Fruit & Vine 04 - May/June 2023

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Out & About

Machinery editor David Williams visited PJM Agri to nd out more about the Airjet Ground Aerator - turn to page 12

David is pictured with BKT president Dilip Vaidya at the company's factory in India. Find out what Dilip had to say on page 27 this issue

Movers & shakers: Professional moves and new appointments for the industry

Special report:

College tour reveals bright future for English wine industry

Event preview: The Fruit & Vine team will see you at Viti-Culture Live!

Grower pro le:

From salad to sparkling wine –a journey of discovery and joy

Machinery: Latest models come with extra comfort and additional spec


Continued investment brings more tyre and track choice


Products and services backed up by almost half a century of experience

Grower pro le:

Stone fruit grower looks to trial varieties to boost yields and quality

Grower pro le: Farming for a fruitful futureKent grower blends tradition with tech

Agronomy: Developing practical solutions to drive sustainability


Annual specialist event celebrates latest technical advancements

Special report: Sustainability is the watchword at WineGB Conference

Technology: Delivering precision to soft fruit growers

Technology: Fruit & Vine spoke to Plantex to nd out more about vineyard irrigation


Bottling: A crucial part of the winemaking process

Professional services: Diversifying into viticulture

In the know:

Covering South and South East England


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Maidstone Ashford


A20 A28 A259 A259


6 8 17 19 23 27 30 35 38 41 47 50 53 54 57 61 74 Tunbridge Wells Folkestone

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May/June 2023 4
WELCOME Printed by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Fruit & Vine magazine is published by Early Bird Fruit Publications Ltd from its o ce at Parkside, London Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP2 0SS. Tel: 01473 794440. Full contact details for staff can be found at Original articles and advertisements created by Fruit & Vine are copyright 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
press event at Plumpton College, where she became a student for the day - see
full report on page 8
Deputy editor Sarah Kidby attended a
Pictured with WineGB head of marketing Julia Trustram Eve, editor Rachel Hicks attended the WineGB Conference and will be sharing details with F&V readers – nd part one on page 50 The WineGB conference was packed with industry stalwarts such as Claire Seymour of NP Seymour and Jo Cowderoy of Vinescapes
Fruit & Vine chats with Dogtooth CEO Dr Duncan Robertson SALISBURY


Managing director Julie Goulding

Director Greg Goulding


Editor Rachel Hicks

Deputy editor Sarah Kidby

Machinery editor David Williams

Staff writer Henrietta Szathmary


Sales director Zohra Mitchell

Fruit & Vine specialist Samantha Wilson

Senior sales executive Joanna Blower

Senior sales executive Jana Moyes

Sales executive Chloe Fox

Sales executive Sophie Smith

Sales executive Rosanna Sweet

Sales executive William Taylor

Classi ed sales manager Nicki Procter


Marketing manager Charlotte Harknett

Brand manager Liam Bull

Design & Production Production manager Martyn Smith

19 30 47 38 27 44 74 57 Contents

Simon Thorpe MW to step down as


WineGB has announced that Simon Thorpe MW is stepping down as CEO to return to his roots as an importer and distributor

Simon joined the organisation in 2020 and has overseen the unprecedented growth of the industry, helping to transform WineGB into a strong and united voice for its members.

Simon said: “I am lucky enough to have been the CEO of WineGB through such an exciting and dynamic time in UK wine and am con dent I leave a team and organisation that can deliver on our three-pillar strategy of industry leadership, growth, and member support.

“WineGB now represents over 80% of the 4,000+ hectares of UK vineyards and producers with strong growth projections, so the industry and organisation are in great shape and we should be proud of what we’ve achieved. It is a truly exciting time for viticulture and wine making

in this country, the future is bright and I will be cheering its progress from the sidelines.”

Sam Linter, chair of WineGB, commented: “I would like to thank Simon for his hard work as our CEO. As well as building the current success of the organisation he leaves us with much to look forward to, including:

• The imminent revision of our PDO/PGI scheme which will help local and global consumers meaningfully navigate our quality wines

• Increased membership giving us a stronger voice, we now represent over 80% of wine production in the UK which means we legitimately speak for the industry

• Our Sustainable Wines of Great Britain scheme will help make UK wine the most environmentally

friendly choice for UK wine consumers and help contribute to the UK’s net zero target

• Rapidly increasing diversity within the industry, as exciting career paths are created within businesses and promoted through academic organisations

• More of our sell-out events, providing both members, sponsors and trade with opportunity to connect, talk and grow together

• A growing domestic and global presence as we continue to nurture our relationship with the UK trade and export markets to connect our wines with the world.

“Simon’s last day will be 31st May, and on behalf of the members, WineGB

NIAB appoints world-leading oenologist to drive vine and wine research


Dr Kemp, who is already wellknown to the UK wine industry, brings 18 years of international

experience – most recently as principal scientist in oenology, the science of wine and wine-making,

at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) in Ontario, Canada, and previously in New Zealand and UK posts.

NIAB’s head of crop science and production systems Dr Mark Else explained that Dr Kemp’s appointment is hugely exciting for UK viticulture and wine as NIAB, and the sector, will bene t enormously from her wealth of experience and existing links.

“Belinda will be leading the East Malling Viticulture R&D Consortium and driving work forward with our funders to identify and lead on the e ects that interventions in the vineyard have on wine quality. She joins us at a time when the UK viticulture industry is rapidly expanding and we are excited by the leadership and guidance that she will bring to this new role.”

NIAB’s viticulture work began in 2015 with the establishment of a unique dedicated research and

would like to thank Simon for his dedicated service and wish him all the best in his new role.

“Whilst it is disappointing to see him go, the organisation is extremely excited about the future of the UK wine industry and looks forward to appointing a new CEO in order to help deliver its ongoing vision.”

development vineyard to support a burgeoning English industry. The environmental and climatic conditions in England di er greatly from those experienced in the long-established vine growing regions of the world and our home producers are seeking scienti c support to identify optimum grape growing and winemaking techniques for our own conditions.

Now supported by a consortium of wine producing funders including Chapel Down, Gusbourne, MDCV and Nyetimber, the aim of NIAB’s applied research is to improve berry yields and juice quality, whilst using resources responsibly and sustainably in ways that can be implemented in the UK’s coolclimate commercial vineyards. With the recent development of a new Wine Innovation Centre covering an area of 260m2, including a dedicated research winery, temperature-controlled cellar, pressing area and analytical laboratory, Dr Kemp will have the facilities to implement a number of new research initiatives.

May/June 2023 6 MOVERS & SHAKERS
Dr Belinda Kemp has joined crop research organisation NIAB to lead the vine and wine research at its East Malling site in

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for English wine industry bright future College tour reveals


Wine Division is the only degree-level wine

college in England – complete with its own vineyard, on-site laboratories and commercial winery in Sussex. Fruit & Vine deputy editor Sarah Kidby was invited for a behind-thescenes look at the college’s extensive facilities

One of England’s oldest vineyards

The jam-packed tour of Plumpton’s facilities began at the college’s own Rock Lodge Vineyard in Haywards Heath, where a handful of invited press met vineyard manager Tom Newham. Owing to the very wet weather on the day, which prevented him from bringing a tractor onto the elds, the main tasks being carried out were winter pruning and tying down, with the help of three students.

The 1.6ha eld where the tour began was comprised of a mix of sparkling varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with various clones and rootstocks for learning purposes. The eld had not had any disease in the past year and has not used herbicides or insecticides for ve years – though it is not an organic vineyard.

Rock Lodge is also experimenting with new PiWi varieties, which are naturally resistant to disease and therefore require less spraying. Only 50 vines of each variety have been planted for now – not enough for commercial wine production – but there is an interest in planting more in future, which is likely to be a student-led project, Tom said.

Like most growers, Rock Lodge has struggled to acquire labour since Brexit and Covid-19, so much of its harvesting, pruning and spraying is done by students or contractors. Students are generally paired up and given ve rows to look after, which allows them to learn the whole annual cycle, including machine operations, spray regimes, and adapting overseas viticulture practices to the UK. There is also

James Clapham, programme manager for the masters’ course, demonstrated how to test wine samples to ensure they contain the correct level of free SO2

ample opportunity to travel to wine regions such as Champagne and network with industry professionals – but the connections formed between students are also particularly valuable, visitors heard.

Plumpton Wine Division is England’s only degree-level wine college and attracts a wide demographic of students, including those already working in the wine industry and those seeking a career change – ranging in age from 18 all the way up to its oldest master’s student, who is in his 70s. Plumpton also o ers an apprenticeship, currently working with 40 producers who spend three weeks at the college a year as part of the two-year course, which is an 80%/20% split between work and training. The apprenticeship also has a large age range from around 17 up to students in their 50s. Students often progress from vineyard technicians up to management after the course.

A key di culty for the vineyard is the age of

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many of the vines – with some between 20 and 25 years old. Established around 60 years ago it is one of England’s oldest vineyards and has been continually planted ever since. Part of another eld has been grubbed up and left fallow before it is replanted, to help rejuvenate the soil.

Plumpton has vineyards spanning 10 hectares, producing 40,000 bottles of wine each year across eight di erent labels, sold for both the on-trade and o -trade.

On-site facilities

Heading across to the laboratories at Plumpton Wine Division, located around 10.5 miles from the vineyard, visitors met James Clapham, programme manager for the masters’ course. He provided a demonstration on testing wine samples for the correct levels of free sulphur dioxide to protect the wine whilst remaining within legal limits.

Whilst the master’s course requires some background in science, many of those on Plumpton’s undergraduate course are not necessarily from a science background, James explained. Although shorter courses in winemaking are also available at Plumpton, James believes the undergraduate course

o ers something extra. “Students come away with a very rich understanding of the science behind winemaking. We have an intensive course on how to be a winemaker, but the degree o ers a much richer and deeper understanding.” This understanding is bene cial for growing the industry and trying new things, as well as understanding why things go wrong, such as spoilage, he added.

The college also has on-site commercial and research wineries, led by winemaker Deepika Koushik, where second-year students work for a minimum of three hours per week. As a teaching environment, the vineyard and winery have more freedom to experiment with di erent techniques and wines than most commercial vineyards, Deepika said.

Visitors were able to sample several of the 11 Plumpton wines (pictured) – and of these, two were developed as part of student projects – a medium sweet Ortega and a sparkling red. Ortega grapes were hand-harvested and transported to the winery where they were destemmed, crushed and pressed. The ferment was tasted daily and stopped at desired residual sugar level by chilling and ltering. Specially selected sweet wine yeast Zyma ore ST was used, which is susceptible to cold shock, meaning it is easy to stop the ferment. It’s an aromatic medium sweet wine, balanced with aromas of peach, gooseberry and elder ower, according to the tasting notes. The Ortega label was created by an artist from a series of drawings by students and contributers had their names printed on the bottles.

Meanwhile, the sparkling Pinot Noir is a traditional method sparkling wine, pressed lightly to extract the avour and complexity, before the base wine is fermented to 9%. After a primary stabilisation, the liqueur de tirage is added to the wine before bottling. The wine is then aged for two years, riddled, disgorged and labelled. It was made from a hybrid variety with red esh on the inside of the grape which gives it more colour than is usual for an English red. Raspberry and cherry avours take centre stage with this wine.

Wine in theory and in practice

Core courses available at Plumpton are the Viticulture & Oenology BSc (Hons), International Wine Business BA (Hons) and MSc in Viticulture & Oenology – and there is a clear focus on combining practical experience and theory. During the visit, press were invited to look in on two seminars to highlight the range of learning taking place at

Plumpton – from an in-depth scienti c viticulture and oenology class led by Dr Akshay S Baboo, programme manager for BSc Wine Production; and a seminar on English Wine & Tourism by business programme manager Paul Harley.

During lunch, Fruit & Vine spoke to Harry Gilbert, a sommelier for the Holland Group and second-year student on the International Wine Business course. For Harry, who has ambitions to work in import and distribution, supplying the on-trade, the work placement and networking opportunities are key parts of the course. “[Working as a sommelier] as part of the course is fantastic because it gives me an opportunity to talk to the public about wine and learn about wine in practice.”

The three-year course involves two full contact days per week plus 100 hours of relevant work placement. Most students start on the two-year foundation degree – from there it’s possible to either go straight into the wine industry, or complete the third year for the full degree. Topics covered on the course include marketing, tourism, wine sales and social responsibility, product innovation including low and no alcohol content, and managing operations and people. Some of the most bene cial modules, in Harry’s opinion, are Study and Research Skills – covering focus groups, surveys and qualitative research methods – and Wines Of The World. The latter o ers an “amazing opportunity” to try alternative wine styles, he added.

In addition to the theoretical aspects of the course, it also facilitates networking and opportunities to work overseas. In his downtime, as well as working in UK vineyards, Harry has travelled to locations including Champagne, Alsace, Borello, Catania and Etna.

Whilst the changing climate is providing new opportunities for English wine, this is also true for other countries which could be a threat to our industry – which is why maintaining the USPs of English wine, including sustainability, will be increasingly important, Harry said.

What’s next for Plumpton?

It was noted on the day that it’s di cult to nd anyone in the English wine industry who has not studied at Plumpton – but Greg Dunn, head of Plumpton’s Wine Division, said the college is not content to rest there. Next on the agenda is to become an internationally recognised provider of education in viticulture and oenology – not only supplying the UK with fresh talent, but the rest of the world too.

The presence of an on-site commercial winery and laboratories is a USP for the college, but there is much more in the pipeline, including plans to invest in a state-of-the-art under vine cultivator, and rebuild the winery. Research is also important, with areas of particular interest including stabilising yield and composition, oenology, sustainability and protecting soils amid climate change. Other new developments include a National Skills Development Programme to be led by Greg and viticulture apprenticeship programme leader, Dona Frost, and delivered in speci c regions, covering areas such as spray application, setting up spray programmes, alternative chemicals, and nozzle and equipment calibration.

There are currently around 130 higher education students on Plumpton’s three courses –but with WineGB estimating that the current 2,000 people employed in the wine industry will soar to 24,000 by 2040, there are numerous opportunities for new entrants to this growing sector.

May/June 2023 10 SPECIAL REPORT
(Far left) Rock Lodge Vineyard manager Tom Newham with three Plumpton students, who spent the day winter pruning and tying down Visitors sampled most of the 11 Plumpton wines available, including a medium sweet Ortega and sparkling Pinot Noir developed as part of student projects


A new solution to deep level ground compaction in orchards and vineyards is available from a Suffolk-based machinery manufacturer. David Williams visited the team to nd out more

“It’s relatively easy to remove compaction in the top 20cm of soil, but much harder to tackle when it’s further down,” explained Peter Knight, who designed the Airjet Ground Aerator. “Our development trials included various situations; including sports grounds, grassland and even loosening subsoil below compressed type-one aggregate making up a school car park, and in all situations it proved very successful.”

Compaction caused by vehicles is a common problem in orchards and vineyards – mainly because narrow-spaced plant rows mean that vehicle wheels must travel on the same ground during every pass. Shallow compaction can be removed by low-disturbance subsoiling, or during re-seeding. However, when the compacted layer is deeper, then the new Ground Aerator can provide a practical solution.

The operating principle is simple. A hollow metal probe is pushed down into the ground by a pair of hydraulic rams, and air at high pressure is discharged through vents at the sides. The air is forced directly into the compacted layers causing separation and cracks which allow

plant roots and water to penetrate.

Peter says that an exclusive compaction targeting system is key to the machine’s success. The user identi es the depth at which compaction is present using a ground penetrometer. Then a simple pin adjustment matches the air discharge point(s) precisely to suit. The user positions, then activates the probe which descends to a pre-set depth (50cm max) – automatically discharging air into the compacted layers as the vent hole passes. Air is discharged again at the same points as the probe retracts.

The loosening e ect depends on the soil type and conditions, but Peter estimates that 122 activations are needed for areas up to 400m2, and this takes approximately one hour.

Peter stresses that large volumes

Act unlocks new ground in plant breeding Genetic Technology

of air are required, rather than particularly high pressures. “We recommend setting the integral air reservoir to about 100psi. Using higher pressures creates more subsoil disturbance than necessary which could leave the surface uneven.”

Air can be supplied by a mounted portable air compressor, or one nearby linked by an umbilical hose.

The Airjet Ground Aerator is being marketed by PJM Agri Ltd, also based in Su olk. “Soil compaction is a major problem for many vineyards and orchards, and the e ects are well-known in terms of reducing crop quality and yields,” said PJM Agri agricultural specialist, Pete Matsell. “This tractor-mounted implement is fast and convenient, and automatic operation reduces user fatigue and boosts workrates.”

Precision breeding uses genetic engineering tools to enhance desirable traits in plants, such as disease resistance, yield, nutritional value, and environmental adaptability, allowing growers to produce more from less.

Unlike traditional breeding methods, which rely on crossing and selection, precision breeding involves making speci c changes to the plant’s genetic code. It has the potential to create plants

and crops that are better for the environment in a number of ways, such as by reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides, increasing drought resistance, or enhancing nutrient uptake.

At the same time, precision breeding di ers from genetic modi cation, which produces crops that couldn’t occur naturally or through traditional breeding.

NIAB chief executive Professor Mario Caccamo

commented: “The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act brings our rules into line with other countries around the world, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Argentina, by taking the products of more precise breeding techniques such as gene editing out of the scope of the restrictive rules applied to genetically modi ed organisms (GMOs) [...].

“It follows the introduction in April 2022 of a simpli ed regulatory process for conducting eld trials of precision bred crops, which has already stimulated new research activity across a range of crop species and traits.”

Professor Caccamo added: “The new regulatory framework [...] should provide a more straightforward route to market for innovations like these. Gene editing o ers signi cant opportunities to support healthier, safer and more sustainable farming and food production systems, at a time when such advances are urgently and increasingly needed.”

While Royal Assent represents an important rst step, the Professor said the process is far from complete. “The Act itself provides a framework for more detailed implementing rules to be introduced through secondary legislation over the coming months.

“To deliver on its objectives for research, investment and innovation, the Government must ensure that these arrangements are proportionate to the scienti c evidence of risk, and do not single out these techniques for disproportionate or unnecessary requirements which go above and beyond those currently applied to conventionally bred plant varieties,” he concluded.

May/June 2023 12 NEWS
New legislative framework enabling the use of precision breeding technologies such as gene editing was granted Royal Assent on 23rd March and is set to accelerate the development of higher-yielding, more nutritious and climate-resilient crops in England
PJM Agri managing directors Pete and James Matsell, with the machine’s inventor, Peter Knight
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with insurer extends partnership Industry body

WineGB, the industry body representing wine growers and producers in Britain, has signed a further three-year partnership with rural insurer NFU Mutual

The partnership renewal comes as winegrowing and production in the UK are at an all-time high, with sales of British wine up by nearly 70% from 2019 to 2021, according to WineGB’s annual report. It also re ects the rural insurer’s commitment to supporting vineyard owners, grape-growers and winemakers throughout Britain.

to the public for tours and retail operations.

Mr Harrison added: “NFU Mutual is passionate about supporting the future of winemaking, as well as delivering insurance and risk management solutions that meet the needs of those operating within the industry.”

fruit research summarised in

Latest new publication

NIAB has published its rst annual review summarising all the fruit related research and demonstration projects the crop research organisation is currently engaged in

The NIAB Fruit Annual Review 2023 includes results of ongoing and recently completed projects relating to fruit crop protection and crop science carried out at NIAB’s East Malling site in Kent. It also offers an overview of progress with breeding programmes on strawberry, cane fruit and tree fruit rootstocks, alongside a list of the new projects that have started in recent months and the latest developments at The WET Centre, Plum Demonstration Centre and Viticulture Centre. Additional updates are provided on NIAB’s horticulture innovation activities through the Growing Kent & Medway project, and support for training the next generation of fruit research scientists through the CTPFruit Crop Research Scheme.

Commenting on the publication, NIAB’s knowledge exchange manager Scott Raffle (pictured) highlighted the great many projects being funded at NIAB’s East Malling site encompassing a wide range of fruit research topics. “The industry is not always fully aware of our breadth of expertise or the useful results that growers could be tapping into, so we have produced this new publication to raise the profile of our work in short summary reports which are quick and easy to read. We plan to publish this Review annually to keep the industry abreast of project progress and new innovations as they occur.”

Copies of the NIAB Fruit Annual Review 2023 will be available to collect at industry events this year.

NFU Mutual provides bespoke insurance and risk management solutions that meet the needs of those operating within the viticulture sector through every stage of the production process, from grape-growing and winemaking, to retail and wine tourism.

Commenting on the extension, David Harrison, viticulture specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with WineGB for a further three years. It’s a very exciting time for the British wine industry as it grows from strength to strength and becomes a leading light in the international viticulture market.”

With the British climate being ideally suited to growing grapes, it’s no surprise that UK winemakers are internationally recognised as producers of top-quality wine, regularly winning prestigious international awards.

What’s more, there are now over 500 vineyards in England and Wales alone, with 200 open

Meanwhile, Simon Thorpe MW, current CEO of WineGB, said: “We very much welcome and value NFU Mutual’s continued support of our industry and commitment to this signi cantly growing agricultural sector, and look forward to building on the positive relationship established through this strong and ongoing partnership.”

To coincide with the partnership, NFU Mutual launched the Enhancing Vineyard Sustainability Award for Plumpton College MSc (Viticulture and Oenology) students in early April.

The winner is set to receive a £5,000 bursary towards travel and research costs to support the completion of their nal research project on a sustainability issue facing UK vineyards. The objective of the award is to back and promote the next generation of ‘movers and shakers’ coming through Plumpton College.

To nd your local specialist viticulture agent, email:

May/June 2023 14 NEWS
WWW.VITI-CULTURE.COM I 10 JUNE 2021 Exhibitors providing services and products for the wine industry from soil to cellar, wine masterclasses, seminars and more! 1 JUNE 2023 at Plumpton College, The UK’s Centre of Excellence in Wine Education Email: Tel: 01580 753206
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Fruit & Vine team will see you at

Viti-Culture Live!

Taking place at Plumpton College on 1st June 2023, Viti-Culture is a free-to-attend event for the whole wine industry, from soil to cellar. Fruit & Vine will be there, to chat with growers, producers, processors and packaging experts

Viti-Culture is a one day free-to-attend event that focuses on technical developers, innovators, suppliers and services directly or indirectly involved in wine production, and provides a showcase for interested and prospective growers to come and speak to experts and nd out more about any aspect of wine production.

