Archive Article: 2002/08/30 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

In-trailer grain quality variability "appears to be something we can live with", says Robin Wilkin (right), one of three HGCA-commissioned scientists striving to develop a new sampling protocol to help growers market grain more effectively (Arable, Mar 29). About 200 samples have been taken from 10 farms from Kent to N Yorks in the validation exercise being overseen by Simon Hook (left). Further tests are being carried out to determine how post-tipping operations like drying need to be taken into account to arrive at a robust, practical and effective procedure of use to farmers, says Dr Hook.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Wet weather continues to hamper harvest, notably in Scotland, and in patches further south. Geoff Hipperson had cleared Optic spring barley at Melrose Farm, Shouldham, Norfolk earlier this week but was only two-thirds through his Malacca wheat. "The yield is pretty good but the quality very poor."

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Nearing the end with wheat. Glen Nicholls tackles second crop Consort giving an estimated 8.5t/ha (3.4t/acre) at J C Samworth Farms, Cropwell Butler, Notts, where manager Russell Price reports an earlier record-breaking 11.1t/ha (4.5t/acre).

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

190hp and an extra 35hp available for pto work. The new Case Maxxum 190 with its full powershift gearbox gets a work out at a ride-and-drive event held near Magdeburg, Germany. See next weeks issue for an in depth first-drive report.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Two levels of specification are now available for Claas Lexion combine harvesters. See page 64 to discover why and how the company has taken this route. There is also a surprise development for the companys Jaguar forage harvesters.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Penrith market has achieved a stay of execution, with local farmers and businesses joining forces to try to prevent its closure. At what should have been Penriths last sale on Wednesday, owner Penrith Farmers and Kidds told staff that it would continue to hold sales until a handover date was agreed, up until Oct 1, if enough money was raised. Farmers pledged £300,000 at a meeting on Tuesday night, leaving another £200,000 to find to secure the markets future. "The enthusiasm from people in the area has been unbelievable," says action group chairman, Andrew Sayer.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

No problem with Xi19 here, says Andrew Lensen, farm manager at Aylmer Hall, Tilney St Lawrence, Norfolk. "It has averaged 10.1t/ha with a specific weight of 76.6kg/hl." However, the Nov-sown crop did not show the yellowing symptoms seen elsewhere in the country, he notes. Whether that has had an influence in RL and ARC trials work remains to be seen.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Bids hit 1250gns at the North West Texel Breeders Club at Chelford last weekend for the ram lamb Sportmans Indiania by Baltier Winston and tested ARR/ARR in scrapie genotyping. Commercial buyers were taking note of scrapie status – a factor that saw show champion, Tophill Investment (pictured), suffer. The ram lamb has a Group 3 status and eventually sold for 280gns to M Plant of Keele, Staffs, for use in a commercial flock (Frank R Marshall).

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Correction

Brecon Markets next all-organic store and breeding stock sale will take place on Sept 12, not as stated in last weeks issue. &#42

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Moo-ving to London… Buckingham Palace has an unusual visitor in its grounds at present – a lifesize model of a cow. Called Jubilee, shes one of many such animals on the capitals streets for CowParade, the fundraising public art exhibition. Part of the CowParades proceeds will go to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution this year – including the money raised from an auction of 10 such cows at Smithfield Show in November. More details of this auction will appear in Farmlife over the coming months.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Bath time again…Cows at Burgate Farm, Harewood, Scarborough, North Yorks, are currently going through a formalin footbath five times a week. Roger and John Cook introduced this strict bathing routine in March to help reduce lameness in their 220-cow herd. This and other measures introduced have seen lameness cases halved this summer. Full report page 39.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

Show your solidarity & put up a poster

Want to show your support for the Liberty and Livelihood March in London on Sept 22?

Then, weve got just what you need. FARMERS WEEKLY is printing the first of three, free posters on the inside back cover this week. We hope youll pin them somewhere prominent in the run-up to the event, then put your favourite one on a placard and take it to the March.

The posters will help get across three of the Marchs key messages: Back our farmers, Mr Blair; Save our rural jobs, Mr Blair; and Hands off hunting, Mr Blair.

Stick these posters up – and youll be sticking up for farming and the rural way of life.

