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Antarctica2 – For Those Who Dare to Dream

Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), has celebrated the launch of an ambitious mission to drive a tractor to the Geographical South Pole, the fulfillment of a dream for a Dutch theatre maker that also aims to inspire others to dare to dream.

Antarctica2 follows in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, who drove a specially adapted Ferguson TE20 to the South Pole in 1958.

Richard Markwell - Vice President & Managing Director Massey Ferguson EAME handover the key to Manon, Tractor Girl

Richard Markwell – Vice President & Managing Director Massey Ferguson EAME handover the key to Manon, Tractor Girl

But the 2014 mission, which departs Cape Town on 15th September for the 2350km journey, has enlisted the help of leading industry partners to take a wheeled tractor to Antarctica for the first time.

The MF 5610, modified by the engineering team at AGCO’s Beauvais tractor plant, will be driven by Manon Ossevoort, better known as Tractor Girl, who has already driven a tractor from her childhood home in the Netherlands to South Africa.

“It was my dream to drive a tractor to the end of the world, and I was inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary’s mission,” Manon explains, “I found that along the way my journey inspired other people to talk about their own dreams, so I set about collecting these dreams with the goal of taking them to the South Pole with me.”

When her original mission – which was undertaken largely with only local support –ended with Manon unable to make the final leg to Antarctica, she remained convinced that she had to finish it. She approached Massey Ferguson via its distributor in Holland, Mechatrac, and was assured of the company’s commitment to help her follow her dreams.

Support for Antarctica2 will be provided by partners including Massey Ferguson, Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts and Fuse Technologies. There are still opportunities for additional partners to join this exciting project, which will reach a global audience.

Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director of Massey Ferguson EAME,who handed over the keys to the MF 5600 to Manon in a special ceremony at Beauvais, said: “I congratulate our Engineering Project Manager Olivier Hembert and his team, who worked in their spare time, along with AGCO Power in Finland, to adapt the tractor for conditions that are probably the toughest in the world.”

“As John F Kennedy said about the mission to the moon in 1962 – ‘We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’ This is Massey Ferguson, wanting to take on a challenge and work in the spirit to achieve not only easy things, but challenging things. On behalf of AGCO and the full team of sponsors, I wish Manon and her straightforward, dependable MF 5610 a safe and exciting journey to the South Pole.”

Expedition specialists Arctic Trucks will provide guidance and safety support with the help of two Toyota four- and six-wheel drive pick-up trucks, and has worked closely with Trelleborg and Massey Ferguson to develop tyre technology for the mission.

Gudmundur Gudjonsson, Arctic Trucks Project Manager for Antarctica explains: “Tyres are more efficient than tracks in this kind of expedition, being capable of higher forward speeds and using less fuel. They also provide suspension, which is beneficial to the environment as well as the vehicle and the driver.”

Under Arctic Trucks guidance, MF 5600 tractors have undergone extensive cold weather testing, while the expedition team has received polar training, including guidance from seasoned polar explorers Matty McNair and her daughter Sarah McNair-Landry who will be key team members for Antarctica2.

A technical support specialist and former Massey Ferguson photographic specialist Simon Foster complete the team.

The expedition will call on not only the straightforward and dependable engineering of the MF 5610 to endure temperatures down to minus 40deg centigrade, altitude of 3400m and deep, soft snow, but also AGCO’s impressive parts and technical capability.

Up to 1000kg of parts will be carried on the mission, a twice daily maintenance regime adhered to, and the Agcommand™ telematics system will relay performance information back to a 24 hour support team in Beauvais.

The latest broadcast and social media technology will also be employed in stark contrast to when Sir Edmund Hillary’s arrival at the South Pole was marked by at telegram of thanks to Harry Ferguson. Live streaming and regular updates via a dedicated website will keep the rest of the world in touch with the mission’s progress.When the MF 5610, with its Tractor Girl and her cargo of dreams on board, arrives at the South Pole around 7th December, it will be a testimony to the work of all the partners in the Antarctica2 project and their tireless commitment to its message – #BelieveInIt

AGCO China Wins Two Prestigious Ag Machinery Awards

Mr. Zhu Liang (1st to left), Deputy Chief of China Agricultural Machinery Testing Center, MOA and Mr. Liu Zhenying (2nd to left), President of Farm Machinery Magazine awarded prizes to AGCO China

Mr. Zhu Liang (1st to left), Deputy Chief of China Agricultural Machinery Testing Center, MOA and Mr. Liu Zhenying (2nd to left), President of Farm Machinery Magazine awarded prizes to AGCO China

China’s Annual Ag Machinery Top50 Awards were recently announced in Tianjin, China.  The collaborative  judging process and standards are handled by three different organizations:  China Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers (CAAMM), Chinese Society for Ag Machinery (CSAM) and Farm Machinery Magazine.  Nearly 900 products were entered into the competition represented by 227 companies.  There are four categories of awards for which products could compete:   “Technology Innovation Award”, “Market Leading Award”, “Application Contribution Award” and the newest award titled “China Ag Machinery Top 50 Comprehensive Golden Award” the top prize to honor those that are achieving outstanding performance in all three of the previously mentioned award categories.

AGCO’s well-renowned HHP tractor MF7624 won the top prize “Comprehensive Golden Award”

AGCO’s well-renowned HHP tractor MF7624 won the top prize “Comprehensive Golden Award”

“As China’s agricultural mechanization increasingly deepens, innovation of technology has been significant for ag machinery enterprises to transform growth mode” commented Fred Yang, AGCO Vice President & Managing Director, China.  “Since AGCO entered China in 2009, we have been devoting ourselves into China’s agricultural mechanization construction, and have been committed to offering the most reliable, efficient and sustainable products to Chinese customers. The awards for MF7624 and MF1844N this time are not only recognition from the industry, market and customers, but also a reflection of AGCO’s achievements on tech innovations. In future, we shall continue exerting our innovation spirit on research & development of products and technology, further complete our full range of high tech agricultural solutions so as to better serve China market.”

