The 2012 Vintage Ploughing Match was held at Easton Royal this year

PUBLISHED: 16:11 12 December 2012 | UPDATED: 22:29 20 February 2013

The 2012 Vintage Ploughing Match was held at Easton Royal this year

The 2012 Vintage Ploughing Match was held at Easton Royal this year

The ploughing match is an annual event organised by the Wiltshire Agricultural Preservation Group (who also run the Wiltshire Steam and Vintage Rally at Rainscombe Park, Oare in June every year).

Perfect ploughing


The 2012 Vintage Ploughing Match was held at Easton Royal this year

Photos Nigel Banks

The ploughing match is an annual event organised by the Wiltshire Agricultural Preservation Group (who also run the Wiltshire Steam and Vintage Rally at Rainscombe Park, Oare in June every year). Local farmers host the match on their land, and this year enthusiasts demonstrated their skills at Easton Royal near Pewsey, courtesy of the Cooper family.
Approximately 40 tractors from the 1950s to the 1980s took part in four classes: horticultural (single-furrow ploughs), two-furrow hydraulic, three- and four-furrow hydraulic, and trailed sections.
The participants had to plough a marked-out plot of land and were judged on the quality of the seedbed they created. Marks were awarded based on the straightness of their furrows, whether they had ploughed at the right depth, and at a consistent depth.
All stubble and rubbish had to be covered over and notisible, and the whole plot had to be even, uniform and tidy, a bit like when you dig your own garden. The plot should basically be ready for the next piece of cultivation equipment.
Really good ploughing with this older equipment is a true artform that takes years of practice to perfect. The importance of the skills exhibited should not be underestimated (particularly when these ploughs and tractors were in regular use) as great ploughing makes subsequent cultivation easier and more efficient. Elements such as the depth of a furrow and consistency helps to maximise crop yield, a critical consideration.

The Wiltshire Agricultural Preservation Group was established to stimulate interest in all agricultural machinery and related items aged 25 years or over, and to encourage their collection, restoration and preservation. The group provides advice to its members on restoration, so if you would like to become a member, see wapg.co.uk.

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