Machinery

Farm Machinery News: Croplands sprayer; NH tracks; Kuhn tiller + more

Neil Lyon, June 15, 2018

What’s the latest in the farm machinery world?

  • Croplands rear-folding boom spray
  • New Holland’s new tracked tractor offering
  • Kuhn’s precision banding strip tiller
  • Aussie test ground for Morris machinery
  • John Deere updates harvest solutions
  • Aussie manufacturer runner-up in steel ‘Oscars’
  • ‘Colourblind’ data collection from all makes of machinery
  • Aerial analysis assisting agronomists

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Toowoomba Engineering director, Scott Farquharson, AgTronics director, Jason Freiberg, and Croplands territory manager for NSW and Bargam self-propelled sprayers product manager, Dave Farmer, with the new, rear-folding boom.

Croplands rear-folding boom spray

SPRAY equipment manufacturer, Croplands, has released a specially-built linkage spray unit that features a rear folding boom.

Displaying the machine at last week’s FarmFest field days in southern Queensland, Croplands territory manager for NSW and Bargam self-propelled sprayers product manager, Dave Farmer, said the unit was a new addition to the Croplands stable.

“We have always had the Weedit camera detection spray. We used to have a 12 metre, 18m and 24m linkage toolbar and transport,” he said.

“So, what Croplands has done is team with Toowoomba Engineering to design a specially-built linkage unit that is a rear folding boom.

“It will fold back to 3.3 metres, so when you are finished on the farm it can be folded up and you can drive straight down the road. There is no unhooking, no double handling, and it is really strong.”

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New Holland’s new tracked tractor offering

RESPONDING to rising interest in tracked machinery, New Holland has released the T9 Series tractors with SmartTrax II Standard Track.

“With more brands offering a track solution for high horsepower tractors the T9 SmartTrax II release has been a welcome addition to the New Holland T9 wheeled line-up,” New Holland T9 tractors product manager, Marc Smith, said.

“The uptake of track equipped tractors in the higher horsepower segments has grown considerably over the past five years. Customers are looking for a tractor that provide increased performance where required in different applications on the farm”.

The Standard Track modules are designed with an agricultural lug tread on the T9.615 and T9.670 models.

Both the New Holland T9.615 and T9.670 SmartTrax II models have a standard 36-inch-wide track, which provides 2800 square inches of ground contact per module, for a total footprint of 11,200 square inches.

Articulated steering maximises the ability of all four tracks to remain on the ground at all time, not just in a straight line.

With eight drive lugs engaged at all times, the load per lug is reduced for extended durability. An integrated scraper helps reduce soil build-up between the drive and belt lugs to maintain alignment and drive lug engagement.

The T9 Series SmartTrax™ II model comes equipped with additional Camoplast 5500 Series 36” track belt, engineered for use in tough conditions in the new Standard Track design.

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Kuhn NSW territory manager, Gerard Cusack, with the Gladiator 1205 strip tiller.

Kuhn’s precision banding strip tiller

A STRIP tiller made by Kuhn in Kansas in the middle of the United States corn belt is finding a place in the Australian dryland and irrigated cotton and sorghum sectors.

Kuhn Farm Machinery NSW territory manager, Gerard Cusack, said the Gladiator 1205 strip tiller gave farmers the opportunity to reap the benefits of strip till farming.

“The idea of strip-till is precision deep banding of fertiliser but with that you get a lot of benefits of a nice soft warm seed bed, good seed-soil contact when you plant and you end up with a better yield,” he said.

“You are only tilling part of it so you get better water infiltration as well as a saving in erosion and evaporation.”

Mr Cusack said the machine featured trash coulters for cutting the residue, scalloped trash discs for clearing it away, followed by adjustable fertiliser shanks that could be fitted with a range of fertiliser boots.

“The fertiliser boot is actually adjustable as well. So, you can be ripping down to, say, 10 inches, and if you want to drop your fertiliser at 6 inches you can move the boot up,” he said.

“What you are getting is a depth in the seed bed without any compaction so the plant can grow a nice deep taproot. You put the fertiliser at a point where the plant is going to make the best use of it.”

