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Thread: Potato harvest

  1. #61
    windymiller78
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by devils advocate View Post
    Very good question.

    I'd also like to ask, what affect on contracts for next year.

    Will contracted growers claw back any losses with a higher price for next year.

    Marshall's the caulie/brassica growers made losses in the millions in the 2010/11 winter, according to an article in the Vegetable Farmer.

    For once I'm really glad to be a small producer supplying local retailers/wholesalers & our own farm shop.
    marshalls could stand it, my great uncle peter sold out in the late 70s for 12 million then!

  2. #62
    Gav
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by harrisonion View Post
    I just wondered how people are progressing with harvest?
    We are finding lifting conditions extremely difficult. The land is so sticky in places, we're on black fenland but it does have some clay content.
    I haven't managed to harvest any potatoes above 1.8kmh, averaging about 1kpm but have been down to 0.4 in places. I feel quite sorry for the clod pickers on the back!
    The potatoes are good quality and yielding well but we're far too much soil going into store.
    And why oh why did I decide to plant the wheelings this year! Had to move over with the sprayer, so have got 4 a time plus the outside of those are difficult.
    I've been lifting on some sticky soils today and despite the soil being a pain to get out of the harvester I've hardly dropped below 3kph all day, most of the time travelling between 3.4 and 4kph. We have an unmanned harvester though and put everything over the grader

  3. #63
    jfdi
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Been on some sticky stuff this week, travelling from 0.4 to 2.2k, deep wheelings are pain with some so deep I'm having to split them and lift singular, wheel drive is a wonderful thing!

  4. #64
    seb
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Have needed wheel drive for every acre so far.

  5. #65
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Picking by hand today, although we also had to change staff as well as machines, tractor drivers walked off.

  6. #66
    harrisonion
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by jfdi View Post
    Been on some sticky stuff this week, travelling from 0.4 to 2.2k, deep wheelings are pain with some so deep I'm having to split them and lift singular, wheel drive is a wonderful thing!
    Yes same here,having to split them and do a single one first, still terrible hard slabs of soil in between. Will not be setting the sprayer wheelings ever again!
    Last year I didn't and we had an easy harvest with the weather ect. But we didn't have so many to sell so I thought I would set the sprayer wheelings and just leave the irrigator ones. Had no trouble at all with the irrigator ones. Was able to cultivate them a few times during the summer and they levelled off nicely.
    I think the rows are harder this year as well, especially how wet it was when we set them. And then the rain has panned them down.

  7. #67
    Spud
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by devils advocate View Post
    Picking by hand today, although we also had to change staff as well as machines, tractor drivers walked off.
    Why? Surely it's harder for the pickers?

  8. #68
    jfdi
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by harrisonion View Post
    Yes same here,having to split them and do a single one first, still terrible hard slabs of soil in between. Will not be setting the sprayer wheelings ever again!
    Last year I didn't and we had an easy harvest with the weather ect. But we didn't have so many to sell so I thought I would set the sprayer wheelings and just leave the irrigator ones. Had no trouble at all with the irrigator ones. Was able to cultivate them a few times during the summer and they levelled off nicely.
    I think the rows are harder this year as well, especially how wet it was when we set them. And then the rain has panned them down.
    Yes it seems all the wet weather has made the land run together, although things are wet there seems to be an abundance of clods that are too hard for the seperators to extract, luckily the second cleaning system from Bulgaria on the back is working well!

  9. #69
    harrisonion
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by jfdi View Post
    Yes it seems all the wet weather has made the land run together, although things are wet there seems to be an abundance of clods that are too hard for the seperators to extract, luckily the second cleaning system from Bulgaria on the back is working well!
    I think we might have to invest in one of those foreign cleaning systems next year, the family one has started to get worn up!

  10. #70
    drumachie1
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Must of had a couple of inches of rain on Friday so one potato field like a swimming pool! Might get going on some dryer land tomorrow but we will see

  11. #71
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Why? Surely it's harder for the pickers?
    The tractor drivers walked off because they became pickers, lol.

    Sun dried things out so off with the grimme rowover tomorrow, everyone happy. Ploughing, drilling & cabbage cutting too. Feel a bit like Basil Fawlty.

