It requires more management and skill than ever to Be Ready for the future. And while it’s impossible to have an expert on-staff for every area of your business, there are some very good sources online.
To that end, we’ve added a “Related Ag Blogs” section on the right side of the blog. Each quarter, we’ll update it with different writers and topics. Let us know what you think and please share any other blogs you find helpful for your farming operation! (more…)
The talk about the Department of Labor’s proposed regulations on child labor has been high in the agriculture community, and for good reason, but some are questioning whether improving farm safety and providing more education to farm workers might be the answer – not changing the law.
Do you think the proposal should be passed? Is changing the law needed or would improving farm safety be the solution? Leave a comment and let us know. (more…)
As 2011 wraps up, we appreciate your patronage and interest in the Be Ready blog. We’re thankful that agriculture continues to thrive, largely due to dedicated, passionate farmers like you. Here’s a recap of some of our blogs this year – are there others that stick out in your mind? We welcome your comments on our previous blog posts and invite you to offer ideas for topics you’d like to see covered in 2012.
Today’s guest blogger is Mitch Kaiser, the Marketing Manager for Steiger® tractors. He’s been with the company for 37 years, with a third of these in Product Development, so he knows a thing or two about cab evolution. You can see Mitch in this short video of a Steiger Cab walkaround, shot during the 2011 Farm Progress show. Take a look at how we’re maximizing creature comforts in the Steiger cab, and let us know what you think. What’s the best cab design innovation so far? What technology have you adopted that you can’t live without? What do you think will be the next big thing?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development is helping make high-speed Internet a reality in rural areas. Read on to see how this impacts your business and increases your competitiveness. (more…)
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we’re grateful for farmers who work tirelessly to grow our food. We give thanks too for the bountiful resources we have in North America: productive soils, structured markets, a quality infrastructure and the technology that allows us to keep improving efficiency and yields. Other areas of the world are not as fortunate.
Howard G. Buffett, a speaker at the Borlaug Dialogue symposium during the World Food Prize this fall, has worked extensively in Africa to alleviate hunger. A farmer, philanthropist, and son of Warren Buffett, he is also a gifted photographer, and documented the hunger situation in his book, Fragile – The Human Condition. Through his journey, he discovered that we can’t solve other people’s problems, no matter how much money we spend; people need to be engaged in solving their own problems, with help from others.
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.
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.
In western Canada, Mother Nature blessed farmers with a great growing season – but a seriously challenging harvest – says this week’s guest blogger, Louis Melanson. A Case IH combine product specialist since 1999, Melanson has been with the company for 35 years. He grew up on a farm in eastern Canada, and has always been drawn to big agricultural iron. He wound up working with combines because he was intrigued by the capability to use 30-foot plus headers at 5 mph to harvest canola, which is a very light seed. Melanson jokes that he became a combine specialist “by reading the manual.”
Canola and wheat account for the majority of crops in my area, along with some barley. We’re probably 90 percent done with canola. But it’s getting tougher to get that last 10 percent out, because the snow’s starting to fall. Customers can only combine a few hours a day.
This week’s guest blogger, Kevin Knapp, says harvest progress and yields are all over in his territory, depending on where on the map you’re located. Knapp is the Case IH combine product specialist serving northern Illinois, northern Indiana, northwest Ohio, nearly all of Wisconsin and Michigan. Prior to becoming the area’s combine specialist, Knapp spent six years as a combine test engineer for Case IH, travelling the world to test Case IH Axial-Flow combine technology in just about every imaginable crop and condition. Knapp grew up on a farm in Henry, Ill., and has been intrigued by combines for as long as he can remember. (“My mom could tell you stories,” he says.)