NOVEMBER 2018 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com Machinery Who Will Pay the Biggest Price? Another summer bites the dust with all of its highs and lows and once again the weather has been our biggest enemy. Nevertheless, after much stress and worry for both farmers and agricultural contractors the silage has been saved and after the lessons of the last couple of years I am sure there will be sufficient feed for the coming winter. The support and services provided by agricultural contractors to the farming sector cannot be underBy Tom estimated. Can farmers carry out Murphy, production efficiently and sustainProfessional ably without agricultural contracAgricultural tors? A mountain of research says Contractors no, only the very biggest of farmers of Ireland can justify the purchase of expensive high tech machinery. We see that some of the biggest farmers in the EU and further afield would not dream of tying up resources in the ownership and maintenance of high-priced kit, especially when there is a highly skilled contracting sector, with top of the range machinery, ready and waiting. My worry looking forward is whether there will be enough contractors in business to properly service the farming sector. I see contractors throughout Ireland making significant financial investments in top of the range machinery, employing a workforce and more often than not working through the night particularly during the silage period. However, their businesses continue to be undermined by black economy operators, in all their guises, who cheat the taxman - and who pays the price - the rest of us of course. But, in the long term, the farming sector could end up paying the biggest price of all if there are not enough agricultural contractors still in business. If we are to have a sustainable agricultural contracting sector into the future we need to ensure it is an attractive and viable business option for the next generation of agricultural contractors. We must make sure they have a reason to continue on and grow the businesses they inherit or take over. As smart technology becomes the norm and the age profile of the farming sector continues to rise and with the added pressure of having to produce more for less, Irish farming needs a strong, vibrant and professional agricultural contracting sector more than ever. We all need to consider how Irish farming can compete in world markets, especially post Brexit and post CAP Reform. The Department of Agriculture, farming organisations, advisors and indeed all stakeholders need to take this on board right now; you can no longer afford to leave agricultural contractors out of the equation. The role they are expected to play can no longer be taken for granted but must be evaluated every step of the way in research, decision making and policy. operation. It also links to the Multipad joystick, where fitted, enabling operators to assign ISOBUS control to individual buttons. Massey Ferguson is now also offering the choice of two different GNSS receiver suppliers - either NovAtel or Trimble. These provide a range of GPS receivers, from basic EGNOS through to the most precise RTK systems, allowing customers to select the level of steering accuracy that best suits their operations from their preferred GNSS receiver supplier. The new ā€˜Sā€™ tractors are equipped with a raft of new features to improve operator safety and comfort. The wide range of additions include improved handrails and guards, clear safety decals and changes to the cab interior. Another design update sees a new layout for the switches on the Multifunction Joystick. For front loader, front linkage or hydraulic operations this Joystick allows easy control of forward/reverse shuttling, gear ratio change and the 3rd and 4th hydraulic function. To further enlarge payloads, some models see an increase in the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). For example, the MF 6715 S Dyna-4 the GVW is now 11,000kg and for the MF 6718 S, with its outstanding power to weight ratio, it is now 12,500kg for the Dyna-VT model. Traction capability is improved on MF 7722 S Dyna-6 with the availability of wider 2.05m diameter (650/85R38 or 710/70R42) tyres. A new feature - Active Mechanical Cab Suspension - is being introduced for the MF 8700 S. This offers Continuous Damping Control (CDC) for the ultimate comfort, both in the field and on the road. This system, already well known on MF 6700 S and MF 7700, provides optimum damping forces for all driving situations. It reduces heave/pitch and roll movements and reacts according to vehicle behaviour. Dyna-6 and Dyna-VT models from MF 6700 S and above ranges are available with either 40 or 50km/hr maximum speed. Braking improvements see speed automatically limited to 40km/hr, if the pedals are not linked for road transport. Pneumatic dual-line trailer brakes become the standard offer for trailer braking. Hydraulic braking can be added at customer request. New features enhance operation and safety Receiver choice with added accuracy 59