• Willie Vogt

    High-yield Producers Offer Insight

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on April 15, 2014

    You know the names, David Hula, Kip Cullers, Steve Albrecht, there's a list of names for top yield contest winners floating out there and you've seen coverage in our magazines and others about their farms. I've had the pleasure to meet many of these top-yielding producers in the past and I've learned a few things. As you're rolling with the planter in the next few weeks - and the Crop Progress Report this week shows planter are finally starting to move - there are some ideas…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Is Replant in Your Future?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on May 28, 2013

    One thing's for sure, in this business change is now the norm. Officially, the drought is over for areas east of the Missouri river - especially after the Memorial Day weekend. In fact, we're past drought and talking flooding again. My home town - Vinton, Iowa - was hit pretty hard five years by flooding. I was there over the holiday and visions of that last round of flooding have to be going through the minds of those in town. Outside of town every creek I saw was over its…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Waiting for 50

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 21, 2013

    What is it about 50 degrees F? Really. You shouldn't apply fall anhydrous ammonia before soil temperatures fall below this magic number. Growing degree days - for corn, soybeans and rice - use that 50 as a base number as part of the calculation. And perhaps the hardest 50? The wait or your soil temps to rise that high before planting. With below-30-degree days common this first week of spring, that 50-degree soil temperature in the Midwest is going to take some time to achieve…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Recognizing a Winner

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 8, 2010

    Mike Pluimer of Ceres Solutions in Templeton, Ind., got a pretty sweet bit of recognition recently when he was named 2010 Operator of the Year by Agco's Application Equipment Group. It's a prize the company started giving out five years ago and aims to recognize the top operators in an elevator or co-op's business. For Pluimer, who started as a farmer, went part-time as an applicator and now does that job full-time, the recognition is nice. And his nominating co-worker says some great things…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Working Toward Year End

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on November 11, 2010

    As winter nears in the north (there's even a threat of snow this week where I live) it's a signal that the year is coming to an end - the tax year that is. And if you're able to take advantage of the higher crop prices you may find yourself with the opportunity to keep on upgrading your equipment while lowering your tax burden. Tax Expert Darrell Dunteman, who writes Farm Tax Saver notes in a special report that's appearing in our magazines that the handy Section 179 expense method of…

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  • Willie Vogt

    A Wish List?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 24, 2009

    I've just come in from shoveling the first 7 inches of what promises to be three waves and 18 inches for Christmas. I may never sing that song again, but a little hard work shoveling (no snow blower here - suburban driveway is too short so no need) is good for the soul. This time of year, near the end, is often a time of reflection. We've had a good hear at Farm Progress. Our shows saw tremendous crowds because you folks like to see new stuff; touch it; talk to the suppliers. And we do all we…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Thinking Beyond the Current Year

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 26, 2009

    Our jobs as ag journalists is to try to work for readers and think about the "next thing" for your operation; rather than dwell on what you're dealing with. Not always easy in a year when the weather radar looks like a green and yellow Rorschach test that pretty much proves farmers are crazy (in a good way). Covering farm technology means looking ahead, beyond this too-wet, too short crop year to next season. And frankly, the biggest challenge we all face is living in the past. Just because…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Industry in Transition?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on September 18, 2009

    Just what the heck is going on with the farm equipment business? Plant closures, worker layoffs, lowered earnings expectations are all hitting the news these days. Truth is, this is just another part of the long equipment cycle that's been around since the first plow turned earth back in the early 1700s (thanks Jethro Tull). Market up and downswings that hit your own farm definitely hit the equipment business. And each time the players get smarter. While the big machinery firms have been…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Farmer Panel Offers Insight

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 26, 2009

    Bayer CropScience hosted an Ag Industry Forum ahead of the Commodity Classic that kicks off today, and loaded the ag media up with a lot of interesting information. A highlight was a farmer panel with five producers from around the country who talked about business.   The best part of a producer panel is what they're going to say - which even the company sponsoring may not know. The five farmers on the panel came from Kansas, North Dakota, Illinois, Iowa and Oklahoma - you don't get much more…

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