Bumper harvest

Last year was a record for US agriculture: average crop prices were the highest ever, bolstering the growing economies of Midwest states and sending net farm income up 28 per cent to $100.9bn. This pushed the value of farmland to a record high – across the Midwest it has almost doubled since 2009. Carlos Slim, George Soros and the Qatar Royal Family are all investing in farmland around the world. The National Farm Machinery Show in Kentucky had a record turnout this year.

Best in show: top tractors

1. Claas Jaguar 950: a forage harvester with an intelligent management system that makes for highly economic chopping.
2. New Holland PowerStar T4 and TS series: an all-round compact utility tractor that is good for loading hay and cutting (and even snow-blowing) with ergonomically designed controls.
3. John Deere’s Gator 550-S4: the company’s first four-seater utility vehicle.
4. Kubota RTV series: recreational vehicles for getting around on 25 horsepower, which fit in the back of a pick-up truck.

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