November 19, 2007 By Top Crop Manager
Over the last year, dozens of new models and designs of farm machinery have
been introduced by manufacturers. Many of you will have seen these introductions
at farm shows and in various industry announcements – but, can you remember
the details? This feature provides a reference for you. -30-
Peter Darbishire, Editor
While Top Crop Manager editors make every effort to be objective
when reporting on new products, they cannot be held responsible for claims made
by companies. Readers are encouraged to contact the companies for more details.
AGCO introduced the new Spra-Coupe 4455 and 4655 models last fall. These new
models feature a quieter cab and a new sleek hood design. There is added foam
insulation around the cab and under the hood, along with the newly offered optional
air-ride seat, bringing a new level of comfort for the operator. Turn radius
is 13ft9in which reduces fatigue and increases productivity.
Spra-Coupe 4455 and 4655 sprayers are powered by Perkins diesel engines and
have a 400 gallon poly tank, a choice of manual or optional Allison automatic
transmission and Raven controllers. -30-
Catch this BUS
Coming soon to equipment near you is ISOBUS, a system that allows interconnectivity
between the electronic components of tractors, implements and other equipment
of different makes. Initiated in Europe and now adopted by most manufacturers
there, it is being included now in designs from major manufacturers like John
Deere, AGCO, Case and an array of smaller companies. Midwest Technologies unveiled
its ISOBUS compatible models at the recent farm show in Louisville, Kentucky.
"Not all companies are there yet, but they soon will be," says Andy
Hill, an agricultural electronics expert with Independent Support Services,
based in Auburn, Indiana. "North American firms are catching up quickly."
He notes there are specialist organizations in Europe and North America: The
ISOBUS implementation Task Force which is charged with introducing the systems.
"We have seen the benefits of standardization in things like PTO shaft
speeds, hydraulic couplers and drawbar hitches, now it's time for electronics
to move beyond systems that favour proprietary concepts that work for single
manufacturer products." He also notes that farmers can expect to see adapters
to allow compatibility between existing non-ISOBUS equipment and ISOBUS components.
"Look out for a 'plug-fest' near you," he says.
For those who might delay a decision to purchase equipment until it is fully
ISOBUS compliant, Hill advises users to consider the purchase based on whether
it is a paying proposition for the duration until the next purchase or update
is anticipated or other equipment will be retired. "Ask whether all connected
brands will be able to read and display information from one piece of existing
proprietary equipment to another," he adds. -30-
Opener improves residue clearance
Seed Hawk has developed a new seedrow opener that splits the seed into two rows
at every shank, improving residue clearance and allowing better seedbed utilization
and greater seeding efficiencies. The new Twin Wing opener follows directly
behind the separate fertilizer knife and cuts a new shelf 3/4 of an inch above
the fertilizer where it places the seed in two rows 1-1/2 inches to each side
of the fertilizer band. The opener stops seed bounce to ensure the seed is placed
on firm, undisturbed soil away from the fertilizer row.
With the two rows, the Twin Wing utilizes more of the seedbed with fewer openers.
For example, a 12 inch shank spacing results in 9.0 inch row spacing. With fewer
shanks, residue clearance is improved over narrow shank spacing. In addition,
fewer openers are required which reduces capital costs, horsepower requirements
and fuel consumption.
The design uses Seed Hawk's proven depth control, seed and fertilizer separation,
placement and on-row packing. The Twin Wing can be installed on new and existing
Seed Hawk machines. -30-
Contain soil within seedrow area
Bourgault HSS system gives operators a new option to increase seeding efficiency
and maximize every hour in the seeding window. Co-operators who have worked
with the HSS system found they were able to increase their seeding speed by
25 to 30 percent under typical seeding conditions and still achieve a good field
finish, says the company.
The Bourgault HSS is a soil containment system which contains the soil around
the seed opener when seeding at speeds which would normally throw the soil away
from the furrow. This system enables users to increase seeding efficiency without
having to increase implement size. For example, by increasing the seeding speed
by 2mph, a 47 foot 5710 air hoe drill can achieve the same acre per hour rate
as a 64 foot 5710 at a traditional seeding speed.
Bourgault notes that though very effective at containing soil at higher speeds,
the system would have limited effectiveness as a furrow closer when operating
at slower seeding speeds.
The Bourgault HSS system mounts on the trip body and will not move with the
shank, which greatly decreases the stress and damage to the assembly. The mounting
brackets work exclusively with Bourgault 230 (7/8 inch pivot bolt), 330 and
450 trip assemblies on 5710 air hoe drills. This assembly can be used for both
straight and offset shanks. -30-
Precise and consistent
Bourgault Industries has released its 3310 ParaLink hoe drill (PHD) unit. The
seed opener assemblies move independently of each other, providing precision
seed placement and consistent packing across the width of the unit.
The 3310 PHD drill has been designed around the unique PHD opener assembly.
Parallel arms are used to maintain constant opener angle relative to the soil,
even as the opener follows contours up and down. This feature allows for multiple
opener/tip options, thereby increasing flexibility for the producer. Opener
actuation, trip force and packing force is achieved with a hydraulic cylinder
on each assembly. These actions are controlled by an electric-over-hydraulic
in-cab control box, allowing 'on the go' hydraulic pressure adjustment. The
opener design has also allowed for a fixed height frame configuration, which
is simpler than a conventional air hoe drill.
The 3310 frame is designed for durability and penetration, based on a three
row concept using larger 5.0 by 5.0 inch main beams. The robust construction
along with active hydraulic down force on the inner wings ensure that even penetration
is achieved in the most challenging conditions.
The opener assembly is designed with the optimum distance between seed opener
and packer wheel, allowing soil to flow back into the seed furrow at typical
seeding speeds, yet close enough for effective contouring. Bourgault utilizes
an edge-on shank on the seedrow, greatly reducing the profile of the opener
to the soil. As with every other Bourgault seeding system, the 3310 utilizes
the MRB single pass fertilizer system for optimum fertilizer placement and maintenance
of seedbed integrity. The clean layout of the openers, along with the MRB fertilizer
system, has resulted in a seeding system with superior performance in field
residue. Even in challenging straw conditions, the 3310 will place the seed
and fertilizer without straw bunching or openers skidding from trapped residue,
says the company.
Three model widths are currently offered: 40 foot three-plex, 48 foot five-plex
and 55 foot five-plex. Each of these are available in 10 or 12 inch spacings.
Options include dual wheel wing casters, blockage monitors and wide spacing
lockout (for seeding on 20 or 24 inch spacing). -30-