Archive for July, 2011
Over 53 million acres of wheat were planted in the United States for the 2010/2011 growing season, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to harvest those acres, farmers often hire custom harvesters – men and women who own their own combines and are paid to harvest the crops of others.
While wheat is not the only crop harvesters encounter, it makes up the majority of custom acres. Custom harvesters follow the wheat northward as the crops ripen, often starting in Texas in May, ending in Montana, North Dakota or Canada in August to September, and making several stops between.
Custom harvesting operations include combines, grain trucks and, sometimes, tractors pulling grain carts. Operations vary in size with some consisting of only a single combine and others with 20 or more combines.
These combines see hundreds of hours and thousands of acres throughout the season. While machines are serviced daily by the crews, combines of every brand experience breakdowns due to the conditions experienced on harvest.
“Although we have superior products, every piece has a limit, especially in the tough conditions our machines operate in,” said Todd Davis, AGCO Parts Tech Van supervisor. “Custom harvesters push their combines to that limit every day to achieve maximum productivity, efficiency and profit.”
That is where the AGCO Parts Tech Vans step in to help. With two mobile trailers, the tech van crews follow the harvest, providing parts and repair services to the operators of Gleaner, Massey Ferguson and Challenger combines.
“During harvest, we provide in-the-field service that is comparable to no other manufacturers in the industry,” Davis said.
By having the tech van near the action, harvesters are able to reduce time and money lost due to breakdowns.
“Harvesters call us as the problem occurs, and we get out there as soon as we can,” Davis said. “We have four service trucks that are dispatched from the tech van trailer to assist custom harvesters with problems they cannot repair themselves.”
The AGCO Parts Tech Van arrived Sunday, July 24, 2011 at Butler Machinery Company in Pierre, SD and the crew continues to follow the wheat harvest northward. The second tech van is scheduled to move to Billings, MT on Saturday, July 30, 2011. The Tech Van is open from 7 a.m. US CST to 7 p.m. US CST every day of the week.
Has the AGCO Parts Tech Van ever assisted you with your machinery? Tell us your story on our Facebook page or follow @AGCOcorp on Twitter. For more information about the tech van, visit AGCOparts.com or ask your local dealer.
I am joining AGCO to report on the North American wheat harvest. In the fall, I’ll begin my junior year at Oklahoma State University, where I am majoring in agricultural communications and minoring in agronomy.
Raised in a custom harvesting family, I’ve spent many hours in the cabs of our Gleaner combines as we traveled across the Midwest. My harvest experiences have cultivated a passion for the men and women who harvest the grain that feeds the world and for the products that make it all possible.
Wheat harvest is in my blood, but I am a little bit different than the average harvester. I want to share our stories with you. I will be giving you the ins and outs of the wheat harvest run and how AGCO products make harvesters’ lives easier and more profitable. Stay tuned!
England recently played host to the World Cup Polocrosse tournament which was contested between the top eight competing countries from around the world. AGCO’s own Jason Burbidge (East Africa Sales Manager) represented the United Kingdom team for what was his 10th and final time. The competing nations were USA, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Zambia, South Africa and the UK.
So what exactly is polocrosse? As the name implies, it is a combination of polo and lacrosse. It is mostly played outside, on a field approximately the size of a football pitch (or soccer field for those of us in the US). Each rider uses a racquet which comprises a solid cane shaft and head with a loose, thread net, in which the ball is carried.
After making it through to the final in 2007, the United Kingdom was narrowly defeated during the pay-offs this time to then ultimately finish in 6th place. Despite the disappointing finishing place, the UK only lost to South Africa and New Zealand in “Golden Goal chukka’s” which showed how close the competition was.
Jason is the UK’s most capped player and has trained and competed on sports horses at International level for over 20 years. “Time to take it easy now” according to Jason, “ The shoes are coming off my horses now and I am turning them out for a well-earned break.” Congratulations on a job well done, Jason!
