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The short transition times and the excellent threshing results on the slope

are very important for us.

Heiko Ranft, Ranft pig farm in Hesse, Germany - Fendt Rogator, 5275 C PL, 700, 500 Vario, Farmer 309 LS, Favorit 514 C, 509 C

The short transition times and the excellent threshing results on the slope

are very important for us.

Pig breeding and animal welfare - a winning combination

Animal rearing, protection and quality seals are the focus of consumers and farmers. As a model demonstration company in animal welfare, Heiko Ranft from the Ranft pig farm in Hesse, develops concepts for keeping long-tailed pigs under conventional pig breeding methods.

"I want to play an active part in shaping the future, and my daily work focuses the development of concepts for animal welfare and eco-friendly work methods,” explains the native North-Hessian. Heiko is a 5th generation farmer whose pig farm includes rearing piglets. His farm is located on both sides of the road through the small village of Neuenbrunslar. The location is typical Hessian with breeding stables in the middle of the village and the fields on the outside. In 2003, the farm owner converted his business from mixed farming to breeding sows. He built new breeding stables in 2007, which were extended in 2016. Since June 2018, Heiko has been part of a research project as a model demonstration company in animal welfare. It explores alternative rearing systems for the conservation of the long-tail breed, funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). On his farm, he converts the stables and changes feed and employment materials with a good success rate. To this end, he is still working on the development and expansion of mobility farrowing pens in an in-house project.

Pig rearing takes up most of the farm owner's working time, but he also farms his own land and works as a contractor. Downtime or delays are not an option for him, so he has invested in the towed field sprayer, the Fendt Rogator 355, with a 27-metre wide boom. “For me, impact on the field is crucial. A lot of tasks depend on schedule or weather. That's why I don't want to have to rely on a contractor,” Ranft explains. Especially with integrated plant protection, quick response times are important if harmful thresholds are exceeded.

Helmut Stieglitz is usually seen at the helm of the sprayer, affectionately nicknamed 'third-year apprentice pensioner'. Since it arrived in Summer 2018, the Fendt Rogator 355 has already sprayed 310 hectares of land. It saw a lot of action particularly early this year, in February's warm spell. Once in use, the farmer immediately noticed that less resources would be needed, as the sprayer works with SectionControl for precision and no overlapping. This is environmentally friendly and reduces costs. He was also impressed with the automated boom height guidance system. “In the Hessian hills, the terrain is full of dips and bumps. The automatic, autonomous boom height adjustment is very practical. In our diverse crop rotation, I use the interchangeable nozzles a lot, so then I always have the right nozzle for the product and can apply it to suit,” says Helmut. In action, he noticed the sprayer's many driverfriendly aspects, such as the LED headlights on the spray boom and controlling the Rogator on the Fendt terminal with the sprayer joystick.

In addition to the Fendt Rogator, Heiko Ranft's machinery also includes Fendt tractors, such as a Fendt Farmer 309 LS, which is used for field edging, a Fendt Favorit 514 C and a Favorit 509 C as well as a Fendt 720 Vario, a Fendt 516 Vario and a Fendt 5275 C PL combine. For their four children they have a Fendt Kettcar and two Fendt pedal tractors, for his two sons Noah and Til and two daughters Ida and Mila to happily race around on.

The Fendt 5275 C PL combine harvester is particularly suitable for the Hessian hills, earning its keep with some run-outs boasting a 15% to 20% incline. It threshes over 250-300 hectares of both rapeseed and cereal across the season. “The short transition times and the excellent threshing results on the slope are very important for us,” says Ranft.

Ranft transports piglets with the Fendt tractor

The tractors on the Ranft farm are put to use in arable farming, yard work and transport work, with the farm manager himself having to transport piglets. He uses one of his Fendt tractors and his own piglet trailer for this. The piglets go to direct sellers in the area, who care about locally sourced produce and animal welfare. One of his customers even has a visitor's stable so customers can form a direct bond with the agriculture, in particular with animal rearing. Heiko regularly invests in new technology so he always works with the latest machines and prevents investment backlogs. The plant representative for Fendt Plant Protection, Gerd Leopold, was decisive in the purchase of this sprayer. Heiko was impressed with his in-depth expertise and product knowledge, as well as advice that was precisely geared to the requirements of the farm. The purchase was then made through Raiffeisen Waren GmbH, based in Kassel, and its local branch in Gudensberg. “Cooperation and great service are important to us, as is the short distance of just 6 km to the workshop,” says the farm owner. “If a machine breaks down, we need a quick solution, and this partnership makes it all run smoothly,” says Timo Wyss, Workshop Foreman at Raiffeisen Waren GmbH.

When Heiko Ranft isn't working on the farm, he spends his free time with his wife and four children or with friends and family doing woodwork. This year, his woodmaking even takes him to the German Championships in firewood splitting. Heiko Ranft signed up as a team together with four other men from the village.