Proof that it's no country for old machinery
Published 18/05/2016 | 02:30
Last Thursday saw thousands of farmers and contractors head to Gurteen Agricultural College in Ballingarry, Co Tipperary, for the FTMTA Grass & Muck 2016 show. The weather came good just in time, and around 10,000 visitors made their way onsite over the day to see the shiny new machines being put through their paces.
Despite the healthy attendance numbers, it is not turning out to be a good year for sales of grass and muck machinery. The perfect storm of poor milk, beef and tillage prices is starting to effect confidence when it comes to making machinery purchases. Dealers and manufacturers are hoping that a spell of good weather will improve buyer sentiment as we head into the summer.
Tractor sales are the exception, with 1,036 new tractors sold for the first four months of 2016; a 6.5pc increase on the same period last year.
Where this FTMTA event excels is at demonstrating working machinery in realistic Irish conditions. Visitors will have seen a huge range of equipment in action. I walked the show in its entirety and I needed the full day to have a good look at everything. For those who couldn't make it, here are some highlights.
McHale mower conditioner: McHale always put on a good show at these events, so the chance to see the Mayo firm's new ProGlide butterfly combination working in the flesh for the first time proved a great attraction for lots of punters.
Designed to respond to undulating and uneven ground conditions typical of Ireland, the ProGlide adds another bow to McHale's string and sees the firm enhance its already strong line-up of grass machinery.
Kuhn triple mower: Kuhn Centre Ireland showed off their triple gang set up including the all new FC 3125 front mower.
Ideal for high-powered tractors, the front mower is 3.1m wide and is at home as part of a high-powered gang mower set up where the working width can be pushed to 9.5m. The design of the front mower improves operator visibility and offers close ground contour following.