AGCO Equipment Helps With Long-Distance Farming

Managing corn and soybean fields over 120 miles is something Dan Baum takes in stride thanks to a solid fieldwork strategy and the right machinery.

By Jeff Caldwell | Photos By Charlie Niebergall

Baum was one of the first farmers in the U.S. to own and operate a Massey Ferguson® 9545 combine. The machine is outfitted with an AGCO 9250 DynaFlex® draper header, which helps him maintain the high level of efficiency he needs during the busy harvest season, an important part of his operational equation.

“When I was a kid, we traveled 15 miles, not 120 miles,” like Baum says he does today. “Back then, that was a big distance,” says Baum, whose farm base is 24 miles from Moline, Ill. “We’ve had Massey Ferguson equipment on our farm for at least four generations.”

Baum was one of the first farmers in the U.S. to own and operate a Massey Ferguson 9545 combine.

Baum was one of the first farmers in the U.S. to own and operate a Massey Ferguson 9545 combine.

Baum’s machinery management over such a large geography takes more than the most efficient iron out there. He uses semi trucks to “set up everything remotely” in each field, carrying iron, fuel and other inputs to minimize trips between farms.

“We’ve got one fleet and it does it all. We typically start planting down south and work our way north,” he says. “We couldn’t do all of this without our machinery technology. We’re not always on the leading edge of technology unless it helps us gain efficiency.”

This approach puts a premium on performance, and that’s a big reason Baum chose a Massey Ferguson combine. “We’re looking at fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance and simplicity of design,” he says.

“We’re pretty handy, and our team does a lot of our own repairs if we have time. These machines are designed to be user-friendly, and easy to repair and maintain. It was obvious that the folks at Massey Ferguson had repair and maintenance in mind when they designed them.”

Operation is also straightforward. “It’s easy for me to train an employee in that machine. That’s of value to me,” he adds. “When we’re running multiple machines and operators, I don’t have to train them to be rocket scientists. It’s not overwhelming for my operators.”

Baum purchases his Massey Ferguson and other AGCO equipment from A.C. McCartney, operator of four dealerships in west-central Illinois. He has a strong relationship with the dealership, and the trust underpinning that relationship is something he sees of huge value to a young farmer in his position.

“We work hard on building relationships and trust in the industry. Young farmers like us need to be willing to work hard and work differently,” Baum says.

“Everybody is generally going to be taking care of their farms. You’ve got to be unique in your area.” A solid, trustworthy dealership, he says, helps him stand out.

<< See the full story, “It’s All About Relationships for this Young Farmer”