GFM Network News


No farmworkers? No problem

Autonomous equipment is making it easier for farmers to do more with less labour

Rob Saik believes farmers shouldn’t have to spend hours sitting in their tractors. “We have the most skilled operators trapped in a glass cage for days on end,” he says. Saik, CEO of DOT Technology Corporation, is at the forefront of the movement toward autonomous tractors. The Regina-based startup created a U-shaped platform that attaches […] Read more

Versatile offers more warranty

The brand introduces a three-year, 3,000-hour warranty on all 2020 tractors

There is probably nothing more frustrating for farmers than buying a new machine, only to have it sitting dead in the field with a breakdown a few days or weeks after it starts work. Unfortunately, though, it’s something many have experienced. In recent years, almost all brands have ramped up quality control at the manufacturing […] Read more


The Horsch Leeb SP 6300 self-propelled sprayer’s Boom Pro Plus controlling system allows five boom sections to move independently.

Horsch rolls out self-propelled sprayer

Horsch’s Leeb SP 6300 brings some new features to the Prairie sprayer market

The Horsch Leeb SP 6300 self-propelled sprayer is a whole different platform and concept than we’re used to seeing on the Prairies. “We went for the root issue of the problem and built a sprayer around that,” said Jeremy Hughes, product manager for Horsch. “The focus of this sprayer is to improve spray quality. What […] Read more

Capped with snow, but is it all ready to go?

Getting your air seeder ready for spring

Travis Warkentin checks over an air seeder by following the flow of the seed

How many tries is it going to take me this year to get the tractor and air seeder hitch lined up perfectly, so the pin just drops right in? Our farm uses a John Deere 1895 disk drill and 1910 commodity cart. A common machine on the Prairies. Most air seeder manufacturers make a disk […] Read more


In this Shop Class instalment, we replace the cab suspension on this 2007 Freightliner Century.

Replacing worn truck cab suspension

Installing new under-cab air bags to avoid an on-road failure

More than a few retired highway tractors find second lives pulling grain trailers on farms. While they may have logged a lot of miles, these trucks are still ideal for short-haul farm duty. But with age comes the need for maintenance. One of the most common maintenance items on today’s older highway tractors is the […] Read more

At the top end of Case IH’s tractor family is the articulated line of Steigers. Wheeled versions span the 370 to 620 engine horsepower range. The five Quadtrac models start at 470 horsepower and the three Rowtrac models go from 420 to 500 horsepower. The Steigers offer both powershift and the brand’s CVXDrive CVT transmissions.
The high-horsepower, MFWD Magnums, though, were where the brand had news to reveal this year. They were given a new look along with a host of digital features and named the AFS Connect Magnums, referencing the brand’s existing telematics products.
The new body styling looks similar to the autonomous tractor Case IH revealed back in 2016. The reason for that, claims the brand, is because these models represent the next generation of technology packed into a tractor as the industry gradually moves toward full autonomy. It pulls together a lot of new systems to allow the Magnums to communicate and stay connected in the field.
The new Pro 1200 monitor in the cab expands on the functions of the previous Pro 700. In fact, most of the tractor systems can be controlled through it, and it makes guidance inputs much simpler. The software that runs the Pro 1200 is based on the same Android technology most people are familiar with in their mobile devices. 
Inside the cab is a new control layout, but the new AFS Connect Magnum versions will have two or three ways to activate tractor systems. Those who are familiar with manual controls on the armrest will still find them there, although some will be in different locations. Virtually everything can be controlled through the Pro 1200 monitor.
Guidance is run through a new receiver that incorporates all the necessary guidance correction hardware into it, eliminating the need for a second computer inside the cab to facilitate corrections.
The new technology allows for improved mechanical diagnostics and wireless transfer of data, including GPS guidance lines.
The digital features built into the AFS Connect Magnums won’t remain unique to model year 2020 tractors; the technology is partly backwards compatible. So it can be retrofitted onto existing late model Magnums as well. It’s compatible with everything back to the Tier 3 time period. 
When it comes to the tractor itself, the new hood and cab styling are designed to make operation easier and the operator more comfortable. Slimmer cab pillars and a new, brighter interior colour along with more creature comforts give the new cab an updated feel. There is better storage and more visibility out of it, as well as a larger door that opens up the fill width of the cab, eliminating the B pillar and making entry easier.
To smooth out the ride there is a new adjustable front axle suspension, which is controlled through the monitor. Paired with it is a semi-active cab suspension.
In August the brand bumped up the maximum horsepower rating for the line, adding a 400 horsepower version of the AFS Connect Magnum.

PHOTOS: High horsepower tractor guide

A round-up of the biggest tractors available on the North American market

It’s been suggested by industry insiders that 2019 could be called the year of the tractor, because there were so many new introductions of them. That means even more choices for producers looking to re-power their farm fleet. Kubota, which has been gradually working its way into the mainstream agriculture sector with a steady stream […] Read more


Left: My father bought this 21A Massey in 1948.  Right: We purchased this 27 Massey in 1951. We attached a baler to the back. I used this machine for custom combining.

My Massey combines from 1948 to 1991

Massey combines served David Thompson well. Here is his story

Les Henry has written about the combines he’s operated. Les started with his Dad’s Oliver 30 pull type. I never operated a pull type. I started with a 21A Massey self-propelled. Les claims this combine was a Cadillac compared to his Dad’s Oliver. My Dad bought the 21A Massey combine in 1948. He paid $3,200 […] Read more

The Tempo system uses a positive air system to put seeds in the ground.

Väderstad introduces central-fill functionality

Väderstad’s new Tempo L planters come with central-fill functionality

The company is excited about the launch of central-fill functionality, as it will further increase the capacity of its Tempo L range of planters. Instead of filling in each of the row units, central-fill functionality means growers will only have to fill the 3,000-litre central seed hopper. Working as a pressurized system, seed is constantly […] Read more


Krone claims to be the first company to offer tandem axles and a three-blade cutter system, which help to producer a denser bale.

Krone celebrates large-bale production anniversary

This family-owned Germany manufacturer has been making bales for 25 years

February 2019 marked a production milestone for the family-owned German manufacturer Krone. The company, which produces hay and forage equipment, is celebrating 25 years of large square baler production. Along with that, 2019 marks 45 years of selling equipment in North America. When it began large-square baler production in 1993, the brand claims to have […] Read more

Farming Smarter has been looking at the potential of precision planters for grain, pulse and oilseed crops for several years.

Precision planter research is encouraging

Still many questions about how it would fit for grains, pulses and oilseed crops

Southern Alberta researchers say there is increasing evidence that seeding a wide range of western Canadian field crops with a vacuum or precision planter makes sense, but they need co-operative weather to prove it. That’s how Ken Coles and Lewis Baarda with the Lethbridge-based Farming Smarter applied research organization sum up results of several years […] Read more