The Mighty Cyclone crushes crop stubble and competition

Major Cyclone offers strength, stamina and value for fifth-generation farmers in Saffron Walden

Peter and Sian Wombwell run Wombwell Farms based at Rectory Farm in Ickleton, near the market town of Saffron Walden, with their two sons, William and James. The farm and farm contracting business cover some 3000 acres bordering south Cambridgeshire and north Essex, of which 150 acres is grassland under various grazing agreements. The fifth-generation farming family operate an arable regime of sugar beet, oilseed rape, winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley and stubble turnips, the latter used to feed around 3000 store lambs through the winter. Plans are underway to develop a small Angus beef herd and they have a thriving pumpkin business as well. As contractors, they provide combine harvesting, drilling, spraying and cultivation services for farms within a 12-mile radius of home.

“We run under the HLS scheme and are very conscious of being environmentally responsible,” commented Peter Wombwell. “We maintain the margins by regular topping and have just recently gotten into recycling food waste from a local AD plant.”

The family had been using a flail mower to stay on top of stubble clearance, grass maintenance and margin control under its diverse cropping programme. When it came time to replace the expensive machine, Peter initially considered a batwing mower: “I started looking for a second-hand batwing topper but there were very few around and very expensive. Most second-hand machines were pretty much knackered anyway, so it was a bit of a dilemma!”

His local dealer Thurlow Nunn Standen (TNS) suggested the Major Cyclone for his needs, because in their experience, it does a much better job than a flail topper and is far more cost-effective with its shaft-driven driveline. “They brought out a demo unit for us to try. We were very impressed with its performance, so much so that we bought one,” added Peter.

The Wombwells purchased the Major Cyclone in 4.2-metre cutting wide. The folding wing topper has six rotors with 4 blades per rotor for powerful ‘blender-style’ mulching – perfect for shredding crop residue – but with 30% less HP required than a similar-sized flail. Cutting rotors are spaced two-and-a-quarter feet apart, doubling the number of heads found in batwing mowers to ensure any material is cut cleanly and evenly spread with no windrows.

High-performance Strenx™ 700 MC structural steel makes these mowers stronger yet lighter than comparable-sized machines.  Hardox® 450 abrasion-resistant steel undersole discs protect the blade system while the mower is working. Combined with hot-dip galvanisation to EN ISO 1461:2009 specifications, the Cyclone is guaranteed impact tough.

“We bought the Cyclone about a year ago and it’s proven to be a very wise choice,” commented Peter. “It handles all kinds of material – we’ve used it on maize stubble, cover-crop, grassland, and one particularly difficult application down the tramlines in oilseed rape; it just whizzed over that! Some of the plant breeders have trial plots situated on our land so we have to clear stubble effectively. The Major Cyclone makes short work of that task.”

“It’s very strong, reliable, very well built, low maintenance, and easy to use. It cost less than a used batwing, hardly has any maintenance costs, and takes a lot less fuel to power it – I really like it,” Peter enthused. “I’m pleased TNS made the recommendation because it’s turned out to be the perfect solution to all our topping and maintenance needs.”

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