Rodway Young Farmers Club members studying at Bridgwater College’s Cannington Centre in Somerset had use of the most up-to-date tractor technology addition when they mounted a Grass to Maize charity fund-raising event.

The YFC team set out to prepare a grass field for a crop of maize in less than 24 hours and among the tractors used to haul silage and handle cultivations work was a McCormick X7.660 VT Drive loaned by local dealership Mark Baker Engineering at Ilminster.

“After chopping the silage crop and hauling it to the clamp, we spread muck on the field, ploughed it, went over twice with a power harrow and had it ready for drilling,” says 18-year old organiser Adrian Netherway, whose family farms near Tiverton, Devon. “Thanks to the YFC members collecting donations and the generosity of local sponsors, we raised £3000, which will be handed over to The Farming Community Network and Help for Heroes charities.”

Mark Baker praised the fund-raising effort: “I was very pleased to support Rodway Young Farmers by supplying our demonstrator McCormick X7 VT Drive,” he said. “I hope the students enjoyed driving this new CVT tractor; being able to operate it without much instruction shows just how easy it is to drive.

“It’s not overly complicated compared with other CVT tractors,” he added. “Yet it delivers all the advantages and productive characteristics of a tractor with a stepless transmission as opposed to a normal gearbox.”

The smooth VT Drive transmission is available in four- and six-cylinder McCormick X7 VT Drive tractors from 136hp to 194hp with the Premium specification including electric spool valves and other advanced features accessible through a neatly laid out seat-mounted console. Other ‘tech’ options, such as the Data Screen Manager 12in touch screen, GPS guidance and EazySteer for less arm twirling during headland turns, are also available.

Adrian Netherway said afterwards that all the student YFC members enjoyed the experience and were impressed by the new tractor.