2018 Iowa Power Farming Show
By KRISS NELSON
DES MOINES – The 2018 Iowa Power Farming Show was held last week and featured 75 new exhibit spaces and 99 new exhibitors as well as a new area for lunch dining and seating.
Out of the 1,932 booths – spanning more than 7.7 acres – some companies took the opportunity to showcase new equipment, while others were there to network with potential new customers and get reacquainted with old ones.
Calmer Corn Heads
Marion Calmer, chief executive officer of Calmer Corn Heads, of Alpha, Illinois, took advantage of a large exhibitor space to showcase his options for custom-built corn heads and residue management kits, as well as connect with other Midwestern producers.
“It’s great to be in central Iowa,” said Calmer. “I’m impressed by the optimism. I have farmed my entire life and to see everybody come here, we have all been through the tough times and seen the good times. But the American farmer stays the course.”
“These guys realize there’s always a cycle, and they’re here for the long haul.”
Calmer said, 20 years ago, he started working with narrow row corn on his own farm and, in turn, built the world’s first 15-inch corn head.
Why plant narrow row corn?
“Corn’s a grass,” he said. “At my farm, I want to treat it like a grass. I think the most abnormal thing that man’s ever done is to put corn in a row, because grass doesn’t normally do well in a row.”
The biomass and root structure, made available from planting narrow row corn, is another benefit.
“We are using Mother Nature’s canopy to shut down the weeds,” he said. “We’re using the root mass to stop erosion and we’re exploring every square inch of the soil profile, so we’re going to maximize that yield right along with that.”
Calmer said they also went on to develop a 12-inch corn head.
Currently, Calmer Corn Heads offers 15-inch corn heads, a few of the 12-inch corn heads, 20-inch and 30-inch row corn heads as well.
He said they were the first to develop a chopping stalk roll.
The chopping stalk roll allows for producers to upgrade their old corn heads by utilizing the residue management upgrade kits the company has made available.
There are several benefits for producers to add a residue management kit onto their existing corn heads.
“The big thing is about a 10-bushel increase in continuous corn by chopping the residue up into smaller pieces,” he said, adding the corn head will chop the stalk as it goes down through the corn head and then it splits the stalk into two halves.
This process opens up a path in the stalk that accelerates decomposition.
“It also does a nice job at feeding the earthworms,” he said. “They like to eat that soft material that’s on the inside.”
Another focus to the development of the residue management kits is to ensure the corn makes it through the machine and not dropped on the ground or pushed out the back of the combine.
“One of our focuses is to be able to have more yellow ears go through the machine,” he said. “And that’s one of the things our kit does. By doing that, we have less separator loss in the combine. This also allows us to pick up another one mile an hour ground speed and still do a better job.”
New for the 2018 harvest season is the ability to use the residue management kits on even more brands of corn heads.
“We can hang them on just about anybody’s combine,” Calmer said. “This year, we have added in Gleaner and Geringhoff corn heads and the new models of the Case 3400.”
He added these residue management kits have been available for almost 15 years and are continuously making improvements where they see fit.
“We are a group of farmers that have put this all together and we’re able to see what’s going on with all of the other models,” he said. “We’re also getting feedback from the American farmers, telling us what they need and that’s what we do. We try to deliver and make problems go away and give them solutions and then, at the same time, give them a yield increase so they can make a little extra money to pay for the parts.”
Ag Leader Technology’s booth at the Iowa Power Farming Show featured displays of the company’s precision products, giving show attendees the opportunity for some hands-on experience. They also took the opportunity to showcase the InCommand 1200 Display, which is new for 2018.
According to information from the company, the InCommand’s new yield monitor calibration algorithm gives actionable, quality data quicker and easier. With InCommand’s new simplified calibration process, you don’t have to sacrifice accuracy for the sake of time.
Ag Leader studied grain flow dynamics and characteristics on thousands of calibration loads in order to maintain accuracy, but decrease calibration efforts.
“Ag Leader has always been known for their displays, user interface and how you can use it across all of the different functions on your farm, from steering, to planting, to spraying, to yield monitoring” said Luke James, Iowa territory manager. “It’s a whole farm solution. Instead of having a dedicated display for planting, one dedicated for harvest, dedicated for spraying, you can use this display for everything.”
This past summer, James said Ag Leader introduced a simplified calibration routine.
“Now we can achieve the same accuracy we were able to achieve in the past with few calibration loads,” he said. “We made that process more efficient and easier for the grower to obtain an accurate calibration.”
The new display, James said, carries on the traditions of reliability and being user-friendly for the producers.
“Our displays have been known as the most user-friendly displays on the market,” he said. “We manufacture just about everything we sell in Ames. They go through rigorous testing standards and assembly requirements. These are a quality product.”
Brad Brown, owner of Brown Fertilizer – a supplier of AgroLiquid fertilizers was also on hand at what has been called the third largest indoor ag show in the United States.
“We’ve been to the show for several years,” Brown, of Webb, said. “We find new customers and talk to the old customers. It’s another new year.”
“You get a lot of new questions and a lot of the same old ones. Ag is a great business to be in.”
Brown’s company specializes in liquid fertilizer, including products for broadcast applications as well in-furrow products featuring NPK, micronutrients, calcium and sulfur.
He said there are many benefits producers can gain from the use of liquid fertilizers.
“Our liquid fertilizers we handle are real available,” he said. “We’re 80-90 percent available, especially if you’re going in-furrow. We like to place fertilizer in the root zone.”
A lot of times, if a producer chooses to go in-furrow with a blend of fertilizers and micronutrients, Brown said it is easy to get that into all one package.
“You’re going to save on applications and it’s going to be more readily available for the crops,” he said. “We do a lot of mixing because we are true liquids. They’re easy to use. They stay mixed. We do a mix of P and K all of the time along with micronutrients, calcium, sulfur and nitrogen.”
With another year of a downturn in the farm economy, Brown said some producers may be trying to cut back on their inputs, but he does offer some advice.
“That’s where placing fertilizers in-furrow will be of benefit,” he said. “If they’re trying to cut back, place some of that fertilizer – that’s going to be the best bang for you buck – if you can get something in-furrow. Maybe apply some foliar feed on the crops later on, but in-furrow is a very good place for a lot of them to start.”
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