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New MF 300 Xtra Series tractors available, in Africa and Middle East Regions, exclusively through official Massey Ferguson Dealers

The recently-launched MF 300 Xtra tractors with exclusive features and comprehensive after-sales support are now available to purchase new exclusively through the official MF Dealer Network.

This range of 50-85hp multi-purpose, entry-level tractors strengthens Massey Ferguson’s position in the lower horsepower sector and offers customers even greater choice.

New MF 300 Xtra Series tractors available exclusively through official Massey Ferguson Dealers: The MF 385 Xtra Working with a 7 Tine Cultivator in Zambia, Africa

New MF 300 Xtra Series tractors available exclusively
through official Massey Ferguson Dealers: The MF 385
Xtra Working with a 7 Tine Cultivator in Zambia, Africa.

“Massey Ferguson’s extensive Distributor and Dealer Network is trained by us and is qualified to provide sales and full back-up for our products,” says Thierry Lhotte, Massey Ferguson Vice-President Marketing, Europe/Africa/Middle East. “The new MF 300 Xtra tractors and the wide-ranging after-sales services we offer are available only from accredited Massey Ferguson Dealers. They alone are authorised to sell and support brand-new MF 300 Xtra models which come equipped with exclusive features including sun canopy, front weights, drawbar and trailer tipping pipe.”

“Our highly-professional Massey Ferguson Dealer Network is what sets us apart and protects our customers,” Mr Lhotte emphasises. “Through these outlets, Massey Ferguson customers have access to the complete range of the MF 300 Xtra Tractor Series, 12-month warranty supported by fully qualified MF Dealer technicians, genuine AGCO Parts, maintenance and service programmes, training and advice. Only official outlets holding a Massey Ferguson franchise can offer our factory-backed support.”

To complement the six new MF 300 Xtra tractor models, a new line of Massey Ferguson-branded implements is available including disc harrows, fixed-disc ploughs, subsoilers, planters, trailers and a transport box. Again, these are only offered through the official MF Distribution Network.

“Massey Ferguson and its accredited MF Distribution Network have the tools, the technical knowledge, the specialist programmes, the logistics and the right people to offer world-class support. This is what creates the bond of trust with owners and operators, and is a position we strongly guard in the interests of our customers and their farming operations,” remarks Thierry Lhotte.

AGCO Equipment: Tried and True

Like his grandfather, Cody Waters buys Massey Ferguson tractors and serves in the military. These days, Waters, who farms both near his current home in Missouri and also where he was raised in Southern Illinois, owns an MF235, an MF275 and an MF285, in addition to two Gleaner F2 combines and an N6 combine.

“They’re standardized. They’re tough and they’re easy to work on,” he says of his AGCO equipment. “They’re nimble, easy to handle and easy on fuel.”

Waters acknowledges that his older equipment does not come without headaches. Breakdowns can be all the more troublesome for someone who works a full-time job, serves in the National Guard, farms in two states and has a young family. Yet his dealership, Lauf Equipment Co. Inc. in Jefferson City, Missouri, has been a port in the storm when repairs are needed, he says, with high praise for the dealer’s ability to respond quickly to his requests.

Cody Waters

Cody Waters

He buys parts and gets advice from Lauf’s knowledgeable staff. “They usually have the part on hand, and they have a good service department,” he says.

Waters, who’s been deployed overseas twice in his 15-year career with the Army National Guard, helped Afghan farmers improve their farming operations when he served as part of an Agribusiness Development Team. While in that war-torn country, he witnessed an ingenuity similar to farmers back home. He also saw much of the durability and versatility in Massey Ferguson tractors while there.

USAID donated 40-plus-HP tractors, including MF240 models, to help the Afghan farmers. According to Waters, they were a good fit for the Afghan operations because of their “small size, simplicity [and] power.” The Massey Ferguson machines also got points for durability and fuel efficiency in a country where fuel is expensive and trained mechanics are almost impossible to find.

See the full story on Cody Waters at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/veteran-farmers-coming-home/.

AGCO and SDI: More Power, Less Compaction

Nate Ray has some 25,000 hungry mouths to feed—all of them the bovine beauties at De Jager Farms’ eight dairies in California’s Central Valley. Specifically, Ray oversees operations on De Jager’s 17,000 acres of farmland, most of which is used to grow corn, wheat and alfalfa.

Over the years, Ray has helped introduce new practices at the farm, including subsurface drip irrigation (SDI). Yet, as is often the case, one change begets another, as when the use of SDI created an even greater need to reduce compaction.

Ray found the solution in the form of a Challenger® MT865E. “We chose this Challenger track machine for our minimum-tillage operations,” says Ray, “and basically it was to reduce our compaction and just to give us more power to the ground that we weren’t getting with our John Deere machines. The Challenger,” which he says has also reduced fuel usage, has “provided more torque, more pulling power and greater efficiency.”

Ray and De Jager also recently switched to AGCO windrowers. “Over the course of two years,” says Ray, “we tried out just about every brand on the market, from New Holland to John Deere to MacDon to Case, and we pretty much fell in love with the AGCO machines.”

