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Flexibility the name of the game for Geringhoff Truflex Razor

On display at this year’s Farm Science Review, the Geringhoff Truflex Razor combine header brings the unique care of draper technology with the immense flexibility needed in today’s modern farming. In addition to a foot of flex travel on each wing, the reel has three sections, giving higher visibility from the operator’s perspective when compared with most reels — split down the middle — obstructing the view of the driver. Those are some of the offerings that Geringhoff’s Scott Brown says sets the Truflex Razor apart from other’s on the market, detailed in this video ahead of next week’s Farm Science Review where equipment of all kinds is on display.

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World’s first self-propelled round baler unveiled

Vermeer has introduced a unique piece of equipment at this week’s Husker Harvest Days — the world’s first self-propelled round baler. The prototype ZR5 self-propelled baler looks to make quick work of any field while offering ride quality and maneuverability.

“Our patent-pending suspension technology allows operators to better handle the bumps and jostling that naturally comes with baling hay,” said Josh Vrieze, Vermeer product manager. “If you think about all those bumps over the course of the day or multiple days, ride quality can really impact the operator. In the ZR5, operators experience a smoother, more comfortable ride with the cab uniquely positioned over the suspension.”

With a nod to the lawn care industry, Vermeer has applied zero-radius turning to the steering system in the self-propelled machine. This feature allows operators to gain better maneuverability and driving efficiency than a conventional tractor-baler combination.

“Operators can spend less time turning in the field and more time baling.

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Deere acquires machine learning tech company

Deere & Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Blue River Technology, a calfornia-based leader in applying machine learning to agriculture.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with a Blue River Technology team that is highly skilled and intensely dedicated to rapidly advancing the implementation of machine learning in agriculture,” said John May, President, Agricultural Solutions, and Chief Information Officer at Deere. “As a leader in precision agriculture, John Deere recognizes the importance of technology to our customers. Machine learning is an important capability for Deere’s future.”

Blue River has designed and integrated computer vision and machine learning technology that will enable growers to reduce the use of herbicides by spraying only where weeds are present, optimizing the use of inputs in farming – a key objective of precision agriculture.

“Blue River is advancing precision agriculture by moving farm management decisions from the field level to the plant level,” said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology.

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Reducing pesticide spray drift using a universal computational model

Application of pesticides using air-assisted, ground-based sprayers or airplane sprayers (or even drones in the very near future) has become a necessity to ensure high efficiency crop production. Meanwhile, intensive and extensive pesticide spray also has caused significant safety, health, and environmental concerns. Development of advanced precision and smart spray application technology and management can enable sustainable crop production and reduce the safety, health, and environmental concerns.

 

Off-target deposition and drift of pesticide

Spraying pesticides to suppress plant diseases or insect prevalence is a very complicated process. It involves mechanical generation of spray droplets, delivery of droplets to various plants, interaction of spray droplets with crops and the ambient environment, on-target droplet deposition, off-target droplet deposition onto ground, and off-target droplet drift in the atmospheric environment. Please notice that pesticide is typically sprayed as liquid droplets but sometimes can be applied as very fine dry dust particles. The U.S. EPA defines pesticide spray drift as “the movement of pesticide dust or droplets through the air to any site other than the area intended.” Obviously, we all wish a 100% on-target pesticide deposition because both off-target ground deposition and atmospheric drift represent not only as a loss of chemicals and waste of money, but also serious environmental pollution problems.

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May Wes expands product offerings

May Wes is the first to offer an after-market poly corn snout replacement for the Case IH 3400, 3200, 2600 Rigid, 2400 and 2200 Series corn heads and the New Holland 99C, 98C, 98D, 96C and 996 Series heads. The initial offering includes complete center row snout units for 30-inch row spacing. Presently the center poly snouts are available for delivery and retail for $762 per snout assembly. The end poly snouts are scheduled to be available soon. These new center row poly snouts are based on the popular GVL Poly Series II “Jack Knife” design that folds up, in and down.

 

Exclusive distributor of GVL’s Agri Poly product line

May Wes is the exclusive distributor of GVL’s Agri Poly product line. GVL offers two design series; the Jack Knife and the Rigid. The Jack Knife has double pivot points allowing the units to fold up, in and down for easy access for maintenance and optimizing storage.

