As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we’re grateful for farmers who work tirelessly to grow our food. We give thanks too for the bountiful resources we have in North America: productive soils, structured markets, a quality infrastructure and the technology that allows us to keep improving efficiency and yields. Other areas of the world are not as fortunate.
Howard G. Buffett, a speaker at the Borlaug Dialogue symposium during the World Food Prize this fall, has worked extensively in Africa to alleviate hunger. A farmer, philanthropist, and son of Warren Buffett, he is also a gifted photographer, and documented the hunger situation in his book, Fragile – The Human Condition. Through his journey, he discovered that we can’t solve other people’s problems, no matter how much money we spend; people need to be engaged in solving their own problems, with help from others.
Producers are busy with fall tillage as the harvest season wraps up, and we see vertical tillage being used more frequently. The True-Tandem™ 330 Turbo is put to good use in the fall behind the combine, as well as before planting in the spring.
The more fall field work you can get done now, the less you have to do in the spring, and many of you are taking advantage of the favorable conditions we’ve had in most parts of the country this fall to prepare the soil for the 2012 growing season. (more…)
Case IH is a proud supporter of the National FFA Foundation. Their undertaking of helping students prepare to be the next generation of agriculture leaders goes hand-in-hand with our mission to help farmers “Be Ready” for the opportunities and challenges facing agriculture.
During the recent National FFA Convention, we asked students to use Twitter to send us their thoughts on what they are doing to Be Ready for the future of farming. We promised that one respondent would receive a new Apple iPad 2 as part of the contest.
Our lucky winner is Elisa Sagehorn who grew up on a row crop and cattle farm near Holyoke, Colo. She currently is student at Colorado State University (CSU) majoring in agricultural education. She is the daughter of Keith and Diane Sagehorn.
Elisa tweeted “I will be ready through bringing ag education to elementary schools.” She already has served in agriculture advocacy roles, including presiding as a past state FFA officer, interning for the Colorado Farm Bureau and currently chairing the CSU College of Agriculture ambassador program.
As harvest comes to a close, we’re reminded once again of nature’s power. The drought in Texas that devastated crops and livestock. The excessive spring moisture that prevented 30 percent of Manitoba from even being seeded.
Yet something else also stands out in the 2011 harvest reports from throughout North America. And that is, thanks to continuous innovations in big iron, farmers are increasingly able to work around Mother Nature. Obviously we’ll never defeat her completely, but we’re definitely winning more battles.
Harvest season is over in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says Ryan Braun, the Case IH combine product specialist who covers the area. Braun – no relation to the Milwaukee Brewers slugger/MVP candidate of the same name – has served as a combine specialist for about a year and a half. Before joining Case IH, he spent three years working on a Syngenta research farm, and another six years at MacDon industries in Winnipeg. Braun grew up on a small grains farm just outside of Winnipeg, which his family still operates. He says he’s a big fan of farm equipment in general, but that he’s always been fascinated with combines “because of the incredible job they do.”
Canola and wheat are all done – even the stragglers are off. There are a couple inches of snow on the ground now. Some guys had a wet spring so they seeded late. But even those guys are done, and harvest went well.
In western Canada, Mother Nature blessed farmers with a great growing season – but a seriously challenging harvest – says this week’s guest blogger, Louis Melanson. A Case IH combine product specialist since 1999, Melanson has been with the company for 35 years. He grew up on a farm in eastern Canada, and has always been drawn to big agricultural iron. He wound up working with combines because he was intrigued by the capability to use 30-foot plus headers at 5 mph to harvest canola, which is a very light seed. Melanson jokes that he became a combine specialist “by reading the manual.”
Canola and wheat account for the majority of crops in my area, along with some barley. We’re probably 90 percent done with canola. But it’s getting tougher to get that last 10 percent out, because the snow’s starting to fall. Customers can only combine a few hours a day.
This week’s guest blogger, Kevin Knapp, says harvest progress and yields are all over in his territory, depending on where on the map you’re located. Knapp is the Case IH combine product specialist serving northern Illinois, northern Indiana, northwest Ohio, nearly all of Wisconsin and Michigan. Prior to becoming the area’s combine specialist, Knapp spent six years as a combine test engineer for Case IH, travelling the world to test Case IH Axial-Flow combine technology in just about every imaginable crop and condition. Knapp grew up on a farm in Henry, Ill., and has been intrigued by combines for as long as he can remember. (“My mom could tell you stories,” he says.)
Harvest is progressing well in guest blogger Corwyn Lepp’s territory, which includes several states and a variety of crops. Lepp is the Case IH combine product specialist covering South Dakota, southeastern North Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, western Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Crops include corn, soybeans, winter and spring wheat and sunflowers – along with a little bit of milo, edible beans and popcorn. Lepp grew up on a farm and has spent his entire career working with combines. (They’re his favorite machines.) With 27 years of machinery experience and starting at International Harvester, Lepp spent 12 years as a territory service manager, and 13 years as a territory sales manager before jumping into his combine specialist role two years ago.
The predominant crops in my area are corn and soybeans, and we’ve had good weather for harvest – virtually two straight months of very nice weather with no rain delays. The corn and bean crops have been good, but very dry. I think weather may have impacted yields somewhat, because we had very little rainfall in July and August.
According to the United Nations, today is the day. Our population will reach 7 billion.
And, while most of us are blessed to have a bountiful food supply – and even a healthy stash of treats on this Halloween day – this population milestone has many asking what it will take to meet the needs of a population that is growing by an estimated 200,000 people each day.
Harvest is progressing well in the North Central region, thanks to dry weather throughout the harvest season. It never rained during soybean harvest. And according to guest blogger Mike King, the Case IH combine product specialist for Minnesota and Central Iowa, the only thing slowing down the corn harvest is some down corn in a few areas. A member of the combine team (which he calls “the best job in the company”) since 2006, King has been with Case IH for 23 years.