For 32 years, members of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) have recognized and honored the most innovative advancements in engineering in the areas of agriculture, food and biological systems with the AE50 Award. The products selected save producers time and reduce cost and labor, all while improving user safety.

To be eligible for the award, each development —which could be a component, machine, structure, system, end product or procedure — must embody the application of new technology or the innovative application of an older technology. The technology must be new to the entire industry, not to an individual company. Each year an international panel of industry experts in technology, design and product development gather to evaluate the entries and select up to 50 products for recognition.



The Android tablet-based Smart-Apply Intelligent Spray Control System was developed over the last 10 years by the USDA Agricultural Research Service and leading universities. Smart Guided Systems LLC has a 5-year exclusive technology transfer agreement for this LiDAR-based system and has commercialized it. The Intelligent Spray Control System can be adapted to most models of air blast sprayers in less than 8 hours. Published research reports have concluded that the Intelligent Spray Control System provides the following performance improvements while providing equal or better crop protection: 47-73% reduction in spray consumption, 40-87% reduction in spray loss beyond tree canopies, up to 87% less airborne drift, and 68-93% reduction in spray loss on the ground.

MacDon has introduced the R216 SP, a new 16 foot rotary disc header for self-propelled windrowers. This header features the widest conditioner rolls of any 16 foot self-propelled disc header on the market at 129 inches (328 cm). Unique EvenFlow header geometry eliminates internal augers and allows more even crop conditioning, especially in heavy conditions. Two conditioning options are available: steel inter-meshing rolls that are ideal for high-volume crops that require aggressive feeding, or polyurethane rolls that deliver a crimp/crush action to gently condition leaves and delicate stemmed crops. The product was designed for all-around performance in cut quality, capacity and windrow formation. In-cab adjustment of the rear baffle allows operators to adjust the width of the windrow on the go, and configurable disc rotation patterns allow the header to be optimized across a wide range of conditions.

The SpotOn Quantum PAR Light Meter is a handheld meter for quickly and accurately assessing the quantity of light present for plant growth. This meter was specifically designed to work under both natural and artificial light sources, such as LEDs. Accurate measurement of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) has been problematic for some light meters under LED light sources due to their narrow wave bands. The SpotOn Quantum PAR Light Meter has been designed to excel under LED light sources with an instant spot measurement mode, a scan mode for quickly averaging light over an area, and a daily light integral (DLI) mode for accumulation of 24-hour light totals when left in place. The meter features a long battery life, water-resistant design, is pocket-sized for easy carrying and includes an integral stake/stand for in-place DLI measurements.

The Furrow Underground System combines a soil moisture probe with an underground wireless device. Prior solutions were limited by radio technology and required aboveground components. RealmFive’s wireless technology allows a wireless probe to be completely buried, keeping all parts out of the way of fieldwork, with no wires to trip over in vineyards and orchards or get caught by machinery in row crops. The Furrow Underground System saves substantial time during planting, as users can install it ahead of time in the off-season. The patent-pending underground wireless device transmits data to an in-range gateway or store-and-forward fetch using RealmFive’s R5 Core connectivity. Batteries power the system for 5 years. This buried soil monitoring system reduces recurring labor costs by minimizing sensor installation and removal each season. Furthermore, the sensors gather temperature, soil moisture and electrical connectivity data year-round, not just during the growing season.

Tractor Implement Management (TIM) is a cross-product and cross-manufacturer ISOBUS solution that allows an implement to control certain tractor functions and optimize the work process. What is new is the implement sends information to the tractor via standardized and secure communication, which leads to optimization of the overall system. The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) has taken the basic idea of the ISOBUS Class 3 solution and made decisive progress with a new infrastructure for secure communication. This standardized solution with digital certificates is the only way to ensure manufacturer-independent cooperation between tractors and implements for maximum brand flexibility. With TIM, growers work more precisely, effectively and economically while simultaneously increasing quality. Field operations become simpler and more convenient as TIM takes over tiring repetitive tasks.

