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Automation the name of the game at 2016 Farm Progress Show

The Farm Progress Show, as its name suggests, brings to the forefront the latest in agricultural technology each year. This past edition was no different as Case IH and New Holland each unveiled their autonomous tractor concepts at the annual Iowa event. Case’s cabless tractor system was presented through video alongside New Holland’s driverless machine, ran completely by computers while performing the same operations of other human-ran row-crop tractors — with ease.

What it comes down to is robots at work in farm fields.

Autonomous tractors are no new concept. The Autonomous Tractor Corporation was formed in 2011 with the goal of converting already marketed tractors to those without drivers as well as the production of newly automated systems. This latest showing by the two companies highlights the first serious effort by large equipment manufacturers to jump towards the completely robotic way of life. With GPS assisted tractors having been in the fields for several years now, the technology has allowed for more accurate position measurements, opening the goats to robots planting crops.… Continue reading

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Purdue researcher, student aim high with UAV airflow research

A Purdue University agronomy professor and an aeronautical engineering technology student joined an international team of researchers in Germany this summer to explore a new use for unmanned aerial vehicles — known as UAVs or drones — in meteorological research.

The project, funded by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, is one of the first to use UAVs to explore the nocturnal boundary layer, a stable atmospheric layer that forms during nighttime hours when the ground is cooler than the air. While daytime airflow is mostly predictable and measurable, nighttime airflow is poorly understood and difficult to measure, said Richard Grant, professor of agronomy at Purdue.

“Air essentially sloshes around at night,” he said. “The movements are much slower than in the daytime. Things are much more stable at night and therefore harder to predict.”

Grant’s team collaborated with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology to track the flow of carbon dioxide and methane gas through the atmosphere with the goal of measuring how air flows throughout the layer.… Continue reading

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Economic depreciation change for equipment

Deterioration in profit margins for major Midwestern field crops over the last three years has created a changing environment with respect to farm machinery and equipment investment. The strong returns for Midwestern field crops from 2006 to 2013 together with favorable tax incentives (bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing) led to strong demand for new and used farm machinery and equipment over this period. The subsequent period (2013 to present) of lower crop prices and profit margins has led to relatively weaker demand for farm machinery and equipment over this period. This weaker demand has led to softer markets for used equipment and trade-ins. These lower prices for farm machinery and equipment trade-ins has created a higher rate of implied economic depreciation for this machinery and equipment compared to the previous high profit period.

An analysis of farm machinery and equipment sales data from the online used farm equipment sales platform, Machinery Pete, allows us to examine the change in resale prices of used farm equipment over the period of profit margin change from 2000 through 2015.… Continue reading

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Challenger 1000 Series debut at Farm Progress Show

Challenger, a global brand of AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), introduced an entirely new category of tractors to North American agribusiness operations during the 2016 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. The Challenger 1000 Series tractors, the largest fixed-frame tractors in the world, are the agricultural industry’s next ‘must-see’ innovation. Designed to deliver lower cost of ownership and improved productivity per acre, the Challenger 1000 Series tractors can be the single solution for both heavy draft and row crop work.

The Challenger 1000 Series tractors combine the power of a small-frame, articulated 4-wheel drive with the flexibility and speed of a lighter-weight, fixed-frame row crop machine. They are offered in four models ranging from 396 to 517 engine horsepower with a weight range of 31,204 lbs. (14,153 kg) to 50,706 lbs. (23,000 kg).

“Agriculture in North America is undergoing yet another evolution as operations become even larger and require more efficiency and productivity from their overhead investments,” says Josh Keeney, tactical marketing manager at AGCO.… Continue reading

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John Deere and Frontier Equipment introduce TipsNotebook.com

Customers who have their own “how-do-I-do-that” kind of questions now have a convenient, trustworthy, one-stop resource for the answers. John Deere and Frontier Equipment have launched a new website, TipsNotebook.com, offering more than 45 helpful articles and videos on how to tackle many of those property jobs and projects.

“Go to TipsNotebook.com and you’ll find the kind of how-to information customers are really looking for,” says Scott Geier, manager, sales/marketing, John Deere. “You’ll find instructions and product information on a range of topics including gravel drives, fence building, garden building, mowing, seeding, snow removal, water control, and much, much more.”

TipsNotebook.com grew out of conversations with customers about what information they really wanted when working with their equipment. Tips and ideas about ways to maintain and improve their property and get the most out of their equipment were clearly at the top of their list.

