Agricultural Machinery (Industrial Report) - UK - January 2014
The market for agricultural machinery can be broadly segmented between tractors, trailers and other agricultural equipment. The range of other agricultural equipment is extensive including mobile machinery, such as combine harvesters and mowing equipment; static machinery, including milking equipment, produce conveyors and grain dryers; and trailed equipment such as ploughs, sprayers, harrows and balers. For the purposes of this report, handling equipment and tools such as fork lift trucks, diggers and chainsaws are excluded from the analysis of the market.
The UK agricultural sector is well developed and expenditure on automation and equipment has traditionally been relatively high. Indeed, employment in the sector has declined by over 20% between 1993 and 2006, reflecting the growing levels of automation in the industry. In recent years the employment level within the agricultural sector has remained relatively stable, with the total labour force at commercial agricultural holdings being reported at 481,000 in 2012, representing a decline of 10,000 compared with 2006. The climate and topography of the UK lends itself to two distinct types of farming:
- Pastoral farming (the use of grass pasture for livestock rearing) is found in areas of higher rainfall and among the hills, predominantly to the North and West of the UK.
- Arable farming (land that can be ploughed to grow crops) is concentrated in the South and East of the UK where the climate is drier and soils are deeper.
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