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Robert Pitman

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Five Strategies for Extending Machinery Life

Machinery ownership and operation is a major crop and livestock production cost. Several strategies when combined can significantly affect costs, improve machine reliability, and improve profit margins.

This Extension publication discusses five strategies to achieve maximum farm machinery life. These strategies are: machinery maintenance, oil analysis, machinery storage, engine tune-ups, and avoiding modification of tractor engines.

May 1, 2009 442-451
Gear Up and Throttle Down -- Saving Fuel
"Gear Up and Throttle Down" is a fuel-saving practice suitable for light drawbar loads (less than 65 percent of full power) when reduced PTO speed is not a problem.

For the most efficient operation, a tractor's engine should be operated near its rated capacity. However, there are many field operations (such as light tillage, planting, cultivating, and hay raking) that do not require full tractor power. This is especially true when older implements, which were sized for a smaller tractor, are used with higher horsepower tractors. Also, many operations should be performed at a fixed field speed.

May 1, 2009 442-450
Planter/Drill Considerations for Conservation Tillage Systems

No-till planters and drills must be able to cut and handle residue, penetrate the soil to the proper seeding depth, and establish good seed-to-soil contact. Many different soil conditions can be present in the Mid-Atlantic region at planting time. Moist soils covered with residue, which may also be wet, can dominate during the late fall and early spring and, occasionally, in the summer. Although this condition provides an ideal environment for seed germination, it can make it difficult to cut through the residue. In contrast, hard and dry conditions may also prevail. Although cutting residue is easier during dry conditions, it is more difficult to penetrate the hard, dry soils. Proper timing, equipment selection and adjustments, and crop management can overcome these difficult issues.

Aug 8, 2014 442-457 (BSE-147P)
Predicting Tractor Diesel Fuel Consumption Aug 24, 2010 442-073
Soybean Rust Incidence and the Response of Soybeans to Foliar Fungicides in 2006 May 1, 2009 450-562
Soybean Rust Incidence and the Response of Soybeans to Fungicides in 2007 May 1, 2009 2810-1016
Soybean Rust Incidence and the Response of Soybeans to Fungicides in 2008 Nov 19, 2009 2911-1420
Soybean Rust Incidence and the Response of Soybeans to Fungicides in 2009 Dec 21, 2010 3012-1520
Using Tractor Test Data for Selecting Farm Tractors May 12, 2009 442-072