News Archive
May 2024

Resilient rice focus of study

Tomorrow’s Technology Today: Indicator warns of overfilled bins; tire ready for zero-turn mowers; and fleet management software gets upgrade.

RESILIENT RICE: A number of rice varieties growing in Texas have been made possible by public breeding programs. According to a new model, these varieties differ in their resilience to climate change.SUSAN MCCOUCH, UNIFORM REGIONAL RICE NURSERY

A new study from Purdue University examines the relationship between certain genetic variations of rice and climate resilience in the U.S.

Researchers have developed a predictive model that combines 40 years of yield data from southern rice-growing regions with corresponding weather and county-level acreage data to predict the future yield of different varieties.

The research is a step toward pinpointing which rice varieties have the best climate resilience, according to Diane Wang, assistant professor of agronomy. Wang’s research team was supplied data going back to 1970. While the data didn’t distinguish between precise varieties, it was detailed enough to differentiate between newer and older breeds produced through public breeding programs.

By defining the relationship between weather and yield via their model, Wang says they were able to forecast future yield under different weather variables using existing climate-change datasets. They found that older genetic group varieties did worse under forecasted weather than newer breeds.

“This implies that public breeding has increased — either intentionally or unintentionally — resilience to future climatic conditions,” she says.

While researchers don’t know why newer breeds are more resilient, Wang says she intends to investigate it further. “If we understand why, it will help us understand and develop more breeding materials for the future,” she says.

Wang conducted the research alongside postdoctoral researcher Sajad Jamshidi. Their work was completed in collaboration with researchers at Cornell University and the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center.

Indicator warns of overfilled bin

When filling grain bins, safety is paramount. BinMaster’s new rotary level switch eliminates the need for bin and silo climbing by clearly indicating when it’s full. The BMRX-300 has a bright LED light that turns from green to red when the bin is full. You can use it to prevent overfills manually, or wire it to automatically stop the auger when it trips.

The switch, which is made in Nebraska, is easy-to-install. With two 0.75-inch conduit entrances for easy wiring and a standard 1.25-inch NPT connection, it replaces or upgrades any existing rotary.

When it is mounted on the side of a vessel, the bright-green or red light is visible from 100 feet away. The BMRX-300 retails at $500. Visit for more information.

Tire made for zero-turn mowers, tractors

OTR Engineered Solutions has a new tire for zero-turn mowers and garden tractors. The Reaper tire combines a turf-specific design that yields good traction, stability and control with aggressive styling, according to a statement from the brand.

The tire has a wide footprint that maintains contact with the ground for better stability and steering responsiveness. A wrap-over grip edge enhances traction on uneven terrain. 

The all-season rubber compound used to make the tire optimizes performance in both wet and dry conditions. It also helps create softer sidewalls for a smooth ride.

It’s sold as an assembly, including both the tire and wheel, for easy bolt-on installation, and is available in multiple sizes to fit a variety of vehicles.

Fleet management software gets update

In today’s digital era, managers don’t just oversee the health and work of their employees, they also monitor machines. Fleetio, a fleet maintenance management software, has added four new features to its interface:

  1. tire management
  2. warranty management
  3. sensor data snapshots
  4. enhanced service tasks

Operators can track real-time insights into tire health and performance by monitoring details like tread depth, air pressure and usage data. Viewable sensor data can likewise help mechanics and drivers better maintain their vehicles. And when it comes to repairing problems, the new service task feature lets managers easily create and track work orders.

“At Fleetio, we’re passionate about empowering fleets to reach their full potential,” CEO Jon Meachin says. “These new features and offerings are a testament to our innovation and customer centricity. We’re confident they’ll serve as valuable tools to help fleets thrive in today’s competitive landscape.” QR Code

Published Date: May 2, 2024

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