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Cultivation demos a success for East Anglian dealer

Two cultivation demonstrations in a week proved well timed for John Deere and Kuhn main dealer Ben Burgess, as weather during a catchy harvest proved favourable encouraging a good attendance with resulting sales. David Williams reports. The events were held in mid-August, at Honingham Thorpe Farms near Norwich, Norfolk and at Chatteris, Cambs on land farmed by Eastern Farms Ltd. The latest Kuhn cultivation equipment and drills were displayed working with a selection of models from John Deere’s tractor range, including the latest 8400R which has recently won an award for its drawbar pulling efficiency; the 6250R - with its award-winning Command-Pro joystick and the flagship 9620RX articulated rubber-tracked crawler. Both events started early in the day, allowing those who still had harvesting to complete to attend

before conditions were dry enough for combining or baling. Representatives from approximately 20 farms attended each event. Most had come especially to view one or more specific products in action and there was particular interest in the John Deere 6250R and the Kuhn Prolander, available in 6.0 and 7.5m versions and suitable for shallow postharvest stubble cultivations or deeper secondary seedbed preparation after a sub-soiler or plough. Orders were taken on both days and the sales teams received many enquiries for follow-up as well as requests for quotations.

The John Deere 8400R and Kuhn 7f semi-mounted plough achieved a good finish in wet conditions at the Cambridgeshire event.

Pictured with the 9620RX at Somersham are the host farmer Charles Leadbetter, and members of his team. (L-r) Harry Cooper, Ben Burgess FarmSight specialist Peter Roffe, Charlie Hall, George Adams, Sam Russell, Charles, Ben Burgess area sales representative Chris Bailey and James Hague. Trading as Eastern Farms, Charles is in his first year contract-farming the land used for the demonstration and operates three John Deere tractors; a 6210R, a 6150R and a 6195R. His own Kuhn plough was used for the demonstration and he also operates a 6m Megant tine drill, and recently purchased a new hay turner from the dealer. “Ben Burgess is a fantastic dealer,” he explained. “We deal with the Coates and Ellington branches, mainly with salesman Chris Bailey. We run a twin-track crawler currently but need something larger such as the 9RX to give us extra capacity for land recently taken on as well as additional land we are keen to add to the contractfarming operation in future. We see the Kuhn Performer as an ideal cultivator to operate with the 9RX, for our situation. Discs ahead of tines will be an advantage to chop trash and its versatility makes it ideal for the range of soil types and conditions we operate in.” Cropping on 1,200ha, which is a mix of owned, contract-farmed and held on farm business tenancies, includes milling and feed wheats, barley, sugar beet, potatoes, oilseed rape, beans and peas and some land is heavy chalky boulder clay, particularly susceptible to black-grass. “We operate a zero-tolerance strategy to black-grass and in May, if it is present, we spray off the affected area. It has such a negative effect on the yield anyway that it is better to control the weed than worry about salvaging what crop is there,” he added.

An ability to perform in less than ideal conditions is a major advantage of the Kuhn Espro drill, according to Steve Trostler. “The coulters provide excellent penetration capability and control of seeding depth, and the drill has found favour with those pushing back winter drilling to give time to tackle black-grass. Later drilling brings risks for growers, particularly if the wet weather arrives before planting is completed but the Espro copes well and maintains the precision needed to achieve excellent germination and crop establishment. Isobus is standard and operators can set the drill to suit their control preferences and the Kuhn screen is usually supplied with it, as it is quite inexpensive, although it can operate from the tractor’s display too. Power-beyond hydraulics avoids issues with the fan slowing at headlands as other services operate and although the drill was launched 3 years ago, it has really taken off for us in the past 12 months, partly due to user recommendation.”

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