Syngenta Answers Grower Questions at NFMS

nfms-14-matt-wellsThose who walked through the dynamic Syngenta booth during the National Farm Machinery Show were not disappointed. Producers were able to ask questions and get first-hand advice from Syngenta reps while taking in all the sights.

Chuck spoke with Matt Wells, a Syngenta Sale Representative in the central/eastern region of Kentucky, about what growers are asking and what advice they are giving.

Matt said they have had a lot of questions about resistance. Growers want to know what they can do to avoid herbicide resistance on their farms.

“At the same time they are looking at commodity prices and how they have changed over the last year. How are we going to make everything work? Let’s keep our fields clean, increase our yields and take advantage of going into 2014.”

In Matt’s territory he shared that they are introducing a few new soybean varieties for growers to take advantage of. There are also some new corn varieties that he is very excited about along with new technologies Syngenta is looking at doing some testing on in the coming year.

You can listen to the interview with Matt here: Interview with Matt Wells

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

New Holland Compact Tractors

New Holland Boomer 37The New Holland Boomer Tractors may look small next to their big brothers but they are not a toy. These machines can handle a lot of work from hauling dirt and mulch to removing snow. They also have all the implements available you could possibly need.

At the National Farm Machinery Show I walked around with New Holland’s Dan Valen as he describes the machines on display including the new Boomer 37 model. Watch and learn.

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

A Tradition of Healthy Competition at NFMS

nfms-14-butch-kriegerDuring this year’s National Farm Machinery Show crowds gathered from across the country to watch the Championship Tractor Pull. The best tractors from across the United States competed in the coveted 2014 event and Chuck chatted with one of the announcers Butch Krieger.

“This is my 35th year here in Louisville. It just gets better every year. The competition is great and the tractor pull committee does a great job deciding who is going to come here. I don’t think if I had even an opportunity that I could put it together as well as they do.”

Butch is pictured on right with another announcer, Dave Bennett. Butch goes on to explain how this pull is held inside with a huge smoke machine that captures all the exhaust that the tractors produce. Freedom Hall is also equipped with heavy exhaust fans throughout the large arena.

Syngenta has served as a huge sponsor for the event for years and drivers were present during the show to sign autographs at their booth. Butch shared he understands it’s hard to get tickets to the Saturday night pull, but says that throughout the week tickets are available to see some of the best tractors from across the nation compete.

You can listen to the interview with Butch here: Interview with Butch Krieger

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

Championship Tractor Pull Brings in Best in Business

nfms-14-mike-wilhiteMike Wilhite was a contestant in the recent Championship Tractor Pull during the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. He drives Blue Blazes and visited with Chuck prior to the event.

Mike worked for Ford for 30 years. The the tradition didn’t start with him, his dad also worked for the company along with his two brothers. So, naturally they were drawn to New Holland’s blue. Mike is considered a local, living just 32 miles from Louisville.

“Outdoors we run a 300 foot track. In this indoor track we are confined to 240 feet. It’s an experience. You better have everything right. Your weight and gear selections right. There is a lot to it.”

A blockade of sand sits at the end of the short track incase any tractors have a little too much gas in them. Mike shared that they buried their tractor the first year they competed in the event.

Mike and his pulling team competed in about 18 hooks over the course of the season. They traveled as far as Wisconsin, down into Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama. He also expressed how great the fans were at pulls and how committed they were to the competitions.

“We’ve been messing with tractors all our lives. We always had hot rod cars and stuff like that. When my brother and I first started we bought a tractor out of New York, I guess that would have been about 20 years ago. And it has evolved into this here.”

You could tell that all the pullers were great friends and shared a family type atmosphere. But when they get to the track, it’s all business.

You can listen to the interview with Mike here: Interview with Mike Wilhite

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Get Maxx Authority from FMC

FMC AuthorityIt’s almost time for some serious planting to get underway across the country. That means it is also time for farmers to start thinking about how they’re going to handle weed control, especially in light of concerns over weed resistance.

