2011 New Product of the Year Awards: Editors' Choice Top 10
The fifth annual AgProfessional Editors’ Choice New Product of the Year Award winners have been selected for 2011. These 10 products represent the best, newest, most innovative products introduced in 2011 for sale or use by the ag retailer market and consulting industry, according to the editors of AgProfessional.
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 2011 New Products of the Year.
As we have in the past, we based the winning selections on the facts and information provided to us in news releases, background materials and media presentations. We never 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.
It is never easy choosing from the dozens of new products introduced every year. Many 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.
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.
The judging was done by Richard Keller, editor, and Colleen Scherer, managing editor. The product award winner announcements originally appeared on www.AgProfessional.com, most of them in the new product section, not in the magazine; they also were announced in either “AgProfessional Weekly” or “Dealer Update” weekly e-newsletters.
We congratulate all of the companies selected and will proudly present each of the company winners with an award plaque to commemorate their winning a 2011 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 2011. See the separate short description of how to vote.
Descriptions of each winner, from company supplied information, is included in alphabetical order by company name.
Ag Leader, Air Cart Support for Seeding and Fertilizer Application
Ag Leader Technology, Inc.’s product was chosen this year because of the multiple functionality of the new controller. We considered this to be leading edge technology. The introduction of support for ground drive air carts with linear actuator control for seeding and fertilizer application enables control of up to three channels of granular product or a combination of one channel of seed and two channels of granular product. The new Air Cart support provides the benefits of SeedCommand and DirectCommand to broad-acre seeding.
“Ag Leader now provides a valuable precision farming tool for broad-acre operations,” said John Howard, product manager. “The calibration enhancements, meter prime feature and support for meter circuit clutches provide benefits such as AutoSwath, data logging and mapping and variable rate seeding or fertilizer application for these operations.”
Additional features of the air cart support include tables for referencing stored meter calibration values to reduce the chance of error; variable rate control by product for more efficient use of inputs; support for bin level and fan speed sensors; and an automatic meter shut off option if fan speed falls below a minimum setting. The air cart support is available with Ag Leader’s Integra display.
Bayer CropScience, On Demand
Bayer CropScience’s On Demand is a fully-automated seed treatment system that enables greater precision for seed treaters and retailers for application of product. The editors chose this product for the top 10 list because it’s a fully automated closed system with computerized oversight from a remote location. We were impressed with the ability for Bayer personnel to troubleshoot any problems by remote.
On Demand is the first and only fully-automated seed treatment system developed to make treating seeds easier, more accurate and more efficient. The system is designed with product stewardship and convenience in mind, offering consistent applications resulting in improved seed integrity and accountability.
The system allows operators to select from multiple, pre-loaded and seed company-approved treatment recipes at the touch of a button. The true closed system eliminates jug-mixing by hand, helping to ensure that Poncho/VOTiVO and other Bayer seed treatments will be applied with greater precision and according to labeled rates.
"Innovation in seed treatment is essential to helping growers protect their crops and achieving quality yields in a sustainable way," said Kerry Grossweiler, product manager at Bayer CropScience. "On Demand takes seed treating to the next level, and benefits growers by giving them added assurance that their seeds are being treated accurately. On Demand also benefits growers by providing them with a vast amount of data which can help improve decision making and planning for future seasons."
The user-friendly, touchscreen-based On Demand system can help manage product usage and will automatically reorder supplies so dealers can optimize inventory. Treaters will also benefit from state-of-the-art remote troubleshooting that enables automatic communication between the On Demand system and Bayer CropScience service professionals if any issues are detected.
Dawn Equipment, Anhydra Universal Fertilizer Applicator
We picked Dawn Equipment’s Anhydra University Fertilizer Applicator this year because the highly engineered equipment allows for three type of fertilizer to be applied at the same time. We consider this a sophisticated system that is truly unique.
The Anhydra allows for the application of anhydrous ammonia, liquid fertilizer/manure and granular fertilizer.
The applicator is designed for high-speed application (10 to 12 mph) of fertilizer at high rates (250 lbs. N) and low horsepower, according to Joseph Bassett, director of operations for Dawn.
