Whites Farm is at the hub of a sizeable farming operation in and around the village of Helions Bumpstead, near Haverhill, South Cambridgeshire, England.
It is a mainly arable business extending in all to around 1000ha, comprising five main blocks that are 11 miles apart. For this part of the eastern counties, the rotation is a familiar one – winter wheat, winter barley, oilseed rape, spring barley and beans. There are no livestock.
The farm relies on a MF 9407 S telehandler for a range of tasks and is rarely idle. Farm foreman Brian Blackmore explains: “The telehandler’s main duties include loading grain, moving fertiliser and filling grain stores at harvest time. Other odd jobs around the farm include moving dirt and rubble and it has a work platform with cage.
“The machine is just one year old now and the only outgoings during that time have been one service and the diesel,” he adds.
“It’s very straightforward to use, with very good all-round visibility, and has plenty of power for the jobs we use it for. The service back-up is also very good – only on the odd occasion have we had to ask a question.
“The machine is very reliable – as was the one it replaced – also a Massey Ferguson – which we had for 10 years with no problems. In fact, we never had to call the dealer out once during that time, and it was only really the fact that the tyres were worn that the decision was taken to get a new one.
“However, the MF 9407 S is a lot quicker on the road – capable of 40km/h. Loading grain is faster and smoother and the boom extender is also quick and easy to use.”
In December 2014, the owner of Bejstrup, Mr. Per Kold Kristiansen, one of the largest contractor in Denmark, held an “Open House” to celebrate its 60th birthday. More than 3000 visitors attended the event.
Their large business is involved with contracting, construction, municipal areas as well as a signage shop. They operate from 3 locations in North Jutland.
The recent owner of 22 x MF tractors was really proud to show its new contingent of Massey Ferguson tractors. In fact, the new AGCO partner used to be a New Holland customer for many years, and Bejstrup has decided to replace its NH fleet. Their future challenge is to aim for more AGCO products at Bejstrup – tractors and balers.
This successful story is due to the strong relationships built by AGCO Denmark as well as the Key accounts team and the local dealer, Hjallerup Maskinforretning.
Per Kold Kristiansen said “We can only confirm again that we have felt welcome at AGCO in general, and dialogue and trade negotiations to date have been characterized by a positive spirit and a quick response to various questions from our side. It has obviously been one of our toughest decisions to switch from New Holland to Massey Ferguson but high praise to all of you, for having made this process very smooth. This is especially something the drivers have noticed; also after the deal has taken place, we (Bejstrup) are taken seriously. All in all, we have only positive things to say.”
The Bejstrup team is so proud of its new tractors that the drivers have their name on the door and they NEVER wear dirty boots in the cab.
MF: Why do we need a simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?
MB: The CAP is one of the European Union’s most far-reaching, complicated and intricate policies. More importantly, it is one of the EU’s most ‘common’ policies, spanning different geographical areas, landscapes, soil types and farming traditions. Not only that, but it is a policy which provides different amounts of income support to every single eligible farmer in the Union. This, understandably, makes it a lengthy and complex policy which can sometimes cause administrative burden for Member States, businesses and individual farmers. Therefore, it is essential that CAP Simplification is explored extensively. Now that the new CAP has been in place since the beginning of the year, the EU institutions want to look through what has been agreed and where improvements can be made, as well as what can be done better next time.
MF: What is the background to CAP simplification?
MB: The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has identified CAP Simplification as one of his priorities for 2015. This is also in the context of the new Commission’s Work Programme, headed up by Commission President Juncker, which highlights ‘Better Regulation’ as a core objective for EU policy. A first action plan on CAP Simplification was published in 2006, and since then there has been an ongoing CAP Simplification exercise. At the outset, the exercise will focus mostly on delegated and implementing acts, which help to put in place the detailed rules needed to implement the reformed CAP. Commissioner Hogan has already said that he will review the rules on environmental focus areas among more than 200 other Commission regulations that will be considered for simplification.
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Meeting increasingly stringent EPA standards can be difficult enough, without adding frequent maintenance. Fortunately, Massey Ferguson’s emissions system maintenance is practically trouble-free on all midsize and high-horsepower tractors, reducing downtime and expense, especially compared to competitive designs.
