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It’s not your grandpa’s farm anymore…or is it?

By:  Melissa Runge

We have all seen the stereotype of a farmer being portrayed as an older gentleman with a pitchfork in his hand, right? Indeed, if you were to glance at the 2012 US Census of Agriculture report, it would quickly become apparent that some of those stereotypical characteristics are in fact true. This study reported the average age of a principal farm owner in 2012 was 58.3 years old which is up from the average age of 57.1 years in 2007. This increase in the average age of principal owners has been a trend for more than 30 years, with no perceptible reversal in sight. While most farmers are older than the average population, that doesn’t mean he is carrying a pitchfork; think more along the lines of an iPad.

What does this mean for the farming business?  It means those who are farming are getting older and younger farmers are not lining up to enter the business. Times are changing and equipment manufacturers have an obligation to farmers to provide products that ensure this business stays relevant and exciting while not only providing value to existing customers but also attracting new customers. As with most generations, the younger set considers cash as the most important perk of a job. In 2013, Ernst & Young conducted a survey to determine which characteristics were prevalent by generation.  This survey included 1,215 cross-company professionals and grouped them into three categories:  Millennials–ages 18-32, Generation X–ages 33-48 and Boomers–ages 49-57.  Overwhelmingly it showed that cash is still the king of perks.

All of this research suggests that younger generations aren’t lining up to enter the business of large acreage farming for one reason: LACK OF CASH. Not only is it expensive to start a farming operation, if grandpa wasn’t in the business, young people are even less likely to jump into farming.  According to a 2016 report from Iowa State University which estimates the costs of crop production in Iowa, the average cost to farm an acre of land was between approximately $600 and $800 per acre. This includes the cost of machinery, seeds, chemicals, labor and land.  These ongoing costs are quite substantial and do not include any startup costs, and taken together, they are proving to be intimidating to a young farmer.

AGCO understands the need to attract these potential customers, the young farmer, but also to make our existing customers, including the seasoned farmer, more successful.  One way this can happen is through technology. Let’s face it: technology is here to stay and we must embrace it no matter what industry or generation we are in. We are all guilty of getting lost in our phone or computer from time to time; however, for Millennials this is how business is conducted. According to that same Ernst & Young survey, Millennials are regarded as the most tech savvy generation (78%) compared to Generation X (18%) and Boomers (4%). As AGCO continues to grow our Fuse Technologies product portfolio and dealers offer Fuse Connected Services, it is imperative that we keep these characteristics in mind.

By not only introducing new and updated Fuse technologies including guidance, telematics and applications to optimize the farm, the introduction of Fuse Connected Services provides customers service and support to ensure these products are being used correctly. These technologies and services are allowing farms to become more and more technology-driven, which suits the younger, future farmer demographic while also optimizing the farms of existing farmers to improve yields and profitability. melissa blog

The end result for our customers of all generations will be the same– INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY AND INCREASED PROFIT which in turn will attract more new farmers into the business and keep farming relevant and exciting.

For more information on AGCO’s precision farming products, data management policy and Fuse Connected Services, please visit www.agcocorp.com/Fuse.

Melissa Runge is the global program manager for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group.

Fuse Delivers Award Winning Resources for AGCO Customers and Dealers

Fuse Awards

From the launch of Fuse Connected Services to new product and partnership announcements, 2015 has been an exciting year for the AGCO farmer. In addition to delivering best-in-class solutions for growers, AGCO continued its commitment to providing resources for growers and dealers that want to understand more about Fuse.

AGCO’s precision farming approach is gaining recognition, and this likely impressed the members of The New Economy judging panel in February 2015, which awarded AGCO with The New Economy Clean Tech Award for Best Agribusiness & Agricultural Solution.

The following month, the global Fuse website, www.AGCOtechnologies.com, won two Interactive Media Awards™ for Outstanding Achievement in the areas of ‘Science/Technology’ and ‘Professional Services’ due to the site’s detailed content and usability.  In September the site was also honored with a Silver W3 Award based on design and creative elements. The Fuse website features information about Fuse products and services, as well as support and training resources.

Another resource to learn more about Fuse is our video showcasing AGCO’s vision for the future of precision farming. The video brings a greater understanding of the Fuse strategy by highlighting the benefits it brings to AGCO customers and dealers. Since the video’s release, it has been honored with a Gold Remi Award in the ‘Agriculture’ category as well as a prestigious Silver Cannes Corporate Media & TV Award.

