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On-board handling on sea

Correct on-board handling is essential if quality of the final product is to meet with requirements of the UK market.
Unnecessary harsh treatment of the raw material should be avoided, because it causes various kinds of defects such as gaping and bruising.

on-board handling

Volume in each haul should therefore be kept at reasonable amounts, the use of seawater to retrieve fish from the live-hold should be kept at a minimum, conveyor belts should be designed so that fish is not subjected to unnecessary drop and fish should never be thrown or dropped from great height into tubs.
Blood is a good nutrition for bacteria and reduces therefore shelf life of the catch; it also affects the collar of the fillets resulting in lower value products.  Draining as much blood as possible from the flesh of the fish is therefore very important.  Bleeding preferably needs to take place while the fish is still „alive“, in order to allow the heart to pump as much blood as possible out of the veins.

The throat of the fish is cut as high up as possible, through the oesophagus and all the way through the jugulars on each side of the spine.  It though should be avoided to cut through the spine.
If the catch is also gutted on-board, the belly is carefully slit all the way down to the cloacae, without damaging the entrails.  A cut that is either too long or to short is considered a defect, because a cut that is too short makes it difficult to clean the fish properly and the ventricle can retain fluids that causes spoilage; a cut that is too long opens an access for microbes into the flesh, damages the appearance of the fillet and makes it difficult to feed the fish into a filleting machine.  It is important not to damage the entrails because gastric secretions, half digested food, ruptured gall bladder and bowel can cause damage if the fish is not cleaned properly.  It can also damage by-products such as liver, roes, milts etc.


Remove all of the entrails without damaging the fish and then wash the fish thoroughly before chilling and storing in the hold.  When removing the entrails, make sure not to cut into or tear up the flesh around the collarbone.
Washing tubs should have adequate throughput of fresh seawater, should not be overfilled with fish and each fish should spend enough time in the tub to bleed and be thoroughly cleaned.

Under best available condition 3-5 minutes should be enough, but that time needs to be increased if seawater replacement is not quick enough or if the tub is overfilled.
Pre-chilling tanks are increasingly being used on-board vessels that supply the UK with container fish.

These tanks are filled up with seawater and slurry ice, and each fish is kept in the tank for approximately 40 minutes.  This enables fishermen to severally shorten the time it takes for the fish to reach optimum temperature, thus increasing the shelf life of the final product.  It is important to wash the fish thoroughly before it enters the pre-chilling tank, as the pre-chilling tank is not supposed to replace the washing tub.

When the fish comes out of the pre-chilling tank its core-temperature should be around 0°C.  Then the fish is ready to be put on ice in tubs, down in the hold.

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Bibs that take a beating

Canadian company brings  bibs to a new market

What does it mean when a manufacturer says its foul-weather gear is incredibly durable ? For Climate Technical Gear it means you can attack the fabric used for a coat or bib pants with an electric palm powder sander with course grit , a power drill with a steel wire wheel , an electric drill with a brass wire brush , then ending up , with an oyster knife , and it won´t be a problem .


You can watch that taking place on a video shown on Climate Technical Gear´s website .Then water is poured over the layers of fabric to indicate all that abuse has not caused any tears in the material .It´s why Clinton Desveaux , global sales manager for Climate Technical Gear  has no problem saying :” the product is incredibly tough .If you are hauling wire traps or are getting stuff with barnacles on it , it doesn´t rip or tear .”

Climate Technical Gear is a Canadian company based in Dartmouth,Nova Scotia.It ´s been in business for over 30 years but only in the last fiver years has is turned its attention to manufacturing and marketing marine foul weather gear under the name Sevæn.In that time , just one item has been returned , due to what Desveaux says ” a defect in the manufacturing process .”

Climate Technical Gear started marketing the Sevæn brand to fishermen in the United States this past January , with most of the effort in the North-east , from Maine to New Jersey .

The top of the Sevæn line is the Industrial Deluxe Jacket and Industrial Basic Bib Pant , which feature a tip-stop  420D nylon outer shell with polyurethane-coated polyster knit waterproof fabric .

