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SPRING 2014 ISSUE
 
 






Phone: 314.878.2304


 

 

 

July 9, 2014

Two Annual Meetings, Two Separate Objectives
When any association has enjoyed the growth that we have over the last few years, it’s important for the staff and leadership to remember that, while the majority of our members have been with us for decades, just under 20% of our members joined in the last 24 months.

With that in mind, here’s a quick review of the goals and objectives of each of our annual meetings. >>>



USDA Releases Planted Crop Acreage Report
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service last week released data on the number of crop acres planted in the U.S. in 2014. The report included the following data: >>>


NC Cuts Unemployment Benefits - Sees Job Market Improve
A year ago, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to exit the federal government’s extended-benefits program for the unemployed. Facing the prospect of hikes in payroll taxes to pay back Washington, the governor and state legislature instead reduced the amount and duration of unemployment-insurance benefits, which had been higher in North Carolina than in most states. As a result the state lost its eligibility to participate in the extended-benefits program on July 1, 2013. >>>



Iowa Group Produces Corn-Based Cellulosic Ethanol on Commercial Scale
The Des Moines Register reported that Quad County Corn Processors beat out DuPont and Poet to produce the state’s first-ever gallon of commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol. The northwest Iowa company produced a limited amount last week but plans to quickly scale up so that it produces about 2 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year. >>>


Feds Pension-Plan Safety Net Faces Severe Funds Squeeze
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s single-employer program is improving, but the funding crisis for multi-employer pension plans (typically, union plans) is not, according to the federal agency’s fiscal 2013 projection report released on June 30. >>>


Rains Flood Central States, No Drought Relief for Southwest
Recent storms delivered pounding rains that hampered fieldwork and sparked local flooding across portions of the Plains, Midwest and South, although overall growing conditions remained mostly favorable for summer crops. >>>


Employers, EEOC Gear UP for High Court Showdown
At issue is whether and to what extent may a court enforce the EEOC’s mandatory duty to conciliate discrimination claims before filing suit. The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the EEOC’s gender discrimination lawsuit against Mach, an Illinois-based coal mining company. Law.com reports that Mach’s lawyers urged the justices to take the case, arguing that the EEOC didn’t live up to its unique statutory duty to “conciliate in good faith”—i.e., to try to resolve a dispute fairly before filing suit. >>>



CNH To Close Georgia Plant
CNH Industrial N.V. announced in late June that it will close its construction equipment assembly plant in Calhoun, GA, in the third quarter of 2015. The closure is necessary as the company adjusts its construction operations based on current volume and market demand, said . . . >>>



Beef Likely Will Rebound,Says Rabobank
According to the latest Rabobank report, Beef Quarterly Q2 2014, the global beef market will regain its positive momentum in the third quarter, once the current, temporarily high supply has worked through the system. This will likely support further strengthening of prices, as supply of competing animal proteins tighten. >>>


Ag Commissioners Discuss Texas-Mexico Border Issues
Agriculture commissioners from eight states got a close look at the unique problems facing ag producers on the Texas-Mexico border during a special tour hosted recently by the Texas Department of Agriculture

Texas Agriculture Secretary Todd Staples told visiting commissioners he wanted them to discuss the border and the need to reform our failed worker program. “We need to totally revamp that system,” he added. >>>


Deere Ukraine Dealer Reports First-Half Losses
Germany-based Ekotechnika, one of the biggest John Deere dealers, blamed a weak ruble for doubling its first-half losses, also citing “more difficult financing conditions” for growers stemming from the fallout from the Ukraine crisis, reported Agrimoney.com.

