At Israel’s Kibbutz Nirim, farmers use Massey Ferguson tractors for a variety of reasons. One is the excellent service they get from farm equipment distributor Comasco. “They’re always here when we need them,” says Farm Manager Ohad Gotshtat through a translator. “They also ask us questions about what we are doing and how they can help. They don’t try to sell us things we don’t need.”
Another reason for using Massey Ferguson: fuel efficiency. “We try to make [farming] as mechanized as we can,” says Nirim farmer Nahar.
Nahar notes the kibbutz owns three Massey Ferguson tractors that are used for a variety of tasks, from pulling trailers to planting. Yet, he says, there’s a downside to mechanization, “diesel is very expensive here … and we found the Massey tractors to be fuel efficient. They’re not consuming that much diesel and that’s a good thing, a very good thing in Israel.”
Our exclusive customer magazine, FarmLife, has produced a complete package of stories about overcoming barriers to farming in difficult conditions. See the whole story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/special-report-water/farming-on-the-edge-raising-food-in-israel/ and the whole package at http://www.myfarmlife.com/israel.
Massey Ferguson® 4600 Series tractors have quickly become a favorite for utility applications. With the introduction of the 4600M Series, which consists of three new models, Massey Ferguson has made them even more versatile with the addition of new options and standard features, as well as compliance with new emissions standards.
An improved Deluxe cab option boasts even more features for comfort and convenience. Among them are a rear wiper and defrost, fender-mounted 3-point-hitch controls, an air-ride seat, a front sun visor, and long-lasting and super-bright LED lights. Those who need a utility tractor for loader work will also appreciate a loader-ready package that includes frame rails, joystick control and grill guard. Both the Standard and Deluxe cabs will also come radio-ready, with speakers and antennae.
“The new Deluxe cab will be particularly beneficial for our customers in northern climates conducting snow-removal activities,” says Warren Morris, AGCO tactical marketing manager for tractors under 150 HP.
All models also meet the newest Tier 4 Final emissions standards. For the new MF4609M and MF4610M models, this involved the addition of an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system to supplement the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and high-pressure common rail system.
“We introduced a new 70-HP model, the MF4607M,” Morris says. “This puts it below the 75-HP threshold, which allows us to build it to Tier 4 Final emission requirements without SCR components to achieve this level. This helps to keep the costs down for customers, but still gives them the features they need from a full-utility tractor.”
“The football instinct,” Jason Schwab says, “is when somebody scores on you, you regroup, and you have 30 seconds to figure out how they’re not going to do it again.” That’s how Schwab operates his dairy, and AGCO’s willingness to listen and adapt to his needs makes the company’s equipment the right choice for him.
Jason quite literally views his role at Schwab Dairy as head coach. And whether by intention or intuition (likely both), Jason follows, pretty much to the letter, the philosophies and processes of some of the most successful coaches in the sport. It’s no secret that some of those philosophies and processes translate well to business, and to life.
Jason Schwab and his family dairy have a long history with AGCO products, including Massey Ferguson® tractors in a wide range of horsepower, and even Challenger® and Sunflower® equipment. From the first MF6180 the Schwabs acquired from Mike Bookmiller at Java Farm Supply in Batavia, N.Y., in 1998, to newer models, including the MF8660 running on the farm now, Jason has seen his own demands change and the AGCO products evolve to meet them.
“I really like the adaptive strategies they’ve put in place,” he says. “They’ve had senior people here at my table wanting to know how they can make things better … then watching minute things happen from my side.”
Between that and the top-notch service he receives from Bookmiller and Java, Jason says, “I don’t think I’ve ever been down for more than a couple hours.” And, he adds, “My equipment can’t be down.” You don’t have to be a baller to relate to that.
Our exclusive customer magazine, FarmLife, visited Jason’s dairy to see how his football acumen and AGCO equipment help him run a successful dairy. See more at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/farm-family-and-football-inside-a-successful-dairy/.
There’s been considerable controversy over just how much of California’s freshwater the state’s agriculture industry actually uses. Is it 40%, 80% or somewhere in between? Here’s how the percentages are calculated, so you can decide for yourself.
The amount of freshwater used by California farms and other agricultural operations is often reported at 80%, with the remaining 20% allocated for urban use. (A third division of usage—industrial—is typically included in the “urban” and “agricultural” categories.) However, the key word here is “available.”
To reach the 80% figure listed above, only water that’s available or “developed” for economic uses is taken into account. When environmental needs for freshwater are entered into the equation, the breakdown is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural and 10% urban, this according to numbers reported by the Public Policy Institute of California.
Yet, even the latter numbers—those accounting for environmental usage—are contested. Splitting the difference, UC Davis’s Center for Watershed Sciences argues that while many environmental uses should be included in the state’s total water budget, wild and scenic rivers should not, because it is not possible for them to provide water for human use. This reconfiguration renders state freshwater usage as 62% agricultural, 22% environmental and 16% urban.
Need another opinion? Blaine Hanson of UC Davis offers one that considers the variance in precipitation: only 52% of California’s total water supply (not just that developed for economic uses) is used by agriculture in a dry year, and only 29% is used in a wet year.
Mark Watne, along with his family, produces a variety of crops on 6,000 acres near Velva, N.D. The land is on the edge of the Bakken Shale oil reserves, where hydraulic fracturing has made the state the second largest oil producer after Texas and provided a shot in the arm to the North Dakota economy.
But the news hasn’t all been sunny for the region, where agricultural commodities have historically dominated transportation networks. Watne, who grows wheat, corn, soybeans, canola, barley and sunflowers, and owns two AGCO Gleaner® combines, believes in the booming grain harvests of 2013, producers were often relegated to a second priority when it came to rail transport.
“During the harvest, we could not deliver product to the elevators because they were all full,” he explains. “The rail lines weren’t picking it up.”
Overall, agricultural commodities dominate rail lines in many parts of the U.S. Agricultural traffic also relies heavily on major lines to the Mississippi River, Chicago, Kansas City and Houston.
That’s a good thing as long as rail can handle the capacity. The United Soybean Board estimates that shipping soybeans via rail, as opposed to by truck, saves an average of 20 to 30 cents per bushel. But what happens when rail can’t handle the traffic? That’s a growing concern, but one rail officials say is being addressed.
That’s critical, says Watne, who believes a viable transportation network is critical for the nation’s producers. He says the reason North American farmers still hold an advantage for exports in the Americas is because of their rail and highway systems. “Brazil may have the crops, but they don’t have this kind of infrastructure,” he explains.
“But that won’t last forever. We’re eventually going to see greater competition from countries who are developing their agricultural economies and infrastructure.”