Quieter crowds at Cereals as focus turns to establishment

With the sector under pressure, attendance down and a number of big names absent from Cereals event the UK’s key arable equipment show, products from smaller makers had the chance to gain greater exposure at the mid-June event.

cereals event

Bristows’ Split-Level subsoiler featires 45 degree-angled disc coulters, down the back of which the seed is placed. Each is followed by a flat roller.


While sterling’s fall since the Brexit vote has helped firm up commodity prices, and tractor and equipment sales have risen from their recent low point as a result, there is still a significant level of cautiousness in the UK arable sector. That’s been exacerbated by uncertainty over agricultural policy post-Brexit, and what form Brexit will take, particularly given the hung parliament resulting from the recent general election. Couple this with rising costs associated with exhibiting, such as stand rent and staff accommodation, which are deterring some makers from committing to the event, and the result was a noticeably quiet Cereals event, in terms of both visitor and exhibitor numbers.

However, the absence of big stands full of tractors and combines gave the chance for machinery from manufacturers of crop establishment, treatment and handling equipment to gain a higher profile.

Ploughs were a particular theme, marking the resurgence in interest in rotational ploughing as a cultural weed control tool, to bury grassweed seeds before commencing or resuming minimal tillage or direct drilling. Opico, the UK importer for Maschio products, has broadened its line with the addition of a plough range, reflecting this market shift. It comes courtesy of fellow Italian firm Moro, whose products Maschio has sold in other parts of Europe for some time, and in which, since May, it has owned a controlling share. There are two ranges, the 3-5f Unico M and the 4-6f Unico L, with mechanical or hydraulic variable furrow width, double-arm parallelogram linkage adjustment for the front furrow width, and a turnover memory function which closes up the bodies automatically when turning the plough over and then resets them. Ovlac importer Halse of Honiton was also reporting increased interest in mid-range mounted ploughs, while on a larger scale, Kuhn unveiled its latest articulated Vari-Challenger plough of up to 10 furrows.

Also designed to help beat the grassweed burden was Claydon’s front linkage-mounted Terrablade inter-row hoe, for shallow working between wide-row band-sown crops established using one of the company’s drills. Claydon says the Terrablade can be used at forward speeds of approximately 6.0 km/hr, working at up to 20mm deep.


cereals event

Claydon’s front linkage-mounted Terrablade inter-row hoe is designed for shallow working between wide-row band-sown crops established using one of the company’s drills.


Another increasingly important method for suppressing grassweeds is minimal disturbance drilling, and in this respect the farm-designed and -built Triton drill is said to move the minimum amount of soil to avoid disturbing weed seed, while still filling the seed slot. Each tine coulter is followed by a slightly offset closing tine, which shifts soil sideways to close the seed slot – there are no press wheels or packer, eliminating the risk of weed seed disturbance they can cause. Seed is piped from a front-mounted hopper.

Meanwhile, for minimal disturbance oilseed rape establishment, Bristows’ Split-Level subsoiler can be specified with leading loosening tines or discs, which precede subsoiler legs of various types depending on the level of shattering and surface movement required. Next comes a Multi-Tooth Tiller Roll comprising staggered points that provide consolidation and levelling. Then, arranged in pairs, come 45 degree-angled disc coulters, down the back of which the seed is placed. Each is followed by a flat roller.

Whether visitors were seeking maximum burial of weed seed or minimal surface disturbance, there was therefore plenty of technology to choose from at Cereals. The next Cereals event takes place from 13-14 June 2018.

Charles Spencer

About Charles Spencer

Community Manager at Agriaffaires! You will find here all the latest agriculture and farm equipment news!