Positive mood at LAMMA despite looming Brexit
Peter Thomas Keaveney assesses the atmosphere at the recent LAMMA show amidst the upcoming Brexit.

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, LAMMA took place in the NEC in Birmingham for the first time in its history.

Although many punters did not know what to expect from the show after its move in venue from the east of England show grounds in Peterborough (outdoors) to the NEC in Birmingham (indoors), it has gone down very well with both exhibitors and visitors.

For visitors travelling from Ireland, the move in venue is certainly welcomed as the venue is situated right beside Birmingham airport.

The show almost appeared to be somewhat planned out like a smaller version of Agritechnica.

A total of over 40,000 visitors attended the two-day event which had over 650 exhibitors.

The mood at the show was surprisingly very positive.

According to the majority of exhibitors that the Irish Farmers Journal spoke too, it was just business as normal with little or no talk of Brexit.

However, some exhibitors did note that they felt people were being more conservative, opting to hold tight until a Brexit deal is finalised before deciding to splash out on a new machine.

Northern Ireland tractor market growth in 2018
Sales of new tractors in Northern Ireland increased by 7.4% in 2018.

UK registrations of new tractors (over 50hp) in January 2019 recorded a 10% drop compared with the same month in 2018, according to the latest figures from UK-based Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA).

The total number of new tractors registered in the UK in 2018 reached 12,102.

This was just under 1% higher than the total for 2017 and the largest annual figure in four years.

The biggest power segment in the UK market is now the 161 to 200hp category tractor, accounting for 20% of all new tractors sold there.

The market for bigger 241hp+ tractors showed the largest growth of almost 23%.

Northern Ireland

The AEA also reported that 491 new tractors were registered in Northern Ireland in 2018, up by 7.4% from 457 the previous year.

AGCO innovations win seven 2019 US engineering awards
AGCO Corporation have just scooped more ASABE awards than any other manufacturer.

AGCO Corporation, the owner of Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra, has received seven AE50 Awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) in 2019, more than any other manufacturer.

Approximately 50 products, representing the best innovations in engineering and technology for agricultural, food and biological systems, are chosen for recognition each year by a panel.

This year’s winning products from AGCO include the Hesston by Massey Ferguson, WR9900 Series Windrower OptiRide Cab Suspension, Fendt IDEAL Combine, TerraGator C-Series High-Flotation Applicator, Amity Precision Shank Drill, GSI Z-Series Bins and Flexwave Technology, GSI Dry/Cool Portable Quiet Dryer and GSI Quiet TopDry and Recon SpreadSense.

The Massey Ferguson WR9900 Series Windrower OptiAir Cab Suspension incorporates a four-post air suspension system for ultimate ride, 40% less vibration and greater noise suppression.

The Fendt IDEAL Combine is the first “clean-sheet” design of an axial combine in 30 years.

In Fendt tradition, it is loaded with innovations that provide in-field efficiency, unfailing uptime, simple operation and excellent grain quality.

The awards will be presented in February during ASABE’s annual Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

RNLI acquires specialist tractor builder
The RNLI recently acquired the articulated Talus MB-4H produced by Clayton Engineering Ltd, with whom it has had a very close working relationship for forty years. Bruce Lett reports

Visitors to last year’s National Ploughing Championships may have noticed a very different crawler-type tractor on WR Shaw’s stand.

The crawler in question is owned by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and based at Clogherhead lifeboat station, Co Louth.

It is one of approximately 30 crawler tractors built by Clayton Engineering Ltd in Wales for the RNLI.

The Talus MB-H crawler seen at The Ploughing was specifically designed for the RNLI to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches.

Weighing in at 19t and powered by a 210hp V8 Caterpillar engine, Clayton Engineering’s Talus MB-H crawler seen at The Ploughing was specifically designed for the RNLI to launch and recover lifeboats from beaches.

The firm has built a number of specialist tractors for the RNLI, including the County-based MB-764 and the RNLI/Clayton-designed Talus MB-4H.

The latter is articulated, which has earned it the nickname “The Bendy”.

In January this year, the RNLI acquired Clayton Engineering Ltd, with whom it has had a very close working relationship for 40 years. This followed the retirement of the current owners and managing director. The firm manufactures and supplies almost half of the RNLI’s lifeboat launch and recovery systems used throughout Ireland and the UK.