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High-Country Hay

Monte Innes

Monte Innes

The beads of perspiration forming on Monte Innes’ forehead are swelling but not yet heavy enough to succumb to gravity. It is early August, a sunny 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and he’s leaning against a large square bale amid a 480-acre strip of land along the Ohio Creek in south-central Colorado.

“This is a real harsh area to work in,” says Monte, 43, who cuts and bales hay on nearly 6,000 acres tucked piecemeal into high, arid mountain valleys up to an hour-and-a-half apart. “The cold can settle into this valley here in the winter and it’ll be 35 below for days.

“Every valley has its own microclimate,” he continues, “and in the spring and summer, rainfall can vary tremendously from one hay field to the next all within a few miles of each other. You just kind of roll with the punches.”

On this particular day, however, the Ohio Creek Valley resembles paradise. Mountains rise up around us on three sides. Most grand are the Anthracites directly to the north.

Acres worth of grass have already been cut and laid down by Monte. In an adjacent field, his wife Julie is running the baler, dropping large rectangular blocks in her wake. Across the valley lush grasses—timothy, red top, brome and clover—fed by recent, unusually heavy rains, beg to be harvested.

Monte and Julie picked up an additional 900 acres worth of hay to farm this year, in large part because of their new Hesston® by Massey Ferguson WR9770 windrower. Their new customer had seen the clean, close cut the Inneses had achieved on a nearby property and realized his existing custom balers were leaving money in the fields.

“This is the third RazorBar disc header we’ve had, and we wouldn’t own anything else,” Monte says. “We get all the hay. It is a clean cut an inch from the ground.”

He also appreciates the speed with which the machine can travel. “It is awesome traveling down the road at 20 mph from one field to another,” he continues, noting how important that speed is when you’re working numerous scattered fields.

The windrower is quick in the field, too. “Today I cut 180 acres in six-and-a-half hours,” he says, “and I couldn’t have done that with any other machine.”

Their dealer, Luke Sharpe, of Sharpe Equipment and Irrigation in Salida, says that the care and ability of the operators also play a role in how well the couple do their jobs. “Monte and Julie work their butts off, and their hay quality is phenomenal,” he says.

The 2170XD

The 2170XD

Their new Hesston by Massey Ferguson 2170 XD baler, which is being pulled by an MF6495 tractor, is making and saving them money, too. “Our new baler is a home run for us,” Monte says.

The 2170 XD produces bales that are denser, heavier. Because of that, they can now get 26 to 27 tons of hay on a semi trailer truck for shipment, rather than 22 tons.

“That saves us about 50 loads per season,” says Monte, “which saves us about $25,000 in shipping costs.”

As for the tractor, “it is phenomenal on fuel running the baler,” Monte says. “I kept calling the dealership saying, ‘I think the fuel gauge is wrong.’

“It wasn’t broke; it was just getting that much better fuel economy.”

Read the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/high-country-hay/.

AGCO ATS Dealer Training in Christchurch – Innovative Solutions for New Zealand Farmers

AGCO’s New Zealand Dealers gathered recently in Addington, Christchurch, for comprehensive training in Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) including System 110 Guidance, System 150 and System 350 Auto steering and AGCO’s telemetry system, Agcommand.

 AGCO’s extensive dealer network gives farmers access to the resources and benefits of these new and emerging agricultural products. Dealer training empowers dealers with the knowledge and expertise needed to provide customers with high end precision farming solutions and the know how to suit progressive farmers. AGCO’s precision farming technologies enable farmers and contractors to optimise their operations, reduce input costs and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

IMG_0745

 In New Zealand, the highly professional dealer group attending the training included dealer principals, sales staff and technical support staff. All were given the opportunity to evaluate the systems on display in real time with a mix of Valtra, Fendt and Massey Ferguson tractors equipped with AGCO’s technology products.

 Taking an active role in enhancing dealers’ knowledge base, AGCO Australia’s ATS Product Manager, Jeremy Duniam, was pleased with the training that included classroom style learning as well as practical demonstrations of the products.

 “The dealer training was extremely productive and was received very well by all participating. It is always rewarding to see dealer staff remain behind after the day sessions have finished to spend more time getting familiar with the systems. The dealer network in New Zealand is very professional in their approach. Their knowledge of ATS solutions will equip New Zealand farmers with innovative technology solutions, which is the future of farming.” Jeremy said.

