The orange-colored Raven sensor pointing down is one of five sensors measuring ground speed and distance from the soil or crop canopy. The CNH plug at the top of the photo is the Aim Command Flex Nozzle control valve that controls the spray tip.  |  Raven photo

Bigger booms require field manners

The bigger your boom, the more difficult it is to maintain the correct distance from nozzle to target, and also the more difficult it is to avoid serious boom damage. It takes a pretty sophisticated boom height control system to keep the boom level and at the right height, all the while travelling 15 m.p.h. […] Read more

Pichon manure spreaders are bolted together so the galvanized components won’t be compromised when repairs are needed.  It’s simply a matter of using wrenches instead of torches and welders. The tongue has a leaf-spring suspension anchored to the frame.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

Manure spreader avoids galvanization flaw

Manufacturer built machine out of individual components that are replaceable, thus avoiding damage caused by welders

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Manure spreaders cost a lot and do a lot of hard work, but are often sold for scrap metal early because of corrosion from 3-2-1 NPK fertilizer and high ammonia levels. While most agricultural implements today are powder coated, including most North American manure wagons, a few manufacturers galvanize their manure spreaders […] Read more

Strongfield Environmental Solutions held a field day in Alberta at the beginning of September to showcase drone technology and to lay the groundwork for a working group. The group will focus on fulfilling Pest Management Regulatory Agency research requirements needed to allow drones to apply crop protection products.  |  Wade McLean photo

Work starts on drone spraying rules

The PMRA does not allow crop protection products to be applied by aerial drones; experts say more research is needed

When the Canadian Aerial Applicators Association got wind that Don Campbell had been approved by Transport Canada to emit fluid from a drone, the group decided he needed to be stopped. “Just because Transport Canada has approved them as an unmanned aircraft for flying, that does not mean that they have been approved by the […] Read more


Bev Biggeman has learned a new language since she was put in charge of a combine.  |  Robert Horne photo

The vocabulary of combines

Finally, at age 67, I have found my niche in life: combining. I love everything about it, I am reasonably good at it (still have a lot to learn); and it takes place in my favourite season — fall. Combining is the realization of all the hard work that has gone into the year’s cropping, […] Read more

Although the Omnis FT was designed for fields that have already had crop residue taken care of, the machine can be fitted with optional coulters to handle trash.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

Horsch debuts new primary tillage tool

As better corn headers and straw choppers leave a cleaner surface and eliminate the need for residue-busting tillage implements, cultivators can get back to the job of performing primary tillage. That’s the premise behind Horsch’s new Omnis FT primary tillage line being launched this fall, says company rep Jeremy Hughes. He said the Omnis FT […] Read more


Changing metering plates from 2,000-5,000 seeds up to 45,000 takes a quarter turn of the fastener.  | Robin Booker photo

From corn to canola, new planter streamlines

Decatur, Ill. — The largest Great Plains planter equipped with the company’s new 5000 series row units was on display at Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. The PL5800 is a 40-foot, bulk-fill with a telescoping tongue, which enables the planter to stay close to the tractor when working in the field. It also allows […] Read more

The side-shift hydraulic cylinder allows the tractor driver to shift the packer three feet left or right for safer packing along the edges of a bunker. The largest Max Pack is 13 feet wide and weighs 10,000 pounds when filled with water. The rollers at the two corners allow the packer to work right up against the bunker wall without causing damage to the bunker or the packing equipment.  |  Ron Lyseng photo

Tighter packing equals better silage

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — The tighter you pack your silage, the longer it will last and preserve its quality. It all comes down to squeezing out as much air as possible. A dedicated roller behind the packer tractor squeezes out more air and packs the silage tighter, according to Zuidervaart Agri-Import in Mitchell, Ont. Zuidervaart was […] Read more

The Euro Bagging company says its system preserves silage for up to 18 months, due in part to the fact that it designs and builds its own triple-layer bags, which include protection from solar UV radiation. |  Ron Lyseng photo

Czech silage bag with foil preserves feed 18 months

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Bagging silage may have advantages over bunker storage, but that edge disappears in a hurry if the bag is ripped and the content exposed to the atmosphere, water or rodents. A company in the Czech Republic has an answer to the problem — simply build a better bag. Euro Bagging builds silage […] Read more


Rain kept a lot of combine operators out of their regular office this fall. Charles Renny spent his down time testing this Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab. The cabin in the Mega Cab is actually 20 inches longer than on a normal Quad Cab.  |  Charles Renny photo

This pick-up truck goes big — really big

Because of rain, I had trouble getting quality time in my regular dusty green fall office. So to fill the days, Chrysler Canada sent me a Ram 3500 Mega Cab in premium trim with the Cummins diesel coupled to a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission. Mega Cab really is mega. The cabin is 20 inches longer […] Read more

Forward Robotics’ fixed-wing hybrid drone, the U7AG, takes off and lands vertically and has a base station that automatically fills and recharges it, greatly reducing the labour to operate the system.  |  Forward Robotics photo

New drones dealing with spray drift

Vertical takeoff and landing, conventional aerofoil, high capacity UAV unmanned aerial vehicle unique design

Drones designed to spray broad- acre agricultural crops usually use fine droplets with a low water-to-chemical ratio to try and make up for their limited fluid carrying capacity. This greatly limits their use, because extremely low water volumes are off-label and fine droplets are prone to drift, where they might take out a neighbour’s crop. […] Read more