New at the Winter Farm Shows

Jim Patrico
By  Jim Patrico , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
A new portable dryer from GSI is easy on the ears, producing half the decibels as older models. (Photo courtesy of GSI)

The 2017 Farm Progress Show and Commodity Classic are in the books. Here are some of the finds for a machinery picker.


Working near a portable grain dryer all day can leave you with a buzzing in the ears. And if the dryer is near your house (or your neighbors'), it can be difficult getting to sleep at harvest time. GSI's solution to the noise pollution is a new Quiet Dryer, which produces 50% fewer decibels than comparable vane axial portable dryers.

The new dryer's sound also has a lower pitch. Vane axial fans, which most portable dryers use, create a high-pitched noise "that travels for miles and miles," says Jarod Wendt, GSI grain conditioning engineering manager.

The new GSI portable dryers are quieter in part because they have a blower-style fan system similar to GSI's tower dryers. They feature less flexible and longer blades to help the fans run more slowly while producing the same high-quality drying capabilities. A typical vane axial fan turns at 1,700 rpms; the Quiet Fans turn at around 1,000 rpms. The fans have 42-inch diameters; older GSI models have 36-inch diameters. To help with noise reduction, the fans are recessed into the body of the dryer more than 12 inches.

The larger-diameter, slower-turning fans also are more energy efficient.

The Quiet Dryer comes in 12-foot through 26-foot single-heater, single-module versions. Drying capacities range from 500 to 1,150 bushels per hour at 5-point removal. Expansion can support additional dryer modules, increasing capacity to 4,000 bushels per hour at 5-point removal.

Pricing is available through GSI dealers and ranges from 5% to 15% higher than GSI's standard vane axial portable dryers.


Last year AGCO introduced its 9800VE Series White Planters equipped with Precision Planting technologies right from the factory. Customers could get the vSet, to improve seed singulation, vDrive to create row-by-row control, DeltaForce to rapidly and automatically match downpressure to conditions and 20/20 Seed Sense to control and monitor the whole unit.

This year, AGCO will begin selling SpeedTube as a factory standard choice. That means the 9800VE Series planters can work up to twice as fast as previous models while maintaining up to 99.7% accuracy.

Sales begin in May and delivery will be in time for the 2018 planting season, says Tom Draper, manager, strategic marketing at AGCO.

SpeedTube's speed and accuracy originate with its flighted conveyor belt design, which picks up seed at the meter and delivers it right to the bottom of the seed furrow. No more relying on gravity as with traditional seed tubes. There is a shorter drop, less chance of bouncing and overall more reliability.

Speed is important, Draper says, because planting windows can be small, especially in northern regions. But interest in speed is universal because, "Weather can play havoc in spring in any part of the continent."

The 9800VE Series White Planters come in 12-, 16- and 24-row versions. Pricing will be available when planters are released for sale.


John Deere rolled out a new utility tractor at the National Farm Machinery Show. The 5R Series tractors range from 90- to 125-hp, which is a sweet spot for utility tractors. But Deere's literature differentiates them from the competition by saying these new tractors "leverage existing technologies normally found in large tractors."

Those technologies include two fully electronic transmission options, CommandQuad Manual and Command8. "Base equipment also includes AutoClutch, leveraged from our larger row-crop tractors," says Chris Lammie, global product line planner. "That means no clutching is necessary, ever. Step on the brake and the clutch automatically disengages."

An interactive display located on the right-hand corner post and a Premium Panoramic cab roof are other special features of the new 5R Series. Six halogen work lights (two front, two rear, and two side) are included as standard equipment. They can be upgraded to an LED lighting package.

Comfort also got an upgrade in the 5R Series. The tractors come with a high-back swivel seat with thicker cushions and wider armrests than those found on previous Deere utility tractors. Also new is an optional cab suspension for a more comfortable ride.

List prices range from about $84,000 to $96,000.


In-season fertilizer application is a hot topic. So is overseeding cover crops into standing corn. Loftness Specialized Equipment has found a way to touch both hot spots with its FertiLogix line of products including the RC800 high-clearance row-crop spreader.

With 44-inch clearance, the RC800 can spread dry fertilizer or cover crop long after the corn is up. Variable-rate application with hydraulic conveyor drive is an option. It uses existing in-cab controllers farmers probably already own. Positive mechanical conveyor drive, which will not do variable rate, is also available.

The RC800 has an 8-ton stainless-steel free-flowing hopper to minimize trapped material and to provide long product life. Components including the dual spinners are also stainless steel. That spinner has a range of 40- to 90-feet wide.

Wheel widths on the RC800 are adjustable from 80 to 120 inches to adapt to different row widths. It has a double-axle design with an integral adjustable-height hitch and 2.5-inch-wide leaf springs for level operation and improved ride quality on uneven terrain.

With in-season fertilizer and cover crop seeding in its wheelhouse, Loftness Senior VP of Marketing Steve Nelson says, "I think we are coming into this at the right time."

Dealer selling price typically ranges from $20,000-$25,000, depending on options.



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