The best, most innovative products published in Farm Industry News in the past year may cost only a few dollars or a quarter of a million dollars. But what these products do have in common is your interest. The selection of the FinOvation winners for 2007 is based on reader response.
In the next several pages, the top 20 products from the hundreds featured in the past year are showcased for your review.
Tractors under 150 hp
READERS WERE intrigued when AGCO introduced a new line of Challenger utility tractors last winter. The new MT300B series moves Challenger tractors into the industrial-strength utility markets with 45-, 55-, 65- and 75-hp tractors. The new line includes 2-wd or 4-wd models that feature 3.3-liter Challenger Endurance engines and 12F/12R standard transmissions.
Suggested retail prices for the new models range from $23,500 to $38,200. Contact AGCO Corp., Dept. FIN, 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096, 888/989-8525, visit www.challengerag.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 101.
150- to 250-hp tractors
John Deere 7030 series
JOHN DEERE hit another home run with its new 7030 series tractors. It follows the 8030 series, which won a FinOvation award in the 250+ hp category after its introduction last year. The 7030 series is equipped with many of the same features but in a horsepower package that ranges from 140 to 180 PTO hp.
The new 7030 is powered by a 6.8-liter PowerTech Plus engine with a four-valve/cyl. head. Deere focused on fuel efficiency in this series by including a Variable Geometry Turbocharger and Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation in the engine. “Those two elements together in conjunction with a four-valve head provide us much better fuel efficiency,” explains John Gordon, manager of engine technology.
Owners can pick one of three transmissions options: Infinitely Variable Transmission with a maximum 25-mph transport speed; PowrQuad Plus with 16 forward and 16 reverse and 19-mph transport speed; and AutoQuad Plus with 24 forward and 24 reverse and 25-mph transport speed.
Base machine list prices range from $91,161 to $108,955. See your local John Deere dealer or contact John Deere, Dept. FIN, 11145 Thompson Ave., Lenexa, KS 66219, 866/993-3373, visit www.johndeereag.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 102.
250+ hp tractors
Case IH STX Steiger
CASE IH flexed its muscle this year with a full line of redesigned tractors and equipment designed to “close the gap between the competition.”
Drawing big interest from our readers is the new line of STX Steiger tractors with four engine sizes and three frame sizes. Tractors in this new series range from 280 to 530 engine horsepower and have an 8-, 9-, 12.9- or 15-liter engine. The small-frame model equipped with an exclusive AccuSteer precision steering system is designed for the row-crop market. A large-frame model is geared to mid-range-horsepower, 4-wd needs, and the extra-large frame is built to pull the heaviest loads.
Case IH upgraded the powershift transmissions with electronic pulse width modulated shift solenoids for a smoother shift. “Before you had to physically bump each gear with your thumb,” says Kyle Russell, marketing manager. “Now the engine and transmission will talk to each other so you get a nice, smooth, seamless shift.”
AGCO'S UNVEILING of its new Class VIII Challenger combine at the National Farm Machinery Show drew a great deal of interest from our readers. The new Challenger 680B combine with 425 hp features a rotor that is 31.5 in. in diameter and 140 in. long. It produces the fastest unloading rate in the industry at 4.5 bu./sec., according to Doug Griffin, director of Challenger sales and marketing in North America. The combine's grain tank holds 350 bu.
The 680B combine boasts other features, including easy serviceability with accessible side panels, better placed grease banks and fewer service points. Electronic functions are built into the machine and designed for easy operation. A color touch-screen console allows an operator to monitor and adjust crop settings and other functions. Rigid and flex headers up to 35 ft. wide are available to match combine capacity.
Price of a 680B with a 12-row corn head starts at $350,000. Contact AGCO Corp., Dept. FIN, 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096, 888/989-8525, visit www.challengerag.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 104.
White 8831Central Fill
AGCO INTRODUCED a new White planter that handles narrow or standard width rows for corn, soybeans, milo, popcorn and wheat. The new planter may be configured to plant 31 rows on 15-in. spacing or 16 rows on 30-in. spacing. The planter's new frame design reduces the amount of time spent folding it down to a 12-ft. 11-in. width for transport. The new model reduces hitch weight and provides a tight turning radius in the transport position.
The planter's Central Fill System includes two 45-bu., low-profile, translucent polyethylene hoppers for holding seed. Positive air seed metering on each row unit delivers consistent seed placement, and the Edge Drop seed disc design ensures seed singling accuracy.