Hosted by the centre of excellence for wine education, Plumpton College, visitors can also tour the state-of-the-art facilities on site which brings every aspect of research, teaching and production to life. Whether you have an already established vineyard and winery, are looking to plant, or want to invest in your own production facilities, there are numerous exhibitors from vineyard consultants to land agents, specialist machinery manufacturers and dealers, winery equipment suppliers, agronomists, brand and packaging specialists, and professional service providers, all available to advise on every aspect of establishing and managing a vineyard, not to mention producing, packaging and marketing the wines. Alongside all of this, there is also a full itinerary of seminars throughout the day that previous visitors have come to expect.

English and Welsh Wine Fair

For 2023, Viti-Culture has extended its annual wine industry event into the late afternoon, incorporating an English and Welsh Wine Fair and ticketed wine-tasting masterclass with the Three Wine Men’s Tom Surgey and Oz Clarke OBE, who is also the show patron.

This supporter, buyer and consumer wine tasting fair, open from 4pm, has been developed to provide an opportunity for wine-lovers to sample the everexpanding array of wines now available from the UK and speak to the producers behind them. As the patron and an extremely high-pro le wine expert Oz Clarke will co-host the event. He will be joined by Tom Surgey, also well-known as an expert wine presenter.

Oz and Tom will welcome guests to the tasting

and give a brief introductory speech at the beginning of the tasting. They will then mingle among the guests introducing them to the range of wines available at stands and endeavour to visit all stands and introduce visitors to as many producers and wines as possible during the event.

The show organisers will also be supplying a shuttle minibus to Lewes town centre and station to encourage attendance from the locality and out of area visitors.

Cheese and wine pairing masterclass

In addition to the English and Welsh Wine Fair, there will be a paid-for wine and cheese pairing masterclass led by Oz and Tom. Tickets need to be pre-booked for this session, and are available to book up until one week before the event, or until they are sold out. Tickets cost £48 each and are available now via

Seminars and debates

There will be two debates led by Plumpton College Wine Division, and seminars including 'Regenerative Viticulture' led by Justin HowardSneyd and a 'PiWi from grape to glass' focused session of three talks led by Professor Greg Dunn from Plumpton College Wine Division.

Plumpton College participation

There are now around 900 vineyards in the UK, 500 of which are commercial. This growing industry within the UK will provide many career opportunities for the next generation.

Plumpton Wine Centre is considered to be the centre of excellence for wine education in the UK, and so the organisers of Viti-Culture say they are looking forward to welcoming degree students from across the country. What better way to future-proof your business than by forging links now with the future of the industry?

Plumpton will be hosting a Careers in Wine area within the exhibitor space throughout the

day and prospective, future, current and past students will be invited to attend the event by both Viti-Culture and the college, giving them the opportunity to discuss their career in wine and network with producers.

Plumpton College Wine Division Tours are available to book in the 'add-ons' section of the tickets.

Showcasing some of the top industry brands

Agricare told Fruit & Vine they are excited to be exhibiting at the Viti-Culture show this year, and are looking forward to meeting with so many people who are all passionate about the UK’s vines and wines.

Agricare will be showcasing some of the top industry brands, including:

Infaco, who manufactured the world’s rst ever electric pruning shear in 1984 before developing many models since then with the impressive F3020 being the latest option. There will be live demonstrations on the company’s stand.

The Bellota range, which includes a cordless pruning shear and a very popular cordless tying machine. Both these products will be demonstrated live, so pop by the Agricare stand and give them a try.

Agricare is now responsible for promoting the Fruit Security Crop Protection systems in the UK, and will be joined by Gerben van Veldhuizen – the founder of Fruit Security –who will be pleased to demonstrate how its systems can safeguard your vines from frost, rain and hail, etc.

Carmo wooden posts are the ultimate posts to support your vines for many years to come. According to Agricare, not only do they look great, but they are guaranteed for 20 years against premature decay. If you’re wondering how a wooden post can be guaranteed for that long, pay Agricare's stand a visit and you will be able to see why.

May/June 2023 17 EVENT PREVIEW



• SITE SELECTION & SITE ASSESSMENT: Correct choice of site is vital in the UK’s northerly winegrowing climate.

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sparkling wine From

– a journey of discovery and joy

Tinwood Estate is a family-owned vineyard growing high-quality grapes that produce ne English sparkling wine. Located on the edge of the South Downs near Chichester in Sussex, owner Art Tukker has seen the parcel of land go through signi cant changes over the years. Editor Rachel Hicks reports

Born and raised on this beautiful Sussex land in the hamlet of Halnaker, Art Tukker says he has been lucky to watch the views change dramatically over the years.

“Growing up, we were not looking out onto elds of vines like we do today; my mum and dad before me were iceberg lettuce farmers. Now, I live on the vineyard with my wife, Jody, and son, Jake.”

In his early years, Art’s father Aad, who was

May/June 2023 19

also the son of a farmer from the Netherlands, worked for Marks & Spencer travelling the world; he taught farmers to grow beans in Kenya, tomatoes under glass in Germany and salads in California. It was in California that he stumbled upon an exciting new salad crop called iceberg lettuce, and this is where everything changed, Art explains.

In 1983, a livestock farm which had been used for dairy cows became available in just the right spot, at the foot of South Downs in Sussex, close to the sea on Tinwood Lane – and this was where Aad started farming his salad crops.

Skip forward a few years, and in 2006 it was Art’s turn to take the reins of the farm; by this time, the landscape had evolved so much that mass production farming and supermarkets were taking prevalence, Art thought that it was time for a change.

“While studying agriculture and farming at university, it dawned on me that growing vines could be my family’s future. With this in mind, I packed my bags and, in 2005, moved to Marlborough, New Zealand.

“Being fortunate enough to work in the vineyards in Marlborough, I worked closely with Mike and Claire Allen, who own Huia Vineyards. I owe them so much for sharing their fantastic knowledge over a glass of wine or two! Growing and nurturing Sauvignon Blanc and other grape varieties opened my eyes to the beautiful world of growing vines and producing wine.

“This was when I knew I wanted to convert the land from salad to vines and become a vineyard owner.”

In 2007, Art started pulling out the lettuces and planted Tinwood’s rst 48,000 vines – a classic ‘Champagne’ blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier spread across just over 11ha.

In 2008 more vines were planted, followed

by a further 12ha in 2022, which means there is currently around 45ha under vine.

The enterprise is split into four separate vineyards; House Vineyard, Oma’s Vineyard, Ounces Vineyard and van Diemen Vineyard, and the estate produces three Sussex sparkling wines: Blanc de Blancs, Brut and Rosé. Art has no plans to plant any other grape varieties currently.

Overall, Tinwood employs around 20 people all year round (10 in the o ce and tasting room, and 10 in the vineyard team) who all enjoy the same passion and strive to produce the best quality grapes possible from the land, but this number does increase during busier periods.

Exceptional location

The top layer of the site’s soil consists of fertile loam, gravel, and int. While the int warms the soil by trapping the heat of the sun, at di erent points of the farm there are varying depths of chalk ranging from 50–300cm deep, which Art points out are very similar to the chalk found in parts of Champagne and Burgundy; providing superb drainage and making Tinwood an exceptional location to grow vines.

Weather woes – friend or foe?

Art explains that while weather can be the vineyard’s biggest friend, it can also be its biggest foe. “In 2012, we had a very dry winter followed by a very wet summer which, for us grape growers, were the wrong way round. We lost nearly the entire crop.”

The main diseases a ecting the vineyard are powdery mildew, downey mildew and botrytis, and the team has a preventative spray programme in place, based around sulphur and mancozeb.

“Spring frost is a constant worry, but we can mitigate this with our frost protection machines,

and having a close proximity to the sea means we are normally just about safe,” comments Art.

In the record summer of 2022, for the rst time Tinwood saw some drought stress coming onto its vines. While the site has very free-draining gravel soils over chalk which bene ts the vines in a wet summer, last year it led to smaller bunch size and ultimately a reduced overall harvest.

However, despite the yield being down, Art says the ripeness and quality of the 2022 vintage is the best the vineyard has ever seen, and reckons it will de nitely be a wine to look out for in a couple of years.

A year in the vineyard

All vines at Tinwood Estate are on a double guyot, VSP trellising system, and are pruned by hand. The rst wire lift is done by hand, and then the following lifts are done by machine. Vines are trimmed and leaf plucked by machine before being nished by hand.

The majority of the machinery used at Tinwood is manufactured by Provitis, and purchased from new via dealer Vitifruit Equipment Ltd.

Bud burst is usually at the beginning of April; the rst grapes to do so are the Chardonnay. Veraison usually takes place in August, while harvest begins at the end of September or beginning of October.

The grapes are all harvested by hand. It takes around three weeks for 60 people to harvest the grapes, with seasonal labour provided by Vitis Care UK Limited. “The reason we harvest by hand rather than using a machine is that we want to only select the best grapes to produce the best quality wine,” explains Art. Yield is usually 8–9t/ ha, and Tinwood uses around 30% of the total tonnage for their own wines; the rest are sold to

May/June 2023 20

Ridgeview Wine Estate in Ditchling, Brighton, who use it in their own o erings.

However, all the grapes are delivered to Ridgeview initially, as Tinwood contracts its wine production to their onsite winery.

Art explains: “We have used Ridgeview as our winery from the beginning.

“Their core values align with ours, and with us both being family business, we have a good working relationship to produce the best possible wines; both for them, and for us.”

Tinwood’s sparkling wines are all produced using the traditional method.

In the winery

Immediately after arriving at the winery, the grapes are whole bunch pressed. The juice is left to settle, and yeast is added to conduct its rst fermentation in temperature-controlled stainlesssteel tanks. Art and a few members of the team taste these base wines with the winemaking team

to decide which parcels of wine belong to which blend. Art explains: “The tasting of our base wines following the harvest gives us the rst glimpse of the character and quality of our vintage wines.”

These blends are then bottled with added yeast and sugar. The bottles then return to the cellars at Tinwood Estate to rest for a minimum of two years in temperature-controlled cellars. Once the wine is ready, they are taken back to the winery for disgorgement, corking, foiling and labelling before returning to Tinwood Estate again for the nal stage of maturation.

Diversi cations

In 2012, with Art running the vineyard, his wife Jody Tukker opened the tasting room. They ran their rst vineyard tour on 21st June 2012. Art explains: “We still remember having that same buzz about our rst vineyard tour as the ones we do today. The passion and hunger to show people what we do hasn’t faded; instead, it’s grown.

“Often you will nd Jody and me at the tasting room chatting with guests and showing them what we are up to currently in the vineyard.”

Tinwood opened its overnight accommodation in 2017 to welcome guests from further a eld to stay the night in the vineyard, which Art says soon became the perfect staycation – a rather unique experience for people to relax and enjoy Tinwood Estate wine among the vines in which the grapes are grown.

A number of special events are o ered, including ‘cinema’ nights and harvest experiences, as well as vineyard tours, tastings, afternoon tea and seasonal dinner series’. There’s also the annual Tinwood Summer Party, which o ers live music, street food and, of course, Tinwood sparkling wine.

Wine sales and marketing

The vineyard’s wine is sold through Tinwood’s website and cellar store, as well as being stocked in a couple of local shops. It is not sold in any supermarkets.

Marketing is primarily through repeat custom and word of mouth, thanks to the customers and locals that regularly visit Tinwood to buy the wine and tours; but the business also utilises its social media platforms to spread the net that much wider.

Future plans for the vineyard

When it comes to future plans, Art says: “We continue to expand the vineyard, with the latest planting in 2022. We are always on the lookout for new technologies, and ways of improving the growth of our vines.

Tinwood Estate Vineyard

Location: South Downs near Chichester, Sussex

Total vineyard size: 110ha, with 45ha under vine. The vines are split into four areas: House Vineyard, Oma’s Vineyard, Ounces Vineyard and van Diemen Vineyard

Soil type: Flint, gravel loam soil layered over chalk

Aspect: Situated at the foot of the South Downs at an altitude of 35m, three miles from the south coastline

Varieties grown: A split of 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier

“In recent years we have become much more conscious of our position within the environment. We make agronomy decisions with the environment at the forefront of our minds. We strive to leave the farm to the next generation in an even better state than it is today.”

Preferring to work with nature rather than against it, no insecticides are used at Tinwood. In order to promote biodiversity, wild ower meadows, new hedgerows and trees have been planted on the estate. This year, a variety of wild owers have been sown in between every other row of vines, including phacelia and sun owers.

Tinwood also has a number of bee hives, and produces di erent types of honey throughout the year.

“As a generational farming family, we believe in making decisions that will improve the life, the vitality of the soils and environment of the farm; not just in our own lifetimes, but for the following generations as well,” Art concludes.

May/June 2023 21 GROWER PROFILE


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Latest models come with and additional spec

extra comfort

One of the UK’s largest fruit growers has been putting the new Case IH Quantum 110F speciality tractor through its paces. Machinery editor David Williams met the users and saw the tractor in action

The new Quantum tractors come in V – Vineyard –and F – Fruit – variants. Vineyard models have an overall width from only 1,063mm and a turning radius of 4.18m, while F versions are 1,382mm wide with a 5.18m turning radius.

There are ve models in the line-up, with rated power outputs from 75–120hp, and with 320–518Nm of torque. Maximum torque is 5% higher, and produced at 1,300rpm – down from 1,500rpm before.

Despite the new engine being slightly larger, the bonnet height is reduced by 40mm – increasing forward visibility.

Transmission choice

There are two transmission options – 32x16 ActiveDrive 2 with a Powerclutch and selectable forward/reverse shuttle as well as a creeper version giving 44x16 gears and travel down to 0.17kph.

The PTO comes with 540 and 540E standard, but an upgrade to 540/540E, 1,000rpm and groundspeed is available. The previous dry clutch

engagement is replaced by an electronically engaged wet clutch, with adjustable rate of engagement. This allows gentle drive engagement for implements such as sprayer pumps or pneumatic fans, but faster take-up for machinery such as rotary cultivators and power-harrows.

Automatic engagement controlled by lift-arm position is another new feature – allowing users to set the PTO drive to engage as the linkage arms are lowered and disengage as they are raised. The arms can also be locked in position – avoiding potential contact with trailed implements.

When a front linkage is tted, this can also be set to control the PTO.

Hydraulic linkage

Rear linkage capacity is 2,519kg and the optional double-acting front linkage lifts up to 1,500kg. When electronic hydraulics are speci ed, this also adds electronic linkage control with electronic draft control and load-sensing at the rear. External assistor rams are new, adding rear linkage

A completely new cab provides an exceptionally spacious and comfortable working environment

May/June 2023 23
The new Case IH Quantum 110F was loaned by Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd to one of the UK’s largest fruit producers – Kent-based Adrian Scripps Ltd

suspension and a smoother ride.

Hydraulic stabiliser arm adjustment is a new option – allowing implement sway adjustment from the seat. This provides additional bene ts when working on side slopes, as the user can o set implements to the uphill side to compensate for slip.

Uprated hydraulic supply

A dedicated 36 litres/min pump supplies the brakes and steering, and there are two main pump options – 64 litres/min standard and a larger 80 litres/min version. The larger pump is linked to a load-sensing rear linkage, so that even when implements require maximum oil ow, there is always enough for the rear lift arms. The load-sensing system works at a lower pressure, generating less heat and reducing fuel consumption.

Both pumps are available with mechanical or electronic spools.


Two rear spools are standard, and up to four can be speci ed. Four pairs of mid-mount spools can be tted. Upgrading to electronic controls allows adjustment of the ow rate and timing of individual spools through the multi-function dashboard display, or by using manual controls by the spool switches.

A second hydraulic control joystick is included when electronic mid-mount spools are tted. This avoids having to select spools manually through a mechanical changeover valve.

The new tractors are designed for use with the most demanding modern implements, and PowerBeyond hydraulics can be speci ed. This allows tractor hydraulic control by the implement, so that the ideal ow rate is supplied as the demand varies.

Premium working environment

Performance and control upgrades provide signi cant improvements over previous models, but the biggest di erence is to the operator’s working environment. The completely new cab shares aspects of its design with larger, arable tractor models in the Case IH line-up. Four pillars, rather than six before, allow an unobstructed view to the sides and a much larger door. The windscreen has a higher, curved upper section, a lower base, and together with the lower bonnet the view to the front is superb. The rear mudguards are lower, and the side windows are deeper – allowing a better view to the sides. The seat and rear window are further back towards the rear linkage, allowing a clearer view of the implement.

Flat oor

The cab oor is totally at – unusual for a speciality tractor where the low cab position usually means that the operator’s legs straddle the transmission tunnel. As well as improving comfort, the at oor has allowed an improved foot pedal arrangement, and these are ideally positioned for comfort and ease of use.

A Grammer seat with pneumatic suspension is standard.

Improved control layout

The side panel-mounted buttons and switches are straight from larger Case IH arable tractors.

Electronic controls will be chosen by most buyers, but simpler mechanical controls are a coste ective option.

The 7in LCD display on the right-hand cab pillar provides essential operating information – replacing the previous dashboard display. The operator can select information for display, and adjust system settings using a twist and push knob on the side panel, allowing fuss-free operation even when travelling on bumpy ground. An engine speed memory function is new. Four of the joystick buttons are assignable, allowing buttons on the main joystick to control any of a wide range of functions.

Precision farming

The new tractors can be equipped to manage the latest, high-performance implements and complex precision farming systems. Isobus is a new option – bringing the ability to operate implements such as three-row sprayers using the tractor controls. The tractors can be supplied guidance-ready for convenient integration of automatic steering systems and o ering opportunities for variable rate and selective applications.

Operator protection

Cat 4 cab ltration is an option – with Cat 2 as standard. When Cat 4 is selected, the operating hours are monitored, and the user is warned when a replacement lter is due. Internal cab pressure is maintained at 2.5 times the minimum recommended under EU guidance – resulting in an especially safe operator environment. Manual air conditioning is standard.

Ideal test user

The Quantum 110F was loaned to Adrian Scripps Ltd by Case IH main dealer, Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd. Based in Kent and operating from three farms with multiple sites, Adrian Scripps specialises in growing, packing and supplying fresh produce including top fruit, blackcurrants and grapes. The total farmed area is approximately 750ha, of which 280ha are fruit orchards. Apple varieties include Gala, Braeburn and Pink Lady which are the focus, along with a smaller acreage of Jazz and Kanzi, and the company is a main supplier to Tesco. Fruit is packed at the main Tonbridge farm base, and then stored at the company’s Hononton depot.

Most top fruit is grown on a 15-year cycle, after which trees are grubbed out and the orchards re-planted.

Mixed tractor eet

A eet of 10–12 tractors is used at the Tonbridge site. Five are Case IH, supplied and maintained by Ernest Doe & Sons. Case IH tractors in use currently include a Quantum 95, and a 105, plus three Quantum 110s, so the team was keen to evaluate the latest Quantum 110F as a potential replacement.

“The users are consulted during the purchase process and provide useful feedback,” explained assistant farm manager, Philip Thomas, speaking with Fruit & Vine. “Obviously, price is a factor too.

“Where single-purpose tractors with one main operator are concerned, Case IH is the number one choice. We have used the brand since 2013 and receive great back-up from our dealer. If problems occur then engineers are almost always out the same day, and the Ernest Doe & Sons fruit and viticulture sales manager, Tom Wheatley is very helpful too.”

The driver’s view is superb The demonstration tractor has electronic controls – which Ernest Doe & Sons fruit and viticulture sales manager Tom Wheatley said will soon be considered almost standard for the UK market Experienced operator, Kevin Veness, describes the new cab as incredibly quiet, spacious and comfortable

With the new tractor (l-r) are Ernest Doe & Sons fruit and viticulture sales manager Tom Wheatley, Adrian Scripps Ltd assistant farm manager, Philip Thomas, and machinery operator Kevin Veness. “We are delighted to be able to offer customers the new Quantum V and F speciality tractors,” explained Tom. “For our market, we expect the top 80 litres/min hydraulic pump to be almost standard equipment, as well as electronic hydraulic controls. “Fruit and viticulture enterprises are looking for opportunities to increase their working e ciency and adopt practices which are more sustainable and better for the environment, and the new tractors offer the capability to operate the most complex attachment and implements, so will be in high demand for professional applications.”

Meeting requirements

Sustainable farming is a priority for the Adrian Scripps team, and the company invests in new technology where it will bring e ciency and environmental bene ts. Trees are planted in rows spaced at 3.25–3.75m, and layouts vary. Those planted more recently are arranged to allow increased use of mechanisation.

“Priorities when choosing new tractors include user-friendliness, cab space and comfort, low noise levels, reliability and functionality,” continued Philip. “Our existing Case IH tractors have been extremely reliable and the new Quantum 110F is even more user-friendly.”

The demonstration tractor was being evaluated as a potential replacement for a similar earlier model. If it is chosen, then it will have just one main operator and spend most of the year working with a modern three-row trailed sprayer. Other tasks will include root pruning, fertiliser applications and fruit bin transport during harvest.

The main tractors are changed at 3–4 years’ old, then relegated to general work and use by multiple operators.

Signi cant improvements

“I’m very impressed,” said tractor operator, Kevin Veness. “The higher seat and at oor provide a much better seating position, and being able to move my feet around during the day will avoid aching hips. The new pedal positions are much more comfortable and leave space for my feet on the cab oor.

“Noise levels in the cab are incredibly low, and the new air suspension seat provides a much better ride. The LED lights are brighter than the halogen set on our current machine, and small but useful additions like the mobile phone holder and adjustable mounting points for control terminals make a big di erence.”

Kevin said that one of the most useful upgrades is the engine speed memory function. This allows two engine speeds to be set and stored for convenient recall at the touch of a button. “At every row end we reduce the engine and travel speed for

the turn, and then set the speed correctly again to suit the PTO for the return run,” he explained. “That means watching the rev counter and adjusting the hand throttle each time, but on the new tractor I just press the button; the engine speed is set correctly, and no ne adjustment is required.”

Added convenience

Another new feature liked by Kevin is the PTO gear adjustment. The previous tractor had the selector lever under the cab, between the wheel and rear axle casing, but on the new tractor it is adjusted by a control panel-mounted button.

New external PTO activation buttons on the rear mudguards are a help too – and Kevin explained that when lling the sprayer, he can switch the pump on and o to provide agitation without having to climb in and out of the cab.