On the jacket  are neoprene cuffs and a detachable lime colored hood , which makes you visible when working on deck or if you end up in the water .The inside lining is waterproof , and there´s an inside snapped storm flap .The buckles on this bib pants are good to minus 30 degrees Celsius .


Both the jacket and bib pants are made up of layers .”That creates an air pocket  that runs up and down the jacket and bib that keeps you cool ,” says Desveaux .”If you don´t have that air pocket you start to sweat like crazy .”

“Customizing for big guys is available ” , says Desveaux , “and we also do women cuts .”The jacket is priced at $235.99 and the bib pants are $142.99 .

For more informations , visit their website :

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Growth manipulating fungicide helps OSR survive biblical floods

Manipulating oilseed rape canopies through the season using fungicides and attention to detail is the key to boosting yields .Gross margins are so tight now that crops cannot be left to compensate poor establishment and will need more management input if the crop is to remain economically viable .



These are the comments of arable farm manager David Fuller of McGregor Farms , a 320ha family business based in Coldstream , who despite atrocius weather conditions last year , managed to produce a satisfactory margin from a crop of Incetintive oilseed rape that spent more time of the winter period under water than above it .

“Investing in a robust fungicide programme where products are selected for disease control as much as crop manipulation will continue to play a key role in our management strategy based on our experiences last year ” , he says.

Oilseed rape has become an increasingly important break crop for the business with 560ha now being grown .

“We don´t have blackgrass up here yet so delayed drilling isn´t such an issue for us , but limited drilling days are , so we have to get one crop off and the land prepared for the next one in a short time window “, says Mr Fuller .

Autumn establishement is key and the plan is to drill low seed rates – around 40 seeds/m2 – aiming for about 25 plants /m2 by the spring .

Up until now , Mr Fuller has applied his first light leaf spot spray based on prothioconazole or tebuconazole , depending in the need for growth regulation , by late October to early November .On very forward crops the preference would be tebuconazole having greater growth regulatory effects than prothioconazole .On crops where establishment would benefit from a boost to vigour , the product of choice is Refinzar (penthiopyrad +picoxystrobin ) at the same timing .The Refinzar not only has activity on ligh leaf spot but also has the added benefit of increasing root mass.

“Refinzar was used last year in a five hectare field trial running alongside the River Tweed ” , explains Mr Fuller .”It was the last field drilled using a variety called Incentive at a seed rate of 440ppm2 in good conditions on August 28th.Spray timing was early November”.

Crop under water for days


What proceeded thereafter was a prolonged period of torrential rain on nothing short of biblical proportions .As Mr Fuller esplains ,the trial plot established well and by early December was at the eight leaf stage .But , on December 5th after heavy rain the Tweed burst its banks leaving the crop six feet under water for three days .

Four further floods with the crop under water for four days on each occasion and he feared for the worst .Boxing Day saw the biggest flood .

“I was surprised that anything survived to be honest ” , says Mr Fuller .”The crop looked awful with plants covered in mud and silt and only the green point of the plant left , but the Refinzar treated plot did have big roots “.

Mr Fuller explains that last year was not a particulary bad season for disease , probably because the crop spent large periods under water and most of the plants had been defoiliated from the flooding .

“However , the oilseed rape was quite last coming into flower too and with the variety Incentive only scroring a six for light leaf spot , it needed the Refinzar to give it some additional disease control ” , he says .”The results speak for themselves and where crops will benefit from a boost to establishment in the autumn we will be using Refinzar simply because the extra rooting in addition to light leaf spot control are reason enough to include it as part of the oilseed rape fungicide strategy ” , explains Mr Fuller .

“On more forward crops , if necessary , we will go with tebuconazole in the spring using half leaf spot and if we want to manipulate growth then we might use a higher rate .”

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Fungicide benefits to aid OSR establishment

Poor nutrient availability and cold soils are a common occurence in parts of Scotland , and both can have a significant detrimental impact on oilseed rape yields according to AICC agronomist and farmer George Green . Independent trials however , show that fungicides could hold the key to unlocking nutrients and helping crops establishment.


