While the majority of exhibitors harboured inside, some chose to showcase their larger machinery outdoors at the Yorkshire showground. Richard Bradley looks at the highlights from British Potato 2017.
Following the development of its sugar beet chaser trailers, German manufacturer Hawe has designed a chaser to suit potatoes, and other root crops which require gentle handling.
Comprising a large bunker, eight adjustable cleaning rollers and a 1.2m-wide unloading conveyor, Hawe’s UK importer Suffolk Farm Machinery says the trailer is suited to growers looking for additional cleaning before sending produce from field to processing, or for those wanting to reduce mud on the road and wheelings in the field.
Available in 22 to 30 cubic metre capacities (18-24 tonnes), the bunker features a steel-slatted moving floor which can send up to 120 tonnes of crop per hour onto the cleaning rollers. Hawe says its unloading conveyor is able to empty the bunker into a bulker or trailer in about three minutes, depending on cleaning intensity required. Cleaning and unloading sections are sourced from Grimme.
To prevent leaving a heap of soil and debris from the cleaning section, a 2cu.m hopper collects all waste, meaning the crop can be unloaded at the side of the road or on a concrete pad, with the unwanted soil emptied later on in the field.
Running gear options stretch to 800/45 R30.5 tyres, hydraulic suspension and triple axles. The firm is also looking at fitting driven axles, and also offers the option of hydraulically-driven Terra Trac track units from Claas.
Having undergone 18 months testing, KUW chasers are available now. To suit users, hopper extension and unloading conveyor can be fitted to either side of the machine.
Based on a number of its existing products, Grimme’s FieldLoader offers a portable in-field grading solution. According to the manufacturer, the machine is suited to a growing trend of producers who want to take the crop from the field direct to processors.
Up-front, the firm’s RH24-60 receiving hopper offers a 21cu.m capacity, with two adjustable cleaning sections fitted to provide the majority of cleaning and waste removal. If further cleaning or inspection is required, Grimme says its picking table has space for up to four people.
Following this, the 1.2m-wide unloading conveyor can reach to a maximum of 7m, and is able to pivot 6.5m at its end to help load bulker trailers. Its reach should allow trailers to stay out of the field and avoid dragging soil onto the road, says the firm.
Towed via a drawbar on its tandem axles, an on-board 62hp diesel engine provides all hydraulic and electrical power to the rig.
Following user feedback, Grimme is looking to incorporate a weighing system into the unloading conveyor of its CleanLoader to validate the reading given by bulkers.
Priced at £252,000, the firm says outputs can be up to 120 tonnes/hour where little grading is required; however, it says 60t/h is more likely when having to do some intensive cleaning and grading.
Ideally suited to baby and seed potato growers, Dewulf’s latest trailed planter sees three rows planted into a single ridge bed.
With 40 years’ experience in belt planting technology, the three-row machine sees a number of thin belts used at varying angles and directions. This setup allows the seedlings to be dropped at full working-width from the 3.5tonne hopper, and channeled down into single rows to drop down behind the openers.
To make sure the bunker remains vertical when crossing slopes, the firm has fitted the rear axle with hydraulic rams to compensate for slopes. To ensure the openers and ridge-former remains true to the ground it pivots independently of the hopper.
A steering axle is standard fitment, and wheel track width can be adjusted.
For additional flexibility, by removing the middle opener and installing plates to redirect seed flow away from the middle outlet, the planter can be converted into a two-row machine. Spray and fertiliser applicators can also be fitted at the front and rear of the planter.
Available now, the machine is priced at about £51,000 (€58,000).
Complementing its range of separation and windrowing equipment, Forfar based firm Scanstone showcased its first elevating potato harvester at the event.
Scanstone says its five-stage Evolution cleaning system keeps vertical drops to a minimum, reducing damage. Along with this, the manufacturer says the harvester has been designed not to pull haulm out in large lumps, which can take smaller potatoes with them.
Designed to be a simple, low cost machine, the manufacturer has fitted toothed belts rather than chains and sprockets to transfer drive to its cleaning systems.
Options on the entry-level machine include Dahlman rollers for additional cleaning along with a picking table. Hydraulic wheel drive is also available.
For additional capacity, the firm says the Patriot has the capability to be used with a separate windrower, allowing four-rows to be lifted and loaded into a trailer.
A basic Patriot harvester retails at £89,000, with a top-spec machine costing up to £130,000.