAT. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)

CASE IH 1455 XL tractor, 1991, 11000hrs, 40K gearbox, on our farm since 2006, excellent condition, engine hydraulic pump fully refurbished 2022, good air con, cab v good, one previous owner from new. £35,000+VAT. R Goy Tel 07786 132019 (Cambridgeshire)

NEW Holland T4.85V vineyard tractor, 2017, 1070hrs, excellent condition, one owner, transport can be arranged, call for more info. £21,000. C Grant Tel 07802 514444/01250 884389 (Perth & Kinross)

JCB Fastrac 3155, 2001, just over 10100hrs, much recent work inc new exhaust, new brake callipers & pads, new suspension spheres, etc, 2 manual spools, a/c, decent tyres, PUH, future classic, average condition. £22 500+VAT ono. N Whitebread Tel 07770 365121 (Kent)

MASSEY Ferguson M5711 Dyna 4, 2022, only 46hrs, 1 owner, upgrades inc front linkage & PTO, air con, Michelin tyres, as new condition, always stored inside, selling due to bereavement, call for any further information. £45,000+VAT ono. T Fox Tel 07493 946389 (Lincolnshire)

2010 Kubota M128X, 130hp, Quicke G55 loader, euro brackets, with new Kubota front bucket, 3500hrs, very tidy. £26,500+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

JOHN Deere 1950 tractor, 9162hrs, well looked after & in good condition inside & out, has V5, registered in 1992, has good tyres, nice tractor to go straight to work. £11,000+VAT. T Schembri Tel 07919 624032 (Essex)

CASE International 856Xl 2wd, 1989, 5600hrs, V5 in my name, good tyres & mechanical condition, viewing welcome. £8,250+VAT ono. D Lunn Tel 07941 072957 (Cambridgeshire)

JOHN Deere leaf weights, 14 x 50kg, to fit John Deere tractor. £700 ono. J Gadd Tel 07903 185193 (Nottinghamshire)

With a background in farming we understand the need for quality and durability in our products - we would not accept anything less for our own farm.

July/August 2024 61 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
01241 860204 Mobile: 07817 935776

WEIGHT block, 3pt linkage, ideal for a loader tractor. £90. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

2023 New Holland T4 110F orchard vine tractor, new 6 months ago, selling due to illness/ passing, 40hrs as new, 32x6 trans w/Powershift, super steer axle, 380/85 & 280/70, 4 cylinders, elec diff, hydraulic brakes, weights front & wheels power clutch. P Ball Tel 07585 111865 (Somerset)

CLAAS rear wheel weights (6), good paint work. £350 ono. J Gadd Tel 07866 248172 (Nottinghamshire)

JOHN Deere 8200 1997, in great working order, in very original condition, on Michelin Agribib low ground pressure tyres, no leaks or drips, very well maintained, full set of weights, pick up hitch, air con working, as everything in cab. £32,950+VAT. J Christie Tel 07740 987577 (County Londonderry)

JOHN Deere 3050, 1992, 7536hrs, in good condition, has nearly new tyres & front PUH, can go straight to work, registered in 1992 with V5. £11,000+VAT. T Schembri Tel 07919 624032 (Essex)

JOHN Deere 6910, 1999, very tidy, right hand forward/reverse, tyres 65%, 7942hrs G Slack Tel 07890 382847/01785 850538 (Staffordshire)

KUBOTA B1600D Compact tractor, f/w front end loader & bucket, in excellent order, showing only 206hrs, clock working, not road registered, tyres as new, more photos & viewing by request. £5,750+VAT ono. I Woodward Tel 07960866025 (Leicestershire)

MCCORMICK MTX 150, 2010, 5800hrs, front & cab suspension, will be fitted with standard wheels (20.8 38 & 16.9 28) which have 80% tread BKT Agrimax all round, in good condition & good working order, available in May. £26,000+VAT ono. D Daniels Tel 07887 727249 (Norfolk)


AS Marston 10t trailer with hydraulic tailgate, in good condition. £6,950+VAT ono.

