FTMTA News 12th March 2019

Farm Machinery Trade Upbeat

The Irish farm machinery trade faces 2019 and whatever challenges it may present in a perhaps surprisingly upbeat mood. At the time of writing, the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA), the representative body for the sector in Ireland has just put the shutters down on what has been the largest ever FTMTA Farm Machinery Show. The Show, organised by the Association, is the flagship event for the Irish farm machinery industry and this year marked 30 years since the first such event was held by FTMTA at the RDS during February of 1989. In 2003 the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show moved to its current location at Punchestown Racecourse which has facilitated considerable growth and improvements in the event. This year, it is widely felt, saw the Show reach a new level with over 16,000 square metres of indoor exhibition space across five buildings as well as a substantial area of outdoor displays. The addition of nearly 2,000 square metres of indoor exhibition space since the previous event allowed the Association to facilitate new exhibitors as well as meeting a demand from existing exhibitors for increased stand sizes. The Association was delighted that so many of the existing exhibitors seized the opportunity to significantly increase the size of their stand in order to better showcase their range of products to the Show visitors. The level of presentation of many stands also saw a substantial upturn this year which added to the visitor experience of the Show. Apart from the efforts of organisers and exhibitors the only worthwhile benchmark for any trade event is the level of visitor engagement and, on that front, exhibitor feedback has been very positive. Over 20,000 people visited the Show over the three days and the Chief Executive of FTMTA, Gary Ryan, states that exhibitors report a high level of good quality enquiries as well as a substantial amount of business actually done at the Show. The FTMTA CEO believes that this year’s Show saw the highest level of completed sales that he is aware of at any FTMTA event in his over 10 years at the helm of the Association.  Ryan admits that the level of optimism evident at the Show from both the trade and customers took him somewhat by surprise in light of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit but believes that customers have faith in their farming businesses and are continuing to make the investment they require in mechanisation to make their businesses more efficient.

The buoyant mood in evidence at the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show was borne out in the end of year numbers produced by FTMTA in relation to the registrations of tractors and other self propelled equipment during 2018. The original figures produced by FTMTA in early January showed a tractor market not much changed from that of 2017. Later in the month it became apparent that the information provided to FTMTA during 2018 was incomplete. As a result, the Association undertook a full review of all new tractor and related registrations for 2018 and the revised figures show that last year saw the highest level of new tractor registrations since 2008 when some 4,500 tractors were registered in the last year influenced by the so called Celtic Tiger. In the intervening years the registration of new tractors fell as low as 1,315 new units in 2010, recovering to nearly 1,900 units in 2015 and 2016, fell back to just less than 1,800 units in 2017 and climbed to nearly 2,000 units last year.

The final 2018 figures from FTMTA show that 1,984 new tractors were registered during last year which was an increase of 10% on 2017 and is the closest that the industry has gotten to a much hoped for market size of 2,000 units since the onset of the global downturn and recession in 2008. In that time, we have seen the average horse power of new tractors registered in Ireland grow steadily with nearly 90% of all registrations in 2018 being tractors of greater than 100hp and over 54% having more than 120hp. The five counties with the highest levels of new registrations during 2018 are Cork with 258 units (up from 206), Wexford  with 157 units (up from 115), Tipperary with 156 units (up from 151), Kilkenny with 131 units (up from 90) and Galway with 112 units (up from 110).

Telehandlers also experienced a very good year with 427 units registered which was a 40% increase on the level of 2017. The telehandler market has enjoyed three very strong years with volumes having more than doubled from the 185 units registered in 2015. Clearly many of these units are entering use in the construction and commercial sectors but this type of machine is growing in popularity for agricultural use also and a significant number of these machines are to be found on Irish farms where they seem to quickly become something that the owners could not do without. Wheeled loaders are another machine type that had a good year in 2018 with registrations climbing by over 40% to 120 units. Nearly 50 of the total number of wheeled loaders were registered in April and May which points to many of these machines going into agricultural use with contractors at the start of the silage season.

