Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

Farmers ready to plough cash into new machinery

The new Zetor Crystal
The new Zetor Crystal
Hi Spec Engineering launched the Kompactor tipping trailer
Pottinger wagon
Derek Casey

Derek Casey

The dust has settled after the Ploughing where attendance figures were as impressive as usual, and traffic seemed to flow smoothly. Most exhibitors in the machinery section will have left Ratheniska fired up for the year ahead.

Despite the downturn in milk prices, farmers and contractors appear to be once again showing strong interest in machines of all shapes and sizes, with many at least flirting with the idea of making a purchase before the year is out. This is good news, and all the more so because high attendance figures at a show don't necessarily equate to interest in buying kit.

During the Ploughing many of the machinery exhibitors I spoke to had either sold machines or taken leads which will be developed into the winter.

Anecdotal evidence suggests grass machinery sales have been very good all summer. It was great to see McHales out in force again after the factory fire misfortune that befell them earlier this year. You can't keep a good company down, and that their venture into silage mower production will be welcomed by contractors worldwide.

There were a lot of new tractors on show for the first time, with manufacturers revealing their impressive efforts at meeting strict new emissions legislation. Case IH, Massey Ferguson, Claas, Valtra and Kubota each had new tractor launches.

As the harvest draws to a close for another year, there were a few new combines dotted around the stands as well. In this report we look at some of the main highlights from the three day event, and it's fair to say there was a great range of kit on display.


Distributed by McHale Plant Sales, the latest incarnation of the Zetor Crystal will be available in 144hp and 163hp versions. Powered by a Deutz engine, the transmission is a 30 speed forward and reverse synchro gearbox. Other impressive features include front axle suspension, three spool valves and optional front linkage with PTO.

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The Valtra T4 tractors made their Ploughing Match debut. The Direct spec  models are the top of the range with a continuously variable transmission and electrically operated hydraulics. Rear linkage capacity ahs been upgraded to 9.5 tonnes and the front linkage can handle 5.1 tonnes.


The new Fendt 300 series has only been in production for a couple of months. There are four models in the series ranging from 110hp to 138hp. It is available in two specs, Power and Profi. Both feature the firm's Visio Plus cab, which gives class leading visibility for the operator.


Fresh from the news that the firm has won a contract to supply 30 new tractors to Dublin Airport this  autumn, local New Holland dealer WR Shaw Ltd had a strong presence at the Ploughing. Pictured is an ex hire T7200 with 350 hours on the clock that was on sale for €71,000 plus VAT.


Every Ploughing needs a wow factor tractor and the title was scooped by Case IH this year with its Magnum Rowtrac. Despite its size, this tractor is all about protecting the soil from compaction. It is powered by a mammoth 8.7  litre made by FPT, which delivers up to 435hp when the power boost function is active!


The Combi Injector from Mastek allows farmers to subsoil and inject slurry into the soil simultaneously. Paul Quinn from Mastek claims the design means there is no loss of  nutrients and reduced odours. It has a 3m working width and is suitable for umbilical systems. Priced at €22,000 plus VAT.


One of the most hotly anticipated launches of Ploughing 2015, the new McHale Pro Glide front and rear mower combination. Both units are 3m wide and use tine conditioners. The cutter bar is powered by a heavy duty right angle gearbox which is positioned behind the inner top hat. The knives rotate with overlap to ensure a clean cut.


Hi Spec Engineering launched the Kompactor, a machine designed to take the traditional risks associated with a tipping trailer out of the equation. The trailer is instead emptied in as little as 30 seconds via a three stage hydraulic ram and headboard. Prices start from €40,000.


The Shake and Rake from Malone Engineering does exactly what it says on the tin, by allowing farmers to carry out both raking and tedding with one machine. It features a 6.2m rake combined with a 4m tedder. The price is €25,000 plus VAT.


Pottinger claims 160-300hp is the sort of muscle required to drive its new Toro Combiline wagons, which carry up to 35 cubic metres of grass. Instead of the previous 39 knives, 45 knives are now integrated to give a possible chop length of just 34mm. The knife bank swings out for ease of maintenance.


Abbey Machinery has come up with this new versatile slurry applicator. Called the Tri App, the Nenagh-based company says the design allows slurry to be applied via either a dribble bar, trailing show or trailing boot system. It features a Vogelsang Exacut distributor and individual floating sections across the 7.5m working width.

Indo Farming