This turret-style nozzle body fits within TeeJet’s QJS system of stackable nozzle bodies. For installation of the turret near the bottom drop, a dual check valve body was created by overlapping two independent flow passages. Additionally, this nozzle body features two opposing outlets downstream of one check valve, which creates a fully reversible design. The complete assembly includes three new plastic parts: the QJS D main body, the QJS turret body, and the QJS end cap. All of these parts can be combined with parts from TeeJet’s current QJS Series, such as QJS end bodies, QJS middle bodies, and QJS extender bodies. Due to the number of combinations available, the QJS Series is the most robust, customizable and stackable nozzle body solution on the market. 

Plant Stand Analyzer (PSA) is an accurate high-throughput plant stand mapping system for large-scale maize breeding programs. PSA is a motorized 4-row or 8-row ground system that can produce a stand detection accuracy of 97% on average at travel speeds of up to 14 mph by using high-speed reflective laser proximity sensors. PSA works under any lighting conditions and offers a large operational time window that spans from the V4 to the R1 growth stages of maize plants, as long as the platform’s ground clearance permits. PSA counts plant stands in real-time. With the use of its accompanying mapper software, it can generate a rich set of georeferenced and plot-based data analytics, including population, interplant spacing, gap length, stalk size, stalk inclination angle and number of doubles and tillers. 

The Fusion720 Xtractor is a combination inline and single-bale wrapper. This new wrapper consists of an inline bale wrapper with modular mechanisms (retractable supporting rods, sliding and pivoting rollers, bale kicker and more) that can wrap bales individually, so the wrapping can be optimized according to the operating factors (storage site, crop quantity, etc.). Individually wrapped bales can serve as perfectly sealed ends for inline tube wraps, all with the same machine. The Fusion720 Xtractor can wrap up to 180 bales per hour in inline mode and up to 50 bales per hour individually. Both wrapping modes are fully automatic and are controlled with a new color display. The Fusion720 Xtractor also features a plastic film cut-and-hold system, a plastic film and tensioner shield, and the new Anderson Smart-Start concept to prevent bales from sliding on the ground at the beginning of a tube. 

The Nexus Seat and TLS Suspension System is comprised of a highly scalable and configurable upper seat structure combined with an advanced adjuster system and TLS (toggle link swing) air suspension. Unique features include a seat structure that allows multiple seat cushion widths and backrest heights, an operator restraint system that is integrated into the structure, a modular adjuster and isolator system that provides a variety of option levels, easy-access suspension controls, and advanced TLS air suspension that uses swing toggle scissors to replace the typical roller and track in the lower suspension structure for improved performance, stability and durability.  

Woods has developed a unique set of ripping, gripping and sawing capabilities for the bucket, thumb and dipperstick on the new BH100 Groundbreaker Backhoe. Serrated, sawtooth edges on each of these components allow the backhoe operator to efficiently dig in a wide variety of soil conditions, grub out roots to remove stumps and reposition odd-shaped, oversized materials. Coupled with a long reach-to-digging depth ratio, powerful digging and swing forces and high-capacity buckets, the BH100 is a highly capable backhoe attachment for compact and utility tractors. Mounting to the tractor is accomplished with either dedicated four-point subframes or the three-point Saf-T-Lok limiter hitch. 

The Dura-ABS DI Automated Direct Injection is the newest and most cost-effective system on the market today. The DI allows the operator to increase profitability by decreasing sprayer fill time by up to 80%. The Dura-ABS DI directly injects multiple chemicals simultaneously into the carrier flow. This reduces operator error and herbicide exposure, in addition to providing recirculation and eliminating cross-contamination. It also allows the operator to multi-task while accurately dispensing repeatable batches. The Dura-ABS DI can reduce labor and machinery costs by optimizing loading efficiency during narrow application windows, providing a return on investment in less than 9 spraying days. 

