Hick Chick Chat with AEM on Farm Equipment

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oThe important contribution of U.S. agriculture equipment manufacturing to the health of the nation’s economy is demonstrated in an economic paper recently released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

charlie o'brienFor this edition of the Hick Chick Chat, I spoke with AEM senior vice president Charlie O’Brien about the analysis. “Agriculture’s achievements have resulted from scientific advances in many areas, including inputs and other efficiencies, yet the productivity explosion continues to be driven by enormous strides in the farm machinery and equipment technology now used to farm millions of acres,” he told me. “We want people to understand how important this industry as a whole is for the U.S. economy.”

Hick Chick Chat on Impact of Ag Equipment Industry to Economy

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Powerful & Accurate Steering in Precision Farming

4570_085Leica Geosystems today released the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus, the electric steering system for farmers who seek a brand independent retrofit solution for their auto steering needs. Using Leica SteerDirect ES Plus farmers benefit from improved accuracy, diminished skips and overlaps, and reduced operator fatigue.

The Leica SteerDirect ES Plus has a built-in encoder for more accurate steering and a powerful electric motor that provides superior performance. Adding Leica SteerDirect ES Plus doesn’t involve integration into the hydraulic system or dismounting the steering wheel. The steering system latches on and off for easy transfer between vehicles and it comes with a separate engage switch to allow convenient and flexible operator handling.

Leica SteerDirect ES Plus provides assisted steering for a wide range of tractor, sprayer and harvester models. It is compatible with the Leica mojo3D guidance system and the Leica mojoXact Plus, Leica Geosystems’ latest RTK upgrade option with ISOBUS capability. The steering solution supplies customers with a large number of vehicle specific installation kits as well as a universal installation kit.

”With the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus farmers can easily add auto-steering regardless of the machinery brand they use. Due to the simple installation and the transferability of the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus customers can save money by utilizing the system across their fleet. An extended list of supported vehicles and technical improvements help more customers to achieve accuracte steering hassle-free.”, said Joe Arico, Manager Product Management and Global Support at Leica Geosystems Agriculture.

More information about Leica Geosystems Agriculture products is available from all authorized Leica Geosystems distribution partners and at www.AgGuidance.com.

RhinoGator® Adds Size to Pivot Tire Portfolio

14_smallRhinoGator® has announced the new 14.9×24 version of its popular no-flat pivot tire. This option was developed for use in areas where this size tire is already popular especially in non-grain crop applications. Features of the RhinoGator® 14.9×24 option include a lower tread profile, reinforced center rib and wide tread lugs. Built for a 10×24 rim, this poly tire will increase flotation in light or heavy soils and on any brand of pivot.

Like the original RhinoGator®, the new 14.9×24 RhinoGator® is guaranteed to never go flat. Constructed of super-tough, high-density composite plastic resins (including corn-based plastic), RhinoGator® tires are engineered especially for the rugged conditions of pivot irrigation. Manufactured in the United States, RhinoGator® comes with the highest UV protection package available and is covered by a 5-year limited warranty.

The high-traction, non-directional tread design of RhinoGator® provides optimum performance regardless of pivot direction. The sturdy center rib and large anti-slip plate provide overall integrity, reliability and strength.

RhinoGator® is precision manufactured for consistency and easy assembly. RhinoGator® fits standard pivot wheels and is available pre-mounted if desired. Both the original and shallow tread RhinoGator® tires are available in 11.2-38 and 11.2-24 sizes. The new 14.9×24 is available in a single tread depth combining the shallow tread design with increased traction lugs.

For the name of the RhinoGator® dealer nearest you, call toll free 866.97.RHNO (866.977.4466) or visit www.RhinoGator.com.

New Tractor Toolbox from Deere

Tractor ToolboxFinding room in a tractor cab for tools, parts, and other items needed while in the field, has always been an issue with operators. Small toolboxes have been supplied and located on different areas of the tractor, but the storage space has been limited. Now, John Deere has found a convenient solution with a new Tractor Utility Box.

