A day in the life of ...We told the stories of four families in Germany, now we present the Ukrainian Company Agropod Service. The company is set in the never-ending plains of western Ukraine in the Ternopil region. The agricultural business has very high expectations in terms of quality and flexibility led to them deciding on TERRASEM mulch seed drills from PÖTTINGER for their sowing technology.
Agroprodservice in Nastasiv, Ternopil region, Ukraine
Ivan Chaikivskyi, Company Founder
Andrii Baran, General Director
Vitalii Chaikivskyi, Technical Director
The picturesque village of Nastasiv, home to Agroprodservice, is set in the never-ending plains of western Ukraine in the Ternopil region. The agricultural business keeps livestock, grows crops and processes and markets their own farm products. Their very high expectations in terms of quality and flexibility led to them deciding on TERRASEM mulch seed drills from PÖTTINGER for their sowing technology.
The family-owned business Agroprodservice was founded nearly 20 years ago. In the beginning they worked mainly on breeding crops. They then entered livestock production with pigs. Today, the company is one of the leading pig fatteners in Ukraine. "We have nine pig sheds, a barn for breeding bulls and four dairy cattle units", explains Ivan Chaikivkyi, the company's founder, "and with 2 million chickens we are also successful in the poultry sector. Last year we started up our own turkey farm.“
We get the feed we need from the forage mixing plant in Nastasiv. This produces around 75,000 tonnes of feed a year.
The 42,000 hectares are planted with crops that are typical for the region: winter wheat, winter rape seed, winter barley and several summer crops such as summer barley and peas. In recent years we have grown corn maize and soya beans as forage for our own animals. The beans are processed in our own soya plant to make oil and soybean meal. Anything we don't use ourselves is exported to Europe.
At the company's location in Nastasiv there is also a seed plant where they have modern laboratories that work intensively on seed breeding. The agricultural giant is represented throughout Ukraine with its own seed material.
Two years ago, Agroprodservice started processing meat so that they could process their own animal produces themselves. Many products that are largely handmade are sold through their own retail outlets.
This highly successful agricultural firm has high demands on quality as part of its company philosophy, which also focusses on appreciation of their employees and the company's roots in the surrounding area. "Our employees are our most important asset", says Andrii Baran, the General Director of the company. With 2,000 employees, they place great emphasis on continuity: the company's management motivate their staff with permanent wage increases and various social benefits. The owner is a family man who strives to promote the local community, families, and improve future opportunities for the community's children. The recipe for success at human level includes a range of different regional social projects in village schools, kindergartens and churches.
Quality is a very important part of the company philosophy. "We want to offer our customers the highest quality, which begins in the field and extends into our shops", says company founder, Ivan Chaikivkyi. It was with this philosophy in mind that Agroprodservice discovered PÖTTINGER. The slightly higher investment costs are clearly accounted for by the added value and they have the figures to explain them. "You only find free cheese in a mouse trap", jokes the company founder.
"We have set ourselves the target of increasing our profits. We see a potential of around 15 to 20 percent, especially in efficiency", says the General Director, Andrii Baran.
With a view to increasing efficiency while maintaining quality, the company tested several machines. Following tests with a variety of seed drills that produced convincing results and they purchased their first TERRASEM. Meanwhile there are now six of these PÖTTINGER mulch seed drills in operation at this large farming operation.
"Because of the enormous distances and different sizes of our fields - from 10 to 300 hectares - we need a very flexible and high output machine. The TERRASEM produces a perfect result in varying soil conditions", says the Technical Director and brother of the company owner, Vitalii Chaikivskyi, highlighting the flexibility of the mulch seed drill.
The dimensions of the farms are so huge in Ukraine that despite rain it is quite possible that fields in some areas are still dry. In such a case the machine can adapt very quickly from the conditions in one field to another. As a result, large areas can be processed with just one seed drill. Another advantage of the TERRASEM is that seedbed preparation and sowing take place in a single pass. This protects the soil from drying out.
The Technical Director, Vitalii Chaikivskyi, enthuses about the advantages of the machine: "Perfect plant growth, observing the development of the plant following germination, that is what matters most."
"We have set ourselves the target of increasing our profits. We see a potential of around 15 to 20 percent, especially in efficiency“
A wide range of products at Agropod Service:
The Lanzinger Family
Organic dairy farm, Dorfen | Germany
Bernhard Lanzinger and his wife Andrea are the fourth generation to run their small yet successful organic farm in Dorfen, near Erding in Bavaria. They do not have any worries regarding the future of the business because with their four children, the fifth generation – future PÖTTINGER fans - know what lies ahead of them. That is some time away, however, because the youngest was born in the summer of 2017.