FieldNET Pivot Watch is a universal remote irrigation monitoring system that features a small self-contained telemetry device with sensors, GPS and cellular communication, powered only by solar and a battery. This design makes it an ultra-low cost, do-it-yourself installation that farmers can add to their center-pivot systems. FieldNET Pivot Watch removes the cost barriers that prevent many farmers from using pivot telemetry. The design requires no electrical connections and works on any pivot, including electric and hydraulic pivots. It is the most cost-effective and universal irrigation monitoring solution available. It allows farmers and their agronomic advisors to easily monitor pivot’s shutdown, travel direction, travel speed, water application amount, position in the field and water pressure. 

The ZR5 Self-Propelled Baler provides an unprecedented level of automation, operator comfort and maneuverability. By automating the baling process, the ZR5 reduces the number of manual operations involved in making a bale to just one step: all the operator needs to do is push “go.” An independent suspension system, with the cab positioned over it, gives the operator better handling in the uneven ground conditions that naturally come with baling hay. In field mode, the zero-turn capability helps the operator minimize skipping windrows. Operators can spend less time maneuvering in the field and more time baling when compared to conventional tractor-baler combinations. The integrated quarter-turn technology allows the bales to be placed parallel to the windrow, saving time when picking up the bales. 

Laforge DynaTrac is a universal guidance interface between the tractor and an implement for 3-point, 2-point and trailed equipment. Tractor guidance using GPS has well-known benefits, and DynaTrac allows an implement to accurately trail the tractor to fully leverage those benefits. DynaTrac addresses two common scenarios when tractors operate with implements. In high-traction operations, such as tillage, the implement trails quite well behind the tractor, but the tractor struggles to stay on the intended line of travel. In low-traction operations, such as planting, the tractor follows the line easily, but the implement is unstable and deviates, even on flat ground. DynaTrac is applicable to any type of row-crop farming. It can also be beneficial in situations where a consistent overlap is desired for optimal efficiency and to limit environmental exposure.

The new Claas Terra Trac is the first OEM track system on a self-propelled forage harvester. This new series of forage harvesters was designed around the track system. The new tracks have a special hydraulic system for hay pickup and turning that pushes down on the center bogie wheels to create a wheel-like effect that does not scuff the stubble or damage the headlands. The benefits of tracks include a better ride in rough terrain, faster ground speeds in furrow-irrigated fields, improved handling in muddy conditions and less soil compaction. The rear tire is taller and the tire inflation gives the machine a long flat footprint in the field. The frame was lengthened by three feet to keep the turnability similar to that of a wheeled machine.

The Wind Tunnel in a Box is a portable spray demonstration device that allows users to see real-scale, on-site, visual and tactile simulations of how wind affects the risk of spray drift. This is a critical issue as applicators struggle to maintain spray efficiency without impacting neighboring crops and landscapes. The Wind Tunnel in a Box demonstrates different spray application variables, such as nozzle type, boom height, wind speed, spray pressure and even adjuvants. It can operate continuously or in timed mode for accurate comparisons between treatments. It is large enough for groups of people to easily view the demonstrations, and users can even enter the windstream for a tactile experience. The device is portable, can be transported easily in a van or pickup truck, and sets up in 30 minutes. 

Valley Irrigation has announced improvements to Valley GPS Guidance, providing growers with the latest advances in competitive GPS corner technology. Valley GPS Guidance uses power line carriers (PLCs) to communicate RTK GPS correction signals. This technology improves the reliability of communication with the corner and eliminates the need for data radios. Built-in terrain compensation reduces over-steering on rolling terrain or high ridges, resulting in straighter and more consistent wheel tracks for less crop damage. Valley GPS Guidance is compatible with all Valley control panels and corner models. It also easily retrofits into existing John Deere/NavCom or Trimble multi-frequency or single-frequency systems.

The new Claas Jaguar 900 Series Harvesters have many new features that represent advances in engineering. Cemos Auto Performance is an automatic system that combines cruise control with Dynamic Power to give maximum output, when needed, while saving fuel when maximum output cannot be achieved. Industry-only hydraulic pre-compression improves chop quality and also reduces vibration and noise in the cab. The new CEBIS with a touch screen is the most easy-to-use monitor in the industry. In combination with the new armrest and CMotion handle, comfort can be achieved for 18-hour days. The Auto Fill system tells operators where the spout is and can adjust for windage during rear-filling so that the crop always reaches the transport vehicle. 

