The current machinery fleet takes care of all the farming operations as well as being able to take on additional work should the opportunity arise. Along with purely agricultural operations, MJ & SC Collins can undertake a range of ground works using both wheeled and 360 diggers along with a vast knowledge of groundworks and construction.
All machines are fitted with Trimble RTK guidance systems which not only bring the benefits of reduced operating costs but enable the business to engage with Controlled Traffic Farming to reduce our footprint on the ground but also to speed up timeliness to ensure we give our crops the best possible chance to perform.
MJ & SC Collins operates a high output sprayer which can apply both agrochemicals and liquid fertiliser at 24m and 36m working widths. RTK guidance ensures tramlines can be put in exactly the right place year in year out. Variable track width means that our sprayer can fit down any tramline.
The capacity of the Lexion 8900 combine on tracks coupled with the 12.3m ConvioFlex cutter bar means that we can achieve work rates in excess of 60 hectares per day. This gives us the ability to either wait for conditions to be that little bit drier or harvest large tonnages of crop before quality deteriorates or the weather breaks.
Cultivations & Drilling
MJ & SC Collins uses both min-till techniques alongside targeted, rotational ploughing methods to ensure that the soil is managed correctly to suit the cropping and conditions. Various drills mean that drilling dates can be flexible to suit soil conditions.
- Mole Draining – twin and single leg.
- Subsoiling using 4m & 6m subsoilers.
- Min till cultivations using the very versatile 7m Vaderstad Topdown.
- Ploughing using 6 & 12 Furrow Lemken ploughs.
- Pressing using 6m Vaderstad Rexius Twin Press.
- Grain and Pulse drilling using Vaderstad Rapide 8m drill, Horsch Sprinter 8m drill and 6m Lemken Powerharrow Combination drill.
Using either of our diggers we can carry out road side and in field ditching to regularly clean ditches or completely revamp old ditches which have not been cleaned for years. Spoil is levelled out to ensure it can be dealt with in the following crop and outlets can be replaced or repaired accordingly.
Having 300ha of un-drained airfield at Lysander Park that was hindering agricultural production we undertook to carry out our own land drainage in order to improve the soil structure and yield. Machinery was purchased and we undertake approximately 60ha per year working in the growing crop between rounds of fertiliser. Fields are surveyed using GPS and then we create our own scheme which is then installed using the trencher and Trimble GPS. Part or full schemes can be created to suit individual needs and can be installed during the spring or early autumn. Our own gravel cart ensures that stone is put in the trenches at the right level for optimum mole drainage.
Other services include;
Hedge Cutting (road and field side)
Wheeled digger work
360 excavator work
Minimum tillage work
Please Contact John Haynes in the office for further information or to discuss details of required work.
The Machinery Fleet
Case IH Quadtrac 620 – This is the prime mover of the business which carries out all the primary cultivations and drilling. Implements include twin leg mole drainer, 7m Vaderstad Topdown, 12 furrow Lemken plough and 8m Vaderstad drill. Due to the workload the Quadtrac operates 24 hours a day during peak periods.
Horsch Leeb 8 GS Trailed Sprayer – The 8,000L tank has increased the farm’s spraying output by 20% over previous machines. Moving to a trailed sprayer has enabled us to run an additional tractor, which can assist in other workstreams at different times of the year. It is essential to have a reliable machine that can be called upon at any day of the year to apply the agrochemicals at exactly the right time. This ensures maximum efficacy of the chemicals to maintain anti-resistance strategies and to prolong the life of the active ingredients themselves.
Claas Lexion 8900TT – Fitted with a 12.3m ConvioFlex cutter bar, the combine has huge output which enables the business to harvest large areas in better conditions instead of being forced to harvest when conditions aren’t quite right. Also fitted with Trimble RTK guidance and yield mapping, the combine keeps to the farm’s 12m traffic lanes whilst gathering yield data which is used to analyse every acre of the farm and also helps the Farm Manager fine tune seed & fertiliser inputs. The ConvioFlex cutterbar comes in to its own during wet seasons, allowing us to collect crop from the floor to minimise losses. The header can dynamically 'flex' over the natural variation of the fields terrain.
Diggers - The farm operates 2 diggers, a wheeled digger and a tracked excavator. The tracked excavator is an 18 tonne machine. Both of these are kept busy throughout the year on various jobs - loading the gravel cart, digging drain junctions, ground works, estate management, ditching and commercial development.
