Rügen records nearly six million overnight stays every year. The landscape on the island is very multi-faceted. Next to tourism, agriculture plays a major role on the largest German island. The favourable climate conditions, fertile soil and large area structures are ideal for arable farming. Some 65,000 hectares of agricultural land is available on the island, three quarters are used for growing cereals. Animal husbandry has declined rapidly in the past years. About 40 farms have more than 100 hectares. 15 farms even have more than 2,000 hectares. In particular, in the middle and northern parts of the island, individual fields can cover over 150 hectares.
The mixed farming enterprise belonging to Mario Otto is located in the southern part of the island, near the village of Poseritz. Besides dairy farming, the family-run farm cultivates 180 hectares of cereals. For the harvest 2016, the farm invested in a new Fendt 5255 L straw walker combine. Farm manager Mario Otto has been driving combines for 16 years and even today, he mostly sits in the cab himself.
“We chose the L-Series from Fendt because we already had good experience with the threshing system. Besides the excellent threshing performance, the quality of the straw is important to us, because we use it in the stable as bedding for our animals. The 6.20-metre PowerFlow table has really proven itself on our fields under difficult conditions when harvesting peas and lupines,” reports Mario Otto. Especially important for the agricultural enterprise is operational reliability, because on Rügen there are no harvesting services offered by contractors. Nearly all the farms own all of their own machinery for harvesting, cultivation, drilling and applying pesticides.
The Lauterbach farming enterprise is located on the southern coast of Rügen near the seaside resort of Putbus. Two combines are used for threshing, one of them is the Fendt hybrid combine 9490 X. Longstanding employee Karsten Koldewitz has already harvested more than 10,000 hectares for the Lauterbach farm. He is just the right person to thoroughly test the currently strongest Fendt combine in its first season on the farm.
“The 9490 X is to thresh 500 hectares of cereals in the summer,” explains Karsten. The 496-hp combine is equipped with a 10.70-metre wide PowerFlow table. The knives are driven from both sides and the intake auger has a large diameter, measuring 762 millimetres. The table is optimally designed for harvesting high-volume locations, such as Rügen. After all, it is nothing unusual to harvest 100 decitonnes or more of wheat per hectare on the island. Barley is often harvested with more than 80 decitonnes per hectare. The yields for rapeseed lies at an average of 50 dt/ha. These are the most important crops on the island. The X-Series is well prepared for the larger quantities of straw, which are harvested on the fields of grain on Rügen. The straw chopper has 8 rows with a total of 108 serrated blades and has a considerably higher working speed than standard straw choppers. The two discs or the radial spreader ensure uniform spreading of the chopped material over the entire working width.
Furthermore, the farm manager has decided to fit it with the ATRAK crawler track. This maximises the contact area through four suspended midwheels and the 63.5 centimetre wide crawler tracks, which contributes to smoother running and, of course, protects the soil. Daniel Wolf is a factory representative for Fendt and also responsible for dealer and customer support on Rügen. Wolf was born on the island and is very familiar with the local farms and their development. “Between six and ten combines from all brands are sold on Rügen each year. We are proud to have sold three Fendt combines this season,” reports Daniel Wolf. And it also looks good for the upcoming season: “The performance of our harvesting machines is impressive and we have a good dealer here on the island. The word gets around,” says Wolf.
Harvesting team on Rügen: Daniel Wolf, Fendt Harvesting and Frank-Carsten Kapke from the Raiffeisen Technik Nord-Ost GmbH on Rügen
Ilona Wolff, Managing Director of the Agrarprodukte Garz GmbH
Ingo Mau, driver of the X-Series at the Agrarprodukte Garz GmbH
The Raiffeisen Technik Nord-Ost GmbH took over the sales for Fendt harvesting machinery and tractor two years ago. Besides the three branches on the mainland, the dealer also has a location with a workshop on Rügen. “The colleagues in Service have visited numerous training courses to be well-prepared to provide support to harvesting machinery customers. They did fantastic work this summer,” says Frank- Carsten Kapke, who is in the sales force for the Raiffeisen Technik Nord-Ost GmbH on Rügen. “Due to the large harvesting volumes, there are hardly any combines older than ten years. At the same time, the expectations for the machines are very high. Replacement of parts and any necessary repairs must be done immediately. “The personal contact to customers still has great significance on the island,” reports Frank-Carsten Kapke. He also maintains contact with the agricultural company Agrarprodukte Garz. Illona Wolff is the managing director.He also maintains contact with the agricultural company Agrarprodukte Garz. Illona Wolff is the managing director.
She studied farming and has been working in the business since 1979 and knows what is important for harvesting: “The climate conditions, especially the rainfall on Rügen, are a gift, however they are also a great challenge when organising harvesting machines. We have optimal growth conditions over the entire year, thanks to the morning dew, which moves over the island from the Baltic Sea. The combines therefore have fewer hours of operation in the day than in other regions of Germany. Usually we can only go onto the field after noon and have to stop harvesting operations before ten in the evening due to the moisture. We calculate an average of 23 harvesting days for our 1,400 hectares. In ideal cases, we can harvest 100 hectares a day with our three combines. The latest and best technology is important to ensure operational reliability. For every hour that a combine stands still, we lose three hectares of harvesting,” explains Ilona Wolff.
In the first season, the team in Garz used the Fendt 9490 X. “Our operators quickly managed the Fendt combine, after all, we also have Fendt tractors in our fleet and their operating concept is very similar to that of the combines. For example, setting and operating the VarioGuide automated steering system is practically identical. It is very important to us that the operators can work well with the machines and they feel good in the cab, that is why the employees are involved in purchasing new machines from the very beginning,” explains Ilona Wolff. Agricultural production on Rügen is exciting and in many ways unique in Germany. While some people come to relax on the Baltic Sea island in the summer months, the farmers and agricultural cooperatives make use of the dry days for harvesting. And both is possible at the same time on Germany's biggest island.