Candidus’ Adaptive Lighting Controller can control third-party greenhouse lights, including LEDs, high-pressure sodium, and metal halide lights, to ensure that the crop receives the grower-determined amount of light each day. Using a light sensor and a proprietary algorithm, the Adaptive Lighting Controller determines how much supplemental light is needed at any particular time. The algorithm automatically provides supplemental light when the crop is best able to use that light, such as when little sunlight is available. The controller can precisely control dimmable lights and turn non-dimmable lights on and off. Using an industrial microcontroller for computations and communications, the controller is capable of controlling any third-party lights, regardless of the type of signal required by those lights. 

With a redesigned cutterbar profile and reduced height, the Optidisc Elite cutterbar on Kuhn disc mowers and mower conditioners delivers outstanding performance to meet customer demands to harvest high-quality hay and forage. Building on the proven Optidisc cutterbar, this new cutterbar retains differential disc spacing, ProtectaDrive disc bearing stations, and patented silent block cutterbar frame mounts. The Optidisc Elite cutterbar features a narrower height, enabling short cutting heights of 1.5 inches (40 mm) with a flat 2.5 degree cutterbar angle, reducing the amount of dirt and ash that can be incorporated into the windrow at steeper angles. The redesigned profile also increases the area in which the free-rotating blades cut the crop, ensuring a clean cut even in the most challenging conditions. 

The Grain Bin Door Safety Latch prevents closing of a grain bin’s outer door unless the inner load-bearing doors are properly closed. It is designed to protect persons near the outer door from becoming buried by grain if the outer door is opened while it is holding back grain. The inner doors, which are comprised of locking panels, provide structural support for the bin and help bear the load of grain. However, when the outer door is closed, it may be difficult to determine if the inner doors are properly closed. There have been instances of persons being injured or killed by grain spilling out of the outer door because the inner doors were not properly closed due by operator error, and the outer door burst open. The new Grain Bin Door Safety Latch ensures proper closing of the load-bearing doors.

The new Claas Orbis 750 is a 10-row 7.5 m (25 ft) forage harvester head used to harvest an extremely diverse range of crops, including corn, milo, and sorghum. It features a revolutionary design using a pressed, hardened, and rounded metal frame that allows the head to unfold into working position or fold into transport position in just 15 seconds. The special design of its underside and its ability to adjust its tilt to remain parallel to the ground ensures short and even stubble across the entire working width. The crop stubble is consistent, clean, and shredded at the end for faster breakdown. The combination of large and small drums, with V-shaped crop flow, funnels the crop to the center for smooth feeding and excellent crop quality. The very low starting torque makes for easy starting and can be engaged at full throttle. 

The Cyclone Air System Controls are used to control a pneumatic system that is moving grain through a tube, most commonly from a dryer to a cooling or storage bin. The control system uses sensors and algorithms to maintain a constant level of pressure in the pneumatic system, resulting in even grain flow, lower energy usage, higher grain quality, and reduced likelihood of a plugged tube. The automated system constantly adjusts the factory-installed dynamic bleed valve or optional variable-frequency drive to optimize the air pressure and energy savings. If a plug occurs, the system can clear it automatically. The Cyclone Air System Controls are used with a dedicated touch screen or with the touch screen of a Sukup dryer equipped with QuadraTouch Pro software. In either case, the system can control up to five independent air systems and can operate each system in automatic or manual mode.

The Fetch communications device extends the range of in-field wireless devices, bridging the gap between in-field RealmFive LoRa end devices and LoRa-to-cellular gateway communications edge devices. Unlike a typical wireless repeater, Fetch acts as a gateway while providing store-and-forward capabilities. R5 Core wireless does not require line-of-sight between devices. Users can install sensing devices below the canopy, and Fetch will receive and send data from miles away, even through dense foliage. Fetch stores and retransmits data at full power, making it especially effective for long-range data transmission compared to a simple repeater. When running on solar power, Fetch is ideal for remote, drop-in networks. 

