A rainy day. However the advantage of assembling a large marquee at each location with a wooden floor comes into its own. And we have a captive audience for watching the Product Show! Every Korbanek branch has a large area of concrete so we also take the opportunity to show the MF 8690 with Topcon autoguidance driving around the yard. The result is impressive as the leviathan machine automatically follows its pre-determined route in a circular pattern around the large yard. We are also fortunate to have a very well informed lady representing Topcon who can explain everything about the system. I am also told that the person installing the technology on the tractors is also a lady and they appear to make an excellent team.
Polish agriculture appears to be moving in an interesting direction. In the past there were huge state farms and very, very small farms. A large state farm could be in the region of 20 000 Ha. Now there is a new category of farm arriving which spans from 50 – 1500 Ha and these are the farms who are investing in new machinery – both Tractors and Combines.
Our “pedal tractor winner” today is a good example. He runs an MF 8280 as his main tractor on a 1200 Ha farm but is in now in the process of splitting the farm amongst his family. It is almost the reverse process that we see in some strictly Western European countries where farm size is consolidating upwards.
As we travel cross country to the next location, the landscape is a picture of productivity as we see large factory type pig units with big equipment spreading slurry interspersed with a plethora of little farms with their 50 – 80 HP tractors ploughing away in fine contentment.
Whenever we pass a Massey Ferguson working in the field, our convoy opens up with a blast on the horn from each vehicle, just to let them know we are here! In many places, there are major road constructions taking place to provide highways to link up the main cities in Poland, but in the meantime, it is interesting to use these roads that allow us to really see what is happening in the fields.
Interest for our products is proving to be high amongst the farmers who are gathering and there is a cavalcade to test them out when we go to the field. In a country like Poland which is in a transitional stage from older traditional methods to using new technology, it is a distinct advantage to have machines which are easy to use, but which can be loaded up with as much technology as the customer needs and wants. Our tractor transmissions are a prime example where we can go from the basic Dyna 4 with its 16 x 16 gears and a simple pedal change on the move all the way to a full CVT with Dyna VT.
There is a lot of hard work ahead, but Poland, Polish agriculture and Massey Ferguson in Poland are all heading in the same positive direction.