Posts Tagged ‘AGCO’

Martha Chishala Maintains Order at AGCO’s Future Farm in Zambia

Earlier this month, we introduced you to Richard Chapple, Farm Manager at the AGCO Future Farm in Zambia. Today, we’d like to give you another glimpse into daily life at the farm by introducing Martha Chishala, Training Centre Coordinator.

Martha plays an integral part in keeping things running smoothly at the Zambia Future Farm. Her role includes organizing training events and ensuring everything related to training is in order—from updating trainer schedules, to ordering supplies, to coordinating work visas.

Evening Irrigation_Richard Chapple

She was on hand at the official launch of the Future Farm on May 27. “The official opening event was exciting, as there were so many great presentations and demonstrations of what AGCO plans to do in Africa and change the way of farming and agriculture,” she says. “It encouraged us all to embrace mechanised farming.”

Martha joined the AGCO Future Farm team in May of 2015, but she has already seen the impact it has had on the community. “The farm has created jobs for the local community and supports projects such as Chikumbuso Women and Orphans project, and it teaches children at a young age about the values of agriculture,” she says.

The farm faces many challenges, such as the area’s low water table, which can only sustain one winter crop per year. But Martha finds it rewarding to be part of this new age of farming, and she is learning that there is more to agriculture than just putting seed in the ground.

“I see a generation of farmers and changed mindset in regards to agriculture,” she says. “Growing up in Zambia we believed farming was for the uneducated, rural based-based older folk—something people do after retirement. I never considered a career prospect, but with empowerment through knowledge, all that is changing.”

Performance and support build solid commitment to MF tractors

Australian contractor Wayne Marshall loves his Massey Ferguson tractors for their engines, their economy and the uniformity of their cabs.

Wayne has a fleet of nine Massey Fergusons, including three 15-year-old tractors that he just can’t bear to part with.


Wayne and his wife Judy operate Bundy Ag from their home in Maffra, Victoria, Australia. They offer a range of services including bulk silage, hay cutting and baling, full cultivation and transport.

Silage is the primary focus of the business, which was formed 15 years ago when Wayne left the family business to start out on his own.

His most recent Massey Ferguson purchases include an MF 6614, an MF 7622 and an MF 8680.

“We’ve had Masseys for 15 years and what I like about them is their accessibility of service, their economy, and I’m happy with the AGCOPower engine,” says Wayne.

The Marshalls bought their MF 6614 last September for hay and silage production and for operating their round baler.

“It pulls the baler beautifully and it also does drilling. It’s fitted with a loader and does a variety of loader work and earthworks,” Wayne says.

“It’s the first time I’ve gone back to a four-cylinder engine for a long time. The economy was a big part of that decision and it’s very cheap to run. It’s also very manoeuvrable and has a good turning circle. It’s just a good basic tractor that’s cheap to run.”

Wayne bought the 215hp MF 7622 about 18 months ago and uses it to pull his loader wagon during the silage season. He particularly likes it for the Dyna-VT variable transmission.

“It’s very good and it’s also economical. We use it for a lot of cultivation work, mainly discing and ripping. With both those tractors we are using AdBlue because it’s going to be law soon with our diesel rebates. That was a big consideration,” he says.

“The other thing is the whole range of Massey Ferguson tractors have the same cabin layouts. It’s very easy with staff as they’re familiar with the controls and can go from one tractor to another.”

The third new tractor in the Marshalls’ fleet is the six-cylinder 320hp MF 8680, which was purchased six months ago. It is mainly used for loader wagon silage and earthmoving.

“It also runs on a laser bucket for irrigation layouts and it is very good. I am very happy with it. It has high horsepower and very quick road speed. We are running it with a Topcon GPS guidance system.”

Their full fleet of tractors includes two MF 7495s, which are also used on the loader wagons, an MF 6475, which is used on a round baler and for loader work, two old MF 4270s, which are Wayne’s original tractors and have 12,000 hours on the clock each, and an MF 6255, which is also 15 years old and is used for ripping and discing.

“I can’t get rid of them,” Wayne says about the older machines. “They have sentimental value. I’ve also got a Valtra 202 with a butterfly mower conditioner, which is four years old. It’s running the AGCOPower engine as well and is from the same stable as Massey Ferguson, but I chose that tractor for its long wheel base.”

Wayne is impressed with the advances in technology Massey Ferguson has made in recent years.

“The tractors have come a long way. I’ve seen big changes in the last six or seven years with what we can do with them and the time and fuel savings,” he says.

“They’re a pleasure to drive and the operators can hop out of them at the end of the day and still feel ok.

Wayne and Judy buy their Massey Fergusons through Donalda Motor Service in Maffra. He says a big consideration for sticking with Massey Ferguson is the fantastic support they get from them and from AGCO.

“They’re very good with their backup. They go beyond the call of duty. They’ve been very good to me since I started off in business.

“AGCO is based in Melbourne and we’re very happy with their technical support. If we have any problems they never put a foot wrong. That’s the reason I’ve stuck with them.”

Jeff Challis Shows You Why You Should Buy Genuine AGCO Parts Filters

A visit to Kenya prompts the production of a video to demonstrate the merits of buying genuine AGCO filters and how to spot counterfeit parts.

