Great Plains News by Region

International News

The following are news articles of interest to our International customers, listed in chronological order, starting with the most recent. Enjoy!

Visitor numbers were high on the Great Plains stand

Great Plains enjoyed two profitable days at LAMMA 2014, with the UK launches of two new machines; a range of new technical information and research results available and a full range of other machines to interest all stand visitors.

This year’s event was the first to be held at the East of England Showground, and the switch of venue – allied to good planning of the stand - paid dividends, says David Holmes, UK Sales Director:

“Our sales force report an encouraging level of enquiries to previous years, with an excellent quality.

David Holmes of Great Plains explains the company's work at a recent Agrovista 'Grow Crop Gold' Open Day

Correct fertiliser timings and rates – and the potential need for growth regulators – will be key subjects at Agrovista’s “Grow Crop Gold” open days during February and March, says Niall Atkinson, who co-ordinates the trials.

On the two sites where some of the plots were established using Great Plains’ Yield-Pro planter, the benefit of doing a deeper restructuring operation before placing the seed accurately will also be on show.

Last year’s good autumn means that many of the crops already have a big canopy, says Niall:

Jorge Ortega-Tavera

Latin American customers will have two excellent opportunities to learn more about Great Plains in February 2014.

The first will be at the World Ag Expo 2014 in Tulare, California February 11-12.  Great Plains Manufacturing will actually have two booths at the show.  One booth will represent Great Plains Ag division (South Exhibits, Booth L4) and another will represent the companies Land Pride division (South Exhibits, Booth O20).

Colin Adams

Great Plains has enjoyed unprecedented progress during 2013 – both in terms of the development of its Sleaford factory and in developing its markets across Europe and the rest of the world.

The development work completed at the Sleaford factory has come into its own this year, says Colin Adams, Managing Director, and is helping the plant maintain fresh production levels which are essential to servicing its growing UK and European markets:

Simon Revell explains Great Plains’ oilseeds establishment research at LAMMA 2013

Great Plains will present the latest news on a wide range of its agronomic research when it exhibits at LAMMA 2014 (Stand No R13), which we feel bound to remind you is being held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd January 2014.

At the event we will display the latest results from our wide range of practical research into soil structure and practical crop production, says David Holmes, UK Sales Director:

Great Plains' Field Cultivator

Great Plains will show its US-designed Field Cultivator, which is already popular across a range of export markets in Eastern Europe, at LAMMA 2014.

The Field Cultivator is a high-capacity finishing tool which completes a shallow cultivation and removes weeds/regrowth to finish seedbeds, leaving them level and ready for drilling.

Twenty models are available at widths between 23 and 60 feet (7.00 and 18.3 metres), with models up to 39 feet (11.9m) being built in three sections, while larger models are constructed in five sections.

X-Press fitted with new serrated discs

Great Plains will be testing a new style of cultivation disc on selected machines this season, with a view to offering it as an option in the future.

The 6mm disc are available in 500mm and 560mm diameter, and feature a sharp serrated edge and could prove valuable in various UK and European conditions says Ben Covell, Product Development Manager:

“The serrated edge self-sharpens, in the way a serrated knife does, and so stays sharp. We think this type of disc has potential for working in heavy trash conditions, such as rotations that include maize or potatoes.

European farmers are the latest to show interest in Great Plains’ concept of Vertical Tillage, following its presentation on the company’s stand at Agritechnica, and other presentations by importers and dealers across the continent.

Stephen Lewis

Northern Irish farmers are showing growing interest in Great Plains’ approach to improving crop yields, as the excellent attendance at two seminars organised by importer Genesis Distribution proves.

Stephen Lewis from Genesis says feedback to the two sessions has been very positive and his company is working on a number of excellent enquiries:

“David Holmes gave an excellent presentation on the company’s approach to crop establishment, and highlighted the importance of maintaining healthy soil structure and tailoring your operations to the soil type and conditions.

Ryan Boggs (pictured left) is impressed with the UniPress

Working across a huge variety of soil types, Northern Ireland contractor Ryan Boggs needs a cultivation system that is flexible enough to deal with them all.

And while the provinces high rainfall means the plough is his primary cultivator, he is keen to improve the efficiency and output of his system to achieve more timely and cost effective crop establishment.

James Clark (centre) and Graham Parker congratulate each other on the news, watched by David Holmes

Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd – one of Great Plains’ longest serving dealers in the UK – is being appointed to cover Norfolk and adjoining parts of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, an area previously covered by Ben Burgess Ltd, from whom the company has agreed an amicable split.

Graham Parker, Dealer Principal at Ernest Doe & Sons, says: “We are looking forward to increased business, and to introducing the Great Plains franchise to our branches at Wymondham and North Walsham.

Great Plains’ YPE825A was the centre of attention at Agritechnica

Great Plains enjoyed a profitable week at Agritechnica, receiving more than double the level of enquiries it had at the previous events.

Daniel Rauchholz, President of Great Plains International, says the event will help the company continues its current growth:

David Holmes explains Great Plains’ work to the audience at Doncaster

Finding more effective and cost-efficient ways of establishing oilseed rape remains one of the ‘hot topics’ for arable farmers, as the healthy attendance at Agrovista’s Grow Crop Gold open days proves.

These trials are among a number that Great Plains is working on with a range of industry partners, and have been producing some valuable observations.

