A WINTER storm put paid to hopes that this year’s LAMMA show would be the most successful yet.

But after a busy first day, the weather turned sour and violent winds battered the site before daybreak of the second morning. The event’s organisers had to cancel the rest of the show for safety reasons.

However, many of the 900 exhibitors reported busy stands on day one and serious interest in their wares from key decision makers across a wide range of farm businesses.

There were more than 20,000 visitors on site on the first day, but overnight gusts of 70 mph on site reduced some stands to tatters and caused structural damage to others.

Next year’s event moves to the NEC, which should protect against most weather-related incidents.

Innovative equipment winners

New machines and equipment that offer significant practical benefits to farmers and operators are always plentiful at the LAMMA show, which made the judging of this year’s Innovation Awards a hard task.

There were more than 80 entries forward for this year’s awards’, which were split into five categories.

Crop production equipment – tractors, all field machinery and crop drying, storage and handling equipment.

This was won by Halse South West, the importer of machinery from Spanish manufacturer, Ovlac, with its Reptill, a multi-purpose short disc harrow designed to reduce the number of inter-row cultivations in vineyards.

This has two gangs of discs, between which is a row of de-compacting, height-adjustable tines. It can cut roots and mulch while eradicating pans and improving drainage in one pass.

Livestock equipment – feeding and handling equipment, dairy machinery, milling and mixing and fencing equipment.

This award went to Wessex International’s BFR-180 modular feeding and bedding system. This can be set up as a bale feeder, straw spreader, bale feeder combination, or a bale feeder with an extension chute for use with round bales of hay, haylage, straw and silage.

Technological – covering the use of new technology, electronics, robotics and GPS.

Winning this was Alltech/Keenan’s InTouch real-time nutrition service for optimum diet presentation. This speeds up ration production, intake and production monitoring and control of feed and fuel costs. It has data on more than 1.3m cows from 10,000 farms in 25 countries.

A programmable rations facility can store up to 100-plus rations and groups.

Environmental – the new product or innovation which has the most impact on the environment.

Top here was Mzuri’s Pro-Til 3T Xzact, which combines a striptill drill and a precision seeder in one piece of equipment, capable of single pass seeding.

Its patented precision metering system is an optional extra that can be fitted to most Pro-Til drills to provide non-stop precision seeding, though it can be converted back into a standard drill for crops such as wheat, oilseed rape and beans.

It also won the overall new product award.

The ‘Farm innovation award’ went to Keith Mount Liming for its Phieldtek PCN210, an on-the-go soil sampling device for collecting PCN soil samples. It collects 210 cores of soil/ha, rather than the standard 50 cores at around 3m intervals. It can be towed behind a quad at speeds up to 10mph.

An additional award for the top student on the Level 2 diploma in land-based technology course at Riseholme College, Lincoln, went to Billy Nicholson.