Contractor Niko Marquardt from Schleswig-Holstein is one of the first Fendt customers, who has been able to use the Katana 65 forage harvester for harvesting grass and maize immediately after the market launch. After 300 drum hours in grass and some 100 hectares of maize, he draws up a positive balance.
The late summer sun shines warmly on the asphalt of the village road to Bebensee. Everything is quiet. Almost like holidays. The quaint village lies in the middle of Schleswig-Holstein and is surrounded by lakes and wide, flat grassland. A light east wind brings sea air. The sound of an engine can be heard from afar. It quickly comes closer. A bit later, a large, dusty forage harvester, a Katana 65, comes driving up the road. It turns into the yard belonging to the contractors Marquardt GmbH & Co. KG and brakes. The machine comes to a stop. It is impressive, alone through its modern design and large, roomy Visio5 cab. Other values cannot be seen immediately. They are found under the bonnet: 650 hp, innovative V-Cracker and a drive train with ECO/Power modes.
Niko Marquardt leaps down the widesteps. He is the boss of the company'swork yard. In January, he and his brother Torge took over the contracting business from their father Klaus Marquardt. Before that, he managed his own contracting company in Groß Brütz, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania for eleven years.“It also does a good job in maize,” the agri-cultural economist for agricultural engi-neering quickly calls to his father, who isobviously waiting for information about the latest purchase. “The chopped material has a very high quality, it does a good job of cracking the kernels and the crop flow issuper.” He just came from a field of maizenear Lübeck. He has been working therefor a few days with the Katana, harvesting. Since the spring, he has also chopped some 300 drum hours of grass.
Farming is booming around the businessin Bebensee. The service provider is wellprepared for this, with the most modernslurry equipment including a hose wagonand injection nozzles, transporters, includ-ing three articulated lorries, manurespreaders, balers and now also a Fendt Katana 65 forage harvester. Overall, the contractors have harvested 1,900 ha of maize. Marquardt will silage two thirds of it for biogas facilities, the rest he uses as fodder for dairy cows. In addition to chopping maize and grass, they are also busy applying slurry and spreading manure. Sometimes they have to travel long distances for these jobs. The company’s area of business stretches more than 50 kilometres in all directions. And 80 kilometres to the east, before the gates of Schwerin, lies the branch office in Groß Brütz. That is no coincidence, however. The Marquardts are targeting growth in order to continue successfully with the business that started nearly 50 years ago.
Klaus Marquardt and his wife Monika founded the contracting company in 1963. Originally from the island of Fehmarn, they bought one building from a farm with several out buildings. “The first services we offered were combining and harvesting beets,” remembers the founder of the company. The family business expanded continually and now employs eight people. However, a successful company like this does not only focus on growth, but also on quality. And this starts with the machinery. Because only with the best conditions and the most effective working equipment can you do the best job and satisfy customers. The company owns six Fendt high-horse-power tractors from the 800 and 900 series, including a 930 Vario. Not only Nikoand Torge Marquardt are very satisfied with the tractors, all the company's operators are too. Torge Marquardt is responsible for the workshop, but he also drives all the machines in their company, just like his brother.
This positive experience with the machinesfrom Fendt had a great influence on thedecision to purchase a Fendt Katana forage harvester. They are not disappointed. “The Katana works reliably. The terminal is easy to use and very logical; the cab is very spacious, really comfortable. Entering the maximum driving speed at a constantengine load – that is just perfect,” says Nico Marquardt, summing up the benefits of the Katana. After a complete grass-harvesting season with the machines from theAGCO factory in Hohenmölsen, this statement can definitely be viewed as significant. Bebensee lies exactly between Bad Oldesloe and Bad Segeberg in a rural area in the Trave Valley. This farming area primarily has dairy farms, biogas facilities and some arable farms. Bebensee is a small village with a population of 600 and belongs to the county Segeberg. Due to its vicinity to the Baltic Sea coast, tourism is also an important source of income. The closeness to Bad Segeberg, with its Nature Theatre on the Kalkberg, where the legendary Karl May Festival takes place each year, also has a positive effect.