Archive for January, 2011
Following on the heels of crowing a U.S. winner for Operator of the Year, AGCO is excited to announce the three outstanding finalists for Operator of the Year in Canada, a program that recognizes the hard work and accomplishments of Canada’s best custom applicators. Judging criteria for Operator of the Year includes customer service, overall leadership and commitment to the application business and community involvement. Check back with us in February to see who takes home the title of Operator of the Year and a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Congratulations and good luck to our finalists!
Brett Bohachewski, Aylsham Agro (Aylsham, Saskatchewan) — In 2010, Bohachewski sprayed nearly 60,000 acres and floated 5,500 acres with a track record of excellence that rivals veteran custom applicators. He also finds time before peak season to personally visit his customers to educate them on the latest equipment or to troubleshoot issues in the field. Bohachewski’s sense of responsibility is evident throughout the community as he balances his professional duties with being a member of the volunteer fire department and a floor hockey coach for people with special needs.
Patrick Potter, Dow Fertilizer (Onoway, Alberta) — For the past 12 years, without fail, Patrick Potter has come to work at Dow Fertilizer with an attitude that this business is his business. It’s Potter’s keen understanding of the application business that has made a trusted resource for counsel and solutions-based advice on equipment troubleshooting and other operational issues that fellow custom applicators come across in the line of work. Potter also is a livestock producer and dog trainer.
Mike Rempel, Domain Co-op (Domain, Manitoba) — Rain around Manitoba dampened fields and the chances for a quick and timely spraying season in 2010, but Mike Rempel never waivered from first contacting customers to discuss field conditions and to also follow up if tracks were left in the field due to heavy machine weight on the damp soil. A careful and consummate professional, Rempel covers more than 50,242 acres annually with a nearly spotless record. Rempel farms part-time and also is an active member of the community, including serving as greeter at the Doman Community Hall.
Do you have an outstanding operator that you would like to give credit to? Tell us about them here!
You may have heard that AGCO is investing in our worldwide manufacturing, including the expansion of our Jackson, Minnesota operations. but you might be wondering why. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
• North American farmers play a major role in feeding the world’s growing population. By manufacturing high-horsepower wheeled row crop tractors in North America, we will be able to better meet our customers’ needs for machines that will help them improve their efficiency and productivity.
• Manufacturing tractors in North America will allow us to configure the machines’ specifications to better match the crop production systems being used by North American growers.
• Transportation time will be reduced, so tractors will be available to our Massey Ferguson® and Challenger® dealers and customers more quickly than in the past.
• Economic projections and a positive outlook for agriculture indicate a growing global market for 200 to 300 HP wheeled tractors. This expansion helps us realign our production around the world and better positions the company to fill demand for high horsepower Massey Ferguson and Challenger tractors in North America and abroad.
Here are more answers to some frequently asked questions:
What types of agricultural equipment will be produced as a result of this investment?
Massey Ferguson 8600 Series and Challenger MT600C Series high horsepower rowcrop tractors will be manufactured at the Jackson facility. These series include models featuring AGCO’s exclusive e3 selective catalytic reduction (SCR) clean-air technology. Additional models may be added as early as 2012.
What is the timeline for this expansion?
The manufacturing expansion is scheduled for completion in late 2011. The first tractors are expected to roll off the line before the end of the year.
When will the visitor center be completed?
Plans for the visitor’s center have not been finalized, but we expect to complete the facility by the end of the year. The projected 17,000-square-foot facility is intended to host both local and international visitors as they experience the newest products from Challenger and Massey Ferguson.
What products are currently manufactured in the Jackson, Minn., facility?
Products manufactured at the Jackson, Minnesota, production facility include Challenger® MT700C and MT800C track tractors as well as Challenger MT900C articulated 4-wheel-drive tractors; TerraGator® high-flotation applicators; RoGator® high-clearance applicators and SpraCoupe® high-clearance self-propelled rowcrop sprayers.
Does AGCO operate other manufacturing facilities in North America?
Yes. Other North American manufacturing facilities are located in Hesston and Beloit, Kansas.
