Measuring Tractor Engine Performance

Engine PerformanceI am not a tractor technician. But even someone like me can learn a lot from the trainers at New Holland. During Operation Blue Force our agricultural media group got a lesson in measuring tractor performance and validating Tier 4B. This was part of our training that focused on New Holland’s Hi-eSCR solution.

In the lesson which you can watch in the video below you’ll learn about maximum horsepower, rated engine HP and rated PTO HP which is the important measure. When it comes to performance “torque is king.” The presentation includes a live tractor measurement demonstration.

New Holland Operation Blue Force Photo Album

New Holland’s Tier 4B Solution

David KohuthTier 4B. We’ve all heard about it but how many of you understand it? If you watch this presentation that was done by New Holland’s David Kohuth during Operation Blue Force you’ll have a much better understanding. It’s the best explanation I’ve heard so far. New Holland has settled on ECOBlue™ Hi-eSCR technology as their final solution and David walked us through it and also compares it to other options in the marketplace.

New Holland introduced their first Tier 4B compliant tractors at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL, last fall.

“The launch of the Tier 4B compliant T7, T8 and T9 tractor ranges at Farm Progress represents an important milestone in our emissions reduction roadmaps,” stated Abe Hughes, Vice President, New Holland, North America. “The ECOBlue™ Hi-eSCR solution delivers consistency, performance, simplicity and efficiency. Furthermore, our longsighted approach is paying consistency dividends, as SCR is now universally accepted as the industry standard for high horsepower machines.”

You can listen to David’s lesson here or watch it below: David Kohuth Tier 4B Lesson

New Holland Operation Blue Force Photo Album

New Holland Precision Land Management

Chris Carrier New HollandIf you are not familiar with New Holland’s approach to this thing we call precision agriculture then Chris Carrier wants to bring you up to date. Chris manned the New Holland Precision Land Management (PLM) tent during the recent Operation Blue Force event I attended.

Precision technologies are revolutionizing agriculture, and producers are using them more and more to reduce input cost, improve yields, and increase efficiencies. New Holland Precision Land Management (PLM™) continues to offer leading-edge solutions for managing all of your crop production needs. You can:

• Steer your equipment with industry-leading accuracy using PLM guidance solutions
• Control rate and flow applications of mixed fleets of implements
• Optimize water usage with PLM water management
• Use PLM Connect Telematics to stay connected with your machines
• Streamline field data into informed decisions using PLM software.

Chris gives an overview of what New Holland is offering now including their PLM Cost Saving Calculator and apps like their FarmGenius, iBrochure and NH Weather.

You can listen to Chris’s lesson here or watch it below: Chris Carrier PLM Lesson

New Holland Operation Blue Force Photo Album

AgriImage Announces Ag-Scout Extreme

AgriImageCrop scouting is getting more fun because of companies like AgriImage. I first learned about this company before this year’s National Farm Machinery Show. Finally, I caught up with company Vice President, Sean Pinkerton, to talk about their products.

The newest addition to their line-up is the Ag-Scout Extreme.

AgScout ExtremeIt features a carbon fiber airframe that makes it lightweight and very durable. The Ag-Scout Extreme has larger motors and propellers for an increased payload capacity and high wind stability. The package includes everything needed to get in the air. Our Ag-Scout Extreme revolutionizes precision agriculture. It will make scouting your crops easier than ever saving you time and money.

Sean says this is now their most popular model using NDVI imagery to help create more precise spraying and fertilizer prescriptions. The unit virtually unaffected by wind. He suggests keeping it below 400 feet and to be courteous of neighbors and their property. He also mentioned not flying it near an airport. That’s good advice!

You can listen to my interview with Sean here: Interview with Sean Pinkerton

New Holland Ground Speed/Headland Management

Vic ConstableThe next lesson I got with Operation Blue Force from New Holland put me back into the cab. This time it was all about Ground Speed Management and Headland Management.

Our classroom teacher was Vic Constable. After the lesson I got into a T9 4-wheel drive tractor with track units pulling a massive field “Optimizer” to put that lesson in action. My driver, Ryan, showed how to set up Ground Speed Management as well as Custom Headland Management. After recording his instructions it was my turn to sit in the seat and drive. I did pretty good and learned a few extra lessons that just need to stay in California. :)

The 16-speed full powershift transmission with Ground Speed Management (GSM) features both field and road operation settings. GSM Field™ automatically downshifts the tractor and adjusts engine rpm to maintain the best performance, then upshifts and changes engine rpm as load decreases. GSM Road™ selects the proper gears and engine rpm based on speed lever input and load conditions. Even without GSM, get clutch-free, push-button shifting and fingertip control of direction changes.