Now the noble haggis could be piped out

Enjoyed for hundreds of years, the mighty haggis now faces the chop. Wielding the knife is The Food Standards Agency which claims the use of sheep intestines poses a theoretical risk of spreading BSE and CJD.

Has the agencys scientists taken leave of their senses? As the FSA itself admits, no proof has ever been found that sheep have become infected with BSE. Also McKeans, haggis makers par excellence, says it has never used sheep intestines.

Meanwhile, the agencys scaremongering threatens one of Scotlands best loved culinary traditions. We predict Rabbie Burns "timorous beastie" will continue to be enjoyed long after the pudding heads at the FSA are forgotten.

An in-depth look at Sir Donald Curry

Ever wondered what Sir Donald Currys really like?

You might have loved or loathed the contents of his Policy Commission report into the future of farming and food commissioned by the government. But whats he like out of the spotlight?

To find out, turn to our Farmlife Section where we are launching a new series this week: The FARMERS WEEKLY Profile.

We will bring you a unique insight into the industrys key figures over the coming months. Farmers leaders, company bosses and politicians will be among those featured.

Few men and woman shape farming policy and the countryside. The FARMERS WEEKLY Profile will tell you what shaped them.

Grow profitable wheat second time round

Sticking with second wheats? After this years indifferent winter barley performance, its tempting, particularly with modern take-all seed treatments.

But growing a second wheat as if it were a first crop is a mistake. Pick the wrong variety and you will already be on the way to reduced yield. Drill it too early and the downward trend will be reinforced.

So dont miss the latest technical advice featured in our Arable Section about how to keep second wheats in profit.

Cow tracks could well justify outlay

Its hard to ignore a good business idea. Thats true even when spare cash is in short supply as on many UK dairy farms.

Investing in cow tracks, to reduce costly lameness cases, for example, or growing a feed crop which can improve cow margins, could be money well spent. But such investments have to be carefully budgeted, as our Livestock Section explains.

To make the most of new technical and business ideas, and take a fresh look at some older ones, why not invest a day at this years Dairy Event, Sept 18 and 19? It promises a good return on your investment.

ATVusers can make big fuel savings

Ever considered converting your ATV to run on Liquid Petroleum Gas? A survey conducted by Calor Gas at this years Game Fair revealed that only 6% of those interviewed had used LPG with ATVs.

Running ATVs on petrol cost an average of £37.75/week based on a vehicle using 50litres at 75.5p/litre, says Calor. The equivalent vehicle running LPG costs only about £16.45 which amounts to a saving of about £21/week.

Performance is not compromised and the initial cost for conversion to the fuel can be recouped in less than a year, says the company. So, if those savings are accurate, going down the LPG route has much mileage.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

&#42 Cabs

Homesick Maxxum operators wont find much solace in the MXMs cab. But hey, todays CNH cab is a good places to do business from, and several areas have been tailored specifically for ex-Case drivers – the chrome-faced Magnum hand throttle, rubber-covered pedals, the pto knob, Magnum-coloured trim and a neat little hitch control block. By contrast a diehard Maxxum man will slip straight into the McCormick, instantly scenting home.

Do the cab differences amount to a hill of beans? The CNH office is wider and deeper by 65mm (2.6in) and boasts more rear glass. But up front its relatively pinched: the front screen is a whopping 210mm (8.3in) narrower, the overhead console is lower and the bonnet looms longer. But as both front wheels are in clear view from the cabs and theres enough adjustment in the seats and steering columns to suit tall and short operators, in practice the size question is largely psychological. Its more pressing on storage space, though, with only the CNH product producing a box for oddments.

Ergonomically the contrasts are sharper. The nod goes to the new Case, as its side console groups controls a little more logically and its push-button graphics for 4wd, diff locks and lights take some beating. Putting the powershift rocker into the hand throttle makes good sense too, while the LED-based gear indicator alongside it is clear and unequivocal. Downsides for the CNH model are the nasty sharp-rimmed pto switch (another feel-at-home carryover aimed at migrating drivers) and the inability of the dash LCD display to show pto revs and forward speed at the same time.

