In western Canada, Mother Nature blessed farmers with a great growing season – but a seriously challenging harvest – says this week’s guest blogger, Louis Melanson. A Case IH combine product specialist since 1999, Melanson has been with the company for 35 years. He grew up on a farm in eastern Canada, and has always been drawn to big agricultural iron. He wound up working with combines because he was intrigued by the capability to use 30-foot plus headers at 5 mph to harvest canola, which is a very light seed. Melanson jokes that he became a combine specialist “by reading the manual.”
Canola and wheat account for the majority of crops in my area, along with some barley. We’re probably 90 percent done with canola. But it’s getting tougher to get that last 10 percent out, because the snow’s starting to fall. Customers can only combine a few hours a day.
This week’s guest blogger, Kevin Knapp, says harvest progress and yields are all over in his territory, depending on where on the map you’re located. Knapp is the Case IH combine product specialist serving northern Illinois, northern Indiana, northwest Ohio, nearly all of Wisconsin and Michigan. Prior to becoming the area’s combine specialist, Knapp spent six years as a combine test engineer for Case IH, travelling the world to test Case IH Axial-Flow combine technology in just about every imaginable crop and condition. Knapp grew up on a farm in Henry, Ill., and has been intrigued by combines for as long as he can remember. (“My mom could tell you stories,” he says.)
Harvest is progressing well in guest blogger Corwyn Lepp’s territory, which includes several states and a variety of crops. Lepp is the Case IH combine product specialist covering South Dakota, southeastern North Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, western Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Crops include corn, soybeans, winter and spring wheat and sunflowers – along with a little bit of milo, edible beans and popcorn. Lepp grew up on a farm and has spent his entire career working with combines. (They’re his favorite machines.) With 27 years of machinery experience and starting at International Harvester, Lepp spent 12 years as a territory service manager, and 13 years as a territory sales manager before jumping into his combine specialist role two years ago.
The predominant crops in my area are corn and soybeans, and we’ve had good weather for harvest – virtually two straight months of very nice weather with no rain delays. The corn and bean crops have been good, but very dry. I think weather may have impacted yields somewhat, because we had very little rainfall in July and August.
Harvest is progressing well in the North Central region, thanks to dry weather throughout the harvest season. It never rained during soybean harvest. And according to guest blogger Mike King, the Case IH combine product specialist for Minnesota and Central Iowa, the only thing slowing down the corn harvest is some down corn in a few areas. A member of the combine team (which he calls “the best job in the company”) since 2006, King has been with Case IH for 23 years.
It’s not nearly as serious as what Texas is suffering through, but drought in the Midwest remains moderate to severe, and corn yields are lower. The lack of moisture isn’t critical yet, but it’s getting there, says guest blogger Terry Snack, the Case IH combine product specialist for Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin. Born and raised on a farm in east central Illinois, Snack went to work for International Harvester at about the same time the first Axial-Flow combine was introduced 35 years ago. In his three-plus decades with the company, Snack still “lives and breathes” combines.
There’s good news and bad news in the harvest reports coming out of the Southern Plains. Severe drought in Texas and Oklahoma has obviously taken a toll on yields in 2011. The good news is: Prices for some crops are twice what they were in 2010, and harvest is ahead of schedule, says this week’s harvest blogger, Dan Renaud (“the guy with the suspenders”). Renaud is the Case IH combine product specialist responsible for Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. With the company for 31 years, Renaud has spent the last 16 years as a Case IH product specialist, and the last decade focusing solely on combines. Like all Case IH product specialists, Renaud is based in the field, where he can most efficiently support Case IH customers and dealers.
Depending on where you are in the country, harvest is most likely well under way, or for a lucky few of you, complete. With this post, we’re beginning a new series featuring Harvest Reports from Case IH Combine Product Specialists based throughout North America. Case IH product specialists are located in the field close to the customers and dealers they support. They bring a unique level of local specialized product expertise to the dealers and customers they support. Our guest blogger for this week is Ryan G. Miller, the Case IH Combine Product Specialist, supporting customers and dealers in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Ryan, who originally is from western Kansas, brings previous industry experience and knowledge with him in his second full harvest season with Case IH.
Getting Inside Selective Catalytic Reduction
Using an actual Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) muffler that’s been cut away to reveal its inner workings, Kevin Knapp from Case IH explains the SCR system that can be found in our new Tier 4A 30 Series Axial-Flow combines, as well as our high-horsepower tractors. The system is a model of simplicity and engineering efficiency.
The biggest advantage of SCR as the emissions-reduction technology of choice is what you don’t see. The entire system can be explained without showing the engine at all. That’s because Tier 4 compliance is achieved after combustion, allowing the power plant to be tuned for optimum performance and economy. Kevin probably puts it best when he says, “The engine’s just there to create power, and do it efficiently.”
Hear what producers are saying about Case IH simple operation.
In a historical sense, they represent the third and fourth generations of their Illinois farming family, but Don and Jon Thompson don’t spend much time looking backward. Instead, this father-son farming team keeps an eye on the future, adopting innovative technologies as soon as they become available, and adapting quickly to constant changes in farming practices.
Knowing their background, it’s no surprise that the Thompsons were among the first to see the advantages of the Axial-Flow rotary combine back in the mid 1970s, and that today they’re near the head of the line to see the advantages of new Case IH Tier 4A engine technology.
If you haven’t seen the earlier video posts highlighting what producers are saying about Case IH technology, check back over the last week or so. You’ll hear a variety of voices talking about Case IH Efficient Power, using terms like powerful, smart technology, and simple operation. Or for the big picture, just visit Case IH at our YouTube channel.
Hear What Producers are Saying: Case IH Smart Technology
All this week and next, we’re featuring videos highlighting what farmers have to say about Case IH Efficient Power, and how they’re putting it to work on their operations. Today we get feedback about the fuel efficiency in new Tier 4 compliant high-horsepower tractors.
Based on feedback from producers who have purchased new Tier 4 Steiger and Magnum tractors, the adoption of SCR technology for emissions control has led to gratifying gains in both performance and efficiency. While meeting Tier 4 requirements was obviously a requirement, these farmers told us that these engines put power first, delivering both optimum performance and top-notch fuel economy.