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When speed is of the essence

Whites Farm is at the hub of a sizeable farming operation in and around the village of Helions Bumpstead, near Haverhill, South Cambridgeshire, England.

It is a mainly arable business extending in all to around 1000ha, comprising five main blocks that are 11 miles apart. For this part of the eastern counties, the rotation is a familiar one – winter wheat, winter barley, oilseed rape, spring barley and beans. There are no livestock.

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The farm relies on a MF 9407 S telehandler for a range of tasks and is rarely idle. Farm foreman Brian Blackmore explains: “The telehandler’s main duties include loading grain, moving fertiliser and filling grain stores at harvest time. Other odd jobs around the farm include moving dirt and rubble and it has a work platform with cage.

“The machine is just one year old now and the only outgoings during that time have been one service and the diesel,” he adds.

“It’s very straightforward to use, with very good all-round visibility, and has plenty of power for the jobs we use it for. The service back-up is also very good – only on the odd occasion have we had to ask a question.

“The machine is very reliable – as was the one it replaced – also a Massey Ferguson – which we had for 10 years with no problems. In fact, we never had to call the dealer out once during that time, and it was only really the fact that the tyres were worn that the decision was taken to get a new one.

“However, the MF 9407 S is a lot quicker on the road – capable of 40km/h. Loading grain is faster and smoother and the boom extender is also quick and easy to use.”

A Massey Ferguson wind has blown in North Jutland

In December 2014, the owner of Bejstrup, Mr. Per Kold Kristiansen, one of the largest contractor in Denmark, held an “Open House” to celebrate its 60th birthday. More than 3000 visitors attended the event.

Their large business is involved with contracting, construction, municipal areas as well as a signage shop. They operate from 3 locations in North Jutland.

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The recent owner of 22 x MF tractors was really proud to show its new contingent of Massey Ferguson tractors. In fact, the new AGCO partner used to be a New Holland customer for many years, and Bejstrup has decided to replace its NH fleet. Their future challenge is to aim for more AGCO products at Bejstrup – tractors and balers.

This successful story is due to the strong relationships built by AGCO Denmark as well as the Key accounts team and the local dealer, Hjallerup Maskinforretning.

Per Kold Kristiansen said “We can only confirm again that we have felt welcome at AGCO in general, and dialogue and trade negotiations to date have been characterized by a positive spirit and a quick response to various questions from our side. It has obviously been one of our toughest decisions to switch from New Holland to Massey Ferguson but high praise to all of you, for having made this process very smooth. This is especially something the drivers have noticed; also after the deal has taken place, we (Bejstrup) are taken seriously. All in all, we have only positive things to say.”

The Bejstrup team is so proud of its new tractors that the drivers have their name on the door and they NEVER wear dirty boots in the cab.

Matteo Bartolini President of CEJA looks at the prospects for simplification of the CAP.

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MF: Why do we need a simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?

MB: The CAP is one of the European Union’s most far-reaching, complicated and intricate policies. More importantly, it is one of the EU’s most ‘common’ policies, spanning different geographical areas, landscapes, soil types and farming traditions. Not only that, but it is a policy which provides different amounts of income support to every single eligible farmer in the Union. This, understandably, makes it a lengthy and complex policy which can sometimes cause administrative burden for Member States, businesses and individual farmers. Therefore, it is essential that CAP Simplification is explored extensively. Now that the new CAP has been in place since the beginning of the year, the EU institutions want to look through what has been agreed and where improvements can be made, as well as what can be done better next time.

MF: What is the background to CAP simplification?

MB: The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has identified CAP Simplification as one of his priorities for 2015. This is also in the context of the new Commission’s Work Programme, headed up by Commission President Juncker, which highlights ‘Better Regulation’ as a core objective for EU policy. A first action plan on CAP Simplification was published in 2006, and since then there has been an ongoing CAP Simplification exercise. At the outset, the exercise will focus mostly on delegated and implementing acts, which help to put in place the detailed rules needed to implement the reformed CAP. Commissioner Hogan has already said that he will review the rules on environmental focus areas among more than 200 other Commission regulations that will be considered for simplification.

To read the full article please click here

Massey Ferguson: Trouble-Free Emissions

Meeting increasingly stringent EPA standards can be difficult enough, without adding frequent maintenance. Fortunately, Massey Ferguson’s emissions system maintenance is practically trouble-free on all midsize and high-horsepower tractors, reducing downtime and expense, especially compared to competitive designs.

In most cases, the emissions systems need no maintenance at all.

In most cases, the emissions systems need no maintenance at all.

