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Transmission the big pull at Sussex demonstration

A revolutionary new tractor transmission along with a wide selection of tractors, cultivators and drills provided plenty for visiting farmers and contractors to try at a working demonstration by Ernest Doe Power at Itchingfield, West Sussex. David Williams was there. Case IH tractors, along with implements from Lemken and Dal-Bo were working. Dealer and manufacturer specialists were busy all day discussing product features and benefits with visitors. The event was on heavy land farmed by David Exwood of Westons Farm, Fulford Hill and wet weather the night before had created challenging working conditions.

Quadtrac CVX “A big draw for many was the first sighting of the Quadtrac 540CVX rubber-tracked crawler pulling 6m Lemken Rubin 12 discs,” explained Ernest Doe Power Albourne branch manager Phil Bush. “We also demonstrated a Maxxum 150 MultiController; Puma 175CVX, 240CVX and a 185 MultiController, along with a Magnum 380CVX Rowtrac. All attracted considerable interest as the range has a strong reputation for performance and

reliability but the new Quadtrac proved exceptional as the progressive transmission easily applied power to the ground in slippery conditions.“ Lemken implements included a Juwel 8 6f plough, a 3m Karat disc and tine cultivator, a Rubin 9 compact disc harrow and a Compact Solitair 9 drill. Dal-Bo implements included 6.3 and 12.3m rolls, which have proved very popular with the dealer’s customers across the east and southeast in recent years. “The day generated requests for on-farm demonstrations and formal quotes for tractors and cultivation products so it was very successful,” added Phil. “Not surprisingly, everyone who drove the new Quadtrac CVX was impressed with its ease and smoothness of operation as well as how it easily coped on the headlands and in confined working areas.”

Chris (left) and Neil Morris are pictured with one of the Dal-Bo rolls at the event. Trading as Five Oaks Farm Ltd, and No Soak Ltd, the business is mainly livestock including 150 ewes, 120 shearlings and 700–800 store lambs. There are also 200 beef cattle. Arable cropping is approximately 40ha of wheat and 120ha of grassland for haylage, supplied locally for equestrian use. “We use Ernest Doe Power for implements and the dealer has an excellent reputation for after-sales service,” said Neil. “Parts back-up is good and we deal mainly with the Albourne depot. Our haylage business is growing and we had a Case IH baler on demonstration this year. We operate a Lely tedder and a Dal-Bo ring roll as well as a Dal-Bo 2.5m subsoiler with tines, discs and a roller. We tried two subsoilers working beside each other when deciding which to buy and the Dal-Bo’s performance was far superior on our heavy clay. It’s a really good product.”

Host farmer David Exwood grows 525ha of arable crops on mainly clay soils. “We try to be drilled up for the autumn by the second week of October which provides a limited window for black-grass control, but if we leave it any later we can get caught by the weather,” he explained. “We also have 280ha of grassland for 600 beef catle including a 40 cow suckler herd, and 200 sheep.” David said the demonstration field had yielded a good crop of wheat this year and would be planted with beans in the spring. Most arable land is in a 6-year rotation including wheat, oilseed rape, oats and spring beans with barley grown for milling to feed the cattle. Grass is used as a break crop. “I’m interested to see how the combination drill gets on with our land,” he said. “We need high output to get crops established promptly and want good quality, fine seedbeds. “Looking to the future we are keen to increase the farmed area so the new Quadtrac is of interest too. In these conditions it coped well and I was very impressed with its manoeuvrability and, despite its size and power, it is actually very manageable. The CV transmission is smooth and it’s easy to drive. It’s exceptionally quiet too, a very nice machine. Ernest Doe Power has an excellent reputation for service in this area and offers a good range of brands with the back-up we need.”

Lemken area sales manager for the southeast, Aaron Graves said there had been considerable interest in the Karat cultivator at the event, particularly because many of those attending were surprised to see any cultivator operating successfully in the conditions. “We also had interest in the Rubin 9 and have a demonstration booked on a farm locally tomorrow as a result of it working here today. Its ability to incorporate straw effectively working this heavy, wet soil has impressed quite a few visitors,” he added. The Rubin 12 disc cultivator made an impressive spectacle behind the Quadtrac. “Its 735mm discs provide a lot of trash clearance - there is nothing like it. All cultivators work in the dry but this event is much more useful for farmers as they can see how implements cope in conditions which are far from ideal,” explained Aaron. Ploughs working included a Juwel 8V with hydraulic row width adjustment, suitable for on-land and in-furrow working. With slatted mouldboards it coped well in the conditions. Aaron is pictured (left) with Josh Bush.

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