The test McCormicks Speed Sequencer gearbox concentrates shift buttons into a neat joystick. This, plus four slightly better-placed spool levers and an easy-working hand throttle are strong cab positives. Negatives are the less cohesive and less logical linkage controls, the same unpleasant pto knob as in the new Maxxum, an odd-action foot throttle and the way the joystick adjusts entirely in the wrong direction for taller operators. Both tractors hide the pickup hitch release down by the seat, though only CNH has the good grace to make it a decent size.

&#42 Suspension

Optional front springing featured on both tractors, with the new Case adding cab suspension as part of an inclusive package. McCormick uses Carreros independent wishbone setup; CNH looks to its own single-ram pivot system for the front axle and adds rear adjustable spring/damper units to the cab.

McCormick shuts off front springing with the engine, forcing the driver to turn it on at start up. Thats irritating, though the system does self-activate as speed goes over 14kph. CNHs system stays online until the driver cancels it, though automation locks the axle below 1.4kph and brings springing in over 12kph – even if the driver has switched it off.

Both front systems have limited impact on (and in) draft work, though do ease shocks a little on headlands. Front suspensions main boon is smoothing road transport, as along tracks and rough roads the back wheels still jolt the outfit. The new Cases cab springing takes good care of that, suggesting its full-package-or-nothing approach makes sense. Be aware, though, that cab rock on relatively good tarmac can produce more driver disturbance than an unsprung unit – though we didnt play with damper settings.

&#42 Transmission

Both tractors carried 40k semi-powershifts and can have a creeper set. Ratio numbers are 16/14 (McCormick) and 18/6 (CNH Case).

The CNH transmission wins, though not by a walkover. Ratio swaps under load are fast and smooth in both camps and the McCormick system – which is the old MX box with solenoids – makes its range changes without the new Maxxums required extra button-push, though all shifts are noisier. Youll also learn to count subconsciously in fours, as each McCormick range change is an event. On 20.8R38 tyres these transitions fall around 5kph and 10kph which, along with zero overlap, can make it hard to maximise output in changing soil. The new Maxxums six powershift steps and overlap between ranges A and B deliver more working flexibility.

McCormick hits back with 12 reverse ratios against the CNH boxs six, sending the tractor back 13.5% faster than it was travelling forward. But the new Cases operator can programme in up to three reverse gears higher or lower than the forward speed, albeit only within the fewer available.

Range shifts with an implement in the ground stop the tractors, which will be tricky with an air seeder. In transport the new Cases faster, cleaner range transitions lose less outfit momentum on climbs and if the job is tough, its A-B overlap helps when going back up the box. McCormicks toggleable soft-shift button kills powershift harshness, is useable under full power and delivers easy downshifts when slowing in traffic, but is trumped by CNHs speed-matching and auto-upshift abilities.

Clutchless drive take-up and direction shuttling take favour firmly back to the McCormick, which serves up a more featherable foot pedal and more immediate, smoother direction changes. Previous experience with CNH transmissions suggests calibration – an operator job – might have helped, though as usual we opted to leave the tractors as delivered.

&#42 Linkages

Full-house EHR control manages a pair of solidly-made rear lifts, both complete with transport lock and anti-bounce. Difficult going – hard on top, wet clay underneath, very panned areas – gave the draft control systems a workout: both made a fine job of keeping plough depth largely constant and the outfit moving, thanks to plenty of control adjustment and sensitivity. Each setup allows maximum depth to be set independent of working level and allows fine-tuning of linkage movement extent during draft corrections, which is a plus in awkward conditions.

Less welcome is the counter-intuitive operation of the McCormicks position/ draft knobs, the spreading of sundry controls round the console, and the way that double-clicking the fast lower switch for quick implement penetration sends the linkage into free fall, whatever its height. CNHs equivalent senses ground contact before letting the linkage float. The new Case also gets a small new pod holding position, draft (depth) and fast lift/lower controls. This works well once youve twigged the logic of the horizontal depth rotary, and the lift switch adds a pause position for times when a complete raise isnt needed.

Average claimed lift across the arm range is 5177kg for the new Maxxum and 4619kg for the McCormick. As you might hope, a five-furrow reversible revealed no shortcoming in either lift power or tractor balance.

