Archive for September, 2012
Today AGCO proudly published our first global sustainability report. The report describes our approach to enhancing the sustainability of our business processes and global agriculture. It presents data supporting the strategy and updates progress towards change. “At AGCO, sustainability is vital to our vision to offer high-tech solutions for farmers feeding the world,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “We are in a very unique position to impact sustainability along the manufacturing and agricultural value chains. We developed our approach to provide the best impact to both.”
In 2011, AGCO kicked off a comprehensive corporate sustainability initiative. We developed a plan to invest in projects and program development in areas that will reduce operating expenses, develop revenue opportunities, and reduce operating risks.
We are already working to design and develop solutions that address the evolving needs of farmers and reduce environmental impacts. The report, which aligns with the Global Reporting Initiative™, includes company accomplishments such as:
- Downstream-focused innovation: In 2011, AGCO directed $275.6 million to research and engineering, a 25.5% increase over 2010.
- Operations: Among AGCO’s largest wholly-owned sites, more than half are certified to ISO 14001 and/or the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme. Going forward AGCO will monitor and report energy use by source and develop an energy management program that drives efficiency and cost saving across its organization.
- Supplier relations: AGCO released the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct to build and strengthen relationships with preferred suppliers that support quality, environmental stewardship and high labor standards.
During the first half of 2012 AGCO began building the structures to drive accountability for our performance. AGCO’s development and progress will be disclosed yearly in our sustainability report.
The full report can be accessed at http://www.agcocorp.com/company/sustainability.aspx.
In a fund-raising trip to support the Young Oncology Unit (YOU) at Manchester’s Christie Hospital, a group of ten enthusiasts is driving a 1955 Ferguson TE20 tractor from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
Massey Ferguson is donating the fuel for this ‘Top to Bottom Tractor Run’ which will see the team call in at the company’s UK offices at Abbey Park Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. Travelling at an average speed of 10-12 mph, the journey is expected to take two weeks to complete.
The event is being co-ordinated by Martin Sullivan who sadly lost his son, Aaron to cancer. “We are a small group of people who have been brought together by unfortunate circumstances,” explains Martin. “We have all been affected, in some way, by cancer and have decided to try and do something positive to help others fight this frightening illness.”
“We are inviting people to join us en route either with their own tractors or by driving our 1954 guest tractor for a stage of the journey,” he says.
Adds Ben Agar, Massey Ferguson Manager Market Services UK and Ireland: “We wish the team all the best in support of this worthy cause and we look forward to seeing them here at our UK offices on 19 September.”
Top to Toe Tractor Run – 10-23 September 2012.
For more info and to donate, log on to:
Following up on our recent blog post about the importance of end-of-season maintenance we are now sharing with you our windrower checklist. Just a few simple steps before storing your machine for the winter are keys to reliable machine performance and long life.
- Begin your inspection at the header, looking for wear and components which should be replaced.
- For sickle-bar headers, replace cutter bar teeth and ledger plates. Replace the guards once yearly when storing machines or add this to your list for completion during winter.
- On disk mowers, replace knives and rotate or replace worn turtles covering the knives.
- Grease all lift-system wear points.
- For self-propelled machines, be sure to change engine oil and filters.
- Replace or blow out all air filters, including the cab air filter.
- Check all belts for checking and signs of wear. Inspect tires for wear that might require tire replacement. Inflate to the required air pressure.
- Check and blow dirt and debris from radiators. On machines with “smart” reversing fans such as the V-Cool™ system found on Hesston WR Series self-propelled windrowers, radiator screens already should be clean and free of dirt and hay.
After a long summer in the hayfield, it’s tempting to simply back haying equipment into the shed for the winter without giving it a second thought. However, conducting a thorough end-of-season inspection and writing down maintenance needs while they are still top of mind can be time well spent.
That’s the advice of Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay products and 35-year-veteran of the quality hay business.
“A full end-of-season visual inspection helps ensure you’re well prepared to complete needed repair and maintenance projects during winter downtime,” says Morrell. “Months down the road it can be hard to remember that noise you wanted to check out before next season. By writing it down, you have a big head start on maintenance that will leave your equipment in top condition, ready for another productive season.” Good machine care, with proper maintenance and repair not only helps ensure proper operation and long life, it helps maintain resale value, Morrell points out.
A clean machine simplifies fall maintenance and inspection. It also helps minimize rust which can start where dirt and moisture collect on a machine.
Begin with removing dirt, dust and hay debris by sweeping the machine or using high-pressure air or a power washer. While balers often carry the most dirt and hay material, it’s best to use air when cleaning balers because of their many moving parts and opportunities to create rust. High-pressure washing is best for cleaning mower or conditioner cutter bars. Rakes as well as self-propelled and pull-type windrowers can be pressure-washed to remove dirt, dust and hay debris.
Although some maintenance tasks can be deferred until winter, at a minimum, grease machines and change oil and filters before parking. Balers and self-propelled windrowers typically require the most care before going into winter storage. Rakes generally require minimal maintenance, but it’s still important to give them the attention they need before storing for the winter, says Morrell. He offers these “quick tips” for end-of-season maintenance and reminds producers to follow the operator’s manual and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Within the next days we will share more tips on how to prepare for end-of-season maintenance for your baler, rake, and windrower.
For more information about Hesston by Massey Ferguson products or to find a dealer near you, visit www.Hesston.com.
The first I heard of Sustainable Agriculture was in Robert Rodale’s New Farm magazine in the 70’s. It made sense as our farm practiced similar methods to the ones he described since grandpa moved his family the home farm in 1918.
The farm consisted of a 5-year crop rotation, limited plowing, and raising enough livestock to consume all of the production of the 300-acre general farm. The manure was spread back on the soil and cultivation was kept to a minimum to protect the nearly and highly erodible soils on the farm.
This worked well until the agricultural crises kept building momentum in each decadal cycle and the wheat price couldn’t be fed or sold at a profit nor the livestock or products you fed it to. There was no room on the farm for a third-generation so I was sent to college to make my own life.
I taught vocational agriculture and became an extension agent in 16 years. By then the sustainability movement was growing and agents visited Rodale’s Farm and taught the principals to those who were interested. Most of agriculture went to specialized production instead and cash grain farming, confinement hog and poultry production instead. Beef, dairy and lamb remained pretty much the sustainable way but dairy soon joined specialization.
The essence of sustainability to me is leaving the place better than you found it. I taught in my classrooms the principle of healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy livestock, and healthy humans; the chain is connected. Rodale and Albrecht’s teachings helped me learn these principles and teach them to others.
My mentor Paul Reed, Washington, Iowa teaches “speak with your fields.” Farmers will ask you how you did that. My crops right now are speaking volumes through this record drought. I attribute this to the sustainable practices of reduced tillage, balanced fertility, crop rotation and careful management.
I do this profitably by farming with used AGCO machinery and preventive maintenance. AGCO is usually the best buy in the marketplace new or used and lasts a long time; we still use 50 and 60-year old equipment. I have taught reduced tillage to thousands of other farmers across this country and beyond. The White Planters 5100 no tillage planter is the best one ever built in my mind. And the farmer designed Gleaner combine is easy to maintain.
I keep my cost of production low using these methods while yielding beyond my county average. The best part is my soil doesn’t wash away and gets more productive each year. Cover crops is an exciting new part of our crop rotation.
Sustainable Agriculture is a must for my grand children and just makes good common sense. AGCOhelps keep me farming sustainably.