For 29 years, members of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) have recognized and honored the most innovative advancements in engineering in the areas of agriculture, food and biological systems with the AE50 Award. The products selected save producers time, reduce costs and labor, all while improving user safety.

To be eligible for the award, each development — which could be a component, machine, structure, system, end product or procedure — must embody the application of new technology or the innovative application of an older technology. The technology must be new to the whole industry, not just to an individual company. In addition, for the 2016 awards the development must have been first made available for purchase or ordering during the 2015 calendar year.

Each year an international panel of industry experts in technology, design and product development evaluate the entries and select up to 50 products for recognition. This year, given the strength of the nominated products, the judges awarded 55 products.

CDS-John Blue Visagage Orifice Selector System


The CDS-John Blue Visagage Orifice Selector system is a self-contained orifice device that allows the user to quickly change between four different orifice sizes at each row without any line disassembly. This system eliminates messy traditional orifice plate changes where fertilizer lines must be opened. It also reduces the time needed to make the changes because the devices are grouped together on top of the Visagages instead of down low at each row, and greatly reduces the amount of extra loose parts (orifice discs) that must be maintained. The Visagage Orifice Selector installs in the outlet of new or existing Visagage II columns, which allows for quick orifice adjustments at these grouped sections instead of visiting every row unit. Changing between orifice sizes is as simple as rotating a dial on top of the unit, and the four positions are clearly marked. The orifice sizes in the plate were chosen to cover a wide range of applications, and a second, larger plate is included with every unit to cover high-end applicator installations. The free CDS-John Blue Info Link app is available for both iOS and Android devices to provide the user with calculators and chart information in the field to help with orifice size selection.

CDS-John Blue, Hubtsville, Ala.

Nelson Irrigation 3NV Nozzle System


At the heart of Nelson’s 3030 Series Center Pivot Sprinklers is the new, multi-function, side-load 3NV Nozzle. The nozzle can also act as an integral shut-off valve, a much more economical and reliable solution to a ball valve. In tough agricultural conditions, growers spend considerable time managing their water application devices. Nozzles can get plugged with debris and have to be removed for cleaning. The 3NV Nozzle system allows a grower to simply push and turn the nozzle between on, off, nozzle flush and line flush positions to remove debris without removing the nozzle. If you are overwatering, or if you need to conserve water during certain parts of the season, simply switch the sprinkler(s) to the off position. The 3NV Nozzle can be part of a Dual Nozzle Clip (with hi-flo, lo-flo differentiation). This is another way to help farmers adapt to differing watering needs (such as crop establishment, chemigation or lowering water tables). The 3NV nozzle fits all existing Nelson sprinkler types: Rotator, Spinner, Accelerator, Sprayhead, Orbitor and Part Circle.

Nelson Irrigation Corp., Walla Walla, Wash.

Lindsay Corp. FieldNET Pivot Control


Lindsay’s FieldNET Pivot Control is a controller designed to retrofit almost any existing center pivot brand to the latest, most efficient irrigation technology. This allows significant labor savings and the convenience of full remote control and monitoring of pivots and other equipment, such as pumps, injectors, pressure sensors, flow meters, rainfall sensors and other devices. Many farmers have a variety of older pivots that create the challenge of multiple user interfaces to learn and remember. In addition, farmers need the latest control technology to better manage their labor, water and chemical resources, lower cost and maximize yield. Pivot Control’s main differentiating features include a universal look and feel at all pivots in the operation for easy in-field control and variable rate irrigation (VRI) of up to 360 sectors. It also features full control and monitoring at a fraction of the cost compared to a new controller upgrade.

Lindsay Corp., Omaha, Neb.

MacDon R1 Series Pull-Type Disc Mower


The self contained “road friendly” endwise tow transport option for the new R1 series of MacDon’s pull-type disc mower is designed to permit transition from field operational mode to transport mode in 30 seconds without leaving the cab. Transport wheels are stored behind the mower so they don’t interfere with the mowing operation or negatively affect weight distribution of the machine. During the process of deploying the transport system the wheels are also used to elevate the mower and create clearance for transport tires to pass under it. By coupling the hitch to the transport frame, the hitch and mower simultaneously rotate to the transport position. This design allows a 16-foot wide mower to have a 9-foot transport width. This promotes easy movement on roads and access to fields with narrow gateways, conditions that traditionally excludes the use of wider machines.

