Mates line up to create world record

31 Dec, 2003 10:00 PM

WESTY said it would work. Boots offered his property. Brickie got excited and Griffo wanted to bring his chopper.

Well, Westy was right. Boots copped a bonus in getting 200ha of wheat off in world record time. Brickie could only marvel at the publicity and confidence booster to the local community and Griffo, well Griffo had a ball in his helicopter ferrying professional and amateur photographers.

And the result?

An entry into the Guinness Book of Records for having 55 combine harvesters operating together in one paddock in an event called the Perenjori Header Muster.

It happened on Friday, December 19 in a 200ha paddock owned by Ron ³Boots² Cannon after much planning by Perenjori Progress Association member and local Elders agent Ian ³Westy² West, who thought of the idea three years ago.

Perenjori Shire president and farmer Brian ³Brickie² Baxter was an enthusiastic supporter as was Allan ³ÒGriffo² Griffiths, who owns a farm and a helicopter in Carnamah.

²I was absolutely knocked over by the response,² Ian said of the more than 350 people who turned up to watch 56 headers make short work of a Calingiri wheat crop going 2.3t/ha.

The task was completed in two passes of the 1100m wide paddock by a variety of combine harvester models ranging from the current breed to a Massey 850 built in 1985 and designed with a 7.3m (24ft) closed front or comb front which required three lifting rams.

It was the last header away and kept up admirably with its bigger brothers (with the assistance of a chase bin).

The end result was 400t of Calingiri wheat delivered to the nearby Bunjil bin with the operation taking about an hour.

³I had been waiting for the right year to use the idea to get the community together to celebrate the season,² Ian said. ³It also gave us an opportunity to raise funds for the progress association to help out the St John¹s Ambulance brigade and the local school and other local groups.

³And we wanted to give a positive spin to Perenjori, which has copped a bit of negative publicity as a town in decline.

³Guiness opened up a new category for us and I suppose someone else will now want to have a crack at it.²

Naturally all ideas need support and Ian is grateful for the help he has received, with the mind-boggling logistics of handling low loaders, parking comb front trailers, arranging road trains to take the wheat and feeding the multitude.

²Could you also please give our sponsors a plug too?² Ian asked.

the National¹s head of Agribusiness Risk Management Services Tim Keith said.


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