Dörte Nowak and her son Christian manage their family farm approximately 30km east of Rostock. Approximately 540ha is farmed, including 420ha of arable crops and 126ha of grass. Crops include wheat, barley, oats, canola, and rye. The grassland provides grazing for 125 suckler cows and their calves, plus three bulls.
Massey Ferguson machinery on the farm fleet includes the MF IDEAL 7 combine, four tractors and a telehandler. Dörte Nowak says Massey Ferguson machinery is dependable and ownership costs are low, and back-up from the local main dealer, MIHG Petschow, is excellent.
Dependable and affordable
The farm’s fleet of four tractors are all Massey Ferguson, and an additional machine was hired last year for the busy harvest period. A Massey Ferguson telehandler is also used by the farm.
“We changed from a previous brand in 1991,” explained Dörte. “Massey Ferguson machinery is very dependable and ownership costs are low. We also receive excellent service from our local main dealer, MIHG Petschow.”
The MF IDEAL 7 replaced the farm’s 12-year-old Massey Ferguson BETA combine. “The MF Beta had performed well, but we wanted a combine capable of higher work rates to get more harvesting done when the weather is good and crops are in peak condition,” explained Christian. “Several makes and models were considered, and some were demonstrated during the 2020 harvest. The MF IDEAL’s simple design was preferred as we believed it would be more reliable, and during the demonstration it out-performed the other combines. The grain quality was excellent, and straw was left in excellent condition for baling.
“We also found the Vision Cab very comfortable with lots of useful features and technology, and the MF IDEAL was easy to set up and use.”
The PowerFlow header with a SuperFlow auger was an attractive feature, explained Christian. “Our MF BETA combine also had Massey Ferguson’s PowerFlow header which was excellent. Crops are picked up cleanly with minimal losses and there is an even feed to the threshing system. Our experience using it in a variety of crops for many years had convinced us it was the best header available, so we were reassured that the MF IDEAL shares a similar design.”
MF IDEAL 7 ordered
Following the successful demonstration and knowing that the dealer would provide excellent back-up, the MF IDEAL 7 with a 7.7m PowerFlow header was ordered and delivered in time for the 2021 harvest. Operator training was provided by the dealer, and Christian said this was useful and very professional. “Although the MF IDEAL is new and comes with extra features and technology, the controls and operating logic are similar to our previous machine. It’s very user-friendly, and it didn’t take the driver long to get used to it.”
Dörte said that during its first harvest, the MF IDEAL 7 achieved excellent results as mixed weather created a range of conditions. Almost all the combine settings are adjusted from the cab through the Tech Touch terminal and, when moving to a different crop, the operator simply selects the crop type on the display, and appropriate threshing and cleaning settings are automatically applied.
Increased productivity was a priority when selecting the new combine, and Dörte said that the MF IDEAL 7 easily met that requirement, harvesting up to 50ha of crops per day when conditions were good. The Vision cab is spacious, comfortable, and quiet and all the controls are conveniently located on the armrest. “The main terminal makes it easy to monitor all aspects of the performance including grain losses and fuel consumption,” she continued. “MF Guide automatic steering is very easy to set up and use, and it allows the driver to concentrate fully on the machine and the crop.”
Grain and straw quality
The Nowaks achieve average yields of 7.8t/ha in wheat, 7.5t/ha in barley and 3.5t/ha in oilseed rape. Most of the crops are sold to local traders and grain sample quality is important. Dörte said the MF IDEAL 7 achieves a very good sample with very few broken grains, and losses are always well below one per cent. Most straw is baled for the suckler herd.
“Straw management is very important to us. Being able to move the chopper in and out from the cab makes it easy to alternate between chopping and swathing. The swath width is easily adjusted to match the baler pick-up, making baling easier and quicker.”
With 451hp available, the MF IDEAL 7 had plenty of power and coped easily, even when conditions were damp. Fuel consumption averaged 15 litres per hectare.
During its first harvest the new combine proved very reliable, although Dörte said she was always confident that if a breakdown occurred then the dealer’s service engineers would quickly attend and return the combine to work.
The MF IDEAL 7 has MF Connect telemetry which allows authorised users to monitor the machine’s status and location remotely through a smartphone app. If faults occur, then the dealer’s service engineers can also view the data and check for error codes, helping diagnose issues quickly and potentially reducing downtime.
“MF Connect was used towards the end of the harvest,” commented Christian. “It offers significant benefits, and we will make full use of it in future.”
Christian Nowak says the Vision Cab is spacious, comfortable, and quiet and that the controls are conveniently located on the armrest. Almost all the settings are adjusted from the cab.
MF IDEAL solution
Dörte and Christian agree that the MF IDEAL 7 has exceeded their expectations. “Having tried the demonstration machine previously we were confident that it would give us the extra performance we needed,” Dörte confirmed. “It’s a simple design and easy to set up and operate, and the new machine proved reliable. Even with the higher work rates we achieved an excellent grain sample, and straw was left in good condition for baling. Where we chopped and spread the straw, being able to adjust the chopper so easily from the cab proved an advantage.
“We remain very pleased with our decision to invest in the MF IDEAL 7. With the added reassurance of excellent back-up from our local dealer, MIHG Petschow - the package we chose is IDEAL.”