By Louisa Parker, Manager External Affairs, Africa & Middle East
To support AGCO’s new partnership with USAID on the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation project in Africa, the first kickoff Bags2Bulk Roadshow event was held in May and attended by grain traders from Central Province in Zambia. Working with our Zambian distributor GSI Africa and local partners Musika and Ybema Grain Services, we were able to share details of the Bags2Bulk project and educate the traders on the benefits of moving from bagged storage for maize and soya to bulk storage via the GSI technology. Benefits will not only be gained by the mid-size trader, but pass along to the small farmer as well – in the forms of reduced grain loss and better grain quality for longer storage periods allowing the trader to sell when the timing is optimal.
Traders received short presentations from a number of supporting organisations including two of the largest grain commodity traders in Zambia. The larger traders are keen to see this shift from bag to bulk as it also improves the efficiency of their operations. Ultimately, it means they can buy and sell more maize in a season also. For smallholders, the benefits are threefold 1) improved connections to the market, 2) greater transparency on pricing, 3) being able to recycle their grain bags and use them more than once.
Of course, we learned as much from the traders as they learned from us. We got a much better understanding of the challenges they have with logistics, commissioning trucks, aggregating the harvested maize from the small holders and trading their harvest in time to hit the trading season all while monitoring the quality of the grain they are trading. All of these aspects can be improved by moving to bulk storage and adding a portable auger. Additionally, they’ll enjoy the added bonus of dramatically reducing post-harvest losses which continues to plague Africa today.
AGCO is pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with USAID on a project in Africa. USAID’s Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative which supports country-driven approaches to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. Through this Presidential initiative, the United States is helping countries transform their own agricultural sectors to grow enough food to sustainably feed their people. The idea is to take new technology into new markets. In this project, called Bag2Bulk, AGCO will be introducing GSI Africa (our local GSI distributor) to mid-sized grain traders in Zambia.
To complement AGCO’s current long-term vision in Zambia, over the next 18 months, AGCO and our partners will hold select activities at the AGCO Future Farm in Lusaka. These events will provide education and demonstrate the benefits of our GSI storage technology. Additionally, topics by our partners will cover grain marketing best practices, financing and more. The goal is to sell a minimum of 40 metal grain silos to grain traders in Zambia which will benefit some 12,000 smallholder farmers who represent 80% of the maize production in the country. Since current on-farm storage options and off farm facilities are sub-optimal resulting in annual post-harvest losses of over 30% from insect, rodent and rot, the grain quality of will not only improve overall trade prices, but will allow traders to handle cereal crops more effectively, store for longer periods of time and sell when prices are optimal.
AGCO’s project partners are:
- Musika is a Zambian non-profit company that works to stimulate private sector investment in the smallholder market.
- Sierk Ybema Grain Services is a grain management training and development provider.
- GSI Africa, our local GSI distributor.
Look for updates following these exciting events from Louisa Parker, Manager External Affairs, Africa & Middle East.
Valtra’s Unlimited Studio has created a pink tractor that is all about “passion”, which is this year’s theme among the Young Farmers of Finland, an organisation of MTK (Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners). The theme is reflected in both the interior and exterior styling of this customised tractor, which has been dubbed “Pink Cat”.
Options and features of the Pink Cat are designed together with Young Farmers representatives and Valtra Unlimited Studio. The tractor is a four-cylinder N163 Direct with stepless transmission. The specs include bright pink taping, red leather upholstery, chrome headlight surrounds, chrome exhaust, chrome mounting rack on the roof, chrome grill guard, alpine horns on the roof, LED auxiliary work lights, breath alcohol ignition interlock, a top-end stereo and DVD player, a stainless steel mirror on the ceiling of the cab, rim guards made out of chrome-plated sheet metal, iPad and an Auto-Guide readiness system. The tractor itself boasts 171 horsepower, 700 Nm of torque, a 50 km/h transmission and 160 litre per minute load-sensing hydraulics.
Pink Cat will appear at Young Farmers’ events throughout Finland, beginning at the Okra fair in Oripää on 4 July. The tractor will visit all Finnish provinces before returning to its roots in Central Finland at the KoneAgria fair on 11 October. Pink Cat will be accompanied at these events by a customised trailer featuring a hot tub and terrace. After the tour the tractor will be offered for sale to customers just like any other demo tractor.
