Equipment

Winter planter maintenance pays off

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. 

Have you ever heard someone say, “What do farmers do in the winter?” As you are aware, there are many answers to this question. Winter is a great time to get ready for spring planting, which will be here before we know it. One of the most important parts of the growing season is planting. It’s crucial that your crops get off to a good start and it’s important to make sure that your planter is field-ready when the time comes. Planting seed into the best possible growing conditions is a one of the most important tasks of spring field work. A planter in need of some adjustment can result in varied seed placement, uneven emergence, and ultimately a reduction in yield potential.

Check for and replace any parts of your planter that are excessively worn. No-till coulters or disk openers that are worn out will not create the proper seed furrow and may cause poor seed placement.… Continue reading

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Apple Farm Service Precision Academy

Are you interested in learning more about the future of precision agriculture? Apple Farm Service is honored to be hosting the Precision Academy on Jan. 6 at the Hueston Woods State Park Conference Center in College Corner, Ohio.

The Precision Academy is a day of learning and networking for all things precision ag.

“We can’t wait to host this academy!” said Alex Ryan, Precision Manager for Apple Farm Service. “It’s going to be a great day packed with industry experts, new technology, and opportunities for learning and networking.”

Those who attend the academy will hear from a large panel of regional and national experts, have time for open discussion and round tables, and enjoy a complementary catered breakfast and lunch.

This large panel of experts include; Tracy Intihar (Assistant Director of the Dept of Ag for Ohio), John Fulton (Professor at College of Food, Ag, and Bio Engineering at the Ohio State University), Jim Love (Light Robotics Manager & Herbicide Specialist at Beck’s Hybrids), and many others.… Continue reading

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Make sure to properly winterize sprayers

By Erdal Ozkan

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 next spring, you will be wise to give your sprayer a little bit of TLC (Tender Loving Care) this time of the year. Yes, there may be still crop to be harvested, and you may still be busy. However, do not forget about winterizing your sprayer. Do not delay it too long, if you already have not done so. You don’t want a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity because you did not properly winterize it before the temperature falls below freezing.  Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.

Rinsing

It is very likely that you did the right thing when you used the sprayer the last time: you rinsed the whole system (tank, hoses, filters, nozzles) thoroughly.… Continue reading

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Winter Fix program

Apple Farm Service is excited to announce their continuation of the Winter Fix program. This program offers area customers an opportunity to get ahead on their equipment maintenance with discounts from the dealership.

“The Winter Fix is a way we can say thank you to our customers,” said Tom Myers, Corporate Service Manager. “You want your equipment to be ready for the next season, and we want to make your next season as worry free as possible. Having annual repairs and inspections is the best way to accomplish this.”

To say thank you for scheduling ahead, Apple Farm Service is offering a few discounts to those who call in before December 31st of this year. They are offering free pick up and delivery of equipment for the first thirty miles. They are also offering 10% off any parts that need to be installed.

“We get busy during the planting, mowing, and harvest seasons, just like you do,” said Kent Holmes, marketing manager.… Continue reading

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Supply chain issues continue

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

While some of the challenges in the big-picture supply chain have been corrected since 2020, they have certainly not disappeared. As farmers look to the 2023 growing season and beyond, planning for the necessary inputs, supplies and equipment should begin sooner, rather than later. 

“Certainly, it has made growers look further and further out for everything. You’d better be planning at least a year out and it better be more the 2- to 3-year time horizon if you’re evaluating all the contingencies that you might have to deal with,” said Barry Ward, Leader for Production Business Management for Ohio State University Extension. “You are going to need to price and pay for some of this product early so that you have some guarantee, or take delivery earlier. We’re seeing some growers investing in a little bit more storage space for seed and chemical but also fertilizer storage and making some strategic choices.… Continue reading

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New grain system improves efficiency, marketing flexibility

Completion of a new grain system this fall has provided J Adams Farms the opportunity to harvest corn more efficiently and market that grain more effectively. The new system was completed on the Mount Sterling, Ohio, farm in mid-October — just in time for harvest to begin. 

Farm owner Justin Adams previously sold most of his corn at harvest for ethanol production. 