You can listen to Vic’s lesson here or watch it below: Vic Constable Lesson

If you’d like to see these features in action check out my ZimmGlass video below:

New Holland Operation Blue Force Photo Album

Precision Aerial Ag Show

Precision Aerial Ag ShowIt might not be quite the same as a show put on by the Blue Angels but . . . For you agnerds out there it sounds pretty exciting. It’s the Precision Aerial Ag Show. Here’s the tentative agenda. The PAAS is powered by Farm Industry News and Farm Progress Events.

The event will be held in Progress City USA, Decatur, IL, July 9-10, 2014. It is being billed as a first of its kind outdoor event.

This event is designed to draw farm operators and other potential users of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology who are interested in the use of unmanned aerial systems to identify crop stress issues, inspect elevated or unreachable locations, and other innovative agricultural uses. The show is designed to be a working show with UAV demonstrations, along with professional presentations on FAA regulations, UAV capabilities, liabilities, and other issues about UAV use.

iCropTrak with One Tap Data Entry

iCT SoilOne tap data entry. Because as Aaron Hutchinson, President, Cogent3D, says, “Every click is money.” That’s part of the improvements in the latest release of iCropTrak. Aaron says the company has also created a new version of the product called iCropTrak Soil. This version provides a lower cost alternative for those who don’t need an advanced system.

In addition to Rapid Scouting enhancements like Rapid Observation and Action Items, the new iCropTrak includes a series of augmented map functions to make field understanding fast and easy.

  • Map Annotations to provide additional map reference data
  • Work Order Status Annotations to provide where and what quickly
  • Follow Me Upgrade to keep you on the map at any speed
  • Map Sketch to allow you to draw on the map and save results for reports
  • Recent Forms puts field history in chronological order

Version 4.1 includes the first mobile parts of the upcoming MyJohnDeere.com integration: On-demand data downloading. On-Demand let’s you download only the data you need for the time you need it, then remove it from your iPad when done to have space for other efforts. At multiple gigabytes per field for planting, as-applied, and harvest data, On-Demand provides users control over their data and provides the first peek at the new user definable statistical legends that colorize the data on the fly based on its attributes.

Aaron Hutchinson, Cogent3D President shared the company’s excitement regarding this release stating: “The One Tap Observation capability to mark weeds, pests, and diseases is a labor break-thru in a market where every click is money. ”

You can listen to my interview with Aaron here: Interview with Aaron Hutchinson

Here’s a demo of iCropTrak Soil:

Introducing – iCropTrak Soil from Cogent3D on Vimeo.

New Holland Auto Command Transmission Lesson

Luke ZerbyMy first lesson during the New Holland Operation Blue Force field training event I attended last week in California focused on the New Holland Auto Command CVT transmission. Before I got into a tractor in the field I got a lesson from Nick Graham.

The Auto Command™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) makes it easy to find the perfect speed for each job because your choice of speeds is infinite. You accelerate from zero to maximum speed smoothly, without multiple steps. And, with no clutching, the shuttle shifting is the smoothest you’ll find, making the Auto Command transmission ideal for loader work.

After class I got into a T7 210 tractor. My teacher was Luke Zerby. He says this tractor is perfect for hay and forage work. Luke talked me through the control stick which is mounted on a Sidewinder II comfy armrest. The controls allow you to preset three different speeds to switch between easily. There is also an Integrated Control Panel which allows for even more pre-set options and finer tuning those settings. This allows you to maximize engine efficiency.

Go to class with Nick in this video:

Or just listen to Nick here: Nick Graham Lesson

Ride along with me via ZimmGlass (my Google Glass) to learn more about what this feature offers:

Rapid Scouting Enhancements to iCropTrak

iCropTrakMobile precision technology continues to evolve. iCropTrak just announced the release of Rapid Scouting Enhancements in Version 4.1 of their award-winning iOS Mobile Farm Management app iCropTrak. This comprehensive update for farmers and scouting professionals offers Rapid Observation and Action Item “one-tap” data entry aimed at easier, faster and more efficient use of your time in the field. The image is an example of Rapid Entry Observations.

In addition to Rapid Scouting enhancements like Rapid Observation and Action Items, the new iCropTrak includes a series of augmented map functions to make field understanding fast and easy.

Map Annotations to provide additional map reference data.
Work Order Status Annotations to provide where and what quickly.
Follow Me Upgrade to keep you on the map at any speed.
Map Sketch to allow you to draw on the map and save results for reports.
Recent Forms puts field history in chronological order.

Version 4.1 includes the first mobile parts of the upcoming MyJohnDeere.com integration: On-demand data downloading. On-Demand let’s you download only the data you need for the time you need it, then remove it from your iPad when done to have space for other efforts. At multiple gigabytes per field for planting, as-applied, and harvest data, On-Demand provides users control over their data and provides the first peek at the new user definable statistical legends that colorize the data on the fly based on its attributes.

