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Machinery and agronomy advice at demonstration A late August demonstration morning by Louth Tractors was attended by farmers and contractors from throughout east Lincolnshire. David Williams was there.

On land 600ft above sea level the event included the latest Case IH combine harvesters and tractors along with Alpego and Sumo cultivation equipment. Representatives from the suppliers were on hand to explain features and benefits of the new models and agronomists from Farmacy were also in attendance giving advice on crop husbandry and soil care including cover crops. “The latest 40-series Axial Flow combines are superb,” commented dealer principal Steve Melbourne. “We knew it was going to be a busy season for demonstrations having received considerable interest late

last year when the new features were announced so we planned the combine movements between farms to achieve the maximum number possible. Despite the patchy weather we’d carried out more than 20 demonstrations by late August and the response from potential customers, all of who are currently using other brands, has been extremely positive. “We decided this season to recruit experienced farmer users to demonstrate the combines. Rather than just trying to prove maximum operating speed they look at the field as if it was their own and we’ve found this provides a more realistic work

Following several days of rain, bright sunshine throughout the morning allowed the wheat to be harvested.

environment, with equal importance placed on optimising straw and grain quality as well as minimising losses.”

Quality brands Along with Case IH, other brands represented by the dealer include Merlo, Polaris, Sumo, Krone, Husqvarna, Alpego, Ovlac, Oxdale Products and Marshall Trailers. The main depot is at Louth but there’s also a second branch at Great Limber near Grimsby, ensuring customers across the trading area have good access to product sales and service. The demonstration was on land belonging to Louth Tractors’ managing director John Smith at Belchford. An experienced Axial Flow operator currently running a 9230, he’s been assisting with this year’s demonstration campaign.

Pictured with Steve Melbourne (left) at the demonstration is Nick Peck of Willoughby Farms Ltd. Based at Alford, Lincs, the farm is mixed and arable crops include sugar beet, winter and spring cereals as well as rotational grassland and forage maize on a range of soils but predominantly heavy silts and clays as well as areas of Wold chalk and sand. Livestock includes grazing sheep, a suckler herd and bed and breakfast pigs. The machinery fleet includes Puma 150 tractors and a Rowtrac 380 bought as an ex-demonstrator. “The Rowtrac has worked approximately 1,400hrs and we are very pleased with the concept. We also operate a twintrack crawler but we are trying to protect our soils and find that, particularly when establishing spring crops, the Rowtrac leaves the headlands much more level avoiding the characteristic scuffing during turns. We drop off the front weights when possible, made easy by the front linkage and we try and reduce wheelings and have moved to 8m drilling. It’s made a noticeable difference but during a season like the one just gone when we have had to operate in less than ideal conditions, some of the good we have achieved is quickly undone. Everything is a compromise anyway, and we have never had a perfect season.” Areas of the farm suffer severe black-grass and Nick said rotational ploughing between four to five years of reduced tillage has been adopted. “We apply organic manures and return residues to the soil. We are trying to coax it rather than brutalise it each season,” he added. Talking about the service received from Louth Tractors he said strong service back-up is a feature including an excellent parts department. “The depot is about 11 miles from us and the whole team is very good. The knowledge of the storemen is superb which ensures parts are right first time and the range of brands offered suits us well,” he said.

Most of those attending had come to find out about the latest combines.

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Farmers Guide Magazine October 2017 Issue