This eastern Kansas farmer has more than doubled his ground in 2014, to 4,700 acres, and the rental parcels are as much as 200 miles apart.
“It’s like being in an office on the farm doing business,” says Dustin Edwards of the ride and technology in his MF8660 and MF8690 tractors, and the new MF9540 combine. “The CVT [continuously variable transmission] is awesome. I can literally stop in the field with the in-line ripper in the ground; I don’t even have to lift it out of the soil. When I start up again, the programmed computer just takes over and brings me up to speed, and can [reach] optimum rpm with the CVT. This is the best thing since sliced bread.”
Edwards believes the CVT saves him up to 2 gallons per hour in fuel over a tractor without. “Saving that kind of money just makes you more competitive.”
He’s just as happy, if not more so, with the MF9250 DynaFlex® header. “If I had to go back to an old auger head, I’d quit picking soybeans,” he says. The speed, efficiency and gentleness with which the header did the job so impressed a prospective landlord riding in the combine with Edwards that “it helped get the business. I didn’t even have to push him.”
His relationship with Schuck Equipment of Lawrence, Kan., is a big part of the reason for Edwards’ loyalty. The company is operated by Michael and Miles Schuck, who took over from their father, Howard, who had purchased the dealership in 1969.
For their part, the Schucks consider Edwards’ far-flung operation and increasingly high profile a benefit to their business. “If you’ve ever met Dustin, you’ll know he’s a stranger to no one,” says Miles Schuck. “He talks about what he’s doing and where he gets his equipment, so yeah, there is a benefit.”