GFM Network News


Versatile introduced the three-model Nemesis tractor line to the public in 2019.

How to design a tractor, part 1

A unique look at the development process behind Versatile’s Nemesis

Last year, in the pages of Grainews, we informed you about the 2019 launch of Versatile’s new Nemesis tractor line, which are also built as the Kubota M8s. And you probably saw similar announcements of the tractors’ introductions in other publications, but what no one else has done is given you a behind-the-scenes look at […] Read more

Reg Alspach’s Massey-Harris 55 tractor model is about 6.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches tall and 11 inches long.

Editor’s column: Can you help solve the mystery of the Massey-Harris 55 model?

After reading a story about a Massey-Harris 55 tractor in the Feb. 24, 2015, issue of Grainews, Reg Alspach was inspired to put pen to paper and write about his Massey-Harris 55. The feature in Grainews, written by former machinery editor Scott Garvey, was about a Saskatchewan-based, Massey-Harris 55 owner named Frank Paul, who restored […] Read more


Tires versus tracks: separating fact from fiction

Experts weigh in on tires, tracks and minimizing soil compaction

If conversation slows in a room full of farmers, three little words can ramp up a rowdy discussion: tracks or tires? Tracks have gained loads of attention and growing popularity over the past decade. However, does science back up their many supposed benefits, especially when it comes to minimizing soil compaction? Partial fact: Tracks produce […] Read more

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


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

John Deere’s 8RX wins Tech for 
a Better World innovation award at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

First tractor wins CES tech honour

John Deere makes history as first tractor earns coveted honour at the electronics expo

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is known for showcasing some of the hottest high-tech tools from innovative companies across the globe. Several of the products that took home top honours in the 2020 Innovation Awards categories were conceptual or not available on the mass market and most were small enough to tuck […] Read more


Reading this book along with a good cup of coffee made for a good way to spend Sunday afternoons.

Winter reading for International Harvester enthusiasts

The family behind the IH brand? Or a book for IH Cub tractor owners?

We’ve come across two books that International Harvester enthusiasts might want to make time to read during this cold winter season. Founding family history This summer we read through The International Harvester Company: A History of the Founding Families and Their Machines, written by Chaim M. Rosenberg and published by McFarland. This isn’t the typical machinery […] Read more

Large R Series tractors 
have been given some design and engineering changes for the 2020 model year.

John Deere 7R versus 8R tractors

With overlapping horsepower ranges, what’s the difference between them?

Across Western Canada, most John Deere dealers will likely tell you that on their lots, 8R tractors far outsell the 7Rs. Given that these two model ranges have overlapping horsepower ranges, what is it that each series offers that might be a better fit to each potential buyer? That was a question that marketing staff […] Read more


The all-new 6110M and 6120M tractors ride on a short wheelbase and offer a dizzying range of option choices.

John Deere revamps its 6M tractor line

New models, a redesign and longer options list for the 2020 model year

In mid-September, John Deere pulled the wraps off the latest updates to one of its mid-horsepower tractor ranges: the 6M family. That mid-spec line will see a much wider range of new options available for the 2020 model year across all models, but a new 140-horsepower 6140M model will also join the group to fill […] Read more

John Deere debuts the industry’s first line of rigid-frame four-track tractors.

John Deere introduces 8RX line of tracked tractors

Grainews reviews John Deere’s industry-first, 4-track rigid- frame tractor

[UPDATED Nov. 4, 2019] Today John Deere officially unveiled its new line of 8RX tractors, which are — wait for it — rigid-frame four-tracked models. Anyone who has walked the aisles at Agritechnica, the world’s largest farm machinery show in Germany, will have noticed four-tracked rigid-frame tractors on display. But those are the result of […] Read more