"The kids also help out eagerly on the farm and around the house", says their mother, who is keen to make sure that they get to grips with farming as early as possible.
The Lanzinger's family life is completely dedicated to their farming business. That they also have a lot of work to do themselves is nothing out of the ordinary. Having close ties between family and business does not disturb these organic farmers at all. They both very much appreciate the advantages of a family business that make this possible.
For soil preparation, the Lanzinger Family use a TERRADISC compact disc harrow, a three-row SYNKRO stubble cultivator and a LION power harrows. Grass harvesting for the organic dairy farm is performed with a NOVACAT 301 CLASSIC disc mower, a JUMBO and a JUMBO COMBILINE loader wagon. Careful and clean forage harvesting is very important, especially for an organic farm. The farmer harvests fresh grass twice a day for his cattle. "I make a point of using a disc mower because it cuts the grass very carefully and conserves the sward so that there is less contamination in the forage," says Lanzinger, highlighting the advantage of his machinery, "and the milk yield is also much higher."
They decided to switch to organic farming some years ago. The young farmers found themselves in a never-ending spiral of pressure and no longer wanted to keep having to grow no matter at what cost. "Changing to organic was the right thing to do. It is more fun and you are no longer dependent on the industry regarding fertiliser, etc." says Lanzinger.
It is not a problem that they hardly have any time for holidays since the Lanzingers really enjoy working on the farm and everybody in the family is happy with their lifestyle.
"In summer, driving out to harvest fresh grass twice a day is a fulfilling task that I look forward to doing," says Lanzinger, satisfied that his daily routine has real purpose.
„In summer, driving out to harvest fresh grass twice a day is a fulfilling task that I look forward to doing.“
A wide range of products at the Lanzinger farm:
Power requirement 160 to 450 hp - volume 38 to 49.5 m³
Power requirement 160 to 450 hp - volume 36.5 to 48.1 m³
The Buttjer Family
Contractors, Rhauderfehn-Holte | Germany
Windmills, wind turbines and a beautiful tidal flat landscape are what you imagine when you think of East Frisia in the Lower Saxony area of Germany. It is here that the Buttjer Family have their company. “Moin!” they call out in greeting when you arrive in the yard. Their agricultural machinery contractor business is 60 years old. Hans-Hermann Buttjer now runs it with his son Ingo as the second and third generation.
For professional harvesting, the successful father-son team rely on a 4-rotor TOP 1252 C rake and several high capacity JUMBO and JUMBO COMBILINE loader wagons. Their satisfaction with the high quality and an attractive design are the reason why the business decided to go for PÖTTINGER over the past 10 years.
The young Buttjer is particularly pleased about living and working outdoors. He says it is exciting work because you always need to be flexibly to work with the weather.
Thanks to their vicinity to the North Sea, the coastal flatlands also play a special role. These areas are within the tidal zone or along side arms where rivers meet the sea. They are nature conservation areas and cannot be enlarged. Ideal terrain for deploying a loader wagon. “This is where the loader wagon comes into a class of its own,” is how Buttjer describes the effectiveness of his machinery: “It is more economical for the customer with the loader wagon than with a harvester convoy.”
In addition to working many small areas, the loader wagons also deliver perfect performance in larger fields too: in Northern Germany agriculture has also gone through structural changes with larger farms needing to work larger areas. That is also why the harvest windows have become much smaller for harvesting grass. You need to be able to rely completely on the technology you have available. “We need 100 percent uptime with our machines. We can never catch up on lost downtime,” says Buttjer, highlighting the reliability of his loader wagons. Father Buttjer’s passion for agriculture is something that the business owner enjoys best in East Frisia. Although he has visited other regions, he appreciates the beauty of the landscape and the sheer attraction of the area he lives in. He intends to stick to his roots and says “There are many beautiful places in Germany, but East Fresia always draws me back home again.”
„We need 100 percent uptime with our machines. We can’t make up for breakdowns.“
A wide range of products at the Buttjer farm
Power requirement 160 to 450 hp - volume 38 to 49.5 m³
The Eichhorn Family
Cattle breeders and contractors, Schluchsee | Germany
Idyllic landscape, happy cattle, contented people and high performance technology - and all on Martin Eichhorn’s farm. Here, the whole family is involved in making things happen.
