A pair of Massey Ferguson tractors is helping specialist Anglesey sea-farming business, Menai Oysters and Mussels, process each year more than 70,000 oysters and five million mussels, all grown and cultivated naturally in the strong, nutrition-rich tidal currents of the Menai Strait.
The majority of the company’s shellfish production is sent to wholesale markets for purchase by hotels, restaurants and specialist fish shops and retailers with a growing number of sales being made also via the internet, mail-order and direct to customers who visit Menai Oysters and Mussels’ shop on a Sunday or Wednesday.
Purchased in late 2012 from nearby MF dealer, Emyr Evans, the two Massey Ferguson tractors – a 38hp MF 1540A and a 102hp MF 5440 – are being employed primarily within the initial washing processes used to remove silt, sand and other seabed detritus from the shells of the harvested oysters and mussels.
Initial cleaning of the oysters is carried out in trays using a hand-held pressure washer fed with fresh water by a high-capacity pump mounted on and driven by the power take-off shaft of the MF 1540A tractor. When all of the oysters have been washed, the tractor is driven a short distance to the mussel processing line where its external hydraulic system is connected to pumps powering the equipment’s water delivery and conveyor systems, simultaneously washing and grading the mussels as they move along the line.
Having been cleaned off externally, the shellfish is either immersed in tanks or placed on racks for further cleaning by purification using continuously recirculating seawater that has been sterilised by UV light. Minimum purification time is 42 hours to ensure that the filter feeding mechanism of the bivalve molluscs has adequate time to filter-out grit, sand and other internal impurities.
All of the seawater used by Menai Oysters and Mussels within its various washing and purifying processes is transported from the sea shore to the farm in a 6,000 litre vacuum tanker hauled by the MF 5440 tractor, the water being held in large storage tanks until needed. The two and a half miles each-way journey to and from the sea shore is made two or three times a week, depending on the season and demand for the firm’s oysters and mussels, all of which are sold to customers within the United Kingdom.
“We use a lot of sea water for purifying the shellfish so the tractor has to be ready to go at a moment’s notice,” explained marine biologist Shaun Krijnen, who founded Menai Oysters and Mussels in 1994 and maintains a full hands-on role in the business today. “When it’s not involved in shellfish production, the MF 5440 tractor is used for hedge-cutting, pasture mowing and local contract work, helping out nearby arable and livestock farmers.”
Bought primarily to power the oyster and mussel washing equipment, the smaller MF 1540 compact tractor spends up to 40 hours a week stationary with its engine running and power take-off shaft turning at a constant 540rpm.
“The MF 1540 replaced a larger agricultural-type tractor, consequently cutting our diesel usage by half,” commented Shaun. “The new tractor’s power output and auxiliary oil flow are far better matched to our existing equipment so everything runs more smoothly and economically. Having a foldable rollbar instead of a cab means also that we can lock the tractor away securely overnight.”
The larger MF 5440 tractor arrived on the farm two months later, further modernising the firm’s machinery fleet while splitting the existing workload over two new power units.
“As the business has grown, we have looked increasingly to invest in modern, reliable, cost-effective equipment,” explained Shaun. “Massey Ferguson was the obvious choice for us. Not only is our local dealer just 15 minutes away but we are benefiting from the company’s Manager 5-year extended warranty and servicing package that brings peace of mind to a business that relies very heavily on its machinery throughout the year.”
Massey Ferguson has come home to the streets of Coventry with the purchase of two Massey Ferguson 5610s by Coventry City Council.
The two recently launched tractors, which are to carry out verge mowing in and around the city of Coventry, were purchased from the brand new Ufton branch of dealership Lister Wilder, which opened in May this year.
“The Council was looking for a tractor with excellent visibility to the side and front. With its waisted design and drop-nosed bonnet, the MF 5610 delivers just that,” explains Stuart Wyles, Lister Wilder Ufton Area Sales Manager.
