Fruit & Vine Issue 09 May/ June 2024

Page 1


Clean around the vine without chemicals.

BRAUN Modular System.

Clean around the vine without chemicals.

BRAUN Modular System.


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The Future. Now. Vineyard Pilot Assistant.

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Cultivator frame Vario Rotary star tiller Disc plough LUV Perfekt Mower Alpha Cultivator frame Vario Vine trunk cleaner

Movers & shakers

A fond farewell

After more than 14 dedicated years at Farmers Guide, and having worked on Fruit & Vine since its launch in 2022, David Williams is stepping down as machinery editor, in order to focus more on his family and indulge his passion for travelling.

However, David will continue to contribute regularly to both Farmers Guide and Fruit & Vine, and will remain a valued part of the team.

Company directors Julie Goulding and Greg Goulding are delighted to announce Neale Byart as the magazine’s new machinery editor. With over 22 years’ experience in journalism and publishing, Neale will be a valuable addition to the company.

Please send any press releases, event announcements and anything else machinery related to Printed

Precision nutrition: Productivity and environmental bene ts 06

The latest professional moves in the fruit and vineyard industries

News Products, research and events you need to know about

Special report

Tree fruit: Fresh insights to combat pests and disease

Machinery Specialist team focused on top quality products


Dealer show a must-visit event for orchard and vineyard owners

Grower pro le

Blueberry diversi cation spreads risk for arable farmers


Integrated pest management solutions against SWD


The importance of pollination

Special report


Biostimulants for fruit quality and shelf life

Grower pro le

Built on sustainability, a respect for nature and a love of wine


Guide to going organic in vineyards and wine production

Professional advice

The importance of shoot selection in vineyards

Technical advice

Precision mistblowers, and sprayer solutions for fruit tunnels

53 66 Technical advice

Spotlight on manual spraying equipment

Special report

Products delivering surprising spider mite control


May/June 2024 4
by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Fruit & Vine magazine is published by Early Bird Fruit Publications Ltd from its o ce at Unit 3-4 Boudicca Road, Suffolk Central Business Park, Stowmarket IP14 1WF Tel: 01473 794440. Full contact details for staff can be found at Original articles and advertisements created by Fruit & Vine are copyright-protected and are not to be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the Editor. No responsibility can be accepted by Fruit & Vine for the opinions expressed by its contributors. ISSN: 2753-474X fruitandvine fruit_and_vine 01473 794440
13 17 21 25 29 31 38 41 45 51 54 48 34
New machinery editor Neale Byart (left) has already been getting stuck in. He is pictured at a recent Claas event with David Williams Pictured with Tuckwells group sales manager (south) and Stockbury outlet manager, Harry Durrant (left) and fruit and vineyard product sales specialist, Andy Page (right), David Williams headed to Kent this month, to chat with the Tuckwells team. Read more on page 17
In the know
chat to British Berry Growers chairman, Nick Marston and a warm welcome



Managing director

Julie Goulding


Greg Goulding


Rachel Hicks

Deputy editor

Sarah Kidby

Machinery editor

David Williams

Machinery editor

Neale Byart

Multiplatform journalist

Aleksandra Cupriac


Sales director

Zohra Mitchell

Fruit & Vine specialist

Samantha Wilson

Senior sales executive

Joanna Blower

Senior sales executive

Jana Moyes

Sales executive

Chloe Fox

Sales executive

Rosanna Sweet

Sales executive

William Taylor

Classi ed sales manager

Nicki Procter

Sales support

Clare Flitton


Marketing manager

KM Sharp

Digital marketing executive

Patrick Over

Publishing assistant

Kat Morton

Design & Production

Production manager

Martyn Smith

51 34 21 41 54 66 Contents


team grows along with the sector

Following a review of the team structure to deliver its future WineGB strategy and plans, a number of changes have been made to Wine GB’s executive team.

The move is a reshaping of the team to have a stronger focus on building the reputation and prominence of the industry to better in uence the

Vincent McGovern Interim policy director

external environment, especially within Whitehall.

The changes include:

• New role: Interim policy director –

Emma Rix Sustainability executive

• New role: Industry relations lead – recruitment currently underway

• New role: Communications manager –Phoebe French (former membership manager)

• New hire: Sustainability executive – Emma Rix

• Leaving: Head of marketing –Julia Trustram Eve.

Phoebe French Communications manager

Vincent is a hugely experienced policy professional, with extensive experience within alcohol including most recently at Spirits Europe and previously Drinks Ireland. He will build a policy function for WineGB, ensuring that WineGB has visibility of the political environment, respond to opportunities, and develop the intellectual base to support the company’s asks of government. WineGB says he will be instrumental in developing a number of reports and its Manifesto for Growth over his nine-month contract.

Emma joins WineGB from the security industry where she was the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) specialist. Her experience includes leading ED&I initiatives, driving e orts to achieve net zero and she has specialised in guiding small, mission-led businesses through certi cation processes, including for B-Corp. Emma will support WineGB members to engage with the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB) certi cation process. As a quali ed ISO auditor she will audit the programme and create tool kits and educational support to ensure that producers who want to be more sustainable have support through simple, credible, and valuable steps.

Phoebe joined WineGB in 2021 initially as membership coordinator and SWGB scheme manager before becoming the membership engagement manager in 2022. She has been responsible for internal communications, external funding, website management, and supervision of research and development work. The communications manager role is a 360-degree communications role, building on Phoebe’s membership engagement work to take responsibility for more external activities and material creation to support WineGB’s media relations, social media, and its website.

WineGB has announced it has said a sad goodbye to Julia Trustram Eve, head of marketing, who left the business on 22nd March. Pictured with Fruit & Vine editor, Rachel Hicks, Julia is widely recognised and respected for having supported and shaped the sector and building the brand reputation of the English and Welsh wine industry –including the initiation of English Wine Week, a go-to for press and UK trade, which gets stronger recognition each year. WineGB said: “We wish her all the very best in her next ventures and intend to nd a time later in the year to bring the English and Welsh wine sector together to celebrate her many years working in the industry.”

Julia commented: “I am so proud to have been part of an industry that has seen such phenomenal growth in size and reputation over the last number of years. I’m looking forward to new career challenges and to seeing what the future holds for the wonderful world of English and Welsh wines.”

WineGB also announced it is recruiting for the role of industry relations lead. This is a new role and integral to building the resilience of WineGB. They will grow the funding for the association from new members, industry supporters, and to a lesser degree public funding. The role will also identify new routes to market for members, working to promote its campaigns that drive sales. If you are interested in nding out more, contact WineGB directly.

Nicola Bates, CEO of WineGB the trade association for English and Welsh wines said: “This is an exciting time for the sector and the growth of the team are essential changes that will allow us to advance our support. It is essential that we support our members at all levels, and these changes will ensure that we can best shape the market for English and Welsh wine, allowing everyone to sell more.”

May/June 2024 6 MOVERS & SHAKERS

Grow a corker this year, with our help to control diseases.

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We’ve a wide portfolio to help you manage key disease threats, particularly downy mildew, with specialist vine fungicides Cuprokylt and Frutogard. There are also EAMU options for powdery mildew, Botrytis and more. And you’ve the support you need: our horticulture and viticulture team can provide expert advice, not just on products, but effective IPM. It’s all in our comprehensive guide. Rely on it for valuable solutions at any time. Get your vine-growers’ guide at Use

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information before use. For further information with regard to the warning phrases and symbols refer to the product label. Cuprokylt® (MAPP 17079) contains copper oxychloride and is a registered trademark of Industrias Quimicas Del Valles, S.A. Frutogard® (MAPP 19105) contains potassium phosphonate and is a registered trademark of Certis Belchim BV. Vintec® (MAPP 20311) contains Trichoderma atroviride strain SC1 and is a registered trademark of Bi-PA NV/SA. Amylo-X® (MAPP 17978) contains Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum strain D747 and is a registered trademark of Mitsui AgriScience International S.A./N.V. Cosine® (MAPP 16404) contains cyflufenamid and is a registered trademark of Nippon Soda Co. Ltd. Karma® (MAPP 16363) contains potassium hydrogen carbonate and is a registered trademark of Certis Belchim BV. Contact Certis Belchim on 0845 373 0305, e-mail or visit © Certis Belchim 2024 Successful vine-growing Your guide to tackling pests and diseases CUPROKYLT® FRUTOGARD® VINTEC® AMYLO-X® COSINE® KARMA®

vineyard Partnership aims to drive autonomous innovation

Following Kubota Corporation’s investment in Chouette in November 2022, the two businesses are to further strengthen their partnership to develop joint solutions for vineyard automation.

With a focus on advanced equipment and arti cial intelligence (AI), Kubota and Chouette aim to support wine producers to overcome some of the current challenges facing the sector, which include labour shortages and issues related to sustainable development.

Chouette, a French-based start-up specialising in precision vineyard management technology, uses advanced sensors and arti cial intelligence (AI) to analyse images captured by cameras to detect diseases, tree vigour and speci c tree problems, such as frost damage or water stress. Based on data analysis, Chouette’s algorithms can create variable rate application maps and spray volume advice for chemical applications or

other necessary treatment.

Kubota is accelerating open innovation through its established Innovation Centers across the world. Innovation Center Europe’s focus is to build new business innovations in orchard and vineyard production through emerging technologies such as digitalisation, AI, robotics and autonomous equipment, and advanced sensor technologies.

Since its initial investment, Kubota has been verifying Chouette’s technology with partners, plus growers in Italy and France, and now aims for commercialisation. Both organisations are working together to demonstrate precision farming solutions for vineyards through the Kubota dealership network.

Financial boost

for the ght against frost

An innovative frost forecasting and management project titled ‘Smarter forecasting, communication and management of frost risk in vineyards’ has secured over £300,000 in funding from Innovate UK and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The project, led by sensor manufacturer Terraprima, and Agri-EPI Centre (one of the AgriTech Centres), supported by Plumpton College, Vinescapes, Vinewatch, WeatherQuest and Wines of Great Britain (WineGB), will aid the development of domestic viticulture, the UK’s expanding

agricultural sector, with the potential to revolutionise frost-related crop protection.

The purpose of the project is to create highly localised, site-speci c, and variety speci c frost risk forecasts, enabling vineyard managers to make informed, targeted, and sustainable decisions when responding to frost events. The forecasting will be available through an app which delivers frost alerts to mobile devices to allow growers to identify targeted intervention methods that are best suited to the forecast conditions.

UK vineyards are expected to remain vulnerable to frost events as climate change is causing warmer springs and earlier budburst. This project will enable vine growers to

The European Union is the world’s largest wine producer, comprising some 2.5 million vine growers and 3.2 million hectares of vineyards. As the environment changes and the supply of labour diminishes, attention turns to managing vine health and grape yield, which are becoming increasingly costly, challenging and time consuming to execute.

“Through this partnership we aim to provide e ective solutions for vineyard customers, for disease intensity detection and the adoption of sustainable farming practices,” said Hervé Gérard-Biard, vice president of business development at Kubota Holdings Europe. “Our approach combines embedded, tractor mounted sensors, mapping and AIbased vine analysis, bringing precise vine care and prescriptive vine treatment possibilities to EU wine

reduce the threat of yield loss, by taking on a more targeted approach by focusing on risk areas and the intervention techniques based on the forecasting conditions.

Terraprima managing director, Ben Gillingham, said: “This important and exciting project brings together some of the leading players in UK


Embedded sensing enables mapping, disease diagnosis and prescriptive treatment throughout the whole season. And Kubota’s vision for healthy vineyards includes a number of areas of application to be developed in the future, for example vigour mapping and yield prediction.

“Innovation in precision agriculture tools is essential for vineyards as it enhances productivity, optimises resource usage, and improves grape quality,” said Charles Nespoulous, cofounder and chief executive o cer of Chouette. “With our intelligent solutions working with Kubota’s tractors and machinery, we look forward to providing sustainable wine production solutions, and cost savings, in vineyard operations.”

viticulture to improve the sector’s resilience against one of the greatest yield threats we face. The Terraprima Ladybird is ideal for accurately capturing the highly localised climate data required for accurate frost forecasting and we look forward to helping protect UK vines both during and after the project.”

May/June 2024 8 NEWS
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Online moves to new home guide

The horticultural industry’s digital ‘Apple Best Practice Guide’ has moved to

Free and available to all, the online guide, hosted by the crop research organisation NIAB, contains a vast volume of best practice information on commercial apple production. Topics covered include ‘Agronomy’, with information on owering, fruit set, thinning and fruit growth; ‘Pest and Disease’ identi cation and control with integrated pest management; and ‘Post-harvest Information’, including storage disorders and rots.

First published by MAFF in paper form in the late 1990s, the Guide was written and compiled by a number of leading experts in the apple industry from research and advisory organisations including the then Horticultural Research International at East Malling, the Fruit Advisory Services Team, ADAS and Worldwide Fruit/Qualytech.

To ensure that the guide could be updated with the latest best practice information, it was soon converted to a digital format and hosted by the Horticultural Development Council (HDC) and later by the

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). However, with the discontinuation of the horticultural and fruit levy, the guide needed a new home to ensure it remained active. An agreement has been reached between AHDB and NIAB to transfer it to its new home at and it is now live and free to view.

NIAB’s knowledge exchange manager, Scott Ra e, commented: “It was important for apple growers and agronomists that the guide be maintained. Transferring it to NIAB allows us to keep it updated, especially when results of apple research projects are delivered. The pest and disease information, together with integrated pest management content, changes most rapidly and I make it a priority to keep this refreshed whenever changes are required.”

The ‘Apple Best Practice Guide’ can be found at, via Membership/NIAB Fruit.

successful vine growing Advice for

Certis Belchim has released a new edition of its popular ‘Successful vine growing’ guide to tackling pests and diseases.

Even last year, described as ‘near perfect’ in WineGB’s recent 2023 harvest report, pests and diseases caused problems, so the record yields achieved by growers could have been higher still.

Discussing the factors of interest to British wine growers, the report states that mildews and botrytis were both worse than in 2022, which is not surprising given the summer and autumn rainfall.

It goes on to note that spotted wing drosophila (SWD) was considerably worse than in previous years, which is probably due to the lower acidities in 2023, especially in the increased area of red varieties.

The Certis Belchim ‘Successful vine growing’ guide provides solutions to these major challenges amongst a broad range of pests and diseases that can a ect British vines.

It also provides guidance on vineyard hygiene, controlling damage from slugs and competition from weeds and suckers.

Crucially for sustainability, the Certis Belchim range of vine protection products include biorationals which are approved for use in organic vineyards. These can be integrated with conventional

chemistry in modern IPM approaches to vine agronomy.

The GB area in production is estimated to have risen by 50% over the last four years (WineGB and industry estimates), so there are likely to be plenty of new growers that need to get up to speed with tackling pests and diseases.

Certis Belchim horticulture crop manager Libby Rowland (pictured) says: “The new edition of the guide is a great learning resource for new growers and a useful reference for experienced growers when walking crops and making crop protection decisions with their BASIS quali ed agronomists.”

It can be downloaded now as a pdf by visiting www.certisbelchim.

May/June 2024 10 NEWS
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Fresh insights to combat pests and disease Tree fruit:

This year’s NIAB Tree Fruit Day saw a range of scientists sharing alternative products and management strategies for tree fruit pests and diseases, as loss of chemistry becomes an increasing challenge. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby reports.

Apple canker

With very limited chemistry available, controlling the sources of apple canker infection is key, explained NIAB’s Mat Papp-Rupar. Mature cankers are a “big no-no” – they must be cut out as soon as possible, as once they mature, they produce ascospores which spread long distances. Other sources of infection may be fruit on the orchard oor, wind breaks and pruning material. Infections occur through tree wounds such as pruning wounds, petal scars or growth cracks, for example. Cankers should be removed before and during picking – this is the most important time –then, if possible, after harvest, a mid-winter tidy up and a spring clean to prevent spring infections. If this is done every year, within ve years canker will be reduced to practically zero, Mat said. Wounds such as leaf scars can be covered with Captan/tebuconazole, which will reduce the infection rate a little.

Three trials explored potential new treatments for canker, including biocontrol systems, new fungicides not yet registered for apples/canker, plant oils and plant extracts. Two of the new fungicides were found to be e ective, biostimulants showed some promise with a little decrease in canker versus the control, whereas biocontrols were largely ine ective – though more research is needed and some success was seen in one trial with Trichoderma on rasp wounds. The real winner, however, was building grade hydrated lime, which was applied at 50kg/ha dissolved in 300 litres of water – but keeping inoculum levels low was key, Mat said.

As no tested product will completely replace the current standard fungicide programme, new methods will need to be combined alongside other

management methods such as nutrition – high nitrogen levels in the soil or the tree will worsen canker. Additionally, research has shown potassium could be a factor as most of the orchards with low canker levels had potassium in the soil below 124ppm, so further research into this is needed, Mat added. Other stressors such as drought or water logging may also a ect susceptibility.

Tackling brown rot in cherries

Brown rot can cause fruit losses of 50–75% in orchards, plus additional losses of 25–50% in transit and storage. Chemical sprays are available, as are biocontrols to help prevent resistance build-up, which is already an issue. Physical control measures include removal and disposal of inoculum, which is key, and removing latently infected fruit at picking to avoid losing batches of fruit in storage, Mat continued.

A recent post-harvest fruit dipping trial explored the e ects of fungicides, biocontrols and sterilants in guarding against all types of rot in commercially collected Sweetheart cherries. Fruit was dipped for 30 seconds in di erent suspensions at the recommended rate one day after inoculation, then stored for 18 days in 1–2ºC and 99% humidity, then eight days of shelf-life storage in a ‘worst-case scenario’.

The results showed that for cold-stored healthy fruit, there was very little rot (2–5% of fruit), but most of the products trialled o ered slight improvements over the control. After the additional eight days of shelf-life storage, 50% of the fruit in untreated controls was rot-free. Over

75% of fruit treated with fungicides three and four had no rot, while other treatments varied in their e ects, but all were better than the control apart from the sterilant. Biocontrols had moderate e cacy against brown rot, and in some cases, very good e cacy against botrytis, but otherwise were e ective to a lesser extent. Previous research also found a 30–60% reduction in brown rot when biocontrols (Bacillus subtilis and Aureobasidium pullulans) were applied two weeks before picking. Whilst this is still in the pipeline to get to market, it could be useful in a couple of years, Mat noted.

As e cacy varied widely between treatments, it’s important to know which rots are high risk in your orchard when choosing one of these alternative products, Mat said. Putting clean fruit into good storage was also key. Additionally, the fungicide treatments used did not exceed the MRLs, so they have been recommended to the EAMU for post-harvest cherry protection.

Finally, Mat shared plans to create a proofof-concept tool for non-destructive detection of brown rot. This would use optical coherence tomography to scan fruit and identify that which has a latent brown rot infection. It’s hoped that in a couple of years there could be a portable scanner that plugs into the conveyor, and noti es growers of high-risk fruit, which could work well alongside biocontrols.

