THE MARKETERS of the Farm Progress Show coined a catchy term awhile back, calling their event The Super Bowl of Agriculture. I take exception to that description. Sure, the show is big. But I spend the Super Bowl eating chips and ham, sitting on the couch and falling asleep. At the Farm Progress Show, I logged at least four miles on foot and barely had time to wolf down a pork sandwich between booth visits. No nap time. That's how much there is to see.
Here are just a few of the new and interesting products that were on display.
From drought to hurricanes, down corn was a big problem this year. But bad news for farmers has meant brisk sales of the hydraulically powered DG paddle reel. This reel can do two jobs well: fluff trash off the corn head and pick up down corn.
The unit easily installs on most corn heads with just a few bolts. When it is not needed, in standing corn, it easily swings up out of the way.
Designs are available for most head sizes and head brands from 4 to 12 rows. Units range in price from $3,650 to $6,100. The company can custom build units for 16-row heads as well. Contact Hawkins Mfg., Dept. FIN, 2120 E. 4th Ave., Holdrege, NE 68949, 800/382-6178, visit www.hawkinsmfg.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 214.
Whether it's to gawk at the forward-folding 90-ft.-wide 3800 corn planter or the hydraulically folding and transforming 3650 air seeder, farmers, their families and assorted city folk who visit farm shows can't help but stop at the Kinze planter display.
This year, those who stopped to ask questions learned about Kinze's new bulk-fill option on new planters. Jumping on the industry's bulk-fill bandwagon in a big way, Kinze's twin 55-bu. tanks hold more seed to reduce fill time and keep the planter going in the field longer.
Another new product component, Kinze's EdgeVac seed-metering system, also one-ups earlier-to-market vacuum planter seed disc competitors by improving upon the vacuum seed disc concept. Kinze's seed disc is larger, with 39 cells along the outer edges of the corn disc to allow slower disc rotation and more accurate planting. One disc, colored light blue, handles all sizes and shapes of seed corn. Other discs handle crops such as soybeans, milo, edible beans and cotton. Housing the disc is a non-concentric vacuum cover, which reduces disc wear that can occur over time as a disc spins. With no vacuum seals, retaining devices or spools, Kinze's seed disc system is easy to maintain and is self-cleaning.
The Unverferth 500 implement caddy is designed for one-person 3-point-hitch hookup on virtually all 3-point equipment, with up to a 6,000-lb. lifting capacity. The tractor-style Cat. III rear quick hitch uses an auto latch attachment. The pull-through design is welded 4- × 8-in. tubular steel. Axle arms are 6- × 6-in. tubular steel. Hydraulic cylinders with 3,000 psi of power quickly raise and lower the unit more than 34 in.
Models are available in red or green paint. Price $8,500. Contact Unverferth Mfg., Dept. FIN, Box 357, Kaida, OH 45853, 419/532-2468, visit www.unverferth.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 216.
LIQUID TRANSFER CUBE
By using a reliable gravity feed system, the Redball Shuttle puts an end to unreliable pumps and meters associated with bulk-handling systems. The all-plastic 250-gal. unit has a crush-resistant bottom, a 10-gal. measuring vessel and a gravity flow rate of 50 gal./min. The unit weighs approximately 2,400 lbs. full and 335 lbs. empty.
GPS PATHS CONVERGE
The Cultiva GPS guidance system has been around for a few years. Its basic concept is to give the farmer a picture of a virtual highway on a screen to tell him where he needs to steer the tractor to stay on course. Each year brings more improvements and features. This year the new Cultiva ATC adds 3-D color graphics and other features to make steering even more accurate. That's only part of the story, though.
This past summer, AutoFarm acquired Cultiva and added the Cultiva ATC virtual highway guidance system to its portfolio of precision ag guidance products. The merger promises to add even more expandable features to Cultiva in the future, while giving AutoFarm an expanded dealer network.
Although the Cultiva unit is a sub-meter accuracy product priced around $5,000, you still have to do the steering yourself. However, the new association with AutoFarm promises to make the base Cultiva system upgradable with features such as AutoSteer, implement control, fleet management, field mapping, and sub-inch accuracy RTK DGPS.
With traditional NH3 application systems, it is difficult to ensure equal product distribution, especially on cold days. That means growers tend to slow down or over-apply. The aNH3 Equaply system uses a modified method for cooling anhydrous ammonia in the heat exchanger to deliver liquid anhydrous to all knives with only a very small gas coolant stream on the side.
The bolt-on kit uses a pump that boosts the pressure of NH3 coming from the nurse tank. By creating even, constant pressure where NH3 is manifolded to the injection knives, the correct rate of nitrogen is applied to every row. Each knife line leaving the manifold also can be equipped with a pressure gauge to let the operator visually monitor pressure and know that equal NH3 is flowing.
Price for the pump and optional gauge tree varies according to number of knives and other factors but should range between $12,235 and $15,200. Contact aNH3 Co., Dept. FIN, Box 222, Elkhart, IL 62634, 217/947-2904, visit www.aNH3.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 219.
AMVAC Chemical Corporation announces new software upgrades, expanded insecticide options and a new partnership with Pioneer Hi-Bred for marketing its SmartBox granular insecticide closed-handling system. Products available in the SmartBox system now include Aztec, Force, Fortress 5G and Bolster, a new product for soybean cyst nematode control.
The insecticides are prepackaged in 50-lb. returnable containers that are keyed to open only when lock mounted into the SmartBox applicator. The SmartBox system uses an in-cab computerized controller for precise application as well as monitoring and record keeping.
Apache introduced two new mid-sized self-propelled sprayers at the show. Both models include improvements to the cab and operator's console. Both also are based on the Apache philosophy that direct-drive transmissions with torque converters put more power to the ground more efficiently and reliably than do the hydrostatic drives.
The 750-gal.-capacity AS710 has a dry weight of 15,900 lbs. It starts at $107,000 and uses a 155-hp Tier 2 John Deere engine with 409 ft.-lbs. of torque. The AS710's four-speed JCB powershift transmission gives it a top speed of 28 mph.
The dry weight of the new AS1010 is 17,329 lbs. It starts at $125,000 and carries an 850-gal. or an optional 1,000-gal. tank. It uses a 205-hp Cummins Tier 2 engine that produces 625 ft.-lbs. of torque. Its six-speed JCB powershift transmission takes the machine to a top speed of 36 mph.