Not only does the drop-nose give excellent views to the front and side, it also enables operators to see to the side of each wheel and the to the front linkage itself, a must for verge and grass mowing, adds Mr Wyles.
The other important requirement was for a high lift capacity, and with its uprated rear linkage rated at 4300kg, the MF 5610 is more than capable of handling the heavy reach mower as well as other implements it may be required to lift.
The tractors are fitted with front linkage, complete with PTO, to allow for both front and rear mowers, as well as cab suspension, electronic linkage control and 100 litre/minute hydraulics.
Powered by an AGCO POWER 3-cylinder, 3.3-litre common-rail engine, the 105hp MF 5610 also delivers in terms of performance and economy, putting out 413 Nm torque at just 1600rpm. Drive is provided by a Dyna-4 powershift transmission controllable either via the multifunctional joystick or shuttle.
“To make sure the tractor fitted all the criteria, we attached the council’s Bomford flail mowers to test visibility, performance and comfort for the operator,” he adds.
And indeed, the new, spacious, high-visibility cab was also a selling point for the tractor, giving the operator the equivalent working conditions to those in a high-hp tractor – a necessity for long hours verge mowing.
“We looked at a number of different options in this power bracket, but it was the Massey Ferguson that fitted the criteria. Visibility is crucial for both safety and ease of operation, as is lift capacity. Operator comfort and usability was another high priority for us,” explains Brian Martin, Fleet Service Supervisor at Coventry City Council.
“We’re delighted to have supplied these two tractors to Coventry. Obviously location had a bearing, as the new dealership at Ufton is only a short drive, but it’s equally great to see Massey Ferguson visible on the streets of the city again,” says Mr Wyles.
Sunday, 2 June 2013
A convoy of vintage red and grey Massey Ferguson tractors is to cross the hazardous sands of the UK’s Morecambe Bay in a charity run to raise money for Diabetes UK.
Led by retired Massey Ferguson employee Bob Dickman, up to 20 tractors will make the 17 mile (27 km) fully-guided return trip on 2 June.
81-year-old Bob, who retired in 1995, spent 40 years working for Massey Ferguson culminating in his role as Export Service Manager. He will be driving a fully reconditioned 1954 Ferguson TEF 20 tractor across the sands.
“A similar crossing was undertaken by Land Rovers some years ago but this is the first time for tractors,” he says. “I am raising money for a Diabetes UK Type 1 research project after seeing the impact the disease has had on the lives of family and friends.”
Massey Ferguson is supporting the event with the supply of raffle prizes including an all-expenses-paid trip to its tractor factory in Beauvais, France.
Bob’s mission has also attracted the support of some of his former Massey Ferguson colleagues now retired including Glynn Patrick who was Managing Director of European Distribution and Gordon Graham, previously General Sales Manager Eastern Europe. Glynn will be behind the wheel of his family farm’s refurbished 1968 MF 135 and Gordon will be assisting with the logistics of the event. Other ex-Massey Ferguson employees will be among the spectators.
At low tide which occurs at 1.45pm on 2 June, the notorious Morecambe Bay in northwest England exposes 120 square miles (310 sq km) of sand and flats. To ensure the safest route across the bay, Steve Morris, another key organiser of the tractor convoy, worked closely with a father and son team of experienced guides who use their own tractors to fish Morecambe Bay sands.
The guided crossing, which starts and finishes at Cark Airfield near Flookburgh is expected to take three to four hours. Four- year-old Neev Renton from Cumbria who suffers from Type 1 diabetes will set the tractors off at 12 noon.
Anyone interested in sponsoring or watching the event can visit: www.justgiving.com/bobdickmanMF-fergusontractorroadrun
Over 5,000 people gathered for the UK’s National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) Annual Convention – the Federation’s showcase event of the year.
Massey Ferguson was a key supporter providing sponsorship for both the Chairman’s Reception and the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) Forum.