D Lunn Tel 07941 072957 (Cambridgeshire)

TRI-AXLE low loader trailer, 1998, good condition. £8,750+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

2022 STAS 71yd tipping trailer, first used Jan 2023, MOT 30/11/24, tyres 95%, light weight aluminium landing legs, Aloca DuraBright rims, rear lift axle, WiFi enabled weigher equipment, Dawbarn hydraulic roll over Hydroclear sheet. £39,000+VAT. T Parker Tel 07802 690291 (Hertfordshire)

19-FOOT single axle trailer, strong with steel bed, no lights or brakes & could do with a little tidying up here & there, more photos can be sent by request. £750+VAT.

B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

STEWART 16T grain trailer, 2018, full spec inc roll over sheet, sprung drawbar, hydraulic tailgate, air brakes, floatation tyres, in very good condition, ready for harvest, more photos & viewing by request.

£20,750+VAT ono. J Woodward Tel 07960 866025/01455 221112 (Warwickshire)

IFOR Williams 3.5T, 2007, 14’, LED lights. £2,400+VAT. G Ollett Tel 07495 268088 (Suffolk)

AGRICULTURAL tipping trailer, very good condition, no leaks on ram. brake needs attention, ideal for smallholding or equestrian use, buyer collects & pays cash.

£1,500. G Ulley Tel 07798 872221 (South Yorkshire)

IFOR Williams 12’ livestock trailer, c/w sheep decks & cattle division gate, good condition.

£1,900+VAT ono. C Lory Tel 07885 226519 (Surrey)

2019 Ifor Williams LM 125G, 12’ x 5’4”, 2700kg, spare wheel, very little used, kept inside, as new.

£2,750 no offers. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

IFOR Williams 16’ trailer, tandem axle with loading ramp, good condition. £3,800+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

STEPFRAME tri-axle double decker curtain sided trailer, 2004, ideal for fodder storage or conversion into low loader & hay trailer, running on 16” rims, average condition. £2,900+VAT ono. M Churches Tel 07971 827503 (Somerset)

RICHARD Western SF14 grain trailer, 2004, sprung d/bar, hydraulic tailgate, c/w beet board & flotation tyres, resprayed with new stickers & LED light upgrade 2019. £10,950+VAT. J Dickson Tel 07765 096824 (Suffolk)

IFOR Williams Q7B single axle trailer, 2017, braked, c/w bolt on lid, chequerplate floor & ramp, spare wheel never used, only very light use, lights, galvanised, in exceptional condition for its age. £1,950 no VAT. T Hinchley Tel 07802 396931 (Nottinghamshire)

2021 Bailey Flat 16 bale pallet trailer, sprung drawbar, swivel eye drawbar, air brakes, 560-45-22.5 Alliance tyres, excellent condition. £14,850+VAT. A Benson Tel 07811 270731 (Oxfordshire)

BIN trailer for well based bins. £500. D Hoogland Tel 01379 668809 (Suffolk)

PETTIT 6t corn trailer, very tidy for age, good floor, tips well, only used for grain, good towing eye on drawbar. £1,750+VAT ono. M Mould Tel 07802506150 (Northants)

10-TONNE grain trailer, in very good condition, recently re-sprayed, lights, brakes, rams all perfect, call for more info. £4,500+VAT ono. W Moseley Tel 07510 706385 (Cheshire)

ARMSTRONG & Holmes 9t High Tip, 1996, hydraulic tailboard, tyres/brakes replaced, roll over sheet. £4,750+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

IFOR Williams LM105 10’ x 5’ double axle, flatbed trailer with drop sides & removable cage above, 2.6t payload, new deck, 4 new tyres & refurbished brakes, good condition, selling as not used enough & takes up room in the garden!. £3,000. I Skinner Tel 07827 394720 (West Sussex)

IFOR Williams tri-axle trailer, full width loading ramp, internal eyelets, 18’ long, 6 months old, excellent condition. £7,500+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

IFOR Williams trailer, tandem axle, 14’, no ramps, bearing & brakes done 12 months ago, tows well, good condition. £2,750+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

GUN/BEATERS trailer, holds around 15–20 people, towed with a tractor, good condition. £2,000+VAT. M Robinson Tel 07786 673396 (Hertfordshire)

July/August 2024 62 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: TRACTORS (cont)

FERGUSON trailer, 4T, c/w grain sides. £700. L Wheeler & Sons Tel 07808 200404/01892 722532 (eves) (Kent)