Labor is the biggest challenge facing the golf industry. The 2700 / 2750 PrecisionCut™ and E-Cut™ Hybrid solve this challenge by providing cut quality, regardless of operator. The passcode-protected TechControl display allows supervisors to have better control of operator performance. Electronic frequency of clip, standard on all models and industry exclusive on the PrecisionCuts, ensures consistent results throughout the course. Smart, electronically-controlled engines feature Eco mode, which automatically reduces engine speed while mowing, saving up to 30% in fuel and 3 dB(A) in sound levels. A three axis lift system provides excellent cutting unit contour following, and an innovative Cleanup Pass Mode allows for crisp, accurate perimeter cuts. The open platform design features a new grass catcher for easy installation and removal with superior retention.

Sinclair’s customized Large Label V6 labeling system is designed to label larger fruits and vegetables (cantaloupes, honeydews, watermelons, squash, etc.) that are conveyed at high speeds. This design is a modification to our current V6 single-lane system, which is typically used for labeling smaller produce like apples, avocados, kiwifruit, etc. The modifications improve the V6 applicator to manage larger labels, and a new, scaled-up V6/RM6 cassette was developed to accommodate and dispense the larger labels. Automation of the process means increased productivity and efficiency, less human interaction with the produce for lower risk of contamination, and lower labor involvement and cost. The Large Label V6 includes four new label sizes, with the largest being 3 inches by 2.4 inches. The machine is capable of labeling commodities at speeds ranging from 120 to 400 fruits per minute.

These new corn heads include a variety of features compared to previous models. Dual-sided deck-plate adjustment ensures that corn stalks remain centered on the knife-rolls for consistent feeding and minimal loss. Optional down-corn augers mounted on top of the end dividers prevent lodged stalks from hair-pinning on the dividers, which would cause excess loss and require downtime to remove manually. The auger speed can be optimized in-cab to quickly adapt to changing conditions. Optional tall-corn risers prevent lodged stalks from hanging up on the end dividers. More durable poly snouts with stainless-steel wear strips increase the operating life for reduced downtime and repair costs. Additional autocontour sensors improve the speed and accuracy of the head’s terrain compensation. Finally, the main row unit gear boxes and non-greasable knife-roll bearings increase uptime by reducing the number of maintenance points. 

This system pasteurizes raw foods such as eggs, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, and meats to diminish harmful pathogens to undetectable levels. This is accomplished without changing any of the raw food’s characteristics, so oysters remain alive, eggs are still raw (i.e., egg whites can be whipped), and tomatoes remain ripe and juicy with much higher lycopene content. This transformative technology allows consumers to enjoy their favorite raw foods with no concerns about Salmonella, E. coli, Vibrio, Norovirus, or other unpleasant and possibly deadly illnesses. The system is completely customizable for applications ranging from the largest industrial users to local restaurants. It is safe and effective when used as directed and requires between 3 to 8 minutes to process almost any food. With increased incidences of foodborne illnesses, this technology is appropriate for any food processing or service facility. 

MySukup.com is a new cloud-based platform for controlling Sukup grain handling and storage equipment. Users can set up a MySukup account to monitor and operate their grain drying, moving, and storage equipment from anywhere using a smart phone or personal computer. Setup is easy and does not require advanced skills. Users can invite others to see equipment status data and can set permissions appropriate for each user, ranging from view-only permission to permission to make changes to all equipment and operating parameters. The system can also send user notifications on operating status or failure of connected devices. This allows prompt resetting or repair of equipment, preventing situations that can become hazardous. Troubleshooting of operation problems is simplified in MySukup.com by allowing the sharing of data between the customer, dealer and, if needed, customer service representatives at Sukup Manufacturing Co. 

