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High-Water Rescue

On the morning of June 20, Les Smith went into work at Farmway Machinery as usual. No one—not even meteorologists watching the storm systems that were uniquely aligning—anticipated what would happen later that day.

Farmway personnel waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines.

Farmway personnel waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines.

Record-breaking rainfall coupled with snowmelt in the mountains, unexpected wind patterns and large, converging weather systems created an unprecedented storm. With the ground already saturated, the Highwood River, which runs through the town of High River in Alberta, Canada, had nowhere else to go but up and out.

At 7:05 a.m., officials called a state of emergency. First responders did their best to evacuate those stranded by the waters, but by noon traditional rescue vehicles—even boats—could not navigate the swift current of the overflowing river.

“One of the firefighters came up and said they needed something to rescue people from across the street,” says Smith, a combine mechanic for the local Massey Ferguson® dealer. “The tractor they were using was no good because the engine was too low and it was getting water in it. They needed a vehicle with the engine high up.”

Smith, along with other Farmway personnel, including owner Hugh Joyce, waded through waist-deep floodwaters to three Massey Ferguson combines. “The combines are heavy, and they were able to stabilize and not get washed away,” Joyce says. Since the combine’s engine is 12 feet up in the air, it was impervious to the rising water.

The Farmway team, shuttling flood victims in the combine cabs and hoppers, continued their efforts until 10 p.m., when Canadian Forces arrived. Smith estimated that the combines rescued about 1,000 people. “It doesn’t take long to make the decision in that kind of emergency,” Joyce says. “We were trying to do anything we could to help.”

Pets were loaded up too. Children rode in the heated cab. “They were in awe,” Smith says. “We had all the lights in the cab blinking to keep them entertained and distracted from what was going on outside. They loved it.”

Read more stories from FarmLife, the Massey Ferguson-brand magazine, at myFarmLife.com.

London Premiere For Little Grey Fergie

Thursday 17 October at London’s Soho Hotel sees the first screening of the brand-new children’s series ‘Little Grey Fergie’ featuring the adventures of a full-size, live-action Ferguson TE20 tractor.

MFLittleFergiefilminginUK photoFilmed on location at a Warwickshire farm, this new show is an English version of the popular Norwegian children’s story and TV series ‘Gråtass’. Over the last 15 years, the original story has grown like topsy with not only the TV series but two feature film hits, nine theatrical productions, several more books, DVDs and spin-off articles.

Aimed at pre-school kids, the new adventures of Little Grey Fergie are set on a farm near Coventry in England in the present day with English farm animals, settings and characters.

Production company, Farmyard Stories shot the series on a farm not far from Massey Ferguson’s UK Sales operations at Abbey Park Stoneleigh and only 20 km from the site of the original Coventry factory where the TE20s were built between 1946 and 1956.

A new star for the series is a shiny red, ultra-modern MF 7600 which adds 21st century tractor power to the narrative. Creator of the programmes, Morten Mycklebust is very excited about the launch of the new series. “Massey Ferguson is one of the world’s most recognised brands,” he remarks. “We’re really pleased that our films are giving a completely new generation of youngsters the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the brand and its history.”

“We fully support the development of the Little Grey Fergie character,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Brand Development Manager. “The stories are captivating and we’re sure kids and their families will love him.”

The films have no dialogue – the tales are told through action, sound effects and music – so they will be understood all over the world. You can watch the first adventure at www.littlegreyfergie.com from 18 October.

New MF Precision Planter Hits the Field in Australia

MF-Precision-PlanterNew to the Australian Market, the MF Precision Planter is generating interest amongst farmers and agronomists in Australia’s row cropping regions.

The Planter’s Positive Air Metering system (PAM™) handles seed gently and accurately with low, positive air pressure, resulting in controlled populations and higher yields for farmers.

Unlike vacuum seeding systems, which typically draw air from around metering units, The PAM™ system draws air from above of the planter’s row units. This reduces the amount of dust drawn into the metering system and the amount of wear and tear on parts – making the MF Precision Planter virtually maintenance free.

Demonstrations of the MF Precision Planter have been taking place at Griffith, a productive row cropping region in southern NSW and are set to move to northern NSW and southern QLD in the coming weeks.

Local farmers and agronomists are able to see first hand the exceptional performance of the planter in a variety of crops including cotton and corn and hear from the MF Seeding and Tillage Product Manager about the machine’s application in sorghum, sunflower, soybean and canola planting.

Australian MF Dealers in row cropping regions will also be undertaking comprehensive planter training, equipping them with the information and skills to support customers with knowledge that will improve the productivity of their farms.

The MF Precision Planter demos have also featured the MF7600 Row Crop Series tractor – impressing farmers with low fuel use and flexibility in various applications, it has proved the ideal row crop machine.