Apple scab

With apple scab being one of the industry’s major challenges, NIAB’s Tom Passey shared ndings from a trial of several products that were either authorised, or highly likely to be authorised, in the UK. Products were applied to potted trees a day prior to, or a day after, infection. After 2–3 weeks it was determined that AHDB 9711 worked as a preventative and a treatment, elicitor HCP 9692 worked as a preventative and AHDB 9808

May/June 2024 13 SPECIAL REPORT
Brown rot can cause fruit losses of 50–75% in orchards Apple scab is a major challenge for the sector

Chemical control for canker is very limited, so controlling the sources of infection is key

Using Wignests to mass relocate earwigs has shown some promise in tackling woolly apple aphid

Recent years have seen rising numbers of woodlice in orchards and damage to fruit.

worked as a treatment. Two bacterial bio-control agents did not work during the trial, however more research is needed as little is known about these products. The products with some e cacy will now be trialled in an orchard setting.

PhD student Katie Stewart, meanwhile, explored more e ective ways to remove fallen leaf litter – the main source of primary inoculum – in autumn/winter for the next growing season. Shredding and burning is the traditional method but shredding may not remove all the inoculum, and burning has negative environmental implications. Applying a microbial agent (Trichoderma spp) post-harvest signi cantly reduced leaf litter compared to an untreated control, which was raised o the ground. The experiment was repeated and results were still pending at the time of writing.

Wild ower impacts

Research led by the University of Reading,

presented by Celine Silva of NIAB, found only 48% of trees with ower margins established nearby had fruit damage, compared to 80% in orchards without owers. Findings suggest farmers could harvest up to an additional 2,420kg/ha (6.9%) of undamaged, premium apples by installing ower margins on orchards.

As part of the study, large, mature wild ower margins, more than 5m wide, were planted. They included grasses and owers chosen to supply year-round food sources for diverse communities of predatory insects. The ower margins not only reduced the spread of aphids on trees, but also lowered the number of fruits attacked on infested trees. Apples near ower borders had over a third less chance of fruit damage, even during peak aphid outbreaks. Signi cant reductions in damaged crop extended up to 50m into orchards from the oral habitat.

Woodlice – a new threat to apples

In recent years, some growers, particularly in Kent, have seen large numbers of woodlice in orchards and damage to fruit, said Jude Bennison, ADAS. Recent research found large numbers of woodlice and damaged fruit were more likely on apple clusters than single fruits. Russeting around the stalk/roughened skin also seemed to allow woodlice damage. Additionally, damage was reported to be worse later in the season on late picked varieties, such as Gala and Braeburn.

When it comes to control measures, AHDB research has previously highlighted success using ferric phosphate slug pellets sprinkled onto the growing media in tomatoes. Work in Germany also found entomopathogenic nematodes formulated together with a bait could be e ective against woodlice – though neither of these methods have yet been trialled in orchards. Jude suggested using these methods in combination with attractants and repellents, or providing woodlice refuges to deter them from apple trees.

Could earwigs tackle woolly apple aphid?

A eld study in June 2023 explored the mass relocation of earwigs into three orchards with a woolly apple aphid problem, using Wignests. Available from Agrovista and Russell IPM, Wignests are a wooden shelter trap containing food that can be hung on trees, bringing earwigs up into the canopy of the trees that are most challenged by aphids.

One of the researchers, Sarah Arnold, said the results are “cautiously positive” with treated plots overall having lower numbers of aphids in the bark, and quite low numbers on some of the young shoots. A study from Catalonia resulted in good aphid control when earwigs were released in

orchards every year for ve years. Earwig control is also compatible with the parasitoid A. mali. Similar US studies have also found a trend towards lower pest density, but this wasn’t a strong e ect, while Bischo et al bagged tree branches and added earwigs, nding aphid control was better on less complex branches (shorter with fewer side shoots) so this could also be a factor.

New control techniques for apple saw y

Saw y is a re-emerging pest due to lack of chemical controls, and can cause crop losses of up to 80%. There is no conventional insecticide so control relies on fruit thinning and picking out a ected apples. Spending 11 months underground, there is a very limited control window for this pest.

NIAB’s Francesca Elliot shared heat maps that show adult saw y numbers peaked in early May and declined in late May to June across all sites tested. She therefore recommends deploying traps in early spring and using orchard-speci c monitoring strategies to optimise trap placement and density. Traps should be removed following petal fall to avoid trapping bene cial insects. And as the number of adults is not homogenous across sites, traps should be targeted to hotspots.

SWD: Sterile insect control

Promising results were shared from a 2023 study using sterile insects to control spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on 11ha of raspberries, which included blocks of early, mid and late varieties. The strategy involves releasing sterile males to mate with wild females to prevent o spring. Glen Slade, of BigSis, said over ve weeks, red sticky traps revealed an 88% suppression of adult insects compared to the control. Despite 139% more females in the early block, otation tests revealed a 62% lower count of larvae per fruit. The two later periods showed up to 80% reduction – and fruit waste also fell as a result.

Forest bug – an emerging pest

Forest bugs cause deep pitting in apples and pears, resulting in huge losses as fruit is unmarketable. Research shared by NIAB’s Francis Wamonje found pheromones are unlikely to be involved in forest bug aggregation, but early results suggest blue light traps could be a promising deterrent.

Codling moth control

Charles Whit eld, NIAB, said codling moth will become an increasingly di cult pest to control due to climate change and loss of insecticides, but a review of 350 global papers highlights a number of promising developments. This includes automated traps and AI, biological control and netting. Control is most e ective when applied on an area wide basis – over a number of seasons to bring the population down to a manageable level, he said.

Mating disruption (MD) could also prove successful if combined with the use of female attractants. It has been previously underused as it can go wrong, especially if done area-wide with a neighbouring farm or nearby residential area with fruit trees. However, research in the US saw a signi cant reduction in fruit damage when MD was deployed (not area wide) combined with large numbers of female attractants in traps 60/ha.

May/June 2024 14
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Specialist team

focused on top quality products

Focusing on a small number of carefully selected brands is ensuring a specialist dealer team can meet the needs of fruit growers and vineyards across East Anglia and the South-East. David Williams reports.

John Deere main dealer, Tuckwells employs almost 300 people working from a network of 10 depots across Su olk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. More than 110 sta members are technicians and engineers, guaranteeing customers and their machines receive exceptional back-up. Most customers are farmers, but increased demand for specialist tractors and machinery from fruit and vine growers led to the creation of a dedicated team, equipped with the knowledge, skills and training to meet the needs of the industry.

The fruit and vineyard sales and service teams are based primarily at the dealer’s Stockbury, Kent depot, although trained sta at all the depots are available to advise customers regarding what machines and speci cations are available. As well as John Deere, the specialist division o ers complementary brands including Kramer handlers, plus Tehnos and Teyme products for which the dealer is the UK importer.

Ideally located

“Located in such a signi cant fruit growing area, Stockbury was the natural base for our specialist team,” explained group sales manager (south) and Stockbury depot manager, Harry Durrant. “Two other depots south of the Thames include Ivychurch, Kent and Fram eld in East Sussex. These are also areas with large numbers of orchards and vineyards, although their proximity to Stockbury means that the dedicated team there provides specialist support for their customers too.”

John Deere narrow tractors

John Deere introduced updated specialist narrow tractors last autumn. The 5G line-up includes models from 73 to 111hp (max) and from only

1.25m wide. Customers can select between V –vineyard, N – standard narrow, and F – fruit variants, with a choice of 1.0 and 1.2m wide at oor cabs. Large windows provide exceptional visibility and Cat 4 ltration for spraying is an option. “Most tractors we sell are the GF version with a narrow body width but a wide footprint, ensuring stability for working with the latest, higher capacity and wider sprayers,” explained Tuckwells fruit and vineyard product sales specialist, Andy Page. “Industry-leading hydraulic performance provides plenty of capacity for modern implements, while a separate circuit ensures steering and braking e ciency is always optimal.”

The tractors are available with a 5,000-hour, ve-year manufacturer warranty. “Average use is approximately 1,000 hours per year, although dedicated sprayer tractors work up to 1,200 hours,” continued Andy. “Customers appreciate the John Deere-backed warranty, and nance packages provided by John Deere’s own bank makes them exible and competitive. We o er a superb ownership package.”

As well as new tractors, Tuckwells always has a selection of used John Deere narrow tractors in stock. “We prepare and sell them with a warranty, up to ve years of age or up to 5,000 hours worked, as long as the tractors have been sold new and serviced by us,” said Andy. “These are a cost-e ective option and supplied to a quality customers expect of John Deere. We also have a large hire eet, allowing customers to have the use of a John Deere tractor for any period more than one week.”

Kramer handlers

The Kramer handler range includes compact models ideal for orchard and vineyard applications. Service

manager Andrew Pearce commented that Kramer handlers feature a rigid chassis and four-wheel steering. “The design makes them more stable than similar-size articulated models. They are e cient and reliable, and all our customers like them.”

Kramer recently introduced battery-powered versions of two of its compact handlers, and Andrew said that these can replace diesel models in some situations. “As the technology continues to improve, we expect to see wider adoption of battery-powered machines, particularly for the reduced working noise levels and lower emissions.”

Tehnos ails and mulchers

Tehnos manufactures ails for agricultural and forestry use, including narrow shredders, mulchers and mowers for orchard and vineyard operation.

May/June 2024 17
(l-r): Service manager, Andrew Pearce; group sales manager (south) and Stockbury outlet manager, Harry Durrant; fruit and vineyard product sales specialist, Andy Page; parts sales advisor, Maxine Glover; HR administrator, Rebecca Arnley; fruit service team leader, Stuart Nind; service administrator, Jan Kingsman; parts sales advisor, Jake Dowson; and apprentice service technician, Michael Holt Kramer manufactures a large range of handlers, including compact rigid chassis models with four-wheel steering, ideal for orchard and vineyard applications

Andrew said that Tehnos build quality is superb, and the user-friendly design makes them so easy to look after that many customers do their own maintenance, relying on the dealer only to supply replacement wearing parts.

Teyme specialist sprayers

Spanish manufacturer, Teyme produces professional crop application machinery including linkage mounted and trailed mist blowers, pneumatic sprayers, dusters, boom sprayers, humidi ers and cannon sprayers.

Not a supermarket

“We are very proud to o er this limited range of top-quality brands,” explained Harry. “John Deere has a superb reputation for reliability as well as dependable parts and dealer back-up to minimise downtime. Our customers are used to exceptionally high standards of service, so we only associate ourselves with machinery and brands that won’t let our customers down.

“We are often approached by UK and overseas suppliers wanting us to sell their machinery, but our strict selection process considers factors such as training and advice available for our service teams as well as parts availability and lead times. Very few companies we consider meet the standards required, which means that customers buying Tehnos or Teyme machinery from us can be assured that that it will perform well, be reliable and when back-up is needed it will be quickly available.”

Dedicated workshop team

Five members of the dedicated fruit and vineyard aftersales team include two technicians, two thirdyear apprentices and a parts specialist. The workshop is overseen by the Stockbury depot service manager, Andrew Pearce, who also looks after the main agricultural workshop, while Stewart Nind leads the team specialising in John Deere 5G tractor repairs and maintenance in a separate building. “I enjoy working on the John Deere specialist tractors,” said Stewart. “Previously we were also responsible for repairs and maintenance of groundcare machinery and horticultural products, but setting up the separate division for orchard and vineyard tractors allows us to provide the highest standards of service.

“We either service machines on site using our fully equipped service vans, or for larger repairs and major services the tractors are brought to the Stockbury depot, and we provide suitable tractors on loan for customers to use instead.”

Stewart and his team also look after the Tehnos ails and Teyme sprayers. “I’m really impressed by both manufacturers,” he con rmed. “For us to guarantee great customer back-up, we must be able to rely on our suppliers. Both companies have engaged with us to ensure familiarity with all the products we supply including knowing how they work, and how to service and repair them. Training at the overseas factories was supplemented by training here in the UK too, including during product installations for our customers. Extra help is available by phone from a team that speaks excellent English, and they talk us through identifying and xing any problems. Downtime for customers is minimal.”

Precision farming systems

John Deere is known in the agricultural industry for its precision farming technology, and the same

systems are available for the specialist narrow tractor range too. JD Link provides wireless connectivity and telemetry through the Operations Center smartphone app and desktop applications, allowing job details and tasks including variable rate application maps to be sent direct to the user and tractor from the agronomist or farm o ce.

“We have customers using up to 30 John Deere narrow tractors, and authorised users can view the locations and operating status of all their tractors on their phones at any time,” said Andy. “Our service team monitors the working hours, and when routine maintenance is due, then managers or owners are contacted to agree a convenient time for work to be carried out. Their job is made easier, and tractors are kept in optimum condition.”

Tuckwells also has a team of eight technology specialists between the 10 depots, whose job is to ensure customers obtain the very best performance and e ciency from their machinery investment.

“The partnership between our team and customers is fundamental,” stressed Harry. “Our job is to help owners optimise utilisation of their machines and the technology team assists with machine installations and operator training and advises on aspects of operation such as ballasting and correct tyre pressures. They also look after installations and provide customer advice for our Metos weather station systems, and help customers set up the Operations Center smartphone app and demonstrate its capabilities.”

Great products and customer service

Andy said that the dealer’s customer base includes all types and sizes of fruit farm and vineyard from traditional family businesses to large multinational brands. “We o er the same great service to everyone, and our team’s ability to maximise machine uptime is a big attraction. Between our depots we hold considerable stocks of parts, including fast moving items for John Deere 5G-series tractors, Kramer handlers, and for Tehnos and Teyme machinery too.

“We grew the department organically, and our strategy of recruiting service team members through apprenticeships ensures they share our attitude to customer service and learn from those already experienced in this specialist industry. We have a stable and happy team who enjoy a great relationship with our customers.”

May/June 2024 18 MACHINERY
The Teyme orchard and vineyard sprayer range met Tuckwells’ exceptionally high requirements for product quality and back-up A dedicated workshop team looks after specialist John Deere narrow tractors, Teyme sprayers and Tehnos ails. Pictured, workshop manager, Stewart Nind (right) with third-year apprentice, Michael Holt Andy Page (left) with Harry Durrant Tuckwells is one of the UK’s longest established John Deere main dealers. The specialist 5G-series narrow tractors are available in working widths from just 1.25m, although most customers opt for the slightly wider 5GF orchard model for its extra stability making it a better option for working with larger sprayers. Andy Page says the latest at- oor cab with large windows is proving popular with users

TEHNOS is a development-oriented family business whichthrough its advanced solutions in technology, quality, sales, and after-sales activities - meets the expectations of its partners in the global market time and time again and offers high-quality machines at competitive prices.

TEHNOS manufactures universal flail mowers, side flail mowers, field shredders and finishing mowers, flail mowers for orchards and vineyards, weeders and specialised flail mowers for forestry, asparagus, and potato growers.

Its 18,424m2 of available production space, equipped with modern and robotic technological equipment, allows TEHNOS to remain creative and ensure a sustainable future in collaboration with its customers, partners, and colleagues.



KRM offer a range of flail mowers with specifications and working widths ideally suited to working in orchards and vineyards. The Spit Green model places the shredded material at the base of the growing plant, smothering weeds and providing nutrients. Hydraulically adjustable outlets allow for easy adjustment from the tractor cab. Heavy duty hammer flails leave a clean finish on grass and can also handle crop residue and pruning's.

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must-visit event

Dealer show has become a for orchard and vineyard owners

The annual Doe Show at the Ernest Doe & Sons, Ulting headquarters is attracting increasing numbers of orchard and vineyard owners from across the dealer’s large trading area. David Williams was there on behalf of Fruit & Vine.

The 2024 event was the 64th Doe Show, and it took place over three days during the rst full week of February, as usual. One of Europe’s largest agricultural dealers, the main franchises are Case IH and New Holland sold through 19 Ernest Doe Power and Ernest Doe depots across East and South-East England. At the show, each supplier had its own stand with sizeable displays of machines, and there were working demonstrations of construction and ground care machinery as well as the latest tractors with cultivators and drills in elds adjacent to the static displays.

Dedicated line-up complements

Case IH and New Holland

The trading area includes large numbers of orchards and vineyards, so the dealer has always catered for the needs of the industry. However, rapidly increasing demand from customers for modern specialist machinery sold and backedup by specialist teams encouraged the dealer to set up its dedicated fruit and viticulture division in 2022, including carefully selected brands of

imported European machinery meeting the needs of UK growers. The fruit and viticulture display area featured the latest Case IH and New Holland specialist narrow tractors as well as a wide range of complementary attachments.

Positive mood

Sales director, Graham Parker said that the dealer team was very pleased with the attendance. “The weather was certainly on our side and those attending included existing fruit farm and vineyard owners as well as others considering diversifying into the industry and considering their machinery options. The mood was positive, and our sales team will be working through the many customer enquiries received, during the next few days, weeks and months. Special o ers were available during the event for those ordering new Case IH and New Holland tractors, including an extended four-year warranty and four-year nance on Case IH, and three years warranty, three years nance plus three years servicing on New Holland.

The dedicated fruit and vineyard display area featured the latest Case IH Quantum and New Holland T4 specialist tractors as well as machinery from brands including KRM, Teagle, Ideal and Dondi

“We took orders for well over 50 new tractors, including agricultural and specialist narrow models during the show, and our sales teams remain busy concluding deals.”

Selected specialist brands

Along with Case IH and New Holland specialist tractors and the New Holland Braud grape harvesters, brands represented include Dondi, Ideal, Provitis and FrostFans. In addition, there is signi cant cross-over between the agricultural, and fruit and viticulture industries in terms of demand for long-established franchises including Berthoud, Fleming, Berti, Tow & Blow, Marshall, Stihl, Husqvarna, Teagle, KRM and Maschio, which are available through all the dealer’s 19 depots.

Trimmers and pruners

The Provitis franchise was taken on last year, and the product range includes trimmers, defoliators and pre-pruners. Capable of high work rates and operating with extreme accuracy while avoiding the high labour requirement of manual operations, sales of machines since the brand was taken on last year include a trimming

May/June 2024 21 MACHINERY

attachment sold for use with a brand-new New Holland Braud grape harvester tractor unit, to maintain trees grown for instant hedging on a large Su olk estate.

Back-up is a key factor

Ernest Doe Power general sales manager, Ed Perry commented that many stand visitors pointed out that the scale of the dealer’s operation with backup through all 19 depots is regarded a signi cant advantage. “We are extremely pleased with the range of brands and products we selected which allow us to o er customers a full line-up of equipment. High quality, specialist orchard and vineyard machinery represents a signi cant investment, and customers want the reassurance that the supplying dealer will not only have the knowledge and experience to help set it up to obtain best results initially, but also be there when servicing and repairs are needed in future,” he con rmed.

“David Bush and Morgan Williams, who are both based at our Ringmer, Sussex depot looked after the stand, and took orders during the event for an Ideal sprayer as well as New Holland and Case IH fruit tractors plus a KRM shredder and Teagle ail mower.

“There were also customers who attended the event speci cally to meet our New Holland brand manager Ian Roberts and discuss the Braud grape harvester.”

Bene cial mulch

Morgan Williams told Fruit & Vine that the new KRM Spit Green side discharge ail mower is proving popular for its ability to discharge chopped mulch where it provides maximum bene t. Available in 1.2, 1.35 and 1.65m working widths, it has hydraulic adjustable chutes which allow the user to direct chopped material to the base of trees or vine rows on one or both sides. The mulch layer helps control grass and weed growth directly below the crop, reducing the need for chemical treatments or inter-plant trimming. The chopped vegetation also provides bene cial organic nutrients for the crop.

