When manufacturers launch new combine harvesters, the attention usually centres around a large capacity machine requiring an arm and a leg to finance.

However, there are still reasonably priced machines available to farmers wishing to cut their own crops.

Massey Ferguson is the latest company to show some activity at the farm orientated end of the market with a revamp of its Activa range of smaller machines.

Simplicity over gadgets

The company claims to have completely renewed the combines which are of conventional straw-walker design. They now deliver more power and additional features along with the option of the Multi Crop separator on all models.

The three new models are said to be straightforward and dependable, designed to perform in a wide range of crops on small to medium-sized farms.

The machines are headed by a completely new 260hp model, the MF Activa 7344. This is joined by a 226hp model, the MF Activa 7343 and smallest of all, the 185hp, MF Activa 7342.

DIY combining

According to the company, the new models are targeted specifically at those looking to harvest their own grain rather than rely on contractors.

crop flow straw walkers
At heart, the Activa machines remain traditional harvesters with five straw walkers in each

Among the features highlighted by Massey Ferguson is independent concave adjustment – front and rear – set electrically from the cab.

The company also points to its optional Multi Crop Separator (MCS) which is said to increase overall separation by up to 20%, although details on quite how or where this fits into the crop flow are, unfortunately, not given.

Choice of combine heads

There is also a choice of Freeflow or the belt delivery Powerflow, header. These give a choice of cutting widths from 4.6- 6.2m, depending on model.

Massey Ferguson claims that Powerflow heads boost output by up to 73% in oilseed rape, 15% in wheat and 12% in barley.

AGCO’s own Stage V, four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines are used. They have been specifically tuned to deliver the torque and power suitable for harvesting operations.

Massey Ferguson combine harvester cab
The cabs on the three models have been upgraded and the multifunction joystick now includes the auger control

The electronically controlled, three-speed hydrostatic transmission has been upgraded for the new models and is described as giving more precise and responsive control in the field.

The cab has also attracted the attention of the engineers with more comfort and greater ease of control due to a seat-mounted armrest which, itself, is air-suspended.