Fruit & Vine Issue 08 - Feb/ March/ April 2024

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Half a century of industry service Leading fruit and vine machinery dealership, NP Seymour, celebrates its 50th anniversary

40 years of supplying and servicing Fendt’s range of 200-series V/F/P tractors Avon Works, Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2PT . 01580 712200 . . Front Cover Feb/March/April 2024.indd 1

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Out & About

Pictured right, and above with Vaderstad chairman of the board, Crister Stark and UK marketing manager, Andy Gamble, Fruit & Vine machinery editor David Williams attended Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany in late 2023. Turn to page 15 to read David’s report of the fruit and vineyard machinery on display at the show. Machinery editor David Williams also visited the Doe Show in early February, where the orchard and vineyard machinery display attracted a steady stream of visitors keen to find out more about the specialist brands on offer. Pictured (l-r) are Ernest Doe Power general sales manager Ed Perry; Ernest Doe Power technology and product sales support technician (Ringmer branch), Morgan Williams; and David Williams.

Specialist New Holland and Case IH narrow tractors were also displayed at the Doe Show. Following a preview at last year's event, now both ranges are fully available, and there were special offers available for those confirming orders during the event. David Williams is pictured with New Holland product specialist Iain Faulds and the latest T4.100 N.

01473 794440



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

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People & property

Movers and shakers in the fruit and vineyard industries


Products, research and events you need to know about

Special report

Asian hornets could reduce UK agricultural yields


Machinery for vineyards and fruit growers at German mega-show


Essex fruit specialist dispersal sale generates a lot of interest


Hop harvester purchase made possible by finance


Time and labour savings from rotary weeder


NP Seymour celebrates half a century of industry service

Grower profile

Producing quality wine using biodynamics and 'eggs'

Grower profile

A fresh approach to soft fruit growing


Could willow hold the key to tackling fungal disease?


Sizing up weed control options for vineyards

Grower profile

Authenticity and collaboration are key for Somerset orchard

Professional advice Top tips for tying down your vineyard

In the know

Having her own brand gave Annabel Makin-Jones a voice

ISSN: 2753-474X 4

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Contents Directors Managing director Julie Goulding Director Greg Goulding

Editorial Editor Rachel Hicks



Deputy editor Sarah Kidby Machinery editor David Williams Multiplatform journalist Aleksandra Cupriac

Advertising Sales director Zohra Mitchell

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Fruit & Vine specialist Samantha Wilson Senior sales executive Joanna Blower Senior sales executive Jana Moyes Sales executive Chloe Fox Sales executive Rosanna Sweet


Sales executive William Taylor Classified sales manager Nicki Procter

Marketing Marketing manager KM Sharp Digital marketing executive Patrick Over

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Publishing assistant Kat Morton

Design & Production Production manager Martyn Smith

09/02/2024 10:26


Impressive expansion – strong future for fertiliser brand

Popular dealer


sales team

New but experienced recruit Tim Sillence has joined NP Seymour’s busy sales team.

Nutrel Products Ltd, which develops, manufactures, and markets fertilisers and associated products, has marked a significant milestone with the grand opening of its new warehouse. This development not only signifies the company’s unwavering dedication to growth and innovation but also promises to take its flagship brand, Hortifeeds, to greater heights. Hortifeeds was established in 1995 to serve growers with highquality fertilisers, throughout all horticultural sectors including soft fruit, tree fruit, forestry and landscaping. The ethos behind Hortifeeds has always been to create a better alternative to ‘off-the-shelf’ fertilisers. Hortifeeds’ commitment to excellence has been rooted in producing the highest quality fertilisers using only the finest raw materials and providing growers with an exceptional level of personal and technical service. Hortifeeds has benefited from being part of Nutrel Products Ltd, not only because of its expanding production facility, but the wealth of experience gained from dealing with a diverse customer base covering all aspects of growing within agriculture, horticulture, amenity and home and garden market sectors in the UK and overseas. In 2007, Nutrel Products Ltd was purchased by Synchemicals Ltd, which is a family-run business based in Coalville, Leicestershire. Synchemicals also owns Vitax Ltd who is a UK manufacturer and supplier of fertilisers and associated products in retail and specialised turf and amenity markets. Hortifeeds, as part of Nutrel Products Ltd, says it has flourished under the ownership of Synchemicals Ltd, and has continued to invest in its unique offering to the


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professional horticultural market. This commitment is exemplified through the addition of modern plant and machinery and the refurbishment of its extensive facilities, all situated just outside the City of Lincoln. The latest stride forward in the journey is the inauguration of an impressive new warehouse and offices. This move has more than doubled the company’s finished goods storage capacity to over 2,000 pallets, allowing them to serve their clients even more efficiently. However, the expansion goes beyond storage; it also involves significant investments in state-of-the-art production facilities including cutting-edge powder mixing blenders and liquid filling lines, which have been installed to cope with the ever-increasing demand. The recent grand opening of the new warehouse was marked with pride and excitement, with the ribbon being cut by Anja Gooding, the new chair person of Synchemicals Ltd. In attendance was Carl Welsh (Synchemicals Ltd CEO) and Chris Norris, (Nutrel Products Ltd managing director) along with a number of key members of the team. As Nutrel Products Ltd and Hortifeeds take this important step forward, they say their dedication to quality, innovation, and unparalleled service remains unwavering. The future looks bright for these respected companies and the customers they serve.

Tim, who joined NP Seymour at the start of the year, brings a wealth of hands-on experience operating and demonstrating tractors and machinery within the fruit, vegetable and arable sectors to the team. Claire Seymour commented: “Tim has a fantastic understanding of how things work mechanically, and more importantly, he knows exactly what growers need and expect from their tractors and machinery. “Growers trust his opinion, which only comes from years of practical experience. We’re absolutely thrilled that he’s chosen to join our familyrun business. “Since my dad, Nick Seymour, started this business 50 years ago, NP Seymour has been a leading force in the UK fruit and vine industries. Many dealerships have expanded into these sectors, but we are true specialists, and our decades of experience mean we understand growers’ needs like no one else. “The addition of Tim to our sales team will further strengthen this and ensure we’re providing our customers with optimal specification Fendt 200 v/f/p tractors and the right specialist fruit and vine machinery for their individual needs.” Excited to have joined the NP Seymour business as it celebrates its 50th

anniversary and 40 years of being a Fendt dealership, Tim said: “I’ve always enjoyed going on farm to demonstrate tractors and machinery and to show growers how new concepts and technologies work and what benefit they’ll have, be that saving time, or labour, or improving crop yields and quality. I’m now looking forward to being able to take this further and guide and advise people on what equipment is going to make a real difference to their operations. “I am looking forward to contributing to the continued success of NP Seymour, being part of a team with such a longstanding history and dedicated approach to serving the fruit and vine industries, and most of all, helping our customers achieve their targets with the best machinery solutions.” Turn to page 27 to read more about NP Seymour.

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Groundbreaking robot and drone project on UK orchards

A unique project to develop a commercially viable system for precisely targeting orchard inputs to specific trees, or even parts of a tree, has been given the go-ahead. Led by Hutchinsons agronomist, Rob Saunders, and part-funded by the commercial partners, Innovate UK and Defra, the four-year, £4.5m Precision Orchard Management for the Environment (POME) project is using cutting-edge technology to digitally examine fruit trees in fine detail, allowing inputs to be targeted in a way that has never been seen before in UK orchards. “The ultimate aim is to reduce the environmental impact of tree fruit production by using fewer plant protection products, while simultaneously increasing orchard production efficiency, output and profitability through increased yield and grade-out,” says Mr Saunders. “The system will use digital scanning to generate precision dosing maps for blossom and fruit thinning, fertiliser application, growth regulators, pest control, and fungicides, as well as provide more accurate yield forecasting for growers. The integration with precision dosing application equipment will together help to reduce the use of plant protection products, increase yields and cut fruit losses,” he says. “It is about raising the efficiency of how we use all resources that go into fruit production, including the land."

Taking precision to the next level A previous Precision Orchard Dosing System (PODS) project used LIDAR scanning of trees in winter to map height and density, before a dronebased scan in the spring to assess blossoms. These data were analysed using machine vision and machine learning to develop a variable rate plan for applying thinners and growth regulators through a purpose-built sprayer fitted with RTK-GPS and robotic localisation and mapping techniques, giving high levels of accuracy in complicated horticulture environments. 8

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Mr Saunders says: “Now, with the new POME project, we want to take all of that work on to the next stage and develop a commercially viable precision orchard management system that is ready for market in the next four years.” He acknowledges it is an ambitious task, but one that he believes is entirely feasible given the world-leading, industry-wide consortium involved in the project. Alongside Hutchinsons, this includes engineers NP Seymour; Global Navigation Satellite System and software developer The Acclaimed Software Company; marketing desk Avalon Fresh; aerial imaging company Outfield; robotics firm Antobot; disease, pest and stress detection specialists Fotenix; horticultural experts from NIAB East Malling; data science expertise from NIAB Cambridge; agrieconomics from the University of Kent; robotics and automation expertise from Loughborough University; and the Health and Safety Executive's Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD). “In the long-term, precision application systems such as this may even help to secure the future approval for certain products. “Of course, no system, however good it is, will be any use unless it is practically and economically attractive to growers, so we’ve also enlisted the help of two commercial farms in Kent – Plumford Farms Ltd and ACH Farming Ltd – that will test the new system as we develop it.”

How POME will work There are three main elements to the POME project. The starting point is to gather data about the health and growth of orchard trees autonomously, rather than relying on the agronomist or grower having to walk up and down rows looking for differences or potential issues.

The team is developing three main ways of collecting data, including: • Tractor-mounted sensors (e.g. hyperspectral imagery, NDVI, LIDAR scanning) to identify any variations in tree health or development. Having sensors mounted on the tractor allows a range of data to be collected every time the tractor passes through the orchard doing other operations • Drone surveying during the flowering period to map blossom intensity of individual trees across the entire orchard • Robot scanning from the ground. Scanning during daytime can be affected by variations in natural light intensity, therefore robot scanning will be done autonomously at night using artificial lights fitted to the vehicle, and carried out at low speeds that would not be practical for a tractor-based operation. These three sources of data will be brought together into a central computer software platform where everything can be analysed and interpreted to ultimately generate a user-friendly digital map of the orchard, highlighting variations in any of the factors that the sensors recorded. This could include areas of a specific disease, or, as in the PODS project, variability in the size, density and crop load of individual trees – a major cause of suboptimal yield and quality in commercial fruit orchards. The final part of the project will develop a commercially viable application system that can use the data and digital maps generated to vary inputs according to the specific requirements of individual trees. “Some might think that systems like this are complicated and expensive, and only suited to very large-scale farms. The system we are building will cater for different sizes of farm business and with optional services depending on the farm’s need.”

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Spotted wing drosophila solutions from Russell IPM SWD Dry Lure, MaxDro & Suzukii Trap

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

ProBandz is an effective food bait adjuvant which is mixed with insecticides to enhance the control of fruit flies such as SWD. It increases the uptake of insecticide which leads to a faster kill of the target pest with a much reduced insecticide rate. It can be used with all authorised plant protection products and is applied to plants as a band treatment. 50% reduction in active ingredient costs (estimate)

Red Impact Board with SWD Dry Lure

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

Contact us: Russell IPM Ltd, Unit 45, First Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2NU, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1244 281 333, Fax: +44 (0) 1244 281 878, Email:

Take a look at our Soft Fruit Brochure Russell IPM.indd 2

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VR robotics set to

revolutionise UK viticulture

Four new

forward-thinking degree courses unveiled Plumpton College has announced a suite of sustainability-focused degree programmes alongside its validating partner, the University of Greenwich. Poised to revolutionise education in agriculture, horticulture, land management, and rural business, the new courses reflect a commitment to environmental stewardship and aim to bridge the skills gap in these sectors, offering a solution to sustainability challenges, Plumpton says. The courses are: Sustainable Agriculture: Accelerated two-year BSc programme, subject to validation – tailored to empower the next generation of farmers with cutting-edge knowledge and practices. This programme is a response to the need for skilled professionals who can navigate the complexities of modern agriculture while championing sustainable practices, featuring modules such as ecology, biodiversity, and precision cropping systems. Sustainable Horticulture Management: Providing a comprehensive understanding of eco-friendly horticultural practices relating to developing technologies and strategies. This degree equips graduates to lead the charge in sustainable horticulture, promoting environmental harmony and resource efficiency. Sustainable Land Management: Immersing students in a practical, theoretical and sustainable learning environment that enables nature recovery, supports food production and fosters an enduring and positive approach to managing our land in the current day and for future generations across all industries. Designed for those aspiring to be 10

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stewards of our natural landscapes with a focus on conservation, biodiversity, and sustainable land use. Rural Land and Business Management: Accelerated two-year BSc programme, subject to validation – providing students with the critical skills and knowledge to advise clients both large and small how best to optimise the use of their property and business assets. Graduates of this degree are equipped not only with a solid understanding of business principles but also with the ability to apply these principles to rural enterprises in an environmentally conscious manner. In providing students with a course curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience, these courses ensure that graduates are not only academically qualified but also industry-ready, Plumpton says. Principal Jeremy Kerswell comments: “We are seeing a significant rise in the number of students who wish to get into the workplace quicker, progress through their industry, and lower the time and cost of study. These degrees, unique within land and environment higher education, offer access to careers and employers in way not offered at other institutions. The four land and environment degree courses at Plumpton College have been informed by the significant changes in the UK agricultural industry both post-Brexit and in the context of climate change as well as global challenges in sustainability, food security and natural resource management.”

The viticulture sector is set to become the latest industry to benefit from the introduction of cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) robotics technology, thanks to a new innovation programme funded by Defra. Despite a relatively small number of vineyards (there are little more than 900 vineyards in the UK covering a combined area of around 10,000 acres), viticulture is the UK’s fastest-growing agricultural sector. Changes in weather and seasonal temperatures have driven production, with exports predicted to be worth as much as £350m by 2040. Exploring new ways to modernise different agricultural practices is the Farming Innovation Programme, which is funded by Defra and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. As part of the Farming Futures Automation and Robotics competition, grant funding was awarded to 19 successful projects, announced by ministers during presentations at the recent Worldwide Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in London. One of the successful projects will be delivered by Extend Robotics, a tech startup combining consumer VR technology, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to make it easier for people and machines to work together in harmony. The project, titled ‘Integrated Human-Augmented Robotics and Intelligent Sensing Platform for Precision Viticulture’ is a collaboration between Extend Robotics, Queen Mary University of London and Saffron Grange, an established leading producer of

premium sparkling wine in East Anglia. Their combined expertise aims to develop AI-based solutions to enable the robotic automation of tasks such as pruning and harvesting. With a well-publicised shortage of seasonal workers affecting horticulture which contains viticulture, the fastest growing sector in the UK, the project aims to reduce reliance on this form of manual labour. This will reduce labour costs, while cutting emissions and the environmental impact of existing approaches. Ultimately, they intend for the research project to significantly improve the productivity and sustainability of the UK viticulture industry. This will contribute to the growth of the UK economy and provide the UK a competitive edge in the global market. Founder and CEO of Extend Robotics, Dr Chang Liu explains: “The viticulture industry in the UK may well be over 1,000 years old, but it has continually moved with the times. This is simply an exciting continuation of that progress. “Our technology will allow growers to remotely monitor crop health, identify potential issues early on, and take appropriate action. Using AI, they will then be able to automate general tasks and improve the efficiency of their operations over time, resulting in better overall crop quality and higher yields.”

February/March/April 2024

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Specialist legal services for Vineyards & Wineries Agricultural matters Biodiversity Net Gain Borrowing against stored wine Business sale/purchase/transfer/set up Commercial property sales/purchases/leases Contracts advice/drafting/disputes

Employment matters Grape broking/growing contracts Land sourcing/sales/purchases Planning permission Tenancy issues Wine storage arrangements

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Study a degree in; Wine Business International Wine Business Wine Production Viticulture & Oenology Sustainable Horticulture Visit our website Plumpton College Ditchling Road, Lewes East Sussex BN7 3AE 01273 890 454 2023

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Asian hornets

could reduce UK agricultural yields The British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) is warning vintners and fruit growers about the detrimental impact Asian hornets would have on agriculture if they became established in the UK. In 2023 a record number of the yellowlegged hornets was recorded in the country, and beekeepers fear the highly invasive and destructive insect could become naturalised. BBKA chair, Diane Drinkwater (pictured), said: “I cannot overstate the seriousness of the situation. Asian hornets are apex predators and decimate pollinators, leaving ecological destruction in their wake. They also feed on ripe fruit – spoiling crops and increasing the risk of harm to pickers. “We must learn from what’s happening in


those European countries where these non-native insects have colonised. If they become established here, the insect population will be reduced and there will be a severe and ever-growing impact on pollination and the quality of our food crops.” As at 3rd November 2023, 71 Asian hornet nests had been found in 55 locations; in the previous six years, just 14 nests were discovered since the arrival of the first Asian hornet in 2016. “We must act now to stop Asian hornets getting established in this country. Farmers and

Legs brown with characteristic yellow ends

Asian Hornet

others working in the countryside are ideally placed to spot and report this highly invasive predator,” added Diane. Asian hornets (Vespa velutina) are slightly smaller than native European hornets, have yellow tipped legs, an orange face and brown body with one yellow stripe. Sightings should be reported immediately to the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) via the Asian Hornet Watch app or the online reporting form: In 2023, nests had been found and destroyed in Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, East Riding of Yorkshire, Essex, Greater London, Hampshire, Kent, North Yorkshire, and Surrey. The known distribution highlights that no area can become complacent regarding the threat of an Asian hornet incursion. If any nests were missed, this spring overwintered queens will find locations to build primary nests in sheltered places such as sheds and barns. Later in the season they will go on to establish large, secondary nests nearby. It is important to take care not to approach or disturb a nest. Asian hornets are not generally aggressive towards people, but an exception to this is when they perceive a threat to their nest. Researchers have published papers estimating potential losses to the UK economy based on analysis of Asian hornets in other European countries where they have taken hold. According to the University of Exeter, Asian hornets could trigger economic losses of £30–45 million per year. There are approximately 250,000 honey bee hives in the UK, which are estimated to be worth £150 million to the economy in honey and pollination provision. The NNSS estimated that if the UK lost all its pollinators (not just honey bees), it would cost the economy £440 million per year or about 13% of the UK’s income from farming. The European Commission’s economic modelling estimated hypothetical losses in the UK at 17% of its apple and pear production, 10% of other fruits as well as reductions in crops including pulses and rapeseed.

European Hornet

Entirely dark brown or black velvety body

Asian Hornet abdomen is almost entirely dark except for 4th abdominal segment.

