Manufacturers strive to offer productivity, efficiency

2014-08-21T07:30:00Z Manufacturers strive to offer productivity, efficiencyBy Ann Marie Edwards, Illinois Farmer Today Illinois Farmer Today

Eastern Iowa farmer Bob Bowman upgraded his combine after this past season.

He was in search of a newer machine that would be more productive and efficient for his operation.

“I was looking for more high technology with more options on the unloading auger and the grain tank hydraulic-fold covers,” says Bowman of DeWitt.

“We had a 2009 combine. We were interested in upgrading for features that would help keep us running longer and more efficient.”

Bowman purchased a used 2013 Case IH 8230 combine with low hours.

When it comes to farm machinery, manufacturers talk about efficiency and productivity, which is music to farmers’ ears. The longer farmers stay in the fields without downtime, the better it is for their bottom line.

For 2015, new lines of tractors, combines, sprayers and other new equipment are designed to be efficient and productive for any size operation.

“The new AGCO equipment we are introducing is focused on these attributes and helps increase both efficiency and productivity,” says Steve Koep, vice president of commercial excellence for AGCO.

“At AGCO, we also work to continuously improve our product quality, which keeps equipment in the field longer and increases the return on a farmer’s investment.”

AGCO is introducing three new tractor series this fall, including the Fendt 700 Series, Massey Ferguson 7700 Series and Challenger MT500E Series. They each feature improvements that help farmers get more done with less.

“AGCO is also investing heavily in continuously improving product quality. In the summer of 2013, we added a new state-of-the-art finish and coatings center at our manufacturing facility in Hesston, Kansas,” Koep says.

“The new facility provides more-thorough, consistent and durable finishes on all of the hay and harvesting equipment manufactured there.

“We also just added a new quality-assurance testing facility and procedures to our Jackson, Minn., facility. The new tests ensure each tractor to come off the line performs at or above engineering specification and is field ready.”

Advanced technology systems also are helping to maximize the productivity and precision of farm-application equipment operated by farmers or professional applicators.

From boom controls and automated steering, to variable-product rate control and other innovations, the objective is to make the application of fertilizer and crop-protection products as efficient and accurate as possible to help maximize crop production.

“Farmers today depend on accurate and timely applications for the success of their operations,” notes Mark Sharitz, director of marketing for AGCO Application Equipment.

“Smart-application technology plays a key role in helping growers and custom applicators be more precise and productive, which can translate into higher yields and profitability.”

Michael Langemeier, a Purdue Extension ag economist, says farmers have plenty to consider when they decide whether to invest in farm machinery.

Langemeier wrote “Crop Machinery Benchmarks,” which highlights two of the most-important factors farmers should consider when evaluating the economic efficiency of their farm equipment, which include crop machinery investment per acre and crop machinery cost per acre.

“Farm managers should calculate these benchmarks each year and then monitor them over time,” he says.

“Understanding your machinery economics has great value in potentially lowering costs, increasing output and throughput, and in making decisions such as whether to own, lease or custom hire machinery.”

Review his case studies at

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