MacDon Industries Ltd., Winnipeg, Man.

Claas Lexion 670 Dynamic Cooling


The Lexion 670 Dynamic Cooling is a horizontal engine cooling system located on top of the combine, over the engine, to pull in air from where it is coolest and cleanest. The dynamic cooling system is fitted with a variable speed on-demand cooling fan that increases in rpm as the engine temperature rises. As the engine temperature cools, the fan speed will idle down conserving up to 20 horsepower over constant speed cooling fans. Air that is pulled through the cooling system passes through the engine compartment, which aids in keeping the engine compartment free of loose debris, and is forced out through vents in the combine’s side panels. As the air is forced out, it creates a curtain effect that prevents ambient dust and debris from getting aloft and pulled into the cooling fan, thus increasing its service interval for greater uptime. Its position enables easier, safer access for inspection and maintenance, too.

Claas of America, Omaha, Neb.

Sukup Mfg. Simultaneous Monitoring & Reaction Technology


Sukup Mfg.’s new Simultaneous Monitoring and Reaction Technology, called SMART Loop, is a self-learning control system for operating an automatic grain dryer at optimum speed and temperature levels. It uses a newly redesigned moisture sensor that is much more accurate than predecessors to feed moisture readings into a control system that also receives readings on column and discharge grain temperatures, plenum temperature, unload speed, ambient humidity and temperature and static air pressure. The control system allows the dryer to quickly close in on where it needs to be running based on current readings from multiple analog inputs, and does so without overriding the set point (desired discharge moisture setting). SMART Loop is also equipped with settings for further fine-tuning using proportional gain control and deadband area settings. The advanced control loop combines classical drying principals with proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control technology and robust math engines to deliver a superb method of dryer control.

Sukup Mfg. Co., Sheffield, Iowa

Exmark Spreader-Sprayer


The Exmark Spreader-Sprayer is a stand-on machine that gives lawn care professionals the ability to apply fertilizer and chemicals to lawns with increased speed and precision. The machine introduces a number of innovations to the marketplace, including Lean-to-Steer controls, which permit one-hand steering and forward/reverse speed control. As a result, the other hand is free to operate spreader or sprayer controls, or perform spot spraying with the easy-access spray wand. The intuitive control layout allows on-the-fly adjustments of the spreader or sprayer from the operator position. Selectable narrow (5.5 feet) and wide (11 feet) spray nozzles deliver increased accuracy of application combined with the versatility to spray virtually any lawn. Two in-tank induction nozzles provide enough agitation to keep wettable powders in suspension, allowing lawn care professionals to choose from an expanded range of chemicals or fungicides to tackle tough lawn problems. The welded stainless steel frame increases durability, and a stainless steel operator platform includes isolation mounts for increased operator comfort.

Exmark Mfg. Co. Inc., Beatrice, Neb.

DICKEY-john IntelliAg ISO6 Control & Monitor System


The Dickey-john IntelliAg ISO6 is a six-channel, ISOBUS-compatible control and monitor system that allows planters and seeders to apply multiple material types, such as seeding, granular and liquid, from one module. ISO6 utilizes a unique approach to software design in order to greatly reduce the validation time required after new feature integration. Additionally, software features have been implemented to reduce hardware needs by integrating advanced seed monitoring, section control with virtual switches and implement fold control. ISO6 originated from the reputable IntelliAg WSMTII and has received a comprehensive upgrade to include best-in-class precision control technologies. One such upgrade is the graphical user interface. Through the utilization of a high level of customization and convenience, the interface is engaging to users of all technological skill levels.

Dickey-john Corp., Auburn, Ill.

Agrible Morning Farm Report


Morning Farm Report is a predictive analytics tool for growers and agricultural companies that provides agronomic knowledge and forecasts on rainfall, temperature, growing degree days, fieldwork logistics, yield estimates and more. Instead of just providing data on what has already happened in a grower’s fields, Morning Farm Report provides forecasts and fieldwork recommendations for up to 2 weeks in advance. Morning Farm Report’s Yield Engine is the only service that predicts corn and soybean yields starting the day of planting, according to the company. This allows growers to make market and business decisions months in advance. Depending on what data a grower is interested in, they sign up for yearly subscriptions to Morning Farm Report’s different services: Rainfall, Field Intel, Tractor Time and Yield Engine. Data is then delivered through a daily email at 5 a.m. and the Morning Farm Report website.

