JANUARY 2020 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com Machinery New year, new challenges Firstly, may I wish you and your families a very happy and prosperous new year. I spent the Christmas break looking back and pondering what was a testing year for Irish farming 2019 was and wondering what the new year would bring. I made the same old new year’s resolutions knowing full well that I would break them before the month of January was out! So, down to business: I am led to believe that the use of sprays and fertiliser are to be cut on farms as part of a Brussels EU Emissions program by 2030. Rumour has it they plan to cut fertiliser usage by 25 per cent and the usage of sprays by 50 per cent. This means a swing to more organic farming, tying this in with a more pro vegan message as the European Union takes a serious look at dairy and meat consumption and the sustainability long-term of both of these industries when it comes to climate change. Meanwhile, the new buzz phrase now is ‘Buyers Beware’, as a number of farmers and businesses have fallen foul of on line scams over the past year. It is a sophisticated scam where large amounts of money have been taken from farmers who thought that the machines they were purchasing were legitimate. Simply put, a farmer sees a machine at a knock-down price online with very convincing pictures and may even get to speak to someone about the sale. They discuss price and pay a deposit to hold the machine only to find out later that it does not exist. The money is then syphoned out of the bogus account and the farmer loses the deposit. We will be looking at this scam in more detail in an upcoming issue of Irish Farmers Monthly, but in the meantime buy from your local dealer – it will be cheaper and safer in the long run. In early December, the Irish Tillage and Land Users Society (ITLUS) held a conference, which took an extensive look at future policies, technology and mechanisation on tillage farms. There findings showed that it is now no longer about power and heavy equipment; it is about smart farming and looking after the soil. In some parts of the world farmers are now looking at lighter equipment to help protect the soil and its productivity. This month will see the start of an election for a new Beef Plan Movement national committee. County elections will be carried out nationwide on the 15th January and the top table will be ratified at the organisations first AGM on the 8th February. Farmers who have paid their €10 and filled out a membership forms at mart meetings over the past 14 months will be eligible to vote. So until next month, farm wise farm safely. All CEBIS specification tractors now have the ability to link an engine speed memo button to an external PTO button. This new feature means that an external PTO button can be used to increase the engine speed, making it ideal for operations such as powering a slurry pump, and so avoiding the need to have to continuously get in and out of the cab. Externally, the cab access steps now have a flexible bottom step, similar to that found on combines, so as to avoid damage when operating on rough ground. All tractors are also now fitted as standard with an air connection at the top of the left hand steps, making it easy to connect an airline for cleaning down or inflating tyres. The poles on the battery have also been redesigned and extended so that it’s easier to connect jump leads or power leads for fuel pumps. For greater visibility, all Stage 5 tractors are now fitted as standard with LED flashing beacons. A further new option will also be the availability of a tinted rear window. All models also feature PROACTIV front axle suspension, which combined with the unique CLAAS cab suspension system ensure the highest level of cab comfort. Maintenance is simple with just four grease points and the axle uses an intelligent control system to ensure optimum stability even when carrying a heavy load and to maintain the correct operating height, again regardless of the weight being carried. Options include Dynamic Steering which allows the driver to change the number of steering wheel turns it takes to go from lock to lock, making this ideal for jobs suck as loader work. Other options include the availability of a 4-pillar cab instead of the standard 5-pillar. Show time The spring farm machinery shows are about to start in earnest over the next few weeks. Green Glens Arena in Millstream, Co Cork: January 15 & 16. Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park: January 22 & 23 Cavan Equestrian Centre, Cavan: January 29 & 30 Ecclesville Centre in Fintona, Co Tyrone: February 12 & 13 FTMTA Grass and Muck, Gurteen College: May 14 69