Neither mud nor cool weather could keep multitudes of farmers away from the 1999 Farm Progress Show located in the heart of Iowa's Amana Colonies.

Small rotary unveiled

Farmers now have a third model of Caterpillar rotary combines to purchase. At the show, the Omaha, NE, manufacturer unveiled its smallest rotary combine, the Lexion 470. The new model, a smaller and less expensive version of the Lexion 480 combine, features Caterpillar's dual-rotary harvesting separation system found on the Lexion 480 and 485. The 470 model also has the automated and "in-the-cab" adjustments. It uses a 290-hp, turbocharged, air-to-air, after-cooled Cat 3126 diesel engine. Contact Caterpillar at 800/882-4228.

Comfy calves

A new self-contained calf nursery drew crowds of interested dairy farmers at the show. Designed to keeps calves comfortable and healthy, the nursery is a Double L Group building equipped with Vittetoe stalls. The 16 x 66-ft. nursery holds 52 calves from birth to weaning, about 8 to 10 weeks of age. The building features new turnaround calf stalls, which give each calf 15 sq. ft. of space. Drafts from manure pits are eliminated in this building with self-contained, insulated pits and a scraper system. The building also is equipped with a complete ventilation system. Cost is estimated at $23 to $24/calf based on 6 groups of calves/yr. and a 7-yr. payoff plan. Contact Vittetoe Inc., Dept. FIN, Keota, IA 52248, 800/848-8386.

Square folding

Hiniker released a prototype of a new sprayer for its Century line. The company designed the prototype with an unusual square fold on the 90-ft. boom that allows the use of a three-point mounting. When folded, the self-leveling boom extends 13 ft. high and 16 ft. wide. It is installed on a 1,000-gal. Century HD series sprayer. Estimated boom price: $8,500. Contact Hiniker Co., Dept. FIN, Box 3407, Mankato, MN 56002-3407, 507/625-6621.

Separating N-serve

Producers won't need to worry about using N-serve in ammonia tanks with the new N-serve ground drive injection system. Blue-Jet, a division of Thurston Manufacturing, introduced its new N-serve system with a 55-gal. tank that mounts on the toolbar. This keeps N-serve application separate from the ammonia application and eliminates the risk of corrosion in ammonia tanks. Cost of the system for mounting on a Blue-Jet GDI 200 system is $2,500. Contact Thurston Mfg. Co., Dept. FIN, Hwy. 87A, Thurston, NE 68062-0218, 800/658-3127.

Deeper treads

Tire maker Firestone continues its tradition of developing tires for specialized applications with the introduction of three new farm tires, its first line of ATV tires and a big single flotation tire.

The Des Moines, IA, company was asked to develop a premium tractor tire for better wear and work in wet applications. The result is the new radial, deep-tread, 23 degree tire (shown). It boasts 25% deeper tread for more wear and the characteristic 23 degree tread pattern for optimum tractor efficiency.

Another new tire, the radial 9000, is a premium tire available for tractors and high-clearance sprayers. The tire has a special tread compound that is cool-running and long-wearing, making it ideal for road use. An economy version, called the radial 23 degree tire, has the 23 degree angle but not the deeper tread.

At the request of ATV maker Bridgestone Japan, Firestone developed a line of new ATV tires. The Dirt Hook tire (shown) works for general use and dry conditions, and the Mud Hook is ideal for wet conditions. The ATV line works on all makes of ATVs. Suggested retail prices range from $30 to $65.

Firestone also introduces a big single flotation tire for heavy-duty applications. The tire has a 78-in. diameter, 45-in. width and 32-in. rim. Contact Firestone Agricultural Tire Co., Dept. FIN, 730 E. 2nd St., Des Moines, IA 50309, 800/350-3276.

Lengthy applicator

A new 7200 series anhydrous ammonia applicator is available from Progressive Farm Products. The applicator features a 60-ft., pull-type toolbar that front folds for a narrow transport width of 161/2 ft. Fully equipped, it retails for $45,676. Contact Progressive Farm Products, Dept. FIN, Box 17, Hudson, IL 61748-9704, 309/454-1564.

Steerable grain cart

Balzer introduces a grain cart designed for easy steering and low compaction. The new cart features steerable axles, two on tandem models and four on tridem models, and hydraulically activated brakes. Large flotation tires reduce field compaction.

The cart is available in 600- and 950-bu. capacities. Optional extensions will increase capacity to 700 bu. and 1,050 bu. The cart comes equipped with a 16-ft. unload auger that folds across the front. The 950-bu. cart sells for $28,000. Contact Balzer Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 458, Mountain Lake, MN 56159, 800/795-8551.