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JD Equipment selling assets

JD Equipment announced the intent to sell its assets to Ag-Pro, Ohio, LLC, a subsidiary of Ag-Pro Companies. Ag-Pro Companies has 57 John Deere locations throughout the country.

“The choice to sell JD Equipment was not an easy decision. The Mitchell family has more than 36 years of history as a John Deere Dealer and has strong ties to all of the communities we operate in,” said Jeffrey Mitchell, CEO, and Don Mitchell, president, in a letter to JD Equipment, Inc. customers. “However, the sale of JD Equipment was the right decision for our employees and our customers, in order for the dealership to remain competitive and continue serving its employees, its customers and its communities long into the future.”

The anticipated transfer date in Dec. 12, 2018.

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Ohio farm shop provides added space and efficiency

When Pickaway County farmers, Myron and Leo Metzger, outgrew their 3,000 square-foot farm shop, they decided to expand in a big way. Their new farm shop is nearly six times larger, providing not only the additional space they needed, but also greater efficiency.

“At the former shop, we were actually working on repairs outside, since it wasn’t big enough for the newer, larger equipment,” said Myron Metzger. “When the new shop was completed, everyone questioned the need for so much space, but we’re glad to have ample room.”

Metzger Brothers Farms, located near Circleville, was established in 1974 and the two brothers have continued to farm together since then. The recently added shop, designed and built by Morton Buildings, includes over 17,000 square feet of shop and equipment storage space, plus a 24- by 30-foot office with refrigerator and shower.

Metzger said the spacious shop allows a lot of flexibility. “It really gives us the ability to service one or multiple pieces of equipment at the same time,” he said.

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Pipeline to commercialization

By Ajay Shah, Mary Wicks and Ashish Manandhar

The bioeconomy is a challenging marketplace. Making products from plants requires ingenuity and perseverance; getting them to market requires similar skills. While a product may be a brilliant innovation and testing has demonstrated its potential, there is no guarantee that it can be successfully commercialized. Before acquiring financing and moving to the production stage, an evaluation of the product’s scale-up potential is the critical step. This evaluation answers questions about performance, economic viability and environmental impacts.

 

Process modeling

The first step in evaluating scale-up is to develop a comprehensive model of the engineering systems and processes required for production. Process data, such as feedstock production, operating conditions, and item size and number, need to be identified. Next, performance data, including yield, system efficiency and fuel consumption, as well resources, including equipment, chemicals, consumables and energy, must be estimated. Spatiotemporal data that will impact production, such as weather conditions, roadways and travel times, also need to be determined.

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Ohio Ag Equipment agrees to acquire the assets of Schmidt Machine Company’s equipment business

Ohio Ag Equipment announces its intent to acquire the Wyandot County AGCO dealer, Schmidt Machine Company, Ag division, on the target date of Dec. 17, 2018. The acquisition of Schmidt Machine Company’s equipment business will strengthen Ohio Ag Equipment’s ability to service the ag industry by providing customers in central Ohio with an exceptional line of equipment and product support.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with one of the longest standing Massey dealers in North America, Schmidt Machine Company,” said Mike Mampieri, General Manager for Ohio Ag Equipment. “They are a talented team, dedicated to providing exceptional customer support. This acquisition strengthens our commitment to be the preferred equipment supplier in Ohio.”

With an anticipated successful closing on Dec. 17, 2018, all equipment sales, parts sales and service will then be conducted out of Ohio Ag Equipment’s Upper Sandusky, Ohio location (1820 E. Wyandot Ave., Upper Sandusky, OH 43351).

“Our customers and their needs are important to us.

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Benefits of a rolling lift cart

By Laura Akgerman, Disability Services Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility, and Charlie Landis, Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator for Ohio AgrAbility

Farm equipment is often heavy, bulky, hard to move, and could require two people to safely lift or move items, or to hitch equipment to a tractor. A good alternative to back-straining lifting is a rolling lift cart. Rolling lift carts reduce the risk of injury from lifting and carrying heavy objects. A rolling lift cart allows you to lift an object from the floor, bench, or table with minimal manual lifting, and move the equipment to where you want it and raise or lower the height of the cart to allow easy attachment or transfer of the equipment. A lift cart can be used to unload heavy objects from a truck bed and move them where you want within the shop or barn. The lift table height is raised with a foot pedal and lowered with a hand release lever.