Prices start at $116,485. Contact White Planter, AGCO Corp., Dept. FIN, 4205 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096, 770/813-9200, visit www.whiteplanter.agcocorp.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 105.
GROWERS SEEKING different options for tillage showed interest in the new Wil-Rich 657-DCR model. This one-pass tillage tool serves as a disk, chisel and ripper. It turns and mixes residue with topsoil while reducing soil compaction. The gangs are hydraulically controlled for setting depth and can be raised completely out of the ground.
THE SECOND generation of the Outback guidance system, called Outback S2, features a major increase in accuracy and performance over its S model predecessor. The new S2 model has better receiver capabilities for faster start-up and global positioning system (GPS) signal acquisition times. The S2, like previous models, is easy to install and easy to use and features a 10-Hz, differential GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) receiver. Operators use the Outback to drive straight rows with no skipped areas and minimal overlaps, thus saving fuel and fertilizer. Price: $2,899.
The Outback S2 may work as a stand-alone guidance system or as a partner with Outback Baseline, Outback 360 and Outback eDrive. Contact Outback Guidance, A Division of Hemisphere GPS, Dept. FIN, 2005 W. Oregon St., Hiawatha, KS 66434, 800/247-3808, visit www.outbackguidance.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 107.
WE DON'T often recognize a new tire, but Michelin's new Ultraflex technology in its Axiobib tire deserves the attention after readers indicated a big interest in it. The new tire is the Axiobib IF800/70R38 and is designed for tractors rated at 200 hp or more. The tire represents a new category of radial technology called IF, which stands for “increased flexion.” This type of tire allows lower tire inflation pressures, creating a larger footprint and therefore less soil compaction.
John Deere 4930
A NEW high-capacity self-propelled sprayer from John Deere will handle the growing demands of large-acreage growers and commercial applicators who need more acres covered in less time. The high-tech 4930 sprayer is equipped with a John Deere 325-hp PowerTech Plus engine and a 1,200-gal. high-flow solution system. It features the Swath Control Pro that automatically turns the boom on and off at end rows, waterways and other obstacles. It is outfitted with the Boom Trac Pro that uses sensors to monitor the distance from the boom to the ground and then make the adjustments.
A NEW inoculant for soybeans called Excalibre stays viable on the seed for up to 120 days before planting. Traditional inoculants remain viable only a few hours to a few days. Biological Marketing's Excalibre ends the rush to apply an inoculant right before planting.
The product comes in a 1-lb. package of dry powder that treats 60 50-lb. bags of soybean seed.
THE NEW Herculex RW trait hit the market last winter as an option for corn rootworm control. The new trait provides in-plant protection against corn rootworm, including western, northern and Mexican larval corn rootworms. The Herculex RW trait is second in the family of Herculex traits; the first was Herculex I for corn borer control. Both traits are combined in Herculex Xtra and all have LibertyLink technology for tolerance to Liberty herbicide.
Yamaha 700 FI 4×4
BIG, POWERFUL ATVs draw a lot of attention. But unless you're over 6 ft. tall and weigh more than 200 lbs., high-power vehicles are difficult to handle. Yamaha took care of that by designing its Grizzly 700 with power steering. The new 700 FI 4×4 is equipped with electric power steering that makes it a breeze to handle. Our readers apparently liked the idea of an easy-to-steer ATV because the vehicle topped our list of ATVs featured in the magazine. The vehicle weighs 602 lbs. and is equipped with an Ultramatic automatic transmission and on-command, push-button 4-wd. The ATV's new fuel-injection system helps it start easier in cold weather.
The 2007 Grizzly 700 FI 4×4 retails for $7,999. Contact Yamaha Motor Corp., Dept. FIN, 6555 Katella Ave., Cypress, CA 90630, 800/889-2624, visit www.yamaha-motor.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 112.
ACCUBUILT PARTNERED with Ford Motor Company to upgrade its F-450 and F-550 chassis trucks into extra-heavy pickups. Accubuilt upgraded the factory-installed, OEM pickup box components, making the truck bed heavier by adding four under-the-bed rails to support increased cargo weight. Heavier loads can be pulled despite the unchanged motor size.