Agrible Inc., Champaign, Ill.

Graham Electric Planter Pro Electric Drive


The patent-pending Graham Pro Electric Drive is a 100% wirelessly controlled system that features 12 volt DC brushless motors with RF wireless control boards integrated into each motor end cap. This innovation reduces cost of row-by-row variable rate retrofit, further reduces input costs compared to existing retrofit options and allows one motor to control multiple applications simultaneously for each row. This is the next generation of the award winning Graham Electric Drive System. The 100% wireless control eliminates cost of wiring and harnesses related to variable retrofit. Additionally, the system’s response to operator command inputs has been reduced from 4/10 of a second down to 30 milliseconds, which means lower cost inputs because of the improvement in precision. Lastly, this system features row-by-row variable rate seed, liquid or dry fertilizer application in addition to turn compensation, auto row shut-offs, seed monitoring and prescription mapping.

Graham Electric Planter, Sterling, Colo.

Kuhn FC 3160 TLR Side-Pull Disc Mower Conditioner


The Kuhn FC 3160 TLR side-pull disc mower-conditioner is a simple to use, yet heavy-duty machine designed to mow, condition and windrow hay crops to maximize nutritional value and increase productivity. The exclusive Diamond Block roller style conditioning system allows quick dry down of forage crops, by utilizing a horizontal diamond pattern giving the crop more points to be crimped as it comes off the disc. Another key feature is the direct drive system with a shear bolt protected main gearbox that provides protection in adverse conditions, with no belts to adjust and very minimal maintenance. The Optidisc cutterbar, with differential disc spacing and lubed-for-life reliability, ensures a clean cut and even crop flow to the conditioner. Crop layout can also be varied from a 3-foot windrow up to 75% of the cutting width by adjusting a single lever. The Constant Float suspension and Pro-Active Lift provides quick adaptation to different ground contours.

Kuhn North America Inc., Brodhead, Wis.

Pentair Closed System Cleanload


Pentair’s Closed System Cleanload is a device for safe and efficient measurement, mixing and loading of dry or liquid formulations into a sprayer with minimal exposure to pesticides. The system features a sealed glove box that safely separates the operator from the chemical container. Within the glovebox are all the requirements for measuring, triple rinsing of container for disposal and mixing of formulation into a saturated solution that then is educted onto the sprayer. Using a closed system allows the operator to wear minimal personal protection equipment in the heat of the day instead of full-body, chemical resistant, protective clothing with cooling device.

Pentair-Hypro, New Brighton, Minn.

New Holland Dual Stream Combine Header Attachment


The all-new New Holland Dual Stream Combine Header Attachment mounts to the back of the New Holland 760CG Varifeed Grain Header to allow operators to make a higher cut, removing only the top portion of the plant that contains the grain for processing in the combine. The secondary cutterbar on the Dual Stream attachment makes a final, lower cut removing the remaining straw to the final desired stubble height all in the same pass. The attachment includes a processing roll to actively work the second-cut straw down into the stubble, improving its rate of decomposition. Because the combine is only processing the top, driest portion of the plant, the combine operator will see significant improvements in combine capacity, reduced fuel consumption, reduced grain loss, longer harvesting window and perfect straw distribution. The Dual Stream Header attachment is available for the 25, 30, 35 and 41 foot 760CG Varifeed Grain Headers.

New Holland Agriculture, New Holland, Pa.

Laforge PowerFold System


PowerFold is a folding system for a tractor’s front 3-point systems that allows for push-button folding and unfolding from the cab. It’s the first and only design that eliminates the need for the driver to exit the cab to manipulate hitch components to execute the folding. Most front hitches are equipped with lower links that can be folded up. The prevailing designs lead to reduced strength and increased wear and tear. And because of the cumbersome folding procedure, many are left in working position at all times. A European study showed a third of tractors going down the road had not folded up the hitch. This can be a traffic hazard because the hitch is largely out of sight for both the diver and fellow road users. Safety around the farm is also compromised by leaving the hitch unfolded due to the driver miscalculating the length of the tractor as well as people or animals stumbling over it.

Laforge Systems Inc., Concord, Calif.

