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Warwick Crop Centre Joins Historic Tractor Parade

Warwick Crop CentreStaff and students from the University of Warwick Crop Centre in the School of Life Sciences, took part in the ‘70 tractors for 70 years’ Massey Ferguson procession organised by Coventry Transport Museum on Saturday 30 July.

Five tractors from the Warwick Crop Centre travelled 17 miles from the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus to Millennium Place in Coventry to take part in the procession which was led by the Mayor of Coventry.

The Warwick Crop Centre’s involvement in the procession was a show of support and a celebration of the long standing history the University of Warwick has with Massey Ferguson.

The parade celebrated the 70th anniversary of the start of production of the iconic Ferguson TE20 tractor. In July 1946, the first Ferguson TE20 tractor rolled off the assembly line at its former Banner Lane manufacturing plant in Coventry in the UK. The tractor was the invention of engineer, Harry Ferguson, a founder of the present-day Massey Ferguson, one of the world’s foremost producers of farm machinery for global markets.

The history of the University of Warwick and Massey Ferguson dates back to 1946 when Harry Ferguson himself would test drive the tractors on Tocil farmland, where the University now stands.

The history does not stop there. The National Vegetable Research Station was established in Wellesbourne in 1949 where the University of Warwick’s Crop Centre is now located and Massey Ferguson tractors have been an essential part of the vegetable research work that is carried out at the Warwick Crop Centre to this day.

Warwick Crop Centre, Ropsemary CollierDr Rosemary Collier, Director of Warwick Crop Centre said:

“At Warwick Crop Centre we undertake a wide variety of field trials focused on the future production of food, particularly vegetables, in a sustainable manner. Most of these trials are quite complex, and at a small-scale, and our range of small Massey Ferguson tractors, some of which we have had for many years, do a great job in this respect. Being manually operated and with a diverse range of equipment attachments, the small 60hp models are absolutely ‘fit for purpose’.

Sebastian Fairhead, PhD student at the Warwick Crop Centre said:

“Massey Ferguson tractors have played an active role on our family farm for the last 70 years. I am now a PhD student based at Warwick Crop Centre, and it’s great to see these fantastic machines being used at the forefront of agricultural research.”

“We are thrilled that Warwick Crop Centre was able to join this magnificent tractor pageant and celebrate the heritage of Massey Ferguson with us,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services Europe/Africa/Middle East. “The Centre’s long-term relationship with the brand is highly valued and we are delighted that our machinery continues to play a key role in the important research work at Wellesbourne.”

The University of Warwick is a centre of excellence for research on food and the security of our food supply in future. The centre works mainly on vegetable crops with an emphasis on the production of high quality crops whilst minimising the adverse effects of crop production on the environment. The centre’s experimental research is undertaken on crops under glasshouse and field conditions. Research areas include crop improvement, pest and disease control including biological control, soil health and the health of honeybees.


Notes for editors:

High res images:

The University of Warwick is a centre of excellence for research on food and the security of our food supply in future:

One area of research and teaching excellence is in crop science. Led by the School of Life Sciences:

The Wellesbourne Campus is home to the UK Vegetable Gene Bank:

The School has PhD students who work on crop science –

The Warwick Crop Centre runs the following taught Masters courses:

MSc Biotechnology, Bioprocessing and Business Management 
MSc Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate
MSc Food Security
MSc Sustainable Crop Production: Agronomy for the 21st Century


Alex Buxton

Communications Manager
Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166