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New RoGator C Series Row Crop Applicator from AGCO

AGCO introduced the RoGator C Series self-propelled row crop applicators and all-new LiquidLogic system, which will make its public debut during MAGIE 2017. The new technology-loaded, user-friendly RoGator and liquid application system deliver innovations needed to meet the needs of today’s crop production industry, professional applicators and farmers.

“With the prevalence of herbicide-resistant weeds throughout the country and the introduction of new herbicide systems to control these weeds, greater management and attention to detail will be needed for anyone applying herbicides,” said Mark Mohr, tactical marketing manager for AGCO’s application division. “The engineering and technology of the RoGator C Series machines and new LiquidLogic system are going to help operators simplify their jobs, reduce potential for off-target application, make cleanout faster, easier and more thorough and reduce product waste.”

The FlowLogic recirculation plumbing keeps product moving through the boom, plumbing and filters to reduce chemical buildup and help eliminate plugged spray tips.

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Beck’s introduces planter that changes row-width, hybrids on the go

A new planter for use in Beck’s Practical Field Research is turning heads. The multi-row width multi-hybrid planter is a joint effort by Beck’s to answer more questions being asked in the field of prescriptive farming. With the ability to change between 10-, 20-, and 30-inch rows on the go, researches hope to see what difference such customization can have on crops and whether or not the planter technology has a wider place in the future of farming.

The planter looks to be heavily used in corn, wheat, and double-crop soybean research in the 2018 season, as explained by Jason Gahimer and Rich Schlipf in this video with Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood.

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Agri-Barrier a valuable Ohio-made farm product

Built and sustained with the hard work of rural west Ohio, Celina Industries is a unique company involved in nearly all facets of the custom textile business. One division of their diversified offerings is Agri-Barrier, a product that’s making a name for itself across the countryside for quality barn curtains with multiple technologies suited best for the conditions that farmers need it to weather.

In this video, we take a look around their hi-tech factory where their products are made, as well as a trip to the countryside to see their barn curtains in action.

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Apple Farm Service now offering Arrowquip cattle handling equipment

Arrowquip is pleased to introduce the newest member of the Arrowquip Family: Apple Farm Service Inc. of Covington. Apple Farm Service has earned their reputation within the agricultural and construction industries as a provider of top-quality equipment and customer service. They are now expanding their service into a new avenue by providing ranchers with innovative cattle handling solutions designed to benefit the rancher and the ranch.

“Their knowledge of high-quality agricultural and construction equipment is extensive, and we are confident that our cattle equipment is an excellent fit Apple Farm Service’s manufacturer lineup,” said Andrew Firth, Arrowquip president. “We are thrilled to have Apple Farm Service join our valued Dealer Network.”

Apple Farm Service Inc. was founded by Henry Apple in 1956, originally under the name of “Apple Chopper Service.” From humble beginnings as a small shop on Henry’s farm in Ohio, the business has grown to include locations in Covington, Botkins, Mechanicsburg, and West College Corner, Ind.

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Champions of agBOT Challenge 2017

Driverless robotic machines entered the fields of Gerrish Farms in Rockville, Indiana in June 2017. Universities and entrepreneurial teams showcased the newest technology in agriculture, demonstrating machines capable of autonomously moving through the fields to plant seeds, identify plant health with detection and eradication of weeds. Gerrish Farms and airBridge, along with Platinum Sponsors The Climate Corporation and Yamaha Motors welcomed the teams for competitions.

Muchowski Farms, CalPoly, Virginia Tech, Colorado Mesa University Team Grit, Ohio State, Lairdscape and PeeDee Precision Ag presented innovative solutions in the Seeding Competition on June 24. After a full day of in field demonstrations and presentations, Team Lairdscape was awarded $25,000 and the title of agBOT Challenge 2017 Seeding Competition Champion. CalPoly was awarded Second Place and $15,000. Third Place and $10,000 was awarded to Muchowski Farms.

On the following day, June 25th, Purdue, North Star Robotics, IUPUI, University of Regina, Muchowski Farms, Team Gizmoze, Colorado Mesa University Team Grit, PeeDee Precision Ag and Prairie Robotics provided the crowd with demonstrations and presentations of innovative solutions in the Weed & Feed Competition.

