Take care Farmers aged 55 years and older account for about one-third of all deaths in farming, with a fatality rate 2_1/2 times higher than that of farmers under 55. - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

"Tractor overturns are the single most common cause of death of older workers. Most of these deaths could have been prevented if the farmer would have been operating a tractor equipped with an approved rollover protective structure and wearing [his] seat belt. " - John Myers, statistician, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Lift and loosen soil This new 15-ft. towable Aerway conservation tillage implement is designed for farmers who practice conservation tillage and want more uniform crop response through more even lifting and loosening of soils after harvest and before planting. The rollers are staggered to provide equal tine spacing across the full width of the machine. It features a working width of 15 ft. and smaller. It also has a new PT6500 lifting system, which uses one hydraulic cylinder instead of two for faster lifting of pull-type units. Suggested list price: $10,138 freight on board. Contact Holland Equipment Ltd., Dept. FIN, Box 339, Norwich, Ontario, Canada NOJ 1PO, 800/457-8310.

Self-propelled sprayers They have a hefty price tag in relation to pull-type sprayers. But, according to university cost analysis, you can break even owning a $125,000 self-propelled sprayer instead of hiring custom application if you spray 3,000 acres twice per season (see "Do sprayer dollars make sense?" Mid-March 1999). Major manufacturers are now partnering with self-propelled sprayer companies to offer you a full line of equipment at your dealer and to merge technologies and expertise for a better machine.

It's a Case/Tyler. It's branded Case IH and has a Case 200-hp, 5.9-liter, 359-cu.-in. engine, but otherwise it's all Tyler. Since Case bought Tyler Industries, this is just the second of new self-propelled sprayers (shown at right) that will come off the assembly line in Benson, MN.

"It's a Class III sprayer [a classification new to the industry: I is smallest, IV largest], yet it can travel road speeds up to 30 mph," says Karen Meuwissen from the Case Tyler business unit.

Model SPX 3200B features a 90-ft. boom and a tough, square tubular steel frame that helps with stability but doesn't twist and shouldn't rust or corrode, according to the company. Suspension is trailing-link style with 11 in. of travel to help smooth out the ride. Price: $136,500. Contact Case Tyler Business Unit, Dept. FIN, Box 249, Benson, MN 56215, 320/843-3333.

Speedy sprayer. Unlike other self-propelled sprayers on the market, the Mertz Triad (top of next page) has a mechanical drive unit and higher ground speeds of 30 to 40 mph. Gary Goodwin, ag product manager for Mertz, claims that the mechanical drivetrain offers "less maintenance problems and allows the best ground clearance in a mechanical unit at 36 in."

The sprayer is based on an 8-x4-x14-ft. steel mainframe with continuous tubular side rails. It offers a 70- to 100-ft. boom, a 1,200-gal. stainless steel tank, 108- or 120-in. row spacing, a New Holland 260-hp engine and an 8-speed power shift. Dual applicators are optional for spraying chemicals and fertilizers with just a change of valves. Suggested retail price range: $160,000 to $170,000. Contact Mertz Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 150, Ponca City, OK 74602, 800/654-6433.

New sprayer players. Ag-Chem's building it and New Holland's selling it. "It" is the New Holland SF550 self-propelled 4-wd field sprayer (shown below) and it is part of the company's venture into the sprayer market.

The machine offers full-time, three-range, hydrostatic 4-wd. The three-range transmission offers speed selections based on terrain. Speeds range from 11 to 26 mph. A 70-gal. fuel tank lets you cover more ground in a day. The unit's C-channel frame flexes depending on ground conditions. Self-leveling booms of 60, 80 and 90 ft. are available.

Contact New Holland North America Inc., Dept. FIN, 500 Diller Ave., New Holland, PA 17557, 717/355-1371.

The Gregson company has been in Canada for three years and is now marketing its self-propelled Maverick in the U.S.

