When Scott Myers bought his first Fendt® tractor in 2007, he says he was looking for something that was “as good as a John Deere®” from a dealer that offered better service. What he found with the purchase of a Fendt Model 930 from Lowe & Young in Wooster, Ohio, was something far better.
“I had demoed a Fendt a few years earlier at a dealer quite a distance from here,” admits Myers, who farms approximately 3,200 acres near Dalton, Ohio, under the name Woodlyn Acres Farms, LLC. “But it wasn’t until Lowe & Young became a Fendt dealer that I actually bought one. We buy all our hay equipment from them, so the service they provide is the main reason we now have three Fendt tractors.”
Of course, Myers admits the fuel economy he gets from his Fendt tractors has a lot to do with it, too. In addition, to about 2,200 acres of corn, soybeans, oats and rye, Myers grows about 1,000 acres of hay. While half of it is alfalfa, the other half consists of different mixes of alfalfa, timothy, orchardgrass, fescue, etc. — all of it put up in 3 X 3-foot square bales for sale to dairies, horse owners and one elk farm.
Myers says he also wraps nearly all of the bales and has each lot tested for protein content and feed value so his customers can match their purchase to existing feed rations. “Right after I bought the 930, we put it on one of the balers,” he says, noting that he typically runs two balers side-by-side in a field. “We still had a John Deere 7820 on the other baler; and at the end of each day, the Fendt had used between eight and nine gallons of fuel, while the 7820 used between 12 and 14 gallons … and the 930 is a bigger tractor.”
Since then, Myers has added a Fendt 820 and a Fendt 824. When used on a baler, those models use even less fuel, averaging around five to six gallons per day. Still, he generally runs the 930 on one of the balers, while the 820 and 824 find use on a baler, the air drill or one of the tillage machines. With VarioGuide satellite-assisted steering, Myers says the 824 is ideal for drilling oats, rye and alfalfa.
“The Fendt tractors offer more than fuel economy, though,” he adds. “We generally bale at 10 to 13 miles per hour, putting out two to three bales per minute. Even under those conditions, the Fendts are more comfortable, quieter and easier to operate. I like to bale using the foot pedal to manage speed, while my employee who’s on the other baler still likes to use the joystick.” Myers says the precise control from the Vario transmission is also a valuable asset when pulling their tile plow with the 930.
“The speed control is so smooth we can always adjust the speed to conditions,” he says. “If we’re laying tile in a really tough area, we’ll even hook the 824 ahead of the 930,” he adds, noting that the Vario CVT allows them to perfectly match the speed of both tractors. “We still have a John Deere tractor with an IVT transmission that we use on the corn planter, but the IVT isn’t nearly as smooth as a Fendt.”
Myers says he got into the hay business in 2000 when he returned to the farm from college and was looking for something to take the place of hogs. Today, with the help of Fendt tractors he is baling and selling between 15,000 and 17,000 big bales per year. His only regret now is that the Fendt 500 Series isn’t yet available in North American so he can replace the smaller John Deere tractor that he still uses on the rake.