vor 9 Monaten

XtraBlatt Issue 01-2019

  • Text
  • Contractors
  • Farmer
  • Farms
  • Agricultural
  • Forage
  • Silage
  • Farmers
  • Machinery
  • Krone


EVENT LAMMA SHOW 2019 UNDER COVER Open-air agricultural exhibitions are a tradition in Great Britain. But the organisers of the Lamma Show risked a paradigm shift in 2019 and moved their event inside for the first time. Everyone wondered whether farmers would accept the change and keep coming. The “Lamma” is regarded as the largest universal agricultural exhibition with national ranking in England. Traditionally, the British Isles features numerous regional exhibitions and agricultural demonstrations, such as the Grassland Event, the Royal Highland Show and the Royal Welsh Show. Most are “open-air” with the special charm this brings – but also often cold, wet and windy. However, even the British, inured as they are to cold, storms and rain are apparently tending nowadays towards favouring more temperate environments. This was the thinking behind the Lamma’s move, albeit after more than three decades with most of the show in the open air. In good years, 900 exhibitors and up to 40,000 visitors flocked to the event over two days in January. For 2019, the event moved to Birmingham and for the first time completely into halls. Not all exhibitors followed this location change with continued presence. Even a few international firms on-site in 2018 were missing this year. But 655 exhibitors turned-up, presenting a wide range of products for agriculture, from clothing to self-propelled silage harvesters, from hedge cutters to large-scale tractors, all this flanked by comprehensive offerings of food and drink. A speciality of the event, alongside its routine annual appearance, is that admission is free, as is visitor parking. And the exhibition organisers say that this tradition will continue, at least for the 2020 event. A point of interest this year was whether British farmers would accept the location change. In fact, the visitor numbers did not disappoint. The organisers counted a good 40,000 guests by the end of the second day. The atmosphere was good throughout and exhibitors reported high investment interest. While in Great Britain too, the 2018 drought had brought yield penalties in a number of regions, milk price lies stable at an acceptable level calculating out at 35 eurocents per litre. Investment plans, report exhibitors, seem to have been put on the back burner until later in spring. In other words, the trend moves to short-notice orders presently. This applies particularly to machinery for mowing and tedding, tasks which farmers mainly tend to carry out themselves. Contractors come into the picture for forage harvesting and baling. Forage mainly means grass in England. Whereby focus is not so strongly on feeding quality compared with Germany, feels Markus Westerkamp. He is Krone export manager with responsibilities including the English market. Especially limiting in terms of forage quality is the weather. He says the usually small harvesting windows enforces fast silage making. Wet silage can, therefore, be a normality with more than two or three cuts a year impossible for grass in many regions. SUCCESSFUL DAUGHTER For the manufacturer from Spelle, a 100% daughter, Krone UK, looks after the British market. Its managing director Marcus Oliver also had his doubts about exhibiting at the “new Lamma” in Birmingham. But by the end of this year’s event, he was very satisfied with his decision to come. The visitor numbers were continuously good and the wish in Great Britain to invest was, as before, at a satisfactory level, says Oliver, who’s been company manager since establishment in 2009. From then on, turnover has increased annually by some 5 to 6%, quadrupling annual receipts since the first year to 32 m € in 2017/18. Currently around 40 employees work for Krone UK. The island’s climate means that the forage harvest is more important in the west than The Krone UK stand team at “Lamma ‘19” in Birmingham was positively surprised by visitor interest. in the east. Grass plays the main role in feeding cattle. While the area growing maize expands, the crop is a long way from the importance it has in Germany, for example, a situation also associated with the comparably small number of biogas plants in the UK. Marcus Westerkamp reckons this at around 350. The number of dairy farms declines, but herd size increases with the bigger farms milking around 500 to 600 cows. These sorts of farms show a strong tendency towards using own machinery although farm contractors maintain their important role in UK farming. BALERS ARE BIG EARNERS The rather lesser importance of maize is also reflected in the sales figures for self-propelled silage harvesters. Marcus Oliver puts the total annual market in the UK at around 150 units of all makes. Compared with this, around 800 – 1,200 new round balers are annually sold in the UK. Without a doubt, a great support for Krone UK turnover there is the BiG Pack. From the total UK sales figure of some 250 large square balers, every fourth machine comes from Krone. These are at work in large numbers in the eastern grain growing regions of the island. There is, however, a lot of silage also made in big square bales, mainly in the sizes 80 x 70 cm and 80 x 90 cm, points out Marcus Oliver. The necessary bale wrapper for large balers is, however, still missing from the Krone range. Self-loading forage wagons operate in the UK too, with around 80 to 90 units sold per year, most single or tandem axle trailers, not any larger, because the most-used country roads tend to be narrow and lined with hedges or stone walls. Field entrances tend also to be insufficiently wide for larger machinery. The next Lamma is scheduled for January 7 and 8, 2020. Until then, Marcus Oliver again aims for 5 to 6% more turnover by Krone UK. The year has started well and, anyway, pessimism is not his style. « 46 47