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

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

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 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:

Resistant Radish Subject of Parody Song

Wild RadishFarmers in Australia are having problems with resistant weeds just like farmers here in the states. While we are fighting against waterhemp and Palmer Amaranth, the weed down under is the wild radish and somebody decided to do a parody about it.

A parody of the Gotye hit “Somebody I used to know” by agronomic consultant Bill Long, who farms on the Yorke Peninsula of South Australia as well as consults to a number of farmers in the region. This is a farmer’s lament on attempts to control wild radish resulting in the loss of chemical options to the point where only radical options are available. Truly reflects the consequences of farming systems becoming reliant on herbicides for weed control.

BASF Spotlights Future of Farming

classic14-basf-drawingOver 7,000 people had the opportunity to visit the BASF Crop Protection USA booth at the Commodity Classic to learn more about the future of farming – by video and through the eyes of children.

The newest video from BASF, featuring fun facts about how far the industry has progressed and how we must advance in order to meet the needs of future generations, was on a movie screen size display. Behind it was a wall displaying creative pictures artwork from children across the country of how they see the future of farming.

BASF asked children what they thought farming would look like in 50 or 100 years and got dozens of creative, innovative and colorful concepts that were on display in the booth. The winning submission, by 11-year-old Moise Dougherty of Minnesota, was chosen on Saturday morning.

See more photos here:
BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Watch the new BASF video here:

BASF at the 2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Coverage is sponsored by John Deere

New Holland Compact Tractors

New Holland Boomer 37The New Holland Boomer Tractors may look small next to their big brothers but they are not a toy. These machines can handle a lot of work from hauling dirt and mulch to removing snow. They also have all the implements available you could possibly need.

At the National Farm Machinery Show I walked around with New Holland’s Dan Valen as he describes the machines on display including the new Boomer 37 model. Watch and learn.

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

A Tradition of Healthy Competition at NFMS

nfms-14-butch-kriegerDuring this year’s National Farm Machinery Show crowds gathered from across the country to watch the Championship Tractor Pull. The best tractors from across the United States competed in the coveted 2014 event and Chuck chatted with one of the announcers Butch Krieger.

“This is my 35th year here in Louisville. It just gets better every year. The competition is great and the tractor pull committee does a great job deciding who is going to come here. I don’t think if I had even an opportunity that I could put it together as well as they do.”

Butch is pictured on right with another announcer, Dave Bennett. Butch goes on to explain how this pull is held inside with a huge smoke machine that captures all the exhaust that the tractors produce. Freedom Hall is also equipped with heavy exhaust fans throughout the large arena.

Syngenta has served as a huge sponsor for the event for years and drivers were present during the show to sign autographs at their booth. Butch shared he understands it’s hard to get tickets to the Saturday night pull, but says that throughout the week tickets are available to see some of the best tractors from across the nation compete.

You can listen to the interview with Butch here: Interview with Butch Krieger

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

Championship Tractor Pull Brings in Best in Business

nfms-14-mike-wilhiteMike Wilhite was a contestant in the recent Championship Tractor Pull during the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. He drives Blue Blazes and visited with Chuck prior to the event.

Mike worked for Ford for 30 years. The the tradition didn’t start with him, his dad also worked for the company along with his two brothers. So, naturally they were drawn to New Holland’s blue. Mike is considered a local, living just 32 miles from Louisville.

“Outdoors we run a 300 foot track. In this indoor track we are confined to 240 feet. It’s an experience. You better have everything right. Your weight and gear selections right. There is a lot to it.”

A blockade of sand sits at the end of the short track incase any tractors have a little too much gas in them. Mike shared that they buried their tractor the first year they competed in the event.

Mike and his pulling team competed in about 18 hooks over the course of the season. They traveled as far as Wisconsin, down into Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama. He also expressed how great the fans were at pulls and how committed they were to the competitions.

“We’ve been messing with tractors all our lives. We always had hot rod cars and stuff like that. When my brother and I first started we bought a tractor out of New York, I guess that would have been about 20 years ago. And it has evolved into this here.”

You could tell that all the pullers were great friends and shared a family type atmosphere. But when they get to the track, it’s all business.

You can listen to the interview with Mike here: Interview with Mike Wilhite

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

New Holland Smart Hay & Forage Tools

New Holland Roll Belt 560Robert Hendrix is the rock star of New Holland hay and forage tools. I had fun letting him show off a couple of new products at the National Farm Machinery Show, the Discbine 313 mower-conditioner and Roll Belt 560 round baler. In the interview below he talks us through all the new features.