Growing 220ha of cereals including winter wheat and barley , oilseed rape and spring barley in his own right in Aberdeenshire , as well as overseeing a further 1600ha , Mr Green is using his experience to harness the benefits of fungicides alongside rotations and cultivations .

“Oilseed rape is the key break crop in this area without question ” , he says .”This far north there is not much else we can grow .Potatoes and spring barley are an option for some ,but our soil types tend to suit oilseed rape better and it provides an early entry for first wheat .”

Oilseed rape establishment is critical and the cut off date for this is early October , he says .The key is to produce a crop with good strong growth habit but is also well rooted .

Maximising yield


Oilseed rape fungicide trials carried out last year concluded that boosting root mass is as important as controlling diseases , and achieving both gives a rop the best chance of reaching maximising yield and quality potential .

Last  autumn was wet and warm which excerbated a light leaf spot problem and set the scene for an interesting trial .Varieties in the trial were both hybrids – Mentor and Archimedes – alongside convetional cultivras which contained the untreaded area .

The trial plot was drilled on August 29th with a  Horsch disc drill after ploughing at a seed rate of 30 ppm2 and at 260cm spacing .Pre-emergence herbicide Butisan at 11/ha and Centium at 0.51 /ha (applied 24 hours after drilling ) took control of AMG and broadleaved weeds.On October 31st plots were sprayed with either Proline 0.51/ha or Refinzar at 0.5 and 11/ha for light leaf spot along with Kerb for brome and wild oat control .The whole plot was also treated with 31kg/ha of slug pellets at emergence .

The trial plots received a full nutritional programme based on 150kg/ha of DAP (18:46:0) at drilling ;135kg/ha of 0:0:60 (muriate of potash) in the spring ;and 200kgN/ha in season including 65 kg/ha SO3.

Despite the very wet conditions all imputs were applied on time .

Refinzar improved root growth

Individual plots were dug up in mid December – about 6 weeks after spraying .Mr Green says that visually the Proline treated plots were shorter and bushier , suggesting a slight PGR effect , while the Refinzar plots expressed a stronger growth habit , especially underground where root mass was more dense and lateral roots more significant .

“What we found under the ground had no bearing to what was going on above ground ” , he says .”The Refinzar treated plants had much more roots mass and appeared to have channeled growth into rooting .There were a lot of small fibrous roots too , not just a large tap root .With our challenging conditions  and even in the absence of disease risk the higher rate Refinzar will be my first choice autumn fungicide , especially on late drilled and backwards crops .This leaved open the option of using prothiconazole treatements in the spring to help tidy up late light leaf spot infection .” Continue reading Fungicide benefits to aid OSR establishment

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6 Series Deutz Fahr tractor facts


Headline improvements to the 6 Series ´TCD 6.1 engine have to be the constant torque and power figures.A new torque curve offers almost peak torque on the 6215 model from 1,100 -1,900 rpm .Constant power also spawns 1,600 -2,100 rpm.

6 Series

Avoiding getting hot under the collar and to improve maintenance , the manufacturer has redeloped the ooling package .It is now of aluminium construction , creating a greater radiant capacity , folding outwards and upwards in a fan shape , allowing greater access between cores.In addition , a new electronically-controlled viscous fan affords on-demand cooling , avoiding excessive use of power .

For emissions clean-up , the new motor uses all the tricks in the box to meet Stage 4 standards , including exhaust gas recirculation , a diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction using diesel exhaust fluid.


Sporting the fourth evolution of the firm´s MaxiVision cab , four specification variants are avilable : M, which features a large proportion of mechanical control including transmission and spools ;A ,which uses a new joystick -mounted armrest for transmission control ;AH , which gets the full -fat armrest controls with electric spools ; and TTV -spec , which comes with continuously variable transmission tractors .

For extra tractor fuctionality and the addition of precision farming features , Deutz Fahr ´s touch -screen iMonitor can be specified .A top-spec 12in version offers guidance ,IsoBus and section and variable rate control .

Offering the same user interface as the larger screen 8in version will also be available .All models are AgroSky ready which allows fleet management and file transfer , for example .

