The sixth annual AgProfessional Editors’ Choice New Product of the Year Award winners are probably the most diverse group of products ever selected. The job of comparing one new product to the next in determining which ones land on the Top 10 list seems to get harder each year.
We believe these 10 represent the best and most innovative products introduced for 2012 crop production or introduced in preparation for the 2013 growing season. The products are ones AgProfessional’s main audience—agricultural retailers, crop consultants and farm managers—likely can use in their operations, sell to customers or recommend to clients.
We do not solicit entries for the list of Top 10 but look back over the year’s worth of product announcements to initiate our selection. Our research of announced new products starts with the information provided to the editorial staff of AgProfessional by companies or their public relations agencies and is followed up with web-based searches. We feel we have again selected innovative products that deserve the highest recognition as 2012 New Products of the Year.
What makes the process the most interesting is trying to sort relatively small product upgrades from truly innovative new products. We are not concerned about whether the product will or has been a financial success but only that it was introduced, on a more or less full-scale basis, between November 2011 and November 2012.
In general, the winning products generated excitement in the industry because there was extensive publicity conducted about them. The companies showed excitement about introducing a revolutionary product or major upgrade and specifically targeted the audience of AgProfessional. The judging was done by Richard Keller, editor, and Colleen Scherer, managing editor.
With only a couple exceptions, the products were announced on AgProfessional’s website—www.AgProfessional.com—during the year in the new product section. They were also mentioned in either “AgProfessional Weekly” or Dealer Update,” our weekly e-newsletters.
Experience shows us that those companies with products named to the Top 10 list value being an Editors’ Choice New Product of the Year Award winner. But history also shows us companies appreciate winning the next step in the award process where a product will be named Readers’ Choice Top New Product of 2012.
See the separate short description of how to vote one of the 10 products as the Readers’ Choice award winner. In the most condensed explanation, voting is a simple process of going to www.AgProfessional.com and placing a vote for your favorite.
Company and inventor-supplied descriptions of each product are included as follows.
Adapt-N is an online tool that helps precisely manage nitrogen inputs for grain, silage or sweet corn. It uses a well-calibrated computer model and high-resolution weather information to help simulate the complexities of a growing season within a corn field.
It was developed to provide more precise N recommendations for corn, based on site-specific conditions. It uses basic soil, management and crop information provided by the grower. By basing recommendations on local conditions, the tool improves N use efficiency, thus improving farm profits, while reducing environmental N losses.
The model was developed by Cornell University agronomists led by Harold van Es. Since this tool can predict corn N needs more precisely based on field-specific conditions, it allows for more timely application of N when the crop needs it. It adjusts N applications based on weather. It reduces fertilizer rates, costs and losses in the long-term, while maintaining yield. It helps to fine-tune sidedress N rates. It can determine if manured fields need additional fertilizer N and it can determine if rescue N is needed after heavy spring rains. It helps answer the question if there is excess N after a growing season.
Adapt-N is mobile enabled and can be used on a smartphone, iPad or Tablet.
Adapt-N was tested for a year and a half in Iowa and New York. It was introduced in 2012 to Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. More states are expected to be added in 2013.
Xemium fungicide powering new formulation fungicides
In 2012, BASF introduced two new fungicides based on its newest active ingredient, Xemium fungicide. The Environmental Protection Agency granted full registration of Priaxor fungicide and Merivon fungicide.
Xemium, a next-generation fungicide in the carboxamide family, was discovered by researchers at BASF headquarters in Germany. Xemium is in the carboxamide class of chemistry. The high mobility of Xemium allows the product to systemically redistribute from the waxy layer of the leaf to areas of the leaf that are not directly sprayed, protecting the whole leaf and ensuring long-lasting and disease-stopping effects. Xemium blocks the respiratory Complex II, which disrupts the energy supply and biosynthesis of essential fungal building blocks, preventing new infections from developing. It is active on a wide range of life stages of the fungus, and affects multiple stages in the fungal life cycle. Activity on multiple stages allows for a wider window of application and greater flexibility in product use.
