Farm Ireland

Sunday 21 January 2018

Machinery: pushing the home brand

Big Irish LAMMA turnout gives our machine suppliers a boost in UK sales

Massey Ferguson, this 5840 tractor added
considerable clout to its ranges on display at the event
For Massey Ferguson, this 5840 tractor added considerable clout to its ranges on display at the event

Bruce Lett

Last week's LAMMA Show served as a platform for farmers and contractors to view many of the new tractors and machines launched at the recent Agritechnica event in Germany. While the UK-based event clashed with the re-scheduled Farm Machinery Show in Millstreet, there was a strong contingent of Irish visitors, particularly on the Wednesday.

Massey Ferguson, Claas, New Holland, John Deere and CaseIH were among the biggies who all displayed their new wares, covered in earlier editions of the Farming Independent.

There was plenty of other tractors and equipment to look at as well, including big self-propelled kit and other products that we are unlikely to see here. All in all, it was an event well worth visiting.

On the machine front, Irish manufacturers, north and south, were well represented there, with McHale, Tanco, Bridgeway, Cross, Keenan, Vector, Hi-Spec, Major and many others there to do business in the UK market. Tanco picked up a couple of awards for its products -- one for the Liam Murphy-designed bale shear, which should raise their profile further across the water.

To recognise Irish involvement, here's a selection of pictures from the event, featuring some new products and some seen for the first time in the UK.

I spoke to Simon Cross (Cross Engineering) at the event to get an impression of the show and how things are in the UK for Irish manufacturers.

"LAMMA is a big show and you have to be here. The UK is an important market for us," Simon said. "It has grown in the past two years; it's twice what it was two years ago and always pulls good crowds.


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"There is a big attraction to this show and it has a lot to do with English farm machinery dealers, who organise buses to it. It is free to get in and, if you are driving to it, the car park is also free and there are good roads to it (the venue).

"Coming from Ireland, there are two airports servicing it, East Midlands and Stansted, which make it easy to get to."

According to Simon, farming in the UK is in a much better condition than here in Ireland.

"In general, farmers' incomes in the UK would be 10-15pc higher than Irish farmers' incomes. They get more for milk in the UK and get up to €150/hd more for cattle.

"On the road to the event I passed several loads of beet behind tractors, so that industry still exists here. The base price per tonne is £27.50 at 16pc, and most of the beet goes to the factory at 18.5-19pc."

In Ireland, finance is still a major issue, says Simon.

"There is much better access to money in this country [UK] at the moment and that makes it easier to do business."

Cross Engineering supplies several products to the UK

Irish Independent