Taken from the 9 Series tractors , a new dash offers a clearer and more comprehensive view of information facilitated by the use of a colour LCD screen .

6 Series facts :

Number of models : six

Power range :156-212hp

Transmission options :PS manual powershift ,RC Shift automated powershift,TTV continuously variable transmission

Hydraulics :84-170 litres /minute ,depending on model .

Rear linkage capacity :9,200- 10,000 kg

Front linkage capacity :4,110-5,480 kg

Availability :Orders are being taken now

Prices :TBA

For more informations about tractors , combines and tools check their website :

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Deutz Fahr tractors are lean mean machines

A dusty field in Dresden provided the backdrop to Deutz Fahr´s latest product launch , which included new and updated 6 and 7 Series tractors


More than just an engine update to meet the latest round of emission legislation ,Deutz Fahr has been busy fettling its six-cylinder 6 Series tractors and given them a comprehensive overhaul .A completely new transmision , front suspension design and a new integated front linkage are just a few areas in which the Lauingen engineeers have been busy.

Comprising six main models , spanning 156-212 hp , the series gains three extra models to cater for the diverse customer base in the power bracket .


Deutz Fahr

In addition ,the modular design and build concept of this series reflects the wide specification levels this tractor has to meet .According to the manufacturer , this allows customers to better tailor tractors to their requirements.


It is the transmission departament which sees the lion´s share of change .Working with long -time transmission partener ZF , the 6 Series can now be specified with a brand new, five-range , six powershift  transmission , offering 30 forward gears and 15 reverse.


Two specification levels of transmission are available .Entry level PS spec uses a mechanical lever to change range and buttons to switch powershifts , while the new RC Shift option uses a joystick to change gear and allows full automation of transmission .

RC Shift can be operated using one of three driving modes:manual , semi-auto or fully automatic .Start-up gears can also be programmed , a working range of gears can be selected and transmission can be limited to just automatically changing within a range .

As before , Deutz´s TTV continuously variable transmission is still available .

Deutz Fahr is a brand that invests a lot of energy and talent in their technology .The goal of the Deutz Fahr is to supply the farmer with the necesary tools and to be able to have a beautiful crop at the end of the season .


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iXdrive 5240 specification

The Vicon iXdrive 5240 is a revolutionary machine for the agriculture , read more about  specification ,technical news and more

iXdrive 5240


Boom widths available include aluminium versions from 24-30 metres folding in two sections , or triple -fold steel booms up to 40 m.

Our test machine was equipped with a 36 m steel variant .Building on the suspension effect  of the rear axle , furher boom suspesion comes from a parrallelogram linkage.Lateral and yaw stability is then maintained using shock absorbers and buffers .In addition , the firm´s Boom Guide Active Roll system uses sensors positioned on the outer wings and centre section to automatically control boom height .Each wing will independetely adjust working height to follow contours .

Its hybrid sensors can also recognise laid crop , and rather than the boom automatically lowering at this point , it will maintain height .During out stint , boom respounse was good and remained composed at all times , although perhaps some more taxing topography may prove otherwise.

Standard fitment

Pentajet five-way nozzles are standard fitment .As yet , there is no automatic nozzle selection , but the firm is working on this with its GeoSpray system .Application rates are about  400litres/hectares at 16 kph (10mph) or 600 litres/ha at 11 kph (7mph) , for example .

With a full spray tank  and booms folded out , it is said weight distribution is 50:50 between the two axles , changing to 51:49  when empty .


Positioned just behind the cab is a Stage 4-compliant Perkins engine .While its position affords good access and a clean airflow to the motor ,fan noise through the rear of the cab is noticeable.It is not so much the volume , which is actually relatively quiet , but the harshness of noise which gets to you .Thicker rear glass and about 200 operating rpm less would go a long way to alleviate the problem .


Working revs are about 2,000 rpm.The machine could work at lower revs , but systems such as boom guidance need recalibrating to match lower revs.During work ,a manual cruise control speed can be sent via a dial .Essentially , it provides a top spped limit which the machine cannot exceed , no matter how far you push the drive lever .Poclain wheel motors take care of the drive .Using direct drive instead of reduction hubs , speed change is responsive and torque transfer is said to be more efficient .It also means wheel motors are relatively compact – leg covers are on option.