Abdomen black/ brown; fourth segment yellow/ orange

Queens up to 30mm long; workers up to 25mm long

Asian hornet 'hawking' for honey bee prey

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Machinery for

vineyards and fruit growers included at German mega-show

Traditionally a biennial event, the German Agritechnica agricultural machinery show returned in November after a four-year break due to Covid. David Williams picked out a selection of products for vineyards and fruit growers. Agritechnica is held in Hannover, and it is Europe’s largest agricultural machinery show. The 2023 event included 2,897 exhibitors from 53 countries spread across 21 huge halls, and almost half a million visitors attended during the seven days. The show caters for almost every kind of European agriculture, so as well as machines suitable for the largest farms in Eastern Europe, there was plenty to see for typical UK farms as well as smallholders, orchard and vineyard owners, and forestry enterprises.

Sustainability focus The event theme was Green Productivity, and most new machines

came with claims regarding their ability to improve sustainability and working efficiency. For businesses keen to boost their green credentials, there were plenty of concept tractors and materials handlers on show designed to run on alternative fuels, and robotics also featured prominently – from fully autonomous tractors to an automatic drone fruit picker. Some new machines can be ordered now, while others won’t be in production for several more years, but there is no doubt that there are big changes coming to the industry and, for those willing and able to invest, some of the latest innovations might offer significant advantages.

Highly manoeuvrable sprayer

Sustainability title Fendt’s battery-powered e107V was officially launched at the show. Featured in the November/ December/January edition of Fruit & Vine, including a comprehensive test drive report, the new tractor is sibling to the popular 200 Vario narrow tractor series, but the standard diesel engine is replaced by a 700V, 100kW motor – which provides performance equivalent to the 90hp model for limited periods, with 75hp available constantly, and a 68hp mode selectable to extend battery life. Torque is higher than for the standard 207V tractor, so pulling performance on slopes should be superior. Working time between charges depends on the task and conditions, but Fendt quotes 4–7 hours. A significant advantage of Fendt’s design is that it retains the standard transmission, PTO and hydraulic systems. This means that it can easily slot into a standard tractor fleet, working with conventional hydraulic-or PTO-powered implements, so there is no need to invest in a new fleet of attachments. Also, where extended operation away from an electrical charging source is needed, then a diesel tractor can be used instead. The e107V is available to order in limited numbers for customers in selected European countries now, while the new tractor will arrive in the UK later. Fendt UK advertising and sales promotion manager, Ed Dennett is pictured with the e107V on the company’s stand. At the event, the tractor’s clever and practical design resulted in it winning the Tractor of the Year 2024 award, in the ‘Sustainable’ category.

Multiple fuel solutions

Ideal displayed its articulated Drop Save trailed sprayer for the first time. Designed to provide extreme manoeuvrability by achieving tight turns on small headlands and narrow rows, the PTO-driven pump and fan unit attach direct to the tractor’s rear linkage, while a pivoting hitch connects the trailed tank and spray applicator units behind.

As well as promoting the batterypowered Fendt e107V; parent company Agco displayed a range of other alternative fuel solutions. Its Future Zone highlighted areas of future development, including a larger Fendt hydrogen-fuelled tractor. A Fendt 942 Vario advertised the ability of all Fendt tractors with AgcoPower or MAN engines to run on HVO fuels from the start of 2024, and a standard version of the new battery electric Fendt e100 Vario was shown equipped with an AgcoPower developed methanol fuel cell. Mounted on the front linkage, this is said to double the usage time of the e100 Vario between charges in standard work.

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Fruit picking by drone

Valtra displayed its fruit and vineyard F-series tractors for the first time at Agritechnica 2019, and since then the range has become fully available. The 75– 105hp line-up includes three main versions – with and without cabs from 1.5–1.8m wide, or a narrower model is only 1.3–1.5m. With ROPs operator protection rather than a cab, overall height down to only 1.4m can be achieved, and a tight turning radius of just 3.6m is provided by a 55-degree steering angle. The autonomous Bakus Vitibot straddle tractor is available in two versions – the Bakus L is suitable for semi-wide grown vines and the Bakus S is for traditional narrow grown vines. Both models straddle the vine rows and operate autonomously, carrying a variety of different implements including cultivators, cutters and sprayers. Drive is 100% electric. The manufacturer is a subsidiary of Same Deutz Fahr (SDF).

A drone-based apple picking system on the Kubota stand attracted crowds of fascinated spectators as it was demonstrated picking real apples which had been placed on artificial trees on the stand wall. Kubota invested in Tevel – a specialist in drone fruit pickers, in 2021. A small fleet of drones are tethered by power cords to a fruit picking trailer, and AI imaging software uses images from the drones’ cameras to identify the fruit and assess whether it is suitable for picking in terms of its size and colour. The drones have suction cups that pick the fruit from the trees, and then the drone returns to the trailer while weighing the fruit, before depositing it gently on a rubber conveyor for packing. System advantages include a reduced labour requirement during the short peak harvesting season, and the capability to harvest crops too high for human pickers to reach. “Often the higher fruit is the best in terms of its exposure to sunlight, but limitations affecting human pickers means that fruit at the top of trees is often left,” explained Kubota UK general manager for its Tractor Business Unit, Henry Bredin. “Kubota is investing in many start-up companies and specialist businesses, and we view the Tevel solution as ideal for use in combination with human pickers - using drones to harvest the higher fruit while people work safely lower down.” Henry is pictured (right) with Tevel product specialist, Simone Pollano.

New narrow tractors available Kubota exhibited its latest specialist M5002N narrow tractors for the first time. These fill a gap in the Kubota line-up, created when M5001N-series production ceased more than two years ago. Fruit & Vine took the opportunity to test-drive the new tractor last autumn, (see our July/August 2023 edition) in a UK vineyard, where the improved cab and higher specification proved impressive.

Compact tractor with battery power Kubota also displayed autonomous tractors which are already available to purchase in Japan at the show, as well as the battery-powered LXe-261 pictured. Just 30 of the new small tractors will be available for customer use in Germany next year, under rental agreements only. A battery-powered electric motor replaces the standard diesel engine.

Fruit & Vine reviewed the latest New Holland specialist T4 narrow tractors early in 2023, but for many potential customers Agritechnica was the first opportunity to inspect the new models. The line-up includes five variants from 76–121hp. The three most powerful models all feature a new FPT 3.6-litre engine replacing the previous 3.4-litre power unit, and the latest engine produces more torque at lower revs for quieter, more efficient operation. New Holland’s popular SuperSteer front axle is an option for N and F models – providing a tight 2.9m turning radius. A completely new VisionView cab provides superb all-around visibility, and a low 77dB noise level. However, for many operators the biggest attraction is a completely flat cab floor making it much more comfortable during long working days, and Cat 4 air filtration provides maximum safety for spraying.


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Case IH displayed its futuristic-looking Farmall 75C Electric. Deliveries of the battery-powered tractor start this year and marketing manager, Neil Macer (pictured), explained that there has already been considerable interest from a wide range of potential customers - including municipal organisations as well as agricultural and horticultural users, and fruit growers. The standard diesel engine is replaced by an electric motor which produces 320Nm of torque across a wide rev band from 900–1,700rpm. The standard 12x12 transmission is retained as well as the PTO drive to retain compatibility with existing implements. An electro-hydraulic PTO clutch is used for drive engagement. Front loader options are available, and an optional virtual view feature allows operators to ‘see through’ the bucket.

Dondi is a highly respected manufacturer of tillage and weed control machinery for orchards and vineyards, and the company used Agritechnica to display its new brushcutter for under-foliage management. Available in 30, 40 and 50cm diameter versions, the hydraulic-driven trimming head uses lengths of hard-wearing 8mm nylon line to cut vegetation. The cutting lines are in individual sections making it easy to replace just one if a breakage occurs, or the full set when they are worn. The cutting head working angle is easily adjusted to suit the environment, including angling it vertically to de-bud lower sections of vines. Hydraulic oil demand is minimal, and flow is provided by the integral hydraulic system with a built-in cooler on the Dondi toolbar. Pictured with the new brushcutter is company export manager and son of the owner, Paolo Pettirossi.

Charles Moon & Sons 07711 593316 . 07860 395334


A father and son family business covering the south east offering the personal touch to contract spreading. We have a wide range of unique and custom machinery suitable for all types of fruit, vineyard and arable spreading applications. Lime, compost, fertiliser, GPS, soil sampling and dung etc. February/March/April 2024

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09/02/2024 09:55

SAP Analysis a full nutritional assessment

SAP Analysis acts as a crop measurement tool to assess nutrients in the plant, readily available for growth.

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17 nutrients and pH assessed Agronomist interpreted report and recommendations

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Make ever kilo count!

Now with Weigh cells for fully automatic on the move calibration!

The L15W brings all the benefits of weigh cell technology to the fruit and vine sector. The 2 row or band sowing system is simple to adjust, without tools allowing precise control over fertiliser placement. These machines come as standard with calibrator Totz control and can be linked to GPS for variable rate spreading and auto on/off. From cab left and/or right side closing is also available as an option.

Find out more at: or call 01423-324221 18

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This Massey Ferguson 135 was new in 1968 and registered on a G-plate. Sold with a V5 document, it was in tidy original order, and displayed 2,809 working hours. It was on 12.4-11-28 rear tyres - one of which was quite perished, and the other was new. The front wheels were mixed – one original with a 6.00-16 tyre with 30% tread, and the other was from a grey Ferguson and fitted with a 4.00-19 tyre with only 5% tread. The tractor came with five front wafer weights and sold for £4,420.

dispersal sale Essex fruit specialist

generates a lot of interest and good prices The dispersal sale of plants, trees, vehicles and equipment from a Clacton-on-Sea, Essex nursery achieved some impressive prices. David Williams reports. The sale was arranged by Kent-based, GJ Wisdom & Co – Auctioneers & Valuers, on behalf of Ken Muir Ltd – fruit plant specialists, based at Honeypot Farm in Weeley Heath, just outside Clacton. The sale, by online auction in November, was arranged as the business had ceased trading after more than 50 years at the location, and GJ Wisdom & Co will also be offering for sale by tender the established goodwill of ‘Ken Muir Ltd’, with rights to the website domain, socials,

email addresses and telephone numbers. More information can be found at

Auction highlights Lots for sale included the remaining stock of trees and plants, and £6,500 was achieved for fruit bushes and trees sold in pots. Highlights included a 45m twin-span polytunnel which needed dismantling but achieved an impressive £7,125, and several classic specialised

tractors including a tidy Fendt vineyard model which sold for £6,025.

Successful sale GJ Wisdom managing director, Garry Wisdom commented: “It was a very successful online sale through which almost everything offered was sold. Bid prices were subject to an 18% buyer commission, and the range of items available included almost all the machinery and equipment from the nursery as well as remaining stocks of plants and trees, and it attracted considerable interest from end users and the trade. “There were 150 registered bidders, most from the UK, and sold lots ended up nationwide.” February/March/April 2024

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This 10 x 6ft tipping trailer with steel sides and floor was on sound tyres, and it sold for £390.

In good order, this Palladino tractor mounted Rotorake Scarifier with BSG dealer stickers made £255.

Howard Gem Rotavators enjoy a strong reputation for their rugged build, and this G20 model with a Hatz diesel engine of early 1970s vintage achieved £410.

A winning £4,060 bid secured this very original Massey Ferguson 135. It was a 1977 model with 4,416 recorded hours, registered with an S-suffix, although the V5 document was pending. The 12.4-28 Barum rear tyres were perished but had 60% tread, and the front 6.00-16 tyres had 40 and 60% tread. The cab was straight and intact, but the interior needed repadding.

This Claxton tractor-mounted 600-litre sprayer made £540.

In very tidy condition, this Hydrovane 502 rotary air compressor had been kept indoors and appeared ready for use. It achieved a winning bid of £310.

A Spomasz-Blatystok electric portable cement mixer in good condition made £48.

This wooden, flat-bed, four-wheel trolley came with a removable pot holder. In good condition, it achieved a winning £265 bid.

This specialist Goldoni Quad Euro 30RS, 4wd articulated tractor had worked only 2,080 hours and was very tidy. It was on 26-12-12 Titan Tru-Power flotation tyres with 40% tread at the rear, and 20% at the front. It sold for £3,000.


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A handy Cameron Gardner TU20/9 tractor linkagemounted forklift was displayed on the rear of one of the Massey Ferguson 135 tractors but was sold separately. It was tidy and appeared ready for use and came with two pallet tines. It sold for £850.

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It was the right time of year to be selling a woodchipper, and this 2003 Negri Biotrituratore R220/T tractor-mounted model was in tidy condition and made £300.

A very tidy Toyota 15 dual-fuel propane gas and petrol industrial forklift with a triple mast lifting to 4m, and which had worked 5,154 hours made £3,340.

A Twose 12-spike buck-rake was in good condition, although it had four spikes missing. It made £110.

One of the sale highlights, this Fendt 250V narrow vineyard tractor was a 2wd model, new in 1992. It was on 13.6R24 Pirelli TM200 rear tyres with 80% tread, and 7.50-16 fronts of which one had 50% tread and was sound, and the other had 40% and was perished. The cab was very tidy, and the tractor had two rear spools and a return, and two mid spools and return. Carrying its Richard Burton supplying dealer stickers, the 31-year-old tractor was bought by a bidder from Derbyshire for £6,025.

Several trailers were available for bids, and this AN Fabrications 8 x 4ft single-axle, drop-side tipper appeared in good condition and sold for £370.

This Laser 1500 Auto Mobile diesel-fuelled steam cleaner, with a 240-volt pump and a hose and lance made £490.

In a state of mid-repair, this McConnel RM240 2.4m tractor-mounted rotary mower came with its original gearbox, but with a note saying it required repair or replacement. Considering its condition, the selling price of £250 was fair.

This Munckhof orchard sprayer carrying Richard Burton supplying dealer stickers was in good order. It had a 1,000-litre tank and 10 spray outlets and sold for £1,000.

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07/02/2024 16:11

Hop harvester

purchase made possible by finance

It’s one thing knowing you desperately need to replace your hop-picker. But it’s another to actually make such a major purchase – especially when your money is needed for so many other things. Grower Sarah Hawkin took that plunge. Sarah Hawkin is owner of Herefordshire mixed farming enterprise, Hawkins Farming. Within her business she grows a range of arable crops, manages a herd of pedigree Herefordshire cattle, grows apples for cider production, and it is also home to a busy hop yard. Hawkins Farming grows a range of hop varieties; some traditional – Goldings for example dates back to the 1790s – through to latest projects, Jester, Olicana and Harlequin, with their citrus flavours. As Sarah explains: “We have many trial plots on the farms, testing and developing new and exciting future varieties as part of the Charles Faram breeding programme.” Hop flowers are known as cones, and their flavouring and preservative properties differ with each variety. They also differ according to where they are grown, much like grapes, so the French term ‘terroir’ is also highly relevant for hops. According to Sarah, hops are a rewarding but

very challenging crop to grow. “An old Kentish rhyme said of them: ‘First the flea, then the fly; then the mould, then they die.’ “They require a great deal of sympathetic management, and then, during a frenetic fiveweek period around September, they have to be harvested and processed as quickly as possible in what becomes a factory environment, whilst still giving them the delicate handling that they require. No other crop in British farming can be as interesting as this one!” With an efficient harvest being of paramount importance, finding and financing a new hoppicker to replace the farm’s ageing machinery was a key challenge for Sarah last year. “Our machines had been with us since the 1950s,” she says. “They’d obviously done really well, but in the end, they were two machines sort of cobbled together and they needed a lot of specialist expertise to run them. Fortunately, our engineer is a steam engine enthusiast, and this knowledge helped to take care of that side; but we were also finding it more difficult to get parts because they were manufactured using imperial measurements so we had to get them specially made. “And, of course because of their age, they’d leave a stick or a leaf on the hops. It really was time to get rid of the old machines.”

Protecting cash flow Despite knowing what needed to be done, Sarah faced the same dilemma that most farmers do 22

– how could she invest in much-needed new equipment while also protecting her cash flow? “Today’s brewers want the cleanest, best quality hops possible and we are competing to provide them against growers from America, Europe and New Zealand. Our hops have to be absolutely perfect to stand out. But new machines cost money – a lot of money. “We did our maths and crunched lots of numbers to justify the purchase, and made a lot of trips to Germany to find exactly the right machine. But when we tried to get a grant from Defra, we were turned down; mainly I think because no-one knows exactly what a hop is, and no-one there understood what we were trying to do. It didn’t fit their criteria with it being robotic – they understood dairy and soft fruit, but not hops.” But Sarah says she found the solution in Fruit & Vine when she read about Rural Asset Finance (RAF). Now, thanks to the finance specialist’s help, she’s the proud owner of a state-of-the-art hopharvester Fuß FSH1400 – the German company’s first machine in the UK. “I’d previously never heard of Rural Asset Finance,” she says. “I wanted the machine, but I’d got extra projects going on as well and I didn’t want to tie up all my working capital. One evening I happened to read about a grower they’d helped to buy equipment, but using a deal that didn’t touch their capital and maintained their cash flow. I thought, ‘Ooh, that’d suit me!’” Sarah called the number, and within a few days was welcoming RAF’s sales director Ben Wood to the Ledbury farm to explain her vision. “He was really friendly – but what came across even more was that he really understood how a farm works, why we needed this equipment, and the difference it would make to our business. He was really interested in the machine, how it worked and what it would give me. Just from the type of questions he asked, it was immediately obvious that he had a farming background with first-hand knowledge, and knew exactly what he was talking about.” Conversely, Sarah’s answers made Ben immediately confident RAF could help. “I was really impressed with Sarah – she’s a true innovator in her field, really knows her business and it’s quite normal for us to supply funding for such high value bespoke agricultural equipment. It is really exciting to help her take things to the next level,” Ben comments. Rural Asset Finance offered Sarah a bespoke finance package, based on an HP agreement, that was tailored specifically to her exact needs. “Hop harvesting season begins in September,” says Ben, “so I established from Sarah that December payments would suit the business cashflow. For such a diverse farm, it is paramount to retain working capital for new opportunities and investments moving forwards.” The agreement was approved by RAF’s inhouse team within just 24 hours of the application being submitted, meaning the money was made available to Sarah within just a few days. “Of course, it was sensible to speak to banks as well, but their terms weren’t as good, they didn’t seem to ‘get’ what I was doing, and they wanted me to jump through so many hoops. With Rural Asset Finance, it was so straightforward – I obviously had

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MACHINERY to give them accounts and other information, but it was just so quick and clear. And, unlike a bank, I had a direct telephone line – if I had any questions or queries, I’d be able to ring Ben and get straight through to him.”

Saving on labour The machine itself has proved to be a very successful purchase. “It’s wonderful – it’s completely changed the way we work,” says Sarah. “It’s very compact with wide belts, which is a real plus. “There are two arms where the hops get hooked on, which is so simple to do – in the old machine, we used to virtually have to tie a knot with every bind. “The binds are then stripped totally and go through a series of cleaners so the hops are perfect, and then the waste bind goes through a chopper at the end. We used to be left with whole binds that took years to compost, but this breaks down in months so gives value to our waste product.” It saves money on labour, too. “There’s noone on the machine apart from two guys at the beginning putting hops in a slot and that’s it. We don’t need to find so much seasonal labour, and because we don’t need people on the machine while it’s running, many of the health and safety issues have gone, too.”

