Amazone’s farmer hosted field trials look at different methods of cultivation and crop establishment across a wide variety of soil types and farm sizes, but there is also an increasing use of technology in the machinery world, and this has resulted in a need to keep the end-user, and dealer service staff, better trained as well as wanting to evaluate the performance of new kit before launching it into the British market. This changing demand has resulted in the opening of a new training, education and R+D centre at Finningley, north east of Bawtry, and just 8 miles from the company’s main base at Harworth. With schoolroom and demonstration hall facilities all set in 30 acres of farmland, Orchard Farm will be used as a teaching facility to dealers, farmers and students alike. The 12ha site currently comprises of a range of buildings that are central to the parcel of land and which have been subsequently converted into a visitor centre with training room alongside two indoor halls for practical machine operation. Outside, some of the land has been drilled with a crop of spring barley whereas a further portion will form the backbone of trial plots, a field proving ground and practical training area. This will be used to school farm operators in the use of seed and precision drills as well as self-propelled sprayers. An ISO sprayer bump track is planned for sprayer boom performance testing and demonstration. The facility also offers the chance to demonstrate the full range of kit across 12 months of the year giving farmers and growers the chance to come and use the machines for themselves at a time of year when they have time to think about upcoming purchases. “The British market is one of the most technically advanced in the world and our farmers look to utilise these new technologies to keep ahead of the game,” says managing director Adrian Winnett of Amazone Ltd. “It is our duty as machinery manufacturers to make sure we understand our customer’s needs, that those growers then subsequently get the best out of that technology and that our dealers are fully trained in supporting the kit. Orchard Farm provides the facilities for all those aspects.” Managing partner Christian Dreyer of Amazonen-Werke says Orchard Farm is just one of many factory-owned regional centres which focus on supporting the local farming community that have already been commissioned or that the company is in the process of developing across the world. “With similar set-ups already now in Germany, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and China, we are slowly putting in place the infrastructure needed to keep our customers up to speed with the use and support of this ever-increasingly technical machinery range and, above-all, more and more electronics.” B