Mark Sale - Station Farm, Cambridge, UK
Mark Sale runs an all-arable farming operation extending to around 650 acres, comprising three principal blocks over 11 miles, from his base at Station Farm, Fen Road Lode, to the north-east of Cambridge.
In the summer of 2014, Mark bought a nearly-new (ex-demonstration) MF 7624 from the area’s Massey Ferguson dealership, Mark Weatherhead's, which was fitted with an AutoGuide Egnos automatic steering system. He decided to upgrade to a version that received location signals from a greater number of satellites (Glonass and Galileo) in order to achieve greater operational accuracy.
Mark explains that the Egnos system is accurate to around 30cm, but that the upgrade to Glonass delivers considerably sharper 10cm accuracy. “Depending on the task you’re working on, you can upgrade just by paying an additional subscription for the time when the extra precision is required,” he says.
Mark’s land ranges from “heavy, sticky clay to light, fluffy fenland soil – a bit of everything, really.” So far, he has only used the Auto-Guide 3000 system for cultivations and fertiliser spreading and agrees that it has provided him with greater accuracy, timeliness, economy and speed of operations. He is currently assessing the advantages of a further upgrade for even greater precision when the task of drilling comes round again.
“From the operator’s point of view, you can do a better job all-round when you’re using this system,” he says. “Between turns, for example, you can be looking behind you to check you’re getting optimum performance from the hydraulics.”
Of the Auto-Guide 3000 system, he is says he is now completely sold on it. “I would definitely have another one,” he says, with enthusiasm.