The OptiSense belt stall indicator on the new KUHN Merge Maxx MM 890 continuous twin merger ensures maximum productivity in hay merging operations. The new OptiSense indicator alerts the operator if the merger belts begin to slow, helping prevent plugs and costly downtime. The exclusive system uses the ISOBUS monitor to alert the operator when the machine is reaching maximum capacity, and it will stop the belts and pickups if a belt stalls. This reduces the amount of crop plugged in the machine, as well as reducing the possibility that the machine will be damaged as a result of a stalled belt. This innovative feature helps even inexperienced users operate the merger at peak efficiency levels. 

Case IH has introduced a Curve Compensation option for its Precision Air 5 Series Air Carts. This optional feature automatically adjusts the seeding rate across the drill width to deliver more uniform seed distribution on both the inside and outside of curves. This technology option independently controls the individual electric motors of the AccuSection metering system on the air cart, as the tractor and seeding system travels through a curve. For example, if the drill is turning left through a curve, the left side of the drill will have proportionately reduced seeding rates, and the right side of the drill will have proportionately increased seeding rates. This keeps the overall seeding rate more consistent throughout the field, resulting in reduced weed pressure, reduced self-thinning, and ultimately improving crop yield and potential profit. 

The new Lexion 8000 and 7000 Series Combines have been redesigned to increase productivity by 10% (over the previous 700 Series) through the use of faster, more convenient changeover between crops and conditions, greater throughput and grain handling capacity, and more powerful drive train systems with a standard 25 mph top speed on all models. New in-cab controls allow the operator to shift between low and high speed ranges on both the threshing system and chopper from the safety and comfort of the cab, as well as separately vary the threshing area and separation area to match the crop and conditions more efficiently. These additional controls enable the Cemos Automatic combine optimization system to autonomously optimize performance faster with more accurate results. 

The Wing Wheel System for the Case IH Early Riser 2160 Split-Row Large Front-Fold Planter is an industry-first feature that maintains continuous ground contact with the 47-row 15-inch planter’s tandem wing wheels in both the planting and transport positions. This allows greatly improved weight distribution between the tractor drawbar, the planter wing wheels, and the planter center section carrying wheels during road transport, rather than having all the weight on the tractor drawbar and planter center section carrying wheels, as is typical with competitive 47-row 15-inch planters. The significantly decreased weight on the tractor drawbar during transport reduces strain on both tractor and planter, reduces or eliminates the need for heavy-duty tractor drawbar support, and generally improves road transport characteristics of the planter. Conversion from the planting to transport positions and back is accomplished from the comfort of the tractor cab with an in-cab display.

The Flip state sensor uses RealmFive’s vibration monitoring technology to identify when a machine is on or off. Upon installation, Flip adapts to a particular machine’s vibration threshold using a self-training protocol. Installation is extremely quick and easy: first remove the battery pull tab, and then mount Flip, magnetically, to the machine to be monitored. In about five minutes, Flip completes a series of verification steps and self-training. Flip then wirelessly connects to an in-range gateway, which sends data to the R5 Cloud. Users can set alerts when the monitored machine changes state from on to off, or vice versa. A number of applications are envisioned for Flip, including monitoring of irrigation pumps and grain bin fans. 

The LS475 is a versatile liquid application system capable of applying liquid nutrients and crop protection products. The dual-pump application system provides the widest available application range, a dedicated high-capacity filling system makes reloading efficient, and the widest factory-installed spray boom reduces working time in the field. Automated application controls and integrated dual-purpose boom plumbing improve rinsing and reduce water consumption. The LS475 is fully integrated into the John Deere Operations Center for simple management of prescriptions and application records. Mounting the LS475 on the John Deere F4365 application vehicle provides a smooth ride and industry-leading transport speed. This combination results in the most productive and efficient floater available today. 

Sinclair EcoLabel is a food-safe, certified compostable fresh produce label. Sinclair EcoLabel meets EN13432, a European standard for compostable and biodegradable packaging. To meet this standard, four different tests need to be conducted by an accredited third party: heavy metal and fluorine analysis, biodegradation, disintegration, and plant toxicity analysis. In addition to meeting EN13432, Sinclair EcoLabel is certified by TUV Austria and holds OK compost Industrial and Seedling certification. Sinclair EcoLabel was designed to be compatible with Sinclair high-speed labeling equipment for use on a variety of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, kiwifruit, pears, peppers, tomatoes, etc., that are conveyed at high speeds on sizers and graders.

