Custom harvesters are big users of precision technologies. An upcoming documentary is now in production that will follow custom harvesters and show how wheat goes from the field to the bread on your dinner table.
This year we got an update from Janae (formally Althouse) Tapper on this precision harvest technology and grower adoption of it.
“John Deere harvest identification is really important to the cotton growers so they can understand how many modules are being built with in a field. We are really looking at continuing to reduce labor requirements that are needed in cotton production especially around 7760. We understand that with the introduction of that machine we are building four modules for every one traditional module. So, it increases labor to go out and tag each of those individual modules.”
“In our technology division we saw a use to utilize the RF ID reading technology that we have in the round module wrap to enable them to reduce that manuel labor going out and tagging the modules. We are automatically reading those RF ID tags in the modules and sending that information to the display in the cab of the machine.”
Janae shared that cotton producers are continuing to be on board with the adoption of precision agriculture. And since the launch of time & money saving technology, John Deere’s growers are sending in very positive feedback.
Cindy spoke with Allen Wilson, Ag Marketing Manager for Harvest Masters, during the event. Allen shared how the two year long process to develop this software resulted in a brand new generation. Not simply a new addition to the previous version.
“The Mirus software that we just released works with our harvest data collection for research combines. It’s a Windows based platform. We have been using Windows mobile, but this is a Windows so it will be running on tablets, Windows XP and Windows 7 & 8. We are in that Windows environment. It is a next generation software to work with our hardware that we previously put out. This is a lot more flexible and easy to use. The operators are now able to see four different screens at one time about their system statues and yield levels. A lot more information available for the operators.”
“The feedback we got back from our beta testers, which were about 20 people that have run our previous software, all said it’s intuitive, it’s easy to use and they don’t have to go struggling through a bunch of different screen to find the information they need or settings to change. It’s a precision piece of equipment so they have to be monitoring it and watching to see if there are changes occurring. It was really over-whelming to hear these people that have used our software say we have made a step forward.”
Corn residue increases proportionally with corn yields, creating management challenges for growers. To help address those, agronomists and scientists from DuPont Pioneer and DuPont Industrial Biosciences teamed up to conduct research on the impact of residue removal on the long-term agronomic and environmental integrity of fields. Stover is also evaluated for cellulosic ethanol production, which has benefits for both farmers and biofuel producers.
In fields where partial stover removal is an option, a sustainable stover harvest program provides value to the grower without negatively impacting the health and productivity of the soil.
Individual field evaluation is necessary as stover removal is not an option for every field. In some highly productive systems, residue may even be excessive as a result of increased yields, improved stalk quality and reduced tillage practices. Highly productive, relatively flat, continuous corn fields are best suited for stover removal and tend to see the greatest agronomic benefits. In these fields, corn stover production generally exceeds the minimum amount needed to maintain soil health and productivity, making sustainable stover harvest a viable option.
In high yielding areas of the Corn Belt, many growers are chopping stalks, increasing tillage or using a combination of these two methods to further stalk decomposition. In areas where residue management is a critical factor in production decisions, partial stover harvest could expand rotation and farming options. For example, reducing excess residue could allow increased flexibility in managing corn following corn, particularly in the northern Corn Belt where residue decomposition tends to be slower. Stover removal also may eliminate tillage operations and other practices used primarily for residue management, resulting in substantial production cost savings.
“This year we had the Authority line of products in combination with Authority XL, Authority MTZ. Probably the product that was best fitted for the Mid South was Authority MTZ. It has a great point when you get resistant management where we got pigweed, water hemp and lambs quarter that has become glyphosate resistant. It is a super fit for that because it gives residual that you can go down at pre planting and at planting with the product and take care of those small seeded resistant type weeds.”