Making a difference Within a few weeks, Sarah was proudly inviting Ben back to see the hop harvester in action – and he jumped at the chance. “It’s really exciting to

see the difference we’ve made,” he says. “Meetings and follow-up visits are so important to build longterm working relationships with our clients. I look forward to many more visits to see how the farm is growing and assisting in any way I can to make any further funding projects as straightforward and stress-free for Sarah as possible.” Sarah is already looking to the machine to help her expand the hop crop. “We have only just started,” she says. “We can put a lot more through it than we do. We grow 28ha at the moment, and this machine now gives us the capacity to go up to 40ha. We’re currently filling existing wirework that’s empty so it would be nice to put up a new yard. We currently transport the picked hops

elsewhere so we might now also invest in a hopdrying facility so it’s all in the one place. We’ve got the room – this machine takes up half the space of the old one. “We have a lot of ideas about what we could do next,” says Sarah. “We haven’t quite decided exactly what, but I would definitely finance this way again. Ben has been consistently supportive and has been in touch regularly, asking how we’re getting on – I think with his farming background, he’s as excited as we are by the difference the new harvester has made! “It’s good to know that whatever we decide to do next, I can just pick up the phone to Ben and start the conversation.”

Office 01825 371500

STEEL FRAMED BUILDINGS, RECLADDING, REPAIRS AND GROUNDWORK We specialise in the supply and construction of steel framed buildings. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the wine and fruit production sector and general farming and industry to complete your new facility. Based in the heart of Sussex, covering the South East.

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February/March/April 2024

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MACHINERY The Spapperi weeder supplied by UK importer, JF Hudson Ltd to Essex-based organic salad and vegetable producer, Sarah Green’s Organics, in action Food Shed. A twice-weekly inner London delivery service supplies produce wholesale to gastropubs, restaurants and shops. In 2023, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch growing pumpkins and squash organically on three hectares was added, and the successful venture will be repeated this year. Approximately 30ha of land is certified organic by the Soil Association and crops are grown on a six-year rotation. Seasonal vegetables are grown on 12ha – lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, beetroot, spring onions, and new potatoes in the summer months, and kale, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, swede and celeriac in the winter.

Year-round supply Because most of the produce is retailed, a regular supply is required through the season. “Our fields are a real patchwork of vegetables, with just a few beds of a variety planted at a time,” explained Sarah. “Field-scale vegetables require regular weeding which is why we invested in the mechanical weeder, and these include cauliflower, cabbages, kale, Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, leeks, radicchio, chard, beetroot, swede, kohlrabi, courgettes, squash and pumpkins. Because we don’t grow acres and acres of these crops in a single area, our system is less suited to robotic weeding. The crops are in rows which means we can use our tractor-mounted brush weeder or steerage hoe, but these only weed between the rows, so gaps between the plants remain a problem.”

Camera systems unsuccessful


Time and labour

Camera-guided robotic weeders were trialled but proved unsuccessful, explained Stuart. “Because such a wide variety of crops are grown in relatively small batches, camera systems struggle with the frequent changes in crop colour, height and stature. “Experience has proven that the ‘eye doesn’t lie’ computer systems are easily confused by variations within our beds, but when we tried the Spapperi weeder which relies on an operator’s judgement to activate the inter-plant hoe weeding units, the results were pretty much faultless.”

Seen in Farmers Guide The Spapperi weeder was purchased from UK importer JF Hudson Ltd in January 2022, for Sarah and Stuart, of Sarah Green’s Organics

An Essex-based, organic salad and vegetable grower says that a tractor-mounted, operator controlled rotary weeder is providing an effective and accurate inter-plant weeding solution - allowing two people to do the work of five, and in half the time. David Williams reports. Trading as Sarah Green’s Organics, Sarah Green is the third generation of her family to farm at Tillingham. She runs the highly successful enterprise with her parents, Steven and Sally, and her husband Stuart. The company specialises in 24

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supplying vegetable boxes which local customers collect or have delivered, and it also grows and supplies fresh harvested produce for vegetable boxes retailed through independent businesses, as well as to London-based customers via the Better

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the start of the growing season. “My father-in-law saw the Spapperi weeder advertised in Farmers Guide magazine, after which we contacted James Hudson at JF Hudson and requested a demonstration,” continued Stuart. “That was late in 2021, at the end of the season when there were few areas of crops suitable for the trial, but we tested it in cauliflower and kale which had been overwhelmed by the weed population, and the results were extremely promising. “We found the JF Hudson team very helpful from arranging and carrying out the demonstration to arranging delivery, and since then they have always been happy to provide support.”

Specialist manufacturer Spapperi offers a wide range of specialist machinery including its Inter-Plant and Inter-Row mechanical weeders. Inter-Plant weeders are available in versions of one to four row widths, and adjustable row spacing allows use in a wide variety of salad, vegetable and fruit crops. A single row model with a hydraulic headstock was selected by the Green family, as this was considered the best option for working in the tight, 38cm row spacing. The headstock is easily adjusted on the move to align the weeding units with the plant rows, and the two hydraulic-activated and powered rotating hoe units are moved in and out between plants by a pair of levers. The integral hydraulic system uses an on-board pump driven by the tractor PTO, which means that the unit is practically self-contained and suitable for use with smaller tractors, including those with less powerful hydraulic systems. No complex computer software is involved.

Simple operation “Only two people are required to operate it,” explained Stuart. “The downside to the single row model is that three passes are needed to weed each bed, which takes extra time; but, even so, half a day on the Spapperi weeder replaces a full day of hard hand-weeding by five people.” Stuart said that operation is simple, and the seat provides a comfortable working position as the operator sits straight rather than being bent over. The hydraulic operating levers are light and easy to use, and the job requires a lot of concentration so time passes quickly. “It’s user-friendly and there is no repetitive strain – everyone prefers it to hand weeding,” he confirmed.

The Spapperi weeder has an integral hydraulic system which means it is suitable for use behind almost any tractor. Without complex computer-based camera systems to distinguish between plants, soil and weeds, it relies totally on the operator to activate the rotating weed hoes using a pair of levers, but Stuart says this makes it far more reliable and accurate and there is little collateral crop damage The hydraulic driven weeding heads can be set to rotate in either direction. This means that a ridging effect can be achieved, smothering small weeds in the rows under loose soil in-row weeds. It’s proved ideal for pumpkins in the new pick-your-own pumpkin patch.”

Half a day on the Spapperi weeder replaces a full day of hard handweeding by five people.

Variable plant spacing no problem Plant spacing depends on the crop, so it varies considerably across the farm. “Some summer crops grow fast enough or are close enough together so that only a pass with our brush weeder is needed which is obviously cheaper and quicker,” continued Stuart. “For other crops where the Spapperi will always be the better solution, we have increased spacings in some cases from 20cm to 25cm to allow faster working with less collateral damage. Ground conditions must be reasonable, and if seedbeds are good then the Spapperi works brilliantly – whereas if the ground is too compacted, very wet or stony then we resort to conventional weed control methods.”

Added reassurance Sarah commented that fat hen is prolific in some

fields, while high populations of red shank can also be problematic. “Both these weeds grow quickly whatever the weather and can quickly suppress crops if they get a hold in the rows,” she stressed. “Knowing that the Spapperi can still rescue crops at that stage is a relief, but it’s a situation that we still do our best to avoid.” Stuart added that the Spapperi has proved surprisingly versatile. “When we can use it at the ideal time then work is easy, and speeds can be increased. However, we have all been surprised by its ability to work in closer-spaced crops such as leeks and broad beans. Depending on the weeding head rotation direction selected, we can use it to create ridges which stifle small,

Easier management and improved timeliness Asked what difference investment in the Spapperi weeder has made to the business, Stuart explained that the main benefit is that it releases people from weeding duties leaving them free to carry out other tasks and improves timeliness. “Our small team can carry out harvesting, planting or irrigating while weeding continues elsewhere. It’s much easier to spare two people for weeding than five, and the Spapperi doesn’t depend on one highly skilled operator and advanced computer software as would be needed for a camera-guided robotic machine, so it suits us much better. It’s also easy to hitch and unhitch from our tractors and can be used on any of them, so it doesn’t tie up one tractor for the season.” “The fact that anyone can operate the Spapperi on the back of the tractor is a real advantage and it fits in well with us and our team. Also, because operating the machine is so comfortable, we find our team members are happy to put in extra hours when required.” February/March/April 2024

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IN G 50

NP Seymour 100227..indd 2


Avon Works, Cranbrook, Kent, TN17 2PT • 01580 712200 • • 08/02/2024 12:16


Half a century of industry service

One of the UK’s longest established orchard and vineyard machinery manufacturers and suppliers celebrates 50 years of trading this year, and 40 years since it took on its main tractor franchise. David Williams joined senior team members during a visit to a long-standing customer to find out what makes the dealer’s service so special. “We trust the NP Seymour team to give us honest advice and rely on their experience to help us choose the right products, carry out effective repairs and to supply the right parts when they are needed,” stressed John Evans, who runs the farm with his wife Anna – the fourth generation of her family to grow fruit at Hares Fruit Farm in Kent. The farm is sited in the North Downs, at Shottenden, near Canterbury. Most of the 45ha of land is owned, and a small area is rented from other family members. Apples are the main crop, grown along with two hectares of pears, and the produce is grown to high quality standards for sale through supermarkets. Apple varieties include Gala, Braeburn and Bramley.

Seymour-supplied fleet Products supplied by NP Seymour include the farm’s three Fendt 200-series narrow tractors, packhouse machinery including an Aweta grading line, and tractor implements include a Tecnoagri tractor-mounted forklift; a Perfect front-mounted heavy-duty pulveriser and rear-mounted mulcher combination; a Braun mechanical weeder, and a cover crop drill that Nick Seymour made by mounting an air seeder onto a power harrow. In the past, Berthoud sprayers were also purchased from the dealer. The Seymour team has also modified packhouse and orchard machinery to improve performance and ensure suitability for specific tasks, and fabricated a pick-up hitch allowing the Fendt narrow tractors to tow trailers.

The farm’s fleet of three Fendt tractors, supplied and looked after by NP Seymour “When we consult Nick with a particular machinery requirement, he first considers whether existing machinery can be converted or adapted rather than trying to sell us something new,” emphasised John. “Margins are tighter these days, and we try to keep costs down, so that sort of service is valued.”

Fendt narrow tractors The first Fendt tractor arrived on the farm in 1989, purchased by John’s father-in-law. The 250 V 4wd was later traded in for another Fendt, but John said he knows the original tractor remains in regular use on a nearby farm – confirming the brand’s reputation for longevity. The current fleet includes a 2005 207 F and two 208 F Vario models, new in 2015 and 2018, both with Fendt’s infinitely variable CVT transmission and one of which has a front linkage. Although the two newer tractors do most of the work, clocking up around 700–800 hours each per year, John said that the older machine does most of the pulverising and mowing and is used during harvesting. “We February/March/April 2024

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MACHINERY A history of NP Seymour The company has been trading since 1974, when Nick Seymour and his wife Barbara established a mobile agricultural engineering business, specialising in maintaining and repairing sprayers. 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 the start, the company’s priority has been serving the needs of fruit farmers, hop growers, packhouse managers, vineyard owners and winemakers. Their daughter, Claire Seymour now runs the business as sales and marketing director, employing a team of 15 people, while Nick and Barbara remain actively involved.

One-stop-shop “I believe that much of the company’s success is due to it being regarded as a one-stop-shop supplying everything needed to grow fruit, vines and hops,” explained Claire. “From the start, if machines weren’t available then my father would source or design a solution, and our experienced engineers operate from wellequipped workshops and continue offering that same level of service today.”

Celebrating 40 years of Fendt specialisation NP Seymour took on the Fendt specialist narrow tractor franchise in 1984, after a friend suggested to Nick that he should consider the brand. Additional franchises include Agrofer, Agrofrost, ARS, Aporo, Aweta, Berthoud, BMV, Brevi, Braun, Boreco, Clemens, OCLL, ERO, Fischer, Fruit Tec, KRM, Ladurner, iMetos, KWH, Munckhof, Pellenc, Perfect van Wamel, and Tecnoagri. The company also supplies Felco hand tools and accessories and is the UK’s official distributor for the popular electric range of secateurs including the Felco PowerBlades.

have to make the most of suitable opportunities for spraying, trimming and blossom thinning when the weather allows, so there is little time for other tasks,” John explained. “We leave the pulveriser and mower attached to the older 207 F, so when anyone has time available it’s immediately ready to use.”

Growing fruit in a competitive market, you need a list of phone numbers and must know who to ring when problems occur. For our machinery, we always phone the Seymour team.

John Evans is pictured with Nick Seymour

Superior reliability, efficiency and comfort Asked about the attraction of Fendt narrow tractors compared to competitor brands, John stressed that Fendt build quality, comfort and ease of use are far superior. “Whenever you look at brochures from orchard and vineyard implement manufacturers, the products are almost always on Fendt tractors. Fendt sets the industry standard, and we know that any implement or attachment we select will fit easily and perform as it was designed to on our tractors.” The Vario transmission is also an advantage. “Compared to the 207 F with a conventional mechanical transmission, the 208 F Vario tractors save so much time manoeuvring at the row ends. There is no foot clutch to operate when shunting between forward and reverse. The CVT transmission is smooth, and we can achieve the optimum working speed for every task, making small adjustments as conditions vary while the engine speed remains constant. We obtain maximum benefit when spraying with the engine at 1,380rpm to maintain a constant PTO and pump speed, and the transmission is adjusted to maintain the correct application rate. Pulling a full sprayer on our steep banks is effortless, and we save a lot of fuel.”

Quick return to Fendt Although the farm’s experience of Fendt has always been positive, a competitor brand tractor was owned for a short period. “It was quite a few years ago, even before we had Fendts with Vario transmissions, but we quickly realised that even though the other tractor was a well-known “It’s not only the operation that takes time. Turning at the row ends can be very time consuming, but with no foot clutch and the smooth and precise Vario transmission, the Fendt tractors make it much quicker and easier,” says John Evans 28

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February/March/April 2024

08/02/2024 10:25 | Fendt is a worldwide brand of AGCO.

Congratulations N.P. Seymour on 50 years in business and 40 years of working with Fendt! Leaders drive Fendt.

Agco NP Seymour Fendt - 100487.indd 2

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made up page 30.indd 30

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MACHINERY The Seymour team depends on its customers as much as customers depend on their dealer. Pictured (l-r) New recruit, NP Seymour sales specialist, Tim Sillence; Claire Seymour; NP Seymour marketing assistant, Victoria Rose; John Evans; and Nick Seymour brand it just couldn’t match up to a Fendt, so it was quickly replaced.”

Industry standard Nick Seymour commented that during the 40 years he has represented Fendt, the brand has always offered top-level comfort and performance. “Fendt was one of the first manufacturers offering comfortable, quiet cabs on its specialist narrow tractors when those of other makes were far more basic. During busy periods, operators of orchard and vineyard tractors often spend long working days in the seat, so the need for comfort and a safe working environment is essential.” John said that although Fendt tractors come with a premium price tag to match the specification, ownership costs have always been low. “They hold their value and are extremely fuel efficient. We spend little on repairs apart from routine servicing carried out by the Seymour team, and we all find them easy and comfortable to use. “Our biggest cost now is labour. Compared to that everything else is insignificant, so we try to work with what we have as efficiently as possible. In the past it was common to have one elderly tractor for each implement as swapping them over was so time consuming. However, attaching and removing implements from the Fendts is

quick and easy, so we don’t have to own and maintain a large fleet of tractors. Also, we take for granted now features like the Fendt’s excellent Bluetooth-connected phone system that allows us to communicate easily while working. Using older and more basic tractors, that wouldn’t be possible.”

Forefront of technology John said that although NP Seymour is a traditional family business, the range of products offered includes the latest innovations. An example is the Redpulse Duo leaf defoliator, the first of which was imported to the UK by the dealer. Excess foliage is removed, increasing

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MACHINERY Nick and Claire Seymour

Mechanical weeding The farm’s investment in a Braun mechanical weeder, supplied by NP Seymour, is part of a strategy to reduce costs while also operating more sustainably. “There are multiple benefits,” highlighted John. “As well as reducing chemical use, we can also tackle weed growth much later in the season. That was a particular advantage in recent years when the weather started dry but turned wet later resulting in a flush of weeds. It would have been too late to use herbicides at that stage of the fruit growing season, but we can work with the tractor-mounted weeder at any time.”

Whole team supports

exposure of the fruit to sunlight. “We trialled it last year, fitted to one of our Fendt 208 F Vario tractors. It had to be set up correctly to get the best from it, and we were reassured that the

Seymour team knew what they were doing even though it was relatively new. Thinning the leaves helped to achieve even ripening and better quality fruit.”

“Some suppliers we have used haven’t offered the same level of back-up, and when we called for advice it became clear that we knew more about the kit than they did. Nick and his team provide a valued service to family businesses like ours, but also design, manufacture, supply and look after machinery for some of the biggest commercial growers. They have done the maths and concluded that NP Seymour offers the best option. “We enjoy being able to call the stores department and give a vague description of the part we need, and the correct item arrives. We call the workshop team when we have a technical query and they provide solutions over the phone. It really helps when we are busy that they know the kit we depend on so well.”

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February/March/April 2024

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Producing quality wine using

biodynamics eggs Image courtesy of Chris Gorman/Big Ladder


After selling his IT business and taking early retirement, a chance meeting with Stephen Skelton at a conference convinced Nick Wenman that you could make great wine in the UK. In 2009 Nick planted Albury Organic Vineyard, finally fulfilling his dream of owning a vineyard and making quality biodynamic wine. Editor Rachel Hicks chatted with him. Albury Organic Vineyard is situated on the southern slopes of the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey Hills, on a gentle slope running north to south. The land is owned by Albury Estates, who are trustees for the Duke of Northumberland. Vineyard owner Nick Wenman has a long lease on the land, and the Estate is also now a minor shareholder in the vineyard. Prior to planting, the land had been farmed for cereal crops for many years, although there are records of vines being planted in Albury by John Evelyn dating back to 1645. Nick established Albury Organic Vineyard in 2009.

Exceptional harvests The vines are the traditional Champagne varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as

some Pinot Gris! Albury does make a small amount of Pinot Gris-based still wine each year, but more has been planted on the newest part of the vineyard, so this will increase once those vines are in production. Nick is also looking at producing a Pinot-based still wine in the future, which will likely be a blend of perhaps Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier first pressings.

