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A Crop With Punch

Horseradish thrives in deep, sandy soil, the kind you find in America’s bottomlands, including third-generation farmer Barry McMillin’s 1,200 acres near Caseyville, Ill.

Barry and son, Matt, after a muddy day of harvest.

Barry and son, Matt, after a muddy day of harvest.

“German immigrants lived in this area,” McMillin says, “so it’s a tradition to grow horseradish here.” Today, he’s one of about a dozen larger-scale growers left in North America, because raising and harvesting the pungent roots, which belong to the cabbage family, is so labor-intensive.

“It’s backbreaking work,” he says of growing the plants on his land, Bluff View Farm. “You almost have to be born into it, because not everybody has the tools or the wherewithal to attack a crop like this. It’s not like corn or soybeans, and there’s not a lot of technical data or research on ‘how-to.’”

For McMillin, planting typically starts in March and April, but wet weather hampered efforts last year and planting wasn’t concluded until the first of June. “We like to have them in the ground by May 1, ideally, to have your best yield. Horseradish is similar to corn in that respect. You don’t want to plant too late because it starts taking off yield right away,” he says.

Planting is done with broken lateral roots and branch roots from selected stock. McMillin plants the roots in 36-inch rows, 18 to 24 inches apart, and hills them up like potatoes.

When he fertilizes, McMillin uses potash, phosphate and some nitrogen. “We’re heavier on potash than any other soil amendment. It’s a fertilizing program similar to what’s used for soybeans.”

During the growing season, horseradish foliage can reach 3 feet tall, and it’s hard to get off until there’s a heavy frost. McMillin hasn’t had much luck using the tops as cattle feed. “The tops have a pungent smell, like the roots, so it’s probably just not tasty to the cattle.”

With so few growers, there’s not a lot of buyers for horseradish harvesting equipment, so McMillin and other producers often assemble their own, modifying tools and equipment used for other crops. “We use a converted potato harvester,” he says. “But we have to beef up the frame because we dig 16 inches down—much deeper than potato farmers—and have heavier soils.”

McMillin says horseradish growers like his father used a bottom plow and harvested the roots with a potato fork to load onto wagons. Today, McMillin uses forklifts and two Massey Ferguson® 4243 tractors.

“We need a 150-HP tractor to pull the two-row potato harvester we modified. Alongside the digger, we have a dump cart that takes 80 to 100 HP. It catches the horseradish from the harvester. We elevate the cart to dump our loads over the side of the truck, so we don’t have to drive the truck through the field.”

The Massey Ferguson tractors provide the power McMillin needs. “I’ve had very good luck with Massey Ferguson equipment. I’ve owned at least four tractors and have leased some. They’ve been reliable, good tractors.”

Adds McMillin about his Massey Ferguson equipment: “I realize how much innovation they put into tractors. A lot of other companies use improvements that Massey came up with. They’ve always been a leader. It’s a good brand.”

Read the fully story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/horseradish-is-a-crop-with-punch/.

AGCO Sweeps Agri Marketing Magazine’s 2013 New Product & Product of the Year Awards

The RG700 self-propelled sprayer and Gleaner Super Series combines have been chosen as Agri Marketing magazine’s 2013 New Product of the Year and 2013 Product of the Year, respectively. AGCO is the first company in the 15-year history of the Agri Marketing product awards to take home both honors in a given year.

“Our panel of independent agriculture industry professionals chose these two innovative machines based on the value they provide to today’s farmers and the unique marketing approaches that have helped contribute to their success in our industry,” says Lynn Henderson, publisher of Agri Marketing. “The RG700 and Gleaner Super Series join a distinguished group of winners, all of which contribute to making growers more successful in producing feed, food and fiber for a growing world population.”

Agri Marketing’s 2013 New Product of the Year, the RG700 self-propelled sprayer, debuted this fall, proving the axiom that good things can come in 01 CoverAMsmall packages. The RG700 is a compact, 700-gallon tank machine that brings growers the benefits found in larger, professional-grade RoGator® sprayers.

