At least four emerging trends could be spotted at the Farm Progress Show, the annual display of farm equipment and services held for 3 days this summer near Decatur, Ill.
In one notable trend, chopping corn heads are gaining popularity among growers who intend to plant corn after corn and need to accelerate stalk decomposition. Most manufacturers at the show had a product of this sort, and they consisted of either rotary flails or chopping stalk rollers installed on the corn head. Both achieve a satisfactory result, but at the expense of up to 50 percent more corn-head power consumption.
The Gerringhoff 16-row chopping head also folded to an 8-row header width, and this could become an additional trend, especially in areas where larger heads have historically dictated removing the heads for transport.
Another equipment line to watch is mulchers, tillage tools designed to chop and lightly incorporate residue. I see more of these coming to market to add to current manufacturers such as Great Plains with its Turbo-Till and Summers with a similar tool.
Case IH has a new one on the frame of a disc, using rippled blades rather than concave blades. These tools are again targeted to growers looking to plant corn after corn, and also to no-tillers who need a way to accelerate soil warming or level fields in preparation for spring planting.
The movement toward strip-tilling is a third trend, with many new products at the show…