“We’ve increased the storage capacity of this new Tractor Utility Box,” says Phil Lauer, marketing manager, John Deere. “And, it is designed with a special front weight mount kit to be attached easily on the front weight support of the tractor. This will mount to as few as 4 weights up to a full rack.”

The new Tractor Utility Box is the first to use a patent-pending weight mount system that bolts on in minutes. The toolbox can be easily removed or replaced as needed by the operator. The bracket system ensures stable mounting without compromising headlight use or tractor functions and allows the toolbox to be easily moved from machine to machine.

“The Tractor Utility Box is built from heavy gauge sheet steel and has a heavy-duty gas strut on the lid,” explains Lauer. “Locking pins make the opening and locking the box simple and easy. And, the box has two removable shelves and a fold down front door for easy access to the tools and supplies. There is plenty of room to store tools, tow chains, hitch pins, and other essential items.”

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:

Deere Shows How to Be Accurate Up to 10 MPH

classic14-deere-kelbyImagine getting your work done at twice the speed you normally do! Producers attending this year’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio got to see more of John Deere’s new ExactEmerge planting system, which allows planters to be accurate at speeds up to 10 MPH. Kelby Krueger, product specialist with Deere’s Seeding Group, explained to Leah on the trade show floor that is quite revolutionary, considering that’s about twice as fast as farmers are used to planting using the old seed tube systems.

“The slower you go, the better your seed placement. Well, that doesn’t work very well when you have tight planting windows or when you’ve got rainstorms coming,” he said, pointing out that with ExactEmerge, you don’t have to choose between fast and accurate; you get both. “It controls the seed through the whole entire process from the meter, through a brush belt delivery system, and places it in the bottom of the trench.”

Kelby said they used high-speed video to see seeding errors with tube systems. They’ve been actively testing the new system in customer fields for the last three years, in a variety of conditions. In fact, for no-till operations, they found ExactEmerge really works well because it is built to stand up to rough conditions.

As expected with technology that doubles the speed at which you can get something done, ExactEmerge brought plenty of questions from farmers attending Commodity Classic.

“People are taking the time to come down here, try to understand how this system works, because they understand how revolutionary this will be for their farming operation,” Kelby said.

Listen to more of Leah’s interview with Kelby here: Kelby Krueger, John Deere

2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Coverage is sponsored by John Deere

Think Ahead to Harvest with Case IH Corn Heads

nfms14-case-kravekEven though this year’s crop has yet to be planted, it’s not too early to think about harvest season. That certainly was on the mind of Kelly Kravig, Case IH’s marketing manager for combines and headers, as he showed off the new Case IH 4200 Series and 4400 Series corn heads at the recent National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky.

“When we started on this project about five years ago, our goals were to design heads to have more capacity to match the size of our machines, pick cleaner, save more grain and put it in the tank, and to be able to pick up down corn better,” he said. As they were developing this new line, they heard a lot from customers on how as they migrated from smaller heads to bigger heads, they wanted to be able to leave the head on the combine without taking it off between fields. Now with their 12-row folding corn head, producers can fold the head up in less than a minute, move to another field, and unfold quickly on the other end to start harvesting. “They get more work done, get their harvest done sooner, and put more grain in the tank.”

Kelly said farmers have been anxious to see the much-talked-about new 4200 Series and 4400 Series corn heads, and NFMS gave them that opportunity to check out for themselves what they might have only read about and seen in videos.

He concluded that this new line is just part of Case IH’s commitment to providing producers with the best products possible – ones that are efficient, reliable, and give farmers the confidence to know they’ll be able to put more grain in the bin.

Listen to more of my interview with Kelly here: Interview with Kelly Kravig, Case IH

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Vertical Tillage Options Gaining Traction

nfms14-case-nixVertical tillage is gaining more traction in farming operations, and Case IH was showcasing its True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo at the recent National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. Marketing manager for the company’s tillage line of products Tim Nix told me that this new tiller is good for conservation measures, especially important in light of what was passed in the new Farm Bill and its provisions that encourage vertical tillage.