The Tier 4 interim-compliant RG700 has an industry-leading AWD Smart Drive System™, even weight distribution and Parallel C-channel flex frame, providing consistent field speed without shifting, plus excellent traction with all four wheels remaining in constant contact with the ground. The result is a smooth ride and more precise product application, even under varying field conditions. Other key benefits include a powerful, yet fuel-efficient high-torque engine, adjustable track widths, and outstanding cab comfort and safety.

The Gleaner Super Series combine, Agri Marketing’s 2013 Product of the Year, was first introduced in 2010 with the S7 Super Series transverse rotary combine. Built to solve the challenges of greater yields, more residue, more acres and rising fuel costs, the S7 Super Series represented a large leap forward in harvesting capacity and efficiency, while reinforcing Gleaner’s reputation for durability, simplicity, low grain loss and very clean grain sample.

The new S8 Super Series, introduced in August 2013, takes harvesting technology even further — and includes the world’s first Class 8 transverse rotary combine. Built on the Optimum Harvesting Performance platform, the S8 Super Series is designed for ultimate efficiency and reduced parasitics. This drives horsepower to the rotor to process and thresh the crop, so growers can get more done while burning less fuel. The S8 Series features the lightest Class 6 through 8 combines on the market, and provides growers with unmatched grain quality and great throughput.

“We are incredibly honored that these products have been recognized for their innovation and value to agricultural producers,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “In 2007, AGCO began an era of significant investment in new-product research and development, driven by listening to the needs of our customers in the United States and Canada. The innovations these products deliver are a result of that investment, plus a lot of hard work. We’re proud these products provide producers with the solutions they need.”

Full details about the products and the marketing case studies behind them are available in the November/December issue of Agri Marketing magazine. For more information on the RG700, visit www.applylikeapro.com/RG700. For more information about Gleaner combines or to find a dealer near you, visit www.GleanerCombines.com.

Massey Ferguson DELTA Combine Wins Machine of The Year at Agritechnica 2013

The Massey Ferguson MF DELTA combine harvester has won the prestigious Machine of the Year Award at the Agritechnica Show in Hannover.

“Massey Ferguson is now reaping the reward of our investment in developing new and innovative harvesting machinery,” said Richard Markwell, Vice-President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe, Africa and Middle East.

“We are very proud to receive the Machine of the Year Award I and must thank all our colleagues in the harvesting division for their innovative ideas, hard work and commitment that has resulted in this great achievement.

“Our clear goal is to deliver combine harvesters of the highest quality and upmost reliability. Our major investment in manufacturing and engineering development at Breganze is now delivering the results that have been recognised by this award,” he said.

The wide range of novel, innovative features on the MF DELTA combine help improve harvesting performance and increase efficiency while reducing power and fuel consumption.

AGCO ATS Dealer Training in Christchurch – Innovative Solutions for New Zealand Farmers

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AGCO’s New Zealand Dealers gathered recently in Addington, Christchurch, for comprehensive training in Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) including System 110 Guidance, System 150 and System 350 Auto steering and AGCO’s telemetry system, Agcommand.

AGCO’s extensive dealer network gives farmers access to the resources and benefits of these new and emerging agricultural products. Dealer training empowers dealers with the knowledge and expertise needed to provide customers with high end precision farming solutions and the know how to suit progressive farmers. AGCO’s precision farming technologies enable farmers and contractors to optimise their operations, reduce input costs and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

In New Zealand, the highly professional dealer group attending the training included dealer principals, sales staff and technical support staff. All were given the opportunity to evaluate the systems on display in real time with a mix of Valtra, Fendt and Massey Ferguson tractors equipped with AGCO’s technology products.

Taking an active role in enhancing dealers’ knowledge base, AGCO Australia’s ATS Product Manager, Jeremy Duniam, was pleased with the training that included classroom style learning as well as practical demonstrations of the products.