“I was losing time hauling grain to the elevator and waiting in line for hours at a time,” he said. “Having my own grain system is much more efficient and will allow me to eliminate a truck or two during corn harvest.”

Besides improving efficiency, Adams said the new system also gives him much greater marketing flexibility. Previously, some of his corn was stored in two smaller bins on his farm site. But without a dryer, he was only able to hold that grain for a limited time. Those smaller bins are now used exclusively for storing soybeans.… Continue reading

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Drone Agricultural Summit

Tiffin University has announced the opening of its Drone Academy in response to the growing and expanding drone industry. Since opening, the Academy has become a place of learning, research and achievement for the advancement of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. Featuring academic classes, training seminars, community outreach programs, certification opportunities and recreational activities like Community Fly Days, the Drone Academy provides theoretical and applied learning for the technological and operational aspects of the industry.

On Friday, Dec. 2 TU will be holding the very first Ohio Drone Agricultural Summit from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Marion Center on campus in Tiffin. Attendees will include experts on agricultural drone technology, farmers, county commissioners, Seneca SWCD, and Federal Aviation Administration representatives. The topics for the day include:

• Pre-planting assessments
• Post-planting crop assessments
• Precision spraying

• Environmental and Eco Friendly
• Yield Analysis Reports
• Taking agriculture to new heights in the future.… Continue reading

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Apple Farm Service offers Pipe Ag

Apple Farm Service is excited to be the first dealership for Pipe Ag. Pipe Ag, a local company based out of Springfield, Ohio, is a quickly growing Ag technology business designed to help the farmer improve their harvest efficiencies. 

In a nutshell, Pipe Ag saves the farmer a minute or two each hour, which ads up over the entire harvest season. It allows everyone in the field to know how full each grain cart is, how long until the combine needs unloaded, when the semi-trucks will get back to the field, and where compaction needs addressed.

Roark Thompson, owner of Pipe Ag, explains how his software is easy to install and even easier to use. Combines and semi-trailers just need one sensor installed in the grain tank. Grain carts with scales take even less work. Every sensor is then automatically synced to a designated IPad that sits in the combine, tractor, or semi-cab. … Continue reading

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Oldest Running Grain Cart discovered in Ohio

Farmer Jeremy Smart from Peebles in Adams County is a co-winner in a national contest conducted by Kinze Manufacturing to find the company’s oldest grain cart that is still operating. 

The Oldest Running Cart Contest was offered to mark the 50th anniversary of Kinze’s first grain cart. After building a prototype cart in 1971, company founder Jon Kinzenbaw manufactured the first production run of eight, 400-bushel grain carts and quickly sold them all.  

Smart owns a Kinze cart from that historic first run. His cart somehow made its way to Ohio where his brother-in-law purchased it at a farm sale about 10 years ago. After a few years, however, he needed a cart with a hydraulic auger fold, so he sold it to Smart.

“Apparently my ship has finally come in and they give out awards for keeping old equipment running,” Smart said. “Obviously, it was manufactured well, and I am quite certain the original augers were in it until three years ago when I re-flighted them.”… Continue reading

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A flying ATV? Ryse Recon turns heads at Farm Science Review

The Ryse Recon aircraft from Ryse Aero Technologies is the talk of the 2022 Farm Science Review. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood spoke with Mick Kowitz, founder/CEO of Ryse Aero Technologies, talking the unique flying machine that’s being billed as a working solution for farmers.

The Recon is an eVTOL and resides within the ultralight category, meaning its potential pilots need no formal certification to fly it. While easy to use, the price tag of $150,000 remains a challenge for many.

Learn more about safety, battery life, top speed, and thoughts of onlooking farmers in this video.… Continue reading

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Great Plains announces newly enhanced Sub-Soiler

Great Plains has enhanced one of its popular vertical tillage tools, the Sub-Soiler, to optimize its performance and longevity. Designed to reset the soil profile, the VT1500 Sub-Soiler breaks through yield-robbing soil compaction layers, leaving behind a uniform soil density with minimal topsoil disturbance and little residue burial. The new VT1500 Sub-Soiler has been enhanced to include additional features for no-till and rocky applications and features to support product longevity. 

