Product focus: Case IH Austoft cane harvesters

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This Case IH Austoft 8800 multi row cane harvester has been keeping up with the demands of the intensive Queensland sugar harvest season. This Case IH Austoft 8800 multi row cane harvester has been keeping up with the demands of the intensive Queensland sugar harvest season. This Case IH Austoft 8800 multi row cane harvester has been keeping up with the demands of the intensive Queensland sugar harvest season.

The annual sugar cane harvest is hard on workers and gear, but contract harvester Gary Stockham says his four Case IH Austoft sugarcane harvesters are up to the gruelling four-month, seven-day-a-week job.


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The third-generation sugar farmer and his wife own 200ha at Giru, close to the Haughton River in North Queensland’s Burdekin district.

They’ve farmed there since around 1990, but have run Gary Stockham Harvesting since 1978.

"Cane is crushed in about 20-22 weeks, so you have to keep the work up, and all the machinery has to be going perfectly," Stockham says.

"All the gear’s got to go seven days a week. Once the machine stops, everyone stops, and no one gets paid."

While they began with a Toft Harvester, these days they have four Case IH Austoft sugarcane harvesters (two 8000s, a 7000, and a 7500 model), and a two-year-old Case IH Magnum 315 tractor and a Case IH Magnum 8920 among their machinery.

Stockham bought the original Case IH harvester mostly because he had heard they were reliable.

"They seemed to go better, so that’s what I bought to start with," he says. "Most other harvesters are more expensive and they just cross-rip too big."

Before harvest began, Stockham prepared all his equipment by having Ayr-based Case IH dealer AgNorth service everything and give it the once-over.

"If they haven’t got the part, they’ll get one in for us, or they’ll find one somewhere to keep us going," he says. 


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