  12. #72
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by harrisonion View Post
    I think we might have to invest in one of those foreign cleaning systems next year, the family one has started to get worn up!
    How about onions? don't know much about them, but don't you lift them in September onto the surface & turn them like hay. Must have been a nightmare?

  13. #73
    jfdi
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Normally main crop are windrowed end of August onwards till end of september, couple of days in windrow for skins to harden then lift, we only finished lifting last week, although have seen well over 100 acres still untopped or windrowed while driving through the fen today!

  14. #74
    devils advocate
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Family member (mother) went for some bags today from local potato packhouse/washing plant. They are 100% on Spanish & Polish potatoes due to qualty issues. They report rejecting load after load of British potatoes, I wonder where the rejected loads went?

    In the farmshop sales about double normal plus some to retailers which we don't normally do, even bagging up the ones with growth cracks at 3 per bag for the cod head buyers.

    Local wholesalers are expecting to be selling at 15 per sack by Xmas.

  15. #75
    honest john
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by jfdi View Post
    Been on some sticky stuff this week, travelling from 0.4 to 2.2k, deep wheelings are pain with some so deep I'm having to split them and lift singular, wheel drive is a wonderful thing!
    Well i had one field last week 5 kph one end 1.5 kph other end, 7 Drains layed across the rows.
    Now that was a challange.
    6 kph today all day. Varitron 220 big boys toys.

  16. #76
    harrisonion
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by honest john View Post
    Well i had one field last week 5 kph one end 1.5 kph other end, 7 Drains layed across the rows.
    Now that was a challange.
    6 kph today all day. Varitron 220 big boys toys.
    Would that machine have more seperation area than a conventional towed harvester? Theres no way I could ever get my harvester faster than 3kph it just couldn't deal with it.

    Bloody showery day today, made everything mucky.

  17. #77
    honest john
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by harrisonion View Post
    Would that machine have more seperation area than a conventional towed harvester? Theres no way I could ever get my harvester faster than 3kph it just couldn't deal with it.

    Bloody showery day today, made everything mucky.
    My comments so far after 3 weeks work. There is a larger web area one more dropping point.
    But the bigest increase in output is to fold 1st the web speed changes in line with forward speed keeping the depth of soil consistant on the webs as you increase forward speed up to 8 K. You can increase lead over forward speed in wet going.
    The second big increase in out put is in the holding tank. Before you get to the end elevator stoped and out of cart turn down hit the speed button off you go.
    I think we will gain a week on the turns alone.
    The cleaner is the same as in my last GT ie double multi sep.
    Mind needs to be good for that money.
    John.

  18. #78
    Big Vern
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    been on the phone to our man flint at home in somerset today, hes been out out and chucked more slug pellets on our remaing spuds as its still too wet to lift em... the quad bike was making hell of a mess....... but the spuds still look like they will be all right if it comes a bit dryer.. they are electra ( i think)

  19. #79
    harrisonion
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by honest john View Post
    My comments so far after 3 weeks work. There is a larger web area one more dropping point.
    But the bigest increase in output is to fold 1st the web speed changes in line with forward speed keeping the depth of soil consistant on the webs as you increase forward speed up to 8 K. You can increase lead over forward speed in wet going.
    The second big increase in out put is in the holding tank. Before you get to the end elevator stoped and out of cart turn down hit the speed button off you go.
    I think we will gain a week on the turns alone.
    The cleaner is the same as in my last GT ie double multi sep.
    Mind needs to be good for that money.
    John.
    Thanks very much for explaining that John. I've never had any reason to find out how those machines work. A big grower next to us has a fleet of Dewulf self propelled harvesters they seem to cover some ground in a day. What kind of acreage do you need to do to justify the investment? 500 acres?

  20. #80
    moldengineer
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    The more i harvest the less i want to grow next year

    The worst thing we are dealing with is random wet areas that have very few potatoes in them, it would't be too bad if we could lift over them and drop in on the better crop but theres no clear line. But we are still moving and are going whenever possible. We are windrowing as much as we can as well just to get some more output, but the windrower has no roller table or wheel drive so are having to be careful.