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Local innovation is filling the small farm implement gap

Over the past several years, small and mid-sized tractors have inundated the marketplace as more small-scale and organic farmers begin to update their equipment. As sales of lower horse powered machines climb, Bellevue farmer Jeff Sberna has noticed that the implement side of the farm manufacturing sector wasn’t following suit, so he designed a concept for a compact aeration tool.

“I have always has small equipment and never really had anything to break the sub dirt with,” said Sberna, who came up with the concept of the J & D Farm Built chisel ripper. “This unit is a hybrid and is designed to take the place of a chisel plow and a subsoiler. It will maintain a depth of 13 to 14 inches without re-compaction and is great on fuel efficiency.”

The six-foot chisel ripper was on display recently at Farm Science Review. Sberna recommends that unit for a small, niche and organic farms with 20 to 30 acres to cover.

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Autonomous tractors on display at FSR

Ag Info Tech is proud to announce they will soon become 1 of 10 Smart Ag dealers in the United States. The Smart Ag innovative technology will allow farmers to automate their existing equipment and maximize its efficiency and capacity.

Smart Ag will improve farmer’s operational capacity by enabling them to use automation and driverless technology on their farms.

“My dad was born in 1911 and witnessed many great advances in agriculture first-hand, from pulling equipment with horses, to tractors to auto steer,” said Tim Norris, Ag Info Tech CEO and VP Sales. “I never imagined that I would be able to experience change on the level he has, but this advanced level of artificial intelligence (AI) with Smart Ag will rapidly change how agriculture operations are performed. In comparison, Smart Ag and autonomous equipment will be as big as the tractor was after the horse.”

Smart Ag, based in Ames, Iowa is an investor-backed technology company developing autonomous farming solutions for row crop agriculture.

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New Fendt IDEAL combine

The new Fendt IDEAL combine is the first “clean-sheet” design of an axial combine in the industry in 30 years. It sets a new standard for harvesting automation, blending Fendt’s tradition of engineering innovation with the most advanced operating technology, to deliver what producers around the world told AGCO they want in a combine — in-field efficiency, unfailing uptime, totally simple operation and better grain quality.

“We know harvest is a critical time, experienced operators can be hard to find and every bushel from every acre counts,” said Caleb Schleder, tactical marketing manager for combines. “The Fendt IDEAL is a game changer because it is highly automated, but easy to operate. We created this combine to bring our customers peace of mind that they can go to the field, run steadily all day long and get the crop harvested with great efficiency and minimal downtime.

“We’re backing that up with best-in-class customer support through the Fendt Gold Star Customer Care Plan,” Schleder said.

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Ag Leader announces new features for fall 2018

Today, Ag Leader announced new fall features added to its full-farm connectivity platform, AgFiniti, bringing an even higher level of in-season visibility to growers and trusted advisors.

“For the past several years, we’ve been building upon our AgFiniti platform with the goal to make the right information available to our customers anytime and anywhere. This means flowing information throughout the operation and across machines, devices and seasons. These announcements mark the next step in that vision,” said Corey Weddle, Director of Software Solutions.

Live stats across displays and devices
Last year, AgFiniti pushed display-to-display communication to an unprecedented level of ease and availability with the DisplayCast feature for InCommand displays. This fall, customers can share even more information in real-time across displays and other connected devices like tablets and cellphones. Live stats including yield, moisture, rate, population, speed, location, container level and more, can easily be shared across displays and devices.

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Yield monitor considerations

By John Fulton (FABE Associate Professor), Elizabeth Hawkins (OSUE Field Specialist, Agronomic Systems) and Richard Colley III (Digital Ag Program Manager)

Harvest has started here in Ohio but it is good to remember to make sure your yield monitor is setup and calibrated properly. Geo-referenced yield data (i.e. yield maps) are being used more frequently to provide precision agriculture insights and recommendations at the field level. Yield maps not only help growers understand end-of-year performance within fields, but also can be used to characterize in-field variation. Information about this variation is often used by service providers to deliver prescriptions, recommendations, or other information back to the farmer. Because yield maps continue to be an important data layer to learn from and help drive changes or decisions at a field level, proper management of the yield monitor is critical to generate accurate and reliable yield data. Grain moisture and test weight, along with grain flow through the combine, will vary within passes and across fields.

