Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 27 May 2017

Sales rise likely for self-propelled harvest machines

Claas reportedly sold 13 self-propelled harvesters in Northern Ireland last year
Claas reportedly sold 13 self-propelled harvesters in Northern Ireland last year

Bruce Lett

With no official figures available yet for self-propelled silage harvester sales, most are cautiously optimistic within the industry, speculating that total sales will be around 20 in the Republic and five in Northern Ireland.

Notably, there was a big spend on agricultural machinery in the North last year, including self-propelled harvesters.

An Annual Investment Allowance of £100,000 from the British treasury on farm machinery and plant with a 20pc writing down allowance encouraged considerable investment in the six counties.

Claas reportedly sold 13 self-propelled harvesters in Northern Ireland last year, but this is believed to be considerably different this year.

Krone importers Farmhand reports that it has sold six Big M self-propelled mowers this season and three self-propelled harvesters.

For Farmhand's MD John Scrivener, the big issue this year is fuel economy.

"One self-propelled mower cutting 9m of grass is more efficient than three 3m trailed mowers doing the same job," he said.

According to Mr Scrivener, the new MAN-engined Krone Big X 700 is a self-propelled harvester that is attracting a lot of attention.

"The MAN power plant in all the new Big X harvesters is giving superior fuel efficiency -- generally reckoned to be €1.75 minimum saving per acre harvested."

Optimistic

Chris Wiltshire, John Deere's green crop product manager for self-propelled forage harvesters, balers and mower-conditioners, was also optimistic.

On self-propelled harvester sales he said they are "probably slightly better than last year", but he cautioned that no official figures are available yet.

"Things are moving in the right direction for improvement. The mower business seems to be strong, as does the baler business. In general, grass products seem to be OK," Mr Wiltshire said.

Citing finance as a problem within the industry, Mr Wiltshire said the availability of finance to buy was definitely a hindrance.

"Especially on big ticket items," he said. "We are working with the Bank of Ireland to offer more opportunities and solutions for our customers."

Indo Farming