What sports do you play when you’re not working in the field?
Hello everyone, my name is Cale Sledge, Product Marketing Specialist for AGCO Haytools. Thanks for your interest in the Hesston 2170 XD large square baler by Massey Ferguson. I am here to give a brief customer update on the 2170 XD balers running in the 2011 season.
Back in May 2011, we visited Reuben Wood of Buckeye, Arizona, USA, who owns and operates two Hesston 2170 XD balers. Reuben’s custom baling business, Wood Bros Hay Company, does approximately 3000 acres per month. They have entered the export hay market recently and require a minimum 1550 lb bale in hay. As you can see from the video, they have recently been producing high quality, 1580 lb (10-12% moisture) hay bales and 1100 lb in straw. He expects to get even better weight and density results in the future.
Reuben also talks about the expense of running a custom baling business. He explains how, after looking at the bottom dollar and all expenses involved, the new 2170 XD balers will save him a lot of money compared to running competitive brand balers. I rode with Reuben while baling and he told me, “If these balers continue to run like they have been and like we expect them to, we will actually make a profit this year.”
Watch the video below and you will see – he is very pleased with the result and performance of his Hesston 2170 XD balers.
The baler will be available for full global production in 2012 and is currently being tested in North America.
Are you using a Hesston 2170 XD baler by Massey Ferguson? What sort of differences have you seen in the density and weight of your bales?
AGCO announced yesterday the donation of a Massey Ferguson 435 tractor with a disk plow and disk harrow to the Plant-A-Seed Foundation. The non-profit organization will use the tractor to support the Kabale Trinity College in Uganda, Africa. “We are very pleased to donate a tractor for a good cause that makes a positive difference for the students at Kabale Trinity College,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO.
The Plant-A-Seed Foundation, based in Modesto, California, at the 92 year old offices of Stanislaus Implements & Hardware, has supported the Kabale community since 2003. Plant-A-Seed purchased property and built a chapel and school with classrooms and dormitories. The organization sent teams to assist, plan and build the school, along with additional needed quarters for the staff. Currently, 1,350 students are enrolled at Kabale Trinity College. Most of the students at the school have lost their parents due to tribal wars, political upheaval, AIDS or famine.
In 2007, Plant-A-Seed purchased 20 acres of land and a local farm that produces bananas, pineapples, corn and goats. This farm has improved the children’s daily diets and also provides additional income for the operational costs of the school. In 2008, Plant-A-Seed built an irrigation system that has tripled the production of the farm and also gives neighbors the opportunity to purchase water from the farm’s pumping resources.
The farm now serves as a school farm where students learn simple farm practices and even supply some food to the local population. The key objective of Plant-A-Seed is to initiate local projects, while empowering community partners to drive their own projects. “Our mission is to search for and then enable creative projects that are inspiring, well planned and will ultimately be self-sustaining,” explained Rick K. Gray, President and CEO of Plant-A-Seed Foundation. The Foundation has supported various global projects over the past years.
This Massey Ferguson tractor was shipped to Uganda to be used by the school farm and handed over by representatives of the Plant-A-Seed Foundation yesterday. The tractor will be used for many applications, including tilling fields, moving bricks and dirt, and transporting food to the school and to market. Massey Ferguson tractors have been used in Africa for many decades and the Massey Ferguson 435 tractor is a particularly robust model that can be used in challenging environments.
“We are truly honored and humbled by this extraordinary gift from AGCO. This Massey Ferguson tractor is going to help bring more food to the tables at Kabale Trinity College and also the local communities around Kabale, Uganda. All of us at Plant-A-Seed Foundation thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Rick K. Gray.
AGCO has over 50 years of experience in Africa. Massey Ferguson is a worldwide brand of AGCO and is a key brand in Africa. For more information about products from Massey Ferguson, visit your local Massey Ferguson dealer or http://www.masseyferguson.com.
How could you use YOUR Massey Ferguson tractor to help out organizations in your area?