The National Farm Machinery Show, the country’s largest indoor farm show, celebrated its 50th year Feb. 11-14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The annual show, with 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space, features the agricultural industry’s most comprehensive display of equipment, services and technology. More than 850 exhibitors displayed farm equipment this year, with many showing their newest innovations.
Highlights of the newest offerings for 2015
John Deere has introduced the 900 Series round balers for producers who bale silage or other forage for feed. “Many beef and dairy producers can save time and money by pre-processing silage and other forage crops when baling and put a denser, higher-quality forage in the bunk,” said Jeremy Unruh, product line manager of baling and mowing products for John Deere. “This is especially true when baling and feeding high-moisture silage. The 900 Series was designed specifically to address these challenges.”
John Deere’s 960 and 990 models, with 13- and 25-knife pre-cutters, produce 4x5-foot-sized and 4x6-foot-sized bales. The knives can be retracted, allowing the baler to be used for traditional hay and forage baling.
The pre-cutter configured system increases bale density and the faster gate-cycle time enables operators to work faster and reduce handling and storage-space requirements, John Deere officials said. The manufacturer said the high-capacity feeding system processes more than 63,000 pounds of dry matter per hour, with the ability to handle both dry and high-moisture crops.
John Deere also has announced that its 469 Premium and 569 Premium round balers feature tractor-baler automation that interfaces with B-Wrap. B-Wrap comes in rolls just like net wrap, and is rolled onto round bales just like regular net wrap. But, according to Deere, B-Wrap reduces storage losses, helping maintain nutrient quality.
B-Wrap protects bales with a patented material that features Tama SCM Technology™ to shed rain and snow, and help protect bales from ground moisture. The wrap’s microscopic pores allow water vapor inside the bales to escape. John Deere Premium balers manufactured before model year 2015 can also be made B-Wrap-compatible with a dealer-installed kit.
Kinze® Manufacturing Inc. announced that its 3660 12-row and 16-row planters will soon be available for purchase with electric drive. Kinze’s existing 3660 planter frame comes with standard hydraulic weight transfer to reduce potential soil compaction. The planter also offers an optional exclusive split row system using push units for superior residue flow. A split row 3660 can be converted from a 15-foot planter to a 30-foot planter by locking up the row units.
The new electric drive is designed to eliminate the need for clutches and to simplify maintenance. A new meter will allow for turning compensation and row-by-row variable-rate planting, and will use heavy-duty, high-torque 24-volt meter motors, Kinze Manufacturing said.
The manufacturer added the 3660 can be controlled with any approved ISOBUS-compatible monitor. The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation explained that ISOBUS data technology standardizes communication between tractors and implements while ensuring compatibility of data transfer between mobile systems and farm software.
John Deere has launched a new self-propelled sprayer for crop producers and commercial applicators. The R4023, which replaces the 4630 model, features a 4.5-liter, 173-horsepower Final Tier 4 engine, new premium cab option, wide- and narrow-axle configurations, and the latest integrated technology.
Dave Mulder, product line manager of John Deere application equipment, said the new sprayer offers the smaller size, maneuverability and versatility needed to more easily cover smaller, odd-shaped fields.
The John Deere R4023 sprayer features four-wheel hydrostatic drive, 600-gallon poly tank and 80-foot booms that can fold to 60 feet for tight conditions. The C-Channel chassis frame features a suspension-dampening soft shock option for operator comfort and sprayer performance in rough terrain.
The latest technologies integrated into the sprayer include AutoTrac,™ SprayStar,™ BoomTrac Pro,™ and John Deere section control and boom return to height. JDLink™ also is available on all machines and enables remote display access, service ADVISOR™ remote and wireless data transfer. These are all part of the John Deere FarmSight™ experience available through local dealers.
Guidance Line Sharing
On the subject of spraying operations, John Deere also has announced that it is expanding the functionality of its Machine Sync application beyond just combine-grain cart harvest automation. New Machine Sync features include coverage map sharing and guidance line sharing for seeding and spraying operations, as well as for nutrient application and harvest.
The new features make it easy for two machines to operate in the same field while giving each operator immediate access to coverage maps and guidance lines to improve overall efficiency in the field, John Deere said. Section control can be triggered on or off based on another machine’s coverage map, resulting in faster field operations, reduced skips and overlaps, and improved efficiencies when multiple machines are working in the same field, said J.C. Funke, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group.
Kubota Tractor Corporation introduced its M7-Series tractor line for commercial livestock and row-crop producers at the National Farm Machinery Show. This new line is the manufacturer’s largest horsepower offering to-date and includes three new mid-range tractor models — the M7-131, M7-151 and M7-171 — in the 130- to 170-horsepower range.
The M7-Series features the V6108 Kubota turbocharged-diesel engine, the latest in clean-air engine technology, with selective catalytic reduction that transforms exhaust into water vapor and nitrogen. The tractor line’s common rail system electronically controls the timing and amount of high-pressure injected fuel in stages for optimal combustion for improved fuel economy and less engine noise. The M7-Series has been designed to exceed Tier 4 final emissions regulations with its diesel particulate filter muffler and an exhaust gas recirculation system.
The new tractor line will feature a 24- x 24-speed semi-powershift transmission or the Kubota variable transmission. This transmission features dynamic braking to help maintain control and constant traveling speed while on descending slopes.
The M7-Series is designed with an ISOBUS management system with auto guidance and touch-screen performance monitor.
Also at the National Farm Machinery Show, McCormick North America introduced three new additions — X4.20, X4.30, and X4.40 —to its X4 tractor family. Ranging from 64 to 79 horsepower, these tractors use a Deutz® 2.9-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine that complies with Tier 4i emissions. The engines do not use a diesel particulate filter, and do not require additional fluids during operation. The new X4 tractors offer a choice of a mechanical synchronized shuttle or a robust hydraulic power shuttle to match the job. A creeper is available for specialty applications that require full engine power and low ground speed.
Woods Equipment introduced a heavy-duty disc harrow in three models, ranging from 108 to 144 inches in width. It features an advanced offset/tandem gang configuration that leaves an even finish across its entire width.
A new food plot seeder also has been added to the Woods Equipment line. It is available in four sizes, ranging from 49 to 84 inches in width for compact and utility tractors, all of which are capable of planting up to three seed types in a single pass.
In addition, Woods Equipment exhibited its 12-foot Batwing® rotary cutter designed for compact tractors. The manufacturer said this new cutter incorporates the durability and cutting ability of other Batwing models into a maneuverable package capable of large and small cutting jobs.
Finally, Woods Equipment introduced its BH65 and BH75 Groundbreaker® backhoe models, which were developed to combine quality with affordability.
Finally, Soil-Max® added a new model to its Soil-Max Stealth ZD® line. It may be used in vegetable, vineyard, forage and pattern tiling operations, as well as the subsurface irrigation market. The new model is designed to be pulled by tractors in the large utility class that are equipped with a Category 2 three-point hitch. It can install 2- to 4-inch tile at a depth of up to 4 feet deep. Shipments are expected to begin this summer.