Providing excellent resources to AGCO customers and dealers is just one way AGCO is delivering on the Fuse approach to precision farming. Coming soon in 2016 will be the launch of additional languages of the Fuse website and a new payback calculator tool to help growers understand the value of precision farming, in addition to new videos featuring our products, services and customer testimonials.

Take a look at the Fuse website, spend a view minutes watching the video and learn how Fuse technologies and services are connecting your farm enterprise like never before.

 

Abby Burton is a marketing communications specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on delivering the Fuse message to customers, dealers, employees and investors.

Massey Ferguson 100-130hp MF 5700 SL Series Introduces a New Tractor Genre

Four new highly versatile 100hp to 130hp tractors in the new Massey Ferguson MF 5700 SL Series offer best in class visibility, manoeuvrability and transmission control.

As well as making the perfect partner for a Massey Ferguson loader, the new tractors are also ideally suited to a wide range of field and transport duties.

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“The MF 5700 SL Series introduces a new genre of tractors that build on the success of the MF 5600 Series. They mould together the compact dimensions required by livestock and mixed farmers with the performance and power needed for arable work,” says Campbell Scott, Director, Marketing Services.

“At the same time Massey Ferguson has refined its elegant answer to meeting the requirements of the strict Stage IV/Tier 4 final emission regulations with a revolutionary, ‘All in One’ Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system,” he adds.

The unique ‘All in One’ SCR technology employed on the latest AGCO Power 4.4 litre, four cylinder engine doesn’t sacrifice power, efficiency, maintenance, ground clearance or, importantly, visibility. It is also proven to help reduce fuel consumption.

“Mounting the highly compact SCR system below the cab on the right hand side allows the MF 5700 SL Series to retain its steep sloping bonnet to offer unrivalled forward visibility, unimpeded by any extraneous additions,” explains Mr Scott.

Up in the cab, operators benefit from the same comfort provided on larger Massey Ferguson tractors offering superb visibility across the steep nosed bonnet along with the same sophisticated, but straightforward control. A new clear dashboard colour display provides better visibility during the day and at night making it easier to use the Set Up and Information Screen (SIS).

A new Speedsteer option makes it possible to vary the number of steering wheel revolutions needed to turn the wheels from lock-to-lock. This allows loading operations and headland turns to be made more quickly and with less effort.

All the MF 5700 SL Series tractors can be specified with the choice of either the Dyna-4 or Dyna-6, efficient and easy to use transmissions. Both come with the useful brake to neutral function and the option of AutoDrive.

Unrivalled hydraulic operation and control is provided by a choice of three systems to help users tailor the tractors to suit every application. All models are equipped with an efficient twin-pump system that delivers 58 litres/min for the spool valves and linkage, with a separate pump for all internal services.

For those requiring extra flow – to boost loader performance – there is also the 100 litre/min combined flow system, which combines the flow from the linkage pump with 42 litres/min from an additional high pressure pump.

A 110 litre/min closed centre load sensing (CCLS) system is another option, delivering flow and pressure on demand for optimum output, control and economy. This also comes with finger-tip spool valve controls or electronic joystick.

All models are also available with the option of front axle suspension, developed and built by Massey Ferguson as an integral part of the design.

Massey Ferguson MF 4700 Series cab tractors set the new multi-purpose tractor benchmark

Three new models in the Massey Ferguson MF 4700 Series are the first standard farm tractors for generations, from any manufacturer, which have been developed specifically for the demanding 75hp to 100hp sector.

Fitted with cabs and offering powers of 75hp, 85hp and 95hp, the brand new MF 4700 Series tractors are purpose designed and built for the 75hp to 100hp sector, featuring the most up to date engine, transmission, cab and driveline technology.

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“Designed by engineers in Massey Ferguson’s Beauvais facility, the MF 4700 Series are not only completely new tractors, they also introduce an entirely original concept in modern tractor development,” says Campbell Scott, Director, Marketing Services.

“The MF 4700 Series are the first, and only, tractors available that have been totally designed in the 21st Century to deliver the straightforward, rugged and reliable operation for users in the 75hp to 130hp sector.

“They not only introduce modern technology to this size of tractor for the first time, but they are also purpose-built for this important sector. And, of course, they benefit from over half a Century of Massey Ferguson’s experience of producing pioneering, straightforward and dependable tractors,” he adds.