Specialist sprayers

Ideal sprayers come in mounted or trailed versions, with tank capacities from 200–3,000 litres. There are models for orchards and vineyards, including recirculation sprayers which recover spray droplets that haven’t attached to the plants, reducing chemical use and bene tting the environment; and cannon sprayers which can accurately apply treatments to fruit and other crops at ground level in wide beds. This avoids wheelings through the crop which are a necessity using conventional boom-type sprayers. “The build quality of Ideal sprayers is excellent, and the design makes them practical and easy to set up and use,” explained David Bush. “The Alsazia Perfect-P 500 PB is our best-selling model to date. It’s linkage-mounted and PTO-driven, with a smaller fan and counterrotating propellors. The compact and light layout allows use with smaller tractors and it’s a cost-effective option for smaller growers.”

New Holland product specialist for narrow tractors, Iain Faulds commented that the latest T4-series tractors displayed for the rst time last year are now in full production and readily available. Pictured at this year’s event with a T4.100F model, he said that sales are going well in the UK. “Upgrades over previous versions included an enhanced speci cation and additional features that owners and users were asking for, and we know from the number of enquiries we are receiving that there is good potential for additional sales to replace competitor brands.

“The range will expand further with the addition of F (fruit) models with cab suspension as well as the T4 FS which features a simpli ed cost-effective speci cation likely to be popular with smaller businesses. It’s only available with a ROPs frame at rst, but a cab version will also be available in time. We are also expecting an LP (low pro le) model, only with a ROPS frame and in two different axle widths. The expanding line-up will allow us to meet the requirements of many more customers.”

Iain is pictured with the new tractor, and explaining features and bene ts of the new tractor to Fruit & Vine machinery editor David Williams.

May/June 2024 22 MACHINERY

Dondi cultivation products

Dondi is a family-owned manufacturer based in Italy, and offers a range of inter-vine mechanical weeders, tine and disc cultivators, and low-disturbance subsoilers. The company started manufacturing in 1850, although orchard and vineyard machinery is a more recent addition.

Products displayed included a low-disturbance subsoiler, and several vineyard weeders – including the Olea 2 model (pictured). This is designed for wide-gauge vineyard and orchard use with hydraulic working width adjustment up to 4.5m, and automatic retraction of the two hoe bodies controlled by mechanical feelers. “The Dondi weeders are proving particularly popular. People are aware of the product line-up as well as the brand’s reputation,” explained David Bush. “One of the attractions of the Dondi design includes hydraulic systems utilising oil ow from the tractor - with built-in oil coolers on the implement preventing oil from overheating. This allows the latest implements to work reliably in hot weather, even with older tractors and avoids the need to buy modern tractors just for higher ow rates.

New specialist narrow Quantum tractors from Case IH were displayed for the rst time at the Doe Show last year, and an early user test-drive featured in the Fruit & Vine May/June 2023 edition. A cab with a totally at oor sets the new model apart from many competitor-brand narrow tractors, and large windows and doors allow superb all-around visibility as well as easy cab access. Cat 4 cab ltration is an option. The tractors come in V – Vineyard and F - Fruit variants. Vineyard models have an overall width from only 1,063mm and a turning radius of 4.18m, while Fruit versions are 1,382mm wide with a 5.18m turning radius. There are ve models in the line-up with rated power outputs from 75–120hp, Transmission options include 32x16 ActiveDrive 2 with a Powerclutch and selectable forward/reverse shuttle as well as a creeper version giving 44x16 gears and travel down to 0.17kph. Hydraulic performance is impressive. A dedicated 36 litres/min pump supplies the brakes and steering, and there are two main pump options – 64 litres/min standard and a larger 80 litres/min version.

For those considering purchases of new site maintenance equipment, there was plenty to see in the under-cover ground care area. The large Iseki display featured compact tractors and self-propelled mowers including a Raymo autonomous electric mower for operating under and around solar panel installations. Additional battery-powered machinery featured on many of the other stands.

Stihl and Husqvarna brushcutters and chainsaws were demonstrated, including the latest petrol and battery-powered models. Latest generation battery saws are becoming increasingly popular as performance and battery life improves, and the latest Stihl MSA300 C offers power and performance equivalent to or better than popular 16in petrol models.

“Previous Case IH specialist tractors were known for their reliability and e ciency while also being extremely popular with operators,” said Ed Perry. “The new at- oor cabs are even more comfortable, and the large glass area gives them a spacious feel while allowing a muchimproved view of what is happening outside. For owners and managers, the new engines are more e cient and economical reducing costs of ownership, and with back-up through all our Ernest Doe Power depots across East and South-East England, the package we offer is extremely hard to beat.”

May/June 2024 23
Pictured at the conclusion of this year’s extremely successful Doe Show are (l-r): sales director Graham Parker, managing director Angus Doe, and chairman Colin Doe.
“You need the right balance of fibre and particle size to give the necessary aeration – without that it slumps and the roots can’t grow. Botanicoir growbags generate a higher fruit quality and we have seen increased yields.” SANDY

spreads risk for arable farmers Blueberry diversification

In a bid to build a sustainable business for their children, arable farmers Peter and Zoe Mee diversi ed into growing blueberries in 2014 – and have since installed their own packhouse and introduced a range of blueberry products made from waste fruit. Deputy editor Sarah Kidby spoke to the family to nd out more.

For Peter and Zoe Mee, making farm improvements is always done with their children in mind. To spread risk and grow a sustainable business for the future, they diversified into blueberries 10 years ago, after two decades farming arable land in the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire. Although it was a huge capital investment, the diversified crop reduces their reliance on arable income streams whilst making use of their existing irrigation licence – a very valuable asset that was previously unused.

Mix of early and late varieties

All fruit that meets the grade is sold fresh in major supermarkets through Driscoll’s UK –last year it went into M&S, Waitrose, Lidl and Morrisons. The rst variety grown at the farm was Liberty, a late season variety chosen for its avour.

Another late variety, Driscoll’s Barbara Ann, grows berries around the size of a 20–50 pence piece, and has a slight blackcurrant note to the avour, while the farm’s two early season varieties are the high-yielding Duke, with a traditional blueberry avour; and Driscoll’s Sweet Jane,

Driscoll's Barbara Ann is a late variety with a slight blackcurrant note to the avour

Late season variety Liberty was the rst to be grown on the farm

May/June 2024 25 GROWER PROFILE

which o ers a larger berry size and sweeter avour.

One of the more recent additions is Peachy Blue. This variety lls a gap between the early and late varieties so the business can supply consistently over the British season, and it has a unique peach avour. Meanwhile, Sekoya Crunch, developed to have a ‘crunchier’ texture – is the latest variety to be added to the farm’s repertoire, as a result of supermarket feedback that customers want a rmer berry.

While the Mees are always interested in new varieties, unlike the annual rotations with strawberries, blueberry plants can have a lifecycle of 10–20 years, so it’s a big decision and investment.

Key tasks

Primary tasks begin in February with pruning and recruitment for the summer season, followed by polytunnel building in late March/April. During April, May and June they keep on top of weeding, mowing and support structure maintenance, then picking and packing begins at the end of June/ beginning of July and continues through to midSeptember/October. All fruit is packed on-site and they aim to pick fruit on day one, pack on day two and for it to hit supermarket shelves on day three

to keep fruit at optimal freshness where possible. Autumn time is for tidying up, going back through weeding, mowing and taking down polytunnels.

Much of the horticultural work – pruning, weeding and picking – is done manually. The farm’s key machinery revolves around the packhouse grading process, where fruit passes over a lift belt, optigrader and punnet ller, through a heat sealer, metal detector, check weigher, labeller and onto a lazy Susan collection table. Most equipment is second-hand, but smaller pieces of equipment are sometimes bought new.

The farm has three full time honeybee hives in the blueberry elds and another 10 on the arable land, maintained by local beekeepers. Each year they buy in 120 triple hives of bumblebees from Holland, which are lled with UK native bumblebees which have a natural lifecycle of eight weeks, making them perfect for the pollination window on the farm. This year they are trialling 25 honeybee hives with Apidae Honey, which moves its hives around the UK to aid pollination and keep bees fed on whatever pollen is in season.

Pest and frost challenges

The blueberry aphid (Ericaphis scammelli) is the farm’s primary pest problem, though they also

see some potato aphid, melon cotton aphid and apple aphid later in the season. Its goal is to enhance biological control by not mowing grass margins to encourage bene cial insects such as hover ies, ladybirds and aphidoletes. However, on a couple of seasons the aphid has come in large numbers all at once so an insecticide application with a mist sprayer was required. Additionally, nematodes are applied through a drenching system with large quantities of water, to control vine weevil in the roots of the plants.

Whilst the arable business has adopted regenerative practices and has a large focus on soil health and testing, this is less vital for blueberries. The plants are in beds and pots of specially crafted composts to provide them with the acidic and ericaceous soils needed for their survival.

Blueberries need around 1,100 hours of chill time (sub 7ºC). Fortunately, the frost hours the farm gets are often within this dormancy stage over winter. Frosts in the spring have a less severe impact on the fruit if the polytunnels are up, due to the slight microclimate generated.

The farm has only experienced loss of buds/ owers a couple of times due to frost, so the cost of the available frost protection measures is not worthwhile at this stage. Fleecing or fans are also expensive solutions, so it’s hoped they can

May/June 2024 26
The blueberry irrigation systems work through trickle irrigation

continue without these interventions.

Innovative solutions for waste fruit

Packing and distribution was previously done in Kent but installing their own packhouse in 2019 allowed the business to pick and pack all fruit onsite and control what happens to waste produce. Sustainability is key for the Mees, and since 2020, fruit that is ripe at the time of picking but does not have the required shelf life needed for British supermarkets, is used for the farm’s blueberry product line. This fruit is frozen on the same day it goes over the grading line to preserve its avour and as much of its nutritional value as possible.

Branded Mee Blueberries, the range includes: Blueberry & Lavender Jam; Blueberry, Beetroot and Chilli Chutney; Blueberry Gin Liqueur; Blueberry Vodka Liqueur; 100% Natural Blueberry Fruit Juice and a Blueberry Sparkling Wine. The products themselves are made to the family’s recipes, by producers with the correct machinery and accreditations. Each of the farm’s producers is selected for their speci c expertise, to achieve the best produce possible for their customers. The products are then taken back-in house to brand and market.

By using this grade of blueberry, stock is limited so these products are sold on the Mee Blueberries website, and through a few local farm shops, cafes, garden centres and village shops –as well as food markets and local events.

Meanwhile, any fruit that is underripe or has been damaged by insects, birds or mould is removed and goes to a local pig farmer.

Making the most of what they have and utilising key resources, is important for the Mees. As well as their award-winning sustainability e orts on the arable side of their business, their blueberry irrigation systems work through trickle irrigation systems, helping to keep the water waste on site very low. They are also using the Hortiplanet carbon calculator developed by Haygrove to help them work towards their net zero goals.

Sourcing labour post-Brexit and covid

The Mee family all farm full time – Zoe and Peter oversee all operations, particularly regarding fruit sales and grain stores, while their son Charlie manages the arable operations and his wife Charlotte does the bookkeeping and manages the packhouse. Their daughter Emily manages the storage operations in harvest and is responsible for the Mee Blueberries product line. The horticultural business employs one full time manager, while all other sta are seasonal. A small group of seasonal sta work from February through to mid-October helping with pruning, weeding and polytunnel building, but most join them at the end of June.

One of the farm’s biggest challenges is the reduced availability of sta and increased cost of labour, which has risen more than 28% in the last few years, from £8.91/hr in 2021 to £11.44/hr. Pre-Brexit and covid, the farm’s Bulgarian manager recruited friends and family from home, but only 12 of these workers are now able to return with pre-settled status as covid hit the nal year of applications – and this only allows them to work for ve years. Plus, with the farm’s busy season only lasting 3–4 months, it does not meet the six-month minimum per year needed to apply for

settled status in the UK.

As a result, they have increased their advertising to target the UK job market, but unemployment is very low and, post-covid, catering and hospitality rms are now also recruiting from the same labour pool. However, as the farm's harvest is mainly July, August and September, it hopes to work more closely with schools, colleges and universities.

The farm sponsored 12 Ukrainians after the war broke out in 2022, and a number have worked with them on the farm, though many have now moved on to long-term positions elsewhere. Last year, Mee Blueberries also used the government’s ‘Find a Job’ service and its own social media and website to recruit individuals with settled status, but has been unable to source its full sta in this way. Most sta are sourced through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS); last year saw 32 members of sta join from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and it’s hoped they will return this season. However, the SAWS scheme has only been con rmed until the end of 2024, with no current proposals for the future.

Cost of living crisis

Demand can be unpredictable and the cost-ofliving crisis paired with rising costs of production are another challenge for the horticulture business. While supermarkets keep customer prices as low as possible, they do not want to reduce their margins long term, so the grower takes the brunt of the cost increases.

“Blueberries have seen signi cant growth in demand in the last few years, however the consumer market is all about convenience –being able to purchase goods throughout the year, at the cheapest prices available,” the family explained. “Due to the labour-intensive nature of the blueberry growing process, it is di cult to compete with imports on a cost basis, when our minimum wages are signi cantly higher and our enforced environment goals are set to a higher standard than overseas producers.”

Rising cost of production has a signi cant impact on farm pro tability, removing the ability to invest in the future, so the family is looking at alternative options. Their move to regenerative farming has been timely, saving money on machinery wear and fuel usage through fewer passes over the land, as well as reducing expensive pesticides.

The family is also looking to reduce its reliance on conventional power, by increasing renewable energy generated on the farm. It already has a ground source heat pump and 70,000kw of roof mounted solar panels.

What’s next?

With labour a signi cant challenge, Mee Blueberries is looking to bring new machinery into the packhouse to reduce sta numbers. Its blueberry picking is currently done completely by hand and whilst the family is looking at automation and robotics, and is open to trialling mechanical harvesters, these are not currently a viable option.

On the product development side, however, the business has just launched a new blueberry balsamic vinegar in April. Whilst further diversi cation is appealing to the family, time is the main barrier.

Farm owners: Peter and Zoe Mee

Location: Lyveden Farm, Peterborough

Total farm size: 245ha arable, 15ha blueberries

Varieties grown: Duke, Liberty, Driscoll’s Sweet Jane, Peachy Blue, Last Call, Driscoll’s Barbara Ann, Sekoya Crunch

Soil type: Plants grown in compost beds have a compost mix of: green waste, pine bark nes and pine bark chips. Plants grown in pots have a compost and peat mix

May/June 2024 27
The Mee Blueberries team: Peter and Zoe Mee (centre) with their daughter Emily (left) and son Charlie and his wife Charlotte


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Integrated pest solutions against spotted wing drosophila

Russell IPM experts Rachel Turner, Dr Clare Sampson, Dr Abuimroz Ali, Dr Dhurgham Al-Karawi, and Dr Rihem Moujahed give advice on how to spot and manage the risks of SWD.

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is now considered one of Europe’s most invasive alien pests.

SWD cause signi cant economic damage to a wide range of soft and stone fruits including grape, cherry, blackberry strawberry and raspberry. This y’s host range also extends over unlikely non-crop species such as ornamental and wild hosts. If left unchecked, these pests are capable of 100% crop loss.

Since being rst reported in the UK in 2012, populations of SWD have expanded across most of the country and are predicted to increase. SWD are currently estimated to cause UK growers £20–30 million worth in crop losses per annum.

Spotting the problem

Fortunately, there are key physical characteristics that set SWD apart from other drosophilids. When male SWD are stationary they can be identi ed at rst glance by a noticeable dark spot on each of their wings (circled above). Male SWD also possess two pairs of black tarsal combs on their forelegs visible under magnifying equipment. Female SWD do not possess these wing spots or tarsal combs so should be positively identi ed through magni cation equipment. Females possess a large, serrated ovipositor (an organ used to lay eggs), used to puncture ripe and ripening fruit to deposit their eggs; the larvae then feed on the eshy pulp within the fruit. The puncture wound allows secondary pathogens and other pests to attack the fruit, which enables SWD to signi cantly reduce yield before harvest.

The image above shows a magni ed view of a female SWD (on the left) and male SWD (right).

Life cycle and behaviour

SWD are reproductively proli c, achieving 13 generations per annum in favourable conditions.

• SWD can withstand cold winter temperatures and overwinter as adult ies

• Oviposition (egg laying) occurs between spring and autumn

• A single female can lay 7–16 eggs per day for 10–65 days

• An average female will lay 195 eggs in her lifetime

• Eggs hatch in 1–3 days

• Larvae mature in 3–13 days, feeding within the host fruit

• Larvae usually pupate in fruit but can drop o the host plant and pupate in soil

• Pupae emerge from 4–43 days depending on temperature.

Action plan

There are many research initiatives in development across the UK against SWD. Speak with your local advisor to discuss what options are available for you, these will include:

• Careful consideration of crop variety – Some varieties of crops are more susceptible than others. Where possible, growers should consider crops that are less vulnerable to pests and diseases.

• Monitoring pest populations – Monitoring pest populations is an integral part of any IPM strategy. Monitoring traps and devices can give an early warning to a potential infestation to allow a rapid and e ective response to prevent infestations becoming problematic. SWD can and should be monitored throughout the year. Overwintering SWD adults reside in woodlands and dense hedgerows during winter months for shelter and when food is scarce. Trapping them here will help you to identify where they are migrating into the crop whist knocking back the population at their weakest. Place traps and lures at 10m intervals, 1m above ground level, preferably above wild hosts such as blackberry. Traps and lures should be added to the perimeter of the crop and monitored weekly from March to November to determine when

SWD enter the crop. When SWD are present in the perimeter traps, more traps may be added inside the crop, 10m from the perimeter. It is also advised to monitor infestation levels of pre- and post-harvested fruit, details of which can be found on the AHDB website.

• Know your site – Collect historical data to understand when and at what level SWD are migrating into the crop and from which locations. You can compare this data with temperature and humidity logs to help forecast timely interventions for pesticide treatments when or if necessary.

• Sta training – Site hygiene is very important to greatly minimise the ability for SWD to grow within the crop. These hygiene interventions should include tighter harvest intervals “tight picking”. Damaged or fallen fruits should be discarded carefully away from the crop. A full management procedure for careful disposal of fruit can be found on the AHDB website.


Russell IPM is dedicated to the development of innovative and dynamic IPM solutions compatible with biological control agents and spray programmes.

The SWD Dry Lure and MaxDro (liquid lure) are attractive lures for monitoring of SWD. The 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 e ective food bait adjuvant which is mixed with insecticides to enhance the control of fruit ies such as SWD. It increases the uptake of insecticide which leads to a faster kill of the target pest with a muchreduced insecticide rate. It can be used with all authorised plant protection products and is applied to plants as a band treatment.

The Red Impact Board is a ready-to use, quick and e ective 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.

Powered by advanced AI, TruePest is a smart phone application and software suite that allows you or any of your team members to identify, count and record male and female SWD on Russell IPM TruePest sticky boards with a mobile phone device, in real time. Visit for more details.


May/June 2024 29 AGRONOMY
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The importance of pollination

Good pollination has multiple bene ts for orchards, but is it being overlooked given the widespread popularity of selffertile varieties and pressure on margins? Fruit & Vine asks the experts for their advice.

From increased yields, higher dry matter and better storability, to improved size, taste, and colour, there are many bene ts that good pollination brings to apple orchards, says Kentbased Hutchinsons agronomist Rob Saunders. Another is to improve the e cacy of chemical thinning agents (see panel).

