Archive for July, 2010

US Application Operator Could Win a Harley Davidson

AGCO Application Equipment is searching for this year’s U.S. operator of the year. If you are an U.S. retailer providing agricultural chemical application services, tell us why your most deserving operator should be recognized by clicking the “Nominate Now” button. If your operator is selected as the winner, not only will he (or she) take home a 2010 Harley, but you and a friend will be off on a Harley Road Trip of your own.

The Harley Road Trip for you and a friend is offered by EagleRider Tours. Take a 3-day/2-night self-guided tour of one of North America’s many scenic riding destinations. You choose the time and the place; we’ll take care of the rest.
• Your choice of a Harley, Honda or BMW motorcycle
• All accommodations
• Detailed hour-by-hour itinerary and guidebook
• A $500 cash card

The search ends October 31, so make your nomination now.

Farming Tips Sent to Your Cell Phone

Telephones have come a long way from Alexander Graham Bell’s design to the sophisticated smart phones we have today. Speaking from a generation that can barely remember life without cellphones, it is stories like this that really make me wonder how we actually functioned before SMART phones.

Farmers in the “texting capital” of the world — the Philippines — will soon have nutrient management advice tailored specifically to their rice crops delivered to their mobile phones.

Dr. Roland Buresh, part of the International Rice Research (IRRI) team that has joined the Philippine Department of Agriculture to establish the system, says that after responding to a series of simple questions about their rice paddy, farmers would receive an automated text reply recommending what amounts, sources, and timings of fertilizer are needed for profitable rice production in their paddy. Source: Farmers to get rice-growing advice via text messages from Science Daily.

What cool technologies you would like to see developed for your farm operation?

*Photo via PIM Admissions Blog

Tractor Safety Tips

No matter how many days, years, or generations you have been farming it’s always good to remember the basics of farm and tractor safety. Take a look at these tips from National Safety Council’s Agricultural Division (NECAS) on tractor safety:

Develop a “safety first” attitude. Follow safe work practices all the time and set a good example for others. 
• Be physically and mentally fit when operating tractors. Fatigue, stress, medication, alcohol and drugs can detract from safe tractor operation. Take breaks.
• Read operator’s manual and warning decals. Pay attention to safety information.
• Equip the tractor with a Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) and wear seat belts.
• Inspect the tractor for any hazards and correct them before operating.
• Make sure everyone who operates a tractor has received training and is physically able to operate it safely.
• Shut down equipment, turn off engine, remove key and wait for moving parts to stop before dismounting equipment.
• Keep bystanders and others away from tractor operation area. Do not allow “extra riders,” especially children.

• Are ROPS in place and seat belts used?
• Is a PTO master shield in place?
• Is the operator’s platform clear of debris?
• Is a reflective “Slow Moving Vehicle” emblem posted?
• Are lights and flashers operational?
• Are tires properly inflated?
• Is the hydraulics free from leaks?
• Are brakes can be locked together?
• Is a 20 lb. “ABC” fire extinguisher in place?
• Is a fully equipped first aid kit on the tractor?
Source: National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) – Tractor Safety

What was the first tractor safety tip that you ever learned and how did you learn it?

Gleaner Super7 Video

“Gleaner combines are totally different because they are better” said Kevin Bien, AGCO Product Marketing Manager for Combines. You may remember him from our previous post on the Gleaner Super7, built for the US & Canada. In the video below, you can learn about the history, innovation, and testing that went into engineering the new Gleaner Super Series.

Check out the discussion tab on the AGCO Facebook page to post your questions and comments about the Gleaner Super7.

Tips for Successful Hay Raking

Haying season is typically a race between weather and crop, with the prize being optimal protein content and more valuable hay. Some great strategic raking tips are offered by Joell Bagg, Forage Specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food & Rural Affairs:
“Raking is done to narrow the swath for the baler, and also to move the wetter material at the bottom of the windrow to the outside. Every time you rake hay there is some leaf loss, so rake strategically. The drier the hay is at raking, the greater the leaf loss. If possible, raking alfalfa at moistures between 30 – 40% is often a good compromise between low leaf loss and good drying. Leaf loss can be extremely high if raking at 20% moisture. Hay that is almost dry is less likely to shatter when raked in the early morning when the dew is still on.

Some rake designs are more aggressive and do a better job of fluffing, but are also more prone to leaf loss, particularly at lower moistures. Uniform, consistent raking without bunching is required to avoid wet bales.

If a partially dried hay field does receive a heavy rain, tedders or rotary rakes can break up a windrow that has clumped and matted into the stubble. Moving a windrow onto a drier surface, or fluffing onto stubble can speed drying. Tedders are better suited to grasses than alfalfa. Avoid using a tedder on alfalfa at moistures less than 50%. Avoid driving with tractor tires on the swath and causing leaf loss.” Source: Cutting, Conditioning & Raking For Faster Hay Drying

Massey Ferguson is introducing a new rotary rake series in the US & Canada, with MF3824 and MF3879 models available in New Zealand and Australia. The new RK Series rotary rakes are designed to help hay producers optimize hay quality by gently sweeping, rather than rolling the crop to the center which maximizes leaf retention for optimum protein content and more valuable hay. Find out more information from the product fact sheet for the new Massey Ferguson RK Series Rotary Rakes here.

Check out this video of the rotary rakes at the National Farm Machinery Show: