The most successful LAMMA ever is how organisers are describing the mammoth machinery event that took place at the East of England showground in Peterborough on 18 and 19 January.
The first national agricultural show since the Brexit vote revealed an air of cautious optimism among exhibitors and visitors alike, despite the current and future uncertainty created by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Improved commodity prices, the one clear short-term benefit from the Brexit decision, undoubtedly helped raise the mood among the 40,000-plus visitors to the event.
As always, there was something for everyone at LAMMA, where almost 900 exhibitors hosted the most extensive array of farm machinery and equipment to be found in one location anywhere in the UK.
Many of those exhibitors commented not just on the numbers of people visiting their stands, but the quality of the conversation they were having with them, resulting in plenty of sales and strong leads across the showground.
Elisabeth Mork-Eidem, group head of events for Briefing Media said: “We were delighted by the success of LAMMA 2017. Once again we hosted more than 40,000 visitors at the UK’s leading agricultural machinery exhibition.
“They were able to see a number of new launches at the show and our sponsors and exhibitors have fed back that they were impressed both by the number of visitors, and also by the positive nature of the conversations held.
“After a couple of difficult years in the market, there were many instances of this, with real business being done at the show.”
Putting on such a large event, much of it outside, was a significant operational challenge, said Mrs Mork-Eidem. “Again, all feedback has been very positive regarding the show itself and the traffic management.
“We launched a show app for the first time and the more than 4,000 attendees who downloaded this app were able to benefit from a number of features that facilitated their time at the show.
“LAMMA remains a major show in the agricultural media calendar and, as we already turn our head to LAMMA 2018, we continue to work hard to ensure that it meets the needs of all of its exhibitors and visitors.”
Matthew Smart, head of asset finance at headline sponsor Asset Finance Partners (AFP), said the two-day show exceeded the company’s expectations.
“The show was well attended and the large number of exhibitors this year has attracted more visitors. On Wednesday, our stand was heaving, while Thursday was less busy but just as productive.
“The show continues to be the event “to do business” and we have a huge number of enquiries and new business to now write, having spent time directly with the farming community and listening to their requirements for the near future.”
He said the mood at LAMMA was generally upbeat, with a focus on preparing for new opportunities around the corner following the announcement about the UK’s Brexit plan on the eve of LAMMA.
“Many farmers were talking about reviewing their current long-term borrowings to be on the front foot financially to take advantage of the change and opportunity that lie ahead. Certainly cutting/fixing costs for longer term borrowing and machinery finance was high on their agenda.”
Machinery launch pad
Most of the major tractor manufacturers used the event to unveil new models and a host of machinery and equipment developments was on show. Some of this kit was making its first appearance on the global stage, or its UK debut, maintaining LAMMA’s reputation as a launch pad for key machinery manufacturers.
However, it was not not just the big companies that drew the crowds. LAMMA’s ethos throughout its 36-year history has been to host smaller agricultural engineering and machinery companies from across the UK who displayed a vast array of innovative products to meet any arable or livestock farmer’s needs.
The Dealers’ Den also returned, where the main traders dealing in second-hand kit were exhibiting. Non-machinery exhibitors were also in evidence, with a range of companies demonstrating the latest advances in agronomy and others providing the latest business and farm management information, including Brexit preparation advice.
The depth and breadth of agricultural innovation was highlighted and celebrated in the annual LAMMA Innovation Awards, which saw a record number of entries vie for top honours.
The awards, sponsored by Firma Foreign Exchange, were open to new products exhibited at the event. The shortlist was judged by a panel of 10 experts led by John Sartain on the first morning of the LAMMA show, and the winners, judged on best product or innovation, were announced at a packed award ceremony later in the day.
The winners were as follows:
• Crop production equipment (The Loven Cup) – Pace Mechanical Handling, for its Orion CBC (complete bag control) fully automatic stitching machine.
• Livestock equipment (Anne Armstrong Trophy) – Northern Engineering for its fully hydraulic roll-over cattle-squeezing side crush.
• Technological (LAMMA trophy) – Acres Machinery for the Supercrop1, a three-in-one innovative crop wilting machine.
• Environmental (The IAgrE Ivel Award): Witham Oil & Paint for Prolan, an environmentally friendly protective lubricant.
• Farm Machinery and Equipment Innovation Award (Farmers Guardian Trophy) – Ubiqutek for Touch Pro, a professional hand weeder that uses electricity to kill weeds.
The David Baggaley Trophy for best new product or innovation at LAMMA 2017 went to Witham Oil & Paint.
LAMMA ’18 will take place at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January 2018.