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

COMBINES

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…

MACHINERY

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…

MACHINERY

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…

MACHINERY

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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Archive

MACHINERY

Advice on pre-harvest machinery checks to avoid fires

Insurers deal with hundreds of harvest-time machinery fires each year and even wet harvests bring fires because of the extra strain on machinery - in particular overheating bearings. To avoid…

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Case studies

COMBINES

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…

COMBINES

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…

COMBINES

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,…

GRAIN STORAGE EQUIPMENT

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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Insights

MACHINERY

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…

MACHINERY

Exotic and unusual harvesters: Macadamia nuts

Ledbury-based manufacturer Pattenden has built its first-ever nut harvester, which has been designed and built to hoover up macadamias across the east coast of Australia. The company is best known…

MACHINERY

Unusual and exotic harvesters: Coffee

There is a mechanical harvester for virtually every crop in the world and coffee is no exception. Somewhere between 1.5bn and 2bn cups of coffee are drunk every day across…

ARABLE

Exotic and unusual harvesters – peas, beans and spinach

The popularity of frozen food , particularly frozen peas, in the late 1950s and 1960s led to a design rethink in harvesters. An increase in the machines' capacity meant the…

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News

COMBINES

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…

COMBINES

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…

MACHINERY

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

MACHINERY

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…

MACHINERY

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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