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Noel Dunne
Machinery Editor

A good start

Well readers, I hope you got over the January blues.

We are now entering the first month of spring 2024 and you know, I am very surprised at the positive vibes I am getting regarding the up-and-coming year. Irish beef is heading back to China, the livestock trade is steady, milk prices are too, and the tillage sector will recover as there will be demand for more Irish grain. The weather this spring will determine a lot, however, so let’s put the best foot forward and plough on.

Now, down to business, and what a blistering start we have had to spring 2024. The machinery show season is in full swing; the Millstreet show was first up in the Green Glens Arena. Stand numbers were up and crowds attending were up year on year. The the mood was mixed but, overall, positive for the year ahead, and many manufacturers took the opportunity to launch some new products.

Next up was the UK’s flagship show, LAMMA, which ran in the INEC in Birmingham on January 16 and 17. This was, in my opinion, the biggest and best attended LAMMA show since it moved indoors a number of years ago. There was a large Irish attendance – probably the biggest ever. All the major players were there except for a few household names. Case, New Holland, Massey, Valtra, Fendt, McHale, Malone and JCB, to name but a few, showed new products, and the mood was upbeat from both UK and Irish farmers and contractors attending the show. Easy access from Ireland and the UK is now cementing this show as the go-to event coupled with the fact that it is at the start of the buying year.

As we were about to go to press, the FTMTA announced the return to an indoor format for their show, which ran in July for the last two years and traditionally in the month of February before that. The show will be held at Punchestown from Tuesday to Thursday, November 12-14. This will be the 35th edition of the very popular show and moving it back to a winter date is based on demand from the machinery importers and distributors both here in Ireland and in the UK. This is a key decision-making time of the year.

January certainly started off strong with appointments and changes in machinery dealers in Ireland. In a few short weeks we saw Meath Farm Machinery move to Dundalk to take over what was Hanlon Machinery, which used to be a John Deere dealer in the Louth area. This will be a full line John Deere dealership operating out of the Dundalk branch.
Argo Tractors Ireland, importers of both Landini and McCormick tractors, appointed Keane’s Farm Machinery in Balla Co. Mayo as a McCormick tractor dealer. This family-run dealership is in business over 40 years, and are also agents for Pöttinger, Abbey, Malone, Mastek, Fleming, McKenna and Bridgeway equipment. In Co. Waterford, GT Bunning has appointed Jim Power Agri Sales Ltd as a main dealer for its very popular rear discharge spreader. Basak tractors, the well-known Turkish tractor brand is back on the hunt again to appoint dealers in Ireland. Further information can be requested from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And, finally, the Irish machinery industry lost one of its great characters in January – Michael McCarthy, founder of Lynch and McCarthy Ltd in Cork. Michael was a great supporter of the machinery trade and the FTMTA golf society, and a true friend to all whom he met. He passed away just short of his 90th birthday. I extend my deepest condolences to his sons, Peter and David, and all the family on the passing of what we would consider a legend of the trade.

Until next month farm wisely, farm safely.