The fourth annual AgProfessional Editors' Choice New Product of the Year Award winners are being announced here. These 10 products represent the best, newest, most innovative products introduced in 2010 for the ag retailer market and the consulting industry.
The editorial staff selected 10 new products that we think offer the greatest advances in technology or chemistry. We think these innovative products deserve the highest recognition as 2010 New Products of the Year.
We based the winning selections on the facts and information provided us in news releases, background materials and media presentations. We do not solicit entries for the list of Top 10 new products. We gather information without regard to the financials already achieved but do evaluate what we think is the long-term sales potential and impact on agriculture.
Whittling down the hundreds of new products introduced to 10 is no easy task. A couple hundred new products and product upgrades were announced during the year with news releases and various methods of contact by companies and their public relations agencies. Each year some of the products stand out as exceptional and as potential industry changing. The new products had to be announced during late December 2009 through mid-November 2010, which allows time to pick the winners for publication in this end-of-year issue of AgProfessional.
Critical to our decision-making process was the news releases and information packets provided by the companies. The Top 10 product companies recognize the potential to impact purchase decisions by providing interesting and stimulating information in various manners.
The winning companies/products were introduced with stimulating information that showed each company's excitement about introducing a revolutionary product or a major upgrade and specifically targeting the audience of AgProfessional magazine — crop consultants, farm managers and ag retailers. The Top 10 products have the potential to earn income or be sold by the magazine's target audience; therefore, products targeted only to farmers and producers do not fare well in our evaluation to be one of the winners.
The judging was done by Richard Keller, editor, and Colleen Scherer, managing editor. The product award winner announcements originally mainly appeared on www.AgProfessional.com, most of them in the new product section, not in the magazine; most also were announced in either AgProfessional Weekly or Dealer Update weekly e-newsletters.
We congratulate all of the companies nominated and will proudly present each of the company winners with an award plaque to commemorate their winning a 2010 Editors' Choice New Product of the Year Award.
The next step in our award program is reader voting for the Readers' Choice of Top New Product of 2010. Vote now! Deadline for voting is Jan. 5. Descriptions of each winner, from company supplied information, is included in alphabetical order by company name.
AGCO Application Equipment, TerraGator
The new TerraGator models 6303 and 8303 from AGCO Application Equipment have been designed to make this flotation applicator even more productive with key features such as the innovative AGCO Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), AGCO Sisu Power 8.4 liter diesel engine and cab improvements.
"In the application business, productivity is priority one, and nothing else is a close second," said Mark Sharitz, director of marketing for the AGCO Application Equipment Division. He further suggested the new TerraGator 6303 and 8303 will help customers achieve more production and realize more efficiency.
The AGCO CVT is significantly more efficient than any mechanical transmission and has been used in more than 150,000 off-road agricultural vehicle applications worldwide since it was first introduced in 1996.
Conventional shifting transmissions are limited by their number of gears. The AGCO CVT fills in these gaps and actually provides an infinite range of speeds from creep to transport. There’' no shifting of gears, no jerks and no delay in traction or power. Instead, the AGCO CVT allows the operator to set and consistently maintain any forward speed at any engine rpm for precise control, outstanding work quality and maximum productivity at all times.
The TerraGator Management System (TMS) is the "intelligent" link between the engine and transmission that sustains peak performance. After the operator selects a specific ground speed, the TMS works in tandem with the engine and transmission to find and maintain the optimum setting of power and fuel efficiency for that speed.
The cab features a new layout designed to enhance operator comfort and increase productivity. The cab's six-post design and more than 60 square feet of glass provide outstanding visibility. The adjustable floating armrest conveniently holds all functions needed for field operations and is attached to the right side of the seat so it moves with it. The joystick can be used to manage ground speed, and it serves as a convenient location for the master apply switch to control application functions. The semi-active deluxe seat is now standard on all TerraGators. The seat allows for real-time automatic dampening force to match field terrain and operator preference
AutoCopter Corp., AutoCopter
This summer, AutoCopter Corp. introduced its AutoCopter for agricultural tasks. There are different AutoCopter models of remotely controlled helicopters to hover when needed and to provide a dramatic mobile aerial platform for surveillance, photography and sensor management.
The introduction marked the company's first venture into the U.S. agricultural market, although the technology and data-gathering potential has been proven and tested for various non-agriculture functions in more than 60 countries.
The AutoCopter is designed for commercial use, easily carrying several types of cameras (Digital, HD Video, Infrared, etc.) and provides generous flight times. It is a fresh approach to the traditional way of capturing images.
The ability to fly 25 or more feet (up to 500 feet) above land provides information that cannot be gathered from a 3,000-foot plane ride or satellite images. As the helicopter flies over the fields, it sends images live directly to a PC while recording for future reference.