Game changer

“The new Quantum is a real game changer, and the advanced features and ability to operate complex implements will improve working accuracy and operating e ciency,” stressed Philip. “The tractor’s standard terminal allows working time and fuel use to be monitored, so we can accurately cost jobs. The ability to use larger and more complex implements is also an advantage. Using three-row sprayers instead of single-row already saves us time but, more importantly, it saves tra c between rows so soil compaction is reduced. Having rows which aren’t driven on opens the door to new initiatives such as introducing nitrogen- xing cover crops – which will improve soil health and reduce the need for arti cial fertilisers.”

Philip said that the Quantum’s ability to control complex implements using Isobus and GPS data will also be an advantage. “We have been experimenting using drone images to select trees with blossom that should be burned o . Using pre-prepared eld maps so that chemicals are only applied where needed is better for the environment and saves money too. We also use drone images to select trees that require root pruning – it’s all about

achieving produce of consistent quality and size.

“We will adopt additional technology as it becomes available in the coming years to further improve our operation, and the new Quantum will make the process easier.”

Dealer specialists

Ernest Doe & Sons recently set up a new specialist division dedicated to the fruit and viticulture industries. “It makes a lot of sense,” stressed Philip. “The dealer serves an area where a lot of the UK’s fruit is grown, and we are pleased to have the back-up from a knowledgeable team. We already operate a wide selection of specialist machinery but will certainly consider brands recently taken on by Ernest Doe & Sons when we are looking for anything in future.”

Best working environment

“The new Quantum 110F retains the previous model’s compact size and manoeuvrability, but I’m amazed how much extra space there is in the cab. It’s quieter, and more comfortable, and the improvement is signi cant. Of all the tractors I’ve tried over the years, this has the best working environment,” concluded Kevin.

Case IH Quantum 110F

Engine FPT 4-cyl, 3.6-litres, 110hp, Stage 5

Transmission 40kph 32x16 ActiveDrive 2 with PowerClutch std 44x16 with creeper optional

Forward/reverse shuttle 3 engagement settings

Front axle 4wd with optional adjustable suspension

Steering angle 55 degrees. 4.18m turning radius PTO Electronic wet clutch 540/540E std. 1,000rpm/ground speed optional

Hydraulic services 64 litres/min std. 80 litres/ min with load sensing option

Max rear lift capacity 2,519kg

Max front lift capacity (option) 1,500kg

Wheelbase 2,180mm

Unladen/Max weight 3,200/4,800kg

May/June 2023 25 MACHINERY



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Balkrishna Industries Ltd (BKT) offers a rapidly growing range of off-road tyres, including many ideal for fruit growing and vineyard applications. Fruit & Vine machinery editor, David Williams, visited the company’s newest production plant at Bhuj in Northern India recently, to meet the owners and nd out about the brand’s growing success

Last year, BKT’s global sales exceeded $1BN for the rst time since the company started trading in 1987. Now the target is to double that gure within just three more years.

BKT has ve tyre factories in India, and the Bhuj plant, 850km north of Mumbai, is its largest and newest. Construction began in 2010 and, by 2012 the rst solid tyres were produced. The plant is in an arid desert area, away from centres of population. Road and rail links are poor, there

was no infrastructure to support the new plant and no local workforce. However, the 125ha needed was available there and two main sea ports nearby make it easy to ship tyres worldwide. Labour supply issues were solved by an on-site village for workers and their families comprising modern, well-equipped ats accompanied by sports and social facilities as well as a supermarket and a medical centre. Approximately 900 families currently live on-site.

May/June 2023 27
BKT president and director of technology, Dilip Vaidya BKT offers cost-effective tyre solutions with performance and working life matching leading premium brands. Its tyres are now available as original equipment on most makes of tractor and harvester – including specialist machines for orchard and vineyard applications.

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• Plant hire equipment

For more information, please feel free to contact Alan to discuss any purchases you have planned that requires funding.

Business & Finance Manager

T: 01353 863038


28 May/June 2023
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Quality tyres

The company invests heavily in research and development, and an advantage over many competitors is that it manufactures its own tyre moulds. This allows new tyres to be developed to meet speci c demands within a very short time, and modi cations to carcase and tread designs can be implemented quickly.

A state-of-the-art 10ha research and development centre at the Bhuj site was completed in 2017, allowing intensive testing of new tyres and technology. Compounds, carcase and tread designs are all thoroughly evaluated. “Having a testing centre at the factory is crucial,” explained joint managing director Rajif Poddar.

An outside test area comprises six types of tracks and allows tyre evaluation on vehicles before nal testing by customers.

The thorough testing results in an extremely low failure rate of less than 0.25%, even though BKT radial tyres come with a six-year warranty.

Tyre manufacturing is complex, and the factory tour included explanations of how rubber compounds can be created to optimise ride quality and tyre durability, and how combinations of layers achieve the desired results.

Exclusive interview

Fruit & Vine took advantage of an opportunity to meet BKT president and director of technology, Dilip Vaidya, and ask his advice regarding tyre selection for UK orchard and vineyard applications.

Whether it is orchards, vineyards, cereals or beet elds, every crop requires dedicated cultivation techniques where machinery and tyres play a crucial role in ensuring a good harvest, he pointed out. It is also important to consider the di erent working regimes. In orchards, machinery usually operates under branches, whereas narrow vineyard rows require increased manoeuvrability for headland turns – facilitated by suitable tyres. Another important variable is the machinery. Specialised orchard tractors are small, compact, and low-powered, which a ects the equipment they can use. Therefore, these tractors must be equipped with narrow tyres, for operation along narrow rows. Sprayers often have a high centre of gravity and travel between sites carrying heavy loads. They can work in narrow vine rows, orchards, olive groves, and elds of crops of varying height, and on challenging terrain and slopes. It is therefore essential to equip them with tyres o ering exceptional stability, reduced soil compaction, and maximum traction.

Huge range

BKT’s tyre range consists of over 3,200 products and is characterised by its breadth and ability to o er solutions for all operating sectors, Dilip continued.

Tyres designed for orchards and vineyards o er durability, operator comfort, stability, reduced soil compaction and traction, resulting in time, fuel, and cost savings.

The agship tyre is the AgriMax Spargo, speci cally designed for row crop applications and to increase productivity while preserving the soil. With VF technology, these tyres o er higher load capacity at standard in ation pressures. The robust casing and increased number of lugs ensure durability combined with excellent stability in the eld and for road transport. Next is the AgriMax RT955 – ideal for row crop applications, and with some sizes also suitable for spraying and harvesting. The rounded shoulder tread design gives excellent traction, great stability and e ective self-cleaning properties, and the robust casing provides high load capacity. Similar features are found in the AgriMax RT945 which minimises crop damage. Exceptional self-cleaning allows quick transition from eld operations to road use. The durable casing provides outstanding stability, excellent traction, and extraordinary durability. Lastly, the Agrimax RT855 stands out for its excellent traction and comfort. Mainly developed for soil cultivation and transport, some sizes are also suitable for spraying and harvesting applications, and the tyre o ers excellent selfcleaning properties allowing a quick transition from eld to road work.

Speci c requirements for vineyard and orchard use

These operations require durability, reduced soil compaction, traction, stability, and good operator comfort. In addition, agricultural machines used for these operations often have a higher centre of gravity than conventional farm vehicles, and many travel on roads carrying heavy loads. Choosing the right tyres is crucial, but it is also essential to apply the correct tyre settings to facilitate work, such as setting the proper pressures to maximise operator comfort. Where row crop tyres are used, BKT's rst recommendation is to use VF (Very High Flexion) tyres – with 40% higher load capacity at the same pressures compared to standard tyres of the same size. Another consideration in choosing the right tyres is to consider machine height and width limitations for speci c crops they will work with.

UK weather, shorter working windows

“Selecting the right tyres isn’t simple,” Dilip explained. “Many variables must be considered, such as intended use, speci c work activity, speci c terrain, and climate conditions. There are numerous scenarios, which is why there are di erent tyres for various applications.”

So how should customers choose? Dilip said it is essential to consult experts who can advise the most suitable product through their knowledge and experience. This consultative phase is of great importance for BKT, he stressed, beginning in the initial stages and continuing throughout the aftersales process. “Our after-sales service is through an extensive network of specialised distributors and quali ed, reliable retailers. We provide professional support relating to all aspects – including mounting, maintenance and tyre replacement, ensuring maximum e ciency and timeliness.

Considering speci c characteristics of the UK’s wine industry, including the wetter and cooler climate, later harvesting season, and shorter working windows, Dilip said it is crucial to select tyres that will perform well under these unique conditions.

He suggested factors to consider include:

Traction in wet conditions: Tyres which achieve excellent traction on wet and slippery surfaces can improve overall performance and safety during wetter periods.

Low temperature resistance: Maintaining exibility and durability in cooler temperatures will ensure consistent performance in the UK's cooler climate.

Adaptability to varying terrain: The UK has a diverse landscape, and tyres that can handle di erent types of terrain, such as slopes and uneven surfaces will be bene cial.

E cient self-cleaning: Tyres that can e ciently shed mud and debris will maintain optimal performance in wet conditions and help prevent damage to crops.

Although speci c tyre recommendations may vary depending on individual circumstances, BKT’s expertise and extensive product range can help UK users invest in the most suitable tyres for their needs in this unique climate and terrain, he continued. By consulting with BKT professionals and local distributors, UK users can select the best tyres for their speci c requirements, maximising e ciency and productivity for vineyard and fruit operations.

Future developments

Dilip was asked about future developments. “One of BKT's top priorities is providing the best products for every situation, and we achieve this by continuously designing solutions that ensure the best results. For this reason, the company is constantly working to enhance and improve its product ranges.

“In relation to orchard and vineyard applications, we are excited to share with Fruit & Vine readers that we are currently working on a rubber track project speci cally aimed at these sectors. As a result, in the coming months, they can expect some exciting new developments and innovations to be unveiled,” he concluded.

May/June 2023 29
The 10ha onsite testing centre is essential, said joint managing director, Rajiv Poddar

Products and services backed by almost

half a century of experience

A Kent-based machinery manufacturer and supplier which has been supporting the top fruit, soft fruit, hop and viticulture industries for almost 50 years continues to invest in additional staff and new franchises to meet growing demands for its services. David Williams visited NP Seymour Ltd, to nd out why the business has been so successful

The company started trading in 1974, when Nick and Barbara Seymour established a mobile agricultural engineering business. Within three years, part-time engineers were helping meet customer demand, and a permanent workshop site, near Goudhurst was established. Business growth continued and, in 1992, the Seymours relocated a few miles to Avon Works, which remains the company’s base today.

Since Nick and Barbara started trading, their activities have been dedicated to serving the needs of fruit farmers, hop growers, packhouse managers and vineyard owners. Their daughter, Claire Seymour, runs the new and used equipment side of the business as director, employing a team of 15 people, while Nick still runs the service department and engineering side of the business.

Industry evolution

“Until a few years ago, our customers were mainly fruit and hop growers, but now half of our business centres around the viticulture industry,” explained Claire. “Most customers are

Pictured (l-r) are members of the NP Seymour team: Luke Williams, Sam Barnes, Nick Seymour, Barbara Seymour, Claire Seymour, Steve Bowles, Victoria Rose, Ashley Manwaring, Justin Bass, Greg Surowiec, Mark Maynard, Matt Turrell, Darren Thomas and Ash Baldry. The dog is called Cookie.

local – across South and South-East England – but we offer a nationwide service and have customers in all the main fruit growing areas, including concentrations in Cambridgeshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and parts of Scotland.”

Practical solutions

The business has a strong reputation for manufacturing and supplying machines which o er practical solutions for fruit, vine and hop growers, including many designed or sourced for a particular situation. “I believe that much of the company’s success is due to it being regarded as a one-stop shop which supplies everything needed to grow fruit, vines and hops,” continued Claire. “From the start, if machines weren’t available then my father would source or design something which provides a solution, and our experienced engineers operate from well-equipped workshops and continue o ering that same level of service today.”

May/June 2023 30 MACHINERY
“It’s all about getting the spec right, and then providing support
Claire Seymour, Director


recently joined the team

Experienced team

A new sales manager recently joined the team. Ash Baldry has considerable experience of the Fendt tractors from when he was employed by a dealer previously. Under the guidance of Nick and Claire, he is quickly gaining an understanding of the specialist machinery used by fruit growers and vineyards. He will work with sales specialist, Sam Barnes who has worked within the fruit and vineyard industries for many years and runs his own contracting business – specialising in vineyard planting, establishment and maintenance. Many of the machines he uses are imported or manufactured by NP Seymour, so he has considerable hands-on experience.

Hand-picked franchises

NP Seymour took on the Fendt specialist tractor franchise for the area in 1982, having been impressed by the brand’s engineering and build

quality. In 1992, sales of Berthoud sprayers and Perfect Van Wamel mowers and pulverisers were added.

When products weren’t readily available or didn’t o er the performance needed, Nick started designing and building bespoke solutions for his customers. An air-assisted table-top strawberry sprayer was an early example, which he designed after being approached by a customer needing something capable of operating in narrow-width alleys between the crops.

NP Seymour remains a main dealer for Fendt 200 Vario-series narrow tractors. Large stocks of new and used tractors as well as parts are maintained, ensuring prompt customer delivery. Additional franchises include Berthoud, Carrarospray, Clemens, Braun, BMV, Breviglieri, Metos, Technoagri, Aweta, Aporo, Metos, Pellenc, Boreco, Bullion Machinery, and AgroFrost. The company also supplies Felco hand tools and is the UK’s exclusive importer and distributor of the PowerBlade electronic secateurs made by Felco.

“We make sure that we pick the right brands and then stick with them,” continued Claire. “Some franchises have been held since the 1980’s and the brands we represent are carefully selected for the bene ts they o er to our customers. It’s all about getting the spec right, and then providing support, and we have a team of four on-site engineers plus an apprentice engineer, and two fabricators who all know the products inside out.”

First call for customers

“I believe that customers like dealing with NP Seymour because they know they will be advised well by the team and have access to a great range of products from highly respected franchises,” concluded marketing assistant, Victoria Rose. “You can’t replicate 50 years of knowledge and experience catering for the needs of this specialist industry.”

Premium brand tractors

The Fendt 200-series specialist tractor line-up includes ve models from 79–114hp, although the agship 211 Vario has up to 124hp available with boost – although NP Seymour hasn't had the need to supply one of these though as yet. All models have Fendt’s Vario stepless CVT transmission, and there are three variants. Narrowest V – vineyard tractors have an overall width from only 1.24m, the F – fruit tractors

are from 1.32m, and wider P models are from 1.59m. There are three speci cation levels – Power is the base version but still o ers a generous level of equipment compared to competitor brands. Two Pro variants come with upgraded hydraulic controls, and the premium version also comes with a dedicated joystick to operate the hydraulics and a 12in touch-terminal. The Pro + top speci cation includes the 12in terminal with FendtOne functionality. Pro + tractors come GPS guidanceready, and the hydraulic joystick is included.

“Fendt tractors were the rst in this market segment with quiet, comfortable cabs that had built-in operator protection for spraying,” said Claire. “From the Fendt range – we only sell and service these specialist narrow 200 Vario-series models, so our workshop team has gained unrivalled experience during the past 45 years looking after them.”

Frost protection

Demand for frost protection systems is growing, and Claire explained that most units sold now are for vineyard use, as owners are aware of the risks posed by late frosts in terms of possible loss of the whole crop and a year’s wine production. Fruit orchard owners also invest – to optimise conditions for fruit set. AgroFrost models stocked include the FrostGuard which protects up to 1ha, and the larger, trailed FrostBuster which protects 8–10ha of crops.

Mowers and mulchers

Perfect, Fischer and Braun mowers are all stocked to ensure there is something to suit all grower requirements.

The Braun Alpha, equipped with Clemens Multiclean heads at both sides will not only mow alleyways of variable widths, the Multiclean heads will work around the base of the vines removing unwanted vegetation and watershoots, saving time on bud rubbing and weeding.

NP Seymour also supplies growers with Fischer mowers including the GL4 which has heads designed to move in between the trunks. These compact mowers are also popular for maintaining ground under table top strawberry beds.

Fischer mowers can be speci ed with an integral hydraulic pack allowing use with smaller tractors, and NP Seymour recommends this option.

May/June 2023 32
(l-r) Nick and Barbara Seymour with Claire Seymour and Steve Bowles, and some of the Fendt tractors in stock Darren Thomas from the Parts Department is well-known to customers. He works closely with Martin Gisby who wasn’t present at the time of the F&V visit Baldry Frost protection products can prevent crop loss

Pruning and trimming

At the recent Farm Expo event, the BMV FL 800P Orchard Trimmer was displayed prominently on the Seymour stand. The trimmers have been stocked for many years, but demand has increased recently as growers look for cost-e ective, versatile machinery which can be used all year round. The tractor-mounted, hinged trimmers have hydraulic-driven cutters which can be tted with stainless steel knives for trimming crop canopies, or circular blades for heavier pruning –achieving signi cant time savings compared to pruning by hand.

Simple, cost-effective weeder

The Braun Rollhacke mechanical weeder breaks up soil and lifts weeds to the surface using double star working elements. The star wheels are ground driven, and work best at speeds between 4.5–9.0kph. Simple, manual adjustment of working depth, position and disc angle is made without tools, and the working width is 120–180mm. The standard mounting frame allows attachment to most brands of tractor, and NP Seymour can modify and adapt the brackets if necessary.

Pallet and box handling

Technoagri tractor-mounted forklifts and pallet carriers are among the dealer’s best-selling implements. The Super Hydraulic Forklift includes tilt and side-shift functions making it suitable for use on uneven ground, and it can lift loads up to 1,500kg to 1.8m. “These are an ideal solution for moving supplies and produce and sell in large numbers, so we always keep several units in stock,” commented Claire.

Effective anti-drift sprayers

OCLL Q-Wector 3 trailed sprayers are available with 1,100-, 1,600- or 2,100-litre capacity tanks. They have a 1,750mm anti-drift tower with the air intake positioned in front. This avoids recirculating the spray mist, and ensures clean air, free of debris, is drawn through the 800mm fan. The sprayers suit orchard applications where trees are a maximum 4m high, and the lowest nozzle is positioned 300mm above the ground. Claire explained that the sprayers are popular for their simple design and excellent build quality, and have been supplied by the dealer for almost 40 years.


Clemens under tree and under vine cultivators and weeders are available in a wide variety of sizes and speci cations. The range of options makes it possible to supply exactly what is needed to meet a particular requirement, but the Seymour team’s familiarity with the brand and product options is an essential requirement to ensure customers receive the optimal solution. Claire describes the range as sturdy and well built, and she said it is especially well suited to use in organic enterprises where mechanical cultivators must operate intensively throughout the growing season to maintain e ective weed control.

The Clemens Multiclean is also popular. A rotary mulching brush operates like a vine stem cleaner to remove shoots, and simultaneously removes weeds from the base of the plant, taking them o at ground level without disturbing the soil. With hydraulic drive, it is suitable for mounting on a range of implements including the Braun Alpha mower.

Clemens also manufactures hydraulic frames suitable for mounting attachments such as trimmers and defoliators. Most versions supplied by Seymour trim one side plus the top of the plants, but there are also versions for trimming facing sides of two rows, or straddling rows and cutting both sides and the top simultaneously. The wide range of options makes it possible to achieve a solution meeting the work rates required and budget.

Table top sprayers

NP Seymour manufactures its own range of machinery and implements under the NPS brand name. During Fruit & Vine’s visit, an NPS Table Top Strawberry sprayer was displayed in the yard. “The rst version was designed and manufactured in 2005 in response to a customer request,” said Claire. “It proved successful, so we started manufacturing the units but as there is no industry standard, each one we make has to be designed for the particular situation.” The sprayer consists of a stainless-steel spray tank mounted on a trailer, and the booms carry an overhead crown nozzle, plus nozzles lower down on both sides to ensure e ective plant coverage.

The NPS Bush Fruit Sprayer uses Micron Turbofan spray heads which rotate at 4,000rpm and produce spray droplets of uniform size to ensure maximum spray e cacy. “These are mainly for applications to blackcurrants,” explained Nick Seymour. “They treat two rows at a time, and we match the hydraulic pump size to the spray motors so that there is no need for ow regulators or diverters. This avoids heat build-up and ensures maximum working e ciency.”

The NPS Bio Applicator was also designed by Nick, in partnership with Bioline Agrosciences. Primarily for treating strawberry crops, it applies bene cial insects which eat the eggs of insect pests. The insects are evenly distributed within a bran mix to ensure even application and placed in the refrigerated hopper.

Keeping them cool reduces their activity and opportunity to separate from the bran mix. Power is from a 12V battery, and the e cient design means that working times of up to a day are possible without having to recharge, while the light weight makes the applicator suitable for towing behind an ATV or UTV, or a specialist tractor.

NP Seymour invented a unique way to deal with thrips on strawberries – this bio applicator combines bran with bene cial pests in a refrigerated unit, before broadcasting the semi-hibernating insects with the bran across the crops, so the insects can consume the thrip eggs

New sprayer franchise

Munckhof is a very recent addition to the list of franchises. “These specialist orchard sprayers increase the options we can offer customers and use an airbag to achieve even distribution of spray droplets,” highlighted Claire. “There are single- and multi-row models – all with Mueller controls, and options include compensation for wind direction and strength based on on-board monitoring. We expect most demand to be from orchard owners in the south of the UK, but there are also shorter versions for vineyards which will have considerable appeal.”

The Braun Alpha Clemens offers a huge range of under vine cultivators and weeders, as well as trimming and defoliating products An NPS Table Top strawberry sprayer in use
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Stone fruit grower looks to trial varieties to boost yields and quality

Dingle Farm grows around 60 different varieties of cherries, apricots and plums in Worcestershire, including a number of trial varieties – with its key aims being to increase yields and fruit size, and to nd later varieties. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby spoke

to farm manager Matt Foster to nd out more

Previously used for growing apples and pears, then asparagus in the 1970s–1990s, Dingle Farm remained fallow for a few years before being put to its current purpose as a producer of cherries, apricots and plums. It was a natural choice for the farm’s manager Matt Foster, who had been working in importing and managing the supply of cherries to UK supermarkets, before deciding to rent the land at Little Witley 13 years ago. Having studied agriculture at Hadlow College when it had an on-site fruit farm, and with experience working in importing and marketing fruits and vegetables, Matt says he always found it most rewarding to work in the fruit sector. Today, the farm grows around 60 di erent varieties, including trial varieties, which are selected rst and foremost to provide the longest season, then pollination, then a mix of self-fertile (selfpollinating) and self-sterile varieties.