“First of all, the 4600, 5600 and 6600 series tractors don’t have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that needs to be cleaned through a regeneration process or replaced at certain intervals,” says Brandon Montgomery, AGCO product manager for Massey Ferguson GC1700-6600 series tractors. Regeneration generates excessive heat, which can be a hazard, but new filters can cost up to $2,000 to replace and even $1,500 to clean.

“Instead, Massey Ferguson 4600 Series tractors are equipped with only an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, high pressure common rail (HPCR) and a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) designed to last for the life of the tractor. The same goes for the MF5609 and MF5610 models, which use the same emission technology.

“Even the larger Massey Ferguson series, like the 6600 and the 5600 large-frame models, require nothing more than filling the DEF tank,” Montgomery adds, noting that these models incorporate a diesel oxidation catalyst in combination with a second-generation selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. “Even then, Massey Ferguson’s variable DEF [diesel exhaust fluid] injection and real-time exhaust monitoring system allow our engines to consume less DEF over time, saving money and refueling downtime.”

The fact that Massey Ferguson doesn’t use a DPF on its midsize tractors is particularly appealing to producers who use smaller tractors in poultry houses, or to pull wagons or sprayers in fruit and vegetable operations.

“Most of those applications are performed at low speeds,” he explains. “However, low engine speeds generate exhaust particulates even faster.”

“The fact that all but the very smallest Massey Ferguson tractors don’t use a DPF is huge,” Montgomery continues. “In most cases, the emissions system requires absolutely no maintenance. That not only saves time and fuel, but reduces the intense heat that builds in the exhaust system during the filter regeneration process.”

For more, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/massey-ferguson-trouble-free-emissions/.

Dairyman’s Digest

It’s tough being a pioneer, but John Fiscalini comes from a long line of them. Scale his family tree, and you’ll find innovation in the Fiscalini DNA going back centuries.

The dairy business is the taproot of that family tree. But the mountains around the Fiscalinis’ ancestral Swiss homeland—the tiny town of Lionza—often made the transport of fresh milk treacherous or impossible, particularly during the harsh winters. So the family turned to cheesemaking as more than added value; it was a way to avoid wasting the work of the family dairy.

“I have milk in my blood,” says John, who with son Brian runs the 1,500-cow Fiscalini Farms at Modesto, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley. “Going generations back, it’s all dairy, dairy, dairy.” Still, John didn’t bring cheese back into the family business until the turn of the 21st century, this time less as necessity than as craft. At the suggestion of the California Milk Advisory Board, John began attending farmstead cheesemaking seminars and “got roped into the sexiness of it,” he says.

The execution was less than sexy. Cheesemaking was new to California, so even finding the equipment proved a challenge, as did finding the right cheesemaker, an essential partner in the process. But John had the dairy part down pat. Attention to cleanliness and comfort of his cows give John’s renowned cheesemaker, Mariano Gonzales, a blank canvas to “work magic,” as John puts it.

“The milk that John produces—it’s very, very clean,” says Gonzales. “There is nothing in there to interfere with the bacteria I use to create the cheese.” After a dozen years working with that clean milk—the blank canvas—the awards have piled up. Fiscalini’s cloth-bound cheddar has won best cheddar in the world twice at the World Cheese Awards in London—very rare for an American cheesemaker. The dairy’s signature San Joaquin Gold, a smoky, Italian-style cheese aged 16 months, took gold at the World Cheese Awards as well.

Keeping It Genuine

To run their award-winning and innovative dairy, the Fiscalinis rely heavily on their tractors. “Well, we don’t baby these things,” John says of his Massey Ferguson® equipment—all utility tractors in the 80- to 90-hp range. From the newest, the MF491, to the vintage MF285, these are tractors already known for longevity and durability; but John and his dealer Rick Gray from Stanislaus Implement and Hardware still offer tips to keeping hard-working equipment up and running:

Genuine AGCO Parts. “Our guys [at the dairy] do a lot of the maintenance and service, but if something breaks down, we don’t want to put an aftermarket part on there or something that’s gonna be defective or not the high quality we expect from AGCO,” says John.

Good relationship with the dealer. “I’ve known John and his family for more than 30 years,” says Rick. “He is more than a customer. He is part of the family.”

John says the relationship with Stanislaus Implement is generational. “Rick’s father took care of my father,” he says. “They take care of you. The value of these tractors is the support behind them, end of conversation.”

Read the full story, watch the video about the Fiscalini’s digester, access recipes from Fiscalini Farms, and more at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/dairymans-digest/

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