In March 2014 Jeff Challis, Business Manager, Parts Sales, Africa and Middle East and Pete Winterbottom, Manager, Aftersales Marketing, EAME visited Kenya to meet with our Massey Ferguson distributor FMD and visit some of their key customers. These customers varied from important municipal customers such as Nairobi Airport to owners of large tea and sugar plantations. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the virtues of genuine parts. Jeff demonstrated this by dismantling a genuine filter and comparing key features with a popular spurious filter. From the outside both filters looked the same but Jeff quickly highlighted that underneath this veneer there were some significant differences. Jeff’s demo had such a positive impact that FMD said they wanted to train and equip their own staff to do the same demo when on the road visiting customers. To assist with this, the EAME Aftersales Marketing team produced some practical demo kits including genuine and spurious filters along with flip chart slides. Jeff took the kits back to Kenya and also Sudan in early 2015 to train the local field sales teams to use themselves.

As an aide memoire for the local teams, we filmed Jeff at the Stoneleigh training centre conducting the demo. A group of UK service technicians that were on a training course in an adjacent workshop at time of filming stopped what they were doing because they too were so intrigued to see and hear what Jeff had to say. So much so that we decided to publish the resultant videos on YouTube for all to see.

We’ve created 2 versions of the demo; a 3 minute and 15 minute version which can be watched on YouTube or downloaded from asset bank. We’re now considering the possibility of creating different language versions in order to spread this key message: – When it comes to Parts ‘The Genuine Choice’ is the only choice!’

agco parts 2

AGCO Parts

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Meet Richard Chapple, Farm Manager at AGCO’s Future Farm in Zambia

In recent posts, we shared our vision for the AGCO Future Farm concept, and in May we celebrated the official opening of our first Future Farm in Lusaka, Zambia. Today, we’d like to introduce one of the team members making this project successful: Farm Manager Richard Chapple.Richard Chapple

Originally from the UK, Richard came to Zambia in November 2008 to visit family, but he was offered a job running a flight charter company and stayed. With a background as an agricultural contractor in the UK and experience sub-contracting combines in Zambia on behalf of a company called African Harvesters, he was a natural fit for AGCO and joined the Future Farm team in 2012.

Although every day on the farm is different, a typical morning for Richard starts at 7:30 a.m., when he has a meeting with his team of 32 workers. They allocate jobs based on what is planned for the day, from spraying programs to planting a variety of crops around the farm.

The Zambia Future Farm includes a state-of-the art facility designed to accommodate both small-scale and large commercial farmers, as well as education and training programs to provide hands-on experience with technology and utilize Africa’s agricultural resources more effectively. Chapple says this is reassuring to local farmers. “No matter what tractor you’re driving, it’s all about the support you’re receiving.”

Chapple has been involved with the Future Farm project since its inception in 2012, and he said the team experienced a great sense of achievement at the official launch on May 27. “In a small space of time, we’ve done a huge amount of work,” he said. “It’s like a jigsaw puzzle and all the pieces came together.”

Planting on the Future Farm_Richard ChappleWhat does Chapple find most rewarding about his job? “For me, it’s development, and not just of the farm itself,” he said. “When we took over the farm, we also took over the workforce that was here already. It’s the personal development of the workforce on the farm, the capacity building, and getting better relationships. I’ve learned a fair bit, as well.”

Zambia has huge potential in terms of resources to be tapped, and Chapple appreciates the opportunity to play a role the development of agriculture in the country. “I’m very excited and happy to be a part of it.”


Biomass Harvesting: Win-Win, and Then Some

Still in its early stages in North America, the harvesting and processing industry for cellulosic ethanol now has something to show for years of research and planning in the form of three new cellulosic ethanol plants.

Bill Levy, chief executive officer of PacificAg, believes the North American biomass industry is poised for growth. “Over the next decade or so, it will become a major market,” he says.

The Hesston 2270XD large square baler

The Hesston 2270XD large square baler

Two of the three new cellulosic plants are in Iowa—one operated by DuPont in Nevada; the other in Emmetsburg is run by South Dakota-based ethanol producer POET/DSM—and both process corn stover. The other facility—located in Hugoton, Kan., and run by Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass—uses some wheat straw in addition to corn and milo stover, all of which is supplied exclusively by PacificAg.

For every 180 bushels of grain, the average producer will have about 4.3 tons of stover. To maintain sufficient organic matter in the soil and to prevent erosion, the USDA advises leaving an average of 2.3 tons per acre on the ground. Studies have shown that leaving too much residue can increase the likelihood of disease the following spring, make planting more difficult and use up nitrogen.

“The biggest benefit we bring growers is an alternative method for managing high residue,” says Denny Penland, business development manager for DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol. “And it also produces a platform for producing next year’s crop of corn.”

In Canada, there are currently no biomass plants online or in the works, but Charles Lalonde, a project manager with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, says he expects that’s going to change in the next few years. He says there will soon be demand for corn stover and wheat straw inside Canadian borders.

“With corn stover, we’re trying to develop a market for it in bioprocessing,” Lalonde explains. He anticipates that facility will focus on using cellulosic material to produce sugars for use in various biochemical productions.

U.S. plants making ethanol from grains, mainly corn, are currently at capacity, producing 12 billion to 13 billion gallons annually. “Right now, the industry is waiting for the cellulosic side of these projects to get up and running,” Levy says. By comparison, it’s estimated that the new plants will be able to produce around 75 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year.

Plans for seven new cellulosic ethanol plants have been announced by the USDA, three of which will use agricultural waste, while the others will use resources like wood chips, wood waste and municipal solid waste.

And while the bulk of the U.S. market now is corn stover, Glenn Farris, AGCO’s manager of segment strategy for biomass/industrials, expects a market for dedicated energy crops to emerge, such as Miscanthus and switchgrass.

Farris says he believes that by 2030 more producers will see 300 bushels of corn per acre. That means 8 to 10 tons of stover per acre on the ground within the next 15 years.

Says Levy, “I think we’re going to see a revolution in the biomass market in the years to come. As the world turns to renewable energy, agriculture is going to be a direct benefactor.”

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