The sandy loam at the Worcestershire site is somewhat nutrient-barren, but the free-draining aspect is ideal for soil health, explains Matt. “We fertigate little and often and spray once a week in season with seaweed solutions as a foliar application, and this provides the best results for crop health.”

Agrii provides Dingle Farm with technical advice and products including Acti , which is a seaweed-based bio-stimulant. Containing a range of micronutrients, amino acids, humic and fulvic acids, it aims to maximise plant growth and enhance uptake of water, fertiliser and micro-nutrients from the soil.

The farm’s soil type is also valuable when it comes to encouraging bee populations as it allows them to nest in large populations. Dingle Farm works with a local apiarist and strives to manage habitats on the farm to encourage wild bee populations.

As part of the farm’s bid to balance crop yield with good fruit size and rmness, they also use self-ventilating Voen covers from Germany. “They are best for high quality production and venting the volume of evapotranspiration from the orchards,” Matt continues.

Packs of half blush, half red cherries are an absolute customer favourite at Dingle Farm

The Rock & District Agricultural Discussion Club visited Dingle Farm for a tour and lively conversation during harvest last year

May/June 2023 35

Farm owners/managers: Matt and Gritt Foster

Location: Dingle Farm, Little Witley, Worcestershire

Farm size: 15ha

Fruit grown: 8ha of cherries, 2ha of apricots, 5ha of plums

Number of trees: Approximately 20,000

Varieties grown: Around 60 in total including trial varieties

Rootstock information: Gisela for cherry, Wavit for plum and apricot

Soil type: Light sandy loam

Key challenges

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is the farm’s main pest and Matt says they have found masstrapping the vinegar y both post-harvest and pre-harvest in spring is the best way to keep the population under control. A deterrent spray of garlic formula is then used as a push control. From early May they spray once a week, while herbicide management is usually done once in the spring followed by knapsack treatments where necessary.

Matt and his wife Gritt began a trial of soluble bio-stimulant ProAct last year, again supplied by Agrii to manage frost. While they didn’t have any frost incidents, Matt says they noticed a “marked increase in the size and rmness of the treated crop”, compared to the varieties that were left untreated. ProAct foliar spray, from Plant Health Care, contains 1% Harpin αβ protein and o ers a natural method of improving tolerance to abiotic stresses including frost, as well as nal fruit quality. The product works by isolating harpin proteins from plant pathogenic bacteria. Harpin αβ contains four active domains found in harpin proteins produced by plant pathogenic bacteria. When Harpin αβ is applied to plants the proteins trigger defence and growth responses. Plants which have been primed by Harpin αβ protein then respond faster and more intensely to real stress events, according to Agrii.

This year, Dingle Farm will use ProAct on all cherries, as well as on the plums and greengages.

At the other extreme, the very high temperatures across the UK last summer did not a ect yields too badly, however, as SWD does not cope well in severe temperatures and the Voen covers are self-ventilating which helped to protect the crop. In fact, they saw yields increase compared to the previous year, Matt says. “While we had outside temperatures of up to 40ºC, it was actually on average 34ºC. This was a marked di erence to the polytunnels, where the internal temperatures were higher.”

Regular monitoring is a key year-round task for the farm to stay ahead of problems, including pests and diseases, as well as the timing of owering to cropping times, which varies each year for each variety, and Matt says they are constantly checking the fruiting progress in season.

Meanwhile, as the fruit and wider agricultural sector continues to face severe labour challenges, Dingle Farm has been using local labour – mainly from college students – since the rst Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Whilst they do require more management, it also allows greater exibility and the farm’s work requirements fall in July and August, coinciding with students’ summer breaks, Matt says. They have a 50% returnee rate for their local pickers. As stone fruit does not store well, the farm markets its fruit prior to harvest, then harvests Monday to Friday, nine hours per day. Dingle Farm works with marketing organisations that work 12 months of the year, preferring those with UK programmes only.

Matt and Gritt are the farm’s only permanent sta 12 months of the year, which increases to ve sta when they start putting the Voen covers on and a maximum of 30 during harvest.

Another challenge is that as the farm is quite intensive in its planting, it uses narrow tractors which are not always easy to nd, Matt adds.

Moving forward

The farm is working with a range of breeders to carry out extensive trial work on new varieties of cherries and plums. They are looking to extend the season and improve yields and fruit sizes. “The traits we’re looking for are a brix of at least 18%, rmness for shelf life, regular good yield and size of fruit, which, to be attractive to the market must be 26mm+,” Matt says. “We are always looking to extend the season as we are in a mid-to-late area of production, so we are primarily interested in nding later varieties to suit our climate.”

May/June 2023 36 GROWER PROFILE
Building wildlife habitats in non-cropping areas by the orchards


With its unique low-profile design and narrow width, the FT6075EN operates seamlessly through orchards and vineyards. Featuring a 75hp CRDI diesel engine and a 2500kg lift capacity, this narrow-style design packs a punch, too. And with the air-conditioned cabin option, it’s comfortably the best choice.

An agricultural machinery partner with great service and great value. Great Choice. Great Performance. Great Value. Great Results

Reesink UK LTD is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Images shown for illustration only.
Heavy-duty rear linkage Compact and narrow Rear hydraulic spool valves 75hp CRDI diesel engine Logically laid out controls FT6075EN with cabin

fruitful future: Farming for a

Kent grower blends tradition with latest technology

Having grown fruit since Victorian times, Hugh Lowe Farms has a strong sense of tradition embedded into its practices. However, managing director Marion Regan believes growth is driven by moving along with time, as well as having an unrelenting passion for growing better fruit, year after year. Staff writer Henrietta Szathmary spoke to Marion

From humble beginnings in 1893, Hugh Lowe Farms has prospered into one of the largest soft fruit growing establishments in the UK, comprising 700ha just outside Mereworth in Kent. However, not all land on the farm is used to grow fruit, as Marion believes in both sharing and sparing space for nature.

“In terms of sharing, while we’re growing all of our soft fruit in substrate under polytunnels, we use biological control for crop protection, and we rely on native pollinators and honeybees and some introduced bumblebees,” she explained.

“We rely very much on nature to grow the crop, but we also spare quite a lot of our land for permanent grassland, for woodlands, and for things like wild birds, cover crops, eld margins, reservoirs etc.”

Having grown up on the farm, Marion has always regarded Hugh Lowe Farms as a family business, despite signi cant expansion over the years. She took over operations from her father in the 1990s and has been running the farm ever since with her husband Jon and daughter Amelia, who is now a fth generation grower.

Harnessing the power of nature

Before switching to a substrate-based production system, Hugh Lowe Farms used to have a more dynamic landscape, with soft fruit plants in rotation with arable crops and grassland. However, in the current layout, opportunities have opened up to give a number of elds back to nature.

Alongside rewilding projects, Marion and her team have been working on reducing the number of tillage passes on arable elds and using cover crops to improve the soil and deter weeds.

With a vision of increasing carbon sequestration on the farm, Marion conducted a complete baseline soil survey across all land, including under tabletops, testing for organic matter, pH, macro- and micro-nutrients and other indicators.

According to the results, the farm is situated on mostly free-draining sandy loam soils – ideal for fruit and vine growing – with some areas on heavier ground.

On the pollination front, bees are an increasingly important focus in the system, and Hugh Lowe Farms works with its own hives and beekeeper. Marion spoke of two key aspects regarding pollination: “One is, because we crop both early and late, sometimes we have crops in ower before honeybees are very active, so we use native bumblebees, because they’re very furry and good at ying at lower temperatures.

“The second aspect is, we really encourage native pollinators and have done quite a lot of work on hover ies and solitary bees etc.

“We’ve been working quite closely with NIAB on eld margins and how we can encourage better penetration of native bene cial insects into the crop itself,” she explained.

The three pillars of integrated pest management

To minimise reliance on chemical sprays, Hugh Lowe Farms uses an integrated pest

management (IPM) system to control pest and diseases. According to Marion, the three pillars underpinning the farm’s IPM strategy include:

• Using polytunnels, which not only allow for smooth cultivation and harvesting work all year round, but also better management of fungal infections, such as rots and moulds

• Moving fruit crops out of the soil into coir substrate, which has reduced soil borne diseases and to some extent soil borne pests on the farm; once the coir has sustained several crops, it is composted and recycled to improve soil structure on arable elds

• Professional, hygienic picking, as well as having a great seasonal workforce and keeping on top of a tight picking cycle.

Biological enemies such as pirate bugs and predatory mites are also employed to counteract the biggest intractable pests on the farm, like western ower thrips (WFTs), she added.

“Hover ies, ladybirds, lacewings and pirate bugs all eat damaging crop pests and we encourage them into our tunnels. Biocontrol also makes use of ‘good’ fungi to destroy moulds like mildew. This approach means we have reduced or eliminated many sprays.”

Fortunately, spotted wing drosophila (SWD), which is an economically damaging pest in soft fruit worldwide, has been kept out of crops on the farm so far.

In a move towards utilising the latest technology, Hugh Lowe Farms has trialled ultraviolet treatment against mildew, which proved to be e ective and will be performed more in the future. Crop and pest monitoring also allow any hot spots to be treated promptly and e ciently.

While the ultimate goal is to reduce the farm’s environmental impact, Marion believes that abandoning all chemical control methods would be a mistake.

“In terms of chemical controls, there are some that are absolutely essential as a last resort, and I think we’re doing quite a good job as an industry in making the case for how one can have a predominantly biological program but still have a useful armoury of pest control products, which we need to maintain,” she stressed.

Never standing still

Being one of the largest fruit growing operations in the UK means there is no such thing as a quiet hour on Hugh Lowe Farms. While the orchards and vineyards enter a period of dormancy over winter, workers on the farm are busy planting replacement crops, pruning, cultivating, and preparing for the season ahead.

To create ideal growing conditions, the polytunnels are equipped with a range of sensors recording temperature, humidity, light and moisture levels. Specialist growers then walk the crops every day, interpreting the data and ensuring production e ciency is at maximum.

During the wetter months, rainfall is collected from the tunnels and piped directly into the roots of each plant according to its irrigation needs. Marion is also looking at switching to more renewable energy and integrating solar panels into soft fruit production.

Picking starts in the glass houses in April and under tunnels in late April/early May. Marion aims

to welcome back workers who have been coming to the farm for several years, as training a good fruit picker is an expensive and lengthy process. However, new workers are also welcomed onto the farm each year through the Seasonal Worker Scheme.

At the height of the season, Hugh Lowe Farms works with around 900 sta members, including a 65-strong permanent workforce who carry out a variety of jobs on the farm. A pleasant work environment is considered a fundamental part of running the business, therefore Marion likes to maintain a productive and respectful atmosphere.

Berries are picked very early morning, especially during hotter days, when picking may start at 5am. Harvesting is then nished just after midday, with the fruit dispatched to the packhouse to be chilled and packaged for customers.

Fruit is quality-checked every step of the way, passing several trained eyes as well as quality control detectors in the packhouse to ensure only the best berries leave the farm.

Soft fruit harvest at Hugh Lowe Farms stretches all the way to the end of October and in the glass houses into November. In the run up to Christmas, Marion is busy with budgeting and forecasting, looking at new innovations, and talking to customers about their needs.

Growing for quality

A range of di erent varieties are grown on the farm to supply di erent markets, and preferences vary across retailers, Marion explained.

“They all like the premium strawberry variety we grow called Driscoll’s Zara,” she noted, adding that Driscoll’s Maravilla has been a favourite raspberry variety.

As a member of Berry Gardens Growers, Hugh Lowe Farms markets its soft fruit to multiple retailers through an exclusive arrangement with Driscoll’s, a California-based soft fruit breeder. Meanwhile, the grapes are sent to Chapel Down winery to be made into English sparkling wine.

For any fruit that can’t nd a Class 1 market, the business has an arrangement with Sipsmith Gin which produces strawberry gin with fruit grown at Hugh Lowe Farms.

Challenges and future plans

2022 was a challenging year for many growers across the UK and worldwide, and Hugh Lowe Farms was no exception. Located in the South East, the heat and drought throughout last summer had a substantial e ect on the farm’s soft fruit production, Marion remarked.

Although yields were good compared to previous years, this also caused the market to be oversupplied with fruit, resulting in marketing challenges. “The way in which the fruit was sold didn’t seem to grow the market,” she said, suggesting the cost-of-living crisis could be a possible cause.

She also mentioned the cost of production of fruit is not currently being recognised by the market, and a big challenge that growers are facing this year is trying to persuade both customers and the consumer that fruit is fantastic value for money.

As for Hugh Lowe Farms: “The two big challenges are sourcing experienced labour and making the case to customers that, as growers,

Grower: Hugh Lowe Farms is run by owner Marion Regan and her husband Jon Regan

Location: Outside Mereworth, Kent

Farm size: Over 700ha. Only a third of the farm grows berries, the rest is divided between arable crops and land managed for wildlife

Soil type: Predominantly sandy loam

Fruit grown: Strawberries: Malling Centenary; Driscoll’s varieties Katrina, Jubilee, Beatrice and Zara; as well as Favori and Murano. Raspberries: Driscoll’s Maravilla and So e. Grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Victoria blackberries are also grown

a lot of our costs have gone up dramatically,” she explained.

Despite the current volatile climate, Marion wants to continue growing the business, making it more sustainable, and building resilience. She also has an ambition to automate and mechanise tasks such as removing leaves, tying in canes and brush weeding by bringing machinery in from the vineyard industry.

Ultimately, Hugh Lowe Farms is all about producing high quality fruit with provenance and transparency while being kind to nature, people, and the planet.

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to drive solutions sustainability Developing practical

Many factors are driving the need to improve sustainability, often centred around the environment, such as government targets to hit net zero by 2050, and policies to enhance biodiversity, or protect natural resources.

Such high-level targets are ltering through supply chains, and increasingly a ecting the decisions growers make; a trend that is only likely to continue in coming years.

The launch of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) initiative in 2020, is just one example. It aims to put sustainability at the heart of the English and Welsh wine industry, and has already attracted many leading vineyards.

Supermarket buyers are also talking more seriously about their ambitions to source 'low impact produce', at least at a strategic level, although price inevitably remains a major driver of buying decisions, especially during tougher economic times.

“But buyers know they still have targets to meet and growers will play their part in helping to decarbonise the supply chain,” Hutchinsons agronomist, Rob Saunders (pictured right) says.

While environmental and social considerations are often at the heart of the sustainability agenda,

nancial aspects are equally important, he adds.

“You can’t talk about sustainability and just focus on environmental or social aspects. We’re in a capitalist system, so production has to be nancially sustainable as well.”

Equally, pro t cannot come at the expense of the environment or other capital resources, whether labour, or the soil, he adds. “No business that derives its income from running down its capital base can credibly report a pro t.”

It’s a concept that lies at the heart of the ‘triple bottom line’ accounting framework, often shortened to ‘the three Ps’; pro t, people, and the planet.

None are mutually exclusive, of course. More targeted fertiliser application, for example, bene ts crop growth, the environment by reducing the carbon footprint, and the bottom line through cost savings, while pro table businesses secure employment and support rural economies.

“So much of sustainability is about e ciency of resource use,” Mr Saunders adds. “One of those resources is land, so we need to make the very best use of the land we’re deploying. By driving up yield per unit area, you are invariably driving down the resource use per kilogram of output, whether that’s sprays, water, fertiliser, or labour.”

Data-driven decisions

Digital mapping and precision technology are playing an increasingly important role in improving e ciency, and making businesses more sustainable, Mr Saunders says.

Many growers are already realising the bene ts of Terramap high-de nition soil scanning, for example. The system uses passive, gamma-ray detection technology, to produce a highde nition map (based on 800 data points per hectare) showing all common nutrient properties, pH, soil texture, organic matter, carbon (organic and active) and cation exchange capacity, plus elevation and plant available water.

The data highlights variability across sites and allows subsequent management to be targeted more accurately.

May/June 2023 41 AGRONOMY
From cutting carbon emissions to new habitat creation, the increasing focus on sustainability is manifesting itself in many different ways on UK farms, orchards and vineyards. Fruit & Vine investigates how this is in uencing future agronomy

Given the wealth of data potentially available to growers, systems such as Omnia are invaluable for providing a central 'hub' to record, store and analyse information, including Terramap soil scans, crop observations, or weather data.

Omnia’s weather forecasting capability is particularly useful, especially when combined with pest and disease forecasting models to predict threats such as scab, canker or mildew.

Improving orchard sustainability

Hutchinsons is involved with several projects that are looking to improve the sustainability of production systems across orchard and vineyard sectors, utilising the latest tools and techniques.

One such example is the 10-year Helios project, now halfway through, which is investigating whether higher orchard yields can be sustainably achieved by redesigning canopy and tree architecture to better utilise sunlight. Designs are also 'robot ready' with a view to greater mechanisation in the future –something that may be the main way to overcome ongoing labour shortages in the sector.

Initial ndings from the rst ve years show promising results, as well as highlighting various challenges still to overcome, particularly around the speed of tree establishment in some growing terms.

“Orchards don’t pay back until at least years ve, six or seven, so it’s a bit early to pick out the best systems,” says Mr Saunders. “Most orchards look good when young, but it’s keeping them productive in later years that can be the challenge, as productivity declines as trees age, and diseases such as canker inevitably creep in.”

But, it is changing consumer trends that potentially present the biggest challenge, as varieties come and go out of fashion. Cox, for example, was replaced by Gala, and now Gala orchards are being replaced by the likes of Jazz, Kanzi and Pink Lady.

“The varietal treadmill is speeding up, which means new varieties coming along now will have a shorter lifespan than those that have gone before, so the focus on rapidly establishing an orchard and getting early payback has to be even sharper.”

At Helios, the V-system of growing has shown a particularly impressive yield build up, with excellent quality, however it is not suited to machine harvesting. One of the most promising systems so far has been the low cost M116 rootstock orchard, which is shaping up well with a lower upfront capital investment.

Sequestering carbon

A separate project is aiming to nd more sustainable uses for old orchard trees that have reached the end of their productive life, and help growers reduce their carbon footprint, by producing biochar.

The idea is that because biochar is extremely resistant to bacterial breakdown, it is able to lock away carbon in a more stable form, reducing the amount lost to the environment.

Producing biochar involves carbonising the wood from old trees under high temperatures (300–1,000°C), in the presence of little, or no oxygen; a process known as pyrolysis, similar to charcoal production. This leaves behind a solid material containing around 80% elemental carbon, that can be used as a soil improver, and a long-term carbon store.

Mr Saunders says biochar sequesters around half of the total carbon contained within trees, and its application to soil could provide a way of increasing organic matter beyond the natural equilibrium.

“Many people don’t realise there is a maximum level of organic matter that any soil can support, beyond which it starts to cycle and oxidise more quickly, so adding more organic matter beyond this point simply isn’t e ective.”

The organic matter ceiling is linked to clay content, with more clay-based soils able to achieve a higher equilibrium than sandier soils.

“The only way you can increase organic matter content beyond the natural ceiling is by either ooding land to create a peat bog, or by adding biochar.”

Within the two-year project, Hutchinsons is working with Edinburgh University to conduct detailed life cycle analysis of orchard cropping. It is also undertaking agronomic evaluations of biochar use in new, and recently planted orchards, looking at the impact of high and low doses on soils and orchard productivity.

“If we can positively in uence some characteristics of orchard trees, especially young tree establishment, through improving nutrient availability, building soil organisms, increasing moisture holding capacity of the soil, or building better soil texture, and potentially getting trees into full cropping one year faster, that will have a very signi cant impact on the viability of an orchard.”

The team will also look at other aspects, such as whether biochar use increases the calcium, or dry matter content of apples, which in turn could a ect storability.

“Other parts of the world, such as Germany, Scandinavia and the US, are ahead of us on this, so the UK is behind the curve, with very limited orchard-speci c data on biochar use. There are lots of unknowns, which is why we’re doing this project.”

Although work is focused on orchards, the principles apply elsewhere, including vineyards, where large amounts of material are often removed on an annual basis, says Mr Saunders.

In large, productive vineyards, there may be scope to bale up prunings to use as a feedstock for turning into biochar, as well as removing material and reducing the risk of disease carryover. “It’s potentially adding another output from the vineyard, providing wine, employment, environmental services in terms of biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.”

Cover crop potential

There is increasing interest in sowing green covers in many situations to suppress weeds, improve soil health, and build biodiversity. They also o er an added aesthetic factor, which may be important to those who open sites for public events or tourism.

Using cover crops to improve soil health in hop

gardens is the subject of one Innovative Farmers project.

“It comes from the realisation that at the end of a cropping cycle, the entire hop plant is removed, and growers understandably don’t want to put old material back onto the land for fear of spreading disease, notably verticillium wilt,” says Mr Saunders. “So, over time, soil organic matter declines.”

Growers typically counter this by importing other sources of organic material, such as straw, compost and manure, which can be expensive, and raises the risk of damaging soil structure when running heavy spreading equipment on wet soils outside the growing season.

“We’re therefore looking at growing organic matter in-situ, by establishing a cover crop just ahead of harvest, which is then terminated in March or April the following year, so it’s not competing with the hops.

“This introduces a lot of organic matter into the hop garden without needing to buy it in.”

Concerns about verticillium wilt risk limit the cover crop species that can be used in hop gardens, Mr Saunders acknowledges, but monocots are una ected by the disease, so work up to now has focused on oat and rye mixes.

“It would be interesting to try a more diverse cover crop mix, perhaps including a legume, such as red clover. But the unknown is how these other species may act as an alternative host for verticillium wilt.”

It is hoped that a separate Innovative Farmers project, looking at controlling two spotted spider mite with predatory insects, might shed more light on such risks. This ongoing work aims to create more favourable habitats for natural predators, such as Amblyseius andersoni and Amblyseius cucumeris, by establishing cover crops in the alleyways of the hop garden. Mixes could include broadleaf species, potentially providing useful information that overlaps with the understanding of how cover crop species in uence verticillium wilt risk.

