Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New beet harvester boosts capacity for Norfolk contractor

May 31, 2018 by  
Filed under Crops

A new Vervaet Q-616 sugar beet harvester is producing impressive results for Norfolk-based contractor Jeremy Green, who took delivery of the new machine at the start of the last campaign from UK importers J Riley Beet Harvesters (UK).

Mr Green, who trades as Jeremy Green Agricultural Contractor, originally started his contracting business at Bressingham 26 years ago with a year-old Massey Ferguson 3125 tractor and Landquip 3000-litre 24m trailed sprayer.

This outfit successfully covered a considerable area of contract spraying, and it wasn’t long before baling was also offered thanks to customer demand. The business continued to expand and stubble to stubble agreements naturally followed.

Today the company employs six full-time staff and expects to perform around 600ha of whole farm contracting as well as offering individual services from beet drilling with RTK through to baling and even bulk haulage.

Sugar beet harvesting was first offered in 2010 when a round was taken on from local contractor David Scarfe, who had sadly passed away the previous autumn. “I had often worked with David,” says Mr Green.

Good service

“I took on the harvester as well as Owen who had driven it for David, and together we went to see all of the customers. He was running a 2004 Vervaet 17T which we ran for two years before replacing it with a younger version.

“We then moved over to a very low-hour Beet Eater 617 with steel depth control wheels and long share legs which Jeremy Riley had suggested would be the ideal machine for us. It was a very good harvester and we used that for four years.”

“We have a very good working relationship with Rileys,” says Mr Green. “Their service is fantastic and they will work with you.

“The previous season we had an unfortunate accident at 10pm one evening resulting in a twisted unloading elevator. I rang Harry at Rileys and explained the problem, and we decided it needed a new elevator.

“They didn’t have one in stock, but there was one at the Vervaet factory which they could build up to fit my harvester. So I set off with a trailer and drove through the night to be at the factory the following morning, while they got the elevator ready.

“In the meantime Rileys sent two service engineers to help my men change over the elevators, and they worked late that night. By lunch time the next day the harvester was ready for work thanks to the combined effort of Rileys, Vervaet and my own team.”

With Vervaet harvesters consistently proving to be the right machines for Jeremy’s business and the knowledge that he could rely on Rileys for back-up, it was only logical that he looked closely at the newly launched Q-series when the time came to purchase a new harvester.

“We went to the demo last year and were impressed with the new models, and then had them on demo here too,” says Mr Green. “A number of my customers had signed up to a three year beet contract so I thought it was the most secure time to invest, and I placed an order for a new Q-616. We then went over to the factory and saw our new harvester being built.”

The harvester has worked well. “I’m pleased with the extra output of the machine – we’re lifting somewhere around 800ha and doing it comfortably now. It’s gone a dream on sticky land – we’ve working faster than we expected and customers have also commented that it’s an impressive harvester. They also like how level it leaves the field after lifting.”

Bigger loads

The new Q-616 is usually supported in the field by a 20-tonne Bailey Beeteaper trailer which was also new for this beet campaign and is perfectly matched to the harvester, explains operator Owen Page.

“The Q-616 holds more than our previous harvester and works well with the trailers, especially with a decent crop,” says Mr Page. “It has more capacity so that you can harvest between 1 and 1.5kph faster, even on our heaviest land.

“Everything on the machine is very well thought out, the new lifter has better visibility and beet flow. It’s also kinder on the beet, you can clean it just enough to take all of the soil out. The manoeuvrability is impressive, you can turn back on yourself and work up and down without shunting on the ends which is handy when doing short work.

“It’s comfortable to drive and quieter, quite a few people have commented about that, and the lights are also better. It’s also capable of 40kph on the road, which takes a bit of getting used to.”

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