30 June 2000

Merchant launches a group grain scheme

IN a drive to contain farmers costs and optimise grain quality one midlands merchant is launching a new group harvesting, drying and storage venture this summer.

Charles Jackson of Long Buckby, Northants, plans to use combines fitted with Shelbourne Reynolds 7.3m (24ft) stripper headers, farmer-owned chaser bins and central grain conditioning and storage this harvest.

Using the stripper header will mean damp straw is less of an issue, extending harvest days and allowing higher workrates, with up to 810ha (2000 acres) cleared in the season and up to 61ha (150 acres) each day, says Mr Jackson.

That should keep grain moisture down, optimise quality through timely harvesting and give lower drying costs through the firms own efficient, high capacity drier.

Long stubble will be cut with a rape swather and baled to speed seedbed preparation. Straw chopping will also be tested for farmers having no use for straw.

The pilot scheme will be launched at Blakesly Show, near Towcester, on Aug 12.