From big to small, an implement for all

IT SEEMS THAT EVERY YEAR THE EXHIBITORS AT NAMPO CATER FOR A WIDER VARIETY OF FARMERS, growing a greater assortment of crops, some of which require very specialised equipment. There was also a greater selection of general-purpose tractors and implements at the show.

This year saw a dramatic increase in the number of small tractors and implements on display. At the same time, the power of the larger tractors continues to grow, as does the sophistication of the operating systems. For anyone contemplating the purchase of new equipment, for practically any branch of farming and not just maize, Nampo was the place to be. Mark the date of next year’s show on your calendar – 13 to 16 May 2008 – and be sure not to miss the country’s leading agricultural exhibition. Joe Spencer reports.

Hinomoto tractor loader
Hinomoto tractors, manufactured in Japan, have been available in
South Africa for many years. Hinomoto South Africa, the local distributor, has adapted many locally manufactured implements to match its tractors. This front-end loader, fitted to the four-wheel drive 18,75kW model 174, turns the compact tractor into a highly versatile tool for a small farmer or for bigger operations where manoeuvrability is critical.

AgriVaria Backhoe
The T300 tractor mounted backhoe, imported by AgriVaria, is one of a number of similar units on show at Nampo this year. More and more farmers are beginning to appreciate the versatility of these units, which are proving to be cost effective for many formerly labour-intensive jobs around the farm. Teamed with a front-end loader, it converts a standard tractor into a budget-priced TLB.

Tractors for Africa
The imaginatively branded Tractors for Africa (TFA) range is yet another
import from the Dongfeng factory in China. Starting at R50 000 (Exc
VAT) for the 15kW model TFA 220 2WD and going up to only R165 000
for the 52,5kW model TFA 470 4WD, these tractors are very competitively priced. Like most of the other Chinese imports, they are available with a range of matching implements such as this front-end loader.

Versa-trac tractor
Neil Campbell is justifiably proud of the success of the Versa-trac walk behind
tractor. More than 1 500 of these units are now in the field. Admittedly, most of them have been fitted with a seat to suit the African
market. They are available with a wide range of implements and equipment such as this single-furrow plough, a rotorvator, powered-disc plough, cultivator, slasher mower, six-row seed drill/planter, maize mill and a 2 500kg capacity trailer. Tractor-mounted pumps, to power irrigation systems, are also supplied.

Challenger tractor
A Challenger MT765B rubber tracked crawler tractor took pride of place
in the Challenger section of the Barloworld Equipment Agriculture
stand. This 246kW model is the most powerful model in the 700 series;
the 800 series models now go up to a massive 446kW with the MT875B.
Both 700 and 800 series models can now be supplied fitted with the
Auto-Guide™ Satellite navigation system designed to automatically
steer the tractor, offering a substantial improvement to productivity.

Farmtrac tractors
Looked upon as the reincarnation of an old friend, the familiar appearance of the Farmtrac range of tractors from Dicla Farm & Seeds was a welcome sight for many of the older and more experienced tractor operators at the show. These budget priced 1970s Ford clones are proving popular and the advent of an 85kW model later this year is eagerly awaited.

TAFE tractors
Indian built Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) tractors have been
on the South African market for a number of years. They are the result
of a former joint venture between Massey Ferguson and the Indian manufacturer. The engine on this model 8502 is a Simpson S440 rated at 60kW and it has an eight-forward and two-reverse sliding mesh transmission. TAFE are the pioneers of the budget-priced Asian tractors currently on the South African market. With the acquisition of Eicher tractors in 2005, TAFE became the second largest tractor.

Foton implements
Attracting a lot of attention on the Foton stand was a complete hay and forage harvesting kit comprising a double drum mower, the B70 mini-roll baler and a matching bale wrapper. These are all designed to team with the 18,3kW Foton 254, advertised as “A tractor for Quad bike money!” The combination of 254 Foton tractor and mini implements should prove popular with small operators and plot farmers, particularly those with horses and stables.

Omnia lime Spreader
Every year the machines at Nampo seem to get bigger
and bigger. This massive self-propelled fertiliser spreader on the Omnia stand is no exception.

Scanwood Solutions Chippers
The name of the firm is Scanwood Solutions and if its Nampo show stand is anything to go by it offers a solution for everyone’s chipping problems. TP Wood Chippers of Denmark has a bewildering array of models for garden, park and forest and should do well in this growing market. Wood chips and mulch are apparently very much in demand in the burgeoning organic field.