A Cut Above: Hesston WR9870 Windrowers

Calvin Calaway of the Calaway company shares why his company uses the WR9870 Windrowers from Hesston by Massey Ferguson.

By Tharran E. Gaines | Photos By David Bagley

While harvest timing certainly has a lot to do with hay quality, Washington state producer Calvin Calaway credits the family’s Hesston by Massey Ferguson® equipment as being equally important to the quality of exported hay. It starts with the family’s six WR9870 windrowers, equipped with their low-profile RazorBar™ cutterbar and the TwinMax™ double conditioner.

“We were an early adopter of the double conditioner platform,” Calaway says. “We see at least a day faster drydown time compared to the single conditioner on a Massey Ferguson windrower … and sometimes even two days’ faster drydown compared to the single conditioner on a competing brand.”

At the same time, Calaway says the RazorBar platform allows them to get a good, clean cut on both alfalfa and timothy. That’s especially important during the first cutting when the crop is often lodged.

“If we don’t get a clean cut with the windrower, the carryover from the first cutting can actually be picked up in the second cutting and can create a less desirable product,” he explains.

Meanwhile, Calaway says he is already looking forward to running the new WR9900 Series with more horsepower, since he typically trades windrowers every year. “Timothy, for example, can be a very, very lodged and heavy product that can cause a lot of problems if you are underpowered,” he says. “Driver comfort is going to be a big factor, as well, so we’re excited about the more spacious and luxurious cab.”

Calaway says their 10 Hesston by Massey Ferguson Model 2270 large square balers also are invaluable to the operation. He says the machines are not only efficient and reliable, but the tight, dense bales make it easier to double-compress them for shipment. Plus, he insists the 2270s allow them to bale more tons per hour, saving on machine costs and manpower.

Only recently, though, have the Calaways switched to Massey Ferguson tractors, adding 6600, 7700 and 8700 Series models to the mix. “We noticed that our fuel consumption with the Massey Ferguson tractors was actually a third less than what we were getting before,” says Calaway. “Across 30 or 40 tractors, that’s substantial on a day-to-day basis.”

Calaway says the final part of the equation is the service they get from Agri-Service, their AGCO® brand dealer in Pasco, Washington. “It’s a face-to-face relationship with those guys.

“Anytime we’ve had a minor issue, the dealership has always been here the same day … if not within the hour … to assist us with our needs. And, like I said, it’s always a minor issue.”