Elsewhere, Hutchinsons is working with a vineyard in the West to see if microclover can be used as a living mulch, for weed suppression, biodiversity and soil health. In vineyards, living mulches could o er added bene ts from shading the soil, and reducing soil temperatures in extreme summer heat; bene tting soil organisms and reducing vine stress.

Microclover’s short, stunted growth habit is potentially well suited to the role, as it minimises competition, allows good air ow around vines, and facilitates bunch ripening later in the season. As a legume it also xes some atmospheric nitrogen to the soil.

“But one issue with legumes is that unless you terminate them, they don’t really volunteer to share that much nitrogen,” notes Mr Saunders.

Another vineyard Mr Saunders works with has sustainable practices at the core of its business, and is borrowing insights from the regenerative agriculture community, developing new approaches to managing cover crops in vineyards that might better utilise the bene ts from leguminous species.

They are investigating whether one solution is to establish alternate rows of legume and cereal cover crops. The thinking is that by terminating the legume cover, before sowing it with a cereal, and vice versa, it may be possible to provide a continuous supply of nitrogen to adjacent vines, as well as carbohydrate to support soil biology, from decomposing legume roots.

May/June 2023 42 AGRONOMY
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According to Cloud Agro founder Ross Barclay-beuthin, the company’s services and products make it

possible for producers to accurately measure and e ectively treat the “burn rate of nutrients” exported

during harvest, together with the “burn rate of humus (organic matter)” expended during mineralisation.

Ross was previously an arable and livestock farmer in South Africa, before becoming involved in a soil health programme with the UN and other organisations, which focused on ways in which farmers could regenerate African soils following years of intensive farming, leading to signi cant degradation in soil quality.

As part of this project, Ross experimented with water, lucerne and chicken manure on an unproductive vineyard, resulting in a four-fold increase in grape yield within just one season.

From this, Cloud Agro’s Smart Feed nutrient-based system was born.

Smart Feed is a 100% natural organic fertiliser and soil conditioner, under the brand name FutureGro. The system is based around a fully decomposed, pelleted organic fertiliser that adds nutrients, improves soil structure, and stimulates microbial action. According to Cloud Agro, it is six times stronger than FYM and a whopping 50 times more e ective than green waste, partly because it has already been composted and therefore actively

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Under the Smart Feed system, growers can use a calculator to work out exactly how much FutureGro is required, taking into account a number of site-speci c factors including soil type, leaching potential and the previous harvest results.

With FutureGro, as the plant grows stronger with enhanced nutrition and more balanced soils, crops can ward o disease vectors and pest attacks. However, Cloud Agro stresses that animal manure does the opposite: its application leads to the spread of weed seeds, disease vectors, and pathogens.

Repeated application of FutureGro helps nutrients become more available to crops, making soil more fertile meaning that, over time, less chemical fertiliser is needed. Applying FutureGro, on average, 1t/ha twice a year to your soil could lead to healthier crops and 25% higher yields this season, the company reckons. When considering soil sustainability, Ross’ take home advice to growers is that they should always ensure that they put back whatever they take out.

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Annual specialist event celebrates latest technical advancements

The annual NIAB Tree Fruit Day online event offered no shortage of exciting announcements from the eld of top fruit research, with precision spraying, pest and disease control, and ecosystem services featuring among the highlights.

Henrietta Szathmary reports

The webinar, led by NIAB knowledge exchange manager Scott Ra e, o ered a wealth of information for both pome and stone fruit growers on new and improved orchard management strategies with the potential to build resilience and sustainability, increase production, and reduce input costs.

New precision dosing orchard sprayer

Dr Charles Whit eld, NIAB senior specialist in crop protection, spoke about the development of a new precision dosing orchard sprayer.

He explained good spray application is about applying the correct amount of active ingredient onto the target while minimising drift, which is di cult to achieve when treating orchards as a uniform target. Hence, a di erent approach is needed, and Dr Whit eld believes the answer lies in variable rate spraying (VRS).

VRS has the potential to reduce input costs and improve crop management, leading to better yields and reduced environmental impact. While orchards may appear uniform to the naked eye, there is substantial (3 to 5-fold) variation in many aspects of the crop, particularly in canopy density of individual trees, he pointed out.

To create spray prescription maps on which to base a precision spraying program, drones can be used for row and tree detection, alongside LiDAR sensors that can measure canopy structure and density.

The data is then fed into the spray machine control software, which calculates spray output values from imported canopy density and blossom density. Subsequently, a prescription map is created with a tailored dose for each tree in the orchard, Dr Whit eld explained.

He introduced a high-precision VRS machine, developed by NP Seymour and The Acclaimed Software Company, which is essentially a KWH tower spray machine tted with BBLeap’s PWMnozzles and control system. During spraying, nozzle output is adjusted according to the prescription map and the spray machine’s GPS position.

On-farm trials of the system have shown large improvements in spray deposition distribution compared to conventional spray machine, Dr Whit eld said, enabling growers to substantially reduce input costs and maximise the percentage of Class 1 fruit per tree.

Detection and prediction of internal browning

Providing updates on the detection and prediction of internal browning in apples, Dr Richard Colgan from the University of Greenwich presented his latest work in the eld of post-harvest technology.

According to Dr Colgan, internal browning is mostly an issue in varieties like Braeburn and Bramley, and includes conditions such as core ush, internal CO2 injury, Braeburn browning disorder and di use browning. Causes can vary

May/June 2023 47 AGRONOMY
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from low O2 stress, high CO2 levels, high respiration rates when entering storage to poor fruit porosity.

Since harvest maturity impacts the likelihood of the fruit developing internal browning during storage, it’s important to pick apples at just the right time, he pointed out.

Through his research, Dr Colgan has been investigating the di usion characteristics of various apple varieties in both a lab and commercial setting. Amongst others, he established that fruit porosity measurements can help identify orchard consignments with greater risks of incurring core ush in Braeburn.

Research at the NIAB Plum Demonstration Centre

Dr Mark Else, head of crop science and production systems at NIAB EMR, talked about some of the ongoing work at the Plum Demonstration Centre (PDC), mainly relating to using data from sensors, data loggers and rain gauges to inform decision making in the orchard.

At present, the primary research priorities for the PDC are:

• Optimising consistency and quality in British varieties

• Precision irrigation strategies for UK plums, such as alternate wetting and drying (AWD)

• Developing N-demand models to optimise fertiliser inputs for rootstocks and scions. In line with the current industry trend of moving towards more regenerative practices, the centre is also looking at the e ects of wild ower strips on bene cial orgs and ecosystem services.

Rounding up the session, Robert Saville, innovation growth manager at NIAB, o ered delegates an insight into how Growing Kent & Medway has been helping horticultural businesses become more sustainable.

Latest developments in apple canker research

Dr Matevs Papp-Rupar, plant pathologist and project leader at NIAB, shared some highlights from his work on European apple canker (Neonectria ditissima), a fungal disease of high interest to UK growers.

Apple canker can infect wounds on petals, leaves and branches that may occur from pruning or picking and can destroy up to 30% of newly planted orchards, Dr Papp-Rupar explained. Other than reducing yield, fruit quality, and longevity of infected orchards, the disease can also lead to post-harvest fruit rot, causing further losses to growers.

Due to a lack of e ective chemical products, canker management involves year-round control with a particular emphasis on hygienic practices, particularly in young orchards, he added.

Current canker management research at NIAB EMR includes:

• Investigating the e cacy of new and existing spray products

• Development of novel microbial amendments to increase canker resilience

• Exploring the impact of orchard site on canker expression

• Investigating soil amendments for improved orchard resilience.

Dr Papp-Rupar also outlined plans for an upcoming project looking at factors that in uence a site’s susceptibility to canker, with grower involvement required for data collection.

Apple replant disease (ARD)

Dr Thomas Passey, pest and pathogen ecologist at NIAB, provided updates on the prevention and control of ARD, which refers to the poor establishment of young apple trees planted in soils where the same species had grown previously.

ARD causes uneven growth throughout the orchard, alongside stunting, shortened internodes on shoots, discolored or necrotic roots, and reduced root biomass. While many trees will survive the disease, overall fruit production and quality will be compromised (up to 50–60% reduction in yield), Dr Passey said.

Since broad-spectrum fumigants e ective against the disease are banned, Dr Passey’s research has been focusing on alternative ways to control ARD.

One way is mixing up rootstock genotypes in newly planted trees, as rootstock with di erent genetic backgrounds have been shown to respond di erently to ARD. There are also a number of bene cial microbes that can be used to improve tree establishment and reduce the risk of the disease, Dr Passey added.

Pest and ecology research in tree fruit Dr Francis Wamonje, research leader in entomology at NIAB, presented new research on a number of key tree fruit pests, as well as updates from three CTP studentship project.

With the demise of broad-spectrum insecticides, pest control is currently a hot topic in tree fruit research. Dr Wamonje has conducted a number of projects on control strategies against apple saw y (Hoplocampa testudinea), forest bug (Pentatoma ru pes), and brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys).

“This work will pave the way for development of control strategies including mass trapping and mating disruption which will further alleviate the need to apply pesticides and secure the future of apple and pear growing in the UK and beyond,” Dr Wamonje remarked.

Laura Reeves, a PhD student at the University of Reading, presented her work looking at the interaction between pear trees, pear sucker (Cacopsylla pyri) and its natural enemies.

Pear sucker is a dominant pest of pear in the UK, with natural enemies including anthocorids, earwigs, ladybirds and spiders.

Throughout her PhD, Ms Reeves examined how the warming climate would a ect interactions between pear sucker and its key predator, Anthocoris nemoralis.

From functional and behavioural response experiments, she concluded A. nemoralis is likely to remain an e ective predator of pear sucker due to no signi cant di erences in feeding behaviour under warmer temperatures.

Meanwhile, another PhD student from the University of Reading, Charlotte Howard, shared some preliminary ndings from her ongoing research into the impact of wild owers on orchard pest control services.

Lastly, PhD student Konstantinos Tsiolis from the University of Reading provided an insight into the nesting preferences of solitary ground-nesting bees in apple orchards.

To shed light on the preferred soil properties of solitary ground nesting bees (speci cally Andrena haemorrhoa, A. dorsata, and A. nitida), he measured nine soil variables on eight south-facing bare ground plots. Upon discovering the bees also

like to nest in vegetation, he suggests creating both bare ground and semi-vegetated habitats in orchards to increase bee diversity and ensure sustainability of pollination in the future.

Progress in SWD population management and monitoring

The nal session of the webinar was dedicated to spotted wing drosophila (SWD), a major problem pest for top and soft fruit growers. Returning from the NIAB Soft Fruit Day event in November 2022, Clare Sampson, technical director at Russell IPM, spoke about the bene ts of Probandz, a coste ective adjuvant for SWD management.

Likewise, Dr Bethan Shaw, research leader in entomology at NIAB, shared some interesting ndings regarding the impact of SWD bait sprays on bene cial insects via a pre-recorded presentation. Her talk was followed by Glen Slade, founder and CEO of BigSis, who provided updates on the development of sterile insect technique for SWD control.

A detailed writeup of the above talks can be found in the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of Fruit & Vine

Concluding the event, Adam Walker, research assistant in entomology at NIAB, shared results from recent precision monitoring trials targeting SWD. The work aimed to investigate the e ciency of precision monitoring traps in woodlands neighbouring soft fruit crops at reducing SWD numbers.

According to Mr Walker, the results have shown around 50% reduction in the pest in woodlands and neighbouring crops where there were precision monitoring traps compared to control plots. A related study has also determined that traps catch more SWD around bramble in the summer and ivy in the autumn.

In his closing remarks, Mr Walker said growers can optimise SWD catches by placing traps in the correct habitats at di erent times of the year.

May/June 2023 49 AGRONOMY
Apple tree infected by canker Trees affected by ARD (on the right) versus healthy trees (on the left)

Sustainability is the watchword at WineGB Conference

Finally able to run as a live event following the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions of recent years, the annual WineGB conference took place on Monday 6th March 2023 at Denbies Wine Estate. Fruit & Vine editor Rachel Hicks attended

The conference programme brought all angles of the industry together, with a wide range of topics covering viticulture, winemaking and business/marketing. A highlight for many was an inspirational talk from Jancis Robinson MW OBE, who spoke during the morning plenary session.

WineGB CEO, Simon Thorpe MW (pictured above), referred to Jancis as being “the preeminent commentator on our industry globally”.

Jancis began by thanking the audience for creating a brilliant wine business that “us Brits” can be so proud of.

For Jancis, the most depressing trend is the shrinking of the wine market globally. She commented that there are now so many alternatives to wine – cocktails, craft beer, gin and even abstinence – it’s important for producers to be aware of the many downward pressures on the total wine market, so they are prepared to work even harder for their sales.

Jancis pointed out that there is, of course, the trend for “less but better”, which goes hand-in-hand with a certain trend towards premiumisation; but said that at the other end of the scale there are those for whom wine drinking is becoming just too expensive. The gap is widening between those people who have a lot of money and people who have far too little, and when discussing ridiculous ‘trophy’ wines, Jancis commented: “I always say that billionaires need ‘billionaire’s wines’ that have such signi cant caché that billionaires won’t count the cost of them.”

While she doesn’t believe English wine is in the billionaire’s trophy basket quite yet, Jancis reckons there are signs that some producers would like that to be the case, which she feels is another interesting trend.

She explained that it is impossible to overemphasise the importance of social media. While she noted the number of “younger” people in the room, Jancis commented that arguably we need “even younger people” to develop social media presence – saying Instagram is a “foreign land” still to many in the industry, which she feels is dangerous as digital platforms are the direction things are going. She pointed out that consumers want engagement – stories, not ads. She implored attendees to talk to the younger people within their organisations, about how social media presence can be developed and capitalise on their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Sustainability formed a key part of Jancis’ talk. She commented that we cannot ignore climate change, saying: “So far, our country has been one of its bene ciaries – who would have thought we’d be talking about drought, wild res and great cracks in our clay soils. But we may not be able to rely on an in nite resource of water. On the other hand, we are not yet in the eye of the storm.”

Jancis explained that these weather events are having a huge impact on the shape of the wine world, showing a shift towards the poles – with Scandinavian countries now having ourishing wine industries.

Sustainability, she said, is so important for our planet, as we are currently in survival mode and the move towards regenerative viticulture is clear.

Biodiversity is another buzzword, and although many English vineyards will have been planted relatively recently and su er less from the ‘mono culture’ that we see elsewhere in the world, biodiversity is very much a pillar of regenerative viticulture and something to bear in mind when deciding what to plant.

Grazing livestock – potentially including pigs and goats, not just sheep – is something Jancis deems worth considering and she said it will also add towards the grower’s tourist attraction.

In terms of sustainability in the winery, Jancis referred to carbon capture – commenting that it’s crazy how the world’s wine industry is releasing all this carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every time wine ferments. Certain wineries are now being designed which capture carbon and she feels there will be moves towards that.

At a tasting of biodynamic wines recently, Jancis said she was amused to try a wine from a producer in Bordeaux which was made from all the lees and sediment from his 2021 vintage, aged under oor in bre glass; and he’s selling it successfully for £68 per bottle, which struck Jancis as a very sustainable proposition. The producer had ironically named the wine “Lies” (the French word for lees) although Jancis was keen to point out it is pronounced the same as lees!

On the subject of sustainability, a bee in Jancis’ bonnet is packaging. She explained that on, whenever they are tasting a wine at home, they weigh the empty bottle and publish the bottle weight – because they like to congratulate wine producers who are using lighter weight bottles, and highlight those who are still using unnecessarily heavy bottles. The wine industry’s biggest contribution to carbon emissions are the production and transport of glass bottles, so the lighter producers can make them, the better.

She pointed out that the problem with wine bottles is the shape, with masses of wasted space in every consignment of bottles; and Jancis is very keen on alternative packaging where appropriate for less expensive wines. She feels cans have a real part to play, as do recycled PET plastic bottles; the bag in box option is also very economical on space. She said she agrees that sparkling wine needs to be in a heavier bottle than still wine, but said there are some very e ective lighter sparkling wine bottles, and she hopes producers will research and try to use them.

Even labels and glues are worth investigating in order to nd the most sustainable option possible.

Sustainability has to encompass nancial sustainability, as well as labour sustainability – she suggested that producers lobby the government about visas for workforces coming from abroad.

See the next issue of Fruit & Vine for more information and advice from the various speakers at this year’s WineGB Conference.

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precision Delivering

to soft fruit growers

NIAB’s Scott Raffle and Mark Else explain

advanced tunnels reduces light levels su ciently to cause this yield di erence, and this e ect is probably exacerbated by the relatively large rainwater collection gutters. However, the more exible venting control resulted in a 1°C reduction in temperature in June and July and up to 7°C in August 2020, and so the improved internal climate control from auto-venting could have signi cant bene ts in hotter years.

Yield di erences have also been recorded between seasons, with Class 1 yields of Malling Champion in 2021 being 22% lower than those recorded in 2020. The amount of accumulated PAR at the WET Centre has been measured each season and the lower yields in 2021 could be attributed to lower light levels. The di ering yields between the commercial and advanced areas, coupled with di ering light levels, prompted the science team to start investigating whether di erences in PAR were responsible for the variability in yields between individual rows in the advanced area. Our research so far has shown a strong correlation between light availability (PAR) and Class 1 yields (see left hand image overleaf), with the latter di ering by as much as 12% in rows just 2m apart within one tunnel bay. This equates to a yield di erential of over 11t/ha.

There are six rows within each tunnel bay and further investigation revealed that the middle rows (2, 3, 4 and 5) were producing higher yields than the outer rows (1 and 6), with the highest yield being produced in Row 4. Using an array of precision environmental sensors manufactured by Delta-T Devices, a correlation was found between the highest yields per row and the amount of light reaching the canopy, so a comparison was made between Row 4 with Rows 1 and 6. Row 4 was found to receive two hours more PAR per day than Row 1, but strangely, despite both being outside 'leg' rows, Row 1 produced higher yields than Row 6. Why?

WET Centre is helping soft fruit growers

increase the precision of their production

NIAB’s Water E cient Technologies (WET) Centre at East Malling was set up in 2017 to demonstrate how to use water and fertiliser more e ectively in commercial strawberry growing systems. Funded by Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, Cocogreen, Delta-T Devices, Neta m, Stoller and Yara, with additional input from H.L. Hutchinsons and Weatherquest, the centre also showcases the latest technology that these funders can o er for advanced soft fruit production systems.

With commercial growers typically irrigating their substrate-grown strawberry crops to 15–25% run-o , some early work at the Centre demonstrated how growers could reduce their total water use each season by up to 33%, whilst maintaining the same yields and producing equal or higher quality berries (see image above). Combined with precision irrigation approaches, rainwater harvesting and re-use resulted in 90% water self-su ciency in 2018, despite the very dry June and July in that year. The centre has since compared reducing the level of run-o to 5% and 10%, without seeing any signi cant di erence in yields between these levels, or any compromise in fruit quality.

Commercial vs latest tech

A crucial feature of the WET Centre has been the division of the cropping into a ‘commercial area’, which mirrors typical commercial practice, and an ‘advanced area’ (see right hand image overleaf), which incorporates the latest technologies to more precisely control the phytoclimate. Not only can visitors to the site view this in action, but the scientists are able to make direct comparisons of fruit yield and quality between the two areas and report their results to the industry, allowing businesses to make informed decisions over whether to implement such technology on their own sites.

Comparisons between the commercial and advanced areas in recent years have demonstrated signi cant di erences in fruit yield using the everbearer Malling Champion. In 2020, Class 1 yield was found to be 5% higher in the commercial area, perhaps a result of the higher levels of shading in the advanced area, lowering the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at the canopy by 3–7%. It is thought that the increased steelwork associated with the roof vents in the

Like other plants, strawberry has a light saturation point, when photosynthesis plateaus, even with further increases in light levels. We discovered that the e ciency of photosynthesis is highest in Row 4 and also higher in the morning than in the afternoon. We are now testing if the higher-than-expected Class 1 yields in Row 1 could result from the peak in early morning PAR coinciding with the peak in photosynthetic e ciency. The results will inform our next steps to optimise the available light to each row at key times during the day using di erent techniques and technologies.

UV blocking

Work in 2020 also investigated the e ects of a UV-blocking lm, originally developed as a non-chemical way of reducing pest numbers, on leaf physiology,

how the
NIAB’s Mark Else (top) and Scott Ra e

Class 1 yields, and berry quality. When compared to Malling Champion plants cropping under a clear lm, Class 1 yields were reduced by 15% under the UV-blocking lm; this was due to a reduction in fruit number as individual berry fresh weight was increased slightly, presumably due to the slightly cooler (1°C) air temperatures under the UV-blocking lm. Again, the loss of yield was strongly correlated with a reduction in the cumulated PAR reaching the canopy. Leaf physiology was also changed, with stomatal conductance and photosynthesis being lowered, and while the former response reduced plant transpirational water loss, the latter resulted in a 0.5% fall in the average berry soluble solids content (° Brix) over the season.

The knowledge gained by the WET Centre team on zonal phytoclimates within the tunnel also has enabled NIAB scientists at East Malling

to work with one of our funders, Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, and colleagues at the University of Reading in an IUK project called ‘BerryPredictor’ to improve harvest forecasts, yield predictions and crop productivity, through the development of thermal time and PAR models.

Most recently, the Centre has expanded to include raspberry tunnels where we are currently growing Malling Bella for a Neta m-led IUKfunded project (‘SmartFert’) on reducing fertiliser inputs and greenhouse gas emissions, using a combination of nitrogen-demand modelling, realtime NPK sensing and precision fertigation. We have also started to test new irrigation technology from Neta m to see if water and fertilisers can be distributed more evenly through the rootzone in a crop where Class 1 yield losses from inadequate fertigation scheduling are common.

The addition of Yara and Stoller to our funding


Q. What are the rules around irrigation in vineyards?

A: There are no rules exactly, although there did used to be a ban on irrigating vines but that has been lifted for 10 years or more now. However, it is important that the system is designed correctly and that the vines don’t get over-watered.

Q. What are the different irrigation methods available?

A: Micro sprinklers and drip irrigation are the main two options, with drip being the most economical and e ective system.

Q. What are the main bene ts?

A: The main bene ts of an irrigation system would be to make sure that the vines have water when it is needed so that they do not become too stressed, which could result in a reduction in

production. It can also assist in late frost control, as well as doubling up as a fertigation system.

