“I love what I do,” says Janet Niland from Mooirivier in the Natal Midlands. Janet farms successfully and intensively on 350 hectares with cattle, vegetables, and seed potatoes – with the assistance of an agile New Holland tractor team.

Her grandfather bought the farm, Stanmore, in the 1920s and Janet considers it a great privilege to be back on the family farm where she had fun and rode horses with her grandfather. She was trained as a medical technician, but when her own children started growing up, she wanted to work from home.

Janet seized the opportunity to buy the farm from her brother, who had emigrated in 2007, and moved there. The farm was rented out for several years and she says it was a huge job to get everything shape up again.

Janet Niland is a happy farmer if her cattle are happy.

Her husband, Justin, was still practicing as a veterinarian in Howick at that stage and she took up the farming business on her own.

“It was very nerve-wracking because I moved in with my cattle that we had in Howick and had to quickly plan to get everything up and running. I was lucky to get a contract to plant horseradish and from there I just never looked back.”

The horseradish was supplemented with broccoli, cauliflower, and some red cabbage in the summer and recently seed potatoes were added to the mixed farming.

The cattle herd has meanwhile expanded to 300 breeding cows and the management of pasture and fodder is now also a large part of the farming.

After ten years Justin gave up his practice and moved to the farm where he now also lends a hand and especially does practical research. Janet’s son, Daniël, is also now involved in farming.

With 60 women working in the vegetable fields when the season gets busy, the farm is a spectacle of female power!

Janet says that at the beginning she encountered some resistance from the Zulu men to accept her authority, but the fact that she speaks Zulu like a native certainly helped.

Another challenge was the mechanical part of farming. “I’m comfortable with handling cattle and vegetables, but moving parts are not my strong point,” jokes Janet.

With the support of helpful neighbours and especially of the Midlands New Holland dealership team, which fortunately is right next to her farm, she could also manage this challenge.

New Holland makes the difference

Louis Fourie is the owner of Midlands New Holland, and he says that initially they helped Janet to keep a colourful collection of tractors running on the farm, but as the farm grew, she gradually switched to the reliable blue work team from New Holland.

“We take good care her, just like all our other farmers in the wider region, but with her intensive way of farming, she simply cannot afford any tractor downtime.”

The first New Holland that Janet bought was a TD90 with a dry clutch and 66 kW under the hood and it was soon supplemented with another TD90. These open cab tractors still thrive on the farm today with general hauling, spraying, and planting work.

An agile little two-wheel drive TT75 then became part of the team. The small powerhouse with its 55-kW engine should not be underestimated; it has power steering, four forward and one reverse gears, a PTO, and can pull seven tonnes with ease.

Louis says that the nature of Janet’s farming changed about three years ago when she started planting seed potatoes. More tractor power was needed to cultivate the soil deeply and to lift the potatoes, and a T6070 cab tractor joined the blue team.

The six-cylinder 103 kW tractor means that much more work can be done faster and Louis believes that it will help Janet to grow her farm further.

The T6070 has a 6,7 litre Fiat Power engine with a formidable hydraulic flow of 113 litres per minute. From the cabin you have very good visibility, and all the controls are conveniently located in the right armrest with a single gear lever for switching between gear ranges. There are four gear ranges with 17 forward gears and 16 reverse gears.

About two months ago, Janet also bought a TD5.110 of 82 kW with a front loader. This tractor moves compost and bales for the cattle.

Stanmore’s first two TD90s still work every day on the farm after years of excellent service.

Midlands New Holland

Louis started the dealership almost eight years ago when he saw that there was a gap in the market. Before that he was a product manager for hay equipment at New Holland, after making his mark at a New Holland dealership at Tarlton on the West Rand.

Louis says New Holland’s tractors are as reliable as the people of New Holland who are always ready to support farmers and dealers. He says: “At New Holland, a guarantee is a guarantee and they do not run away if there is a problem with a part or a unit.”

He says the company’s systems are also well developed to help dealers quickly, which makes it easier to help farmers quickly.

“I believe the most important part of any brand you buy is the support service and I put a lot of emphasis on that. My workshop is the heart of my business and I have four full-time technicians on the road to help farmers. We also try to accommodate farmers with travel costs where we can. Our aim remains to get any tractor back to work within 20 hours of reporting a problem.”

Not that New Holland’s tractors have a lot of problems. The tractors are built in England to the highest standards. Louis says the farmers in his area feel comfortable using the tractors because they know they can easily work up to ten thousand hours without any major problems.

However, with the growth in his sales area, Louis knows he cannot rest on his laurels. Midlands New Holland has big plans for expanding their facilities and footprint but will stick to the principle that there must be one technician for every 30 tractors in the field. More technicians are currently being trained.

Midlands New Holland at Mooirivier has a blue plan for each farm.

Get up and go!

Meanwhile, Janet is also always on the lookout for new opportunities. Her advice to any farmer; man or woman, old or young, is simple: “Manage your cash flow and don’t get stuck in debt.”

She says that if you are a farmer there is only one way to take on challenges and that is to get up in the morning and take the bull by the horns. “You cannot sit back and say you’re a bit tired today! You need to get up and go.

“My family is my biggest inspiration. For me it is an honour to work the farm for my descendants and I wonder every day who is looking over my shoulder, is it my grandfather or my father? And are they satisfied?”

Visit https://newhollandag.co.za/dealer-network-english/ to find your nearest dealer. In the Natal Midlands, Louis Fourie and his team also ready with a blue plan for you. Contact him at (+27)72-869-5903.