“Everyone on the farm likes our new MF 7718 tractor especially my 15-year-old son Harry!” says Robert Neill who farms 633ha in partnership with his wife, Jacqueline near Jedburgh in the Scottish borders.
They took over Upper Nisbet Farm in 2000. The enterprise has thrived and Robert has made something of a name for himself in the agricultural world. He won the title ‘Mixed Farmer of the Year 2017’ and overall ‘Farmer of the Year 2017’ and has recently starred in the Channel 5 TV’s ‘Springtime on the Farm’ which aired in mid-April. In 2013, he received a Nuffield Farming Scholarship Award to study Electronic Identification in cattle.
The new MF 7718 Exclusive with Dyna-6 transmission was supplied through Alan Renton, Branch Sales Manager for Massey Ferguson dealer Ancroft Tractors’ Kelso depot. It arrived at Upper Nisbet around Christmas 2017 to take over duties from their MF 6480.
“We split the farm roughly half arable and half livestock,” explains Robert. “We grow winter barley, winter wheat and spring barley and have 320 beef suckler cows, the majority being Limousin cross British Friesian.”
The beef and arable enterprises are complementary, with each providing a benefit to the other. The winter barley is mostly dried and kept in long-term storage to feed the beef herd. All of the straw from the cereal crops is baled and retained for feeding and bedding. The plentiful supply of manure goes straight back to the land.
“Spraying is the main job for the MF 7718,” says Robert. “It has the same axle dimensions as our old MF 6480 so this meant that we could use our existing narrow wheels which was a big bonus. We also fit it with dual wheels when using a roller or cultivating. Another key task for the tractor is to work with our diet feeder every day.”
“The MF 7718 has a lot of good features such as the clutchless braking which reduces driver effort,” Robert remarks. “The Power Control lever also makes it easy to use. You just have to lift up the lever and the tractor stops and goes to neutral.” This is an advantage when, for example, looking to the side or rear when in work as it means that the driver does not have to operate the clutch to come to a halt.
“We’ve recently integrated a camera at the back of the tractor too which operates through the screen on the Datatronic 4 terminal in the cab. This is great for when you are reversing with implements,” he comments
Other MF kit in Upper Nisbet fleet includes an MF 5480 equipped with a loader which acts as a stockman’s tractor. An MF 135 from 1972 in pristine condition is employed for verge trimming and hauling a 24-seat passenger trailer which takes school parties around the farm.
“With everything we do here at Upper Nisbet, we try to produce a top-quality product which is going to gain a premium in the marketplace,” adds Robert.
“Everyone on the farm likes our new MF 7718 tractor especially my 15-year-old son Harry!”
“Spraying is the main job for the MF 7718”
“The MF 7718 has a lot of good features such as the clutchless braking which reduces driver effort”