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Massey Ferguson Tractors Helping To Farm The Sea

A pair of Massey Ferguson tractors is helping specialist Anglesey sea-farming business, Menai Oysters and Mussels, process each year more than 70,000 oysters and five million mussels, all grown and cultivated naturally in the strong, nutrition-rich tidal currents of the Menai Strait.

Menai Oysters 04 web resThe majority of the company’s shellfish production is sent to wholesale markets for purchase by hotels, restaurants and specialist fish shops and retailers with a growing number of sales being made also via the internet, mail-order and direct to customers who visit Menai Oysters and Mussels’ shop on a Sunday or Wednesday.

Purchased in late 2012 from nearby MF dealer, Emyr Evans, the two Massey Ferguson tractors – a 38hp MF 1540A and a 102hp MF 5440 – are being employed primarily within the initial washing processes used to remove silt, sand and other seabed detritus from the shells of the harvested oysters and mussels.

Initial cleaning of the oysters is carried out in trays using a hand-held pressure washer fed with fresh water by a high-capacity pump mounted on and driven by the power take-off shaft of the MF 1540A tractor. When all of the oysters have been washed, the tractor is driven a short distance to the mussel processing line where its external hydraulic system is connected to pumps powering the Menai Oysters 05 web resequipment’s water delivery and conveyor systems, simultaneously washing and grading the mussels as they move along the line.

Having been cleaned off externally, the shellfish is either immersed in tanks or placed on racks for further cleaning by purification using continuously recirculating seawater that has been sterilised by UV light. Minimum purification time is 42 hours to ensure that the filter feeding mechanism of the bivalve molluscs has adequate time to filter-out grit, sand and other internal impurities.

All of the seawater used by Menai Oysters and Mussels within its various washing and purifying processes is transported from the sea shore to the farm in a 6,000 litre vacuum tanker hauled by the MF 5440 tractor, the water being held in large storage tanks until needed. The two and a half miles each-way journey to and from the sea shore is made two or three times a week, depending on the season and demand for the firm’s oysters and mussels, all of which are sold to customers within the United Kingdom.

“We use a lot of sea water for purifying the shellfish so the tractor has to be ready to go at a moment’s notice,” explained marine biologist Shaun Krijnen, who founded Menai Oysters and Mussels in 1994 and maintains a full hands-on role in the business today. “When it’s not involved in shellfish production, the MF 5440 tractor is used for hedge-cutting, pasture mowing and local contract work, helping out nearby arable and livestock farmers.”

Bought primarily to power the oyster and mussel washing equipment, the smaller MF 1540 compact tractor spends up to 40 hours a week stationary with its engine running and power take-off shaft turning at a constant 540rpm.

Menai Oysters 02 web res“The MF 1540 replaced a larger agricultural-type tractor, consequently cutting our diesel usage by half,” commented Shaun. “The new tractor’s power output and auxiliary oil flow are far better matched to our existing equipment so everything runs more smoothly and economically. Having a foldable rollbar instead of a cab means also that we can lock the tractor away securely overnight.”

The larger MF 5440 tractor arrived on the farm two months later, further modernising the firm’s machinery fleet while splitting the existing workload over two new power units.

“As the business has grown, we have looked increasingly to invest in modern, reliable, cost-effective equipment,” explained Shaun. “Massey Ferguson was the obvious choice for us. Not only is our local dealer just 15 minutes away but we are benefiting from the company’s Manager 5-year extended warranty and servicing package that brings peace of mind to a business that relies very heavily on its machinery throughout the year.”

www.menaioysters.co.uk

Ex-Olympics Massey Ferguson Tractor Proves a Big Pull

A Massey Ferguson tractor that took part in the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games has become a star feature at Fishers Farm Adventure Park, an award-winning family visitor attraction located at Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst, West Sussex.

Supplied to Fishers Farm through local Massey Ferguson dealer, Yeowart Agricultural Ltd, Sharpthorne, East Grinstead, the 102hp MF 5440 tractor has swapped a supporting role within the Olympic Stadium for almost continuous action seven days a week pulling a visitor-packed trailer past a variety of livestock pens and paddocks located alongside a circular route through the farm park.