FMC has a new option this season to think about. It’s their Authority Maxx product that received EPA registration last fall. At the National Farm Machinery Show to talk about this addition to the Authority line of products was Nick Hustedde, Technical Service Representative. He says the product offers soybean growers a very flexible product with a dual mode of action.

A dual-action herbicide, Authority Maxx is a pre-mix of two herbicides with different modes of action, providing burndown activity and residual control of many glyphosate and ALS-resistant small-seeded broadleaves. As with other Authority products, Authority Maxx can be applied as part of fall burndown, or in the spring to prevent yield-robbing weed competition.

You can listen to my interview with Nick here: Interview with Nick Hustedde

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

FMC Watch & Win Winner

FMC Contest WinnerFMC does more at the National Farm Machinery Show than talk products in their booth. They also get together for a little fun and fellowship with their customers at the end of each day. It was in their reception room that I met Dan Bender, Indiana family farmer. FMC made Dan a very happy man when he won their last Watch and Win contest!

You can listen to my interview with Dan here: Interview with Dan Bender

There is a new Watch and Win contest underway. All growers have to do is watch episodes of the The Minute, brought to you by FMC. Easy, eh? And there are lots of prizes.

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

New Holland Smart Hay & Forage Tools

New Holland Roll Belt 560Robert Hendrix is the rock star of New Holland hay and forage tools. I had fun letting him show off a couple of new products at the National Farm Machinery Show, the Discbine 313 mower-conditioner and Roll Belt 560 round baler. In the interview below he talks us through all the new features.

Discbine 313:

New Holland has taken the Discbine® mower-conditioner to a new level with two new center-pivot models. Combining both speed and performance, the new Discbine® 313 and Discbine® 316 feature increased durability, more efficient crop flow and smoother, more effective conditioning. The combination of larger cutting discs and a wider conditioning system leads to cleaner cutting, better crop flow and more consistent drying. Co-rotating disc modules have been removed on the Discbine 313 and reduced to one pair on the Discbine 316. This greatly reduces the crop convergence between the cutterbar and the conditioner.

Roll Belt 560:

The New Holland’s Roll-Belt™ 560 5′x 6′ round baler delivers two elements cattle producers ask for the most: higher baling capacity and better feeding ability in a wide range of crops and baling conditions. New Holland’s proven combination of rolls and belts gets hay rolling quickly for fast, reliable core starts and helps pack more hay into every bale for less outside storage losses.

You can listen to the interview with Robert here and learn more: Interview with Robert Hendrix

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Climate Corporation Offers Climate Information

Have you ever wanted to be able to see what is happening every day weather-wise on each of your fields? The Climate Corporation was at the National Farm Machinery Show telling farmers about a free tool they have to offer that can do just that. You may recall that Monsanto acquired The Climate Corporation in October and NFMS is one of the first shows since that time where they have been out talking to farmers about their products.

Jeff HamlinThe Climate Corporation monitors 30 million fields in the US Corn Belt. According to Jeff Hamlin growers can sign up for free Climate Basic at With this account farmers can locate each of their fields and then will be able to see what growth stage the plants are at, how much rain the field has received, and soil moisture in each of the locations entered. The information can be seen from your computer, phone or tablet.

Farmers can also invest in Climate Pro which is a more advanced system which includes satellite imagery of your crops, nitrogen recommendations, and planting recommendations. These programs can be incorporated with precision planting software or just included in your Climate Basic account.

Listen to my interview with Jeff here: Interview with Jeff Hamlin, The Climate Corporation

Sponsored by John Deere

Think Ahead to Harvest with Case IH Corn Heads

nfms14-case-kravekEven though this year’s crop has yet to be planted, it’s not too early to think about harvest season. That certainly was on the mind of Kelly Kravig, Case IH’s marketing manager for combines and headers, as he showed off the new Case IH 4200 Series and 4400 Series corn heads at the recent National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky.