Another unique feature is that the applicator can operate in cold conditions because a plastic coating on the knife insulates it and keeps liquid nitrogen from freezing. Bassett says that a grower can apply dry, ammonia and liquid nitrogen all at the same time, and during three seasons of the year.
The key feature of the whole design is the very unique knife arrangement, which is a free-floating device referred to as the rudder. A blade opens the ground and the rudder is free to follow it so that it self-centers in the furrow and discharges fertilizer.
GVM, Inc., AgJunction Link
This product was chosen for this year’s list because it builds significantly on the success of GVM’s AgJunction. The newest product, AgJunction Link, is designed to increase the speed and simplify the task of moving and processing collected field data.
In creating AgJunction Link, the team aimed to open up an entirely new way to quickly and efficiently move collected field data into a users Precision Ag program so that the analysis and decision making process could be started as early as possible.
This new hardware and software system is available on all machine brands and will work with all major controllers, allowing data and files from the field to be wirelessly transferred to the office.
AgJunction Link allows users to send and process field data files using a wireless internet connection directly from the cab of their combine, planter or application equipment. By integrating back-end data processing into the new software, users will be able to move data files with the simple touch of a button.
AgJunction Link reduces a two week process of moving and processing data into a 20-minute job. Users no longer need to spend time or money manually transporting, then uploading and processing data. After data has been sent, the AgJunction system gathers the data files, automatically sorts the data and matches it to the correct field profiles based on the geospatial data collected and stored within AgJunction. Once processing is complete, it will then send out notifications to the client and/or retailer to alert them, letting them know that new field data is available.
The new, AgJunction Link is available with or without wireless service and with or without tracking capabilities.
Marrone Bio Innovations, Grandevo
We included Marrone Bio Innovations’ Grandevo broad-spectrum, high performance natural insecticide to our list this year because the soft chemistry is a new proprietary product based on a USDA scientific discovery.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved, MBI-203 EP, which is branded as Grandevo. It is designed for use on agricultural and ornamental crops and was initially launched in Florida for insects such as citrus psyllid. MBI intends to launch Grandevo nationally in 2012.
“Grandevo is the first new microbial insecticide offered in nearly 50 years. Like its predecessor, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), we believe Grandevo has the potential to gain wide acceptance and become a standard insecticide in pest management programs," said Chris Hildreth, senior vice president of commercial operations at MBI. “With its broad-spectrum activity against both sucking and chewing insects, high efficacy and unique mode of action, Grandevo represents a ‘grand evolution’ in insect control.”
Grandevo is derived from a new species of Chromobacterium, named subtsugae. The strain coded PRAA4-1T was originally discovered by USDA scientist Phyllis Martin, Ph.D., and licensed to MBI. When unwanted insects encounter Grandevo, they become highly agitated and try to remove the product from their bodies. When it is ingested, the targeted insects will stop feeding and die.
Grandevo is well suited for rotation in pest management programs to help prolong the efficacy of conventional pesticides and manage chemical residues. It can be used for managing psyllids, thrips, mealybugs, leaf miners, stinkbugs, Lygus, leaf beetles, white grubs and armyworms. Grandevo requires no pre-harvest interval and has minimum reentry intervals, enabling crops to be harvested soon after application. Its exemption from the requirement of a food tolerance is particularly important for exported crops that are subject to maximum residue levels. Also, the product is compliant with the National Organic Program (NOP) and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Grandevo can be used in field, greenhouse and garden markets.
MyWay RTK, MyWay Xchange
We chose this product for our top 10 list this year because this new online tool offers live information to resellers to diagnose problems customers might be having or might encounter with its Doppler radar connection for all of the United States.
This fall MyWay RTK LLC officially launched MyWay Xchange, a new online tool that will connect MyWay resellers and customers in real time. MyWay designed the reseller portal to give resellers live information about their customers and base stations within their respective coverage areas, enabling them to ensure their customers’ RTK service is always performing at optimum levels.
MyWay Xchange features a real-time map that indicates the current or last known position of each customer. Having access to this live information allows resellers to specify a user’s proximity to surrounding base stations, so they can easily diagnose a connection issue in the event a user leaves the coverage area inadvertently. In addition, live streaming from base stations means resellers know at once if a base station ever goes offline.