Pink Cat features:
- Pink taping
- Red leather upholstery
- Chrome exhaust, headlight surrounds and grill guard
- Alpine horns and auxiliary lights on roof
- Breath alcohol ignition interlock
- Top-end stereo and DVD
- Stainless steel mirror and LED lamps on cab ceiling
- Auto-Guide readiness system
The MF 6600 Series from Massey Ferguson introduces the highest power four cylinder tractors on the market. This new five-model range precisely matches the needs of farmers and contractors employing modern and efficient crop establishment and mechanisation techniques.
“Massey Ferguson has developed the MF 6600 Series for the new generation of farmers who are looking closely at their asset management in terms of labour, power, soil protection, cropping and the environment,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Brand Development Manager. “This new range combines the right size and power with productive features that are needed to farm most effectively in today’s challenging conditions.”
The MF 6600 Series offers users the power, torque and operating benefits associated with a six cylinder tractor in a 4 cylinder compact and extremely agile tractor with a great power to weight ratio. Fitting in between the MF 5600 Series and the awarding winning MF 7600s, it offers a high level of standard specification with a wide choice of transmissions, hydraulic systems and cab comfort to suit their specific requirements.
As well as sharing a similar size and style of cab as the MF 7600 Series, the MF 6600 Series is also available with Dyna-4, Dyna-6 or Dyna-VT transmissions and in Essential, Efficient or Exclusive cab specifications. Together these provide 10 different variants.
Massey Ferguson MF 6600 Series
|MF 6612||MF 6612||MF 6615|
|ISO Max power||120hp||130hp||145hp|
|ISO Max (EPM)||135hp||145hp||160hp|
|MF 6613||MF 6614||MF 6615||MF 6616|
|ISO Max power||125hp||140hp||150hp||160hp|
|ISO Max (EPM)||150hp||165hp||175hp||185hp|
|Specification||Essential, Efficient, Exclusive|
|MF 6614||MF 6615||MF 6616|
|ISO Max power||140hp||150hp||160hp|
|ISO Max (EPM)||-||-||-|
MF 6600 Series features
- Pioneering high capacity 4.9 litre, four cylinder AGCO Power engine delivers enormous power and high torque and introduces the most powerful tractor in the sector. Equipped with Generation 2, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) for high efficiency and low emissions.
- Superb maneuverability from a light, compact design providing excellent power to weight ratio with a short overall length, but long wheelbase for superb balance and traction. New front support for close coupled, integral front linkage.
- SpeedSteer option offers effortless swift headland turns.
- Leading Massey Ferguson Dyna-4, Dyna-6 semi-powershift with AutoDrive option as well as Dyna-VT continuously variable transmission for certain models, allow users to select the best for their business and tasks.
- New combined flow, 100 litre/min hydraulic system and new right-hand joystick operates transmission, hydraulics and loader with one hand.
- The same spacious and comfortable cab as the MF 7600, with mechanical and hydraulic suspension options and new controls. Owners can choose from three levels of specification to suit their budgets and needs.
- Connected by AGCO’s Fuse Technologies:
- New Auto-GuideTM 3000 guidance system operates through Datatronic 4 tractor terminal.
- The tractors are AgCommand® ready allowing the simple addition of a control box to provide full telemetry. New APP allows the AgCommand option to be used with smartphones and tablets.
This is the story of a long-distance love affair, involving not one, not two, but three men infatuated with one “old girl.” Longtime readers of FarmLife magazine may recall an article from the fall 2008 issue about two British brothers, Steven and Kevin Clarke, who became fascinated with the American wheat harvest after watching a 1976 BBC documentary on the topic. The 50-minute special featured a certain combine—the Massey Ferguson® 760, which, for the boys, became a focal point, an embodiment of much of the “wonder and curiosity” the documentary had instilled in them.
Raised on a farm, the Clarkes themselves grew up to farm and custom harvest with their own fleet of Massey Ferguson combines in North Norfolk, England, about a three-hour drive northeast of London. One of their favorite things to do with their time off is visit their friend Delbert Joyner near Enid, Okla., and help with his wheat harvest.
For six years now, the Clarkes have kept their own MF760 at Joyner’s farm and recently added another very special model—the “old girl” referred to earlier, which just happened to be the first MF760 to come off the production line in 1971.
Found several years ago in the corner of a Kansas wheat field, it had been parked there for 33 years before the Clarkes and Marvin Helland, another American friend and custom harvester from North Dakota, convinced the owner to sell it.
Thought to quite possibly be a terminal case because of how long it sat in the elements unused, the original MF760 is now running again, thanks to its hardy construction and the efforts of its three enthusiastic new owners. Amazingly, “number one” helped complete the harvest at the Joyner farm this year, and all involved hope she’ll continue working for many years to come.