Wheels and deals at the FTMTA show in Punchestown
The heavyweights of the machinery world unveiled dozens of new models at last week's FTMTA show in Punchestown
All roads led to Naas, Co Kildare over the weekend for the farm machinery highlight of 2015, the biennial FTMTA Farm Machinery Show at Punchestown Racecourse. The show proved a big draw for farmers and contractors on the look out for a new piece of kit.
In the build up to the show its organisers, the FTMTA, were bullish about surpassing the 2013 event's record attendance figures of 18,000 people over the three days. And with a flurry of online ticket sales in the days prior to the weekend that figure looks to have been well beaten. More importantly, there was plenty of business done on the stands, according to FTMTA Chief Executive Gary Ryan.
"We have had very good feedback from exhibitors telling us about the level of enquiries that farmers are making this year," said Mr Ryan. "Dairy prices are back and that obviously has an effect on machinery sales. But beef on the other hand is improving so there's plenty to play for!
"Attendance numbers were up, so the idea of opening on Saturday to make the event more accessible to part-time farmers has paid off. We had over 130 exhibitors and 30 outdoor display areas this year, by far our biggest show ever."
For those who couldn't make it, we bring you a few of the show highlights.
There was a flurry of new tractors on display, with the likes of Valtra, John Deere, Kubota and New Holland well represented. Many of these new tractors would have been precipitated by the latest round of engine emissions rules kicking into place. There were plenty of combines on show as well, while forage harvester fans were able to feast their eyes on new models from Claas, John Deere and Krone.
In terms of stand out launches by Irish manufacturers that were genuinely new, special mentions must to go to Hi Spec Engineering and Samco for their clever designs.