Tractor test

Tractor test: Valtra S353

S Club rocks

While the Valtra S and Massey Ferguson 8600 might share the same hardware, the Finnish manufacturer has added its own touches to how the tractor is operated from the seat. To see how all the various components come together we put the 250kW/340hp Valtra S353 model through the profi test

Practical test

Spaldings Flatlift subsoiler

Swiss Army knife of the subsoiler world

The humble Flatlift is one of those tools that somehow manages to keep moving with the times. No longer a simple subsoiler, today it can be adapted to cultivate stubbles and sow oilseed rape in the one field pass

Kuhn LSB 1270 Omnicut big baler

Dutchman makes short work of swaths

When Kuhn took over Kverneland’s Dutch factory it picked up the LSB 1270 big baler as part of the deal. Delivering 1.27m wide x 0.7m tall packs, this pre-chopper machine munched everything we put in front of it

Driving impression

Fendt Farmer 313 Vario SCR

More hp, less NOx

With the introduction of the new Vario 300s, Fendt now has Stage IIIB-compliant tractors in the 75kW/100hp class. The top-line 313 SCR hits 99kW/133hp/135PS — enough to prompt us into giving one a whirl

Livestock equipment

Milk robots in Dorset and Wales

Robotic milking revisited

Early last year (05/11) profi called on two UK dairy farms where robotic milking systems had recently been, or were in the process of being, installed. Andy Collings revisits the farming businesses to discover if their hopes and aspirations for these systems have been fully realised — or not

Used machinery

Second-hand trailers

Weigh up the old wagon options

Within the next couple of years, regulations relating to tractor gross train weights could change from just over 24 tonnes to 37 tonnes. So, if you’re contemplating an investment in a used trailer, it will pay to think ahead, says James de Havilland


From the workshop

Simple solutions to perennial problems

As the chilly November nights start to draw in, thoughts inevitably turn to possible winter jobs for the workshop — modest tweaks or additions to the farming system that might make life just that little bit easier, irrespective of whether you’re part of an arable, livestock or mixed enterprise business. Perhaps the following collection of ideas from Mike Donovan will provide some inspiration

Laser fuel clamp kit

Put a sock in it

A kit from Laser Tools promises to minimise those seemingly inevitable spills of vital fluids around farm machinery. Andrew Pearce investigates the various clips and stoppers contained within Laser’s little blue box

Gas welding safety — part II

So much more than just hot air

For the second lap in a two-part series on maintaining oxy-fuel gas systems, Andrew Pearce shows what to look for downstream of the regulators. Now the focus is on check valves, arrestors, hoses and blowpipes

Machine management

Keeping the contractor cogs turning

As busy as a bee

Once the frantic grass and cereal harvests have eased off, what’s the best way to keep full-time staff occupied through the quieter winter months? One North Yorkshire agricultural contractor thinks he’s found a suitable solution for his business, as Geoff Ashcroft reports

Around the world

Changes detected down-under

Pedal the produce to market

Horsch gets into the African act

All power to the horse


Contractor price guide 2012/2013

UK contractor charges

This is the National Association of Agric.Contractors’ charge guide, based on info supplied by its members this spring. The figures are ONLY A GUIDE and assume a red diesel price of 70p/litre. Prices will vary according to UK region, size of job, type of equipment used etc

Dairy farming in the US

Milking giant on the other side of the Pond

With a 2,900-strong dairy herd and an annual production of over 17 million litres, Larson Acres is one of the largest milk producers in Wisconsin. And when farming on this scale you need a decent park of machines, as Steven Vale finds out

Potato Europe 2012

Must-see spud kit

A sizeable chunk of the estimated 110,000ha of French potatoes is grown in a triangle formed by Paris, Lille and Reims. Bang in the middle is Villers-Saint-Christophe — venue for the European potato sector’s biggest annual event. Steven Vale joins the 10,000 visitors to track down the highlights from Potato Europe


Drawbar power and fuel consumption

Lugging data

For profi tractor tests, power and fuel consumption at the drawbar are measured to OECD standards on an outdoor track at the DLG test station, south of Frankfurt. Here’s how the lugging assessment job is carried out