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Fendt tractors are enormously efficient with regard to time, quality and fuel.

Kerem Bolat, head of agricultural equipment maintenance, Ceylanpinar Farm, Turkey - 900 Vario

Fendt tractors are enormously efficient with regard to time, quality and fuel.

The land where pistachios grow

If you want to walk the Ceylanpinar Farm in Turkey, you not only need suitable footwear, but also lots of patience. The farm measures around 45 km north to south, and a good 80 km east to west. With an acreage of 163,593 hectares, the largest agricultural enterprise in Turkey manages land more than three times the size of Lake Constance. It’s the ultimate in farming.

The farm is named after the region of the same name, Ceylanpinar, and is close to the Syrian border in south-eastern Anatolia. It is a region well known for extremely hot and dry summers, where summer temperatures of 45° and above are not unusual. When the first Fendt tractors were delivered to the farm, the terminal display even showed 55°C. Working on hot days would be a real endurance test without the air conditioning in the tractor. Around 380 tractors are in use on the largest farm in the country, including 20 Fendt 900 machines.

From cotton and pistachios to cattle and goats

Temperatures like these and the constant threat of summer drought are among the challenges faced by the farm. The yellowish brown soil typical to the region is actually fertile, but the lack of rain in summer quickly dries it out, leaving behind soil that is like dust. Overcoming these challenges requires much hard work and financial investment. Around 1,600 wells were drilled between 2009 and 2014. They ensure that around 37% of the total acreage can be irrigated.

Thanks to the irrigation system, a wide variety of crops are grown on the huge Ceylanpinar farm, including classic crops like wheat, barley, maize, oilseed rape, and soya, but also cotton, pulses, sunflowers, clover and pistachios. Some of the clover and maize harvest, as well as vetch, a species of plant from the legume family, is used for forage. Cattle, sheep and goats make up the rest of the farm.

“Fendt not only enjoys a good reputation, but thanks to the early warning system, tractors are diagnosed in good time, and feature outstanding fuel efficiency and innovative technology. In Kutlucan, we also have one of the best and strongest importers in Turkey. These were all key factors in our decision to choose Fendt tractors.”

Halil Ibrahim Özbayat, Deputy Chairman of the TIGEM Organisation (General Directorate of Agriculture Enterprises)

A peaceful life on the megafarm

More than 3,000 people are employed on the vast farm, with most of them living on site. A small village has sprung up in the midst of the huge fields. One of the residents is Kerem Bolat. The 31 year old has worked on the farm as head of agricultural equipment maintenance since 2014, and looks after the maintenance and repair of various machines. Like many of his colleagues, he also lives in staff accommodation on the premises.“The farm is a big part of my life,” says the qualified mechanical engineer, not least because there’s just 250 metres between home and my workplace.” He mostly spends his free time with his colleagues, playing volleyball and football, or in the farm’s own swimming pool. A nursery, primary school and middle school on the Ceylanpinar farm premises caters for employees’ children. The farm also includes a guest house for government officials and visitors, as well as a small park where gazelles graze. According to Kerem Bolat, life on the big farm is just like that of a small village, everyone knows and trusts everyone else.

20 times full Fendt power

In all, 380 tractors work on the largest agricultural enterprise in Turkey. With 360 HP, the 20 Fendt 936 Vario tractors are the most powerful. Our farm is so vast, we’re really busy the whole year through with tillage and harvesting,” says 31 year old Kerem. “That means that our Fendt machines work at full capacity, but also that they have to shoulder a huge burden.” This is also evident in the running hours of some machines. The tractor fleet running hours for spring 2018 were between 17,500 and 20,500.

Machines need to operate at full power, especially when it comes to ploughing these vast expanses, as they often have to work with a combination of front and rear plough. The performance capacity of the Fendt tractors is similarly put to the test when using 8 metre wide disc harrows or 12-row seeders. But for Kerem Bolat, it’s not just the power that makes Fendt tractors indispensible. “Fendt tractors are enormously efficient with regard to time, quality and fuel. Our smaller tractors in combination with a 4.2 metre long plough use around 13.2 litres per hectare, while our Fendt tractors use just 9.4 litres per hectare with a 5.6 metre long plough,” explains the qualified mechanical engineer. “In the end, the figures don’t lie!” These figures play a important role – especially with a field size of 163,593 hectares, and that’s why it’s full steam ahead with Fendt in future for the largest farm in Turkey.