“Historically, when Cox was widely grown, much e ort was needed to ensure orchards were pollinated e ectively, but with modern varieties like Gala, Jazz, and Candy, that reliably set fruit, growers tend not to worry about pollination as much.”

That is a mistake though, as the bene ts from proper pollination, which results in more pips per apple, are well-proven, even in semi-self-fertile varieties, he says.

“Because modern varieties will set fruit with very few pips, pollination has almost become a hidden issue.”

Assessing pollination

Measuring pollination is tricky though, especially as it is in uenced by so many factors, says Hutchinsons agronomist Nigel Kitney, from Herefordshire.

Bud and ower size can provide a crude indicator of likely success though, as larger, stronger owers are generally more likely to be pollinated, he says.

“The size of ower trusses does vary between one and two-year-old wood. Generally, terminal buds are strongest on both, but owers on shoots of one-year wood tend to be weaker, which can follow through to fruit size at harvest – generally, the weaker the blossom and smaller the ower, the smaller the fruit, and vice versa.”

Companies such as Out eld are able to digitally map blossom intensity across the orchard using drones, and research is underway to take this to an individual tree basis.

Improving pollination

There are several steps growers can take to improve pollination, as detailed below:

• Get nutrition right

Nutrients, principally nitrogen and boron, are key to e ective pollination, so Mr Kitney recommends regular tissue analysis to avoid de ciencies. “The viability of female ower parts depends on how well fed the fruit bud is during the previous growing season. A shortage of nitrogen in the rosette by green cluster reduces the longevity of the ovule, while low boron reduces the speed pollen tubes grow.”

May/June 2024 31 AGRONOMY

Tissue testing needs to be done early though, allowing any remedial action before it is too late, he continues. Ideally, leaf analysis should be done in August so nitrogen plans for the following spring can be put in place, and foliar boron applied immediately post-harvest. “You may still see a small impact from applying boron at green cluster or even pink bud, but you certainly can’t wait until owering, as it’s too late by then.” Mr Kitney also highlights previous research from Long Ashton, that showed August/September nitrogen applications greatly increased fruit set the following season. “But with canker-prone varieties, doing so increases the risk of canker on leaf and picking scars in autumn. The skill is to make sure general nitrogen nutrition is adequate throughout the season, not excessive, or inadequate.”

• Thin early

The timing of thinning has a huge impact on blossom strength the following year, says Mr Kitney. “Generally, the earlier you thin, whether chemically or by hand, the stronger the return bloom and fruit buds the following year. Ideally, thinning needs to be done during June, and certainly before the end of July, as fruit buds are formed by then.”

• Encourage pollinating insects

Introducing supplementary hives during owering, helps pollination, but Mr Saunders says growers should also consider how well the landscape supports pollinator populations throughout the year, particularly during the “June gap” when spring owering has nished and summer owering is yet to get going. “There may be opportunities within the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) to

increase oral resources to provide a continuous pollen and nectar supply.” Ground-nesting solitary bees have been shown to be particularly good pollinators, while bumble bees are also e ective, and Mr Kitney says both may have a wider window of activity than honey bees, which are usually less active in cooler conditions (typically <15ºC). Hawthorn ies and non-pest species of weevil are other useful pollinators.

• Add pollination partners

Having additional pollinating varieties, such as Jester, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or Malus, in the orchard can greatly improve pollination, even among self-fertile varieties, says Mr Kitney. “The pollen tubes of pollinator varieties always grow faster and give a greater number of seeds than if you only have a monoculture, even if they are self-fertile varieties.” The bene ts are most obvious in cold springs, when pollen tubes grow more slowly and may fail to reach the ovule in the ower, causing it to abort. Trials at the Hutchinsons HELIOS site have found Jester to be an excellent pollinator variety for Gala-type apples, he notes. “We’ve found Jester gets there much quicker than other varieties, so in a poor spring you’re far more likely to get successful pollination if you’ve got it as a pollinator. “We’re not taking a crop from pollinator trees, so at HELIOS they are planted against the large trellis support posts and pruned back hard after owering to encourage them to spur.” He suggests orchards need at least two di erent pollinator varieties to mitigate

seasonal variations in owering, planted at a 1-in-10 spacing along every row. “Growers often worry it’s not cost-e ective to have trees that aren’t going to be cropped, but orchards with more pollinating trees do yield better than a monoculture. So, even though you are harvesting from fewer trees per hectare, by including more pollinator trees, you get more reliable and e ective pollination, and more regular sales of good quality apples.” Alongside owering timing, growers should also consider any pest or disease risks when selecting pollinators, as many varieties are more susceptible to scab or canker, and some harbour pests, such as woolly aphid.

• Control bourse shoots

Bourse shoots appearing at the base of owers and buds indicate trees are diverting energy into shoot growth, rather than setting fruit, but this risk can be managed by applying the PGR prohexadione calcium as soon as shoots are 10–15mm long, advises Mr Kitney. Where growers are particularly worried about fruit set, he recommends including gibberellic acid (GA4+7) with prohexadione to boost the ow of nutrients into owers during pollination.

• Spur extinction

Arti cial spur extinction (ASE) is another practice that, research has shown, can improve the proportion of ower buds setting fruit. By selectively pruning and removing some oral buds in winter, growers can direct more carbohydrates and nutrients into fewer, stronger buds and better balance the oral supply with the available pollination resource in the orchard. Indeed, trials in New Zealand a few years ago found the technique signi cantly increased yield and quality of Scilate apples grown on tall spindle trees, although it is not something UK growers have adopted.

Pollination is key to thinner e cacy

Good pollination is crucial to e cacy of chemical thinners, which rely on di erentiation to work e ectively, says Rob.

“The main thinners used in the UK work by manipulating supply and demand, either by inhibiting leaf function to reduce carbohydrate availability, causing a proportion of fruit to drop, or by stimulating cell division of fruit growth so that once it reaches a ceiling of carbohydrate availability, some fruit are dropped as they get outcompeted.

“Both modes of action rely on hierarchy, where stronger fruit are favoured. If you’re growing a monoculture with poor pollination and no di erentiation between fruit, that competition e ect is much less de ned and thinners don’t work as well.

“Good pollination is unlikely to ever give you ve pips in every apple pollinated, but you might achieve a situation where some have ve, and some have one, giving you the di erentiation needed for thinners to work.”

May/June 2024 32
Hutchinsons agronomist, Rob Saunders Hutchinsons agronomist, Nigel Kitney

• National Pollination Service (NPS)

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• Enhance fruit quality and quantity.

• Improve profit through pollination.

• Working directly with growers for over 70 years.

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Precision nutrition:

“Such thinking not only makes economic sense, it is also likely to bene t the environment and help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change in the rst place.”

Improving productivity

Scott Garnett agrees, pointing out that one of the three key pillars of the NFU's approach to achieve net zero by 2040 is to improve productivity for the same, or more, food produced with less inputs.

“One of the key elements outlined in the NFU strategy is ‘to use controlled release fertilisers and inhibitors to increase e cient use of nitrogen and reduce emissions’ so fertiliser choice and e ciency of their use is going to become increasingly important.

“Achieving this ambition will involve a signi cant focus on improving fertiliser ‘technology’ and not just trying to make existing, and often long-standing, products and practices t the new world.

“We’re all going to have to think di erently about fertiliser and how we can continue its use to drive the food supply needed to feed a growing global population, while making sure it ts a sustainable future.”

ICL UK speciality fertilisers manager, Andrew Judd, says that in terms of the top fruit, vineyard and speciality crops sector, several advances have been made in recent years to ensure nutrients are used more e ciently.

Delivering productivity and environmental bene ts

New approaches to precision plant nutrition could play a vital role in protecting UK fruit and vine crops from the challenges of climate change and deliver more cost-effective use of inputs, says ICL Growing Solutions agronomist, Scott Garnett.

Improving crop health and resilience through new approaches to nutrition could deliver signi cant productivity gains for growers while helping achieve environmental and sustainability objectives in the future, he believes.

“At a time when the industry is looking at the return on investment from every input used and being asked to do this with a growing focus on minimising the carbon footprint of production too, the role of crop nutrition cannot be overlooked.

“Targeting vital nutrients to the precise needs of crops in the production cycle not only reduces waste, it improves yields and quality and ensures the amount of nutrients in the soil left vulnerable to leaching or loss is signi cantly reduced.

“Plus, healthy, well supported plants nutritionally, are far less likely to succumb to diseases, be vulnerable to pest attacks or su er from the physical challenges of the more variable growing conditions likely to be experienced in the future.”

Climate change

Those threats are unlikely to be diminished in the near future, believes the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH).

According to Dr John Redhead from UKCEH, climate change will increasingly shape UK agriculture in the coming years with wetter winters and hotter summers becoming more frequent.

“The UK is unlikely to see a smooth transition to a warmer climate, with increasing likelihood that it will be typi ed by periods of extreme weather and the overall result that we will experience more years like the recent ones.

“Given an increasingly extreme and unpredictable climate, it is important to begin to diversify our cropping systems to spread the risk.”

Using inputs in a more targeted way that gets the most out of them will be a key part of any sustainable production system in the future, he says.

"Many existing orchards have drip-fed irrigation systems and this lends them to a more precision nutrition approach utilising water soluble fertilisers and certainly the newer production systems tend to have infrastructure for liquid fertilisers installed.

"Such an approach not only allows growers to micro-manage their fertiliser use more with resulting bene ts in terms of fruit yield, quality and storability.

“ICL’s water soluble fertiliser Agrolution Special not only ensures all nutrients are delivered in the correct proportions with all trace elements chelated, it can also solve water quality problems and keep irrigation systems deposit-free.

“Solinure is another high-purity product designed for drip fed irrigation systems with a trace element and NPK analysis that makes it ideal for soil based applications. A strong level of MgO can also be speci ed where required.”

Foliar feeding bene ts

Foliar feeding can also bring signi cant advantages to the table and is particularly useful when nutrient de ciencies, such as N, P, K or Mg, need correcting, he says.

“Foliar feeding provides an excellent solution when the plant root system is not functioning optimally or when nutrient-provision via the soil is malfunctioning.

“This form of feeding is ideal when root uptake is disturbed by factors such as overly cold or warm soils, high soil pH, high weed competition or nematode infestation and they can also be used to avoid and reduce stress situations.

Foliar application also lends itself to some particularly interesting technologies to increase nutrient absorption in both fruit and vine crops, he adds.

“ICL Agroleaf Power Leaf, for example, is a fastacting foliar fertiliser which contains both M-77

May/June 2024 34

technology and a Double Power Impact (DPI) complex to encourage uptake of the nutrients it contains and ensure prolonged availability.

“M77 is an exclusive package containing compounds to extend the effectiveness of the chelates supplied by the foliar spray as well as select vitamins to improve the metabolic activity of the plant tissues absorbing the nutrients.

“In addition, stress reducing compounds help build the plant's tolerance to abiotic stresses, thereby maintaining its productive capacity.”

DPI works in a complementary fashion to this to boost photosynthetic activity through improved boosting transpiration rates and chlorophyll levels, Andrew Judd points out.

“With a natural origin, the DPI bio-stimulant technology has been proven to improve chlorophyl levels in treated leaves, as well as overall leaf weight and size which leads to higher CO2 assimilation rates.

“The DPI complex has also been shown to improve the availability of applied nutrients in the plant, particularly nitrogen and phosphate, resulting in higher yields from shorter growing times.”

Proven results

The Agroleaf Power range with M77 and DPI technologies, contains products for a range of applications to target every growth stage and address any nutrient imbalances and deficiencies, he says.

“In trials with hops, for example, the product has been shown to increase yields by 10% compared to standard grower practice, generating an extra income in excess of £1,000/ha.”

Agronomist Scott Garnett says another significant advance in fertiliser application is the development of Controlled Release Fertiliser (CRF) technology.

“This enables growers to tailor the period over which nutrients are released to growing plants from a few months to over a year.

“As a result, crop need matches nutrient supply more closely and the risk of nutrient loss through run-off, leaching or volatilisation is reduced. Avoiding the loss of valuable nutrients makes good economic sense for growers, as well.

“CRF also helps reduce the carbon footprint of crop production as it makes it possible to apply just one application of fertiliser in a growing season, which significantly reduces machinery and fuel costs.

“Furthermore, the Agromaster CRF product most suited to vine production has the naturally occurring multi-nutrient mineral Polysulphate at its heart, which further adds the to the technology's environmental credentials.”

Reduced emissions

An extensive set of trials carried out on CRF across the world have been pretty conclusive on the benefits of the approach, Scott says.

“ICL’s CRF technology has been rigorously tested on a range of crops with consistent results being seen in terms of yield and quality gains seen.

“We’ve also seen reductions in ammonia volatilisation of 32–54% and 54–61% less nutrient leaching combined with 11% less denitrification, so these are major real-world gains from both production and environmental perspectives.

Andrew Judd explains that CRFs works by covering granules with a semi-permeable coating that allows water to pass through it to dissolve the nutrients contained within.

“The process is temperature sensitive. As soil temperature rises, cracks develop in the coating, drawing in water to dissolve the nutrients inside.

“The water then carries these out into the soil for the plant roots to take up. When soil temperature decreases, nutrient release slows down.

“Agromaster contains nitrogen as well as the key nutrients phosphorus, potassium sulphur, magnesium and calcium from ICL PKpluS, making it an ideal fertiliser option for replacing the vital nutrients removed by the grapes at harvest.

“The PKpluS gives an initial early release of essential nutrients which is then sustained alongside the controlled release of nitrogen over the growing season.

“Products can again be tailor made to crop specific formulations and trace elements can be added by request.”

ICL’s focus is on helping farmers increase productivity and produce better quality crops in a more efficient and environmentally sustainable way, he explains.

“Both Agroleaf Power and Agromaster bring proven fertiliser technology to UK agriculture that can not only deliver significant benefits on the bottom line for growers but can also make a significant contribution to more sustainable, environmentally focused production.”

Further information on ICL fertilisers can be found at


Agri Management Solutions partners with Neta m UK to advance UK vineyard


Agri Management Solutions is collaborating with Neta m UK to introduce advanced drip irrigation technologies to UK vineyards. This collaboration marks a signi cant step in combining traditional practices with modern irrigation solutions, aimed at enhancing vineyard sustainability and resilience while respecting established viticultural methods.

Both Agri Management Solutions and Neta m UK are dedicated to addressing the challenges of drip irrigation, particularly the misconception that it could a ect grape avour. Our goal is to improve the overall health and balance of vineyard ecosystems, beyond just increasing yield.

We believe that well-managed drip irrigation is essential for vine health and grape quality, supporting both yield and the unique characteristics of each vineyard's produce. Understanding the industry's reliance on tradition, we are not just providing new solutions but also o ering education and support to demonstrate the bene ts of sustainable water management practices.

Neta m's Pulsar™ StripNet™, essential for UK vineyard frost mitigation, uses water's phase change to release heat, protecting buds via an "igloo e ect". This method, signi cantly more e cient than direct diesel burning, conserves energy and reduces labour through potential automation. UK studies show it surpasses other methods in bud protection. Its strip spray pattern minimises water usage while maximising protection, even in severe

We aim to ensure the continued excellence and quality of UK wine production for generations to come.

conditions, contributing to higher yields through enhanced vine vigour.

Agri Management Solutions is adept at overseeing every facet of vineyard irrigation systems. This includes the initial setup and installation as well as continued maintenance and support. The methodology of AMS is based on hands-on experience and a deep knowledge of irrigation systems, which are customised to meet the particular requirements of your vineyard. This ensures e cient water management, promoting healthy vine development and productivity.

As the UK's vineyard industry moves towards greater sustainability and resilience, Agri Management Solutions and Neta m UK are here to support this transition. We aim to ensure the continued excellence and quality of UK wine production for generations to come.

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for fruit quality & shelf life Biostimulants

The bene cial effects of using biostimulants on crops has been known for many years. Hortifeeds agronomist, Mike Wainwright, explains more about their effects on plant growth, development and subsequent shelf life.

Farmers growing crops near the sea discovered the powerful e ects of applying seaweed centuries ago without ever understanding how or why they worked. It’s only in the last few decades that the multiple active components in seaweed have been fully isolated and described as biostimulants, and their individual e ects on plant growth and development examined in increasing depth.

Firstly, it’s important to understand what a biostimulant is. The European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC) de nes plant biostimulants as materials that contain substance(s) and/or micro-organisms whose function, when applied to plants or the rhizosphere, is to stimulate natural processes. These processes either enhance or bene t a crop’s ability to uptake and utilise nutrients e ciently, tolerate abiotic stresses and improve crop quality. These bene ts are entirely independent of the nutrient content.

As the impact of farming practices on the wider environment has become increasingly understood, and the necessity for more sustainable approaches to production is recognised, the importance of biostimulants has increased greatly. They act as valuable tools to improve crop quality whilst keeping other expensive inputs including pesticide and fertiliser applications to a minimum.

Systemic input

The widespread adoption of seaweeds as a systematic input in agriculture and horticultural production has developed over the last quarter century as the bene ts of their use have become better understood. Seaweed products, such as the highly concentrated HortiKelp from Hortifeeds, are e ectively a cocktail of biostimulants, which marine algae such as kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) have concentrated in their cells to help overcome the stresses of their harsh maritime and coastal environments. Ascophyllum nodosum is widely regarded as the best source of seaweed extracts because of the pro le of auxins, cytokinin, alginates, mannitol, brassinosteroids (to name just

a few) bioactive constituents it contains.

The role of phosphites as biostimulants continues to be widely debated, both in this country and across the European Union. In the EU phosphites are subject to strict Plant Protection Product Regulations, which means they are subject to the same regulatory requirements as synthetic pesticide chemistry, which is often much more harmful, both to human health and the environment. Currently use of phosphites, such as the industry standard HortiPhyte product, is permitted in the UK. Many years of research at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, has shown how e ective phosphites are as biostimulants to encourage root and shoot development and promote crop resilience, and this is recognised by growers throughout the wider industry.

Fruit cell structure

Calcium is well understood as a vital component in the formation of fruit cell structure. Calcium pectate forms the ‘glue’ that binds cell walls together, strengthening tissues, and providing resilience and a barrier against disease attack and the natural processes of decay.

Calcium is unlike most other plant nutrients in being transported within plants in the xylem vessels via the transpiration ow, largely towards leaves. The developing fruits are a much smaller sink for calcium transported in this way when compared to leaves. This can cause localised calcium to be at sub-optimal and even de cient levels in fruit, leading to signi cant reductions in fruit quality and shelf life.

Clearly, optimising cell calcium content is vital in ensuring quality and resilience is optimised. The foliar product Amētros from Plant Impact contains patented CaT Technology, which helps to mobilise calcium and increase its concentration in the cells where it is needed most, particularly in the fruit. CaT Technology stimulates selective ion transport channels in cell membranes, increasing calcium concentration within the cells, and allowing an increased level of calcium to move into fruit cells. This

is known as the symplastic pathway, enabling levels of calcium to be increased and providing signi cant improvements in fruit quality and shelf life.

In a trial at NIAB EMR during the 2023 season, a 6.4% increase in yield was seen following applications (at 2-litres/ha) of CaT Technology (as contained in Amētros). This also led to an 8.3% increase in overall crop vigour, thus improving potential yield in subsequent seasons.

