December 10 2013 Latest news:
St Osyth farmer Guy Smith, centre, during filming of BBC2's Harvest series, with presenters Philippa Forrester and Gregg Wallace which starts tonight at 8pm. An experiment took place on his farm to establish just what the difference is between a modern combine harvester and a more traditional way of bringing in the harvest.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A farmer played host to a film crew which carried out an experiment to see how modern combine harvesters compare with more traditional methods.
As part of the BBC2’s Harvest program, a series of three programmes set to be broadcast from tonight, film-makers came to Guy Smith’s farm at St Osyth, near Clacton, to establish just what the difference is.
Using a state-of-the-art New Holland CR8080 SmartTraxTM combine from local dealer Ernest Doe, presenter Philippa Forrester shows viewers how a modern machine brings together all the separate operations that our ancestors used to undertake to complete harvest and took control to get a feel for the output of a modern harvester.
To offer a contrast and a glimpse of a bygone age, volunteers learnt the art of hand cutting wheat with hooks and scythes while local schoolchildren learnt the lost art of hand threshing. Led by co-presenter Gregg Wallace and equipped with pillow cases, bats, sticks and even tennis rackets, the volunteers proceeded to thresh the cut crop and then using sieves and a further measure of manual labour, were introduced to the art of winnowing – using wind to clean the crop.
The BBC Harvest Programme is intended to give the wider public an in-depth view of harvest time for UK Agriculture. The series of three programmes covering the harvest of fruit, cereals and vegetables is scheduled to be broadcast tonight tomorrow and Friday. Following on from the difficult harvesting and sowing conditions of 2012, the series of programmes will show viewers the culmination of what has proven to be one of the more difficult farming years in recent memory.
Using the CR8080’s GPS system and on-board weighing equipment, Philippa managed to harvest an average of 11kg of wheat a second during her stint behind the wheel.
BBC Harvest is on at 8pm on BBC 2 tonight and tomorrow and at 9pm on Friday.