Strip-Till Farmer editors racked up the steps at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky., this week. Here are some of our top takeaways from the show. 

New Planter Attachments

The Martin-Till booth was one of our first stops of the week. Steve Martin, president of Martin-Till, gave us an up-close look at the company's new hydraulic row cleaner system.

Bruce Freed from Ag Focus was also on hand to explain why the company's Fast Trac closing system and Planter Pro row cleaners have been so popular with conservation-minded growers.  

Beck's Reveals 2023 Practical Farm Research Insights

The Beck's Practical Farm Research (PFR) team revealed key findings from their most recent test plots. Here are a few of the "PFR Proven" strategies they shared: 

  1. Early corn planting pays. However, the penalty for delayed planting with corn may not be as severe as it is for soybeans. Achieving a uniform stand is more important than the calendar date. Planting soybeans early is one of the most important factors in driving high yields. Early planting increases node count. 
  2. In most soils and most situations, any pair of spiked closing wheels is better than the standard 2 solid rubber closing wheels.
  3. Placing nitrogen on both sides of the row has proven to increase corn yield by improving root growth on both sides of the plant.
  4. By splitting your nitrogen applications for corn, you reduce the risk of loss from early-season rainfall. 
  5. The most profitable fungicide application timing for corn is made at the VT/R1 growth stage. The R3 growth stage is the key time to apply a fungicide in soybeans. Soybeans have reached the R3 growth stage when there is a 3/16-inch pod at one of the top 4 fully developed nodes. 
  6. Narrower soybean row widths capture more sunlight, especially when planted earlier, and help shade the rows for improved weed control. 

Strip-Till in the Spotlight

A cavalcade of strip-till equipment manufacturers were in the house. Check out some of the latest strip-till solutions from Land Luvr, Yetter, Harvest International, Zimmerman, Kuhn Krause and DigiFarm below. 

Trimble Introduces New Smart Spraying System

Trimble's Bilberry smart spraying system made its U.S. debut at the show. The company acquired Bilberry in 2022, and since then they've been working to bring the technology to market. 

"It's a camera-based system that ultimately enables you to save up to 90% on your herbicide application by only spraying where weeds are present in the field," says Cory Buchs, senior product director for Trimble. 

The system can be installed on existing sprayers. Trimble is currently testing the system in 10 countries, and hoping to make it available for customers in late 2024 or early 2025, Buchs says. He also filled us in on Trimble's automatic stream switching, which addresses some of the rural connectivity issues that many no-tillers face today.

One more side note about smart spraying — on our way down to the show we stopped by DeMotte, Ind., Deere dealer Castongia Tractor and noticed a new See and Spray machine on the front lawn. Sales manager Chris Meding tells us it arrived at the dealership last month, and they're currently in the process of demoing it for potential customers. 

Cutting-Edge Technology on Combines  

The New Holland CR11 combine and the Case IH AF11 combine arguably drew the biggest crowds during the event, as attendees made sure to get their first look at the new machines. The CR11 combine is equipped with the Intellispread radar system that automates the spreading control to ensure full and even residue coverage behind the combine, regardless of wind effects, crop or moisture conditions. It also has a new automated deslug procedure, which guides the operator through an unplugging procedure in a way that clears the combine in minutes, rather than hours — without requiring the operator to exit the cab. 

It was harder to get an up-close look at the Case IH AF11 combine (we did our best in the video below), as attendees weren't allowed to cross the roped off area or check out the cab. Our sister publication Farm Equipment's Facebook post about the new combine has over 2.7K likes, 94 comments, 214 shares and counting — the most interaction on any post our crew made throughout the week. 

 AGCO Technology on Display 

The AGCO booth, run by local dealer AgRevolution, debuted plenty of new offerings, including Fendt's 30-foot momentum planter equipped with SmartFrame technology, a Vertical Contouring Toolbar and Load Logic. The Momentum planter can provide a 5-bushel/acre yield advantage over the competition, the company says.

The company also debuted a couple new aftermarket kits. SimplEbale retrofits onto new and existing Massey Ferguson 1800 Series Small Square Balers. The upgrade's interface provides guidance such as a flake-by-flake indicator that provides immediate feedback so operators can adjust ground speed without waiting on a bale to tie. Fendt's IDEAL Air Blaster kit was also on display. It provides in-cab, one-button removal of debris from the combine's feederhouse. In the video below, we caught up with the engineers who helped build both systems.

360 Rain in the Spotlight 

360 Yield Center owner and 2023 National No-Tillage Conference speaker Gregg Sauder delivered multiple presentations about his company's autonomous irrigation system, 360 Rain. Attendees learned about the potential ROI of 360 Rain and how it's boosting yields by over 65 bushels per acre in some fields. 

 We'll have more videos and stories from the National Farm Machinery Show in the coming days on  

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