In trials at a leading fruit growers co-operative, Amētros was shown to increase the shelf life of strawberries by an average of one day, giving signi cantly quality and customer experience. In trials at Poznan University in Poland, the use of CaT Technology in Amētros at 1-litre/ha signi cantly reduced fruit wastage both at harvest and after cold storage, demonstrating the same bene ts as seen in other trials.

While each of the multiple biostimulant components on the market have their own speci c uses and bene ts, the impracticality of applying many di ering products at various growth stages throughout the growing season is enough to bamboozle even the most technical of growers. To cover as many bases as possible with one single spray application, Hortifeeds has developed HortiBoost, which contains concentrated seaweeds, humic and fulvic acids, as well as amino acids to aid all round growth and resilience throughout the growing cycle.

This is working very e ectively on a number of orchards and fruit farms when tank mixed in combination with routine pesticide applications. Low rates of HortiBoost used frequently in this way as a ‘pill sweetener’ ensure its multiple biostimulant properties are available for crop bene t at the time they are needed, regardless of whatever weather extremes occur, and without needing additional spray applications.

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As a pioneer for English sparkling wines, Balfour Winery has a long and celebrated history. Editor Rachel Hicks caught up with Balfour’s head winemaker, Fergus Elias, to nd out what it takes to win gold on the world wine stage.

Fergus Elias is the head winemaker at Balfour Winery, and has been working within the business for over a decade, having started at the very bottom of the ladder. “I am fortunate in that I was born and raised in English wine – my father was head winemaker at Chapel Down and now consults, so I literally grew up in a winery and vineyard.”

Sustainability and conservation are of paramount importance and re ected in the practices used across the Estate. Balfour is, in fact, a founder member of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, which is the UK’s premier sustainability scheme for winemaking.

After working weekends and holidays in the shop, vineyard and winery, as an “act of teenage rebellion”, Fergus decided he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and work in wine – instead studying ancient history for his rst degree, with plans for a future career in law at the back of his

mind. “It wasn’t until I nished my degree that I took a job at Balfour. From that point, everything changed,” Fergus explains.

“I realised that working with wine was what I really wanted, and that it was absolutely the future for me. I never looked back, and any thoughts of a career in law were quickly forgotten.”

Balfour Winery, based at Hush Heath Estate, is one of England’s leading wine producers – a pioneer for English traditional sparkling wines, as well as a new wave of English still wines.

The beautiful Tudor Estate comprises 400-acres of vineyards, apple orchards, wild ower meadows and ancient oak woodland, rich in ora and fauna.

Hush Heath Manor has been part of the Balfour-Lynn family for three decades, but it wasn’t until Richard and Leslie purchased the attached 400-acres that Balfour Winery’s story began.

It was Leslie Balfour-Lynn’s idea to plant the original vines in 2002, with a view to making a pink sparkling wine of a similar quality to Billecart Salmon Rosé – Richard and Leslie’s favourite pink Champagne. And so, the rst site of around 4ha was planted, with the aim of producing a wine the couple would love. At the end of the day, they gured that if they couldn’t sell, it, at least they could drink it!

Fortunately, when Balfour Brut Rosé was launched in 2004 it quickly became a major

success, winning a gold medal and trophy in the International Wine Challenge for its rst vintage.

The accolades did not stop there, and Balfour Brut Rosé was the rst English sparkling wine served on British Airways First Class worldwide. It was also chosen as the o cial English wine of the London 2012 Olympics.

This initial planting has grown extensively over the years, in blocks of 1–5ha. As time went on, Richard and Leslie formed a team of viticultural and winemaking experts who assisted them in creating a state-of-the-art winery and tasting room on Hush Heath Estate, which opened in 2018. The winery allows full control of winemaking, from receipt of grapes to pressing, fermentation, bottling, riddling,

disgorging, labelling and packaging. Today, Balfour is the UK’s only gold-medal winery (according to VisitEngland).

In 2023, the vineyard enjoyed a recordbreaking harvest, which will see the winery team produce over 800,000 bottles for the rst time.

Balfour is still proudly family-owned, and the team is focused on creating enjoyable, accessible wines, as well as sharing Leslie and Richard’s beautiful home with visitors all year round.

Harvest at Balfour

Balfour harvests on average three tonnes per acre at its Hush Heath Estate vineyard. According to Fergus: “Harvest is the epitome of our dedication to quality and tradition. Our meticulous craftsmanship, sustainable farming, and profound respect for the land are brought to life during this time.

“We carefully hand-pick each bunch to capture nature’s nest avours at their peak – it’s a labourintensive process, which promises an exquisite vintage.

“Everyone at Balfour pitches in at harvest, but it’s our vineyard and winery teams who work around the clock to bring in, process and care for our grapes.

“The summer of 2023 was unlikely to go down in memory as an especially hot or dry one for most of us. But for our grapes, conditions were much more suitable. A (reasonably) dry early summer gave way to a damp August. But that only helped to swell the already-set fruit on our vines.

“The main cause for concern last year was disease pressure due to the wet summer. But at Balfour, we’re lucky to have a superb viticulture team (headed by Cath Smith), who diligently kept on top of the situation. The dry autumn then provided perfect grape growing conditions.”

In fact, 2023 saw a record vintage for Balfour – from its vineyards in Kent, plus its estates in Essex and Sussex, Balfour will produce over 870,000 bottles in 2023 – a 132% increase on 2022 (375,000 bottles) and far beyond any other previous record in its 21-year history. Around 66% of the bottles will be sparkling, produced using the Traditional method, and 33% will be still wines.

But, as Fergus explains, it’s not just the quantity which blew the team away, commenting: “Whilst much of England’s edgling wine reputation is based around sparkling wines, 2023 could see a

rise in more still wines and, in particular, English Chardonnay being drunk in the UK and beyond.

“In 2023 we’ve seen a real surge of interest in English Chardonnay and we have even secured a fantastic export deal to Norway for our Skye’s Chardonnay 2022. We predict that trend will continue to grow, as this year’s harvest has seen some of the best Chardonnay I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with,” he explains.

Working around the clock

Across all of its vineyards, in 2023 the Balfour teams harvested an area equivalent to over 277 football elds in just over four weeks – harvesting an eye-watering 400,000 vines. This was made up of over 96,000 Chardonnay vines, 115,000 Pinot Noir, and even 7,000 Albarino vines (the last crop to come in).

The winery team worked around the clock, taking in over 820 tonnes of grapes – the same weight as over 200 elephants. Every single grape was processed, crushed and added to one of Balfour’s 112 tanks, ready to make wine.

And to keep them going, Fergus says the winery team also got through a record 57 Cornish pasties, 148 crumpets, and 7kg of co ee.

Keeping in control

Each of Balfour’s vineyards has been carefully chosen and planted to complement its winemaking

Father and son, Owen and Fergus Elias manage all aspects of winemaking at Balfour. Awarded UK Winemaker of the Year on six occasions, Owen is in the unique position of having over 25 years’ experience in English winemaking, while Fergus is part of an exciting new generation of young winemakers graduating from Plumpton College

May/June 2024 42

philosophy. Located on either clay, chalk or greensand, each vineyard is an expression of its unique terroir. Over half of Balfour’s vineyards are located on Hush Heath Estate, and the business also manages other vineyards in Kent, planted by Balfour’s long-term grower partners. These vineyards are planted on greensand, known for wines of poise and balance; and chalk, showing wines with a lean, clean character.

Clonal selection is the key to Balfour’s winemaking philosophy. In every vineyard, each clone of each variety is monitored individually throughout the year and ultimately harvested separately, only when optimal ripeness is achieved. Vineyards located on Hush Heath Estate alone account for over 100 different clonal and varietal combinations.

To allow for Balfour’s precision harvesting and small-batch winemaking approach, the winery is equipped with two 4t presses. Complete control over the winemaking process is possible with the winery’s own bottling and disgorging line.

However, areas which are less within Balfour’s control include the supply lines, which Fergus says are extremely delicate. “Much of what we need comes from Europe, where the wine industry is better established. The fact of the matter is that the support industries that come with more established wine regions are yet to fully establish in the UK. This makes it harder but not insurmountable. Brexit certainly hasn’t helped,” he comments.

Working hard in-house

At Hush Heath, Balfour primarily uses double and single guyot trellising systems, with leaf thinning to ensure good airflow and sunlight penetration.

The majority of the vineyard work is carried out in house, with contractors only being used

for planting and help called in for harvest, which is mostly sourced locally. Usually, they are able to use those who have recently been apple picking within the estate, as this season dovetails well with the vineyard.

Spring frosts are a big problem for Balfour, so as well as ensuring under-vine weeds and grass are controlled, Cath and the team use candles and tractor-trailed frost busters. So far, they’ve not used irrigation/fertigation systems, and with such a significant amount of productive vines already in place, this isn’t something Balfour is considering implementing – but Fergus says he’s seen it in action elsewhere, commenting that it’s “clever stuff”. In terms of disease and pests, the mildews and botrytis are the main concern, along with birds, wasps and badgers when fruit is starting to ripen.

Cellar door extremely important

While Balfour wines are available online and within many hotels and restaurants (including Balfour’s own 10 pubs/hotels), Fergus explains that the cellar door remains extraordinarily important to the brand, commenting: “This is where we can achieve maximum market and build up a customer base.”

Wine tastings and tours, themed nights, overnight accommodation, weddings and more are all diversifications offered by Balfour, which welcomes over 20,000 visitors per year to the estate, and the business intends to grow the tourism side even further in the future.

Balfour wines are known for their clean, fresh and precise style. Brilliantly clear colour, distinctive fruit on the nose and a wonderful balance of fruit and vibrant English acidity on the palate, giving way to a long mouth-watering finish

Owners: Richard and Leslie Balfour-Lynn

Location: Balfour Winery, Hush Heath

Estate, Tonbridge, Kent

Total vineyard size: 50ha within a total 162ha estate

Soil type: Wealden clay

Aspect/terroir: Predominantly easterly, undulating hills with extensive land drainage

Varieties grown: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier make up 70% of the plantings; the remainder is split between Pinot Blanc, Bacchus, Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Pinot Gris

44 May/June 2024 FdA Wine Business FdSc Wine Production BSc (Hons) Viticulture & Oenology MSc Viticulture & Oenology FdSc Sustainable Horticulture 2023 OR EVEN CHANGE CAREER? LOOKING TO RETRAIN, UPSKILL STILLTIME TOAPPLYFOR SEPT2024 FdSc Sustainable Land Management 01273 890 454 Plumpton College Ditchling Road, Lewes East Sussex BN7 3AE IN PARTNERSHIP: Learn more CLOUD AGRO LTD Organic Nutrient Recycling FUTUREGRO “Quality and yield will deteriorate if no soil amendment is done postharvest and at budburst, as every tonne of fruit produced removes vital nutrients responsible for the movement of water and energy in the plant.” THE NUTRIENT SIGNATURES FOR U.K. TOP FRUIT AND VINES (07543) 265454 SOIL HEALTH SMART FEED TM use organic fertiliser + soil conditioner: PREPARE BEFORE PLANTING BOOST AFTER BUDBURST REPLENISH POST HARVEST

going organic Guide to in vineyards & wine production

Well-known and respected throughout the British world of viticulture, the wine division at Plumpton College has put together a comprehensive guide summarising what growers need to take into account when going organic, in both viticulture and wine production.

Many things are easy according to armchair experts. They’ll tell you all you have to do to improve your marathon time is to run the 26.2 miles faster than last time. They’ll also tell you that all you have to do to convert your vineyard to organics is to stop spraying chemicals. Do that one simple thing, they say, and you’ll grow better grapes and thus make better wine. They may concede that some extra work is required, but that’s a sacri ce they’re willing to make.

Some UK vine growers thinking of going organic may be delighted to hear that it’s so “simple.” Others at the end of an exhausting conventional season may be daunted by the prospect of any extra work. Growing thin-skinned

fruit that’s susceptible to diseases in a marginal climate is challenging at the best of times. Giving up some of the key tools at their disposal to become organic may seem much like loading a very heavy straw onto a camel’s back.

However, armchair experts do have a point when they say that many organic wines are of excellent quality. Whether that’s due to the inherent organoleptic qualities of organic fruit, or due to the grower being required to work harder (and smarter) is a nuanced question. Whichever way it is, consumers are increasingly conscious of what’s inside the products they consume, and the environmental impact of how they are produced. Demand for organic wine continues to rise, and

that means higher prices for organic fruit.

In this guide, we’ll explore the steps and considerations involved in going organic in vineyards and wine production in the UK.

May/June 2024 45 AGRONOMY

Managing pests and disease

UK vineyards face considerably more disease pressure than other, drier, climes. Organic growers face the additional problem of ghting botrytis, powdery mildew and downy mildew without the aid of chemical sprays.

A smart place to start is by planting varieties that require less sprays. Those such as Solaris, Rondo, Regent and other disease-resistant hybrids all thrive in the UK climate.

Another hybrid that sparkling wine producers should keep an eye on is Voltis, which is currently on trial in Champagne. If approved by the authorities, it could become the rst hybrid variety authorised for AOC wine.

The good news is that traditional copper and sulphur sprays are permitted in organic viticulture (to certain limits) and so can remain the frontline defence against diseases. Organic growers often use sprays designed to naturally increase plant resistance to disease as strong healthy vines with high chlorophyll content tend to su er less. One example is seaweed extract sprays such as Maxicrop which some studies suggest also has anti-fungal properties and can even improve a vine’s tolerance to drought and frost.

Another popular spray among the same lines is an organo-silicate spray marketed under the brand Sirius. An additional bene t of stronger, thicker, leaves is an increased ability to resist pest damage from insects like thrips. They seem to work as they’re becoming increasingly popular in conventional as well as organic viticulture.

When it comes to ghting downy mildew, many organic growers complement copper sprays with epsom salts which is said to boost the vine’s natural defences to the disease. For botrytis and powdery mildew, tried-and-tested sulphur treatments remain the most common rst choice. Many growers have success with sprays containing a biological control agent. Mostly these are harmless yeasts or bacteria that populate the spaces in the vine’s canopy or fruit so that harmful fungi can’t get a foothold. Examples include Botector (Aureobasidium pullulans) and Serenade (Bacillus subtilis).

One principal advantage of these treatments is that there’s less risk of the diseases mutating and developing resistance such as with conventional chemical sprays. Spray rotation is still advised, however.

Avoiding the problem

As all of these treatments are preventative rather than curative, the emphasis must be on trying to avoid the pest or disease in the rst place.

Canopy control is important everywhere, but even more so for organic growers as an open airy canopy with good air ow can limit the humidity that promotes fungal disease. Equally essential is a comprehensive program of pest and disease monitoring. Each of those take time, e ort, and trained sta willing to ll their pockets with oily-spotted leaves to slow the spread of a downy mildew outbreak. Much of the estimated 40% increase in labour costs over conventional viticulture comes from this extra management time.

Chemical insecticides are forbidden, so pest control in organic viticulture has to be inventive. For certain moths like the light brown

apple moth, pheromone traps are widely used. For the new and increasingly important pest, spotted wing drosophila, management can be achieved by setting traps containing commercial baits like Dros’attract. Interesting studies are being carried out into the use of sacri cial ‘dead-end host’ plants that provide tempting berries for the ies to lay their larvae in, but which the larvae can’t eat – thus killing that generation.

Long-term commitment

Conventional fertilisers may maximise yields and chemical herbicides may be highly e ective at supressing weeds; however, they are short-term xes and come at the cost of damaging soil fertility, soil structure and soil microbiota. Organic growers adhere to a long-term commitment to improve the overall soil health through manures, mulches, composts, and cover crops. After all, it’s the soil from where the vine gets its nutrients from, so it’s the soil that should be the rst concern of the vine grower.

Certi cation bodies, such as the Soil Association, understand this link very well. Before a vineyard can be certi ed organic they require that the land be farmed organically for

two years. Then there’s an additional year before perennial crops like vines growing there can be certi ed. They’re there to hold your hand and encourage your transition to organic viticulture.


In conclusion, the armchair expert seems to be right. Transitioning to organic practices in the UK can be done; it’s a long-term commitment, and requires hard work, but it o ers numerous bene ts – to the vineyard, to the planet, and to the health of vineyard workers.

O cial certi cations for producing organic wine

According to Soil Association Certi cation’s producer certi cation o cer, Luke Wellings, the Soil Association (SA) standards put the principles of organic production into practice. These organic standards encompass EU Regulations 834/2007, 889/2008 and 1235/2008. These regulations were the legal basis for the control of organic farming, food processing and organic labelling within the EU until 31st December 2021 and have been retained in the UK for implementation in Great Britain (GB), as set out in The Organic Production and Control (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (operators based in Northern Ireland (NI) should use our EU standards). The Soil Association has some additional standards to the baseline EU regulations:

Use of sulphites: The GB regulation places limits on the total sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) that can be added to wine based on type (red, white, sparkling and other including forti ed and dessert wines). Potassium bisulphite or potassium metabisulphite are the two solid sulphite additives that can be used in addition to SO2. The Soil Association has higher standards for sulphite levels, including much lower total SO2 levels for sparkling wines and restrictions on the quantity of free SO2 to reduce the potential for adverse reactions to Soil Association Organic wine (reference standard 6.9.4).

Use of natural yeasts: This is permitted and encouraged – the Soil Association organic natural winemakers in certi cation at this moment. If cultured yeast is used, this should be certi ed organic unless no supply is available.

Additives/processing aids: SA has an exhaustive list in standard 6.9.3 of permitted additives and processing aids, such as diammonium phosphate yeast nutrients and Isinglass. Oak extracts are not permitted; however, oak chips or staves are permitted to introduce oak to wines.

Other stipulations: Standard 6.9 does restrict a few more oenological practices and of course, all ingredients used in the process must be organic – grapes, sugar and more. Processing aids and certain non-agricultural additives can be non-organic by default but all organic wines are at least 95% organic and all agricultural ingredients are organic. This means that GM inputs are banned, less pesticides are used (including no herbicides) and fertility comes from natural sources.

Reference: Soil Association Organic Standards for Great Britain: Food and drink (March 2024).

May/June 2024 46 AGRONOMY

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The importance of in vineyards

shoot selection

As the grapevines begin to grow, it is important to ensure their energy is channelled where you want it. Winter pruning dictates the shape of the vine for the coming season and the next, through the selection and positioning of canes, spurs and the number of buds purposely left. Bud rubbing and shoot selection is about ensuring the decisions made during winter pruning have the desired outcomes. VineWorks viticulturist Sam Middleton explains more.

In a mature vineyard, the goals of bud rubbing and shoot selection are to maintain vine balance, optimise fruit quality and quantity, and manage the overall vine canopy. The process involves assessing the state of the vine, its potential vigour for the coming season, commercial objectives and seeking to ensure a balance between vegetative growth and fruit production.

Bud rubbing

As the vines emerge from dormancy, unwanted new shoots need to be removed from the trunks. Early season growth is fuelled by grapevine reserves accumulated during the previous seasons. Generally speaking, approximately one third of those reserves come from the canes/ trunk, while two thirds are supplied by the roots. Removing unwanted growth ensures these nite resources are allocated to the remaining buds, promoting healthier growth of the intended shoots. The sooner it is done the better, although in some cases there will be shoots emerging from the trunk that must be removed later in the

Optimum shoot spacing promotes aeration and sunlight interception, decreases shading and humidity, and prevents disease.

growing season too. It is also easier and less timeconsuming to remove emerging buds compared with more established shoots.

