Spring Planting at Stratton on the Fosse

Colin and Hillary take a break from the work for this shot.

 Over the last 3 years we have opted for spring planting, it suits are limited acreage, also growing Barley we have several customers for the straw, our ploughing this year was carried out with a 1957 grey and gold, a 1954 Td 20 it's hard to believe that over 517,651 variants of this very popular tractor was built at Banner Lane Coventry home of Massey Ferguson Tractors. Also we have Hillarys 1979  International 484, the field used has been into grass for 4 years it had previously been used for our winter crop rotations, the field was sprayed off a week before ploughing hence the yellow appearance, we also carried out an exercise to remove overhanging tree limbs which had overgrown to the extent that affected the safe use of machinery around the headland.

The ploughing was completed in a day and a half, and was proceeded by rolling with a Cambridge roller, before disc harrowing with a set of Parmiter force 12 discs, this seed bed establishment is old hat today! With modern minimum till arable cropping, and also combi drill combinations it has speeded up the job of crop establishment for sure, but here in Somerset with our vintage equipment and limited acreage it suits us and the idea has always been to use vintage equipment when ever possible.

After establishing a good seedbed the drilling was carried out with our Massey 30 drill which we have used for many years and has always served us well, this drill and all our ploughs and implements were sourced locally from various sales and offers from previous owners, The drill would of been scrapped! All it has cost is new rubber feed tubes and 1 tyre, the Parmiter discs required 2 block bearings and a couple of second-hand discs! This also was due to be cut up.

The team this year consisted of Howard (land Owner)  George retired, Frank, retired, Lorry driver Hillary,and behind the camera lens Colin.

We opted for a new seed this year Westminster barley, we have used our own seed the previous two seasons which has yielded quite well.

Frank driving the T20 has over the years built several T20s from various parts allocated everywhere, into good working tractors and donated them to an overseas aid charity to be used for agricultural purposes, so he has very good knowledge of these tractors.

Our cropping this year around about March 20 was one of the driest we have had for several years and the proceeding weeks have seen very warm temperatures 20deg and unbroken sunshine.

We have tried to gain a little more acreage again this year, but alas it seems despite the poor returns offered for agricultural products, land is in high demand and rental rates are currently unprecedented, but as ever we are a positive team here and will continue to use this equipment for as long as we can and look forward to future restorations with or without the land to use it on.

I have added some photos of a previous season's drilling with our Mf 1200, photos taken of drilling this season were taken in very bad light and unfortunately not good enough to add on here..

Our 30 drill in workshop for check over before use! This drill is 40 yrs old!!

Howard and Frank getting stuck in!!

A close up of two of the 3 grey Fergys that reside at Stratton.

Frank in action on the grey and gold.

Hillary aboard his International 484 helping out with the ploughing, this tractor was purchased 3 yrs ago from a local auction and is in top order.

Howard gets to grips with cleaning off the moldboards

Dinner comes to the field!! Courtesy of Mary, Howards wife who never fails to keep the team fed!! From left Howard ,Frank, Mary, George, and Howards Grandson. Colin behind the lens!?

Hillary tucks into his fish and chips!!

Frank and George pairing up!

The fergys lead the way!

Closing down the headland!

Hillary giving the 565 a workout!!

1981 565 which came originally from Finland!!

The team finishing this field.

After rolling is carried out the 3095 is used on the disc harrows to establish a good tilth.

This 3095 arrived about 3 yrs ago and was used on a arable farm hence the very tidy cab and tin work!?

No power Harrow here just these old parmiter discs!!

A classic shot of our 1200 coupled to the Mf 30 drill being loaded by Howards restored 6610 this photo was taken 2009

The 1200 was sold in 2010 and resides within a fine collection of Massey tractors in Scotland.

Hillary on his 135 rolling in the drilled seedbed. I will add more current photos of growing crop and top dressing and spraying throughout the season!!

carrying out essential maintenance of overhanging tree limbs!!