“The dealer training was extremely productive and was received very well by all participating. It is always rewarding to see dealer staff remain behind after the day sessions have finished to spend more time getting familiar with the systems. The dealer network in New Zealand is very professional in their approach. Their knowledge of ATS solutions will equip New Zealand farmers with innovative technology solutions, which is the future of farming.” Jeremy said.

This recent dealer training reflects AGCO’s commitment to and global emphasis on precision ag technology, recently launched as Fuse™ Technologies. To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse technology strategy, visit http://www.agcocorp.com/products/precision_farming.aspx.

AGCO $40 Million Paint Center Opens in Hesston, Kansas

AGCO officials cut the ribbon Aug. 16, 2013, celebrating completion of a two-year, $40 million revitalization project to equip the Hesston, Kan., manufacturing facility with the latest finishing and paint technologies.

A ribbon cutting was held Aug. 16 to celebrate the completion of AGCO's $40 million paint center at its Hesston, Kan., facility. Participants included (from left): Robert Ciecko, vice president of manufacturing for AGCO Hesston Operations; Bob Crain, senior vice president, general manager AGCO North America; Kansas Governor Sam Brownback; Brad Fideldy, project engineer and Hans-Bernd Veltmaat, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer.

A ribbon cutting was held Aug. 16 to celebrate the completion of AGCO’s $40 million paint center at its Hesston, Kan., facility. Participants included (from left): Robert Ciecko, vice president of manufacturing for AGCO Hesston Operations; Bob Crain, senior vice president, general manager AGCO North America; Kansas Governor Sam Brownback; Brad Fideldy, project engineer and Hans-Bernd Veltmaat, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer.

“We fully understand how important a high-quality finish is to our customers and dealers, and the impact it has on machine life and resale,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “That is the reason we invested in this new E-coat and powder paint facility. It is the most advanced and extensive coatings application center in the North American agricultural equipment industry today, and we’re excited to start using it!”

The electrocoat (E-coat) and powder paint processes at AGCO are equivalent to those of the automotive industry and provide a thorough, consistent, durable finish on each part, enhancing the overall quality and longevity of the final piece of equipment.

The new 200,000-square-foot state-of-the-art dip and powder-coat paint facility consolidates AGCO Hesston Operations’ two paint stations into one streamlined, efficient building. Parts for all products manufactured in Hesston will be painted and finished there before being assembled into final products. Nearly 75 percent of parts will go through the 17-step E-coat process, which involves dipping parts in a series of solutions that remove all rust, scale and laser oxides, then applying a high-performance corrosion- and weather-resistant finish comparable to that used in the automotive industry. The E-coat primer is applied using a high-voltage and high-amperage charge for 180 seconds, ensuring thorough coverage. After curing in one of 10, 375-degree F ovens, parts receive a powder topcoat with one of five colors, then another final oven cure.

AGCO's state-of-the-art dip and powder-coat paint facility is the most advanced and extensive in the North American agricultural equipment industry today. The 17-step E-coat and powder-paint process removes all rust, scale and laser oxides, and then applies a high-performance corrosion- and weather-resistant finish, enhancing the overall quality and longevity of the final piece of equipment.

AGCO’s state-of-the-art dip and powder-coat paint facility is the most advanced and extensive in the North American agricultural equipment industry today. The 17-step E-coat and powder-paint process removes all rust, scale and laser oxides, and then applies a high-performance corrosion- and weather-resistant finish, enhancing the overall quality and longevity of the final piece of equipment.

The remaining 25 percent of parts, including gearboxes and drives, components that cannot withstand heat, and parts that are best painted after they are assembled, will be painted using a liquid coating system.

Farm equipment has been built in Hesston, Kan., since 1947, and today, the Hesston manufacturing facility builds Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay harvesting equipment; Gleaner, Challenger and Massey Ferguson combines as well as White Planters; and its nine manufacturing lines produce as many as 45 pieces of farm equipment per day, depending on the season. Today, with more than 1,400 employees, AGCO is the largest employer in Harvey County and much of the surrounding area.

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