The two most common approaches to bud rubbing are by hand and by tractor-mounted equipment. By hand tends to represent the most thorough approach, removing all unwanted growth. Tractor-mounted equipment tends to be faster and costs less. Some pieces of equipment that

o er mechanical bud rubbing can simultaneously strim certain undervine weeds, especially younger, shorter ones, representing further cost and time e ciencies, although they tend to struggle with thicker, longer grasses and robust weeds.

Shoot selection and crown clearing

This is also about vine balance. While assessing each individual vine’s vigour and architecture, selected shoots are removed to ensure a balanced, evenly spaced canopy. Optimum shoot spacing helps promote aeration and sunlight interception, decreases shading and humidity, and prevents disease.

Positioning is more important than the individual shoot’s strength. A stronger shoot does not necessarily produce a larger yield.

It is important when crown clearing and shoot selecting that thought is given to the shape of the vine and how the vine will be pruned the following year, including next year’s intended canes and spurs.

When shoot selection and crown clearing is skipped, it can have multiple consequences. It can frequently lead to dense, crowded canopies around the crown area of the vine, creating ideal conditions for disease and shading what will be the following year’s buds leading to lower fruitfulness.

It can lead to uneven growth of the vine and under-utilised space along the trellis – certainly not creating an e cient canopy or maximising sunlight interception. And while opting against shoot selection may represent less cost this year, the extra time (and therefore cost) spent pruning vines that have not been crown cleared the following season can easily surpass this (representing approximately an additional 20–30% time per vine).


VineWorks has been supporting UK vineyards since 2006.

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Precision mistblowers for

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Mistblower technology expert Hardi can offer plenty of advice and knowledge when it comes to the world of spraying within vines, soft fruit, orchards or any other mistblower application.

The Hardi sales team can supply a range of units, either mounted or trailed, with tank capacities of

400–3,700-litres – designed speci cally to meet customers' mistblowing requirements.

Sprayer range offers solution for

fruit tunnels

Self-propelled and towed sprayers, designed for inside fruit tunnels with tabletop systems, offer a solution for growers without large central alleys. Adam McDonald, of McDonald Agri Ltd, explains the bene ts of the range.

McDonald Agri Ltd builds self-propelled and towed sprayers for use inside fruit tunnels with tabletop systems. They are most suited for growers without a large central alley – either to spread the rows more evenly for light and better access for picking, or because for some systems, reducing the large gap in the centre may allow 7–8 rows instead of six to get more productivity per block.

Key features of the self-propelled sprayers are the 75hp engine which allows the machine to handle slopes whilst also directing lots of power into the fan for air-assist to get the products into the canopy. Additionally, a control panel allows users to set the rates they want to achieve. This follows through to the boom where most of the nozzles are on clamp brackets, making them easy to adjust as many growers have blocks of

With ever increasing demands to improve accuracy, reduce product usage and reduce drift, Hardi has developed the Optimus range for spraying vines. The Optimus is designed to reduce drift and over spray, whilst providing a high degree of accuracy. Each application pod carries two di users and allows you to adapt the delivery of application to match the vine vegetation, allowing you to spray only the areas needed to spray.

With the unique application pods creating a wide air curtain around the delivery nozzles drift is reduced by up to 35%. Each diffuser can be adjusted with variable spray angle, allowing narrow or wide delivery of air volume, adjustable direction, enhanced delivery of air speed and application of both product and fan speed to suit the vegetation within the vineyard.

With the Hardi Optimus you can cover anything from a single row, two rows or three complete rows per pass, allowing capacity to be maximised.

The extensive range of Hardi mistblowers also includes axial blower mistblowers, for a varied range of applications – from orchards to the cleaning of sheds. A range of high-capacity fans and de ector kits are available depending on your requirements, from small low crops to tall trees, with a phenomenal capacity of 100,000m3/hour air volume in the range topping 920 fan unit. All fan units have a centrifugal clutch and a two-speed gearbox with neutral to aid calibration and maintenance.

design to t their tunnels – e.g. height under the rear platform, width of cab, tank and more. Other options include boom extensions for those with multiple tunnel widths, designs that can switch from four- to ve-row spraying, oor nozzles, and air conditioning.

The sprayers have been adopted by businesses such as L M Porter (East Seaton), which has two for strawberries and one for blueberries; and Hall Hunter, which has a version for a new block planting. McDonald Agri’s design allows eight rows in the same size tunnel that previously only held six rows –

fruit with di erent spacings. The company works with customers to modify the main

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Foggers and nebulisers can be extremely useful for the delivery of treatments into areas of dense foliage as well as for use against pathogens and pests in fruit storage areas. The Guarany Backpack Nebuliser is a motor-powered backpack which can distribute liquid, powdered or granulated product. Its very powerful air current can convey the product up to 12 metres.


ULV sprayers


For smaller growers, where vehicle-mounted sprayers and granule distribution systems may not even be an option or be warranted, there are sophisticated manual sprayers and accessories that can make any spraying job quick, easy and, most importantly, cost-effective. Malcolm Mullender of The Professional Sprayers People (PSP) outlines the options.

Fertilisers, insecticides, fungicides and other pesticides come in three common forms: Powder, liquid and granules. The distribution of these di erent formats requires equipment that will deliver the chemical in the correct doses to only where it is needed. Poorly designed or incorrect equipment will result in under or over-dosing or in the delivery of products to the wrong areas. This is not only wasteful; it can also result in damage to the surrounding environment.

When buying manual spraying equipment, look for quality products aimed at the professional user which aid the most accurate and consistent distribution of whatever format of product you are using, and which are robust and tough in design.

Backpack sprayers and accessories

For simple liquid-spraying jobs, backpack sprayers come in a range of sizes and materials (bioplastic versions are available), and can be manually pumped or battery-powered. Advantages are that they are inexpensive, robust and that they can come with a range of clever accessories which

make them multifunctional – increasing targeting accuracy and allowing precision dosing which makes the most of every drop of product.

For example, horizontal and vertical front or rear booms with four or six nozzles mean a large amount of ground can be covered relatively quickly while telescopic lances can reach up into higher foliage. A unique dosing accessory such the Guarany Dosimeter Valve can be used with any sprayer to exactly determine the amount – between 2–25ml –of product dispensed with every pull of the trigger.

Granule applicators

For the accurate distribution of granulated or powdered products, and to save your back from repeated bending, there are clever backpack and handheld granule applicators. These can be used to broadcast product over a large area or can deliver precise doses (see image above of the Backpack Granule Applicator) to a discrete area, e.g. the base of tree or shrub. The Guarany Granule Injector even delivers granules under the soil.

For large areas of weeds, for example, ultra low volume (ULV) sprayers such Mankar ULV sprayers (available in a regular and wheeled version, pictured above) are worth considering. These are a sophisticated version of controlled droplet application (CDA) sprayers and enable neat product to be used.

What this means is that you can use between 50% and 80% less actual active ingredient per area and still get the same weed killing power. In addition, the huge reduction in overall spray volume and the elimination of ne droplets means that operator contamination is reduced to negligible levels when compared to conventional sprayers.


The Professional Sprayers People (PSP) say they are experts in manual spraying equipment that helps growers get the most from every drop of agrochemical or biocontrol. While spraying and fogging disinfectants, detergents, biocontrols and agrochemicals may be necessary, PSP’s products aim to minimise excessive usage with clever, thoughtful designs and a range of innovative accessories.

The PSP team has considerable experience in advising companies and individuals on the best spraying options for their needs and is always looking for new, innovative products that help customers meet their speci c spraying objectives. The company has developed niche kits such as the Nematode Spraying Kit for delivering nematode solutions and is currently trialling a safe and approved method of keeping deer out of orchards and vineyards.

PSP’s director Malcolm Mullender (pictured) is always pleased to answer questions, o er advice and suggestions.

For more information call 01273 400092, email or visit


spider mite control Products delivering surprising

Recent trials assessing the impact of various products with physical modes of action on spider mite control have found the results to be “extremely encouraging”.

Secover, a silicone-based foliar spray that is not deemed a plant protection product, delivered su cient control of two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) for it to be considered as a complement to Kanemite (acequinocyl) in the early stages of the season.

Using her BASIS project as an opportunity to trial ve acaricides with physical modes of action, Emma Smith tested the treatments on cherries grown under temporary protection. The trial took place at Lower Hope Farms, north Herefordshire where Miss Smith was employed as a fruit technician at the time. She has since joined Agrii as an agronomist supporting growers across the West Midlands.

Growing cherries under protection improves quality and yield but the temperate environment under the canopy that does so much to protect crops from frost and heavy rain is also favourable to pest proliferation, especially spider mites.

Miss Smith concedes the result of the trial came as a surprise, given that two of the products tested claim control of spider mite on the label, so were expected to deliver greater control. The table (right) lists the products in the trial.

“The trial was extremely encouraging. It demonstrated that contact-only acaricides can make a positive contribution to control as part of a well-devised programme,” says Miss Smith.

“Importantly, the population suppression achieved by Secover and, to a lesser extent Flipper, was enough to provide su cient early control to delay the need for Kanemite which can be applied no more than once per crop,” she adds.

Spider mite infestations at the times of application were considerable and far beyond what might be considered early stages. Miss Smith accepts that this might have in uenced the outcome. “For all products in trial, the labels state that application should be made at the rst signs of infestation. It may be that had numbers been lower, the results may have been di erent,” she says.

Product cost was also considered, although e cacy was the principal consideration.

“There are biologicals, such as predatory insects, which can provide good control of two-spotted spider mite; but high cost and the practicalities of deploying these measures

across large areas mean Secover and Flipper hold obvious appeal. They are relatively inexpensive in comparison, faster to act and easier to deploy and unlike some conventional insecticides, Secover and Flipper have favourable bene cial pro les which will be important to those growers contemplating various stewardship actions under the SFI,” says Miss Smith.

The trial considered product performance over an 18-day period between late July and early August with assessments made the day after application. Stated intervals between timings meant that products were not applied an equal number of times during the trial period.

May/June 2024 54 SPECIAL REPORT
Active substance Max. no. of treatments ProTac SF Silicon polymers Not applicable Majestic Maltodextrin 20 SB Plant Invigorator Sodium laurel ether sulphate Not applicable Flipper Fatty acids (C7-C20) 8 Secover Silicone Not applicable
Products evaluated for spider mite control in Emma Smith’s trial Reference: Emma Smith, BASIS, 2023.

Growers - place your FREE advert in the magazine by visiting


YAMAHA Grizzly 350, 1300hrs, 4wd, tow bar & winch, regularly serviced. £3,000. J Cunningham Tel 07860 145580/01376 331045 (Essex)

HONDA seat for Foreman TRX500 or similar, new & unused, part 77100-hn2-0000. £50. H Pearce Tel 07947 344310 (Essex)


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 07841 930065 (Cambridgeshire) NEW box profile roof sheets, 0.7mm thick, 8.2m long, 1m cover. £12/metre. K Ollett Tel 01359 270047/07753 859883 (Suffolk)

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

MEZZANINE floor & stairs, galvanised platform to include stairs & support frame, hand rail & floor, 357cm x 780cm. £2,000+VAT. B Sharp Tel 07917127061 (Lincolnshire)

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)

POLYTUNNELS 150m long x 7m wide & 60m long x 8m wide, side rails, ridge bars, multi span posts, already taken down, more pics available on request. A Cook Tel 07769 680756 (Suffolk)


NEARLY new Sealey SAC 1903B 90L 3hp single phase compressor, used for less than an hour, genuine reason for sale, can be seen working, collection only, excellent condition. £525+VAT.

D Cowton Tel 07712 005508 (County Durham)


JCB 3CX Sitemaster, 1996 N reg, 4wd, Extendadig, can be piped, manual quick hitch, tyres 80%, 5000hrs, in exceptional condition for its age. £17,000+VAT ono.

T Hinchley Tel 07802 396931 (Nottinghamshire)

7’ General purpose bucket with hydraulic grab, 2014, JCB fittings, fair condition £1,250+VAT J Bird Tel 07836 758414 (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)

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)

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)

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)

CAT 301.5, only 2000hrs, 2 buckets & trailer available, all in gwo. £7,500. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire)

HITACHI Zasis 85, 2018, 3840hrs, steel tracks, very good order, hydraulic quick hitch. £35,750+VAT. I Kiddy Tel 07836 239701 (Suffolk)

VOLVO Excavator (EC160EL)on 80mm pins, 1.4m digging bucket, all filters replaced last month, regularly greased each day before operation. Bought to dig a 3.4 acre lake, all paper-work available, with 2 keys. vewing Definitely rec £32,500 ono, gc C Johnson Tel 07973 779442 (Suffolk)


TITAN ESJ horse trailer with day living, double axle, 1997 build, refurbished 2021, inc new floor, 5 tyres, wiring & full service, been superb for horse shows, tows well, rear & side ramp, living inc sink, gas hob & table, good condition. £3,850 ono. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)

RITCHIE 3m aerator, excellent condition. £2,450+VAT. N Wilson Tel 07547 698793 (Scottish Borders)

May/June 2024 55


IFOR Williams 506 two horse trailer, 2014 approx, excellent condition, moderate pony club use, no longer required, graphite body, Ifor Williams wheeled saddle/tack locker included. £5,500. P Garvin Tel 07768 980053 (Essex)


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

07751 917839 (Lincolnshire)


STIGA Park 520D 2wd 3-bladed lawnmower/grass cutter, electric lift, 3yrs old, 142hrs, self-mulching. £2,300. R White Tel 07979 678478/01728 602248 (Suffolk)

VICON Haybob 300 Kverneland in good condition. Done very little work was on a small farm from new purchase a couple years ago and never needed it. Comes with original owners/parts manual. £1,850ono J Dunning Tel 07446 003849 (Northamptonshire)

KIDD 3m flail topper, average. £550+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

KRONE 761 rake, average condition. £4,500+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

BOMFORD RS18 rotary topper, 2007, good working order, surplus to requirements, good condition. £700. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex) MOLE plough, good condition, very little use and surplus to requirements. Fits onto 3 point-link and previously used on compact tractor £400. M Barber Tel 07818 260250 (Hampshire)

WEAVING crimping machine, 3m, as new, for cover crops, excellent condition. £8,000. A Hawes Tel 07739 491091 (Buckinghamshire)

JOHN Deere 324 mower conditioner. £600 ono. D Macer Tel 07974 646284 (Nottinghamshire)


Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire)

LELY Lotus Stabilo 770, 2013, very tidy machine.

ono. S Barrett Tel 07590 844294 (Norfolk)

WESTWOOD F3595-130 ride on, 30” cut, good engine, 11.5hp, needs some TLC, c/w parts & operator’s manuals. £200 ono. R Parker Tel 07710 811534/01332 872399 (Derbyshire)

RITCHIE 6m hydraulic fold chain harrows, hydraulic fold, three point linkage mounted, barn stored. £1,175+VAT. B Burton Tel 07775 877136 (Nottinghamshire)

TYM finishing mower, c/w new belts, in very good condition. £500. C Neall Tel 07966 539716 (Essex)

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

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

TAARUP 7664 Fastwrap, good working order, wraps round & square bales, collection or delivery can be arranged at cost, viewing can also be arranged. £8,500+VAT ono. E Davies Tel 07866 292083 (Carmarthenshire)

GRAYS 8’ flat ballast roll for pasture, etc, good condition. £750 ono. E Gillett Tel 07710 137619 (Suffolk)


KEMP woodchipper/shredder, chips wood up to approx 2.5” diameter, Kohler petrol engine, excellent condition, approx 15–20yrs old, but barely used. £450 ono. R Palmer Tel 07904 556093 (Cambridgeshire)

McCONNEL hedgecutter brackets to fit Fendt 900 Series, axle mounting, c/w all fixings, as new, 2022. £1,000+VAT ono. T Eve Tel 07866 143031 (Cambridgeshire)

BOMFORD 58T extendable arm hedgecutter, 3 point linkage,

May/June 2024 56
CERES Striker 295 excavator mounted hydraulic post knocker, vgc. £2,650+VAT. A Towns Tel RYTEC mounted cut & clear flail mower, 2m cut, good working order. £8,000 ono. A Hawes Tel 07739 491091 (Buckinghamshire) 9’ twin blade shaft driven topper, totally unused new condition. £2,950+VAT. S OPICO 6m harrows, hydraulic fold, c/w hydraulic drive seeder box, 12 outlet pipes, vgc. £5,950. L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire) £6,250+VAT average condition. £2,750 ono. A English Tel 07722 009505 (Norfolk) BOMFORD Microklippa hedge trimmer, 2021, under 30hrs usage so like new, fits std 3pt mounting, minimum 15hp, 3.2m reach, details as per Bomford website, Microklippa | Bomford Turner (, exc cond. £4,500 ono. C Stevens Tel 07976607385 (Buckinghamshire)
ELIET Major shredder, excellent condition, little used, Honda GTX270 engine. £950+VAT. J Rawlings Tel 07747 635980 (Essex)
splitter in good
order. £350 ono.
Atkins Tel
167510 (Leicestershire) IRRIGATION/ DRAINAGE polypipe, twin walled, perforated &
non perforated, ranging in size from 150 to 600mm, in 6m lengths, Milton Keynes area. C Smith Tel 07831 479966
May/June 2024 57 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

FARROW aluminium irrigation pipes, 4” x 9m, 40+ in total, good condition. £800+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

BAUER 85-370 Type 110T. £500. R Stevenson Tel 07768 634505 (Essex)

5-INCH aluminium irrigation pipes, most of them are about 28’ long, some of them have been shortened, a few have the odd dent & bend in, but most of them are perfectly serviceable. £800+VAT. J Simper Tel 07850 847779 (Suffolk)

4-INCH aluminium irrigation pipes. Most of them are 28 feet long. A few have been shortened. Some of them have the odd dent and bend in them, but most of them are very serviceable there are 38 of them in total. £1140+VAT. Fair. J Simper Tel 07850 847779 (Suffolk)

JAVELIN 100/400H irrigator, c/w trolley & rain gun, good working order. £3,000. D Snell Tel 07714 273386 (Kent)


GRAZING land required, all acreage considered, good rates paid, short or long term. J Harbour Tel 07974 295535 (Essex)


SUFFOLK ewes, hogs & tups for sale, due to reduction in stock, various Suffolks available, all pedigrees & hardy. £250. A Macdonald Tel 07788 545220 (Highland)

PIGLETS for sale, 12 lively 10 week old piglet. Gilts and boars, Berkshire x large white. £45.00 each J Brown Tel 07718 255595 (West Midlands)

BATESON livestock trailer 48lt 12’ with partition gate, front ventilation, 2015, vgc. £3,000ono M Exley Tel 07768 106502 (North Yorkshire)

13 Calves, 3-4 weeks old, mix of AA, BRB, Limi, BF, Hereford crosses, Bulls/heifers. All taking milk from teats no problem and started to pick at hay and a little Barley. £150-£200 per head. Photo of just a few of them. £200. J Munro Tel 07842 670063 (Carmarthenshire)

DI-CALCIUM Phosphate (17% Phos, 22% Calcium), in 25kgs bags, 2T on pallets, high purity feed grade but equally good as a fertiliser. £150/T ex store IP28, loader on site. K Jordan Tel 07880 551111 (Suffolk)


2-METRE yard sweeper, good condition. £1,000+VAT. A Read Tel 07977 930401 (Lincolnshire)

MANUAL quick hitch, manual, spring loaded hitch for excavator c/w 40mm pins, cross lock and bar, 136 mm width, 185mm pin centres. Will fit grab also advertised, in good order.£100+VAT. N Johnson Tel 07905 828075 (Hampshire)

GRAPPLE for excavator, RSL mechanical grapple, on 40mm pins to suit Kubota KX91, 101, 121-3. Gap between shoulders 136mm, pin centres 185mm, one finger slightly bent, has always been well greased, hinge pin is straight £200+VAT N Johnson Tel 07905 828075 (Hampshire)

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

STUNNING selection of fully vaccinated & wormed Pygmy kids, ready to go to new homes, great colours, good trimmed, care notes provided, must have a CPH number. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)

GRIFO destemmer, in good working order, c/w stand built to allow a 220L barrel below the discharge chute, buyer to dismantle & transport. £250. D Williams Tel 07485 246823 (Lincolnshire)


SANDERSON Teleporter 227 2wd, W reg, in very good condition for age, everything works as it should. £4,000. M Hornbuckle Tel 07801101645

2022 HZM 915 1.5t 4wd loader c/w quick change bucket & forks, 33hrs from new (Jan 2022), in excellent condition, cab heater, cooling fan, 24v electrics, rear camera, road registered, gross weight 3600kg. £13,995+VAT. G Leedham Tel 07790 223005/07501352291 (Derbyshire)


BALLASTED plastic barriers/ retaining wall sections (40+). £350 no VAT, can load this end. R Pusey Tel 07711 712527 (Buckinghamshire)

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)


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

CROWN 2000kg pallet truck, vgc. £100 ono. L Blanchard Tel 07771 611728 (Lincolnshire)

ARMORGARD Oxbox OX4 steel lockable tool chest, 2 keys, bolts on open truck or trailer, very strong. £150. S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex) BAILEY Bridge available, 80T capacity, 40’ long approx 11’ wide deck, ready for transportation. £25,000+VAT. C Wisson Tel 07776 184394 (Cambridgeshire)

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)

May/June 2024 58 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
ANGLO Nubian nannies, stunning selection available from 6 months to one year, all registered & from award winning cheese making herd. E Bunting Tel 07889 640199 (Essex)
(Leicestershire) KOMATSU FG15-12 forklift truck, 1.5t 3m lift height, LPG, recently serviced/examination cert. £1,500+VAT. D Stewart Tel 07775 793552/07775 793556

NATO TOW Hitch genuine Dixon Bate taken from ex MOD vehicles .Very heavy duty choice of 3 .Can send more pictures by request £90.00 B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)


HARDI 800 Master 12m sprayer with Hardi foam markers, good condition. £4,000. A Hawes Tel 07739 491091 (Buckinghamshire)


BATEMAN RB 35, 2015 4000l tank, 24m


LGP wheels.

