GREAT THRILL: Freestone dairy farmer Ron Shelley employed the help of his old Massey Ferguson Sunshine 585 header to harvest this year’s oats crop.
GREAT THRILL: Freestone dairy farmer Ron Shelley employed the help of his old Massey Ferguson Sunshine 585 header to harvest this year’s oats crop. Emma Boughen

Ron dusts off old header for harvest

TRAILING behind Ron Shelley's modern, air-conditioned Massey Ferguson tractor as he harvested this year's oats crop was his 1985 Sunshine header.

"Because the oats crop was poor it wasn't worth pulling out the big header for just 30 acres," Mr Shelley said.

"So I said I'd get this one up and running - my only condition was that I get an air-conditioned tractor cab.

"Oh geez, the air-con is just perfect."

Using the Massey Ferguson Sunshine 585 header was a trip down memory lane for Mr Shelley, who had let it sit dormant in the shed for more than a decade.

"It's a marvellous machine," he said.

"Technology has come a long way. Without air-conditioning it's awful dusty, I'll tell you that much."

Though Mr Shelley said it was important to move with the times, he said getting the header up and running again was "a big thrill".

"Nowadays we have those big 30-foot headers but to get back on what we blazed the trail with 30 years ago is wonderful," he said.

"A lot of the young ones wouldn't know what one is any more."

After the harvest the header will go back to its place in the shed and be kept as heritage.

"I hope the rest of the family will look after it once I'm gone," Mr Shelley said.

The Massey Ferguson Sunshine 585 header is the second of its kind to harvest the Shelley family's crops.

"I had one exactly the same and wore it out," Mr Shelley said.

"This one is every bit as good as the first one."



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