“In the event a customer ever has a connection issue, the reseller now has the tools to resolve the matter quickly,” said MyWay RTK General Manager, Andy Hill. “MyWay Xchange was engineered to not only alert resellers about current problems, but to also help them anticipate possible risks. Essentially, this tool helps minimize the chance a customer ever gets disconnected because of distance or weather problems.”
As MyWay Xchange features live Doppler radar coverage for the entire United States, resellers can see both active customers and current weather conditions simultaneously on one screen. In the event severe weather conditions limit a user’s RTK service, the reseller can easily diagnose the problem’s source without leaving the office. Resellers can also use the radar coverage to view weather forecasts and warn customers of impending severe weather conditions beforehand.
A mobile version of MyWay Xchange—available at http://www.mywayxchange.com/—has also been developed, providing resellers an easy and effective way to manage subscriptions, mount points, and login credentials while on the go.
The mobile site offers benefits to subscribers as well, letting them manage their accounts and create custom profiles right from the field while on the go.
Precision Laboratories, Mix Tank App
The new Mix Tank App was chosen for this year’s top 10 because it was an early sophisticated and user friendly technology introduced for SmartPhones. The App offers highly usable information for mixing products. As the use of SmartPhones and Apps has exploded, this is one product designed for the agriculture industry that is robust and provides a large amount of information to its users.
The new Mix Tank app for iPhone and iPod touch offers a simple and unique process to identify correct mixing sequence.
As mixing issues and interactions continue to cause more problems, the Mix Tank app reduces product and money loss from sprayer clogging. The free Mix Tank app offers the first of its kind assistance in determining the accurate mixing sequence for pesticides, adjuvants and foliar nutrition products. With more than 700 crop protection products from more than 15 manufacturers, the new Mix Tank app can process mixtures to determine the correct solution.
After downloading the app at http://bit.ly/MixTank, the new tool allows users to select inputs then review details, features and benefits, use rates and share the results through Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. The Mix Tank app is free of charge, providing customers full advantage to cost-saving tools and increased efficiency.
“The new Mix Tank app is designed to support retailers, crop specialists, researchers and growers in providing accurate and efficient mix tank sequences to enhance profitability and ease,” said Daniel Ori, marketing specialist at Precision Laboratories. “Adjusting crop protection strategies leads to more tank mixing and an improper mix can cause lost time and money. By using the Mix Tank app users can get the most out of every tank mix.”
Syngenta, Avicta Complete Soybeans
This product made it to the list because it’s the first seed treatment to combine an insecticide, fungicide and nematicide together as a seed treatment for soybeans. Syngenta’s Avicta Complete Beans is a combination of separately registered products, which contains the first seed treatment nematicide available for use on soybeans. Avicta 500 FS seed treatment nematicide is combined with CruiserMaxx Beans insecticide/fungicide seed treatment combination to provide triple protection against damaging nematodes, insects and diseases, helping increase plant stand, improve vigor and ensure each seedling reaches its full genetic yield potential.
“With Avicta Complete Beans, the interaction of a nematicide, an insecticide and fungicides delivers superior early-season pest protection and even better results,” said David Long, Ph.D., technical crop manager, Syngenta.
The nematicide component of Avicta Complete Beans, Avicta 500 FS, provides immediate protection against most major nematode species, specifically root-knot, reniform, stubby-root, sting, stunt, lance and soybean cyst nematodes. By offering effective nematode protection from the moment the seed is planted, Avicta helps promote stronger plant stand in soybean crops. This, in turn, establishes the foundation for better yield and return on investment potential.
The insecticide component of Avicta Complete Beans, the active ingredient in Cruiser seed treatment insecticide, offers plants effective and consistent early-season insect protection to get crops off to a healthy, vigorous start. Avicta Complete Beans protects soybean plants from a variety of insects, including thrips, threecornered alfalfa hoppers, grape colaspis, leafhoppers, white grubs, aphids, bean leaf beetles, seedcorn maggots and wireworms.
Avicta Complete Beans also contains the active ingredient from the seed treatment fungicide ApronMaxx. The proven disease protection of Avicta Complete Beans works to safeguard the plant from devastating diseases that can hinder emergence and inhibit growth. Avicta Complete Beans protects against the most harmful seed- and soil-borne disease pathogens in soybeans, leading to improved plant stands, better emergence and early-season vigor, and higher yield potential.
