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Massey Ferguson Tractors Worth Their Salt

Leading Australian Shellfish Company Trusts Massey Ferguson Quality in Marine Conditions.

MF2615 Utility Tractor

Shellfish Culture’s MF2615 pulling a haul of oysters back to shore

Massey Ferguson tractors are versatile machines usually found working in a paddock, assisting farmers improve efficiencies and output.

But the versatility of MF tractors means that they are also suitable for applications that may seem a little surprising.

Shellfish farming in Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost state, is one such unique application.

With one of the most isolated stretches of pristine ocean lapping its’ shores, Tasmania is the perfect place to farm shellfish and reliable, quality built tractors are needed to do it.

Local Tasmanian company, Shellfish Culture, has been operating Australia’s first Pacific oyster hatchery since 1979. Thirty five years on, the company is at the forefront of innovation and excellence in aquaculture, growing from a cooperative to now the largest shellfish seed producing company in Australia.

Shellfish Culture uses Massey Ferguson tractors in their harvesting and management of oyster farms. Impressed by the quality and reliability of their older MF435 compared to other brand tractors, the company later purchased a new MF2615. Both tractors spend a lot of hours in salt water, instead of high and dry on a paddock.

The tractors are driven from the farm’s beaches into the sheltered water as part of the farm’s regualar operations. They are used to haul oyster baskets and barges back onto the shore and spend many hours partially submerged.

The tractors are washed down daily and checked regularly during routine maintenance by staff and are proving to be reliable workhorses in the corrosive salt water conditions, compared to the company’s previous tractors.

MF tractors are an integral part of the company’s production of high quality oysters that find their way into markets and on dinner plates around the world.

Of and For The Future

A legacy of sustainability is evident from the talk around the table in their farm shop on a recent warm afternoon. Dave Ring, his son Brent, 38, and grandson Dylan, 8, laugh about a story in which the boy informed his grade-school teacher that he may have to come home soon to farm full time.

Brent and David with their MF7624.

Brent and David with their MF7624.

The reason? It seems his dad had accumulated some gray hair around his temples. Dylan took that as a sign that Brent would be retiring soon and his time to take over was at hand.

“Dylan is 8 going on 21,” laughs Dave, obviously proud of his grandson. Dave also feels confident the operation will be healthy when Dylan is indeed ready to take over.

The Rings farm more than 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, milk 100-plus dairy cows and raise thousands of tom turkeys annually on a contract basis. They have always been proponents of good conservation. They seed cover crops in the fall, do minimal subsurface tillage, incorporate dairy manure and turkey litter in the soil, and buffer waterways.

“As for conservation, you have no choice in this part of the world,” says Dave. “We have rolling ground and you have to prepare the land to slow erosion. If we weren’t good stewards, there wouldn’t be anything left for my grandson.”

Dave is used to thinking about new generations. For 28 years, he was a high school business teacher, then vocational agriculture teacher and FFA leader. Now 68, he spent his younger days rising at 3 a.m. to milk cows and work the farm before heading off to his teaching job.

He thought the teaching would only be temporary—to help out the school district fill a sudden vacancy, then later to secure the agriculture program in danger of being cut for lack of an instructor. Turns out he was a natural. “I was starting to enjoy it,” Dave admits.

He is particularly proud of nearby Southridge High School’s FFA program, which had 15 members when he started teaching it and 160 when he retired in 2009.

Earlier this year, Dave Ring was recognized with the prestigious Master Farmer award from Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. The nominees are considered for the honor based on the quality of their operation and community service. The awards were given this past spring at a banquet sponsored by the magazine and the Purdue Ag Alumni Association.

“The Rings have done a super job of being diversified,” says Kevin Lubbehusen of Blesch Bros. Equipment Co., Dave’s farm equipment dealer.

“You don’t often see someone of his age staying out front on the technology side,” says Kevin. “That ability to stay current, along with his years of experience and his reputation for being a straight shooter, make him someone people listen to.”

Read the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/of-and-for-the-future/.

Massey to The South Pole Part II

In 2005, at an international theater festival in the Netherlands, Dutch storyteller and actor Manon Ossevoort performed her live narrative, “DO.” It’s a story about a girl on a tractor taking the dreams of many to the end of the world. So, when the story ended, Ossevoort drove out of the theater on a tractor and began a journey.

Manon Ossevoort and her Massey

Manon Ossevoort and her Massey

Ossevoort’s odyssey led her through Europe, the Balkans and down through the continent of Africa. Along the way, she performed her story and collected, on little slips of paper, the dreams and hopes of the people she met.

After four years and more than 23,000 miles, Ossevoort reached the Cape of Good Hope. “I literally missed my boat,” she says. The ship she had planned to take to Antarctica—the symbolic end of the world—had canceled its trip. “I had no sponsors, nothing,” says Ossevoort. “But I had thousands of dreams in the back of my tractor that I had promised to bring to the South Pole, a continent where there’s never been war.”

Cue Massey Ferguson. The company has a unique connection to Antarctica. Sir Edmund Hillary and his team drove three Ferguson TE20 tractors to the pole in 1958. That same year also marked the introduction of the Massey Ferguson brand. Sponsoring another trek to the South Pole on Massey Ferguson tractors seemed like a perfect way to celebrate both milestones.

Ossevoort and a Massey Ferguson assembled team of specialists have begun polar training in Iceland and northern Canada with a new Massey Ferguson 5600 Series tractor that has been modified to create “the ultimate polar-expedition tractor,” she says. The expedition plans to sail to Antarctica in December 2014, where it will follow the same path as Hillary’s expedition.

Ossevoort explains what she’ll do with the stories she’s collected on her journey: “I’ll symbolically finish my epic story at the geographical South Pole by building a snowman with the ‘dreams of the world’ in its belly.”

Read more and follow the journey at http://www.myfarmlife.com/first-gear/massey-to-the-south-pole-part-ii/.

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

At Your Command

As recently as a decade ago, most farmers didn’t give much thought to the notion that their tractor could have GPS-guided automated steering. Most sure didn’t think they needed it. Now, producers rave that automated steering has taken a lot of stress out of farming’s long hours, while increasing efficiencies.

The experts at AGCO are certain the same kind of appreciation will come as a result of AgCommand™, the company’s new telemetry system.  AgCommand can log and transmit numerous bits of information about an operation’s machinery to a web site easily accessible to the farmer or others involved in the operation.  AgCommand is only a part of AGCO’s larger Fuse™ initiative that encompasses all aspects of AGCO’s technology offerings. It will enable farmers to optimize their farms through current and future AGCO products and services. To learn more about Fuse, click here.

The data becomes a big tool for the farmer and can translate into improved equipment and overall operational efficiencies. Here are just a few examples:

A farm manager in the office (or the machine operator) might receive a message via the AgCommand web site that one of their tractors is experiencing wheel slippage. If there is slippage, maybe conditions in the field aren’t right yet for cultivation. The producer may have to check for compaction in areas where slippage occurs.

Monitors on the combine might tell the operator or manager—in real time—that they are experiencing grain loss. The combine setup can be adjusted before any more grain is lost.

A farm’s machinery dealer can be tied into the AgCommand monitoring system. They can see when service intervals are going to hit—when more filters and fluids are going to be needed and have them on hand. If the farmer does his own servicing, the dealer can automatically ship supplies directly to the farmer.

For more information and to download the AgCommand mobile app free, go to http://www.myfarmlife.com/first-gear/next-generation-tools/.

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