• Willie Vogt

    Celebrating Birthdays, Recognition

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 28, 2013

    Working for a company where many of the magazines are more than 150 years old, when companies celebrate anniversaries it's still interesting to note. For 2013 the Claas family - and yes, it is still a family business - hits 100 this year. And the third generation Claas - Cathrina - is taking the reins of the business. This is a company that will have its 450,000th combine roll off its Omaha line in 2013. The firm first patented a "knotter" designed to tie perfect knots…

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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

    Spring is Coming! Really

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 14, 2013

    There's a growing sense of urgency in the country. In the South planters are already rolling but farther north where Nature is apparently playing some mind tricks, spring seems delayed. After last year's super early start I'm sure many readers think they're already late. However, I'm sure many are happy to see whatever moisture they can get. Our friend and meteorological colleague Greg Soulje is already predicting a more active weather pattern, so the chances of…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Pondering the Electric Planter Unit

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on March 7, 2013

    This year you're going to be hearing more about the electric planter unit. There are a couple of after-market players in the business - Horsch and Precision Planting. And Kinze's hot new planter puts the technology to work. So what's so big about an electric planter meter? Perhaps the big deal is what it doesn't have - no chains, no belts, no individual clutches, no sprockets (I could go on). Just a wire harness to an individual motor that drives each planter unit and…

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