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Archbold Equipment Co. rebrands and is now Redline Equipment

Archbold Equipment has rebranded and is now Redline Equipment. The company has a new name, new logo and tagline: any season, any reason, any time.

“We’re the same people, at the same locations, with the same ownership, but with a new vision,” Zach Hetterick Redline Equipment CEO said. “We have been working since the beginning of the year to define who we are, so we stay relevant to our customer base and to ensure our team is working in the same direction.”

For more than 20 years the board of the directors have discussed changing the name, but could not agree upon one. Having the name of the company with several locations being the same as the name of a town created difficulty and confusion.

“The rebrand is part of our long term strategic plan,” Hetterick said. “We enlisted the help of a third party who worked to capture the voice of the customer.”

The information captured was used to create brand concepts.

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Ohio Ag Equipment acquires Witmer’s, Inc., Equipment Division

Ohio Ag Equipment announced the acquisition of Columbiana County AGCO dealer, Witmer’s, Inc., effective June 19, 2017. The acquisition of Witmer’s, Inc., Equipment Division demonstrates Ohio Ag Equipment’s serious and long-term commitment to the ag industry. The combined strengths of both organizations will provide customers in eastern Ohio with an exceptional line of equipment and product support.

“In our early discussions, it was clear the Witmer family had two concerns. They wanted to be sure their customers and employees would be supported through this process and in the future,” said Mike Mampieri, General Manager of Ohio Ag Equipment. “We, at Ohio Ag Equipment, can appreciate these concerns and will work to build on the Witmer legacy by providing outstanding customer support and by welcoming our new team of employees into the extended Ohio CAT family.”

Going forward, ag sales and service will continue out of the Salem, Ohio location and with the current staff.

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John Deere introduces 4640 Universal Display for tractors

The new John Deere 4640 Universal Display raises the bar for performance, uptime and cost of operation as part of the latest John Deere Generation 4 Operating System. For customers, this translates into better data collection, increased application functionality, and greater choice for monitoring and managing many tractor-driven field operations.

The new 4640 Universal Display enables customers to use the most common and popular John Deere applications, including AutoTrac, documentation, and Section Control, in a portable display that has the latest internal components, design and user interface.

“The new 4640 Universal Display provides a transportable, easy-to-operate solution for customers with the John Deere Generation 4 operating system,” said John Mishler, production and precision ag marketing manager for John Deere. “Some enhancements built into the display include more on-screen help and diagnostic information to keep operators running and informed of their display capabilities; simplified Work Setup app with page-by-page navigation; and greater user customization of run pages.”

When it comes to performance, the 4640 Universal Display provides improved documentation for high-speed planting and nutrient applications, coupled with the latest data syncing functionalities for increased on-board/off-board flexibility.

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Ag Info Tech, LLC moving to a new facility

Ag Info Tech, LLC. is moving to a new facility July 3. Ag Info Tech’s newest partner, Central Ohio Farmers Co-op of Marion, purchased the facility formally owned by the Movers & Shuckers at 19325 Zolman Rd. in Fredericktown. Central Ohio Farmers Co-op will operate the grain elevator and will be renting the office building and shop to Ag Info Tech, LLC. The new location is right where St. Rt.13 transitions from a four-lane to a two-lane highway just north of Fredericktown.

“We are excited about this move because it will give us the shop space to rebuild and modify customers’ planters up to 24 rows or 60 feet inside our shop,” said Tim Norris, CEO of Ag Info Tech. “With the addition of this 10,000-square foot shop, our technicians will be more efficient and have everything that they need for any retrofit.” Ag Info Tech has an open house tentatively scheduled for Aug.

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Interim expansion strategy offers option to meet grain storage challenges

Many farmers who have experienced large grain harvests in recent seasons now realize they need more grain storage capacity as they look ahead to anticipated production for 2017.

Installing a completely new grain storage system is a good long-term solution for expanding capacity and improving efficiency. However, for farmers who may be facing budget or time constraints this season, another option is an interim expansion strategy to help meet 2017 grain storage needs, according to GSI (Grain Systems, Inc.).

Gary Woodruff, GSI conditioning applications manager, said there are cost-effective strategies to add more capacity for this season in a way that also enables new grain handling/storage equipment to be incorporated into a future new system on adjacent land.

