The super eight - Our machinery expert previews 8 machinery stands not to miss at this year's Ploughing Championships


The McHale ProGlide mower range in action
The McHale ProGlide mower range in action
SlurryKat are launching a retrofit dribble bar at the Ploughing Championship this year
SlurryKat are also launching a Green Bedding System
Keenan will be showcasing a selection of mixer-wagons from the MechFiber range, including the exclusive MechFiber345 Self-Propelled
The new side mount topper from Major Equipment Intl.
The 7.5m Mastek Dribble Bar will be available for approximately €8,500 + VAT
The new Merlo TF33.7 Turbofarmer will take centre stage at the McHale Plant Sales stand
Krone BigX 780- the all-new 780 HP machine - will be on the Farmhand stand.
Derek Casey

Derek Casey

McHale will be displaying a full range of machinery on Stand 313, giving new and existing customers the chance to see the company's high output machines up close and personal. Forefront to the exhibition will be the recent development and expansion into the twin rotor centre delivery rake range.

Also new to Irish customers is the McHale ProGlide B9000 with hydraulic width adjustment as an option. The operator can hydraulically adjust the width position of the rear mowers to eliminate striping on slopes and curves. The hydraulic rams integrated into the mower beams shift the cutter bars sideways, either together or independently, to allow for up to 400mm overlap on each mower.

James Heanue, McHale Irish Sales Manager for McHale says: "To maximise the feed value of forage it is important that grass crops are cut when the sugar content is highest, and that the mower leaves clean crop stubble and produces quality forage free from impurities. Our design team combined their specialist knowledge to develop the McHale Pro Glide range of mowers.

"I feel these products offer a number of unique features which will deliver better ground-following ability and better cut quality."

All mowers are fitted with three-metre cutter bars with tine conditioners and benefit from a number of novel features which result in better ground-following ability and quicker reaction times to changes in ground conditions. The McHale Pro Glide combination mower is equipped with a number of common features as standard such as unique patented ground-following technology, break-back protection, hydraulic ground pressure control and heavy duty bed design which make the Pro Glide a smart choice for farmers and contractors alike.

For transportation, the McHale Pro Glide B9000 folds vertically to position itself behind the centre point of the tractor for safe transport. The transport height of the machine is reduced thanks to the vertical positioning of the mower bed in transport to measure at a height of four metres.


Since the last National Ploughing Championships, McHale F5, V6 and Fusion Balers all feature a new pick-up that delivers higher output and improves machine performance in uneven lumpy swaths and heavy and light rows.

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McHale have also introduced a number of new changes to the Fusion 3 Plus, mainly in the area of bale quality with a bale weighing, bale density and bale moisture content recording option available.

Two customisable cameras are now provided as standard on new Fusion 3 Plus machines, which allow for the operator to choose their preferred view of the NRF/Netter camera and the bale transfer and wrapping camera. 

Slurrykat raise the bar

Industry leading slurry equipment manufacturer SlurryKat are set to unveil another new innovation to the existing market by introducing a range of lightweight dribble bars that are designed to be retro fitted onto existing tankers or new units from various manufacturers.

With the threat looming of the all-out ban on splash plates imminent, there has never been a greater focus on alternative spreading methods, of which the dribble bar has been the most favoured and cost effective option to date.

SlurryKat are launching a retrofit dribble bar at the Ploughing Championship this year

SlurryKat's in-house design team has developed a unique and novel way to retrofit tankers with the new dribble bar system which allows the complete unit to be removed from the tanker in under five minutes, which leaves the tanker back in its original form of a splash plate and rear-filling valves at either side which are still accessible without having to change the rear inspection hatch.

Further adding to its versatility, once the dribble bar is removed it can be subsequently mounted onto another tanker with a similar arrangement or with rear linkage without the need for any modifications.

The dribble bar unit is available in both 7.5m and 9m versions all of which feature the usual reputable features expected from SlurryKat. Each unit is incorporated with the Vogelsang distribution head macerator which is well known as being the market leader having proven to be the most reliable and effective macerator in the last decade.

Various options including spring back booms to protect the machine are available if required. The larger 9m version features hydraulically powered telescopically extending booms which activate during the unfolding process, thus keeping the overall transport height low.

Green Bedding System

Meanwhile, SlurryKat are set to unveil another innovation at this year's Ploughing with the Irish and UK launch of the Doda Green Bedding System designed for use in the Dairy, Beef and Anaerobic Digestion industries.

SlurryKat are also launching a Green Bedding System

Green bedding systems have been on the market for a number of years, however some systems have demonstrated poor performance and dry matter that was not high enough to replace traditional bedding methods such as chopped straw or wood shavings. Green bedding is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland and the UK, fuelled by its successful use in the USA and Europe. In Holland, for example, they have been using green bedding for the past number of years with over 5,000 farms now having converted.

The new Doda Green bedding system offers many environmental and economic benefits, as well as increasing the health and well-being of the livestock, meaning they perform much better with proven increased production of milk and daily live weight gains.