At STOUGHTON, Leicestershire, Agrovista’s Mark Hemmant highlighted the impact that establishing the right density of crop has on yield, and the ability of oilseed plants to recover from setbacks during the season:

Corinne Byron with Daniel Rakers (left) and Christophe Muller

With its export business continuing to grow healthily, Great Plains is now developing dedicated teams – with some members based at Sleaford and others in the field – to support its dealers and clients in a range of European markets.

The first team is taking shape now, and preparing to support the company’s business in Germany and France, with Corinne Byron being based at Sleaford, while Daniel Rakers and Christophe Muller provide service and support to dealers and customers in the field.

Great Plains’ owner Roy Applequist examines one of the Field Cultivators being packed for export

Great Plains’ expanded Sleaford factory has been working to full capacity all year, helping keep up with demand from its growing European markets.

This autumn that has included making 60 of the company’s popular Stubble Cultivators, built for export to Eastern Europe.

The Stubble Cultivator is a versatile seedbed finishing tool that features five ranks of tines that move the top few inches of the seedbed to kill weeds and volunteers, while incorporating trash and leaving a smooth seedbed that is ready for drilling:

AgriScot visitors are hoping for a brighter 2014

The need to speed up cultivations but still work in a way that does not risk compromising the quality of seedbeds or losing the tilth from the surface remains upper-most in farmers minds, reports Territory Manager Craig Thomson following the Agriscot event.

Many visitors to the company’s stand at the event said yields had suffered due to the wet autumn of 2012, but were now confident that things should improve:

Check Profi’s February 2014 edition for their thoughts on the SLD

Great Plains’ Simba SLD cultivator received a thorough examination and evaluation in the hands of Mervyn Bailey, joint editor of leading farm machinery magazine Profi.

He spent two days working the machine in a field near our Sleaford headquarters, and his assessment of the machine will appear in a future edition of the magazine, most likely to be around the time of LAMMA 2014:

The new YPE-825A

Great Plains is launching a new version of its market-leading Yield-Pro precision planter that folds to 3m for transport especially for the Western European market.

The company is exhibiting at Agritechnica in Hall 12, Stands B02/B03.

The new machine, the YPE-825A, can plant a wide range of row-sown crops in either eight or 16 rows according to whether it is working conventionally or using Great Plains’ Twin-Row system.

4B discs – built to tackle the tough stuff

Great Plains is going back to its roots with the production of the new 4B discs at its Sleaford factory.

The original Simba company built its reputation making robust cultivators, tool-bars and road-planes for the East African fruit-growing estates, and that will be a key market for this new machine.

The 4B Series includes three models – at 3.10m; 3.80m and 4.60m widths – and are off-set disc harrows, which are proven to work better than conventional discs in these conditions because they are less affected by changes in working speed.

Simon Revell (left) and Chris Martin test the soil at Doncaster

Re-structuring below the seedbed is already showing significant benefits on a trial site near Doncaster, where we are working with Agrovista to learn more about precision one-pass oilseed rape establishment and the potential use of Great Plains Twin-Row system in it.

As reported in September’s update, we ran a Simba ST Bar ahead of a Yield-Pro planter on half of the trial area, and planted normally on the other half.

There are already clear differences, Chris Martin, from Agrovista told a group of leading Czech Republic farmers when they visited the site:

Great Plains’ UK 2013/14 Finance Scheme enables farmers to make the investment in new technology they need now, and not start paying for it until November 2014.

Orders placed by 30th November will be supplied at existing prices, with the company due to review all prices ahead of announcing new arrangements from 1st December.

Under the scheme purchasers can opt to pay for their equipment in two halves – the first payment being due in November 2014 and the second one in November 2015.

Alternatively, they can agree their own repayment plan profile:

Michael Harrop (left) and John Chapman

Great Plains is increasing the strength and depth of its team at Sleaford with a number of new appointments to crucial roles.

Michael Harrop has joined as Operations Manager, and brings with him great experience of running busy automotive plants in countries like India, Jordan and the UAE.

He also worked with the Benetton Formula One team, although he stresses he helped design the vehicles that transport the whole team, not the racing cars themselves!:

The Turbo Max’s efficiency makes it a popular machine

Great Plains is expanding its Turbo Max cultivator range with the addition of 35 foot (10.52m) and 40 foot (12.04m) models to the top end of the range.

The Turbo Max is the company’s biggest selling cultivator, thanks to the efficiency with which it chops and incorporates crop residues, and leaves a well cultivated and levelled seedbed.

It features two gangs of 50cm cultivating discs set at 18.75 cm spacings on the axle; the second gang running in the spaces between the first so crop residues are chopped to less than 10cm length.

Vasek Madl and Jana Kubatova with the new Slovakian sales team

AgriCS, Great Plains’ importer for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, has an entire new sales team appointed for Slovakia, who received a detailed briefing into the company’s machines and philosophy from Vasek Madl and Jana Kubatova, the product managers for both countries:

“We provided them with a full briefing on the whole range of cultivators, drills, planters and seeders the company provides, as well as on the Land Pride range of groundscare equipment.

James Clark (left) discusses structure with stand visitors

Some arable farmers need to accept that it might take them two years to correct all the damage caused to their soils over the past two years.

So says James Clark, Great Plains’ Territory Manager for Eastern England, after talking to a range of visitors at the new CropTec event, held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough:

“We spent a lot of time at the event discussing soil structure, and many visitors said they now accepted it might take more than one year to undo the damage done in the past two wet seasons.