From ATG Tire www.atgtire.com
This time of year, farmers are reading up on new hybrids, studying test plot results and scoping out the newest machinery. But Shawn Adam, who produces corn, soybeans and hogs with his father Nick and brother Jeff at Adam Valley View Farms near Batavia, Iowa, points out that there’s one input that ties them all together—and it’s typically overlooked. Tires.
The right tires with the right inflation pressure can reduce soil compaction, Adam notes. They also minimize slip so more engine horsepower is conveyed to the ground for greater traction and efficiency. That turns into dollar signs quickly.
“I think the thing that gets forgotten is if you’ve got a 500-horsepower tractor and you’re only putting 400 horsepower to the ground, every time you’re going down a pass in the field you’re burning more fuel and getting less done. It’s like throwing $20 bills out the window,” Adam says.
Adam is also very particular about his sprayer tires. When it’s time to shift from applying liquid nitrogen with his John Deere R4030 high-clearance sprayer to applying herbicides—switching from a heavy solution to a lighter one—he even changes the inflation pressure in his tires.
Inflation pressure correlates directly with soil compaction, notes James Crouch, marketing manager for Alliance Tire Americas.
“Studies have shown yield losses of anywhere from 14 to 70 percent in compacted soils, and that it can take 10 times as much energy—or more—to till compacted soils,” Crouch says. “Compaction and the tillage used to break it up can destroy the natural structure of the soil and dramatically reduce water infiltration, causing delays in wet springs.
“Compaction is a hidden disaster,” he adds. “And the remarkable thing is that it can be reduced by simply using tires that require lower inflation pressure and operating them properly.”
Straight, Stable Ride
Flotation tires and new, increased flexion (IF) and very-high flexion (VF) tires operate at lower inflation pressure than conventional radial tires do, helping reduce soil compaction. Adam’s sprayer is outfitted with Alliance Agriflex+ 363 VF tires, which he says gave him a stable, road-friendly tread, good traction and steering in the field, and minimized risk of soil compaction. Every pound of compaction force and every plant he avoids running over when he is in the field helps boost his bottom line.
“I know with our tires that we’re choosing, we’re getting more productivity and less crop injury,” Adam says, pointing to the dense line of blocks along centerline of his sprayer tires, which feature a block tread design rather than an old-fashioned curved lug. “The way they are designed, they seem to track better down the row. We’re getting less damage to the crop. At the end of the day, that converts into dollars.
“That’s what everybody’s trying to do, especially in the struggling ag economy we’re in today,” he adds. “We’ve got to work on finding that two percent or five percent. We’ve got to be able to put that in our pocket.”
Shawn Adam of Batavia, Iowa, says tires are a forgotten input that can have a big impact on his farm’s bottom line.
Running on the wrong tires or the wrong inflation pressure reduces the amount of your machine’s horsepower that reaches the ground. “It’s like throwing $20 bills out the window,” says Iowa farmer Shawn Adam.
Shawn Adam chose an Alliance VF tire with an innovative block tread pattern for his high-clearance sprayer to get a combination of roadability, traction and steering in the field, and minimal soil compaction.
Running at the lowest specified inflation pressure for speed and load minimizes compaction, says James Crouch of Alliance Tire Americas. Inflation pressure correlates directly to compaction pressure.
Minimizing compaction and steering straight between the rows adds dollars to his bottom line, says Shawn Adam.
Shawn Adam’s sprayer spends a lot of time on the road, so he carefully considers the road performance of the tires he chooses for his rig. Stability, comfort and low heat buildup in the tire sidewalls maximize productivity.