New Ag Tire Options Help No-Tillers Match Their Machinery to Field Needs

Choices abound as farmers address stubble and soil compaction issues and work to optimize tire pressures for both field and transit operations.

Pictured Above: GETTING BIGGER. As farm machinery and implements keep getting larger, the need for newer technology IF and VF tires is expanding. The tires’ increased flexion capacity allows farmers to carry greater loads at lower inflation pressures than standard radial tires. This helps reduce soil compaction and lowers the risk of tire damage

No-tillers often perform a balancing act when it comes to ag machinery and implement tire selection. 

With several older and newer technologies available — including standard radial, improved flexion (IF), very high flexion (VF), cyclic field operation (CFO) and high flotation — growers have multiple options to address trends affecting recent tire designs: soil compaction, stubble damage and the increasing size of farm equipment.

Whereas farmers once required mostly high-traction tires, now a larger footprint that provides both traction and flotation is the key requisite. They also want tires to help reduce compaction and stand up to stubble in corn fields populated with jagged stalks produced by high-yielding, genetically modified hybrids. 

Other considerations may also include lowering fuel consumption and the total cost of ownership.

“Every year, farm machinery is getting heavier and faster and those big pieces of equipment still have to roll across the fields,” says Scott Sloan, product manager for Titan International. “You don’t want to be running on pizza cutters.”

Compaction Hurts Yield

In general, soil compaction is something to be avoided, but specifically most discussion about compaction centers around pinch rows, those rows directly under the tractor and planter. This is…

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Mark mcneely1

Mark McNeely

Mark McNeely is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. His previous experience includes 25 years in industrial engine journalism and marketing. Mark holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.

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