All models of the AutoCopters have video capabilities and GPS tracking. These mini-helicopters have the ability to fly exact flights and repeat them the following week, month or year because of the GPS components, thus providing unique information to help farmers and ranchers.
The AutoCopter features provide the ability for ag professionals to create their own NDVI maps for data gathered from 50 feet above their crops. The pixel resolution of 0.22 inch allows operators to see six data points on one strawberry, not six rows of the strawberry patch from an airplane or a satellite. The detail helps save unnecessary labor, fertilizer and/or weed control to help increase yield.
Infrared Video as well as HD Video cameras are available. Cameras record directly while live video is sent to the laptop in the field. Operators are able to survey and precisely target areas with video. GPS information readouts can be seen live on a laptop screen, including latitude and longitude, altitude, direction of flight and distance from home. On some models, 50 "waypoints" can be programmed to allow for flying a grid with infrared cameras. It will fly itself while the operator watches, but changes in direction and altering the flight can still be done via the laptop computer.
An AutoCopter will cost less than $2 per hour to operate, using half a gallon of fuel per hour. It can be in the field all day, and it only takes five minutes to unload, put the blades on and start flying.
Bayer CropScience, Capreno Herbicide
Bayer CropScience introduced Capreno post-emergence corn herbicide for the 2011 season.
"Growers ... are already familiar with Laudis herbicide, which launched nationally in 2008," said Jeff Springsteen, Bayer CropScience marketing manager for selective corn and soybean herbicides. "This year, we wanted to introduce these growers to a new mode of action that will help them eliminate weed pressure and increase yields."
Capreno is an example of a product that Bayer CropScience was able to introduce because of the company's new safener technology. The combination of active ingredients had the potential to damage corn, but the safener technology assures complete crop safety.
Although an increasing number of weeds have become resistant to several herbicide chemistry classes, growers can be assured that even the toughest weeds have shown no tolerance to Capreno — thanks to its combined grass and broadleaf control active ingredients that deliver complete control all season long.
“Capreno features multiple modes of action to control more than 65 grass and broadleaf weeds in corn," Springsteen said. "It combines HPPD and ALS-inhibitor modes of action to control harsh weeds." For example, it controls fall panicum, foxtails, pigweeds, waterhemp, common lambsquarters, velvetleaf and crabgrass.
With multiple modes of action, Capreno is strong enough to achieve one-pass post-emergence weed control, yet flexible enough to fit into a two-pass program.
Capreno goes to work within hours after application. Growers will begin seeing its reliable weed control power within days versus the weeks it may take other post-emergence products, Springsteen said.
Because Capreno can be applied from the V1 through the V5 growth stages, it can fit into any post-emergence herbicide program, said Jim Bloomberg, Bayer CropScience product development manager for corn and soybean herbicides.
Bayer CropScience, Poncho/Votivo
Votivo biological seed treatment is the most revolutionary complete nematode protection to be placed on seed. It will only be available in combination with Poncho insecticide seed treatment in 2011, Bayer CropScience has announced.
New Poncho/Votivo seed treatment from Bayer CropScience received registration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on corn and soybeans in 2010.
"We have successfully combined the No. 1 corn seed-applied insecticide with a truly innovative new approach to protect seedlings and roots from nematodes. For growers, that means improved plant vigor, fierce yields and a positive return on investment," said Poncho/Votivo corn product manager Kerry Grossweiler.
Votivo is a specific bacteria strain that colonizes corn roots upon germination and creates a biological barrier of protection that nematodes can’t break through, said product development manager Jennifer Riggs.
It is a truly unique product, Riggs noted. Votivo protects against a wide range of nematode species, gives consistently long-lasting nematode protection for healthier root systems, is very stable in formulation on the seed and in the root zone and is safe to the seed with its own excellent product-safety profile.
"There are about a dozen nematode species that can cause major problems in corn," Riggs said. "Poncho/Votivo provides protection against nematode feeding — regardless of the target nematode species."
Depending on the seed company, the Poncho/Votivo combination will feature the higher-powered 500 rate (.500 mg of a.i. per kernel) of Poncho 600 seed-applied insecticide or 1250 rate. The corn growers get control of wireworms, black cutworms, white grubs and other early-season insect pests in addition to nematodes.
Company and third-party trials since 2007, planted across widespread geographies and field conditions, showed Poncho/Votivo averaging a 6 to 8 bushels per acre yield gain over Poncho 250.
GVM Inc., E350 Prowler with AgriWave
The E350 is GVM's new strongest and most powerful application machine. It features 32 inches of crop clearance, 11-ton dry and 1,800-gallon liquid capacities, and 1,120 pounds of torque to the ground at 1,500 rpms with a Cummins QSL8.9 350-horsepower engine.
The unit also features an all-new Air Ride cab with a larger windshield that provides the operator with full vision of the front tires, and a new Variable Coil Spring Suspension design to absorb more shock and ensure a comfortable ride.
