Prime agricultural locations of the Danube countries, and of Bulgaria and Romania in particular, are often referred to as the Iowa of Europe. Agriculture in these countries is characterised by a dynamic development process and offers vast potentials for the latest advancements in arable farming.
Against this background, Case IH and Swedish manufacturer of agricultural machinery Väderstad jointly invited eleven specialized European journalists to participate in a practice-oriented press study tour in mid-September 2014. During the excursion, journalists had the opportunity to become acquainted with leading agricultural businesses in Romania and Bulgaria, and to gather first-hand impressions regarding agricultural developments in general and technological concepts in particular. The programme of the study tour included visits to three innovative agricultural enterprises, in most cases with an agricultural area of more than 5,000 hectares.
Farm managers provided information on the crops grown, on recent developments and on challenges involved in further developing the business, and outlined future objectives. "Journalists were very impressed by the rapid development that is visible in the region. With particular regard to production technologies and processes, these businesses have reached western standards long ago. The use of most modern technologies, be it high horsepower tractors or latest equipment for seeding and tillage, crop protection and harvesting, is long since standard. Almost all of the farms visited during the excursion rely on modern concepts of precision agriculture. In addition, ‘economies of scale’ allow for very efficient and – in light of the current price situation – also profitable business concepts at present", explained George Stanson, Business Manager for Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Serbia.
Visiting Agrotrade Komers near Pleven in Bulgaria, an enterprise with about 5,000 hectares of agricultural area, was one highlight of the press study tour. On this farm, which is managed by Marin Marinov and Iliyan Andronov, a new seeding record with sunflower was set using a Magnum 340 and a Väderstad Tempo R12 in April.
During the press study tour, these sunflowers were harvested. On that occasion, participating journalists were able to watch the operation of both a new Case IH Axial-Flow® 9230 combine and a Case IH Magnum tractor during subsequent tillage. The programme was completed by numerous expert statements on the agriculture of the region. Andrew Parsons, Marketing Manager Eastern Europe and Balkans at Case IH, explained that these countries are amongst the most important producers of soybeans as well as sunflowers.
Case IH is highly appreciated by professional businesses. "These ‘power-hungry investors’ appraise ultimate productivity. Very reliable machines with high performance and corresponding support are key requirements here. Added to that is the fact that, in order to cope with the demanding climate situation with in part extremely short time spans of favourable weather conditions for example, highly flexible solutions for mechanisation are sought after. There is also the limited training of operators. Simple, intuitive and safe operation is therefore another critical success factor", highlighted Stefan Bogner, Business Director and responsible for Case IH distribution in the region, during the study tour.