The company claims that its sprayer is the only self-propelled sprayer to feature air-assisted spray booms with drift reduction as a factory-installed option. It features a 4-wd, 230-hp Cat engine, 57-in. ground clearance and 60- to 120-ft. boom length. The company also claims that the 10_1/2-ft. turning radius is the shortest in the industry. Base price: $140,000. Contact CVM West Ltd., Dept. FIN, 4341 Sandhill Rd., Bellevue, OH 44811, 800/848-8460.

Rippin' good Landoll's new model 1550 In-Row Ripper deep tills with low surface disturbance.

The unit is offered with two to nine shanks in three configurations: 37-in. parabolic, 11/4-in. straight leg and 3/4-in. straight leg. It's available in four frame widths: 9, 14 and 17 ft. and 21 ft. 3 in. All units are constructed of heavy wall tubing and are available in welded rigid-frame and folding-frame models. All sizes are available in two- or single-bar construction. The combination spacer bar/shank mounts allow almost infinite spacing of shanks for varying row spacing, according to the maker. Price range: $4,000 to $14,000. Contact Landoll Corp., Dept. FIN, 1900 North St., Marysville, KS 66508, 800/428-5655.

Electronic joystick If you plan to purchase a new tractor, you may want to switch its cable-operated joystick for a new Quicke electro-drive joystick. The electronic joystick can be installed new or retrofitted in any brand of tractor having a standard cable-operated joystick. The cables of those joysticks sometimes break when moisture gets in them and freezes.

Made in Sweden, the Quicke joystick is the latest in operator control through electronics. The electrohydraulic control system gives proportional and accurate operational control. It may be installed anywhere in the tractor cab for operator comfort. Price: $3,500. Contact Don Carver, ALO North America Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 824, Niagara Falls, NY 14302, 800/ 361-7563.

Child safety "There are 100 to 150 childhood fatalities in farming each year in this country, and more than 22,000 injuries. These numbers are not acceptable. The best way to reduce risk for our kids is to make sure they are physically and mentally ready to do a task safely." - John Shutske, ag safety and health specialist, University of Minnesota.

agclick You may already know everything but, even so, you'll find useful, fun and trivial information on this interesting Web site, HowStuffWorks.com.

For instance, the term "horsepower" and its meaning were devised during the late 18th, early 19th century by an engineer named James Watt. Watt was using ponies to lift coal at a coal mine. He figured out how much work a pony could do in one minute, increased the number by 50% and called it horsepower. The completely arbitrary unit of measure is still used today.

Manage soil New from Kongskilde is the 3800 field cultivator designed to stand up to the rigors of no-till. It features new 630 S tines spaced a narrow 4 in. apart to stir and shatter the soil and create a fine granulate in the seed zone area to provide good soil-to-seed contact and moisture retention. Front-to-back depth of 130 in. provides maximum residue clearance. The cultivator operates at speeds up to 8 mph. Attachments including rolling baskets and a new spike leveler are available. List price: $19,000 to $53,000 for working widths from 22 to 58 ft. Contact Kongskilde, Dept. FIN, 231 Thames Rd. E., Exeter, Ontario, Canada NOM 1S3, 519/ 235-0840.

Singular sensation We can't decide if we should call it a planter or a drill - either would be right," says Rick Hanson, marketing manager for Great Plains Manufacturing. He's talking about the company's new Precision Seeding System, which the company is promoting as "revolutionary" because its seed-singulating meters are mounted on an ultra-narrow row unit just under a large-capacity seed box. "A 15-ft. model with 15-in. row spacing holds 36 bu., 64% more than an 11-row planter on 15-in. rows," Hanson says.

"Currently we can singulate beans or volumetrically meter wheat," he adds. "We're working on meter wheels to singulate corn and other grains."

Models 1510P and 1520P are 15-ft. units; 2010P and 2020P are 20-ft. units. All models are available for planting on rows of 7_1/2 in. up to 30 in. and can be used with the company's center pivot hitch or Precision Hitch for no-till. Price ranges: $12,500 to $28,500 for 15-ft. models and $16,000 to $38,000 for 20-ft. models, depending on openers and options. Contact Great Plains Mfg., Dept. FIN, Box 5060, Salina, KS 67401, 785/823-3276.