“When we started on this project about five years ago, our goals were to design heads to have more capacity to match the size of our machines, pick cleaner, save more grain and put it in the tank, and to be able to pick up down corn better,” he said. As they were developing this new line, they heard a lot from customers on how as they migrated from smaller heads to bigger heads, they wanted to be able to leave the head on the combine without taking it off between fields. Now with their 12-row folding corn head, producers can fold the head up in less than a minute, move to another field, and unfold quickly on the other end to start harvesting. “They get more work done, get their harvest done sooner, and put more grain in the tank.”

Kelly said farmers have been anxious to see the much-talked-about new 4200 Series and 4400 Series corn heads, and NFMS gave them that opportunity to check out for themselves what they might have only read about and seen in videos.

He concluded that this new line is just part of Case IH’s commitment to providing producers with the best products possible – ones that are efficient, reliable, and give farmers the confidence to know they’ll be able to put more grain in the bin.

Listen to more of my interview with Kelly here: Interview with Kelly Kravig, Case IH

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Get Crop Insurance Help with Ag Leader SMS

nfms14-agleader2Crop insurance is playing a bigger role than ever in agriculture with passage of the new farm bill and Ag Leader SMS Software is one way to make the record keeping required for crop insurance a little bit easier.

Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS) recently announced it has partnered with Ag Leader on the use of SMS software to submit field data electronically with RCIS’ Precision Farming service. Ag Leader also has a direct link with the Rain and Hail program software.

“A farmer can actually read in his planting data into SMS and then export it out in a generic format to read right into their crop insurance providers’ software,” said Kaleb Lindquist, Ag Leader software specialist, who adds that the program is very user friendly. “Once you get your farm field set up, create your map, it’s two button clicks and that file is exported.”

Find out more in this interview: Interview with Kaleb Lindquist, Ag Leader

Ag Leader had lots of grower interest in the SMS Software at the National Farm Machinery Show, and next they will be at the Commodity Classic trade show.

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Vertical Tillage Options Gaining Traction

nfms14-case-nixVertical tillage is gaining more traction in farming operations, and Case IH was showcasing its True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo at the recent National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. Marketing manager for the company’s tillage line of products Tim Nix told me that this new tiller is good for conservation measures, especially important in light of what was passed in the new Farm Bill and its provisions that encourage vertical tillage.

“Basically, vertical tillage is slicing into the soil in a vertical manner, as opposed to a horizontal plane that you might get with a field cultivator sweep,” not creating a plane of soil or compaction smear layer that could inhibit early root growth he explained, adding vertical tillers run faster, allowing farmers to get more done.

Tim said this line of tillage tools works well in this new vertical tillage environment in fall and spring.

“In the fall, we’re trying to get the residue sliced and sized and down into the soil profile, so it will start to break down over the winter, and the nutrients can be released and available to the plant in the spring,” as well as slicing up root balls in corn really well, he said. When spring rolls around (and trust me, despite the seemingly endless winter, spring will return), the True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo helps prepare an excellent seed bed, with the soil being fluffed and residue being smoothed out. “It’s just a tool we’ve found that farmers love to run in both the fall and the spring.”

Listen to more of my interview with Tim here: Interview with Tim Nix, Case IH

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Case IH Talks “Photo Copy” Plants at NFMS

nfms14-case-hoegIt’s been a pretty tough winter in farm country this year, but as they say, hope springs eternal … or maybe in this case, we sure hope spring breaks this eternal winter! To be ready for the season ahead, producers need to make sure they have the right equipment in place, in particular their planters.

“If you don’t start right, nothing else works properly,” Bill Hoeg, Case IH Planter Marketing Manager in North America told Cindy during the recent National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. He showed off his company’s new line of Case IH Early Riser® 5 series planters, which allow farmers to move beyond picket fence stands to photocopy plants so that they can realize higher yields. “Photo copy plants allow the user to grow profitability from 9 to 22 percent, from a yield impact.”