As is to be expected, the performance of the farm machinery trade domestically is a reflection of the fortunes of the agricultural customer base which it supports. 2018 saw a continuing strong level of activity from the dairy sector, be it business directly with farmers or with contractors and the tillage sector saw a welcome improvement on recent years. The monthly registration figures show, both in terms of geography and tractor type and size, that, while substantial demand is coming from the stronger dairy areas, the tillage sector has renewed its investment in the larger models more suited to that activity.

2018 will be remembered for many years for the extreme weather conditions that it brought  with snow in late February / early March  and very cold ground conditions from February to late April / early May whereas by mid June we were experiencing drought conditions that saw land in many areas of the country turn to a near desert state. Both types of weather impacted severely on growth with huge knock on effects particularly for grass supply. The dry conditions did bring some positivity for the tillage sector particularly in terms of grain and straw prices albeit on reduced yields. Very easy harvest conditions were also of help to the sector which had endured some difficult years of late. The heat and drought of the summer was followed by much improved conditions in the autumn which saw sustained late grass growth enabling extended grazing and silage making; this in turn eased the fodder situation and allowed the rebuilding of much reduced stocks.

The difficult weather conditions depressed implement sales during the early part of the year particularly in relation to grass equipment but the onset of grass growth and forage making saw a recovery in this regard with a noticeable move toward bigger mowers. The extremely dry and hot conditions in which much first and second cut silage was made did depress sales of rakes and tedders as they were simply not required or practical in many cases. Sales of self propelled forage harvesters did enjoy a good year with around 35 units registered. The pressure on grass supplies until the autumn did help sales of other feeding solutions such as diet feeders, zero grazing systems, bale un winders and straw blowers etc.

TAMS II continued to be a significant factor in relation to sales of cultivation, slurry spreading, fertiliser spreading and spraying equipment. The support of a move towards lower environmental impact equipment in these categories is to be welcomed as this is reflective of what is required by the end consumer in these times of heightened environmental awareness. Obviously agricultural practices are coming under increased scrutiny and it is important that agricultural professionals are supported to invest in the mechanisation innovations which can help to lessen the environmental impact of food production. Much of this technology comes with the twin benefit of reducing and controlling input costs which is key to improving profitability.

State of the art machinery, such as that grant aided by TAMS, is a complex product requiring skilled support. FTMTA and our farm machinery trade members are conscious of this and realise that it is incumbent on the industry to ensure that the skills are in place across all aspects of the business to fully support the customer. All elements of the Irish economy are experiencing difficulty in filling employment vacancies and this seems to be a particular problem for various business in the agri sphere. The farm machinery sector needs to become better at actively selling itself as an industry in which long term and rewarding careers can be developed. We require high calibre staff to take our industry into the future and in a competitive labour market you have to work hard to secure the right candidates for your business.

Obviously Brexit continues to hang over the Irish machinery sector and the wider agricultural and overall economies. The sad reality is that, at the time of writing, we are no clearer on the shape of the final outcome than we were a year ago. That said, the reality of a no deal Brexit is probably becoming more possible and the machinery sector must, as all other sectors, prepare for that. Much of the supply chain for internationally produced equipment on the Irish market has previously been routed through the UK and that seems likely to change. Most international suppliers have plans in place to deal with the continuation of a smooth supply to their Irish customers and it is to be hoped that Irish farm machinery businesses and their customers do not see any impact on either cost or lead times.

FTMTA and the wider machinery trade, Brexit notwithstanding, are moving into another year with confidence. Irish farming has survived many challenges over the years and will come through whatever the next few months brings also. Ireland is a producer of top quality food which will there will always be a customer for and our machinery industry has its role to play in ensuring that Irish farmers can do their job efficiently and profitably. The latest tractor registration figures to hand cover the month of January and show a continued high level of registrations coming off the back of the previously

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 8th March 2019

FTMTA Gold Award 2019

The FTMTA Gold award was presented to the Mchale brothers of McHale at the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show by Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The award was presented to honor their excellence within the machine industry and their incredible success with McHale. Congratulations to Martin and Padraic and well deserved.