The MF 4700 Series offers best in class comfort and control from a completely new, spacious, air-conditioned cab built in the new Beauvais 2 facility. The cab is equipped to the highest specifications providing the most modern features and controls in the sector.

All the new tractors are powered by the latest technology AGCO Power 3.3 litre, three cylinder engines. Well proven in other Massey Ferguson tractors, these efficient engines deliver high power and torque with exceptional economy and meet the strict Stage IV/Tier 4 regulations with maintenance free Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology.

An engine speed memory is standard and is activated by simply pressing a button in the cab.

Massey Ferguson has developed an efficient 12 x 12 mechanical gearbox specifically for the MF 4700 Series. This is equipped with a synchronised reverse shuttle, with hydraulic clutch activation for easy shifting as standard.

The renowned Powershuttle control lever is an option that provides finger-tip direction changes and comes with a button on the gear lever to activate the clutch. This is similar to that used on larger Massey Ferguson tractors and comes with Comfort Control to allow operators to adjust the sensitivity of the shift.

Four-wheel drive is provided by a centre-mounted shaft tucked neatly under the centre of the gearbox and engine. It is engaged electro-hydraulically and is disengaged automatically at speeds more than 14km/hr and activated again as speeds drop.

All the new tractors are equipped with a new open-centre hydraulic system. This uses a tandem pump to supply the pressure and flow required to operate the latest implements.

The powerful three point linkage’s 3,000kg lift capacity handles modern implements with ease. The modern, well-proven electronic linkage control (ELC) system is operated by a convenient ‘mouse’, which fits neatly into the hand and provides straightforward and efficient operation.

The MF 4700 Series make ideal loader tractors and are fully compatible with the Massey Ferguson 900 and 900X ranges, which offer a wide choice of lift capacity, height and controls.

AGCO Testifies on Big Data in Agriculture

By Abby Burton

AGCO was invited to testify in front of the House Agriculture Committee that took place October 28, 2015. In announcing the Full Committee public hearing, Big Data and Agriculture: Innovation and Implications, Chairman K. Michael Conaway explained that the hearing would be a forum for stakeholders to explain what big data means to their business and how it is changing the agriculture marketplace.
As one of five expert witnesses, and representing the only machinery company on the panel, Matt Rushing, vice president, Global Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) Product Line at AGCO, offered perspective into the area of agriculture data: what it is, the potential it holds for helping growers increase productivity, some challenges the industry faces and, most importantly, the exciting opportunity to help growers leverage their data effectively.Matt Testifying 2

In Rushing’s written and verbal testimony on behalf of AGCO, he explained how new, precision agriculture technologies are creating tremendous amounts of data that has so far not been utilized by most growers. Being able to harness this generated data has the potential to be the next big driver in productivity gains. Smart, connected machines and growers’ ability to effectively manage and use farm data is at the forefront of the next farming revolution. With these changes, states AGCO’s testimony, shared standards for accessing, processing and ownership of this data must be agreed upon.

The testimony highlights some challenges, and what AGCO is doing in the space. With challenges such as technical barriers and adoption, it is up to leaders in the ag industry to develop and advocate for technology that achieves a secure, standardized yet adaptable environment, and keeping data sharing choices open, so growers can use it how they want to maximize its potential. Ownership is a key piece of farm data discussion. AGCO asserts that the farmer owns and should have control and responsibility for the data generated by his or her operation. In an effort to further respect growers’ data privacy choices, AGCO has separated its data pipelines; one for machine data, and on for more sensitive agronomic data. The agronomic data pipeline is not aggregated, evaluated or stored by AGCO other than to facilitate the transfer between the machine and the software chosen by the grower.

“Agriculture data is the ultimate grower tool to minimize risk and increase profitability while enabling them to become better stewards of the land,” said Rushing in the testimony. “AGCO’s focus is on helping growers make sense of their data, and we were honored to be asked to testify representing the machinery side of the industry,” he said.

AGCO’s testimony closes in saying it is an exciting time to be a part of the agriculture industry, and calls attention to “an unprecedented level of cooperation among farmer advocacy groups, industry associations, biotech companies, equipment manufacturers and technology providers – all coming together to help growers utilize data to feed the world.”

To download a white paper of Matt Rushing’s testimony, click here.

Click here to view the recorded hearing.

For more information about Fuse, AGCO’s open approach to precision agriculture, visit www.AGCOtechnologies.com.

Abby Burton is a marketing communications specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions group, focusing on delivering the Fuse message to customers, dealers, employees and investors.

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