By Nyasha Mudukuti, AGCO Africa Ambassador 2016
‘Okay, the mic is set Nyasha, are you ready?’…. l looked at the AGCO team and simply nodded, l could feel my adrenaline level rising up. Just across me stood Jean Kaahwa, AGCO Africa Ambassador 2015, with an encouraging look. Couple of minutes later l was on stage with Prof. Martin Richenhagen, CEO of AGCO, and Dr. Rob Smith, AGCO‘s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe, Africa and Middle East. l could not believe l was sharing the stage with these two great men.
l hardly remember what l said on stage, but l vividly remember opening my eyes, standing in front of hundreds of guests. Not just ordinary guests, these were key stakeholders and major players in the agricultural sector. Most of which l had only read about, and never ever dreamt l could be able to shake hands and later on dine with. This is the beauty of being the AGCO Africa Ambassador….. lol.
Unlike Joy and Jean, the previous Ambassadors, my journey to being the AGCO Africa Ambassador had it’s own hurdles. It took me two years to stand on that stage, and I am glad l did not give up. So here l am in Berlin, super cold, first time in Europe and first snow experience. Fast forward to my hotel room, couple of hours after arriving, Sue Musunga Chuzu, the first AGCO Africa Ambassador checked on me and by default she babysat me. She shared with me her moderation experience, toured Berlin with me and let‘s not forget about that crazy shopping experience. Later in the evening I had my first meeting with the rest of the AGCO team welcoming me aboard.
So back on stage, I was listening to every panel discussion and thought about how relevant the issues were to my continent. The best part of the conference for me was listening to the success stories of two young agri-preneurs Eric Kaduru, the Founder of KadAfrica, and Ally Angula, the Co-founder and Managing Director of Leap Holdings. A revolution is not a revolution without young people and these two stories together with AGCO, Rabobank, Bayer CropScience made me realize that the transformation of the African agricultural sector is here and it‘s NOW!!!!
AGCO Africa and Middle East Management team celebrated the handing over of the keys to the eagerly anticipated AGCO Future Farm Africa mechanization training centre in a ceremony with local staff in Lusaka last week. “AGCO’s new state-of-the-art regional mechanization training centre will promote best practice in modern farming technology” said Steve Clarke, Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Brand Governance EAME, “Standing in the building today, I have seen how far we have come to maintain AGCO’s global training centre standards. This centre is the first of its kind in Africa and it will help us to boost the standards of our distribution network across the continent”.
The construction of AGCO’s Training Centre in Zambia at the AGCO Future Farm, was completed mid November 2015. The new training center is strategically located in the capital city Lusaka and is close to the International Airport, making it easily accessible for the whole East and Southern African region. “It is a milestone for AGCO to have the regional training center building completed,” explained Nuradin Osman, AGCO Director of Operations, Africa & Middle East, “Overall this is a huge achievement for the Africa Strategy. We set out to do something a little different in Africa and being able to have this infrastructure will help us build capacity of the highest global standards within the region, it is beyond amazing!
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.