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High horsepower festivities enjoyed by Essex, Cambs and Suffolk farmers

More than 100 farmers from Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire attended a pre-Christmas high-horsepower tractor and combine harvester event arranged by Ernest Doe Power.

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An evening dedicated to high horsepower tractors and combine harvesters was enjoyed by more than 100 customers of Ernest Doe Power in mid-December. David Williams was there. The event, on the Essex/Suffolk border, included a display of the largest machinery from Case IH including a Rowtrac, an Optum and a Magnum as well as a round baler and an Axial Flow combine. Manufacturer product specialists were on-hand explaining features and benefits of each model and, with Ernest Doe Power representatives,

gave presentations on latest developments between courses of the sit-down meal. Invited farmers were all customers of the dealer’s Sudbury branch, which also supplies products from Manitou, Dal-Bo, Weaving, Kuhn, Richard Western and Spearhead. Local farms are mainly arable, with heavy clay soils creating

James Kiddy (left) is pictured with his son Sam Kiddy, and trades as Messrs Leonard Samworth & Partners, farming at Balsham, Cambs. Approximately 820ha (2,020 acres) of crops are grown on soils ranging from boulder clay to chalk. Land is owned, rented and contract-farmed and, as well as arable cropping (mainly cereals and sugar beet), there is a flock of New Zealand Romney sheep and a small herd of Red Poll cattle. The farm operates two Case IH Magnums - a 340CVX and an older 280, and a Puma 230CVX. The older ‘11’-plate Magnum, bought as an ex-hire tractor from Ernest Doe Power, carries out drilling and lighter top work, while the Puma was purchased in early 2015 and was the first CVT tractor on the farm, quickly followed by the second Magnum. “I debated whether CVT transmission was a good idea for the Magnum,” explained James. “It ploughs, with an 8f reversible and press, and works with a 4m Simba SL cultivator doing most of our min-till seeding preparation. Approximately 900hrs were worked in its first year; opting for CVT was certainly worthwhile for the benefits it provides. Both Magnums have been very reliable and economical, which seems the case with all Case IH machines. They pull well, despite our challenging soils.” James has also bought a trailer, a mower and a topper from the dealer, and he explained that having used David Brown tractors on the farm in the past, he moved from the brand after the company was taken over by International, but moved to Case IH in recent years and enjoys superb dealer support.

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demand for high horsepower tractors and capable cultivation machinery. There are also many mixed farms including dairy, sheep and pig producers so a wide range of products is offered to meet customer needs.

Informative evening Case IH area sales manager David Redman opened the presentations

with an overview of the current range, including information on the company’s experimental autonomous cab-less tractor, stressing that its development is part of an exercise to evaluate demand for such a machine. High horsepower tractor specialist Paul Freeman talked about advantages offered by the company’s tracked vehicles and track systems including their availability as a combine harvester option. The Quadtrac’s ideal weight distribution and the Rowtrac’s ability to gain traction without headland scrubbing were also discussed. Ernest Doe Power Sudbury branch and sales manager Ed Perry rounded off the evening by explaining the importance of experienced and dedicated dealer staff to provide the product back up that customers expect. He also outlined some of the improvements that have been made at the branch during the past year. ■

“We moved to Axial Flow combines four years ago from another brand,” explained David Bradshaw, who is pictured (right) with Ernest Doe Power area sales manager Jeff Stephens. “We had a demonstration 2–3 years before and were impressed, but stayed with the other make. But next time we changed, we part-exchanged three tractors and two combines for a fleet of Case IH products including two Axial Flow 9230s; both with 35ft headers, a Quadtrac and two Pumas; a 160CVX and a 230CVX.” David, who farms with his son Tom, trades as W Bradshaw & Son from his farm at Fordham, near Colchester, Essex. Cereals and sugar beet are grown and his two Axial Flows cover 1,275ha (3,150 acres) each year. Combinable crops include winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley, beans and linseed with oilseed rape dropped recently due to flea beetle damage. “We grow wheat for seed and one of the Axial Flow’s best characteristics is its ability to thresh gently but thoroughly. Its performance is fantastic,” David explained. “It performs well in wet or dry conditions, with a workrate which means we seldom have to cut when it’s very wet. We have only ever had one blockage, sorted out in minutes with the Axial Flow’s drum reverser, whereas we lost a full day harvesting when one of our previous combines blocked. “Ernest Doe Power staff are fantastic, the fitters are brilliant and its team supports farmers very well. We deal mainly with Jeff when buying anything but for service support we don’t mind which fitter comes out as all are equally good. It’s just a fantastic team,” he stressed. Other machinery supplied recently by the dealer includes a set of 12m DalBo rolls, and David said that when an issue occurred, he was More over page... most impressed too by back-up from the Dal-Bo team.

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Farmers Guide February 2017