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Great harvests for John Deere farmers in “Weigh-and-Win”

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It is time to plant on the farm of HF Cilliers.

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A farmer has to be an authority on seed, a soil analyst, a mechanic, an electronic communication fundi, an accountant, a marketer and, to crown it, a caretaker of the whole menagerie under his wing. Why should a farmer then expect anything less from the agricultural companies that he deals with?

At the Pioneer Weigh-and-Win award ceremony Tony Esmeraldo, business director of Corteva Agriscience SA, explained why international agricultural companies nowadays were buying out their counterparts, leading to the formation of ever-growing groups: “Every agricultural company wants to offer the farmer an all-encompassing package deal inclusive of seed and crop protection, up to biotechnology and any other technological field.”

“With a company such as John Deere as partner in the farmer’s grain production package, he can only win. Corteva and John Deere entered into exactly such a partnership.”

Kevin Lesser of John Deere, golden sponsor of the Pioneer Weigh-and-Win competition, said at the award presentation ceremony that agriculture was in the forefront when it came to technology. “Other people use the GPS to find their destination; farmers use it to manage all their farming activities.” For instance, he said, agriculture was leading the world regarding machines that talk to machines and it was mind-boggling to experience how farmers jumped on this technology.

 “New technology had not even been announced properly by John Deere in America when our farmers nag us, wanting to know when it would be in South Africa. John Deere spends US$1,6 billion annually on research and development. The company is no longer only an agricultural undertaking, but has become a technology company supporting farmers to remain part of the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

Jannie Schoeman, a Middelburg maize producer, says: “I believe John Deere is way ahead of all the other companies when it comes to technology,” Jannie was the winner of the Pioneer Weigh-and-Win competition in the dryland division for the East Region with a yield of 14,731 t/ha.

“My family has been tied to John Deere for 60 years and I cannot see that this will change soon because John Deere walks hand-in-hand with technology into the future. John Deere remains a good product with excellent resale value. That is why it is always a good investment,” says Jannie.

Cobus Botha, maize producer of Winterton in KZN, says he was born to be a John Deere farmer. Cobus is regularly in the group of winners in the harvest competition and this year again triumphed with his soybean harvest of 5,54 t/ha under irrigation on his farm near Bergville.

“I ride, plant, combine and spray with John Deere because they have the equipment that suits my farming practice. Seed, service and technology have to pull in a team if a farmer wants to be successful today,” says Cobus.

Another winner with soybeans, but on dryland, is Jacques Rossouw of Nigel in the East Region. He says this year was the ninth season that he planted soybeans with a no-till system and the fourth year that his farm as a whole has been subjected to 100% no-till.

Jaques makes use of the John Deere 2117 no-till planter with 45 cm row spacing and a plant stand of 260 000/hectare. “Without suitable equipment it is not possible to follow the correct tilling methods and then, not planting the correct seed, nullifies all your efforts.

Stephen Kruger, who harvested a maize crop of 7 565 t/ha on Viljoenskroon lands with a precarious water table, says he is convinced that John Deere is the leader in the agricultural machinery industry. “If you want to manage everything correctly regarding soil compaction and fertilising, you have to stick to the rule book.”

On the farm of HF Cilliers near Douglas all machines are green – John Deere green, because, as he says, “It works for me!” With a winning maize yield of 20,871 t/ha under irrigation, it is clear that HF should have a clear idea of what works!

He uses his John Deere equipment for, amongst others, strip tilling and depends largely on the required power and speed needed for strip tilling in an irrigation area to enable him to utilise his lands for uninterrupted year round cropping.

Gerrit Knoetze, who this year shined with his sunflower harvest, says: “I only have John Deere.” He employs a 9 000 series caterpillar track tractor and two more 8 000 series tractors to cope with the work on his farm during the short periods when the weather allows it. Further there is a 4630 high-rise sprayer for crop protection and a 9570 combine harvester to get the sunflower harvest in the bag.

“I have mechanised as far as possible because I hate plodding. Then it is sensible to use John Deere because all spare parts are quickly and readily available and resale value of the implements are satisfactory. You simply do not lose on John Deere.”

Find out more about John Deere technology from Kevin Lesser on 082-807-2603 (cellphone) or 011-437-2600 (landline) or alternatively send an email message to .

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