2 combines vs. 1

Wobblebox

Member
Arable Farmer
Didn’t want to hijack the other thread currently running but I’m thinking about the opposite and running 2 combines instead of 1.

Currently cutting 700 acres with an 11 plate NH CX8070 with 25ft cut, and a range of cropping from winter OSR and winter barley, winter wheat and spring beans.
I aim to start cutting at 17-18% mc
I have just taken on an additional 500 acres, the land as a whole is spread across 10 miles with some decent A roads but some narrow country lanes too.
I try to block crop where possible and where possible, there are gaps in hedges to move combine between fields without removing header.
Problem being is that whilst I have some decent sized fields (biggest being 30 acres), I have a lot of fields which a 4-7 acres, and these kill output (couldn’t run any bigger header than 25ft in these)
I would like to just run the one machine and start cutting at say 20%, I keep wondering whether to buy a bigger machine and run that in to good blocks and keep ours for the smaller fields, or run the CX in bigger fields and buy a smaller machine for the fiddly ones?
Again, my preference would be just to run the one machine, any tips how to get more from it?
 

redsloe

Member
Location
Cornwall
I would think that one combine would struggle with that range of parcels. Reliability of your current combine needs thinking about.
What's your staffing levels like to run a smaller 2nd combine for the difficult to get bits?
Could be a better investment than upgrading to a bigger one?
 

Salopian_Will

Member
BASIS
Location
Shropshire
You have implied that you have block cropped as much as you can and are as organised as you can be. Presuming you are unloading on the move you have 2 options:

1. Crack on with what you have got. You will get it all harvested, even if it means a little bit more drying. Necessity is the mother of invention etc
2. Change the CX for a little CR. I am not sure why a 30ft header wont work in a small field though, where a 25ft one will?

Running two combines separately requires a lot of extra manpower and kit compared to running two side by side.
 

l'ordinary bonville

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
N Yorks
I would question the logic of buying an extra combine when total area is only 1200 acres. Would it be better to look at alternative uses for the smallest fields?

More capital investment needs more tonnage, not more acres

Or get even more creative with creating easy access between fields
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
I cut a 3 acre field with a 41ft.

If you can get the header in the field and the field is wider than the header you can cut it surely.

I looked at getting 2 rather than a bigger one, IMO it is always better to have 1 if 1 will cut the acreage, which obviously 1 will.
Get a wide body CR with a 30 or 35 ft header and it will be a breeze.
 

Wobblebox

Member
Arable Farmer
Thanks for replies so far,
Re. 25ft vs. 30ft, I have no experience running wider headers, just I’ve spoken to a couple of people who ran them locally and they’ve now gone back to 25ft’s.
Would a narrow bodied CR have more capacity than my CX, even with a 25ft header on?
I’m preferring running 1 machine even if I have to cut wetter, I’m sure even in a wet harvest that the drying bill will be less than the annual finance plus maintenance/labour on a 2nd machine.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
I wouldn't have a problem with running a single combine.
But I would be nervous about running a 11 season old combine and expecting it to perform without a serious delay due to breakdown, unless it was on low hours and known to have been properly looked after. The CX8070 was the bees knees in 2007, but if it's tidy and held its value then would it be a good time to chop it in against something with a bigger appetite, without massively increasing per acre combining costs?

What total combining 'spot rate' are you looking for? 40 tonnes per hour, or more?
 

l'ordinary bonville

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
N Yorks
I recently gave up 60 acres in 6 fields on a neighbours. It took longer to do everything, small gateways in every field and most surrounded by high hedges or woodland. I could combine/spray/drill almodt double at home in big blocks in the same time. And yield more due to less headland effect.

Another neighbour has 50 acres in 4 fields with header coming off twice plus getting it there and back again. It all saps time regardless of the size of the combine
 

quattro

Member
Location
scotland
Thanks for replies so far,
Re. 25ft vs. 30ft, I have no experience running wider headers, just I’ve spoken to a couple of people who ran them locally and they’ve now gone back to 25ft’s.
Would a narrow bodied CR have more capacity than my CX, even with a 25ft header on?
I’m preferring running 1 machine even if I have to cut wetter, I’m sure even in a wet harvest that the drying bill will be less than the annual finance plus maintenance/labour on a 2nd machine.
What of the country are you also drying capacity
 
I have very little experience of recent combines but it always seemed logical to me that a small combine should be more reliable and capable of greater hours than a big one.

In my experience this was true of many models from 90s and early 2000s where a lot of parts were shared between big and small models so "over spec" in a smaller combine. My current Case 2366 has been more reliable than the 2188 it replaced, though I miss the output, to the point I bought a second combine (2166) this year because harvest was dragging on.

Would people say the same about later machines?
 

Iben

Member
Location
Fife
Every thread that comes up which has s/h combines involved. People always say get an axial flow.

Is there many new ones sold? Are they popular further south? I can't think of any locally (maybe just don't get out much🤷).

They become popular for a while in the 90s around here, then died away.

So where are the s/h ones coming from?
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
Header size makes zero difference in fields, in fact that whole argument is the same for any machinery. Size makes no difference.
cut all gateways wide enough to get through without taking header off. Some people will be wasting days of combining over harvest taking the header off Multiple times a day (also the less you have to take it off the less chance there is of an accident)
 

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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