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Grassland North a resounding success again

Agricultural Dealers Carrs Billington, teamed up with Newton Rigg College to host Grassland North for the second occasion on 13th May 2015.  An event created three years ago due to demand for a grassland focused exhibition in the North of England, brought together a wide range of suppliers to Sewborwens Farm at Penrith, Cumbria.

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Wanting to provide more than just a static display, Grassland North has become an educational and informative day out for farmers in the region. It was also the first time in the UK that bales were wrapped in pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness and Breakthrough Cancer. The pink bale wrap has been produced by Volac and is in high demand thanks to the display on the day.

Support for the event was best demonstrated by the machinery suppliers to Carrs Billington, who had over six million pounds worth of the most advanced equipment functioning.  Liz Philip, Executive Principle of Askham Bryan, the group behind Newton Rigg College, said ‘it was a superb demonstration of modern commercial agriculture for both student and industry alike, and it was a pleasure to work with Carrs Billington in putting on such an event’.

Local farmers, contractors and enthusiasts, along with those from as far afield as Nottingham and Scotland, visited on the day to make the most of the May sunshine and were able to enjoy local ice-cream and refreshments, take tours around the state of the art £2.4 million dairy unit, and to see a vast range of machinery from Massey Ferguson and Fendt tractors, Krone and Kuhn grassland equipment, slurry and muck applicators, ATV’s, trailers and so much more.  An estimated 3,500 people attended the event.  Rae Tomlinson, Managing Director of Carrs Billington said ‘Carrs Billington were delighted to stage this event for the second time, fortunately we were blessed with good weather and the event was clearly an enjoyable, informative success and I would like to thank Newton Rigg and our suppliers, Carrs personnel and most of all our customers without whom it would not have been the success it clearly was.

Klaus and Massey Ferguson – a Perfect Match

 MF7615 Series surpasses New Zealand Dairy farmer and contractor’s expectations for hedge mulching business.

MF7615 series Contractor NZ

Contractor and dairy farmer Robert Klaus has great partnerships.

The first is with his wife Sharon who loves her cows and runs the dairy farm. The second is with Massey Ferguson, and their MF7615 tractor, the backbone of  Robert’s hedge-cutting business.

Robert and Sharon bought their first dairy farm near Matamata. They’d been share milking for seven years, working up to managing a 500-cow herd. Now they have their own property where they milk 150 cows on 52 effective hectares.

It’s a small farm and dairy payouts are looking questionable for this coming season, so it is good Robert has his contracting sideline. Besides he loves machinery.

“I’d been working for a mate who owns a contracting business for the last eight years and I wanted to do something myself. Sharon enjoys milking, and I could see a gap in the market mulching barberry hedges.”

Robert looked at second-hand cutters but couldn’t find anything good enough so he had the local engineers design and build one for him. It’s like a giant mower tilted on its side with two big blades, and a shroud around it. It mulches the hedges and leaves everything tidy.

Robert got the Massey Ferguson 7615 in December from Matamata tractors.

“I needed a six-cylinder machine with a long wheel base because the hedge-cutter is mid-mounted. I got the Dyna-VT variable transmission as it goes down to 0.3 kph. I use it in foot mode. I just take my foot off and it stops. I hardly ever use the brake or clutch. It’s like driving a big forklift.”

The hedge cutter runs off the tractor’s hydraulics and all the operations for the rams on the cutter are controlled from the factory joystick in the cab.

“I saved a lot of money, as I didn’t have to fit an after-market joystick,” Robert says.

The joystick also has a forward/reverse button so he doesn’t have to move his hand during operations. He can constantly look at where he’s going and what the mulcher is doing.

The cutter is mounted on the left side of the tractor, and Robert says it is “a piece of cake getting in and out the right door. In some other brands it was just about impossible to get out.”

There are dual wheels on the cutter side to help balance the weight of the machine.

“I’ve got a bigger footprint on the left side, which makes it more stable. Otherwise, if I hit a hole the cutter would drop when I’m trying to keep the hedge straight.”

He doesn’t fit duals on the right side, as it would make the tractor too wide to get through gateways.


The MF 7615 produces 150hp from a Tier 4a AGCO Power SCR engine, which uses AdBlue to minimise toxic emissions.

“It’s no problem. I fill AdBlue every third tank of diesel. It’s got a gauge telling me when its low, and I always keep a bit on hand.”

He says anyone can jump in and drive the tractor. “It’s what I like about them. “They’ve got all the technology but it’s user-friendly. Everything is simply laid out.”

The cab also meets with his approval.

“It’s awesome – comfortable and really quiet. That stood out when I first drove it. People ring me and ask what I’m doing because they can’t even hear the hedge-cutter working.”

Robert says the serviceability is also good. “You don’t have to pop the bonnet to check the oil. And if you need to blow out the radiator, it’s right there and easy to get at.”

The MF 7615 is available in three different specifications: Essential, Efficient and Exclusive. Robert got the Efficient.

He’s had great service from Matamata Tractors.

“When we were building the hedge-cutter they helped the engineer to shift the diesel, hydraulic and AdBlue tanks, and nothing was ever a problem.”

This isn’t Robert and Sharon’s first dealing with Massey Ferguson tractors. They also run a MF5460.

They’ve had the MF 5460 for four years. It’s 120hp with a Dyna-4 transmission.

