Banks Estate Coop Ltd invested in a Case IH Austoft 8810 to work in the coming months.
It was another challenging season for cane growers in the NSW Northern Rivers, but it’s hoped rain earlier in the year will see a sweeter result than initially expected.
The crush in NSW’s northern cane growing regions got underway last month, with this season’s crop impacted by the same drought conditions that resulted in lower yields in 2019. But rain since the start of 2020 has now inspired predictions of reasonable tonnages, at least in line with last year, despite the dry weather affecting the crop’s progress up to December.
One of the harvesters that took to the paddocks last month belongs to Banks Estate Coop Ltd, the group investing in a brand new Case IH Austoft 8810 that the coop members took delivery of last month.
Banks Estate was formed in 1974 and today has 20 members in the Richmond River cane growing area of Northern NSW, taking in the Broadwater, Woodburn, and East Coraki regions. The coop’s new Austoft is expected to harvest between 80,000 and 110,000 tonnes across the 20 member farms this year, a similar result to last year.
Jim Sneesby is secretary of Banks Estate Co-op and said it was great to see the new harvester in action, an upgrade from their previous Case IH model, and purchased from Days Machinery Centre in Casino, which has just started selling Case IH cane harvesters following a change in ownership in 2019.
“With tonnages lower than we’d like to see for another year, the harvester we use has to guarantee the highest possible yields, with an emphasis on efficiency and quality. After using Austofts for so many years, we know it’s equal to the task.”
Dealer principal Dan Hoppe said it was satisfying to have the iconic Austoft – the machine invented in Australia and produced here until the mid-90s – in the Days’ machinery stable and that considerable investment had gone into staff training, ensuring the availability of Austoft parts lines and meeting servicing needs.
Jim said the coop, which employs five staff during the annual harvest, had always used Case IH harvesters because of the machine’s reliability and the great service they’d always received from Case IH dealers.
The Case IH Austoft 8010 series was launched into the Australian market in 2018, hailed as a major update to the company’s sugarcane harvester product offering, with a raft of new features and improvements that came out of more than 18,000 hours of field-testing. Jim said:
“This new harvester will be working overtime in the coming months with hundreds of hectares to be covered across our members’ farms, so we need to know the machine we’re using is up to the challenge. And with tonnages lower than we’d like to see for another year, the harvester we use has to guarantee the highest possible yields, with an emphasis on efficiency and quality. After using Austofts for so many years, we know it’s equal to the task.”
Source: Case IH