One of this year’s highlights for the Ullyott family’s farming operation in East Yorkshire was the delivery of a new MF 7718 tractor.
Replacing a 10-year-old, non-MF machine, it marked what could be the start of a switch back to the MF brand for the Ullyotts. Mark Ullyott describes the farming business into which the latest mechanical arrival has been welcomed: “J W & E S Ullyott is a three-way family partnership, farming at Middleton-on-the-Wolds, with a long-standing machinery sharing and pooled crop marketing arrangement with P R Walker & Son in the neighbouring village of Lund.
“The Middleton cropped area is mainly typical rolling wold land over chalk, with some flint present” he continues. “The Lund land is well-bodied, heavier clay content soil just off the Wolds, but in the main easily worked. Together, the two farms – along with some rented land – extend to 675 acres, with combining only being undertaken on a further 450 acres.’
Explaining the cropping regime, he says: “It’s based on a six-year rotation to accommodate vining peas for Birds Eye, with winter oilseed rape currently providing a second break. Winter wheat is grown for seed on contract for Woodheads and biscuit for the Bradshaws flour mill at nearby Driffield.
“Feed barley accounts for the rest of the arable area, together with some permanent grass providing grazing for the suckler herd around the Walkers’ homestead.”
Mark recalls the mid-1990s, when it was decided to move to a different brand to replace the Massey Ferguson fleet that had been serving the family for many years. “This has been the case since – until, that is, the summer of this year, when we decided to invest in the MF 7718. The existing workhorse has now been moved to drilling work and spraying with a trailed 24m Farmgem.
“The 7718 has taken over mainly cultivation duties, which include principally pulling a Simba 4.6m UniPress on the heavier soils and employing Dalbo 8m rolls with levelling paddles on the lighter land. Other tasks so far include have included min-till cultivation, using a 2.5m Sumo Trio, as well as carting at harvest.”
Mark is pleased with the decision to specify the Auto-Guide option for the new tractor. “It was simple to set up and operate and has provided more accurate bout working with the cultivator to a level that’s more than adequate for the job,” he reports. The MF 7718 will now move on to some winter ploughing using a Lemken six-furrow slatted, along with a furrow press that’s used behind a hire tractor for autumn sowing.
“Our decision to switch back to Massey Ferguson this time was made partly as a result of recommendations from other users,” he states. “The 7718 has proved to be a very smooth ride both on road and in the field, where there is also a good balance of power to weight requirements.
“Another factor that influenced the decision, making it is easier, has been the excellent relationship with David Franks at our local MF dealership Franks Curtis. They provided valuable demo opportunities in the months leading up to us placing the order, while the excellent back-up we’ve received from them is something we’ve now come to expect!”