Ag Equipment Intelligence recently visited Latin America’s largest tractor factory: the 538,195 square foot AGCO plant in Canoas, Brazil. This facility is the starting point for 70% of Brazilian tractor exports and nearly 50% of the country’s total tractor output. Also manufactured there are planters, sprayers and other ag machines for brands including Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger and Valtra. Its staff is made up of approximately 1,300 workers.
The plant uses the Li manufacturing system, which includes the reuse of water for several purposes. The factory relies on a test area that enforces several characteristics of the machines made in the unit, including the traction of the vehicles.
Eduardo Nunes, sales director of Massey Ferguson Brazil, told Ag Equipment Intelligence that he could not comment on specific numbers of sales, due to an agreement with Brazilian National Assn. of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers to not release specific market numbers of tractors by horsepower or model.
He did, however, reveal AGCO’s expectations for the Brazilian market. Earlier this year, the company projected 10% growth overall; with the use of total credit support from the government until the end of the previous season, though, there was an initial lack of financial availability for farmers.
“I really believe that this [farmer credit] will be recovered by the end of the year,” Nunes says. The government-supported loans for farmers were relaunched in June through Brazil’s Crop Plan.
Along with other Brazilian ag equipment factories, the Canoas unit has received over $200 million back on investments. The entire AGCO portfolio in Brazil was updated in 2016 with 100 new products, and all tractors produced are new models. The equipment manufactured at the Canoas facility includes Fendt’s Momentum MF planter, which was first launched in Brazil and is currently exported internationally. Massey Ferguson also manufactures a new soil spreader in Ribeirao Preto.
Broadcast Seeder & Fertilizer Applicator
As part of Brazil’s strategy, the size of harvester platforms has increased. According to Nunes, Brazil will soon be the top country in terms of demand for ag machinery because it has the most significant potential growth of available surface area for planting. Brazilian farmers are looking to increase yields and productivity, as well.
“There is a change in demand in Brazil for fuel efficiency and seed quality,” Nunes says. “The industry needs to understand more about the agronomic processes, including plant spacing and soil compaction,” he adds. “The demand for planters will grow. Harvesters already have a big volume.”
AGCO has four other units in Brazil: Ibiruba, Rio Grande do Sul (agricultural implements); Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul (Valtra, Massey Ferguson, harvesters); Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo (Massey Ferguson, sprayers) and Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo (Valtra tractors).
Momentum MF Planter Launch at Farm Progress
Being the first AGCO-manufactured planter to come out of Brazil, with plans to be distributed around the world, the Momentum MF planter was launched during Brazil’s Agrishow in May. It is currently the largest planting machine in Brazil, simultaneously distributing fertilizer while planting. Vinicius Gehlen, marketing supervisor for planters in South America, revealed that the launch in the U.S. is scheduled for this year’s Farm Progress show; the European launch will be in 2020. In the Brazilian market, the product is currently sold out.
Momentum MF has models for 24, 30 and 40 rows, with and without fertilizer distribution. It uses spacing of 17.7 inches but can be configured to 19.6 inches. In 40 row models, its capacity is 11,684.5 pounds of fertilizer and 11,309 pounds of seed.
One of the resources of the planter is vApply Granular, a Precision Planting advancement for fertilizer application controlled in real-time. Using Climate’s FieldView, it is possible to work with variable seed and fertilizer rates. FieldView is a digital platform that helps producers to identify weeds and diseases on crops as well as characterize soil and the environment.
An exclusive resource of the model is, Deltaforce, a program that replaces pressure strings on each planting row. This is an automatic downpressure feature. It compensates for changing field conditions and places seeds more precisely. “This planter is faster to use and foldable to 14.1 feet. Maximum width is 59.05 feet. Momentum will bring the best results for farmers in the field,” says Gehlen.