Q. What is fertigation and how can it work alongside irrigation?

A: Fertigation is very bene cial as this is a perfectly measured way of getting the correct feeds directly to the root zone. A fertiliser mixing and injecting system can be added into the irrigation control so feeds can be mixed and added into the water as required. What feeds are used and when to use them will depend on soil types and may require recommendations from specialists in this eld.

Q. When is it best to install a vineyard irrigation system?

A: The best time to install an irrigation system would be when the planting or the structure is put in place; to irrigate and fertigate from the start

consortium has enabled us to investigate the e ects of some novel nutritional and biostimulant products in our commercial area. In 2022, we tested YaraVita’s ‘Actisil’ and ‘BioNue’ products to assess the e ect on yield, fruit quality and shelf-life in Malling Champion, along with an iron product’s e ect on fruit quality. We also quanti ed the e ects of Stoller’s products ‘Flower Power’ and ‘Green Forge’ in improving tolerance to, and recovery from, heat stress (a good year to do this!) along with their potential to improve yields, fruit quality and shelf-life. Another Stoller product (N Less Advanced Solution) was used to understand if it allows us to lower nitrogen application rates without incurring any yield penalty.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the WET Centre or potential involvement in the work carried out there should contact

will boost the vines, reduce risk of the young vines drying out and dying and ultimately give you a faster and more guaranteed return on investment. However, an irrigation system can be installed at any time and there is no vineyard that is too big or too small to bene t from irrigation.

Q. Can growers install irrigation systems themselves or should they use a professional?

A: We strongly recommend having the system designed by a professional as it is critical to get the water hydraulics correct; it is advisable to get the control side installed by professionals too, but the pipes and driplines in the eld can be done by the grower if the plan is followed.

Q. What are the ongoing maintenance requirements for an irrigation/fertigation system?

A: Maintenance needed for the system is minimal, but it will need the lters checked, the pumps maintained and the system run up and checked before each season.

Plantex says it is the UK’s leading supplier of commercial irrigation systems. Specialising in design, supply and installation for top fruit/soft fruit growers and irrigation and frost protection systems designed speci cally for vineyards. With over 20 years’ experience in the farming and fruit growing industry, Plantex can provide advice to help you get the return on investment from your crop:

Fruit & Vine spoke to irrigation specialist Plantex to nd out more about irrigation in vineyards Vineyard
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Bottling: A crucial part of the winemaking process

a stable product for the end consumer that won’t re-ferment or spoil once packaged. When the wine is ready for bottle, the bottling line will be cleaned, usually with caustic then with peracetic acid and nally steamed to ensure no yeast or bacteria are alive.

Mistakes made at this last step of wine production see all the previous care and attention wasted, providing the customer with a compromised product and a disappointing experience.

Bottling process

Bottling wine in the main part falls into two categories; bottling still, nished wine that is ready to drink, and tirage – which sees still wines with added sugar and yeast go into a sparkling wine bottle for secondary fermentation.

TPO stands for 'Total Packaged Oxygen' and refers to the amount of oxygen that is present in a wine after packaging which can have a signi cant impact on its quality, stability, and aging potential.

Oxygen has signi cant e ects on the

characteristics of wine. However, it is widely considered that oxygen at bottling is to be minimised as much as possible. Signi cant TPO can cause wine to deteriorate, leading to oxidation, loss of fruit avours, and colour instability. Controlling and testing the TPO during bottling is a key way of maintaining quality. TPO is usually measured in mg/ litre and there are special pieces of lab equipment available for piercing bottles to test this.

Still bottling

For still bottling, wine is usually ‘rough’ ltered, to remove larger suspended solids. This can be done with a cross ow lter, a centrifuge, a pad lter or a diatomaceous earth lter. The wine is then sterile ltered on the way to the bottling line to provide

At this point, wine is pumped from the tank, through the lters and into the ller bowl. Bottles are loaded onto the line, inverted and rinsed using sterile ltered water. This is to ensure that any foreign objects that might have fallen into the bottles during the manufacturing process, such as chips of glass or objects like plastic or cardboard that might have entered the bottles in storage are rinsed out. Bottles are then conveyed into a station that evacuates the air from the bottle and purges them with an inert gas. Nitrogen or carbon dioxide are most commonly used. This is done so that as the bottles are lled, the wine is only in contact with an inert gas, rather than air which increases the TPO. The bottle is then lled to the correct volume via gravity. After this step, a gas levelling device injects a squirt of inert gas into the neck of the bottle and removes any excess wine that is above the correct ll height back to the ll bowl.

Much time and effort is spent by fruit producers and winemakers getting the growing, harvesting and pressing of grapes correct, along with the fermentation, processing and nal ltration of the wine. Bottling however, requires just as much thought and consideration, explains De ned Wines’

After this stage, a closure is added. The two main options for still wines are either a cork or a screwcap. For corking, a vacuum is pulled in the neck of the bottle as a cork is inserted to ensure that there is no positive pressure in the bottle. If the bottle undergoes a temperature change, the cork could be forced out if no vacuum is pulled. If a screwcap is added, a nal purge of inert gas is blown into the headspace of the bottle before a screwcap is applied and reamed onto the bottle.


Tirage is very similar to still bottling; however, as wine with yeast and sugar is being bottled, no ltration is required. Also, heavyweight sparkling bottles are used as they will withstand the up to eight bar pressure generated in the secondary fermentation. The concern about oxygen contact is a little less, as whilst mainly anerobic, live yeast will help mop up dissolved oxygen in the bottle. Next, a plastic insert called a bidule that helps catch yeast during riddling and ensures a perfect t of the crown cap is inserted into the bottle mouth and nally a crown cap is crimped on top.

Alternative packaging processes

If the wine being bottled is a carbonated, Charmat-style wine, an isobaric ller is required. This uses a similar bottle purging method to still wine, evacuating the air and replacing it with an inert gas. However, the gas pressure is allowed to build in the bottle to just below the pressure that the tank is being held at. This allows the bottles to ll very gently under counter-pressure. This means the carbonation in the wine is kept as no breakout

foam is allowed to be created. To further limit the breakout of foam, the bottles are lled at much colder temperatures to that when gravity lling. Between 1–4ºC degrees is normal.

Canning is also being used more for single serve still and sparkling wines. However, when considering canning wine, the decision to do so needs to start in the vineyard. Wine has a low pH which, over time can damage the liner that is sprayed onto the inside of aluminium cans to keep them inert. Interactions between the sulphur dioxide used to preserve the wine and the aluminium itself can cause a build-up of hydrogen sulphide which smells like rotten egg.

Bottle types

There are a few common bottle shapes used for still wine production; the classic Burgundy and Bordeaux for stills, and traditional ‘Champagne’ shape for sparkling are still rmly the industry standards, however some brands choose to use an unusual or bespoke shape to set their wines apart. This can work well, but adapting bottling, labelling and disgorging lines to t a non-standard bottle could cost £20,000 or more. Also, unusual glass bottles are made far less frequently and may be discontinued with no notice, leaving the customer in the lurch, having built their brand around that particular bottle shape.

Recently, sustainability has become more of a concern for wineries. Making and then recycling glass is an energy intensive process, and both empty and full bottles are heavy for shipping which increases transport costs. There have been a few businesses that are developing lightweight

plastic or lined cardboard bottles that are greener and easier to recycle. These are not yet widely lled, however.


As mentioned previously, there are a number of di erent closures available for still and sparkling wines. Generally, still wines will go under a cork or screwcap.

Screwcaps are the most common way to close bottles of still wine in Britain. There are several manufacturers o ering either stock colours or bespoke, branded ones. Di ering liners to limit or increase oxygen ingress are also available. Bespoke branding however often comes with long lead times and, minimum order quantities of around 60,000 units.

Corks can either be ‘natural’ and cut from once single piece of cork or ‘technical’ which uses a milled cork substance and a binding agent to stick them back together. There is also a hybrid option often referred to a as a 1+1, which has a disc of high-quality natural cork on the top and bottom glued to a centre section of technical cork. Di erent grades of corks allow di erent amounts of oxygen ingress.

Sparkling wines will have a wire hood added to secure the cork. These are available in many di erent colours and nishes. Much like screwcaps, bespoke options may have long lead times and large minimum order quantities.


Along with bottle shape, labelling and label design is the best way to stand out on the shelf. It is always worth considering how easy the shape and size of label will be to apply on the bottle. For more complicated shapes and for sparkling neck labels it is well worth the extra expense of printing a few hundred blank labels so that they can be thoroughly tested before a full run is printed.

Also, the label material being used needs to be considered. Many sparkling wines use a label that can withstand being wet, as they will be served in an ice bucket. This is less important for still wines. These waterproof labels are usually less sustainable though, as they contain a plastic backing.


Pete Brissenden worked in the beer and brewing industry for over 10 years in production brewing, bottling and latterly in operations for the likes of Camden Town Brewery and Meantime Brewing before joining De ned Wine as production manager in January 2020. Pete oversees the daily running of production and liaising with clients about the technical aspects of the bottling and labelling of their wines.

De ned Wine o ers a range of services, from a full "crate-to-case" contract winemaking service or any part of this: pressing, ltration, cold stabilisation, bottling, riddling and disgorging, labelling and temperature-controlled storage along with full analytical laboratory services.


WR Services

WR Services owner Wayne Russell chatted with Fruit & Vine staff writer Henrietta Szathmary this issue

Q.Tell us a little about yourself and your business

A: I’m the sole UK agent for Oeno Concept, which supplies riddling equipment, as well as the sole UK agent for TDD, which supplies disgorging equipment. I’m also an agent for TR Equipment, which o ers thermal regulation, and a company called MDC, involving bottle washes, crate moving equipment, and enabling machines.

WR Services spends a fair bit of time training in France, enabling us to bring French knowledge into the UK. We work all over the UK for some of the smallest winemakers as well as some of the largest, such as Chapel Down and Ridgeview.

Q. How did you get into working with Oeno Concept?

A: I sort of tripped over Oeno Concept’s main salesman, Maxine, just before the rst Covid lockdown. I bumped into him onsite while xing a bit of his kit, and he was quite surprised that a UK engineer was willing to work on their machines. Within a couple of weeks, we were signing contracts to become Oeno Concept’s UK agent. Obviously, Covid-19 and Brexit have made it increasingly di cult for the French to come over to the country to work, whereas before Brexit, it was very easy for them to just hop on a train and pop over.

Q. Do you keep equipment in stock?

A: Yes, we stock a lot of product for Oeno Concept, TR and TDD; we’ve also got a fast track for parts out of Épernay or out of Champagne, enabling us to get parts as soon as possible. Also, we can source some directly in the UK.

Q. What challenges have you encountered?

A: The biggest challenge has been getting the customers to understand that not everything needs to come from France, and that we can do this in the UK.

Also, trying to get people to understand that regular servicing is key – rather than waiting for things to break, get equipment looked at once or twice a year to prevent breakdown altogether. In early spring, we aim to get services on harvest equipment done so it’s ready before harvest, and when people are busy picking grapes and harvesting, we’re then trying to get on top of their riddling and disgorging equipment which they’re not using at the time.

Q. What are your future plans for the business?

A: The plan is to grow, expand, do more training, take on more sta , spend more time in Champagne learning about di erent equipment and extending our knowledge on the equipment we already work on. We’re trying to expand and make a better pathway between Champagne and the UK; that’s probably our biggest goal.

May/June 2023 59 TECHNICAL Q&A
We work on all machinery working within the vineyard and winery sectors offering repairs and servicing on all vineyard and Vinyard & Winery Services winery equipment Email: Call: 07743 958884 Visit: WR Services @wrservicesoffical
Wayne Russell (on the left) with Pete Ewing
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viticulture Diversifying into

Most important consideration

Quite possibly the most important consideration prior to planting a vineyard is con rming what you will do with the fruit. Although grapevines take three or four years to begin producing commercial quality fruit, contracts should be entered into in advance. Many farms diversifying into grape growing as a secondary crop will seek grower contracts with an existing winery/wine brand. If this discussion is started early enough, the winery may dictate which speci c grape varieties they wish to be planted and can provide guidance for the ongoing care of the vineyard according to their own requirements.

Alternatively, if you are planning to use your fruit to launch a wine brand yourself, there are many steps to take, including enlisting a winemaker, (or building a winery and hiring a winemaker yourself) determining which styles of wine you wish to produce, (which will ascertain the grape varieties to be planted) and securing a distributor route to market. Many producers begin brand building before their own vines are fruiting, both by documenting the journey on social media/a website and/or by purchasing grapes so their wine brand can launch immediately.

Ongoing management


According to UK government statistics, 68% of farm businesses had some diversi ed activity in 2021/22, with the main activity being letting out buildings for non-agricultural use, followed by generating solar energy (though income from this remains small).

Climate change, devastating for the planet and changing the face of agriculture across the globe, is creating opportunities in the UK to tend crops which were previously unviable due to our weather conditions. These include grapevines, olives and crops for use in electricity, heat generation and biofuels.

“With so much uncertainty and increasing nancial pressure on farmers, now has never been a more important time to explore diversi cation opportunities,” states rural insurer NFU Mutual. Developing alternative revenue streams can include reviewing your breeds and even species of livestock, for instance focusing on rare breeds or introducing llamas/alpacas, creating tourist opportunities with a farm shop, bed and breakfast or glamping site, or adapting your crop from traditional grains and pulses to plants for fuel, essential oils or even wine production.

Making the decision to diversify into grapes

The most successful farm diversi cation projects build upon existing assets, whether this be spare/ convertible land or buildings which can be repurposed. The decision to diversify into growing grapes should start by assessing the land available and its suitability for cool climate viticulture.

Initial considerations include assessing the topography, wind exposure, drainage and frost

likelihood. These can be analysed by gathering climate data and soil samples. The more information surrounding the physical land, the more precise, e cient and cost-e ective your decision-making process will be.

Location, access and storage are also worth paying attention to from the beginning as accessibility will be vital for ongoing vineyard equipment and deliveries as well as allowing potential for customers to visit. Planting a vineyard does not simply a ord the sale of grapes as a crop, but can o er huge scope for developing tourism via a cellar door shop, tasting room and experience day tours.

Seeking correct permissions

Planning permission and council approval should be sought at the inaugural stage to ensure all authorities are aware of the change of land usage. Natural England protects rural land in England that’s uncultivated or semi-natural from changes in agricultural activities. They should be noti ed if the land has not been cultivated in the last 15 years. As with all governing departments, this process can take a long time and should be factored into your timeframe.

Whilst researching your land’s physical attributes, bear in mind any public rights of way, such as footpaths and bridleways. Public access can be bene cial and utilised for cellar door footfall and generating word-of-mouth promotional activity. However, pedestrians inevitably stray o local paths to have a closer look at vineyards, making signage and security an important aspect, (especially surrounding tractor and spraying operations).

Ongoing management of the vineyard should also be considered in the preliminary stages. There are many options with a lot of transferable skills and equipment from existing farming practices, tuition courses available to hone your knowledge into viticulture speci cally and vineyard management consultants and companies who can conduct site evaluations to either make recommendations or undertake the annual tasks with teams of skilled labourers.

Prime time to leap

With over 3,758ha under vine in the UK in 2022 and hectarage having more than doubled in just eight years, (and more than quadrupled since 2000), now is the prime time to join the UK industry. If you’re contemplating the feasibility of converting some of your farmland to grape growing, get in touch with a vineyard establishment company who has longstanding experience in planting quality, certi ed vines, understanding soil composition/ground preparation and site selection. Your grape-growing journey starts now – one vine at a time.


Cherry Constable has been with VineWorks for over ve years and built the company’s retail department from scratch.

Cherry studied at Plumpton College, gaining both a Diploma in Wine Business and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, (WSET) Diploma. She has judged at numerous international competitions, including the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), Independent English Wine Awards (IEWA) and World Gin Awards.

May/June 2023 61
Diversi cation from traditional farming practices affords many opportunities for improving the economic viability of many farm businesses whilst bene ting the wider rural community by providing additional jobs and encouraging tourism. VineWorks head of retail, Cherry Constable, explains why viticulture could be a suitable diversi cation
FREE MAGAZINE SIGN UP TODAY FREE MAGAZINE Visit Scan the QR Code with your smart phone Email Write to us F&V Sign up, Freepost, FARMERS GUIDE, Parkside, London Road, Ipswich, IP2 0SS 4 easy ways to sign up FREE MAGAZINE SIGN UP TODAY FREE MAGAZINE Postcode Telephone Name Email Address Address Top fruit: (Please specify number of trees) Soft fruit: (Please specify area in Ha) Accept Email Do you receive Farmers Guide? Yes Yes No No Validation questions Vines: Total area of farm in hectares Area of fruit in hectares Area of vine in hectares Number of vines Age of vines Apples Pears Plums Cherries Strawberries Raspberries Gooseberries Blackcurrants Blackberries Other (please specify) Other (please specify) This is to allow us to send you Fruit & Vine related newsletters and updates. We will not share your email address. Which varieties?






YAMAHA Wolverine side by side for sale due to retirement, 850 petrol Limited Edition, 2020 plate, 75hrs, 690 miles, as new condition. £15,000. T Bonsall Tel 01335 310258/07977 598930 (Derbyshire)

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. £50,000. J Dixon Tel 01359 259034/07823 555210 (Suffolk)

INSECT netting, sandbags & pegs, 1.3mm insect net, 65gsm 13x50m, 13x100m, 13x200m approx 35,000sq/m to cover approx 7 acres, heavy duty sandbags 270 x 1000 x 200mm (approx 1,000), crop cover pegs (approx 400), sold as a whole or by qty required. L Gravells Tel 07789 098498 (Lincolnshire)

WOODEN doors (20), fire resistant, 2’6” x 6’6” & 8 standard wooden doors 2’6” x 6’6” that match, most have hinges & locks with keys. £100 the lot ono. H Pearce Tel 07947 344310 (Essex)


GALVANISED 14' field gate. £85. M London Tel 07984 766930 (Bedfordshire)

SDMO 12KVA generator, 2008, Mitsubishi engine, 10436hrs, can be seen working up to 19 April. £4,000+VAT. M Slatter Tel 07983 359330 (East Sussex)

KAWASAKI Mule diesel, four seater, electric tip, heater. £5,500+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

RAILWAY truck body, 16' x 8' x 8', no chassis, woodwork mainly sound but some replacement planks are needed, possible shed or shepherd's hut project. £850 no VAT. M Lane Tel 07745 810141 (Cambridgeshire)


INGERSOLL Rand P70 road compressor, 1500hrs from new, 1997, Perkins 3 cylinder engine, recently serviced, twin air outlet, new tyres, has only been used for combine blow down, radiator cleaning & baler blow down. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

POLARIS Ranger, petrol, 6x6 ATV, tipper, tow ball. £3,500+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)


WOOD pellets for pellet boiler, 35 x 15kg bags, no longer required (moved house). £6.50/bag or £200 for the lot. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

FLEUVA air compressor in like new condition, 100L tank, 2hp motor. £200 ono. H Pearce Tel 07947 344310 (Essex)

RABBIT traps for sale, 30 available. £8 each. B Hull Tel 07969 974614 (Essex)


BUCKET 80cm wide, 30mm pin holes, 155mm gap between pins, off McConnel back actor. £25. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

WOLSELEY electric fencer (3 strand wire system), needs 6V battery. £50. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

35KVA generator, PTO tractor driven, 3 phase, Serial No 51 492/5, made for The Gloster Electrical Company by BKB Electric Motors Ltd, c/w PTO shaft (no guard), working. Cash on collection from Lowestoft NR32. £620+VAT. W Slater Tel 07770 946760 (Suffolk)


RITCHIE grassland slitter, 3m wide, very good condition, makes a very good job, c/w original water tanks for ballast. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

KOMATSU PC210LC-11, 2021, 1650hrs, maintained by Komatsu, 800mm pads, twin locking hydraulic quick hitch, surround camera, lovely machine genuine reason for sale. £92,0000+VAT ono. J Binning Tel 07765 064694 (Oxfordshire)

THREE 5.5m A-frame barriers, heavy duty with tamper proof lock-box (not inc padlock), 150x150 hang post, h/d hinges & 100x100 slam post, galvanised. £850+VAT; also two pairs 3m A-frame barriers, as above. £500+VAT; plus one 4.2m as above. £650+VAT. T Marks Tel 07780 666419/07808 732598 (Northamptonshire)

VICON DMP 2401 TC mower with conditioner. £2,700+VAT. G Ollett Tel 01359 230990/07495 268088 (Suffolk)

FLEMING 9' grass topper, only ever been used on compact tractor, in tidy working order, will do the same job as a new one. £1,500+VAT. R Jones Tel 07785 583192 (Norfolk)

May/June 2023 63 Growers - place your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting THE PLACE TO BUY AND SELL

2018, 2635 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 Hi-Lo trans, air con, super deluxe cab seat, 3 SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front 3pt hitch

2183 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab w/super deluxe seat, 3SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch

2785 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab w/super deluxe seat, 3SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch

2016, 3114 hrs, 24F/12R 0,5-40 KM/H, air con cab, super deluxe seat, 2 SCVs, 540/540E PTO, rear 380/70R28, front 280/70R20, front hitch

200 hrs, Ex Demonstration HPX815E Gator, all purpose tyres, yellow bucket seat, deluxe canopy, 3 point seat belt, mirror kit.