For more information take a look at the MF Planter and MF7600 this in-field video or this product walkaround video, or visit www.masseyferguson.com

Ground Control

The quality of machinery—the iron, its design and functionality—will always be important. More often in the years ahead, though, customers will want to know what the machinery can deliver in the way of precision farming capabilities.

“Even with the exceptional productivity gains farmers have made in recent years,” says Bruce Hart, AGCO’s director, ATS Global Marketing, “there will continue to be expectations of greater gains to come. Things like uptime will need to be increased, so will in-field efficiency, yield per acre—even in less-than-perfect conditions. One of the biggest differentiators in the future to help with this will be electronics.”

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In some ways, that future has already arrived. Ken Salsman considers that nearly every time he cuts hay using his Hesston® by Massey Ferguson WR9770 windrower equipped with autosteering. “I really like the accuracy,” says Salsman, who farms about 500 acres near Macon, Mo. “Each swath is the same as the one before. The bales can get lopsided if you don’t get the same cut every time you go through the field. Plus, I can cut for six to 12 hours and not feel nearly as tired as when I’d run four hours before we had this system. I save fuel because I’m not overlapping.”

Now, even more revolutionary and helpful tools are being incorporated into farming operations. The latest advancement allows the machines to recognize and communicate their own maintenance needs, while also helping make real-time adjustments in the field.

Much of that can be accomplished through AGCO’s new AgCommand™, a telemetry system that tracks the location and activity of machinery either via computers in the office or through a portable tablet or computer.

AgCommand has already gained traction with agricultural businesses such as cooperatives and agronomy service companies.

“Technology like AgCommand has shown us how inefficient we can be,” says Terry Schmidt, an agronomy manager with CHS, Inc., in southern Minnesota. “As a result of using the program, we went from having eight fertilization units to seven and yet covered more acres the very next year.”

Schmidt is working with AGCO toward the day when all 29 of the application units he now manages for CHS in the region can be dispatched through AgCommand. That, he says, would allow for even more efficiency in terms of getting the right machine in the right location without any confusion or delay.

The ability to monitor and control machinery remotely will also make it easier for farms to employ machinery operators who don’t necessarily have to understand what every screen in the cab is doing. That’s an important factor in an era where farmers can struggle finding qualified employees.

AGCO is also working to make sure AgCommand remains easy to learn and compatible with a variety of equipment, even with other brands.

Now that these pathways for the technology are being paved, the emphasis is shifting to working with the data that’s being collected. For example, readouts from the planter or cultivator might show that field conditions are actually still too wet to be worked—and may advise a two-day wait. Or the suite of technologies built into the system will have the ability to advise the best hybrids to use in changing conditions.

Missouri farmer Ken Salsman, 65, doesn’t doubt the potential of the technology. He recalls writing a paper in college on the future of agriculture that suggested tractors will drive themselves one day.

“I didn’t think I’d live to see that actually happen,” says Salsman. “But with autosteering, we’re seeing it now.”

Read the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/ground-control/.

Tailored Tractor

With the new Massey Ferguson® 1700 Series, customers can create a tractor for their specific needs and budget. Here are just a few of the options from which to choose.

massey-ferguson-1700-series-b-1024The 1700 Series includes six models from 36 to 59 hp.

Each model runs on a new diesel engine from Mitsubishi® that features a turbocharger with intercooler for greater combustion potential. Such design allows for more power that’s produced extremely efficiently and meets all EPA requirements to be Tier 4 final emissions compliant.

Transmission choices include either a mechanical 12 x 12 power shuttle or a three-range electronic-servo hydrostatic (HST) option.

For use with mid-mount mowers and front-mount attachments, a mid PTO is available as an option on all MF1700 tractor models.

Customers also have a choice of an open-station platform with a flat floor or a newly designed, climate-controlled factory cab.

Models equipped with the servo HST include:

Max Speed Control: allows the operator to set the maximum desired speed using a simple rotary dial, providing tighter control over a precise speed range.

Response Control: lets the operator adjust how aggressively the transmission reacts when a travel pedal is pressed.

Electronic Cruise Control: lets the operator set a travel speed.

Stall Guard: automatically monitors the engine’s performance and reduces travel speed when necessary to maintain engine power and torque to prevent engine stalling.

The standard 540-rpm independent rear PTO is also gentle on the engine and powertrain. A button on the dash allows the operator to modulate the PTO startup for a slow, “feathered” engagement of heavier implements to reduce shock load and prevent driveline damage.

For more information about the new Massey Ferguson 1700 Series tractors, contact your local Massey Ferguson dealer or visit myFarmLife.com/1700.