Challenger Testimonials

Two winners in the UK’s prestigious Farmers Weekly Awards are major users of Challenger equipment.

Andrew Gloag, who operates Challenger tracked tractors for all his cultivation and drilling, was named Arable Farmer of the Year, while Martin Barker, a Challenger TerraGator user took the Pig Farmer of the Year award.

“Our warmest congratulations go to Andrew and Martin for their achievements,” comments Andy Sturrock, Manager Product Marketing, Challenger. “These are two highly-professional operators who use Challenger equipment to help ensure maximum efficiency and productivity for their businesses.”

Operating in Yorkshire in the northeast of England, Arable Farmer of the Year, Andrew Gloag uses a pair of Challenger tractors – an MT 875B and MT 765B. He crops around 1850 ha under contract-farming arrangements. Winter wheat and oil-seed rape account for some 60% of the area.

In 2007, he and an agronomy supplies business set up a joint venture offering contract spraying and spreading. All equipment, carefully costed, is on rolling hire purchase agreement to ease budgeting.

The full story can be downloaded hereTop Award Winners Drive Challenger

“We aim to provide a profitable way forward for smaller farms, which perhaps they cannot do in their own right,” Andrew says. The key to his high output is timeliness using Sumo non-inversion equipment to prepare seedbeds and sowing with a Vaderstad drill. “Getting the job done, with the right machinery at the right time is the most important, indeed, defi ning factor in the success of all farming operations today,” Andrew explains. “If you do not establish the crop at the right time on our soils it will never, ever recover.”

“The latest and cost-effective technology allows us, and our farming partners, to benefit from the economies of large scale farming while maintaining yields and improving efficiency,” he adds. Pig Farmer of the Year, Martin Barker, Managing Director of Midland Pig Producers from Staffordshire in central England has created a revolutionary ‘ideal pig housing template’ which could eventually be adopted by pig producers across the country.

Currently the business consists of 3000 sows across seven farms which Martin plans to transform into high-welfare, low- environmental impact and odourless facilities. The first new 2500-sow site contains innovative underground anaerobic digesters, high-welfare housing developed with welfare groups and an on-farm feed mill where local farmers are provided with seed and fertiliser on a buy-back contract.

The Challenger TerraGator spreads all the pig muck produced by the enterprise – approximately 170,000 gallons (642,600 litres) per day. “In spring, we use the TerraGator with a 12m dribble bar on barley and rape, applying at a rate of 3000 gallons an acre (33,686 litres/ha) which is equivalent to 60-70 units of nitrogen per acre (144-168 units per hectare),” explains John Hutchinson, Farm Manager at Midland Pig Producers. “In autumn, we inject the slurry with a 6m injector.”

The TerrraGator travels from farm to farm to fulfil its role, moving between Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire and Staffordshire.

“The TerraGator gives us high output, helps minimise soil compaction and allows us to spread at times when it wouldn’t be possible with a tractor and tanker,” adds John.

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