HIGH-POWERED row-crop tractors rated over 150 hp are in high demand this year. According to Jason Hoult, product manager for AGCO Corporation, sales in this market segment were up more than 30% in 2008 and remain strong this year.

Tractors in this class offer the power of the larger-framed 4-wd tractors but in a narrow fixed frame configuration designed for navigating between the rows.

“It's really the main tractor on the farm, and the rest of the product line follows it,” Hoult says. “Farmers make their purchase decisions around the big, high-horsepower row-crop tractor, and it allows us to demonstrate our dealer service and product capability. For tractor makers, it's the price of admission in the Corn and Wheat Belts.”

We've compiled summaries and specs for these tractors to help you make your best buy, whether you're looking for a bare-bones workhorse or an optioned-up office cruiser.

AGCO DT SERIES

AGCO says its newly designed DT series tractors are built to support conservation of resources, strong environmental stewardship, and strong performance and endurance.

The series features four models that range from 205 to 275 PTO hp. The new AGCO Sisu Power 8.4-liter engine is equipped with e3 clean air technology, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, to significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates. The e3 trademark stands for energy, economy and ecology.

The standard-equipment continuously variable transmission (CVT), coupled with the Dynamic Tractor Management system, makes it easier for the tractor to run constantly at the most efficient engine rpm while maintaining high productivity.

A one-piece hood gives easy access to the engine and improves forward visibility. A new sculpted chassis, with a new front axle, provides a solid foundation for the DT series tractors. And the front axle is heavier, with larger final drives for strength to handle larger draft loads and weight.

For more information, visit www.agcoiron.com.

AGCO DT SERIES SPECS |ENGINE: 6 cyl., 8.4-liter AGCO Sisu Power with e3 technology. 240 to 320 engine hp, 205 to 275 PTO hp |TRANSMISSION: CVT with Dynamic Tractor Management |HYDRAULICS: 46-gal./min. flow rate; 4 remote valves std./6 opt. |3-pt. HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 21,336 lbs. |CAB: 67.3 sq. ft. of glass |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $172,030 to $347,224

CASE IH MAGNUM SERIES

Case IH's mid- to high-horsepower row-crop tractors fall under its Magnum series lineup. Nine models make up the series, ranging from 150 to 275 PTO hp. The line's newest model, the Magnum 225, comes standard with a new Case IH CVT. The CVT is available as an option on the Magnum 180, 190 and 210 models.

The company claims its CVT is easier to operate than others because it requires no programming or complicated settings. It automatically adjusts to deliver the best balance of power and fuel efficiency when working at field speeds pulling a load.

The Magnum series engine continues to be rated for up to 100% biodiesel blend when used with approved Case IH maintenance procedures.

Case IH claims its Surveyor cab is one of the larger and quieter cabs in the industry with 360° visibility. The new MultiControl Armrest, the latest in Case IH tractor-control technology, is standard in the Magnum 180, 190, 210 and 225 series tractors. It simplifies operation — including speed, hydraulics, and hitch functions — by putting the controls in one easily accessible location at the operator's fingertips. Adding the optional, integrated joystick provides simultaneous control of optional third mid-mount implements, such as a loader grapple.

The Magnum tractors feature a sculpted front end that allows a 16-ft. turning radius with typical row-crop tires.

For more information, call 877/422-7344 or visit www.caseih.com/na.

