Phil Brogden decided early in life that contracting looked like a good challenge.
Brought up on his parents’ dairy farm at Awakeri, Phil started out in 1974 with a couple of Massey Ferguson tractors, a conventional baler and a two-drum PZ mower. A good start, but Phil soon realised technology was moving on and if he was to maintain a good customer base, he needed to keep up with it.
He soon added a McConnell hedge-cutter and a Gehl 72B double-chop forager to his equipment lineup. This was the beginning of a new direction for the fledgling business and it was when the long-term plan was decided: to retire at 50 (famous last words!).
1982 was a big year. Phil and Cheryl Penk from nearby Edgecombe tied the knot. Cheryl was working in the finance division of Caxton Pulp and Paper Mills. This experience was destined to help balance the business later on and allow for greater expansion.
Cheryl classes herself as a townie but she has strong agriculture ties in that her grandfather Vernon Marx established New Zealand’s first kiwifruit orchard.
About this time, a visit from Ralph Priddle of Tulloch Farm Machines convinced Phil he should again upgrade. He bought a Mengele SH30 finechop harvester with grass front, the first finechop machine in the area.
By then the business was making up to 75,000 conventionals annually. Fine chop was a new idea, and although they knew it had a future it was hard going keeping up with the technology whilst also retaining customers willing to accept, let alone pay for, this changed style of feeding stock.
The customer base grew steadily, and Phil and Cheryl agreed that they should continue to invest in new ideas. The next step was a Gehl 700 with maize head which was then superseded by a self-propelled Fox three-row harvester. Then in 1992 followed the big milestone: a Claas 690. Fine chop had by this stage become an accepted method of conserving feed and the business took off.
It grew to the stage that in 1994 they moved from the family farm to their new premises on SH2 outside Whakatane.
Phil and Cheryl attended the Grasslands event in the UK for the first time in 2005, where they saw an Orkel Stationary Baler on show. After returning home Phil and his son Mark, along with his brother Terry, went over to Australia to see an Orkel working closer to home. They decided this was a good system to give their business yet another point of difference.
As anticipated, buying the Orkel Baler and a Strautmann Mixer Wagon added a new dimension to the business. Different feeds could be mixed and then baled, giving farmers a quality balanced feed product.
In 2005 a relationship with Piako Tractors began, with the Brogdens buying five Case tractors. This led to the invitation to join the Tulloch Grasslands Tour where
they also saw a Krone BigPack 1270 MultiBale working. They subsequently bought one.
Phil has a passion to be first (with Cheryl’s permission) and he also believes “size matters”. To this end, in February 2011 the business took delivery of the first Krone Big X 850 in New Zealand fitted with the latest tri-fold maize front, the EasyCollect 753 (10 row, 7.5m). This took the business to a new level of productivity and quality.
Phil and Cheryl are both conscious that they should control the business, not the other way round. Cheryl manages the finance, the office and the home. While Phil likes to lead from the front, he tries to not get so bogged down that it affects his ability to manage operations.
Their son Mark now drives the new Big X while daughter Alice pursues a career in hospitality in Australia.
The Brogdens now feel they are at a stage where they can take stock of the business and, without expanding, focus on the different aspects and finetune them to achieve the best service for their clients.
As with any successful business, the staff are very much a key factor. A good relationship with their staff means that they have a number of longstanding operators capable of building and enhancing valuable relationships with their clients.
Higher farmgate prices and dealer excellence bring bouyancy
On the back of the good milk price, improved prices for sheep and beef farmers and the efforts of our dealers countrywide, our indent orders to date have exceeded those of last year by more than 40%.
We thank our dealers and all those customers, old and new, for their belief in our products and service.
A further reminder: our Krone Finance Package is still available for customers when purchasing any of our new product lines.
Some of what we’ll have on display at Mystery Creek
The Comprima CF155XC
The EC32CV Float
The Fortima bale
Ag in Action big success
The concept for the event sounded promising but as it was the first, TFM opted to be cautious while still offering a reasonable amount of support.
Martin Wagner discussing the PneumaticStar.
We invited Krone and Einbock to send representatives for the event. Henrik Feldmann from Krone talked customers through the Krone equipment and Martin Wagner from Einbock did the same with the Einbock line-up.
It is important that demonstrations are conducted professionally so we called on the services of several contractors, commandeering their equipment, tractors and operators for which we were (and remain) extremely grateful. It must be said the operators stepped up to the plate and did not disappoint the visitors.
We were also very grateful to AGCO who supplied four Fendt tractors for the event. Over two days, the 7.8ha paddock we shared with Bertolini and Duncan Ag was split up so we could conduct two complete demonstrations each day.
The event gave customers the opportunity to see machines working just like at the South Island Machinery Field Days, and then discuss it with our staff or any of our dealer representatives in attendance.
The event was fully focused on agricultural equipment and attended mostly by only those with a serious interest in the machinery being shown.
Krone’s Henrik Feldmann talks customers through the Comprima CF 155XC at Ag in Action.
New Supreme whopper
Supreme 1600T (fluid drive not fitted to this example):
probably the largest twin-auger feed processor available today.
Supreme has introduced a new tractor-drawn feed processor. The 1600T is fitted with the company’s new patented fluid drive system. With a massive 41.9 m³ volume and 18-ton plus load capacity, it is probably the largest twin-auger feed processor available today.
The patented fluid drive reduces horsepower required to start up and run the machine. The fluid coupler is a hydrokinetic transmission (essentially fluid power). It needs to spin at 1000 rpm, hence the 1:2 speed increaser in front of it which doubles the input rpm.