“I always liked Fergies and Matamata Tractors did a good deal I couldn’t pass up. I just like the tractor. It’s got everything we need but is still basic to operate,” Robert says.

“It’s really reliable and nothing has gone wrong with it. On the big farm it pulled the silage wagon. Now it has an auger bucket for feeding out on a pad. It also does the mowing and all the farm work.

He says both the Fergies are very quiet tractors, with everything well laid out, at your fingertips.


Massey Ferguson and AGCO: Equipment That Pays Off

Craig Holm is always looking for some new practice or technology that can help on his farm, but only those that offer a solid return. One such leg up has been his Massey Ferguson® and other AGCO equipment.

The fuel efficiencies are amazing on these new machines, says Holm.

The fuel efficiencies are amazing on these new machines, says Holm.

“They’re second to nothing, that’s for sure,” says Holm, who runs a Massey Ferguson combine and three tractors. He also owns Sunflower, White Planters™ and a RoGator® from AGCO.

“The fuel efficiencies are amazing on these new machines,” he says, but without compromising on power and capacity. “These new engines are set up to use the power that they need, but the computers back them down,” says Holm.

Speaking of his MF9560 combine, Holm says, “For that combine to do a 300-acre day is really not even a hard day.”

His two agronomy consultants, both of whom rode with him, as well as farmers who run other brands, declared it the best of the lot. “They said the other brands out there don’t compare.”

Holm is a willing but cautious adaptor of innovative machinery and other solutions. “One of the biggest payback pieces of technology I could see is autosteer. Everything I have has it,” he says of AGCO’s Auto-Guide™ 3000.

The technology on his 1194H RoGator has provided exceptional payback. Often spraying fields three times during the growing season, compaction and crop damage are a concern. Yet the RoGator has four-wheel steering, which keeps all the tires in just two tracks, lessening plant damage.

Holm has a terrific relationship with his dealer, Judson Implement and other AGCO-related dealers, and he appreciates AGCO’s stance on making their technological solutions compatible with other brands. “Some of these companies are trying to tie you with their technology,” says Holm. “I don’t like getting tied up with a single company, that’s why I hire our agronomy service.

“We do it together as a team and we pick and choose who we go to.” AGCO, he says, gives him that choice.

For more, check out Holm on his farm at

MF8680: Efficiency Without Compromise

Elroy Panbecker’s “bring it on” attitude toward the newest and best farming technology belies his 69 years. That’s why this veteran farmer has been using AGCO equipment for decades. Today’s horsepower stable includes a Gleaner® R65 combine, a Sunflower® 4412 disc ripper, a well-preserved AGCO-brand RT120-A tractor, a Massey Ferguson® 3645 and the young stud, a Massey Ferguson 8680 tractor.

Terry, in the cab of the family’s MF8680, prefers AGCO’s open architecture approach to precision ag that allows him to choose from a broad array of technological options.

Terry, in the cab of the family’s MF8680, prefers AGCO’s open architecture approach to precision ag that allows him to choose from a broad array of technological options.

“I think it is probably the leading technology out here, as far as fuel efficiency is concerned,” says Elroy of the 8680. It, like all 8600 series tractors, is equipped with the 8.4-liter AGCO SISU POWER engine that, when coupled with the tractor’s CVT (continuously variable transmission), provides some of the best—if not the best—fuel efficiency in the market. “The nice part,” adds Elroy’s son Terry, “is that the smooth transmission and fuel efficiency don’t sacrifice overall power or low-end torque to get whatever job is on our plate.”

Terry also appreciates AGCO’s efforts, through Fuse Technologies, at making its equipment compatible with a broad array of technologies and tools from other companies. For instance, the Panbeckers use third-party displays and controllers they are familiar with to run equipment such as their planter. “I think this will be the future with new implements and tractors,” he says.

For more, see

Bishop blesses refurbished MF tractor bound for work in Tanzanian village

A Massey Ferguson tractor refurbished by students attending the AGCO agricultural engineering apprenticeship scheme at the UK’s Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire is set for work in the village of Tunguli, Morogoro in Tanzania.

The tractor gift project is being spearheaded by the Diocese of Worcester which has a friendship link with the Diocese of Morogoro.. Prior to being shipped to Tanzania, the MF 265 tractor was blessed at a special ceremony at Moreton Morrell College performed by The Right Reverend Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester. Also in attendance at the ceremony was Steve Wood, Chairman of the College Board of Governors.


“The fully-reconditioned tractor will make an enormous difference to the lives of people in Tunguli,” said Bishop John. “We would like to thank AGCO, its student apprentices and the College for their help with this great project.”

AGCO, Massey Ferguson’s parent company, has been running its Dealer apprenticeship training scheme in partnership with Moreton Morrell College since 1999. Over the last 18 months, AGCO student apprentices have been rebuilding the MF 265 as part of their course work, transforming the 30-year-old model into a good-as-new tractor, ready for use.

“We were delighted to donate the major parts for the refurbishment and for our apprentices to test out their skills and knowledge in overhauling the tractor for this very worthy cause,” comments Tony Linfield, AGCO Training Development Manager.

The AGCO Apprentice Scheme is open to young agricultural engineers aiming to progress into positions within AGCO farm machinery Dealerships across the UK. Course lengths range from 15 months to two years with 12-24 weeks’ block release at Moreton Morrell College. On successfully completing the courses, students receive Work-Based Diplomas in Land Based Service Engineering.


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