CASE IH MAGNUM SPECS |ENGINE: 6-cyl., 9-liter Case IH engine in the Magnum 275, 305 and 335; 6-cyl., 8.3-liter Case IH engine in the Magnum 215 and 245; 6-cyl., 6.75-liter Case IH engine in the 180, 190, 210, 225. 150 to 275 PTO hp, 180 to 330 engine hp |TRANSMISSION: 18-speed full powershift transmission (18F/6R); CVT standard on 225 and optional on 180, 190, 210 HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 10,900 to 16,375 lbs. std./13,600 to 17,931 lbs. opt. |HYDRAULICS: 36- to 46-gpm pump flow/59- to 62-gpm opt.; 3 remote valves std./5 opt. CAB: 109.5 cu. ft. volume; 68.5 sq. ft. of glass |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $147,000 to $240,000

CHALLENGER MT700C SERIES

The MT700C is a track tractor series designed for row-crop work, tillage and transport applications. Available with a choice of track widths and belt sizes, the tractors can match almost any row width, soil type, farming practice or cropping program. Two models offer engine horsepower ratings of 301 and 320.

Features of the MT700C series include a new digital dash display that indicates selected gear, ground speed and service hours; a redesigned Tractor Management Center console that provides simpler, more intuitive operation; a new hydraulics system with a higher degree of control, higher flow and greater adaptability; and an integrated ISOBUS control system. The tractors are sold, serviced and backed by Caterpillar dealers.

For more information, visit www.NewFromChallenger.com.

CHALLENGER MT700C SPECS |ENGINE: 6-cyl., 8.8 Caterpillar C9 ACERT engine; 245 to 265 PTO hp, 301 to 320 engine hp |TRANSMISSION: Caterpillar powershift 16F/4R |HYDRAULICS: 43.5-gpm flow rate std., 59-gpm flow rate opt. Remote valves: 4 std./6 opt. |3-PT. HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 16,000 lbs. |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $222,429 to $337,408

CHALLENGER MT600C SERIES

The Challenger MT600C series offers four models that range from 205 to 275 PTO hp. The series features an all-new TechStar CVT, which provides infinitely variable forward speed selection up to 31 mph. A feature called Power Management automatically coordinates the engine and transmission to minimize rpm, maximize power to the ground and optimize fuel economy.

AGCO says the tractors' new e3 clean air technology treats exhaust to meet Tier 3 and future EPA standards while providing undiminished horsepower and torque and fuel efficiency that is up to 15% better than that of competitive models.

The four-post cab Pinnacle View is surrounded by 67 sq. ft. of glass for a 360° view and is 28% larger than the previous model. The Challenger Tractor Management Center puts command of nearly every implement and tractor function at the operator's fingertips. An ergonomic cab layout and new OptiRide cab suspension system are designed to provide comfort and office-like conditions.

For more information, visit www.NewFromChallenger.com.

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CHALLENGER MT600C SPECS |ENGINE: 6 cyl., 8.4-liter AGCO Sisu Power with e3 technology; 205 to 275 PTO hp, 240 to 320 engine hp |TRANSMISSION: CVT with Power Management. |HYDRAULICS: 46-gpm flow rate. Remote valves: 4 std./6 opt. |ELECTRONIC LIFT CONTROL 3-PT. HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 18,741 lbs. |CAB: 67.3 sq. ft. of glass SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $173,924 to $332,306

FENDT 900 SERIES

The new Fendt six-model 900 series tractors range from 220 to 360 engine hp. The tractors use a Deutz 7.4-liter, 6-cyl. engine that, coupled with the stepless Vario CVT and the Tractor Management System, provides good fuel efficiency, according to the company. Compared to earlier-generation tractors, they feature an advanced-design chassis and hood for more maneuverability and a larger, more comfortable cab. Other features include increased biodiesel compatibility and the ability to fit some of the largest tires available.

The fourth-generation Fendt-designed independent-suspension front axle flexes nearly 12 in. This extended travel keeps both front wheels on the ground and pulling, even in rough conditions. The independent suspension contributes to a tight turning radius of only 20 ft. for the 18.5-ft. model 922 Vario.

For more information, visit www.fendt.com.

