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FFA and AGCO: Groundbreaking Progress

It’ll definitely be a different kind of year for members of the Decatur, Ill., Heartland FFA. They have the opportunity to work directly with a Fortune 300 ag company, developing and providing stewardship for AGCO’s plot of land at the nearby Farm Progress Show (FPS) this August.

The plot at the 2014 AGCO exhibit, in partnership with the Gilbert, Iowa, FFA chapter.

The plot at the 2014 AGCO exhibit, in partnership with the Gilbert, Iowa, FFA chapter.

After a successful relationship with the Gilbert, Iowa, FFA chapter in 2014, AGCO is partnering with Heartland to prepare its next exhibition site. The difference is “We’re bringing them in earlier this year,” says Phil Jones, segment strategy manager for AGCO. “They’ve already been involved in soil testing and stewardship, working cooperatively with local farmer David Brix.”

Brix’s farm is contiguous with the FPS property, and is used for demonstrating equipment during the show.

While last year was production-focused, this time the expanded time frame will allow emphasis on science as well. Steve Carlson, ag science instructor at Heartland Technical Academy and FFA adviser for 16 years, says the AGCO program “allows the students to understand the agronomy of agriculture and how those scientific principles [work].”

For instance, says Carlson, students “AGCO wants there to be at least three different crops planted at the site. So, we will take the samples and prepare them for shipment to a local soil-testing laboratory. I’ll share the results with my FFA students and have them make suggestions or recommendations for fertilizer applications for the specific sites where individual crops will grow.”

The project benefits both FFA and AGCO. Students learn from practical experience and expand their understanding of the ag industry. AGCO gets the chance to connect directly with future agriculturalists.

“It’s very hands-on,” says Jones. “They get the practical side but also a window into the world as to how a company like AGCO works.

See for yourself the results of this collaboration between FFA and AGCO this week! Visit the 2015 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL, September 1-3.

Full Pull: On the Job and On the Track with Joe Eder

Tractor pull legend Joe Eder took time out from the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville earlier this year to talk to FarmLife about pulls and his love for Massey Ferguson.

“We’ve been with Massey Ferguson for, I believe, going on 11 years now,” says the four-time Louisville champion. He recently acquired two MF8727s, replacing two 8650s. “Had no complaints; they’re a great tractor. But we like to update every two years and go with the newest thing through Massey.”

Eder rattles off a number of reasons he likes Massey Ferguson: “The 31 mile-per-hour road speed, front suspension, probably the best cab suspension on the market. We custom farm—we do custom mowing and custom harvesting.”

In addition to the custom work, Eder also runs a bark mulch business. He uses MF8737 tractors for that work as well. “They’re really good tractors,” he says. “They’re excellent on fuel.”

Eder appreciates being able to see the new AGCO products at Louisville. “It’s very exciting because, not only can we tie in our sport of truck- and tractor-pulling, but we can actually go out and look at the new product. It’s nice to come here and see everybody, and learn about the latest, greatest thing on the market.”

For more, see

See AGCO’s Latest Innovations at Farm Progress Show

Farm Progress Show





2015 is the biggest year yet for technology in the history of AGCO, and we’re bringing our newest innovations to the Farm Progress Show! We’ll be introducing six new products and services as part of AGCO’s Fuse strategy. Come see how AGCO’s Fuse Technologies and technology-enabled services can help you:

  • Revolutionize the way you manage your operation
  • Make decisions based on actionable data
  • Eliminate guess work

Introducing a new approach to farm optimization

We’ve got a great lineup planned, including a 61,000-square-foot, scaled-down version of a farm to demonstrate how we’re tackling the complex challenges in farming. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the latest innovations from all of our brands.

Here’s a sneak peak at a few other highlights:

  • Live, Pre-Owned Equipment Certification
  • FUSE Observation Deck & Giveaway
  • Headland Management Demo Experience
  • And more!

Visit the Fuse Tower on the AGCO lot between Second and Third Street, at Central Progress Avenue.

Can’t make it to the Farm Progress Show? Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for show updates.

AGCO Gears Up for the 2015 Farm Progress Show

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.Challenger X-Edition
  • 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.

Visit us in person at lot 333 at Farm Progress Show, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for show updates.

Rate and Section Control Technology Critical in the Next Wave of Precision Farming Evolution

By Matt Rushing

Rate and Section control technology is critical for farming in the future. Increasingly, it is becoming a requirement for farmers looking to reduce costs and improve yields. The adoption rate of this technology is high, but utilization is still low[1]. Why are farmers passing on the opportunity to lower their overall costs while also reducing negative impacts on the environment?  Education plays a major role, as does helping farmers understand what to do with the vast amount of data flowing from one stage of the crop cycle to the next.Rate and section control

Rate and section control is essential in controlling planting, seeding, pest management and nutrient application operations. Using Rate and Section control technologies such as Variable Rate Technology (VRT) and Automatic Section Control (ASC)  effectively allows the farmer to reduce overall costs by helping to avoid double applying inputs on areas the machine has already covered, as well as getting the right amount in the right place based on the field’s needs.

Variable Rate Technology (VRT):

  • Can help farmers optimize input costs by monitoring and varying different materials in the field to precisely plant seeds, apply fertilizer and chemicals based on prescriptions developed with the farmers trusted advisors
  • Variable rate systems also record how those inputs were applied. This information can then be used to create prescriptions for subsequent operations and track the effectiveness of different crop management strategies.

Automatic Section Control (ASC):

  • Avoid double coverage and eliminate wasted inputs due to overlap, field topography, soil conditions and obstacles
  • Makes managing headlands and pivot rows easier when planting and spraying
  • Allows spinner speed control for spreader application systems when applying fertilizer
  • Improves yield by preventing overcrowding point rows with plants when seeding

In planting, both of these technologies allow real-time monitoring of seeding or fertilizer delivery information and can help identify planter malfunctions by catching them early before they cause huge yield reductions. By seeing the results of singulation analysis, skips/multiples, spacing and quality of spacing, the farmer can make better decisions and implement corrective actions faster to improve overall efficiency and yield.

In spraying herbicides and pesticides, overlapping inputs increases chemical costs while risking potential harm to the environment. Effective use of these technologies also contributes to managing impacts to zones negatively affected by chemicals such as waterways and public areas. The reduced use of fuel and more economical application of fertilizer under precision agriculture indicate rate and section control technologies have the potential to play a huge role in reducing air and water pollution[2].

Rate and section control technology is one important piece of AGCO’s approach to precision agriculture, known as Fuse.  There are many opportunities for the industry and AGCO to teach and show the benefits of rate and section control technologies and encourage their adoption at a much faster rate through education and data management services.

To learn more about how AGCO is helping growers optimize operations and increase efficiency, visit


Matt Rushing is the Vice President for the Advanced Technology Solutions group (Fuse), responsible for AGCO’s Global ATS Product Line.





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