Hydraulic braking

About 90% of the time , hydraulic braking provided by the transmission will suffice .Should the situation require ,dustbin lid-sized disc brakes can be used.Based on the number of face prints on the front windscreen , they do work well .


Catering to the fast spraying market , a rigid front axle , which pivots in the middle , uses swing arm suspension dampened by hydraulic accumulators .To reduce vertical movements at the rear , the rear axle is mounted on a trailing A-frame , which pivots around a forward -mounted centre pivot point .

Overall result

iXdrive 5240

The overall result is a front-end which is firmly planted to allow high cornering speeds with minimal roll , and a rear which is fluid enough to absorb lumps and bumps and reduce shock load transfer to the boom .On this machine , track width is adjustable from 1,8 metres to 2 m , controlled from in the cab.

In addition ,track widths can be independentely offset between front and rear axles to reduce compaction.

With a 1.3m ground clearance and clean underside , crop snagging should be kept to a minimum .The only thing dangling is the induction pipe .

iXdrive 5240 specification

Spray tank capacity :5,000 litres

Spray pack :Twin , 260 litres/min Altek pumps ,iXflow recirculation ,iXclean rinsing.

Boom:36 metre steel

Engine : 240hp, Stage 4 -compliant Perkins

Transmission :Twin range hydrostatic , 0-20 kph , 0-40 kph

Steering :Three -mode (crab ,front -wheel , all -wheel)

Suspension: Hydro-pneumatic

Price : £ 230,000 on farm

iXdrive is a good choice for you and for your land !


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Can Vicon´s new iXdrive compete ?

Representing a re-entry into the self -propelled spayer market , we were keen to get under the skin of the new Vicon iXdrive and find out more


It has been 10 years since Vicon offered a self-propelled sprayer in the UK , the last beaing its Rau Ibis .

However , with an ambition to complete its sprayer range and get into new markets , the firm is back with all the new iXdrive.But rather than start from scratch , Vicon recognised the potential in a concept origianlly developed by a Dutch sprayer dealer ,famed for building specials.As a result , a collaboration was set up and the iXdrive  was born .

Based on a skid unit from Italian manufacturer Mazzotti , the rest of the machine is made up of well-known , tried and tested components , including Vicon´s own spray pack .


Three models currently make up the range , with 4,000 -5,000 and 6,000-litre tank cappacities , all with 240hp. A 180hp ,4.000 -litre machine is also still to come , sharing the same chassis as the more powerful machines , but fitted with smaller wheels .

To get better acquainted with the iXdrive , we test drove the 5240.

To see the iXdrive in action , visit .

Filling station


At the heart of the iXdrive is Vicon´s own top spec filling station .Controlled from the cab or externally , it should be familiar to any Vicon sprayer user , but is intuitive enough to soon fathom and features all filling points in one convenient spot – automatic filling and cleaning systems , turbo agitation and filter cleaning .

Cleverly , tank level indicators , rather than flow meters , are used to control filling .These also take into account the amount of chemical which has been inducted into the main tank ,preventing over-filling .A smart touch is a clear bowl on the suction filter , letting you see what is going on .

For cleaning , the firm´s iXclean Pro system takes about eight minutes to complete its three cycles  activated by the touch of a button , resulting in less than 1% chemical residues , claims the manufacturer .A brace of hydraulically-driven Altek piston pumps provide 520 litres /min capacity , affording a 10 -minute filling time for the iXdrive 5240.Pleasingly ,access to both sides of the pumps are good thanks to swing-out valves.

In addition , with all valves and pumps placed in close proximity on one side of the machine , pipework is kept relatively short .

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Case IH ,new innovation

Case IH ,new chopper unit addresses residue mangement issues

With the aim of improving residue management ,Case IH has teamed up with Canadian firm Redekop to offer an optional straw chopping and spreading unit for its range of large 240 series combines .

