09 August 2017

Salamanca potatoes: the most delicious

​We had never before spoken about potatoes on our website. This time, we had the pleasure of chatting with José María González (we met him in Demoagro 2017 Farm Fair and besides he is the creator of Agricultura Española Facebook Group) in order to explain us a few details of this interesting crop. José María lives in ​​Villoruela village (Salamanca) where he together with his brothers have a farm to grow cereals, rape, corn and potatoes.

Potato tasks begin by sowing in April. They sow entire potatoes and they use a dose of 1,100kg/he. After that, they should perform the irrigation task, which will begin weekly with an average of three irrigations per week from May to August... this crop generates a lot of work during all his life. During this days, they have begun to harvest potatoes (the yield is about 60,000 kg/ha)

They dedicate about 30he of red patatoes (Monalisa and Manitou variety). A part from that, Agria variety is very common in Salamanca, as José María told us it is the best potatoes to taste. Farmers have two options to sell potatoes: for fresh, (they are sold in small bags at the supermarket) or for industry (to make chips and other pre-processed dishes). José María and his brothers sell all their potatoes for fresh and they are normally exported to Portugal. The price are between 0.20€/kg and 0.04€/kg for fresh market and 0.14€/kg for industry market (farmer has a contract since sowing days).

As you can see in his pictures, they work with Grimme bunker harvester SE 85-55 that allows them to harvest about 2 hectares per day (4 trucks daily) at 4.5 km/h working speed and it fills big bags of 1,000kg. The distance between rows is 75cm. Several staff work on Grimme machine to select and remove defective potatoes.

As José María said, the potato market is really awful because many times the fixed price is not respected when they sell his potatoes. They sell all their potatoes for intermediary who will export them to Spain and Portual. If the potato arrives in bad conditions to the destination (even if the farmer is not the responsible) or the final distributor doesn't like them, the price is lowered or even the merchandise returned to the farmer. On the other hand, if the potato is for industry, potatoes must pass many controls that guarantee the level of frying (they have to look nice after frying). If those conditions are not fulfilled the price that the farmer will get will be much lower.

José María, we will have to taste those fantastic potatoes!!

Versión en español.

25 July 2017

Bet on red: Massey Ferguson

​Our great friend Julián Martínez bet on red when he bought the new Massey Ferguson 5712 SL Essential. Of course, the Massey Ferguson's slogan is fantastic and it can brief the good jobs carried out in last years by the manufacturer and especially the subsidiary in Spain: great professionals that want to do a good job with prices really adjusted to the Spanish market. This is a France tractor (it comes from Beauvais factory), and it was delivered by Agrocampo dealer (Albacete) in only a few weeks.

Julián told us that he had some offers of different brands. Finally, he decided to buy the Massey Ferguson 5712 SL Essential which we consider a right decision because:
  1. It is in an ideal power segment for a small Spanish farmer.
  2. It is a very versatile tractor that will be used to work with implements (cultivator, plough, seed drill, sprayer, fertilizer ...) front loader and transport with trailer. The Series 5700 SL has been the tractor of the year 2016 in the modality of "Best Utility".
  3. It owns enough technological equipment to avoid becoming obsolete in many years.
  4. The specifications-quality-price ratio has been the best.
Julián has a good opinion about his tractor after 100 working hours. The tractor conveys a sense of extraordinary power. Its engine (AGCO Power) can generate high power from very low engine revolutions (it has a fairly flat torque curve). The Dyna4 gearbox ​is very fine and soft both on the road and working in the field. Another remarkable feature that stands out is the beauty of the tractor. Its ​bonnet​ ​is singularity, since it has a pronounced drop that certainly helps to work with the frontloader. The ​bonnet​ ​is made of polycyclopentadiene (a very strong plastic).

The main features that we would highlight of the Massey Ferguson 5712 SL Essential are described below:
  • AGCO Power 4.4 litres and 4 cylinders. Electronic injection/Common rail.
  • Selective catalytic reduction high Efficiency SCR "all in one" technology.
  • Max power at 2,000 rpm: 120 HP.
  • Max torque at 1,600 rpm: 502Nm.
  • New dashboard with SIS - Setup and information color screen.
  • Dyna4 16F/16R Semi-powershift gearbox with left-hand Power control.
  • Transmission to neutral with brake setting​ for frontloader tasks.​
  • Max speed: 40 km/h.
  • Max oil flow: 100 l/min with two standard spool valves.
  • Max lift capacity of rear linkage: 5.200 kg.
  • PTO speeds: 540/540 ECO/1,000.
  • 4,800 kg weight and 2,550 mm wheelbase.
  • Fuel tank capacity: 180 litres.
  • Firestone 380/85 R28 and 460/85 R38 tyres.
  • MMA of 8,500kg (max load front axle of 3,500kg and max load rear axle of 6,400 kg).

Versión en español.