 This recent dealer training reflects AGCO’s commitment to and global emphasis on precision ag technology, recently launched as Fuse™ Technologies. To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse technology strategy, visit http://www.agcocorp.com/products/precision_farming.aspx.

AGCO ATS Dealer Training in Christchurch – Innovative Solutions for New Zealand Farmers

IMG_0745

AGCO’s New Zealand Dealers gathered recently in Addington, Christchurch, for comprehensive training in Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) including System 110 Guidance, System 150 and System 350 Auto steering and AGCO’s telemetry system, Agcommand.

AGCO’s extensive dealer network gives farmers access to the resources and benefits of these new and emerging agricultural products. Dealer training empowers dealers with the knowledge and expertise needed to provide customers with high end precision farming solutions and the know how to suit progressive farmers. AGCO’s precision farming technologies enable farmers and contractors to optimise their operations, reduce input costs and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

In New Zealand, the highly professional dealer group attending the training included dealer principals, sales staff and technical support staff. All were given the opportunity to evaluate the systems on display in real time with a mix of Valtra, Fendt and Massey Ferguson tractors equipped with AGCO’s technology products.

Taking an active role in enhancing dealers’ knowledge base, AGCO Australia’s ATS Product Manager, Jeremy Duniam, was pleased with the training that included classroom style learning as well as practical demonstrations of the products.

“The dealer training was extremely productive and was received very well by all participating. It is always rewarding to see dealer staff remain behind after the day sessions have finished to spend more time getting familiar with the systems. The dealer network in New Zealand is very professional in their approach. Their knowledge of ATS solutions will equip New Zealand farmers with innovative technology solutions, which is the future of farming.” Jeremy said.

This recent dealer training reflects AGCO’s commitment to and global emphasis on precision ag technology, recently launched as Fuse™ Technologies. To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse technology strategy, visit http://www.agcocorp.com/products/precision_farming.aspx.

Charity Tractor Convoy to Conquer Morecambe Sands

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A convoy of vintage red and grey Massey Ferguson tractors is to cross the hazardous sands of the UK’s Morecambe Bay in a charity run to raise money for Diabetes UK.

Led by retired Massey Ferguson employee Bob Dickman, up to 20 tractors will make the 17 mile (27 km) fully-guided return trip on 2 June.

81-year-old Bob, who retired in 1995, spent 40 years working for Massey Ferguson culminating in his role as Export Service Manager. He will be driving a fully reconditioned 1954 Ferguson TEF 20 tractor across the sands.

Helping to raise money for Diabetes UK, former Massey Ferguson employee, Bob Dickman is leading a vintage tractor drive across Morecambe Bay in his 1954 Ferguson TEF 20.

Helping to raise money for Diabetes UK, former Massey Ferguson employee, Bob Dickman is leading a vintage tractor drive across Morecambe Bay in his 1954 Ferguson TEF 20.

“A similar crossing was undertaken by Land Rovers some years ago but this is the first time for tractors,” he says. “I am  raising money for a Diabetes UK Type 1 research project after seeing the impact the disease has had on the lives of family and friends.”

Massey Ferguson is supporting the event with the supply of raffle prizes including an all-expenses-paid trip to its tractor factory in Beauvais, France.

Bob’s mission has also attracted the support of some of his former Massey Ferguson colleagues now retired including Glynn Patrick who was Managing Director of European Distribution and Gordon Graham, previously General Sales Manager Eastern Europe. Glynn will be behind the wheel of his family farm’s refurbished 1968 MF 135 and Gordon will be assisting with the logistics of the event. Other ex-Massey Ferguson employees will be among the spectators.

At low tide which occurs at 1.45pm on 2 June, the notorious Morecambe Bay in northwest England exposes 120 square miles (310 sq km) of sand and flats. To ensure the safest route across the bay, Steve Morris, another key organiser of the tractor convoy, worked closely with a father and son team of experienced guides who use their own tractors to fish Morecambe Bay sands.

The guided crossing, which starts and finishes at Cark Airfield near Flookburgh is expected to take three to four hours. Four- year-old Neev Renton from Cumbria who suffers from Type 1 diabetes will set the tractors off at 12 noon.

Anyone interested in sponsoring or watching the event can visit: www.justgiving.com/bobdickmanMF-fergusontractorroadrun

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.