In the course of making the change—to two Challenger and two Massey Ferguson® WR9760 self-propelled windrowers—Ray was also able to actually reduce the number of windrowers from six, while making the seven to eight cuttings of alfalfa per year on the same acreage in less time and using less fuel. What’s more, he says, the quality of the cutting is “on par, if not better, with the AGCO rotary heads.”

As for his AGCO dealership, “We’ve been working with Holt of California for about four years now, and their service has been excellent. Their expertise and knowledge of the machines has enabled us to run them to their maximum performance. And we’ve just had a great working relationship with them. They’ve provided excellent customer support.”

For more, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/going-underground-irrigation-breakthroughs-in-drought-stricken-california/.

AGCO Equipment Helps This Family Farm Get More Work Done with Less Labor

Jim Fontaine says he’s not interested in getting bigger as a business; he and his family have found an economic sweet spot in their dairy operation (see more about it here). But that doesn’t mean he and brother Steve aren’t growing their equipment inventory. In fact, their do-it-themselves approach to efficiency means the equipment needs to work harder, cost less to run and go easier on the operator.

The Fontaine family

The Fontaine family

That’s why they converted from another brand to a shop full of AGCO solutions, including equipment from Challenger,® Massey Ferguson,® Hesston,® Sunflower® and White Planters.™

“For the two bigger Challengers, we traded in two Case Magnums,” says Jim. “You feel like you got banged around in that [Case]. When you’re on the bunk and you’re shifting, you have to go through all those gears to shift, and it’s just a lot of jerking.”

Their Massey Ferguson and Challenger tractors share the CVT transmission, and with that, “the front-end suspension and the cab suspension, it’s just a good package because it’s all working together,” says Jim.

Adds Steve: “You get out of the tractor and you can stand up straight,” he laughs. “Nothing hurts on your body.”

The tractors work perfectly with their Sunflower 6630 tillage tool, yet another AGCO piece in their arsenal. “With another brand of tractor, when we would drop the implement in the ground, it would stall,” says Jim. Not so with the Challengers.

The experts at Java Farm Supply, the Fontaines’ dealership, also believed Jim and Steve would benefit from a larger hay baler; when the brothers were last looking for a baler, they decided on the Hesston 2170XD. “It makes a nice bale, it doesn’t fall apart, and it weighs 1,200 pounds versus the small ones that weigh 900. There are less bales to store and haul,” says Steve. And it’s better for bunk too. “You carry two bales out, and you have more hay on the bunk for the TMR mixer,” he says.

Jim and Steve don’t see themselves going back to “the other brand.” “The more you hop into the Challenger or the Massey Ferguson, the more comfortable you feel,” Jim says. “I told the dealership: ‘You should put one of these tractors on every farm.’”

For the full story on the Fontaine Farms, including a video about the family’s business philosophy, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/a-family-farm-in-the-economic-sweet-spot/.

In AGCO Equipment, Comfort Comes Standard

Barry Schmitt puts a premium on having comfortable equipment. “During harvest, we spend long hours in the cab, and we move around a lot, going up and down the roads,” says the owner of Barr-Ag, one of Canada’s largest hay exporters. “I want my guys to be safe.”

They are easy to learn to use and the visibility from the cab is very good, says Schmitt.

They are easy to learn to use and the visibility from the cab is very good, says Schmitt.

They are, says Schmitt, because of good training and the use of his AGCO equipment. “We run Massey 4610 tractors on our rakes … and we use Fendt® to pull balers and air drills.” According to Schmitt, the tractors—including Fendt 700, 800 and 900 Series models—as as well as Hesston by Massey Ferguson® windrowers, handle well and are fuel efficient. “They are easy to learn to use and the visibility from the cab is very good.

“They are also exceptionally comfortable,” says Schmitt, “which helps minimize operator fatigue. You get done, a 12-hour day or a 15-hour day in one of these tractors, you can get out and you can still walk. I’m not all stiff from bouncing around. These [tractors] are very smooth, very comfortable. The noise level is small and they’re just very reliable and we enjoy running them.” [I added to get more in about comfort—we had to cut from print due to length.]

Schmitt uses nine large square balers, as well as seven 9870 and 9770 windrowers. “Like our tractors, they are reliable. We need that dependability with the hours we put on them each year. The balers give us a nice square bale, with consistent length … and on the [windrowers],” adds Schmitt, “the double conditioning rolls are second to none.
“These cutters do short crops, tall crops, heavy crops, light crops. You can cut it fast; you can cut it slow. Whatever we’re cutting, it lays well, dries good.”

Schmitt says his AGCO equipment is excellent, but the machines “are only as good as your dealer, and we have a fantastic dealer in Hanlon Ag Centre. They follow our work as we go across with our harvest. Mechanics are available basically 24/7 and they have good rapport with our guys for solving problems over the phone when we need them.

“What really makes it work,” continues Schmitt, “is the combination of good equipment, good dealership, good access to parts and people willing to go the extra mile. That’s what makes our harvest flow, and Hanlon is as big a part of our harvest as the weather and our neighbors.”

See the full story on Schmitt’s operation at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/exporting-forage-barr-ag-is-in-its-hay-day.