Seyval and a small amount of Pinot Gris. The initial 5ha were planted in 2009 and a further 3ha followed in 2020. The vines are on a variety of rootstocks, but Nick has found that Fercal and 41B are best suited to the Albury site. The initial grape varieties were chosen because, at that time, the wines considered to be the highest quality and most popular in the UK were those being produced using the traditional sparkling varieties. Nick also planted some Seyval Blanc because, although not a classic Champagne variety, it had been used successfully in blends in the UK by well-established vineyards such as Camel Valley. Its disease resistance for downy and powdery mildew is also ideal for an organic vineyard. The initially tiny amount of Pinot Gris, Nick explains, was just because his wife wanted February/March/April 2024

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to that of using oak barrels.” The wild ferment wine will be released this May, but there will be a very limited amount available – only around 600 bottles. All of Albury’s still and sparkling wines are produced by Litmus Wines in nearby Dorking.

Back-breaking work While the Albury team carry out the majority of the vineyard maintenance by hand, some leaf stripping is done using a machine, depending on timing and the variety. They also have a leaf trimmer, which gives the vines a “short back and sides” during the summer months. Bud rubbing is a back-breaking and time-consuming job, for which Albury takes on casual workers. An under-vine cultivator helps to keep on top of weeds in the absence of chemical controls – however, it’s a very light-touch cultivator, as Nick is keen not to destroy the life in the soil that they have worked so hard to build up. Sheep from a local farm are usually brought in to graze the weeds in the winter. Specialist machinery is purchased either new or nearly new via local dealer NP Seymour, and the vineyard currently has two tractors, a vine trimmer, two sprayers, a mower, a cultivator, and a muck spreader for composts in its shed. Currently, the vineyard averages 20 tonnes per year in yield from the initial 5ha. However, 2018 saw an exceptional yield of 37t. The later planting is not in production yet. For many vineyards, 2023 was an exceptional harvest, and it was certainly above average for Nick, although not quite as good as their previous best. “Overall, last year was very good with a yield of around 28t of excellent biodynamic fruit,” he shares. “We had very little frost in the spring and very good fruit set in late June/early July. The fruitfulness of the vines this year was also good as a result of the dry summer in 2022. July last year was extremely wet, which resulted in some downy mildew – which is hard to manage when you’re organic. However, the vineyard team did an excellent job and very little fruit was lost through disease. The exceptionally warm weather in September was essential in order to ripen what turned out to be a big yield.” Grapes are all harvested by hand, using a team of local volunteers as well as some contract support if needed. Nick and his team are fully committed to producing organic fruit without the use of ag-chems, and produce high-quality English wine – including a still rosé and quality sparkling wines made using the Traditional method – a classic Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noir, and some vintages, as well as a soon-to-be released biodynamic wild ferment Blanc de Blancs, which has been fermented in concrete eggs. Nick explains: “Concrete eggs are used in Champagne production a fair bit, and the idea is that they encourage the natural movement of the wine and the lees around the egg, helping the lees work with the wine to benefit the flavour. “The porosity of the concrete also allows the tiniest amounts of oxygen to permeate the wine, changing the fermentation process – something which you don’t get with stainless steel tanks, which are completely inert. The effect is similar 36

Organic viticulture and biodynamics According to Nick: “Many people ask us why we decided to grow vines organically, and it’s true that managing an organic vineyard is not easy in this country! But we truly believe that organic viticulture produces better quality fruit and, ultimately, better quality wine. “Going organic is the most difficult part, as you have no systemics when it comes to diseases – difficult when it comes to downy and powdery mildew. The costs of managing an organic vineyard are probably around 40% more, due to the extra management time needed.” Nick was inspired to take one step further and go biodynamic following a visit to Laverstoke Park Farm, which was a biodynamic farm initially set up by racing driver, Jody Scheckter. There, he saw a presentation by then-head of the Soil Food Web, Dr Elaine Ingham. He liked the idea of the holistic approach being presented – achieving harmony between the earth, the plant and the cosmos. There was a commercial element as well, in that it differentiates the business and the wines from others – although this wasn’t the driving force behind Nick’s decision. Biodynamics excludes the use of artificial chemicals and encourages soil fertility and plant health by using compost teas and biodynamic preparations. Nick explains: “For example, each winter we bury cow horns filled with manure on the vineyard. They are dug up in the spring and the contents sprayed on the vineyard to improve fertility. “We have actually seen first-hand in France and Australia the difference between the quality of soil on biodynamic vineyards and that on chemically sprayed ones. It is the difference between living and dead soils. Many of the great vineyards and wineries around the world are convinced by the biodynamic approach, including Cristal from Louis Roederer, Domaine Leflaive and le Roy in Burgundy, Coulee de Serant in the Loire, Beaux

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Owner: Nick Wenman Location: Albury, Guildford, Surrey Total vineyard size: 10ha, of which 8ha are under vine and the remaining 2ha a wildlife walk Soil type: Clay on chalk, very similar to the Champagne region Aspect/terroir: Gentle slope running north to south, with water draining into the chalk and down the hillside Varieties grown: Pinot Meunier - 10,000 vines Pictured (l-r) are vineyard manager, Dominic Travers; general manager, Lucy Letley; owner, Nick Wenman; estate manager, Alex Valsecchi; and Litmus Wines winemaker, Matthieu Elzinga

Pinot Noir - 15,000 vines

spray on during the day, and it protects the vines overnight. It just washes off, without causing any damage to the vines. He has considered other options, including windmills and hot air drains, but none of them suit the topology of the vineyard. For now, the bougies are effective, but not ideal. The vineyard is surrounded by deer and rabbit fencing which keeps most animals out and the red kites seem to frighten off the smaller birds – although parakeets in nearby vineyards are a worry, Nick says.

Seyval Blanc - 5,500 vines

Freres in Oregon and Hensche in Australia.” When asked how it makes a difference to the wine, Nick’s response is that biodynamic practices in the vineyard encourage a natural harmony, without the need to use chemicals. He feels this results in a more naturally healthy bio-diverse and sustainable vineyard, producing better quality fruit and, ultimately, better quality wine, with a unique sense of place or terroir. Sustainability is at the heart of Albury Vineyard. The team are constantly developing their environmental programme as well as social and governance aspects of sustainability. From 2022, all of Albury’s boxes have been made from 100% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable, improving recycling initiatives, or by reducing waste and the vineyard’s carbon footprint.

Overcoming pest and disease challenges One of the biggest issues for viticulture in the UK is the variable weather, and being organic/ biodynamic makes it especially challenging to manage. Frosts in the spring can damage new buds and during the growing season the vineyard still has to contend with the mildews and botrytis. Late frosts have impacted the vineyard to some degree every year, and currently Nick uses bougies to stave off the worst of it. Alternative frost protection options being considered include irrigation systems, and also an interesting new foam-based system that Nick is hoping to trial this year. It’s an organic preparation which you

Chardonnay - 7,000 vines Pinot Gris - 1,000 vines

Sales and diversifications Albury Vineyard sells around 20,000–25,000 bottles per year, of which 60% is sold directly to the public. Nick’s daughter Lucy oversees the business’ marketing and social media, and they also hold a lot of events – including tours and tastings, music events and pop-up restaurant evenings. The vineyard also collaborated with Surrey Wildlife Trust, Surrey Hills National Landscape and Surrey Choices representatives to create a Woodland Walk, which has been created around the perimeter of the newest part of the vineyard, providing a live habitat for birds, bees, flowers and frogs so wildlife can thrive in the vineyard. The walk features bat and barn owl boxes, bug hotels, bee hives, butterfly scrapes, an insect highway, wildflower meadows to attract pollinators, compost pits and a pond. Nick’s future plans are to continue to develop the visitor experience, as well as Albury’s local and organic distribution channels.

Biodynamic calendar impacts buyer wine tasting Tesco and Marks & Spencer follow the biodynamic calendar when the buyers do their wine tasting. The year is divided up according to the lunar influence into leaf, flower, root and fruit days and fruit days are regarded as the most auspicious for wine drinking. It is believed that the wine actually tastes better on fruit days.

February/March/April 2024

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A fresh approach to soft fruit growing

Tenant farmer Sandy Booth is an innovator at heart, having launched a unique fruit snack to help tackle waste – as well as taking a novel approach to vine growing in the hopes of producing the UK’s first Merlot. Sarah Kidby caught up with Sandy to hear more about the farm’s history, key challenges and unique approaches. Situated in the New Forest National Park, Newhouse & Penerley Farms on the Beaulieu Estate were largely arable and dairy enterprises until they began growing around 10 tonnes of strawberries a year in the 1990s. Having worked on a number of fruit farms throughout his career, farm worker’s son, Sandy Booth, first joined the farm as a farm manager in 1997–2000, before returning eight years later as a business partner – and eventually becoming sole owner in 2017. Today, the business grows 5,000 tonnes of strawberries a year for most of the major supermarkets, alongside raspberries, blueberries and asparagus. However, it also has a large local following, selling to local people, shops, wholesalers, hotels and restaurants. Innovation is at the heart of the business, which has experimented with growing melons, artichokes, haskaps, nectarines and peaches. Operating under the New Forest Fruit Co (NFFC) name, it grows around 12 main strawberry

varieties and 50 new varieties each year, which are a mix of Junebearers, harvested over an eightweek period, and everbearers, which usually last from May till the end of October. Finding new varieties is a continual challenge – out of the 50 they try each year, they are lucky if they find one or two they want to bring back the following year. When selecting new varieties, there are a range of factors that have to be considered; but flavour is the top priority, alongside shelf life, colour and texture, Sandy explained. NFFC’s main line-up includes British-bred variety and Junebearer Malling Centenary, plus Murano and Favori. Meanwhile, Ania is grown for the premium market and offers a different taste and a more unusual product. The variety has its challenges – it is not as high yielding as other varieties, and has a bigger gap between flushes of fruit – but it gives the farm a point of difference from other growers and allows them to charge a premium.

Farming with nature Economics dictates that strawberries are replanted each year, as pest and disease pressures mean it is better to start with a new plant. Botrytis is less of an issue for the farm, while powdery mildew is the main threat. Robots applying UV-C light to strawberry plants as an alternative to sprays proved particularly successful in one variety in 2023 – so the trial will be expanded from 1ha to 30ha this year. When it comes to pests, thrips and spider mite are kept in check with biological controls, and the farm also plants garlic as an aphid deterrent to help reduce its insecticide use.

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link them up and designated conservation areas. Unused land around the site’s reservoirs has been planted with fruit trees to encourage more wildlife, and as part of a biodiversity project. An extra 400m of hedging was laid last year using traditional methods. More is on-track to be laid in 2024.

Key challenges With the increase in unpredictable weather, water availability is a growing challenge, so the NFFC built two 45,000m3 reservoirs in 2020 and 2021 – plus a new tunnel system that harvests the rainwater which is directed back to the reservoirs. Labour has also been an issue for many farms in recent years, and Sandy stressed the importance of workers being able to come to the UK for work and to contribute to the economy. Around 500 people work on the farm at any given time, and the workload continues more or less year-round – with work wrapping up for a month over Christmas, ready for replanting in January and the start of asparagus picking at the end of February. Labour is sourced from Fruitful Jobs UK, and many workers return year after year. Robots are also being trialled for strawberry picking, but it’s a slow process and, although Sandy believes there is a future for them in picking, pest and disease control and even yield forecasting, they will not be able to completely replace human workers. Also, delays waiting for new machinery has become another issue for the NFFC – a new forklift that arrived in 2023, for example, had to be ordered a year in advance – which is why they try to keep machinery as up to date as possible to avoid long wait times for new parts.

Unique dried fruits Farming in tandem with nature is at the centre of the NFFC’s practices. Two beekeepers keep honeybees on site, but they also buy in bumblebees – it’s important to use a combination to ensure everything is pollinated in time for early spring. Sandy describes honeybees as being “like teenagers” – they don’t start working until about 11am and stop at 2pm, whereas bumblebees can work at 5ºC and are active from 9am–3pm. The farm, which is a LEAF demonstration farm, also has lots of hedgerows providing habitat for a variety of species, as well as wildlife corridors to 40

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Previously, the farm sent its waste fruit to a company in Scotland where it was used for making jams and purées, but around four years ago Sandy decided to try using it for healthy snacks. After jumping through many hoops and suffering delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Booths recently launched their range of unique pulse dried strawberries. Explaining how the process works, Sandy said: “Basically we put a hole into every cell within the fruit so we can extract all the water out of it. Normally when you freeze-dry something the fruit shrinks; but when you do PDF (pulse dried fruit), it stays the same size. We are also helping to trap

in more nutrition, so it is as good as eating a fresh strawberry.” Another unique aspect to the snack is that when you drop it back into any liquid, e.g., water, Prosecco or a gin and tonic, the fruit will reabsorb the water in 10 seconds, and it becomes a fresh strawberry again. Furthermore, the fruit is entirely British-grown, compared to freeze-dried products which are often imported from Morocco, Spain or China, for example. Such products often add ingredients like sunflower oil or apple juice for flavour and to stop the fruit sticking together – but the NFFC snacks are pure strawberry, Sandy added. Having invested in all the necessary equipment, the farm is able to pulse dry and package the fruit on site. It is one of only three companies in the UK that are using the pulse machine, and the only one using it for fruit. The downside of being a unique product is that they had no knowledge base to draw from, which has created challenges. But the strawberry snacks are now being sold in local stores, with hopes for big contracts in 2024. With the dried fruit’s lightweight nature, nutritional properties and ability to easily rehydrate, it has attracted a lot of interest. The technique could be used on any fruit – the company has tried it successfully on pineapple – and there are plans to expand to farm-grown raspberries in mid-2024 and blueberries towards the end of the year. NFFC has also worked with Parkside to produce 100% biodegradable packaging, which is unique to the industry – it is home compostable within 26 weeks.

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Farm manager: Sandy Booth Location: Hampshire Total farm size: 80ha Soft fruits grown: Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Twelve main strawberry varieties, plus 50 new varieties are trialled each year Soil type: Clay loam

A novel approach to vine growing Alongside the fruit growing business, Sandy started looking after the Beaulieu Estate vineyard in 2019. As the old vineyard hadn’t been very successful, he decided to plant new vines on the other half of the field in 2021. With an innovator’s head, Sandy wanted to make some of the wines he likes to drink, such as Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo or Gewürztraminer, which are illsuited to the English climate. Having been told the varieties wouldn’t work in this country, Sandy said: “I went and planted them in tunnels anyway”. Two years on, they picked their first harvest of Gewürztraminer, Merlot and Shiraz, as well as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Jura and Pinotin. Also in the nursery this year were Tempranillo and Grenache, and Sandy hopes to bring in Nebbiolo next year. Sandy said they are not having to spray the vines for downy mildew and are achieving brix levels that are “beyond expectation compared to what people are getting outside only”. It’s expected they will be able to sell the white grapes next year, and the red grapes will follow depending on how successful they are. “There are a lot of sceptics out there saying that this is not the way to grow grapes, but in the environment that we are in these days where you can’t tell what the weather’s going to do, it makes sense. I think it’s about making things as sustainable as possible, because especially this year, I’ve heard of growers spraying two or three times a week just to keep mildew away,” Sandy said. “Our advisor was telling us to spray every two weeks; however, we were lucky and only needed to do it once a month.”

Sandy’s novel approach to vine growing was borrowed from the success of growing asparagus in French tunnels, using waste coir. After much experimentation, they built the first tabletop asparagus system in the UK in 2018, filled with an 80cm ‘buffer zone’ of coir, reused from strawberry production – whilst still allowing the roots of the asparagus to go into the soil. This method allows them to harvest around two months earlier than usual and also helps to balance the bacteria and fungi levels, whilst delivering better flavour and texture. As a result, they use only nutritional sprays, and no chemical spraying on their asparagus. Sandy applied a similar tactic to growing his unusual vine varieties. Vines are planted in 12-litre pots in a nursery inside a tunnel for the first year, before being planted in the tabletop system in the field – with a 50x50cm buffer zone of coir. It allows them to skip a couple of years of growing, Sandy said. “A lot of people would see the disadvantages, but we invited a Growers’ Group and they were all blown away. They couldn’t believe how good the crop looked considering we hadn’t sprayed it at all.” Once it’s available, hopefully in a year’s time, the resulting wine will be sold under the label Beaulieu 58, as a nod to the vineyard’s location and origins in 1958. When the Gewürztraminer grapes were harvested, they had a brix reading of 22, which translates to an alcohol level of about 12%, and are being finished in an oak barrel. The wine was fermented and bottled at another location; however, Sandy hopes to bring this in-house in the future. February/March/April 2024

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Merton Pride pears trees together. “It means if you’ve got nitrogenfixing trees or crops you’re growing to feed your trees, or if you’ve got bioaccumulators like Comfrey that penetrate deep into the subsoil to bring nutrients up, the mycorrhiza knows where all these things are. [...] There’s evidence of it dragging nutrients from right across fields and further.” However, if you want to produce RCW, you need to do so quickly for commercial reasons. A number of trees have been trialled and willow is known to be a good option as it grows so quickly you can be cutting it every year or every other year. In trials looking at top fruit, it was discovered that the salicylic acid in willow could also be linked with reduced fungal disease – however, no one had previously trialled it alongside RCW to compare the effects.

willow tackling

Which willow?


hold the key to fungal disease?

A mirror orchard has been planted in west Wales to explore the benefits of using willow mulch to tackle fungal disease in pears. If successful, it could open up a new market for apple and pear growers, as well as areas where the fruits can be successfully grown. Sarah Kidby spoke to Joey Hughes, founder of Orchard Daughters, to find out more. It’s long been accepted that salicylic acid, the main metabolite of aspirin, has a wide range of applications. But research has shown that it also plays a role in fruit tree health, which prompted Joey Hughes of the Orchard Daughters

consultancy, to plant a mirror orchard of pear trees, using ramial chipped wood (RCW) as a mulch for 50% of the trees, and willow RCW on the remainder.

Beetroot and blood pears, which are red fleshed, are being grown as part of the trial

Research over the past decade has shown that ramial chipped wood (RCW) – previously a waste product, also known as brushwood – is very high in the phytonutrient breakdown needed for feeding the mycorrhiza. This is particularly interesting for top fruit growers as the sector tries to move away from sprays and towards working in tandem with nature, Joey explained. One of the ways this is done is by feeding the mycorrhiza, which forms a symbiotic relationship with the trees’ roots. “It’s a fungal network amusingly referred to as the ‘wood wide web’ because a lot of research has gone into how trees ‘communicate’. Clearly there’s a super highway of communications and nutrient exchange,” he added. Joey describes it as the tree roots putting on a set of gloves with incredibly long fingers which stretch out across the orchard floor, linking the


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The ‘wood wide web’

Orchard Daughters had plans to plant a new pear orchard and saw it as an opportunity to do something collaborative, whilst exploring the benefits of willow mulch. A local farmer is donating all the willow for the first two years of the trial, until the orchard can establish its own. Research has shown that the level of salicylic acid varies greatly, but one variety in particular – daphnoides, or European violet willow – is 16 times higher than other varieties. This will make up the majority of the orchard’s willow – however, as it doesn’t grow as quickly as traditional varieties, they will also plant a section of viminalis. Joey’s philosophy is that it’s always better to grow things with more than one purpose – so viminalis can also be used for basketry, while daphnoides has beautiful purple-violet stems with pearly white catkins for cut flowers – so both can be sold if there’s a surplus. An added benefit is that willow is very early flowering and provides a food source for pollinators. It’s important to provide pollinators and beneficial predators with a source of food and water all year round. “Things you might forget about such as planting hedges with plants that will provide a food source outside the blossom season e.g., ivy and willow early in the season, and heathers etc. late in the season,” Joey said. “Always put in pollinator strips to feed them and encourage some sort of pond as they need to drink, which people often forget.”

