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At up to 400 horsepower, the GridCON from John Deere is a few cable lengths closer to reality in the field. Deere’s autonomous platform relies on plenty of extension cord, not unlike some mining equipment, to get it back and forth in the field.  |  John Deere photo

Deere’s new electric tractor tosses the battery

John Deere says it is plowing ahead to develop electric powered agricultural machinery and has introduced an electric cable-powered tractor delivering up to 400 horsepower. The GridCON research project and tractor offers farmers the opportunity to supply and use their own energy for field work. Although John Deere presented its first fully electric tractor, known […] Read more

Single Phase Power Solutions’ 100 h.p., single-phase electric motor is compatible with readily available single-phase utility services. At US$26,000, the unit competes well with other forms of farm power for jobs like pumping or grain handling.  |  SPPS photo

100 h.p. single-phase motor

The expense of procuring three-phase power has always been a significant hurdle for the efficiency and expansion of livestock operations, irrigation, grain-handling facilities and localized value-added processing. A Cincinnati firm, Single Phase Power Solutions, is re-introducing the world’s first 100 horsepower, single-phase electric motor. In an interview, company president Drew Abbott said that about 150 […] Read more

Tom Schwarz, right, talks to Kevin Hursh about farmers’ rights to repair their farm equipment, which Schwarz said is becoming an increasingly important issue.  |  Robin Booker photo

You bought and paid for your tractor; but own it?

The licensing agreement for the embedded software in Tom Schwarz’s John Deere tractor has him frustrated. “This contract between you and Deere defines every electronic part in the product as a licensed product and it demands total control over those parts, which of course the equipment is useless without. What Deere is effectively saying is […] Read more

The DOT autonomous agricultural robot, seen here fitted with a 120 sprayer attachment produced by Connect, begins a winter research program at the University of Arizona, Maricopa campus on Jan. 9.  |  Robin Booker photo

DOT put through its paces in Arizona fields

University of Arizona researcher works with the autonomous farming platform and DOT-ready implements this winter

MARICOPA, Ariz. — DOT and Connect have shifted staff to Arizona for the winter to continue research into robotic farming and to prepare to autonomously farm on a broad acre scale this year. DOT is a Saskatchewan-built robotic platform designed to bring autonomous farming to broad acre grain production, and Connect is newly formed company […] Read more

The latest in combine technology from makers can automatically control grain quality and flow, including Case IH’s line of Class 7, 9 and 9 machines.  |  Robin Booker photo

New system adjusts combines on the fly

The AFS Harvest Command on Case combines keeps track of a machine’s settings to improve quality and savings

MARICOPA, Ariz. — The automatic combine adjustment system available in the new Case 250 series combines use 16 sensors to control seven combine functions, says Ryan Blasiak, Case IH harvest marketing manager. “To make adjustments on the fly, it is super easy,” Blasiak said. “All you need is four button presses and you’re ready to […] Read more

At the end of the working day the Harvest tractors are parked at the power shed for re-charge from the grid. The units can also be charged by a windmill, water wheel or solar panels. Ideally, each unit comes with a back-up power cell.  |  Motivo photo

All-electric tractor headed for fields in developing countries

It doesn’t yet have a fit on prairie farms, but the 25-horsepower, all-electric tractor has finally become a reality. No, this is not a hybrid. There is no liquid fuel. Introduced to the North American public three months ago by Motivo Engineering in California, the Harvest tractor is simply a big battery on wheels. The […] Read more

In PAMI field tests last fall, a SeedMaster drill with UltrPro II, on-frame metering recorded a 3.2 percent row-to-row coefficient of variance with germination loss as low as zero percent.  |  Seedmaster photo

PAMI verifies unique metering tool’s claims

On-frame, precision seed metering on an air seeder can create low, row-to-row coefficient of variance

Canola growers hoping to squeeze out extra profit are buying planters in an attempt to get better placement while at the same time cutting back on that expensive seed. But there is an air seeder option, says SeedMaster’s Aftan Chobot, explaining that a drill can achieve nearly the same seed placement performance as a planter. […] Read more

Thinking about maybe clearing a little land this winter?  The 310 h.p. Cummins tucked into the new FTX300 should yield all the power you’ll need to trim the trees.  |  Fecon photo

Tracked tree trasher makes short work of tall trunks

Thinking about clearing a little land this winter? Well, just to get the blood pumping, consider the new 310 horsepower Fecon FTX300 tree-mulching tractor. The Stage 5 Cummins QSB 6.7 delivers 310 h.p. to provide owners with plenty of power to drive the aggressive 5,600 pounds per sq. inch, high-flow, 115-gallons-per-minute hydraulic system and still […] Read more

The KIWI Aerial Utility Vehicle weighs in at 1,200 pounds and has a 50-gallon payload and a 30-foot spray boom, which is not mounted. | KIWI photo

Big UAV: Robot makers enter ag spray market

Robots that have crept out from the fighting pits have spawned a massive drone that will soon take on agricultural pests. The KIWI Aerial Utility Vehicle weighs in at 1,200 pounds and has a 50-gallon payload and a 30-foot spray boom. Adam Bercu and Charles Guan, veterans of combat robotics, spearhead the project. “If you’ve […] Read more