In the latest of our series looking at how farmers and contractors manage their machinery, Emily Padfield visits Aberdeenshire farmer Jon Bennett who farms with sons Aron and Richard
JP Bennett & Sons, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
Farming: 265ha owned and rented
Contract farming: 240ha
Stubble-to-stubble contracting: 240ha
Spraying only: 80ha
Other activities: Fertiliser spreading, baling, cultivations, drilling, silage work
More from our What’s in Your Shed series
In the shed
Combine: New Holland CR9080 Elevation with 30ft header, 4wd and oversized wheels
Tractors: Fendt 930, Fendt 818, Case-IH CVX195, New Holland TM190, Case 1056
Loaders: JCB 530/70, JCB 526s, MF50
Ploughs: Two Kuhn Manager 8-furrow reversible ploughs, Kuhn 121 five-furrow reversible
Cultivators: Simba 2B 14ft discs and trailed press, Vaderstad Rexius Twin 4.5m, Vaderstad Crosskill rolls and 6.2m, Vaderstad 10.3m rolls
Drills: Simba Horsch 6m grain and fert
Fertiliser spreaders/sprayers: Berthoud 30m trailed sprayer, Kuhn Axera fertiliser spreader
Trailers: Three Marshall 14t trailers, 16t NC dump trailer
Other kit: Kuhn trailed mower conditioner, New Holland 644 baler, Spearhead 4.5m topper, 13t and 3t slew diggers
How loyal are you to individual brands?
Generally, we buy the product that suits the job, but we’ve always had New Holland combines and JCB loaders. We got our first Fendt in August 2006.
Every brand is well catered for around here, so we’re in an excellent position. We go to AM Phillip for Case, Simba, JCB and Berthoud, Ross Agri for Fendt, Ravenhill for New Holland and J Brock and Sons in Essex for second-hand kit. I’ve never met a dealer so honest about his kit.
Fendt 930 for its reliability, amazing power and fuel economy. It’s a premium brand at a premium price, but it’s worth it.
Favourite other piece of kit?
The CR9080 Elevation because of its huge output and capability last year. We opted for 4wd and took the oversized wheels off our previous 980. We wouldn’t be without it now and it didn’t get stuck once last season. We were managing 120 acres a day in spring barley.
The Kuhn Axera M as it seems to break up fertiliser. We’ve now sold it for an Amazone GPS spreader instead.
A Simba Horsch 6m grain and fertiliser drill, which arrived last week. We’re moving to 30m tramlines and have invested in a 30m sprayerand the new fertiliser spinner too.
Oldest piece of machinery still in use?
An MF50 industrial loader, great as a back-up and for unloading lorries away from the main yard.
Biggest machinery mistake?
A NH TM190 and buying a second one after we knew what the first one was like. We ended up putting 600 hours on a demo while ours was being fixed. Up until that, we had always had New Hollands.
What’s on your wish list?
A new Fendt 936 – if we win the lottery.
Do you buy second-hand?
Yes, occasionally. Usually, things like heavy cultivators – we will look to Brocks as we know we don’t have to travel to look at the machine before buying. They even send pictures of any repairs made on the item. And we’ve bought a second-hand Fendt from Ross Agri.
A nearly new seven-furrow Kuhn plough for £9000 at a local sale which had a list price at the time of £24,000. We fitted another furrow to make it eight as a back-up for our existing eight- furrow.
Combining for me, drilling for Aron and spraying for Richard.
Where would you rather be – on a tractor, in the workshop, in the office or shopping with the wife and kids?
On the combine.
A 2007 Defender 110 twincab with 21,000 miles on it. I’m on my seventeenth Land Rover since leaving school.
Biggest myth to do with machinery?
That Fendts don’t break down. Everything does, just some more than others.
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