D.W.TOMLIN 1.5t tipping trailer, good working order. £550 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

TRAILER 8’ long x 5’6” wide, new tyres, new floor and sides, lights, excellent condition. £350. R Anderson Tel 07887 484733/01366 728583 (Norfolk)

2009 Ifor Williams 146G 14’ flatbed trailer, good working order, 3500kg capacity, tyres 80%, always barn stored. £3,250+VAT ono. C Wootton Tel 07780 828018 (Hertfordshire)


MANITOU MLT 625-75 H tyres/ wheels Alliance 12.0R18 300/75R18 A142A8 Agro Ind 580, new (4), never used, location North East Wales. £1,400 ono. W Edwards Tel 07745 743374 (Flintshire)

SET of rowcrop wheels & tyres, very good condition, have come off a JD tractor, barn stored, sizes are 12.4-R32 & 13.6-R48. £1,450. R Smith Tel 07836 252598 (Hampshire)

MITAS 500/70x24 loader tyres (4), 5 to 10mm of tread, sound, good for yard use. £10. M Scarborough Tel 07836 257363 (Leicestershire)

JOHN Deere 6215R rowcrop wheels, 2016, Firestone rear 380/105-R50, Mitas front 380/80-R38, good condition. £2,600+VAT. T Franks Tel 07521 724276 (Rutland)

FIVE new alloy wheels & tyres to fit new shape Defender, never been used. £1,500 no VAT. S Fordham Tel 07836 760396 (Essex)

PIRELLI Scorpion 255/50-R20 Zero 4x4, set of 5, off a new Defender. £350 the set. S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex)

PAIR of rowcrop tyres & wheels, R30 380/85 Continental, 10 stud centres, tyres 50% good. R McGowan Tel 07831 865881 (Essex)

650-65/R42 two Trelleborg rear tyres, 25% left, no cracks or previous punctures. £500 ono. J Gadd Tel 07866 248172 (Nottinghamshire)

JOHN Deere row crop wheels off a 6190R, 2014, Alliance 350/14.9R46, Continental Contract AC85 380/85-R30, good condition. £2,500+VAT. T Franks Tel 07521 724276 (Rutland)

MICHELIN Axiobib 2, VF 710/60-R42, pair of, 90% tread. £4,250+VAT. M Scarborough Tel 07836 257363 (Leicestershire)

TYRES & rims off Mercedes Unimog, good condition, loads of life in the tyres, photo showing thread & every tyres, six tyres in total. £1,195+VAT ono. M Stephens Tel 07720 696282 (Staffordshire)

TWO new tyres, 340/85-R28 MRL Farm Super, buyer collects Bury St Edmunds. £380 the pair. C Sansom Tel 07836 583328 (Suffolk)


2023 DAF XG480 6x2, 107,802mls, TV, microwave, Traffic Angel 3 camera system with 2 extra cameras for rear & loadspace, leather pack inc swivel seats, extra comfort mattress, upper bunk, Alcoa Dura-Bright Drive & Steer wheels, excellent. £92,500+VAT. T Parker Tel 07802 690291 (Hertfordshire)

2019 Toyota Land Cruiser

2.8L Grey Utility Commercial, 53463mls, only one owner, full dealer service history, great condition inside & out, 2 keys, bluetooth phone connection, cruise control, multi function steering wheel, rear tow bar. £28,500+VAT. T Parker Tel 07802 690291 (Hertfordshire)

2012 Toyota Hilux Invincible 3L, 83k mls, 7mnths MOT, Truckman canopy, cloth interior, bluetooth, reversing camera, electric mirrors, cruise control, very tidy truck, well looked after, smoke free, full service history, silver, 3 owners. £10,750+VAT. A Napper Tel 07735 623517 (Oxfordshire)

ISUZU Rodeo Denver Max 2.5cc, manual, 66,613mls, 2007, good condition. £4,995. C Hicks Tel 07766 088726 (Berkshire)

HONDA CRF125 big wheel dirt bike, only 3 months old & has only been used as an ATV to get to remote work, it’s only used half tank of fuel from brand new, as new condition, c/w as new crash helmet if required. D Cook Tel 07771 665720 (Suffolk)