Martin and Padraig McHale of McHale Engineering are presented with their FTMTA Gold awards by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed TD pictured with Gary Ryan, FTMTA Chief Executive and Jimmy Butler, FTMTA president at the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show at Punchestown, Thursday 7 February 2019.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 22nd January 2019

Revealed: What is the top-selling tractor in Ireland?                                          

The figures are in; we can reveal which tractor manufacturer topped the sales league in the Republic of Ireland in 2017.

Why, you might ask, are we revealing the brand-by-brand figures for 2017 (rather than 2018)? Official bodies are not permitted to release such data due to EU competition regulations until a full 12 months have elapsed.

We previously brought you our own brand-by-brand estimates/projections for 2017.

Now, with the dawn of 2019, we can reveal the official figures. This data was analysed by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) – Ireland’s collective body for machinery manufacturers, distributors and dealers.

A total of 1,796 new tractors were registered during 2017. That was 4% down on the tally of 1,876 for 2016.

Massey Ferguson was the top-selling brand (400 units or 22.3%).

Next up was John Deere (373 units or 20.8%). In third position was New Holland(330 units or 18.4%).

There was quite a gap between the top three and the remainder. In fourth place was Case IH (151 units or 8.4%), followed by Claas (110 units or 6.1%).

Valtra sold 81 units (4.5%), followed by Deutz-Fahr (64 units or 3.6%), Fendt (55 units or 3.1%) and Landini (54 units or 3%).

Kubota – a relative newcomer to the world of larger tractors – sold 44 units (2.4%).

Next up was Zetor (32 units or 1.8%), Tumosan (31 units or 1.7%) and McCormick(20 units or 1.1%).

SDF (presumably Same in this context, given that Deutz-Fahr figures are counted separately) sold eight units (0.4%). That’s the same tally that was notched up by Ursus.

JCB sold three units (0.2%). The ‘others’ category accounted for 32 sales (1.8%).

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 30th November 2018

Tractor Market Recovering

The latest tractor and self propelled machinery registration statistics from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association demonstrate an impressive recovery in the fortunes of the tractor market during the year despite the many challenges faced by Irish agriculture during this time.

October saw 99 new tractors registered which was increase of 10% on 2017 and which brings the total for the first ten months of the year to 1,697 units, down just 1% on the same period last year. Given that registrations in January, which is normally the month with the highest level of activity in terms of tractor registrations, were down 29% on the 2017 figure, the scale of the recovery during the year is perhaps surprising but is definitely welcomed by the machinery trade.

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford with 217, 140 and 136 units registered respectively to the end of October. The trend towards higher power tractors in the Irish market is maintained in the most recent registration figures with 89% of all new tractors registered during 2018 having in excess of 100hp, 54% over 120hp and 27% over 150hp.

Telehandler registrations to the end of October indicate that demand for this category of machine is continuing at the strong levels seen in recent years.  There were 34 telehandlers registered in October which was a substantial increase on the 20 units in the corresponding month of last year. The October figure brings the overall level of telehandler registrations for the first ten months of 2018 to 358 units which is a year on year increase of 28% and which is also significantly ahead of the full year total for 2017 of 303 units.

Backhoe loaders have witnessed somewhat of a resurgence in the last couple of years; from a low of 40 units in 2015, 52 backhoes were registered in 2017 and 69 have been registered in 2018 to the end of October. Wheeled loaders have also experienced a high level of activity with 106 units registered to the end of October versus 85 during all of 2017.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 19th November 2018

The Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) Executive Council has elected a new president and vice-president of the association.

They will take up office from January 1, 2019.

The new FTMTA president will be James Butler (pictured above) of well-known dealer group Templetuohy Farm Machinery (TFM). Diarmuid Claridge, of Poettinger (Pottinger) Ireland, will serve as vice-president.

New Executive Council Members

Three new members were elected to the FTMTA Executive Council at the 2018 annual general meeting of the association.

To put things in context, the FTMTA is led by a voluntary Executive Council which is drawn from the membership of the association. The Executive Council is, in effect, a board of directors of the association.