John Deere DB60T Twin Row Planter


The John Deere DB60T is a 72 row, 60 foot twin row planter, the first of its kind in the industry, the company says. Its row spacing contains MaxEmerge 5 twin row pairs spaced 8 inches apart and each pair is spaced on 20 inch centers allow a typical 20 inch corn head to be utilized during harvest. A more uniform seed-to-seed placement is achieved with this spacing, therefore reducing plant to plant competition. The DB60T was developed to be used in conjunction with high population corn varieties to significantly increase yields. A range from 23,000-80,000 seeds per acre can be achieved for corn, and up to 225,000 seeds per acre are possible for soybeans at 9 mph (14.5 kph). The 60 foot wide frame is based on the same sound structure as the rest of the DB model line. Larger tires have been selected to reduce compaction in the field and increase stability during transport.

John Deere, Moline, Ill.

I-Lighting Avilighting System


Avilighting is a complete LED poultry lighting system that places the proper amount and intensity of light at the feed and water lines in commercial poultry houses. Benefits to the system are the energy savings it provides from the use of LED lights and the health benefits it provides for the birds by humanely guiding them to food and water sources, reducing mortality and allowing them to reach their full genetic potential. A controller that gives the farmer the ability to alter the intensity of light through the full 0-100% spectrum in both blue and white lights. The use of aluminum plates inside the feeder lights carry current in place of traditional hardwire. Each component of the system works together to maximize production and reduce costs in a new way.

I-Lighting LLC, North East, Md.

Oxbo PremiumSort Cleaning System


PremiumSort is a new add-on cleaning system available on Oxbo’s 6120 grape harvester. It was designed to meet the growing customer demand for high quality, mechanically harvested grapes without sacrificing in-field productivity. The system de-stems grapes and removes petioles (leaf stalks) in the field, tasks traditionally performed in the winery prior to fermentation. PremiumSort uses a continuous, perforated belt to separate petioles and other fine matter other than grapes from the grape load and sorts the fruit using a patent-pending belt agitation mechanism. A unique feature of PremiumSort is the ability for the operator to bypass the system in a matter of seconds, giving increased harvest flexibility. PremiumSort is the first supplemental, centrally located cleaning system, allowing the harvester to be configured with any combination of fruit handling options.

Oxbo International Corp., Lynden, Wash.

AGCO Sunflower 9830NT Series Single Disc Air Drill


Sunflower 9830NT Series single disc air drill is the most universal seeding tool available. A single rank, single disc opener system provides high speed seeding performance and the brain is the AgControl system providing product rate control of each meter shaft by section. The 175 bushel integrated tank consists of two commodity chambers divided in a 60/40 split. Combined, this is a 5.83 bushels per foot seed capacity. The seed is accurately metered through a stainless steel bodied venture type metering system that provides a dedicated meter flute for each row. The ISO task controllers and electric meter drives provide responsive rate change with three section zone control and seed rate turn compensation. Available in 30-foot working width and 11 feet, 5 inches transport.

AGCO Corp., Duluth, Ga.

Case IH Early Riser 2150 Front-Fold Planter


The Case IH Early Riser 2150 Front-Fold Planter represents the first 16-row planter that can be factory-ordered with system configurations that range from a basic machine to a fully advanced-featured, integrated, high-technology customized planter, all within a common model. Available technologies include: pneumatic row unit tillage tools; passive pneumatic row unit down pressure or active hydraulic row unit down pressure with both lift- and down force capability and individual row load-sensing with the ability to apply reactive wing down force; spring or pneumatic control closing system; electric drive vacuum seed meter with speed-based seed meter vacuum level compensation; selection of gravity drop seed tube or positive seed delivery belt, which allows for high speed operation without sacrificing seed placement; fertilizer delivery system with individual row shutoff; and an electric drive, granular chemical delivery system. The operator controls all systems with a single in-cab user display. Systems are integrated into a new frame, which allows for higher operating speeds and provides for row-unit travel of +/– 8 inches.

Case IH, Racine, Wis.

Kelley Mfg. KMC Unload on the Go Tank


The KMC Unload on the Go Tank is a storage tank mounted to the top of a peanut harvesting combine that can unload the contents of the tank into a cart or wagon while the combine continues to harvest. It uses a folding conveyor that is 33% wider to unload the peanuts up to 50% faster and, because it folds flat against the side of the tank, transport width has been reduced by 2%, giving the operator better visibility for safer transport. The new Unload on the Go Tank has a larger volume, capable of holding an additional 750 pounds of peanuts, while also featuring a new tilt design, which allows the operator to access the threshing cylinders located under the tank.

Kelley Mfg. Co., Tifton, Ga.

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