There is broad consensus about the growing demand for food and feed over the next 50 years. Along with that comes the realization and responsibility of sustainable agricultural production. Picardie is a very progressive region of France with a vast agricultural footprint and vibrant industrial base. In addition to machinery makers like AGCO, the region is home to agronomic service companies as well major educational institutions that support the vast French and European farm economy. Over the past couple of years, regional policy and business leaders in Picardie have been discussing ways to harness this potential. The culmination of these discussions was the announcement of a Chair of Agro-Machinery at the SIMA show in Paris earlier this year. The Agro-Machinery Chair will be located at the Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais campus in France. AGCO is one of the four founding members of the Chair along with the Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais, Michelin and the Picardie regional government, the latter being a priority region for European research funding.
The objectives of the Agro-machinery Chair are two fold,
- Develop research capabilities that will offer value to the industrial sector so that our future designs meet sustainable farming and environmental needs.
- Train students with a dual expertise in engineering and agronomy, as well the training of machinery company personnel on agronomic issues.
Thus, it will serve as a vital link between evolving agronomic practices and future machinery solutions.
Initially there will be two dedicated professors, one active in agronomic issues, and the other to focus on integrated machinery solutions. A steering committee has been formed to oversee the Chair, and a scientific committee to advise the Chair on research projects and proposals.
While the search for professors is in full swing, AGCO R&D team is already active in engaging LaSalle faculty and other partners. A planning workshop concluded that the Chair’s focus should be man-machinery-environment interaction. Another fresh initiative was a 3 day training event organized by LaSalle Agronomy faculty to introduce senior managers and engineers from AGCO and Michelin to soil health and sustainability issues, and culminated in an intensive brainstorming session. The training exposed all participants to the variability and uncertainties of agriculture and was very much appreciated by all them. We are already planning another session for key AGCO participants!
LaSalle and AGCO have forged a great partnership already and once the Agro-Machinery faculty is fully in place the cooperation is sure to grow strongly!
The new ProCut rotary cutter system introduces a range of new features to deliver a huge increase in capacity, a more uniform & consistent cut length, and exceptional service access. This new option is offered in 2250, 2270, and 2270XD models.
With a 10% speed increase, the new re-designed Hesston manufactured rotor promotes aggressive & even crop flow to bale edges. Combine this with the new Quad-Auger pick-up system to promote smooth feeding with a reduced potential for plugging and you will see your baling & cutting capacity greatly increase. Also, a unique feature for the ProCut option that will increase capacity is that the packer of a “non-cutter” baler remains behind the rotor – maximizing baling feeding capacity.
For a more uniform & consistent cut length, the bolt-on rotor teeth have been designed wider with two hydraulically selectable knife banks in the magazine to allow operators the ability to quickly engage or disengage the knives and change cut lengths. No gaps in the knife bank provide uniform cut length across the entire bale width. These selectable knife configurations can be easily selected through the ISOBUS compatible C1000 or C2100 monitor. All models are equipped with minimum 1.5” cut length increments supported by a new serrated knife design for longer life and reduced wear. These knives can be removed to desired cut length easily, with no tools required.
With the need for improved service access, the new ProCut design is equipped with a hydraulic drop down & slide out knife bed drawer. This gives the operator easy access to all knives with no tools required. Another feature for reduced maintenance costs & time is the unique bolt-on rotor teeth, which allow for easy replacement, in the case that a foreign object is met.
To see the new ProCut features in action, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9VgvQP5wgU within the NEW Hesston Hay Youtube page.
Earlier this month, we traveled to Decatur, Illinois, for the 62nd Farm Progress Show—the largest outdoor farm equipment show in the United States. Our exhibit included a 61,000-square-foot scaled-down farm that showcased the newest innovations in farm equipment, crop life cycle demonstrations, and a productivity lab.
We introduced attendees to the SOLOTM AGCO Edition Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the X-Edition Challenger tractor (a limited-edition, all-black model), our all-new 3300 Command Series corn heads, the Massey Ferguson 6600M Series tractors, and Fuse Connected Services.
Here are some of the highlights from the show:
To view additional pictures from the AGCO Farm, check out our Facebook photo album.
If you weren’t able to visit us in The Prairie State, we’ll be at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo, North Dakota, both September 15-17, and AGRITECHNICA in Hanover, Germany, November 10-14.
We’re looking forward to Farm Progress Show this year, which will be held September 1–3 in Decatur, Illinois. Be sure to stop by our 61,000-square-foot AGCO Farm, which will showcase our newest farm equipment, crop life cycle demonstrations, a productivity lab and a fun photo booth.
Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss:
- Get the first look at the new Challenger X-Edition Tractor. You’ll also have the opportunity to register for a chance to win a trip for two to visit our Intivity Center and manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minnesota, to learn how Challenger tractors are built and to see them roll off the assembly line.
- Survey the entire show from 20 feet on our Fuse® Technologies observation deck. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how this next-generation approach to precision agriculture connects the entire crop cycle, from enterprise planning to planting, crop care, harvesting and grain storage.
- Get a new perspective on agriculture as we launch theSOLO™ AGCO EDITION Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This drone allows you to identify problem areas in fields quickly and efficiently with fully autonomous flying and high-resolution aerial maps.
Earlier this month, we introduced you to Richard Chapple, Farm Manager at the AGCO Future Farm in Zambia. Today, we’d like to give you another glimpse into daily life at the farm by introducing Martha Chishala, Training Centre Coordinator.
Martha plays an integral part in keeping things running smoothly at the Zambia Future Farm. Her role includes organizing training events and ensuring everything related to training is in order—from updating trainer schedules, to ordering supplies, to coordinating work visas.
She was on hand at the official launch of the Future Farm on May 27. “The official opening event was exciting, as there were so many great presentations and demonstrations of what AGCO plans to do in Africa and change the way of farming and agriculture,” she says. “It encouraged us all to embrace mechanised farming.”
Martha joined the AGCO Future Farm team in May of 2015, but she has already seen the impact it has had on the community. “The farm has created jobs for the local community and supports projects such as Chikumbuso Women and Orphans project, and it teaches children at a young age about the values of agriculture,” she says.
The farm faces many challenges, such as the area’s low water table, which can only sustain one winter crop per year. But Martha finds it rewarding to be part of this new age of farming, and she is learning that there is more to agriculture than just putting seed in the ground.
“I see a generation of farmers and changed mindset in regards to agriculture,” she says. “Growing up in Zambia we believed farming was for the uneducated, rural based-based older folk—something people do after retirement. I never considered a career prospect, but with empowerment through knowledge, all that is changing.”