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High-speed Air Seeding – Ten Days to Define Your Harvest!

“Whether you plant in the autumn or spring, there is typically only a ten-day window to get the precious seed into the ground – you have to act fast and accurately,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Manager for the farm equipment brand, Challenger. “Indeed, within that crucial 10 days, there is the absolute optimum day when everything comes together to create the foundations for the best possible outcome for the harvest.”

“With speed of planting critical, the latest small-grain air drills are the quickest way to cover the hectares while at the same time ensure precise seeding in either conventional or conservation tillage practices,” Cameron explains.

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Good crop management means reducing as many risks as possible.  Timely planting rests on the days available to plant balanced with farm size. Operating larger equipment or moving at faster forward speeds can increase the productivity of the planting process. The objective is lowest cost of planting where investment in inputs (equipment/labour/seeds/chemicals) creates maximum yields whilst still working within the constraints of the planting window.

For successful seed germination, the ‘big three’ when it comes to planting management are adequate moisture, adequate temperature and adequate oxygen.

The correct moisture level is the key factor under your control. In dry soil, germination will simply not take place. In less than optimal moisture conditions, germination and emergence will be slow and uneven.

As for temperature, the chief crop management decision is seeding date. All crops will germinate more quickly in warm, moist soils. With deeper sowing, the seed is brought into a progressively cooler environment. Shallower sowing provides the warmest environment for germination.

Waterlogged soils are the main barrier to adequate oxygen levels and must be avoided at planting time.

Good seed-to-soil contact is necessary to ensure the seed has enough access to moisture to germinate quickly. Loose, cloddy seedbeds are peppered with air pockets that dry out the soil. Good soil closure (packing) around the seed helps minimise air pockets and maximise seed-to soil contact.

To read the full article, please click here

International award for Challenger’s MT800E Steerable 3-Point Linkage

Challenger’s exclusive Steerable 3-Point Hitch will be presented as a technical innovation at the Italian EIMA International machinery show, in Bologna (November 12 to 16, 2014).

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Optionally available on all Challenger MT800E series models, including the flagship MT875E, the new steerable hitch design improves turning performance under load and allows the operator to manage how the implement trails the tractor in tillage and row crop applications.

Pivoting on the differential rear axle housing, the new geometry allows for 118mm steering cylinder travel, resulting in more precise control of the hitch lateral position. In addition, steering cylinders now connect at a distance of 389mm (219mm on C-Series models) from the pivot point, boosting the steering torque capability to a new 109,249 Nm (20% more than C-Series models).

The two operating modes are set using the TMC Display. The Manual mode provides for a fixed steering position. The Float mode provides dampening of implement movements and offset draft reduction.

Providing excellent manoeuvrability for better field contour following, benefits include reduced machine stress by dampening implement lateral shocks, a 25% reduction in turning radius with mounted implements, while the reduction in the power necessary for steering the implement helps to reduce slippage by up to 5%.

Product marketing manager Luca Cattani for tracked and articulated tractors is delighted to receive this accolade. “The unique Steerable 3-Point Hitch option is popular in all markets from South Africa to Central Europe where our customers understand and favour Challenger’s competitive advantage in applying 100% power to the ground.”

Find Challenger in Hall 14, stand B3 or at the ‘novità tecnica’ stand located at the “Quadriportico” area within the EIMA show in Bologna.

Challenger to be Presented Technical Innovation Award at EIMA

Challenger’s exclusive Steerable 3-Point Linkage featured on the MT800E will be presented with a Technical Innovation Award at next week’s EIMA International Machinery Show in Bologna (November 12 – 16, 2014). The award, sponsored by FederUnacoma, recognizes companies which have created genuinely innovative machinery, accessories or components with a capacity to improve processes and the quality of operations performed by workers in the [agricultural and gardening] sectors.

Optionally available on all Challenger MT800E series models, including the flagship MT875E, the new steerable hitch design improves turning performance under load and allows the operator to manage how the implement trails the tractor in tillage and row crop applications.

 

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Pivoting on the differential rear axle housing, the new geometry allows for 118mm steering cylinder travel, resulting in more precise control of the hitch lateral position. In addition, steering cylinders now connect at a distance of 389mm (219mm on C-Series models) from the pivot point, boosting the steering torque capability to a new 109,249 Nm (20% more than C-Series models).

