The De Courcey Harvest Working Day '17 event took place on Monday in Harbour View, Kilbrittain, Co. Cork.
AgriLand was there, to soak up the atmosphere and watch the various machines in action. Despite somewhat 'muggy' conditions, the assembled combine harvesters managed to scythe through the crop; so too did the forage harvesters.
Machinery giant Claas was very much in focus on the day; local dealer McCarthy Plant and Agri Sales exhibited a barrage of Claas equipment, including tractors, foragers and even a telescopic handler.
CEO of Claas UK and Ireland, Trevor Tyrrell - himself an Irish native - spoke to those in attendance at the official opening. He recounted how he had recently celebrated 28 years with Claas, having departed Co. Westmeath to join the company as a fledgling forage equipment specialist all those years ago. He joked that, as a young Irish man, he was sent over to teach the English and Germans how to cut grass.
Four Cork contractors - long-standing Claas customers - bolstered the forage harvesting section of the event. These were: Tony O'Mahony (near Bandon); Mark Troy (Bandon); Michael McCarthy (Lissarda); and Sean O' Donoghue (Ballinadee). Sean's father Denny recently celebrated 50 years in the silage contracting business.
Tony O'Mahony brought a new-generation Claas Jaguar 970 to the event - a machine that will be formally launched later this year at Agritechnica in Germany. He also brought a fleet of tractors and trailers, which hauled away from the various foragers on-site.
This year's De Courcey Harvest Working Day event was hosted by Derry and Mairead Desmond; monies raised are earmarked for Friends of Bandon Community Hospital and Ballinspittle Comhaltas.
Dotted about the site were hoards of vintage and classic cars, tractors and harvesters - including a couple of steam engines and an old-style thrashing machine. Even a horse-drawn plough was put through its paces.
However, the main focus was combine harvesting - chiefly older contraptions that were lovingly wheeled out for a much-anticipated day. The event wasn't just restricted to Claas machines; there was also a scattering of Massey Fergusons, New Hollands and other brands.
Below is a selection of shots from the event, showing just some of the machinery attractions in the picturesque Co. Cork landscape.
[caption id="attachment_186337" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This 1973 Dania D5000 self-propelled forage harvester is owned by John O'Donovan from Sandycove, Kinsale. It is equipped with a direct-cut header[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186338" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This gleaming John Deere 3130 looked sharp, with its OPU 'square' cab. The version pictured has the face-lifted nose and bonnet (having changed to a more 'rounded' appearance circa 1975). Built in Mannheim, Germany, during the early-to-late 1970s, the 3130 was considered a big powerhouse in its day[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186340" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This 1994 Ford 6640SL (Dual Power) certainly has the makings of a modern classic. Built in Basildon, England, this 85hp tractor marked a major leap forward from previous 10 Series models. It is pictured here coupled to a Taarup side-mounted, single-chop harvester[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186344" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This brightly-coloured New Holland 1520 had received a new coat of paint. Built during the 1970s (right up until 1980), the 4-walker 1520 was powered by a 4-cylinder Ford 2712E engine. This machine is owned by Vincent Buckley (Riverstick)[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186345" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This Venieri 18.63B was an imposing sight on McCarthy Plant and Agri Sales' stand. This 228hp machine has a Bosch Rexroth hydrostatic transmission. Maximum operating weight is 22t. These loaders have progressed since their introduction to the Irish market many years ago, when the 9013 was the Italian firm's key offering[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186348" align="aligncenter" width="728"] A blast from the past: This Roadless Ploughmaster 75 tractor and Massey Ferguson 30 drill formed an eye-catching combination at the event. Ploughmaster 75 tractors were built from 1968 to 1975. The company went out of business in 1983. This example is owned by Denis and Jon O'Reilly (Ballinspittle)[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186350" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This Ford 5640, from 1994, was on haulage (carting) duties at the event. It was side-filled by a Taarup double-chop harvester (coupled to a John Deere 3130). Introduced in the early 1990s, the 75hp 5640 was quite a modern-looking and fresh-faced tractor at the time[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186352" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Conditions were best described as 'muggy' - not ideal for cutting and threshing. Straw was tending to wrap around the reel, in more than one case. Nonetheless, it remained dry overhead and the combines battled on[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186353" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This smart-looking 784 was one of a number of International (IH) tractors on display at Harbour View. The 784 was built in Doncaster, England, from 1977 until 1984. It was powered by a 4-cylinder, 4L IH engine. The transmission was a simple 8F 4R affair; TA (Torque Amplifier) versions doubled this up to a 16F 8R configuration[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186359" align="aligncenter" width="728"] The Fordson name is synonymous with Cork. Fordson production was ongoing in Cork, on and off, between 1919 and 1933. There were several Ford and Fordson tractors at the De Courcey Harvest '17 event[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186361" align="aligncenter" width="728"] One of the more unusual entries was this Steyr 8120. The 100hp 8120 was built in Austria from the late 1970s up until the mid 1980s. The engine was Steyr's own 6-cylinder, 5.2L block. Interestingly, the slightly more powerful 110hp Steyr 8130 was also sold, albeit in a different livery, as