2017 AGCO Crop Tour Preview

Solutions that lead to better yields and profitability will be showcased at several Midwest locations.

By Des Keller

For the second year, the AGCO Crop Tour will offer growers the opportunity to see for themselves comparisons of innovative plantings and in-season cropping practices. Like last year, the 2017 Crop Tour will feature demonstration plots throughout the Midwest.

“The Crop Tour is all about explaining the intersection between equipment, plants and soil—a systems approach,” says Darren Goebel, director of global commercial crop care at AGCO. “With these test plots, we are demonstrating solutions that create better, stronger plants,” he says. “In doing so, we believe we show why our solutions are better and make our customers more profitable.”

The planting done on last year’s plots highlighted the agronomic benefits of accurate downforce, seed singulation and depth control on the new White Planters 9800VE Series planters. This year, the 9800VE planters will feature the Precision Planting SpeedTube seed delivery system that allows for planting at nearly double traditional operating speeds. Plots in 2017 will evaluate how speed affects the same agronomic issues studied in 2016. “More than that, though, we will focus on the total system,” says Goebel. “We must match cultivation speeds with planting speeds to get optimum productivity.

“And as cultivation and planting speed increase, horsepower requirements increase at an exponential rate. We will test the agronomics of the AGCO system of the right tractor, cultivator and planter working together in a high-speed system. The plots will also test in-season nitrogen fertilizer timing and application methods.

“While the planter is critical, Mother Nature still can affect stand establishment,” Goebel says. “This year, we’ll use a new tool that calculates actual stand using aerial images. Knowing the stand is important when making future crop management decisions. We will also use these aerial images to manage weeds and monitor nitrogen needs.”

The thrust of the Crop Tour is to help customers solve problems, says Goebel. “We are talking about yield and profitability, what holds your crop back and how we solve for it with AGCO-designed systems and best management practices.”

AGCO equipment being used, demonstrated and highlighted during the Crop Tour includes the Challenger  and FENDT® 1000 Series tractors pulling the Sunflower® SF6830 Rotary Finisher and the White Planters 9800VE Series. An AirMax 180 RoGator will be used for fertilizer tests.