“On the cotton side we are really excited about a new product for the defoliation department called Display. I had the opportunity to look at sizable acreage of it this year. It had just received its label for 2012. We had the opportunity to see it after some rain events had come in. The cotton was getting pretty close to harvest and the cotton had greened back up, had all this second growth and typically that stuff is really hard to get off the cotton plant. But Display is a new PPO type compound that disrupts the cellular action in the leaf and gives you really fast dry down of that juvenal growth. It take that stuff off the plant, shuts the plant down from growing and gets it ready for harvest.”
U.S. Custom Harvesters, like many other agricultural organizations, represented themselves well at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk. Tracy Zeorian, President, and Kent Braathen, Vice President of U.S. Custom Harvesters, shared the history of the organization and how they are providing a voice for custom harvesters across the country.
“Our organization is comprised of all custom harvesters: combines, silage choppers and cotton pickers. We were formed in 1983. Prior to that we really had no voice for our industry. Our industry began basically during WWII’s Harvest Bargade. It was time for somebody to start something and have a voice for custom harvesters.”
“We’ve got an issue we really want to try and get changed with our fuel tanks. We have worked on this for almost 22 years and that is our #1 issue we would like to push forward and try and get changed. We are only able to haul up to 119 gallons of diesel fuel with our class A CDL. We are trying to get it up to 1,000 gallons.”
The mission for this growing organization is to advance the cause of the members of the corporation by representing and promoting the harvesting industry; to positively influence government and regulatory agencies; to enhance the relationship between custom harvesters, their clients, and service providers to the industry and the general public; to manage the changing lanscape within the industry while enhancing the profitability of custom harvesters and their customers.
U.S. Custom Harvesters cover northern Texas in early May, then head to south central Kansas, eastern Colorado, central South Dakota and northern North Dakota. Then it is time to head south again for the fall crop harvest.
He was really excited to share about their new Axial-Flow Combines that will be coming out in 2013. This new option for making farming easier for producers is a redesign of the industry-leading cab. It also has a new folding auger with an industry-exclusive pivoting spout option.
“We are talking about the brand new Axial-Flow 30 Series combine that will be coming out to our dealerships next march. We have been working for the last few years with our customers developing the next evolution for our new combine cab. We know our operators spend a lot of time in these machines and we want to make sure comfort, convenience, intuitive operations and harvest control are some of the key things we put into this industry leading cab.”
This state-of-the-art cab has more fingertip controls, docking stations for laptop, iPad and iPod, as well as power outlets within arms reach. To top it all off the new Axial-Flow cab is equipped with a portable electric refrigerator. This new cab might be more comfortable than sitting in your recliner infront of the TV.
The most combines harvesting simultaneously, ever. That just happened in Saskatchewan for a Harvest for Kids project. Can you imagine seeing 249 combines in action all at once. Combines of all colors!
And they did it: farmers from many different communities in Saskatchewan came together to bring in a Guinness World Record harvest. 249 combines rolled down the field in front of thousands of spectators all with the goal of bringing hope to kids around the world through Children’s Camps International.
Farmers are more than double-timing it on the corn harvest this season.
As of this past weekend, USDA reports that 69 percent of the crop was harvested, compared to 28 average for this time of year. Several corn belt states are running way, way ahead of normal, like Minnesota and Iowa, which normally have around 11-17% of the corn harvest complete by now. This year – over three-quarters of the crop in both states is harvested!
“While this summer’s drought certainly took its toll, corn farmers are working tirelessly to get the crop out of field and into bins. Their commitment to maximizing the crop drives them forward, often late into the night, harvesting now to make sure they provide the most abundant, highest quality corn possible,” said Johnson.
AgGateway’s Precision Ag Council has launched a new project that will improve the data exchange processes that drive the use of precision agriculture field equipment for such major operations as seeding, tillage, spraying, fertilizing and harvesting. The Standardized Precision Ag Data Exchange (SPADE) project is intended to streamline and encourage adoption of precision ag practices.
Currently, costs for exchanging data in the world of precision agriculture are high due to the lack of common implementation guidelines, data transfer protocols, message standards and standard reference data. Producers report that it is difficult or nearly impossible to move data from one system to another.
