Crowd-drawing working demonstrations at Cereals 2024

Seeing machinery in action is critical for farmers who are interested in buying any new kit. But it’s not always easy to arrange – so visitors to the Cereals Event will be delighted to know that there will be 200+ demonstrations happening across both days of the event this year.

“This is one of Cereals’ biggest years for demonstrations,” says event manager, Alli McEntyre. “The co-located DirectDriller@Cereals – co-hosted with Direct Driller Magazine – adds even more working demonstrations to the line-up.”

So what can visitors expect to see across the varied working demonstration areas on 11-12 June? Here’s just a sample of this year’s demonstrators.

Low disturbance and one-pass systems have gained popularity, as understanding has evolved of how soil biology and structure can support sustainable long-term productivity, while addressing cost efficiency. Agriweld will showcase two such cultivators – the Multi Till 5T 3m rigid model and the Min Disc 3m rigid model – on its working demo plot close to its stand.

The Multi Till 5T offers a step change in seedbed preparation and efficiencies, according to company owner, Dean Foster. “It can go into most conditions and produce a good seedbed in one pass – and we know it has saved one operator in Scotland around £15,000 in fuel alone.”

A five-in-one adaptable trailed cultivator, it features a leading set of 460mm Oblique Disc System (OSD) discs, auto reset legs, a double set of mixing discs, and an Agri-Packer roller with hydraulic depth control. Each of the low disturbance cultivator’s components can be used independently, or in five combinations, giving the operator maximum versatility. The Multi Till 5T is available in 3m, 3.6m fixed body form or in folding form at 4m, 5m and 6m widths.

The demo will be a great opportunity to show how low disturbance cultivation can help overcome challenges like moisture loss and surfacing of blackgrass seed. “Traditional rollers aren’t ideal for low disturbance tillage, so it will also give visitors the chance to see how the Agri-Packer can help weatherproof the seed bed,” says Mr Foster. “And we’ll be able to demonstrate the ease of use of the easy-clean scraper bar.”

The Min Disc will also be put through its paces, with low disturbance legs, two rows of 460mm discs, and Agri-Packer roller offering hydraulic depth control. The demonstration will show how the Min Disc alleviates compaction and creates a positive seed bed; lifting, shattering, and aerating the subsurface across the whole width of the machine. The Min Disc is available in 3m fixed body width or in folding form at 4m, 5m, and 6m widths.

Direct drilling can bring cost advantages; reducing mechanisation costs as well as fuel, input and planting costs – and it can also benefit soils and, subsequently, crop yields. Visitors interested in direct drilling can visit the Maschio Gaspardo demo areas to see a range of machinery in action – including its flagship pneumatic seed drill, the Gigante Pressure Direct Drill.

“It’s been in the fields in Europe for about three years now and has done very well,” says product manager, Alastair Newton Hall. “It’s a well thought-out, simple to use drill and it’s an excellent contender for the UK direct drill market.”

Available in 3m, 4m, 5m and 6m models, the drill features disc coulters, spaced at 150mm or 180mm – which spectators will see allows for good ground clearance and trash flow – as well as depth gauge wheels to control depth and independent seed press wheels to optimise seed-to-soil contact. The seeding unit achieves up to 260kg of downforce.

A versatile ISOBUS-controlled drill, it also comprises a twin hopper pressurised tank, allowing for the application of both seed and fertiliser – with an optional third unit for applications like slug pellets. Visitors will be able to see how the drill’s low centre of gravity and steering drawbar facilitate ease of manoeuvrability. And the forward-mounted hopper and electrically driven twin metering units are easily accessible for seed roll changes, calibration, and cleaning. Centralised greasing is standard, and an optional following harrow is available.

“We are looking forward to attending Cereals with a range of machinery and technology that completes the agronomic cycle,” Mr Newton Hall adds. “It’s our second biggest show so we will be taking as much machinery as possible for visitors to see, both static and in demos.”

