Every February, thousands of farmers gather in Louisville, Kentucky, for the National Farm Machinery Show. With more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space, manufacturers and agribusinesses fill the halls of the Louisville Expo Center to showcase new products and advancements in agriculture equipment and technology. The 2016 show showcased solutions for increasing crop production precision, efficiency and profitability.
It would be impossible to summarize everything on display from the nearly 900 exhibitors at this year’s event, but we do want to share three themes we took away from our tour of the show.
Investing in Productivity – The lingering concern at every booth was whether farmers could justify investing in new equipment or technology with tight profit margins expected to continue in 2016. The most common response involved increasing productivity and impact on the bottom line for farmers. For example, one manufacturer introduced a planter that boasted better yield potential by increasing seed depth and spacing accuracy, while doubling planting speed. Others demonstrated integrated, farm-focused data networks that can share information across an entire fleet of equipment and with third-party providers to make real-time input decisions, saving time and money.
With increased productivity in mind, Cenex offers its customers automated fuel delivery. When fuel drops below a predetermined level, an electronic monitoring system in the bulk fuel tank sends a signal to your fuel distribution center. An order to refill your tank is automatically created. Cenex customers can spend less time checking tanks and waiting for deliveries and more time in the fields.
High-Tech Retrofitting – In the past, the best way for farmers to add new technology was to simply buy new equipment to avoid compatibility issues. With fewer farmers able to invest in the latest equipment models, more manufacturers are offering advanced retrofitting options for adding mobile and digital data services to tractor cabs or bolting on hardware to improve precision performance from auxiliary units. In many cases, these retrofit options can be applied to machinery from 2011 and newer, depending on the type of technology being added.
Preventive Maintenance is the New Priority – Many farmers are opting to keep their existing equipment for more seasons. Large equipment manufacturers and equipment services providers at the show were quick to point to the long-term benefits of making modest investments in preventive maintenance with premium fluids and fuel additive packages. For example, Cenex® Ruby Fieldmaster® premium diesel fuel has been proven to increase power and fuel efficiency by as much as 4.5 to 5 percent compared to traditional #2 diesel. A premium additive package is blended into every gallon to increase performance and power while protecting the engine from harmful deposits.
Also considering that the majority of agricultural work is done during planting and harvest, it’s essential to keep equipment running properly and prevent costly repairs during peak season. Utilizing a fuel with a complete additive package can assist with efficiency and productivity by keeping farm equipment in the field, rather than the shop.
When it comes to protecting your equipment investment, the Cenex Total Protection Plan® is the industry’s best warranty program. Regardless of make or model, the Total Protection Plan covers new equipment for up to 10 years or 10,000 hours, or used equipment for up to 8 years or 8,000 hours, with no deductible.
It is always inspiring to see the latest technologies and innovative services that our industry partners bring to market. Each year we continue to take exciting steps forward in helping American farmers produce more food, feed, and fiber crops while improving the efficiency and productivity of their operations. For a deeper look at the products unveiled at the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show, check these product roundups by Farm Industry News and Successful Farming.
Photo courtesy of National Farm Machinery Show.
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