May/June 2023 64
JOHN DEERE 5105GF JOHN DEERE 5105GF 2019, JOHN DEERE 5105GF 2019, JOHN DEERE 5100GF JOHN DEERE HPX815E 2021, JOHN DEERE 5090GF 2018, 4337 hrs, 24F/24R HI-LO transmission, Front linkage and PTO, air con, super deluxe seat, 380/70R28, 280/70R20, 3 X SCV YAMAHA 450 STD 2022, 4 hrs, Ex demo, steel wheels, all terrain tyres, front headlights, low & high range gearbox with cvt trans, warn winch, 4wd on demand, multi display lcd dash, 50mm tow ball with receiver hitch
front fender JOHN DEERE 505E 2018, 797 hrs, transmission 9 forward/3 reverse synchro, mech susp seat, 340/85E28, 28/85R20, 540/540E PTO, 1 double acting SCV, swinging draw bar JOHN DEERE 505E 2018, 1086 hrs, transmission 9 forward/3 reverse synchro, mech susp seat, 340/85E28, 28/85R20, 540/540E PTO, 1 double acting SCV, swinging draw bar Prices do not include VAT #A1065601 £POA #B1068056 £POA #B1068057 £POA #A1009679 £25,000 #61059029 £18,840 #A1065860 £POA #61065899 £7,595 #A1010338 £POA #A1065604 £POA #A1065605 £POA Your Fruit and Vineyard Specialist @tuckwellgroup Andy Page 07714 181821 Harry Durrant 07860 507763 Mark Debenham 07710 148420 Branches across Su olk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, London, Kent and East Sussex. Your contacts for Specialty Used Machinery are: Availability correct at the time of going to press
JOHN DEERE 5080GF 2014, 7519 hrs, 0,5-40KM/H trans, 540/540E PTO, air con cab, turnable


SET of new flails for a Votex Jumbo 150 flail mower, c/w new nuts, bolts, shackles & bushes. £350. P Brenchley Tel 07715 716927 (Kent)

MASSEY Ferguson 70 drum mower. £225. M London Tel 07984 766930 (Bedfordshire)


4-FOOT topper, will fit compact tractor or bigger. £450 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

TEAGLE 510 offset topper, 6', 2018, hardly used. £975+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

FELLA 2 drum mower, last used 2yrs ago but rough around tinwork on top. £275 ono. F Johnson Tel 07774 361830/01507 450203 (Lincolnshire)

TWOSE 10’ water filled field roller. £1,100 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

UNIVERSAL boot flail shackles (25), part no 00423, retirement sale. £25 new price, £11.73, yours for £55 . P Beales Tel 07584189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

BOMFORD B457 3pt linkage mounted hedgecutter, cable controls, working order. £1,300 no VAT. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)

MCCONNEL PA6585 vario forward reach hedgecutter, 1.7m head with all new rubber guards fitted, joystick, fully floating control with forward & reversing flail rotation, 2012 model, excellent condition. £19,500+VAT. C Sumner Tel 07803 715736 (Northamptonshire)

NEW MB log splitter, well made £1,025+VAT. D Lunn Tel 07941 072957 (Cambridgeshire)


SHELBOURNE/PARMITER 6m grass harrow, 2010, c/w Stocks FanJet 130 Pro with control box, in good working order, adjustable tines all present. £3,850+VAT ono. H Needham Tel 07713 461729 (Lincolnshire)

MCCONNEL/BOMFORD etc back to back flail blades (43), part no PA 00432, less than half new price, retirement sale. £120. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

STUNNING selection of Pygmy kids, born 2023, all nannies have been through our rigorous vaccination & worming programme & are producing beautifully marked healthy strong kids. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

BEAUTIFUL selection of Anglo Nubian kids, will be ready to go in just a matter of weeks so book them in early! Nannies & wethers from health tested pedigree herd, disbudded by the vet, ideal for pets or as a walking opportunity for farm parks. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

KILWORTH 4’ flail topper for compact tractor, vgc. £750 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

KRONE grass rake, single rotor, working order, been used on small acreage, in need of some tines. £1,000 ono. J Coxon Tel 07748 901482/07876 774404 (South Yorkshire)

MCCONNEL PA55 hedge cutter, 2010, 1.2m head, Mini XTC controls, power slew, oil cooler, head float, divert activated hydraulic roller, 3pt mounted, always barn stored when not in use. £11,000+VAT ono. R Seward Tel 07703 346390 (West Sussex)

PEKIN bantam hatching eggs, smooth & frizzles, collection only. £10. J Holford Tel 01825 712906 (East Sussex)


NEW Holland MC28 diesel ride on outfront mower, 4wd auto engaging, low 1600hrs, Shibaura engine, strong commercial workhorse, great deck with new gearbox, leaves an excellent finish. £6,800. S Martin Tel 07587 699437 (County Down)

PERFECT FV2-220 rotary mower with raisable swing arms, PTO powered, the arms work on a spring system, ideal for mowing under trees or solar panels, 3 yrs old, in good working order, c/w several spare blades & swing arm covers. £4,500+VAT. E AddicottSauvao Tel 07933 832523 (Somerset)

KRONE twin drum hay mower, very tidy condition, completely serviced. £525. A Lincoln Tel 01580 240689 (Kent)

BOMFORD Hawk 5.4P manual, very little use, always stored inside from new. £8,000+VAT. D George Tel 01920 438717 (Hertfordshire)

PEDIGREE Aberdeen Angus bull, 4yrs old, extremely well bred, quiet & easy calving, he has bred some fantastic heifers which can be viewed, he is sensible money to the right home, only for sale due to new bull. £2,000 ono. S Hayward Tel 07948 065314 (Staffordshire)

5-TON rotary soil screening bucket, 2018, bought new in 2019, never been used so BRAND NEW if you like, stored in shed & will be cheaper than buying new, suitable for most diggers. £5,200+VAT ono. C Ferguson Tel 07765 858086 (Essex)

INO MKS Plus 225 mower, 2011, good working condition, has had a couple of repairs over time, but works fine, any questions, or if you would like to view, please call. £2,250+VAT. J Nickols Tel 07538 498355 (Lincolnshire)

BOMFORD RS12, 6’ rotary topper, 2007, height adjustable rear wheel, good working order. £975 no VAT. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)

PERFECT swing mower, 2015, ideal for mowing round fence posts, vine yards, solar parks, etc, hydraulic drive, in excellent condition. £1,750. A Towns Tel 07751 917839 (South Yorkshire)

BOMFORD B577 hedge cutter, good condition & always barn stored. J Fowell Tel 01263 587356/07767 441111 (Norfolk)

PEDIGREE Aberdeen Angus bulls (3), very well bred, easy calving & ideal for any job, all registered with Aberdeen Angus Society, TB free, all vacs up to date, wormers, etc good clean up bulls or pure bred, all docs can be seen on view. £2,000 ono. S Hayward Tel 07948 065314 (Staffordshire)

ORIZZONTI Fast Unit unde-vine cultivator, 2yrs old, very good condition, c/w all attachments. £9,900. A Hunt Tel 07538 817507 (Gloucestershire)

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

May/June 2023 65


10-TONNES Carolus potatoes, bold sample, greater eaters, jumbo bags. £180. A Goodacre Tel 07901 917707 (Lincolnshire)


INDOOR electric block planter, full aluminium frame, in good working order. £650 ono. L Emery Tel 07811 122089 (Bedfordshire)

SAMBRON 2002L monoboom loader c/w Grays toe tip bucket, muck bucket & pallet forks, Loler tested until March 2023, Perkins 4 cylinder engine, very reliable, just outloaded 2000T of grain from store, good reason for sale. £5,500+VAT ono. M Ellis Tel 07802 404815 (Bedfordshire)

FORKLIFT lifting jib, fits on pallet forks, extendable beam, plated & operators/weight book included, very good condition. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

GENUINE Alo Quicke bag lifter, excellent condition. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

JOHN Deere 2630 screen, c/w autotrac activation & section control. £4,500+VAT. D Brown Tel 07710 316205 (Cambridgeshire)

ERADICATOR tines (4). £50. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

SWEEPEX Mega 960 with Megamax debris collector ends, bristles are very worn & frame is bent. £300+VAT ono. H Pearce Tel 07947344310 (Essex)


FRAME off a forklift with ram, it’s the side shift frame, bought as a project that probably isn’t going to get done. Sensible offers else it’s off to scrap. F Johnson Tel 07774 361830/01507 450203 (Lincolnshire)

Tecnoagri 1 8m lift, 1500kg tractor mounted forklift

JOHN Deere 3420 telehandler, 2004, good condition, 6457hrs. £30,000+VAT. M Abblitt Tel 07720 839253 (Cambridgeshire)

MARSHALL slurry tanker, great condition, has had very little use from new. £5,000+VAT. M Osborn Tel 07774 433001 (East Sussex)

TRIMBLE FMX display, Nav Controller 3 & Ag-25 receiver, all in good working order, used all of last year, removed from tractor as it was sold. £3,500+VAT. W Wrinch Tel 07858 655060 (Suffolk)

01580 712200

JCB 531-70, 2011, 5000hrs, good tyres, all good. £24,950+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

1500-GALLON vacuum tanker in good working order, hydraulic brakes, good vacuum pump, always stored under cover. £2,550+VAT ono. R Taylor Tel 07764 245035 (Northamptonshire)

AS Marston rotary muck spreader, vgc. £1,250 ono. S Ablewhite Tel 07977 987980 (Nottinghamshire)


KVERNELAND Tellus screen & Isomatch guidance system, complete wiring harness, Isobus socket, receiver dome, Tellus screen & lightbar, Vario rate unlocked, excellent condition, only selling as new tractor is Isobus ready. £3,250. A Young Tel 07944 907170 (Ayrshire)


EXPERIENCED Arable Operator required in Oxfordshire, must be competent with modern equipment & would be responsible for all spraying, drilling, fertilising & combining, please contact for more information. J Binning Tel 07765 064694 (Oxfordshire)


TRACTOR-MOUNTED forklift, 3pt linkage, forklift with side shift. £600+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)


CATERPILLAR TH330B, 06 plate, very good condition, everything working as it should, selling due to upgrade, 3t to 7m, capable machine c/w pallet forks, good tyres, 10400hrs. £13,900+VAT ono.

J Headland Tel 07980 983620 (Nottinghamshire)

HORSESHOE shaped hanging flower basket hangers, excellent condition. S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

TRIMBLE New Holland GPS system, RTK. £5,000. D Witham Tel 07799 321298 (Norfolk)

CHECK chains for McConnel Shakaerator rear links. £25. P Beales Tel 07584189359/01284828360 (Suffolk)

AUTOFARM GPS system, been stood in a shed a few years, what you see is what you get, all looks complete & appears to be good condition. £700+VAT. S Jeffrey Tel 07949 293432 (North Yorkshire)

LONG-HANDLED 24mm spanner, was for power harrow tines, but can be used for whatever! £10. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

ADJUSTING links off McConnel hedger, Shakaerator, back actor. £12 each or do a deal on the lot. P Beales Tel 07584189359/01284828360 (Suffolk)

SKIDS off McConnel machines. £10 each + spanner £5. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

May/June 2023 66 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

FOR IH 4 cyl tractors, water pump unused £25 +another £20; gaskets £10; exhaust stack £15; PTO covers £5 each; turbo kit parts £15; oil filters fit MX, axial flow combines, 71Series Magnums £10 each, Claas baler chamber crimp £10, plus more. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)


OLD 3pl tractor mounted sprayer, found at back of shed, untested? Offers welcome. F Johnson Tel 07774 361830/01507 450203 (Lincolnshire)

MINI ATV sprayer, 2.5m boom with breakbacks & height adjustment, 70L tank, hand lance with 6m hose. £450. J Kerley Tel 07967 819294 (Cambridgeshire)

RAU D2 1000L 12m sprayer on 3 point linkage, in fair condition, all hydraulics work with in cab control, mixing tank, wash tank & clean water tank, new pump from Team Sprayers fitted last summer. M Suttton Tel 07462 867557/07477 859321 (Cambridgeshire)

KUHN Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W, barely used, CDA distribution, Isobus, hyd disc drive, EMC technology for adjusting application rate, border spreading possible either side by changing disc speed & drop point, S6 & S10 discs, excellent. £14,000+VAT ono. S Rowsell Tel 07926 048112 (Essex)

TITAN 700L rainwater tanks (2), factory fitted hole in side, length 60”, width 26”, height 36”, no pipework. £80 each or £140 for the pair (cash sale only). P Miles Tel 07769 727783/01296 668164 (Buckinghamshire)

UNIMOG S Trac/Chafer U400 with 4000L stainless tank, 30/32/36m triple fold booms, 4ws & C tyre inflation+ torque convertor in vgc, wide & rowcrop tyres all 60%, Muller track guide 3 guidance + rate/section control, Unimog maintained by SCT. £44,950. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

MULTIDRIVE 6195 c/w 24m Landquip demount, 2011, 3000L with clean water tank, 6195 powershift with cruise control, heavy duty, 10 stud axles with flotation tyres, auto nozzle control, with air on/off, excellent condition. £45,000+VAT. N Bett Tel 07801 053127 (Nottinghamshire)

2016 rotary flail muck spreader, heavy duty flail, 12cu/yd approx 8T spreader, replaced new bearings & drive chain, needs 100hp minimum, tyres, brakes, lights, indicators in very good condition. £4,650 ono. R Pitt Tel 07799 476187 (Dorset)

22,000-LITRE rubber lined liquid fertiliser tank, paintwork poor, but otherwise in very good condition. D Jackson Tel 07779 687408 (Essex)

BALMORAL 2500L tank, slight blemish near top, perfectly good for water, eg sprayer back up. £55. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

CHAFER E series 30m twin fold booms, c/w centre frame & all hinge fold links, hydraulic cylinders & fittings, etc, unused & as new, bought for a project but never fitted. £4,500. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

BATEMAN RB35, 2011, 7300hrs, 12–24–30m Norac boom, 4000L tank, extra 3" fast fill pump on the back, AgLeader screen, FJ Dynamics steering, 710/55-R30 tyres & 420/90-R30 rowcrops, good condition. £68,000+VAT. M Robinson Tel 07786 673396 (Hertfordshire)

JAR-MET P128/7 12m mounted crop sprayer, 2012, tank capacity 800L, excellent condition.

£1,000+VAT ono. C Leggott Tel 07967 975638 (Lincolnshire)

2000-GALLON steel plate fuel tank, low fill pipe, filter & delivery hose, can load on your transport, good condition. £825+VAT. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

TITAN 1225L bunded heating oil tank. £160. M London Tel 07984 766930 (Bedfordshire)

FRAZIER Agribuggy 11D 12m hydraulic folding boom sprayer, had new timing belt & service recently. £2,500. M Hornbuckle Tel 07801 101645 (Leicestershire)

ANGLIA 24m sprayer, 3000L tank, rate controller, gwo. £5,000+VAT. M Murfitt Tel 07778 053373 (Cambridgeshire)

HARDI 2400L trailed sprayer, 16.9x34 tyres 90%, tidy. £1,750+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)


HORSTINE TMA 4 Avadex applicator, hydraulic fold, 8 outlets, GPS rate control, PTO driven fan, average condition but fully functional. £2,700+VAT ono. C Wootton Tel 07780 828018 (Hertfordshire)


FIRST class hay for sale. Offers. R Bailey Tel 01449 766350 after 6pm (Suffolk)

FUELSTORE 1000L steel bunded tank, 2006, c/w hand pump, secure anti theft lockable door & lifting eyes, fork pockets, UN approved for transporting fuel on the highway, good condition, must be collected. £1,240+VAT. N Edwards Tel 07775 742666 (Kent)

TECNOMA TS200 6m sprayer, very tidy, c/w hand sprayer & reel, wash bottle, easy to fold & unfold, inc manual, one owner & like new, can send nationwide on a pallet. £1,250 ono. M Jeffrey Tel 07802 722408 (North Yorkshire)

HORSTINE Agriband fertiliser spreader, brand new 2020, only done 45acres, change in cropping means not used since 2021, excellent condition – like new, located near Evesham. £5,500 ono no VAT. R Duggan Tel 07785 912999 (Warwickshire)

OLD Vicon spreader, possibly 402/602, old & not used lately, wants a small patch on tub & a bit of general maintenance, part of a shed clearance. Looking for offers else it's for scrap. F Johnson Tel 07774 361830/01507 440203 (Lincolnshire)

OAT straw in midi Hesstons, 4x3x8, stood outside, top bales a bit damp, rest OK, 2022. C McAnespie Tel 07577 673141 (North Yorkshire)


HARLEQUIN 1400L bunded diesel/ kerosene tank, in good condition, pictures available. £300+VAT. A Dennisjones Tel 07731 653242 (No County)

RAINWATER harvesting IBC containers, have been used for water-based adhesive, but can be easily cleaned. £10 each. E Vicary Tel 07920 832879 (Essex)

May/June 2023 67 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:


JOHN Deere 7730, 2011, bought 3yrs ago, very reliable, 15,978hrs, good tyres, just serviced, selling due to upgrade. £39,999 ono. D Watson Tel 0035 9894 423764 (County Antrim)


Exclusive, low hrs, hi spec, 2018 68 plate, 2x250kg w/weights each side, steer ready, Evolution seat, full manu wty 5yrs/3500hrs until 23/10/23, just serviced, family farm, owner driver, well looked after. £122,995+VAT ono. P Wilson Tel 07730 661617 (Cambridgeshire)

CAMOPLAST 30" crawler tracks, off a John Deere 8RT, 35–40mm tread, no damage, very good condition. £3,500+VAT. W Haag Tel 07850 729098 (Suffolk)


K80 Dromone ball for Claas Axion or MF, 2019, 80mm x 70mm, 30mm pin, only been used for two seasons baling straw. £540+VAT. M Shaw Tel 07732 928754 (Hampshire)

JOHN Deeere 6930, Autopower 50K, 2012, 6615hrs, one owner for 10yrs, light work only, 3 spools, autotrac ready, 52085R38 & 420-85 R28, cab & front suspension. £44,000+VAT. J Strathern Tel 07798 683520/01621 815430 (Essex)

CASE IH model 95, shuttle gearbox, no high tech, c/w loader, approx 2500hrs, first registered 2014. £25,000+VAT. G Ollett Tel 01359 230990/07495 268088 (Suffolk)

Landini Rex 4-100V 2019, 3000hrs



Call: 07973 505294

2018 New Holland T7.210 Power Command, 2018, 2600hrs, f/ loader hardly used, f/linkage & PTO & hyd service, Sidewinder armrest & Intelliview IV, GPS guidance ready with Isobus, LEDs, a/brakes, 50K, f/& cab susp, excellent condition. £80,000+VAT ono. J Dovey Tel 07788 932069 (Dorset)

MASSEY Ferguson 3060, reg H940WHH, new tyres & creep gearbox, air con cab. £11,000+VAT. G Ollett Tel 01359 230990/07495 268088 (Suffolk)

Massey Ferguson 240

Landini 2-45

Compact tractor 2019, 1700hrs


2wd tractor with Power loader and bucket, only 1332hrs, very good original condition, power steering. Will go straight to work Delivery available • Gloucestershire

£13,995 Call 07779 986072

JOHN Deere 1140, 1984, narrow tractor from a top fruit farm, 2wd, one owner with original V5, good runner with only 8429hrs, a few niggles to reflect age but ideal fruit or vineyard tractor, average condition. £4,250 ono. D Bradley Tel 07905 808942 (Kent)

600/70R28 95%, FDSH, 1431hrs, exc cond. £110,000+VAT. M Latta Tel 07970 699693 (Cambridgeshire)

Call: 07973 505294


KUBOTA M5091 4×4 loader tractor, 270hrs, 95hp, 4x4, LA1854 self levelling loader, 40k gearbox 36x36 & hyd range splitter, hyd shuttle, 3 r/spools, PUH, air seat, air con, hyd trailer brakes, r/wheel weights, tyres 95%, exc cond. £35,500+VAT ono. J Homer Tel 07988 518176 (Lincolnshire)

Landini Rex 4-100F 2019 (68 plate), front link & PTO, 3200hrs, mechanical shuttle



Call: 07973 505294

HAY trailer, very tidy, bed 14’6” x 7’, new cross members & floor. £470. A Lincoln Tel 01580 240689 (Kent) WARWICK Fastmaster 14t grain trailer, full spec, 2013, air & hydraulic brakes (tested), ABS load sensing, sprung drawbar, roll over sheet, front window, hyd rear door with grain chute, LED lights, swivel hitch, excellent condition & harvest ready. C Shaw Tel 07900 048303 (Gloucestershire)

JOHN Deere 6215R, tidy for its age, 2016, 5600hrs with no issues, Direct Drive transmission, air seat, extra light package, f/susp, GreenStar ready, c/ control, Command Arm, 4ESCVs, 710/60R42 @40%, 600/60R30 @30%. £65,000+VAT ono. R Dryden Tel 07944229959 (County Durham)

MASSEY Ferguson 8110, vgc, with wide wheels & rowcrops, great tractor. £14,500. A Goodacre Tel 07901 917707 (Lincolnshire)

PLEASURE rides dray/cart for 18 passengers, totally refurbished, new tyres, brake system & paintwork. £1,500 ono. P Eyre Tel 07787 116435 (Derbyshire)

JOHN Deere 6330 Premium, 2011, 6920hrs, Autoquad, front & cab suspension, 3 manual spools, PUH on separate switch, front weight not included, 6920hrs, message for full spec. £38,500+VAT. £38,500+VAT.

T Coombes Tel 07595 220712 (Somerset)

AS Marston trailer, around 10t, always stored in dry. £2,950+VAT. H Pearce Tel 07947 344310 (Essex)

MASSEY Ferguson 6475, 2007, in excellent condition, front linkage & PTO, cab suspension, 6200hrs on 18.4/38 & 14.9/28 wheels, new front tyres, rears 50%, rowcrops available, 300/95R52 & 300/95R36. £3,345+VAT.

M Palmer Tel 07702 293727 (Lincolnshire)


TRI-AXLE trailer, 33’ long, all stripped down, make great bale trailer. £1,750.