Priaxor provides disease protection and post-infection disease control from some of the toughest fungal diseases of crops commonly grown across the U.S. Soybeans, potatoes and tomatoes are three of the main crops. Studies show Priaxor controls powdery mildew and black mold in tomatoes, and early blight and black dot in potatoes. Priaxor is a 2:1 premix fungicide containing F500—the same active ingredient as Headline fungicide—and Xemium fungicide, the new active ingredient.
Merivon is a different premix of F500 and Xemium (1:1) that provides disease protection in several pome and stone fruit crops, including apples, cherries and peaches. This fungicide targets annual diseases including scab in apples, powdery mildew and leaf spot in cherries, and blossom blight, shot hole and powdery mildew in peaches.
FMC Corporation received Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration on Anthem herbicide at the end of October. Anthem is a preplant, preemergence and early postemergence herbicide for corn. Anthem is a weed management tool for broad-spectrum weed control and resistance management along with a low-use rate. The herbicide will allow growers application flexibility during the spring season.
“Anthem use rates are approximately four times less than most residual corn herbicides,” said Tim Thompson, FMC agricultural products North America product manager. “The easy to handle liquid formulation and low-use rate means growers and custom applicators can get more acres sprayed in a day, which is critical during the busy spring.”
In-field results from 2011 and 2012 showed Anthem test plots demonstrated excellent crop safety for all types of corn to the new pyroxasulfone active ingredient. Studies indicate that Anthem herbicide is an effective, convenient product with application flexibility for all tillage systems. There were more than 90 research test plots in 2012 across a broad geography on a wide range of soil types and in both irrigated and non-irrigated acres.
“The long lasting residual of Anthem herbicide could set new standards for broad-spectrum, grass and broadleaf weed control in corn, resulting in better crop protection and higher yields,” said Bob Hooten, FMC agricultural products North America technical support manager.
Outback MAX with ConnX
The new Outback MAX with Outback ConnX is the next generation Outback Guidance system that redefines simplicity in precision farming. It works seamlessly with Outback eDriveX with eTurns. The Outback MAX integrated display terminal provides a full array of features including section and variable rate control, Eclipse L1/L2 GPS and GLONASS guidance, and video support for up to four monitoring cameras.
The Outback MAX mapping engine stacks imagery and data layers so farmers can visually confirm that their field operations are appropriate or adapt immediately to any changes. By relating real-time application data directly to existing or historical conditions, customers can confirm that applications are on target.
Outback MAX also provides wireless connectivity via the Outback ConnX data management system to deliver real-time data access and management that is imperative for modern farmers. ConnX provides seamless data transfer between the Outback MAX terminal, office and service providers ensuring efficient, accurate decision making and farming operations. ConnX can automatically import and export data, engage customer service with remote control capability, and simplify connection to RTK correctors. ConnX is compatible with popular data platforms including AgJunction, AgVerdict, NutriScription HD, OptiGro and Precision.Ag.
The Outback MAX adds a host of new features over the feature-rich Outback S3. It offers simplicity in design and operation, a powerful mapping engine, excellent screen clarity, seamless connectivity and a rugged design that can operate in rough environments—features that are critical to achieving the benefits of precision farming.
With a focus on simplicity, Outback MAX incorporates the ability to create shortcuts and favorites for the most commonly used tasks, facilitating a short learning curve with simple access to important features, getting farmers up and running quickly.
i-tank Remote Tank Monitoring
The i-tank Remote Tank Monitoring Solution from i3GCorporation is designed to help optimize the delivery of bulk liquids by monitoring and reporting precise liquid levels on remote storage tanks.
"Our i-tank solution helps businesses refine their bulk liquid deliveries," said Mike Barcum, i3G CEO. "By optimizing bulk deliveries, businesses can cut their delivery costs, reduce the wear-and-tear on fleet delivery vehicles and improve customer service. Our testing has shown that customers can save an average of 30 percent on bulk delivery costs by using the i-tank Remote Tank Monitoring solution.”
