JK Machinery has 30 years of experience in development and production of special equipment for agriculture and food industry. The main direction of business is equipment production, design and delivery of complete technology for cleaning, sorting, hulling and milling of agricultural products. The company currently operates in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. The list of nearly 20 European countries where the company does business also includes Finland. And it was Finland that we set out for to talk to JK Machinery’s sales representative and farmer, Harri Laine from Pornainen. Besides his experience with JK Machinery’s technology and its sales, he also talked about the way of farming in this harsh part of Europe.
People in the Czech Republic do not know much about farming in Finland. Could you please briefly introduce Finnish agriculture and its specifics to us?
In Finland, there are about fifty-five thousand farmers and about 10–15% of them are engaged in organic farming. Most farms have a smaller area of land, the current average is about 50 ha (in the south of Finland, it is about 68 ha, in the north 32 ha). For a farmer with, let’s say, 100 ha of land to earn a living, they need to have also other sources of income in addition to those from farming. For example, forestry work, where they can also utilize agricultural machinery, such as tractors and semitrailers, or snow removal in winter. Most farmers also try to increase the value of their field produce to achieve a higher added value. Alongside farming, it is also possible to successfully market agricultural machinery as an additional source of income. As for me, I decided to go for JK Machinery cleaners.
Can you introduce your farm to us?
We are engaged in fully organic farming, at an area of 170 ha, about 50 km north off Helsinki. Our key crops include cereals, mainly common wheat, as well as spelt, rye and oat, which is hugely popular. Our crop rotation system includes legumes too – peas, broad bean and, to a smaller extent, hemp or buckwheat. In the centre of our grounds, there are residential and farm buildings and a machinery warehouse. A grain silo with a dryer and cleaner is also within view.
As you have mentioned, your farm is in the south of Finland. But the north is bound to have a different growing season and lower temperatures. Am I right? Is the way of farming different in the two regions?
Crop farming is mainly done in the south part of Finland. Going north, cattle farming is more common, both for meat and milk. In general, the growing season in Finland is shorter than in central Europe, which is reflected in later sowing and harvest, delayed by about a month or a month and a half.
You have also mentioned a cleaner. I presume that as a dealer of our cleaners, you use a machine by JK Machinery. What type is it?
I use the VibroCompact JCC 08 cleaner to clean all kinds of cereals and other crops. About seven years ago, it replaced the original Petkus cleaner. By replacing it with the VibroCompact, I achieved a higher output. The new cleaner also requires significantly less space, which is another considerable advantage.
Do you also use your cleaner as a demonstration machine for customers. What other machines can you show your customers?
Of course, I use the clearer to demonstrate the cleaning process. It is important to make sure that customers who arrive here see the cleaner in real operation. It is an enormous advantage. In the building opposite the residential house, there is a great place with a line for hulling peas or broad bean. The technology includes machinery by JCC, JGD, JHP and slow-running elevators. The line is also used for presentation purposes, as well as for my needs – we hull 35 tonnes of broad bean and 15 tonnes of peas a year.
How come a farmer like you starts selling agricultural machinery?
As I have said, smaller farmers need to have another source of income too. I used to sell tillage equipment, but since 2014, I have been cooperating with JK Machinery, selling cleaners and dehullers mainly. It all started when I purchased machines for hulling and cleaning peas. Everything worked just fine, and so I started selling the machines as well.
What are the most popular JK Machinery machines in Finland?
Small cleaners of less than 5 tonnes for fine cleaning are needed most. Today, number one is definitely the JCC 08. As for dehullers, the most sought-after one is the compact dehuller JHC 03 for oat.
How many machines a year do you sell?
I usually order three full trucks a year, sometimes more, i.e. definitely more than 30 pieces a year. The VibroCompact JCC 08 and JCC 05 cleaners and JHC 03 and JHI dehullers are in highest demand. I also manage to sell a few pieces of the VibroMAX cleaner and JGD destoners every year.
Do you have a place to store the machines that are delivered to you, or do they go directly to customers?
I have a warehouse for the machinery and I always try to have one free cleaner available there. In addition to the machinery, I also have a sufficient number of screens and some other spare parts in stock. If customers need to have something fast, they don’t have to wait for delivery from the Czech Republic. They can simply pick up the parts here.
What do you appreciate most on your cooperation with JK Machinery?
First of all, I have to say, that the Czech Republic has a long and rich industrial and handcraft history. The same can be said about machines made by JK Machinery. We can talk about a high-quality product with an added value. And their prices are highly favourable too! To put it simply, “value for money“. JK Machinery is a smaller and flexible company, so our relationship is personal and we deal with any matter basically immediately. It is very important for me.