“A short-term, interim expansion this year can meet anticipated grain storage needs for 2017 more quickly and at a significantly lower cost than planning and installing a completely new grain storage system, yet still provide the components of a future new system,” Woodruff said.

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Precision Planting deal between Deere and Monsanto terminated

Deere & Company announced it was informed by Monsanto Company that it has chosen to terminate a 2015 agreement for Deere to acquire the Precision Planting LLC business.

“We are deeply disappointed in this outcome as we remain confident the acquisition would have benefited customers,” said John May, President, Agricultural Solutions and Chief Information Officer.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice brought legal action in an attempt to block the transaction. Deere and Monsanto were prepared to present their case for approval of the acquisition later this year. May said, “With an opportunity to see this to conclusion, we believe it would have been clear the challenge to the transaction was based on flawed assessments of the marketplace.”

Two agreements related to Deere’s purchase of Precision Planting will also be terminated, including the digital collaboration agreement between Deere and The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto. Also ending is an agreement that would have allowed Ag Leader to expand access to and distribution of certain Precision Planting products and technologies.

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Propane Council launches new grain dryer technology to save energy

The Propane Education & Research Council partnered with three different agricultural companies to develop new fuel-efficient grain drying technologies that will help agricultural operations save money.

PERC invested in the research and development of GSI’s heat reclamation system, Mathews Company’s redesigned Legacy Series grain dryers, and Sukup Manufacturing Co.’s new burner design. PERC provided industry expertise and financial support through the research, development, and testing process for the new technologies.

“PERC prioritizes the development of new technology that advances energy efficiency,” said Cinch Munson, director of agriculture business development at the Propane Education & Research Council. “By working with leading agricultural manufacturers to advance efficient grain drying technologies, we can help ensure that farmers operate as cost-effectively as possible.”

Energy savings were the driving force behind PERC and GSI’s development of a new heat reclamation system for tower dryers. The reclaimer was engineered to capture air from the lower part of the drying portion, above the cooling section.

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What is the value of precision ag?

Over the last few years we bought a lot of trinkets. Some paid for themselves and some did not. I had a recent question from a group of farmers about the value of precision ag and I didn’t have a ready answer. Since then I did some checking on what was of value from the precision ag offerings.

First, here a results from Nebraska in a 2015 survey with 125 respondents on: what are they willing to pay for?

  • GIS based soil sampling.
  • Yield monitor and yield mapping.
  • Guidance based steering, mostly autosteer.

Next was from a grower survey by USDA/ERS in 2010 and 2012.

  • Who uses precision ag? Corn and soybean growers, mostly.
  • For what purpose? Yield mapping and guidance systems.

Next I found a survey of farmers in the EU in 2014. They asked some interesting questions and from my experience farmers think alike, so I’ll include it.

  • Why use?
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Planter in-cab display terminology

The planting operation is arguably the most important field operation since it establishes maximum yield potential of a seed when placed in the soil. In terms of planting performance, four factors of focus to maximize yield potential and are at the control of the planter operator are 1) population, 2) uniform spacing, 3) uniform emergence, and 4) planting timing and field capacity. Three of these four important factors, population, seed spacing uniformity, and field capacity (ac/ar) can be directly monitored during the planting operation from the in-cab display.

This and other information is provided by new in-cab displays providing the operator real-time feedback. Precision planter technology can help monitor and ensure population and spacing expectations are being met during field operations. This real-time feedback also provides opportunity to the operator to make timely adjustments or most importantly make sure seed is being placed properly to maximize yield potential. Many planter displays today provide additional meter, planter and tractor parameters that can be valuable feedback to the operator along with data (e.g.

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This is a big year for spray nozzles and replacement decisions

This is the time of the year you must complete shopping for nozzles because the spraying season is just around the corner. Although nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance. First, nozzles meter the desired amount of liquid sprayed per acre. Second, nozzles help us spray the liquid uniformly over the width of the sprayer boom. Third, nozzles influence droplet size, affecting both target coverage and spray drift risk. For these key reasons, you need to make sure your sprayer is equipped with the right kind and size of nozzles, and they are still performing within the acceptable range of performance they delivered when they were new.

If you were happy with your nozzles last year, and if you are not switching to a new pesticide, all you need to do this spring before the spraying season is to check the flow rate of each nozzle to make sure the nozzles are not worn out.

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