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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/.

AGCO Planting Options Offer Speed and Accuracy

Most farmers view seeding as the most important task they complete each year. With few exceptions, the old axiom, “How you start is how you’ll end,”   holds true in crop production. If seed is not planted at a uniform depth, into moisture and with proper seed furrow closure, it will come up erratically at best.   Poor spacing and uneven emergence are two major yield limiters that must be avoided.  At the same time, it’s important to get the crop in the ground in time to take advantage of the growing season, while there is still moisture for the crop to germinate and emerge. In addition, many growers are expanding their acreage to spread fixed costs and improve profitability, which puts even more pressure on the need for efficiency and accuracy at seeding. Fortunately, both the Sunflower 9800 series single disk drill and the White 9800VE series planter lineup combined with the power and precision of Fendt tractors solve these problems with ease. Fendt

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Agro-Brief: Creating Performance Seedbeds

Sunflower

  1. Replace worn sweeps, blades, and harrows
  2. Level tillage tools
  3. Set working depths
  4. Monitor speed
  5. Avoid Compaction

Developing a good seedbed is important to get the crops off to a good start; yet often overlooked or difficult to obtain. Seedbeds need to have uniform residue distribution, loose aerated soil structure, and a level soil profile on both the surface and at the working depth of shanks or blades. As we move into spring consider the following:

REPLACE: Now is a good time to check spring tillage tools for damage and wear. Replace worn shovels, blades, and harrow components. It is difficult to do a good job with worn ground-engaging components.

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Sunflower: Replacement Blades and Sweeps

Designed for durability and to deliver superior performance in the field, Genuine Sunflower Replacement Blades and Sweeps offer farmers a proven edge.

Cutting through tough, hybrid crop residue and hard-packed soils, Sunflower vertical tillage tools lead the industry in innovation and performance. But to keep these best-in-class tools operating at their best and helping to prepare the ideal seedbed, be sure to use Genuine Sunflower Replacement Blades.

Made with the highest quality materials, exacting manufacturing methods and rigorous testing—Sunflower Genuine Replacement Blades lead the industry in durability and performance. Here’s just a partial list for what sets them apart from the competition.

Material Quality. The best disc blades and sweeps start with the finest materials. Sunflower utilizes proprietary boron steel to provide best-in-class durability, leading to longer, higher-performing wear.

Advanced Manufacturing. Precise robotic cutting and manufacturing equipment guarantees exact dimensions and sharpness. Water quenching, after-heat treatment sets these parts apart to eliminate wobble, and adds to the overall performance and durability.

Quality Testing. Every batch of discs, sweeps and other Genuine Sunflower Replacement Parts goes through a battery of tests to ensure the highest quality and durability.

Just like having the right-sized tractor to pull these exceptionally effective and efficient implements, replacement parts are critical to the best-in-class operation of Sunflower Seed and Tillage tools. Ensure you maintain that high level of performance in your fields with Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts.

To learn more about Sunflower parts, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/sunflowerparts/ or visit your Sunflower dealer and ask for Sunflower Genuine Tillage Parts.

New Sunflower Tillage Tools Cover More Acres in Less Time

Sunflower® is expanding its tillage offering to include the new 6650-48 vertical tillage tool as part of the 6600 Series, along with two larger split-wing disc harrows from the 1436 Series. The 6650-48 provides farmers with a class-leading, true working width of 47ft, 11 inches. The new split-wing 1436SW models provide 600 pounds-per-foot of residue-cutting weight for tough residue management operations.

SunflowerSunflower® 6650-48 Vertical Tillage Tool

“Sunflower® is excited to offer the 6650-48 vertical tillage tool to today’s conservation-minded farmers,” says Larry Kuster, AGCO senior marketing specialist for tillage. “It provides a significant boost in productivity by harnessing the potential of high-horsepower tractors with the ability to cover more than 38 acres an hour.”

Features:

  • Sunflower Saber Blades™, combined with proven staggered offset gang design in a large-width, five-section 6×6-inch frame, provide superior performance in the field, all while folding to transport dimensions of 18 feet, 2 inches wide and 13 feet, 11 inches high.
  • The blade design and 18-degree offset gang angle of Sunflower vertical tillage tools provide optimum performance in cutting and sizing crop residue. The residue left behind by these tools creates a surface that is resistant to wind and water erosion.
  • The frame features thicker-wall 6×6-inch tubing (3/8-inch thick in high-stress areas) for a stronger, heavier frame, and is cross-braced and gusseted for added strength and maintenance-free service.
  • The 6650-48 rides on a patented walking triple design, which uses two walking-beam pivot points to create a series of walking tandem wheels.

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