The MowerPlus Smart Connector is a compact device that wirelessly transmits J1939 CAN data from select John Deere Residential Lawn Mowers to a mobile device. The smart connector can communicate fuel level, battery level, and hour meter information to the John Deere MowerPlus app for real-time and historical machine management.

The SideWinder Ultra armrest is the third evolution of New Holland’s SideWinder interface. It places all of the tractor’s key controls in a single logical location. The controls are grouped for easy identification and for ergonomic reasons, where the driver will be looking while using the controls. Groupings include engine and transmission, three-point hitch limits, media, and climate control. A comprehensive number of functions are located on the force-based multifunction handle for precise control of the tractor’s speed and end-of-row operations. The SideWinder Ultra is a fully customizable operator interface. Controls can be easily configured by choosing functions from a pick list on the armrest’s new IntelliView 12 touch monitor. Hardware customization includes choosing between an advanced joystick or remote levers and positioning of the elbow pad. Third-party tablet or phone mounts can also be attached to the SideWinder Ultra.

The Axion 900 Series Tractors break the 400 engine horsepower mark with no derate or boost logic, providing pure power for all applications. The Axion 900 Series ranges from 320 to 440 rated engine horsepower, with 445 maximum engine horsepower. The 8.7 L engine, coupled with a four-mode CVT transmission and efficient PTO and final drives, provides up to 91% of engine horsepower available at the PTO shaft for more efficient use of power and fuel. Designed similar to the Axion 800 Series, the straight-through PTO drive system provides the most efficient use of power for applications such as hay cutting, baling, forage chopping, feeding, manure spreading, and other PTO-intensive uses. 

The U-Trough Extended Center Sump has sumps on both sides of the gearbox that drives the sweep auger in a grain storage bin. Having a sump on both sides of the gearbox improves sweep performance by collecting grain faster than traditional sumps, which have only one passageway from the center of the bin floor to the unload system below. Once the sweep reaches the backside of the bin, it tends to pile grain around the top gearbox until it can flow into the sump. By placing a sump on the backside of the gearbox, grain does not have to flow over or around the gearbox to reach the sump, which significantly improves sweep performance.

R5 Click provides a comprehensive tool for managing an agricultural operation from a smart device or computer with a single, unified app. R5 Click uses patent-pending CardView so users can navigate through previously disparate sensing devices and data in a single, geospatial platform. Users can view historical and current data on a slide-out contextual menu for a variety of sensors, including soil moisture, soil temperature, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, water level, equipment status, and center-pivot irrigation status. Users have full control over their farms and fields, and R5 Click helps wireless system administrators proactively monitor device data like battery health and device signal strength through the Device Health dashboard. The default notifications and customizable alerts notify users of specific issues to help them manage their operation efficiently and effectively. 

The John Deere N500C Series Air Drill integrates the latest in seeding technology to provide small-grain producers the most productive, accurate, and smart seeding tool in the industry. Building on the 1990 CCS Air Drill, the N500C Air Drill was designed to give operators easier meter access, a larger commodity tank, and the latest in integrated technology. The N500C features electric-drive meters that offer improved seed population control in four sections, and variable-rate seeding capabilities with SectionCommand. Optional tank scales allow ActiveCal for on-the-go seeding calibration from the cab. RelativeFlow blockage offers row-to-row seedflow monitoring. TruSet allows operators to set opener down force pressures from inside the cab as soil conditions change. The SeedPlus app allows calibration of meters, tank scale calibration, and weight monitoring of tank scales from a tablet or mobile device. ProSeries openers allow improved seed placement accuracy with reduced maintenance.