Mr Cusack said following that were bern discs which created a small hill so that, instead of being perfectly flat and ending up subsiding into a furrow, it leaves a slight hill that the plant can sit on top of and doesn’t get water logged in a big rain event.

The final part of the configuration is a striker conditioner roller that uses chains.

“The idea of the chains is that they flair out when they spin and slap the ground, so we can use it in wetter conditions as well as dry conditions and it leaves a nice finish. There is no mechanical down pressure on the rows so it leaves the nice bern. They clean themselves of mud,” he said.

Mr Cusack said there were no grease nipples on the machine and the same part number bearings were used throughout the machine, “so you don’t have to carry a number of different bearings”.

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Belle-Vue Trading’s Justin Ward, Warracknabeal, Victoria, and Morris Industries president and chief executive officer Ben Voss look over a Morris 9550 air cart with input control technology (ICT) with Victorian grower Nathan Williams, Beulah, during the Morris group’s recent tour across Australia.

Aussie test ground for Morris machinery

AUSTRALIA is increasingly becoming a world testing site for Morris Industries’ ground engaging implements with a team from the North American manufacturer recently visiting its Australian distributor and dealer network.

Members of the company’s management team, including president and chief executive officer Ben Voss, as well as research and development (R & D) engineers, visited sites in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The group was gathering data to feed back to the company’s production team in Canada.

The first testing of some of Morris’ latest machine developments is being carried out in Australia, where large areas can be covered in a short time period under tough conditions.

Morris R & D group design engineer, Ryan Green, said Australian farmers were increasingly demanding durability from their machinery.

“Australian farmers have the capability to use their machinery over much longer periods and they operate in much harsher soil conditions, which has put the focus on durability,’’ Ryan said.

“This has really driven the design of future machines from Morris. For example, chrome pivot pins are being used with some machines because of the success chrome has had in Australian seeding conditions.

“The need for durability has also been a bonus for Morris’ wider production, because it has driven the company to achieve a higher standard that benefits all of its customers world-wide.’’

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John Deere updates harvest solutions

JOHN Deere has announced several updates to its grain harvesting solutions for 2019 that will significantly improve the performance, ride quality and small grain harvesting efficiency of its S-Series Combines.

These additions include a new suspension track system, flex draper header and harvest-specific enhancements to the MyOperations mobile app.

For model year 2019 S-Series Combines, there is the option of a new, factory-installed, suspension track system in 60.96, 76.2 or 91.4 cm (24-, 30- or 36-inch) belt widths.

The redesigned John Deere track system for these combines incorporates changes to the track belts, integrated final drive, suspension cylinder and tandem bogie wheels that work together to improve floatation, ride quality, transport speed and durability.

The new track system features a unique tread design with wider and taller tread bars that are angled to improve traction, balance and ride comfort while extending tread life.

Unlike previous track systems, combines equipped with the new track systems can travel up to nearly 40 kilometres per hour, reducing transport time between paddocks.

In addition, Deere is launching the latest in its flex draper lineup – the 700FD HydraFlex Draper.

This symmetrically designed draper has a dual V-guide belt and thicker, corrugated front edge for improved crop flow and four times longer belt life; dual position 40.6 and 45.7cm (16- and 18-inch) centre-feed drum for greater harvesting versatility and better processing of bushy crops like canola; and a 45.7cm (18-inch) Top Crop Auger for smooth feeding and fewer slugs under tough conditions.

Caption: Deere will offer a factory-installed option of a new suspension track system in 60.96, 76.2 or 91.4cm (24, 30 or 36 inch) belt widths.

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Aussie manufacturer runner-up in steel ‘Oscars’

AUSTRALIAN agricultural machinery manufacturer Trufab Global (Grain King) has come runner-up in the world’s most prestigious steel manufacturing awards.

Trufab (Grain King) managing director Martin Trewarn and CEO Colin Jorgensen flying the Australian flag at the 2018 Swedish Steel Awards.

