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Noel Dunne
Machinery Editor

Halfway there

Well readers, here we are halfway through 2024, and still battling the weather.

Today, we get saturated, tomorrow, we get sunburned, and on it rolls. But the grass is growing, and the winter crops are thickening up, and we look forward to, I hope, finer weeks ahead.
The planting season for potatoes and spring cereals all ran late this year here in Ireland and across Europe, too. High interest rates, low prices, and bad weather contributed to a drop in demand for new farm machinery to its lowest levels in at least seven years.
European tractor registrations reduced by 4.9 per cent year on year compared to 2022 and 2023 and the two largest markets in Europe – Germany and France – saw a small increase in tractor sales, while the UK also had a slight increase in new tractor sales.
There has been plenty of action in the machinery industry in the last month. Case New Holland (CNH) completed the sale of its agri-plough business to a German investment company called FairCap. The Överum plough brand would have sold well in Ireland over the years and, no doubt, we will see its return.
Pronar, the Polish machinery manufacturer has appointed a new dealer, Cavan Autotrac, to look after customers in Cavan and surrounding areas for the extensive Pronar range of machinery, which consists of mowers, tedders, rakes, and much more besides.
Lynx Engineering Ireland is now importing and distributing the Netherlands-based Agribumper range, suitable to fit tractors from 100hp to 240hp. Front bumpers have started to become very popular over the last few years.
Malone Farm Machinery has just appointed JA Alexander & Son machinery sales as full-line machinery dealer for its extensive range of grass equipment etc. The company will cover the Tyrone and Fermanagh area.
Redrock Machinery Ltd has announced the purchase of the Ktwo and Warwick trailer brands. The Armagh-based company purchased the brands after they went into administration last March. The Ktwo muck spreader would be well known to Irish farmers and contractors. The Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) online booking system is open now for trade stands for this year’s event which will be held once again in Punchestown on November 12, 13 and 14.
Exhibiting companies can simply log in to the association’s website or just call the office directly. All the big names in the tractor industry are in and it should make for a very interesting show at the end of the year.
And, finally, this is a very important milestone for Irish Farmers Monthly as this month we celebrate 50 years in business. The ever-changing Irish farming sector has been extensively covered in these pages for half a century, and will continue to be covered well in to the future.
I would like personally thank the Markey family for their vision in bringing to market a well-presented, well-respected publication. Years ago, I use to purchase it, when I was in school, from O’Reilly’s old shop in Ballybrittas – long since gone. It was always in the middle of the rack between Ireland’s Own and the RTÉ Guide. Lasting memories! Here’s to the 75th, and the 100th, and so on! Long live the simple, basic things in life like a good magazine or newspaper with a cup of tea. So, put on the kettle, put the feet up, and enjoy all that this issue has to offer!