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Case IH launches limited-edition 50 Series axial-flow combine

To commemorate the rich legacy of Axial-Flow combines, Case IH is excited to launch the 50 series Axial-Flow combine lineup with a special-edition 150 series combine. The 150 series combine features International Harvester heritage styling, color schemes and decals reminiscent of the first Axial-Flow combine in 1977. The memorable white cab top and tire rims give way to the latest harvest advancements to help producers put more grain in the tank.

The productivity enhancements of the legendary single rotor technology, Cross-Flow cleaning system and 2-speed electric shift transmission enable the 150 series combine to handle varying harvest conditions and crop types.

“We’re excited to bring back the retro stylings of the 1977 International Harvester Axial-Flow combines, now paired with productivity enhancements desired to help today’s producers harvest more of what they grow,” said Kelly Kravig, Case IH harvesting marketing manager. “For older generation farmers, this combine is a throwback to their earlier farming days.

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Corn-counting robot earns top recognition at leading robotics conference

Today’s crop breeders are trying to boost yields while preparing crops to withstand severe weather and changing climates. To succeed, they must locate genes for high-yielding, hardy traits in crop plants’ DNA. A robot developed by the University of Illinois to find these proverbial needles in the haystack was recognized by the best systems paper award at Robotics: Science and Systems, the preeminent robotics conference held last week in Pittsburgh.

“There’s a real need to accelerate breeding to meet global food demand,” said principal investigator Girish Chowdhary, an assistant professor of field robotics in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the Coordinated Science Lab at Illinois. “In Africa, the population will more than double by 2050, but today the yields are only a quarter of their potential.”

Crop breeders run massive experiments comparing thousands of different cultivars, or varieties, of crops over hundreds of acres and measure key traits, like plant emergence or height, by hand.

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Plow days set for July 28 in Alvordton

On Saturday July 28, 2018 in a wheat stubble field on the east edge of Alvordton, Ohio, antique tractors of all types will arrive with moldboard plows in tow as well as “antique” farmers will arrive with grandchildren in tow. Massey Harris tractors of all sizes will arrive and tractor enthusiasts as well as nostalgia seekers will come to “see how we used to do it.”

The Annual Plow Days Event is hosted by the Alvordton-Millcreek Township Volunteer Fire Department in cooperation with Kunkle Farms LLC and Darin Meyers Farms.

This year’s event will feature big power and big iron with not one, but two Big Bud tractors. Featured tractors will be a 650-50 Big Bud, one of only 5 Ag models produced and the only remaining in the United States pulling a DMI 21 bottom hydra-flex moldboard ploy, the largest moldboard plow ever produced. Also featured will be a 525-50 Big Bud, pulling an 18 bottom Will-Rich plow, also the largest model produced by the company.

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Using drones to find drainage pipes

By Barry Allred, USDA Research Agricultural Engineer and Greg Rouse, GIS Coordinator, Ross County Soil and Water Conservation District

 

To improve the soil water removal efficiency of drained farmland, and thereby increase crop yields, new drain lines are often installed between pre-existing drain lines. Retrofitting an agricultural subsurface drainage system in this manner requires accurate maps of the drainage pipe that is already in place. Repairing poorly functioning portions of a subsurface drainage system likewise requires an accurate field map of the drainage pipe network. Furthermore, to better evaluate the overall environmental risk of nitrate and phosphate release into the environment from farm fields, the intensity of subsurface drainage practices within an agricultural landscape needs to estimated, which can be accomplished if drainage pipe maps of the area are available. Consequently, there are both economic and environmental benefits to finding effective and efficient methods for mapping agricultural subsurface drainage systems.

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New engineering safety devices for all-terrain vehicles

By Dee Jepsen

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) continue to grow in popularity for rural and agricultural use. Originally designed for sports and recreation, the ATV is now common on many farms and ranches in the U.S. With this increased use comes increases in injuries and fatalities. And the costs for emergency room visits associated with ATVs grow each year.

 

The 3E Model for injury prevention

The 3E Model is used by occupational injury specialists to help reduce injuries and fatalities. Simply stated, the 3Es of the model are: Engineering, Education, and Enforcement. The use of a combination of these components can be effective in reducing injuries.

