New farm and ranch products for 2012

Apr 13, 2012

A number of new products are out in 2012 which deserve some attention. Some were highlighted in the recent World Ag Expo while another is more home-grown.

Smitty Built Calf Saver; calf sled

This clever new product is the result of ranch ingenuity and a couple years of ‘field testing’ in the field.

Ryan Smit saw an issue with the traditional means of gathering young calves in need of attention or weighing. Collecting the calf, bringing it to where it is needed, then going out again for the cow takes up unnecessary time and can break the bond between a cow and new calf. Instead, he thought bringing the cow at the same time— and by her own motherly instinct to follow her calf— would be more efficient.

The Smitty Built Calf Saver is a handmade, stainless-steel calf sled which can be pulled while on horseback, in an ATV, or from the back of a pickup. Its wide base and high clearance keep it stable on rough terrain. Unlike many calf sleds, the Calf Saver has a small pen with latching gate to prevent the calf from falling out.

“I’d seen all the other sleds that just don’t work,” said Smit. “I needed to build something where the calf couldn’t fall out.”

The beauty of the Calf Saver is that the open pipe structure allows the cow to see, smell and touch her calf. Playing on the cow’s natural maternal instinct, the Calf Saver brings both calf and following mother to the barn, or wherever you need them.

“And that’s the time-saving part of it! It allows you to get the cow to the barn so [the calf] can still suck and he can be doctored, then turn them both out when he’s healthy.”

Smit said using the cow’s natural instincts to bring her in with the calf reduces stress on both animals.

Durablend; dust control

This item was among World Ag Expo’s top 10 new products for 2012. Durablend is a dust controller and road stabilization product made by EnviroTech Services, Inc. of Greeley, CO. The product boasts organic-based polymers and traditional chloride dust controls to bind dust particles to the road.

The ability of Durablend to lock dust and aggregate particles to the surface of a treated road keeps the product from migrating during rainfall.

According to Charles Sherven, an EnviroTech Services regional sales manager, “[t]he polymers in durablend glue the chlorides to the road base so they stay put. In fact, extensive studies show that the product reduces leaching losses of magnesium and calcium by 90 percent. As a result, it can be used in environmentally-sensitive areas. Also, by improving friction in moisture situations, it provides for safer driving surfaces.”

The product can be applied with conventional spray systems, costs the same as standard dust control materials on a per mile basis, but is more efficient. Durablend is normally applied at the rate of about one quarter-gallon per square yard, half the application rate usually required with other dust control products.

DewPoint 6110; dew simulator

The DewPoint 6110 is an excellent product for anyone baling hay in less than moist conditions. One of the winners of World Ag Expo’s top 10 products of 2012, the system injects steam into hay during the collection and baling processes. This decreases growers’ dependency on natural dew and allows for all-day-long baling.

Produced by Staheli West, Inc., the computer-controlled system injects steam into hay twice. Steam is first injected into the top and bottom of the windrow as it’s lifted by the baler’s pickup mechanism, then again as the hay is compressed into bales. This allows for a consistent moisture content through a wide range of temperatures and conditions.

The DewPoint 6110 includes tanks carrying 1,000 gallons of water, a dieselfired boiler to generate steam, and has an injection system designed to be mounted onto large square balers.

According to its inventor, the DewPoint 6110 stands apart from other dew simulators because it softens dry hay immediately upon collection from the windrow.

“When the injected steam hits the dry crop material, the steam condenses immediately,” said inventor Dave Staheli of Cedar City, UT. “The hay absorbs this moisture instantly for a very efficient operation.”

Defender Locking Gooseneck Coupler; trailer hitch

One of World Ag Expo’s 2012 New Product Honorable Mentions was the Defender Locking Gooseneck Coupler by B&W Trailer Hitches. The product boasts ease of use, integrated theft deterrent, a design which resists debris contamination, and a one-year warranty.

The Defender Locking Gooseneck Coupler’s coneshaped coupler gives more leeway in hitching your trailer by guiding the ball into the latching mechanism. Once lined up, the latch engages automatically.

The Coupler has a built-in keyed locking mechanism for added protection. Either lock the trailer to the truck, or lock the Coupler while the trailer is unhitched to prevent thieves from using it if they try to make off with your trailer. The locking mechanism is fully enclosed in the Coupler’s housing, keeping debris out.

The Coupler has a 25,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating, a 7,500-pound vertical tongue weight, and includes a one-year limited warranty. — Kerry Halladay, WLJ Editor