Norfolk stages big cultivation event

A tractor and trailor 'shuttle' service will be take visitors around the site of the latest Norfolk Farm Machinery Club demonstration on Thursday.

County organiser Chris Thomas said that two tractor and trailers will each cover half the 300-acre site at Brettenham Manor, near Thetford. 'Instead of having a shuttle service covering the whole site, we thought it would be more sensible to have a more regular service on each half. Then visitors can hop on or hop off,' he added.

With more than 50 working plots, Mr Thomas said that the event was set to be one of the biggest ever staged and the only one in the southern half of the country.

'We're expecting plenty of support from across the region and further afield,' he added. 'I'm particularly delighted to welcome Ernest Doe at our event. It demonstrates the appeal of the event to so many dealers, farmers and farm staff,' he added.

There will be a record number of working plots and show stands, representing a range of farm machinery and services, not just ploughs and cultivators.

Among the items of tackle to be seen include the latest from the Vaderstadt stable, which should appeal to those cultivating stubbles after oilseed rape or maize.

A new exhibitor at the event, Farm-Well will be showing a Farmtec Rotary Spader/Pneusej pneumatic drill. This is said to be a unique one-pass system with a maximum working depth of 35cm, so it can remove compaction and create a good seedbed in one pass. It can deal with large quantities of crop residues and works well on a wide variation of soil types and conditions.

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Johnson Bros, of Fakenham, will feature the Mzuri Strip Drill, which is gathering a lot of interest from Norfolk farmers, together with the Deutz TTX 230 tractor.

A new Norfolk-based company, George Moate, from Felthorpe, will be showing a two-bed Tillerstar machine, targeted mainly at the potato grower.

Over in the static show area, Normac member Fred Milk will be showing a range of Eglington Weed Swipers, and Marrison Agriculture has crop storage and control equipment.

Stalham Engineering will be working a large area with both JCB and McCormick tractors and the new JCB 3230 Fastrac will be seen in the county.

It is also the first outing for the McCormick X70/70 at 218hp. These will be coupled to a new Pottinger six-metre Synkro Cultivator, a new Pottinger Terrasem 6 metre mulch seed drill, new Vogel & Noot and Pottenger Ploughs and power harrows. Valtra Tractors and Jeremy Riley will be showing the new Valtra N3 Series tractors, featuring automatic guidance systems.

Ben Burgess & Co always take a big working plot, and will be featuring the new John Deere 6R range of tractors as well as the new Gregoire Besson Discordon cultivator. Also on the Ben Burgess stand will be new drills and cultivators from Amazone.

Probably one of the biggest and most impressive performance will come from the new 500hp Claas Xerion 5000 tractor featured on the Anglia Harvesters Plot. This will be ploughing with a 10-furrow Dowdeswell plough using a guidance system. Agronomy and soil fertility inquiries can be addressed by Frontier and Fearnley Contract Services has teamed up with Harlow Agricultural Merchants to provide fertiliser products. Finally, Farmade will be showing a new App that can be downloaded to a mobile phone for field and stock records.

The event, which is being staged by permission of JA & PE Wright, is free. The site, IP24 2RP, will be signed from the A11 and A1066. It will be running between 10am and 4pm although many of the working demonstrations may start earlier.