Demonstrations of power, precision, and new technology never fail to attract crowds at the Midlands Machinery Show – and there will be plenty to whet visitors’ appetites this year with demo rings bringing the action.
Three areas will be dedicated to machinery in motion over the course of the two-day show at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire from 16 – 17 November. So, what can visitors expect to see?
In the large ag and handler arena, the latest telehandlers and wheeled loaders on the market will be thoroughly put through their paces – simulating practical farming activities and demonstrating lifting, handling and manoeuvrability.
Demonstrating the advancement of electric power and design in the large ag arena will be Abiljo with the first 100% electric skid steer loader, the Elise 900 from First Green Industries. It is the only fully electric skid steer loader available worldwide, says Abiljo managing director James Walker.
“The design of the Elise 900 makes it stand out: It’s been designed and built around the battery and this allows for greater stability, even over rough terrain, lift height and capacity. It’s fully electric so there’s low noise and zero emissions which are now serious considerations.”
In terms of charge, the standard battery gives 6.5 hours operation time while the extended battery achieves upwards of eight hours. Running costs of £2.50/hour are significantly lower when compared to diesel at £12.50/hour. “When it’s not in operation it switches itself off which makes it very efficient in terms of charge use.”
Diesel-powered engines have evolved in their own right and will be well represented in the demo ring with the impressive Manitou MLT 961-160V + L and Manitou MLT 741-130PS from Chandlers and the Manitou ULM 412 from Farmstar. Also in the line-up is the fuel-efficient compact Merlo TF42.7 telehandler and the Mecalac MCR 8t digger from Cooks Midlands. Kramer machinery will be represented by Farol, Ripon Farm Services and Ben Burgess & Co, demoing a range of telehandlers as well as the no-compromise KL35.8T telescopic wheeled loader fitted with smart attach.
Kit from British-based JCB will feature at machinery dealer, Sharmans’ stand, with the latest telehandlers including the JCB 560-80; one of the largest telehandlers on the market with a 6t capacity and 8m reach. “We’ll be demoing three models with fork grab, bucket and bale spike attachments to simulate a range of farm tasks, using a variety of materials like bales, pallets, chippings and potato crates,” says Matt Handley, group sales coordinator at Sharmans.
Taking to the skies and demonstrating the capabilities of intelligent systems in crop management will be DroneAg with its automated crop-scouting drone software, Skippy Scout. This intelligent software automates drone flight, image capture, and a range of crop assessment tasks.
Downloaded as a smartphone app, it does the field walking for the farmer and agronomist in less time and more detail, says DroneAg’s chief operations officer Alex Macdonald-Smith. “Compatible with standard DJI drones, it’s an affordable way for users to quickly scout crops. Automating flight and image capture, Skippy Scout uses artificial intelligence (AI) to process images allowing it to distinguish between crops and weeds. It can also assess green area index and weed cover as well as crop growth stage, plants per square metre, disease, and insect damage. PDF reports are generated which the user can quickly view and share if desired.
Using report data, variable rate applications of plant protection products and nitrogen can be improved, bringing a significant cost benefit, as well as better harvest efficiencies. One customer was able to save £116/ha on nitrogen – from an ammonium nitrate price of £930/t, says Mr Macdonald-Smith. “It can also help with the order of harvest; in oilseed rape, for example, it can determine when the crops have ripened and as well as their uniformity.
“At the show we hope to demonstrate how simple it is to use and what it’s delivering to both small- and large-scale enterprises, globally.”
Moving into the compact demo areas, visitors can see versatile machinery and kit that can be used for farm work, council services, landscaping and forestry work.
Raymo Torpedo from Iseki UK is small but mighty – a fully electric or hybrid-powered remote-controlled mower designed for mowing safely under solar, low obstructions or on steep banks. It’s aimed at contractors and land management services that are undertaking the tasks it was specifically designed for in noise-regulated and eco-sensitive areas, says Alan Prickett, business development manager at Iseki UK & Ireland.
“A changeable power module – fully electric to hybrid – expands its field of action and offers lower-cost operation and an environmental benefit. The four-wheeled drive and remote-controlled operation, up to 50m range, means operators can carry out steep work safely.”
The Raymo Torpedo’s handling and climbing capabilities will be tested on a constructed slope in the demo ring as will the ease of swapping between power modules and use of a range of attachments.
For those needing to manage grounds and forestry, Kilworth Machinery will give a demo of forestry and ground care equipment. Avant’s range of compact loaders and powered attachments will be sure to inspire, while the Leguan Spider lift will show off its offroad capability.
The Midlands Machinery Show (MMS) is specialist – very intentionally, says event organiser Elizabeth Halsall. “It brings together the relevant people, businesses, and organisations to create two focused and dynamic days. And while the sustainable future of agriculture is a focus, so too are the commercial needs of farm and land management businesses today.”