Deep-freeze temperatures and snow drifts didn't keep farmers away from two mid-winter farm shows. The weather also didn't keep us away. We selected the newest equipment displayed at the North American Farm and Power Show held in Minneapolis, MN, and the Dakota Farm Show, Vermillion, SD.

Portable pit

If you're looking for a convenient way to ferry grain into storage from a semitrailer or gravity box, Wheatheart Manufacturing has the answer. The firm introduces a portable pit that moves 4,500 to 5,000 bu. of grain/hr. It's a one-person operation, says Ken Seymour, sales representative for Norwood Sales, Cooperstown, ND, a Wheatheart distributor. Once the operator removes the wheels on the portable pit, it stands just 7 in. above the ground. It gets down nice and low for unloading semis, Seymour says.

The pit features a rear-mounted hydraulic axle that converts the pit from an operating to transport position in seconds. The pit also contains a 10-in. 7-ft. discharge auger and spring-assisted ramps.

Semis may unload into a 3- 4-ft. pit. The unit also features a 3- 2-ft. side discharge hopper that accepts grain from gravity boxes. Suggested retail price for the unit is $4,950. Contact Wheatheart Mfg., Dept. FIN, 3455 Idylwyld Dr. N., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7L 6B5, 877/934-0649, www.wheatheart.com or circle 200.

Untippable feeder

A wayward bull rambling through the feed yard won't be able to tip over a new mineral feeder from Sioux Steel, according to Clark Routh, the company's South Dakota sales manager. The feeder's 48-in. square base frame helps ensure against tipping. The company also claims that the feeder won't rust or rot.

A 28- 48-in. hooded opening permits horned cattle to access mineral. The deep tub and translucent hood prevent animals from backing away while accessing minerals. All sizes and classes of cattle can use the feeder.

The unit contains a 2-gal. face fly control unit that fits smoothly inside the feeder and prevents overdrainage into the mineral. Contact Sioux Steel Co., Dept. FIN, Box 1265, Sioux Falls, SD 57101, 800/557-4689, www.siouxsteel.com or circle 201.

Grain pans

If you're looking for an all-purpose combine head that enables you to combine wheat in the summer and milo, sunflowers and corn in the fall, Rod Hoffer has the answer for you. The Winner, SD, welding shop owner developed Mi-Co-Flo grain pans that easily create an all-purpose combine head. The grain pans eliminate the need for different heads for each crop. They feature all-metal construction and mount on the head with three bolts. They adapt to any length, type or model of header and can harvest solid-seed or row crops. Price: $80/ft. Contact Mi-Co-Flo, Dept. FIN, Box 183, Winner, SD 57580, 888/642-6356 or circle 202.

Updated skid steer

A new design of Bobcat's popular 773 skid-steer loader includes more operating capacity (1,850 lbs.) and an improved cab. Part of the new Bobcat G-series, the skid steer's cab is redesigned for operator ease. In addition, the company now offers optional air conditioning and a turbo option for a 10-hp boost. Suggested retail price for the loader starts at $21,500. Contact Bobcat Co., Dept. FIN, Box 6000, West Fargo, ND 58078, 701/241-8740, www.bobcat.com or circle 203.

Planter scraper

Air Design introduces a long-lasting scraper for your planter's disc blades. The scraper's body is made of stainless steel that resists corrosion and enhances durability. Its edge is derived from tungsten carbide called Wearcarb. This material consists of solid cemented carbides that resist the abrasive wear that occurs when two parts continually contact one another. Company officials say that tungsten carbide has been shown to outlast wear-hardened steel alloys in several wear applications by a 100:1 ratio.

The scraper's aggressive cleaning action enhances the accuracy of seed depth placement. The company claims the scraper is easy to install with no holes to drill and no bolts or other hardware required. The scraper fits Kinze planters and John Deere 1700-30 series, 1750-80 series, 7000 series Max-Emerge, and 7200, 7300 Max-Emerge-plus planters. Each scraper retails for $20. Contact Air Design, Dept. FIN, 102 C St., Scobey, MT 59263, 800/433-9655, www.airdesign.org or circle 204.

