Archive for June, 2010

10 Years of Food Assurance in the UK

The Red Tractor symbol has become the face of food assurance in the UK. For their 10 Year celebration, a Massey Ferguson 5445 towed a six foot tall cake in the shape of the Red Tractor logo to the celebration site in England. Massey Ferguson UK has been an active partner and supporter of the Red Tractor Program since its inception 10 years ago. The delivery is shown below and left with David Gregory, Chairman of Assured Food Standards. The cake is shown to the right being cut by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, and UK media personality, Janet Street-Porter… Now that’s a lot of cake!

Since its launch by the Prime Minister in 2000, the Red Tractor has united the food chain in raising standards and verifying that they are being met. Shoppers can be confident that food bearing the Red Tractor has been checked every step of the way from farm to pack.

It is also the firmest guarantee yet that food can be traced right back to the farms from which it came – an assurance that is backed up by regular traceback inspections.

Over 78,000 farmers and growers are now members of the scheme, all committed to maintaining high standards of food safety and hygiene, animal welfare and environmental protection. Source: The Red Tractor

What are some emerging and/or existing food assurance programs in your region?

AGCO US Manufacturing Plants – Come Take a Virtual Tour

Recently I had the pleasure of traveling to two of AGCO’s US Manufacturing Plants, the Jackson. Minnesota and Hesston, Kansas facilities. These plants manufacture a variety of farm equipment; RoGator and TerraGator application equipment, harvesting equipment, such as the Gleaner, Massey Ferguson and Challenger combines, and Hesston balers. Come take a virtual tour by viewing a number of videos on our YouTube channel. As a sample, take a look at the “Welcome to Jackson” video by Eric Fisher, head of Jackson Operations:

Converting Cow Manure into Kilowatts

Converting farm waste into something useful and productive is nothing new (see Challenger’s biomass baler) but some researchers are getting very creative. HP is conducting research on using cow manure to power a new data center. The research paper was recently presented at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Conference on Energy Sustainability in Phoenix, Arizona.

“As data centers require ever more power to operate, they’re increasingly being located near existing power generation or cooling resources. One largely untapped source of energy, however, is the methane generated by manure on farms around the world.What ways have you found to turn your farm waste into something useful and beneficial?

*Photo via Cathy, Sam, Max and Mai’s photostream on Flickr

If released into the atmosphere, methane is 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. But it can be captured and used to power electrical generators.

The HP ASME paper shows how a farm of 10,000 dairy cows could generate 1MW of electricity, enough to power a typical modern data center and still support other needs on the farm.

Heat generated by a data center could also be used to more efficiently process the animal waste and thus increase methane production.

This symbiotic relationship helps address the dual challenge of reducing farm pollution and making data centers more environmentally sustainable, says Chandrakant Patel, HP Fellow and director of HP’s Sustainable IT Ecosystem Lab.” Source: The Cow-Powered Data Center: HP Labs Feature Article (May 2010)

Gleaner Super7 Prototype Combine Testing

By Kevin Bien
AGCO Product Marketing Manager, Combines

The Gleaner S7 prototype combine is currently on the Texas to the Dakotas wheat harvest run (see pictures). AGCO is using the black-painted S7 (nicknamed by some as “The Stealth”) machine to provide the final round of engineering tests and data collection before the new‑generation Super Series Gleaner combines are introduced to the public.

This year’s wheat run by the S7 is the final chapter in years of development and field testing that is leading to a historic product introduction for the Gleaner transverse rotor combine line. Gleaner “Natural Flow” harvesting technology has been constantly improved and developed since its 1979 introduction. The new Super Series transverse Gleaners build on these decades of experience while delivering design innovations that will make the Super Series set new standards for capacity, efficiency and productivity. The Super Series Gleaner combines are poised to redefine the performance customers can expect from Class VI and Class VII combines.

So far on this year’s run, the S7 has harvested in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas in wheat crops ranging from less than 30 bu./acre to more than 50 bu./acre. Moisture levels have also varied significantly as the S7 has joined a succession of custom harvest crews running both Gleaner and competitive brands of combines. Combine customers and dealers visiting the harvest sites and riding in the S7 are reporting very favorable impressions of the bu./hour harvested, the clean grain samples produced, and the efficient fuel use they are observing.

The S7 will continue to work the wheat harvest for several weeks recording more testing hours, completing more comparison tests and shouldering its part of an annual U.S. wheat harvest that is worth billions of dollars. We will return soon with additional reports from the S7 and the 2010 harvest run.

Want to learn more? Sign up for updates on the Gleaner Super7 .

Massey Ferguson a Good Investment

Massey Ferguson UK honors a loyal customer:

In 1970, Northern Irish farmer Johnny Loftus invested in a shiny new MF 135, and what an investment that was! He used it for the next forty years to run almost every errand on his farm in Newport.

Forty years of loyalty from devoted Massey Ferguson customer
Johnny says “I bought the tractor in Kelly’s Garage in Newport, Co. Mayo in February 1970. I paid £850.”

Today, thanks to Johnny’s dedication & hard work, his tractor is still in perfect working order. “I serviced the Massey well and put it in a shed every night,” he explains.

As well as regularly servicing the tractor himself, he has managed to preserve each of the MF 135’s motor tax discs, which he keeps in a frame.

Johnny’s hard work has not gone unnoticed as in April 2010, he and his MF 135 took part in a local Vintage Tractor & Car Rally.

“There is no tractor like the 135,” Johnny says, “Nothing has been done with the engine, gear box or hydraulics from new.”

Let’s hope that with Johnny’s care and attention, his MF 135 has another forty years of errands to run! Source: Massey Ferguson – Forty years of loyalty from devoted Massey Ferguson customer

Do you have a vintage tractor that has served you well for 40+ years? Let us know your tractor’s story by adding a comment below.