SOME SAVE you money. Others make farming easier or more interesting. Most often, FinOvation winners are the new and innovative products that farmers learned about for the first time by reading the editorial content of Farm Industry News. To review and award the top draws from the hundreds of new products we covered in 2005, we narrowed the list down to the products that received the most reader interest in 20 key farm product categories.

MACHINERY TRACTORS WITH LESS THAN 150 HP

BREAKING ABOVE the 100-hp barrier was a big deal for Kubota, a company traditionally seen as dominating the under-70-hp-tractor market. The 5-cyl. F5802TE2 diesel engine on the M125X produces 103 PTO hp with direct fuel injection and a waste-gate turbocharger. The engine can operate at efficient low rpm and still produce exceptional lugging power.

A new wraparound front grille brings in a high volume of airflow, keeping the engine cool. The resulting drop in airflow velocity minimizes the amount of debris sticking to and coming through the grill. A fully synchronized main transmission with 16F/16R speeds is standard. An optional cassette-type creep speed kit boosts speeds to 24F/24R for specialty row-crop tasks.

Prices start at $59,000. Contact Kubota Tractor Corp., Dept. FIN, 3401 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503, 888/458-2682, visit www.kubota.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 200.

MACHINERY TRACTORS WITH 150 TO 250 HP

MASSEY FERGUSON designed the four models in its new 8400 series tractor line with more power and technology to run quieter, cleaner and more efficiently. According to AGCO, the reduced noise and vibration along with enhanced operator conveniences reduce stress and fatigue on the operator. The Dyna-Step transmission, with 21 forward and 18 reverse speeds in the work range, is installed in the tractors for smooth power shifting.

The MF 8450 with 180 PTO hp and the MF 8460 with 195 PTO hp are equipped with the new 7.4-liter Sisu diesel engine. The MF 8470 with 220 PTO hp and the MF 8480 with 240 PTO hp are powered by the 8.4-liter Sisu diesel engine.

Prices are $114,185 for the MF 8450 and $166,408 for the MF 8480. Contact AGCO Corp., Dept. FIN, 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096, 770/813-9200, visit www.masseyferguson.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 201.

MACHINERY TRACTORS WITH 250+ HP

JOHN DEERE'S new 8030 series consists of eight tractor models ranging from 180 to 355 hp. The biggest innovation from Deere is its new Tier 3-compliant Power Tech Plus 9.0-liter, 6-cyl. diesel engine. Transmission is a choice of a 16-speed powershift or Deere's infinitely variable transmission. The combination met EPA's stringent limitations for reduced nitrous oxide and soot particulate emissions while providing more power and fuel economy than the previous 8020 models did. Engineering innovations such as a variable geometry turbo and new high-efficiency cooling system helped Deere meet its goal to improve performance in spite of pollution control requirements.

Price range for the 8030 models is $118,454 to $216,265. See your John Deere dealer, contact John Deere, Dept. FIN, 11145 Thompson Ave., Lenexa, KS 66219, 866/993-3373, visit www.deere.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 202.

MACHINERY COMBINES

JUST AS farmers were starting to get used to the idea of a 300-hp Class 8 combine, German combine and forage harvester manufacturer Claas rolled out its biggest-ever harvesting machine and called it a Class 9. The new Lexion 500 series combines include the 590R — a 462-hp, 360-bu. monster that is, for the time being, the world's largest production combine.

These combines offer many of the same premium features that Lexion combines are known for, as well as a few new innovations. Those include the accelerated pre-separation system (APS) — a high-performance threshing system that delivers crop to the main threshing cycle at a constant speed, angle, width and thickness so that the main threshing cylinder can operate at maximum efficiency. Claas points out that up to 30% of grain separation occurs before it even reaches the threshing area.

The 590R is priced around $308,000. Contact Claas Omaha LLC, Dept. FIN, 8401 S. 132nd St., Omaha, NE 68138, 402/861-1077, visit www.claas.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 203.

MACHINERY SPRAYER

THE THREAT of Asian soybean rust put sprayers in the spotlight in 2005, because growers and custom applicators thought they might need more sprayers to apply fungicides quickly in the event that rust moved into U.S. soybean-growing areas.