    Harvesting some of the better land.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOunvn3nhaE

    Windrowing a couple of weeks ago again on some of the better soil we have.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxAbFw0SkWs

  21. #81
    honest john
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by harrisonion View Post
    Thanks very much for explaining that John. I've never had any reason to find out how those machines work. A big grower next to us has a fleet of Dewulf self propelled harvesters they seem to cover some ground in a day. What kind of acreage do you need to do to justify the investment? 500 acres?
    Not sure they can be justifyed. But another way to look at it is it would be 100K more than a new Tractor/Topper/Harvester. The trend is moving to SP and in 6 years should be in demand if one were to trade. If we get the crop if luck is on our side it could be payed for out of this crop.
    Much less stressed at the end of the day than driving a trailed.
    Very pleased with it so far.

  22. #82
    Niels
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Its self propelled all the way on the continent. I am sure you can sell it within the UK but if not you can always get rid of it on the continent!

    Over here, as we are not on a bed system, it is now always four rows. A self propelled has more than a third of the cost of a trailed but not anymore capacity. I can see it work in certain situations but overall you want a lot more capacity me thinks.

  23. #83
    harrisonion
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Might we see the day when even a grower with only 100 acres are using them?
    With their growing popularity there's bound to be more 2nd hand ones availible in the coming years.

  24. #84
    Niels
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by harrisonion View Post
    Might we see the day when even a grower with only 100 acres are using them?
    With their growing popularity there's bound to be more 2nd hand ones availible in the coming years.
    Go to Stansted or pop over on the ferry to Holland and I'll show you plenty of farms with a self propelled on 200/250 acres

  25. #85
    Big Vern
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by moldengineer View Post
    The more i harvest the less i want to grow next year

    The worst thing we are dealing with is random wet areas that have very few potatoes in them, it would't be too bad if we could lift over them and drop in on the better crop but theres no clear line. But we are still moving and are going whenever possible. We are windrowing as much as we can as well just to get some more output, but the windrower has no roller table or wheel drive so are having to be careful.

    Harvesting some of the better land.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOunvn3nhaE

    Windrowing a couple of weeks ago again on some of the better soil we have.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxAbFw0SkWs
    Is the windrower a speacialist pice of kit?? i thought you could get harvester with a "windrower" kit? that seems to be the way ahead though.
    i think we may of bought a ridger from you couple of years ago. keyag one?? sure it was near rugby..

  26. #86
    moldengineer
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Yes we are near rugby, just outside Harborough magna.

    The wind rower is an old hassia harvester with a combi star axle and a combi star cross conveyor that has been extended to enable us to move the potatoes across 2 beds so as we can move 8 rows to open out the field. The standard wind rowers only move 2 rows into the middle of the next 2 rows, the same as the harvester wind rower attachments. We wanted to keep it as a separate machine so adapted the old harvester, it works well but the weather has stopped progress.

  27. #87
    Big Vern
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by moldengineer View Post
    Yes we are near rugby, just outside Harborough magna.

    The wind rower is an old hassia harvester with a combi star axle and a combi star cross conveyor that has been extended to enable us to move the potatoes across 2 beds so as we can move 8 rows to open out the field. The standard wind rowers only move 2 rows into the middle of the next 2 rows, the same as the harvester wind rower attachments. We wanted to keep it as a separate machine so adapted the old harvester, it works well but the weather has stopped progress.
    just watched video again i see what you mean, is that so you are moving less spuds leass times?? as oppsed to moving 4 beds worth 4 times..

  28. #88
    moldengineer
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    The idea is to remove 8 rows so as we can go up the field with trailers with large tyres and not have to run down the rows. Also use it on headlands to reduce the number of laps from 6 (12 rows) to 3 (6 rows) Have been using it to windrow all of the time, OK in a damp year but would not expect to do this in a dry year.

  29. #89
    Big Vern
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by moldengineer View Post
    The idea is to remove 8 rows so as we can go up the field with trailers with large tyres and not have to run down the rows. Also use it on headlands to reduce the number of laps from 6 (12 rows) to 3 (6 rows) Have been using it to windrow all of the time, OK in a damp year but would not expect to do this in a dry year.

    am liking the whole idea more and more, as you say in a dry year knocking out doesnet matter too much, the guv has said more than once this year the next harvester wil have a windrower kit anda picking table..

  30. #90
    kennyo
    Guest

    Re: Potato harvest

    Another 20mm in 2 hours this morning to bring the total for the week to 110mm

    Off to the in laws with wife and daughter for the weekend!!

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