“There are other places that have this kind of information,” adds Geier.… Continue reading

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Yetter offering new header cart for smoother harvest

Transporting large combine heads is a daily task during harvest. Yetter Farm Equipment introduces the 8500 Head Cart Trailers to make the job safe, quick and easy.

“Our Head Cart Trailers were designed using ideas from farmers and dealers. They provide the performance our customers are expecting,” said Tyler Thomas, Yetter territory manager. “They allow clearance for the Stalk Devastator™ or stalk stompers on corn heads, facilitating easy transport and attachment or detachment from the combine.”

The trailer design is durable, ready to meet the demands of moving heavy draper heads and large corn heads. Each cart has quick tie-down ratchets and straps that tightly secure heads to the cart. All carts are equipped with twin rest brackets that are adjustable and work with various combine head models. “These rest brackets can be adjusted without tools,” added Thomas.

Yetter Head Carts are available in widths of 27′, 32′, 38′, 43′ and 48′.… Continue reading

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2016 Fall Expo coming soon to JD Equipment

JD Equipment, the largest John Deere dealership group in Ohio, is proud to announce that registration is open for their 2016 Fall Expo (formerly World’s Largest Combine Clinic). The 2016 Fall Expo will be held Friday, August 26 at their London, OH location located at 1660 US 42 NE, 43140. This year’s event will welcome guests from all across Ohio and surrounding states.

Participants at the 2016 Fall Expo will have the opportunity to attend classes instructed by JD Equipment’s agriculture and farm equipment experts that focus on various functions of John Deere combines and other John Deere related products. Class topics this year will cover Combines, Field Prep, Precision Agriculture and Nutrient Management. One hour of CCA continued education credits will be available for the Nutrient Management class (0.5 NM, 0.5 SW). Safety seminars will be available to attend at any time during the event and field demonstrations will be available following lunch.… Continue reading

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Selecting and environmental alarm

If an equipment malfunction or power outage occurs in an agricultural facility when nobody is there to notice, the environment can quickly become deadly to animals or plants. For example, failure of a greenhouse heater on a cold winter night could freeze plants. Ventilation failure on a hot summer day can kill animals. To help prevent such losses, a monitoring system can be installed and programmed to send an alert if critical environmental parameters reach dangerous levels. With the right sensors, alerts can also be sent out in the event of ruptured water lines, power outages, and/or other equipment failures. A monitoring system will hopefully never be used, but if it is, could easily pay for itself the first use. Functionality, reliability, safety, false alarms, and costs should be considered in selecting an alarm.

 

Alarm functionality

An alarm can be a stand-alone device or an integrated part of a plant or animal facility’s environmental controller.… Continue reading

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Unverferth adds Model 1400 to NutriMax liquid applicator line

Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. announces the addition of the Model 1400 with 1400 gallon capacity to its NutriMax liquid fertilizer applicator line. The NutriMax applicator helps ensure optimum crop performance through the precise placement of nutrients during the growing season when most needed by the plants.

The NutriMax applicator optimizes the grower’s equipment investment for liquid application with a durable, long-lasting design for years of high-speed application accuracy. The Model 1400 toolbar is manufactured with 7”x7” tubing on the mainframe and wings and is available with a 40-foot toolbar that folds to 30 feet for dual-width application with a variety of row spacings from 22” to 36”.  Its patent-pending folding design provides a narrow 13’4” transport width and height for safer road travel and the 36” toolbar clearance enhances the application window.

The exclusively designed 1,400-gallon tank is constructed of thick-walled polyethylene for long life and a containment tank sump that functions like a sump within a sump for holding the last 20-30 gallons of liquid on sidehills and inclines to maintain a primed pump.… Continue reading

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Unverferth announces 55 Series Seed Runner Seed Tender

Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc. announces its new 55 series Seed Runner self-filling seed tenders for enhanced operator ease and gentler seed handling. Seed Runner seed tenders are ideal for the widest variety of bulk seed handling including corn, soybeans, cotton, peanuts and wheat.

The original patented, self-filling dual-compartment Unverferth Seed Runner bulk seed tender set new standards for functional design innovation when first introduced in 2006. Seed Runner seed tender innovation continues today with a new lower profile tank design and gentler conveyor design for easier and smoother filling.

