The farm Spitskop in the Heidelberg district in the Western Cape represents pure Massey Ferguson tradition and achievement. Hendrik-Pieter and Hanro Stiglingh are the fourth generation on the farm, having grown up with the brand.
Hendrik-Pieter learned to drive a MF 1105 when still in primary school. He and Hanro used the tractors to convey grain to the silos and till the soil for land preparation for planting. “My brother especially loved the tractors. When we were growing up and still in boarding school we could come home to the farm on weekends and during harvest time. I still remember Hanro had put a picture of himself in the licence disc holder of the MF 290 that my father owned. On Friday nights he went to bed with his overalls on so he could be ready to bring in the grain early on Saturday.”
Their father Hendrik-Pieter (Snr.) was convinced it was his personal responsibility to drive the MF 36 windrow which allowed him to master the contours on the farm with ease when swathing wheat. He preferred the 14-foot belt-driven flat windrow all these years because it was narrow enough to handle the contours better.
Just like Massey Ferguson itself, farming does not stagnate but rather advances with new technologies constantly. The brothers agree that MF’s good fuel consumption and innovations are an ideal combination to support their farming operation in the Western Cape.
Wheat, barley, canola, oats and alfalfa are farmed at Spitskop with Merino sheep for livestock. Hendrik-Pieter is responsible for the animals and Hanro for the grain production. Hanro says the farming conditions are sometimes difficult due to little rain that they get. It is therefore important to plan thoroughly in advance so that the tractors and implements are utilised optimally.
The MF 8737 S and MF 7724 S tractors are particularly well suited due to their precision technology, power and economical fuel consumption needed for the farm. The MF 8737 uses about 20 litres per hour to pull a 12 m no-till, 42 tine seed drill, which it does with ease. The MF 7724 uses about 16 litres per hour and shows its worth with a 7.4 m planter. This particular tractor has many additional uses such as spraying when the planting is done throughout the season.
A big boost for the farm going forward is the cost-savings in farming operations by adopting the latest innovations for their tractors. Both of their high horsepower MF tractors are equipped with ISOBUS technology that allows for variable rate application for fertiliser spreading. The MF 8737 also has a Trimble system installed for accurate driving and planting.
“The technology is excellent,” notes Hendrik-Pieter. “MAP (mono-ammonium phosphate) has been applied to the soil by means of the tractor’s satellite system in accordance with our harvest report. This determined the soil potential and where most of the fertiliser was needed to improve the soil conditions and save us money.”
Another recent purchase at Spitskop was a MF 9335 self-propelled sprayer for the canola for the main benefit of its ground clearance. “The canola stands very high, and the sprayer runs easily over the top without knocking the flowers off. It is also very light on fuel,” highlights Hendrik-Pieter.
The Stiglingh brothers walk the technology journey together with local dealer Van Breda Agri from the Caledon branch, which serves the entire Heidelberg, Overberg and part of the Southern Cape district. Van Breda Agri understands agriculture in the area and knows the farmers personally.
Branch Manager Hennie de Wet says that, due to the rising cost of fertiliser and diesel, it is very important to obtain the best possible performance from any piece of capital equipment. “It is about efficiency and quality of work at the most economical speed,” stresses Hennie. He adds that the relationship between the farmer and dealer is equally important. “We must be able to trust each other to make the right farming decisions together.”
Hennie explains that total cost of ownership must be measured over the lifespan of the tractor as a cost per hour or per hectare, taken against the initial capital outlay. “The purpose of such a careful calculation is to show the farmer what the productivity of the tractor is and how it changes over time, so he can make an informed decision about upgrading or expanding his fleet,” says Hennie.
AGCO Africa’s streamlined structure has brought itself, dealers and the customers that much closer together so that the needs of all are aligned and met. Brendon Puttick, AGCO Area Sales Manager in the Western Cape, gets just as excited as his farmers about Massey Ferguson’s traditions and technologies, as exemplified by Spitskop and the Stiglingh brothers.
“It is very important for us to have such a close and strong connection. Massey Ferguson is also very close to my heart, as I myself grew up on a farm with the MF brand. It is not just another tractor; it becomes part of your DNA. As the farm passes from generation to generation, so does the brand. Our hearts, just like the Stiglingh brothers, beat with the red blood of Massey Ferguson.” In the same manner, Hendrik-Pieter and Hanro and their father are proud to celebrate Massey Ferguson’s 175th anniversary this year. “For 52 of those 175 years, my family has farmed with Massey Ferguson, which has always been good to us,” says Hendrik-Pieter.
Watch a video about the Stiglingh brothers’ Spitskop farm:
This year Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE:AGCO), is excited to announce a fresh look for its iconic Triple Triangle logo and its new ‘Born to Farm’ brand identity in celebration of its 175th anniversary. MF has offered farmers around the world straightforward and dependable machines since its inception. Few global brands can claim such a lasting impact in the agricultural industry.
In support of the farming community, Massey Ferguson has an extensive network of over 35 dealers covering the whole of South Africa, catering for parts, service, aftersales and new sales. Potential customers interested in the MF range can obtain all information from www.masseyferguson.co.za. Upon completing the contact form, potential customers will have the video, brochure and dealer contact details sent to their WhatsApp and email within 30 seconds.