£70,000+VAT ono I Harding Tel 07802 38559 / 01845 567891 (North Yorkshire)

CHAPMAN W240 brush weed wiper, very good condition. With control box and full documentation, bought 2023. Collection West Midlands. £2,500. Excellent, other, W240, 2023. R Kempsey Tel 07712 439581 (Shropshire)

CASE Gem 2600 TS trailed sprayer. 24m, 2600l tank, steering drawbar. In good working order from family farm, new NSTS test passed Feb 2024, will go straight to work.. £5,950 C Lane Tel 07760 369492 (Northamptonshire)

BATEMAN RB35, 2013, 4000L tank, 24m VG boom, twin 400L/ min pumps, 3” fast fill pump, AgLeader Integra 12” HD monitor, 10 section auto-swath section control, 380/85R34 Michelin Yieldbib rowcrops, 750/50R30.5 Trelleborg LGP wheels. £45,000+VAT ono. I Harding Tel 07802 385559/01845 567891 (North Yorkshire)

KNIGHT EU 24m 3000L sprayer with tracking drawbar, laser recirculation, tank wash, RDS controller, rowcrop & LGP wheels, good condition. £7,250+VAT. P Dennis Tel 07768 068005 (Lincolnshire) Power

fog of nely atomised liquid or powdered product 18 m horizontally and 12 m vertically.

CASE SP3000 s/p sprayer, 2001, 3000L 24m boom, 6900hrs, 2 sets wheels, narrow wheels nearly new, NSTS to Dec, still in use, owner driven, extra lights, can be seen working, quad nozzle bodies, spare Bertolini pump, available April. £16,000+VAT ono. S Perry Tel 07986 725323 (Hertfordshire)

HARDI LX800 12m mtd, from small farm, retirement sale, induction hopper, elec on/off, man boom control, hyd height control, quick change triple nozzles, manual fold booms, gwo, last used summer 2023, but antifreezed & stored in shed. £1,500+VAT ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)

BATEMAN RB35, 32m, AgLeader GPS sprayer control (not steering), Norac boom levelling, Autolube steering system, rowcrops 25%, flotations available for extra £3k, slug pelleter

B Robison Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

2018 Toyota Hilux rear bumper has a few imperfections not good enough for a retail pickup but would make a cheap repair to a working farm pickup.Can send more pictures if required .£50 B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

BATEMAN RB35, 36m boom extensions (ie 2 x 12m) c/w 28mm spray lines, single nozzle bodies with air chem savers, hydraulic hoses, air lines & bout marker hoses, with QR couplings. £6,000+VAT ono. I Harding Tel 07802 385559/01845 567891 (North Yorkshire)


TOP quality meadow hay, barn stored, 4’ bales. £25/bale. P Murton Tel 07598 808954 (Norfolk) TANKS

Private growers and dealers can buy & sell their excess machinery, equipment & livestock with the click of a button.

May/June 2024 59 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
Mk3 scarers (2), one with legs, gas bottle & battery included. £100 each ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)
pellet applicator, with electric on/off switch, good condition. £300 ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)
PORTEK Scatterbird
Premium Pumps RS32EA water pump, 18.5’ outlet hose, auto shut off, 1.5” diameter hose. £90. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)
PARTS EASTERN TS 120 2T forward tipping skips, 1750mm long, 1120mm high, 1330mm wide, Heavy duty type, located Worksop. £280. P Mott Tel 07813 683410 (Nottinghamshire)
Isuzu Dmax rear bumper, missing a bit of trim on the left side, not good enough for a retail pickup but would make a cheap repair on a farm pickup, may also fit Isuzu Rodeo model with the right brackets. £60.
spraying systems o er 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). VG boom, twin 400l/ min pumps, 3” fast fill pump, AgLeader Integra 12” HD monitor. 10 section auto-swath section control, 420/85R34 Michelin Yieldbib row crops, 750/50R30.5 Trelleborg
nebulisers are ideal for large, dense or di cult to access areas in vineyards and orchards.
11 L Motor-Powered Backpack Nebuliser and Mist Applicator has a Kawasaki engine that produces a powerful, directed
not included, but would be open to sensible offers. £45,000 ono. L Northern Tel 07519 634008 (Hertfordshire)
deliver healthy
BATEMAN RB35, 2012, approx 5673hrs, 36m VG boom, triplex nozzle bodies,10 auto sections, BBL auto boom height control system, Topcon X30 display & AGI-4 receiver, 420/90R30 Michelin rowcrops, 600/60 R30 Michelin LGP tyres. £77,000+VAT ono. D Sanderson Tel 07770 631187 (Wiltshire) Minimise waste
and costs with
manual spraying equipment that targets weeds, pests and diseases to
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.
BRIAN Nixon 5000L bunded steel diesel tank. As new unused due to change of plans. See the makers website for full spec details. Still under warranty, 3mm british steel, 6m hose, filter, flow meter etc C Slatter Tel 07881 443396 (Gloucestershire)

collection from Welford, Northants or could possibly deliver, please contact for a quote, payment by BACS or cash on collection, excellent condition. £1,350 ono no VAT. J Dunning Tel 07446 003849 (Northamptonshire)

424263 (Lincolnshire)


07971 940087/01673 843663 (Lincolnshire) 2000-LITRE bunded diesel

PARMITER seed harrow. 6m wide, cable and winch folding. Paint poor, but good working order. Buyer to collect £500+VAT. D Driver Tel 07747 016492 (Suffolk)

16’ folding chain harrows, spares or repair. £450 ono N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

TETTS heavy duty mounted discs & spares. £350. L Wheeler & Sons Tel 07808 200404/01892 730224 (Kent)

10’ water filled flat roll good working order. £800ono N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)

LEMKEN Heliodor 6m folding discs, front leveller, rear press, good working order, little wear. £18,000. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

KUHN 6m folding power harrow, quick fit tines 50%, good working order, but all PTO guards damaged. £9,500. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

TWOSE 6m folding rollers, breaker rings, good condition. £1,850 ono. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

CAMBRIDGE rollers, set comprising main roller 7’10” long, two small rollers 9’2” long, total length 17’. £900. R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

LELY 3m power harrow, solid packer roller c/w scrapers & adjustable levelling bar, only done light work on smallholding, tines good, clean, straight & tidy machine, ready to go to work, always been stored inside. £2,950+VAT ono. I Thompson Tel 07800 866337 (Somerset)

LAND Rover ex army trailer/ chassis, c/w 7.50-16 5 stud wheels, situated near Billericay. Offers. P Buckenham Tel 07770 797846 (Essex)

BOMFORD 4m Dyna Drive, refurbished, new set of tines, rotor & packer bearings, has been successfully used as part of strip till system to reduce slugs. P Peel Tel 07927 625837 (Shropshire)


JOHN Deere 6215R, 215hp, GreenStar 3000 dome, 2 activations on tractor with extra screen, 50K, air brakes, front linkage, vario & Command Arm seat, June 2017, 8050hrs, owner/ driver from new, well looked after, excellent condition. £65,000+VAT. R Woolliams Tel 07890 429775 (South Yorkshire)

PTO shaft. rear for Unimog 1600 etc. In excellent condition, new and unused, was removed from Unimog when bought new from dealer. Includes all bearings, fittings etc. Owner retiring. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

SINGLE leg mole plough in very good condition with turf cutting disc & stand, collection from Welford Northants, or could possibly deliver, please contact us for a quote. £495 ono no VAT. J Dunning Tel 07446 003849 (Northamptonshire)

KONGSKILDE Triple K spring tiner, 9m, ready to go, low HP requirements, perfect for opening up spring seedbeds. £3,250. L Northern Tel 07519 634008 (Hertfordshire)

WEIGHT block, 3pt linkage, ideal for a loader tractor.

R Sinkler Tel 01377 270251 (East Yorkshire)

CASE 5130, 12000hrs, 1992, forestry guarded but can be taken off, well looked after, all works as it should, cab & wheel arches in great condition for these tractors, c/w 2 front tyres, 80% tread, tyres on it are about 70% good. B Jones Tel 07807 945233 (Warwickshire)

JCB KAB suspension seat, old stock from JCB, does have some marks from storage, everything works & is a huge saving. £450 ono. J Dunning Tel 07446 003849 (Northamptonshire)

JOHN Deere 40 40 c/w loader, good condition. £9,000+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

J Pullin Tel 07732 603094 (Wiltshire)

May/June 2024 60 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: TANKS (cont) We stock plenty of IBC tanks & fittings Collect from stock or nationwide delivery available Visit or call 01594 833308 of the Forest of Dean Ltd SMITHS Tank & Drum Experts TANKS & BOWSERS 220-GALLON steel oil storage tank. £150 no VAT. J Wright Tel 07816 323503 (Lincolnshire) 200-GALLON steel oil storage tank. £100 no VAT. J Wright Tel 07816 323503 (Lincolnshire) PLASTIC tank, 1300L, has been used for kerosene, single skin, good condition. £100. J Brocksopp Tel 07974 669997 (South Yorkshire) BUNDED 24,000L diesel tank, 12’ long, 8’ wide, 10’ high, Hytek pump & meter, 2” tanker delivery pipe, auto shut off gun, fill indicator gauge, overflow prevention valve, average condition. £1,500+VAT. S Dally Tel 07738 803473 (Nottinghamshire) METAL tank, recently used for kerosene, very small but repairable leak, approx 2500L.
ono. M
Chapman Tel
bowser on fast tow chassis with 12v electric pump,
BUNDED diesel bowser. £995+VAT . R Hopkinson Tel 07976 £90. JOHN Deere 3650, great condition , £11,995 ono B Moore Tel 07447 497910 (Somerset) MASSEY Ferguson 3095, 1993 L reg, 14200hrs, starts/drives well, still in regular use, possible broken gear selector as hard to engage 1 & 2, 3 & 4 good in low & high box, Dynashift, hydraulics, spools & PTO all good, for spare or repair. £6,150+VAT.

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)



good, clean condition, 2013. £40,000+VAT. L Fincham Tel 07827 013267 (Suffolk)


07968 868594 (Oxfordshire)

J Mayes Tel 07769

MF tractor front end weights 3 x 55kg, vgc. £150 no VAT. L Blanchard Tel 07771 611728 (Lincolnshire)

VARIOUS front & wheel weights. £50 each ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)


HIGH capacity bulk trailer, link tip, super single tandem axle 16T trailer. £8,500+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

FAST tow ex army 3.5t trailer, sprung axles with lockable chemical container, used behind Unimog to transport IBC & chem to sprayer, in good condition, owner retiring. £400 ono. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

May/June 2024 61 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
FORD 7610 2wd, good genuine tractor, tidy for age & original condition. £7,500. M Hornbuckle Tel 07801 101645 (Leicestershire) MUIR-HILL 121 S3, 1980, 6025hrs, PUH & drawbar, twin assistor rams, heater & blower in cab, 2 spools, good tyres all round, recent work incs new CV joint & new brake slave cylinders, overall very good example. £26,500+VAT ono. J Conner Tel 07599 750925 (East Yorkshire) KUBOTA B1600D compact tractor, fitted with a font loader and bucket. In very good condition only showing 206hrs, tyres as new. Not road registered, viewing and more photo’s by request. £5,750+VAT ono I Woodward Tel 07960 866025 (Leicestershire) JOHN Deere wafer weights, 18x 50kg, good condition. £980+VAT for the lot. H Pearce Tel 07947 344310 (Essex) NEW Holland TM140, 2007 front linkage and PTO , creep box powershift. one owner from new. 8,000hrs. £28500+VAT. A Cade Tel 07769 976968 (Cambridgeshire) CASE IH Farmall 85A, loader LRA3820 f/w euro headstock, as new, 208hrs, 2020 plate, stored under cover. £34,000+VAT. T Thain Tel 07803 500610 (Norfolk) FENDT 415, 2013, 7410hrs, vario 55kph, front suspension, air cab suspension, front linkage, front double acting spool, 4 rear spools, 3 speed PTO, hydraulic push out pick up hitch, 450/65-R38 rear 90%, 480/65-R24 front 40%. £48,000+VAT. J Brocksopp Tel 07974 669997 (South Yorkshire) JOHN Deere 3050, tyres 95%, 4700hrs, runs & drives perfectly. £11,999+VAT. J Macmorland Tel 07729 196960 (Essex) MASSEY Ferguson M4708, one year old, as new, under 200hrs, owner is now retiring. £35,000+VAT. D Nickson Tel 07774 418105 (Lincolnshire) KUBOTA B7100 compact tractor, owned for 14yrs & am second owner, only 638hrs, well cared for, works as it should, no repairs or touch-ups, implements available, manuals present, video on request, located Saffron Walden. £4,000+VAT. 675104 (Essex) JOHN Deere wheel weights, 4x45kg c/w mounting plate used when holes didn’t match up with tractor pan, used on one side of tractor for balance while hedge cutting, good condition. £300+VAT ono. I Leverton Tel 07988 286608 (Lincolnshire) Holland T6.165 tractor c/w Stoll FZ45 fore end loader, one careful owner/driver from new, 2693hrs, Electro Command gearbox, tyres 80%, Euro brackets on loader, vgc. Sale due to retirement. £44,500. J Leyland Tel 07771 644770 (Essex) Deere 6125M, 2013, c/w front end loader, 3126hrs, Ferguson front wafer weights, full set of 55kg weights. £650. T Cox Tel
BAILEY 14T hook lift trailer, on rocking beam suspension, hydraulic brakes. £7,500+VAT ono. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire) 40-FOOT artic trailer with dolly on steel springs, air & hydraulic brakes. £1,750+VAT. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire) 30-FOOT artic trailer with double spring dolly. £1,200+VAT R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire) SUPER single trailer Ali trailer, 16T tandem axle, good condition. £2,000+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk) AS scissor lift high tip trailer, average condition. £1,850+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk) ALI tandem axle 14T trailer, good condition. £1,850+VAT ono. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk) FERGUSON 4T trailer c/w grass sides. £700. L Wheeler & Sons Tel 07808 200404/01892 730224 (Kent)
May/June 2024 62 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email: New GF, GV and GN available in stock PREMIUM USED MACHINERY 6MONTHS 500 HOURS OR WARRANTY Tuckwells Premium Used is available on selected machines EXPERT CHECK INCLUDING… •Air Conditioning check •Full Hydraulic Test •Full Service History •Engine Dyno Test •Minimum 30% tyre tread SPECIAL FINANCE OFFERS LOW % APR FOR TUCKWELLS PREMIUM USED MACHINES KRAMER KT276 2021, 538hrs, 30kph transmission, 400/70R20, boom suspension. PREMIUM USED MACHINE Stk No B1072514 POA JOHN DEERE 5075E 2018, 3358hrs, 12 x 12 transmission, 16.9R28 – 11.2R24. Stk No A1073826 POA KRAMER KT356 2019, 3500hrs , Ecospeed 30kph, 460/70R24, boom suspension, Kramer carriage. PREMIUM USED MACHINE Stk No B1073568 POA JOHN DEERE 5075E 2019, 3309hrs, 24F/12R Power Reverser 40kph transmission, 380/70R28 – 280/70R20, Air con cab, front linkage & PTO. PREMIUM USED MACHINE Stk No. A1072787 POA JOHN DEERE 5100M 2022, 434hrs, 32F/16R Power Reverser 40kph transmission, 480/88R34 – 400/80R24 Nokian tyres, 543M loader. Stk No 81073832 £62,500 JOHN DEERE 6155R 2020, 1989hrs, 20/20 Autoquad 50kph, 650/65R38 – 540/65R28, front & cab suspension. PREMIUM USED MACHINE Stk No A1072782 £77,500


IFOR Williams LM85 with full mesh sides, approx 2005, very good condition, never abused, some scratches on bed but excellent for its age, tows like a dream, mostly stored under cover, reluctant sale. £2,300 ono. A Gale Tel 07909 975052 (Dorset)

DW Tomlin 1.5t tipping trailer, 3 way tip, 6’ x 4’, good working order. £550 ono. N Atkins Tel 07956 167510 (Leicestershire)


ROWCROP wheels, JD centres, Alliance 11.2xR48 (270/95xR48), Alliance 11.2xR32 (270/95xR32), reasonable condition. £495+VAT ono. P Redfearn Tel 07815 854398 (West Yorkshire)

GENUINE Unimog wheel nuts (27mm across flats for 20mm dia studs). 8 of flat base for attaching wheel embellishers 10 of standard bevel nuts & 4 of knock in studs all suitable for U1600etc. Nuts £2.50 each, Studs £8.00 each. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

TRELLEBORG TM800 540/65-R38 tyres & rims, 60%. £2,000 the pair. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

STOCKS front & rear dual wheels, 18.4xR38 16.9xR24, two full sets available, both including clamps. £250+VAT ono per full set. P Redfearn Tel 07815 854398 (West Yorkshire)