Case IH

Particulary spurred on by the use of larger headers ,farmers are demanding a more even spread pattern and better quality of chop , says Case IH´s harvest product marketing manager Paul Freeman .

“Ideally ,the outer layer of cellulose needs to be broken down to expose more of the inside of the crop .This enables bugs and the weather to break it down quicker .This doesn´t necessarily require the finest chop , but the crop does need to be lacerated sufficiently to break it down from inside out .In addition , an even spread is required to avoid lumps which can encourage slugs and block up cultivators and drills “.

Under pressure

While Case IH´s current chopping and spinning disc spreading unit has choped so far , the firm says it was under pressure to come up with a solution more suited to its wider headers and customer requirements.

Redekop is that solution , which has been making aftermarket chopper /spreading units for several types of combines for 25 years in North America .

To tailor its design to suit European conditions and user requirement ,Case IH has spent two years developing Redekop´s Maximum Air Velocity (MAV) model .

Mr Freeman says :”While Case IH would prefer to produce its own solution , with low initial volume requirements it makes more sense for us to outsource it at this stage .”

Combine adaptations

At the combine end , the rear of the machine has been altered so it is ready to carry MAV unit .”It means a customer can spec the chopping unit and know it will fit ” , says Mr Freeman .The combine´s integral straw chopper is still retained but with the knives only 25 % engaged for a bit of pre-chop , useful for “green” crops says the manufacturer.

Power consumption is said to be similar to the standard system , at about 9 hp , and Case IH claims; because air is “scavenged ” out of the combine , cleaning performance is improved thanks to the reduction in back pressure .For access to the sieves , the entire chopping unit can be rolled back via a rack and pinion system .

At the moment , the MAV choppers are dealer fitted with all superfluous bits removed .”If volumes pick up ,it could become a factory fit option .”

The MAV unit is available from next year .Retail price for the option is £ 20,000 .


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Maize and Soybeans


The USDA August 12 crop report raised US maize yields to a record level of 175 bushels/acre (110t/ha) , a figure which is 4% higher than the trend.Global production is therefore up by almost 20 mt .The ProFarmer crop tour will paint a more accurate picture of the scale of the US harvest .


In Europe ,drought conditions continue in France and eastern Europe , with non-irrigated maize suffering even more .Irrigation limits will also reduce the yield potential of irrigated maize , even though the critical pollination phase is over .

The price of European maize  is unlikely to be affected by the excellent production in the USA.This is because the EU must import 13 mt of maize this year and US maize is GM, meaning very little will be imported.

Keep an eye on wheather conditions in the EU  and the outcome of the ProFarmer crop tour in the USA.



An increase in demand , and the weather , are supporting US beans .Soybean prices have been treding up on the Chicago exchage thanks to an increase in export demand and the development of weather risks .With regard to the old campaign , the US crushing figures published by NOPA show a slight fall in bean crushing activity during July to 3.91 mt , 1% down on June 2016 .This confirms the protein market is normalising in the USA.This also seems to be the case on the international market , as shipments and export sales of soya meal from the USA are trending down .

Nonetheless , given the good crushing margins for soybeans in the USA ,China and Europe , bean crushing activity is likely to remain stable over the next few months .

On the export market ,however , US soybeans are still great in demand .Given South American availability is low ,the USA is still the only source which is able to supply the international market .Incidentally ,the USDA has revised its export target up to 51.2 mt , an increase of 1.8 mt , for the 2015/2016 campaign .

With regard to the new campaign , wheater conditions in the USA are still generally favourable .On August 19 , the USDA revised its US production estimate up , to 110 .5 mt , thanks notably to a rise in yield to 48.9bu/acre (30t/ha), an increase of 1.8 bu/acre (1.1t/ha) on June .

Nonetheless , we note a few risks :  an ongoing and marked rainfall deficit in the Midwest , and heavy rain in the southern states near the gulf of the Mississipi .This region , however , accounts for less than 1% of the USA´s production estimate  to 110mt , given these ongoing and slight risks for yields .

Watch out for La Nina and US weather , US exports and port bases , together with international demand.