Archive Article: 2000/11/03

3 November 2000




Marvellous though it may be in many ways, television does not offer much in the way of material for farm machinery fans. The odd

tractor may chug across the set in Emmerdale, perhaps, and whenever programme makers want to raise a scare about pesticides they show a sprayer doing its stuff.

That is about it.

But if you tune to Channel 4 at 6pm this Sunday you will be in for a bit of a treat. Scrapheap Challenge, the series that has teams of

people constructing quite complex bits of machinery, like mini-submarines and powered battering rams,

from bits and pieces found

in a scrapyard, has

agriculture on its mind.

Two teams of mechanically minded people had 10 hours to construct a machine that will cut, gather and transport whole-crop wheat from scrap. Once built, it went up to Silsoe Research Institute in Bedfordshire and was let loose on an actual crop.

Sounds difficult? Absolutely, especially when you

remember that the teams are not from an agricultural

background, though each had an agricultural adviser

to steer them through

the complexities of

crop harvesting.

Our article in this issue

outlines what was involved. To see who won you will need to watch the Channel 4 programme or see our

follow-up piece next week.


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