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Future Farm Machinery Developments Must Deliver a Good Return on Investment

Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), is focused on developing straightforward, intelligent farm machinery with broad appeal in the quest to increase crop yields and produce higher quality food with less assets.

Giving details on the brand’s outlook to 6,000 visitors at the company’s Vision of the Future event in Beauvais, France, Thierry Lhotte, Vice President Marketing, Massey Ferguson Europe/Africa/Middle East remarked: “To produce more from less, bio- and agri-technology will need to work together to achieve the necessary increases in food production to feed the world’s growing population. At the same time, farmers will need to strike a balance between a profitable business and a sustainable environment. Farm machinery must deliver a good return on their investment.”

Thierry Lhotte, Vice President Marketing, Massey Ferguson Europe/Africa/Middle Eas

Thierry Lhotte, Vice President Marketing, Massey Ferguson Europe/Africa/Middle East

He explained that in order to boost production, the three key challenges for farmers were the soil; environment and sustainability; and information and integration. A further major issue was the pressing need to encourage young people into agriculture.

“Soil is a key asset. It has to sustain crop growth, support larger loads to enable mechanisation, and permit infiltration and storage of water. In order to preserve soil and tackle the problems of compaction, erosion, water and nutrient management, a farmer will need to be more of an agronomist than ever before,” said Thierry.

“On the subject of environment and sustainability, the important areas are selection of the correct seed varieties, detailed land surveying and the optimum use of fertiliser which must come from the right source and be applied at the right rate, at the right time in the right place,” he continued.

“The entire food chain – from production to distribution – will benefit from increased information and integration. Collection and analysis of data from the field, for example, are crucial to develop optimum crop strategies and make the most of available land.”

“The entry of young people into farming is essential for agricultural security and must be encouraged,” Thierry emphasised. “The percentage of farms operated by under 35- year-olds in the EU is just 6%. Research has shown that farmers under 35 are one third more productive than their older counterparts.”

He then went on to give an insight into farm equipment developments of the future. “While power will continue to increase, ever-bigger monster machines are not the only solution,” he remarked. “Tractors below 100hp still account for 90% of the market in Africa and Middle East, 75% in Russia and just over half in Europe. The new farmer generation will continue to rely on these machines as all-round workhorses.”

“At Massey Ferguson, our aim is to produce dependable machines with broad appeal across all farm types. While they are straightforward, these machines are also smart – employing the most appropriate mechanisation and technology to suit a huge diversity of needs,” he said.

“Worldwide, the major trends are for modular and versatile machines, more comfort, ease-of-use and low cost of ownership. For emerging markets, the key issues are ease-of-use and repair, automation and connectivity, fuel efficiency and the requirement for engines to be less sensitive to fuel quality.” Looking further ahead, Thierry revealed some exciting ideas that could develop into the tractors of the future such as modular units with ‘add-on’ power units which could be used elsewhere on the farm for electricity supply. He also showed examples of tool carriers, master/slave concepts, hybrid/hydrogen engines, four-wheel-steer and an immersive cab.

“At Massey Ferguson, we don’t believe in technology simply for technology’s sake. Machinery is a big outlay and any engineering developments must provide farmers with a good return on their investment and help boost efficiency,” he said. “We will continue to stay close to our customers, listen to their ideas and ensure that our solutions are consistent with their expectations for farming in the real world.”

On-Farm Data Security

In this new era where mass amounts of data are being compiled on the farm and off, growers want to know they have control. But, that’s not a given.

In this new era where mass amounts of data are being compiled on the farm and off, growers want to know they have control.

In this new era where mass amounts of data are being compiled on the farm and off, growers want to know they have control.

“It’s still a bit of the wild, wild west right now,” says Joe Russo, who helped pioneer what would become precision farming 28 years ago as an agricultural meteorologist at Penn State University. “The sharing of information can be good or bad, but those responsible for generating the data—the farmers—their permission should be required for any use.

“Your data is your most important source of information,” says Russo. “It defines you, and represents your economic position and intellectual property. There is no doubt in my mind who owns it.”

Ownership notwithstanding, who can use that data is often subject to less-than-transparent practices. Consider that many companies, including some agricultural equipment manufacturers, bury an “opt out” clause in the fine print of documents concerning a purchase or service agreement. In such cases, the onus is on the customers, who must search for and find such a clause, then purposefully decline in order to maintain their privacy. If not, the company providing the equipment or service can use or even share a farm’s data with third parties.