From its showcase of ploughs, cultivators, power harrows, combi drills, fertiliser spreaders and sprayers, Maschio Gaspardo will also be showcasing an ISOBUS-controlled fertiliser spreader, which has achieved a 40m spread of pelleted lime in recent SCF spreader testing. And in the Syngenta Sprays and Sprayers Arena it will have its high-specification ISOBUS-controlled Tempo Ultra mounted 24m sprayer, comprising a 2,000-litre tank as standard – with the option to add an additional 1,500-litre tank to take its total capacity up to 3,500 litres – and vertical folding boom.

Cultivation and drilling are impossible tasks if the ground is compromised, with farms already experiencing the effects of worsening extremes of weather. Visitors might want to consider next steps in drainage, and the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) Land Drainage Hub has talks and demonstrations lined up to provide technical and practical advice.

“Increasingly, farmers are assessing more substantial and long-term drainage solutions to improve soil condition and resilience, to reduce the risk to crops from extreme conditions like flooding and drought,” says NAAC chief executive, Jill Hewitt.

This year’s NAAC drainage demos will involve the display and static running of two pieces of contractor-operated drainage machinery; a 13.8m long by 3m wide drainage trencher and an 11.2m long by 3m wide drainage plough. During the demonstrations, NAAC drainage chair, Rob Burtonshaw, will be heading up discussion alongside fellow speakers to give attendees a run-down of the machinery and – importantly – provide advice and details on the processes, investment, and return, including improved yields and productivity.

“Drainage can be undertaken by farmers themselves, but there are limitations to it,” says Ms Hewitt. “Contractors have access to machinery and precision technology which allow them to deliver more effective, tailored drainage solutions that will last for 30-50 years, which would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. We’ll be holding the demo twice a day across both days to give visitors the opportunity to join some very beneficial discussions.”

With robotic and autonomous technology gaining traction year-on-year, the AgXeed demo area will not disappoint, with the return of the highly accoladed AgBot 5.115T2.

An autonomous solution for high-capacity work on broad arable land, the 156hp AgBot has been designed to replace a 160hp manned tractor – where high-value crops are grown and/or there are extreme shortages of labour. “It’s been commercially available for three years now,” says head of sales, Peter Robinson. “And with robotic and automatic technology included in the Improving Farm productivity Grant in England – some 30 farmers have submitted eligibility applications for Agbots – it’s a great time to be out demoing.”

On soil-preserving crawler tracks, giving a 42cm crop clearance, and with an adjustable track from 1.9m to 3.2m, the AgBot 5.115T2 will be demonstrated with an Amazone 3m Cenio cultivator. But it is able to handle a host of cultivators, seeders, spreaders, and sprayers, to carry out a spectrum of field work – unsupervised for up to 20 hours between diesel refills. The demos will provide an opportunity for spectators to see autonomous field work in motion while discovering how it delivers a return on farm in costs as well as data. The AgBot reduces running costs on average by 25% and fuel usage by around 15%, notes Mr Robinson.

And while it still needs checking once a day, planning, robot operation, and data can be accessed from the AgXeed portal, which is accessible via both a desktop and mobile application, enhancing its autonomy and optimising operations and efficiencies.

Connected technology can aid arable operations to improve productivity and reduce costs, and visitors will find how connectivity can aid their fleet and business at the Case IH demo area.

“We’ll be showcasing a wide variety of tractors and harvesting equipment from across our range, including the Puma 260 CVXDrive,” says marketing manager UK & Ireland, Neil Macer. “But something very special at Cereals for us will be our UK unveiling of the much anticipated 260 series combine – we’re really excited about that.”

Exhibiting with the theme ‘Case IH Connect: Farming REDefined’ in its static and working areas, the manufacturer will be demonstrating the latest connected technology incorporated into its machine portfolio.

“We’re looking forward to Cereals and discussing connected technology solutions which will enhance growers’ operations, from ground preparation to harvest,” he adds. “We want to help them not only improve productivity and reduce costs, but also to increase uptime and streamline connectivity.”

A team of Case IH specialists will be on site across both days for drop-in or pre-booked advice “We’re finalising the working demos, and we’re looking forward to the conversations that come from them at the event.”

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