Congratulations, AGCO China!  Well done.

AGCO’s outstandingly performed small square baler MF1844N received the “Market Leading Award”
AGCO’s outstandingly performed small square baler MF1844N received the “Market Leading Award”

Glossary of Benefits

Cab comfort is just one of the carryovers from high horsepower models that sets Massey Ferguson compact, utility and midsize tractors apart.

Cab comfort is just one of the carryovers from high horsepower models that sets Massey Ferguson compact, utility and midsize tractors apart.

With continuous introductions of customer-focused innovations, Massey Ferguson® builds upon a history that spans three centuries and its full line of equipment. Listed here are just a few of the latest advancements available on its compact, utility and midsize tractors, and how they can make the work you do more productive, safer and comfortable.

More choices, more options. With 28 different models between 22.5 and 150 engine HP within seven different series, choices in compact and midsize tractors are nearly unlimited—especially with the option of 2- or 4-wheel-drive on a number of models, cab or open platform, and a choice of transmissions. In many cases, there’s even a choice between premium, deluxe and classic versions within the same horsepower class. Massey Ferguson allows you to purchase what you need—no more and no less.

Steel construction. From the largest Massey Ferguson tractors to the smallest 1700E Series offerings, you’ll find fenders, hoods and platforms made from steel for rugged durability, as well as stability and comfort on uneven ground.

Dedicated engines. Except for a few light-duty models, all Massey Ferguson tractors are equipped with direct-injection diesel engines that deliver dependable power and torque. The 4600, 5600 and 6600 series tractors, in fact, are all powered by AGCO POWER™ engines, which are specifically designed for agricultural applications—not for dual-purpose uses in forklifts and other machines. Such dedicated design allows for better per-liter performance and smaller, power-packed engines, translating into more powerful tractors and roomier cabs.

Innovative transmissions. Each Massey Ferguson tractor is matched with the best transmission available. For instance, the GC1700 Series offers a standard two-range hydrostatic transmission, while the 12-speed power shuttle in the 4600 Series allows for faster forward/reverse shuttling and speed choices. The venerable Dyna-4 is standard equipment in the 5600 and 6600 Series. This semi-powershift, which automatically and smoothly shifts gears, has four Dynashift ratios that can be shifted up or down under full load within four electro-hydraulically selected main ranges. The 6600 offers two other choices, including the Dyna-6 (same as Dyna-4 but with 24 speeds) and the Dyna-VT CVT, making it the first mid-range tractor to offer a continuously variable transmission.

High-flow hydraulics. Class-leading hydraulic systems move more gallons of oil per minute, so attachments like loaders and implements deliver fast operation and quick response. The use of multiple pumps also means you never have to sacrifice productivity in one system, such as steering, to get extra power to another. Mid-range tractors offer a choice of open center or closed center hydraulics to meet the specific needs of the customer.

Ultimate comfort. Massey Ferguson engineers recognize that comfort translates into productivity. That’s why you’ll find features like a flat deck that adds roominess as well as safety, cabs borrowed from our high-horsepower models and otherwise unheard-of options on a midsize tractor, like cab suspension and a suspended front axle.

For more information on Massey Ferguson compact, utility and mid-sized tractors, visit masseyferguson.us.

Valtra S Series Wins Gold Medal

The fourth generation Valtra S Series has received great international attention since its introduction at last year’s Agritechnica. Most recently the model S354 has been awarded a gold medal at the Polagra Premiery Fair of Agricultural Mechanization in Poznań, Poland. 

This prestigious gold medal is awarded to innovative products that feature modern and state-of-the-art technology. The jury consisted of experts in agricultural science, agricultural administration and the fair organisers. It was chaired by Professor Grzegorz Skrzypczak, PhD, Rector of the University of Life Sciences in Poznań.

The Polagra Premiery is one of the most important agricultural trade fairs in Poland and attracts more than 40,000 visitors from 16 countries.

Survey: Contractors Like to Drive Fendt

40 percent of contractors in Germany drive a Fendt tractor. In second place on the list of favourites is John Deere, followed by Case-IH, Deutz and New Holland.

Fendt: The most popular brand amongst contractors in Germany

Fendt: The most popular brand amongst contractors in Germany

More than 40 percent (%) of German contractors worked with a Fendt tractor in their businesses in 2013. In the previous year, Fendt was also the most widely used brand amongst German contractors.

The German tractor brand Fendt (40.4 percent) and the US brand John Deere (18.1 percent) are most frequently cited as the first, second or third preferred brand in German contracting enterprises. The brands Case-IH, Deutz and New Holland follow in the third to fifth places. These results correspond to those of the last market survey from 2012. Nearly two of ten contractors want to invest in a new or used tractor this year. The greatest interest here was in the brands Fendt (44.4 %) and John Deere (27.8 %).

A further result of the survey: The more tractors that are already present in a contracting business, the higher the percentage of investment plans for a new or used tractor. Contractors with 20 or more tractors have the most plans to invest. Of these, 42.9 percent want to buy a new tractor.

2,650 contractors surveyed

These figures originate from the LohnunternehmerScanner 2013/14 survey, which was carried out by the AgriDirect Deutschland GmbH from December 2013 up to and including January 2014. The business operations and future plans of 2,650 contractors were surveyed for this market scanner.

Source: Agrarheute from 5 March 2014