TeeJet Technologies, Matrix Pro with RealView Guidance Over Video
The ability for live video, split screen capabilities alongside the operator’s data and its multiple data storage capabilities, make the Matrix Pro Guidance System a top 10 selection. The Matrix Pro Guidance System from TeeJet Technologies offers exclusive RealView Guidance over Video along with several new productivity-enhancing features.
The Matrix guidance system is the only system available that displays guidance and live video simultaneously, improving accuracy and efficiency in field operations. Up to eight RealView cameras can be used to monitor multiple machine operations while at the same time viewing guidance information. Growers can choose Matrix Pro 570 with a 5.7" (145 mm) display or Matrix Pro 840 with an 8.4" (213 mm) display.
Matrix Pro, the next generation of Matrix, adds many new capabilities to the system. Matrix Pro helps save time by storing multiple field boundaries and multiple guidelines for use in future operations. Two-way data transfer allows uploading and downloading of job data, boundaries, no spray zones, AB lines and more. Matrix Pro's unique NextRow feature guides operators through turns in row crop environments, helping them find the correct rows to steer between for the next pass. An enhanced user interface is also part of Matrix Pro ensuring easy, intuitive operation.
Matrix Pro is auto steer and automatic boom section control (ABSC) ready. Matrix Pro is able to multi-task so auto-steer, section control and RealView monitoring can be used in unison.
"Matrix Pro multi-tasks with ease so you can operate all your systems simultaneously," said Rich Gould, vice president and guidance business manager at TeeJet Technologies. "Plus, all the new features of Matrix Pro add to the user's productivity without complicating operation or adding cost. Matrix Pro is a real value."
Additional Matrix Pro features include:
• Painted screen provides graphical display of field coverage including skips and overlaps
• Bright, easy-to-read display in all lighting conditions
• Color touch screen with split-screen, four-camera view
• Portable and easy to transfer between machines
• Built-in lightbar for full-time guidance no matter what's on display
• Easy-to-use PC utility simplifies creating and maintaining client/farm/field/job data.
What makes this product so unique is it’s promoted as one of the simplest, easiest seed treatment products ever. It allows for a one-drum combination of insecticide, fungicide, polymer and colorant to be applied through either a sophisticated or the simplest seed treater.
Valent U.S.A. Corporation’s Inovate Seed Protectant is available as an efficient pre-blended, single package offering for soybean seed protection.
Jeff Weber, Inovate brand manager for Valent, said this new development means treaters can take a time-saving, all-in-one approach when using the proven Inovate to treat their soybean seed.
“Inovate as an all-in-one option really streamlines the workload and reduces hassles for treaters during the busy seed-treating season,” Weber said. “In the new offering, Inovate contains the colorant, the Lock Tight Technology, the fungicides plus the insecticide—all within a single package.”
Weber notes this single-package, no-blend-needed Inovate offering is a major difference from most other seed treatment options—many of which require treaters to spend additional high-value time on complicated mixing calculations, procedures and lengthy paperwork before the treatment even begins.
“Treaters no longer need a pre-blend letter to use Inovate or have to go through the time and hassle of calculating multiple product blends. This virtually eliminates potential blending errors and ensures more consistent treatment quality across the treating team,” Weber said. “Additionally, the new single package of Inovate allows treaters to do 2,430 units out of one container. This means fewer containers and inventory cluttering the treating floor. The convenience and peace of mind this new packaging of Inovate brings treaters this season is invaluable.”
Vote for Your Top Product of the Year
It’s time for you, the reader, to pick this year’s ultimate winner of the Top New Product of 2011! Any reader of AgProfessional is eligible to participate, and there’s no cost to vote.
Choose which product you think is the best product introduced in 2011 from AgProfessional’s Editors’ Choice list of Top 10 products. Base your vote on the information providedyou’re your personal experience and agricultural knowledge. Your choice should not be based on sales accomplished but potential to positively impact the ag industry.
To vote, go to www.AgProfessional.com. 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. 3, 2012.
The 2011 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 www.AgProfessional.com!