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New Combine Technology

02/15/2013 @ 3:22pm

As farms, yields, and bushels per acre grow so does the demand for high-capacity, efficient combines. Farmers at the New Combine Technology seminar at the National Farm Machinery Show learned what technology manufacturers are using to meet this demand header on.

Increased Performance
While manufacturers have many different approaches, they’re all focused on increasing the performance of combines. One feature New Holland boasts is the Opti-Fan System. The system automatically adjusts fan speed to the slope helping keep a constant high capacity and a consistent clean grain sample. Claas’s cruise pilot throughput control system let’s farmers choose between maintaining a constant ground speed or a constant rate for bushels per acre. Versatile, the new kid on the combine block, utilizes a rotating concave rotary system where a 360 degree concave counter rotates to the rotor at 8 rpm. Adam Reid with Versatile bragged that with this system they’ve “never plugged a combine.” I think a few farmers in the crowd took this as a challenge.

Operator Efficiency
To increase operator efficiency, Claas’s new Lexion combines have an optional C-Motion joystick. The joystick has 17 controls farmers can operate with the simple touch of a button, including header tilt and height, unloading swing, and raising the feederhouse. In addition, John Deere’s Jordan Danner spoke of the combine tractor guidance system, which allows farmers to sync the grain cart tractor to follow the combine through the field.

During harvest farmers spend the majority of their time within the four sides of their combine’s cab. Recognizing this, Case IH has made several cab adjustments to make this a more comfortable, productive time. New cabs have more storage, a portable electric fridge, cell phone cradles with power outlets, and an instructional seat that flips down into a work area.

A hot topic with all new farm equipment and combines are no exception. JDLink automatically collects information about how and where the combine is being used, including fuel consumption and machine load utilization. A service advisor remote increases productivity and reduces down time by automatically sending dealers service alerts. AGCO’s new technology includes AgCommand advanced, which shows a detailed dashboard view of vitals and settings. An app is also available that allows farmers to view a snapshot of the combine’s location and status.

Looking Ahead
And what does the future hold? Nigel Mackenzie with New Holland predicts increased automation, more information, and grain management.

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