Aaron Hutchinson, Cogent3D President shared the company’s excitement regarding this release stating: “The One Tap Observation capability to mark weeds, pests, and diseases is a labor break-thru in a market where every click is money. ”

Mid-South Farm & Gin Show Packed

Tim PriceThanks to FMC I attended my first Mid-South Farm & Gin Show and met Tim Price. He’s show manager and Executive Director of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association. Tim is very passionate about agriculture and his community. You will hear that in our interview at the start of this year’s show. And for those of you who do not know what a cotton gin is, you will after you listen in.

Tim says that over the two days of the show there will be nearly 20,000 people attend and that it is a family affair. I vouch for that. This is a real down to earth farm show with a relaxed atmosphere and with 400 exhibitors there is a lot to see and learn. I’m going to get a wrap-up interview with Tim before leaving the show which I’ll share later. In the meantime, please listen in and I hope you enjoy our conversation.

You can listen to my interview with Tim here: Interview with Tim Price
2014 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show Photo Album

Coverage is sponsored by FMC

Anthem Now Offers Greater Flexibility

FMC AnthemFMC was talking with farmers about the new season during the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show. The announcement last December that their Anthem herbicide is now registered for soybeans adds some nice flexibility for weed control.

FMC’s Nick Hustedde told me, “The Anthem registration in soybeans is really going to help allow growers to be flexible because it can be applied in corn or soybeans so we have that flexibility in one tank with no clean out concerns at all.”

FMC Agricultural Solutions announces a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) crop registration of its Anthem® SE herbicide now for use on soybeans. Anthem herbicide offers both corn and soybean growers control of broadleaf weeds and grasses with flexible application timing up to 45 days preplant, preemergence and early postemergence.

You can listen to my interview with Nick here: Interview with Nick Hustedde

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Getting Started at National Farm Machinery Show

National Farm Machinery ShowWe’re boots on the ground in Louisville, KY for the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show. There are a number of new product announcements that will be made here and we’ll bring you all the stories we can find starting tomorrow morning.

If you’re here or even if you’re not you can get the free app for whatever device you’re using. Just search your app store for the “NFMS 14″ app. It’s got an interactive exhibitor map, schedules and will provide alerts of events that are happening during the show.

There is snow on the ground outside but fortunately it fell before the event this year! That’s good news.

Our coverage here on Precision Pays is being sponsored again this year by John Deere and Ag Leader Technology. We really appreciate their support.

AgStudio Driving a Growing MapShots

Ted MacyLast week at the MapShots Customer Conference I had that pleasure to visit with founder Ted Macy. MapShots, Inc., is a software development company that provides crop management applications for the agriculture industry and is now a subsidiary of Dupont Pioneer. Their AgStudio software provides clients with powerful, yet easy to use tools for managing large amounts of agronomic crop production data.

Ted says he and his wife Nancy started the company “a long time ago.” He says a milestone moment was the introduction of the Ag Leader Technology yield monitor back in 1993. That provided them with a vision of what the software would look like to be able to work with “iron of any color.”

AgStudio was the main topic of many of the presentations at the conference. Ted says they built the product from the ground up to be a total crop record keeping solution. It is now a very comprehensive product that is being integrated into all aspects of managing a farming operation. MapShots brought in representatives from many partner companies to talk about their services and how they are working to integrate them into AgStudio.

You can listen to my weekly ZimmCast podcast program to learn more about MapShots here. MapShots and AgStudio

AgNerds Love MapShots Customer Conference

MapShots ConferenceThe MapShots Customer Conference is almost over in Atlanta, GA. I thought you might enjoy this interview with official AgNerd, Keith Baker, Baker Ag Services, a Dupont Pioneer seed agency in Indiana.

Keith saw me wearing my ZimmGlass and that started an enjoyable conversation about the new technology I’ve been trying out as a member of the Google Explorers program. He and his sons try to stay no the cutting edge of new technology. He says he came to this conference to learn about the newest products like MapShots AgStudio. Like at a lot of conferences he’s enjoying the networking with fellow agnerds to share ideas and information.

You can listen to my interview with Keith here: Interview with Keith Baker

2014 MapShots Customer Conference Photo Album

MapShots Welcomes Customers

MapShots Customer ConferenceIt’s Customer Conference time for MapShots at the Georgia Tech Learning Center in Atlanta. This event brings in MapShots customers as well as third party partners for an intensive couple of days of training sessions and presentations. Today’s pre-conference program includes two sessions:

Getting Started with AgStudio – this session is designed to enhance new users’ experiences with AgStudio and AgStudio Select.

Building Variable Rate Calculators and Scripts – for more advanced users, this session guides you through customizing calculators and scripts to meet your specific needs. Emphasis will be on fertility scripts, but seeding scripts will also be addressed.

To get a preview of the conference I visited with MapShots Tim Taylor, seen conducting one of this afternoon’s sessions. He says the company just wrapped up their largest sales year ever and this conference provides their customers to get up to speed on products like AgStudio.

You can listen to my interview with Tim here: Interview with Tim Taylor

You can find my photos from the event online here: 2014 MapShots Customer Conference Photo Album