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Machinery department

Tractor lease

MachineryLink made a name for itself in 2001 with a managed lease program that lets farmers run new combines without the expense of purchasing one. The company now has announced a tractor lease program for the 2003 crop season. Short- to long-term leasing options include Case model MX 240 and MX 270 tractors. The Case MX 270 (shown) is a 270-hp, 4-wd tractor, and the MX 240 is a 240-hp model.

The leases include all maintenance, servicing and transportation. Farmers pay according to the number of hours they use the tractor and when they need it. Tractor lease prices range from $38 to $45/hr. Combine leases range from $100 to $120/separator hour, the time the machine is engaged during harvesting/threshing. Contact MachineryLink, Dept. FIN, 1600 Genessee, Suite 360, Kansas City, MO 64102, 888/272-3323, visit or

Planter scale

As seed tanks get bigger, on-board digital scales become an increasingly popular planter option. A scale is useful to farmers who want an easy way to evenly fill seed tanks or need precise information about seed remaining in the tank.

Central City Scale now offers a scale kit that fits on the new John Deere 1790 planter with the Central Commodity System (CCS). The kit attaches with bolt-on weigh bar brackets and requires no cutting or welding. Printers and memory downloads are optional.

The kit is available from John Deere dealers, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $1,800, depending on options. Contact Central City Scale, Dept. FIN, Box 197, Central City, NE 68826, 800/582-3175, visit

Precision fertilizer coulter

Starter fertilizer has to be close enough for plant roots to reach, but not so close that it burns young seedlings. The industry standard has been 2 in. over and 2 in. down to avoid burn, but Great Plains Manufacturing claims its research shows that the standard is too far away for quick growth response.

The company's solution is the Vantage III coulter, which puts starter fertilizer ⅛ to ¼ in. below and ½ in. on both sides of the seed. The coulter also improves soil tilth in the seed zone.

Price is $350/row. Contact Great Plains Mfg. Inc., Dept. FIN, 1525 E. North St., Salina, KS 67401, 785/823-3276, visit or

Forage harvester corn head

Claas of America has redesigned its RU 450 and RU 600 independent row corn heads. The 15- and 20-ft. heads are designed for Claas self-propelled Jaguar forage harvesters. The redesigned units come with new shielding for easier maintenance and new fingers that reduce the risk of double cutting and plant loss in different row widths.

New bidirectional clutches have been installed in the rotor gearboxes, so the clutch can work in both forward and reversing operations. Each disc has its own clutch. Ear catcher rings above the outer feeder discs are fixed with screws and are now easier to remove in down corn.

Price ranges from $56,746 to $71,204. Contact Claas of America LLC, Dept. FIN, 3030 Norcross Dr., Woodside Business Center, Columbus, IN 47202, 812/342-4441, visit or, or circle 189.

Small tractor cultivator

This new line of model 1000 3-pt. hitch cultivators is specially designed for smaller-horsepower tractors. The ground-to-pin height of 16 in. allows the unit to be properly lifted out of the ground by tractors in the 25- to 65-hp range.

The new cultivators have a 9-in. shank spacing and can accommodate sweeps up to 11 in. wide. Shanks are ⅞ in. and accept 47° sweeps. An optional set of gauge wheels improves depth control. The machines come in 5.25-, 6.75- and 8.25-ft. widths. The 5.25-ft. base unit can be equipped with extension kits to increase size.

Price range, depending on size and options, is $667 to $1,392. Contact Free Form Plastic Products, Dept. FIN, Box 159, St. Brieux, Saskatchewan S0K 3V0, Canada, 306/275-2155, visit or

Antitheft system

Stop thieves from stealing your equipment and get a better rate on insurance premiums with the Titan antitheft system.

Once installed on a piece of equipment, the Titan hardware unit automatically immobilizes the machine every night to eliminate unauthorized movement and theft. It protects all equipment types and models without manual locks, special keys or user programming.

The cost per unit is $599. The antitheft subscription costs about $4.50 to $6.00 a month per unit. Additional services cost more. For example, the system can covertly monitor a handful of different conditions on equipment after nightfall. The disruption of any of them results in an immediate call to your phone. There's also a GPS recovery option that lets you plot equipment location on a secure Web-based map. To help justify the cost, the company will assist its customers in negotiating lower insurance premiums.

Contact DPL America, Dept. FIN, 301 N. Whisman Rd., Mountain View, CA 94043, 800/897-8093, visit or

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