A more lucrative product Apples and pears are closely aligned and suffer very similar diseases. Explaining the decision to grow pears for the trial, Joey said: “It didn’t make any sense for us to grow apples – everyone’s doing that, so we thought why not grow the more difficult thing.” They have planted 15 conventional pear varieties, five perry varieties and two others – beetroot and blood pears, which are both red fleshed. There are two of each variety in mirror orchards spanning 0.5ha on Orchard Daughters’ own clay-based land – in collaboration with local landowners and farmers. A few additional Welsh pears such as Penrhyn, Snowdon Queen, and another perry may also be planted. Ten trees (the perry varieties) were

February/March/April 2024

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Orchard and Vineyard Specialists Canopy management Under vine cultivations Pre pruning Alleyway establishment Mechanical grape harvesting Established over 25 years

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AGRONOMY planted in March/April 2023, and the remainder in November. The rootstock being used – Pyrodwarf – is related to a variety that offers some resistance to fireblight, which is on the increase in the UK. “Where you might have [traditionally] grown pears further to the east, we’re probably going to see more fireblight unfortunately. Because of climate change, we’re getting very dry late springs and early summers and I think that’s why we’re seeing a disease that we didn’t really associate with the UK. With climate change you have to think about things that will grow well in 10, 20 or 30 years, he added. Joey also plans to sell fresh fruit into a local box scheme as it can be sold at more of a premium – especially where they are based in west Wales, as the wetter weather means fewer people are growing pears. The market for fresh fruit is huge, and much more lucrative than making fresh juice or cider and perry, but people don’t want to buy apples and pears with imperfections such as surface scab, Joey pointed out. In 2020 the UK imported 46% of its fruits and vegetables, but when you look at the figure for fruit alone, it was 84%. Whilst there’s money in fresh juice, cider and perry, Joey said: “It’s much better commercially if you can augment that, even with a small portion of crop that is shop-bought quality, it will massively increase your returns and allow you to invest in other things, such as better juicing or grading equipment. By late next summer, there should start to be evidence of whether tree condition and vigour is improved on the orchard using willow mulch on the earlier planted trees. The impacts will then be monitored over the next three years. The perry trees will be allowed to crop as they went in earlier but the fruit will be removed from the other 15 commercial varieties for the first year, so there won’t be any results on the impacts on surface scab just yet. However, they will look at leaf condition and resistance to other pests and disease. Whilst Joey is confident improvements will be seen in the trees with willow mulch, the trial will demonstrate how much of a difference it makes. If successful, the findings will translate to apples which suffer similar diseases.

If they have a surplus, the viminalis willow can be sold for basketry, and the daphnoides variety for cut flowers Local samples of Welsh perry pear variety Dingat, which has an unusually good flavour for a perry pear, have been juiced and made into a perry to be tasted in early 2024. If the perry is successful, Dingat will be added to the research trial

Full list of varieties being grown in the trial: • Black Worcester • Catillac • Concorde • Conference • Doyenne du Comine • Fondante d’Automne • Humbug (stripy) • Invincible • Jargonelle • Josephine de Malines • Merton Pride • Moonglow • Obelisk • Packham’s Triumph • Pitmaston Duchess • Chapman’s Orange • Coppy • Little Cross Huff Cap • Welsh Gin • Welsh Potato

A Crytec Terminator is being used to create the mulch

• Beetroot and Blood

MEETTHEGROWER Joey Hughes started fruit tree specialist Orchard Daughters four years ago, but has been developing his orchard skills over the past 30 years. He has a masters from the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh and has been a director of Wales Heritage Orchards, and on the board of Llais y Goedwig, the voice of community woodlands. He was also a senior parliamentary advisor for the House of Commons, head of policy at the Organic Research Centre and head of capacity building at AgriTechTalk International. Meanwhile, he’s had two main roles with the Welsh Government: head of plant health and biotechnology and head of food policy and strategy – alongside running his own orchards. Orchard Daughters (Merched y Berllan in Welsh) is predominantly a consultancy but also grows apples and runs a number of community projects, such as courses for people on low incomes and work for charities and local authorities, including planting orchards for care homes and teaching people how to look after community orchards. The company also produces a few hundred fruit trees to sell each year, and tends to grow them until they’re a little older so they can be incorporated straight into agroforestry schemes. For further information follow @merchedyberllan on Instagram or Facebook.


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weed control options A diminishing herbicide armoury combined with a drive towards more environmentally sustainable production methods is slowly changing the face of weed control in vineyards. Hutchinsons agronomist Rob Saunders runs through some of the main options. Good weed control is essential to the productivity of any new or established vineyard, with clear benefits from reduced competition for light, nutrients and water, plus better airflow and heat radiation in the under-vine area. Minimising weed competition is particularly important to avoid compromising the development of newly-planted vines (see panel), while in established sites, good weed control contributes to better airflow, aiding disease management (notably botrytis during ripening later in the season) and reduces frost risk on emerging buds. Indeed, research has shown a clear reduction in temperature around vines when long vegetation is left underneath – possibly due to cold air becoming trapped, and there being less radiative heat than on bare soil. Uncultivated bare ground has also been found to be better at re-radiating the day’s heat than a cultivated surface. But bare soil has its drawbacks, especially as the industry’s focus shifts towards more sustainable, regenerative practices

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with biodiversity and soil health at their heart. The reduced herbicide armoury is further pushing growers towards a more integrated chemical and cultural weed control approach.

Chemical options While the herbicide armoury is becoming more limited, especially given restrictions on spray timings, carefully targeted applications remain key to effective weed control, requiring only limited passes, and allowing soil to remain undisturbed, says Rob. He recognises the value of keeping the undervine area weed-free, but says that with the focus on soil health, it may be preferable to retain some weed cover in the under-vine strip until closer to the main frost risk period, to protect soil during wetter months and provide substrate for soil organisms during this period. “A balance must be found though, as we cannot expect a single herbicide application to control large, well developed weed populations in one hit, therefore a staged approach using different actives may be required on particularly weedy sites.” The residual herbicide propyzamide (as in Kerb), can be used within the vine row between

October and the end of January, and is sloweracting than other chemistry, taking several weeks for growth to die back after treatment, so may provide some soil protection and substrate for soil organisms during this period. The active controls a range of established weeds, including grassweeds, black nightshade, creeping buttercup, black bindweed, knotgrass, redshank, fat hen and chickweed. Glyphosate remains one of the most important tools in the armoury for preparing fields before planting vines, and controlling weeds within the rows during the spring, Rob continues. The Roundup Powermax formulation of glyphosate (containing 720g/kg of active ingredient) is the main contact herbicide fully approved for use in table and wine grapes. “On particularly weedy sites, especially those with harder to control species, such as thistles, docks and nettles, cutting back large weeds and allowing them to re-grow a little before applying glyphosate will improve the uptake and activity. Adding wetters and using appropriate water volumes will improve efficacy.” Some weeds, like nettle, will be better controlled if glyphosate is mixed with the desiccant carfentrazone-ethyl – although he advises growers to observe the optimum ratio of these active ingredients to achieve maximum uptake by weeds. Also be aware that carfentrazone-ethyl carries a 90-day harvest interval, so should be applied by the end of flowering. Products based on pelargonic acid or fluazifopP-butyl offer other options, but the former has restrictions on when it can be applied, and the latter only controls a limited range of grassweeds.

Mulches Applying an organic mulch, such as PAS-100 certified compost, or woodchips, to the undervine area can help suppress weeds, while beneficially building soil organic matter and nutrients, says Rob. However, neither is a complete solution, especially as the availability and cost of transporting and applying such bulky material can

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AGRONOMY be prohibitive, he says. “Compost quality can also vary, and weed seedlings sometimes germinate within compost, potentially increasing, rather than decreasing, the burden.” Young vines may derive some benefit from nutrients in compost, but Nitrate Vulnerable Zone regulations can limit application timing and quantity, depending on nutrient content, he adds. “For woodchips or bark, beware nitrogen can get tied up by soil biology breaking down the high carbon content of woody material, leaving less available to vines. Generally, it is better to apply thinner layers of wood chip more frequently. Woodchip can also spread Armillaria mellea (bootlace fungus).” There is increasing interest in sowing green covers as a ‘living mulch’ underneath vines to suppress weeds, improve soil health, and benefit biodiversity. They can also shade the soil, reducing soil temperatures in extreme summer heat, to the benefit of soil organisms and reduced vine stress. There is an added aesthetic factor too, which may be important to those who open vineyards for public events or tourism. Rob says any species sown underneath vines must not grow too tall or vigorously, to minimise competition, allow good airflow around vines, and facilitate bunch ripening later in the season. He cites work by viticulture researcher Michela Centinari, who identified red fescue as a useful option, most applicable where excess vine vigour is a problem. It can be tricky to establish though, as it is not particularly competitive when small, so higher seed rates are required. Microclover is another option that Hutchinsons is looking at in a small trial with one grower in the West. The plant’s short, stunted growth habit is ideal, while it also fixes some atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. “With any living mulch, there remains the risk that dominant weeds, such as thistle, will come through, and chemical controls are then very limited due to the risk of killing cover. It may be possible to use a weed wiper for taller species, or deploy an inter-vine mower. “As with any green cover growing beneath vines, whether that’s microclover, red fescue, or any other cover crop, initial signs can be promising, but only time will tell if there is any impact on disease risk, frost damage, ripening, vine vigour or yield.”

Cultivations and novel approaches Rob says there are various mechanical solutions to weed control that may be considered, although the benefits from not using chemistry must be weighed against the energy requirements, speed of operation, financial outlay, and the impact on soil health, biodiversity and crop risks. “While herbicides offer the simplest control of weeds underneath vines, it is useful to consider what alternatives might work for individual sites, soil types and weed spectrums.” In the right conditions, mechanical cultivation can be effective for taking out roots of dicotyledonous weeds, but Rob says it is better suited to established vineyards (four years plus) due to the risk of damaging weaker, smaller vines. Cultivations are also best done regularly in dry, friable soils, as wet cultivations smear soil and increase the risk of regrowth. Regularly disturbing topsoil also increases erosion risk on sloping

ground, releases carbon through the oxidation of organic matter, and may affect biodiversity, such as ground-nesting bees and soil biology. Electric weeders are an alternative option; they were first tried in the 1950s, but failed to catch on commercially. However, electric weeders can be effective on fleshy weeds with tap roots, such as thistle or dock, although less so on grasses, he says. Electric weeders are safe to use around vines, due to the woody stems – although systems do require large amounts of power, especially if attempting to treat a wide swathe, which may raise questions over their sustainability, he adds. Similar questions may apply to gas-powered flame weeders, which can also be slow and require specialist technology that may be heavy and prone to technical issues. Water weeders are another approach that has been developed, using either high pressure water jets or steam to destroy weeds. Operational speed, effectiveness and disturbance of the soil surface are potential issues though.

Grazing Overwinter sheep grazing in the vineyard is a popular option for many growers, that has several benefits, Rob explains. “Sheep do a great job of tightly grazing down weeds and grass, which keeps vineyards looking tidy and means spring herbicide treatments are more effective. Grazing stimulates young fresh growth to take up actives, and reduces the application shadow that can occur around tall weeds or clumps of grass. I like it as a technique.” Grazing in winter means there is no risk to foliar growth, although he suggests grazing is

probably not suitable around very young vines. Copper toxicity is also a risk in sheep, so avoid grazing where copper has been recently applied in the vineyard. Lack of adequate fencing is often a concern; however, this can be easily overcome with temporary electric fencing, which is relatively quick to install and move with a barrow or ATVmounted reel system, such as those made by Rappa. “Grazing agreements are usually on an ad-hoc basis with local farmers, where you might be able to borrow sheep for little or no cost. Charging for providing grazing is unlikely.”


In most situations, ground destined for planting a new vineyard will be sprayed off with glyphosate before ploughing; however, Rob says a further weed flush is likely as temperatures rise in the spring, so a follow-up treatment in early April may be necessary. Grow tubes around vines allow herbicides to be applied safely post-planting, while protecting vines from rabbit damage. Make sure a functioning herbicide sprayer is ready, as weeds can take hold quickly in warm soils and compete with new vines for light, water and nutrients. Biodegradable membranes laid down straight after planting offer effective non-chemical weed suppression, and help to conserve moisture and warm the soil, he adds. Some occasional hand roguing of pernicious weeds (e.g. thistles) may still be needed though, and hand-weeding of planting holes is also important given limited chemistry.

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Five very traditional Somerset varieties of cider apple were chosen – Yarlington Mill (which is about four miles from the orchard), Harry Masters Jersey, Sweet Coppin, Dabinett, and Browns. Oliver comments: “These give a great blend of flavours and attributes, from low to high tannin, sweet to acid, bittersweet to bittersharp. To this mix we add some other varieties we are offered, plus some cooking apples, of which there are a plentiful supply here.” Today the farm’s apples are used to produce cider and juice, as well as apple cider vinegar, which are sold through a variety of local outlets such as cafés, pubs and shops, as well as markets and local events. A rising number of people have also begun buying direct. The farm’s ciders are named Tower Brue after King Alfred’s Tower, which is visible from the orchards, and the tributary of the River Brue which runs through the orchard into the local town of Bruton (Brue-town). Dowding’s currently makes far more juice than cider, so most of its varieties are dessert apples, but it also sources local apples that would otherwise go to waste. Three years ago they also planted 100 Kingston Black trees – an increasingly rare Somerset apple variety first grown in the parish of Kingston-StMary near Taunton. Although still young, it is hoped the trees will produce good yields.

A full range of natural flavours

“A rising tide floats many boats”:

Authenticity collaboration and

are key for Somerset orchard

Creating ciders with 100% fruit juice rather than imported concentrates is a point of principle for Dowding’s Apple Juice & Cider, based in Somerset. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby spoke to farm owner Oliver Dowding, on the challenges facing smaller producers, the importance of working with other local businesses, and how the organic farm uses innovative approaches to tackle pest and disease problems. Oliver Dowding has farmed in Shepton Montague, Somerset, for his entire working life, and worked alongside his father until his death in 1988. Over the years, the farm has had a herd of dairy cows, kept beef cattle, and produced cereals and vegetables. But after the herd was sold in 2005, Oliver’s focus shifted to the apple orchards that were planted in 1995. Having converted the whole farm to organic management and standards in 1990, part of the land was entered into a predecessor of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, which involved planting an orchard where there had previously been one.

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Making ciders with 100% fruit juice is something Dowding’s refuses to compromise on. “We will only ever create cider with 100% juice content and mature it for at least nine months,” Oliver explains. “We won’t dupe the consumer by watering down our cider, even if legally allowed. We don’t create a speedily made ‘concentrate’ to allow storage and then water it down.” However, he adds: “Making a full juice cider does make it harder to compete; the multiple retailers like watered-down cider as they can screw the prices lower. That in turn sets a false price benchmark in the market and the consumer’s price-conscious eyes. “With 100% juice cider you will get the full range of natural flavours, each being unique for every cider maker and probably different every year. We don’t manipulate our flavours with a large range of ‘additives’ etc. This allows us to deliver sound and thoroughly appreciated products to our discerning customers, be that via local stockists or people coming to buy direct from us.”

Impact of a late harvest In years such as 2023, when poor sunshine levels in July and August resulted in low sugar and a badly delayed harvest, many larger scale producers import ‘concentrate’ from other countries where there has been more sun, and thus, sweeter apples, putting further pressure on smaller producers, Oliver explains. Labelling rules in the UK only require businesses to say where the drink was made, not where the apples originated. Ideally, harvest starts in early September at Dowding’s, but is dictated by the season. “We have to wait until the sugar levels are good enough, as we don’t want apple juice that isn’t sweet. Last year’s lack of sunshine through the summer proved particularly challenging, although a four-hour frost in late May 2021 was worse, with a whole orchard’s annual output reduced to zero in a few hours,” explains Oliver.

07/02/2024 15:45

GROWER PROFILE Oliver adds: “Small producers struggle to compete on price with the larger producers, but it’s even harder when battling imports and the natural levels of sweetness.” The knock-on impact of this is that many local orchards are left with unwanted fruit – and the orchard owners are despondent. As well as using the apples from its own certified organic orchards, Dowdings makes use of these unwanted apples which otherwise wouldn’t be harvested, which allows schools and community projects to get involved. It also prevents wasting of apples from the many traditional and varied orchards in Somerset – often referred to as ‘apple and cider country’. Dowding’s is now receiving fruit from many sources, including the National Trust at Montacute and Barrington Court, who used to process their own fruit until the Covid-19 pandemic. “Sadly, it’s impossible to use everything we are offered, either because they are too far away, the wrong varieties or that we simply have enough,” Oliver says. The delayed harvest also means Dowding’s has had to be much more selective about what it harvests and when, which in turn makes for frustration with those whom it has offered work. This is particularly true of the ‘WWOOFers’ (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) who arrange to be here for harvest and find themselves deployed to other tasks, not in the orchards.

People versus machines All apples are hand-picked and thus graded in the field, and whilst this presents a significant cost to the business, it’s not something Oliver wants to compromise on, and the orchards don’t lend themselves to mechanical harvesting. Oliver and his partner Jane are the only permanent staff. Being a small business, they have always relied on employing a small number of local people during harvest. However, now that it is registered with WWOOF it has a lot of willing workers coming from all over the world to volunteer. “Being part of the WWOOF community has exceeded our expectations. We enjoy providing our WWOOFers with free board and lodging and undertaking whatever tasks we can to ensure they enjoy their time with us. Minimal field machinery is required on the farm beyond a Ferris 4ft topper. Where mechanical help is occasionally needed they use local contractors, including Oliver’s nephew Jack who is based in the village. Some work is also done by a local farmer in exchange for receiving lots of apple pomace at harvest for his cows. Manual labour allows Dowding’s

to grade and sort the apples before they enter the crusher, which is good for quality control and also removes the need for some equipment and processes. Oliver added: “It is very hard to make a financial comparison between using people versus machinery, particularly on a small scale. We hugely value working with people.”