“Basically, vertical tillage is slicing into the soil in a vertical manner, as opposed to a horizontal plane that you might get with a field cultivator sweep,” not creating a plane of soil or compaction smear layer that could inhibit early root growth he explained, adding vertical tillers run faster, allowing farmers to get more done.

Tim said this line of tillage tools works well in this new vertical tillage environment in fall and spring.

“In the fall, we’re trying to get the residue sliced and sized and down into the soil profile, so it will start to break down over the winter, and the nutrients can be released and available to the plant in the spring,” as well as slicing up root balls in corn really well, he said. When spring rolls around (and trust me, despite the seemingly endless winter, spring will return), the True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo helps prepare an excellent seed bed, with the soil being fluffed and residue being smoothed out. “It’s just a tool we’ve found that farmers love to run in both the fall and the spring.”

Listen to more of my interview with Tim here: Interview with Tim Nix, Case IH

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Classic is Next Show for John Deere ExactEmerge

nfms14-exactemergeIf you missed the new John Deere ExactEmerge Planter at the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show, you’ll have another chance to see this baby at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio next week.

nfms14-jd-kelbyAt NFMS, I talked with John Deere Seeding Group product specialist Kelby Krueger who worked on the ExactEmerge project from start to finish. He says the new row units are a perfect fit for producers who want to plant more acres in less time due to narrow planting windows, or to increase the size of their operations without adding equipment. “It’s hard for planters to get wider, so we had to make it more productive,” Kelby said. “This planter here with 24 rows, at ten miles an hour, will be doing something close to 75-80 acres an hour.”

If you haven’t seen the unveiling of the new planter at NFMS, click here.

Listen to Kelby explain more about ExactEmerge and see it for yourself at Commodity Classic in San Antonio: Interview with Kelby Krueger, John Deere

John Deere Planter at NFMS photos

Sponsored by John Deere

NFMS One Year Shy of Big 5-0

nfms14-fetterThe 2014 National Farm Machinery Show marks 49 years of the largest indoor farm show in the United States.

“This show is as big or bigger than ever before,” said show manager Corinne Fetter. “We are sold out in space again with 850 exhibitors … it’s the place to be in February.”

There was still snow on the ground for opening day today, but the sun was shining and the weather was really beautiful, especially for some folks coming from states that have been below zero for weeks. “Many of the farmers that come here are from throughout the Midwest, but we do have people here from coast to coast and we do have more and more international visitors,” Corinne said, who noted that last year’s attendance was the second largest on record with over 307,000 attendees.

And then there’s the 46th Championship Tractor Pull. “We now have five sessions with the pull, each night and then again Saturday afternoon,” said Corinne.

There is a cost for tickets to the tractor pull, but the show is free of charge and all are welcome. The NFMS runs through Saturday and show hours are 9:00 am -6:00 pm daily.

Find out more in this interview and on the show websiteInterview with NFMS Show Manager Corinne Fetter

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

John Deere 2014 NFMS Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

Details About John Deere ExactEmerge

jd-exactemerge-imageYou want details about the new John Deere ExactEmerge planting system? We got ‘em! Here’s a few from the press release:

The John Deere ExactEmerge row unit incorporates new technology that gives corn and soybean producers the ability to plant at speeds up to 10 mph while maintaining superior seed placement. The exclusive seed delivery system cradles the seed from the meter down to the seed trench maintaining optimal seed spacing in varying field conditions. The new system ensures superior seed placement at faster planting speeds and offers a 10 percent improvement in seed spacing at traditional speeds.

nfms14-john-deere-elenaElena Kaverina, John Deere Planters Product Line Marketing Manager, was glowing as she talked about their new baby. “The heart and the soul of this product is the exclusive trench delivery system that makes precise seed placement actually happen at higher speed,” she told us. “With this new technology, we control the seed positively through the whole delivery system. It starts with the meter that gently allows for a crisp hand off to the brush belt. It’s placed consistently in the center all the time and then it’s delivered to the bottom of the trench and then it is released at a real world trajectory that truly matches the ground speed and results in a dead drop.” Interview with Elena Kaverina, John Deere