A Goodacre Tel 07901 917707 (Lincolnshire)

EIGHT corner posts (2 sets) for a 5/6t Weeks trailer. £80 total. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

IFOR Williams horse or cattle trailer, padded central division, excellent condition, detachable top. £2,150. A Lincoln Tel 01580 240689 (Kent)

AS Marston tipper trailer. £2,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

INDESPENSION trailer, 8' x 4', cage sides with 2 new tyres. £1,000. B Hull Tel 07969 974614 (Essex)

May/June 2023 68 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
JOHN Deere 6175R Ult Ed, 2021, A/P 50kph 4wd TLS+, Com Arm, cab susp, Com Pro, Prem seat & radio, Gen-4 comms, 4ESCVs, 155L/min, Power Beyond, f/ linkage, SCV+power socket, f/ fenders, 650/85R38, WEIGHT block, 3pt linkage, ideal for a loader tractor. £60. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire) Ferguson 8740S

Machinery, Service & Parts to Keep You Growing

Double Swing Wing Mower

2017, perfect FV2-300, double swing wing vineyard or orchard rotary mower, very little used - as good as new. Selling on behalf of a customer

Orchard Sprayer

2013, Munckhof 105 Triple Fan sprayer,


Tel: 01531 632171 . email:

Agrimec, Bromyard Road, Ledbury HR8 1LG

May/June 2023 69 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: Contact: Richard Smith 07483 035922 email: Haynes Agri Haynes Agri Agri Machines Covering South & South East England . Winchester . Newbury . Horsham . Wrotham . Uckfield . Great
. All prices + VAT New Holland T4.80N 75hp,
Supersteer 4wd, 16x16 trans, 2 SCVs, Mid roll bar, 1.35m wide. £26,500
Spreader 900L, Electric Control, Speed Sensor, 1824m Spread, 190cm wide hopper. £5,350 Orsi
Kuhn ANTIS 1502
24 nozzle tower, induction hopper, wide Drawbar and PTO Bravo Controls. £13,750 Kuhn Oktopus 1000
8 adjustable outlets, cab controls, wide Drawbar and PTO. £8,500
MDS20.2 Fert
3 point Fork Lift
lift height, side shift and tilt. Mechanical controls. £2,850 New Holland RVM 165 Rotavator
Selectatilth Quad Speed Gearbox,
wide. £3,750
diaphragm pump, 2,000L
in cab electric controls £7,000 ex VAT Front Paddles 2020, SFM Non folding front paddles, 2.6m Helicoid fingered rotor £7,800 ex VAT Front mounted flail c/w extra hydraulic offset facility 2017, perfect KT270 front mounted flail c/w extra offset facility, cutting width 2.7m, PTO – 1,000rpm, suitable for orchards, verges open spaces £6,200 ex VAT 4.4M variable width mower 2006, Perfect DR 440 variable width mower, cutting width – 2.9 to 4.4m hydraulically adjustable, PTO –540rpm, suitable for orchards with herbicide strips £5,500 ex VAT We are a leading supplier and an approved repair centre With 50 years trading in the cleaning industry. With our strong ties and long term relationship with the leading manufacturers 01825 705777 Unit 4, 72 Bell Lane, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 1QL enquiries@pressureclean SALES SERVICE HIRE
high pressure
tank, full


LEGRAS walking floor trailer, tested, all good. £11,995+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

11X50X16 front tractor tyre, fits big John Deere & others. £55. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

MICHELIN 620/70-R26 XM27 radials, 60%, choice of 4. £400 each. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire) TRELLEBORG TM800 540/65-R38, with rims for Fastrac 8000 Series fronts, 65%. £2,000. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

BAILEY 14t 8 box Guardian potato trailers, high spec, choice of 3, vgc. R Ditch Tel 07789 700660 (Norfolk)

FRONT 9.5x48 & rear 11.2x48, both c/w MF centres. £750 both pairs. M England Tel 07949 129732 (Cambridgeshire)

D&S Factors rowcrop wheels to fit a Massey Ferguson 6475, set to 72" centres on 14mm thick welded rims, tyres are 300/95R52 & 12.4 R36 & give an extra 6" clearance, front tyres are 80% & rears 40%. £2,550+VAT. M Palmer Tel 07702293727 (Lincolnshire)

GOODYEAR 12.4x28 Traction Sure Grips with rims. £350 each. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

ROWCROP/INTERMEDIATES off Fendt 820, good order, tyres that came off were 380/85-R34 fronts & 480/80-R46 rears. £800+VAT ono. J Freeth Tel 07583 008699 (Cornwall)

32-FOOT/9.7M long curtain sided veg/fertiliser trailer, in exceptionally good order, it has stood outside & is completely dry inside. £5,000+VAT ono. C Leggott Tel 01636 626229/07967 975638 (Lincolnshire)


ERO Pruner Elite 2 half row vine trimmer

STOCKS dual wheels & clamps, 20.8xR42, good condition, no longer needed due to change of machine. £550+VAT. P Phoenix Tel 07871 599016 (Norfolk)

01580 712200

npseymour co uk


PAIR of 12.4Rx46 rowcrop wheels, almost new tyres. £750. J Robinson Tel 07946 715189 (Essex)

TWO pairs rowcrop wheels, 210x95x44, some cracking on tyres, but good rims & centres. £55; also 8.3x44 wheels, tyres cracked, but rims & centres good, off IH/McCormick. £40 retirement sale. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

28.1X26 wide John Deere wheels & tyres (pair), Continental tyres, came off JD6410, 8 stud, 150mm hub centre, 1580 total from one edge of tyre to the other, on pallets ready to load. £550 ono no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802 722408 (North Yorkshire)

ROWCROPS to suit Fendt 700 Series, adjustable centres, set at 72", front Mitas 380/85/34, rear Mitas 380/90/50, only done 1 season up on the Wolds, still like new. £5,000+VAT. C McAnespie Tel 07577 673141 (North Yorkshire)

STANDEN rowcrop wheels, fair condition. £200. C Gowler Tel 07831 746953 (Cambridgeshire)

MICHELIN Axiobib, set of four 650/75R30 wheels & tyres, no cuts/repairs, tread in excess of 50%, 10 stud, wheels will fit Unimog, etc, good condition. £500 each ono. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

735787 (Cambridgeshire)

TWO wheel axles, one with two tyres, one with one, c/w wheel hubs. £350+VAT. C Leggott Tel 01636 626229 (Lincolnshire)

ROWCROP wheels, 320/90R32, 340/90R48, 95%, off JD6155, excellent condition. £2,250+VAT ono. A Wilson Tel 07732 671320 (Greater Manchester)


14.9X70X28 tyres, sound, suitable for dual wheels. £25 or donation to children’s home in Ukraine, retirement sale. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

PAIR of used Stocks agri trac rubber track system (aka John Deere H tracks), only one has the rubber belt fitted which has 85% tread remaining, fit most 10 stud tractor & combine hubs, c/w anti rotation brackets, exc cond. £5,000+VAT ono. R Shearwood Tel 07889 488036 (Lincolnshire)

ALLIANCE rowcrop wheels & tyres, full set, front & rear, 50% tread, rear 270/95R54, front 270/95R38, wheels fit 700/800 Series Fendt, excellent condition. £1,950+VAT. S Askew Tel 07884 265202 (Essex)

FORD Ranger truck, 5 seats, diesel 2500cc, 10 months MOT, tow bar, tilth, 88,635mls, very clean, 2010, current owner 9 years. £5,500+VAT R Ashby Tel 07860 759638/01622 842776 (Kent)

May/June 2023 70 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
FRONT 8.3x36 & rear 9.5x48, both c/w MF centres. £750 both pairs. M England Tel 07949 129732 (Cambridgeshire) PAIR new Alliance 480/70 R30 tyres on new JD 8 stud rims. £850. J Anderson Tel 07944

DAF LF45, 57 plate, 11t, 180 Paccar engine, c/w 18’ David Williams livestock container plated Jan 24, 432,000km tacho in date, immobiliser, container 8’ wide, ali ramp & floor carries 5 hunters, no decks, 1 large stock gate for cows/calves. £10,000. G Blundell Tel 07752 434622 (Oxfordshire)

VOLKSWAGEN Transporter

Caravelle, WAV, diesel DSG, automatic, 12reg, 2L TDI, full VW service history, long MOT, parking sensors, air con front & back, cruise control, 71,000mls. £14,995 ono no VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

OLD 3pl mounted post borer, vintage(?), f/w 12" auger, old type PTO shaft, won’t pass Health & Safety, but working. £250 ono. F Johnson Tel 07774361830/01507 450203 (Lincolnshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 718 auto potato planter, one man planting or restoration. POA. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

TOYOTA Hilux Invincible, 66 plate, 87,400mls, full service history, manual, leather heated seats, bluetooth, cruise control, sat nav, reversing camera, good condition.

£17,000+VAT. N Wilson Tel 07547 698793 (Scottish Borders)

MITSUBISHI L200 double cab pickup, 2017, 46,000mls, used as car only, tidy, any questions pease call. £14,750+VAT. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

LAND Rover Defender 90 pickup, 2012, owned since new, serviced regularly, original condition. S Ablewhite Tel 07977 987980 (Nottinghamshire)

DAVID Brown 780 Selectamatic, 1970, 4840hrs, fitted from new with Sanderson rear mounted forklift, c/w front counterweights, power steering, all in working order, straight & tidy unit, average condition. £3,250 ono. R Troop Tel 07738 065384 (Nottinghamshire)

LELY Golden Pheasant, working order, rowing gates, many spares. £200 no VAT. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)

ALLIS Chalmers B, serial number 65090, 1944, older restoration, barn stored, running 5 yrs ago, complete, not registered. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 50B ditching bucket, had little use. £260. M London Tel 07984 766930 (Bedfordshire) NUFFIELD front weight. £85. M London Tel 07984 766930 (Bedfordshire)

STONE sharpening stone 2' x 4", in excellent condition, no nicks whatsoever, you won't find a better one, ideal garden feature, or sculpture. S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

LAND Rover Defender 90 200

TDI, 1990, 70,800mls, very good condition for age, two owners since new, always stored under cover, MOT until Dec 2023.

£10,950+VAT ono. M Brake Tel 07927 008505 (Wiltshire)

2005 Nissan Navara 4dr double cab pickup 2.5dCi, 81,000 miles, private pickup sale, auto lights, a/c, 6 speed manual, towbar, canopy, Cooper Discovery all terrain tyres, MOT until 21 July 2023. £11,999 ono no VAT. C Chapman Tel 07711 221082 (Somerset)


2017 Ford Ranger XL, only 18000mls, well maintained, c/w canopy load liner, tow pack & blue tooth, good tyres & a recent MOT. POA. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

ISUZU Trooper, had limited use. £850. A Goodacre Tel 07901 917707 (Lincolnshire)

BOX of chain links off Tim sugar beet harvester, will fit some muck spreader floors. £15. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

MF40 3 furrow plough. £400. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

MF738 cultivator, 11 & 9 tine. POA. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

MF 732 drill. £250. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

FERGUSON curved tine subsoiler.

£400. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

FERGUSON transport box. £200. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

FERGUSON TE20 tractor. £2,400. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 35 & 40 loaders. POA. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

MASSEY Ferguson single furrow plough. £200. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

TWO-FURROW Massey Ferguson plough. £220. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

FERGUSON curved tine subsoiler. £400. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

ANTIQUE potato riddler/ grader/sorter, J B Edlington & Son Ltd manufacturers in Gainsborough, sold in excellent condition & in good working order, any questions please ask. £300 ono. B Fear Tel 07808 593607 (Cambridgeshire)Selection of old farm & garden troughs. Sensible offers. A Lincoln Tel 01580 240689 (Kent)

STONE sharpening stone 14 inch x 2 inch, ideal garden sculpture, in good condition. S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

MAN 440 26 TGA Taughtliner, 6 wheeler, drawbar spec, auto, long MOT. £9,500+VAT ono. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

CAB for a Caterpillar tractor. £100 ono. R Brooks Tel 07860 469982 (Suffolk)

TWO steel wheels, 10" diameter, on metal stalks. £20. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk)

OLD trailed drag on steel wheels, also an old chain driven rotovator on wheels & drawbar (not 3 pl), missing half power shaft but complete, requires TLC. F Johnson Tel 07774 361830/01507 450203 (Lincolnshire)

ALLIS Chalmers M crawler, serial no 8244, 1939, barn stored some years ago, was running then.

S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

STAINLESS steel wagtail chute, slightly damaged, but in good working order. S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

IRON cart wheel bands, one 46" diameter & 1-2" wide, two 50" diameter & 3" wide, ideal architectural features. S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

May/June 2023 71 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
May/June 2023 72 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: BR Strathern Ltd . New Holland Specialist . Sales Agricultural . . Service & Repair . Hydraulic Hose . . Used Fruit & Vineyard Tractor & Machinery Specialist . ALM for demo in Essex and Suffolk Tel: 01621 828318 . Mobile 07715 565606 Chelmsford, Essex


PZ Haybob instruction manual & spare parts lists, in excellent condition. S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

DAVID Brown C Type mouldboard plough instruction book & parts catalogue, in excellent condition.

S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

PZ Cyclomower CM 165 Instruction manual & spare parts lists, in excellent condition.

S Price Tel 07968 010981 (Pembrokeshire)

TURNER seed dresser, 1950s(?), 480v motor, good selection of sieves, working order before dismantled. £200+VAT ono. A Turnbull Tel 07889 117915 (Suffolk)

(LINCOLNSHIRE)FORDSON Dexta in original condition, 4234hrs (if that is correct), not sure of the year, nice little tractor for a collection or to use. T Schembri Tel 07919 624032 (Essex)

OLD farm pickup/4x4, anything considered, running, MOT'd or not! East Anglia area preferably. Cash paid. J Long Tel 07711 079821 (Essex)


Braun double sided front mounted orchard Rollhacke

LAND Rover Series replacement diesel engine, Perkins 4182/Mazda HA 3L, c/w fitted conversion plate to fit Series Land Rover, good starter, good runner, only replaced as a project to return vintage vehicle to original spec. £255+VAT. W Slater Tel 07770 946760 (Suffolk)

FERGUSON butterfly plough, all complete, with discs & skimmers, ready to go. £250. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777

VIGZOL Yeoman 80 sprayer, all complete, been barn stored for a lot of years, not in working order, but would look ideal on vintage tractor round the show ring. £170. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)


WEBB drill coulters. R Baker Tel 07801 557640/01953 850238 (Norfolk)

BODY panels required for Ford 7840, anyone breaking one please call.

R Baker Tel 07801 557640/01953

850238 (Norfolk)

PAIR of pallet forks required to fit over the 4-in-1 front bucket of a 1982 MF50D digger loader. M Davison Tel 01508 470426/07879 204204 (Norfolk)

OLD farm 4x4, pickup or Land Rover, anything considered, prefer Anglia region. Cash paid. J Long Tel 07711 079821 (Suffolk)

MASSEY Ferguson 35 or 135 with 3 cylinder engine, also any 165, 168 or 188 & 5 or 6 Series Massey Ferguson. D Lunn Tel 07941 072957 (Cambridgeshire

VADERSTAD Rapid 8m drill, in gwo. D Brown Tel 07710 316205 (Cambridgeshire)

JONES Engineering single bed onion topper. D Brown Tel 07710 316205 (Cambridgeshire) )

KONGSKILDE TRL fans required.

L Pugh Tel 01568 611338/07968

170848 (Herefordshire)

ROOT crop or beet bucket required, Q-fit, average condition would be fine.

W Wrinch Tel 07858 655060 (Suffolk)

WOODEN 1.25t potato boxes (100+), in good condition. C Sly Tel 07973

188977 (Lincolnshire)

CONVENTIONAL sized bale packer required by farmer, would consider a tractor or baler mounted machine with no preference of manufacturer, must be reliable, willing to travel for the right machine. B Harris Tel 07990 741527 (Warwickshire)

HYDROCUT 3-point linkage mounted hedge cutter. J Doe Tel 07860 314240 (Suffolk)

HOWARD power harrow. J Doe Tel 07860 314240 (Suffolk)

ALLOY cell wheels to sow carrots (6), for Webb Mk 5 precision drill, needed for this season asap. C Jones Tel 07860 268410 (Gwynedd)

IH McCormick HB2 reversible plough parts required, digger bodies, skimmer shears, knife coulters, depth wheel assembly, good used or old stock preferred. J Rowlinson Tel 07768 198273 (Suffolk)

JOHN Deere 1120-30 or similar battery covers, any reasonable condition. E Parsons Tel 01508 498106 (Norfolk)

01580 712200

npseymour co uk


TYRES 14.5-20" teleporter, mog, dumper type, must be worth putting on. a Burton Tel 01692 651021 (Norfolk)

3M power harrow required, ideally Maschio. C Cornish Tel 07880 976137 (Suffolk)

WILSON lathe (single phase), all works, selling as now surplus to requirements, 2.2m long x 1m wide. £500. D Hurn Tel 07786 441918 (Norfolk)

WADKIN pad sander, floor standing, cast iron with table, 3 belts & pad, 3ph motor. £350. M Lane Tel 07745 810141 (Cambridgeshire)


All prices + VAT


May/June 2023 73 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
NEW Holland 7840, ideal restoration project, fair condition. P Adcock Tel 07770 602127 (Suffolk)
01359 250796
Fendt 260V vineyard tractor Swingtrim hedge cutter Choice of 2, can be modified for vine trimming Votex PT2000 9’ Offset Blades Tractor mounted forklift with tilt and side shift Cable controls, lifts 1300kg to 3.2m high, other forklifts available
POA £4,450 £2,250 £2,950
Mounted vineyard sprayer
Narrow Topper 80cm cut
£3,950 £1,440

increasing efficiency

farm and unloading picked fruit. The company’s fth generation robot has been designed to be operated by existing farm personnel with only a few days’ training. The robots are compatible with all popular tabletop growing systems and work well in indoor and outdoor environments and weather conditions. One robot produces about the same daily output as a typical human picker.

Q. How does Dogtooth test its robots?

A: Dogtooth has been working closely with growers in the UK around the world to develop commercial robotic fruit picking solutions since 2016, e.g. Hugh Lowe Farms in Kent and Burlington Berries in Australia. Dogtooth also operates polytunnels in South Cambridgeshire for R&D and demonstration purposes.

Q. What do you think are the main challenges for the fruit-growing industry in the UK now, and in the future?

A: Beyond the short-term pain caused by high energy prices, one of the most important challenges facing the UK’s fruit-growing industry is the recruitment of enough seasonal agricultural workers. Trade body British Summer Fruits estimated that £36.5M of berry fruits was wasted in 2021 due only to lack of harvest labour. Although harvest automation will ultimately eliminate up to 50% of the soft fruit industry’s labour requirement, growers still need a dependable supply of human labour now if they are to thrive (and be in a position to invest in new technology). Another important challenge is to accurately forecast yield so growers can make informed crop management and recruitment decisions and increase supply chain e ciency.

Q. How does Dogtooth think it can help the industry to overcome these challenges, and what are the company’s future plans?

Q. What is Dogtooth Technologies Ltd?

A: Dogtooth is a Cambridge-based technology start-up selling state-of-the-art intelligent robots for soft fruit picking. The company, which was started in 2015, is pioneering the commercial exploitation of autonomous robots in farm environments.

Q. Who is behind Dogtooth?

A: CEO Dr Duncan Robertson has a PhD in machine learning and computer vision from Cambridge University. Over the last two decades, he has had a pivotal role in the success of several high-growth technology start-ups exploiting emerging machine learning capabilities in new commercial applications, e.g. as founder of online apparel start-up Metail. COO Ed Herbert studied engineering mathematics in Bristol and has spent his career working with various technology startups including Metail. Software CTO Dr Anders Johannson is a lecturer at Bristol University and was founder and CTO of computer vision start-up CrowdVision, which sells computer vision systems for crowd monitoring. Hardware CTO Frank Tully led the development of UK Biobank’s massive cryogenic robotic sample storage facility. Board chair Robert Marshall was formerly CEO of the

£1.5Bn turnover Marshall of Cambridge Group and is founder of Martlet Capital Ltd, a Cambridgebased deep tech investor. Director Marion Regan MBE is managing director and co-owner of Hugh Lowe Farms Ltd, one of the best-known berry producers in the UK, and a director of its sister company Burlington Berries Pty Ltd. Director Zoe Morgan has a marketing and buying background, having been the group marketing director of The Co-Operative Group, Boots and HBoS.

Q. How do Dogtooth’s robots work, and for what purpose are they suitable?

A: The company’s agship product is a fruit picking robot that uses state-of-the-art computer vision to pick delicate berry fruits with nearhuman visual acuity and dexterity. The robot uses stereo vision to locate ripe berries and then picks by gripping and cutting the stalk (which helps to control cross contamination and bruising). Next, the robot’s patented on-board inspection system inspects each picked berry, rejecting unsaleable ones and distributing the remainder amongst punnets according to supermarket criteria. The robots work in teams of 8–12, each team being supervised by a human operator who is responsible for moving robots around the

A: Dogtooth is actively marketing its fth generation strawberry picking robot this year. Compared to previous iterations, this one is much faster and, thanks to new lithium ion batteries and built-in illumination, capable of picking for up to 16 hours a day and even overnight. One advantage of overnight picking is that shelf life can be dramatically improved. But from the customer’s perspective, a more important bene t may be the possibility of exing robotic harvesting capacity to address production peaks by working double shifts.

Dogtooth’s harvesting robots form part of a complete harvest management o ering aimed at increasing e ciency and reducing labour costs. The o ering includes software for planning the harvest schedule (and therefore making e ective use of robotic capacity) and a low cost computer vision module for crop condition monitoring and yield forecasting for which there has been high demand in 2023.

Dogtooth’s future plans include increasing manufacturing output and developing robots for new applications, including apple and raspberry harvesting. As part of Agri-OpenCore, a collaborative R&D project part-funded by DEFRA/ Innovate UK and led by Phil Pearson of APS Group, the company is collaborating closely with other leading UK agri-robotics players including the University of Lincoln to accelerate the delivery of robotic automation in UK horticulture.

May/June 2023 74 IN THE KNOW
Editor Rachel Hicks spoke with Dogtooth CEO Dr Duncan Robertson, to nd out more about the forward-thinking company’s autonomous robots and how they can make a difference to fruit growers in the UK
Complete harvest management aimed at and reducing labour costs
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increasing efficiency

pages 74-75

viticulture Diversifying into

pages 61-73

WR Services

pages 59-60

Bottling: A crucial part of the winemaking process

pages 57-58


pages 54-56

precision Delivering to soft fruit growers

pages 53-54

Sustainability is the watchword at WineGB Conference

pages 50-52

Charles Moon & Sons

pages 48-49

Annual specialist event celebrates latest technical advancements

page 47

to drive solutions sustainability Developing practical

pages 41-46

Kent grower blends tradition with latest technology

pages 38-40

Stone fruit grower looks to trial varieties to boost yields and quality

pages 35-37

Products and services backed by almost half a century of experience

pages 30-34

brings more tyre and track choice investment Continued

pages 27-29

Latest models come with and additional spec extra comfort

pages 23-25

sparkling wine From

pages 19-21


pages 18-19

Fruit & Vine team will see you at Viti-Culture Live!

page 17

Latest new publication

pages 14-17

with insurer extends partnership Industry body

page 14

Act unlocks new ground in plant breeding Genetic Technology

pages 12-13


page 12

for English wine industry bright future College tour reveals

pages 8-11

NIAB appoints world-leading oenologist to drive vine and wine research

pages 6-7


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