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Farm Progress Showcases Newest Technology

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Farm Progress Showcases Newest Technology
The world’s largest outdoor farm show gets underway Tuesday in Decatur, IL: the Farm Progress Show. The reason tens of thousands of farmers make the trek to the show each year is to see what is new. What will be one of the big draws this year will be the self-driving tractor from Case IH. Jim Miller, with Case, says this is not a new model that will soon be for sale at your local dealer, “The fun thing about the Autonomous Tractor is we wanted to say here is where we think we could go. We wanted to see what the producers had to say about it and if there was even a market for it.” He told HAT, while the technology works, there are still a lot of questions remaining about how to package the unit and what regulations there would be about a tractor driving itself down a rural road. The Farm Progress Show will not be your only chance to see this unit; it will also be the center peace of the Indiana/Illinois Farm Equipment Show in December.

Case is celebrating 175 years this year. Miller says technology will be the driving force for the company for future, “We will continue to invest in technology and bring to market innovative products that help producers be more efficient and profitable.”

Another technological breakthrough that will get lots of attention here at the show will be a Goodyear passenger car tire made from soybeans. Two years ago, researchers at Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron, OH, discovered that using soybean oil in tires can increase tread life by 10 percent and could reduce the company’s petroleum-based oil use by up to 7 million gallons each year. Additional testing at Goodyear’s tire plant in Lawton, OK, showed that soy brings improved mixing capabilities in the manufacturing process. This can improve plant efficiency and could reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The oil content of a typical passenger tire is 8 percent by weight. One day, Goodyear hopes to completely replace all petroleum-based oils with soybean oil in its tires, which could use almost 54 million pounds of soybean oil each year.

Watch for coverage of the Farm Progress show all this week at Hoosier Ag Today.