The addition of the three new council members brings the membership of the Executive Council to its highest level in many years. There are now 20 Executive Council members, which is the maximum permitted by the association’s constitution.

According to the association, the increase in membership is reflective of the “significant increase in the number of member firms in recent years”.

The council members are apparently drawn from all aspects of the farm machinery trade, including retail dealerships, distributors, Irish manufacturers and even international manufacturers.

Current FTMTA president Graham McHugh welcomed the new council members. He noted that “the diverse experiences of those involved will be an asset to the association”.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 9th November 2018

Strong Demand For Space At FTMTA Farm Machinery Show

The Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association report an unprecedentedly high level of demand for exhibition space at next year’s flagship event for the Irish agricultural machinery sector. The FTMTA Farm Machinery Show 2019 will take place at Punchestown Racecourse near Naas, Co. Kildare on February 7th, 8th and 9th. The Show was fully sold out by the closing date at the end of October but an additional amount of space was subsequently provided, most of which has now also been booked. At this stage, there is a very limited amount of exhibition space remaining and any firm interested in exhibiting should not delay in contacting the FTMTA on 045 409 309 or by email at admin@ftmta.ie.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 24th September 2018

FTMTA Farm Machinery Show 2019

The exhibitor application packs for the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show 2019 have been emailed on Monday, September 10th and have been sent to all exhibitors at this year’s FTMTA Grass & Muck Show and at the last FTMTA Farm Machinery Show held in 2017 and firms who have requested an application. All other firms interested in exhibiting at next year’s Show should contact FTMTA on admin@ftmta.ie or at 045 409309 to request an exhibitor pack. A copy of the non member application pack will be available to download from the FTMTA website at www.ftmta.ie from Monday, September 24th.

 

 

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 20th August 2018

Strong July Tractor Registrations

The latest tractor and self propelled machinery registration statistics from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association reveal that this July saw somewhat of a milestone in the behaviour of the Irish tractor market. Until 2013, the year which saw the introduction of a two part year for vehicle registration purpose, tractor registrations in any given year were heavily weighted towards the first quarter of the year. The introduction of the split registration year saw July become second only to January in terms of monthly registrations.  However, this July became the month with the highest level of monthly registrations so far this year.

There were 249 new tractors registered during this July which is an increase of nearly 5% on the 238 units registered during July of 2017 but is also more tractors than were registered during this January when coincidentally 238 units were also registered. The strong July performance results in a total of 1,349 new tractors registered during the first seven months of this year and while that is a drop of 4% on the same period of 2018 this must be seen in the context of the January registrations which were 29% down on 2017. Even after a good month in February which was some 12% ahead of the corresponding period last year, the year on year level of registrations was some 15% down on 2017 which highlights the recovery in recent months.

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford with 181, 110 and 106 units registered respectively to the end of July. The very pronounced move towards higher power tractors in the Irish market is clearly evident in the 2018 registrations with 89% of all new tractors having in excess of 100hp, 55% over 120hp and 27% over 150hp.

Telehandler registrations to the end of July confirm a market that is continuing the strong performance of recent years with 31 units registered during July, bringing the figure for the first seven months to 257 units which is a 19% increase on the same period of 2017. Wheeled loaders have also seen strong activity with 15 units registered during July to bring the figure for the year to date to 93 machines which is a 33% year on year increase and also comfortably in excess of the 83 such machines in total which were registered in all of 2017.

With the onset of the grain harvest in July, the picture on registrations of new combines becomes much clearer and this year’s figure certainly defy the pessimism that might have been prevalent on this topic at the end of last year’s harvest and during this year’s difficult spring. A total of 31 new combines have been registered during to the end of July. While this figure is some way off the heights of 2013 and 2014 when 65 and 61 new combines respectively were registered it also a considerable improvement on last year’s market which saw only 20 new combines registered.

