The much-anticipated Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) Grass & Muck will take place at Gurteen College on May 17. Over 11,000 visitors attended the 2016 event, and the organisers are confident of exceeding that number this year, writes Gary Ryan, CEO, FTMTA.
This biennial event has proved very popular with the farming and agricultural contracting sectors since it was first introduced in 2010, and has gone from strength to strength. An event focusing on silage making, reseeding, slurry spreading and dung spreading is particularly relevant this year, when the weather conditions have presented so many problems relating to these activities. The recent improving weather conditions have brought about very welcome grass growth on the Gurteen site and the event provides an opportunity for farmers and contractors to review the latest developments in grassland technology as they prepare to commence their own silage-making operations.
The focus is very much on working machinery, with ongoing demonstrations throughout the day in the grass-harvesting, reseeding, silage pit, slurry-spreading and farmyard manure-spreading areas. A large trade village area for non-demonstrating exhibitors also features, and has become very popular.
Some 20 firms will demonstrate their ranges of silage-making equipment across in excess of 100 acres of grassland. For the first time, there will be five brands of self-propelled forage harvesters (SFPH) in action. Fendt makes its first appearance at the event this year, bringing the Katana, which is sure to attract much attention. Also in action on the SFPH front will be FTMTA Grass & Muck stalwarts, Claas, Krone, New Holland and John Deere, all of which have traditionally put on impressive displays. The addition of an extra grass demonstration area, made possible by the co-operation of the host college, has allowed the allocation of additional space to many previous exhibitors, as well as providing plots to a number of exhibitors demonstrating for the first time, which will add to the overall experience on the day.
Four brands will demonstrate their loading shovels and telehandlers on the silage pit and at the dung heap. The new wheeled loader from Claas, the Torion, will no doubt be subject to much scrutiny when making its appearance on the pits.
A total of seven exhibitors will participate in the dungspreading demonstration with a number of machines demonstrating for the first time at the event, including Teagle, Metal-Fach and Marshall. Slurry spreading will take place in an adjacent area on an alternating rota with dung spreading and will feature demos from Irish manufacturers such as Abbey, Cross and SlurryKat.
With the increased focus on quality grass production brought into sharp focus in recent months, the reseeding area is one that many visitors are sure to be interested in, with demos from Poettinger, Duncan Ag, Alstrong and DH Farm Machinery. The trade village is extensive, with nearly 100 stands, all of which represent genuinely agriculture-related and focused business from seed and fertiliser to machinery through to financial service providers. Tickets for the event can either be bought on the day or, alternatively, tickets are also available online from a link on the home page of the FTMTA website at www.ftmta.ie, which will take you to the secure ticket sales site. People buying tickets in this way will receive an e-ticket by email. Online tickets will be available at a discounted rate of €15 until May 11, in comparison to the standard charge of €20 on the day. The Gurteen College site is very centrally located and is accessed from the N52 between Birr and Nenagh. The exhibition fields will open to the public at 9am and the event will conclude at 5pm with a variety of quality catering options provided on site. On the site itself, safety is the watchword as always and visitors are asked to take heed of the fact that FTMTA Grass & Muck is a working machinery demonstration and to comply with the instructions of safety officers and stewards.
FTMTA wishes all visitors and exhibitors a beneficial, enjoyable and safe day.