Know How / Harvest equipment

This is your go-to area for everything related to arable crop harvesting. We offer tips for keeping old combines running well, how to select a new machine and all the specs and prices for the UK market.

It’s also the best place for news, tips, case studies and advice for round and square balers, chasers and harvest-related farm inventions. We have tips and advice on buying and maintaining, as well as farmers’ views on how they rate their kit.

Advice and tips


Custom-built combine spares could save farmers cash

Bent drums, bashed augers and snapped straw walkers are just some of the common injuries that can bring combines to a lengthy standstill. And with genuine replacements for these major…


Combine fires: Why do they keep happening?

Combine fires are far from a new phenomenon. From the earliest petrol-powered Masseys to the latest tracked Claas Lexions, they are all capable of succumbing to the destructive forces of…


What to look for when buying a used combine

A combine is probably one of the largest long- term capital investments an arable farm can make, so while a second-hand machine can make an attractive alternative to new, it's…


Ten steps to maintain your Opico dryer

A broken down grain-drier can create the ultimate harvest-time headache, but a few simple winter checks can help you avoid a lot of hassle. Nick Fone reports Introduction Belts and…

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Case studies


Farmer builds £2k weed-crushing combine add-on

Earlier this year, we featured the Harrington Seed Destructor – an Australian invention that fits to the tail end of the combine to grind down weed seeds harvested with cereal…


How combine makers are improving residue-management tech

Increased slug pressure, slow break down into the soil and nutrient lock-up are just some of symptoms of poor harvest residue management. Improving how the combine harvester chops and spreads…


Laverda dealer finds exotic homes for old combines

Since the late 1980s Staffordshire farmer David Rushton has had a sideline buying, repairing, selling and exporting Laverda combines. Having cut his teeth on early New Holland/Clayson 133s and 135s,…


Guide to building a cash-saving DIY grain dryer

Arable growers in the West Country face a constant battle to harvest grain at an acceptable moisture, so having a decent drying set-up is essential – even if they're expensive to…

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Retrofit fire suppresion kit could save combines

Isolated in an air-conditioned capsule at the front of the machine, combine operators are usually completely unaware when there’s an inferno slowly building behind them. By the time they do…


Ultimate guide to buying a big square baler

With contractors and larger arable units increasingly turning to big square balers for both grass and straw, technology is playing a role in helping operators get maximum performance from their…


Options for fitting driven axles to farm trailers for winter

As the winter weather starts closing in and the ground turns to pudding, wheeled implements need all the help they can get to keep moving.  Hydraulic drive systems promise to…


Unusual harvesters: The kit used to fell and haul timber

The UK produces about 11m tonnes of softwood and half a million tonnes of hardwood every year in a market estimated to be worth about £2bn. Some serious kit is needed…

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Harvesting robot picks a peck of peppers and more

The world’s most advanced sweet pepper harvesting robot, developed by a consortium that includes Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers, was introduced at the Research Station for Vegetable Production…


JD unveils new track option for high-capacity combines

John Deere has unveiled a new track system for its big S700 combines and T550, T560 and T570 straw walker machines. The company first launched a rubber belt option for…


Case-IH adds automation to Axial-Flow combines

Due to European road regulations, manufacturers have little wriggle room to make combines bigger – like the massive Tribine now prowling the Great Plains in the US – to make…


Unusual and exotic harvesters: Leeks

In the latest in our series of unusual harvesters, we head to Cambridgeshire to find why the humble leek is becoming an all-year-round item. Leeks used to be a winter…

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Test and reviews


The low-down on buying a chaser bin

Chaser bins may be pricey, but they can be a good way to get grain from the combine to the store as quickly as possible. Peter Hill rounds up the…


Spirit fertiliser and seed into place

Growers in Scotland who like to put down some fertiliser with their cereal seed will welcome the  the Spirit Next System Disc Combo (SDC). Using standard components throughout, the SDC…

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