One Tractor, One Family

A Massey Ferguson 1700 Series tractor proves its mettle on a family farm.

By Tharran E. Gaines

As a “U-pick” apple and pear orchard, Blackman Homestead Farm, located near Lockport, N.Y., has plenty of jobs for the family’s newest tractor—a Massey Ferguson® 1758. Purchased new from Java Farm Supply two years ago, the tractor is “used for mowing the orchards, spraying trees and performing odd jobs around the farm,” says Robert Blackman, who shares fifth-generation ownership with his wife, Margaret.

“We generally pull a 200-gallon pull-type, air-blast sprayer with the 1758, but it also has the lift capacity to handle a 3-point sprayer when necessary.” Making it all the more versatile, he continues, is the air-conditioned cab, which provided Blackman and his crew added comfort during long days on the tractor.

He notes that the turbocharged engine in the MF1758 seems to have a little more torque than his older tractor, which is also rated at 59 HP. “The ag tires on the 1758 really help too,” he says. “We’re located on a hillside in the Niagara Escarpment, so we need the standard 4-wheel drive and the cleated tires just to get through the orchard in the springtime. I also like the fact that the 1758 is really easy to steer, which is especially helpful when backing wagons into the shed.”

Between the GC1700 Series, 1700E (economy) Series and 1700 (premium) Series, the MF1758 is just one of 13 models in the Massey Ferguson 1700 line of tractors. With models ranging from 22.5 to 59 engine HP and a wide array of options and implements, such a lineup offers all the more opportunities for farmers, homesteaders and others to find just the right tractor, says Warren Morris, AGCO tactical marketing manager, under 100-HP tractors.

“Most of the 1700E economy compact models and 1700 premium compact models also offer a choice of mechanical or hydrostatic transmissions,” Morris adds. “No matter the model, though, customers will appreciate the exceptional comfort, versatility and ease of use.” Massey Ferguson also offers a wide range of features and options, allowing each customer to meet his or her specific needs, whether that need is for a no-nonsense workhorse, a powerful backhoe/loader tractor or a full-feature cab tractor.

It was all that and more that led Blackman to purchase the MF1758. In addition to a need for high-quality equipment now, he also has a vested interest in the future of his farm. His son and daughter are already involved as the sixth generation in Blackman Homestead Farm, producing their own line of products, including fruit juices, fruit butters, pie fillings and hard cider. Fortunately, the next generation of Massey Ferguson compact utility tractors is right there with them, helping the family adapt to a changing agricultural climate just as their ancestors have been doing since 1852.

For more about the full line of 1700 Series tractors, visit or see your local Massey Ferguson dealer.