With a clear English-language voice-over, German film-maker Tammo Gläser shows aspects of very large-scale farming in Canada at harvest time. In particular he shows the operation of fourteen Case-IH combines (with pick-up headers) on one of the country’s biggest farms, near Lethbridge, Alberta.
With a clear English-language voice-over, German film-maker Tammo Gläser shows aspects of very large-scale farming in Canada at harvest time. In particular he shows the operation of fourteen Case-IH combines (with pick-up headers) on one of the country's biggest farms, near Lethbridge, Alberta.
The programme starts with five minutes' summary of the contents of Volume 1. Then Tammo takes us to see a 475hp JD 9530 tractor on dual tyres pulling a disc-ripper combination to work manure into a stubble field. Throughout this part of the programme we are seeing minimum cultivations – assisted by satellite navigation – to reduce moisture loss.
The next stop is for a 250hp Steiger Cougar, again cultivating stubble immediately after harvest. There is a 12-metre ripper combination at the back of the tractor and a blade at the front for snow clearing and silage work.
Nearby, a Case IH Quadtrac 500 is using a 26-metre harrow. The cultivation machine on the neighbour's 450hp Cat Challenger MT855 is 21 metres.
Made in the same factory as the Quadtrac, Tammo's next find is an articulated New Holland NH TJ425 on dual wheels. This was operating with Easy-Steer sat nav assistance by means of which steering deviations are corrected by a small motor attached to the steering wheel. This system is movable and can be used on other tractors and combines to prevent overlaps.
In the last item before the combines we see a Miller self-propelled sprayer making full use of field mapping for optimum herbicide application.
The combines are two teams, each of seven Case IH 8120s axial-flow machines, working in a 250 hectare area of two barley fields. Each team has an experienced leading driver who sets the course for the other six machines in his group – with student operators – to follow. This is a superb sight made all the better by aerial footage. Because harvest was delayed two weeks by bad weather the crop has already been cut and windrowed. The combines are picking up and threshing.
They are partnered by Case IH Steiger 485 tractors with Brent grain carts holding 40 cubic metres of grain. Transport from the field to the farm is by 600hp Peterbilts with loads up to 80 tonnes.
The crop is cut by Case IH WD '3' series 126hp self-propelled windrowers with 11-metre attachments. Altogether they have 40,000 hectares to deal with – wheat, barley, rape and mustard. Yields are half European levels. Immediately after the crop is lifted the sprayers and air-seeders get stuck in.
This concludes the main part of the DVD. For his principal Extra, Tammo returns to Germany to show work with silage maize for biomass digesters in lower Saxony. Here two PistenBullys, better known as snow-grooming machines, are working on the clamp. With their low centre of gravity and hydrostatic drive, these agricultural adaptations are claimed to be ideal for this work.
We are also shown brief footage of the maize harvest where Claas Jaguar forage harvesters with maize harvest attachments are joined by Fendt tractors.
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