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More than 40 years of exceptional harvest performance – Case IH Axial-Flow

21 Dec 2022

Gisborne has always been at the forefront of the maize industry, rich soils, warm climate, and high sunshine hours help the region produce some of the best crops in New Zealand.  It does not come without its challenges, large plants, wet ground conditions and high yields all present challenges, particularly at harvest. 

The Newman family from Waipaoa have been growing maize in the region for generations, in the late 1960's the decision was made to start cropping to supplement the income from traditional beef and sheep operations.  In more recent times the second-generation Newmans, Tom and Amanda focus mainly on maize crops, for seed, human consumption, and stock feed.  They also run around 600 sheep on the hill country that overwinter on the flats as well as apple and lemon operations. 

They have always been big supporters of Case IH, a walk around the farm will find a fine selection of red tractors dating back to Farmall days.  Today operations are supported by three Case IH Magnums on the heavy cultivation, two Case IH Maxxums on the lighter duties and a Case IH CX90 to help round the orchards.  The family have always had a close relationship with the brand and the people on the ground in New Zealand supporting it. 

Harvest has long since been a Case IH affair with Tom's father buying their first Axial-Flow in the 1980s.  The 1420 Axial-Flow from International Harvest would have been one of the first to land on New Zealand shores.   It was a new addition to the American manufacturer's range at the time, aimed at smaller farms with 112hp, a 20-inch rotor and a 125-bushel tank (3-ton approx.).

 Introduced in the USA in 1977, the first Axial-Flow combines stood out from the traditional straw walker design, in that threshing and separation were now performed by a rotor. At that time, the new rotary design was the first of its kind to be mass-produced and represented a giant step forward for farmers, with increased capacity translating to a significant boost in productivity.  It performed well in the Gisborne conditions and the family has gone on to buy four more over the years.   

​​While the principle of the single rotor has remained unchanged, with each new range Case IH engineers have utilised the very latest technology available to ensure performance has met farming needs for over 40 years

While the principle of the single rotor has remained unchanged, with each new range Case IH engineers have utilised the very latest technology available to ensure performance has met farming needs for over 40 years. 

The core reasons for choosing Axial-Flow in the 1980s still stand today.  The single rotor technology handles large volumes of crop and high yields with ease and performs particularly well in heavy-damp conditions in comparison to traditional drum and concave machines.  The design also allows for a compact harvester, a great advantage on tight roads and bridges around the region. 

The late harvest of grain maize this year posed significant problems with wet ground conditions and heavy soils making it tough for large harvest equipment.  Tom said the Axial-Flow was well suited to this due to it being lighter than many of the other machines around as well as having even weight distribution and good traction.  This allows him to get on the ground when the crop is good for harvest, even if the ground conditions are marginal. 

A recent addition to the fleet is the new Case IH 7150 Axial-Flow combine.  The 150 series of Axial- Flow incorporates some of the very latest concepts not only in threshing and separation, but also in cleaning, unloading, engine and transmission.   The result is a combine built not just to meet today's farming challenges – but to take on tomorrow too.  This combine will go to work in January on grass seed before starting maize harvest in Autumn.  


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