Monthly Archives: March 2009

Debut for cool Crop-Cruiser

Austrailian machinery company, GoldAcres, have unveiled their new cool-looking self-propelled sprayer, The Crop Cruiser.

A 3 day event provided farmers and contractors a wonderful opportunity to try out the machine for themselves.

You can read more and see video here.

New Technology saves spud growers millions!

In the United States, Farmers embracing new technology have saved millions of dollars, according to Wcsh6 news, Mainegrowing-potatoes,

Maine potato growers are thriving thanks to a new technology developed by the University of Maine’s cooperative extension program.

The Pest Integrated Management program helped Maine potato growers save $17 million last year. Extension specialists track weather conditions at six weather centers across the state. That information is then used to figure out when late blight, a fungal disease, is likely to develop.

The specialists use the information to recommend when growers should spray fungicide on their crop to prevent diseases.

“We’ve really managed to minimize the pesticide usage in the state of Maine,” said Jim Dill, a cooperative extension specialist.

Growers say it’s the technology is helping more than just the environment. It’s helping them save money. In a typical year, Steve Crane, a potato farmer in Corinth saved about $60,000 thanks to the technology.

“Each fungicide application to me is about $15,000 for my farm so if I can eliminate two sprays that’s $30,000 less that I put out there,” said Crane.

For many growers who have been in the business for years, using technology was a little hard to embrace.

“My father and uncle were on the farm that were doing this since the ’60s and it was very difficult for them. I would say, ‘we don’t need to spray’ and they’d say: ‘get the sprayer going, we have to spray’ and I’d say: ‘No, no, we’re going to do this by science’,” Crane said.

The hotline for recommendations is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or farmers can view a website for the recommendations. You can read more herepotato-blight

Farmers Weekly Awards – are you an industry Victor?

farmerFarmers often ask why the media don’t give more space and airtime to the positive stories in farming?

According to David Yelland an ex-editor of The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling daily newspaper, the answer lies in the industry projecting itself with confidence. Farmers need to portray themselves as “victors” rather than “victims”, he told the Oxford Farming Conference in January.

So, if you are a Farming Victor, or you know one, then why not nominate them – or enter yourself – for the 2009 Farmers Weekly Awards. And don’t rule out an entry on the grounds of size or because you assume there will be stronger entries. Everyone running an efficient business should be considered as worthy of being a winner.

The awards are about recognising the enormous contribution UK farmers make to society and the environment, celebrating achievements and innovation of farmers in order to greater promote the sector to the wider world.

As any industry award nominees and winners will testify, getting shortlisted is fantastic PR for you and your business. It can open doors to new contacts and business opportunities, as well as giving you and your staff a huge morale boost for the recognition of your hard work and dedication.

If all that isn’t enough, there’s the chance to attend one of the best nights in the farming calendar. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony which will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 8 October 2009. It’s a night not to be missed.

There are 16 categories up for grabs, and you can find the full details of these and, more importantly, how to enter, by clicking here.

Source FWi

VAT inspectors eye farm businesses




Diversified farm businesses are being targeted by HM Revenue & Customs for failing to charge VAT. The authorities can recover up to three years’ back tax as well as charge penalties and interest.

Problems are most common where a diversification claims to be separate from the main farming business with a turnover under £67,000 and is, therefore, not VAT registered.

“If you get it wrong the liability could very quickly outweigh any advantages from diversification. HMRC is pursuing businesses vigorously,” said Robert Hatch, partner at accountant Ensors.

“Unless a proper structure and practices are in place to show the new business is run separately, HMRC often finds that the diversification is part of the farm business, which is usually VAT-registered.” Where this is the case, VAT should be charged on all eligible goods and services, not just those of the core farming operations, he said.

“We have seen several cases where the tax assessed is £18,000-25,000. B&B and holiday cottages appear to be current targets, although shooting is another area where HMRC has been active.”

Farm contracting, hiring sporting facilities like golf courses, caravan and camping pitch fees, and open-farm admissions are other examples where VAT should be charged, Mr Hatch said.

Source FWi – read the full article here

Contact HM Revenue & Customs here

One in Four apply liquid fertilisers

fastcap_esi_liquid_fertilisAccording to a survey conducted at this years Cereals Event, one in four farmers are now using liquid fertiliser.

The poll of farmers growing an average of 663 Ha of crops, also found that almost a quarter (23%) were using Hypro’s FastCap ESI nozzle, making it one of the most popular spray delivery methods.

Popular for two main reasons: ESI’s have six jets for even distribution; and its compact size and fitting onto standard nozzle bodies, Hypro product manager Roger James reported that sales of the ESI nozzle “have gone from strength to strength in the Uk and overseas markets”

And we can report that here at Agratech, the ESI nozzle has been a sell-out in the last few weeks! Our new stock is due any day, so order your ESI nozzles now to avoid disappointment!!

(From Hypro News)

New Sprayers Added

maxipro-in-use1Due to popular demand, we now have an extended range of compression and handheld sprayers –  the ever popular Maxipro’s from Cooper Pegler, the Berthoud Elyte series, and  new comers, Matabi! 

These sprayers are ideal for small to medium sized gardens, and for home use, where the capacity of a knapsack sprayer is not required. Great for spot spraying around your garden and vegetable patch!

The sprayers, with capacity of 1 litre – 9 litres, are also ideal if you are working on uneven ground, or simply find it difficult to carry a loaded Backpack sprayer.

You can browse the website or shortcut to the Maxipro sprayers here, the Matabi range here and the Berthoud’s here!