DOT’s latest tool is a New Leader dry product box. Similar to a conventional, convertible sprayer/spreader, this precision applicator can be lifted off the autonomous platform when not in use.  |  DOT/New Leader illustration

Dry fertilizer spreader box built for DOT

The implement from New Leader Manufacturing is the second designed in less than a year for the autonomous platform

New Leader Manufacturing is building a dry fertilizer spreader box for DOT, making it the second farm equipment manufacturer to join the DOT-ready implements team in less than a year. DOT is a Saskatchewan-built robotic platform designed to bring autonomous farming to broad acre grain production. Last summer a newly formed company called Connect, which […] Read more

The Veris iScan-plus harnesses four different sensing technologies, including an electrical conductivity array, red and infrared optical sensors, a capacitance moisture sensor and a thermopile sensor for soil temperature.  |  Veris photo

iScan-plus logs four soil factors at once

Tillage and seeding implement manufacturers are giving farmers more working tool adjustment features. But how do you know what to adjust and which way to adjust it? Simply guessing is counter to the intent of these adjustments, said Veris Technologies manager Tyler Lund in a phone interview. He says Veris has just introduced a new […] Read more

Steve Heckeroth has spent 25 years installing electric motors in cars, trucks, race cars and tractors. The fact that an electric motor has only one moving part makes it energy efficient and low-maintenance according to the inventor. This 40 h.p. motor is being installed in a Ford New Holland look alike tractor from India. | Solectrac photo

Buying electric implements for the right reason

Every month, another e-tractor announcement comes across our desks here at The Western Producer. Environmental factors drive this trend, along with energy efficiency, lower maintenance, noise level and motor longevity. But even when purchase prices come down, will it ever be practical to run a big battery powered 4×4 to replace your Versatile? Steve Heckeroth […] Read more


This 20 kWh battery pack is standard on the smaller eFarmer tractor and is the optional quick-change replacement pack for both tractors. Both tractors are all-electric, not hybrids. | Solectrac photo

Solar power pulls Canadian cultivator

The first Solectrac eUtility sold in Canada was delivered to Ontario vegetable farmer Tony Neale last August, giving him plenty of time to try the electric tractor before winter set in. Until August, Neale had been running his WheelBarrow Farms operation with a 30 horsepower Kubota. There was nothing really wrong with the orange tractor, […] Read more

The all-electric 40 h.p. eUtility tractor is based on a 1z950s Ford built in India. Soletrac is able to buy the bare tractor without engine, so it can create a brand new electric tractor with no used components for North American customers. One tractor has already been sold to a farmer in Ontario.  |  Solectrac photo

Electric tractors hit Canadian fields with a whir

Two California-built all-electric tractors are coming to the Canadian market this year. While the biggest is only 40 horsepower, these are serious tractors that may foretell the future of farm equipment. The tractors are built by Solectrac, owned by inventor Steve Heckeroth, who has been doing electric conversions on cars, trucks, race cars and tractors […] Read more


As the tractor turns in the headland, note that the front tires are driving and kicking up dust but the rear tires are tagging along for the ride. Because the VarioDrive does not have a fixed torque ratio for the front axle, it can actively pull the tractor into turns, creating the so-called “pull-in turn” effect. It becomes a front wheel drive for a few moments. This reduces the turning radius in the field by up to 10 percent. |  Agco photo

517 h.p. Fendt steps into big tractor ring

With 517 drill-pulling horsepower, the Fendt 1050 Vario has put an end to the days when farmers viewed Fendts as yard tractors. Fendt is now competing with North America’s big tractor manufacturers. Featured last week at the World Ag Expo in Tulare California, the 517 h.p. model 1050 Vario emphasizes technologies designed to make the […] Read more

As more emphasis is focused on precision farming, spreader designs needed to change from ground driven, one-size-fits-all rate controls to variable rate systems, like those found originally in Europe. One of the latest entries in the market is the Loftness 12-ton spreader.  |  Loftness photo

Loftness goes bigger, more precise with spreading

Loftness has joined the growing list of manufacturers that are supplying higher-caliber fertilizer spreaders. The Hector, Minnesota, company has developed a pair of 12-ton lime and fertilizer applicators. The short-line farm equipment manufacturer has a new fertilizer spreader, the FB1210 and for farmers who apply lime, the L1230, a12-ton spreader for both lime and fertilizer. […] Read more

Operator comfort and efficiency are priorities at Fendt, which means it offers office-like interior ergonomics. Vario independent front suspension means ride is better than big 4x4 tractors with a solid front axle.  |  Agco photo

High hopes for high-horse, high-end fixed frame tractors

Kris Mayerle runs eight high-horsepower tractors on his 21,000-acre farm, with an array of bright North American paint schemes. Then, for 2018 he added a new olive green Fendt 1046. The size of his farm and variety of crops, demands a lot of tractor power. But when you compare the dollar-to-power ratio, his off-green 460 […] Read more


Praxidyn founder Doug Applegate with sons Luke, at left, and Brent focus their energy on developing products like their Mixmate Pro Inductor, in the background, to help streamline the process of filling sprayers.  |  Doug Applegate photo

Potential productivity calculation depends on sprayer fill time

A bigger implement isn’t necessarily a more cost-effective implement. With sprayers for example, the longer fill time of a bigger sprayer may cut into potential return on investment. Smaller is sometimes smarter. Size is a major consideration in any new sprayer decision. While a larger sprayer is more productive, a grower should try to achieve […] Read more

The hollow tube that runs around the circumference of the device contains synthetic oil and 0.09 inch steel alloy beads. When the truck gets up to 40 m.p.h., the laws of physics kick in and the beads all run to the light side of the wheel assembly, thus bringing the assembly into balance.  |  Centramatic photo

Balance tires and wheels with balls not beads

Out of balance tires take a toll on the machine, the operator, the fuel bill and the tires themselves. However, keeping tires in balance can also be a time-consuming nuisance. Many truckers and farmers thought balancing beads inside the tire might provide the answer, and they might have for some people. However, concern has been […] Read more