North Otago Ag Centre: opportunity and timing are everything
Merv and Jill McCabe run a medium-sized agricultural equipment retail outlet from Oamaru. They sell and service Valtra tractors, and more recently have become dealers for Tulloch Farm Machines.
There are five staff plus Merv and Jill. Robbie and Neil do the servicing, Janene runs the parts business and Liz comes in for 20 hours a week to deal with the paperwork.
Merv cut his teeth in agricultural machinery working in his father’s contracting business, which covered ag work and fine chop. In 1989 he went out on his own, buying the first medium-square baler in the district.
The business grew steadily and in 1998 Merv decided he needed a new workshop for the business, and to employ a mechanic.
Also part of his growth strategy was signing up a deal with Bareco to get parts at wholesale prices. This of course upset the local Bareco agent, Waitaki Tractors and Machinery in Oamaru. The owner contacted Merv and suggested that instead of wasting his money on building a new workshop out in the bush, he should make an offer for the WTM premises in Oamaru.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Merv made the invited offer, and the rest, as they say, is history.
WTM had franchises for Massey Ferguson and Kverneland. Meanwhile, Merv, unlike just about everyone else in New Zealand, was aware of Valtra tractors and the potential that their quality representet. So he set about arranging a dealership through Valtra Australia.
It was also obvious to Merv that the business needed a hay gear franchise, but everything was taken up within the immediate area.
Selling Valtra to New Zealand farmers in 1998 was hard work as they were virtually unknown here. It was 12 months before he sold the first one. The second year, though, through sheer hard work and passion, was a cracker - he sold 25 tractors!
The business has continued growing ever since and has developed a good client base. In 2008 it sold more Valtra tractors than any other dealer in New Zealand… or Australia!
Merv and Jill are now living on Jill’s family farm where their son David is running the agricultural side of the contracting business as well the farm where they grow grass and winter cows. Merv still looks after the baling side of the contracting
Their daughter Susan is contract milking with her husband Jared in Duntroon
More recently the McCabes have, in partnership, developed a new fully irrigated dairy farm at Omarama in the Waitaki Valley where a contract milker is running 1200 cows
The North Otago Ag Centre team from left: Rob, Janene, Merv, Jill, Liz and Neil.
The National Fieldays went off without a hitch again. We changed our site layout slightly offering a more hospitality-focused venue. A number of new products were showcased at the event:
- The Krone Big X 850 belonging to PJ Brogden Contracting featuring the all-new cab, new MAN V12 engine and the latest tri-fold maize header; our thanks go to Phil and Cheryl and also Mark for showing those interested over the machine during the four-day event.
- A new Krone Fortima variable-chamber baler was on display for the first time in New Zealand.
- We also had a seeding unit from Monosem featuring the NX heavy-duty maize planter.
Although the weather was very kind, visitor numbers were quite disappointing. Maybe this is due to the fact that earlier field days elsewhere are drawing more customers. The inaugural staging this year of the Ag in Action event must have influenced the visitor numbers as well.
Krone has reported unaudited results for the year 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 showing a massive 77% increase in revenue over the previous year. Managing Director Bernard Krone says the figure was €1.2 billion.
The Agricultural Machinery division achieved 24% growth in sales volume to €405 million while the company’s Trade & Services business was up nearly 22%, overtaking the €100-million mark for the first time. Commercial Trailer division sales were €775 million Euros, the best result within the group.
The company leader says Krone’s innovative product lines, its sound financial situation and outstanding customer loyalty were the main factors in this impressive result for fiscal 2010/2011.
Monosem Inc. USA reports that US soya king, Kip Cullers of South West Missouri, has set a new world record soybean yield of 160.6 bushells per acre (10.818 tonnes/ha). This eclipsed Cullers’ 2007 world record yield of 154.57 bu/a.
His competition plots were planted with a 2005 Monosem NG+3 Series 8-Row Twin-Row (8x2) planter upgraded with Monosem’s patented Sync-Row® timing system for precision twin-row stagger adjustment.
On Cullers’ planter the Twin-Row pairs are 9.5 inches apart and set on 30-inch centres (typical Twin-Row pairs are set to eight inches on 30 or 36-inch centres).
Cullers, known as an innovator with his competition plots, used a variety of methods to achieve his outstanding yields.
“I’ve learned over the course of more than two decades of farming that setting the stage for higher yield potential starts with good genetics. From there, it’s hitting the right planting date, crop management throughout the growing season and a willingness to try new things.”
Monosem Inc. USA also reports the sale of a 48-row MS planter capable of planting onions at up to 3 mph. It’s 33 feet wide, bright blue and bedecked with coils of flat black hose!
Arguably the largest planter of its type in the world, it was custom-made for Frisby Farms by Monosem, who basically connected three planters together, farmer Russell Frisby said.
Three times wider than a standard piece of similar equipment, Frisby’s new planter rumbles across the rolling fields of western Canyon County, depositing onion seed in 48 rows and applying black “drip tape” to bring water to those plants.
A 30-row Monosem onion planter working outside Ashburton.