&#42 Hydraulics

Systems are closed-centre and load-sensing. Up to four spool outlets on each tractor (standard kit on the new Case) allow couple/disconnect under pressure, and in the limited scope of this drive worked just fine. The McCormicks fourth valve is double-acting and worked by rocker switch. The new Maxxum doesnt have the McCormicks optional internal flow control or standard lever lock collars. Both tractors have power-beyond/load sensing ports, which tap into the main hydraulic system to supply oil on demand to front loaders, harvesters and such having their own controls; but only the new Case has a dedicated steering pump.

While on the move each can ship up to 20 litres of oil to external equipment, while stationary the Case allows 35 litre draw-off against the McCormicks 30 litres. On slopes the tables are turned with the McCormick allowing up to 12 litres overfill, the new Case 4 litres.

&#42 Ptos

The new Maxxum brings 540, 540E and 1000rpm speeds, a reversible stub (now circlip fixed) and a stiff-to-shift speed change lever. Pulsed drive engagement comes standard from a rocker switch. McCormicks reversible, circlip-fixed stub gives only 540 and 1000rpm speeds and has no soft-start beyond its inbuilt feathering, but offers an auto option to trigger engagement/shutoff as the linkage lowers and rises. Once set this worked reliably, is remembered when the engine shuts down and is a potential fieldwork boost. CNH offer an equivalent (plus more) only on 175hp/190hp variants.

&#42 4wd and diff locks

Standard automation helps out in both camps. McCormick pairs a limited-slip front lock with a 100% rear lock, adding switchable auto operation according to linkage position, speed and independent brake use; 4wd is triggered and disengaged either manually or by similar criteria in auto mode.

CNHs setup uses two 100% diff locks, with switchable automatic operation of these and 4wd. Its marginally the cleverer, adding steering angle/speed sensing to trigger auto operation with trailed implements. The McCormick can be set to work with trailed kit, but its more complicated. In practice both setups did their job and are definitely worth having.

&#42 Steering and brakes

Neither tractor is nimble at headlands thanks to average-feeling steering locks. The McCormick swings round hard under modest independent pedal pressure, while the new Case takes much more legwork to achieve less result from its standard rear disc packs. On the road fair comparison was out as the McCormick carried optional all-wheel brakes, but the new Cases anchors never felt better than wooden: adding a braked front axle costs around £600. By way of a yardstick, though, retardation from the old Maxxums twin disc packs (which, like the new Cases, bring in 4wd to add traction) is subjectively stronger from similar pedal pressure.

&#42 Endnote

Despite CNHs clear efforts to Case-ise the MXM, the 140hp version is a New Holland TM in drag. No worries about that so long as you know what youre getting, and not to say that the customising touches – the new throttle, linkage control block and so on – arent worthwhile: they are. But scratch the surface and blue paint is just underneath, which isnt what Case diehards might like. As a driving proposition in its own right, the MXM 140 is a good un: A fine engine, flexible and quiet transmission, excellent linkage control, good pto options and the killer option of cab suspension. Its noisier than the McCormick and feels a little clumsier, but thats about it.

McCormicks MTX140 cant strong-arm the CNH product in the engine or transmission departments and packs marginally less automation elsewhere. The optional Speed Sequencer is a real step up from the old manual shift despite its glacial range shifts, while optional four-wheel braking stops the tractor without sweat. On the road the McCormick is the calmer drive. Critically for a big-hours operator, its cab is quieter by some margin, which more than offsets less convincing ergonomics. And significantly for some, a McCormick is now the only way to buy traditional Case technology.

Which would we go for? From an operators standpoint the McCormick, for its extra hush, slightly better visibility and steadier road manners.

But just about everywhere else -not least on list price – its advantage CNH.

