One farming axiom has withstood the test of time: high yields drive big-ness. Just consider how the steady increase in yields over the past half-century has propelled the size of combines. It’s also true when it comes to grain carts.
Corn Belt producers accustomed to getting an early- to mid-April jump start on planting were throttled by this season’s cool, wet spring. Farmers were revved up and smoking their tires at the starting line. But once the green light flashed, the pace of planting was unrivaled.
I recently had the chance to ride Amtrak’s legendary Southwest Chief from Chicago’s Union Station to Galesburg, Illinois, for a visit with the in-laws. The oversize windows on the double-deck Amtrak unit provided panoramic views of arguably some of the most-productive crop ground on the cont…
As the big row-crop tractors take a breather from planter duties, utility and mid-range tractors start to swarm.
There are stretches along I-80 in Iowa and Illinois where you can drive for miles and not spot a single acre of alfalfa — nothing but an immense sea of corn and beans stretching on seemingly forever.
Stop for lunch at any country café across the Midwest, and you’re bound to find a parking lot packed with farm work trucks of every vintage and brand — Dodge 3500s, Ford 350s and Chevy 2500s to name a few.
With planting in high gear, you are spending a lot of time in the tractor cab — cruising along at speeds that would knock prior generations off their feet.
A quick look at the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows large swaths of the Midwest have adequate moisture. That bodes well for hay producers, along with hay tool makers and dealers.
Once upon a time (think mid-’90s), yield monitoring and mapping created the coffee-shop buzz in the early days of precision ag. A few years later, hands-free auto-steering took off like a startled pheasant and for many producers was the first real taste of precision.
Where can you climb into the cabs of a dozen different tractors and combines, peer inside the chambers of a multitude of balers and get direct access to bountiful product experts who can answer all your questions — all without breaking a sweat?
It’s that squishy, messy time of year. Freeze and thaw. Slip and slog. When your chore boots need power washed every other day. And quaint farmsteads can quickly turn into quagmires.
It won’t be long now. The big tractors will roar to life and acre-eating planters will begin to roll across the Corn Belt.
Want a sense for how crazy the farm equipment market has become?
While the pandemic has disrupted supply chains, slowed food processing facilities and impacted just about every aspect of daily life, ag equipment manufacturers keep introducing new technology and innovations at a brisk pace.
Around this time of year, most publications, newspapers, radio and television shows look to run stories reviewing the past year. I’ve done so, as well. Over the past five years, I’ve often dedicated my last column of the year to recounting what was new and interesting in farm equipment over …
Now that the majority of corn and soybean crops are in, it might be time to take action on all those equipment plans you’ve been making for next spring.
When it comes to off-road vehicles, also known as ATVs, UTVs, XUVs or side-by-sides, there’s no lack of choices you can make. I quickly checked out new and used listings and came up with 37 different brands including John Deere, Kubota, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Polaris and Can-Am.
For quite a few years now, I’ve been enjoying a special discount at a variety of stores and restaurants. OK, so it’s a senior discount. Even though it might not amount to much, I always ask. I’ve made it this far. I’ve earned it.
As I was wandering around a farm show in Illinois this past September, I became aware of all the various tillage tools on display. What was even more striking, though, was the consistency in how these machines were being promoted.
It was a good bet that as you were in the middle of harvest, you didn’t think a lot about seeding tools, that is, planters and grain drills. Still, once the combines are put away, planter manufacturers hope you’ll review what you saw in your fields, then take a look at all that’s new for the…
Here in the Midwest, we’ve settled into the land of row crop production. Unknown to many, though, the region offers diverse agricultural production far beyond corn and soybeans.
During a late-August trip through Illinois, Wisconsin and eastern Iowa, I noticed that corn fields were starting their dry-down process. The hot weather was certainly helping, perhaps leading to an earlier harvest this year.
Farm show season has begun. Agricultural shows and fairs are up and running again, including one of the largest: the Farm Progress Show which will be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 at the Decatur, Illinois, site.
There are several new ag tech products for machinery being introduced this summer.
The term “compact utility tractor” is certainly appropriate. These smaller-sized units offer the versatility to handle most everyday chores for folks like me managing just a few acres to those of you who have full-out, major farming operations.