Customer stories

Rain leaves its mark, but Corowa cropping operation achieving ‘above average’ yields

22 Dec 2021

Farming is in the blood of the Nixon family from Oaklands, in southern NSW, with agriculture the occupation of choice for generations, ever since the family first arrived in Australia in the 1880s.

Today, Andrew Nixon, his brother James and their father, Richard, call the 4700ha property, Narrow Plains, home. They've been on the home property, about 60km north Corowa, since the 1970s and they maintain a busy cropping operation comprising wheat, barley, canola, maize and rice.

Harvest is in full swing and the week before Christmas, Andrew was in a new Case IH 8250 header in 1700ha of barley that was averaging about 7t/ha, and at that stage the quality of the barley was still going malt and was more than a tonne better than an average season. The plan was to start on the wheat a few days later, weather permitting.

Harvesting finished on 1800ha of canola in November, producing another "above average" result of 2.7t to the hectare, a great outcome considering the record prices at present.

Andrew said the heavy rain and flooding in the region in November had "knocked the quality of the crops around a bit, but wasn't too bad", and they certainly counted themselves lucky compared to the flood damage experienced in other regions of NSW.

​"We're a bit worried about the quality of the wheat – some of it's a little shot and sprung. But we know we have some good and some bad, so it's just a matter of segregating the two and trying to market them the way they are," he said. 

​​"Our current Case IH headers are just a lot more user friendly and can go for longer. When conditions get tough, that's when these bigger headers really shine" - Andrew Nixon

Central to their operation is the machinery – a Case IH Axial-Flow 9250, and the 8250, two Quadtracs, two Magnums, with a new AFS Connect Magnum 380 on its way from their local Case IH dealership O'Connors Corowa, and a Patriot sprayer rounding out the fleet.

Andrew has fond memories of the Case IH 2388s they used to operate but appreciates the level of automation and simple usability in the latest models along with their capacity to step up when the going gets tough.

​"The level of automation now is where things have really improved – essentially there's no real adjustments needed outside the cab. All the rotor, cleaning, residue and header (front) adjustments are on a button – you can just do it all on the fly. The Harvest Command system paired with Feedrate Control takes it to the next level - as conditions change, the machine will adjust itself to suit and operate at the optimum speed," Andrew said.

"You can shift the sensitivities to optimise what you want to do and optimise the header for the conditions all while monitoring the grain sample and quality. We find it works really well in corn – you pretty much set and forget the automation."

The Nixons also enjoy the higher horsepower of today's new-generation headers in tough conditions as well as the increased capacity of the grain tank.

"Our current Case IH headers are just a lot more user friendly and can go for longer. When conditions get tough, that's when these bigger headers really shine," Andrew said.

Download Word Document Download Image Download Zip archive