Fendt 724 Vario – The Fendt 724 is a very versatile tractor in our business and carries out a range of duties during the year. During the spring the 724's backs up the fertiliser spreader by carting bulk fertiliser from the farm’s central store to the blocks where the fertiliser is being spread. When we are trenching the tractor is kept busy on the gravel cart back filling behind the trencher. During the summer the 724 carries out all the hedge cutting, helps with the ploughing, carries out rolling and pressing.
Fendt 828 Vario - The Fendt 939 Vario was bought to replace the short term hire tractor during peak periods, while adding more flexibility throughout the year. The main roles for this machine are during the busy summer and autumn months of July, August, September and October when it will often be found on the drill or plough.
Fendt 939 Vario - The Fendt 939 Vario was bought to replace the short term hire tractor during peak periods, while adding more flexibility throughout the year. The main roles for this machine are during the busy summer and autumn months of July, August, September and October when it will often be found on the drill or plough.
Meet The Team
Partner - Simon Collins
Simon oversees both the agricultural and commercial side of the business. Working closely with John Haynes, farm manager - attention to detail is one of the main focus points. Having gained experience of over three decades of agriculture, the advice from Simon during challenging periods is hugely important. Simon has an active and dynamic approach to agriculture and has benefited from seeing several cycles within the industry. Providing help from the office including cropping decisions and variety choices, to getting 'hands on' during busy harvest periods - Simon is still very much an active partner in the business.
James Houseman – Arable Operator
James joined the team full time in March 2018. He has vast amounts of arable farming experience and provides vital backup to the Assistant Farm Manager. James is the main operator of the Claas Lexion 8900TT combine harvester and operates the farm’s Mastenbroek trencher. When not operating machinery or providing relief cover, James spends time in the workshop maintaining and overhauling the farm’s machinery. He is also an extremely talented welder and fabricator. James lives locally with his girlfriend Lizzy and enjoys going to the gym as well as getting out on his off road motorbike.
Farm Manager – John Haynes
John joined the business in 2011 after working as a Farm Manager for Velcourt on the Suffolk Coast. Originally from North Yorkshire, John has spent his career since graduating from Wirttle College in East Anglia where he first joined the Co-Operative Farms’ management trainee scheme. John is BASIS & FACTS qualified and is responsible for all aspects of the farming side of the business.
John is always looking for ways to improve and expand the agricultural sector. His experience has helped to bring excellent organisation to multiple operations - allowing the agricultural team to run like a well oiled machine. John enjoys spending time with his young family, as well as riding his offroad motorbikes.
Assistant Arable Manager -Tom Monks
Tom started his career with MJ & SC Collins as a placement student from Harper Adams during 2020-2021 where he was our sprayer operator for a season. After graduating from Harper Adams and spending a season operating a combine in Australia, he returned to take over the reins as Assistant Farm Manager to John in March 2023. Tom looks after the day to day running of the farm and spends his time between the office and helping out on the farm – be that helping in the workshop or operating any of the machinery to enable smooth running of the farming operations as and when required. Tom is an active member of his local Young Farmers club and has a passion for steam engines.
Partner - Pete Collins
Pete, similar to Simon - has an involvement on both the commercial and agricultural side of the business. Having completed 8 seasons operating a Claas Lexion in the UK and a John Deere machine in Australia, harvest experience is helpful come the summer time. Pete also works very closely with John Haynes, farm manager to market all 18,000T of produce. Pete has introduced various instruments used to protect the businesses bottom line when it comes to marketing. The introduction of options, futures and hedging currency helps to run the business as efficiently as possible. In his spare time, Pete can often be found travelling to chase the sun - most likely on the water kite surfing or bodyboarding.
Arable Operator -
Stuart joined the team as our sprayer operator in February 2023. Stuart operates our Fendt 828 and 8000l Horsch Leeb sprayer carrying out all the spraying across the cropping portfolio. When not spraying Stuart carries out maintenance in the workshop working closely with James and will back up the harvesting team at harvest providing additional trailer support when needed as well as carrying out cultivations as and when required. Stuart lives locally with his family and enjoys restoring old Land Rovers.
Placement Students & Part Time Members of Staff
We now factor in two full time placement students each year. Working closely with agricultural universities, we are able to overlap two years students to cover the busy period from June to October when we will have four placement students on the team. This is beneficial to both MJ & SC Collins as a business and the successful individuals as a stepping stone and gateway in to the industry.
This scheme was implemented by John Haynes - where we have formed a close relationship with various universities to remain a credited placement provider. We aim to provide significant experience for the successful candidates - a much higer level of exposure to machinery operation than other schemes on offer.
We also have part time opportunities to help cover extremely busy periods. During the summer months, it is not uncommon for 2 or 3 part time students to have roles spanning anywhere from 3 to 6 months.