Over the last few years we have been looking bring our tractor fleet around to the same brand to simply our precision farming and controlled traffic systems. We took the decision to have a John Deere fleet as we felt they offer machines that are ahead of the curve when it comes to GPS guidance and control systems as well as comfort and ease of use. 3 years ago we purchased an 8370RT rubber tracked crawler. This decision was not taken lightly due to the financial outlay, but we felt that a tracked machine would allow us to tread more lightly on our heavy soils in the autumn and establish a more even crop in the spring. 2 years ago we decided to change our Bateman self propelled sprayer for a Horsch trailed machine and upgrade the tractor that was going to be used to pull it. Here we went for a 6175R which could also haul most of the grain at harvest. Finally last year swapped the last two tractors for another 6175R and a 6215R, the smaller tractor taking on the fertiliser spreading and pulling out chaser bin and the latter carrying out the secondary cultivations and some drilling. All of these tractors are tracked via JD Link and Navman to allow us to monitor performance and servicing. Farols at Hinkley remotely monitor the tractors for potential issues and they are all also on a service plan to spread costs. Farols give us fantastic support both mechanically and on the GPS systems and machine integration.
We are looking to recruit a 4th member to our arable Joint Venture.
We are very proud to announce that Rob Fox, our farm manager, has been shortlisted for the Farmers Weekly farm Manager of the Year. Rob has worked hard to shape the business into the productive arable farm that it is today and we know he has what it takes to clinch the prize on the night. The competition is very tough as there are some great managers involved in the industry and we wish all thee finalists the best of luck.
The team will be going to the awards dinner in London in October where we will keeping our fingers crossed. Good Luck Rob!