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Case IH and Northmec highlight farm equipment and technologies at NAMPO Cape 2019

Case IH, a brand of CNH Industrial, and Northmec Agricultural Equipment (Northmec), its long-standing distribution partner in South Africa, have showcased state-of-the-art technologies at NAMPO Cape 2019

Their joint stand featured two new products, the AGXTEND SoilXplorer sensor and Case IH Axial-Flow 250 Series combine harvesters with AFS Harvest Command automation. It includes a wide range of Case IH tractor models, the JX75T, Farmall 100JX with cab and loader, Maxxum 125, Puma 155, Magnum 250 and Magnum 340 Rowtrac, together with Steiger 400 and Steiger 500 models. A Patriot 3230 self-propelled sprayer and 3016 pick-up header also form part of the exhibit.

Organised by Grain South Africa, NAMPO Cape 2019 is the second such event held at Bredasdorp Park, which is situated close to the southernmost tip of Africa and has been the home of agricultural trade shows for more than two decades.

“NAMPO Cape 2019, the largest agricultural show in the Southern and Western Cape, has become a very important event for both companies,” stated Jaco Prinsloo, Case IH product marketing. “Our partnership with Northmec, the Case IH distributor for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia, has been very successful for 30 years and in that time Case IH has become a leading brand in South Africa. Northmec has developed market-leading levels of sales, service and support which benefit customers across many Case IH product lines and have contributed significantly to our continued strong growth in this region.”

For Northmec, the event is a celebration of 150 years of providing farmers in South Africa with excellent products and service.

Northmec imports and distributes agricultural equipment, predominantly in grain-producing areas, through an extensive network of 13 branches and 37 dealers, together with one subsidiary (shareholding) in Zimbabwe. It has been selling and supporting the extensive range of Case IH products since 1989.

New Agxtend Soilxplorer is a show highlight

One of the highlights of NAMPO Cape 2019, the SoilXplorer sensor, is part of the innovative AGXTEND range of precision farming technologies. Complementing Case IH Advanced Farming System (AFS) products, it will eventually include a full range of precision solutions and connected services.

Helping farmers to refine their field and crop management while improving returns on precision farming equipment investment, each AGXTEND component is designed to aid decision making, improve the efficiency and accuracy with which inputs are used and make the most of measured data.

The SoilXplorer contactless soil sensor collects all the data needed to optimise soil management, such as soil texture, relative water content and compaction. Because it does not require direct soil contact, the sensor is independent of weather conditions and vegetation. Furthermore, with the addition of DepthXcontrol it can control, in real-time, the working depth of tillage operations and adjust seed rates.

The sensor emits an electromagnetic signal into the soil, while four coils measure soil conductivity at different depths. When the sensor is located 40cm above the soil, these layers are at 0-25cm, 15-60cm, 55-95cm and 85-115cm. Associated with a GPS receiver, the system can record and map in-field soil heterogeneities for each of the four soil depths. Light and easy to handle, the unit can be mounted on the front weight/linkage of a tractor or other suitable agricultural machine.

Data gathered by SoilXplorer is converted into valuable files for a farm’s Farm Management Information System by SoilXtend software. DepthXcontrol enables tillage depth to be controlled in real time, allowing variable depth soil cultivation with compatible equipment. It has three operating modes: shallow cultivation, sub-soiling and depth contour, which optimise work rates, save fuel and wearing metal, while promoting continuous improvements in soil structure.

The SoilXplorer sensor identifies different soil conditions, in real-time, adjusts the seed rate of an ISOBUS seeder based on relative water content and soil texture. SeedXcontrol software then adjusts the seed rate, also in real-time, the highest rate being applied in the best soil conditions and a lower rate where conditions are less favourable, so there is no need for a prescription map or other pre-work. The ‘teach’ function allows the sensor to continually improve its operation during the application.

New Axial-Flow 250 series combines on show

Visitors to the Case IH / Northmec stand at NAMPO Cape 2019 can also see the new 490hp (rated power) Axial-Flow 8250 combine harvester, one of three new 250 Series models in a range which also include the 425hp 7250 and 550hp 9250. The smaller Axial-Flow 5140, 6140 and 7140 models remain market leaders in their segments and are an important part of Northmec’s equipment offering.

Powered by FPT Cursor engines, Axial-Flow 250 Series models meet the demands of large progressive farming and contracting businesses by delivering high-speed harvesting, increased threshing capability even under the most challenging conditions, combined with unbeatable grain quality.

The three new models deliver improvements in combine and operator productivity by offering significant technology, durability and productivity enhancements over the 240 series models they replace. These include larger fuel tanks, up to 1,200 litres, and larger grain tanks, up to 14,400 litres, which maximise harvesting time, together with headers up to 13.6m wide.

While their new automated features are designed to allow operators to more easily maximise machine performance in terms of crop throughput and quality, the new models preserve the simplicity, grain saving and grain quality performance for which Axial-Flow combines are renowned.

At the heart of the new 7250, 8250 and 9250 Axial-Flow combines is AFS Harvest Command automation, a revolutionary monitoring and control system which communicates with all key elements of the combine, processes the acquired data and automates key functions. This completely new technology package utilises 16 sensor inputs which continuously monitor the combine and adjust, in real-time, all its settings, such as reel, knife, auger, rotor and cleaning fan speeds, together with the sieves, to maximise productivity and grain quality.

All this is achieved without the need for any action by the operator. However, automation is designed not to replace operator decisions but enhance them by identifying the factor limiting combine performance as conditions change and automatically making adjustments to address it. Relieving the driver of the need to make critical decisions makes their job less tiring and less stressful, allowing them to focus on harvesting.

Managed through the in-cab AFS Pro700 terminal, AFS Harvest Command is currently capable of working in wheat, oilseed rape/canola, corn/maize and soybeans. Just a few selections according to crop type and conditions allow the operator to set the machine to perform to the desired outcome.

The basic version of AFS Harvest Command features the proven Automatic Crop Settings (ACS) system. This adjusts operating items such as fan speed and concave clearance according to the crop type selected on the AFS terminal screen, eliminating the need to make individual element settings. The operator can adjust the combine on the go and save the settings for future use.

The next version, with Feedrate Control, adjusts ground speed based on crop load to cater to the desired outcome – performance to control losses, maximum throughput, or fixed throughput. The operator sets the target maximum engine load and ground speed, and Feedrate Control will operate up to those limits. More accurately controlling ground speed based on crop and ground drive load, Feedrate Control can be used as a stand-alone function and works in all crop types.

Full specification AFS Harvest Command automation adds electrically adjustable rotor cage vanes, a grain camera and sieve pressure sensors to maximise harvesting speed by changing the combine settings automatically to meet and maintain pre-set parameters. With full automation, AFS Harvest Command can be used in four different modes: Performance; Constant Throughput: Maximum Capacity: Grain quality.

The Axial-Flow 250 Series models also incorporate a raft of other changes, including a new hydrostatic transmission, feeder and intake upgrades, while the XTRA-CHOPPING straw chopper package is now fitted with a remote switch for ground-level spreader board actuation, making access to the engine deck easier for fuelling and maintenance.