By Darren Goebel
Greetings once again from Crop Tour 2016. During the last week of July, I travelled to the Kevin Trimble farm in Amboy, Indiana, about an hour north of Indianapolis. While most of the Midwest has been getting plenty of rain, this pocket in north central, Indiana is super dry. In fact, Kevin told me that his farm has not received any appreciable amount of rain since the latter part of June.
As a result of the dry weather, the crop is showing signs of stress, highlighting some key differences in our plots.
This is the split between automatic hydraulic downforce (DeltaForce) on the left and 400# downforce on the right. Notice that the corn on the right is showing more drought stress; lower leaves are brown and desiccated with overall lighter plant color. This is a result of heavy in furrow packing that created compaction in the root zone. While you would not normally see this in a whole field, differences show up very clearly in the plot. In a three-year study, growers that used DeltaForce averaged 11 bushels per acre higher yield. I suspect the yield difference will be much higher in this field, but we will have to wait until fall to know for sure.
Compaction problems quickly show up when moisture is limiting.
Kevin drove his backhoe along the end to demonstrate how automatic hydraulic down force can adjust to differences in soil bulk density. Above: The crop is suffering in the compaction zone. Below: Planting Map showing compaction zone.
This report shows that compaction from backhoe path prior to planting caused Deltaforce to react at planting.
The depth of planting study is showing some interesting results. Many growers plant corn shallow because they believe there is less risk in stand establishment. Unfortunately, shallow planting can cause as many problems as it solves. Most agronomists recommend a minimum of 1.5” planting depth with 2” preferred. Of course, soil type and moisture level should be taken into account. One great thing about White planters is that depth control can be calibrated to ensure consistent planting depth across the entire width of the planter. In this case, the planter planted the corn consistently at 1” deep. Unfortunately, there wasn’t uniform enough moisture at 1” to get all of the seed up consistently.
This is the split between 1” planting depth on the right and 1.5” planting depth on the left. The 1” planting depth is exhibiting runt plants as a result of delayed emergence due to dry soils at that depth after planting. These runt plants will not produce an ear. The 1.5” and deeper planting depths do not have any issues with runt plants. Stand establishment is similar at all planting depths (1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0) except 3.5” depth. The 3.5” planting depth is suffering about a 10% reduction in stand. We will take these plots to yield and share results in an upcoming report.
Stand uniformity in corn has been getting a lot of attention since the late 90s. Most farmers and agronomists know there are heavy yield penalties for skips and doubles making planter performance absolutely critical. Making things even more challenging, seed companies can’t always guarantee requested seed sizes for that hot new hybrid; and refuge in the bag is a whole other story since seed from different lots must be blended in the same bag. The 9800VE series incorporates meters that can accurately singulate and row units that can accurately plant any corn seed size.
Above: Near picket fence stand. Below: Doubles and Skips from a poorly adjusted planter.
During the last two weeks of August, a team of Agronomists and Product Specialists will be travelling throughout the Midwest speaking at Crop Tour 2016 plot locations. RSVP to attend a Crop Tour event near you: http://agcocropcare.com/crop-tour-rsvp/!
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.
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.
As a supplement to the precision farming product support offered by our dealers, the FuseTM Contact Center is focused on providing the best experience for our customers. Supporting products such as AGCO’s guidance systems, telemetry tools including AgCommand®—and others—our team is extensively and continuously trained and certified to guarantee we can deliver the best support to our customers around the globe.
Delivering support in a timely manner is critical in the agriculture business. Customers often call when they are in the middle of an operation. Having an expert to guide customers step-by-step on how to perform a specific task when they need the assistance can greatly reduce their downtime.
Providing this level of service is an important strategic initiative for AGCO, but what matters the most is what our customers think. Here is what some growers are saying about their experiences with the Fuse Contact Center:
“When I call I get the same guy every time. So I don’t have to go through the same story again.”
-Terry H., Iowa, USA
“The Fuse Contact Center called me back in a couple days to make sure my problem was resolved!”
-Carl S., Arkansas, USA
“I needed help with settings on the GPS. They understood what I was talking about. Give it a try.”
–Colin L., Ontario, Canada
The Fuse Contact Center is open seven days a week, nineteen hours a day. Customers can call toll-free within their local region and receive support in eleven languages. Live chat is also available.
The Fuse Contact Center is a key part of the Fuse Technologies strategy to provide growers with the expertise and answers to run their operation more efficiently. Visit AGCOtechnologies.com to view a complete list of regional toll free numbers, products and supported languages.
In this new era where mass amounts of data are being compiled on the farm and off, growers want to know they have control. But, that’s not a given.
“It’s still a bit of the wild, wild west right now,” says Joe Russo, who helped pioneer what would become precision farming 28 years ago as an agricultural meteorologist at Penn State University. “The sharing of information can be good or bad, but those responsible for generating the data—the farmers—their permission should be required for any use.
“Your data is your most important source of information,” says Russo. “It defines you, and represents your economic position and intellectual property. There is no doubt in my mind who owns it.”
