Fendt Tractors and White Planters: A Need Beyond Speed

A fortuitous planter upgrade helped an Illinois farming family save their growing season and change their equipment philosophy.

By Jason Jenkins | Photos By Jason Jenkins

When brothers Matt and Brett Barnard purchased a White Planters 9824VE narrow transport planter in 2019, they didn’t know how transformational the decision would be to both their season and their overall equipment philosophy.

Initially, the purchase was purely economic, explains Matt, who operates Barnard Farms in Foosland, Illinois, in partnership with Brett and their father, Ted. They had considered upgrading their previous planter with high-speed components, but soon discovered that for about the same cost, they could have a brand-new 9824VE equipped from the factory.

Kuhns [Equipment] had been in town for a long time, but we’d never really walked through the door,” Matt says. “Then, Ben [Kuhns] takes over management. Once we made the decision on the planter, it led to a conversation about the Fendt 1038.”

With an eye toward reducing their cost of ownership, the Barnards saw the Fendt brand as a way to help control machinery costs and improve overall efficiencies in their operation. They decided the 1038 was a good investment.

“This isn’t a tractor we’re looking at peddling at 3,000 or 3,500 hours. It’s a 7,500-hour tractor. Maybe a 10,000-hour tractor,” he says. “The way we used to do it, we would have made two to three equipment turns on that time frame. As that tractor is paid for, there’s going to be many years where it’s making us money.”

The new tractor-planter combination paid off handsomely in 2019. As the Barnards battled weather delays, Matt says there were times he didn’t know if they’d get everything planted. However, with their new 9824VE, the Barnards took advantage when Mother Nature did allow. Matt says their previous experience with Precision Planting® technology gave them confidence.

“The first field, our average planting speed was 7-8 mph. By the third or fourth field, we were probably up to 9 mph, and I’m not going to tell you that those last couple fields weren’t planted at 11-11.5 mph,” he recalls. “It didn’t let us down. Our stands were amazing.”

He says the Fendt 1038 provided a comfortable ride that allowed for long hours in the cab without fatigue. He was impressed with the tractor’s power and fuel efficiency, its integrated technology and the service and support he received from Kuhns.

“We’ve got a three-year warranty where we don’t even pay for an oil change,” says Matt, who adds they are considering other Fendt products, including the IDEAL combine. “We’ve been extremely impressed with the AGCO people as far as them making sure we have a good experience. We love Ben. I feel like they’re hearing you, and if they’re hearing you, then you do have a partner.”