As of mid-May, Russian farmers were able to borrow only 75 billion rubles ($2 billion) for spring sowing and spring field works, which is 11% less than last year, according to a USDA report. It also said that banks are worried by farmers’ high indebtedness and the growth of delinquent loans. >>>



Art's Way Scientific Announces Medical Research Contracts
Art’s Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. announced that Art’s Way Scientific, Inc. was awarded a sole source contract for a “High Output Swine Behavioral Unit” for the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural Nutritional Sciences Division. The testing unit will support work to study the nutritional effects of infant formula in brain development. >>>


Reality TV’s Kate Plus 8 Disregards UTV Safety Warnings
While you might not fault producers of reality TV for failing to read the utility task vehicle (UTV) operators manual, you may wonder how they missed the decals. In the finale of TLC’s two-part special Kate Plus 8: The Sextuplets Turn 10, Kate Gosselin gave her six youngest children a John Deere Gator 4×2 during their carnival-themed birthday bash. The 10-year-olds and the 13-year-old twins are shown driving and riding around in the two-seat UTV, using the cargo box for extra passengers. >>>


Recognizing July Member Anniversaries
This month we thank the following companies for their membership in the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association and their continued support. We look forward to having these companies, and yours, as members for many more years. >>>



Dealer News
Ag-Power announced it will add 40 new jobs at its headquarters in McKinney, TX, bringing the total company employee count to more than 420.

Brandt Agricultural Products Ltd. announced that P&K Midwest opened three new locations as Brandt Authorized Dealers >>>


Rural Fire Departments Burned by DoD-EPA Agreement
Rural fire departments across the nation will be devastated by an agreement between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which stops making available excess DoD vehicles that are critical to the fire departments’ ability to fight wildland fires, according to OklahomaFarmReport.com. >>>


U.S. Farmer Gets About 15.8 Cents of Every Food Dollar
The latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service report on the breakdown of the U.S. food dollar indicated that the farmer received an average of 15.8 cents, according to the Farm Press Blog.

More than 80 cents went to processing, marketing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing. >>>


Ag Innovator is Now Available Online
Can’t wait to get your hands on the next issue of Ag Innovator? We understand. That’s one reason we now post it online. The Summer issue will hit the mail in mid-July. You have a choice—you can wait for the print edition to arrive in your mailbox, or you can view the digital edition at FarmEquip.org/AGI beginning on July 15. >>>



Wife Charged in Chinese Company Trade Secret Theft
...court documents read like an espionage novel with Chinese men found crawling on their knees in Midwest cornfields, secretly stealing corn ears, and federal agents obtaining court orders to tap the cell phone and bug the rental car of the CEO of Kings Nower Seed. >>>


EEOC Sues Company For Requiring All Employees To Speak English
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against an American company for discriminating against a group of Hispanic and Asian employees because they did not speak English fluently. >>>


Fed Chairman Resists Raising Interest Rates
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen pushed back strongly against the idea that the central bank should consider raising interest rates to avoid fueling future financial crises. >>>


Tillage Manufacturer Seeks Sales Manager
A Midwest member company seeks a sales manager to guide the sales and marketing department for its tillage equipment manufacturing unit. Duties will include meeting sales goals, sales planning, negotiation, coaching, managing processes, developing budgets, and staffing. >>>



Bush Hog Introduces “Made in Selma” Products
BushHog Inc. of Selma, AL, recently introduced a number of “Made in Selma” products. These include three new flex wing models, >>>


PEDv Impact Greater Than Expected, USDA Says
University of Missouri Agricultural Economics Professor Ron Plain said PEDv is reducing hog numbers, and producers can do little to stop its spread, but, “The pigs per litter continues to be very low and that’s pulling down the number of market hogs, and gives us a very bright outlook for hog prices.” >>>


Manufacturers Create Smarter, Faster, Greener Equipment
The day when a tractor works a field without a human driver may not be as far off as you think, according to a USA Today article. It reports that Kinze Manufacturing Inc. has been testing new, autonomous row-crop technology that allows a driverless tractor to pull a grain cart. While the Kinze Autonomy Project is still in development, its technology is a hint of what is in store for future tractors. Also ahead, expect precision farming to become a requirement, rather than an option. >>>