• Willie Vogt

    Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 26, 2014

    I love this time of year - well usually I do when spring actually arrives. As I drive through the countryside I can almost feel the tension as each of you steps outside to check the weather (beyond what they tell you on TV). The tension mounts as you ready that last piece of equipment and perhaps give the planter or drill one last walkaround. Spring is your investment in a fall payday, a time when every second really counts. I remember having a conversation with Ag Economist Howard Doster a…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Equipment Sales Stick to Trend

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 18, 2014

    It's fun to watch statistics, to see how sales are shaping up. I'm sure livestock producers reading this are enjoying the direction of market states these days for hog and beef prices (provided you have animals to sell). Grain price stats are a little more sobering and given that a lot of analysts are watching equipment sales. The latest report on February numbers released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers last week look pretty good in the face of a market where a lot of…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Looking Back, and Ahead at Ag Equipment

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 25, 2014

    Here's a short apology loyal reader - sorry. Conferences and shows and duties have limited my ability to blog lately and I'll work to get back on track in the coming weeks. From winter meetings to big events an ag journalist's time can be in short supply, yet there are pages to fill and websites to populate. All to help keep you informed. The past few weeks have been interesting. The National Farm Machinery Show was filled with plenty of new products and information. From faster…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Faster Planter In Your Future?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 13, 2014

    The coolest part of covering agricultural machinery is the continuous innovation we see across the industry. Need to plant narrower rows, then harvest them? No problem, engineers and innovators have solved that. Want to harvest soybeans or wheat faster? Bring on the draper header. Seeking faster, more efficient tillage? Vertical tillage is the answer. Most of these technologies are focused on getting more per acre or being more productive. One key area where there's been a challenge is…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Farm tractor makers keep inventories under control

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 4, 2014

    Final equipment sales/inventory figures reported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers for 2013 offer a look at another stellar year for machinery sales. Every category rose for the year except four-wheel drive tractor sales - and those only slipped 0.4%. For the whole year, total farm tractor sales came to nearly 202,000 machines and showed a sales rise of 9.1% or the year. Combine sales were up too by 9.8% for the year - including a big jump in December as farmers scrambled to take…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Deals Being Done

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on January 28, 2014

    Kinze and Raven announced this week that they will collaborate on a new multi-hybrid planter control. Raven rolled out their approach last spring and Kinze made their announcement early this year. Kinze is rolling out its concept this spring and now it's clear how they'll get moving on the concept. This team-up makes sense from a development standpoint. Look around and you'll see other deals. Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and BASF have teamed with John Deere, mainly to allow for…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Bye Bye Hefty Write-off?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on January 17, 2014

    Got a chance to sit in on the Farm Futures Business Summit earlier this month and listened to Dwight Raab from the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association discuss a range of management and cash flow strategies. There was one slide, however, that caught my eye. And it's one that could have as much of an impact on your iron buying in the next few years as the price of corn. In that presentation he showed the history of the Internal Revenue Service Section 179 Expense Election from…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Digging into Machinery Industry Report

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 27, 2013

    The Association of Equipment Manufacturers releases a monthly report of equipment sales offering some insight into how the market is doing. The November report released earlier this month shows that 2013 was an even better year - overall - than 2012. And given that 2012 was strong that's saying something. As the year comes to a close (that Section 179 tax benefit expires next Tuesday), farmers may be scrambling to take delivery of new machines, which will make the December report even more…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Loving the Diesel

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 9, 2013

    Farmers love diesel tractors and combines, they have the torque needed to get the job done, and they're essentially more economical than gasoline engines might be in the same application. But what about cars? The arrival of common rail diesel technology in commercial applications has been a boon to users of these high-tech engines. As I think about my trip to Germany for Agritechnica one thought comes to mind, and it wasn't from the show. It came from the few days I spent after the…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Looking Ahead at Global Farm Equipment Market

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on November 27, 2013

    During Agritechnica recently the Agrievolution Alliance released its eighth survey among manufacturers and importers of machines. From the report, more than half responding say the business situation is good or very good, pushing the Agritech Business Climate index up three points. The group notes that global equipment sales should rise as much as 7% in 2014, good news for a market that may be feeling a bit of a pinch with sliding crop prices into the new year. According to the report, the…

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