Rising fuel costs, increased personnel costs, the need to avoid unnecessary trips and the desire to deliver more precise quantities to remote locations are prompting bulk liquid businesses to look for ways to cut their costs without impacting their operations.
As a durable, self-powered solution, i-tank is designed to operate in remote locations, even where power and telecommunications support is limited. The i-tank solution reports precise level information to a secure, third-party server, so operators can check on remote tank levels around the clock.
"Manual tank readings are costly, and require significant resources to complete,” Barcum said. “Our solution provides an efficient, accurate alternative to sending staff to a location to perform a manual read, and eliminates the need to make emergency or unplanned stops to service a remote tank."
With i-tank, Barcum said bulk delivery firms can use remote tank level information to optimize their deliveries, reduce staff effort and reduce costs without compromising customer service.
John Deere Mobile Weather
John Deere Mobile Weather provides precise weather information to private and commercial applicators to help them make proper product application and other weather-related decisions.
Mobile Weather uses a third-party weather sensor connected to the Application Controller 1120 to display real-time weather information, including wind speed and direction, Delta T and temperature and relative humidity on the John Deere GreenStar 2 or GreenStar 3 displays. However, only the GreeenStar 3 2630 Display is capable of documenting (recording) weather data, which can be transferred to Apex or other third-party farm management software for analysis and record keeping.
According to Janae Althouse, product manager with the John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, John Deere Mobile Weather enables operators to make in-cab product application decisions based on location-specific weather data. In addition, operators don’t have to rely on hand-held devices or make multiple stops to manually check and record weather conditions when applying product.
"Mobile Weather is perfect for producers or commercial applicators who need to capture weather information as part of their record keeping, documentation and data analysis, or for maintaining government compliance," Althouse said. "It integrates easily into existing sprayer and GreenStar displays without the need for additional hand-held devices or displays to provide on-the-go weather monitoring."
John Deere Mobile Weather can be mounted on any John Deere 4940, 4930, 4830 and 4730 Self-Propelled Sprayers, with GreenStar displays. It can be programmed to warn the operator when weather conditions are outside of preset parameters for optimal spraying.
Miller St. Nazianz
Miller St. Nazianz, Inc. introduced its Miller NITRO 5000 sprayer earlier this summer. The NITRO 5000 features a brand new operator environment and offers a wide range of new productivity enhancing features.
The new Miller SprayView and optional Premium SprayView cab is the crowning touch on this new sprayer. The cab is designed with the operator’s comfort in mind with a larger, roomier interior and greater visibility and ergonomic features. Highlights include a clean, uncluttered environment with CAN bus wiring, convenient 12-volt power points throughout, easy to reach armrest and joystick controls, and a new Miller Systems Monitor to manage the chassis operations. In the Premium SprayView cab, the air ride seat is suede leather and features active suspension and heating/cooling. The automatic climate control can be set to the operator’s optimum temperature.
Front to back, bold styling changes and numerous productivity-enhancing improvements have been made, not the least of which is the enhanced standard lighting package and the brighter, more powerful optional enhanced lighting kit.
The NITRO 5000 Series is available in a wide range of tank size, boom width and horsepower configurations, with optional Miller Quick-Attach and Injection Toolbar, in a total of seven models, all available with four-wheel steering option. These include the 215, 5240, 5275, 5333 and the 5365. On Jan. 1, 2013, two new 5000 Series models will be available: the 5345 and the 5400. These two new models are the first to feature Miller’s new Tier IV interim emissions solutions from Cummins, with superior engine technology and increased fuel efficiency.
Nutrient Removal App
The Nutrient Removal App from The Mosaic Company provides growers and retailers with valuable nutrient removal data in support of higher yields.
Utilizing years of agronomic research, the app is a next-generation take on the data previously seen in the Balanced Crop Nutrition guide. The app allows users to test potential yields, generating results that are crop- and region-specific. Once downloaded, the app may be used without internet service in the field, office or tractor. Available on iPhones, iPads, Droids, the app can be found in a mobile store.