FORD Transit Custom High Top 330 Trend E-Tec, 2016, LWB, 202 TDCi, 155bhp, 2016, black, only 60,000mls, excellent condition, MOT till Jan 25. £12,000 no VAT. M Copeland Tel 07796 116511 (Norfolk)

ISUZU Trooper, 1997, 3.1, LWB, ripe for conversion, starts runs & drives well, spares or repair. £900. T Brownlow Tel 07787 414119 (Cambridgeshire)

DISCOVERY TD5, 2002, auto, green, MOT failure on chassis, good body condition, starts runs & drives well, no sun roof, metal front bumper. £900. T Brownlow Tel 07787 414119 (Cambridgeshire)

MITSUBISHI Shogun 4work

Commercial, SWB auto, 2009, 123,000mls, 2 previous owners, 123k full service history to 100k then serviced by ourselves, MOT till September, ver y good overall condition. £4,850 ono. C Bacon Tel 07811 162299 (Derbyshire)

FORD Ranger Tipper, unused, delivery mileage only, Nov 2022 registered, surplus to requirements. £26,000+VAT. I Fowler Tel 07885 332037 (Essex)

ISUZU Rodeo Denver Max pickup, King cab, 2009, 135,000mls, FSH, MOT March 2025, leather seats, front covers, radio/CD, sat nav, bluetooth, Ifor Williams r/cover, new battery, some rust, can be viewed Jacobstowe Okehampton. £5,250 ono. L Slade Tel 07790 012109 (Devon)

RANGE Rover Sport, 2 Dec 2024 MOT, fair condition. £1,600 ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

LAND Rover Defender

90TD, registered September 2014, serviced & MOT until July 2024, 2 owners, in excellent condition, very low mileage. £43,995. E Reece Tel 07836 747300 (Monmouthshire)

IFOR Williams pick-up canopy, model V387 Ford/BT50 DC for Ford Ranger/Mazda BT50 20062011 double cab, spec on IW website, mesh gate with bar strut to keep open, fitting bolts included, buyer to collect East Yorkshire. £150 no VAT. J Richardson Tel 07796 611856/01482 632080 (East Yorkshire)


MUIR-HILL 121, 1980, 6025hrs, Series 3, dual power, 2 spools, heater & blowers, twin assistor rams, PUH, good tyres, overall very good condition.

£24,000+VAT ono. J Conner Tel 07599 750925 (East Yorkshire)

STEELFAB-HORNDRAULIC front end loader to fit Ford 4000/4600/4630, etc, c/w spool valve, quick release bucket fittings & muck bucket. £300. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

FORDSON 1941 Standard, my late father rebuilt it 20yrs ago, barn stored for last 7yrs, recon mag, on iron wheels, but with a set of rear rubber tyres as well. £2,500. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 135 standard, ready for work. £7,500 no VAT. G Ollett Tel 07495 268088 (Suffolk)

July/August 2024 63 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

1950 Nuffield M4, petrol/paraffin, road registered, new clutch, etc, c/w original buff log book. £3,750. D Carter Tel 07768 935715 (Essex)

LEYLAND 285 6 cylinder engine, very rare. £2,400 no VAT. G Ollett Tel 07495 268088 (Suffolk)

QUICKE 2000 loader, c/w fork & bucket, off International 454 tractor, gwo. £400 ono. T Cox Tel 07968 868594 (Oxfordshire)

LEYLAND 384 without turner for sale, full details on eBay, or call for info. £2,250. R Littleworth Tel 07944 640696 (Lincolnshire)

BMC Mini classic tractor, show condition, grass tyres on the rear, pick up hitch. £3,500 ono. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

FARMERS Weekly magazines from 70s & 80s. Offers. R Bailey Tel 01449 766350 after 6pm (Suffolk)

MASSEY Ferguson 135 + topper mower, 1966, diesel, last 20+ yrs occasionally mowing paths, refurbished/repainted, regularly serviced, reliable, c/w lights, old topper (serviced & sharpened), winter cover, jerry cans, etc. £8,000, no VAT. P Sugarman Tel 01536 711460 (Northamptonshire)

LOVELY Lister milk separator, has been used for a plant stand (plants not included). £135. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

