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January 2010 Archive for Machinery Journal

RSS By: Aimee Cope, Farm Journal

The Machinery Journal blog is your place to find the latest machinery updates, industry news, and interesting tid bits.

800 lb. of Iowa Dirt and Armor All

Jan 29, 2010

When you’re walking around a machinery company’s exhibit at an industry event, you expect to see plenty of dark, richly shined tires. The smell of Armor All is apparent.


But at Ag Connect Expo, AGCO didn’t hide the dirt. In fact, they put 800 lb.+ of soil (imported from Iowa) right among the shiny machines.


In all, the folks at AGCO went out into the field in the Iowa countryside, and collected 3200 lb. of soil, crop residue, corn stalks and root balls. Then they assembled some 800 lb. of the stuff to make an interesting display at Ag Connect Expo to highlight the Sunflower 7600 Series strip-till machine introduced this past fall. (complete with anhydrous simulated by cotton…)


I spoke with someone from AGCO who says to not be surprised if their booth at National Farm Machinery Show has a similar box but this time with a White planter row unit instead of the Sunflower strip-till set up.

The World’s Largest Free-Span Bin

Jan 27, 2010

Near Arthur, Iowa, Sukup Manufacturing has erected a 135’ diameter, 24-ring commercial grain bin with a maximum capacity of 1.2 million bu.


The peak height measures 131’, and although most bins in this size range have some sort of center support structure the 135’ Sukup roof is supported by a

heavy-duty internal rafter and purlin system, as well as external roof rings. The roof is rated for 30,000 lb. evenly distributed with a 40 psf ground snow load.


The sidewalls on the Sukup 135’ Commercial Bin are beefed up. Laminated sidewall sheet seams ensure a strong bond, and grade 8.2 bolts are used throughout.


In addition to standard full-length stiffeners, the Sukup 135’ Commercial Bin also features intermediate anchor brackets that serve as stiffeners for the bottom ring of the bin and also enable the bin to be unloaded in a single pass. Wind rings provide increased rigidity to the structure when it is empty.

Great Opportunity for Families Who Loves Green Tractors

Jan 22, 2010

Does your family bleed green? It’s not uncommon to see grandpa, dad and junior all wearing the same machinery company’s logo on their ball cap. And if for your family, that color must be green, then this may be the opportunity for you. 

The folks who are putting together the 2011 calendar, “Generations to Come,” are seeking farm families who would like to be featured.


To be considered for the 2011 calendar, family farms must meet specific criteria: The farm needs to have been in the family for at least two, but preferably three or more, generations, with the expectation that it will stay in the family for future generations. Families must farm with John Deere agricultural equipment, with previous generations that also used it. Farms should also be located in a picturesque location with scenic farmland, rolling hills, fields or pastures near a pond or stream, or feature an interesting building, original farmhouse, or other unique land formation. In addition, families must be willing to have a professional photographer on-site for up to two days for a calendar photo shoot.


For more information on the “Generations to Come” calendar, or to submit your farm family for consideration,

visit or call (866) 736-6556.


Do You Agree With These Numbers?

Jan 19, 2010

A recent poll on Top Producer’s homepage asked farmers if they plan to expand their machinery fleet in the coming year.


Here were the responses:


40.4% said yes


47.2% said no


12.4% said maybe


After what some call a blockbuster year for machinery sales in 2008, the past year was hard pressed to match up. Many are saying they forecast a rebound in 2010 in the ag equipment industry, but this poll doesn’t match that optimism.


If the word “expand” was replaced with “upgrade”, “adopt precision technologies”, “make a necessary trade-in”, (or all of these phrases just mentioned) would that have changed the results?

Looking for Ag Connect Coverage?

Jan 14, 2010
AgWeb and Farm Journal editors have been and will continue to cover all of the events and news around Ag Connect Expo.

For all of our news articles, photo slideshows, and videos, visit:

Another Source Direct From Ag Connect

Jan 13, 2010
Farm Journal is pleased to partner with Texas Tech grad student Katie Allen for her journey to Ag Connect Expo 2010.

Katie will be blogging here:

Check out her good reporting!

And thank you to AEM, organizer of Ag Connect Expo, for helping Katie have a positive experience.

Direct from Ag Connect Expo

Jan 11, 2010

Our team of editors will provide you the next best thing to being at the first-ever Ag Connect Expo!

Be sure to check back throughout the week as we'll be posting our coverage to

We'll include photos from the trade show floor, news stories from the global gathering, and coverage from the multiple educational and co-located events.

Mercedes Puts Spotlight on Its Farm Machinery Vehicle

Jan 06, 2010

Low fuel consumption, fast transport speed and super-sized towing capacity. Sounds like a real farm workhorse, doesn’t it?


However, there isn’t much that’s conventional about the Mercedes Unimog. For starters, consider its name.


But this vehicle is able to stack up against other farm machinery in the field, and Mercedes is hopping to find success in putting a spotlight on the Unimog. With their stronger presence in Europe, Mercedes isn’t currently pursuing the North American market. But the Unimog has a history of U.S. distribution ranging from Case tractor dealerships (pre-Case / International Harvester merger) to a brief contract with Freighliner for import and service.


The versatility of the vehicle is provided by up to four attachment and mounting points, and the vehicle comes standard with a dump bed.


Its traction is aided by a four-wheel-drive, and all four wheels are the same size. The Unimog can be outfitted with front and rear PTOs, and its hydraulic flow is up to 70+ gal./min.


You can see a promotional video here. The Unimog is shown doing everything from hay and forage tasks, to on-road transport, to light tillage, to spraying applications. I think the most impressive part of the video is at the end with the Unimog mounted with a sprayer and showing its suspension performance across a bump track.

Can You Help ID This?

Jan 05, 2010

We had a reader send in a request to help identify what the original function of this item is…




As he said, “It’s cast iron, about 5 inches across and about an inch high. It makes a great trivet, but we don’t think that was its original function.”


Can you help? It’s been sitting in the kitchen of the reader’s wife’s grandmother for at least 35 years.

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