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Take care to apply the right amount of fertiliser when placing with seed

There are a number of factors to consider when placing fertiliser with seed according to Dr. Mike Stewart from the International Plant Nutrition Institute in Norcross, Georgia, USA.

Placing fertiliser in-furrow with the seed during planting is a common practice in small grain production and to some extent in row-crop production. Placing fertiliser with the seed can be an effective and beneficial management practice, but over- application and mismanagement can result in seedling damage, and ultimate stand and yield loss. The type of crop, fertiliser source, row spacing, and soil environment all affect how much fertiliser can be safely applied with seed.

Type of crop: Some crops are more susceptible to injury from in-furrow fertilisation than others. Oil seed crops are particularly sensitive; therefore most guidelines allow no fertiliser placed with the seed of these crops. The general order of sensitivity (most to least) among major crops grown on the Great Plains in the United States is soybeans > sorghum > corn > small grains.

Type of fertiliser: Fertilisers are salts, and these salts can affect the ability of the seedling to absorb water… too much fertiliser (salt) and seedling desiccation or “burn” can occur. Some fertiliser materials have a higher salt index or burn potential than others. Salt index values are usually included in basic agronomic texts, or are available from fertiliser dealers or extension resources such as government bodies or universities. As a general rule, most common nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertilisers have higher salt indexes than phosphorus (P) fertilisers; therefore, a common predictor for the potential for salt damage is the sum of N+K2O per acre (0.4 ha) applied with the seed. For example, most guidelines for corn (maize) in 30 inch (76.2 cm) rows will allow for no more than 10 lb (4.5kg)/A of N+K2O in medium to fine textured soils — assuming no urea-containing products are used.

Ammonia formation potential of fertiliser: Fertilisers that have the potential to release free ammonia can cause ammonia toxicity to germinating seeds or young emerging seedlings. Thus, extra caution must be used with in-furrow placement of urea-containing fertilisers. In some cases urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) or urea can be applied successfully in-furrow in small grain production, but this requires careful consideration of several factors including those discussed below.

Row spacing: For a specific set of circumstances (i.e. crop, soil conditions, etc.) the safe rate of in-furrow fertiliser increases as row spacing narrows or decreases. A narrowing row space has the effect of diluting fertiliser over more linear feet (metres) of row.

Soil type and environment: Soil conditions that tend to concentrate salts, or stress the germinating seed, increase the potential for damage. So, the safe limit for in-furrow fertilisation is reduced with sandier soil texture and in drier soil conditions. Also, environmental conditions that induce stress and/or slow germination (e.g. cold temperature) can prolong fertiliser-seed contact and thus increase the likelihood of damage.

Seed bed utilisation: The more scatter there is between seed and fertiliser in the seed band or row, the more fertiliser can be safely applied. The type of planting equipment and seed opener influences the intimacy of seed-fertiliser contact. The concept of “seed bed utilisation” (SBU) has been used to address this factor. SBU is simply the seed row width divided by the row width (i.e., proportion of row width occupied by seed row). The wider the seed row for a specific row width the greater the SBU. As SBU increases so does the safe rate of in-furrow fertilisation.

* Reprinted from the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Plant Nutrition Today Series by Dr Mike Stewart. http://www.ipni.net/pnt

Danish cyclists all set for trip to Beauvais tractor plant

Sixty cyclists from Denmark are due to set off on the exciting ‘MF Tour de Beauvais 2015’ this Saturday 27 June.

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In a trip scheduled to last seven days, the intrepid riders will be pedalling 1226 km from Brørup in Southern Denmark to the AGCO manufacturing facility in Beauvais France, centre of Massey Ferguson tractor production in Europe.

From Denmark, the tour will pass through the Netherlands and Belgium before crossing the border into France at Hestrud. We’ll keep you up to date with their progress and you can also follow their journey on the Massey Ferguson Global Facebook page.

Antarctica2 South Pole MF Tractor-trek leader awarded a World Record

Massey Ferguson reports that the Antarctica2 expedition to the South Pole by MF 5610 tractor spearheaded by Manon Ossevoort has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records.

Manon Ossevoort, AKA Tractor Girl, is proud to receive her Guinness Book of World Records Certificate confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheeled tractor

Manon Ossevoort, AKA Tractor Girl, is proud to receive her Guinness Book of World Records Certificate confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheeled tractor

A certificate has been awarded to Lead Driver, Manon (aka ‘Tractor Girl’), confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheel tractor.  The certificate officially details that she “left Novo Runway in Antarctica on 22 November 2014 driving a Massey Ferguson 5610 farm tractor to complete a 4,638 km round trip to the South Pole that lasted 27 days, 19 hr 25 min.”

