What’s in your shed? Hugh Forsyth

Tubbs End Farm, Kineton, Warwickshire

Farming 700ha arable, 221ha owned, the rest is contact farmed or on a farm business tenancy
Contracting 1,000ha contact spraying
Staff Two full-time plus a number of casual workers at harvest time

The kit

Tractors Case IH Magnum 340, Case IH Puma 195 Multicontroller, Versatile 946, Ford 7810
Telehandler JCB 535-60
Combining New Holland CR9080 with 30ft cutterbar, 2 x Titan 16t grain trailers on flotation tyres
Cultivations 4.5m Sumo Trio with seeder unit and liquid fertiliser applicator, 5.5m Simba Cultipress, Mole plough, 6m Vaderstad Rapid, 4m Mzuri ProTill4
Sprayers: Sands Vision 4 with 24m boom, 4,000-litre tank, auto shut-off, auto height adjustment and variable rate application, Berthoud 24m, 3,200-litre trailed sprayer
Fertiliser spreader Kuhn Axis 40.1 with variable rate spreading
Grain dryer 2000t of storage with drying floors

How loyal are you to individual brands?

I tend to stick with one brand. At the moment I’m running Case tractors and I’m really happy with them – they’re reliable and are good value for money.

Who is your favourite dealer/dealers and why?

Turney Agriforce in Bicester. They’re a great team to deal with and they respond really quickly to any breakdowns.

Favouite piece of kit?

The Sands Vision sprayer is my favourite. It’s got loads of great technology on it like the auto boom height system and the variable rate, yet it’s still really easy to use.

Least favourite piece of kit?

The sucker-blower – it’s slow, expensive to run and should never have been invented.

Latest purchase? What do you think of it?

The Mzuri ProTill4 stip-till drill is my latest purchase. It’s a great bit of kit when used in the right conditions. It should help cut our establishment costs and improve soil structure, too. It’s best left in the shed in sticky conditions, though.

Oldest piece of machinery still at work?

Our 26-year-old Versatile 946 is the oldest machine still at work. For years it was the primary cultivation machine, but it’s now second in line. It’s clocked up 9,716 hours and short of the odd hydraulic hose has had no breakdowns.

How long do you keep your machines?

Most tractors are kept for about three years, but it depends on the number of hours on the clock and how reliable it’s been. It also depends on how good an offer the dealer’s putting forward.

What’s next on your wish list?

A Case Quadtrac.

Most embarrassing machinery mistake?

Buying a water bowser from a farm sale. We got it back to the yard, filled it up and it have more holes in it that a colander.

Most awkward grease nipple?

The top drive shaft on the Versatile – you have to squeeze up under the cab and have a look at the position. You then come out, drive forward until you think it’s going to be in the right place. Repeat until you get it right – a nightmare.

What couldn’t you live without in the workshop?

The grease gun

Do you buy second hand?

Yes, if the price is right and the condition is good – I wouldn’t buy a machine from a dairy farmer though.

Favourite job/ least favourite job?

Spraying is my favourite. Loading lorries with a sucker-blower is definitely my least.

What’s your everyday transport?

A Mitsubishi Shogun Warrior – I’m pretty happy with it.

Best tractor you’ve ever had?

Definitely the Versatile.

Biggest machinery bargain?

The Berthoud trailed sprayer – I bought it as an ex demonstrator a few years ago for £12,000 and it’s probably worth more now.

19. What would you buy if you won the lottery?

Another farm, a Case Quadtrac and a new farm truck.

20. Any machinery toys/ classics lurking in the shed?

Only the Versatile.

 

  •  Hugh Forsyth's kit
  •  New Holland CR9080
  •  Titan grain trailer
  •  JCB 535-60
  •  Vaderstad Rapid