UNIMOG wheel embellishers. Set of 4 to fit 8 stud U1600 etc, new & unused. Owner retiring. £100 the lot. P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

7.50X20 wheel, 10 stud rim, 12 P.R tyre, hardly used. £50. D Ivens Tel 07969 877834 (Northamptonshire)

FLOTATION wheels (4 of)

650R75-30 Michelin Axiobib tyres 40% good, no cuts or repairs. Strong duty wheels by Specialised Wheel Svcs Ltd all in good condition. Owner retiring £2,000 ono P Williams Tel 07966 273748 (Lincolnshire)

PAIR of Pirelli TM800 440/65R28 tyres, 90% tread, no cuts. £400 no VAT. P Sherwin Tel 07946 344325/01778 425682 (Lincolnshire) PIRELLI Scorpion 255/50-R20 Zero 4x4, set of 5 tyres off an 18 month old new style Defender. £450 the set. S March Tel 07860 835995 (Essex)

ROWCROP wheels. £125. C Gowler Tel 07831 746953 (Cambridgeshire)

HEAVY duty rowcrop wheels, adjustable rims,

May/June 2024 63 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
in good condition,12v Piusi electric
filter, hand
used regularly, clean inside and ready to use No Vat to add.
J dunning Tel 07446 003849
IFOR Williams tandem axle trailer, mesh tailgate, good condition. £2,000 no VAT. J Wright Tel 07816 323503 (Lincolnshire) WESTERN Transcube
2000l diesel bowser,
pump with
PETTIT 3T high lift trailer, average condition. £850 ono. A English Tel 07722 009505 (Norfolk) SMALL car trailer, good condition. £50. D Nickson Tel 07774 418105 (Lincolnshire) ALLOY tipping trailer, approx 3t, refurbished all round. £950. S Bygraves Tel 07973 117993 (Cambridgeshire) KRAKER walking floor trailer, new MOT, weigher 120yd, very clean. £23 500+VAT. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire) MERRICK Loggin Bale Trailer, choice of two, lights and hydraulic brakes, very good, well built, stable trailers. £5950 L Rich Tel 07774 112211 (Gloucestershire) TOMLIN 3T tipping trailer, new & unused, 2023 build, BKT flotation tyres, 15.0/55-17, genuine reason for sale. S Godwin Tel 07970 625051 (Wiltshire) 45-FOOT taughtliner trailer. £2,495. R Hopkinson Tel 07976 424263 (Lincolnshire) MASSEY 3t hydraulic tipping trailer, good floor, may need new sides, handbrake towering & jaws. £750 ono. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)
tyres 75% good, 340/85-R48 rear, 320/90-R32 front, 8 stud rear, 10 stud front, will fit MF, JD, Fendt, Claas, etc. G Meikle Tel 07801947436 (East Lothian) TRELLEBORG Twin 700/50R26.5, 10 stud, good condition. £500+VAT. I Webster Tel 07779 011271 (Aberdeenshire) BETTINSON Dual wheels (2), with 5 star lugs, 13.6x38/12.38 Farm Trac, good tread. £200 ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire) MICHELIN 620/70-R26 XM27 radials, 60%. £350 each. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire) SINGLE Firestone tractor tyre, 480/80R34, 80% tread; no splits or cracks, stored away from sunlight & heat, delivery considered at cost. £300 ono. N Johnson Tel 07905 828075 (Hampshire) FOR ALL YOUR CLASSIFIED TRADE ADVERTISING CONTACT... SAM WILSON 01473 694455 NICKI PROCTER 01473 694456 OR


USED bus, no engine, ideal for glamping project, etc. £1,500 no VAT. R King Tel 07929 424474 (Nottinghamshire)

2020 Ford Ranger Wildtrack, 39,000 miles. Excellent condition £23,000 + VAT P Mason Tel 07831 306773 (Shropshire)


2003 Land Rover Defender 110, only 64000mls, long MOT. £18,000. W Francis Tel 07850 318297 (Hampshire)

FORD Kuga Titanium 2L TDCI 180PS 4x4 auto, climate & cruise control, sat nav & rear view camera, heated front & rear screen, one owner, full service history, MOT December 2024, available May. £6,900. B Robinson Tel 07850 152240 (North Yorkshire)

NISSAN Navara Tekna pickup, 69 plate, top spec model, full year’s MOT, 63,000mls, excellent runner, reliable, only available due to upgrade, cheap genuine truck if VAT registered. £15,000+VAT. D Henderson Tel 07833 933352 (Glasgow)

293727 (Lincolnshire)


07727 177740/07768 368842 (Norfolk)

ono. D Lunn Tel 07941 072957 (Cambridgeshire)

691242 (Suffolk)



2015 Mitsubishi L200 Titan, 120k, FSH, main dealer upto 72k, manual. MOT and serviced Oct at 116,000 miles. Good A.T tyres, reversing camera, Bluetooth phone, DAB radio. driver seat has worn/ripped edges. £8,250+VAT ono P Marris Tel 07748 657263 (Lincolnshire)

55 Plate Mitsubishi Warrior L200 118,000 miles MOT until Aug 2024. Good clean condition for age, nice and tidy no rips in leather interior. Tow ba, folding buck cover. Collection only £2,700 ono A Snelling Tel 07951 834964 (Norfolk)

VAUXHALL Movano 4.5 horsebox. Stalled for 2 large horses and has a 1500kg payload with tank of fuel, comes with new service and plating Feb 2024. Built with safety in mind Strong solid, stunning box that gets admired every time out. £23,600 ono S Parker Tel 07415 881358 (Other)

LEYLAND DAF 45-130, L Reg, 7.5T, approx 87,000km, 18ft Williams container with alloy floor and decks, new wooden floor on bed. Owner & driver since 20 years. MOT until end of Nov, £3,650ono J George Tel 01974 261510 (Ceredigion)

2005 Toyota Hilux Mk6, 2005, silver, on Hankook 205/80 R16 Dynapro ATM tyres, 191563mls. £4,500+VAT ono. I Harding Tel 07802 385559 / 01845 567891 (North Yorkshire)

LAND Rover Defender, white, registered Sept 2005, 213599mls, winch on front, ply lined in the back, roof rack & back steps, clean, tidy & In good condition, MOT until 29 June 2024. £6,995 ono. E Reece Tel 07836 747300 (Monmouthshire)

ARB Roof Classic canopy for Mk6 Toyota Hilux (1997-2005), white, lock key missing, average condition. £500 ono. I Harding Tel 07802 385559/ 01845 567891 (North Yorkshire)

2009 Toyota Hilux 3.0 D-4D Invincible auto, 136000mls, MOT’d until December 2024, new tyres, bluetooth phone & music, still in use, good condition. £6,500 ono. T Johnson Tel 07554 995391 (Wiltshire)

2018 Isuzu D-Max Utah, auto, canopy, tow bar, leather interior, climate control, sat nav & Apple Play, 1.9 diesel engine, full Isuzu service history, two dings on the bodywork (pictured). £12,500+VAT. M Naylor Tel 07970 576362 (Lincolnshire)

FORD Ranger Wildtrack, 39,000mls, excellent condition. £25,000. P Mason Tel 07855 536799/07831 306773 (Shropshire)

TRUCKMAN Commercial Hard Top to fit Toyota Hilux d/cab Mk6/Mk7 with fixing clamps, very good condition. £750 ono. A Smith Tel 07802 684149 (Norfolk)

TOYOTA Hilux, 2009, black, MOT until 12th Oct 24, 115653mls, more photos on request, one owner from new, some dents & scratches, Thetford area, no time wasters or silly offers please. VAT to be added to agreed price. A Wortley Tel 01366 728246 (Norfolk)

2001 LDV dropside 3.5T PV, 46000 miles from new, Transit DI engine. £3,000. K Ollett Tel 01359 270047/07753 859882 (Suffolk)

RANGE Rover Vogue, 2006, had very little use, 44000mls, 3.0L diesel engine, leather, climate control, reverse camera, recent MOT, excellent condition. £8,500. B Sharp Tel 07917 127061 (Lincolnshire)

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.

May/June 2024 64 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
KUBOTA square wheel centres for 28” rear wheel, centre hole 6”, opposite wheel nuts 8”, where it bolts to the rim, 3.75” apart, good condition. £100 ono. R Dunn Tel 07837 363498 (Devon) rowcrop wheels to fit Massey Ferguson 6475, 2013, 300/95R52 & 12.4R36 with 14mm centres, rears are approx 30% & fronts 80%, Alliance tyres so give a narrow footprint for their size, ideal for potato rows or sugar beet. £2,150+VAT ono. M Palmer Tel 07702 wheels with Michelin Agribib 16.9-R28 & 420/80-R46, 85% tread. £3,500 ono. A Southgate Tel ROWCROP wheels, 14.9x46 rear with solid centre & 12.4x34 fronts with solid centre, in very good condition, done little work, off a Claas 610. £3,250+VAT BKT rear tyres & rims for John Deere sprayer, 10 stud bolt in centres, 95% wear. £2,500+VAT ono. J Porter Tel 07879
large quantity of trays.
each. M Hardstaff Tel 07974
680422 (Nottinghamshire)
J Kilfedder Tel 07831 836883 (Fife) NISSAN Navara 2.3L automatic double cab, 2017, 65321mls, one owner from new, DAB radio, CD player, climate control, heated seats, Truckman top, 360deg camera, parking sensors, push button start, plus much more, exc cond. £16,000+VAT ono. G Paice Tel 07904753408 (Essex) TOYOTA Hilux invincible, 2017, double cab, 2.4L manual, 103370mls, full service history, 1 driver Truckman top, tow bar, DAB radio, new tyres, full MOT, excellent condition. £16,500+VAT ono. G Paice Tel 07904 753408 (Essex) 2019 Toyota Hilux, 30000mls, tidy, usual Active model spec, air con, bluetooth, etc, recent service & MOT, shod on good tyres, lightly used & has never towed .POA. B Robinson Tel 07740 683113 (Gloucestershire)

MF718 auto potato planter. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

MASSEY Ferguson 19 muck spreader, full working order, twin beater, straight to work or show. R Parker Tel 07973 297404 (Derbyshire)

FORD County Super 6, unrestored, has twin lift rear set & c/w original cab. £11,000 no VAT. R Pusey Tel 07711 712527 (Buckinghamshire)

TURNERS of Ipswich seed dresser, came out of a corn merchants building, good condition. £900+VAT. B Rutterford Tel 07836 777595 (Suffolk)

INDUSTRIAL MF loader tractor with air compressor, average condition. £3,750+VAT ono B Rutterford Tel 078367 77595 (Suffolk)

LARGE antique anvil. £300 no VAT. J Wright Tel 07816 323503 (Lincolnshire)

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

MASSEY Ferguson 711 potato harvester brand new original unloading elevator belts. £400 no VAT. P Sherwin Tel 07946 344325/01778 425682 (Lincolnshire)

SMYTH drill for sale, stored under cover. £150 ono. E Gillett Tel 07710 137619 (Suffolk)

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 cultivator. £100 ono. A Howell Tel 07528 729118 (Cambridgeshire)

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)


HORSCH Terrano, 4m, 3pt mounted. A Hawkes Tel 07932 717512 (Lincolnshire)

VINTAGE cast iron agricultural nameplates required, signs & plaques, single items or whole collections. M Burgess Tel 07958381278 (Buckinghamshire)

LOOKING for DB 885 or DB 1190 or 1290 or Massey 550 in usable condition, also DB1190 for parts. P Jackson Tel 01422 243914 (West Yorkshire)

SMALL quantity of secondhand concrete L-shape panels required. T Clowes Tel 07768 232881 (Suffolk)

DAVID Brown/ Case 1290/ 94 or 1390/ 1394 high clearance tractor wanted. Decent condition required, would consider standard clearance one, Payment to suit cash or transfer. D Jackson Tel 07889 956744 (North Yorkshire)

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)

OLDER pickups required by Suffolk grower, preferably in East Anglia region, anything considered, cash paid or bank transfer, prompt collection, please call. J Long Tel 07711 079821 (Essex)

LOOKING for anything E&H Roberts Deanshanger Iron Works, cast iron seat, nameplates, catalogues, bill heads, etc. M Burgess Tel 07958 381278 (Buckinghamshire)

FRONT mounted tractor hoe for Fordson Dexta. J Doe Tel 07860

314240 (Suffolk)

RETIRED farmer looking for a DB1290 or a Massey 550, 265 or 565, must have straight tinwork, runner or non runner considered, with or without front loader, any area. P Jackson Tel 01422 243913 (West Yorkshire)

JF Windrower. J Doe Tel 07860

314240 (Suffolk)

HOWARD Rotovator. J Doe Tel 07860

314240 (Suffolk)

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

9.00/13 tyre on 5 stud rim required, as used on Taskers trailed fertiliser spinner. M Crosby Tel 07876 196476 (Essex)



TACALAMIT 4 post 4T lift vehicle hoist, in good condition. £750. K Ollett Tel 01359 270047/07753 859882 (Suffolk)

SAW bench required, older type rack & pinion, large blade for ripping tree trunks down for boards & fencing requirements, alternatively just blade, bearings & spindle so I can build one up. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

SINGLE phase electric motor, 1hp. R James Tel 01263 837569 (Norfolk)

TYRES & wheels required, 6 stud, 8.25-R26. L Wheeler & Sons Tel 07808 200404/01892 730224 (Kent)

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)

WHITLOCK 5’ x 4’ trailer. C Neall Tel 07966 539716 (Essex)

CHEETAH CH-5 tyre bead seater, for sale due to retirement, professional quality, American made, in excellent condition. £105 ono. D Cowton Tel 07712 005508 (County Durham)

May/June 2024 65 Trade advertising — Tel: 01473 794440 Email:
LAND Rover Discovery 4 Commercial with seat conversion, 2014, new engine fitted after old engine clocked 143,162mls, has done 24,838mls since then, well serviced, would make an excellent farm car. M Newling Tel 07798 610588 (Cambridgeshire) JEEP Cherokee Renegade CRD diesel 2.8L auto, 103785mls, 55 plate, 5 door, starts & runs with no issues, bodywork & chassis in great condition, no MOT - fail report available, brakes, pads, discs & suspension bushes to be done. £700 ono. D Gamble Tel 07880 341447 (Warwickshire)
& solidly constructed,
are good & springs in place, in working order.
J Berry
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)
VINTAGE carton stapler, heavy
Tel 07715 231291 (Warwickshire)
VINTAGE DWS industrial carton stapler, solidly constructed & built to last, springs in place & jaws are good, in working order. £50. J Berry Tel 07715 231291 (Warwickshire)

The future is bright for British berries

The retail sales value of fresh berries has more than doubled in the past decade, and despite soaring costs of production and substantial labour challenges, the sector continues to expand. We spoke to British Berry Growers chairman Nick Marston, about future challenges and opportunities.

Q. How has the berry sector evolved in the past 10 years?

A: In 2013, the year-round fresh berry business in the UK was worth £779 million in retail sales value (Kantar). In 2023 it was 1.8 billion. British Berry Growers’ members produced 67,000 tonnes in 2013 and 111,000 tonnes in 2023, so again, signi cant growth. There was always a popular belief that the winter season was the big opportunity, but actually, UK main season is still showing signi cant growth – 11% last year compared to 2022.

Q. What factors have had the biggest impact?

A: Current berry varieties have consistently better avour and shelf life than 10 years ago, whether it's winter season or UK main season. There's also better year-round availability. This is also down to modern techniques – polytunnels and substrate systems with irrigation.

Q. What are the biggest challenges?

A: It’s a signi cant marketplace, but growers have seen their costs increase massively, primarily due to direct labour, which accounts for over 50% of the cost of production for fresh berries. Labour costs have in ated substantially over the years –that’s inevitable. I don't think anybody's expecting cheap labour, and that’s not what we want. We want e ective labour.

Q. What would you like to see change?

A: Firstly, we’d like to see the six-month visa under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme extended to nine months – we have a long season, and the last thing growers want to be doing is re-recruiting six months in. Secondly, we’re calling for growers to be able to recruit directly overseas. Currently, visas

are given to commercial organisations who make a pro t out of supplying labour.

Retailers must also address the fact that growers are not making a pro t, and if they don’t make a pro t, they won’t reinvest, and if they don’t reinvest, production will dwindle. Retailers could not go elsewhere and buy anything like the volumes they require, so they do need to ensure growers are nancially sustainable. A lot of that is about the share of in ation.

From 2021–2023, the average cost of production of a 400g punnet of strawberries increased by 18p, according to Anderson's. In the same period, the average retail selling price across the whole market increased by 27p (Kantar). According to our autumn survey, over those two years, growers received an extra 3.6p on average. That just doesn't add up.

Additionally, retailers are very often not agreeing contracts until early- to mid-spring when growers are already committed with the crop in the ground. We're looking for a much longer time scale for those contracts and price discussions.

We lobby the government, hold meetings with the retailers and raise these issues in the media wherever appropriate, but as we're not a marketing board it’s important that growers, their organisations and retailers engage to address the issues.

Q. Do you see robotics being important in the sector?

A: There’s a lot of work being done on technology. Table strawberry production in substrate reduces the cost of picking massively per kilogramme.

There are quite a few robotic projects and some of them are quite advanced – we have robots that will pick strawberries, but my estimation is it will be a minimum of 10 years

before they are picking e ectively. Also, large numbers of robots would be required by the UK berry industry, which would need manufacturing and nancing.

Q. What do you think the future holds for berries?

A: Fresh berries are outperforming fresh fruit – they’re in signi cant growth in an era where food category growth is pretty static. If we look at mainland Europe, there’s a strawberry shortage –the German production area has reduced by 14% over the last decade and most of the production area is strawberries planted straight in the ground – low yielding and high labour. So there’s a huge opportunity with our temperate climate and abilities. Our growers are amongst the world's best in substrate production and most of our production is under polytunnels and in substrate. We're very well equipped to build an export business.

Berry growing doesn’t require big land areas, and growing systems are heavily controlled under polytunnels with trickle irrigation systems. Berries use less water than other crops and are not susceptible to heavy rainfall etc. There’s also a great deal of work to address the environmental impact of berry growing, including capturing and storing rainwater that runs o polytunnels, and solar photovoltaic panels on top of the tunnels.

We’re asking the government to consider intensive horticulture a ‘public good’ under the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Intensive horticulture feeds the nation and produces a large amount of our fresh food o a very small area. Why would you not channel some of that funding into environmentally friendly, intensive horticulture techniques?

We have the potential to have a very good future, but at the moment, there is serious work to be done.


Nick Marston was managing director of Berry Gardens from 1995 to 2017 and has been a director of British Berry Growers since 1999 – becoming chairman in 2017.

British Berry Growers is a trade association representing 95% of the UK’s commercial soft fruit growers.

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We are a specialist direct lender to rural businesses in Great Britain. We are here to help you fund, diversify – and see your farm-based business bear fruit.

Rural Asset Finance can help you grow –whatever your dream, whatever your crop.

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

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

So whether you want fermenters or filtration, harvesters or harrows, crushers or kegs, a seeder or a cellar, a baler or a bottling plant, Rural Asset Finance can help you sow the seeds – and taste success.

Ben Wood: 07483 947 877

Matthew Smart: 07860 956 232


We fund the UK producers of Food and Renewable Energy

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