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As harvest comes to a close, we’re reminded once again of nature’s power. The drought in Texas that devastated crops and livestock. The excessive spring moisture that prevented 30 percent of Manitoba from even being seeded.

Yet something else also stands out in the 2011 harvest reports from throughout North America. And that is, thanks to continuous innovations in big iron, farmers are increasingly able to work around Mother Nature. Obviously we’ll never defeat her completely, but we’re definitely winning more battles.

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Harvest season is over in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says Ryan Braun, the Case IH combine product specialist who covers the area. Braun – no relation to the Milwaukee Brewers slugger/MVP candidate of the same name – has served as a combine specialist for about a year and a half. Before joining Case IH, he spent three years working on a Syngenta research farm, and another six years at MacDon industries in Winnipeg.  Braun grew up on a small grains farm just outside of Winnipeg, which his family still operates. He says he’s a big fan of farm equipment in general, but that he’s always been fascinated with combines “because of the incredible job they do.”

Canola and wheat are all done – even the stragglers are off.  There are a couple inches of snow on the ground now.  Some guys had a wet spring so they seeded late.  But even those guys are done, and harvest went well.

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