Latest technology makes the MF 3300 ideal for modern orchard-farming techniques such as skip passing
The South Africa citrus industry is anticipated to shatter all export season records with an estimated 158.7 million cartons in 2021, according to the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA). If this target is achieved, it will represent a third consecutive season of record export volumes. “The demand for these sorts commodities is increasing on an international scale that is likely to see more significant South African participation from a sustainability point of view,” comments Ryan Clark, Product Marketing Manager, Low Horse Power, Africa at AGCO Corporation.
The export boom has resulted in many farmers considering switching to orchard-type operations, focusing on lucrative crops such as nuts, avocados, citrus, apples and grapes, to name but a few. “South Africa has the requisite climate, and while not a major competitor yet compared to well-established markets such as the European Union, we are well on our way to being a force to be reckoned with. You only have to consider how many farmers are now considering switching to orchard-type farms. Traditional grain farmers in the North West and Northern Cape are investing in nut production, with a similar scenario for citrus farming in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape,” points out Clark.
This has resulted in an increased focus on advanced farming methods such as skip passing, in combination with the latest-technology narrow-width tractors, so as to optimise orchard and vineyard operations. In keeping with this trend, Massey Ferguson is introducing the MF 3300 series, the latest iteration, based on the heritage of the popular, robust and reliable MF 400 Xtra Narrow tractor models from Brazil. While the front axle, transmission and rear linkage are almost identical to the old MF 435 Xtra and MF 440 Xtra narrow-width tractors, the MF 3300 Series features a brand-new AGCO Power 3.3 litre three-cylinder engine as opposed to the traditional third-party engine manufacturer.
“This is a 100% AGCO product, with a very long heritage and the added benefit of incorporating the latest AGCO Power engine technology,” explains Clark. Indeed, what makes the MF 3300 unique in the South African market as an orchard tractor is that it is Stage 3 emission compliant and features a common rail with an electronic control unit (ECU) to monitor all fuel and air parameters. An engine memory function means that, at the press of a button, a preset engine revolution can be engaged, which translates into a more consistent application and less wear-and-tear on the drive-line, linkage and implements.
“There are a lot of benefits associated with ECU technology as opposed to the traditional lever- or cable-operated throttles,” notes Clark. The ECU is coupled with a mini dashboard computer providing a real-time readout of hourly fuel consumption. In terms of price point, the technology incorporated in the MF 3300 not only makes it highly affordable, but extremely competitive in terms of specification and scope for the South African market.
The MF 3300 Series is available in an open station and cab model, ideal for farming operations looking to comply with export regulations. The cab is designed for maximum visibility and safety with easy access controls that are very simple to operate efficiently. Comfort is ensured with air-conditioning as standard, and incoming air passes through a cab air filter.
The new series is aimed squarely at the burgeoning orchard market, which includes fruit, nut and seed production. In addition, the MF 3300 is also ideal for horticultural applications. Front track widths can be adjusted from 1.19 m to 1.31 m and rear track widths can be adjusted between 0.96 m and 1.3 m, providing overall widths of 1.27 m to 1.40 m. Overall height is measured at 1.6m on platform versions, and 2.35 m on the cab version.
These tractors also feature an extra-long wheelbase, heavy-duty chassis and strengthened drawbar. Ideal for orchard operations, its main function is crop care with sprayer-applicators and harvest trailer haulage. Attachments are powered with an independent power take-off (IPTO), a hydraulic linkage system that can lift 2 100 kg, and two hydraulic remote valves offering 59 litres per minute oil flow or 210 bar pressure, making it ideal for grounds care and other farm maintenance work. “If you were an orange or a pecan nut farmer, this would be the tractor that does everything and goes everywhere on the farm. It is the main bread winner,” asserts Clark.
Commenting on what makes the MF 3300 stand out from the pack, Clark firstly highlights its wheel base and heavy-duty chassis. If a tractor is too lightweight, it will not do a very good job of hauling or any kind of heavy-duty work. Second are its transmission speeds, which makes it possible to carry out a range of applications that each require a specific ground speed. “It is important to ensure that the transmission matches those specific ground speeds. The gearbox on the MF 3300, for example, has a wide power band, and excellent speed overlap that can match almost any application speed required for ‘best practice’ farming,” stresses Clark.
The extra-long wheelbase of the tractor also makes it an ideal candidate for advanced farming techniques such as skip passing. In terms of orchard rows, traditionally a tractor starts at the top left corner and works its way down. When it reaches the end of a row or headland, it is forced to carry out a three-point or full-lock turn. This results in added strain on the machine and the implement, not to mention the rate of the application, as the driver has to slow down, change gears and possibly even reverse in order to execute the turn properly. Such a repetitive process squanders both time and productivity.
Skip passing is a technique whereby instead of taking row unit by row unit, the middle row is skipped deliberately. Initially skipping the middle row and then returning the same way means that only a single three-point or full-lock turn is required, at the end of the field. The theory is that the machine not only maintains a constant ground speed throughout, but there is less wear and tear, less time wasted turning and even a shortened a headland at the end of the day. “This kind of technique has been quite mainstream in the grain-farming industry since the advent of self-steering tractors, but has yet to gain a similar traction in the orchard sector,” concludes Clark.
In support of the farming community, Massey Ferguson has an extensive network of 39 accredited dealers covering the whole of South Africa, catering for the demands of modern farmers, who require strong backup, aftersales support and access to Massey Ferguson equipment and solutions. Potential customers interested in the New MF 3300 or other solutions from Massey Ferguson can obtain suggested retail pricing and product information with a rapid quote within 30 seconds, in addition to a video, brochure and the details of the nearest dealer, by simply visiting www.masseyferguson.co.za.
About Massey Ferguson
From ruggedly simple to high-specification machines, Massey Ferguson from AGCO Corporation is a force in global agriculture. Massey Ferguson created the world’s first three-point hitch. Add to that Massey Ferguson’s generations of global experience and you have all the proof you need that they are the one to trust when it comes to ultimate practicality and dependability — ultimate customer value. https://www.facebook.com/MasseyFergusonSA
AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology. AGCO delivers customer value through its differentiated brand portfolio including core brands like Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®. Powered by Fuse® smart farming solutions, AGCO’s full line of equipment and services helps farmers sustainably feed our world. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, USA, AGCO had net sales of $9.1 billion in 2020. For more information, visit www.AGCOcorp.com
For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.