As part of last week’s 11th World Potato Congress held in Dublin’s Irish Potato Growers were invited to attend technical demonstration day at Country Crest’s Maple Lodge Farm in Rathmooney, Co Dublin, last Friday.
The day included futuristic precision farming techniques, machinery stands, and potato planting demonstrations as well as other technical information and potato trials.
The Irish Farmers Journal travelled along to view some of the latest machinery from the two main machinery sponsors, John Deere and Grimme.
Aside from the latest technologies, the fully restored Hoey tractor collection was on display.
The planting demonstration took place over the course of the day, showcasing the latest John Deere tractors and Grimme equipment. First up, helping loosen the surface was a John Deere 7R 350 and 6m mounted Sumo Rippa deep-legged ripper. Up next was a John Deere 8RX 370 Autopowr working a Maschio Gaspardo rotary tiller and three-row bed former. The 8RX was ideally suited to the task given its low ground pressure across the surface.
On destoning duties was a John Deere 6155R coupled with a Grimme CS150 Combi-Star. Taking care of planting was a John Deere 6215R and Grimme GB 430 four row planter with a 3t seed hopper and front mounted tank system.
Up until recently, four-row planters and harvester were practically unheard of in Ireland. However, in recent years a number of the country’s larger growers have made the switch from two row equipment.
All machines were working in sync via John Deere’s Autotrac guidance technology.
With John Deere and Grimme being sponsors of the event, both had considerable stands showing their wares. Grimme showcased its Varitron 470 Platinum Terra Trac four-row potato harvester and its Varitron 270 Terra Trac two-row harvester. Also on display was a Grimme Rexor 620 self-propelled beet harvester.
The Mazzotti MAF3180 self-propelled sprayer was showcased for the first time in Ireland at such an event.
Mazzotti sprayers are now imported into Ireland via Templetuohy Farm Machinery Ltd (TFM).
Keeping with the John Deere theme, Michael Hoey’s own collection of classic and vintage John Deere tractors was on display outdoors. In total, over 25 immaculately restored examples were on display. These included 20, 30, 40, 50, 55, 7010 and 7020 series tractors.
Fitted to some of these pristine examples were vintage tillage implements including a Grimme Q All-Rounder 88 potato harvester, Faun planter and John Deere three-furrow plough.