Kansas farmers got a chance to see, ride and drive the new German-made Fendt 900 and 700 Series tractors when Agco took a pair of the tractors on a roadshow across the state to three Lang Diesel Inc. dealerships in late July.
The new tractors, which will be officially unveiled at the Farm Progress Show, held Aug. 27-29 in Decatur, Ill., are now available to order from select Agco dealers. Judging from the participation at the LDI dealership event in Garden City, Kan., the first Fendt tractors designed specifically for the North American row crop market are already generating a lot of interest.
“We have the first models in port right now,” said Brian Lang at the July 25 event. “We expect to see them in the dealership by the end of September. For people who place an order now, we expect it will be delivered to the farmer by the end of the year.”
Lang said he expects the models to sell well despite the ongoing downturn in the farm economic cycle.
LDI has been in business for 31 years, Lang said, and he has maybe seen only five to seven years in all that time that he would call a “really good economy.”
“I think we are going to see tractor sales tick up a bit in the coming year,” he said. “There are longtime farmers who have managed well and done well over the years. There are still new buyers out there.”
Kevin Lang, strategic marketing director for LDI, said that the response in the wake of the roadshow has been good in that there is a “sizable uptick in quoting activity.”
The dealership has already placed some additional orders.
READY TO RIDE: Kansas farmers got a chance to drive the new Fendt 900 and 700 Series tractors during an event at the Land Diesel Inc. dealership in Garden City, Kan. The tractors were also shown at LDI dealerships in Colby and Smith Center, Kan., during an Agco roadshow in July. The unit in the background belongs to local farmer Rodney Befort, who brought the Fendt 1000 Series tractor he purchased a couple of years ago to display at the event.
“The Fendt is a premium tractor with a lot of options,” Kevin Lang said. “You can customize it to anything you’d like. What we are ordering is the stock versions. We pick what we believe fits the market in Kansas.”
He said he was pleased with the Garden City event.
“The crowd we had were people who were seriously interested,” Kevin Lang said, “And we had people at the store that day that had never been there before. We had people that parked combines and windrowers and came in for a chance to see and drive those tractors. It’s pretty exciting to get to work with people and offer them something to help them be more efficient and profitable.”
He added that he was honored to have local farmer Rodney Besort, who owns a 1000 Series Fendt that he uses to pull silage equipment, bring his rig to the lot so those coming to get a look at the newly introduced 700 and 900 models could see the bigger tractor as well.
“The fact that he was willing to bring his unit out for display shows his pride of ownership,” Kevin Lang said.
A number of farmers who did not attend the morning presentation came in later in the afternoon to get a chance to participate in the ride and drive event, Kevin Lang said.
“It’s been about a yearlong process for Lang to become a Fendt dealer,” according to Kyle Kitt, Agco marketing manager. “The dealership has to make a commitment to parts, sales and service.”
After Garden City, the tractors were headed to LDI dealerships in Smith Center and Colby, Kan.
POPULAR FEATURE: One feature that drew a lot of farmer interest at the Garden City event was this front-end loader that has a self-contained scale, which allows a farmer to weigh bales as he or she loads them or know exactly how many pounds of feed are being delivered to the bunk.
Kitt said he has visited the factory in southern Germany where Fendt tractors are manufactured and was impressed with the quality of the factory and the history of innovation at Fendt, which began in Germany 90 years ago. Kevin Lang said that he was also on that trip and was impressed with the pride of workmanship that he saw at the factory.
“I was impressed that they have a three-year apprenticeship for machinists,” he said. “And that the turnover rate for the factory is only around 2%. The factory floor workers were dressed in khakis and polo shirts, and you could eat off the floor it was so clean.”
“We’re excited to bring this product to western Kansas,” Kitt said. “Today is a milestone for LDI and for Agco.”
At walkarounds and driving opportunities, the farmers who attended the event were full of questions and excited about the possibilities the tractors presented. One feature that drew particular attention was the loader attached to the 700 Series model, which offers a self-contained scale. This enables a farmer to weigh bales as they are picked up in the field, or to weigh feed being delivered to a feed bunk.
“We just ordered a few more of those,” Kevin Lang said. “I think those are going to be popular with cattle [producers].”