the Marshall D110[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186362" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This Ford 7610 (Generation III), with its 'square-cut' AP cab, was a stunning sight at Harbour View. Once a very popular tractor, the 7610 might be more recognisable to some with the more costly Super Q cab. In any case, this tractor was a big seller here in Ireland, up until the arrival of its replacement - the 7740 - in the early 1990s[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186364" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Claas combines of varying ages were out in force, including self-propelled and trailed machines. Some were in very 'original' condition; others had been restored and brought back to their former glory[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186367" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Spectators ranged in age, almost as much as the machines did! While waiting for the next combine harvester to ready itself, there was no shortage of scenery to peruse on the Co. Cork coastline[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186368" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This Case IH 844XL was one of the more modern tractors in the vintage and classic exhibition. The 80hp 844XL had a relatively short production run, from 1985 to 1987; this example was built in Neuss, Germany and was fitted with an IH 4-cylinder, 4.4L engine. Back in the 1980s, the upholstered XL cab was the lap of luxury[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186369" align="aligncenter" width="728"] You may run; you may hide - but you'll never escape the 135! As we have said previously, what vintage and classic event would be complete without the omnipresent Massey Ferguson 135. This attractive pairing nestled nicely into the mix at Harbour View[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186370" align="aligncenter" width="728"] A Deere with a difference: The 2-cylinder 730 was manufactured between 1958 and 1961. Over 24,000 were built at John Deere's factory in Waterloo, Iowa (US); 17,000 of these were diesel-powered units. Back in 1960, a brand new 730 would have set you back the princely sum of $3,700[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186376" align="aligncenter" width="728"] True blue: This Ford 4000 will spark nostalgic memories for older readers; it was a very popular sight here in Ireland. The Ford 4000 ‘Force’ model was introduced in 1968. It sported a 55hp 3-cylinder diesel engine, which was coupled to either an 8-speed manual gearbox or a 10-speed ‘Select-O-Speed’ unit[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186378" align="aligncenter" width="728"] This 1989 Case IH 685 was well turned out for the day's proceedings in Co. Cork. This 73hp 685 was built in Doncaster, England. The production run spanned from 1985 up until 1990. This example has the lower-cost 'L' cab, rather than the taller and more comfortable 'XL' version[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186385" align="alignnone" width="728"] The Nuffield 4/60 harks back to the early 1960s (1961-1963). Its 4-cylinder, 3.8L BMC engine churned out 60hp. It was built at the Morris factory at Cowley, Oxford (England) before the new Bathgate factory opened. It was later replaced by the 10/60 model[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186388" align="alignnone" width="728"] Machines didn't necessarily have to be restored to 'as new' condition to partake; as long as a combine harvester was in working order, it was welcomed into the fold at the De Courcey Harvest '17 event[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186390" align="alignnone" width="728"] Ford and Fordson tractors were relatively plentiful on the day. This 3000 looked well in its striking blue livery, nestled amongst its Nuffield, International (IH) and Case IH counterparts[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186392" align="alignnone" width="728"] Built in England, the McCormick (International/Farmall) B-450 boasted 55hp. US-built versions were designated 'Farmall 450' or 'International 450' and had different engines, alongside other changes. The B-450 had a simple 5F 1R gearbox. Standard features included a differential lock. Asking price for one of these, in 1959, was £795 plus £90 for the optional power take-off (PTO) and hydraulic linkage[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186400" align="alignnone" width="728"] Check out this spreading combo: This Massey Ferguson 65 and JF spreader pairing could shift some muck in its time, while leaving relatively little compaction in its wake[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186406" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Several Claas trailed (trailer-type) combines were present, including Super and Super Junior models. The Super entered production in 1946; the smaller Junior came on stream in 1953. Over 65,000 Supers were built at Harsewinkel (Germany) up until 1978[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186423" align="alignnone" width="728"] At the helm of this 1960 Massey Ferguson 780 Special was Eamon Geary from Horsehill, Ballinadee. Massey Harris had developed its self-propelled combine harvester design over many years; it resulted in the 780 model (which was manufactured in Scotland for the European market). It was sold under the Massey Ferguson brand-name from 1957[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186417" align="alignnone" width="728"] This steam engine provided the muscle for the thrashing demonstration. This spectacle was central to proceedings; it formed a fitting backdrop for the combines as they tackled their respective tasks. The silage harvesting demonstration took place later, with the roar of the modern harvesters drawing spectators from one side of the site to the other[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_186413" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Ben Searles brought a 110-year-old working steam engine to the event. Remarkably, this machine has not changed hands in all that time; it is still owned by the Murphy family (Kinsale). It was bought new from Atkins, all those years ago, for what is estimated to have been in the region of £200[/caption]