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Competition winner receives tractor Farmers Guide and Case IH ‘Win a Tractor’ competition winners the Morris family of Clun, Shropshire has taken delivery of the Case IH Maxxum 135MC. The tractor joins the machinery fleet on the family’s mixed farm for six months. Pictured with the tractor are (l-r) Neil Morris, Case IH area sales manager Andrew Davies, Graham Morris, Brian (Wilf) Morris and local Case IH main dealer Western Farm Machinery director, Ian Mills. Missing from the picture is Vic Morris, who will also be using the new tractor.

delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Morris family providing support and advice when needed, and believe they will be impressed with the whole package we offer together with Case IH.”

Delighted by win

The Morris family of Clun, Shropshire is enjoying six months’ free use of a superb Case IH Maxxum 135 MC tractor and loader, courtesy of the recent Farmers Guide and Case IH ‘Win a tractor’ competition. David Williams was there for the handover. Trading as SJC Morris & Sons, the family has farmed at Whitcott Evan Farm, Clun since 1939, when 100ha (242 acres) was purchased. Now the farmed area is approximately 400ha (1,000 acres), on five sites – three owned and two rented, most of which is grassland. Much of the farmed land is on the steep slopes of the Clun Valley, although flat uplands at 1,300ft are used for some arable crops. The main enterprises include a 180head suckler herd composed mainly of Limousin as well as some British Blue, with calves sold as stores mainly at Bishops Castle and Knighton markets at 10–14 months. There is also a large sheep flock, mainly Suffolk cross and some mules. The Morris family breeds its own cattle and sheep replacements as far as possible, but will also buy in breeding ewes at the local markets and bulls for new bloodlines. Store lambs are also bought in when the market is favourable. Most grass is improved with some permanent pasture on steep slopes but there is also some improved grassland within the crop rotation providing young leys for forage. Arable

Graham Morris is pictured with some of the suckler cows and calves.

cropping accounts for approximately 80ha (200 acres) and is almost all to provide feed and straw for the livestock. “All the manure is applied to the arable and harvest land while a lot of straw is bought in.” explained Neil Morris, who is the third generation of the Morris family involved on the farm. “It’s valuable to us and we plaster our land in as much muck as possible, especially in a dry year, to maintain soil condition and fertility.” The crop rotation is typically grass followed by wheat or winter barley, then stubble turnips on winter barley land followed by spring barley then winter oats. The stubble turnips provide winter grazing, supplemented later by corn fed in hoppers. Cattle are housed from early November and let out for field grazing in May, after TB testing. Sheep are scanned in December and early January after which twin and triplet ewes are housed. One of the five sites has no buildings and is mainly used for arable cropping, receiving a lot of manure but also used occasionally for sheep grazing when grass is in the rotation.

Useful addition to fleet The farm’s machinery fleet includes four tractors, of three different brands and two telescopic handlers. Two Claas tractors perform most arable tasks, with 150 and 180hp and there is a smaller 100hp Valtra and a 110hp Deutz-Fahr used for loader work. Both handlers are Manitou. The loan tractor is the latest Maxxum 135MC with a 4-cyl, 135hp (rated), 169hp (max) engine, 17x16

50kph semi-powershift transmission equipped with a factory-fitted LRZ120 2.3t 4.1m self-levelling loader. “We have never had a Case IH tractor before,” explained Graham. “We have heard good things about them and this will be an excellent opportunity for us to try the brand and get to know our local dealer. “The Maxxum 135 is an ideal size for us, especially from this time of the year on, and we will make the most of its capabilities during our busiest periods. It will easily handle most of the attachments currently used on the Manitous, which are too big for our own loader tractor. During autumn we feed the cows out in the fields, carting bales each day and the 50kph transmission will be superb for that. We would far rather use a tractor than a telescopic handler where we can away from the yard as it is faster on the road and does less ground damage when conditions are wet.”

The competition required entrants to answer questions about the tractor specification and complete a tiebreaker. More than 150 entries were received from farms across the UK from Cornwall to the Orkney Isles and East Anglia to Wales. “When we saw the competition advertised in Farmers Guide, we were tempted by the prize, but certainly didn’t expect to win,” said Graham. “We have never won anything like this before and were surprised when we received a call from the magazine with the good news. It’s a great prize and will be a real asset on our farm this year. Since the tractor was delivered, we have been finding out about its features and inspecting the build quality. Everything looks great; the cab is comfortable and quiet, and we don’t think it will take long for us to get used to the Multicontroller armrest and make the most of the tractor’s capabilities.” ■

Dealer support Local main dealer Western Farm Services Ltd will look after the tractor. Based in Knighton, Powys, mid-Wales, the business operates from one depot, representing Case IH, McHale and Kverneland along with other brands. “I believe it will be ideal for this farm,” said director Ian Mills. “The Maxxum series is very versatile, great for mixed farms with the power and size to carry out arable tasks but with the manoeuvrability to perform well in the yard. We have supplied many similar tractors to similar users across our trading area and know they are highly regarded by operators. We are

Graham said the 50kph maximum speed will be a benefit with stock and arable cropping on land in five separate blocks, up to seven miles distant from the main base.

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Farmers Guide June 2017  

Farmers Guide Magazine June 2017 Issue