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Crops department

Grain funnel spout

Control the flow of grain while filling semitrailers from your grain cart with J&M's hydraulically driven flow-control spout.

The housing of the spout fits 14- or 16-in. augers and comes complete with mounting hardware. When the spout is installed, you can control its angle for even filling from your tractor cab with supplied hydraulic lines and hardware. It fits any existing auger. List price: $425. Contact J&M Mfg. Co., Dept. FIN, Box 547, Ft. Recovery, OH 45846, 419/375-4860.

New seed for two thousand

A few seed companies are announcing new hybrids and varieties for spring planting.

Asgrow has eight new hybrids that are Roundup Ready (RR) (four of which also offer YieldGard protection) and four new YieldGard hybrids. Maturity dates range from 90 to 112 days. The company introduces seven new RR soybean varieties, two of which are offered for the northern climes. The company also offers two new options for sorghum.

Dekalb expands its lineup with 25 new corn hybrids, 12 with YieldGard protection. Maturity ranges from 86 to 114 days. For soybeans, there are 15 RR varieties in the Early II to Late V maturity groups. A new sorghum hybrid and a sunflower hybrid join the Dekalb lineup. The company also is introducing RR canola, its first offering of canola seed in the U.S.

Great Lakes Hybrids announces 26 new products, including three new RR hybrids, one with YieldGard, ten new conventional hybrids and one new Clearfield hybrid. Watch for 12 new soybean varieties: 10 are RR and two are STS.

>From NC+ comes technology that the company pitches as a "down to earth" philosophy in seed. A lineup totaling 47 new products includes three RR hybrids, three YieldGard Bt hybrids, two Clearfield (IMI) hybrids and 18 RR soybeans that include two new STS varieties. It also is offering 13 new conventional hybrids, one new white corn hybrid, two new conventional soybean varieties and two new grain sorghums. The company's first stacked-trait corn hybrid combines AgrEvo's StarLink for resistance to corn borer, Clearfield herbicides (including Lightning and Pursuit) and Liberty herbicide.

Bulk box hauler

Transport up to four Pioneer Probox seed boxes on the back of any truck or flatbed, equipped with a hoist, when you install the Pro Bulk Handler from Betam Manufacturing.

Three- and four-box models feature side rails that keep the loaded boxes in place for traveling safety. After boxes are positioned into the side rails of the handler, a rear plate and rod are inserted and all boxes are locked into place, unable to move or tip in any direction, according to the maker.

To disperse seed, you open the bottom slides of the Probox. Seed falls into the bottom tray of the Pro Bulk Handler, you hoist up the truck to an angle of about 20 degrees and the seed flows to the rear end gate. There a brush auger or conveyor delivers product to the planter.

In addition to holding three or four Proboxes (depending on the model), 50 units of seed store in the bottom tray of each model. Now an operator can take one to five different hybrids to the field at one time. The tray is made of poly material with rounded corners for cleanout. A fitted cover is available to make the tray completely waterproof. Contact Betam Mfg. Inc., Dept. FIN, RR 1, Box 92, Elbow Lake, MN 56531, 218/685-4150.

Along for the ride

Scientists at the ARS in Florida are using a gene vector (or carrier), called piggyBac, to alter the genetics of insects, which could have benefits for you and your grain storage.

The researchers found that a gene characteristic can be inserted inside piggyBac, which jumps into other genes and rides along on their chromosomes. The piggyBac gene then moves into the insect's DNA. Using this process, the insect's DNA can be manipulated in many different ways. Eventually, an alteration becomes part of the insect's genetic makeup.

The researchers tested the process by using a gene vector from the Mediterranean flour moth to create insects that lack an enzyme that helps produce its normal eye color. The black-eyed moths now have offspring that are born with red eyes.

Scientists are now testing this system in stored-product pests and are hoping to insert genes that cause sterility or death in insects under certain conditions, such as low temperatures.

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