Although Springhill Farms only took delivery of their new John Deere 9800 Self-propelled forage harvester in April 2021, it is in fact their third John Deere forager in the last nine years. Farming some 4500 acres of arable land and being one of the largest farming businesses in The Midlands, the company also grows and packages a wide range of tomato, salads and vegetable crops, supplying wholesale and retail businesses nationwide.
Part of the operation includes a major ‘green energy’ plant consisting of two Anaerobic Digesters and a 19 Megawatt solar park, which produces enough green gas and electricity supplied to consumers, businesses and farmers, equivalent to energising 35,000 homes. This very operation produces green energy which saves over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 compared to typical emissions from energy being produced by fossil fuels.
Operations Manager, Will Parrott said, “We grow and harvest the equivalent of almost five thousand acres of green crop as feedstock every year to feed our anaerobic digesters. On top of that, we take in green crop from other local farmers and growers. Our supply crop will usually consist of two thousand acres of maize, two and a halfthousand acres of grass and up to one thousand acres of whole crop. Everything is harvested and processed by our John Deere 9800 Self-propelled Forage Harvester, which has a very big appetite and keeps us on our toes during harvest! Once the feedstock has gone through the bio plant, we are left with digestate which is a nutrientrich substance that is returned to the farm-land as an organic fertiliser. Nothing is wasted, which is one of the main purposes of our energy production system.”
Springhill Farms’ John Deere 9800 comes with a massive 870hp power plant, 3m pick-up, 12 row maize header and a 7m Zurn whole-crop header. “We’ve had John Deere foragers since we started the Bio plant back in 2012,” added Will, “it’s important to have a reliable machine through harvest because we can’t afford to have breakdowns when processing the feedstock at the right moisture level for the Bio plant. We also need to rely on the service of our local dealer Tallis Amos Group, and I have to say they have been first-class in after-sales servicing over the years. We took delivery of the 9800 earlier this spring, it replaced an 8700 which we had for four years, and previous to that we used the John Deere 7750.
“Our relationship with TAG is really good. They have a great support team at every level and they help us when servicing and maintaining the forager and our fleet of John Deere tractors. They also are there when helping us to get the best from our advanced technology for ‘connected farm management’ and on top of that, the John Deere product holds its residual value. So, we are in a win-win situation, we are very happy with the John Deere product and TAG is a great company to work with.