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High Density MF balers Make Good Sense to WA Contractor

Massey Ferguson XD balers are a key part of successful hay contractors business

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Western Australian contractor Chris Browne says his two high-density Massey Ferguson XD balers are helping to keep his hay business profitable.

Chris and his wife Julie farm 800 hectares in the Wongan Hills shire where they grow wheat and oaten hay. They formed their contracting business, Canberra Springs Hay, in 2002.

They make between 40,000-50,000 bales a year of export hay and straw each year.

In 2006 Chris and Julie purchased a new 2170 Massey Ferguson. Since then, they have had six Massey balers and they currently run three.

“We purchased a Massey Ferguson 2170XD in 2013, and then a 2270XD in 2014,” Chris says.

“We have been happy with the performance and simplicity of the balers, and parts are readily available. Massey Ferguson balers are basic machines and they haven’t changed a lot. Most parts are interchangeable.

“We have also had good backup services through our dealers, H Rushton and Co in Brookton.”

Chris and Julie have been turning their balers over regularly and get a good trade-in price, which has allowed them to continue upgrading.

They previously owned a Massey Ferguson 187LB, which they ran alongside a 2170.

“It was definitely a different generation machine. It was a good old baler but once you’ve operated the later models you wouldn’t go back,” says Chris.

He particularly loves his two XD high-density balers, which have a bigger gearbox and fly wheel and pack more weight into each bale. This offers a huge saving for his hay clients, as freight is a major consideration when growing export hay in the central wheat belt.

“We also buy straw in the windrow, bale, cart and stack it. We’re freighting 100km. Every time I get a 10 percent increase in bale weight that’s 10 percent less on my stacking cost and 10 percent less on my freight,” he says.

“I’ve got to cut it fine to make it work. The heavier bale weight is necessary to improve our margins.”

The high-density XD balers also allow Chris and his team to bale in drier conditions.

“We’re getting an extra two hours or so baling each day with the XDs, which is a pretty big bonus for getting the work done. If we get another hour in the morning and another hour at night, that’s an extra two hours of work. You wouldn’t get that with the older balers.”

Having three similar Massey Ferguson balers also helps Chris’s staff swap from one to the other.

“They are just simple to operate. We haven’t had any major breakdowns and haven’t lost any major time because of them,” he says.

“They’ve been really good for us and the dealership has been good.”

Source: AGCO, Massey Ferguson