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It’s quite simple really – leaders drive Fendt!

Anton Reetz, Managing Director of Agrarservice Rügen in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany - Fendt 1000, 900, 800, 700 Vario, Baler 4160 V

It’s quite simple really – leaders drive Fendt!

Fir green machines on Rügen

Anton Reetz is a young, dynamic entrepreneur in his field. In 2012, he founded a contracting company, Agrarservice Rügen, with just one tractor, a liquid manure tank, a shredder and one employee. With a genuine feel for the needs of customers and careful selection of its fleet, Agrarservice Rügen has been a major player now for a good few years.

After training as a farmer, the young entrepreneur ended up in Münsterland. He never intended to stay long though and planned to return home to Mecklenburg-West Pomerania with his wife. “We found ourselves on Rügen by pure chance, it could easily have been the lake district instead,” said Anton Reetz in retrospect. The dream of running his own contracting company or agricultural enterprise was always there, and was fulfilled in 2013.

He started off quite small on the largest island in Germany, as Agrarservice Rügen didn’t need a large company base at first. From the start, it was clear that Anton Reetz and his employees would be working in customers’ fields every day. The company’s goals are very clear – focus on yield, sustainability and quality awareness. “What is good for Agrarservice, also benefits customers and employees,” says Reetz, explaining his philosophy. To make his dream come true, he needed efficient machines, which were state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly and reliable. He has to leave customers with a positive impression. This not only secures more orders, but is also the best advertisement for his company. “We just get on with our work, but we love what we do and customers notice that,” says Reetz, describing the strategy followed by both himself and his workforce, a workforce which is continually expanding. At present, he has 20 employees and rising. The team works long hours and it’s hard work, especially during harvest time, and harvest time is all year round for contractors who specialise in sowing, liquid manure spreading and digestates, as well as harvesting and tillage.

Part of the team’s working day includes meetings in the evening to discuss equipment and expanding the fleet. Everyone on the team contributes to the discussion. At the end of 2016, they decided to look for a “head tractor”, a maintenance tractor which could be used for any type of work on the company premises, and which Anton Reetz could use to maintain his motocross course. The decision had actually already been made, they planned to go for a small 160 HP machine and front-end loader. Yet before contracts were signed, Frank-Carsten Kapke, sales consultant for Raiffeisen Technik North-East, and Daniel Wolf, Fendt plant representative in Mecklenburg- West Pomerania, caught wind of the plans and brought a demonstration model to the yard.

The Fendt 514 Vario was too small, but impressed with its features and quality, and so the originally-planned purchase was put on ice. The Agrarservice Rügen team decided that the Fendt 720 Vario was just the right size for a main tractor. The purchase contract was signed – for the time being. By the time the machine had been delivered in February 2017, the contract had been amended twice. Initially, the reason for this was to upgrade to the ProfiPlus, but the second change came about largely as the result of a half-serious idea among the team, as confirmed by Anton Reetz, to order the tractor in its own exclusive livery, namely Fir Green in combination with chrome.

After the first Fendt had arrived in the yard, it was put through its paces. The new arrival had to prove itself and come out on top against the market leaders. The head maintenance and yard tractor quickly became a valuable employee. “Every tractor has its strengths and weaknesses. However, as a business owner, you have to know how to use them properly,” admits Reetz looking at his own XXLequipment. He knows the brands well and focuses on premium brands. That’s never going to change, as his choice of equipment guarantees reliability for the customer. Reetz is now a frequent customer in Marktoberdorf, because the customer database is growing, as is the fleet. The small Fendt has now been joined by a 1050, a 933 and an 826, all fully equipped and in Fir Green. “The colour has already become a hallmark of Agrarservice Rügen,” reports the contractor, who works with the machines on Rügen and along the coast of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. We asked whether the other vehicles were going to be repainted. “Fir Green is kept exclusively for our Fendt models, because we don’t want to confuse anyone,” adds Reetz with a smile. This also applies of course to the 4160 V variable round baler which was delivered punctually in time for the start of the harvest. Though the baler will have to be used initially in Nature Green, we’ve already made an appointment with the workshop for the respray. The latest addition to the team should then be able to take its place alongside the Fendt family.

Liquid manure spreading with automated guidance system

After replenishing the fleet over the winter, it was time for the machines to swing into action in spring, in difficult conditions. The wet autumn of 2017 was followed by a cold 2018 spring, reaching a peak with snowfall over Easter. Neither manure spreading nor planting could be carried out as planned. As the weather turned warmer at the end of April. the jobs began to stack up. The two powerful Allgäuers worked together to spread the liquid fertiliser, with the 933 acting as a delivery vehicle for the 1050, which was hitched in front of a Veenhuis slurry tank. With 30 m³ of liquid manure on board and a working width of 36 metres, between 80 and 120 m³ per hour was applied. Here’s where the Fendt Variotronic comes into its own. Precise following during liquid manure spreading is only possible with the VarioGuide guidance system. The RTK signal which is picked up by the NovAtel receiver puts the liquid manure spreader on the right track.

The Fendt 720 Vario also saw more action with the 12-row maize drill during the exceptional spring of 2018, leaving dead straight tracks with the Horsch Maestro, both day and night. It was high time to plant the maize in the soil, so SectionControl was worth its weight in gold. The section control reduced the chance of duplicated tracks during single grain planting, therefore also reducing the seed quantity and taking the pressure off the operator. “This alone convinced us that our investment in the Variotronic would pay dividends very quickly,” summarised Reetz. Yet he also like to be the tech-savvy farmer with his tractor. The night shift has become the “boss’ time” so that he can work with manufacturers to enhance the technology.

Adjust, control and monitor everything

Using an RTK signal, VarioGuide always steers the tractor on the right track, reducing overlapping, and keeping gaps to a minimum. As not all tramlines are rectangular, even on a large farm, the automatic SectionControl can implement your preferences for controlling the maize seed drill units. With SectionControl, maize seeds can planted with exceptional accuracy – fully automatically without having to enter the sowing parameters manually, but just by linking the implement to the ISOBUS interface. An analysis is first run by staff to see whether the workflows can be optimised. This is then passed on the manufacturer. This is how Agrarservice Rügen works each day with its Fir Green fleet.

As to the question of why he went for a Fendt 18 months ago, Reetz simply shrugs. “Heino, why did we buy the 720,” he shouts across the vehicle shed. His employee shouts back straightaway. “It’s quite simple really – leaders drive Fendt!” The boss can only smile and agree.

From left to right.: Employees and Fendt drivers Maik Bülow and Nico Rohde