May 2013

CEREALS Launches

The new-style 3m X-Press

On Stand 12-K-1223 at Cereals 2013 Great Plains is launching new specification versions of its popular Simba ST Bar, X-Press, DTX, SL and TL cultivators, and adding other new options for its Flatliner and SLD models.

The new options are expected to appeal to farmers who have consistent soils and who do not need the full adjustability of working elements that the company offers across all its models.

Curtis to cover key area of UK

James Kissock (left) congratulates Andrew Curtis, watched by David Holmes

Great Plains is strengthening its UK market presence in North Somerset and South Wiltshire by appointing H Curtis & Sons, based at Pensford, South of Bristol, as its dealer for the region.

H Curtis & Sons are main AGCO/Valtra dealers, and represent a range of other leading brands including Merlo, McConnell and McHale.

The business was started on its existing site at Stanton Wick Farm, Pensford, in 1948 by Harry Curtis and is run by his sons Andrew, Derek and Gerald, all of whom have children working in the business.

Drills go to work in France

The Centurion is getting to work in France

Great Plains’ drill range has already chalked up encouraging early sales in France, and should achieve more this year.

Both the Spartan and the Centurion drill have already impressed many, says Pierre-Arnaud Noiret, Territory Manager:

“The first 9m Spartan has gone to a 2,000 hectare farm, who needs that sort of output, with two 6m models going to 400 ha farms. We have three Centurions on farms now too.

Ensuring we offer a superior service

Stephen Aldis briefs dealer staff

Service staff from 37 of Great Plains’ UK dealer network attended a series of training sessions to update their knowledge of Great Plains’ full range of machines.

The sessions included briefings on the many amendments and improvements made to the company’s machines over the past year.

They will help ensure dealerships offer customers an excellent level of support and service, says Peter Hindmarsh, Service Manager at Sleaford:

Hungary for information

Hungarian farmers watch the Yield-Pro® with interest

Great Plains’ Yield-Pro® maize planter is being tested to the full in Hungary this spring, with 30 different field trials being set up spread right across the country.

And in a nation that grows around 1.2 million hectares of maize, there will be plenty of people looking at the results:

“We are testing the planter and comparing it with competitor machines in as many regions, soil types and rotations as we can”, says Attila Jocsak, machinery specialist for importer Valkon.

Producing feed and fuel

The Yield-Pro® planter at work in Germany

Dairy farmers in Germany will have their chance to assess the merits of the Yield-Pro® planter thanks to a series of eight field trials being conducted by plant breeder Pioneer and Great Plains.

Most of the sites are in Lower Saxony, says Jurgen Koch, from Pioneer:

“That region has the highest maize-growing concentration in Germany and it is a very important crop for livestock farmers, both for feeding to dairy cows, but also because many of them use maize with slurry in the bio-gas production plants they have on farm.

Shallow compaction a challenge

Great Plains Simba X-Press + ST Bar

Farmers aiming to establish spring crops must work carefully to ensure they remove any compaction and ‘capping’, while avoiding losing the surface tilth and replacing it with raw, unweathered soil from deeper in the profile.

Compaction is evident in many un-drilled fields this spring, says David Holmes, UK Sales Director for Great Plains, and needs to be removed effectively:

Structure so important

James Francis with his tried and tested Flatliner

Keeping the soil in good condition is of special importance to  Barrington Park Estates, based at Burford, Oxfordshire – a mixed organic unit that includes 3,500 acres of combinable crops.

Their system relies on ploughing to establish crops, and damp autumns such as the one just past can cause problems. Farm foreman James Francis uses a Great Plains Simba Flatliner to restructure the soils:

“We use it to break any plough pan and compaction that might have been caused, as well as removing damage that might have been done on the headlands.