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Seven nitrile seals protect the bearings on the new Tillextreme bearing pack, developed by SKF in concert with Great Plains Manufacturing to solve bearing problems with its machines working in the Black Earth region of Russia. | SKF image

Seven lips seal the deal on new bearing

SKF and Great Plains Manufacturing have collaborated to design new seals for tillage and seeding equipment. The Tillxtreme features an un-precedented seven sealing lips to reduce bearing contamination and downtime. Compared to the previous SKF three-lip seal, Tillxtreme provides 100 percent more contamination exclusion. The new bearing is maintenance free to eliminate daily relubrication, so […] Read more

The opposed piston engine in this Ford F-150 provides a good fit for the engine bay and offers fewer moving parts than a tradtional engine.  |  AchatesPower photo

Opposed pistons turn engines inside out with two pistons per cylinder

The opposed piston engine employs two pistons meeting TDC in the middle of a common cylinder for explosive power

Farm equipment will someday be powered by a truly revolutionary opposed piston (OP) diesel engine with fewer parts, developing more power than your current conventional diesel. The OP engine is also smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient, reduces normal diesel pollutants, brings nitrous oxide down to near zero and should cost less than a conventional diesel […] Read more

Opposed piston engine developed 140 years ago

Opposed piston engine developed 140 years ago

There’s nothing new about opposed piston diesel engines. An industrial electrician I’ve known for 50 years worked on one of the giant engines at Churchill, Man., a few years ago. Pat Barry recalls the engine was in a 60-foot tugboat used in pushing and pulling grain ships around at the terminal. “This was a three-cylinder, […] Read more


Ztractor is building three models of electric-powered, robotic tractors. This is the smallest offering, the Bearcub-24, which has approximately 30 horsepower, a 540 p.t.o. and a category 1 three-point hitch. It may be available in Canada next year.  |  Ztractor photo

Small electric, autonomous tractors build big-time

A California startup is building three models of autonomous tractors fit with electric drive trains, with the smallest already in production and deliveries to American farmers expected this year. “The Bearcub-24 model has a 24 kilowatt-hour battery, and it’s the equivalent to let’s say around 30 horsepower,” said Bakur Kvezereli, founder of Ztractor. Each model […] Read more



The DJI Agras T20 drone sprays water as part of an in-crop demonstration. The rotors force the spray to a wide width.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Drone spraying research promising

Autonomous agricultural spraying with unmanned flying vehicles is being refined for practical prairie applications

CAMROSE, Alta. — Spot spraying weeds in a field, killing a tough patch of tansy in a pasture, beating back brush along oil and gas well sites are all potential locations that would be ideal for drone spraying. But there is plenty of research required before spraying with drones gets beyond a good idea. In […] Read more

At up to 76 feet wide with up to a 1300 bushel commodity tank, Bourgaults is now offering a monster one-pass planting setup that can be used with either a coulter or hoe style drill, that can also be quickly switched back to use the air cart’s volumetric metering system. | Bourgault photo

Prairie planting precisely takes tools

Canola seed is susceptible to being chewed up by a poorly set air seeder. It isn’t surprising multiple equipment manufacturers have developed seeding systems that can both singulate canola seeds and still keep up to the logistical demands of broad-acre oilseed production. Some air seeders used to seed canola are lucky to reach a 70 […] Read more

Krone said the design allows the machine to have three different densities for a single bale. | Screencap via krone-northamerica.com

Round crown gets belted build

Chains and slats were standard in round balers decades ago, but most manufacturers shifted to continuous belts. Germany’s Krone held out against that move, citing the reliability of chain systems to form a bale under nearly any forage harvesting conditions and the reliability of the all-metal design. The company will continue to offer its chain […] Read more


Bringing three-phase into the bin yard can cost $250,000 to $1 million. For an investment of $25,000 to $35,000, a farmer can buy a used three-phase 150KW genset like this from the Alberta oil patch. | Wall Grain photo

Consider power demands when system expands

Cost to acquire three-phase power on the farm can range from $200,000 to $1 million. However, those with the do-it-yourself instinct can take matters into their own hands. “There are deals to be had if you need three-phase on the farm,” said Jayde Klassen with Wentworth Ag in Winkler, noting the slowdown in the oil […] Read more

Used and new farm equipment sales are running at record rates of growth.  Producers pent-up demand, increased farm size along with higher than average farmgate returns are causing many producers to seek equipment changes. | File photo

Farmers are buying equipment, used and new

Double digit sales growth in farm machinery is beating 2008 numbers as pent up demand and incomes rise


The agricultural equipment market continues to show strength coming off a very strong 2020. “The March sales numbers, this is year-to-date, we’re seeing substantial double-digit percentage growth in all categories,” said John Schmeiser, chief executive officer of the Western Equipment Dealers Association. “These numbers are unprecedented and surpass the largest numbers that we’ve ever had […] Read more