In what has been a challenging period for Irish farming with contrasting but extremely difficult weather conditions starting as far back as July 2017, it is clear that Irish farmers and agricultural contractors are continuing to invest in the mechanisation requirements of their professionally run agricultural enterprises. FTMTA has expressed the hope that the return of more typical weather patterns and moisture levels will be contained at levels that will allow the use of grass harvesting equipment much later than in normal years to fill the gaps in fodder supplies for the year ahead.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 27th July 2018

Agricultural Mechanisation Degree Course

As the Leaving Certificate exams continue, it is timely to remind those students interested in pursuing a career in the service role within the farm machinery industry that the closing date for application to the Bachelor of Science (Agricultural Mechanisation) course in IT Tralee will be on Friday, August 17th.

The course is a direct entry program and to apply for a place on the course potential students must have been accepted by a sponsoring farm machinery business which will provide the required work placements. Successful applicants will also have a Leaving Certificate with minimum grade O6/H7 in English or Gaeilge, O6/H7 in Mathematics and O6/H7 in three other subjects. In practice a relatively high level of mathematical ability will be an advantage during the course and candidates entering the course with better Maths results are likely to fare better over time. While this is not an engineering course, engineering fundamentals lie at the core of many of the concepts taught and, as such, a strong mathematical base is important to enable the student to get the most from the course.

Applicants may be required to attend for interview as part of the application / admission process and offers of places on the course will be subject to the candidate achieving the required standard in their Leaving Certificate results. Application forms and further information are available from the Courses section of the IT Tralee website.

FTMTA is encouraging member firms of the Association to support the course and  is asking that any firms planning to take on trainees for the service role from this year’s school leavers consider this route which is specifically designed to produce the agricultural technicians required by the industry for the future. The course is a mix of college based learning and work placement over the three years with the student required to carry out a substantial body of online learning when on work placement. FTMTA believes that this course will produce the calibre of qualified personnel required by the industry and its customers in the future. The machinery sold by our industry continues to evolve and develop and requires the support of highly skilled service personnel.  The first cohort of students entered what was then a new course in 2015 and those who have successfully progressed through the course are now nearing graduation.

The Association advises that interested secondary school leavers should use the Member Links page of the FTMTA website at www.ftmta.ie to identify FTMTA member farm machinery businesses in their area to approach regarding work placements. A written request in relation to the required work placement sponsorship should be sent to the dealer principal or, in the case of larger businesses, to the service manager. This should be followed up by a request to meet in person with the decision maker on such matters in the business. Gary Ryan, FTMTA Chief Executive, stresses that, in his view, a better impression is normally made when the applicant makes contact with the potential sponsor directly rather than leaving it to parents.

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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FTMTA News 23rd July 2018

Alan King Agri Sales – a well-known farm machinery business based at The Pike, Ballingarry, Roscrea (Co. Tipperary) – has joined the FTMTA (Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association).

The dealership was admitted to the association’s membership at the most recent Executive Council meeting.

Led by Alan, the dealership is a franchised agent for several farm machinery brands, including Lely and Quicke. The business is also known as a supplier of second-hand tractors.

Alan King Agri Sales exhibited at this year’s FTMTA Grass & Muck; the business was also an exhibitor at the first such event back in 2010.

Another farm machinery business to join the association recently was M Healion Tractors.

It was admitted following the Executive Council’s January meeting and operates at Arden, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. It specialises in the sale of used tractors and also provides a spare parts and repair service. It’s headed up by Micheal Healion.

Also joining at that time was Eardly Agricultural Service – based in Hebron Industrial Estate in Kilkenny.

That business is a franchised dealer for a variety of farm machinery brands including Krone, Amazone, Bomford, Tanco, Gregoire Besson, Quicke and APV – among others. It’s headed up by Michael Eardley.

Previous additions (following the Executive Council’s December meeting) include: Merlo UK (a subsidiary of the wider Merlo Group); Zero Grazer (based at Dromone, Oldcastle, Co. Meath); O’Brien Tractors (a New Holland tractor and construction equipment dealership in Bunnanadden, Co. Sligo); and Ardagh Agri Services (a retail farm machinery dealership based in Ballina, Co. Mayo).

Be a part of a stronger, professional, farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or membership@ftmta.ie for details.

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