POWER FARMING - Farmers Weekly

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31 August 2001


Edited by David Cousins

By the time you read this, the corn harvest will have reached its climax, the combine will have

managed another year without major breakdown, the crops will be safely in the bin and you will be

celebrating the smooth execution of another

textbook harvest. Well thats the theory, anyway. In practice you will be

juggling combining,

ploughing, secondary

cultivations, lorry filling and spouse-placating, so the last thing you want is

a great long article in FW about tyres.

With that in mind we

present, slightly in the manner of The Sun

newspaper, 11 Things You Didnt Know About Tyres. All right, you may already know some of them, but others will come as something of a surprise.

Weve also been trying out a rather good £500 welder. Unlike the familiar weighs-a-tonne stick welding set, this is light enough to take for a walk and yet packs the punch of a big unit. If your existing set is on its last legs, this is one to

put on your short-list.

Finally, our 2001 farm

inventions competition starts this month. As usual, we want to hear about your useful farm invention, big or small, and big cash prizes are earmarked for the winners. Look out for the blissfully-easy-to-fill-in form.

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29 June 2001


Edited by David Cousins

The endless procession of rainy days may have halted, but their legacy – badly damaged soil structure – lives on. Many of the

heavy-land fields currently in set-aside will have to be pulled up and the resulting mixture of concrete and Christmas pudding somehow knocked into something resembling a seedbed.

So it doesnt take a genius to guess that the doughty power harrow will have a busier-than-usual autumn. With that in mind, we

provide a pictorial guide to maintaining your power harrow in tip-top condition.

Although we have used one particular make for the

article, most of the advice applies to all the different brand names available on the UK market.

This month we also try out a vice. Yes, a vice. For although most vices found bolted to farm workshop benches are probably older than the person using them (and look as if they were designed some time between 1760 and 1840), there is a rather clever alternative. Its expensive, but it could change your life for the better.

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26 March 1999


Edited by David Cousins

The Power Farming

section, as regular readers will know, is always on the lookout for useful bits of workshop kit. Sometimes these arrive with a bit of a fanfare, promise a lot but then dont deliver. Others pop up quietly, often in an allied industry, but prove to be a useful addition to any farm workshop.

The air-powered surfacing tool featured this month, which is designed to

scrabble about in places too small for a

conventional grinder to reach, is a good case of the latter. At £65, it wont cost you the earth either.

This month we also revisit another of the winners in last years FW/Barclays Bank farm inventions

competition. Father and son farming and

contracting team Brian

and Mike Anning needed a mower that was fast enough to keep ahead of a 380hp self-propelled forager. The answer was to build their own mower – all 24ft of it. We explain how they overcame the obvious mechanical problems involved in building such a wide piece of kit.

Finally, our occasional How Does it Work series enters the sometimes bewildering world of GPS equipment. We take the back off a yield-mapping device and try to work out what makes it tick.

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26 February 1999


ITS easy to get carried away with the idea that farmers only buy big tractors these days. In fact, their buying patterns are rather more complex than that.

You certainly wont see many sub-40hp compact tractors on farms as theyre chiefly the province of local

authorities and market

gardeners. And at 8% of the market theres not exactly a frenzy of buying activity in the 40-70hp bracket either.

Once you get to 70hp, things start to hot up. The 70-80hp category accounts for 6.5% of the market, the 80-90hp bracket 13%, 90-100hp 22%, 100-120hp 15%. And so on.

All of which preamble is designed to explain why this months tractor test – a 70hp John Deere 5400 – seems small for the UK

market but slots into what is still a worthwhile niche.

And now (as the Monty Python team used to say) for something completely

different. Its bigger than a Land Rover, smaller than a Bedford truck, was made in France and is tough enough to stand anything UK

agriculture can throw at it. What is it? A Marmon.

Yes it is.

Finally, with one of the wettest winters on record far from over, theres a fair bet unwanted water will be

sitting around your farm buildings somewhere it shouldnt be. Need

something to pump it out with? Then enter our PF

competition, which has seven Honda petrol-engined waterpumps as prizes.

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26 May 1995


In a world that is

becoming increasingly

complex, technologically, legislatively and

environmentally, we do try to give credit to the simple and

straightforward. Thus the subject of this months tractor test – the Italian-made Landini Blizzard – scored high marks for its refreshingly uncomplicated approach to tractor design and

specification. Its not state-of-the-art stuff exactly, but thats just how many livestock farmers prefer it. And most importantly it has a price tag that doesnt look as though

someones inadvertently added an extra digit to it.

This month we also turn our attention to the

subject of electric

fencing. Energisers that seem to have lost their power to shock are a fairly common

occurrence. But rather than chucking them or carting them off to be mended, a few simple checks can save a bill, improve marginal fence performance or resurrect a dead energiser. Prepare to be shocked!

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