Farm Equipment Staff Report

With solid commodity pricing and farm incomes on the rise, 2011 has all the makings of a big year for farm equipment dealers and manufacturers.

And with all the new product introductions at this year’s Farm Progress Show, held August 30-September 1 in Boone, Iowa, it’s obvious that the exhibitors are ready to take full advantage of the opportunities that the year ahead holds.

The new Tier IV engines for high-horsepower equipment have and will continue to make a lot of news in the months ahead, but new precision farming and vertical tillage products were also in abundance at this year’s show.

With 7 Farm Equipment and No-Till Farmer editors deployed across the show grounds this year, we saw more new innovations than space allows in this issue.

Click each category to read more.

Claas combineHarvesting: Increasing Throughput, Reducing Soil Compaction
Virtually all combine and corn head exhibitors echoed the same sentiment when it came to trends in harvesting equipment. Shorter harvesting windows due to inclement weather, increased grain throughput demands, the need for speed, and ever-larger heads and combines to handle larger acreages continue to drive new harvesting development. All this, plus the need to control compaction with the combine, grain cart and semi-truck at the same time were emphasized in the new equipment this year. 

CIH SteigerTractors:  Tier IV Engines & Operator Comfort
Big tractors are getting more powerful and small tractors more comfortable for 2011. The big news coming from tractor makers this year is the rollout of Tier IV engines for high-horsepower equipment, while compact and mid-size tractor manufacturers expanded horsepower offerings and introduced more creature comforts.

GPS/Precision Ag: New Apps Cover Wider Range of Operations
MiniMojoA novelty 5 years ago, GPS precision ag systems are rapidly coming into their own as manufacturers offer applications covering nearly every modern farming operation. According to Matt Burkhardt of RAVEN INDUSTRIES, the top 4 product requests coming
from farmers include planter control, yield
monitoring, RTK for steer-ready and scalable GPS.

Seeding & Planting: Productivity, Precision is Key
Not only is seeding the most important variable in every farmer’s cropping operation, but rising seed prices have taught farmers they need to lead with the best-possible seeding technologies. It’s clear from the seeding and planting manufacturers that size, seed meters, bulk fill and precision controls all contribute to seeding productivity and yield performance.

Dawn fertilizer unitFertilizer Application: Covering More Acres with Precision
The trend in fertilizer application today, according to manufacturers at Farm Progress 2010, is to go larger to cover more acreage, provide more flexibility of applications and be more precise. 

Tillage: Going Vertical is Gaining Momentum
Great Plains Turbo TillVertical tillage is without question one of the hottest trends in tillage equipment today. From the majors
to the shortliners, several manufacturers now offer their own interpretation of vertical tillage equipment. But what exactly is vertical tillage, and why is vertical tillage equipment so important to today’s growers?

Grain Handling: Capacity, Efficiency Adds to Improved Harvesting
Loftness grain baggerThe push to process grain more quickly doesn’t end when crops are processed by a combine. Several makers of grain-handling equipment at the 2010
Farm Progress Show told Farm Equipment that
they’re under pressure to make equipment that is bigger, more powerful, more efficient and easier
to use.

Spraying Equipment: Precision is the Watchword
New spraying technologies like electronically-
controlled nozzles and booms make it easier than
ever for operators to apply their chemicals exactly where they’re needed, when they’re needed, and
in very precise amounts. 

Livestock Feeding: Vertical Mixers Take Center Stage
Haybuster Big BiteThere was a variety of feed and grinder mixer manufacturers present at Farm Progress 2010. Manufacturers say tub grinders still fill a role on some farms, but trends are continuing to evolve toward vertical feed mixers that can mix a “Total Mix Ration (TMR)” of a variety of foodstuffs to provide a more nutritious ration for livestock.