Fendt Fits A Business Plan For Growth
This farm looks for efficiencies as it grows its acres and its herd. Fendt tractors and the new Momentum planter help them do it.
By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jamie Cole
Blue Hyll Dairy in Clinton, Iowa, is looking to grow. “As far as expansion goes, we always look at it,” says Mike Burken, the crop manager at Blue Hyll Dairy in Clinton, Iowa. “We don’t ever block it out.” (See the full story, “Growing A Farm For The Next Generation,” here). Mike and his brother Marty farm 5,000 acres and milk 1,100 cows in their operation.
But growth in this farm business environment is not without its challenges. “We’re in a place where feed prices are doubled, fuel is doubled, everything’s doubled… and we’re on thin margins again,” says Marty.
“We have invested in newer equipment that will hopefully get us a better crop, save on fuel costs, save on maintenance costs… trying to do fewer trips across the field,” says Mike.
The centerpiece of the new equipment investment is a Fendt 1050. “I absolutely love that tractor,” says Mike. The Burkens traded in a New Holland 4-wheel drive tractor for the Fendt, and the “variable transmission is so much smoother and so much nicer. Fuel efficiency on the Fendt is a lot better,” he adds. Meanwhile, Mike adds that the maintenance program means “I just know that it’s all gonna get done.” (The Gold Star maintenance program for tractors includes a three year/3000 hour warranty.)
The Burkens are also in their first season with a 24-row Momentum planter. “I saw guys in the area who had been running with hydraulic down pressure… you could really see a difference in their stands,” says Mike. “The spacing is just immaculate,” he adds.
“If we can use less acres to feed the dairy and have more cash crop, it’ll be a great thing,” he says. The brothers are looking to reduce silage as well, with accurate seed placement and higher plant population from the Momentum.
The brothers are “completing the set” by adding a Fendt IDEAL combine to the fleet, as well, and are looking forward to the capacity and versatility of the machine. “We’re to the point that I either need to have two combines or have a bigger one to get more productivity out of it,” says Mike. “We’ll get the crop harvested faster and capture all of those bushels.”“The spacing is just immaculate.”Click To Tweet
The Burkens credit their equipment dealer, Roeder Brothers, with excellent service and advice on their new investment. “We’ve been working with Roeder Brothers for about 20 years now, just a good group of people to work with,” says Mike.
Scott Roeder, a dealer principal with Roeder Brothers, is equally impressed with Blue Hyll and the way the brothers split duties on the farm. “I hear from a lot of producers that Marty is one of the best out there” when it comes to milk production, says Roeder. “Mike has time to focus on the crop side and really dial in on the equipment he needs and how to get the most out of the ground. They’re masters at it,” he says.