Innovation abounds at Grassland & Muck

New machinery, equipment and innovative products are always a big draw at the Grassland & Muck Event, and this year promises plenty of exclusive new launches.

With more than £20m of machinery and equipment on display and in working demonstrations, there will be something to delight every visitor, from new tractors and muck spreaders to grass measuring equipment and forage harvesters. Visitors will also be able to compare new grass varieties growing side-by-side, examine time-saving silage sheeting and check out near infra-red forage analysis technology.

In the working machinery area John Deere will be making its UK public working demonstration debut with three new launches: The 6250R tractor with its award-winning CommandPRO joystick, the premium C441R wrapping baler and the innovative Manure Sensing system.

The light, powerful 6250R tractor features an AutoPowr transmission and develops up to 300hp with Intelligent Power Management. It will be equipped with a triple mower conditioner, with the new high capacity baler in action later in the day.

Developed to meet the requirements of contractors and larger livestock farms, the new C441R baler boasts improved performance in both heavy, wet grass crops and dry straw, so is now a true all-rounder with a 15% faster wrapping arm.

Completing the trio will be the new Manure Sensing system, fitted to a Joskin slurry tanker in the muck demonstration area. It is designed to adjust slurry application rates to match field conditions, increasing crop yields while minimising input costs.

Complementing this drive to help farmers make the most of their organic manures and nutrients is the revised RB209 – now called the Nutrient Management Guide. The new guide features updated recommendations on nutrient supply and demand, and will include digestate for the first time this year. “Having led the Livestock Technical Working Group through the revision process I can say that everyone can be really confident about using the recommendations,” says Gloucestershire farmer Paul Westaway. “RB209 is now much more straightforward to use.”

Back in the working demonstrations, Pottinger’s new IMPRESS round balers will be making their UK debut. With a new design of both fixed and variable chamber balers, they boast a chopping unit with up to 32 knives, fed by the unique LIFTUP rotor technology to ensure consistent chop length.

When it comes to transporting crops, Continental Soil Technology’s Krampe Bandit trailer can be seen for the first time, with its belt floor offering true grain proof handling and horizontal unloading of produce that is both fast and gentle on crops.

Quicke’s new Q-Series front loader – which is set to revolutionise and digitalise tractor loader handling – will also be in action for the first time, offering 30% better operator vision. In addition, the Q-Companion will be on display, comprising two position and two pressure sensors, says the firm’s Graham Gould.  “Loader status monitoring allows you to keep track of the position, angle and remaining lifting capacity,” he explains. “It can also calculate the weight lifted, so you can weigh the amount of feed or a bale that you’re carrying.”

In the growing grass plots, Germinal will be showing off the benefits of high protein forage crops and launching the latest Aber high sugar grass varieties to be included on the Recommended Grass and Clover List, which will also be unveiled at the event. “Opportunities to increase homegrown protein production exist on a large majority of livestock farms,” says Germinal’s Ben Wixey. “There are many crops that can exceed 20% crude protein, so the headline advantage is to cut feeding costs by reducing reliance on expensive bought-in sources such as soya.”

Energy costs are also under the spotlight, with Graham Heath Construction and the Mikhno Group unveiling their steel framed eco-buildings with integral rooftop photovoltaic solar panels to reduce electricity bills by up to 60%.  

“Whether you’re looking for new livestock handling facilities, feeding equipment or nutritional advice, you are sure to find it at Grassland & Muck 2017,” says event organiser Alice Bell. “With more than 250 exhibitors covering the full range of technical advice, inputs and machinery; from seed to feed, it could be the most valuable day in your calendar.”