The farm has 34 hectares of grassland and specialises in breeding suckler cows. As contractors, their machinery is in action all over the southern area of the beautiful Black Forest region.
The new NOVACAT A10 mower combination and a NOVADISC 900 cut around 300 hectares per year and they cover around 1,000 hectares with their four loader wagons. “The loader wagons are reliable and powerful. They need to be pretty resilient in the Black Forest,” says Eichhorn, confirming the robust construction of the machines:”Our customers appreciate what we do”. You get a real sense of the pride he has in his work.
Quality is very important in terms of working results, but also when it comes to spare parts. That they are always readily available is an additional advantage. When they place their winter order they go for whole sets of knives and blades. Eichhorn is committed to original quality when it comes to spare parts: “I don’t want to have anything to do with copies! We prefer to invest a little bit more to get the right quality”.
The harmonious way of living on the farm is reflected in their attitude towards their livestock: “It is awe inspiring to see how the calves are born and the develop.” Success and failure go hand-in-hand when it comes to cattle breeding, says the farmer, as with so many things in life. Once everything turns out fine at the end of the year, then everybody is happy. Although several members of the family have other jobs, they meet every day to sit together and help out because they all love living and working on the farm.
The 85-year-old grandmother is still “as sprightly as a deer”, is how they fondly describe Lisa Eichhorn. She helps out, cooks for everyone, bakes cakes and loves gardening. That she also makes sure that the show is kept on the road from behind the scenes is something that the head of the family is not so keen to hear, explains the highly amused daughter. Lisa Eichhorn has a love and joy for life. She is a die-hard family person and very much enjoys living in the Black Forest.
The happy farm lady thrives on a harmonious family life and an enthusiasm for farming. “I could never move into a city; the landscape is far too beautiful to leave behind,” she enthuses.
"I don’t want to have anything to do with copies! We prefer to invest a little bit more to get the right quality.“
A wide range of products at the Eichhorn farm:
Best ground adaptation - 2.62 to 3.46 m working width
Power requirement 160 to 300 hp - volume 30.5 to 35 m³
The Thelen Family
Contractor and dairy farmer, Kall | Germany
Hans-Willi Thelen (TPS Contractors). Together with his family, he operates a contractor business and a farm with 150 diary cattle under organic management. With PÖTTINGER machinery he creates quality time for other things, enjoys his work and offers the best forage quality and operational reliability.
The Thelen Family talk about their life running a successful organic dairy farm and contractor business and the role played by the right technology: Hans-Willi, the father, operates the contractor firm while his son Martin manages the organic dairy farm with 150 dairy cattle.
The farm is located at 150 metres above sea level on the edge of the northern Eifel and is entirely dedicated to permanent grassland. They have almost none of their own machines. The contractor TPS, in which Thelen has a one-third share, takes care of the grass forage harvest. With the help of two employees, they also provide contractor services to other customers to keep the business profitable. Three JUMBO COMBILINE loader wagons harvest around 1,000 loads of silage and transport 200 loads of harvested grass and maize. The TOP 1252 four-rotor rake handles 1700 hectares per year.
The high output of the machines and the very high base forage quality are especially important for the organic farm. "When all the parameters are right, we obtain around 10,000 litres of milk per day on average", explains Hans-Willi Thelen enthusiastically. You immediately notice that the animals are the most important factor for the dedicated organic farmer, because as Thelen says, it is the livestock that achieve the output to ensure success: "It is extremely satisfying to work with the animals and manage the herd", he says. Several awards and the positive business figures give him a good feeling and are the reward for his enthusiasm in what he does.
For Hans-Willi Thelen it is the chopping quality of the PÖTTINGER loader wagon that is the most important factor, especially for compaction in the clamp. "If silage is produced with a high energy content and lots of nutrients, then this makes a significant contribution to increasing quality and improving milk yield", explains the contractor confidently. This is also important for financial success, but not just on their own farm. In addition to the organic dairy farm, highly satisfactory contract services are also provided to other customers. "If you bring a PÖTTINGER loader wagon, then I don't need a harvester any more," is something that Thelen has often heard from customers who previously used a harvester to chop their forage. That pleases him even more. After all, the operational reliability of the machines and the excellent service gives the Thelens more time for what matters, which is time for the family.
Father and son look back on a successful working day and are satisfied with the result.
The machines are also very much appreciated by the customer. One customer who used to use forage harvesters said quite clearly: "If you bring a PÖTTINGER loader wagon, then I don't need a harvester any more."“