New Products

AutoFarm Introduces Envizio Pro
AutoFarm announces embedded steering control for Envizio Pro, allowing it to work with the AutoFarm OnTrac2 GPS Assisted Steering System to provide robust steering of a broad range of equipment including tractors, sprayers, spreaders and combines.

AutoFarm Envizio Pro offers a 10 Hz DGPS integrated receiver and brilliant 6.4-inch LCD touchscreen for multiple in-field views with 3-D moving map guidance display. OnTrac2 for Envizio Pro brings hands-free GPS assisted steering with the flexibility to switch from Straight AB to the popular “last pass” guidance, plus mapping and datalogging, single product variable rate control, automatic boom section and boom height control as well as automatic planter control.

AutoFarm OnTrac2 is a new assisted steering solution for growers who want affordable, easy-to-install, hands-free steering on their operation. OnTrac2 eliminates skips and overlaps, lowers fuel consumption, expands the seasonal operating window and dramatically reduces operator stress and fatigue.

The unique split-gear design of the OnTrac2 does not require removal of the steering wheel. The OnTrac2 mechanical drive unit simply latches on and off for fast, easy transfer across multiple brands and types of vehicles. Its high-torque, positive gear drive delivers the turning power needed to control the most demanding agricultural vehicles while eliminating the wheel slip typical of friction motor steering systems. The precision electro-mechanical drive unit runs “whisper quiet” when in operation.

For more information, including the location of your nearest AutoFarm dealer, call 877-947-7327 or visit the worldwide dealer locator on

Order Custom-Built Planters Now
John Deere and Orthman Manufacturing recently announced that they will begin co-producing custom-built planter configurations for customers. This agreement benefits cotton and corn producers in the Mississippi Delta and in West Texas where they farm on 36-, 38- or 40-inch row spacing.

The new agreement allows producers in regional markets to order fully assembled planters with some not-so-typical row spacing and working widths.

Customers can order 18Row38 and 16Row40 stack-fold integral planter configurations equipped with John Deere Pro-Series XP Row Units and the Central Commodity System (CCS) technology affixed to rugged Orthman toolbars. In addition, these custom-built planters will include John Deere SeedStar 2 monitoring system. The exclusive John Deere RowCommand system also is available as a factory-installed option for customers who desire individual row control.

Cotton producers who already own a 12Row38integral planter will realize a 50 percent increase in working width and a significant gain in productivity from the addition of CCS technology by upgrading to one of the larger 18Row38 or 16Row40 custom-built planters. Plus, the new planters can easily transition from planting cotton to corn as needed.

The new planter toolbar includes the Orthman 925 Series stack-fold frame. The 18Row38 toolbar features eight-row units on the center frame, five-row units on each wing – three mid-wing and two on the outer wing. The 16Row40 integral toolbar has six-row units on the center frame with five-row units on each wing – three mid-wing and two outer wing.

New John Deere/Orthman custom-built planters can be ordered at local John Deere dealers and will be available for the 2010 spring planting season.

For more information, visit your local John Deere dealer or go online at

New Weather Station Starter Kit
Onset Computer Corporation recently introduced the HOBO U30/NRC Weather Station Starter Kit. Ideal for agricultural research and other applications, the kit provides:

• Plug-and-play performance - The U30/NRC accepts up to 10 plug-and-play weather smart sensors that can be plugged in to the logger and automatically recognized without wiring, programming or calibration.

• Weatherproof design - All electronics are tightly integrated within a NEMA 6-rated, double weatherproof enclosure.

• Easy data retrieval - With the optional HOBO U30 Shuttle, data can quickly and safely be offloaded in the field and downloaded to a PC or Mac for analysis with HOBOware Pro software.

The HOBO U30/NRC Weather Station Starter Kit includes a HOBO U30/NRC data logger, a solar panel for recharging the battery, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction sensors and a solar radiation shield. It is available immediately from Onset and is priced at $1,400.

For more information, visit Onset on the Web at

New Technology From Bayer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted approval for the GlyTol cotton technology developed by Bayer CropScience. Cotton varieties with the GlyTol trait are tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate. The USDA’s decision, which follows approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, marks another milestone towards the first commercialization of GlyTol cotton.

Bayer CropScience is preparing for a commercial launch of GlyTol in the United States in 2010. For the 2009 crop season, they plan to familiarize U.S. growers with the features, advantages and benefits of the new technology and the varieties in which it will be offering.

The company initially plans to offer two high-yielding, high-quality GlyTol cotton seed varieties that are ideally suited to the southwestern U.S. Varieties suited to other regions are expected to be introduced in the coming years.

GlyTol glyphosate-tolerant technology gives cotton growers season-long in-plant tolerance to glyphosate herbicide and offers them greater flexibility in their weed management decisions. The GlyTol trait provides robust tolerance to applications of glyphosate and gives growers the flexibility to select any brand of glyphosate herbicide labeled for use on cotton without concern for crop safety.

GlyTol glyphosate-tolerant technology for cotton is the latest in a series of innovative weed and insect management solutions being developed by Bayer CropScience. Bayer CropScience is committed to further improving cotton and has a well-filled development pipeline of plant traits to be launched in the coming years to address increased yields, increased tolerance to unfavorable environmental conditions such as drought and improved fiber quality.

More information is available at

Becker Underwood Granted Exclusive Rights For Nitrogen-Fixing Technology
McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, and Becker Underwood, Ames, Iowa, have signed a commercial licensing agreement granting Becker Underwood exclusive rights to patented nitrogen-fixing technology developed by a team of McGill researchers. Becker Underwood is a developer, marketer and producer of bioagronomic products for agriculture.

“We’re extremely pleased that McGill University selected Becker Underwood as the company to lead the development and commercialization of this exciting new technology,” says Eda Reinot, head of research and development for Becker Underwood. “We believe this technology will be an important tool in our efforts to develop and introduce new and modern inoculant products that deliver a greater return to the producers who use them.”

Greater Nitrogen Fixation
The technology licensed to Becker Underwood involves a fatty acid compound shown to be highly effective in stimulating rhizobia to produce the substances needed for increased nodule formation and greater nitrogen fixation. With this technology incorporated into Becker Underwood’s high-performing rhizobial inoculant products, producers of soybean, peanut, pea, lentil and alfalfa crops are expected to realize improved crop yields.

The McGill University team that developed the patent-protected technology was led by Dr. Donald L. Smith, chair of the Plant Science Department and a James McGill professor. Dr. Smith was joined by Dr. Fazli Mabood of McGill University and Dr. Hao Zhang, now a research scientist at ImmunoScience, Inc, Pleasanton, Calif.

“At a time when fossil fuel costs are likely to require the development of less energy dependent inputs, it is key to be looking for bio-inputs to take the place of chemical ones,” says Dr. Smith. “The green tissues of plants are the place where almost all energy enters the biosphere. As a result, a plant growing in the field is not a singular and sterile entity; it is a community.

Improved Crop Yields
“Many of the associated micro-organisms have evolved over very long periods to live in association with plants,” says Smith. “In some cases, this has led to associations that, through various mechanisms, improve the ability of plants to grow. There is still much to be drawn from these relationships; and through its relationship with McGill University, Becker-Underwood is positioning itself to bring these benefits to those producing food for all of us.”

Becker Underwood anticipates commercial availability of its first products incorporating this patented technology for the 2010 spring planting season. Additional products utilizing the technology are expected in 2011 and beyond.