Ukraine is potentially one of the largest markets for high-quality agricultural machinery. It’s a huge country, at least by European standards, with varied soil and climatic conditions. And the equipment Ukrainian farmers often opt for includes brands familiar to Canadians, such as Versatile, Bourgault, Kello-Bilt, Schulte and Massey Ferguson.
Two months ago I was on a business trip in the southern part of Ukraine — very close to occupied Crimea — and took these photos. Ukraine is one of the few countries in the region where it is possible to grow an exotic crop such as rice. To grow it, this field is a depression in the ground of three hectares (about 7.4 acres). In the spring water is poured in from an irrigation canal, and in the fall it’s drained.
It is very difficult to find a combine able harvest rice in wet soil. After testing a few models, these Ukrainian rice farmers chose a Massey Ferguson 7347 S on tracks. Interestingly, rice can be harvested even in cold weather, so the 7347 S has to work in conditions ranging from high humidity and heat to freezing temperatures.
Along with combines, Massey Ferguson tractors are also becoming more popular in Ukraine. Equally popular are Kello-Bilt disc harrows, which are used by farmers who often have to develop soil that has sat idle for several years.