Martin Ford, South West England
Martin Ford, Farm Manager of ACF Drax Farm has been a loyal New Holland CR advocate for 12 years. Currently farming 1600 Hectares in Dorset, Martin used a CR9.90 with a 35ft Vari-feed Header to harvest his 1300 Hectares of crops which include Spring and Winter Barley, Oil Seed Rape, Poppy seed and Winter Wheat. Having the right combine for the job is essential to Martin as the crops are of high value and must be harvested sometimes in trying conditions, but Martin insists that it is not a problem for the New Holland CR combine. “Very versatile combine than can work in trying conditions” Martin insisted.
With the barley being used for malting, maltsters can be especially demanding about the quality of barley which can cause the frustration of rejected loads. This however is no problem for Martin: “Never had any issues with skinning or cracking of the barley” he stated. This can also be said for the poppy seed. As it is such a fine seed, it can be very difficult to harvest. According to Martin: “The company that we deal with for the poppy seed told me that they know when a New Holland has harvested it as it’s the cleanest sample they get”.
The Farm being located in Dorset, the road width can cause some issues for Martin. “The length of the combine is compact for its power and the 24 inch tracks keeps the overall width of the machine narrow allowing us to get into our fields without difficulty” he explained. The tracks also impressed Martin for the ease of access to the rotors from the side of the combine and the comfort during operation. “Compared to wheels, the tracks are far easier to work on and access the side of the side rotor panels by climbing on the tracks” Martin added. The difference in the field between Wheels and Tracks was obvious to Martin: “With the steep fields we harvest, we found that the tracks slipped less than wheels allowing us to climb the hill at a faster speed”.
During the harvest season, the combine’s performance and reliability is key to the running and logistical organisation of the entire operation. Martin understands that a reliable combine is a must to a successful harvest. “The performance and reliability of the New Holland CR combines have been very good” Martin insisted. With this in mind, Martin has decided to upgrade his current CR9.90 with a 35ft Vari-Feed header to a new CR9.90 equipped with the latest self-setting IntelliSense system and with a 41ft Vari-Feed header. The reason for upgrading the combine was to “reduce the length of the season, and as we don’t chop any straw therefore the power is not essential” Martin explained. With technology continually adapting, Martin states that “the reason we chose to order the new combine with IntelliSense was to get the best out of the machine and to enable more flexibility when harvesting so that we can get the job done to the highest standard possible”.