In 1979, the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations (FAO) proclaimed October 16th as World Food Day.
Today is a global observance designed to raise awareness and understanding of different approaches to ending hunger. Food is a wonderful thing, and thanks to new technology and innovation in farming practices, farmers today are able feed around seven billion people globally! However, because our population is growing at such a fast pace, there are still roughly a billion people around the world that do not get enough food. This means that almost 1 in 7 people go to bed hungry every night. As our population has grown, hunger has become an increasingly prevalent issue. World Food Day seeks to remind us of this challenge, and also spotlight the different ways in which we can help the farmers tasked with overcoming it. Every year, World Food Day is accompanied with a theme. Last year, the theme was “Food prices- from crisis to stability.” This year, the theme is “Agricultural Cooperatives- key to feeding the world.” As many farmers know, an agricultural cooperative is a member owned organization which allows farmers to pool all of their resources into different areas of activity. According to the FAO, agricultural Co-ops are fundamental in providing solutions to the hunger problem because they allow smallholder farms to negotiate better prices for resources such as seed, fertilizer, and equipment. Take for example one of AGCO’s customers, Agrifirm. Agrifirm is a Dutch cooperative that serves over 17,000 Dutch farmers and horticulturists. They offer “maximum purchasing advantage of high quality products like animal feeds, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.” In addition to product purchasing power, Agrifirm also offers knowledge and sustainable solutions to its members. Cooperatives such as Agrifirm allow farmers to access to knowledge and equipment that will help boost farm productivity at a lower cost. The more that small scale farms are able to produce, the better they will be able to support their local regions. This is why the U.N believes agricultural cooperatives to be a key element in providing for our world. It is no secret that farmers are faced with a huge task in supplying food, fiber and fuel for a rapidly growing population. It will not be easy—but with the proper resources, continued advances in technology, and widespread participation—it will be possible. Learn more about world food day, and see how you can help make a difference!
Following up on our recent blog post about the importance of end-of-season maintenance we are now sharing with you our baler checklist. Just a few simple steps before storing your machine for the winter are keys to reliable machine performance and long life.
• Grease all grease zerks on wear points.
• Change hydraulic-system filters.
• After changing hydraulic filters, run the machine to purge air from the system and reduce the opportunity for condensation to form during the winter.
• Check gearbox fluid levels and change as recommended in the operator’s manual.
• Replace broken pickup tines.
• Oil chains before placing in storage.
• On round balers, inspect belts for checking and other wear. Loosen belt tensioners so they are not sitting under full tension through the winter.
Following up on our recent blog post about the importance of end-of-season maintenance we are now sharing with you our windrower checklist. Just a few simple steps before storing your machine for the winter are keys to reliable machine performance and long life.
- Begin your inspection at the header, looking for wear and components which should be replaced.
- For sickle-bar headers, replace cutter bar teeth and ledger plates. Replace the guards once yearly when storing machines or add this to your list for completion during winter.
- On disk mowers, replace knives and rotate or replace worn turtles covering the knives.
- Grease all lift-system wear points.
- For self-propelled machines, be sure to change engine oil and filters.
- Replace or blow out all air filters, including the cab air filter.
- Check all belts for checking and signs of wear. Inspect tires for wear that might require tire replacement. Inflate to the required air pressure.
- Check and blow dirt and debris from radiators. On machines with “smart” reversing fans such as the V-Cool™ system found on Hesston WR Series self-propelled windrowers, radiator screens already should be clean and free of dirt and hay.
After a long summer in the hayfield, it’s tempting to simply back haying equipment into the shed for the winter without giving it a second thought. However, conducting a thorough end-of-season inspection and writing down maintenance needs while they are still top of mind can be time well spent.
That’s the advice of Dean Morrell, product marketing manager for Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay products and 35-year-veteran of the quality hay business.
“A full end-of-season visual inspection helps ensure you’re well prepared to complete needed repair and maintenance projects during winter downtime,” says Morrell. “Months down the road it can be hard to remember that noise you wanted to check out before next season. By writing it down, you have a big head start on maintenance that will leave your equipment in top condition, ready for another productive season.” Good machine care, with proper maintenance and repair not only helps ensure proper operation and long life, it helps maintain resale value, Morrell points out.
A clean machine simplifies fall maintenance and inspection. It also helps minimize rust which can start where dirt and moisture collect on a machine.
Begin with removing dirt, dust and hay debris by sweeping the machine or using high-pressure air or a power washer. While balers often carry the most dirt and hay material, it’s best to use air when cleaning balers because of their many moving parts and opportunities to create rust. High-pressure washing is best for cleaning mower or conditioner cutter bars. Rakes as well as self-propelled and pull-type windrowers can be pressure-washed to remove dirt, dust and hay debris.
Although some maintenance tasks can be deferred until winter, at a minimum, grease machines and change oil and filters before parking. Balers and self-propelled windrowers typically require the most care before going into winter storage. Rakes generally require minimal maintenance, but it’s still important to give them the attention they need before storing for the winter, says Morrell. He offers these “quick tips” for end-of-season maintenance and reminds producers to follow the operator’s manual and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Within the next days we will share more tips on how to prepare for end-of-season maintenance for your baler, rake, and windrower.
For more information about Hesston by Massey Ferguson products or to find a dealer near you, visit www.Hesston.com.