Prices range from $35,000 to $70,000. Contact your local Ford Dealer or Accubuilt, 2550 Central Point Pkwy., Lima, OH 45804, 888/324-7895, visit www.AccubuiltTrucks.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 113.
WHEN HEAVY equipment is attached to a vehicle, its front-end stability usually is compromised because the weight pulls its rear end down. The Hell-Ya Hitch Helper levels the vehicle, which keeps the rear end up and increases front-end stability. The product attaches to any 2-in. receiver hitch and comes in a single or dually design. It features easy height adjustment and comes with a one-year warranty.
Price: $599 for a single-wheel unit; $1,129 for a dually. Contact Hell-Ya Productions, Dept. FIN, 114 E. 2nd St., Miller, SD 57362, 887/851-0096, visit www.hell-ya.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 114.
Hydraulic bi-fold door
THE NEW Schweiss hydraulic bi-fold door for a machinery building drew attention for its ability to fit into an existing building because it requires only 4 in. of headroom. The one-piece hydraulic door features a self-supporting header frame and may be purchased in almost any size. All of the doors are pre-built with a special bottom truss for added strength and rigidity.
Suggested retail price is about $4,000, depending on the size of the door. Contact Schweiss Bi-Fold Doors, Dept. FIN, Box 220, Fairfax, MN 55332, 800/746-8273, visit www.bifold.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 115.
WEAK WIRELESS network signals on a computer may be boosted with a new dish adapter from Hawking Technology. The dish can boost wireless network distances by up to 300% compared to standard embedded wireless cards. The new Hi-Gain Wireless-G dish adapter uses a USB 2.0 connection to Windows-based computers. Five LED lights display information about signal strength and wireless connection quality so the antenna may be rotated for the best performance. The device supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security standards.
GROWERS MAY now subscribe to a new service for variable-rate application of crop inputs. The service, called OptiGro Imaging System, comes from John Deere Agri Services. The OptiGro system features a proprietary combination of high-tech automated cameras, custom software and the Internet to deliver digital color and near-infrared images. The images are shot from automated cameras inside a small airplane.
Participating agricultural retailers or crop consultants who work with growers and John Deere Agri Services can obtain the images quickly, usually within 48 hours, then turn them around to their clients with recommendations. “The OptiGro Imaging System is among the first to integrate the new technologies of digital imaging, computer analysis, GPS, variable-rate systems and the Internet,” notes Terry Brown of John Deere Agri Services.
A set of images costs about $2.50 to $4.00/acre, depending on service options. Contact John Deere Agri Services at 847/645-8927, visit www.JohnDeereAgriServices.com, or circle 117.
A REMOTE-CONTROLLED swing hopper allows an operator to use a handheld remote to precisely position the hopper when unloading grain and seed. Creator Ken Heley wanted an easier way to move his hopper so he created two remote controls to use to position the hopper under a trailer. The swing hopper is powered by an enclosed, fan-cooled, gear reduction motor providing accurate positioning. The hopper walker can be mounted on either side of the auger and can be attached to several different sizes and brands of augers. Easy installation requires simply bolting the motor on the auger and plugging it in.
The remote-controlled swing hopper sells for $2,350 and includes the two remotes. Contact Heley at CLWorks, Dept. FIN, 8895 160th Ave. S.E., Lidgerwood, ND 58053, 701/538-4013, visit www.hopperwalker.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 118.
LOGGERHEAD TOOLS offers a new adjustable wrench that combines the tightening power of a wrench with the easy use of a pair of pliers. The 8-in. Bionic Wrench automatically sizes and grips with its six steel grips fitting 16 U.S. and metric-sized nuts and bolts. Operation requires one-handed minimal pressure to the handle.
The 8-in. Bionic Wrench has a lifetime guarantee and sells for $28.95. Contact Loggerhead Tools, Dept. FIN, Box 83, Palos Park, IL 60464, 888/564-4374, visit www.loggerheadtools.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 119.
TWO NEW oil extractors from Pela Products won our top award for shop tools. The Pela 2000 oil extractor is a manually operated vacuum pump that sucks old oil out of small engines. The Pela Pro 14 is a larger oil extractor with a 14.8-qt. capacity.
Suggested retail price of the 2000 is $32.95. The Pro 14 sells for $109.95 to $124.95. Contact Pela Products, Dept. FIN, 7215 Cessna Dr., Greensboro, NC 27409, 888/272-7964, visit www.pelaproducts.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 120.