The inverse of that practice, one employed by all AGCO brands, is to ask the customer to opt in to share data. “We don’t allow ourselves to have access to the customer’s information without approval,” says Jason O’Flanagan, senior marketing specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS).

“We’ve isolated ourselves so the farmer trusts in the fact AGCO is there as an assistant along the way,” says O’Flanagan, noting that if the customer gives AGCO permission to use the data, the dealer and company can monitor the operation of their machinery, helping with maintenance and warning of possible problems. He adds that the collection of such data, by sharing it with AGCO engineers, also helps develop innovations faster.

Knowing up front who has access to your data is imperative, says O’Flanagan. “Would you give just anyone your W-2 or your tax return?” he asks. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people would say ‘No.’ When someone else takes your yield and application maps, and planning maps, you are giving them a complete view of how your farm works. You need to know who has that information, and you need to trust them to use that data carefully.”

For more, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/data-security-on-the-farm/.

To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse Technologies strategy, visit http://www.agcotechnologies.com/.

Tractors for the New Generation of Farmers World Premiere for Massey Ferguson Global Series

Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), is unveiling the groundbreaking new MF Global Series tractors at its exciting Vision of the Future event in Beauvais, France.

Backed by an investment of over $350 million from its parent company AGCO, and the result of more than six years of research and development, the Massey Ferguson Global Series is a brand-new product line of 60-130hp tractors which will ultimately be assembled at multiple manufacturing sites and sold globally.

MF 4709 Global Series tractor

MF 4709 Global Series tractor

“With its forward-looking perspective, our Vision of the Future event is the perfect platform for the world public debut of these new machines,” comments Richard Markwell, Massey Ferguson Vice President and Managing Director Europe/Africa/Middle East (EAME). “This is the largest manufacturing and new product development project in the history of AGCO and is an extremely significant evolution for the Massey Ferguson brand. It signals the biggest extension to our tractor line-up for many years. Massey Ferguson boasts impeccable credentials to spearhead the ambitious Global Series project with unrivalled experience and understanding of designing, manufacturing and selling tractors in international markets.”

“As modern agriculture becomes ever more challenging and hungry for efficient and appropriate mechanisation, these tractors represent a new source of power for world agriculture. Designed from the outset for global distribution, they will offer an array of specification, options and features to suit customers no matter where in the world they farm,” Mr Markwell continued.

Multi-national engineering teams worked on a clean-sheet design. Their brief was to take the concept of the utility tractor and re-engineer it from the ground up whilst incorporating the classic Massey Ferguson design tenets of straightforward, dependable operation. Around 90% of the components are completely new. More than 36,000 hours of lab and field testing have seen prototype models show their paces in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

In a concept unique in the farm machinery industry, the thrust of the manufacturing strategy is to create a highly flexible network of plants where major units and complete tractors can be produced and assembled at multiple locations throughout the world. Plants in the network include Canoas in Brazil, Chennai in India, Manisa in Turkey and Changzhou in China. At Changzhou, a brand-new state-of-the-art factory has been built to act as an anchor facility for both tractor manufacturing and for the supply of major components. Wholly owned and operated by AGCO, the plant is equipped with all the very latest machine tools, assembly processes and systems as distributed extensively in AGCO factories worldwide.

The Massey Ferguson Global Series will be introduced on a phased approach basis over the next five years. Rugged, dependable, easy-to-operate and maintain, they will be available as footstep, semi-platform, platform and cab versions. The first model – the 82hp MF 4708 – is already in production for African markets and the next model up, the MF 4709 will be launched in other EAME markets later this year.

“The Global Series is designed by our experienced engineering teams, built by using cutting-edge manufacturing and quality techniques and fully backed and supported in the field,” adds Mr Markwell. “These tractors are set to become the machines of choice for the new generation of farmers all over the world.”

More Parts, Half the Time in Eastern Canada

Recently, residents watched with interest as a big red AGCO sign was erected off Highway 401 in Woodstock, Ontario. The AGCO name outside the new 67,000-square-foot, full-stocking Parts Distribution Center (PDC) is just one sign of the big changes in store for area dealers and farmers.