The exclusive patent-pending rubber belt design features U-shaped rows of cupped, offset cleats for gently carrying seed at up to 40 percent higher capacity. The rounded discharge chute is fitted with a rubber lining for even-gentler seed handling. Two standard downspouts are included – 4-foot flexible for central fill planters and drills; two-stage telescopic with 34-foot reach on XL models and 30-foot reach on others.… Continue reading

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John Deere announces new software release for Operations Center

The John Deere Operations Center provides value to growers with tools and features that enable them to easily access farm information to better manage their operations. They are able to see and analyze performance and collaborate with partners to gain insights, increase profits, and direct their plans with more precision in the field.

Now, just in time for fall harvest, the new software release for the Operations Center offers a more complete solution with the addition of valuable features like Variety Locator, which automatically detects the crop variety being harvested and Harvest ID, Cotton Maps which make it easy to identify module locations and track cotton quality back to where it was grown.

Also, introduced are the new Tillage Maps and Speed Maps which offer insights into which variables affect yield and help to round out operational data layers for performance analysis.

“This latest release is a big step forward for our precision ag solutions,” says Ryan Borcherding, Product Manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group.… Continue reading

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New Challenger 1000 Series offers new category of powerful, intelligent tractors

Challenger®, a global brand of AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), introduces an entirely new category of tractors to North American agribusiness operations. Challenger 1000 Series tractors are the industry’s most versatile standard tractor and the ‘must-see’ innovation for 2016. Designed to deliver lower cost of ownership per acre, advanced connectivity and world-class Challenger performance, they are available in four powerful models ranging from 396 to 517 engine horsepower. Producers will get their first look at the tractors during the 2016 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 30-Sept.1.

“The needs of producers in North America continue to evolve as operations become larger and require more efficiency,” says Josh Keeney, tactical marketing manager at AGCO. “The Challenger 1000 Series tractors bring an entirely new solution to the market. These tractors combine the power of a small-frame, articulated 4-wheel drive with the flexibility and speed of a lighter-weight, fixed-frame row crop machine.

“Using what we call the new Accu™ platform, the 1000 Series tractors are built to be smarter, more intuitive and efficient, to help producers reduce input costs, increase productivity and ultimately be more profitable,” Keeney adds.… Continue reading

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Pork production environment control products introduced

AP (Automated Production Systems) is launching advanced new heating, feeding and ventilation equipment used in pork production.

VariFlame variable rate heater

VariFlame is the industry’s first modulating heater that can work with any control system in the world. It seamlessly synchronizes and adjusts with the temperature curves set in the controller to maintain desired room temperature.

Brian Rieck, AP product manager, said VariFlame connected to AP’s EDGE™ controller also provides remote access, giving producers control of their heaters and many other inputs from a single system. “Producers can access diagnostics and adjust barn settings remotely from any web-enabled device,” he said.

Other unique features of VariFlame connected to EDGE include:

  • LED temperature probes, which provide flexibility to not only operate the heater, but also control curtains, fans and other equipment.
  • Stir-fan mode, which allows producers to continue circulating air through the heater without turning on the burner as the animals grow and the heater is no longer needed.
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Five tips to reduce spray drift

Due to concerns for production costs, safety, and the environment, it is important to maximize the pesticide deposit on the target. One of the major problems challenging pesticide applicators is spray drift, which is defined as movement of pesticides by wind from the application site to an off-target site. Spray drift accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Spray drift not only result in wasting expensive pesticides and pollution of the environment, it may damage non-target crops nearby, and poses a serious health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring.

Although complete elimination of spray drift is impossible, problems can be reduced significantly if you are aware of major factors that influence drift and take precautions to minimize their influence on off-target movement of droplets. The factors that play a role in either the creation, or reduction of spray drift are: a) Spray characteristics, such as volatility and viscosity of pesticide formulation; b) Equipment and application techniques used for spraying pesticides; c) Weather conditions at the time of application (wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity and stability of air around the application site); and most importantly, d) Operator care, attitude, and skill.… Continue reading

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Michelin unveils new Ultraflex Tires for sprayers and harvesters

Faced with finding tires to support today’s heavier farm equipment, farmers are also looking to protect the integrity of the soil, improve productivity and enhance crop performance on their farms. One of the most effective ways to improve yield is to minimize soil compaction by using tires that are designed to operate at lower air pressures compared to standard radial tires. Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom completed a three-year study involving Michelin’s Ultraflex Technology IF (Increased Flexion) and VF (Very High Flexion) tires that demonstrated a yield increase of up to 4 percent compared to standard radial agriculture tires.1

