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"New equipment showcased at National Farm Machinery Show"

Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 27 March 2015

This is what I overheard many times at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky: “Wait, I think we’ve already been down that row,” and frequent arguments about whether “we’re in the south wing or the west wing.”

And by frequent, I mean 310,000 people saying this at least twice per hour. At America’s largest indoor farm show, it’s easy to get lost.

If you were at the show in January, I hope your feet have recovered from walking 1.2 million square feet of concrete exhibit space to see more than 850 exhibits. It’s also quite possible you missed some of the new products introduced.

If you weren’t there, consider this your personal tour of some of the show’s new products and equipment.

Pottinger Europrofi Combiline
Brent Eyler

Loader wagon

This is a loader wagon with silage harvesting header combination – two in one. Only one 220-hp tractor needed for this operation. The six-row floating pickup head maximizes throughput.

And no one I know likes changing chopping knives, so Pottinger made it easier with a 35-blade swing-out knife bank. But don’t expect to use it much.

A trigger mechanism reduces the knife resistance when a rock or hard object is encountered to allow the foreign object to pass through virtually unobstructed. The knife is then brought back to the starting position. The wagon holds 1,765 cubic feet.

John Deere Round Baler B-Wrap Ready
Barry Nelson

John Deere Rond Baler B-wrap

Much ado about B-wrap. This picture shows a regular roll of net wrap (top) and B-wrap (bottom roll) installed on the new John Deere round balers. The 469 Premium and 569 Premium round balers are B-wrap ready.

B-wrap is touted as the alternative to indoor storage, significantly reducing storage losses and maintaining nutrient quality. The material, manufactured by Ambraco and released in 2013, is breathable to allow moisture out of the bale but does not let moisture into the bale, even from contact with the ground.

The wrap is applied so the overlap is down-facing, which doesn’t let water become trapped in the joining crease. At a cost of $8 per bale (4 by 5, or 5 by 6), it is recommended for premium hay but would not likely be used for baling corn stover or lower-quality feeds.

For balers manufactured prior to 2015, a dealer-installed kit is available to retrofit earlier models. Balers outfitted for B-wrap can switch between net wrap and B-wrap in just a few minutes by pushing a button on the monitor and switching rolls on the baler.

Kubota BV Round Bale Series
David Palmer 

Kubota BV Round Bale Series

Go big or go home. That popular slogan is apropos to Kubota’s launch into the hay tools market with 25 new products announced this year.

In 2014, Kubota launched smaller hay tools, but this year the larger tools are available. Among them is the BV 4160 Econo and Premium round baler models. The Econo features a 4-foot or 5-foot bale width and 67-inch pickup.

The Premium features a 79-inch pickup. These models feature the PowerBind net wrap system with front mount so the operator can monitor it from the cab. The net-wrap rack is also a convenient lower height – no more throwing out your shoulder to get the net wrap installed in the machine.

Vermeer Final Cut FPX 9000

Vermeer Final Cut FPX 9000

Iowa-based Vermeer announces the Final Cut FPX9000 bale processor. Able to use large square or round bales, high-speed rotor knives chop the crop before sending it back through the primary rotor and ejecting it.

Bales are consistently fed into the primary rotor, reducing the need to reverse rotation. Intermeshing flails on both the primary and high-speed rotor produce better consistency of processed material and help reduce twine and net buildup.

A low front screen allows the operator to see the process in action from the tractor cab.

Tubeline TL1000R
Ernie Cooper 

Tubeline TL1000RWith haylage production ever more popular, Tubeline introduces the individual bale wrapper. Tractor hydraulics spin and rotate the bale, and a wrap counter ensures the right number of wraps per bale.

To keep 4-foot and 5-foot bales centered, it comes equipped with an adjustable bale guide.

Kann Silage Master
Roger Taake 

Kann silage master

It’s not a perfect rectangle. The tapering body design (narrower in front and wider in back) makes silage unloading from this all-aluminum silage box easier. The aluminum construction is designed to be lightweight but durable.

Sidewalls are single continuous corrugated aluminum, and the floor is extruded interlocking I-beam. The Guttenberg, Iowa, company offers a mounting kit included with each box purchase.

Fast Series 9500TF Boom Sprayer
Mark Dowling

Fast Series 9500TF Boom Sprayer

The 9500TF boom sprayer has tri-fold 80- to 100-foot booms. The 80-foot boom folds to spray at 40 feet and 80 feet. The 90-foot boom folds to spray at 60 feet and 90 feet.

The 100-foot boom no longer requires a hitch extension and does not hang behind the center section. It also features a three-position adjustable axle for improved tracking adjustments.

A popular feature on this model is the short-coupled design, with short pin-to-axle length, which allows better tracking on side slopes and headlands.

