ROUND-TABLE: MACHINE HARVESTERS
M. Kinsella: Thanks, Mike. I don't know how we're going to go this morning because we've got two 'defecto'. Irishmen on the platform. But what we're going to do for a start is to ask each of the processors, each of the manufactureurs of harvesting machinery to tell us a little bit about where they've got in recent times in the production of their particular machines. And I think that we'll start of with Portugal. And I'll ask Graca to say a few words.
O. Graça: Mr. President: ladies and gentlemen. I have a very short introduction to the Portuguese machine. The Portuguese machine was born according to specifications from the METI group which, in 1975, asked for the construction of a prototype, and later on the possibilities of going ahead with the production of machines which should fulfill the needs of the Portuguese exploitations, and sonehow to also meet the needs of some European countries. Therefore it should be a medium-capacity machine, capable of going up to one and a half hectares per day. A highly manoeu vrable machine - that means that it should move very easily in small land plots and make very sharp corners among the rows. To comply with the very difficult land-plots of small areas. At the same time, and of course, indeed because of this it should be a light, compact design, enabling the machine to move very quickly from one land-plot to another, and also to be able to travel on roads without special escort requirements, at least according to Portuguese laws. And the dimensions were, of course, due to these limitations, kept to a minimum, especially in the width.
The machines should be able to travel on very narrow and difficult roads, with access to the fields and should also have quick loading onto common transport lorries. Therefore the total wight should not exceed something like 6 tons.
One of the features which was very important, according to this specification, was that the machine should be very rapidly into operation. That means arriving at the land-plot, it should be immediately put into operation without any loss of time. And the same in the case of with drawing the machine from the land-plot and moving it form one to another - either very near or somewhat separated - that means direct-driving on the roads or land, or loaded onto a truck.