FENDT 900 SPECS| ENGINE: Deutz 7.4-liter, 6-cyl. engine. 220 to 360 engine hp, 190 to 330 PTO hp |TRANSMISSION: CVT |HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 19,800 lbs. |CAB: glass area 5.5 sq. meters SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $165,770 to $373,406

JOHN DEERE 8R SERIES

John Deere's new 8R series launched in August is John Deere's replacement to the 8030 series, the most fuel-efficient row-crop tractors ever built, according to Nebraska Tractor Test Lab results. The series consists of six wheeled models ranging from 225 to 345 engine hp and three track models from 295 to 345 engine hp. The 345-hp 8345R is the most powerful row-crop tractor John Deere has ever built.

Deere says its new series offers more horsepower, good fuel economy, and a redesigned cab with 10% more space and more features. These include a premium sound package, redesigned control arm, easy-to-read display and an instructor seat that converts into a desk for a laptop or storage. Visibility is improved with the addition of more glass and repositioned cab supports.

The 8RT series track models are new from the ground up, featuring a new track suspension system for upgraded ride comfort and capabilities. For the first time, Deere is making its IVT available on its track tractors, offering it as standard on the 8345 RT and optional on all other models, enabling the operator to smoothly shift from 0 to 24 mph, or any speed in between, with a single lever. The track line also features John Deere's exclusive Air Cushion Suspension system, first made available on the company's larger 9030T series track tractors, to provide better vehicle traction as well as operator comfort.

For more information, contact your John Deere dealer or visit www.JohnDeere.com.

JOHN DEERE 8R SPECS |ENGINE: 6-cyl., 9.0-liter Power Tech Plus engine. 225 to 345 engine hp, 181 to 275 PTO hp |TRANSMISSION: Full powershift transmission standard; IVT standard on 8345RT and optional on all other models |HYDRAULICS: 60-gpm flow rate |HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 18,300 lbs. |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: Factory-observed base list price starts at $165,929 for 8225R (smallest model) and $229,480 for smallest track model (8295RT)

MASSEY FERGUSON 8600 SERIES

Four models make up the new Massey Ferguson 8600 series tractors, with maximum gross engine horsepower ranging from 270 to 350.

The 8600 tractors are equipped with AGCO's Sisu Power 8.4-liter engine e3 clean air technology. The e3 technology meets current Tier 3 EPA clean air requirements while delivering up to 15% better fuel efficiency over the competition, the company claims.

The tractors have a rugged new chassis-rail frame, combined with a sculpted front axle support casting providing a solid foundation and a tighter turning radius. Larger final drives and the muscle to handle larger draft loads and weight are additional benefits of the heavy-duty front axle. Operator comforts include a roomy cab and new cab suspension.

For more information, visit www.masseyferguson.com.

MASSEY FERGUSON 8600 SPECS |ENGINE: 8.4-liter AGCO Sisu Power engine; 205 to 275 PTO hp, 240 to 320 engine hp |TRANSMISSION: Dyna-VT CVT with Dynamic Tractor Management |REAR HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 21,336 lbs. |HYDRAULICS: 46-gal./min. flow rate; up to 6 hydraulic remotes |CAB: 67.3 sq. ft. of glass |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $172,030 to $334,137

MCCORMICK TTX SERIES

The brand-new McCormick TTX series is the largest tractor series in the McCormick lineup, ranging from 180 to 213 engine hp. McCormick says the three models in the series — the TTX 190, the TTX 210, and the TTX 230 — have a commonsense, straightforward design to allow operators to easily acclimate themselves to their operating features.

Unlike similar tractors in its class, the TTX is a full-framed tractor designed to absorb stressful loader work and tillage over rough terrain to improve operator comfort and extend tractor life. The front axle offers a steering angle of 55° for maneuverability in tight areas.

Cab features include a four-post design for all-around visibility, a deluxe air seat, ergonomically friendly controls, and an efficient heating and cooling system. McCormick claims that the tractors' dashboard diagnostics system offers a more comprehensive set of simple diagnostic tests than most competitor brands do, so that operators can easily identify problems and resolve them quickly.

For more information, visit www.mccormickusa.com.