An inventive approach to pests Voles have been the most significant pest for the orchards which are still being established. “In establishing young trees, voles are incredibly destructive and cause major costs in replacing young trees that are damaged by them. As organic producers we have limited options for control,” Oliver explains, which is why they began working with Pitcombe Rock Falconry, in the next village. “Their founder, Alan Wells, spent seven mornings, afternoons and evenings here watching and noting what prey existed and what birds of prey could be supported. As he is a paramedic he would also drop in in the evenings on his way to a night shift. He then provided us with a comprehensive report documenting the farm wildlife, including existing owls, some of which were looking for a mate. This gave him the necessary information required to confidently install four owl boxes to suit three different owl species. The farm also now works harder to keep the grass shorter to reduce the appeal to voles and helps expose them to the owls. Voles aside, the farm suffers the usual range of pest and disease issues affecting apple growers and again, treatment options are very limited by its organic status. After over 30 years of organic management, the farm has some very healthy soils, albeit they are not deep, Oliver says. There is limestone brash on one side of the stream dividing the orchards with a loam over clay on the other.

Farm owner: Oliver Dowding Location: Shepton Montague, Somerset Total farm size: 240ha Size of orchards: 6ha Approx number of trees: 1,400 Varieties grown: c. 35 dessert varieties, six culinary varieties, seven cider varieties Soil type: Limestone brash and medium loam – all quite shallow

Creative plans The farm’s cider production has always been restricted by the 7,000-litre duty-free allowance, so its focus is increasing sales to local outlets such as cafés, farm shops, pubs etc. Where they will increase production is with apple juices, particularly single or mixed varieties. The farm currently only produces one single variety apple juice, the Kingston Black, and Dowding’s has recently made contact with a few people in Kingston-St-Mary who have offered their Kingston Black apples. The farm enjoys connecting and collaborating with other local producers – believing that “a rising tide floats many boats”.

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damage following the last expected frost event, the sacrificial cane can be used to replace the original (now damaged) one. If the original cane has escaped damage, the sacrificial one can be removed. These additional steps also require time and labour, with the associated costs. Therefore, speed is another important consideration when tying down.


for tying down your vineyard VineWorks viticulturalist, Sam Middleton, offers his advice on how and when to tie down canes in order to boost the health and yield of your vines.

Of the more than 4.5 million vines that VineWorks has planted in the UK, the vast majority are likely to be pruned to a Guyot (cane) system – one or two canes, and below them, one or two renewal spurs. After winter pruning, the canes will usually be slanting upwards. If left like this, the buds at the top of the cane will be prioritised by the vine and grow first due to acrotony – a genetic property of the vine. Their growth will inhibit budburst lower down the cane, risking non-uniform shoot growth and ripening. Tying canes horizontally to the fruiting wire is a simple but critical viticultural task. The primary objective is to shape vine architecture: encourage even budbreak and balanced shoot growth, maximise sunlight interception and air circulation, reduce shading and humidity, and ultimately, enhance yield and grape quality. Although the task is simple – usually wrapping the cane(s) of each vine once around the fruiting wire before fixing it with one tie – it is time- and labour-intensive. It is also time-sensitive.

When to tie down Ideally, tying down is performed once the grapevines emerge from winter dormancy and the sap begins to rise. At this point, the canes are less brittle, meaning

they can be more easily manipulated – sometimes by gently cracking them – into the optimal position along the fruiting wire. Trying to do this too early can result in snapped canes and a significant loss of yield. In many vineyards, spring frost poses a significant risk. To mitigate this, the decision may be taken to delay tying down or leave sacrificial canes until the frost risk has hopefully passed. Both tactics seek to exploit two things: Firstly, grapevine acrotony – protecting buds lower down the cane by delaying their development (the further developed they are, the higher the risk); and secondly, the fact that the further they are from the ground, the better protected buds are from the more common radiation frost. However, delaying tying down can be problematic, because uneven budburst and shoot growth can have far-reaching effects throughout the season. Tying down shoots that are already growing is risky because they are vulnerable to being damaged, reducing yield. Performing this task more carefully (slowly) represents increased time and costs. A more common approach is to leave a sacrificial cane (standing upright), while the first cane is tied down to the fruiting wire to encourage uniform budburst and growth. After assessing

There are two primary ways to tie down. Simplest is to use paper-coated twist ties by hand. They are effective, affordable, and require very little training. An experienced vineyard worker might tie down over 800 vines per day (whether there are one or two canes will affect timings). Those with less experience will manage significantly fewer. Ties come in 12cm and 15cm lengths to account for different cane thickness, and have the added benefit of being biodegradable, removing the need to collect them, saving time. The other method is a handheld binder. They are more expensive than hand ties, but considerably faster. An experienced operator can reduce labour time by one third or more. However, the twisting mechanism – which usually applies a tie from a roll connected to the machine – can malfunction. The equipment should be well maintained, and operators trained in its use so problems can be fixed quickly. In our experience, when it comes to tying machines, the less complicated the better. Electric tying machines come with battery packs to last a full day. There are also less expensive (and less complex) manual ones with similar speeds as their electric counterparts, but at a lower cost, and with less to go wrong. Ligatex is a widely used tying tool applying galvanised wire, while a newer cost-effective option is the semi-automatic tool manufactured by La Cruz which can apply biodegradable ties. Ultimately the most suitable method of tying down will differ between vineyards and should be selected after consideration of the factors outlined above.

ABOUTOUREXPERT VineWorks has been establishing, servicing and supplying UK vineyards since 2006. With over 4.5 million vines planted, 300 vineyards established and thousands of tonnes of grapes hand-harvested, the company’s expertise comes from experience.

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Photo credits: Bud burst, © VineWorks 2019; Paper ties, © VineWorks 2024

Equipment and sundries


08/02/2024 11:01


looks bright Future

for Crouch Valley wine region McNeill Vineyard Management says it is confident of a bright future for the Crouch Valley wine region. As the MVM team expands with two new hires, founder Duncan McNeill has a clear vision – which is for “Crouch Valley to become the next Central Otago or Oregon within the next 10 years.” Leading UK vineyard services company, McNeill Vineyard Management, is expanding its team with two key hires as it looks to drive forward the next phase of vineyard development in Essex’s nowfamous Crouch Valley wine region.

Successful strategic alliance Viticulturist and company founder, Duncan McNeill, who has been widely credited as establishing the region as a premier producer of English wines, will be supported by new operations manager, Umut Yesil and labour coordinator, Rachel Leishman. Yesil, who also co-owns Riverview Crouch Valley Vineyard, will be responsible for the implementation of management plans, tracking workflows and enabling logistics for MVM, which works with over 20 vineyards across 400 acres

throughout southern Essex. Leishman will oversee the coordination of MVM’s manual labour teams on the ground from winter pruning to summertime leaf canopy management, right through to grape harvesting. In 2022, MVM also formed a successful strategic alliance with Mikey Hollington of Crow’s Lane Estate Contracting who, following significant investment, has taken on the role of machinery operations for MVM according to McNeill’s specifications. In addition, a new partnership with an Essexbased contract winery is in the offing, which should be operational for the 2024 vintage and is working with a variety of new and emerging wine brands.

Exciting chapter Duncan McNeill, an alumni of Eastern Insitute

Pictured (l-r) are MVM operations manager, Umut Yesil; Crows Lane Estate Contracting owner, Mikey Hollington; MVM company director, Nadine McNeill; MVM founder and CEO, Duncan McNeill; and MVM labour coordinator, Rachel Leishman of Technology Hawkes Bay, New Zealand and Plumpton College, West Sussex, began his viticulture career in New Zealand. He said: “This is an incredibly exciting chapter for MVM and the Crouch Valley as we welcome Umut and Rachel to the team and establish new strategic industry partnerships to facilitate the ever-growing needs of our new and existing clients. “MVM established many of the vineyards we see in the Crouch Valley today, and we’re proud to be the pioneers of its premium, quality grapes. We’re passionate about propelling Crouch Valley into an exciting new era of wine production and it’s my aim that within the next decade this area will be considered the UK’s answer to Central Otago or Oregon as a producer of world class still wines. “What we’re seeing is a real turning point for this region as it evolves from its grape farming roots, into a world-class wine production area that is synonymous with the production of the very finest English wines. “The Crouch Valley is a place very close to my heart and there’s something very special happening here at the moment, with a real sense of unity and momentum amongst a growing number of incredibly exciting wine producers. Together, I feel confident that we can really inspire the next chapter in the Crouch Valley story.” MVM was established in 2011 and works with a variety of the UK’s most prestigious and wellknown vineyards and wineries.

MVM founder and CEO Duncan McNeill (centre) is pictured with MVM’s vineyard team 52

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SUZUKI Ozark 250cc, 2018, in good working order, full original paperwork & receipt, data security, ready to work. £1,600 ono. G Brewer Tel 07592 147469 (Essex) ROOF top air conditioning parts, with compressor, was fitted to a Unimog, contact & collect. FREE. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

KAWASAKI KLF300B, 2012, good condition throughout, serviced regularly, tow bar. £1,700. J Cunningham Tel 07860 145580/01376 331045 (Essex)

ARGO Avenger 750HDI, 2015, roll bar & spotlights, 3186hrs which have all been light use, these machines will literally go anywhere, c/w an 8 wheeler 10’ x 5’ trailer, average condition. £9,500 ono. D Anderson Tel 07775 758584 (Somerset)

ATLAS 36'x12' static caravan, in good order, all services working fine, cosmetic damage to exterior, interior stripped out for long term living, gas heated, single glazed windows. £1,000 ono. J Cargill Tel 07773 779952 (Essex)

EXCAVATOR buckets (5), to suit 13T machine, sizes 2', 4', 18", 3', 2'6", 65mm pins. Job lot £1,200+VAT ono or individually by negotiation. P Beesley Tel 07803 266361 (Leicestershire) NEW Holland LB110B digger, 2006, 4wd, 7123hrs, one owner, various buckets, vgc. £20,000+VAT. F Addy Tel 07885 277206 (South Yorkshire)

SUZUKI quad bike, non runner. Offers. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire) SUZUKI KingQuad 500 XP, 2014, 1350hrs auto, road legal, tow bar, power steering, selectable 4wd. £1,395+VAT. S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex)

BUILDINGS & MATERIALS JOHN Deere Gator utility vehicle, HPX diesel (2013), 5296hrs, in very good condition, 2wd & 4wd, tipping. £5,450+VAT. R Dickenson Tel 07834 826928 (Gloucestershire) SEARLE LS100L motors & fan blades, good condition. D Peattie Tel 01333 739007 (Fife)

REFRIGERATION unit, cold store, 40kw, approx 1990, recently refurbished compressor, floor standing evaporator, newer inverter driven condenser. £3,500+VAT. J Brocksopp Tel 07831 309922 (South Yorkshire)

SUZUKI King Quad 500XP, 2014, 1350hrs, power steering, selectable 4wd, road legal, tow bar, serviced & in good working order. £3,750+VAT. S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex)

RAILWAY wagon, 1930s, exterior refurbished, interior boarded ready to convert, 5.4m long, 2.5m wide, photos on request. £12,000 ono. D Moore Tel 07518 903384/07858 952639 (Leicestershire)

WELFARE unit with Sutton 11kva generator, kitchen/dining, separate office, separate toilet, drying room all secure, water tanks, full electrics - lights/sockets/heaters fuse board. £5,995. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

McCONNEL PA6 mounted digger, 1970s, fits standard 3 point linkage, 3' bucket average condition. £750 ono. M Cock Tel 07702 294600 (Lincolnshire)

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


ATVS/UTVS KAWASAKI Mule with cab, regd 4/10/1991, taxation class agricultural machine, engine running, but needs slight attention, tyres 50% plus spares on wheels, registration documents available. Open to offers. A Phillipson Tel 01777 702815 (Nottinghamshire)

PORTABLE chemical toilet. £295+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

KAWASAKI Mule 3010, 2500hrs, 2wd and 4wd, tipping back. £4,250 no VAT. L Rich Tel 07774 112212 (Gloucestershire) PETROL go kart, Honda 5.5hp engine, gwo, chain drive. £299. J Horsington Tel 01300 341250 (Dorset)

F&V Feb/March/April Class pages 55-65.indd 55

TRADITIONAL shepherds hut, 2022, steel turntable chassis on cast iron wheels, insulated walls, floor & roof, internally clad with thick tongue & groove painted boards & engineered oak floor, clad in corrugated green sheets, excellent. £11,450 ono. A Paul Tel 07782 660799 (Cambridgeshire)

EXCAVATOR attachment to for Avant, but could be modified, as seen. £450. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

PRIESTMAN Mustang 120 MkI, 360deg, vgo & working condition, starts on the key every time, new pins, sprockets, etc, for wide filled tracks, 95% wear left, 2 buckets, can still get spares, selling as project finished & I'm 90 now! £6,500 ono. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire)

February/March/April 2024


09/02/2024 11:27

BR Strathern Ltd

. New Holland Specialist . Sales Agricultural . . Service & Repair . Hydraulic Hose . . Used Fruit & Vineyard Tractor & Machinery Specialist .

Tel: 01621 828318 . Mobile 07715 565606 Chelmsford, Essex


February/March/April 2024

F&V Feb/March/April Class pages 55-65.indd 56

08/02/2024 15:32


DIGGAR PD3 hydraulic hole borer with 450mm auger, 65mm drive shaft, as new, never used, still strapped to delivery pallet, other auger sizes available from the manufacturer. Open to sensible offer. A Lee Tel 07836 773893 (Suffolk)

KUBOTA KX015-4, 2017, 1950hrs, good working order. £9,500+VAT ono. L Tuckey Tel 07970 789955 (Warwickshire)


KRONE ECR 280, 2015, straight mower, very little used, mint condition. £6,250. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

KOMATSU PC210LC, 2021, 1670hrs, 800mm pads, hammer & rotate lines, quick hitch, 360 cameras, boxing ring, cab guards, one driver from new. £79,850+VAT ono. J Binning Tel 07765 064694 (Oxfordshire)

GRAYS 8' flat ballast roll for pasture, etc, good condition. £750 ono. E Gillett Tel 07710 137619 (Suffolk) PROTECH 220+ digger mounted post knocker, c/w 550kg weight, used on a 5T machine, but now upgraded to a tractor mounted machine, on 45mm pins, good condition. £1,500+VAT ono. A Mackay Tel 07981 527746 (Hertfordshire)

RITCHIE hydraulically folding chain harrows, 6m wide, good condition. £1,350+VAT. B Burton Tel 07775 877136 (Nottinghamshire) HONDA tracked power barrow, petrol, 2 forward gears, 1 reverse, turns & drives as it should, fair condition, good tracks & tipping body removes for a flat deck. £1,400+VAT ono. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

DE-BARBER removes barbs from wire to make joins & finishers easier & safer, as new. £20. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)


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

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

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

LELY Lotus 300 combi rake, done very little work, in very good condition. £1,450+VAT. A Turnbull Tel 07889 117915 (Suffolk)

PLAIN wire 4mm mild steel, 3 full rolls, as new, plus a part used roll. £100. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

QUICK staple puller, makes removing staples from old fencing posts much easier, as new. £30. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01245 380061 (Essex)

2019 Erth Panbuster 3 leg subsoiler, hydraulic reset, excellent condition. £7,500+VAT ono. A Benson Tel 07811 270731 (Oxfordshire)

KILWORTH 4' flail topper, fits compact tractor, good working order. £650 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire) OXYGENERATOR 3m grassland aerator/slitter, ready to go to work. £1,250+VAT. C Haynes Tel 01953 861444 (Norfolk)

SPEARHEAD flail mower, working order, 540 PTO drive. £2,950+VAT ono. P Lole Tel 07767 695800 (Worcestershire)

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

SPEARHEAD Starcut 300 topper, triple rotor HD mulching with two levels of blades on each rotor, very well built, 1000rpm, approx 100acres done since overhaul by main Spearhead dealer, could deliver by agreement. £3,900+VAT ono. C Whitton Tel 07957 870362 (Suffolk)

STOCKADE ST400 contractor's air stapler, very powerful, capable of using 50mm barbed staples, very good condition, c/w 2,000 staples. £350. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

HUSQVARNA R418Ts 4wd ride on mower, 120cm front cutting deck, 2019, good condition. £2,300. A Read Tel 07977 930401 (Lincolnshire)

TOPPER mowers, rotary blades, approx 6m cut, all in working order, belt drive to blades, 540 PTO, fair condition. £3,950+VAT. P Lole Tel 07767 695800 (Worcestershire)

February/March/April 2024

BARBED wire, 1.6mm high tensile, 4 rolls, as new. £100. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

STRAINRITE Wire Jenny unroller, excellent condition. £95. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

F&V Feb/March/April Class pages 55-65.indd 57


09/02/2024 11:29



Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

COOK bale wrapper, sad sale, my wife loved using this, good condition. D Nickson Tel 07774 418105 (Lincolnshire) TALEX Eco Cut 185 twin disc mower, good condition. £1,500+VAT ono. D Nickson Tel 07774 418105 (Lincolnshire)

WEIDEMANN Terra Combi overseeder, very clean condition, little use. £4,995+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

RIDDLE bucket/log bucket/ muck fork, professionally built, MX loader brackets (bolt on), suit any small/medium tractor loader, 1600mm wide, 2023. S Godwin Tel 07970 625051/ 07814 766718 (Wiltshire)

SHELBOURNE Reynolds 760t hedge cutter, 2018, 6m reach, 4pt linkage, 1.5m head, competition flails, hyd roller, telescopic, head float, power slew, cooler fan, only 887 rotor hrs, excellent condition, located Bridgwater. £20,000+VAT. T Coombes Tel 07595 220712 (Somerset)

BOMFORD Robin 3.4, 2015, compact, tidy trimmer, three point linkage and cable control. £6,250. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire) SIMPLICITY ride-on mower. £100. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

BOMFORD 457 hedgecutter, 3pt linkage mounted, semi independent hyd, cable controls, working order, average condition. £1,450 no VAT. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)


SUTON LCS40 bucket for JCB Q-Fit, manufactured 2019, good condition, some wear to leading edge £1,250+VAT. N Elsom Tel 07887525047 (Norfolk) GOODNATURE SX280 Squeezebox for cold press & Goodnature EG series Cross Crop chopper with removable/changeable screens, sold as a fruit chopping and cold pressing line for apples and other fruits. C Williamson Tel 07711 560788 (Essex)

ULRICH excavator tree shear, 50mm pins, multi-function, will cut 6" hardwood, 8" soft, ready for work. £4,000. J Kings Tel 07837 115192 (Monmouthshire)

IRRIGATION/ DRAINAGE ATCO ride-on cylinder mower, petrol, Villiers engine. £100+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

McCONNEL Orbiter head attachment, c/w spacers, bolts & pipework, is a must for narrow lane hedge cutting, allowing the cutting head to be kept close to hedge behind the tractor, this one is the single ram version. £500+VAT. S Peach Tel 07802 566020/07802 566030 (Hampshire)


LOG splitter in good working order. £350 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire) STIHL HS75 hedge cutter & MS171 chainsaw, Suffolk/Cambs border. Offers. P Tarry Tel 01638 507459 (Cambridgeshire)



McCONNEL Swing Trim hedge cutter, only 2yrs old, has done little work, mounts onto Kubota small tractor, arms & cutter bar powered by tractor hydraulic system, in excellent condition, owner retiring. £3,650 no VAT. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