Sand trap

Sand is an excellent source of free-stall bedding in dairy barns. However, problems exist with using sand as bedding. Cows can drag sand into the alley where it mixes with manure. This creates problems with manure storage facilities and manure-handling equipment.

That's where the Sand Trap comes into play. Derived from strips of rubber cut from tire tread and plastic inserts, the device traps sand in the stall and helps prevent it from mixing with the manure.

The Sand Trap is held together with stainless steel cable. All components are resistant to corrosion. To install, you simply remove the sand, level the stall, place the Sand Trap one to two increases below the top of the curb and fill the stall with sand. Unit dimensions are 45- 60 3 in. Suggested retail price: $75. Contact C-C Distributing, Berg/Berg Sandmark, Dept. FIN, Box 507, Marshfield, WI 54449, 715/384-2151 or circle 205.

Industrial engine

If you need an industrial-size engine to power a large grain auger or sprayer, Honda Engine now makes a 24-hp model. The GX670 engine features Honda's V-twin technology with a forced-air oil cooler and two-barrel easy drain carburetor. In addition, the engine's cylinder position makes it quiet and clean running with low vibration. The engine is available in either horizontal or vertical configurations; prices start at $1,250. Contact Honda Engine Group, American Honda Motor Co., Dept. FIN, 4900 Marconi Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30005, 800/426-7701, www.honda.com or circle 206.

Preventing chemical spills

A polypropylene dry disconnect from Banjo Corporation should help prevent chemical spills. Designed for safety, the device features handles that interlock, making it easy to identify which handle opens or closes first. The two disconnect halves couple together with cam levers for positive engagement. A double ball design allows maximum flow. The Dry-Mate is available in 1- and 2-in. pipe sizes. The male and female disconnects are sold separately, starting at $152. Contact Banjo Corp., Dept. FIN, 150 Banjo Dr., Crawfordsville, IN 47933, 765/362-7367, www.banjocorp.com or circle 207.

Rebuilt grain computers

You now may purchase the grain analysis computer used in elevators for less money. Planting Services of Central Minnesota buys used GAC II grain analysis computers and rebuilds them for sale to growers. The rebuilt units cost $1,400, whereas the new GAC 2100 computers, manufactured by Dickey-john, cost about $4,200. The units read out moisture, test weight and temperature of grain. You simply dump grain into the hopper, push a button, and the rest is automatically completed. The unit is easily changed from soybeans to corn and other grains. Contact Bob Krcil, Planting Services of Central Minnesota, Dept. FIN, 13047 115 St., Glencoe, MN 55336, 320/587-4527 or circle 208.

Radiant heaters

Tired of heat lamps? Try out the Infraconic radiant heaters by L.B. White. The company now offers a full line of radiant heaters. The heaters operate on LP or natural gas instead of electricity and provide consistent, efficient heat. The heat also is generated where desired. Modulating or pilot control heaters are now available in 17,100 and 34,200 Btuh for zone or individual control. A modulating control heater offers adjustable heat output from 10 to 100%. The pilot-controlled heaters save fuel costs in situations where wind resistance must be considered. Prices start at $222. Contact L.B. White, Dept. FIN, W6636 L.B. White Rd., Onalaska, WI 54650, 800/345-7200 or circle 209.

Big loader

If you're looking for a loader that is bigger than most skid-steer loaders, check out the Wrangler 4500 by Willmar, an AGCO company. The versatile loader will handle a wide variety of attachments, including most existing skid-steer types. It boasts an operating load capacity with a bucket of 2,450 lbs. and a dump height of 8 ft. The Wrangler features shuttle-shift, precise foot pedal speed control and an operator cabin with ergonomically designed controls. It is equipped with a Deutz engine and lists for $38,000. Contact AGCO Corp., Dept. FIN, 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096, 800/767-3221, www.agcocorp.com or circle 210.