The two operating modes are set using the TMC Display. The Manual mode provides for a fixed steering position. The Float mode provides dampening of implement movements and offset draft reduction.

Providing excellent maneuverability for better field contour-following, benefits include: reduced machine stress by dampening implement lateral shocks; a 25% reduction in turning radius with mounted implements; while the reduction in the power necessary for steering the implement helps to reduce slippage by up to 5%.

Product marketing manager Luca Cattani for tracked and articulated tractors is delighted to receive this accolade. “The unique Steerable 3-Point Hitch option is popular in all markets from South Africa to Central Europe where our customers understand and favour Challenger’s competitive advantage in applying 100% power to the ground.”

 Find Challenger in Hall 14, stand B3 or at the ‘novità tecnica’ stand located at the “Quadriportico” area within the EIMA show in Bologna.

For more information about Challenger, visit: http://www.challenger-ag.com/EMEA/int-en/default.aspx

More info on the EIMA Show,  click here.

 

Pre-Season Checks on Planters Will Help Deliver Healthy, Uniform Seedling Growth.

With the row-crop planting season imminent, now’s the time to fully prepare your equipment to ensure you are ready to strike during optimum weather and soil conditions.

“If you already own a row-crop planter, you should be giving it a thorough inspection and making any adjustments and  repairs,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Product Marketing Manager for the farm equipment brand, Challenger. “Worn or incorrectly-aligned components can compromise the machine’s settings with a subsequent negative effect on yields. Do not skip pre-season maintenance. I cannot emphasise this enough. Giving your planter some tender loving care now will give it the very best chance for maximum performance and uniform planting of seed.”

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Pre-season maintenance should include cleaning of the seed tubes and monitor sensors. If the seed tubes show signs of wear then these should be replaced. Check the condition of the seed conveyor belt and the seed meters. Adjust or replace worn disc openers and ensure the disc openers and furrow closers are accurately aligned.

Also crucial is to check tyres for the correct pressures. Indeed, this is something that should carried out daily once planting begins since incorrect tyre pressure can influence seed rates. Equal tyre pressure keeps the tool bar level and parallel to the ground. This allows the coulters, disc openers and closing wheels to run perpendicular to the ground rather than being tilted. Ground-driven planters use the tyre for ground driving the seed, fertilizer and chemical metering systems, and therefore, the tyre needs to be properly inflated to match the same tyre diameter used to create the seed rate charts in the operator’s manual. An under-inflated tyre will lead to a higher seeding/fertilization rate as the tyre makes more rotations for each hectare of land covered.

“Maximising uniformity of emergence produces strong, healthy seedlings,” Cameron explains. “Uneven emergence can reduce yields by 10-20%. Plants need to be evenly spaced and planted at uniform depth. Indeed, depth control is one of the big factors affecting germination and consistency in crop emergence.”

To read the full article, please click here

Get to Grips with Soil Compaction

How do you protect your soils from yield-sapping hardpan?

“Soil compaction is one of the most common problems farmers face today – it severely limits yields and impacts margins,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Product Marketing Manager for the farm equipment brand, Challenger. “However,  key steps can be taken to deal with it through the use of proper soil management.”

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“As the name implies, compaction occurs when soil particles are compacted together, restricting the amount of space for the air and water needed for optimum plant growth. Compaction can occur naturally or be caused by farming practices. Most often, compaction is created by today’s modern heavy equipment traffic. The key to controlling it is to understand your farm’s soils, ascertain the root cause of compaction and learn how to reduce its costly effects.”

“Compaction tends to build up over time and gets worse every time you work your fields -  most particularly in wet conditions,” he says. “If you haven’t deep-ripped your fields for example, compaction from a wet spring three years ago can dramatically lower yields further down the line.”

Certain soils compact more easily than others. Soils made up of particles of about the same size compact less than soils with particles of varied sizes. Wet soils compact more easily than dry, while soils high in organic matter have a better structure and are more likely to resist compaction.

Some important things to remember:

  • Most compaction is caused by equipment traffic
  • Up to 80% of compaction in the field occurs on the first pass  of the season
  • Surface compaction is caused by high ground pressure created by reduced contact area
  • Deep compaction is caused by high axle loads
  • Slip compaction is caused by low surface contact areas and smearing of the topsoil
  • Pinch-row compaction is caused by dual or triple wheels as ground pressure from the tyres shifts from the centre of the tyre to the outside

To read the full article, please click here

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