FLEMING FM 150 finishing mower (topper), 150cm side, bought in 2014, good condition, new blades supplied & new belts installed. £800+VAT ono. D Bridger Tel 07841 865050 (Dorset)

PORTEC log splitter, really fast, 8.5t impact, electric powered, fully portable, very good condition. £485. A Upson Tel 07980 807604/01234 5380061 (Essex)

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

COTSWOLD water heater, 3 phase, 6kw, 120 gallon, c/w timer clock, good condition. D Seymour Tel 07850 292743 (Buckinghamshire)

DRIP IRRIGATION, 25mm pipe, emitters 250mm spacing, 1/3L water p/h per emitter, good condition, 200 x 50m, more available. £1 per metre. S Melton Tel: 07988 585009 (Cambridgeshire)


SUTON 230 road brush, tractor mounted (front or rear), 2.3m wide, hydraulic drive, 2012 but has very little use & has always been barn stored. £1,000+VAT ono. S Peach Tel 07802 566020/07802 566030 (Hampshire)


THREE-POINT linkage pulling out bar, decent condition. £500+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)

TRACTOR mounted sweeper collector, good brush with hydraulic empty. £1,500+VAT. L Baker Tel 07989 985270 (Northamptonshire)

ENDOLINE Case Sealer, suitable for closing & taping the top & bottom of a cardboard box, either free-standing or as part of a production line, adjustable up to 54cm high & 50cm wide, 13 amp supply, some tape included. £1,000+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire) SHOTBLASTING gun with 20kg of shotblasting grit. £50. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

February/March/April 2024

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09/02/2024 11:31


RED Rhino 5000 crusher, 500mm x 250mm jaw action, perfect working order, selling due to upgrade, 11357hrs, March 2012, good condition. £18,995+VAT ono. T James Tel 07477 797456 (West Midlands)

2002 JCB 530-70 Loadall, 6820hrs, forks, 1.5t grain bucket, 4in1 bucket, annual safety test. £19,000. D Jackson Tel 07779 687408 (Essex) WI-FI security cameras, 4 bullet, 1 fish eye & 1 standard camera with recorder that stores information for a month, plus 2 cabinets. £500+VAT ono. D Bolderston Tel 07887 925550 (Norfolk)

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

ELECTRIC folding bike, good quality, British made, only done 63 miles since new. £850. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

IBC jumbo bag seed bag/fertiliser bag forklift attachment, good used condition. £300+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)

HYSTER H50 forklift truck, 5000lbs/2.3t Duplex mast, 1970s, refurbished previously, 60hp Perkins 4cyl on the button, 2 speed F/R shuttle gearbox with wet clutch, basic, sound & tidy classic yard truck. ‘What’s not to like?!’ £1,975+VAT ono. C Whitton Tel 07957 870362 (Suffolk)

SPRAYERS LARGE Daken Welvet truck toolbox, new & unused, approx 1.2m wide x 0.5m high x 0.5m deep, weatherproof & lockable with 6 keys. £165. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

AVANT loader collecting broom, can be adapted back to skid steer if needed, bought in job lot of attachments, seems to work well, brushes worn but work OK, c/w standard quick release, cash on collection. £1,500 ono. J Binns Tel 07590 915879 (Lancashire)

CLAAS Scorpion 7030 Varipower, 2010, 6300hrs, serviced & tested, vgc, cone & pin headstock. £23,950. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

JCB 560–80 AGRI XTRA Dualtech VT, 40kph, 2023, 300hrs only, Michelin Bibload 480/80/ R26, 3yr/2000hr warranty, pickup hitch, full LED lighting package, immaculate condition/as new, grain store work only, excellent. £92,000+VAT. S Godwin Tel 07970 625051/07814 766718 (Wiltshire)

MANITOU 735 MLT LSU Turbo teleporter, 11 plate, 6500hrs, all good, air con, boom suspension. £29,995+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

JCB 2CX Air Master, 2100hrs, 2 pipe air compressor, 4 in 1 bucket, all good. £12,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire) JCB bucket. £1,000+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

Power nebulisers are ideal for large, dense or difficult to access areas in vineyards and orchards. The 11 L Motor-Powered Backpack Nebuliser and Mist Applicator has a Kawasaki engine that produces a powerful, directed fog of finely atomised liquid or powdered product 18 m horizontally and 12 m vertically.

4X4X3 wooden boxes with metal frame, discount for large quantities can be negotiated, strong boxes ideal for veg, logs, hay feeders, reclamation, etc. 150 available but price is per box - £25. L Farrer Tel 07766 084808 (Cambridgeshire)

JCB 531-70 Loadall, 8000hrs, 2014, runs well, looks rough. £18,000. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire)

VIBRATORY deck screener, 40mm & 20mm, petrol engine, very little use from new, starts & runs well, 265cm wide x 122cm deep x 253cm tall. £3,000 ono. H Dunn Tel 07387 637633 (Buckinghamshire)

MANKAR® spraying systems offer professional, eco-friendly weed control using minimal herbicides or herbicide blends without water. They utilise ULV technology to evenly distribute a small amount of active product, allowing for controlled droplet application (CDA).

CONCRETE mixer, Lister diesel single cylinder crank start 5/3.5, always fires up, uses very little fuel, gwo, clean drum, used for a self build, no longer needed, can assist with loading. £400 no VAT. D Dunnett Tel 07753 842101 (Norfolk) PIPE/CABLE layer, Cat 1 linkage, hardly used. £250. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

PAPER sacks, brand new, 75cm x 55cm, block bottom, 3 ply kraft paper with poly membrane, ideal for corn, wheat, potatoes or despatch of bare root plants, etc, collect IP28 or could put on pallet carrier. £200 for pallet of 2000 bags. Just 10p each! K Jordan Tel 07880 551111 (Suffolk)

FORKLIFT truck, refurbished Hyster 2.5t gas forklift, good condition. £5,000+VAT ono. S Laslett Tel 07764 291738 (Kent)

MATBRO Teleram 40D 2t to 5.5m, 1984, pin & cone, no leaks, good tyres, brakes & handbrake work, top doors missing, but never been an issue, can come with pallet tines, Ford industrial eng, starts well, fully mech, simple & reliable. £6,500+VAT ono. G Smith Tel 07743 040751 (Cambridgeshire)

Minimise waste and costs with clever manual spraying equipment that targets weeds, pests and diseases to deliver healthy harvests. PSP can advise on the best kit for you from backpack, handheld and battery-powered sprayers to controlled droplet weed control kit, nebulisers and more.

WOODCHIP, mulch, flower beds, compost, garden paths, chippings, price is for collection only but we can deliver at an extra cost in any quantity. £30/sq/m. J Binns Tel 07590 915879 (Lancashire)

February/March/April 2024

F&V Feb/March/April Class pages 55-65.indd 59

Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

NEW Holland Boomer 40 c/w MX C3+ loader, 2022 (loader 2023), 4wd, flotation tyres, rears 425/70-18, fronts 300/65-12, 2 spool valves, 3spd hydrostatic transmission, 209.5hrs, MX C3+ c/w 3rd service & Mach system, genuine reason for sale, exc cond. S Godwin Tel 07970 625051/07814 766718 (Wiltshire)



09/02/2024 11:32


MASSEY Ferguson 6170 Dynashift P45 VAD, 1996, 4700hrs, excellent condition for year, tyres 80%, very genuine tractor. £14,750. C Lane Tel 07824 358924 (Oxfordshire)

AGRICULTURAL WATER TANKS • 2,000–25,000 Litre Capacities • Potable & Non Potable Options • High Quality Tank-Grade MDPE • Frost Proof • 10 Year Warranty Against Manufacturing Defects

Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:


01743 612028

SMITHS of the Forest of Dean Ltd

KUBOTA M5091 N narrow orchard tractor, 2019, 1626.2hrs, 3 range 6 speed man trans 4wd, 106hp diesel, f/linkage & PTO, hyd PUH, fantastic condition, FSH, a/c, etc, buyer collects from Eye. £31,000+VAT ono. J Linsell Tel 07838198206 (Suffolk)

Tank & Drum Experts

We stock plenty of IBC tanks & fittings Collect from stock or nationwide delivery available Visit or call 01594 833308

TRACTORS NEW Holland 7740, 1998, 2340hrs, air con, 40K, 4wd, front weights, one owner from new, vgc, retirement sale. £18,000+VAT. F Addy Tel 07885 277206 (South Yorkshire)

JOHN Deere 6125M, 2013, c/w front end loader, 3126hrs, good, clean condition, 2013. £40,000+VAT. L Fincham Tel 07827 013267 (Suffolk)

2016 John Deere 155M, 3768hrs, front linkage, 40K transmission, 480/70/R28 fronts, 520/85/R38 rears, ex-arable, tidy, well looked after tractor, dealer serviced, genuine reason for sale. £47,950+VAT. H Noble Tel 07749 787385 (West Yorkshire) VALTRA N122 Versu, 2010, 8000hrs, Valtra 65 loader, front, cab & loader suspension, MX front linkage, electric service valves, creeper box, 540/1000 PTO, 50k, air brakes, good condition. £30,000+VAT. C Newland Tel 07946 609815 (North Yorkshire)


MF7480 Dyna VT, 2005, 8800hrs, 95% BKT 650/65R38 & 540/65R28, 50k, front & cab suspension, CCL & Power Beyond, 4 D/A spools, F/L, push-out hitch, a/c, air seat, very reliable, tidy & well liked, no Adblue, now surplus to requirement. £26,000+VAT. C Whitton Tel 07957 870362 (Suffolk)

JOHN Deere 8RX 410, 2020, approx 2500hrs, 5000hrs Powergard Pro Plus 10/9/25, Ultimate edition, E23 40k transmission, Cat 4 hyd top link, excellent condition. £215,000+VAT ono. C Townshend Tel 07877 701848 (Norfolk)

JOHN Deere 4520, 2007, 9780hrs, hydrostatic drive, a/c, 4wd, two stage PTO, Cat 1, good condition, well maintained, GPS auto steer (optional). £9,000+VAT. D Bowman Tel 07887 694928 (Suffolk)

FORD 7840 SLE, 1995, 7700hrs, Q55 loader, good tyres, tidy & straight. £17,950. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

MASSEY Ferguson 3060, 1993 K reg, 9300hrs, owned since 2016 & only done 400hrs, immaculate & original paint, lot of extras. £19,500+VAT ono. D Hudson Tel 07889 055974 (North Yorkshire) JOHN Deere 6140R, 2013, 3211hrs, excellent condition, dealer maintained. £52,950+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811956789 (Essex)

MASSEY Ferguson 5465 c/w MF 975 loader, 8290hrs, 2009, Dyna 4 loader spec tractor, c/w hi vis roof, factory plumbed hyds, double pump hyds to the loader at the touch of a button, good condition. £31,500+VAT. S Peach Tel 07802 566020/07802 566030 (Hampshire)

CASE IH JXU 105, rare 2wd version, air con, hook ends, air seat, wide tyres, shuttle gearbox, 2010 registered, very genuine tractor in very good condition, 4300hrs. £25,000+VAT. S Powell Tel 01454 324486 (Bristol)

JOHN Deere 6155R, 2016, currently with 1600hrs but is still in use, 50K Autopower, 540/650 tyres @60% good, 4 electric spools, electric mirrors, immaculate condition, genuine reason for sale (weights not included). £77,000+VAT. J Binning Tel 07765 064694 (Oxfordshire)

MX loader C3+ loader, 2023, fitted to Boomer 40 (New Holland) can sell separately, MACH Quick release for hydraulics, joystick control, genuine reason for sale, as new. S Godwin Tel 07970 625051/07814 766718 (Wiltshire) JOHN Deere 6630 Premium, 2009, 4000hrs, vgc, new tyres all round last year, genuine reason for sale . £46750+VAT ono. I Leverton Tel 07988 286608 (Lincolnshire)

2010 John Deere 5090M c/w 533 front end loader & 4 in 1 bucket, 3550hrs, 30% left on tyres, ex council & has had very light use since we purchased it – mostly pulling a cattle trailer to auction & back. £27,500+VAT. P Phoenix Tel 07930 939175 (Lancashire)

NEW Holland TM165, 2000, 10800hrs, front links, Super Steer, very well maintained, good tyres. £19,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

SSIFIED A L C R U O Y L L A R FO ING TRADE ADVERTIS CASE 956 XL ,1988 model, very tidy, good tyres, straight from farm with no damage, ideal to go back to work or show, any enquiries, for more photos or to arrange a viewing please call. £14,250+VAT. I Woodward Tel 07960 866025/01455 221112 (Warwickshire)

ON SAM WILviS ne sam@fruitand 5 01473 69445

MASSEY Ferguson 7720 Dyna-6 4wd, 2016, 3600hrs, fronts Mitas 540/65R30, rears Mitas 650/65R42, 4 spool valves, AdBlue, front linkage (excludes front weight), slight damage to roof but still watertight. £42,000 ono. T York Tel 01692 630307 (Norfolk) JOHN Deere 6155M in excellent condition, 2018 model, 2515hrs, dealer maintained, excellent condition. £69,750+VAT. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex)


TER NICKI PtaRndOviC @frui OR hello4 6 01 73 69445

February/March/April 2024

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09/02/2024 11:34

Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

New GF, GV and GN available in stock


JOHN DEERE FRUIT & VINE TRACTORS We have a large selection of new and used tractors available in stock to meet all your needs


JOHN DEERE XUV865M 2022, 1187hrs, Olive & black, 27” Maxxis Bighorn tyres, split seats, OSR cab doors, cargo box power lift PREMIUM USED MACHINE Stk No A1074710


JOHN DEERE 5105GF 2023, 263hrs, 40k 30F/15R, f/ link & PTO, 420/70R28 BKT Agrimax, 320/70R20 BKT Agrimax, comfort implement control, led work lights, a/c cab, 4wd with wet clutch,f/ hitch Cat II, elec rockshaft Stk No B1068639

500 HOURS • Air Conditioning check Hydraulic Test OR 6 MONTHS •• Full Full Service History • Engine Dyno Test WARRANTY

• Minimum 30% tyre tread


TEHNOS TOPPERS We have a good selection of new toppers in stock to meet all your requirements


JOHN DEERE 5075GL 2021, 324hrs, 24F/12R trans, electro-hyd reverser. PREMIUM USED MACHINE

Stk No A1074186


TEYME Teyme are specialist manufacturers of machines for crop protection and others. Products include: Mistblowers, Pneumatic Sprayers, Dusters, Boom Sprayers & machines for the Humidification-Ventilation



Tuckwells Premium Used is available on selected machines

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Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

JOHN Deere 6150M, 2015, 2182hrs, dealer maintained, excellent condition. £59,750+VAT ono. R Clarke Tel 07811 956789 (Essex) MF5445, 2008, in excellent ex-farm condition, 2900hrs,100hp+, just had 400hr service, 16 forward & 16 reverse Powershift transmission, Dyna-4 Powershuttle with independent 1000 & 540rpm, would make ideal loader tractor. £28,500+VAT ono. E Addicott Sauvao Tel 07900 056568 (Somerset)

CASE IH Maxxum 140 front weights, no bolster, 12x45kg, one 110kg centre towing weight, may fit other machines, can send on a pallet at cost. £595 ono no VAT. M Jeffrey Tel 07802722408 (North Yorkshire)

JOHN Deere 6420S, 2005 model, showing 12,500hrs, in good mechanical condition, with a 50k Powerquad gearbox, air conditioning, air brakes, TLS, recent new tyres at least 90%, good cab interior, paintwork has age related marks. £29,950+VAT. I Woodward Tel 07960 866025/01455 221112 (Warwickshire)

NEW Holland T6070 Elite, 2011, has power boost 145hp boosting to 175hp, 5500 genuine hrs, cab suspension, f/axle suspension, 4 spool valves, Electro Command transmission, UK delivery & formalities can be arranged. £36,750 Stg. £35,500+VAT. B Hogan Tel 0035 3862 679946 (Republic of Ireland)

IFOR Williams LM166 B2 16' trailer, well maintained, LED lights, steel ramps, supports, tyres & brakes in excellent order, one owner from new. £2,500+VAT. D Bowman Tel 07887 694928 (Suffolk) CLAAS 650 Arion CIS+, 2019, 2100hrs, 50kph hexashift transmission, 4 electric spools, front linkage c/w weight block, front PTO, Trelleborg tyres 70% good, full Maxicare warranty till 23/02/25 or 4176hrs, excellent condition. £69,950+VAT. M Lee Tel 07743 142298 (Suffolk)

HOLDER 411/A40 forest/vineyard tractor, 1980s machine, bit scruffy but everything works apart from the dash & lights, PTO hydraulics are all good & drives well in all gears. £3,250. T Linch Tel 07769 908027 (Kent)

2012 Case Maxxum 110, 6458hrs, tyres 30%, front weights. £19,000. D Jackson Tel 07779 687408 (Essex) DW Tomlin 1.5t tipping trailer, 3 way tip, 6’ x 4’, good working order. £550 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

HANDBRAKE brake band for 856XL, does fit quite a few other IH/Case tractors as well. £120+P&P. G Springell Tel 07831 096485 (Buckinghamshire) WEIGHT block, 3pt linkage, ideal for a loader tractor. £60. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)


SAME Virtus 135 RV Shift, 143hp, 50kph road speed. £50,000 ono. D Truman Tel 07537 133714 (Wiltshire)

EASTERBY 14T Rootcrop trailer c/w detachable sides, 24' flat trailer, sprung drawbar & hydraulic tail door with grain chute. £7,500+VAT ono. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

NEW Holland TC40DA compact tractor, 2008 reg, 1481hrs, grass tyres, 4wd, good condition. £8,000 ono. D Bridger Tel 07841 865050 (Dorset)


REAR PTO shaft for Unimog U1600, etc, new & unused, in excellent condition, was removed from Unimog when bought new from dealer, includes all bearings, etc, owner retiring. £1,500. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

IFOR Williams twin axle 14' 3500kg trailer, c/w ramps, vgc. £3,500+VAT. F Addy Tel 07885 277206 (South Yorkshire) BALE trailer, approx 30', tandem axle, fair usable condition. £500+VAT ono. D Nickson Tel 07774 418105 (Lincolnshire)

6-TON trailer, tyres & wheels good, rust in main body. £500 ono. M Exley Tel 01449 766246 (Suffolk)

30-FOOT flat bed trailer, extended trailer in reasonable condition, please text before calling. £3,750+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

BOLSTER trailer, single bay, extended drawbar to accommodate 3pt linkage crane, new tyres, mudflaps, LED lights, toolbox, four D rings for slinging, new brake ram, approx 5cu/m level load. £1,450 ono. N Johnson Tel 07905 828075 (Hampshire)

TOMLIN 3T tipping trailer, new & unused, 2023 build, BKT flotation tyres, 15.0/55-17, genuine reason for sale. S Godwin Tel 07814 766718/07970 625051 (Wiltshire)

TRAILER for quad bike, good working order. £190 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

WESSEX half ton tipping trailer in good order. £850 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

FAST tow trailer used behind Unimog, used for transporting IBC, etc, with lockable chemical compartment, strong construction for army use, with sprung axles, will carry 3.5T load, in v good condition, owner retiring. £500. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire) RICHARD Western 10t trailer, hydraulic back door, sprung drawbar, brakes, lights, in good condition. D Seymour Tel 07850 292743 (Buckinghamshire)

RICHARD Western 10t trailer with heavy duty hydraulic door, grain tight, lights, brakes, in very good condition.£5,950+VAT. D Seymour Tel 07850 292743 (Buckinghamshire)

EASTERBY 12T root crop trailer, hydraulic tailgate, grain chute. £7,000+VAT ono; 14T model with detachable sides also available. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

February/March/April 2024

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FORD Transit Connect, 2016, diesel, 51000mls, MOT Jan 2025, service history, tow bar, roof rack. £7,950+VAT. M Millbank Tel 07879 633917 (Hertfordshire)

2019 Toyota Hilux Active, only 16000 miles, lightly used, never towed, excellent all terrain tyres, usual Active spec, bluetooth, radio, a/c, load liner, well serviced & recent MOT. POA. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

BLUELINE TowaVan trailer, approx 10' x 5', 2005 but in very good condition, tailgate/ramp with locking handles, all keys, twin axle. £2,950 ono. D Plummer Tel 07710 033363 (Cambridgeshire) LAND Rover Defender 90, 2015, 2.2 TDCi Hard Top 3dr diesel manual, 4wd Euro 5 (122 ps), mileage:112525, excellent condition. £28,500 ono. C Swift Tel 07712 398791 (Essex)

TOWING mirrors (2), will fit most vehicles including LR Defenders, Discoveries, etc. £20. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)

VEHICLES 3'10"X6' trailer, new tyres, new light board, excellent condition. £300. R Anderson Tel 07887 484733 (Norfolk)

HOOK loader multi lift, came off Mercedes lorry, 8x4, auto grease, Bosch electric valves & joystick, in very good condition. £2,000+VAT ono. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

NISSAN Navara NP300 Tekna full spec, 2019, automatic, Twilight Grey diesel, lockable roll top, rear & 360 camera, LED lights, full manufacturer’s warranty until June 24, 51,000mls, owned from new, immaculate condition. £20,995+VAT. A Bentley Tel 07957 553028 (Norfolk)

FORD Ranger Wildtrak, 2019, approx 45000mls, MOT’d till July, owned from new, full dealer serviced, 4 new tyres just fitted & tow bar, roof rails, load liner, canopy with central locking & light, good clean pickup from arable farm. £23,995+VAT ono. J Kilfedder Tel 07831 836883 (Fife)

ISUZU Dmax Seeker Fury, 2014, 6 months MOT, 99958mls, FSH, for sale due to retirement, excellent condition. £12,500 no VAT. R Blundell Tel 07792 756864 (Oxfordshire)

2018 Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-DC SG3 auto 4wd, Euro 6, 5dr LWB diesel, fantastic vehicle, new MOT & FSH, 29500mls, great cond, no bumps or knocks, high spec, tow bar, full leather, just new lock needed to release spare wheel. £22,500 no VAT. F Cassinelli Tel 07840 494932 (Devon)

LAND Rover Defender 90 hard top, 2015, Scota grey, 30250 miles, bucket seat, twisted wheels, grills, BF Goodrich, very clean & tidy, drives well, great fun, rare colour. £39,750 ono. S Weaving Tel 07984 054918 (Worcestershire)

2012 Toyota Hilux Invincible 3L, 83k miles, 12 month MOT, Truckman canopy, cloth interior, bluetooth, reversing camera, electric mirrors, cruise control, v tidy truck, well looked after, silver, 3 owners. £11,500+VAT. A Napper Tel 07735623517 (Oxfordshire)

VEGETABLE trailer, zero turn, fair condition. £1,500+VAT. P Lole Tel 07767 695800 (Worcestershire)

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

45-FOOT taughtliner trailer. £2,995. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire)

2011 Land Rover Defender 90 pickup, full LR service history, owned from new, had new engine fitted by Land Rover which has only done 20,000mls, c/w all paperwork for work carried out, please call for more details. £17,000 no VAT. J Bourne Tel 07412 012432/01495 772245 (Torfaen) ISUZU Denver Max 3L diesel crew cab pickup in silver, 2005, 197,000 miles, full 12 months MOT, generally good condition, owned for 15yrs, 4 BF Goodrich A/T tyres 60%, load liner & lockable roller shutter, open to any inspection. £2,950+VAT ono. G Walton Tel 07860 826033 (Suffolk)

SCANIA 420 lorry, six-wheeler, tested. £9,900 ono. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire)


2017 Toyota Active, only 14000 miles, green, 4 new all terrain tyres, one owner well serviced, c/w a load liner, tow pack & a recent MOT. POA. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

TOYOTA Hilux rear bumper, grey, off Active Mk8 model, 2016 onwards, has a few scratches so not good enough for showroom, but would make a cheap repair to a working farm truck, can send more pictures if required. £50. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)




GO kart, non runner. £350. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire)

MAN 440 26 TGA Taughtliner, 6 wheeler, drawbar spec, auto, long MOT. £6,500+VAT ono. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire) 2013 Land Rover Defender 90 hard top TD, 78000 miles, tow bar, new front tyres, MOT till May 24, good condition. £20,000+VAT. A Baugh Tel 07974 238032 (Nottinghamshire)

SCAMMELL trailers with dollies, two flat trailers in need of repair with 6t couplings, one box trailer with 3t coupling. T Clowes Tel 07768 232881 (Suffolk) February/March/April 2024

F&V Feb/March/April Class pages 55-65.indd 63

MITSUBISHI L200 Warrior DI-D 4x4 diesel manual pickup, 2006, double cab, good all terrain tyres, towbar, e/windows, inc rear, only 146k miles, 12 months MOT, clean, reliable truck. £3,000 ono no VAT. M Copeland Tel 07796 116511 (Norfolk)

Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

AJC 16' towable welfare trailer unit toilet, generator, microwave oven, shower, please email for full description, excellent condition. £10,000. J Binns Tel 07590 915879 (Lancashire)

OFFICIAL LR Discovery manual 200Tdi. £20. A Upson Tel 07980 807604 (Essex)


09/02/2024 11:44


Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

WHITLOCK Linde dressers, 3 for sale. Open to offers. All proceeds will be given to Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. M Ritchie Tel 07885 578513 (Essex)

1960 Nuffield 4DM tractor, original V5, barn stored for yrs, 4000hrs, gearbox, clutch PTO hydraulics working. £1,600 no VAT. S Shingfield Tel 01953 883293

TRUMP hydraulic platform, 1960s rare machine, the first cherry picker patented in Canada, self propelled, electric start. £1,500. G Charity Tel 01778 346224/07889 316853 (Lincolnshire)

MASSEY Ferguson pulley to fit Massey 35, etc, big splines. £75. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire)

BMB President, 1954, fully working, show condition, ready to collect, red, well looked after. £1,800 ono. F Wright Tel 07768 002825 (Wrexham) 1962 Super Major, V5, over size tyres all round, power steering, full set w/weight, f/w Shawneey loader HD engine, very good, stood for 2yrs, new hydraulic pump fitted but lift weak, possibly pressure release valve faulty. £3,500. A Kerfoot Tel 07539 933777 (Lincolnshire) MATCH plough points/socks, to suit David Brown and others, most David Brown ones are genuine & most are unused. J Conner Tel 07599750925 (East Yorkshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 135 swept axle non Multipower in excellent working order, not concourse but very tidy with good paintwork, recent service inc a new radiator, lift pump, oils & filters, runs & drives well, has been used to mow grass. £7,750 no VAT. A Long Tel 07860 422929 (Suffolk)

MASSEY Ferguson 188, 1975, good working order with clean straight tinwork & very little rust. £10,250+VAT. S Peach Tel 07802 566020 (Hampshire)

NUFFIELD 465 tractor, restored a few years ago, starts & runs well, used for road runs & fun ploughing, good tyres, always barn stored, call for more info. £5,750 no VAT. A Lee Tel 07836 773893/01440 820954 (Suffolk)

MASSEY Ferguson TE/A101490, first reg 29/09/1949, in good working condition, recently had new tyres & c/w rotovator plus tine drag. £2,700. N Shelton Tel 07514 323279 (Somerset)

(NORFOLK)1953 Airfloat trailer in 8/10 original condition, many uses, currently as touring caravan, UK spec axle & brakes, original axle available, more photos & info on request, some details on the internet. G Gibson Tel 07770 954301 (Cambridgeshire)

CATERPILLAR D6 3 cylinder, approx 1938, good ex farm condition, starts and runs well. £6,000 ono. G Charity Tel 01778 346224/07889316853 (Lincolnshire)

INTERNATIONAL 674 c/w Alo Quicke loader, hrs unknown, 1977, used regularly, big bales, bags of seed/fertiliser & loading grain trailers, bucket £200, big bale spike £150, tractor condition poor, sold as seen, Milton Keynes area. £2,000+VAT. C Smith Tel 07831 479966 (Buckinghamshire)

FERGUSON 2 furrow plough c/w discs & skimmers, good discs & boards, vgc, last used in October. £400. C Mitchell Tel 07836 553085 (Cambridgeshire)

FORD 4000 tractor, still runs, on rowcrop wheels, average condition. £4,500+VAT ono. S Laslett Tel 07764 291738 (Kent)

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

1950 Nuffield M4, petrol/paraffin, road registered, new clutch, etc, c/w original buff log book. £4,000. D Carter Tel 07768 935715 (Essex)

WHITLOCK Industrial loading shovel (Ford 4000), restoration project. Sensible offers. R Anderson Tel 01366 728583/07887 484733 (Norfolk) 1989 Land Rover Defender, low miles, needs TLC, diesel, no MOT. £10,000. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire)

CASE-IH 475 hydraulic pump, had 10hrs use, as new. £99+VAT ono. J Nott Tel 07957 146325 (Norfolk)

Grow your team. Easily reach thousands of candidates with Wine Jobs UK. Post jobs from free, or take £15 off our premium package with an exclusive offer for Fruit & Vine readers. Visit and use promo code FRUIT15


February/March/April 2024

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EINBOCK seeder required, must be in gwo. J Davenport Tel 07835 994243 (Lincolnshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 35, c/w loader, gwo, genuine old classic. £5,950 no VAT. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)


MASCAR Corsa round balers, either working condition or damaged for spares or repairs/ donor machine, any condition considered, also any parts for them. A Benn Tel 07909 957046 (Cumbria)

STRAW (wheat or oat) required, any size bales, cash on delivery, Market Rasen. M Chapman Tel 01673 843663/07971 940087 (Lincolnshire) JOHN Deere 6155, must be autotrac ready. D Brown Tel 07710 316205 (Cambridgeshire) MF270 4 furrow reversible diamond plough. G Scotton Tel 07771 774499 (Suffolk) FORD 1210 tractor fuel pump required & various other parts. J Clark Tel 07841 873629 (Essex) PALLET tines to fit JCB 520 Loadall. P Beales Tel 07584 189359/01284 828360 (Suffolk) BUNDED kerosene tank, 1000– 2500L, in good condition. M Chapman Tel 01673 843663/07971 940087 (Lincolnshire) VINTAGE Clayson 1530 combine, 1980s era or similar, no cab, in good working order, would consider other makes, East of England only please. R Baker Tel 07801 557640/01953 850238 (Norfolk)

WINGET 10NT/R batch concrete mixer in running order, as in photo. May be interested in non-runner as a spare, if available. J Hurd Tel 01985 840260/01985 840039 (Wiltshire) KEYAG-GRUSE potato planter cup belts, would consider complete machine for parts. P Brown Tel 07817 233062 (Staffordshire) STORE cattle & lambs required. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire)

JOHN Deere 6155, must be autotrac ready. D Brown Tel 07710 316205 (Cambridgeshire) PACKER roller to fit Kuhn 4m power harrow, or would consider complete machine for spares. C Banks Tel 07971 627574/01777 870246 (Nottinghamshire) CLAAS Dominator 108 combine or similar please. C Banks Tel 07971 627574/01777 870246 (Nottinghamshire) MASSEY Ferguson 35 or 135 with 3 cylinder engine, or any other Massey Ferguson tractors, quick decision & payment. D Lunn Tel 07941 072957/01945 772416 (Cambridgeshire) JCB 1.8 cu/m Loadall bucket. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire)

VINTAGE cast iron agricultural implement nameplates, signs & plaques, single items or whole collections, call with details. M Burgess Tel 07958 381278 (Buckinghamshire) ONE or two tyres to fit Leyland 272H tractor, 13.6/R-38 (13.6/12-38). M Chapman Tel 01673 843663/07971 940087 (Lincolnshire) GRAB to suit 7T digger with 50mm pins, similar to HawkFawk. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex) QUAD bike. K Pugh Tel 07977 912970/01694 771258 (Shropshire) PARTS for recon Jeantil straw spreader, rear mounted type, contact for details. J Coxon Tel 07748 901482/07876 774404 (South Yorkshire)

OLD farm pick-ups, Land Rovers & 4x4s, running or not, private farmer buyer in Suffolk, Anglia region. Cash paid. Call with details. J Long Tel 07711 079821 (Suffolk) 23.1-30 tyres, pair required in good order to suit dump trailer. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)


MOWERS AND PULVERISERS ORGANIC WEED CONTROL . PARTS SERVICE AND ADVICE . SPRAYERS TO FIT ALL SITUATIONS TRIMMERS . DE-LEAFERS AND PRE-PRUNERS TRACTORS We have been trading since 1987, supplying services to growers, nurseries and vineyards. With over 40 years experience in the business we offer a unique service.

Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:

FURROW press required, 3.3m wide, ideally 45 degree rings, must be in very good condition. F Grant Tel 07909 626028 (Essex) KEEBLE Brothers tipping trailer. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex) 9.00-13 trailer tyre on 5 stud rim to suit Whitlock 3t tipping trailer. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex) 3-CYLINDER engine pump required for running power washer, preferably Perkins, running or non running. T House Tel 07901 711785 (Gloucestershire)

SLURRY tank for 120 cows, in good secondhand condition, prefer steel, c/w bolt on sheets which can be used again, may be able to use concrete tank, can be dismantled & erected again but please phone me as a big product do build again. P Hurd Tel 01985 840431 (Wiltshire)

Whatever your requirements, we can supply a solution to meet your needs; from simply supplying a pruning saw through to a bespoke requirement for a soft fruit tunnel sprayer.




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09/02/2024 14:11

IN THE KNOW “You’ve got to have a USP” Having her own brand has given her a voice of her own and for agriculture, as well as providing greater artistic freedom. When it comes to dealing with retailers she noted: “We’re the underdog; we have no voice, and they know that. [...] And that’s one thing my brand has given me – a voice.” For those considering a similar path, Annabel says: “You’ve got to have a USP and you’ve got to know what it is. It’s not a case of going to your local shop and saying ’will you sell my strawberries’, because why would they buy them from you over anyone else? I think it’s about being more dynamic in the role that we’re in and realising you’re not just a grower. Because now as farmers, we’ve got to be so much more.” Telling the story is a key part of this USP, she continues. “I’ve created a brand based on what I want and what’s important to me, and when you talk about what really matters to you, consumers can relate to you. When they’re buying the product, they know the integrity behind it.”

Paying for British

Having my own brand gave me a


Margins are getting tighter and growers are facing a cocktail of difficulties, not least the challenges posed by the supply chain and working with retailers. This issue, Sarah Kidby spoke to Yorkshire grower Annabel Makin-Jones about the rewards of launching her own luxury food brand – Annabel’s Deliciously British – four years ago. After growing strawberries for her family farm for around 15 years, Annabel decided to launch her own brand – prompted by positive feedback from consumers who bought her strawberries in supermarkets. Her brand was quickly accepted by Ocado and two top London wholesalers, and the business has gone from strength to strength, now producing around 20 different products and selling to food service and exports as well as retail. In addition to strawberries, truffles, rhubarb, daffodils, jams, chutneys and sparkling drinks, the farm has put in a small amount of raspberries this year as a trial, using a mix of Nobility, Bella and Majestic. The crop has already been sold to The Dorchester, The Savoy, Capital and the royal family. Andreas Veg, the local shop of Simon Cowell and Nigella Lawson in Chelsea, also now takes the full range of products. Getting to such high-end customers requires tenacity – Annabel said: “You get so many ‘nos’ and it can be really soul destroying”. 66

66 In the know.indd 66

Not a commodity Producing a premium product has meant higher margins, which has allowed the business to invest in other things, including B Corp accreditation, LEAF Marque, and charity donations to the Prince’s Trust and Marie Curie charities with each sale. Additionally, it has allowed them to be more creative with their packaging – and Annabel has been keen to move away from strawberries as a commodity. "We’re creating something that we’re proud of, rather than strawberries becoming a commodity which the retailers have turned them into,” she explained. “We put it in a beautiful box and tell the complete story, sharing videos on social media of how the fruit is grown and trying to educate the consumer more about what we do.” When choosing a gift to take to a friend, our thoughts may turn to a box of chocolates rather than a plastic punnet of strawberries, but Annabel wants to challenge that thinking with a premium product and beautiful packaging.

Exporting products overseas, including to Japan, Singapore and Dubai has brought additional challenges and costs, but Annabel’s customers have been willing to pay for a premium British product. “It is more difficult,” she says. “You have to have teams of more specialist staff, and you have to train them on the spec of what they’re picking. [...] Because we’ve gone above and beyond, they now feel very comfortable and they’re happy to pay for it. [...] “Service to me is absolutely essential. Your product can be wrong sometimes if you make a mistake, but if your service is impeccable and you act accordingly and put it right, people will come back.” The farm has implemented a barcoding system, from the field all the way into the retailer. It can even trace the member of staff that picked the fruit. Additionally, they grow mainly Junebearer varieties, and only 30% everbearers, as they feel it is a premium crop. This goes against the grain as it’s become the norm to grow up to 100% everbearer; but as Annabel says: “God loves a trier and a risk taker.” Asked what’s next for the brand, Annabel said: “I think it’s about looking at what’s next, what do people want and how can we do that? It’s about how we evolve. That’s how I’ve grown this business, it’s ’shall we try this, shall we try that?’. It’s not me planning five years in advance. I don’t honestly know what the future holds, but I don’t envisage it not being exciting.”


Annabel Makin-Jones is a fifth generation Yorkshire farmer. Having grown strawberries on her family farm, she set up her own high-end food brand, Annabel’s Deliciously British, and sister brand Tame & Wild, which produces fruit and botanical infused sparkling drinks using waste fruit. She now produces around 20 products and supplies to luxury retailers.

February/March/April 2024

07/02/2024 16:26



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07/02/2024 08:48:14 08/02/2024 11:50

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