Bill said the key is this new line of planters helps farmers better control compaction, depth uniformity, moisture and soil density. He offered visitors to the show to compare for themselves, touching and seeing the difference in a mockup between Case IH’s performance against their competitors in those key areas on yield. He also pointed out that with grain prices waning again, it will be more important than ever to make sure yields stay high.

“Inputs’ costs haven’t really come down, so the yield going up is going to be a real big benefit to our user.”

You can hear more of Cindy’s interview with Bill here: Interview with Bill Hoeg, Case IH

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Ag Interest in UAVs Really Taking Off

nfms14-uavUnmanned Aerial Vehicles – call them UAVs or drones or just remote-controlled airplanes – have been around for decades, but using them for agricultural practices is just really starting to take off.

A good crowd showed up for a session on UAVs sponsored by Farm Industry magazine at the recent National Farm Machinery Show where University of Kentucky (UK) mechanical engineer Dr. Suzanne Smith was one of the presenters. The UK recently announced the formation of an Unmanned Systems Research Consortium (USRC) to advance unmanned aerial, ground and underwater systems, and to explore commercial applications for the technology in Kentucky.

nfms14-uav-uk“It’s faculty members from across the university,” says Smith. “From ag, ag engineering, forestry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science – all working together to advance technologies – and we’re working with companies.”

She and other panelists entertained lots of questions from the audience at the NFMS which indicated a great deal of interest from farmers in using more advanced UAV technology. “It’s very exciting right now,” she said. “In the end it’s really time-saving and efficiency, and that’s what everybody is really looking for.”

Find out more in this interview: Interview with Suzanne Smith, University of Kentucky

2014 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by Ag Leader Technology

Classic is Next Show for John Deere ExactEmerge

nfms14-exactemergeIf you missed the new John Deere ExactEmerge Planter at the 2014 National Farm Machinery Show, you’ll have another chance to see this baby at the Commodity Classic in San Antonio next week.

nfms14-jd-kelbyAt NFMS, I talked with John Deere Seeding Group product specialist Kelby Krueger who worked on the ExactEmerge project from start to finish. He says the new row units are a perfect fit for producers who want to plant more acres in less time due to narrow planting windows, or to increase the size of their operations without adding equipment. “It’s hard for planters to get wider, so we had to make it more productive,” Kelby said. “This planter here with 24 rows, at ten miles an hour, will be doing something close to 75-80 acres an hour.”

If you haven’t seen the unveiling of the new planter at NFMS, click here.

Listen to Kelby explain more about ExactEmerge and see it for yourself at Commodity Classic in San Antonio: Interview with Kelby Krueger, John Deere

John Deere Planter at NFMS photos

Sponsored by John Deere

John Deere Wraps up FinOvation Award

nfms14-jd-fin1The Farm Industry News FinOvation Awards presented during the National Farm Machinery Show each year spotlight the key innovations of the previous year, as chosen by readers.

This year’s honorees included everything from an prototype autonomous tractor, to cloud computing, to a new tire made from soybeans. Bigger, higher capacity, gentler, more narrow, and super precise are some of the words used to describe the new innovations.

Among 2014 FinOvation award winners was the John Deere B Bale Wrap, and here is what FIN had to say about it:

jd-b-wrapNetwrap balers have been on the market for some time, but in 2013 John Deere rolled out an innovation that caught readers’ eyes. The B Wrap product is designed to protect bales better than standard netting and significantly reduces storage losses for bales left outside, without the need to wrap each individual bale. The innovative material keeps moisture out while allowing the bale to release moisture too.

Thanks to Farm Progress Executive Editor Frank Holdmeyer for sharing the shot of Deere’s Jeremy Unruh receiving the FinOvation award.

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere