With around 1,800 hectares, the Buckle family farm is located on the east coast of England, just a few kilometres from the sea. The River Humber, which passes very close to the farm, flows into the North Sea. A strong sea breeze, which characterises the location, provides moisture and heavy soils - droughts hardly ever occur here.The family cultivates half of the acreage with wheat. A typical Crop rotation includes winter wheat, barley, rape and wheat, followed by forage peas. The farm also has a separate livestock farm. The grass silage required for this is also obtained from the family's land. A large proportion of the straw produced is baled and sold. An on-farm mill grinds wheat and barley into animal feed. Farm Manager Rob Buckle has to contend with the fact that he only has very limited time slots during harvesting, which he has to make the best possible use of. When the previous combine harvesters were due to be replaced, he was therefore particularly keen to increase capacity with the new machines. After a demonstration on their own farm, the decision was quickly made in favour of two Fendt IDEAL 9Ts. The combine harvesters, which are equipped with a crawler chassis, have a cutterbar width of 12.2 metres - which is significantly more than the previous width of 10.5 metres. Rob Buckle wanted to increase the work output with the wider cutterbars.
With the 12.2-metre cutterbar, the work output is increased and the tight harvesting time windows can be optimally utilised.
Minimal losses, high performance
Rob Buckle made a point of ensuring that his new Fendt IDEAL 9Ts were equipped with IDEALharvest - a system used to automate the combine. Depending on the harvesting strategy selected by the operator (e.g. minimising broken grain, minimising grain losses or optimising grain cleanliness), the rotor and blower speeds, the top and bottom sieve openings and the rotor speed are adjusted to suit. The automatic adjustment of the sieves allows potential overload situations to be detected and losses to be prevented.
Combine operator Ryan Wilson is pleased with the performance of the new IDEAL 9T
Well looked after
Ryan Wilson and Ben Smith drove the new combines on the Buckle family's farm during the harvest - for both it was their first season as full-time combine operators. The familiar Fendt controls, which the operators already knew from other machines, made it easy to get used to the Fendt IDEAL 9T. An additional plus point was the support by their local Fendt dealer: Not only did the drivers receive intensive training in their new combines, but they also had the mobile phone number of the Fendt Product Specialist Ant Ribson, who was always available for the drivers if they had any questions.
Get it all out
During the harvest, the Fendt IDEAL showed what stretched it. After a wet winter and unfavourable weather in the spring, the crops at Buckle Farm were patchy. However, with IDEALharvest, the combine responded immediately to the slightest changes in crop density, adjusting the work rate to maintain quality and minimise losses. "Through the displays on the terminal, I knew exactly what was happening in the combine. With this information, I could make informed decisions to further improve performance. In real time, I could see the results that my decisions had produced. The results achieved on the two combines are clever," says driver Ryan Wilson. Operations Manager Rob Buckle is also convinced that easy access to the precise performance data of the two combines promotes healthy competition between the drivers: "The drivers experiment with the settings to achieve the best results. That benefits us all," he is sure. Ben Smith is particularly impressed with the SuperFlow cutterbar on the Fendt IDEAL, which helps him well in the harvest of laid barley. "The underside was wet and much of the crop was lying on the field, but the cutterbar managed the task effortlessly and without the use of lifters. Spot harvest rates were around 60 tonnes per hour at an average speed of 6mph. Losses were minimal." The Fendt IDEALs have secured a permanent place in the machinery at Buckle Farm, because Rob Buckle is convinced of his investment in the new combine harvesters from Fendt and his employees are of the same opinion.