Ground Speed Management was first introduced on the TG/T8000 tractors, where it brought CVT logic to power-shift tractors. Transmission shifting was based on a required forward speed target rather than an engine speed target, and the benefit was considerable fuel savings. Ground Speed Management II is a control package that brings a new and intuitive feature to New Holland T6 tractors equipped with the Dynamic Command transmission while maintaining the fundamental GSM target of increased efficiency. This second generation of Ground Speed Management introduces a vehicle operating interface and speed control system similar to that used on the Auto Command CVT, as well as interacting with key gearbox and engine features to achieve and maintain the operator’s requested speed at the most optimum operating point, reducing fuel consumption and improving efficiency with significantly reduced operator input. 

The all-new M & R Series Commercial Walk-Behind mowers offer unsurpassed productivity and operator comfort. Improved ergonomic design of the steering controls includes recessed operator presence levers during machine operation and spring-loaded neutral locks to reduce operator fatigue and support full-day mowing by professional landscape contractors. The R Series delivers an industry-leading 8.5 inches of frame clearance, enabling these mowers to easily navigate over curbs without damage to customer property or the mower. In addition, optimized weight distribution gives operators increased maneuverability over varying terrain. The ground speed was also increased up to 7.5 mph while maintaining cut quality, so more acres per hour can be mowed in less time.

The Paddle Sweepway is a grain bin sweep with an open head section. The skeleton-like design allows grain to pass through the head section, which increases the speed of bin unloading and reduces the likelihood of center sump plugging. Grain bins are emptied by first opening a center sump that allows grain to flow into an under-floor removal system, such as an auger or conveyor. Traditional paddle sweep head sections are covered by metal plates that tend to block the flow of grain into the center sump, in some cases resulting in plugging, which can be very costly and time-consuming to remedy. This new sweep combines the open design of a traditional auger sweep with the increased sweeping efficiency of a paddle sweep. Angled support bars block and redirect grain clumps to the sides of the sweep, helping to keep the center sump open. 

The Case IH AFS Connect Magnum Tractor provides state-of-the-art electronic architecture with improved connectivity and new in-cab features that producers need for high-performance field operation. The new AFS Pro 1200 display allows operation of all tractor and implement applications and puts controls within easy reach at one convenient location. The new semi-active cab suspension and improved front axle suspension provide the operator with optimal ride comfort during long hours in the field. The redesigned cab interior provides extensive storage space and power outlets, allowing operators to stay connected through personal electronic devices. These and many other features make the new Case IH AFS Connect Magnum one of the most comfortable and profitable high-horsepower row crop tractors available.

John Deere Quik-Knect addresses driveline attachability with a simplified and universal approach that can be used on PTO drivelines and scaled to other power-driven units. Too often, operators must access a hard-to-reach area without visibility and then hold back a locking collar and rotate the driveline. The novelty of John Deere Quik-Knect is its simplicity and compatibility with a large range of products. John Deere Quik-Knect provides significant benefits for the coupling of PTO-driven implements, including no PTO spline alignment and hold-back requirements, automatic locking when the tractor PTO is engaged, integrated locking and coupling so that no external restraint is required, improved operator ergonomics, and increased operator safety. John Deere Quik-Knect is compliant with existing driveline standards and does not require modification to existing shielding. 

The New Holland P-Series Air Carts introduce an automatic leveling and agitation system for air carts equipped with a fourth tank. This automatic system ensures that fine seed or inoculant, or other products with a small particle size, adequately cover the meter rollers during near-empty tank conditions. This smart system uses a mechanical leveling device powered by an electric motor, and bin level sensors to automatically move the product in the needed direction. This system uses software to control the device, alert the operator in the cab, and automatically perform either as a leveler or for agitation when leveling is not required. The automatic feature provides maximum productivity in situations when product is running low in the fourth tank, and it reduces the likelihood of product bridging. 

Kim Schmidt is the Executive Editor of Farm Equipment and the host of Ag Equipment Intelligence’s On The Record. An award-winning writer, she worked 7 years in business-to-business trade media before joining Farm Equipment in 2012. She is a journalism graduate of Marquette University.

4 Row Walking Behind Rice Transplanter

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