Fishers MF 5440 002Known as “The Big Red Tractor Ride”, the tour – which takes between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on season – can include adult and young sheep, pigs, goats and alpacas, Shire horses, Cobs and Shetland ponies, dairy and beef cattle, hens, ducks and geese plus visiting wildfowl that may have dropped-in during the day. A recorded commentary is broadcast during the ride telling the history of Fishers Farm and the activities that now take place throughout the year on the 20ha holding.

Owned and managed by the Rollings family since 1985, Fishers Farm was initially planted with soft fruit and run as a “pick your own” enterprise by husband and wife team, Tim and Trina Rollings.

A chance remark by a customer led to the introduction of refreshments and toilet facilities followed soon after by casual viewings of the Rollings’ own domesticated livestock, events which sowed the seeds for the creation of Fishers Farm Adventure Park. The venue welcomed its first paying customer on 1 June 1990.

Today, visitors to the attraction number more than 1,000 a day during the summer months, drawn by a heady mix of exciting rides, absorbing activities and informative animal features which provide a great day out for all the family.

“Both Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors were being used on the farm long before we bought the land and planted soft fruit,” explained Tim Rollings. “Our first tractor back in  1985 was a Massey and we have remained loyal to the brand right through to the present day, having used Massey Ferguson models to provide our big red tractor rides since they first began.”

Fishers MF 5440 001In autumn 2012, Tim Rollings decided that he needed a slightly more powerful tractor to comfortably pull the trailer carrying large numbers of visitors around the outdoor livestock feature attractions.

“I sought advice from local dealer, Yeowart Agricultural, and was told that the firm had acquired one of the tractors loaned by Massey Ferguson to assist at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” explained Tim. “That tractor, an MF 5440, had exactly the power output that we wanted. Its unique celebrity status made it a must-have for Fishers Farm Adventure Park and I ordered the tractor the same day.”

Delivered in November 2012, the MF 5440 tractor has been a huge success with visitors and the Rollings family from the outset.

The turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine is quiet, economical and provides loads of torque at low engine speeds while gear changes are fast and simple thanks to Massey Ferguson’s Dyna- 4 transmission which provides four clutchless gear changes within each of four different speed ranges.

The tractor’s crowning glory, said Tim, is its spacious flat-floor cab which offers excellent all-round visibility, low sound levels and a very comfortable ride.

“Our tractor played a part at the opening of the world’s biggest sporting event,” he concluded. “I am delighted that it has now taken on a very important and high-profile role within our business and is being appreciated by the thousands of people, young and old, who visit Fishers Farm Adventure Park every week.”

To read more about Fishers Farm Park.

Red Tractor in Town

London got a taste of the country when a Massey Ferguson tractor laden with fresh produce drove through the streets from New Covent Garden to Trafalgar Square.

The MF 5440 was in town to help celebrate the news that two New Covent Garden Market (NCGM) wholesalers had gained certification under the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme. Then, in the second engagement of the day, it was on to St Martin-in-the-Fields with a trailer-load of food donated by wholesalers for the annual Farmers Club harvest festival service. After the service, food donations were presented to the Connection homeless charity at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Newly-licensed Red Tractor wholesalers P&I Fruits and E.A. Williams join a list of 11 Red Tractor licensees at NCGM. The scheme offers reassurance for consumers that all produce purchased passes stringent standards in food safety, quality and traceability.

Adds David Sleath, AGCO Director Sales UK and Ireland: “Massey Ferguson is a key part of British farming and has supported the Red Tractor scheme since its inception 11 years ago. We are delighted to offer our tractors to attract consumers’ attention at events all over the country and help explain the huge efforts farmers put into producing food of the highest standards.”

To find out more, please visit the following websites:

New Covent Garden Market: www.newcoventgardenmarket.com/food
Red Tractor: www.redtractor.org.uk