John Deere X9 1000 Harvesters passed a test “with flying colours” at Tammin, where the York family’s Anameka Farms provided the perfect testing ground after another unprecedented harvest. It was the prospect of a second consecutive record crop that prompted Oscar York, his father Tony and uncle Simon to invest in the groundbreaking new machines through the AFGRI Equipment dealership at Cunderdin. They didn’t regret their decision. “The new X9 Harvesters with their 50-foot hinged draper fronts were amazing, just in a league of their own,” Oscar said. “It was challenging to manage the logistics when the two headers were harvesting 140 tonnes per hour but we saved at least two weeks on harvest, which was huge. “They’re a great leap forward.” Throughout 2022, the Yorks sowed 11,500 ha of crop and 3500 ha of sheep pasture for their self-replacing flock of 4500 Merino ewes and growing conditions were ideal. They managed to dodge December’s devastating hail storms that hit farms 40km away and harvested a total tonnage of just more than 31,000 tonnes, with wheat and barley yielding just more than three tonnes per hectare, canola 1.4t/ha, lupins 2.1t/ha and peas 1.3t/ha. The impact of the X9 Harvesters was instant, with the larger 15.2 metre (50ft) fronts, 630 max horsepower engine, 23 per cent wider feederhouse and 36 per cent bigger cleaning area combining to deliver a significant boost in harvesting capacity compared with the Yorks’ previous combines. “When they arrived we took them straight into the canola and instantly noticed the huge difference in capacity,” Oscar said. “They operated at double the speed of our John Deere S680s, doing nine to 10km/hr in canola and whizzing past the 680s doing four or five km/hr.” Oscar said in the cereals they were harvesting 50 to 70t/hr each no matter what the conditions, which was exciting but meant they had to change the focus on logistics to trucks. “We had three road trains with a capacity of 50 to 65t and hired another as well, then brought an old truck out of retirement that pulled our seeding trailer and another one behind it,” he said. “Dad was driving that full-time and we still required contractor trucks to help out.” Oscar spent a few days on the headers but found himself fully engaged with managing logistics. “With six trucks coming and going, three headers, two chasers, six field bins and between five and 10 other vehicles, it was a lot to coordinate,” he said. When asked to identify the best feature on the X9 Harvesters, Oscar was unequivocal. “Everything — we loved everything about them,” he said. “The fuel economy is a lot better, the grain tank is bigger, the speed they can travel at and with the dual separators, you can tell the harvester is working better. “The hinge draper fronts were a huge step up, just the way they followed the contour meant it was a case of ‘set and forget’.” He said with no distraction from the fronts, the driver could look at speed and revs and push the header to maximum capacity. “With the X9, you could be working it really hard but there was nothing out the back of the header, no losses — that was a huge improvement,” Oscar said. He was also impressed by the comfort of the new bigger and quieter cab on the X-Series, with its swivel seat and screen on the arm rest. “We had to fight to get a drive in it,” Oscar said. And he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the new harvester. “Absolutely — they’re awesome, a huge leap forward and in another league compared to the ones we’ve had previously,” he said. To find out more, visit the John Deere website or contact a local John Deere dealer..