Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 February 2018

Machinery dealers optimistic despite currency fluctuations

A young farmer checking out some new tractors at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly
A young farmer checking out some new tractors at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly

Claire Fox

Despite Brexit fears, machinery dealers at the National Ploughing Championships remained optimistic about sales.

Martin Keane of Major Equipment told the Farming Independent that although the poor Sterling exchange rate was a concern, their range of cyclone mowers were gaining a lot of attention.

"A lot of our exports go to the UK. When your money is coming back from the UK you could lose thousands over night. It is making the Northern guys more competitive as well," he said.

Allan Hetherington of Kverneland Group Ireland and McConnel machinery said Kverneland Group Ireland have seen a decrease in sales for machines to the UK as a result of the exchange rate but that trade in the North remained steady.

He said the self propelled. Agri-Buggy A280 was garnering the most interest on the McConnel side of the house.

"It's drawing a bit of attention and there seems to be a market for it there nowadays. You're looking at around €170,000. It has a mechanical drive, which potato farmers seem to like. It's something new on the market, it's compact and it's light," he said.

At the McHale stand, Paul McHale said the F5600 baler was attracting interest as it is fully automated and includes film binding that speeds up the process for farmers.

Karol Duignan of Claas said that they had made sales on a 100 horsepower tractor and a mower at the Ploughing and added that bigger kit is usually slow to move at the event as it is a "farmer's show rather than a contractor's show".

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On the dairy side of things, both DeLaval and Pearsons said that rotary parlours were rising in popularity due to the increase in dairy herd sizes in recent times.

"More established farms are looking to increase their herd. One man can milk 320 cows an hour on our rotary parlour," said Lee Wilson of Pearsons.

Other highlights included the Kverneland i-Plough, which includes a full GPS system.

Malone's range of mounted mowers and post drivers were also catching farmers' eyes.

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