Every two years, the costs of machinery operations are calculated and made available on farmdoc. The 2012 costs now are available under the “Machinery Costs” link in the farmdoc Management section. Overall, costs have increased by about 15% between 2010 and 2012. In our estimates, combine costs have declined between 2010 and 2012 because acres covered with the combine are assumed to increase in 2012....More
Dave Legvold and Mike Peterson share an implement called the Soil Warrior. The zone-tillage machine allows the farmers to prepare a seedbed and fertilize in one pass. Using a CSP contract, Legvold was able to purchase the machine outright. Even without the CSP program, Peterson says using the implement would pay for itself in five years with savings in soil, fuel, nutrients, etc....More
New Holland Agriculture, long known for its hay and forage equipment, continues to expand its row-crop 4WD tractor and combine offerings. It was recognized for innovative design and performance offerings in 2011 by AE50 awards from the prestigious American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers....More
New Holland has come out with a second generation of the Sidewinder armrest, the Sidewinder II. Taking input from consumers and design cues from Fiat (automaker), the new armrest is movable and offers all controls at the tip of a finger, or thumb, rather. The Sidewinder II is available on the T6, T7 and T8 tractor models....More
New Holland has introduced the new CR series combines. The new machines continue using a dual-rotor design, a fully self-leveling cleaning system and have increased cab visibility as well as easy to use controls. The combines are compatible with several different head models....More
An alternative to leasing farmland is a custom farming agreement (CFA). In a typical CFA, the custom operator agrees to perform all the machine operations on the owner’s land in exchange for a set fee or rate. The landowner pays for all seed, fertilizer, chemicals, crop insurance and other input costs; receives the all grain produced and all eligible farm program payments on the land; and is responsible to store and market the grain....More
Farmers across the Midwest are off to an early start this planting season. Spring is typically the busiest time of the year for farmers, and when rushing to take advantage of ideal planting conditions, it can be easy to neglect simple steps for staying safe and healthy while in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics an average of 700 deaths can be attributed to farm work injuries each year and an additional 120,000 agricultural workers sustain disabling injuries from work-related accidents. Many of these accidents occur during the spring planting season....More
Spring is a good time for corn and soybean growers to calibrate sprayers to avoid wasting money and applying the wrong amount of pesticides, says Erdal Ozkan, an Ohio State University agricultural engineer. Approximately 66-77% of all growers who spray pesticides spray too much or too little, which not only can waste money, but also cause crop losses, says Ozkan....More
Big profits the last few years are not only driving add-on purchases of numerous and different spray tank additives; this cash is also driving investment in the machines attached to those tanks. The market is so swamped that some companies can't fulfill self-propelled sprayer orders until fall 2013....More
The use of precision farming products continues to increase. With increasing input costs, producers are often looking for ways to adopt technology to make farming operations more efficient and productive. Two precision-ag products – auto guidance and automatic section control – lead the way in cost savings while also enhancing the productivity of machinery operations....More
In the drive to manage nitrogen (N) more effectively, active crop-canopy sensors may become an option in your toolbox. But John Sawyer, Iowa State University agronomy professor, warns that they still have limitations, and more research is needed....More
I recently learned a costly lesson that many of you know instinctively. But for me, it cost me a crop under irrigation. Our farm is in a remote part of Ghana. Farming in an isolated region without electricity and a network of trusted colleagues can be a challenge....More
In the world of precision ag, two technologies are the next big thing, says Matt Darr, Iowa State University ag engineer. They aren’t newly developed technologies, but they are the next big wave in agriculture....More
Driving with a broken fuel gauge isn’t just inconvenient, it’s risky. So most logical drivers would keep the tank full for fear of running out of fuel at the most inopportune times – or better yet, fix the fuel gauge. The blind hope required to drive with a malfunctioning gauge is exactly how Nick Lammers describes most folks’ approach to moisture management....More
Jason Zimmer’s heart sank every time he looked at the field. The west-central Minnesota farmer had rolled a quarter-section of soybeans the day after planting, in May 2010. The soil was a bit tacky, and the big roller caused the moist ground to crust, hindering emergence.
“Rolling hurt my stand bad,” he says. Stands dropped 30% on the slopes and hills – a big price to pay for harvest ease....More
Here's round two of old farming equipment Digital Editor came across at her grandparents' farm recently. From another Allis tractor to an old Gleaner Six hopper to a McCormick grain drill, there's no shortage of vintage equipment at the Johnson farm in south-central Minnesota. Do you have some old equipment in the back 40? Email us your photos and we'll post them here! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One young farmer tailors his family’s farm equipment to keep up with precision agriculture.
When J.D. Riffel finishes his Kansas State University master’s degree in agronomy next year, he plans to head back to the family farm near Stockton, KS, where he’s already testing precision-ag technology with a custom-made, variable-rate fertilizer applicator....More
This Thanksgiving Digital Editor Jen Koukol spent some time at her uncle and grandparents' farm. Walking through the back acres, looking at all the old equipment her grandpa used back in the day got her thinking: They sure don't make things like they used to. Older equipment is fun to look at, and something farmers, non-farmers and people of most ages can enjoy. Check out some of the old things on the Johnson farm, along with photos submitted by readers. Do you have old equipment around your farm site? Send us your photos! Email them to email@example.com and we'll post them to the gallery here!
Manure and cover crops are a natural combination, but livestock farmers are often too busy in the fall with harvesting and manure application to worry about putting in a cover crop. Now, a new seeding technique makes it more practical for Midwest growers to reap the benefits of cover crops without an extra field pass. Slurry seeding combines liquid manure injection, low-disturbance tillage and cover-crop planting – all in one efficient operation....More
It is very likely that you will not be using your sprayer again until next spring. If you want to avoid potential problems and save yourself from frustration and major headaches, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC this fall. Yes this is still a busy time of the year for some of you, but don't delay winterizing your sprayer any more than necessary....More
There is just something about a wagon full of grain that seems to be inviting to jump into and wallow about in it. The feel of the grain flowing like water through one's fingers and wrapping around one's feet is almost comforting. However those feelings of delight can quickly turn into feelings of fright. What many forget or do not realize is that flowing, moving grain can shallow a person in seconds, especially when the grain is been drain from below such as in a grain bin or grain wagon....More
TractorLife.com, a website that helps farmers maintain and extend the operating lives of their tractors, will host a free 60-minute webinar to address new depreciation rules and how they will affect farmers’ operations....More
Combine fires cause serious injuries and millions in property losses each year – this harvest is no exception says Daniel Humburg, professor of Ag & Biosystems Engineering Department at South Dakota State University....More