JCB Fastrac 4000 Series Tractor
Jennifer Stiansen

 JCB Fastrac 4000 Series Tractor

It’s so new, it smells like a new car. Kicking it up a notch is what JCB did to their tractor line. The 4000 Series delivers up to 235 hp, powered with a 6.6-liter six-cylinder AGCO Power engine.

The suspension system has been upgraded to provide side-to-side, front and rear self-leveling. It has all the bells and whistles, with a road speed of 31 to 37 mph.

Horsch Terrano FM
Drew Gerber 

Horsch Terrano FM

A four-bar frame highlights the new heavy cultivator from Horsch to manage crop residue. With 15-inch shank spacing, the system can be hydraulically set from the cab to adjust tillage depth.

Traction control transfers weight to the tongue to increase traction. (One shank shown in photo.)

Great Plains X-Press
Barry Weiss: (785) 823-3276

Great Plains X-Press

The Europeans have been using a short disk harrow for several years. New to the U.S., Great Plains Ag introduces the X-Press, a short disk harrow in mounted and pull-type options.

Designed by Simba International (purchased by Great Plains in 2010), the compact disk harrow features an integrated press roll, combining high speed with shallow cultivations of 2 to 6 inches (adjustable disc angling) with effective consolidation in rear rollers.

It’s especially effective to incorporate stubble or work down tilled fields.

Great Plains Max-Chisel 5109
Barry Weiss (785) 823-3276

Great Plains Max-Chisel 5109

I’ve heard several soil specialists lately express the opinion that even if you’re using a no-till system, you need to disturb the soil about every four years to keep nutrients from stratifying in the top 2 to 4 inches and encourage deeper fertilizer incorporation.

Great Plains Ag introduces the Max-Chisel, which tills the soil more aggressively than a traditional chisel but leaves a level surface. Shank spacing at 15 inches and segmented chopper reels work together to pull dirt back into the shank voids, leveling the soil.

Rhino RH5 Rotary Mower

Rhino RH5 Rotary Mower

Rhino’s RH series features three new sizes, the 4-foot, 5-foot and 6-foot cutting-width rotary mower. Seems people just want more sizes and more options; so Rhino pleases the customer.

The Rhino 15-foot flex-wing models are the company’s most popular model, but these smaller models can be used on 15, 20 and 25 PTO horsepower tractors to clean up those tight places on the ranch or farm – around the mailbox, around the grain bins and even to clean up the garden when the weeds and zucchini get away from the weeding crew.

(Not that I’ve ever done that before … but you should see those zucchini seeds fly.)

Valley Irrigation – Irrigation Exchange
Andy Smith

Valley Irrigation - Irrigation Exchage

Even if you came over on the Mayflower, you’re going to appreciate this new technology. For some time you’ve known about BaseStation, the “smart box” you put on the irrigation pivot to control it via phone.

So what’s the next step? Irrigation Exchange. This program allows your pivot irrigation information to integrate into your farm software program. Yes, any software program – that is, any software program validated by Valley.

And you control the shared access. You set the controls to determine what information can be shared with the software program and what cannot. What can this do for you?

In essence, with soil mapping and soil test information or field information overlaid with irrigation information, a prescription plan for variable rate application can be written and communicated to your pivot. I know; awesome, right? It gives a whole new meaning to “farming from a distance.”

Marcrest Bale Baron 4240 SP
Mark Horst 

Marcrest Bale Baron 4240 SP

The popular Bale Baron is now self-propelled. Capacity is 1,100 bales per hour and with 173 horses (hp), it will keep up with three small-bale balers (and that’s a trot without breaking a sweat).

It will run 12 miles per hour in the field, and in a full-deluxe cab that’s not a bad gig at all, even for Grandpa. This is really a nice unit and frees up your tractor for raking or other implement use.

McFarlane Incite 5000
Chris Steffen

McFarlane Incite 5000

Seedbed preparation is what Incite 5000 is all about. The forward Dura-Reel has adjustable depth control, and the 18-inch-diameter open-center reel with no center shaft resists plugging in wet, sticky soil.

The 22-inch-diameter blades following the Dura-Reel have reversed crimped blades capable of 6-inch depth. Next, the 3-bar flexible spike tooth harrow easily conforms to various soil and residue conditions.

Finally, the rolling basket features adjustable down pressure for more (or less) aggressive clod sizing or soil separation.

And last but not least ...

Local Spencer County FFA groupTechnically, this isn’t a new product … or is it? One booth at the show had engaged a local FFA group to help greet people. These youth from Spencer County, Kentucky, were friendly, helpful, smiling and acted like they really wanted to talk to you.

They weren’t on their cell phones, they weren’t obnoxiously chewing gum, they were dressed professionally, they made good eye contact, and I felt drawn to the booth to talk to them just because of their general comportment.

So, Rachel Sibert, Tyler Nichols, Daniel Cooper and Jacob Barnett, it was nice to meet you and I congratulate your presentation. It was great to see youth involved in promoting agriculture, and you represented FFA well. Keep up the good work.  FG