Randy Groff, marketing manager for The Mosaic Company, sees the app as an invaluable smartphone innovation. “This data is the foundation and starting point for fertilizer recommendations,” says Groff. “It’s used all the time by growers and retailers, in flip charts, wall posters and wallet cards. With the best data and the newest technology, farmers and retailers now have the best of both worlds.”
FieldScout Green Index
This app offers a better, more affordable way to manage the nitrogen needs of your clients’ corn crop. The FieldScout GreenIndex+ App captures and processes images from an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and instantly computes the DGCI (Dark Green Color Index) of your corn leaves.
In addition to DGCI, GreenIndex+ computes an equivalent SPAD value and estimates the nitrogen requirement (in lb/ac and kg/ha) during the V6 growth stages. This enables applying the right amount of nitrogen in the right place and at the right time.
The GreenIndex+ technology detects low nitrogen levels in the leaves and then helps write a nitrogen prescription. Nitrogen uptake increases dramatically at the beginning of the V6 development stage. Corrective measures, based on early diagnosis of severe nitrogen deficiencies, can prevent yield reduction.
FieldScout GreenIndex+ offers digital image analysis of leaves, providing growers with an accurate, low-cost method for managing in-season fertility and helps deliver improved yield, lower nitrogen costs and increased profits. All data is logged and geo-referenced and can be e-mailed to a PC for further analysis.
Digital images taken in the field typically exhibit variation due to ambient lighting, shadows and texture. Green and yellow color standards on a pink background provide contrast and aid the image processing software. This allows for DGCI images to be taken under a broad range of lighting conditions.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved Fierce herbicide from Valent U.S.A. Corporation for use in no-till and reduced-tillage field corn. Fierce herbicide is the company’s newest residual for a long-lasting preemerge solution to tough weeds.
Fierce is a combination of Valor herbicide and a new active ingredient, pyroxasulfone. Trial results from 2011 showed this combination to provide dependable, long-lasting control of the broadest spectrum of weeds and grasses.
“Growers know and believe in the excellent control Valor brings to their weed programs,” said Trey Soud, Valent product marketing manager. “By combining Valor with pyroxasulfone, growers will now have a single herbicide to tackle even the toughest weeds and grasses.”
In a series of university and private trials over 2010 and 2011, Fierce provided as much as eight weeks of residual control. Fierce also demonstrated excellent crop safety and strong control of both grass and broadleaf weeds.
“Fierce was developed for growers who desire a premium preemerge herbicide in a two-pass Roundup Ready corn system,” said Soud. “Fierce offers a complete weed control solution with outstanding residual control of a broad spectrum of tough weeds and grasses to help manage resistance and protect the farmer’s yield.”
VOTE FOR THE TOP PRODUCT OF THE YEAR!
It is time for you, the reader, to pick the 2012 Readers’ Choice Top New Product of 2012—the ultimate winner of AgProfessional’s awards program.
Any reader of AgProfessional’s print and electronic/digital information products—AgProfessional magazine, “AgProfessional Weekly e-newsleter,” “Dealer Update e-newsletter” and AgProfessional.com website—is eligible to vote.
There is no filling out a ballot and providing demographic information. You just click your favorite best product introduced in 2012 from AgProfessional’s Editors’ Choice list of Top 10 products. The voting is done through our www.AgProfessional.com website, and we have links to vote included in each of our upcoming e-newsletters. Deadline for voting is quickly approaching; it is Jan. 7; therefore, don’t wait to vote.
You can base your vote on the information provided and your personal experience or general agricultural knowledge. Descriptions of the products, which are the same as in this issue of AgProfessional magazine, are available to read on the website before casting your vote.
The winner of the 2012 Readers’ Choice New Product of the Year Award winner will be announced in the February issue of AgProfessional.
Let one of the Top 10 winners know you think they were above the rest for innovation in 2012. Vote at www.AgProfessional.com!