For improved performance in rocky conditions, the Sub-Soiler is now available with new high-protection trip pack auto-reset shanks. This new shank mount trips at 2,000 pounds to enhance performance and reduce shear bolt breakage in rocky conditions. The Sub-Soiler is also offered with an auto-reset shank option with 3,000 pounds of trip force, or an economical shear-bolt mount option for lighter soil conditions and obstructions. 

Offered in both rigid and folding configurations, the VT1500 Sub-Soiler can be customized for each operation’s specific needs, offering multiple shank spacing options, along with a choice of shank styles, mounts, and points.… Continue reading

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Apple Farm Service combine clinics

Do you own a Case IH or New Holland combine? Or do you run a MacDon Draper head? Apple Farm Service is excited to host their annual Combine Clinics between the dates of Sept. 7 and 14. The Combine Clinics offer an interactive experience to ready you and your machine for this fall’s harvest.

“We are eager and delighted to invite area farmers and offer this educational opportunity,” said Kent Holmes, Apple Farm Service’s Marketing Manager. “If you operate a red or yellow combine this free event should be a huge benefit for you.”

Servicing knowledge is the main objective of these clinics. Regional service and field specialist will be offering discussions, presentations, and equipment walkarounds to prepare the operator and machine for the best harvesting capabilities. 

“We encourage anyone operating or servicing the combines to attend,” said Cole Sanford, New Holland Harvesting Specialist. “Our goal is to help make sure all the loose ends of pre-harvest servicing are covered and you know the best ways to make the most yield with less down-time this fall.”… Continue reading

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Spray drift: A serious problem you can manage

By Erdal Ozkan

Spray drift not only result in wasting expensive pesticides and pollution of the environment, it may damage non-target crops nearby, and poses a serious health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Drift happens! It accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

As you know, we are experiencing an unusual weather situation in Ohio and several other Corn Belt states this year. Wet fields have delayed planting of corn and soybeans delayed or, in some cases, forced farmers to abandon it altogether looking for alternatives such as planting cover crops. Either situation presents added caution when applying herbicides in terms of spray drift, which is defined as movement of pesticides by wind from the application site to an off-target site during, or soon after, application is done. When the same types of crops, such as genetically modified (GM) beans, or non-GM beans are planted in neighboring fields, herbicide drifting from one field to another may not show injury symptoms.… Continue reading

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Participate in a study to identify major barriers to precision agriculture technology adoption

By John FultonElizabeth HawkinsAmanda DouridasHanna Bond, Ohio State University Extension

The Ohio State University Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering (FABE) is looking for farmers, consultants, and other individuals who work alongside farmers to participate in a survey aimed at identifying major barriers that row crop farmers, consultants, and other personnel involved in crop production face when adopting precision agriculture technologies. Eligible participants must have row cropping operations in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas or preform consulting tasks or other tasks for famers who have row crop operations within the states stated above.  

Participants who are interested in participating are required to take the survey found with the link here: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_201lPMuZxRSESge. You will have six weeks from April 25, 2022 to June 15, 2022 to respond to the survey.… Continue reading

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Salford Group to be acquired by Linamar Corporation

Salford Group Inc., a global leader in high-quality tillage and application equipment has announced it will be acquired by Linamar Corporation, an advanced manufacturing company based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The purchase is expected to close during the second quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approval. 

The acquisition of the Salford will expand Linamar’s agriculture’s portfolio, which is currently anchored by MacDon Industries Limited. Aside from MacDon, Linamar is steeped in agricultural manufacturing history, having owned White Farm Equipment in the 1980’s along with Western Combine, who manufactured combines under the Massy Ferguson brand in the 1990’s. Linamar’s OROS Division in Eastern Europe also manufactures combine corn and sunflower headers under the MacDon and OROS brands.

“We are very excited to join the Linamar family,” said Geof Gray, President of Salford Group. “Linamar and MacDon both have excellent reputations in the industry and we believe the combination of our resources, our respective brand strengths and distribution networks will enable Salford to compete and innovate at a higher level with greater market coverage, delivering even more value to dealers and farmers.” … Continue reading

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Winter meeting highlights from Ohio State’s Precision Ag Corner

By John Fulton

Spring has arrived and attention has turned to planting and spraying. It was great be back in-person for many of the winter meetings. It was refreshing to see people and get to visit in-person about crop production topics and what is front of mind for farmers and consultants. What stuck out was that increasingly, farmers across the United States are finding more ways to deploy technology in their fields and within their farm operation. While there were many discussions on various precision agriculture topics, here are three topics within crop production that stuck out.

