NEWS RELEASE November 16, 2022
Anticipation building for new X9 to help get Crystal Brook crop off and away
Crestmead, Queensland (16 November, 2022) — DAVID HOSKING'S family has run John Deere harvesters within their cropping enterprise, Brookview, for 25 years and now see the upcoming arrival of their new John Deere X9 as nothing short of "game-changing".
The family crops around 2800 ha of winter cereals in a full no-till operation spread within a 50km radius of their home base at Narridy, near Crystal Brook in South Australia's Mid North, but lately they've found the farm has outgrown its harvester.
The ability to get the crop off quickly is critical given all grain produced is exported and on-farm storage capacity is minimal, with the property within easy reach of grain receival depots at Crystal Brook, Port Pirie and Gladstone, and 150km from pulse receival facilities.
"We only need one harvester to get the crop off and away quickly, but it has to be a big one. Our John Deere S680 Harvester, with 45-foot front, was suitable for 1600ha but the need for more capacity coincided with the launch of the X9 series, so we've ordered an X9 1000 with a slightly wider front," Mr Hosking explained.
"We saw the X9 at an on-farm demonstration in November last year and its capacity was quite impressive. It was travelling at about double the speed of the S680 and doing a pretty good job."
On average, Narridy receives annual rainfall of 350 to 450mm, however before 23 May of this year, it hadn't received a fall since January. This meant all of the crops – including 550 ha of bread wheat, 220 ha of durum, 790 ha barley, 110 ha of faba beans and 1150 ha of lentils – were planted into dry soil between April and May.
"Fortunately, 260mm of rain fell during the growing season and the crop is now looking pretty useful," Mr Hosking said.
He budgeted on 3 to 3.5t/ha of wheat but aims for five tonnes plus, and is hoping for 2t/ha of pulses, but said it could be up to three tonnes if the season goes well.
When it arrives, the new John Deere X9 1000 will join the family's extended stable of green and yellow machines, including a 9570RX Tractor, 616R Sprayer, 1910 and 1830 Airseeders and bar, as well as 8320, 7800 and 2030 Tractors.
Preparing for harvest
Looking ahead, Mr Hosking said the X9's increased capacity, would require an adjustment to the farm's usual freight logistics program.
"We run one road train but we'll need to sub contract a carrier to freight a fair portion as well," he said.
"For us, the biggest adjustment will be using a John Deere front for the first time. We've been very happy with our previous brand of front, especially in the lentils where you're harvesting right on the ground, but when we saw the new John Deere 50-foot Hinged Draper front in action on the X9 we had to give it a try.
"We haven't seen the X9 working in pulses yet but we did see it in quite hilly and guttered areas in barley and it performed very well, and the 50 ft Hinged Draper front appears to be one of the selling points."
Mr Hosking is an avid user of John Deere Operations Center™, combining yield data with third-party soil tests to determine requirements for variable rate seeding and fertiliser inputs.
This is the second year he's been using the system farm-wide and has found it has definitely reduced input costs for phosphorus fertiliser.
"We've saved roughly 15 to 20%, or $100 to $150/ha, through a combination of reducing input costs and increasing the efficiency of our phosphorus use," Mr Hosking said.
"Obviously there's a cost to doing soil testing and running all this gear, but I believe that productivity has been improved by allocating our phosphorus budget more appropriately, or in other words, putting it where it's needed."
The Hosking family having lived in the Mid North since World War II, and over the past 50-plus years have developed an integral relationship with their local John Deere dealership, Pringles Crouch in Crystal Brook.
Mr Hosking said the local dealer relationship ensured the smooth running and secure parts service necessary for a trouble-free harvest with his new X9 1000.
But for now, it's a case of watching and waiting for the crops to mature.
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