Winning our top sprayer award is the new Apache sprayer line that features a new custom cab and new engineering for high sprayer performance. Engineering changes in the sprayer include improvements to the hydraulic, fuel, cooling, intake and exhaust systems.

The Apache sprayers still operate with a mechanical drive system, which makes them reasonably priced for growers and commercial applicators. The sprayers are available with 500-, 850-, 1,000- and 1,200-gal. tanks. Base price starts at $91,572 for the 500 series and goes to $161,302 for the 1200 series. Contact Equipment Technologies Inc., Dept. FIN, 2201 Hancel Pkwy., Mooresville, IN 46158, 800/861-2142, visit www.apachesprayer.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 204.

MACHINERY ACCESSORIES

READERS WHO experienced problems controlling crops through a combine header auger were impressed with the new Orbit Reel from HCC. The Orbit Reel eliminates the gap between the reel and auger.

“For anyone who harvests with a grain or flex header, this product will improve combine performance, increase crop yield and reduce frustrations,” reports Carl McNair, HCC president. “By eliminating the gap between the combine's reel and auger, the Orbit Reel provides continuous crop flow and carries the crop right up and into the auger.”

The company spent 10 years developing the reel, which is constructed of steel and a polymer. The reel is equipped with rollers at each end that follow cam-style tracks to adjust the reel path to specific header depth and auger size.

Suggested retail price of a single-eccentric reel shorter than 22 ft. is $970. Reels 22 ft. and longer are double eccentric and have a suggested retail price of $1,840. Contact HCC Inc., Dept. FIN, 1501 First Ave., Mendota, IL 61342-0952, 815/539-9371, ext. 223, visit www.hccincorporated.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 205.

MACHINERY PLANTER

MANY FARMERS were interested in the Dream Machine, designed by fellow farmer Paul Lanpher. Strip-till and minimum-till farmers may use the Dream Machine to build a seedbed, spread a full rate of nitrogen and plant corn in one pass. Nitrogen is spread in bands 8 to 10 in. wide and about 8 in. deep, which allows planting directly over the nitrogen. If the soil is too wet for planting, the planter may be detached and the machine operated with knives 3 to 4 in. deep to dry the ground. Lanpher recently has added a minimum-till design that is about half the cost of the strip-till unit.

The Dream Machine costs $1,000 to $1,200 per row unit. Lanpher will help a farmer obtain the parts and put the machine together on a toolbar. Contact Paul Lanpher, Dept. FIN, 32598 Cty. Rd. 309, Advance, MO 63730, 573/722-5331, visit www.bigrivertel.net/~planpher or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 206.

TRANSPORTATION ATVS/UVS

OUR COVERAGE of Honda's newest version of farm country's most popular ATV drew a positive response from readers, many of whom are still driving one of the original FourTrax ATVs that Honda released back in 1986. With its TRX500 Foreman, Honda remained true to the working-class roots that helped make its products' on-farm reputation for reliability and comfort. Honda kept the popular shaft-drive, longitudinally mounted engine and low-maintenance carburetor. Improvements include better brakes, an improved oil cooling system, larger gas tank and easy-to use electronic shifting.

Price range for the TRX500 is $5,299 to $6,499. Contact American Honda Motor Co., Dept. FIN, 1919 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90501, 310/781-5139, visit powersports.honda.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 207.

TRANSPORTATION TRUCKS

THE POWER Wagon made a lasting impression on farmers when Dodge introduced its “ultimate” off-road pickup truck in the late 1970s. So our readers were very interested when Dodge announced its new Power Wagon after a 25-year hiatus.

The 2005 Power Wagon, based on Dodge's 2500 platform, features a 345-hp, 5.7-liter HEMI engine, 33-in. BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, and electric-locking front and rear differentials. The truck also has a disconnecting sway bar, a running height of 14.5 in. and a custom-built 12,000-lb. Warn winch.

Price: $36,660. Visit www.autoglasssearch.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 208.

