• 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

    Biomass is Challenge and Opportunity

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 19, 2009

    It's curious how you look at a new potential market. Take biofuels for example. Farmers and industry have worked long and hard on the ethanol business to create a profit engine (they hope) that will drive innovation and creativity. And it's time to start looking at the next step for biofuels. With all the talk about how biomass-based fuels offer a better carbon footprint or enhanced profitability, you keep running into the same roadblocks - infrastructure. We already know how to move corn and…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Machinery Sales Slip in September

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 12, 2009

    Monthly sales figures from the equipment industry, as reported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, are a great barometer of what farmers are thinking. If they go up, which they have for the past three years, you're in a good mood. When they go down, those numbers are saying you're holding back, hunkering down...taking a breather. The September numbers show farmers really stepped back - of course many were at major farm shows that month too so there's still interest in equipment and…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Rush is on...Keep Safety in Mind

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on October 5, 2009

    The timing of those great "months" is always important. Farm Safety Month has just ended, but now the real dangerous work is cranking up. The delayed harvest of 2009 will be one for the record books. Let's just hope it's a year where you also end up safe and snug at home when it's over. It's so difficult to write about farm safety without getting preachy. Wear a seatbelt with open-station tractors that have ROPS. Keep riders off those same tractors - there's one seat there and it's for the…

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