Coinciding with the launch of the new T-series in November 2014, the factory in Suolahti, Finland, began mass production of the newly developed and extensively tested tractor range. Across Europe, including in Germany, the first machines are already working on farmland and with contractors. We were present at one of the handovers, and talked to the new owners.
A white T174e Direct with front loader and AutoGuide system stands on the forecourt of our dealership, Udo Seibert LKG in Babenhausen, Hesse. The tractor was purchased through the Machine Maintenance, Soil Cultivation and Landscape Management Association of South Hesse (MBLV in German) for a group of members. The MBLV is not a machinery syndicate in the usual sense of the term, but operates under a different model.
The three members of the MBLV who will share the new Valtra are already long-standing Valtra customers as their group already uses a T202 and an N142, which were also acquired through the MBLV. The new T-series will replace the N142. The businesses of Ralf Geißler, Manfred & Christian Horn and Wolfgang Geißler are confident with the Finnish technology and dealer support; the first of them is still running a Valtra N92. The farmers cultivate a total of 350 hectares of arable land and 50 hectares of grassland, which are individually financially managed.
The group has invested in private machinery co-operatives since 1995, and also through the MBLV since 2010. The arable land is subject to a very broad crop rotation. Wheat, barley, spelt and rye form the largest share with around 200 hectares; sugar beet accounts for around 35 hectares, and the remainder is planted with maize, rape, fennel and, on the Horn farm, turf is also produced. The soil quality varies from 20 to 70 merit points, averaging out at 35. This permits an average yield of 70 decitonnes of wheat per hectare. When necessary, the grain is dried and stored on site, and marketed directly to a mill. The grassland is used for hay production, which is used in over 60 horse stalls on the farms. The necessary straw and oats are also produced on site.
Due to the mostly sandy light land and low rainfall, all three farms are irrigated from wells or rivers. The light soils are fertilised with horse manure and ploughed; the heavier-soiled fields are cultivated. The T-series will have plenty of work over the next few years. Sowing, crop protection, fertilising, tillage, and transport should add up to 1,000 hours per year. The AutoGuide-parallel driving system with its C3000 terminal and RTK precision will prove extremely helpful, and the front loader will also get plenty of use for the collection of straw and hay bales, yard work, or Ralf Geißler’s horticulture and landscaping operations, the compact design and maneuverability of the new T-series, as well as its new roof windows, have impressed the company. Additionally, the three farms chose Valtra because of their compatibility with other machines within the MBLV. We wish them much continued success with our tractors.