• Willie Vogt

    Ready to roll, rumble and whatever

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on April 22, 2015

    It's that exciting, I mean frustrating, no exciting time of year again. I mix and match frustrating and exciting because I think planting time brings both to every farmer whether you're talking corn, soybeans, dry beans, cotton or sorghum (you pick your favorite crop). There's the excitement of loading a planter on a warm sprint day and making those methodical row-by-row passes where you progress across the land you farm. Of course, for some, you're progressing across the rows…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Agriculture and the Internet of things

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on April 8, 2015

    Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show talk of the "internet of things" really started big. And the idea has flourished into this year's CES. The idea is that devices would be connected across a network and linked to the cloud in some fashion. But what might that mean for farmers? What follows is a hypothetical, but potentially realistic, way that such a tool might be applied to your farm equipment. Data-connected farm equipment already provides manufacturers rich…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Global farm machinery outlook dour

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 24, 2015

    It may be like stating the obvious but 2015 farm equipment sales could be soft. Of course, the list of layoffs at the major manufacturers is a solid sign that they're pulling back quickly to avoid past mistakes. In fact, in conversations at the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic, some of us "legacy" equipment followers talked about this latest downturn versus the historic collapse of the mid 1980s. And we all agreed that this time around, 30 years later, the…

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  • John Vogel

    American Agriculturist's favorite tractor poll results are in

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 9, 2015

    Yes, I know you're not supposed to brag when you're predictions come true. Forgive me this time. In my previous blog, I predicted that the boomer generation of farmers wouldn't pick the same favorite tractors as older "geezers" in American Agriculturist's poll. Likewise, Generation-Xers and Millennials might lay claim to higher-horse tractors. We put my theory to the test at the recent New York Farm Show by asking visitors to American Agriculturist's exhibit to…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Rising used farm machinery inventory drives new industry initiative

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 25, 2015

    This week I'll be covering Commodity Classic in Phoenix (and yes I've had more than my fair share of trips to warm places this winter - and I'm not complaining) which includes a great trade show. As I did at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show I expect to hear more about a trend that has been gaining more traction in the farm equipment industry - certified pre-owned equipment, which I'll call CPO. The idea of CPO products isn't new, major car makers and aggressive dealers…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Thoughts from a farm show

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on February 18, 2015

    Farmers are resilient. Despite the news of lower prices, reduced demand and tighter margins there's nothing like a farm show to bring out your best. Last week I was at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky., and apparently so were most of you. The crowds were huge and the mood among exhibitors was one of a bit of 'surprise.' Sure there are situations where it was more look than buy, but several exhibitors I talked with shared they were pleasantly surprised by farmer…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Viewing the ag landscape at Iowa Power Farming Show

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on February 15, 2015

    When you're only four years old getting a good look at what's going on at the Iowa Power Farming Show can be a challenge. Lots of tall people around you as the crowd is looking at the many displays and the big machinery. Little Ella Helland saw the show last week with her dad, Dustin Helland, and grandpa Charles, who farm at Huxley. She got a good view. When I talked to the Hellands at the New Holland exhibit, she was perched atop her dad's shoulders, so she could see it…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Machinery year makes soft landing

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on January 27, 2015

    After about five years of go-go sales the farm equipment industry saw a softer sales year in 2014 according to the December2014 Flash Report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Lower crop prices have business farmers stepping back from sales, but when the dust settled 2014 sales were ahead of the five-year average and just below the previous two years. Looking at the numbers, smaller tractor sales have recovered well after a big slump after the Great Recession in 2008. For…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wood-burning Tank Heater Lives, Thanks to Farm Show Internet Link

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on January 13, 2015

    My brother, Jim Wilhoit, who has a small farm and manages a fishery in western Pike County, Missouri, got a lesson recently in the power of the Internet. Almost 20 years ago, in search of way to generate some off-season income, he created a specialty product, a wood-burning stock tank heater. He put one to use in his own pasture and neighbors saw and liked it. Soon he was building them for customers across the Midwest. He built and sold them for a few years until landing a full-time winter…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Feeling the need for speed?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 30, 2014

    There's that great line from the movie Top Gun - "I feel the need, the need for speed" and of course they were talking about jet fighters. But these days with less labor and bigger farms I'm thinking a few of our readers feel sometimes like they need some speed too. Perhaps it started when tractor road speeds started to increase. In Europe, where truck taxes and other factors make transportation more tractor-based, faster road speeds are a must. Over that that meant 50 khp…

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