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Archive for January, 2014

Work Smarter with AGCO+ Plus

AGCO+ Plus makes stocking up on parts easier.

AGCO+ Plus makes stocking up on parts easier.

Want to stock up on parts or other equipment? Or pay for repairs or preventative maintenance to maximize uptime during planting, harvest or other critical times of the year? The new AGCO Plus+ financing solution allows customers to proactively manage their cash flow, providing convenient billing and a flexible payment plan that meets the needs of farmers.

Available through AGCO dealers, the new program features a speedy application process for customers, with approval often available in as little as five minutes. In addition to competitive rates on financing, special programs and offers may also be available to customers who purchase with their AGCO Plus+ account.

The new program continues its roll out through North America, so check with your local dealer for details. AGCO Plus+ is designed to help you access the genuine AGCO Parts, service and expertise you’ve come to expect from your dealer. It’s all about helping you work smarter.

For more information on AGCO Plus+, visit AGCOparts.com/AGCOplus.

Catching Air

Time has stopped, he’s in the zone and on autopilot.

Body is square to the jump, knees bent as he pops up and off at 25 mph. Flying high into the air, body twisting, contorting in different directions at once—gazing skyward, blind to the ground and seemingly out of control.

Air squeezes puffs of snow spray out as the board and rider land as one, straight and true. The jump is nailed.

In summer, Mitch practices in the farm pond, while in winter, he uses ramps built with a tractor.

In summer, Mitch practices in the farm pond, while in winter, he uses ramps built with a tractor.

Mitch Keet says he still revels in the feeling of when he has nailed a landing, or “stomped it,” even thousands of successful jumps later. “It feels so good. You just know that your hard work has paid off,” he says.

Growing up on the family poultry and grain farm amid the Canadian prairies, snow-covered mountains and big bodies of water are not exactly something in Mitch’s backyard. The nearest ski hill is more than 100 miles away, and the closest lake about the same distance. Old-fashioned rural ingenuity brought the altitude and wet stuff to the farm near Grandora, Saskatchewan.

During the winter, one of the family’s Massey Ferguson® tractors scoops and pushes snow together to build a small jump beside the poultry barns. An elongated pond of water was dug behind those same barns for summer wakeboarding. With his father, Derick, at the throttle, a homespun, carnival ride-sized winch pulls Mitch through his practice maneuvers for both wakeboarding and snowboarding. He can do more jumps in an hour than he can in a whole day on the natural slopes or water.

Mitch’s wakeboard achievements include being named Saskatchewan Rookie of the Year in 2011 and the Most Improved in 2012. He won gold at the provincials in 2013. Mitch has also achieved membership on Canada’s National Development Team.

Mitch gives much of the credit for his work ethic and the confidence to pull off his amazing areal stunts because he’s been so grounded through his experiences on the farm. The Keet family’s 600-acre farm, Double D Poultry, was started by Mitch’s grandfather David. Derick took over much of the day-to-day work of running the family farm the year Mitch was born.

Every eight weeks they ship 100,000 broiler chickens for processing to the nearby city of Saskatoon. Derick and David handle most of the work using their fleet of Massey Ferguson tractors. Mitch, however, can be counted on to handle a daily list of chores. “I go through the barns and pick up chickens, and when the birds go out, I’ll clean barns and spread straw and dump feed and spread manure, and harvest and combine for long days in the fall,” says Mitch.

While Mitch has his sights set on making the National Pro Team and competing at the world championships, he wants to do it his way. “The farm is the best; it’s open, it’s nice here all year round. And,” he continues, as if divulging the secret ingredient to his success, “the farm, it taught me skills and working, and that kind of stuff. I’ve got a good family, so I don’t want to go anywhere,” he says.

Mitch said being raised on the farm with chores and parents who take the time to teach him has made him both tougher and definitely more confident. “I’ll always remember that my dad taught me how to drive a tractor. He taught me how to drive the combine. My father’s confidence in me makes me very much more confident.”

And that attribute, says Mitch, is a big reason for his success, in boarding as it is in life.

Read the full story and watch a video of Mitch Keet catching air at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/catching-air/.

High-Water Rescue

On the morning of June 20, Les Smith went into work at Farmway Machinery as usual. No one—not even meteorologists watching the storm systems that were uniquely aligning—anticipated what would happen later that day.

Farmway personnel waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines.

Farmway personnel waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines.

Record-breaking rainfall coupled with snowmelt in the mountains, unexpected wind patterns and large, converging weather systems created an unprecedented storm. With the ground already saturated, the Highwood River, which runs through the town of High River in Alberta, Canada, had nowhere else to go but up and out.