The West Australian family-run business’s Nyrex Chaser Bin was second to Italian company Mantella’s Stratosphere 3.0 rear tipping semi-trailer at the Swedish Steel Prize for 2018 announced at a ceremony in Stockholm.

Trufab CEO, Colin Jorgensen, said the Nyrex Chaser Bin was being marketed to farmers around Australia as a ground-breaking piece of equipment that was allowing them to harvest grain more efficiently.

Judges said the bin utilised high-strength steel that challenged traditional design by using modern materials to create the highest levels of performance.

Trufab (Grain King) was recognised for the reduction in weight through the use of Strenx performance steel which made the Nyrex bins stronger, lighter, safer and longer lasting.

The new Nyrex Chaser bins feature a modular design using almost no welding.

They use a Strenx product that is 25 per cent lighter than steel plate and provides a longer life than conventional bins.

Its assembly process uses laser technology in a bolted construction that avoids any distortion and rippling of the steel plate from welding, creating savings in time and energy.

The modular construction also helps reduce freight costs enabling the Nyrex Chaser bin to gain an international audience.

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‘Colourblind’ data collection from all makes of machinery

FARMERS Edge’s Precision Digital Solutions is aimed at helping farmers make more informed decisions by pulling together all the data from all the machinery on a farm into the one software platform.

Farmers Edge regional sales manager, Neels van Rensburg, with a CanPlug that can be installed in a range of machinery to collect data.

Speaking at last week’s FarmFest field days in southern Queensland, Farmers Edge regional sales manager, Neels van Rensburg, said the idea was to collect the data from every tractor and piece of spraying, sowing and harvesting equipment on the farm.

“We install a little CanPlug into each piece of equipment. The reason for the CanPlug is all the different pieces of equipment have their own way of getting data into their platforms – John Deere has their own, Case has their own. This thing is ‘colourblind’, so we can get every piece of information off any piece of equipment across all brands into one platform.

“You can have a red machine, a blue machine and a green machine in one paddock. You can get all the data from that same paddock.

“From the data that comes in we know when you planted the crop and the variety. We can then do a crop model and determine what stage the crop should be at that time.”

Mr van Rensburg said the company installed a weather station on every property they worked on and had an agreement with satellite imaging company, Planet Labs, for daily imagery of paddocks that assisted with crop modelling.

“So, as soon as we map your paddock, the data comes into your platform automatically. You can then overlay the yield data, planting data and satellite image data all in one software platform.

“We use the satellite image data to zone the paddocks. We sample each zone separately and produce variable rate maps for each individual zone for phosphorus, lime, gypsum, or seeding.

“The grower owns the data and can decide who sees it. They can decide which agronomist has access to that data.”

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Northern Agri Services group technical services manager, Neil Mungall, with a DJI Matrice 100 drone.

Aerial analysis assisting agronomists

DRONES are increasingly becoming an integral tool in the farm advisory services offered by rural consultancy businesses such as Northern Agri Services.

Group technical services manager, Neil Mungall, said the business now had six agronomists who were licensed drone pilots operating in eastern farming districts from Dorrigo in northern NSW to Ingham in north Queensland.

“The thinking is the drones are another tool for our agronomists, getting out there mapping paddocks, taking images of paddocks, looking at disease, nutrition, waterlogging. It gives us another set of eyes to look at the crop a little differently to what we can see with the naked eye,” he said.

“We have had cases where farmers have made spray decisions based on the imagery we are collecting.

“It is very much into the commercialisation perspective where we use drones to either save the farmer a lot of money or make him money by seeing things you can’t see with boots on the ground, and we can save a lot of time.”

“It is not magic. It is just another tool we use. It is an expensive tool, but we see real value in using it with our agronomists.”

Mr Mungall said Northern Agri Services’ parent company, Ruralco, had formed a partnership with US company, Precision Hawk, which supplies the software for the DJI drones Northern Agri does its analysis with.

“As part of the Precision Hawk software, they are developing algorithms for things like nitrogen and yield mapping where we can then translate that into a precision application map for fertiliser, chemicals and other things so growers can best target what they are putting out,” he said.

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