Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) announces it is introducing the first new tractors in its new Global Series. The MF 4708 and MF 4709 are the first new models in a ground-breaking new 60hp to 130hp global family. These are the initial tractors in a new Global Series that will eventually offer three ranges, four different transmissions and be available in footstep, semi-platform and cab versions.
“It’s taken the best brains in Massey Ferguson to design and build this brand new range of workhorse tractors,” says Campbell Scott, Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “These state-of-the-art tractors are the result of a $350 million investment in a completely new, clean sheet design. They are developed specifically to provide utterly dependable operation in a wide range of applications to meet the needs of a diverse range of farmers world-wide.
“Unlike the majority of other tractors in the sector, which are based on earlier designs and components, the Massey Ferguson Global Series has been designed and built in the 21st Century and is purpose-built for modern applications. While using the very latest, advanced engineering and manufacturing tools and techniques, they still retain our traditional straightforward operation, dependability and value for money,” he says “ and in addition, we have sought where possible to use existing design technology and components from our hugely successful MF 5600 series, which are not only specially developed for the modern era, they allow us to provide local parts and service most efficiently across our whole range of tractors, wherever they are in the world”
More than 90% of the parts and components in the Global Series are entirely new -designed and engineered specifically for the tractors. Combined laboratory and field testing has reached over 36,000 hours and, reflecting the global nature of the new machines, prototypes have been tested in brutal conditions from Arizona in the USA to Lusaka in Zambia.
The first models will make their public debut at Massey Ferguson’s Vision Of The Future event. The 82hp, MF 4708 will then go on sale in Africa and the Middle East, while the 95hp MF 4709 will be launched for Turkey, and the rest of Europe later in the year
MF 4708 and MF 4709 features:
- MF 4708, 82hp 4 cylinder model for Africa and Middle East markets
- MF 4709, 95hp, Euro-compliant 3 cylinder model for Turkey and rest of Europe
- Latest rugged and advanced engines: MF 4709 powered by an AGCO POWER 3.3 litre, three cylinder turbocharged Euro-compliant engine
- MF 4708 equipped with an AGCO POWER 4.4 litre, four cylinder turbocharged, Tier 2 mechanical fuel injected unit for African and Middle-Eastern applications Both engines are renowned for their reliability and for delivering , high torque and fuel efficiency
- Completely new mechanical gearbox combines modern design and engineering with straightforward operation. Developed by Massey Ferguson engineers in Beauvais, France they offer 8F/8R in the MF 4708 and 12F/12R in the MF 4709. Both are equipped with mechanical reverse shuttle
- Robust rear axle based on existing, proven design from the very latest MF 5600 Series. The modern, heavy duty, structural casting design contains new inboard reduction units and oil-immersed brakes
- Choice of purpose-built 2WD or 4WD front axles with hydrostatic steering, offering excellent manoeuvrability and enhanced traction
- Efficient, modern open-centre high pressure hydraulic system employs a tandem pump to supply the pressure and flow required to control and power the latest implements
- Responsive electronic hitch control combines straightforward lever operation with advanced electronic control and reliability of the most modern systems. Maximum 3,000kg rear linkage lift capacity helps handle equipment with ease
- 540 rpm speed Independent PTO, with easy operation by a three-position rocker switch for optimum reliability
- The initial MF 4708 and MF 4709 models are available with comfortable, footstep or semi-platform operator environments with logical and easy to use controls. A fully approved ROPS frame and optional sun canopy are fitted to protect the operator.
“The economics of the whole modern situation don’t really allow you to support yourself, strictly from a family farm,” says Gary Ellis, who raises about 50 head of cattle and some 500 bales of hay on about 200 acres of Tennessee farmland, pasture and wooded mountainside. But in an ironic turn that’s become the norm these days, it’s his “day job” as an electrical engineer that supports his work on the farm.
“We have gotten to where it’s really hard to support your family and maintain the farm … in terms of how much you can produce,” says Ellis. “So I’ve had to work full-time in order to maintain everything, including a standard of living.”
Ellis says he could sell the land “and make a little money off it,” or rent it out to custom farmers, but enjoys the work and is passionate about keeping a working farm in the family. “The No. 1 thing I want to do is to maintain the land the way it is and pass it on to my children.”
Then he pauses and says, “It’s getting to be kind of an odd thing to farm your own land, when it comes to these small to midsize farms. It’s getting to be a rarity.”
