Simon Beddows goes all green

I have sold my soul to the Jolly Green Giant. The new John Deere 680i combine arrived with sufficient time to play with it on the yard and yes, I even studied the rather large handbook. So when the barley was finally ready to harvest, some 10 days later than normal, I was able to head straight out and start cutting. The combine is on a five-year lease hire agreement, which includes a full service package.

We had also expected our new tractor, not a John Deere, to turn up in June. Then it was to be July. Late July arrived, but the tractor didn’t. I was finally told sorry, but there are no wheels for it! Anyway, a week later a new John Deere 6210 was sat on the yard, so we now have a matching set. Still, there’s all to play for the next time we change machines, as I prefer to run a mixed fleet and still intend to deal with the other companies involved. The combine has had a few teething problems, which have been sorted out quickly and efficiently. However, when it is working it has so far exceeded my expectations.

Cassia winter barley yielded 7.5t/ha at 11% moisture, with a specific weight of about 63. In places the straw was very green, but the grain was still under 13%. During the very hot week in July the oilseed rape and wheat started to turn quite rapidly, so we were able to go straight in to the rape after fitting the Zurn extension, which worked well. The winter rape averaged 3.75t/ha. At the time of writing we are just about to start the Gallant wheat.

Until then, I will continue following the Olympics – what an amazing two weeks of sporting endeavour. Well done to all the sportsmen and women who took part.

Simon Beddows manages 1,000ha of arable land at Dunsden Green, south Oxfordshire. Cropping is cereals, oilseed rape, beans and forage maize.

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