To this end, Michelin is introducing three new tires for North American farmers that are designed with Michelin Ultraflex Technology, an innovative tire and casing design that promotes soil protection, fuel savings, longer service life and greater endurance. At the Canada Farm Progress Show, June 15 ? 17 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Michelin will feature the following new tire models, designed for sprayers and harvesting equipment, in Booth 70420 (Hall 7) in the Credit Union EventPlex:

MICHELIN® SprayBibTM VF 480/80R46 177D
The new VF480/80R46 177D MICHELIN SprayBib is one of the latest additions to Michelin’s VF sprayer line.… Continue reading

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New app improves logistics and efficiencies at harvest

Julian Sanchez and Howard Gerwin, both from John Deere’s Technology Innovation Center in Champaign, Illinois, shared details of a new app developed to help farm operations direct their fleets efficiently this harvest season.

GrainTruckPlus helps farmers manage their grain harvesting fleet from their field to their preferred elevators. They’ll know where team members are, where the nearest elevators are, and get information about wait times at those elevators.

Get the free app for Apple devices or for an Android platform.… Continue reading

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John Deere introduces MaxEmerge 5e row units for spring 2017

To help corn and soybean growers improve planting accuracy, reliability and uptime during this critical time of year, John Deere introduces the MaxEmerge 5e row units. Available in time for use next spring, the variable-rate MaxEmerge 5e row units can be used on a wide variety of John Deere planters, including popular mini-hopper and DB planters.

DetailBrian Boelens, product specialist John Deere Seeding, says the new MaxEmerge 5e row units provide significant improvement in seeding population accuracy across the full width of the planter, especially when operating on curves. “With planters equipped with the electric meter drive for each row unit and related technology, customers can achieve up to a 20 percent improvement in population accuracy and eliminate a potential one to two percent yield loss due to seeding inaccuracies.”

While the MaxEmerge 5e row units still utilize a seed tube, an electric drive meter on each row unit replaces traditional shafts and drivelines, allowing each row unit to work independently.… Continue reading

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Deere announces allied distribution agreement with 360 Yield Center

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) has entered a multi-national allied distribution agreement with 360 Yield Center to sell and support 360 Y-DROP and 360 UNDERCOVER application products through the John Deere dealer channel in the U.S. and Canada.

“This innovative application technology from 360 Yield Center,” says John May, president, agricultural solutions and chief information officer, John Deere, “helps to improve timing and placement of nutrients with John Deere and Hagie application equipment, including self-propelled sprayers and toolbars. John Deere dealers will be able to provide sales and service support for these application products to help producers apply in-season nitrogen and plant health products where and when it’s needed.”

With the recent announcement by Deere of the joint venture with Hagie Manufacturing to sell and service Hagie high-clearance sprayers, the distribution agreement with 360 Yield Center will bring more alignment and innovative technology to the Deere and Hagie sprayer line-up.

Overall“Demand for the 360 Yield Center nitrogen utilization products is tremendous.… Continue reading

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A western Ohio farmer’s notable antique tractor collection

Just east of the Ohio-Indiana state border sits Green Oak Farms where a barn of Gale Long’s is filled with an impressive collection of antique tractors. The Ohio Ag Net crew came across the collection during this year’s Feeding Farmers tour. Long said he has been bringing together the tractors for several years, getting a few here and a few there, eventually amassing what amounts to quite the sight. No particular color has sway on the barn as Farmall, John Deere, Allis-Chalmers and much more decorate the shop.

Watch as Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visits with Long about the old iron.

 … Continue reading

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Updated John Deere T670 Combine offers improved capacity, uptime

For model year 2017, John Deere T670 model walker combines will have significant enhancements to boost productivity, threshing capacity, and straw quality for baling while making service and maintenance much easier and less time consuming. These are all benefits that U.S. and Canadian small grain producers will appreciate when it comes to harvesting during often tight windows and tough conditions.

OverallAccording to Terry DeMay, senior marketing representative for John Deere Harvester Works, the newly updated T670 Combine will lead the industry with several new features, helping to make it the most productive walker combine available.

“The new model year T670 combine has one of the largest active separation areas and largest cleaning shoe of any walker combine on the market today,” says DeMay. “We’ve increased productivity by 15 percent in wheat and increased unloading rates by 50 percent. We’ve also made it easier to switch between small grains and canola, and improved the service points to allow producers to spend more time harvesting and less time waiting.”

For customers harvesting both canola and small grains, the new T670 has a new swing-in Booster Bar that makes switching between crops easier and faster – often in less than 5 minutes – and easier to adjust as crop conditions change.… Continue reading

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