 

Enforcement

In agriculture, there is little enforcement when it comes to ATV usage. The most common U.S. violation is the use of ATVs, and their Utility Vehicle (UTV) counterparts, on paved roads. By design, ATV’s and UTV’s are designed for off-road use, which is much different from cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

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JD Equipment Announces New Chief Operating Officer

JD Equipment Inc., a leading John Deere Dealer with 8 locations in Central Ohio, is pleased to announce the hiring of Eric Driscoll as Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective July 2, 2018.

Driscoll, an Idaho native, joins JD Equipment after leadership roles with Driscoll Management Company and Stotz Equipment. Most recently, he served as CEO and President of Driscoll Management Company, where he led the executive team and oversaw several business units involving cattle, row crops, hay export, potatoes, baking and transportation. Driscoll earned a degree in Ag-Business from BYU-Idaho.

“I am excited to join the leadership team at JD Equipment and help grow the customer oriented approach to business,” said Driscoll. “By serving our customers with the best in equipment, parts and service, we help ensure our mutual success, both now, and in the future.”

“JD Equipment is committed to serving our customers, which includes adding to our leadership capabilities, so that we can keep pace in a constantly changing business environment,” stated Jeff Mitchell, CEO.

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JD Equipment Expands Zanesville Facility

JD Equipment is pleased to announce the expansion of the Zanesville facility.

JD Equipment recently broke ground on the $1.1 Million expansion. When completed, the Zanesville location will have a total of nine acres of land with 25,000 square feet of building space and an improved outdoor equipment display area. The building addition will enhance the service department’s capabilities, as well as increase the size of the showroom.

“We are excited for our employees, the city and, most importantly, our customers who put a lot of trust us… We want to assure them that we are positioning ourselves to be even more support-driven than we have been in the past,” commented CEO, Jeff Mitchell. “This project was made possible with the support of the Muskingum County Port Authority, as well as city and county officials.”

The expected completion date for this project is fall of 2018.

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JD Equipment Inc. Acquires Two Locations from Cahall Bros., Inc.

JD Equipment, Inc. has acquired the Georgetown, Ohio, and Flemingsburg, Kentucky, John Deere dealerships effective June 7, 2018. The locations were formerly owned by Cahall Brothers, Inc.

Jeff Mitchell, CEO of JD Equipment commented  “We look forward to serving the communities where both stores are located. Cahall Bros. has a long history of providing quality products and services to their customers and JD Equipment will continue that tradition. JD will emphasize excellent customer service and a wide selection of equipment and parts to meet the needs of all customers. Further, we wish Kyle Cahall and Roland Cahall well in their retirement and appreciate their efforts in growing a strong business with skilled employees. We are pleased to announce all employees at each location have joined JD Equipment, which will ensure a smooth transition for our customers.”

The Georgetown store will be managed by Dan Hodges and the Flemingsburg store will be managed by Todd Hickerson.

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One-of-a-kind sprayer being developed in Ohio

By Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University Professor and Extension Ag Engineer

Much of the pesticide applied today using conventional spray equipment for pest control in floral, nursery, orchard, vineyard and other specialty crop productions is wasted in a number of ways. Most of this waste is due to the sprayers used and how they are operated.

Using conventional sprayers in orchards, for example, the growers simply turn on the sprayer at one end of the row of trees and stop spraying at the other end. The spraying is done continuously, regardless of the gaps between the trees. This gap could be rather wide in some cases, up to 30% of the area sprayed. This means we may waste at least 30% of the pesticide sprayed using conventional sprayers.

Moreover, in a nursery, or an orchard we not only have gaps between trees, we also have a tremendous variation in the size and shape of targets we spray: some short, some tall, some bushy, some slender.

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New BPX9010 bale processor offers versatility

Today’s cattle producers need more from a bale processor — simplicity, durability and versatility. Vermeer took this list of needs and created the next step in their processor evolution with the new BPX9010 bale processor. This all-around bale processor is designed for a variety of applications including distributing a consistent, uniform windrow in the pasture or bunk line and spreading bedding with consistency at ranges up to 50 feet (15.2 meters).

“Livestock producers are embracing the use of bale processors — they want to find efficiencies in their operation and increase feed palatability,” said Shawn Wang, Vermeer product manager. “In order to enhance our current lineup of bale processors, we enhanced our existing BPX9000 design to now introduce the BPX9010 bale processor.”

The durable BPX9010 bale processor is designed with a direct drive system for less maintenance. An optional straight forks and powered sidewall kit gives producers the versatility to process bales both round and square.

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