The ultimate objective of the project is to make the benefits of precision ag available to all growers and ag retailers. This will be done by reducing the complexity of the process and lowering the cost of entry.
Companies interested in joining the SPADE project should contact Marilyn Hunter, AgGateway’s Enabling Services Director at Marilyn@aggateway.org.
One of the big “new” things at the 2012 World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin this week is New Holland Agriculture which has made a major multi-year commitment to support the event.
New Holland has sponsored a 26,000 square foot Trade Center tent outside the Exhibit Hall to provide room for additional exhibitors and also has a selection of equipment on the lot outside the tent. “As you know, New Holland is a leader in hay and forage and we felt that this is a show we needed to be at,” said Abe Hughes, New Holland North America VP. “Over the years we’ve sold more than 700,000 small square balers, 200,000 round balers and at any one time we’ve got a million bales of hay on New Holland equipment being made every single month.” Hughes says if the New Holland hay and forage equipment sold in the United States were lined up in a row, it would stretch from Bangor, Maine to Salinas, California!
About 40% of corn and nearly a quarter of the soybean crop have already been harvested nationwide which is well ahead of normal for this time of year and record setting in some areas. The five year average for corn harvest by this date is less than 15%, soybeans less than 10%.
The reason for the advanced progress is the hot, dry summer which led to rapid development of crops, much of which ended in mostly poor condition across a wide section of the corn belt. The early harvest was just getting underway at Farm Progress Show this year, first time that has happened since the show moved up to the end of August dates from the previous end of September. Kim Cramer with John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois was talking with farmers at the show about adjusting combine settings to deal with some of the variability caused by the usually harsh weather this summer.
“Typically in these type of conditions, the combine needs to stay full as possible,” said Cramer. “Specifically, you try to minimize the amount of trash coming in so you need to be aware of adjustments on the corn head – speed, deck plate spacings – obviously need to have parts in good working order.”
Cramer recommends paying more attention to tailings and make appropriate adjustments. “In a year like this, you’re probably going to have to run a little bit faster in rotor or cylinder, maybe a little bit tighter with concave, those would be adjustments you would want to make,” he said.
The weather cooperated big time this year at the Farm Progress Show so that field demonstrations got in a full schedule.
We had a nice breeze to tone down a hot day in the field during the show. Corn harvest demonstrations began at 11am and there were crowds on hand to watch the large combines, tractors and grain carts in action. I had the opportunity to make it out there for a while and see some of the action.
One of the slick features that New Holland includes on their latest line of CR combines is the IntelliView IV color touchscreen display that monitors all combine functions and allows you to see a wide variety of performance information at a glance from up to three camera inputs, with direct USB connectivity for data collection.
Agricultural journalists had the opportunity to learn more about New Holland combines and other equipment at a media event last week in the company’s home town of New Holland, PA.
You may not realize it, but New Holland is kind of a big deal in combines. “New Holland was the first company to launch a rotary combine in the market,” Combine Market Manager Nigel Mackenzie told us. “That was back in 1975 with the TR70. That combine was built and designed in Nebraska and the latest evolution, the CR models, are still built there.”
The CR Combine was actually voted “Machine of the Year” last year at Agritechnica. “A lot of new features introduced on the model year 12 machines, primarily driven by greater fuel efficiency and emissions regulations,” Nigel says. “It was really great to be recognized by a group of journalists in Agritechnica for what we’ve done.”
Nigel says New Holland has six rotary combine models and three conventional models – he tells us all about it in this interview – Nigel Mackenzie Interview
John Deere talked up its latest application for cotton growers during this year’s Beltwide Cotton Conferences. Harvest Identification Cotton will continue to automate the production of a cotton module. This is tied into the 7760 cotton picker. The application will use the RFID tags that are embedded into the module wrap. These will be captured by an RFID reader on the cotton picker and then that information will be complied along with data from the John Deere Starfire receiver. That will generate a file that can be sent to the ginner and grower. Janae says it will be available soon.