No one who goes to a farm show sees everything, even after three days, but you can sure try. The 2012 National Farm Machinery Show was a true "sole searing" event (catch that spelling). And while I found my fair share of new stuff, there were a few items of note I'll highlight here - just a very few.
First, Geringhoff is trying to rewrite how a combine corn head works. The company has already been recognized for its folding corn head with its chopping design. But now they're thinking in new ways, thinking that you don't have to really worry about the rows when you pull into a field. That's right, row-independent corn harvesting.
The Independence System (see the picture in this blog) uses a unique "capture" system to pull the corn into the rows and get it harvested. Farmers watching video of the prototype at work commented on how easy it would be to open a new field with the system. It caught our attention and chances are you'll want to know more once manufactured models make to field demos.
Funny thing, a few years ago at the Farm Progress Show we had to bump up our speed limit to take into account the needs of vertical tillage equipment. Wonder how our show team will manage a corn harvesting system that can cut on the diagonal. We'll let you know.
Second, and this too is combine related, Michelin has new tires. The company has launched CerexBib tires with their VF and IF high-flexion sidewall technology aimed squarely at the combine market. They tell me that these tires are specifically designed for the big harvesters, not a re-fit of a sprayer tire. And here's something interesting, they're thinking about stalk damage, because the new tires have a tread designed to push stalks away.
The idea of that high-flex tire design is that you can put more weight on them, but keep tire pressure lower. That reduces compaction and boosts footprint traction. It's the first type of product for the combine market. You can see from the pictures that this is a fat tire for sure.
The folks at Kubota have pushed up the mid-size tractor volume with the Grand X series - four tractors with larger cabs, a new 24x24 powershift transmission and the latest emission technology. The M135GX is the largest in the line at 135 engine hp, 118 PTO hp. The transmission is interesting because it has four speeds below 1 mile an hour.
The creeper option on the M Series has been popular in the past because buyers in Kubota's key markets do go-slow things like plant transplants or run a snow blower. That new transmission may mean they don't have to add the creeper option. That remains to be seen. But that new, roomy cab is definitely designed for more Western posteriors, and with its new instructor seat, you'll get added value there too.
Those are just a few items that crossed my path, there were dozens more. As with all big farm shows, there's plenty to see, why not add to the list; let me know what you saw by commenting below.