Supreme recently introduced the 1600T tractor-drawn feed processor which has a capacity of 42 m³, capable of carrying a load of, typically, about 20 tonnes, but some customers with a very short haul on concrete are loading it up to 28 tonnes.
Supreme now has a new-look website which is more user-friendly and looks great. It’s easy to navigate and offers downloads of the company’s latest brochures.
Out & about
Bema 40 Classic
Apollo Apples of Hastings recently took delivery of a new Bema 40 Classic sweeper. The company’s coolstore and packhouse add up to three hectares of concrete floor. As these are next to an open paddock, they’ve been finding that keeping a good standard of cleanliness has been a challenge. The new purchase means they no longer have to hire a machine. They’ve found the Bema is more productive, kicks up less dust and demands a lot less oil from the forklift than a hire machine.
Bema GMBH has been making sweepers for over 60 years in the town of Wees in Germany (near Osnabruck). Bema specialises in this field and the product is synonymous with quality, durability, and user-friendly design and operation. The range includes many variations including a low-cost model suited to agricultural use.
The Bema 40 Classic is a versatile top-of-the-line machine for indoor/outdoor use, featuring a low-profile design, with an integrated hopper that keeps dust to a minimum even without the application of water. Capable of being mounted on a wide variety of machines — forklift, front-end loader or tractor - the Bema 40 Classic suits all kinds of operations, is very efficient and makes a clean sweep every time.
The big Bema 40 Classic sweeper at work at Apollo Apples.
A new model from Einbock has arrived, the Pneumaticstar Pro. It will be trialed in Northland this season. The main differences between the new Pro model and the popular Pneumaticstar are the fitment of 10mm tines, an even more robust frame to cope with the bigger tines and the ability to apply hydraulic downward pressure to increase work. The idea of cost-effective pasture establishment/rejuvenation is always a hotly debated topic, but Einbock has made a significant mark in this area with the Pneumaticstar and the Pro seems set to up the ante.
Business @ TFM
New F2 business system
We are currently in the process of implementing a new business system known as F2.
Our previous system, DBS, had served us well since the 1980s, but it was time to change to something more modern. As always seems to be the case with these things, there is going to be a huge learning curve that may cause some hiccups. Please accept our apologies in advance for any frustrations experienced. However, we are confident the end result will be increased efficiencies!
New role for Brian
Our sales personnel structure changed recently to streamline operations and improve service.
Recognising his service experience and natural technical ability, we have appointed Brian Faulknor national product specialist. For our valued customers this means that new product implementation will be Brian’s responsibility, with the benefit of a shorter chain of command.
Training school well attended
The Tulloch Service School held in Masterton on 2–5 August was well attended, with 27 dealer representatives turning out.
We changed the format slightly, making use of technology to introduce products and making the topics more varied to accommodate new models such as Comprima. We are confident our customers will see the benefit of this event during the coming season.
After hours call-out
The silly season is upon us and for those unfortunate enough to experience a breakdown after hours, the seasonal callout service becomes available the day after Labour Day. (What you may not know is that the after-hours numbers for parts and service are always attended, even out of season.)
Numbers to remember for parts or service:
ph. 0800-Tulloch (0800 88 55 624)
or 06 3700 390
16 August, 2011: Not a typical Masterton Winter’s day!
Another great trip to Grasslands
As expected the recent Grasslands trip went off extremely well.
The main focus of the trip, besides the Grasslands and Muck field days, was a trip to Krone where we were given a presentation by Krone Sales Director Wilhelm Voss and a factory tour.
We were also given a tour of the Werlte truck trailer factory, the second largest trailer manufacturer in Europe.
On to Grasslands and all were able to spend two days at leisure, watching demonstrations of the latest machines available today. The highlights had to be:
- Krone Big X 1100; at 1100hp the Big X is the most powerful harvester in the world.
- Krone Big M 500; with a 13.2m mowing width, this is the world’s largest self-propelled mower-conditioner.
- Krone Swadro 2000; at 19m, the largest rotary rake in the world.
The Krone Big M 500 is the world’s largest
The Swadro 2000, the world’s biggest rotary rake.
We then moved on to Canada to visit Supreme where we were shown some great Wetaskiwin hospitality. Between visits to a 35,000-cow feedlot and a 2000-cow dairy farm, we called into Morsan Farms and were introduced to Missy.
Morsan Farms comprises commercial cattle sales, genetics marketing, a milking herd, and beef and cull cow commerce. The genetics division has 200 cow families. Missy, a Holstein, is their most famous cow, having being recently sold at auction for C$1.2m. She’s probably the most valuable cow in the world!
We then travelled south to Nobleford to the Krone dealer Noble Equipment for yet more hospitality and a visit to a 10,000 acre Hutterite farm.
We then moved south to Phoenix where we were treated to a hospitable welcome Southern-style by the Krone dealer, Central Implement Casa Grande, on a 2,800-cow dairy farm. Our last call was Las Vegas, reached via one of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon: the world’s largest hole in the ground?
Missy: possibly the world’s most valuable dairy cow.
One happy bunch of clients.