This forces the oil within to lock up the internal stator and both members of the fluid coupler lock up. This transmits to the rear gearbox which slows rpm back down to approx 1000 rpm that go back into the gearboxes and planetaries.
New Monosem frame configurations
The new Monosem NX 8-row maize planter in transport mode.
Monosem has launched four new frame configurations in its range of precision planters for 2011.
12-row mounted folding frame designed for the NG Plus4 seeder units at 75cm or 80cm. The planter can be fitted with 4 x 270-litre fertilizer hoppers and/or front tank. The frame is in three independent sections that float to follow the ground contour. In transport the outer wings fold and telescope to reduce transport width to 3m.
8-row mounted folding frame designed for the NG Plus4 seeder units at 75cm and 80cm and fitted with a 1500-litre fertiliser hopper. The frame is in three independent sections that float to follow the ground contour. In transport the two outer wings fold up to leave a 3m transport width.
Monoblock 2 frame designed for the NG plus4 seeder units and incorporating a 1050-litre fertiliser hopper, this frame accommodates 6 rows at 70cm or 80cm on a mounted tool bar that telescopes to 3m for transport, or 7 rows from 40cm to 70cm spacing.
Wing Fold trailed frame designed for the extra heavy-duty NX seeder units at 70cm, 75cm or 80cm. Fitted with a 1500-litre fertiliser hopper, this planter rides on 4 x 20” wheels.
In transport the two outer wings fold forward for a 3m transport width.
6-row topdresser/cultivator has a 980-litre fertiliser capacity; the cultivator units fold hydraulically for a 3m transport width. A turbofan helps to distribute fertiliser to the outer rows.
Krone buoyant, too
Krone has received 60% more export orders in the year to date than at the same time last year.
The company also says sales figures for the 2009/2010 season show that it manufactures more than a third of all forage wagons sold in Germany. Krone’s R&D manager, Dr. Josef Horstmann attributes this success to the large number of technical extras that are built into the Krone machines.
“For example, Krone machines have the camless EasyFlow pick-up unit, a massive cutting and feeder drum as well as a knife bank that has all its knives locked in a single operation and swings out to the side.”
These highlights come as the company is due to launch its MEET THE BiG MAN TOUR 2011. This will see demonstrations throughout the western USA of the new-generation Krone forage harvesters: BiG X 700, BiG X 850 and BiG X 1100.
Demonstrations will start in Central Valley in California, move over to Texas, go up to Idaho and then to Colorado, with additional stops in Washington and Oregon. Follow the blog at http://landmaschinen.krone.de/english/home.
Those looking at the blog will see that Krone has revamped its website to be more interactive and user-friendly, particularly towards mobile devices.
New PneumaticStar models
New pressure system on the Pneumatic Star Pro
The surge in worldwide sales of the PneumaticStar from Einbock prompted the company to develop the PneumaticStar Pro. Featuring all the unique attributes of the PneumaticStar, the Pro model is fitted with 10mm tines and a beefed-up main frame.
The tine sections are each fitted with a ram enabling remote ground pressure control — needed particularly when working at increased speeds.
Pleasing results from PneumaticStar
The idea behind the PneumaticStar is not new to New Zealand, but it is a concept that has not been exploited to its full potential.
René and Ann Van Gijs run a medium-size contracting business, Rentrac Ltd, from just out of Tokoroa. We recently caught up with René to find out how his new Einbock PneumaticStar 600 has worked for him.
Having planted over 240ha since mid-March of this year René was rather excited at the results. Although he admits he has learned a lot about set-up for each different type of planting medium, the results have been very acceptable.
The key features of the Einbock are efficiency, economy and versatility. Except in very steep country René has been able to plant between 35ha and 45ha per day with his 140hp Puma tractor.
He says he often uses only half a tank of diesel for a full day’s sowing. Fuel usage amounted to only +/- 3.9l/ha.
He sows grass into varying situations: direct into existing pasture, sprayed-out pasture, an unworked maize paddock and a couple of worked paddocks.
The season had not been good in the area with a general lack of rain. A small percentage of the area he planted was rolled by the customer who did not have complete confidence in the Einbock concept, but the rest was left untouched after seeding. In all instances the germination time was little different to what might be expected of a conventional boot/coulter-type drill or roller drill.
Looking over a job recently germinated, the result at first appears a bit sparse because we are used to seeing concentrated rows of germinated grass, but the grass was dispersed evenly across the paddock. Tests on pullability were promising with no sign of inferiority against standard methods.
In theory the result means less competition among plants for moisture, less room for weed competition and thus faster all-over cover. And, possibly, reduced soil erosion?
René Van Gijs with the Einbock PneumaticStar 600 he is so happy with.
René Van Gijs’s handiwork with the Einbock PneumaticStar 600.
René says that despite the rising cost of fuel and seed he was able to reduce his chargeout rate and still remain profitable.
One additional feature of the machine is that where there were a few misses through driver error or seed having run out, the return trip to stitch up “was just so easy” says René, “and, interestingly, did no damage to the newly emerged grass.”
In saying that though, the PneumaticStar does a good job of weeding whilst sowing.
René says that other than the pleasing results, another plus for the Einbock is that he finds it very easy to calibrate and operate.
The Field Days season!
Northland Field Days
Central Districts Field Days
South Island Machinery Field Days
They were all similar in the important ways — good weather, good visitor numbers and a positive attitude.
We recorded interest in machines across the board but it is worth noting that more than 20% of all enquiries were for the Einbock PneumaticStar seeder.
The concept behind this machine is not new to New Zealand, but it is regaining popularity for its ability to combine precision application rates with highly cost effective pasture establishment and/or rejuvenation.
Again, we thank all those customers who took the time to visit us at these events.
Thank you for your faith in our products and services.