Why was the Jackson facility chosen as the place AGCO will manufacture high horsepower wheeled rowcrop tractors for the North American market?
For nearly 50 years, the community of Jackson has been involved in the manufacture and distribution of farm equipment. Not only does Jackson and the surrounding community provide a hard-working, experienced and committed labor force, it is a manufacturing-friendly community with the infrastructure, access to transportation and support industries needed to successfully expand production to the levels required to meet the demands of today’s marketplace.
What role did local organizations have in securing AGCO’s decision to expand the Jackson facility?
The Jackson Economic Development Corporation (http://www.cityofjacksonmn.com/economicdevelopment) actively led an initiative to secure financial incentives, jobs training support and other incentives instrumental in the decision to expand the Jackson manufacturing facility.
Organizations involved include:
• Jackson Economic Development Corporation – http://www.cityofjacksonmn.com/economicdevelopment
• Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)- http://www.positivelyminnesota.com
• Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce – http://www.jacksonmn.com/coc.htm
• City of Jackson – http://www.cityofjacksonmn.com/
• Minnesota Department of Agriculture – www.mda.state.mn.us/
• Federated Rural Electric Association – http://www.federatedrea.coop/
• Southwest Initiative Foundation – http://www.swifoundation.org/
• Jackson County- http://www.co.jackson.mn.us/
• Workforce Development Centers- https://www.minnesotaworks.net/
What does the planned expansion include?
The 75,000 square feet expansion of the Jackson, Minn., facility includes a 16,000-square-foot extension of the current assembly line and incorporation of 42,000-square-foot kitting center – an advanced system to deliver parts and material to the assembly line – which will produce Massey Ferguson and Challenger high horsepower wheeled rowcrop tractors. In addition, the expansion will include a 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art visitor center.
What is the history of AGCO as an employer and manufacturer operating in Jackson, Minnesota?
In 2001, AGCO purchased Ag-Chem Equipment Company, Inc., a business whose history began in Jackson in 1963 when the company was founded by Al McQuinn. The business started as a distributor of specialized spray equipment used by the agricultural industry. Its first product was manufactured in 1967, and land was purchased at the current location in September of 1968 for construction of a 25,192-square-foot manufacturing facility which was completed in 1970. Additional expansions were completed in 1974, 1994 and 1995.
Today, AGCO is Jackson’s largest employer with approximately 900 professional, support and skilled manufacturing positions.
What is the population of Jackson and the surrounding community?
The population of the city of Jackson is approximately 3,300 and the population of Jackson County, including the town of Jackson is approximately 10,700 (29% urban, 71% rural).* July 2009
What economic impact will expansion of the AGCO Jackson facility have on the city of Jackson and the local economy?
There are three areas of economic impact related to the expansion of the Jackson facility, according to economic impact studies* completed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) (http://www.positivelyminnesota.com),
* Studies completed using IMPLAN Model for Minnesota – (IMpact Analysis for PLANning).
• Construction – In 2011, an estimated $6.2 million in construction and renovation investment will result in 45 construction industry jobs along with another 9 jobs created related to building supplies and professional services such as architects and engineers. Construction will stimulate $2.214 million in Gross Regional Product (GRP or value-added) and $1.689 million in labor income within the local economy.
• Daily operations – The expansion is projected to result in 100 manufacturing jobs at the facility, contributing $15.110 million to the local economy with a total labor income of $8.234 million per year. Nearly 80 additional jobs in industries and services outside of AGCO are expected as an indirect result of the expansion.
• Welcome center visitors – It is estimated that as many as 10,000 individuals will tour the visitor’s center each year. Spending by these guests from out of state and around the world is expected to increase the Jackson County economy by $2.264 million and create an estimated 95 jobs in industries supporting travel and visitor services. Food and beverage establishments, hotels and motels, and amusement and recreational businesses are expected to account for 86 percent of the total increase in jobs. Personal income of $1.356 million and nearly $5.5 million in gross sales are projected.
Watch a video about manufacturing in Jackson.