TRANSPORTATION MOWERS

THE JOHN DEERE 997 Diesel Z-Trak mower has a 3-cyl., 31-hp Yanmar engine with plenty of torque. The engine is quieter because it is totally enclosed. The mower is available with a 60- or 72-in. side-discharge or 60-in. rear-discharge full floating deck. Cutting height is adjustable from 1.5 to 5 in.

Price: $15,519. Contact John Deere Inquiry Department, Dept. FIN, Box 13603, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 800/537-8233, visit www.johndeere.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 209.

TRANSPORTATION ACCESSORIES

THE COMPANY Dual Concepts thought it made sense to develop dual wheels for ATVs because these four-wheeled wonders do more and more utility work on the farm. The company is selling Clic ATV dual wheels in a kit that adds two extra wheels to the back wheels of most ATVs. An additional kit can put duals on the front, too. The duals improve stability, flotation and traction, according to the company. A Quick-Clic universal mounting base allows fast field installation without tools. A turn of the release handles dismounts the Clic wheel from the base. An optional storage bracket that mounts to the back of the ATV allows the driver to store up to two duals.

Price is $895/set. Contact Dual Concepts, Dept. FIN, 2414 N.W. School St., Ankeny, IA 50021, 515/306-1028, visit www.dual-concepts.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 210.

CHEMICALS EQUIPMENT

A NEW fertilizer applicator from Fast Distributing has a 60-ft. double bar that can sidedress up to 24 rows of 30-in. widths. The model 8129 applicator is equipped with outside wings that fold so it may be used for 16 rows. Heavy-duty, 20-in. coulters cut an opening in which stainless steel orifices spray the solid stream of fertilizer. The unit includes either a 1,500- or 1,600-gal. tank.

A field-ready 8129 applicator with a 1,600-gal. tank, a John Blue ground drive pump and coulters set on 30-in. spacing retails for about $34,000. Contact Fast Distributing, Dept. FIN, 54859 County Rd. 44, Mt. Lake, MN 56159, 800/772-9279, visit www.fastdist.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 211.

CHEMICALS CROP CHEMICALS

EFFECTIVE ONE-PASS residual weed control offered by the new herbicide Radius from Bayer CropScience helps growers save time and money by reducing trips through the field. Radius is a combination of two powerful, soil-applied active ingredients — flufenacet and isoxaflutole — offered as a convenient liquid premix. Bayer claims the herbicide offers control of more than 65 grass and broadleaf weeds, including foxtail, waterhemp, lambsquarter, wooly cupgrass and wild proso millet. It also controls velvet leaf, johnsongrass and kochia, suppresses sandbur and aids in acetolactate synthase (ALS)-resistance and glyphosate-resistance management, according to the company. Radius will recharge after only one-half inch of rain to control grass and broadleaf weeds up to 3 in. tall that may emerge after application.

A key feature of Radius is its flexibility. Growers may use different rates depending on soil types and may vary the rate of atrazine according to local requirements.

Contact Bayer CropScience, Dept. FIN, 2 T.W. Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 866/992-2937, visit www.cornexperts.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 212.

SEED TECHNOLOGY

SEED CONTINUES to become more powerful and valuable as important traits are stacked together in one seed. For the 2005 crop year, Monsanto released a triple-stacked corn seed that includes protection against corn borer and corn rootworm along with herbicide tolerance. Offered in DeKalb and Asgrow brands, the triple-stacked hybrid with YieldGard Plus and Roundup Ready Corn 2 technology was popular with growers who wanted convenience and control in their seed.

Increasing the value of the new seed was a seed treatment for control against secondary insects such as black cutworm, wireworm, white grub and seed corn maggot.

Monsanto reported that in field tests the new hybrids with the triple-stack technology averaged 8.6 bu. more per acre and were 1.3% drier at harvest than leading competitive brands. The company said the results were based on 483 comparisons.

For more information, visit www.monsanto.com/monsanto/productregistration.