FORD 555, 1989, good condition, runs well, hyds, torque converter & engine all good, Loler cert, barn stored, 4wd, 4in1 bucket, extended rear dipper, all tyres recent, ditching, trenching & 2’ bucket, r/window frame needs repair. £5,900+VAT. J Hawkes Tel 07711 328102 (Essex)

INTERNATIONAL 684, 1981, been restored to a high standard, not sure of hours, new cable to be fitted, everything works as it should. G Ulley Tel 07798 872221 (South Yorkshire)

sheep dipping crook, in excellent condition. £45. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

FORD 6600, 1977, 8260hrs, c/w Grays Lynkon loader, shear grab, bucket & bale spikes, retirement sale, two owners only, used daily with small feeder wagon, excellent starter & runs cleanly, thrust bearings need replacing at some point. £6,000+VAT ono. M Woodall Tel 07811 043362 (Gloucestershire)

FERGUSON TEF 20 diesel, 1956, in good working order. £3,600+VAT. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)


1200KG front linkage weight with toolbox wanted, Philip Watkins, Agriweld, Sumo. £1,000+VAT. F Grant Tel 07909 626028 (Essex)

BANDSAW with good size cut for workshop, not a DIY job. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

CHAIN harrows required, 8’ to 10’ wide. M Chapman Tel 07971 940087/01673 843663 (Lincolnshire)

LEMKEN mounted reversible plough, hydraulic variwidth, slatted boards, on land & in furrow, 6 or 7 furrows, manual headstock. M Scarborough Tel 07836 257363 (Leicestershire)

OLDER farm pickup truck or 4x4 for private buyer, preferably running, but not essential, Anglia region, quick collection, cash paid. Please call. J Long Tel 07711 079821 (Suffolk)

WINGET 10NT/R batch concrete mixer in running order, as in photo. May be interested in non-runner as a spare, if available. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

STRAW required, large or small bales, cash on delivery, Market Rasen. M Chapman Tel 07971 940087/01673 843663 (Lincolnshire)

SAWBENCH required, rack & pinion, large blade for ripping tree trunks down to planks/rails. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

12-METRE sprayer required, Essex/ Suffolk area. A May Tel 07714 028000 (Essex)

FORDSON Dexta narrow vineyard tractor. J Doe Tel 07860 314240 (Suffolk)

8/10/12-FOOT chisel cultivator required. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

TRAILED harrows required, must be 6’ wide, Market Rasen. M Chapman Tel 07971 940087/01673 843663 (Lincolnshire)


SEALEY AS10H 10t axle stands (2), very strong & safe, have had little use, now surplus to requirements. Were £327 new price. £240 the pair no VAT. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

SWING shovel/digging bucket required, 3’–3’6”, 20t pins 80mil. A Jerrett Tel 07814 900235/01363 35227 (Devon)

TYRES & wheels required, 6 stud, 8.25-R26. L Wheeler & Sons Tel 07808 200404/01892 722532 (eves) (Kent)

DESPERATELY seeking sole use grazing for one semi retired cob mare & one miniature pony stallion, within 5 miles of Tutbury village, moving from Hampshire to Staffordshire & can provide references. A Earp Tel 07921 006746 (Staffordshire)

INTERNATIONAL Torque Amplifier 885XL with McConnel HyReach hedge cutter, electric control box. G Ollett Tel 07495 268088 (Suffolk)

Wanted for Spares


HOWARD Rotovator. J Doe Tel 07860 314240 (Suffolk)

SINGLE phase electric motor required, 0.5–0.75hp. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

Especially looking for: Kubota B2100/B2400 Mitsubishi MT200HD or 301HD

Tel: Charles on 07850 210256 Email:

TYRES & wheels required, 8 stud, 15.0/70-18. L Wheeler & Sons Tel 07808 200404/01892 722532 (eves) (Kent)

July/August 2024 64 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: VINTAGE & CLASSIC (cont)
redundant/scrap Compact
tractors & Equipment.
Scan the QR Code with your smart phone Email Write to us F&V Sign up, Freepost, FARMERS GUIDE, Unit 3–4, Boudicca Road, Suffolk Central Business Park, Stowmarket IP14 1WF or visit sign-up


to get excited about

This month, Tom Gilbey, founder of wine events business Tom Gilbey Ltd, talks to deputy editor Sarah Kidby about the growing demand for English and Welsh wines, and the future opportunities for the sector.

