British ploughing champion after world title

Arable farmer, Peter Alderslade, who is the reigning British ploughing champion in the reversible class, is ready for a 4,000-mile transatlantic trip to Minnesota (US) in August to compete in the world ploughing championships.

by Steven Vale

25 Jul 2019

Peter, who farms 800 acres at East Bolden, Tyne & Wear, competes with a 2004 Valtra A95 and a Kverneland two-furrow reversible plough. “It’s a strong little tractor with a well laid out cab and good visibility to the rear,” he said.

Peter believes that his recent choice of tyres is a fundamental part of achieving the levels of precision the judges look for. In 2018 he changed to Continental 85s and has used them in his last four competitions, including his win at the British championships.

Peter Alderslade competing in the 2018 British ploughing championships.

“The tyres have a narrow profile, so they fit the furrows well. With one tractor wheel always in the furrow I have just made, it’s important that I don’t damage it as I plough the next.” The judges mark competitors down for any inconsistencies in the formation of the furrows, especially when there is compaction caused by the tyres.

“In the wet, the soil compacts more easily and if a furrow is broken you leave shiny and dull sides that are obvious to the judges. All of the furrows need to be even and look identical otherwise you lose points. I have watched other competitors sinking into the soil, whilst I have been ploughing successfully. It’s the tyres that make the difference.”

The world championships take place over 10 days and this will be Peter’s seventh attempt to win an elusive world title.