A passion for farming
Text: Geoff Ashcroft Photos: Geoff Ashcroft
With two main tractors on the 310ha family farm, Naomi McKie and her father, Richard Bugg, place versatility and productivity high on their agenda.
“Our largest tractor is 200hp which suits cultivations and drilling, where our smaller tractor has to step-up around buildings, as well as supporting fieldwork,” explains Naomi McKie.
That smaller tractor is now a four-cylinder Valtra N134 Active supplied by local dealer CJ Cox, and equipped with G6 loader, replacing a lesser-powered six-cylinder tractor.
Compact but powerful, the N134 is equally capable around buildings as it is with field work.
“I was lucky enough to see my tractor going down the production line last year,” she recalls.
“It’s proving very comfortable to use, and has some neat touches too. The loader is easy to remove and refit, and it packs good hydraulic power for handling duties.”
From Littleton Farm, Blandford Forum, Dorset, Naomi and her father grow 280ha of combinable crops including wheat, barley and oilseed rape. The remainder is a mix of traditional grass and newly introduced herbal leys to cater for a growing herd of 100 store cattle and breeding cows that add value to their arable farming practices.
With 400 hours now under its belt, Naomi reckons the tractor has made life easier and more comfortable.
“A short wheelbase makes the Valtra extremely manoeuvrable in and around our buildings, and there’s plenty of power for field work and hauling grain trailers at harvest,” she says.
“The Valtra is in use every day, feeding and bedding our livestock. It offers great visibility and we all like the five-post cab which lets us open a small side window for fresh air.”
“It’s certainly improved the way we farm, and we would consider another one when the time comes to swap our larger tractor.”