Grenagh Open Day
Tractor & Machinery|December 2017

Once a year, Mike Forde of Grenagh, Co. Cork, opens up his sheds to let the collection of combines and tractors loose upon his barley and the resulting stubble. It's always worth going along to watch, says Justin Roberts.

Justin Roberts

Unfortunately for this year’s open day at Mike Forde’s farm, the weather chose not to cooperate, providing some heavy overnight rain and occasional showers during the day. It was enough to restrict the combining to a few runs in the afternoon, but it didn't stop the ploughing or silage cutting, which went on as planned.

Mike doesn't just restrict the activity to his own machines, but invites others along as well, one of whom was Tony Doyle who had made the journey with a Ferguson FE 35. There is some question over the dates of the engine and transmission castings, which don't immediately match and lead Tony to believe that it was built in 1957. It’s a small matter, as he keeps it well and is not afraid of getting a drop or two of mud on it.

Another product of Banner Lane was there pulling one of the first belt-type round balers to find its way to Ireland. The tractor was a Massey Ferguson 185 and the baler was a Vermeer-built MF unit. It was hoped that it would get used on the day, but it stayed far too wet and these models can be quite sensitive to the state of the straw.

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