The E350 Prowler features a new electronic monitoring system that displays machine diagnostics and gauges on a simple touch screen. Each E350 Prowler also comes standard with AgriWave by GMV AgJunction built in and ready to use. AgriWave is designed to be an easy to use, completely Web-based system for machine management aimed at increasing productivity.
AgriWave is brand new technology that allows the owner to: view the machine's position, monitor engine and transmission data and flow control, and delivers the ability to wirelessly send prescription files and retrieve and process as-applied files with up-to-the-minute accuracy through the internet using the Web site www.agriwave.com.
Maintenance logs are kept online, and GVM service can remotely dial into the machine for troubleshooting.
Raven Industries, Slingshot
Raven Industries introduced Slingshot as a new approach to precision ag powered by a major leap in connectivity that delivers advanced RTK correction signal technology and high-speed Internet. Slingshot combines this with online services and Raven hardware to give operators and growers the power to do their work at an astounding new level of accuracy, simplicity and consistency, the company announced at introduction.
Slingshot features a base station that acquires GPS data for the local region in which it is situated (usually at a Slingshot dealer's headquarters or from public CORS networks). The station distributes the data as a RTK correction signal through the Internet, via mobile cell phone towers.
With a tough, industrial-grade Slingshot Field Hub in their cab, equipment operators applying seed, fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide can receive a repeatable correction signal — well over 30 miles beyond the Slingshot Base Station, the original source of data.
The Field Hub also puts a user — and the field computer and all the data it moves — online. No matter how remote, an operator is connected to the rest of the world in real time. With that connectivity comes Slingshot Online, a suite of online services that helps business owners manage data with ease and efficiency — no matter where they or their vehicles are. They can store their entire field and application data in a secure database to access anytime, anywhere with a simple Web browser.
Managers can track vehicle locations, make on-the-fly changes to application files like prescription maps, and monitor, collect and analyze data from all their assets through a secure Slingshot account (that can update in near real time). And they can do it on any laptop, desktop or mobile computer in any country, any town, any time zone in the world. They just need Internet access to get online.
Slingshot Online connects vehicle operators to Slingshot's support team, based in North America, without ever leaving the cab. If there's an issue, Raven can diagnose it, fix it or walk that operator through it.
Syngenta, Agrisure Artesian
Syngenta Seeds Inc. unveiled its Agrisure Artesian technology, the new brand name for its range of water-optimized hybrids and the newest addition to the Agrisure family of high-performance trait products.
A limited quantity of hybrids with this technology, which has demonstrated the potential to deliver 15 percent yield preservation under drought stress, will be available through the company's Garst, Golden Harvest and NK product brands for 2011 planting.
Agrisure Artesian technology enables corn plants to use available moisture more efficiently, resulting in higher yields on drought-stressed acres including dryland and limited-irrigation farms in the western Corn Belt. Growers on rainfed acres in the central and eastern Corn Belt likewise can use Agrisure Artesian technology to help stabilize yields in years of inconsistent rainfall or in fields with variable soil types and moisture-holding capacity. In years of ideal rainfall, hybrids with Agrisure Artesian technology have demonstrated no yield penalty compared with hybrids without the technology.
"We are pleased to announce Agrisure Artesian technology, the industry’s first water-optimized corn technology, to help growers preserve yields when moisture is limited due to lack of rains, poorly timed rains or limited-irrigation situations," said David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds.
Syngenta created Agrisure Artesian technology through years of advanced molecular breeding to begin identifying and mining the many genes from the corn genome responsible for managing water use in corn. Syngenta's first-generation water-optimized hybrids combine multiple genes from this pool, all of which were identified as helping corn plants manage available water more efficiently. These first Agrisure Artesian hybrids are not genetically modified hybrids but were developed through breeding that resulted in multiple genes for optimized water use being bred into the final hybrids.
Agrisure Artesian technology will be sold with Agrisure 3000GT and Agrisure GT trait technologies. Syngenta is also developing a complementary water-optimized hybrid product utilizing a genetically modified (GM) trait for later introduction.
Syngenta, Agrisure Viptera
Syngenta received deregulation of MIR162, the Agrisure Viptera trait, from the USDA in 2010. The trait will be combined with the Agrisure 3000GT trait stack to provide corn growers with broad-spectrum, insect control and glyphosate tolerance for maximum convenience and productivity for the 2011 growing season.
"The Agrisure Viptera trait is a truly innovative technology that will be the cornerstone of Syngenta's insect control solutions," said Davor Pisk, chief operating officer, Syngenta Seeds. "It provides a new mode of action that has demonstrated a level of pest control and yield performance previously unseen in our industry."
The Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack delivers unsurpassed above-ground pest control of 14 yield- and quality-robbing insects — European corn borer, Southwestern corn borer, Southern cornstalk borer, corn earworm, fall armyworm, beet armyworm, black cutworm, Western bean cutworm, sugarcane borer, Western corn rootworm, Northern corn rootworm, Mexican corn rootworm, common stalk borer and dingy cutworm. The technology has the power to help U.S. corn growers avoid an estimated loss of 238 million bushels or about $1.1 billion in annual yield and grain quality losses due to multi-pest damage.
Corn with the MIR162 trait has already been approved for cultivation in Canada and Brazil. Syngenta Seeds also has received approval from Japanese regulatory authorities and other countries’ officials for the Agrisure Viptera trait, the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack and the Agrisure Viptera 3110 trait stack corn to be imported.
These regulatory approvals allow the importation of U.S. corn grown with Agrisure Viptera trait stacks for food or feed use within these countries and clears the way for U.S. corn growers to plant corn hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait.
Veris Technology, pH Detector
Veris Technologies introduced the pH Detector, which is a compact, real-time soil mapping tool designed for use mounted on an all-terrain vehicle.
This compact ATV-mounted unit borrows technology from the world's first commercially available on-the-go sensor for soil pH — the pH Manager — previously developed by Veris Technologies. As soil is probed, it is pressed against a pH electrode for measurement and the data automatically logged.
The pH Detector works surprisingly easy even though it is a manual operation compared to the more expensive automatic on-the-go pH Manager. The new pH Detector makes mapping pH variability extremely affordable for ag retailer crop production businesses and individual crop consultants, as well as large farmer operations. The cost for each sample figures out to be pennies when figuring initial cost and operating expenses, partly because of the highly durable metalloid pH sensor, according to the company.
"Private and university research have uncovered significant pH variability within most 2.5-acre grids, soil types and management zones, and crop consultants and most growers are cognizant of it as well," noted Eric Lund with Veris Technologies. "But it previously has not been feasible to increase conventional sampling/lab analysis below a 2.5-acre grid. That's where field sensor alternatives come in — it's a way to collect the amount of data you need in order to capture the actual spatial variability without breaking the bank. We introduced the pH Detector as a tool to give customers an alternative method of deploying field pH sensing. For some, a tractor-based on-the-go system makes sense, and for others it is more appealing to use a system that requires a lower investment."
The pH Detector rapidly maps pH variability, either on a small grid, or at several locations within management zones. The pH probe is inserted in the soil with an easy-push mechanism, and in about 10 seconds, a geo-referenced pH measurement is recorded on the Veris DataLogger.
The system is easy to use, easy to ship and features many of the same components proved on other Veris technologies equipment for electro-conductivity and pH mapping.
Wolf Trax, Protinus
Protinus, a seed nutrition product that promotes early plant growth, gained regulatory approval for sale, it was announced by Wolf Trax.
The seed-applied technology results in faster, more even crop emergence, enhanced root development, and larger, more vigorous seedlings. This is a new concept product for applying to seed.
"We are excited to introduce this unique seed nutrition product to growers," said Jennifer Bailes, product manager for seed technology and innovations at Wolf Trax. "Protinus really stands out in tough early-season conditions. Given the substantial dollars that growers are spending on seed, a product that will enhance crop emergence and early-season growth is certainly of value," said Bailes.
Protinus has been widely tested on a variety of crop types including corn, soybeans, wheat, canola, grasses, forages and vegetables. Results from hundreds of individual trials show that enhanced nutrition delivered directly to the seed through Protinus application, results in earlier, more even emergence, and larger root and above-ground plant growth.
Protinus works by optimizing the pH around the seed for uptake of important nutrients, and delivering three key micronutrients directly to the young seedling. The three micronutrients important to early plant growth functions — zinc, manganese and iron — are included in the Protinus formulation.
Designed for use by professional seed treaters, Protinus is formulated as a dry dispersible powder that is applied in a "tacky" state after liquid seed treatments. Protinus requires no extra wetting of the seed. The application rate is six ounces per 100 pounds of seed.
Vote for Your Top Product of the Year
We've done our part picking the top 10, but you, the reader, get to pick this year’s ultimate winner of the Top New Product of 2010! Any visitor to www.AgProfessional.com is eligible to participate, and there's no cost to vote.
Choose which product you think is the best product introduced in 2010 from AgProfessional's Editors' Choice list of Top 10 products. We ask that you base your vote on the information provided and personal experience working in agriculture. The award should not be based on sales accomplished but potential to positively impact the ag industry.
Vote now! You'll be able to see the full product descriptions online as well. Don't wait! Time to vote is limited. We need your votes by Jan. 5, 2011. The 2010 Readers' Choice New Product of the Year Award winner and vote results will be announced in the February issue of AgProfessional. Place your vote today at the Web site!