At 7:05 a.m., officials called a state of emergency. First responders did their best to evacuate those stranded by the waters, but by noon traditional rescue vehicles—even boats—could not navigate the swift current of the overflowing river.

“One of the firefighters came up and said they needed something to rescue people from across the street,” says Smith, a combine mechanic for the local Massey Ferguson® dealer. “The tractor they were using was no good because the engine was too low and it was getting water in it. They needed a vehicle with the engine high up.”

Smith, along with other Farmway personnel, including owner Hugh Joyce, waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines. “The combines are heavy, and they were able to stabilize and not get washed away,” Joyce says. Since the combine’s engine is 12 feet up in the air, it was impervious to the rising water.

The Farmway team, shuttling flood victims in the combine cabs and hoppers, continued their efforts until 10 p.m., when Canadian Forces arrived. Smith estimated that the combines rescued about 1,000 people. “It doesn’t take long to make the decision in that kind of emergency,” Joyce says. “We were trying to do anything we could to help.”

Pets were loaded up too. Children rode in the heated cab. “They were in awe,” Smith says. “We had all the lights in the cab blinking to keep them entertained and distracted from what was going on outside. They loved it.”

Read more stories from FarmLife, the Massey Ferguson-brand magazine, at myFarmLife.com.

MF445 to Help With Typhoon Recovery – AGCO Australia Donates Tractor to Philippine Department of Agriculture

In November 2013, typhoon Yolande caused catastrophic destruction when it hit the Philippines. The powerful storm left a scarred landscape and immense hardship for local families and businesses.

AGCO Australia is very pleased to donate a MF445 fitted with a rotovator and harrow to the Department of Agriculture Regional Office in Leyte.  Leyte is a small island 800kms from Manila that was severely affected by the typhoon.

The donation was presented at an official handover ceremony in mid-December, with government dignitaries and media representatives at Quezon City, Manila.

The tractor will be utilised in the enormous cleanup, which will involve rebuilding shattered local infrastructure, clearing debris and removing fallen trees.

We would also like to thank our distributors, Equity Machineries Inc., who assisted with the co-ordination of this much appreciated donation.

Typhoon_MF455

Bong (L), Peter (C) and Mark (R) present the MF445 to Department of Agriculture Officials in Manila

Of and For The Future

A legacy of sustainability is evident from the talk around the table in their farm shop on a recent warm afternoon. Dave Ring, his son Brent, 38, and grandson Dylan, 8, laugh about a story in which the boy informed his grade-school teacher that he may have to come home soon to farm full time.

Brent and David with their MF7624.

Brent and David with their MF7624.

The reason? It seems his dad had accumulated some gray hair around his temples. Dylan took that as a sign that Brent would be retiring soon and his time to take over was at hand.

“Dylan is 8 going on 21,” laughs Dave, obviously proud of his grandson. Dave also feels confident the operation will be healthy when Dylan is indeed ready to take over.

The Rings farm more than 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, milk 100-plus dairy cows and raise thousands of tom turkeys annually on a contract basis. They have always been proponents of good conservation. They seed cover crops in the fall, do minimal subsurface tillage, incorporate dairy manure and turkey litter in the soil, and buffer waterways.

“As for conservation, you have no choice in this part of the world,” says Dave. “We have rolling ground and you have to prepare the land to slow erosion. If we weren’t good stewards, there wouldn’t be anything left for my grandson.”

Dave is used to thinking about new generations. For 28 years, he was a high school business teacher, then vocational agriculture teacher and FFA leader. Now 68, he spent his younger days rising at 3 a.m. to milk cows and work the farm before heading off to his teaching job.

He thought the teaching would only be temporary—to help out the school district fill a sudden vacancy, then later to secure the agriculture program in danger of being cut for lack of an instructor. Turns out he was a natural. “I was starting to enjoy it,” Dave admits.

He is particularly proud of nearby Southridge High School’s FFA program, which had 15 members when he started teaching it and 160 when he retired in 2009.

Earlier this year, Dave Ring was recognized with the prestigious Master Farmer award from Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. The nominees are considered for the honor based on the quality of their operation and community service. The awards were given this past spring at a banquet sponsored by the magazine and the Purdue Ag Alumni Association.

“The Rings have done a super job of being diversified,” says Kevin Lubbehusen of Blesch Bros. Equipment Co., Dave’s farm equipment dealer.

“You don’t often see someone of his age staying out front on the technology side,” says Kevin. “That ability to stay current, along with his years of experience and his reputation for being a straight shooter, make him someone people listen to.”

Read the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/of-and-for-the-future/.