LIVESTOCK ANIMAL HANDLING

FENCES CAN be a hassle to ATV drivers who have to constantly dismount to open and close the gates. The new Pivotal Post ATV gate kit takes care of that problem by letting ATVs drive over its post-and-gate fencing. The gate kit has an electrified shock cord (bungee cord) with a gate handle on one end and an insulator on the other end that screws onto the fence post. The kit also includes a fiberglass post attached to a spring-loaded cast-aluminum base that anchors to the ground by a short length of steel T-post. The shock cord stretches as the operator drives the ATV over the gate, and the spring-loaded post stands back up once the ATV is over the gate. The gate may be driven over from any direction. The gate needs an opening 20 to 37 ft. wide.

The Pivotal Post ATV kit sells for $105.13. Contact Pivotal Fencing Systems, Dept. FIN, 10092 Cty. Rd. 36, Yuma, CO 80759, 970/848-5500, visit www.pivotpost.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 213.

LIVESTOCK FEED EQUIPMENT

LAST WINTER Krone introduced its innovative multi-bale Big Pack 1270 baler. The baler will tie up to six individual small bales within one large tied bale. It is designed for the commercial hay producer who sells to small livestock or horse markets. The large bale is easily transported and easily split into small tied bales that can be moved by hand.

The bale chamber is 4 ft. × 2 ft. 4 in. and produces bales from 3 ft. 4 in. to 9 ft. in length. It picks up a swath between 6 ft. 6 in. and 7 ft. 10 in. wide. It is equipped with a variable fill system that keeps the bale chamber full with highly compressed and well-formed bales.

The retail price of the Big Pack VFS 1270 is about $80,000. Contact Krone Hay & Forage Technology, Dept. FIN, 4985 Outland Center Dr., Memphis, TN 38181, 901/842-6011, visit www.krone-northamerica.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 214.

SHOP BUILDINGS

PERMA-COLUMN posts use an innovative combination of high-strength, reinforced concrete, laminated wooden posts and mounting hardware that eliminates wood-to-soil contact. Perma-Column developed this line of replacement columns for repair projects at the request of several customers who wanted to replace the rotted posts on their older post-frame sheds and buildings. Perma-Column now manufactures precast pads and hardware for repair jobs.

Cost for one pad, post and hardware is less than $60. Contact Perma-Column Inc., Dept. FIN, 400 Carol Ann Lane, Ossian, IN 46777, 800/622-7190, visit www.permacolumn.com or freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 215.

SHOP TOOLS

A NEW attachment for an extension ladder that eases the dangers of entering and exiting the top of the ladder earns a top spot in the tools category. The Walk-Through Railing System is a 36-in. extension that attaches to portable ladders to provide handles for support.

Price: $299. Contact American Innovations, Dept. FIN, 1865 W. Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55356, 888/912-9888, visit www.ladderdolly.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 216.

SHOP HAND TOOLS

NEED SOME added oomph to draw your drill bit into tough drilling projects and field repairs? A new accessory for high-end, handheld power drills called the PressureHandle will do the job. Although the device won't replace a stationary shop drill press, it works in situations in which use of a drill press isn't practical. The operator turns the rotating grip on the PressureHandle to activate a 30:1 reduction gear and chain, and draws the drill bit in the material being drilled at a constant pressure.

Price: $169. Contact PressureHandle, Dept. FIN, Box 304, Dayton, OH 45409, 877/294-1400, visit www.pressurehandle.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 217.

FARM & OFFICE GPS EQUIPMENT

THE AGGPS FieldLevel allows farmers to do precision field leveling themselves, improving drainage and field productivity, without needing to hire a contractor. The AgGPS FieldLevel RTK option provides 10 times the horizontal range as laser leveling, with no vertical limit. Price of the DGPS FieldLevel is $13,000 to $15,000. It requires the Trimble GCS21 Laser Control system (about $15,000).

Price of the RTK FieldLevel is $8,000 to $14,000. It requires a Trimble RTK Topomapping system (about $40,000) or Trimble AgGPS Autopilot RTK system (about $35,000).

Contact Trimble Navigation Ltd., Agriculture Business Area, Dept. FIN, 9290 Bond St., Suite 102, Overland Park, KS 66214, 800/865-7438, visit www.trimble.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 218.