Q. What are your favourite English wines?

A: It would have to be sparkling wines really – my personal favourites are Nyetimber, Simpsons, Camel Valley rosé, and Hambledon. The really exciting thing for English wine now is that we’re beginning to produce some fantastic still Chardonnay and my favourite by a country mile is Danbury’s in Essex.

Q. Are wines from PiWi varieties tough to sell?

A: I think anything that’s not obvious has to be a real 'hand' sell. It’s got to be sold by somebody or a company which has a very loyal following and really trusted, because no one – or 99.999% of people – will have never heard of Solaris, Regent, or any of these others, and they won’t have a clue what it tastes like.

I also think there’s a massive opportunity to actually be a bit bolder in our marketing and our communication about English and Welsh wine. People get upset when their white wine is compared to Chablis and their sparkling wine is compared to Champagne. I think we could and should embrace that and actually stick one on the French, tell everyone it’s better and run blind tastings that we know we’re capable of winning. And marketing that quite vigorously.

Q. What do you think about the wines produced from PiWis?

A: I think they’re really interesting. There are some that are really good, and it very much depends on who’s making it. Sadly, I think there are still a lot of English wineries out there who are making substandard wine. And that’s really sad because

their next-door neighbours are making really great wine. We have a degree of regulation in this country, but we need it to be a bit stronger, and we really need to stop poor product from going on the shelves labelled English or Welsh wine.

Q. What are the opportunities for the sector?

A: With the combination of climate change and [English and Welsh wineries] beginning to be recognised for making very good wines, I think we’ll see more and more people trying to make still white wine – particularly out of recognised grape varieties, principally Chardonnay. Simpsons does a fantastic Pinot Meunier and there are some great wineries doing amazing things with Pinot Gris.

Also I think there is going to be more and more investment in individual brands. It’s not very attractive for a vineyard that is producing great wine and has made a signi cant nancial and time investment, to swim in the same pool as those vineyards that don’t try quite so hard or spend quite so much.

Q. What advice would you give to wine makers and growers?

A: Embrace any comparison that you’re given with a recognised wine region like Champagne or Chablis. Be really bold.

Put your heart and soul and life into only producing wines that you genuinely think can compete on an international market and win. For example, I have not tasted a Pinot Noir made in this country that is worth the money. I'm not saying they’re bad, but they’re £30–40 a bottle. Whereas if I spent £30–40 on Danbury Chardonnay, I’d be

absolutely tickled pink. I think we’re trying to do things that our climate doesn't allow. I would focus more on wines that I know I can produce world class quality for the price.

Q. Do you think there is growing demand for English and Welsh wine?

A: Massively growing popularity. I spend a lot of time advising companies in the city who buy wine to serve for their receptions and they’re still buying loads of Champagne. I just think ‘you're nuts’. Why would we not support our world class industry? I think all our restaurants should be serving, instead of Champagne, a very good English sparkling wine – and many of them do. And they should be able to buy it at a price that is comparable, or ideally slightly less than, the equivalent Champagne. It makes complete sense – we’re really, really good.


Tom Gilbey’s family were the rst English family to buy a chateau in Bordeaux in 1875, and imported and distributed wine throughout the UK, Ireland and globally. His parents ran a restaurant and also imported and distributed wine. After leaving university he worked for an Australian winemaker followed by a traditional wine merchant in London. He set up his own company in 2010, The Vintner, which supplied wine to chefs, party companies, hotels etc, and also ran an events business. When Covid-19 hit in 2020, he sold the company except for the events aspect, and Tom Gilbey Ltd was born – initially as an online wine events business, then later switching to live events. Tom also recently ran the London Marathon for Sobell House Hospital, blind tasting 25 wines on the route. Find Tom on Instagram: @tomgilbeywine

July/August 2024 66
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From vineyard and horticultural business loans to equipment finance, buildings and glasshouses, we are a non-bank, direct lender to farmers in any field, offering fixed rate, fixed term loans and equipment purchase agreements to give you reassuring certainty in an uncertain world.

Our years of experience in agriculture means we truly understand the challenges you face, and work with you to help build the future YOU want for YOUR business, whatever that looks like.

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