Giants of Norfolk farming turn out for Normac machinery demonstrations
PUBLISHED: 14:23 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 07 September 2018
The 2018 Norfolk Machinery Club (Normac) cultivation demonstration has been hailed as the "best in years", after thousands of visitors from across Europe turned out.
More than 70 farm machines took to the fields near Bexwell for the show, a regular fixture in the calendar.
Farmers from as far as Denmark and Holland travelled to watch the equipment in action, across 50 working plots.
Chris Thomas, the county organiser for Normac, said: “We had perfect weather, the traffic management was fantastic and the site was the best we’ve had in years.
“By my understanding this is the only event this year where farmers can see the machinery working the soil instead.”
He added: “A lot of visitors said their highlight was this year’s focus on soil – our soil science experts didn’t stop talking all day.
“A lot of farmers were asking questions not just about the soil directly beneath our feet, but about what’s going on three or four feet down. There’s concern because new soil types aren’t yielding as much in practise as they are in the labs, and discussions are happening around what can be done to improve that.”
Ben Turner, president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association and managing director of Ben Burgess, said: “There’s a lot of talk about soil in the agricultural community because a lot of the chemicals we use and rely on are being withdrawn. Farmers need to look at increasing their output but lowering costs.
“Farmers should focus on working better with the worms. It’s time to try and protect them in the hope that they will till more of the soil for us.”
Mr Turner added: “Technology which I think will be used more to aid output is using satellites to evaluate yield. This means that farm offices will be able to see which parts of fields produce the most, and so which areas they should be focusing on.”
Mr Thomas added: “Another technique which I think we will see a lot more of in the future is drilling. It reduces costs and is better for the environment, because it requires less diesel.”
Machinery highlights from the Normac event:
Amongst an action fuelled day, we asked the experts from Normac what the machinery highlights of the event were:
• Kuhn 6m Trailed ESPRO cultivator drill
Ben Burgess brought along the cultivator drill, which has two rows of hydraulically adjustable cultivation discs, allowing for adaptations to different soil types.
The drill’s 20 inch flat profile press wheels create excellent tamping of soil and lowers the horse power (HP) requirement.
The ISO BUS drill management also allows for variable seed rates.
• Kuhn three metre mounted heavy duty powerharrow drill combination
The new design of this machine’s high gear trough now allows for better soil flow and a lower HP requirement.
The powerharrow is easily detached from the drill, and is close coupled to the seeding unit which allows for a larger seed hopper.
• 14 furrow plough attached to a John Dere crawler tractor
The huge plough caused a stir at the event which was hooked up to the back of the John Dere crawler tractor.
The plough was the biggest to be shown on the day.