The latest census data from the U.S. and Canada backs up that assertion. In Canada, the number of farms earning less than $100,000 in gross receipts fell by about 12% from 2006 to 2011—that after a drop of 38% in the previous two decades. In the U.S., the actual number of farms in the 50- to 999-acre range fell by almost 56,000 from 2007 to 2012, a 4.7% decline.
For many smaller and middling operations, selling directly to consumers or joining co-ops has helped. Ellis has yet to work with a co-op or sell direct to consumers. Instead, he sells to a nearby stockyard. He says there’s currently not an applicable co-op in his area, but direct sales is something “I could move into, but I’m currently too busy for the added attention it requires.”
In something of a catch-22, he doesn’t have the time because of his off-farm job, which allows him to keep the farm. The long days are, however, worth the effort for Ellis, but for him it’s more than a hobby. It’s a business that provides a product, and small and midsize farms such as his offer additional capacity to feed the world.
“Parcels like these will never be incorporated into the big tracts,” Ellis continues. “So, unless the small guy farms them, the opportunity is lost and the land will go into forest or residential development. That is where the little guy … can really pick up the slack.”
Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), has introduced the innovative Harvest Promise compensation scheme for operators of current production MF combines.
In the event of eligible MF combines being immobilised due to non-delivery of critical parts within 24 hours, the scheme compensates the customer should a contractor or replacement machine need to be hired to continue the harvest. Under the scheme, a refund of 35 Euros/ha will be made to the customer up to a maximum total of 3,500 Euros.
In this month’s regular column from CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers), President, Matteo Bartolini explains what the EU is doing to support farmers following the import ban by Russia on EU food products.
MB: On 6 August 2014, the Kremlin published a decree announcing a Russian embargo on a number of agricultural imports in response to EU punitive sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. American, Norwegian, Canadian and Australian imports are faced with the same fate. Russia is the largest importer of EU agricultural produce with just under 10% of EU agri imports destined for the country. These imports were worth around €11 billion last year, half of which has now been banned by the Russians. The ban, which has been set for a year, will hit individual European farmers in particular, especially those who rely on export markets and who grow a small variety of produce. The ban will also hit Russian consumers with price hikes for certain products. The European Commission has been quick to try to support EU farmers with emergency measures. However, it is clear that funds available are simply not enough.
MF: What do these emergency measures include?
MB: The first measures outlined were to assist peach and nectarine producers and consisted of decreasing the volumes of fruit available on the market in an attempt to avoid plummeting prices.Extra funds are also being provided for promotion. Peach growers have been hit particularly hard. Indeed, such measures were already under discussion before the announcement of the Russian ban. The weather this year has contributed to an increase in supply but also a rapid advancement in maturity. This led to a much greater intensity of supply at the start of the season rather than a more even spread over the following weeks. Cooler and more humid conditions in June and July also slowed down consumption during this time. The budget for these measures is €29.7 million for withdrawals and €3 million for promotion, allocated to Italy, Spain, Greece and France on the basis of annual production.
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If you would like to get in touch with Mr. Bartolini or CEJA, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask Gavin MacDonald why he and his father, Donnie, purchased their Massey Ferguson® 6490 and he counts the reasons, literally.
Specifically, the number of times he would have to shift gears while driving to the field farthest from the barn in a comparably priced “green” tractor.
“Twenty-one shifts there and 21 back,” he says. “We figured that was a lot of shifting to do with a lot of clutch work when you’re spreading manure or something like that.” Because the MacDonalds’ MF6490 has a Dyna-6 transmission, “you set it and it shifts on itself,” Gavin continues.
“You basically drive it like an automatic [transmission] car,” adds Donnie. “It’ll go through its ranges … and gear down when it can. That’s great on fuel economy.”
The first Massey Ferguson tractor Donnie bought was almost 27 years ago and from Brock Proudfoot at Proudfoot Motors in nearby New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. “Since then,” says Donnie, who now owns five Massey Ferguson tractors and one combine, “we’ve been pretty well with him for everything that he can supply. We get great service … right through to the parts and service, and all the guys at the shop. We don’t have a lot of breakdowns, but we get good service when we do have them.”
Donnie and Gavin do, however, comparison shop. “You just don’t buy something because the color,” says Donnie. “Massey’s always been competitive.
“They’re also very durable,” he continues. “Like I say, some of the tractors have been here for quite a while.”