Minogue: In tractors, data is the new tech

Boone, Iowa | Grainews –– Data was the star of the show when Case IH launched its new lineup here during the U.S. Farm Progress Show.

Jim Walker, Case IH’s vice-president for its North American agricultural business, told media that although this year’s launch doesn’t have the quantity of new products farmers have seen released in previous years, “it’s going to be the most impactful introduction year that we’ve had at Case IH.

“The industry is definitely going through a correction mode right now,” he said. Lower prices, recent record machinery sales and a buildup of used machinery on dealers’ lots are leading to tougher times for equipment companies.

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“At the end of the day, producers don’t have to buy right now,” Walker said. “They’re only going to buy if we deliver more profit per acre to them. The competition is intense.”

Case IH hopes to use its data capabilities to maintain a competitive edge and is highlighting its new telematics technology AFS Connect 2.0.

The original AFS Connect technology, released in 2012, was meant to offer wireless connectivity to machine data — such as for fleet management and performance analysis — through standard cellular networks.

The company plans to differentiate itself in the market by making sure farmers know that customers using AFS Connect 2.0 will own and control the data they generate.

While the emphasis was on data, there was new machinery on display for row-crop farmers or farmers considering controlled-traffic farming.

Case IH’s new Magnum Rowtrac tractor combines its Steiger RowTrac technology with rigid-frame tractor design.

“Where traditional tires just wouldn’t perform, our Magnum RowTrac outperforms two-track tractors as well,” said Zach Hetterick, Case IH’s horsepower marketing manager.

Multiple tire options and four front axle options will give producers several possible settings for row spacing.

— Leeann Minogue is editor of Grainews, based at Griffin, Sask. Follow her @GrainMuse on Twitter.


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