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Focus on Harvesting Efficiency at Cereals

06 June 2014

UK - One of the stars of the HGCA stand at Cereals will be a 70 year-old veteran combine harvester.

In the early 1940’s Massey-Harris of Canada aimed to develop a smaller, lighter and more affordable self-propelled combine harvester that would be ideal for smaller farmers.

The resulting machine, the Model 21, had a 12-foot cut, and its table used draper canvases, which fed the grain heads into the feeder house. It was priced within range of the ordinary farmer, creating a huge demand for this machine, with annual production peaking at 10,000 in 1949.

During the Second World War the company convinced the authorities that Model 21s were sufficiently valuable to the Allied cause that materials and factory space should be allocated to build them alongside military equipment. The company argued that the machines would save farm labour, release tractors for other uses and would reduce harvest losses.

The machine displayed on the HGCA stand at Cereals was made in component form in 1943, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean and assembled in the UK. Bought by the father of current owner Peter Wombwell in the early 1960’s, this machine is based on a farm only two miles from the Cereals 2014 site, and is still used occasionally for clearing up small areas of crop.

“Investing in a new Massey Harris 21 in 1944 would have been a big decision,” said HGCA Regional Manager Harry Henderson. “We’ll be comparing the relative costs and outputs of this machine with today’s technology on the HGCA stand at Cereals, to illustrate how the economics of harvesting have changed over the past 70 years.”

TheCropSite News Desk

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