Power At Work

Mobile crop pelleter steals the show at Agritechnica

A rundown of innovations at the world’s largest farm equipment exhibition, which never fails to spotlight new ideas and efficiencies that offer that extra acre per hour


“Never before have I experienced this level of customer interest in a new machine. Farmers from all over the world have been asking how soon they can get delivery – and we’re talking here about a machine that’s still a prototype, and one that won’t be cheap!”

‘Share the Road’ becoming increasingly difficult – and dangerous – for farm equipment operators

Deep ditches on narrow rural roads make rollovers almost inevitable, as well as causing weed problems. It’s time for municipalities to act


Back in April 2013, Better Farming published an article of mine about big farm equipment on our roads: “Municipalities need to get the message about rural road design.” That article brought direct support – and numerous phone calls – from many other farm and agricultural road users.

The safety of your farm machinery must always be a high priority

Tractors are not the only cause of injury on the farm. Forage harvesters, corn pickers, combines, silo-unloaders, liquid manure storages and grain bins are among the major sources of concern and all deserve your attention


Some of us remember very vividly the need for farm safety even before we had sophisticated machinery and equipment. Did any of you ever go on a high-speed ride behind a team of horses? I did – twice – in my early life and fortunately I survived both rides!

Electrical safety must be kept front and centre in our farm buildings

With rural municipalities being absorbed into urban ones, building inspectors may not be knowledgeable enough about farm building technology or the Canadian Farm Building Code. The code must be updated and not dropped, as it has been in other provinces


There is no doubt that safety codes must be in place to ensure that some guidelines are enforced, but unfortunately they can often overrule common sense.

What’s behind the increase in farm machinery reliability?

Quality control, accelerated testing and metallurgy improvements have all contributed to the great strides in farm machinery since those early farm tractors of the 1940s and 1950s


Some of us older people remember when we changed engine oil every 1,000 miles and ground the valves every 10,000 miles. That was pretty much standard procedure for cars in the 1950s.

A century of progress in diesel engine technology

Diesel engines have come a long way since the earliest model designed by Dr. Rudolf Diesel. Fuel consumption of Tier 4 tractors is significantly lower and today’s heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks are 98 per cent cleaner than even those of 10 years ago


In the early 1900s, very crude compression-ignition (diesel) engines were developed to burn low-quality fuel. The earliest engine designed by Dr. Rudolf Diesel was a single-cylinder, two-cycle engine which would burn low-grade kerosene that was much cheaper than gasoline.

The technology revolution in agricultural production

Electronic and GPS monitors have come a long way in 20 years. Today, farmers have much greater computer capabilities available to them than the large computer room at the University of Toronto used to have. What will the next 20 years bring?


In April of 1997, I purchased my first yield monitor for the combine. It was a major step forward in viewing yield responses as I operated the combine. But the fact that I could not draw yield maps to show others limited its real usefulness.


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