Now with the new Woodstock PDC, parts deliveries across Eastern Canada will be delivered in 50 to 65% less time, some in as little as four hours or less.

The convenient location cuts transit time, but as a full-service facility, the Woodstock PDC also offers 40% more parts. It’s the fourth AGCO Parts facility to be upgraded since 2010. For dealers like Dey’s Equipment Centre Inc., the full-service PDC is a sign of AGCO’s commitment to meeting the needs of its customers.

Dey, owner of Dey’s Equipment Centre in nearby Tillsonburg, helped lead the charge to bring the new parts center to Eastern Canada. He’s pleased that the state-of-the-art facility includes a service training center for AGCO technicians and sales personnel, saving more time and money by eliminating the need to travel to the U.S. for training.

“The new PDC has more parts available, a convenient location and close-to-home training facilities,” Dey says. “It’s the best thing AGCO’s ever done for us and for our customers.”

To read more, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/more-agco-parts-half-the-time/. For more information on genuine AGCO Parts, see AGCOParts.com.

New Features Boost Massey Ferguson Combine Performance & Comfort

New MF ACTIVA S and MF BETA combines from Massey Ferguson provide more engine power, improve operator comfort and control as well as increase harvesting performance in a wide range of crops.

“These new straw walker models, with drum and concave threshing, offer superb flexibility for efficient harvesting in a wide range of European conditions and crops – even rice,” says Adam Sherriff, Manager Marketing Powered Harvesting. “They provide the power, economy and performance required by the largest sector of the market and offer these users an unrivalled combination of the latest technology with exceptional comfort and control with ease of use from a reliable and straightforward design.

All the combines can be specified with the market-leading PowerFlow header, which is now available in widths up to 6.8m for the MF ACTIVA S models and 7.7m for the MF BETA combines. PowerFlow uses a continuous belt feed to gather crops, reduce table losses significantly and presents an even ‘heads first’ crop flow, which can boost output by up to 73% in oilseed rape.

MF BETA 7370 combine harvester

MF BETA 7370 combine harvester

The new MF ACTIVA S models also now boasts the completely new Proline cab. Developed specifically for these machines and offers specifications usually found only on higher capacity combines, such as the latest TechTouch 2 terminal, which provides automatic settings for numerous crops as well as monitoring all the operations.

This sits in the perfect position at the front of the new armrest that features the Powergrip controller and provides finger and thumb buttons for the most frequently used functions.

AGCO POWER 7.4 litre engines deliver a maximum power of 243hp (ISO) on the five-walker, MF ACTIVA 7345, while a 30hp boost for unloading takes the 276hp max power to 306hp on the MF ACTIVA 7347, which has six straw-walkers.

Both MF ACTIVA S combines are available with the addition of a Multi Crop Separator (MCS), which provides enhanced threshing while remaining gentle on the straw. A full maize kit or a universal concave can be installed for use in sunflower, maize or small grains. A special rice cylinder and peg and tooth option are also available.

Massey Ferguson is also introducing new features on the five-walker MF BETA 7360 and MF 7370, six-walker combine harvesters, which further enhance performance on these popular machines.

The latest MF BETA 7300 Series combines are powered by advanced six cylinder AGCO POWER engines, with the 330hp, 8.4 litre capacity version in the MF 7370 and PL models with 30hp of extra power for unloading. The 7.4 litre engine, powering the MF 7360 and PL generates 276hp for the machines plus 30hp boost.

A new option for the latest MF BETA combines is AutoGuide XLS automatic steering, which can provide accuracy down to 5cm to ensure the combine takes a full cut on each and every run.

All MF BETA six-walker combines benefit from a new six-row straw chopper, which is designed to provide the consistent chopping and spreading performance for users working with reduced tillage operations.

Both the MF BETA 7360 and MF 7370 combines are available with Massey Ferguson’s innovative ParaLevel front-axle system, which provides automatic side-to-side levelling across slopes of up to 20%. Using a novel parallelogram linkage, the compact and clever system connects the front wheel hubs to the chassis via a lower triangular-shaped bracket and a link arm above – forming a parallelogram shaped linkage.

The addition of the new ‘Integrale’ option to PL combines provides complete levelling. This raises and lowers the rear of the machine to compensate for working on slopes – providing uphill levelling of up to 30% as well as the standard 20% side to side compensation. Four-wheel drive is standard on all PL and PLi models.

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