Ownership notwithstanding, who can use that data is often subject to less-than-transparent practices. Consider that many companies, including some agricultural equipment manufacturers, bury an “opt out” clause in the fine print of documents concerning a purchase or service agreement. In such cases, the onus is on the customers, who must search for and find such a clause, then purposefully decline in order to maintain their privacy. If not, the company providing the equipment or service can use or even share a farm’s data with third parties.
The inverse of that practice, one employed by all AGCO brands, is to ask the customer to opt in to share data. “We don’t allow ourselves to have access to the customer’s information without approval,” says Jason O’Flanagan, senior marketing specialist for AGCO’s Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS).
“We’ve isolated ourselves so the farmer trusts in the fact AGCO is there as an assistant along the way,” says O’Flanagan, noting that if the customer gives AGCO permission to use the data, the dealer and company can monitor the operation of their machinery, helping with maintenance and warning of possible problems. He adds that the collection of such data, by sharing it with AGCO engineers, also helps develop innovations faster.
Knowing up front who has access to your data is imperative, says O’Flanagan. “Would you give just anyone your W-2 or your tax return?” he asks. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people would say ‘No.’ When someone else takes your yield and application maps, and planning maps, you are giving them a complete view of how your farm works. You need to know who has that information, and you need to trust them to use that data carefully.”
To learn more about AGCO’s on and off board technologies and the Fuse Technologies strategy, visit http://www.agcotechnologies.com/.
Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), has celebrated the launch of an ambitious mission to drive a tractor to the Geographical South Pole, the fulfillment of a dream for a Dutch theatre maker that also aims to inspire others to dare to dream.
Antarctica2 follows in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, who drove a specially adapted Ferguson TE20 to the South Pole in 1958.
But the 2014 mission, which departs Cape Town on 15th September for the 2350km journey, has enlisted the help of leading industry partners to take a wheeled tractor to Antarctica for the first time.
The MF 5610, modified by the engineering team at AGCO’s Beauvais tractor plant, will be driven by Manon Ossevoort, better known as Tractor Girl, who has already driven a tractor from her childhood home in the Netherlands to South Africa.
“It was my dream to drive a tractor to the end of the world, and I was inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary’s mission,” Manon explains, “I found that along the way my journey inspired other people to talk about their own dreams, so I set about collecting these dreams with the goal of taking them to the South Pole with me.”
When her original mission – which was undertaken largely with only local support –ended with Manon unable to make the final leg to Antarctica, she remained convinced that she had to finish it. She approached Massey Ferguson via its distributor in Holland, Mechatrac, and was assured of the company’s commitment to help her follow her dreams.
Support for Antarctica2 will be provided by partners including Massey Ferguson, Trelleborg, Castrol, AGCO Finance, AGCO Parts and Fuse Technologies. There are still opportunities for additional partners to join this exciting project, which will reach a global audience.
Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director of Massey Ferguson EAME,who handed over the keys to the MF 5600 to Manon in a special ceremony at Beauvais, said: “I congratulate our Engineering Project Manager Olivier Hembert and his team, who worked in their spare time, along with AGCO Power in Finland, to adapt the tractor for conditions that are probably the toughest in the world.”
“As John F Kennedy said about the mission to the moon in 1962 – ‘We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’ This is Massey Ferguson, wanting to take on a challenge and work in the spirit to achieve not only easy things, but challenging things. On behalf of AGCO and the full team of sponsors, I wish Manon and her straightforward, dependable MF 5610 a safe and exciting journey to the South Pole.”
Expedition specialists Arctic Trucks will provide guidance and safety support with the help of two Toyota four- and six-wheel drive pick-up trucks, and has worked closely with Trelleborg and Massey Ferguson to develop tyre technology for the mission.
Gudmundur Gudjonsson, Arctic Trucks Project Manager for Antarctica explains: “Tyres are more efficient than tracks in this kind of expedition, being capable of higher forward speeds and using less fuel. They also provide suspension, which is beneficial to the environment as well as the vehicle and the driver.”
Under Arctic Trucks guidance, MF 5600 tractors have undergone extensive cold weather testing, while the expedition team has received polar training, including guidance from seasoned polar explorers Matty McNair and her daughter Sarah McNair-Landry who will be key team members for Antarctica2.
A technical support specialist and former Massey Ferguson photographic specialist Simon Foster complete the team.
The expedition will call on not only the straightforward and dependable engineering of the MF 5610 to endure temperatures down to minus 40deg centigrade, altitude of 3400m and deep, soft snow, but also AGCO’s impressive parts and technical capability.
Up to 1000kg of parts will be carried on the mission, a twice daily maintenance regime adhered to, and the Agcommand™ telematics system will relay performance information back to a 24 hour support team in Beauvais.
The latest broadcast and social media technology will also be employed in stark contrast to when Sir Edmund Hillary’s arrival at the South Pole was marked by at telegram of thanks to Harry Ferguson. Live streaming and regular updates via a dedicated website will keep the rest of the world in touch with the mission’s progress.When the MF 5610, with its Tractor Girl and her cargo of dreams on board, arrives at the South Pole around 7th December, it will be a testimony to the work of all the partners in the Antarctica2 project and their tireless commitment to its message – #BelieveInIt