After two very different seasons operating a John Deere X9 1100 Combine Harvester across the Cosgrove family's farms, Daniel Winter remains impressed by the 'phenomenal numbers' the powerful, big capacity combine machine brings to the paddock.
Mr Winter, who farms with his parents-in-law, Rod and Tania Cosgrove, grows 4500 hectares of wheat, canola and lupins at Allanooka, near Geraldton.
The family bought the X9 1100 Signature Edition in September 2022 to cater for the needs of an increased cropping area - and the harvester had immediate impact.
"The X9 showed it could certainly rip the grain off in a good crop," Mr Winter said.
"Our best result last summer was 98 tonnes in an hour and 910t in a day, which is phenomenal.
"The trucks couldn't keep up and it was hard work for the little 22t chaser bin we were using.
"Previously on a good day our John Deere S780 would harvest 500t in 11 to 12 hours, whereas the X9 was consistently doing 650t in the same amount of time."
This year has been a tougher one for many WA growers, for some the driest on record, although the Cosgrove farms were fortunate to have welcomed 130-220 millimetres of rain.
Mr Winter said while yields were well down on last season, his crop had achieved a respectable 2t/ha - and in a season when every dollar counts, the fuel efficiency of the X9 had shone.
"The X9 with a 50-foot front is consistently using between three-and-a-half and four litres per hectare," he said.
"That's about 350 litres for 100 hectares, which is really good.
"While we set record tonnages with the X9 last summer, this season we're doing more hectares, up to 300ha in one day due to the lighter yields, and we invested in a 30t chaser bin that's keeping up."
The X9 1100 was delivered through the local Geraldton AFGRI Equipment dealership, and Mr Winter was quick to give credit to sales representative Craig Harris and mechanic Matt Auld for outstanding machine set-up.
"They did a really good job, it's got all the bells and whistles and it's a pleasure to drive - nice and quiet and smooth because it's on tracks," he said.
Mr Harris agreed the X9 had produced some "phenomenal numbers" and noted how minor the grain loss was from a harvester that delivers up to 690hp in power.
"In the X9 we're seeing well below one per cent loss in high yielding wheat that is being harvested at 70t per hour, and sometimes it's as low as 0.1pc or 0.2pc," Mr Harris said.
"When you're putting that much grain through that quickly with such minimal losses, it's a real credit to the machine.
"There are quite a few growers in WA who are talking about these numbers and what they mean for reduced time in the field and less labour requirements."
Mr Winter said he wouldn't hesitate in recommending the X9 1100 to other farmers.
"I would estimate the X9 saved me 200 hours on the machine last year," he said.
"Its fuel efficiency, ride, comfort, and ability to adapt to different crops are all very good."