Attendance at the event, held in Blackpool, was the best in five years and up 500 on 2012.
The ARAC Forum was a major highlight and gave members the opportunity to contribute to an industry review on the future of farming. Among the panellists were Joris Baecke, President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) and David Fursdon, Chair of the Future Farming Review.
“We were delighted to support the NFYFC convention,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Brand Development Manager who attended the event. “Massey Ferguson is strongly focused on the new generation of farmers who are embracing new opportunities, new ideas and transforming forever the way farming is both carried out and perceived. The vibrancy, passion and clear thinking of delegates were inspirational.”
Open to young people age 10 to 26, the NFYFC has over 25,000 members and 644 clubs throughout the UK.
AGCO is proud to support the OIC International Youth Investment Summit: The Road to Economic Growth, held in Accra, Ghana last week.
At the event Louisa Parker, Manager Institutional Funding and Stakeholder Relations, Africa & Middle East, presented details of exclusive research that shows how young people are transforming agriculture across the world.
Commissioned by Massey Ferguson – AGCO’s global brand – the report highlights how a New Generation of young people is choosing farming as a career, because it offers a bright future. Young people’s enthusiasm, energy and optimism, says the report, is combined with a growing demand for food across the world. This open-minded New Generation is ready to embrace the opportunities that come their way.
The research also shows that across the world younger farmers are taking over family farms and revolutionising the way they are operated. Countries such as Brazil and China and those in Africa are at the forefront of this change.
AGCO, through Massey Ferguson, already has unparalleled expertise and local knowledge of African agriculture, which it has amassed over many generations. It is now strengthening its commitment to the continent with investments, totally $100 million, in number of initiatives, which are aimed at creating employment, helping to develop infrastructure and improve mechanisation, as well as providing wider access to education and training.
In Lusaka, Zambia AGCO has created a new 150ha (330 acre) Model Farm and Learning Centre, where it is putting its development commitment and ideas into action. This centre offers education and training to African farmers, at all levels, to provide a better understanding about soils, agronomy, crop protection and mechanisation techniques to boost sustainable productivity.
AGCO’s eventual aim is to transfer the knowledge and infrastructure being developed at the Zambian Model farm and Learning Centre across Africa. Exporting the core knowledge and expertise from Zambia will help establish the ‘Future Farm’ concept to provide further education and agricultural development across the continent. At the same time the project aims to ‘pull in’ other partners with AGCO to help develop the much-needed infrastructure and supply industry. Appropriate farm mechanisation is seen as the key to unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential. Investment in farm machinery technology accompanied, importantly, by education will provide the catalyst for rural development. Farm machinery boosts efficiency and helps increase yields, while also relieving workers from the drudgery of manual labour currently employed in many areas to cultivate the land and tend crops.
This is highlighted in the song ‘Youth In Agriculture’, written and performed by the MEGA Fame Foundation, an NGO from Ghana. The catchy tune and memorable lyrics aim to convey the message that a country’s health and development largely depend on farming; and by taking an active role in agriculture young Africans can help in the fight against hunger. The music video to promote the song and message was filmed using the support and resources of Massey Ferguson’s Audio Visual team at the Model Farm and Learning Centre in Zambia. The lively video shows the band performing with help from young farm staff and village children. The video, which was screened at the Summit, can be viewed here.
Elsewhere across the continent, AGCO initiatives are creating a wide range of new jobs with on-the-job training, as well as improving the infrastructure and support for farmers. Local assembly of Massey Ferguson tractors for the African market has now started with a joint venture operation in Algeria. This has already created a wide range of jobs at all levels – from highly trained engineers through to trainees. It is also boosting the local economy and offering further employment opportunities through the value chain.
Meanwhile AGCO continues to invest in developing its own business and facilities in the region and has recently built and opened a new Parts Distribution Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as a new regional office in Cape Town. It is also working on a variety of projects to improve its distribution network in North, West and East Africa.