TRANSPORT HIGHS AND LOWS

McCORMICK MTX 140

4 Progressive foot clutch.

4 Very quiet at all engine speeds.

4 Fine visibility.

4 Stable steering.

4 Very strong, progressive braking from optional all-wheel set-up.

4 Soft shift smoothes downchanges when slowing.

4 Fast, clean powershifts.

4 Big mirrors.

4 Range skip button a help if load light.

6 All powershifts noisy unless soft-shift used.

6 Downshifts hard on over-run unless soft-shift used.

6 Range changes very long-winded, noisy, lose momentum uphill.

6 Big step between first gear in range three and first ratio in range four if range skip button used.

FIELDWORK HIGHS AND LOWS

McCORMICK MTX 140

4 Joystick holds powershift/lift controls.

4 Engine very strong over 1300rpm.

4 Cab very quiet at all engine speeds.

4 Draft response/adjustability excellent, bonus of travel control.

4 Good rear view to lift arm ends.

4 Smooth, prompt shuttling.

4 Autofunctions of 4WD, diff lock standard.

4 Pto engage/disengage on linkage lower/lift standard.

4 Solid linkage.

4 Very effective independent braking.

6 Average-feeling turning circle.

6 Not enough joystick adjustment for tall operator.

6 Four powershift steps, no range overlaps limits flexibility in some work.

6 Lengthy, noisy range changes.

6 Lift control ergonomics some-and-some.

6 Using quick penetration system before plough in ground lets it free-fall.

6 Some extra gear whine in p/s step four.

CASEMXM 140

4 Engine never stops pulling.

4 Big mirrors.

4 Good visibility.

4 Powershifts clean and completely quiet.

4 Ranges changed with little fuss.

4 Overlap between ranges A/B.

4 Automatic downshift speed matching.

4 Automatic upshifting within a range to pre-selected ratio.

4 Front axle/cab suspension package a big comfort boost on headlands and tracks, helps on road.

4 Acceptable cab noise.

4 Auto 4WD engagement on braking.

6 Grabby foot clutch on test tractor.

6 Restricted view of swing-out hitch hook.

6 Narrower front screen.

6 Nervous steering.

6 Retardation from rear-axle only brakes limited.

6 Auto-upshift needs button push to cross ranges.

6 Cab suspension can add more movement but no extra comfort on smooth roads.

CASEMXM 140

4 Engine a star.

4 Six powershift steps plus range overlap gives speed flexibility.

4 Programmable reverse ratio.

4 Good lift control ergonomics.

4 Excellent draft control adjustment/response.

4 Solid rear linkage.

4 New hand throttle/powershift control useful.

4 Easy-to-understand selectors for diff locks, 4WD, lights.

4 !00% front diff lock.

4 Pulse pto engagement.

4 Full suspension package eases shocks.

4 Cab acceptably quiet.

6 Turning circle feels average.

6 Poor independent brakes.

6 Small delay in shuttle direction changes.

6 Shuttle drive take-up a little grabby.

6 Spool lever action not so smooth as McCormick.

6 Need to use second button for range changes.

6 Unpleasant pto switch.

Politics, politics

Back in 1999, a condition of the New Holland/Case IH merger was that Doncaster tractor production must stop. Accordingly, from September 2002 the reborn McCormick brand has the facility to itself. Meanwhile, CNH set about penning what it calls platform tractors – models sharing key components to generate economies of scale, but separated by detail design into clear Case and New Holland identities. This summer saw the first results emerging from Basildon – mid-range New Holland TMs and Case IH MXM Maxxums.

Previous CNH and Case IH model ranges have been

re-jigged.

See model line up box opposite.

Model line-up

Old model New model Claimed hp Price (£)*

Case MX 100/110 MXM 120 124 36,231

MX 120 MXM 130 131 37,438

MX 135 MXM 140 144 40,181

MX 150 MXM 155 155 43,908

MX 170 MXM 175 177 51,260

MX 180 MXM 190 194 52,774

New Hollland TM 115 TM 120 124 35,666

TM 125 TM 130 131 36,668

TM 135 TM 140 142 39,116

TM 150 TM 155 155 42,718

TM 165/8670A TM 175 177 39,313

8770A TM 190 194 50,677

Model (6 cyl)

McCormick MTX 110 118 41,335

MTX 125 132 44,804

MTX 140 145 47,656

MTX 155 163 51,776

MTX 175 176 56,288

* Case prices include Safegard warranty.

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Archive Article: 2002/08/30

30 August 2002

uPOTATO growers can improve their chances of avoiding tuber blight by targeting zoospores and delaying lifting, advises Cambs-based Interfarm UK. Only a few blight fungicides, such as Electis (mancozeb + zoxium), actually stop tuber-infective zoospores being produced on the crops leaves and stems, says the firms David Stormonth. Once in the soil the spores live for only about three weeks, he adds. "So delaying lifting after full haulm destruction minimises the risk." &#42

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