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The MF 7700 - A farming highlight

One of this year’s highlights for the Ullyott family’s farming operation in East Yorkshire was the summer 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 Red for the Ullyotts, the reverse having taken place in the mid-1990s.

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.”

All the produce is dried and stored at Middleton on a drying floor for marketing throughout the season, with a recently installed 50Kw Endurance turbine providing the electric fans with a considerable boost. Suppled by Earthmill, the turbine is enabling production targets to be achieved, Mark reports.

Additional recent investment at Middleton has included a 1000-place Warcup slatted finishing pig building to complement the 1000-place straw finishing yard – the combination providing finishing accommodation for the Field family business at Langtoft.

Turning to the machinery side of the business, 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 Red 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!”

The purchase has also been appreciated at the dealership. “We are very pleased to have sold a MF 7718 to the Ullyott family,” states David Franks. “Their decision has had a major impact for Franks Curtis in the Driffield area, where a number of other MF tractors have been sold, along with many more requests for demonstrations being received,”