The benefits include:

• No requirement to buy straw or sawdust for bedding;

• Mastitis is reduced with increased milk production;

• Increased cow comfort and cleanliness;

• 30pc increase in slurry storage capacity;

• Reduced need for mixing of slurry after storage.

The Green Bedding System along with the new dribble bar can been seen at the SlurryKat Stand 501, Row 23, Block 2, where you can talk to industry experts and see how this system can benefit your farm and save you money.

Alltech/Keenan get Winter-ready

Alltech and Keenan will be leading the way in proactive planning for winter 2018 at this year's Ploughing. The skilled team of animal nutrition experts will be at Stand 351, Block 2, Row 17, where they will be hosting one-to-one nutrition clinics providing farmers with personalised solutions and advice on issues such as feed budgeting and alternative forages, in order to help them take control this winter.

Keenan will be showcasing a selection of mixer-wagons from the MechFiber range, including the exclusive MechFiber345 Self-Propelled

"After a tough and unpredictable year of extreme weather conditions, we want to help farmers take control as winter edges closer," said Catherine Heffernan, Operations Manager of InTouch. "For the first time at the National Ploughing Championships, we will be hosting InTouch nutrition clinics to give farmers the opportunity to speak one-to-one with our skilled team of nutritionists about their concerns and the challenges they are facing this winter."

In conjunction with this, the InTouch nutritionists will be holding talks and open discussions at the Zurich stand, number 147 focussing on how farmers can be proactive in planning for the winter ahead. Sessions will take place over the three days at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Keenan will be showcasing a selection of mixer-wagons from the MechFiber range, including the exclusive MechFiber345 Self-Propelled, exhibiting its class-leading cutter head technology. Also, on the stand will be the MechFiber320, one of the most popular models in the range, a highly versatile machine that is adaptable to most feeding situations.

Finally, visitors can view the Keenan VA2-24S twin-auger vertical mixer, specially engineered to optimize use of space. Keenan sales reps will be available to provide their comprehensive expertise on both machines and nutrition. 

Mastek's universal approach

Mastek Ltd, one of Ireland's leading low-emission slurry spreading machinery manufacturers, are launching three new products at the National Ploughing Championships 2018 at Block 3, Row 19, Stand 405.

The 7.5m Mastek Dribble Bar will be available for approximately €8,500 + VAT

After the success of the firm's Professional Universal Dribble Bar (PUDB) which had sales of over 150 units so far in 2018, Mastek is launching a new standard model of its Universal Dribble Bar. This dribble bar is available at 6.5m and 7.5m wide. This is a very strong and robust machine, but it does not have the break-away arm system or the independent gate valve feed. However each arm is in a butterfly position, which gives it better ground clearance on the outside. It also includes Mastek's Supercut macerator which can handle all types of slurry with ease.

The dribble bar is a simple design that is aimed towards nitrates derogation farmers who require multiple dribble bars for tankers they already own. Like the PUDB, it can be retrofitted onto all tankers without welding or fabricating on the customer's farm. It is also eligible for 40pc or 60pc funding under TAMS II. The 7.5m model will be available for approximately €8,500+VAT.

Secondly, Mastek will exhibit Bauer separators and irrigation systems at this year's National Ploughing Championships. This year the firm are introducing the Bauer S300 Separator. This is a small single-phase separator that is suitable for 200 to 250 cattle. This machine has an output of 16m3 per hour with dry matter content of up to 32pc and is being mooted as an introductory separator for the smaller farm in Ireland.

Mastek are also introducing the Bauer S855GB green bedding separator. Paul Quinn, Managing Director of Mastek, says that this concept is well known all over the world and when the high cost of straw and other bedding materials are considered, the investment cost of the machine will pay for itself in three to five years. It also reduces the slurry volume by up to 20pc on the farm. Mastek are convinced that this is the future technology in farm slurry management, The separators are priced from €10,000 up to €40,000+VAT depending on the model.

Finally, Mastek will be exhibiting the Bauer Rainstar T irrigation system, a highly advanced computerised automatic irrigation system that can travel up to 450m.

"Because of the continuously drier summers, we think this is perfect timing to introduce this product into the Irish market. Mastek will have a professional Sales Engineer from Bauer at our stand at the NPA to explain further details," added Quinn.

Special delivery from Farmhand

Krone and Amazone importer for Ireland, Farmhand Ltd, have something special in store for Ploughing 2018. They say they are doing something at the show that has never been done before and that you don't want to miss it.

Krone BigX 780- the all-new 780 HP machine - will be on the Farmhand stand.

"Farmhand have not had a machinery stand at the show for almost 20 years and we wanted to come back with a bang," said marketing director, Stephen Scrivener.

Like most Irish farms, Krone, Amazone and Farmhand are family enterprises now passed down through several generations.

Therefore, they believe they take a measured, long-term approach with an emphasis on long-term relationships and customer satisfaction. Farmhand will be displaying their flagship BigX Krone 780 and Pantera 4502 self-propelled sprayer.