Automation

Ag technology have been providing precision ag hardware and sensors for a few decades now. Much of this technology has been used to automate functionality of farm machines taking responsibilities off the machine operator allowing them to focus on important aspects of field operations. The question for several years has been: when will we see full-automation or robots in our fields?… Continue reading

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Five tips for planning an efficient grain system

Farmers work hard all season to get the most yield on every acre. Jay McGahey, GSI regional sales director, said a well-planned grain system is essential to protect stored grain quality, promote efficiency and help avoid any safety issues.

McGahey offers five key factors to consider when designing a new grain system. 

  1. Location — If possible, locate a grain system near a state highway or other major roadway to be able to haul grain year-round without road restrictions. “In addition, having a system in close proximity to your fields will reduce transportation time and fuel costs and can also lead to a cut in the number of trucks your operation needs,” he said.
  • Future expansion — Grain yields have been increasing in recent years, requiring more storage. Planning for growth upfront will lead to better decisions about current as well as future equipment needs — including the number and capacity of grain bins, conveyors and dryers that will be needed.
Continue reading

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AGCO’s Fendt Rogator 900 Series Applicator wins 2022 Davidson Prize

The Fendt Rogator 900 Series Applicator has been awarded the prestigious Davidson Prize for agricultural engineering excellence.

The Davidson Prize is awarded by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) to their three top-scoring AE50 winners that represents the best of each year’s new products. The Fendt Rogator, along with seven other AGCO products, was awarded an AE50 award in November 2021.

“Fendt is sincerely honored and very proud of this award,” said Greg Pumo, marketing director, application equipment, Fendt® North America. “The Fendt Rogator exemplifies the qualities recognized by the Davidson Prize — breakthrough innovations and engineering excellence that benefit our farmers and retail operators. Fendt’s design teams relied on tremendous voice-of-customer input and AGCO’s historic application experience to produce a revolutionary solution that provides year-round capabilities without compromises and ROI for a value that’s very unique in the industry.”

The Fendt Rogator 900 Series is a self-propelled, rear-mounted boom applicator with one-button adjustable height and the ability to transform between liquid, dry pneumatic, and dry spinner delivery systems in as little as two hours.… Continue reading

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Apple Farm Service Ride-N-Drive

Apple Farm Service is organizing a Ride-N-Drive event, to be held at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima April 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in Washington Court House May 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

This is the perfect event to test-drive equipment with no strings attached. There will be knowledgeable professionals on standby to assist and answer any questions. Test ride the full lineup of Kioti tractors and utility vehicles, Bad Boy mowers, Grasshopper mowers, Exmark mowers (Exmark is exclusively at Washington Courthouse location), and dozens of attachments that Apple Farm Service has to offer. Bring family members too for a free cookout, music, games, and prizes!

“We’re so excited to bring the Ride-N-Drive to Allen and Fayette County this spring,” said Kent Holmes marketing manager. “We’ve done this set-up before with our Covington store and had a blast!”

Each fairground will be left un-mowed, giving attendees the perfect conditions to try out each zero-turn around trees, poles, and other obstacles. … Continue reading

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Sprayer calibration (even with a rate controller)

By Erdal Ozcan, Ohio State University Extension

Whenever I give a presentation about the need to calibrate a sprayer and how to do it, there is always someone asking me this same question: “I have a rate controller in the cab that regulates the flow rate of the sprayer regardless of the changes in sprayer ground speed. I just enter the gallons per acre application rate, and the controller does the rest, just like a cruise control in a car. So, should I still calibrate the sprayer? The answer is, Yes, a calibration should be done. Although the rate controllers do an excellent job with regulating the flow rate of nozzles to keep the application rate constant regardless of the changes in travel speed, a manual calibration at least once a year is needed for two reasons: 1) to ensure the rate controller is functioning properly, 2) the rate controller is not forced to operate outside the pressure operating range for the nozzles on the sprayer boom.… Continue reading

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