Massey Ferguson’s latest combine harvester, the MF 9280 DELTA scooped two awards at the LAMMA show in the UK last week which sets the stage for a very promising year. The MF DELTA was judged to be the Best New Product or Innovation at the show, receiving the ‘Maurice High Trophy’ AND the prestigious ‘Ivel Award’, for the new product or innovation that has the most positive impact on the environment.
The MF DELTA combine, available in the European market, has the winning combination of conventional threshing and twin rotor separation technologies; ensuring superb grain samples, industry leading fuel efficiency and amazing versatility between crops and conditions. Add to this the fact that it is the world’s first combine with SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) e3 technology on a seven cylinder, 9.8 litre AGCO SISU POWER engine – it makes it the cleanest combine in the world also.
Alan Haines, Massey Ferguson’s Sales Support Specialist, Harvesting who accepted the awards says, “We were interviewed by a total of five different people during the show, with the panels including engineers, farmers and even an engineering student. It wasn’t easy to win this award.”
“The driveline design is simple and straightforward, which means it is ultra efficient. Also the threshing mechanism – from front to back – has been designed for smooth flow and to reduce power consumption,” he explains. “The judges also understood how the design of the unique Venturi Cleaning System manages to generate a large air volume, but again without the fan consuming any more power,” adds Alan.
What award would you give the Massey Ferguson DELTA Combine?
Valmet tractor production began after the Second World War in Finland. Rifle, mortar and aeroplane motor factories were turned to the production of agricultural tractors, of which there was a great shortage after the war. The first Valmet 15 tractors were finished in 1951.
Only ten years later Valmet established a tractor factory in Mogi das Cruzes in Brazil. The first five Valmet 360 D tractors were finished in December 1960. The courageous and risky decision to establish a factory on the other side of the world has since been proven to be right: Valmet do Brasil is today a central part of the Valtra brand.
In 1978 Valmet bought the Swedish Volvo BM tractor operation. The roots of Volvo BM and its predecessors Bolinder and Munktell lie deep in Swedish industrial history. Theofron Munktell established a machine shop in Eskilstuna in 1832. The first tractor of Valtra’s Swedish branch was finished in 1913. Valmet and Volvo BM joined forces in 1978 and the first Volvo BM Valmet 05 tractor series we designed together was launched in 1982.
The AGCO SISU POWER engine factory in Linnavuori is closely connected to Valtra’s history. The Valtra tractors produced at Suolahti have always been equipped with AGCO SISU POWER engines, or those of its predecessors Sisu Diesel and Valmet diesel. Nowadays AGCO SISU POWER engines are produced in various factories around the world and they can be found, under the hood of Valtra and many other offroad work machines.
Valtra may be 60 years old but it knows its roots and sees the future with enthusiasm. The small Finnish producer has become a world wide tractor brand. As a part of AGCO, Valtra has gained the support of one of the largest agricultural groups in the world. Read the complete Valtra history.
Farm Life Lesson 6: A Time for Rest
I was working on stuffing in the last box of decorations into the closet. The Christmas gifts had been unwrapped, the stockings un-stuffed, and the tree un-decorated. I leaned against the door, willing it closed for another year. And ever so slowly I sank down to the floor. It had been a wonderful Christmas…but I was exhausted. I really do love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I love all the fun activities and family gatherings, but come January, I am ready for a break!
You know…it reminds me of our fields. All summer long those fields work at growing our crops. Then comes the busy fall harvest and the field work that prepares the soil bed for next year’s crop. But oh, the winter! That is when our fields get their much needed rest. It is a time for the natural break down to take place. Last years stalks decompose, adding nutrients to the soil. The winter snows collect and melt, building a water profile and adding nitrogen. The dirt clods soften up, getting the soil composition just right for spring planting. This time of rest is vital to next year’s crop. My grandpa was a dry land farmer. Field rest is so important with dry land farming. Grandpa discovered early in his career that by setting up a crop rotation, he was able to increase his yield, sometimes double. Those fields needed a break!
I believe in working hard. In fact, I love working hard. But sometimes, a little rest is called for. Appropriate even. Maybe it even makes us more productive.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to grab my mug of hot chocolate and my garden seed catalog. I’m thinking I could use a little break.
What do you do to take a break in the “off” season?