Discbine 313:

New Holland has taken the Discbine® mower-conditioner to a new level with two new center-pivot models. Combining both speed and performance, the new Discbine® 313 and Discbine® 316 feature increased durability, more efficient crop flow and smoother, more effective conditioning. The combination of larger cutting discs and a wider conditioning system leads to cleaner cutting, better crop flow and more consistent drying. Co-rotating disc modules have been removed on the Discbine 313 and reduced to one pair on the Discbine 316. This greatly reduces the crop convergence between the cutterbar and the conditioner.

Roll Belt 560:

The New Holland’s Roll-Belt™ 560 5′x 6′ round baler delivers two elements cattle producers ask for the most: higher baling capacity and better feeding ability in a wide range of crops and baling conditions. New Holland’s proven combination of rolls and belts gets hay rolling quickly for fast, reliable core starts and helps pack more hay into every bale for less outside storage losses.

You can listen to the interview with Robert here and learn more: Interview with Robert Hendrix

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Climate Corporation Offers Climate Information

Have you ever wanted to be able to see what is happening every day weather-wise on each of your fields? The Climate Corporation was at the National Farm Machinery Show telling farmers about a free tool they have to offer that can do just that. You may recall that Monsanto acquired The Climate Corporation in October and NFMS is one of the first shows since that time where they have been out talking to farmers about their products.

Jeff HamlinThe Climate Corporation monitors 30 million fields in the US Corn Belt. According to Jeff Hamlin growers can sign up for free Climate Basic at With this account farmers can locate each of their fields and then will be able to see what growth stage the plants are at, how much rain the field has received, and soil moisture in each of the locations entered. The information can be seen from your computer, phone or tablet.

Farmers can also invest in Climate Pro which is a more advanced system which includes satellite imagery of your crops, nitrogen recommendations, and planting recommendations. These programs can be incorporated with precision planting software or just included in your Climate Basic account.

Listen to my interview with Jeff here: Interview with Jeff Hamlin, The Climate Corporation

Sponsored by John Deere

GSI Highlights Products at NFMS

nfms-14-gary-woodruffGSI was one of the many agricultural equipment companies that took advantage of the National Farm Machinery Show’s trade show to market their products. Chuck met up with GSI’s Gary Woodruff to find out more about what they have to offer.

“GSI has been in the business since about 1971. We started out as a grain bin company and over the years grown acquiring other companies. Adding material handling, adding grain dryers, top drys and other equipment. We grew as a private company. We then since went through another type of ownership and recently in December of 2012 we were purchased by AGCO. We are very happy to be one of the AGCO companies.”

Gary shares with Chuck their not so new product, yet still very popular, the Watchdog. A device that allows you to pull up the exact screen that’s on the dryer as along as it has internet capabilities. GSI customers love this because their is no learning curve. It also allows the operator to make any safe changes remotely. All this is done through an IP address and personal password.

“Two or three years ago the early adopters loved this. The biggest issue we had was a lot farms did not have local area networks. We were using cell phone modems. The thing we have noticed in the last 18 months is a much higher percentage of farms have a local network or have web technology. In the last 18 months the usage of this product has increased dramatically.”

To learn more about this and other GSI products, visit your local GSI dealer. Watchdog can be used on any of their Vision Portable Dryers Systems or our Vision Tower Systems. Gary suggests using the dealer finder on their website to find one in your area.

You can listen to the interview with Gary here: Interview with Gary Woodruff

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC and New Holland Agriculture

Raven’s Precision Tech Awarded

nfms-14-tim-heinsTim Heins heads up the product management team for Raven and Chuck caught up with him at the trade show during the National Farm Machinery Show.

“At the ASABE Award Show, in conjunction with the farm show, we won four AE50 Awards. We won them for SmarTrax™ MD, OmniRow® Multi-Hybrid Planter Control System and our Viper 4 Field Computer.”

As an independent precision ag provider, Raven was the only company that won that many awards. Tim shared how exciting it is to be winning awards along side big names in the farm equipment industry.

Raven’s OmniRow® Multi-Hybrid Planter technology also was awarded the FinOvation Award presented by Farm Industry News for a collaboration with South Dakota State University and Pioneer Seeds.

“We have been doing variable rate technology for years now and when you talk about that it’s hard for producers to really understand variable rate. What do I need to do? How and when do I do it? When you talk about changing hybrids it’s something that is more intuitive and they understand their fields. To growers and producers, multi-hybrid more than variable rate, they get.”

You can listen to the interview with Tim here: Interview with Tim Heins

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album