A new machinery-based world record attempt will be staged close to Trim, Co. Meath on May 6.
Combines 4 Charity, best known for its 2012 feat whereby it amassed over 200 (working) combines in one field, is now focusing on forage harvesters for its next charity fund-raiser.
The plan is to pick up 100ac of grass in 10 minutes, with as many self-propelled foragers as are needed to get the job done.
The organisers of the so-called 'Great Grass Event' are looking to hear from owners of self-propelled forage harvesters, who would be willing to travel to Trim and join the collective effort. Prospective participants can register their interest on Combines 4 Charity's website.
All participating harvester owners are asked to raise a minimum of €500 sponorship; on entry they will be entered into a draw to win a new Smyth trailer.
There is no stipulated allegiance to any single brand; it is possible that Claas, John Deere, New Holland or Krone machines will turn up. Is there any prospect of a Fendt Katana coming on the day?
What about lesser-spotted or now-discontinued marques? Alas, there are few Case IH, Mengele or Fortschritt machines remaining in Ireland. As far as we know, Massey Ferguson (its rare 5100 Series models were essentially re-badged Mengele machines) never brought one of its forage harvesters here.
Who or what is 'Combines 4 Charity'?
Combines 4 Charity was formed in 2009 by a group of 10 cereal famers, with the aim of establishing a new Guinness World Record and raising money for charity. The original goal was to have 100 combines cutting 100 acres.
Rather impressively, they managed to muster 184 combines working simultaneously. The feat attracted up to 20,000 spectators and raised €300,000 for the chosen charities.
Alas, that record was broken the following year by a group of Canadian farmers, who managed to gather up 200 combines – all of which were filmed working together.
In a bid to reclaim the record, two years later in 2012, Combines 4 Charity amassed a staggering 208 combines – again all working simultaneously in the same field. This raised a further €100,000 for good causes.
An official DVD, which costs €15, of the world record attempt is available from the Combines 4 Charity office, which is based at Staleen, Donore, Co. Louth.
Combines 4 Charity has also entered a "share farming" agreement (100ac), which is farmed on a voluntary basis with the support of other cereal growers, chemical companies, local grain merchants and neighbours. Monies raised through farm sales are donated to the chosen charities.
Currently, the beneficiaries are: Barnardos, the independent charity that works with vulnerable children and campaigns for the rights of all children; Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre, Drogheda, which provides counselling and support for families affected by cancer; and the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, which is a specialist hospital for spinal injuries.
Combines 4 Charity also supports a number of other worthy causes.