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Machinery changes on the way

Gil Gullickson 06/18/2013 @ 5:13pm Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

Machinery technology literally seems to change with each day that passes by. Here are a couple future advances you may see, according to Matt Rushing, vice president of product management, global advanced technology solutions and electronic functional group for AGCO. Rushing spoke at last year’s Top Crop Farmer Workshop at Purdue University.

Diesel Changes

Diesel is the lifeblood of the machinery that powers your planting, weed control, and harvest of crops.
Yet it faces some substantial challenges in the future from federal regulators. The next round of emission legislation is currently projected for 2018-2020. Some changes you may see include:

  • Limitations on carbon dioxide emissions that will be managed by reduced fuel consumption.

  • Full onboard diagnosis of emissions may be required to be compliant with federal regulations.

  • Improvement in fuel quality standards.

  • Increased regulation of particulate matter. This is a substance that’s been pegged as contributing to climate change and negative human health impacts. It results from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass.

Still, one factor is clear, says Rushing. “Diesel power will be the main choice of power for agriculture for at least the next 20 years,” he says.

Four-cylinder engines on the move

Emissions legislation and higher costs for engine aftertreatment technology will mean smaller engines. Rushing notes that four-cylinder engines will replace some six-cylinder engines in the 100- to 130-hp. range.  Although smaller, they will have increased power density, says Rushing.

On the other end, machinery will continue to grow in size. There will be need for tractors in 800-hp. and larger. To drive these larger implements, higher torque will be needed, he says.

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