This month we welcome Peter Love to Smallholder magazine with his new tractor column called 'Down the Track.'

Peter is well known in the tractor world having created over the past 20 years a raft of best selling magazines including Tractor & machinery and Classic Tractor to name but two. Today he writes across 20 titles and regularly travels with his tour company (P & J Tours) to Europe and North America and will even be going to New Zealand for the 2010 World Ploughing Championships in April.

I was at the Farm Progress Show near Springfield, Illinois, USA in late August, which was by far the largest working agricultural machinery show in 2009. It's a stunning place and I was at last able to get my hands on the new retro styled CNH (Case New Holland) Boomer 8N.

It's playing on the back of the 1948 Ford 8N, so to speak, of which remarkably 500,000 had been made by 1952 when production stopped.The first two prototypes of the 8N were being completed as Henry Ford sadly passed away on April 7 1947; he was three months short of his 84th birthday.

The 8N was to be the first tractor that solely featured his name on the front even though he had been producing tractors so successfully since 1917. The Fordson MOM arrived on our shores on 4 December of that year, and was to revolutionize tractor design in a similar way to the 1908 Model T Ford.

The line of the 8N went back to 1939 and the Ford Ferguson 9N, inevitably these two great pioneers Ford and Ferguson had split after World War Two and were to be in litigation shortly, which is a story for another time.

The 'new' 1948 tractor was painted in an attractive livery with the castings and wheels red, and the panels light grey.

Equipped with the Ferguson System three-point hitch that had the addition of 'Position Control' on the hydraulics and a new 4-speed transmission, more power was extracted from the side-valve four-cylinder 23bhp.

This model was destined to become the top-selling individual tractor of all time in North America and was sold in some numbers to the Republic of Ireland.

Called the 'Red Belly' by the farmers CNH have not picked up on this with the Boomer 8N that was introduced in March 2009, and has been trickling slowly through to dealers.

The power has certainly increased from 1948 with 50 engine hp and 40pto hp on tap through the continuously variable transmission (CVT). With its foot throttle on the right in no time I was sitting in the very comfortable driver's seat, there was no clutch or gear lever to press.

Looking to the consol on the left and having decided to select the middle range and gears I pressed the appropriate buttons and we were away.

The exclusive SuperSteer front wheel drive axle gives the Boomer a neat turning circle that's said to be 50 per cent less than others and feels very light indeed.

Fitted with variable four-wheel drive, which I am not always a fan of, the Sensitrak system automatically engages and disengages depending on the surface.

I tried to trick it on my test but the Bommer would not have any of it.

The hydraulic levers are well placed with 540rpm on the pto and will be ideal for all types of arable work from cutting the paddock to cultivating it.

However this stocky tractor has got a punch to it and is offered from the 20hp 1020 to the 60hp 4060. Besides the retro styling of the 8N Boomer it's also available in New Holland blue and black styling and livery with the SuperSuite cab.

After my drive I was nothing but impressed, however I would have liked to have tried it in other situations to draw a proper conclusion. Will the 2009 Boomer 8N be around in 61 years time like the Ford 8N still is?

I am not so sure on that one. Something I do know you can buy a fully reconditioned 8N straight out the box from the USA today.

Smallholder Tractor Helpline If you need any help with buying and selling a tractor old and new, particularly with regard to its value, Peter Love spends many hours at tractor auctions throughout the world and is delighted to advise readers, telephone 01323 833125.