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22 Jan 2024

‘Record breaking’ visitor numbers at LAMMA 2024

‘Record breaking’ visitor numbers at LAMMA 2024
The UK’s premier agricultural event LAMMA reached a milestone in its 42-year history with record-breaking visitor numbers and an impressive 95 new exhibitors.

This year’s show – held at Birmingham NEC on January 17 and 18 – solidified its status as the go-to event for agricultural machinery enthusiasts. More than 40,000 visitors attended to see a host of new products being launched to the UK market alongside existing favourites.

Massey Ferguson unveiled its new flagship tractor, the 9S with six models ranging from 285 to 425hp. Marketing manager Lindsay Haddon explained that the 9S was first revealed at Agritechnica at the end of 2023, but this was the first viewing in the UK. “LAMMA is the perfect place for the UK debut of the 9S because of its footfall. It’s the biggest agricultural show in the UK and is really accessible.”

JCB was another big name which returned to LAMMA this year with a host of new products including the Fastrac ICON operating system and the 514-40 telehandler. Dave Timmis, product and marketing manager reported that the company’s stand had been very busy. “It’s been great to exhibit our electric range and hydrogen engine, as we are aware there are a lot of future farm decision makers here. We’ve got our full agricultural range here to give confidence to potential customers that we are here for the long run, and there was no better place than LAMMA to demonstrate this.”

Graham Barnwell, country manager for Same Deutz-Fahr echoed the sentiment: “We do and always have recognised the value of exhibiting at LAMMA. We have been every year bar the year it was delayed.”

Other new products unveiled to the UK market at LAMMA included Uni-Mog’s Uni-Touch operating system, two trailers from Richard Western, Spread-a-bale’s side throw option, an 11.2m tedder from Krone and nine new models to Kubota’s RT compact loader range. Grange Farm Machinery introduced its Strip Till Preparator, while Dan-Agri showed its Tytan rollermill and Slovenia-based SIP revealed its DISC HD range and STAR rotary rake.

Cordex also used LAMMA to launch its new sustainable baler twine with ex Emmerdale actor and farmer Kelvin Fletcher. He described the product as ‘a massive game changer’. “We are all trying to be considerate to the environment but ultimately it has to be a balance of doing that while also being commercially viable.”

Lexi Gildres, marketing manager for Kramp said: “There has been a steady flow of both farmers and dealers which is perfect for our objective of spreading brand awareness. Our clothing merchandise is a key part of our strategy, and it’s has been flying off the shelf. We have been able to reach a lot of people who have never heard of us before.”

The international presence at this year’s show was also notable, and the LAMMA team hosted the AGM for EURASCO, the European Federation of Agricultural Exhibitions and Show Organisers. The meeting brought together 24 members from across Europe, who shared valuable insights and discussed best practices for attracting visitors, exhibitors, and press to events.

LAMMA Live

Adam Henson kicked off the LAMMA Live schedule with his talk ‘Navigating the Agricultural Landscape’, sponsored by LKAB. He outlined the steps he is taking to future proof his own farm and encouraged farmers to embrace new schemes as a means of risk-free management, as well as new technology.

“Technology is absolutely key to what we do; from yield mapping and satellite imagery, to variable rate and soil management. In the 1980s we managed the farm ‘from a bag or a bottle’, now we are working off a huge database of information.

“Most of the public would be amazed if they visited LAMMA today – the industry has come on leaps and bounds with continual technological innovation. Leveraging it has really helped alleviate a lot of the external pressure facing farmers today, a lot of which we very often have little control over.”

Four speakers, including farmers Charles Anyan and Stuart Roberts, discussed the importance of normalising talking about difficulties as part of a FCN panel aimed at improving conversations around mental health. “Everyone has days when they need someone to talk to,” said Charles who is also an ambassador for FCN. “It is difficult to ask for help but so important.”

Another panel – organised by the NFU – led discussions on the role of training in improving farm safety. Consensus was that while training was vital a change in culture was needed to embed safe practices. “Training certainly has an important part to play,” said Marcus Potter, CEO of Lantra. “But actually, most people who get killed or injured have been trained in the technical skills they need but for some reason at that particular time they chose not to do it in the safe way they have been taught.

“This is really about the culture of the industry and unfortunately that is quite a difficult thing to change.”

Focus on careers

The Careers Zone was a new feature this year launched by Jobs in Agriculture. Through its own seminar programme and input from training and employment specialists, the Zone highlighted the wealth of opportunities across the land-based sector and showcased invaluable resources to those looking to start or evolve their career.

Tess Howe, Head of Partnerships at The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH), said: “The Careers Zone at LAMMA was a natural fit for us to introduce our new online service for skills and career development. Being here allowed us a fantastic opportunity to speak face-to-face with farmers and growers about our memberships and what we are working toward at TIAH.”

A UK esports debut

LAMMA also hosted Farming Simulator League’s first ever UK event. It was the ideal venue being a large indoor show, explained Wolfgang Ebert of GIANTS Software. As well as welcoming current gamers, the event aimed to introduce Farming Simulator to a new audience too with opportunities for show visitors to try the game on a variety of consoles, alongside their soon-to-be-released children’s version. “Unlike other gaming genres, Farming Simulator is relaxing to play and encourages teamwork. There are many tasks to complete, but it is easier and more fun if you work together,” said Wolfgang.

The competitive League event saw teams of three people play together to harvest a crop and bale the straw before delivering bales to their barn. “Each delivery to the barn brings points and the team with the highest number of points at the end of the 10-minute game is the winner.” Eight teams took part in the event with the HELM team from Germany being named the winners over semi-final opponent Trelleborg on day two of LAMMA.

For LAMMA Event Director Sarah Whittaker-Smith and the rest of the organising team the highlight of this year’s show was the range and breadth of the exhibitors. “The big-name manufacturers, niche offerings from smaller businesses and the superb line up in the LAMMA Live schedule really hit the spot with visitors. Agricultural businesses are keen to embrace new technology as they move into a new way of farming and manufacturers are stepping up their offers to help them meet the challenges.

“We look forward to building on this success next year when we return to the NEC for LAMMA 2025 on 15th and 16th January.”

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