MCCORMICK TTX SPECS |ENGINE: 6 cyl., 6.7-liter, 24-valve BetaPower engine; 180 to 213 engine hp |TRANSMISSION: XtraSpeed 32F/24R powershift transmission; 32-speed transmission with eight powershift speeds available with a choice of mechanical or electronic range shifting |HYDRAULICS: 34-gal./min. flow rate; 3 remote valves std./4, 5 opt. |HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 24,141 lbs. |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $122,850 for TTX 190; $129,236 for TTX210; and $135,865 for TTX 230

NEW HOLLAND T8000 SERIES

New Holland's T8000 series tractors have high horsepower, a choice of transmissions, beefier hydraulics, and three front axle options to better match the machine to the job.

Five models range from 175 to 270 PTO hp with up to 56% PTO torque rise and power growth up to 44 hp for increased pulling power. All the models, with the exception of the T8050, feature 8.3-liter engines. The 9.0-liter-engine T8050, with 270 PTO hp, has the power and hydraulic flow to handle the most advanced planting and specialty equipment.

The hydraulic flow is 44 gpm standard and 75 gpm with the exclusive dual-circuit MegaFlow option. Operators have full hydraulic flow when feathering so they can move implements into transport position fast. For operator convenience, an acre counter is now integrated with the hydraulic system.

A buyer can choose one of four full powershift transmissions, including a 19×4 option that provides a 31-mph transport speed. Constant engine speed control and foot throttle are standard equipment for maximum control.

For more information, visit www.newholland.com.

NEW HOLLAND T8000 SPECS |ENGINE: 6-cyl., 9.0-liter engine in the T8050; 6-cyl., 8.3-liter engine in all other models. 215 to 320 engine hp, 175 to 270 PTO hp|TRANSMISSION: 18F/4R full powershift transmission standard with 19F/4R, 23F/6R, 19F/4R 31-mph options. |HYDRAULICS: 44-gpm pump flow std. and 75-gpm opt. 3 remote valves std./4, 5 opt. |HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 14,084 to 18,590 lbs. |CAB: 68.5 sq. ft. of glass; 109.5 cu. ft. of volume |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $167,000 to $271,000

VERSATILE 250 AND 280

Versatile, a company best known for its 4-wd models, launched two new models of high-powered row-crop tractors in 2008. The Versatile 280 has 280 engine hp and 225 PTO hp, and the Versatile 250 has 200 PTO hp and 250 engine hp. Both are powered by the Cummins QSC 8.3-liter engine and have more power than the Buhler Genesis 2180 and 2210 they replace.

The QSC high-pressure common-rail injection engine replaces the European-built 7.5-liter Genesis engine. According to Versatile, the QSC features more displacement and modern technology and will offer smooth power delivery, faster engine response and less vibration.

The new Versatile 250 and 280 have a slightly wider hood with a larger-capacity cooling system to suit Tier 3 engines. An external muffler provides more room under the hood and allows for better heat dissipation. Stronger side rails add to the strength of the tractor, and a larger-capacity air cleaner enhances airflow.

Farmers will recognize the cab, with its ergonomically designed console and straightforward dash. Dual access doors, a comfortable air-ride seat, and tilt and telescoping steering complete the interior package. The hood is sloped for better visibility, and optional HID work lighting significantly improves visibility when doing fieldwork after dark.

For more information, visit www.versatile-ag.com.

VERSATILE 250 AND 280 SPECS |ENGINE: 8.3-liter Cummins QSC engine; 200 and 225 PTO hp, 250 and 280 engine hp |TRANSMISSION: 18-speed full powershift transmission (18F/9R) |HYDRAULICS: 30-gpm hydraulic flow std., 55-gpm flow opt. 3 remote valves std./4 opt. |HITCH LIFT CAPACITY: 15,000 lbs. |SUGGESTED LIST PRICE: $169,000 for the Versatile 250; $179,000 for Versatile 280