"We will be at Block 4, Row 16, Stand 339. We look forward to welcoming our many customers from all over Ireland," said Scrivener.

Major's Cyclone packs a punch

Grass and slurry experts Major Equipment Intl Ltd are returning to the National Ploughing Championships with a strong line-up of tractor mounted machinery. This is evident in the Cyclone Mower, a rotary mower that bridges the gap between a traditional grass topper and flail mower and Agri-Engineering Gold Medal winner at the 2016 National Ploughing Championships.

Designed to do the work of a flail, the Major Cyclone requires 25pc less power consumption than a typical flail, saving time and fuel costs for users. The heavy-duty machine is increasingly the instrument of choice for clearing crop stubble, pasture topping, and land clearance in Ireland and around the world.

The new side mount topper from Major Equipment Intl.

In addition to showcasing the full range of Cyclone Mowers, Major Equipment will introduce a new Side Mounted Topper, adding to its extensive range of fully offset three-point linkage mowers. The new model offers a 2.7m cutting width with a bigger gearbox and rubber couplings capable of handling heavier conditions.

A key feature is a premium blade system with undersole discs allowing blades to flip out of the way in the event of striking an obstacle. This element combined with Hardox 450 abrasion resistant steel used to make the undersole discs increases the lifespan of the blades.

Users will see a big difference in how the topper looks - it folds up vertically. The redesigned carrying arm improves weight distribution, ensuring safer transport while increasing manoeuvrability for access and mowing.

The new kit retains features from the first series including a hydraulic offset with an integrated hydraulic breakaway protecting the tractor from impact damage, a floating top link ensuring the cutting deck hugs the ground contours, and a damper bar to remove any lateral vibration.

A shearbolt PTO shaft is standard transmission with options for an overrun and slip clutch PTO.

Major Equipment produces all machinery in Ballyhaunis and assures the reliability and durability of all its products. The 2.7m Side Mounted Topper benefits from high-strength steel and a galvanised body for increased longevity.

Call to the Major Stand (Row 21, Stand 461) to see the new Side Mounted Topper, the award-wining Cyclone Mowers and a selection of slurry tankers and slurry application systems.

McHale Plant Sales

The extent to which the traditional farm machinery sector is now dovetailing with that of the wider world of construction, materials handling and processing equipment will be evident on the McHale Plant Sales stand (Stand 411, Row 19, Block 3) at the forthcoming Ploughing Championships in Tullamore. In what will be a more extensive and broadly-focused line-up of machinery - reflecting new appointments made since last year - the McHale Plant Sales exhibit is likely to have a more widespread appeal than heretofore.

The new Merlo TF33.7 Turbofarmer will take centre stage at the McHale Plant Sales stand

In numerical terms, major focus will fall on their Merlo range of telehandlers with four distinctly different units being shown. These are the TF33.7-115 and TF35.7-115 Turbofarmer models, two versatile telehandlers with attachments and tractor-like fitments that make them equally at home in silage harvesting and other heavy lifting applications. Others will be a P27.6 Plus and P40.17 models from the Merlo compact and construction ranges respectively.

Fully-specified and fitted for agricultural use, the heavy-duty Komatsu WA320-8 wheel loader, with its easily interchangeable front bucket and forks attachments, has been proving popular amongst farm contractors and grain harvesters in recent years.

Two other Komatsu units that could open up sales opportunities for agri contractors - in drainage, scrub clearance, foundation laying, wall building and the like - are Komatsu's PC55MR-5 and PC26MR-3 mini diggers and the more hefty PC138US-11, an excavator fast becoming Komatsu's best-selling model in Ireland.

Mindful of the appeal that the National Ploughing Championships has for forestry contractors, units from the Komatsu Forest range will also feature. With its recent appointment to represent Komatsu Forest timber harvesters and forwarders in Ireland, north and south, McHale Plant Sales is conscious of the swing towards timber growing that many landowners are now taking and of the importance being given to it by the Minister for Agriculture and others.

Kubota implement Irish plan

The acquisition of the Kverneland Group by the Kubota Corporation in 2012 has seen the introduction of Kubota branded implements in several markets throughout Europe.

The introduction of Kubota Implements has been rolled out and managed by the Kverneland Sales Company in each market, and this week at the Ploughing Championships Kverneland Group Ireland will roll out Kubota branded implements for the first time here, at Stand 354.

Kubota and Kverneland Ireland have identified machines and Kubota tractor dealers which will be selected for the launch of the Kubota Implements.

The launch, supply and management of Kubota Implements will be under the direction of Kverneland Group Ireland and will include machines from the mowers, rakes, tedders, pendulum fertiliser spreaders and flail chopper ranges.

The launch of Kubota Implements will initially be with four Kubota tractor dealers on the Island of Ireland, namely DA Forgie Ltd (Northern Ireland); Clarkes of Cavan; John Atkins & Co Ltd (Cork); and Mulchrone Brothers Ltd (Mayo).

Kverneland Group Ireland will be responsible for the supply of Kubota implements to the above listed dealers along with parts and service from the firm's Kilkenny facilities.

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