“We are thrilled that the amazing Antarctica2 adventure has been recognised as a world-first,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services. “We are all so proud that our MF 5610 tractor was chosen to make the trip and that it excelled in every way to ensure that Manon and her team safely reached their destination. It was an awe-inspiring mission that is now firmly part of Massey Ferguson’s story of achievement.”

The expedition was a tough ride for the MF 5610 tractor and Antarctica2 team who faced bitter cold, high altitude, solid ice, snowdrifts and the most extreme, remote terrain. Their daily adventures and emotional arrival at the Pole were followed by millions worldwide on social and broadcast media.

For customers keen to share in the adventure, Massey Ferguson has recently launched an MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor to celebrate the South Pole trek. With the emphasis on high performance, comfort, safety and control, the Special Edition machine is equipped with a package of unique features and exclusive design attributes which reflect the many challenges of the battle across the ice. The features package includes a superdeluxe air-suspended seat, mechanical cab suspension, six LED lights, 540/540E/1000 rpm PTO and Massey Ferguson’s high-spec off-road audio entertainment system.

Massey Ferguson announces winner in South Pole Expedition competition

Massey Ferguson reports that Nancie Clanachan from Maryholm Farm near Dumfries, Scotland has clinched the prize in its Antarctica2 Expedition competition to win the use of an MF 5610 tractor for a season.

Attracting entries from 33 countries, the competition was run on the Antarctica2 Expedition web site which chronicled the thrilling adventure to drive an MF 5610 tractor to the South Pole and back in December 2014.  In accomplishing the mission, the MF 5610 staked its place in history and became the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.

MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor

MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor

“It was an amazing feat for the Massey Ferguson tractor to get to the South Pole,” says Nancie Clanachan whose family operates a 340-acre beef and sheep enterprise. “We’re absolutely delighted to win the prize – it was a lovely surprise. My sons, who now run the farm, and my grandsons are all very excited about the arrival of the new tractor!”

The Clanachans will be receiving a season’s use of an MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor which Massey Ferguson has recently launched to celebrate the South Pole achievement. With the emphasis on high performance, comfort, safety and control. the Special Edition machine is equipped with a package of unique features and exclusive design attributes which reflect the many challenges of the 5000 km battle across the ice. The features package includes a superdeluxe air-suspended seat, mechanical cab suspension, six LED lights, 540/540E/1000 rpm PTO and Massey Ferguson’s high-spec off-road audio entertainment system.

The Antarctica2 expedition was a huge challenge of strength and endurance for man and machine, and captured the imagination of a worldwide audience. The 28-day trek across the ice with the Antarctica2 team spearheaded by Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, was followed on social media alone by more than 27 million people.

Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services presented the Clanachan family with the keys to the prize MF 5610 at the Royal Highland Show on 19 June. “Congratulations to the Clanachans, we hope they enjoy using the MF 5610,” he said. “Even in the depths of a Scottish winter, we know that the tractor will rise to the challenges on their farm just as it did in the extreme and hostile conditions of the Antarctic.”

One third of global food production is wasted every year.

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MF: One third of global production wasted annually– that’s a huge amount.

MB: Yes, it’s a very large figure. In developing countries, most waste happens in the earlier stages of the food supply chain, whereas in developed regions such as Europe, food is more likely to be wasted at the other end of the chain, when it lands in the hands of the processors, retailers and consumers. This leads to safe food going uneaten. It’s clearly an issue which must be addressed given escalating food demand and continuing poverty and hunger for many in developing countries. The issue is particularly topical at the moment considering that EXPO 2015’s theme is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ which has a heavy focus on food security, and therefore food waste.

MF: What is the EU’s strategy?

MB: In 2014, the European Commission put forward objectives for food waste reduction in the EU with the stated aim of reducing food waste by at least 30% by 2025. However, in its 2015 work programme, the Commission announced that it would withdraw this legislative proposal in favour of a new, more ambitious one to promote circular economy. This is the idea of reusing and recycling existing materials and products, aiming to ‘close the loop’ in order to avoid loss and waste. The European Commission has launched a public consultation on ‘Circular Economy’ in a bid to promote its new strategy on the subject which it is planning for late 2015. The consultation is open to everyone, so anyone should feel free to have their say if they would like to contribute!

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