Coming back into work.


After quite a long time away from being actively involved as a full time worker I was asked by a friend if I would be prepared to stand in for him in case the worst happens with this Coronovirus pandemic. Over the years I have done a fair bit of spanner work and setting up various machines for him or mentored part time workers he's employed. I've kept an eye on the day to day running when he's been away and a couple of years ago I did the first cut haylage and most of the hay cut.
I used to do quite a bit of spraying, was my main job in my last employ and would cover 2500 acres, 1000 acres of which were potatoes, so could easily do over 10K acres a year.
My PA1 and 2 were obtained pretty much when the tests first started back in the late 80's even though at the time I could have claimed Grandfather Rights but the farm I worked for were happy to pay to get me tested. They then were covered when they started to do some contract spraying on other farms.
I looked up on the t'internet last night to see if I was still "qualified" to operate his sprayer, bit of a shock to see some articles saying that the NPTC Certificate was no longer valid, news to me! So I called up the City & Guilds who are NPTC and spoke to one of their advisors who told me that yes, my Certificate is still perfectly valid and said that I am fine to operate the sprayer even though I am not registered with NRoSO. The NRoSO is a voluntary initiative and not compulsory, it is only pushed for by Red Tractor and Farm Assurance and some larger company farms. I have no resistance to joining them but it does seem like yet another one of those "organisations" setting themselves up to extract money. This points system whilst yes it does prove that the operator is keeping up with the latest news but why should you be paying just to prove a point. I get 8 points for joining just because I have a PA1/PA2, there's points for buying the Farmers Weekly etc etc.
Still this seems to be the world we live in! My friend isn't in the RT scheme, he's disillusioned by the FA and the amount of spraying that I would be doing would make it an expensive exercise.

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JCB launches Fastrac ‘iCon’

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Written by Charlotte Cunningham from CPM Magazine

JCB has launched new Fastrac 4000 and 8000 Series tractors with an all-new electronics infrastructure which is claimed to deliver higher levels of performance. According to JCB, the new Fastrac iCon operator environment has three key features: iConfigure – creating a bespoke control experience for every operator iConnect – integrating advanced precision agriculture technology iControl – redefining operation through new driveline software The 175hp to 348hp (133kW to 260kW) Fastracs feature the new iCon armrest console and touch-screen display to provide flexibility in operator allocation and operator information, as well as a new transmission control strategy to enhance operator comfort and powertrain efficiency, says the manufacturer...