Updated from an original article written by Michael Staton and Tim Harrigan of Michigan State University Extension
With diesel fuel prices hovering above $5 per gallon and weather-related planting delays, producers are looking for ways to improve tractor performance and fuel efficiency. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to inflate radial tires to the lowest recommended pressure for the load they carry before performing field work.
Tire inflation demonstration at MSU’s Ag Expo. Photo by Tim Harrigan, MSU Extension
A survey conducted in Oklahoma found that only 45% of the tractor tires were within the recommended tire inflation ranges. The benefits of proper tire inflation are clearly depicted in Photo 1. This photograph was taken during a field demonstration at Michigan State University’s Ag Expo where identical tractors were hitched with a cable and pulley system to a third tractor pulling a high-draft tillage tool. The front tractor with properly inflated tires consistently performed better than the trailing tractor with slightly over inflated tires. The tractor with the properly inflated tires will consume less fuel and perform field operations in less time. Continue reading →
A large number of Ohio farmers hire machinery operations and other farm related work to be completed by others. This is often due to lack of proper equipment, lack of time or lack of expertise for a particular operation. Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job that they may encounter in the course of operating a farm and may, instead of purchasing the equipment needed, seek out someone with the proper tools necessary to complete the job. This farm work completed by others is often referred to as “custom farm work” or more simply “custom work”. A “custom rate” is the amount agreed upon by both parties to be paid by the custom work customer to the custom work provider. Continue reading →
For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review, scheduled for Sept. 22 to Sept. 24, will not be held in-person. Instead, a virtual show will be implemented for 2020.
The farm show, sponsored by Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), annually attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the United States and Canada to the show site in London, Ohio.
A “robust and innovative” virtual Farm Science Review is being planned for 2020. (Photo courtesy of FSR)
“We are committed to delivering a robust and innovative virtual show in support of agriculture during this pandemic,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president and dean of CFAES.
“Throughout its history, the Farm Science Review has been at the forefront of showcasing the future of agriculture,” she said. “While it may look different in 2020, we will continue to meet the needs of our growers and partners through access to exhibitors, virtual demonstrations, and education about the most recent advancements in agricultural production.” Continue reading →
By John Fulton Ohio State Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
As the harvest season comes to a close, now is a good time to clean and look over you combine before parking for the winter. A good post-harvest combine maintenance program can provide significant savings and make sure you are prepared for 2015. Many times, proper inspection and maintenance after fall harvest will reduce time and resources required at a later date to fix the combine and headers. The basics of winterizing a combine involves cleaning it followed by changing the oil and filters, checking the cooling system, cleaning and possibly changing the air filters, filling with fuel and adding a fuel stabilizer, and finally greasing and lubricating before putting in the shed. Plan on at least a good half day for conducting post-harvest maintenance and repairs.
The initial starting point for combine maintenance should be reviewing the operator’s manual. Regardless of the manufacturer, the operator’s manual will contain the necessary checklist of maintenance points and needs. Second, develop a to-do and replacement list based on harvest notes and performing a quick look over of the combine. The next step should include giving the combine a good cleaning before performing any maintenance. Cleaning should start with blowing all debris and dust plus cleaning out augers, conveyors and the cab. Washing the exterior can also be beneficial but keep water away from bearings and bushings. Once this step is complete, inspect the combine inside and out noting needed repairs and maintenance. The final steps involve repairing, greasing and lubricating. A suggested checklist and order of priority is provided at the end of this article. Continue reading →
By Erdal Ozkan Ohio State Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
This is a busy time of year for many farmers, but taking time to winterize your sprayer now can payoff in avoiding problems next spring. Without proper winterizing before the temperature falls below freezing, you could end up with a pump that is cracked and/or not working at its full capacity. Here are some important things you need to do with your sprayer this time of the year.
Make sure to rinse the whole sprayer thoroughly before storing. Rinsing the sprayer thoroughly after each use reduces likelihood of cross-contamination of products applied next spring. Insufficient rinsing may also result in clogged nozzles. Once the nozzles are clogged, it is extremely difficult to bring them back to their normal operating conditions. Leaving chemical residues in nozzles will usually lead to changes in their flow rates, as well as in their spray patterns resulting in uneven distribution of chemicals on the target.
Depending on the tank, proper rinsing of the interior of the tank can be challenging. Rinsing is easy if the tank is relatively new and equipped with special rinsing nozzles and mechanisms inside the tank. If this is not the case, manual rinsing of the tank interior is more difficult, and poses some safety problems such as inhaling fumes of leftover chemicals during the rinsing process. To avoid these problems, either replace the tank with one that has the interior rinse nozzles, or install an interior tank rinse system in your existing tank. Continue reading →