John Deere 2014 NFMS Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

John Deere Excited About ExactEmerge

nfms14-john-deere-aaronThe folks at John Deere are more excited about the new ExactEmerge planter than they have ever been about any product in their history. “We’ve been able to design from the ground up a whole new technology,” said Aaron Wetzel, John Deere VP Global Crop Care. “Being able to provide to our customers unparalleled accuracy in the trench with great opportunity to enhance yield.” That goes for both corn and soybeans. Interview with Aaron Wetzel, John Deere

nfms14-john-deere-gregAaron says they have tested ExactEmerge with hundreds of farmers around the country and “every single one of them are just completely blown away” by the capabilities of the new planter. One of those farmers is Greg Smith of Cummings, Kansas.

“The guys from John Deere said ‘drive it like you stole it’ just go as fast as you can go,” Greg said. But, since he only raises one crop a year, he was a little nervous about that idea. Once they got up to 7-8 miles an hour, Greg had to get out of the tractor and check it out for himself. “Sure enough, seed depth and spacing was – right on, it was exact,” he said. “No joke, there was absolutely no difference between five mile an hour and ten mile an hour.”

He adds that the emergence was “unheard of – all the agronomists say you want to have everything come up within 48 hours, I think it was 48 minutes,” he said. Interview with Kansas farmer Greg Smith

Great question, Ben (in comments) – yes!! If you are not at NFMS, ExactEmerge will be on display at all the major farm shows in the United States this year – starting with Commodity Classic in San Antonio in just two weeks!

John Deere 2014 NFMS Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

John Deere Reveals ExactEmerge™ Planter

nfms14-john-deere-exactemergeGround-breaking, revolutionary, and just simply amazing are some of the words being used to describe the new John Deere high-speed, high-performance ExactEmerge™ planter, unveiled this morning at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville.

John Deere is breaking the planting speed and accuracy barriers of traditional row-crop planting with the introduction of a revolutionary new seed delivery system. With the launch of the ExactEmerge row unit for the most accurate planting at speeds up to 10 mph and the new industry-leading MaxEmerge 5 row units for planting at traditional speeds, customers can now plant with greater speed, accuracy and ease than ever before.

John Deere 2014 NFMS Photo Album

Watch the reveal below – and we’ll tell you lots more about it in posts to come!

Sponsored by John Deere

Farm Progress Show Will Reap International Business

FPS14-flagThe nation’s largest outdoor farm show, Farm Progress Show, has been selected to participate in the 2014 International Buyer Program (IBP). This year’s event takes place in Boone, IA, August 26-28.

The IBP is an export program led by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It brings thousands of international buyers to the U.S. for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. companies exhibiting at major industry trade shows.

“We are honored to be selected to be among this elite group of trade shows,” said Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager. “The IBP program will bring a new level of international attention to those companies who participate in the Farm Progress Show.”

The goal of the IBP is to connect U.S. companies with overseas buyers to produce U.S. export sales. The program promotes their approved events to over 170 countries worldwide, to attract international buyers interested in the latest and most advanced agriculture technologies and products.

The IBP also will be offering unique matchmaking services at the Farm Progress Show, matching overseas buyers with U.S. exhibitors. U.S. exhibitors at the Farm Progress Show, through the IBP’s Showtime Program, will have excellent opportunities to meet with U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. State Department delegation leaders and export partners to discuss overseas market-entry strategies and potential markets and sales for their products/services.

For companies new to exporting or even more experienced exporters, seeking to export to additional target markets, the IBP offers export market advice and counseling. The IBP Team can also provide expert strategic advice and guidance to U.S. companies on which overseas trade show to participate in, what market entry strategies to use in their target markets, and how to locate and qualify overseas distributors and sales representatives.

“The U.S. Department of Commerce is committed to assisting U.S. companies at the Farm Progress Show establish export connections that lead to U.S. export sales. Behind every U.S. export, is a job, a family. That’s the heart of why we support U.S. domestic trade shows, like the Farm Progress Show. It doesn’t get any more important than that.” Mark Wells, IBP project officer, U.S. Department of Commerce.