“First of all, the 4600, 5600 and 6600 series tractors don’t have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that needs to be cleaned through a regeneration process or replaced at certain intervals,” says Brandon Montgomery, AGCO product manager for Massey Ferguson GC1700-6600 series tractors. Regeneration generates excessive heat, which can be a hazard, but new filters can cost up to $2,000 to replace and even $1,500 to clean.
“Instead, Massey Ferguson 4600 Series tractors are equipped with only an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, high pressure common rail (HPCR) and a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) designed to last for the life of the tractor. The same goes for the MF5609 and MF5610 models, which use the same emission technology.
“Even the larger Massey Ferguson series, like the 6600 and the 5600 large-frame models, require nothing more than filling the DEF tank,” Montgomery adds, noting that these models incorporate a diesel oxidation catalyst in combination with a second-generation selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. “Even then, Massey Ferguson’s variable DEF [diesel exhaust fluid] injection and real-time exhaust monitoring system allow our engines to consume less DEF over time, saving money and refueling downtime.”
The fact that Massey Ferguson doesn’t use a DPF on its midsize tractors is particularly appealing to producers who use smaller tractors in poultry houses, or to pull wagons or sprayers in fruit and vegetable operations.
“Most of those applications are performed at low speeds,” he explains. “However, low engine speeds generate exhaust particulates even faster.”
“The fact that all but the very smallest Massey Ferguson tractors don’t use a DPF is huge,” Montgomery continues. “In most cases, the emissions system requires absolutely no maintenance. That not only saves time and fuel, but reduces the intense heat that builds in the exhaust system during the filter regeneration process.”
By Carla Gasparin
Partnerships through connectivity solutions, and utilizing industry standards, are key enablers for today’s farmers. With Fuse®, AGCO is pioneering an open approach to precision farming built on adherence to industry data standards and a growing list of partnerships. Fuse is AGCO’s precision farming and precision machine management strategy that allows farmers freedom and flexibility in their choices of machinery, farm management and agronomy software, and service providers – while providing unique solutions for managing their valuable data.
A rapidly growing area of machine technology is remote connectivity, with solutions integrated into products that communicate equipment performance information and wirelessly send agronomic (task) information from the field to the office and from the office to the field. In order to preplan, manage and analyze agronomic data, AGCO offers the wireless transfer of task data from the machine terminal to the office computer through a unique data pipe, separate from raw machine data. AGCO recognizes and respects customers’ data privacy rights and acknowledges that all equipment and crop data generated during a grower’s operation belongs to the grower. An AGCO customer can choose between task and fleet management products and data paths to wirelessly transfer operational information:
- AgCommand®, AGCO’s telematic machine and fleet monitoring system, captures and wirelessly transfers equipment status, location and performance data to a unique user interface used by farmers and AGCO dealers to provide machine optimization, performance monitoring and machine uptime. Customers and dealers can access data through the AgCommand website and app on an iOS smart device. Telemetry focuses on keeping equipment in the field and ensuring the machine is optimized for the best performance. Focusing on minimizing downtime, AGCO uses technology to make sure farm equipment is not only continually moving, but also running optimized. Products that are never idle and providing the current status is the target. We develop solutions that help farmers to understand where his/her pieces of equipment are, and let him/her knows what operations it is doing.
- Task data management is possible with a wide selection of AGCO’s partner Farm Management Information Systems including FarmWorks, Claas Agrocom Net, Helm, BASF and Land-Data Eurosoft AgrarOffice. Since 2010 the VarioDoc/TaskDoc offering from AGCO has been based on the ISO 11783-10 standard. AGCO’s task management solutions include wireless transfer of crop data in the form of work orders and work records. This can be done through an exchange server directly from a machine terminal through cellular connection or Bluetooth. AGCO is not locked into a single service provider or FMIS. We are the connectivity partner between the farmers and service providers, so our customers are free to choose which trusted advisors he/she wants to work with. It is important we offer capabilities that link service providers with our customers, more specifically to business data and field operations. It is important to respect customers’ choices, and let them to choose their service providers.
We in AGCO recognize that task and fleet management data are important information that should be handled differently. We want to make sure the farmers are connected to each step of the crop cycle, and also connected to AGCO dealers and service providers. The data collected in one operation can be used to create information that will be used in the next operation, from planning and planting, to growing, harvesting and storage. Fuse Technologies address each step of the growing cycle, focusing on adding new technologies on all AGCO equipment.
Carla Gasparin is a Manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, working in Product Management for Global Off-board Technologies for Fuse Technologies.