Association Opposes Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts
Quoting the budget proposal directly: “Overly generous benefits have almost eliminated the risk in farming at a cost to taxpayers in the billions.”
While cuts in federal spending are long overdue, it’s important to remember that many programs important to production agriculture were sacrificed in the 2014 Farm Bill, in exchange for help with the cost of crop insurance. Agriculture has clearly already done its part when it comes to cutting federal programs.
The Association opposes the proposed cuts and earlier this month, published the following statement on our website (FarmEquip.org/CropIns) as an open letter and sent it to House and Senate Budget Committee Chairs and Ranking Members:
ASABE Honors Association Members with AE50 Award
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recently announced the recipients of its 2015 AE50 Awards for outstanding innovations, and several Association members’ products appear on the list. >>>
Help Wanted: Business Development Manager
An OEM seeks a Business Development Manager (BDM) to represent the company and market its products. The BDM will find, qualify, and close opportunities on products within existing product lines, grow revenues by adding new customers, and identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities within existing product lines and made-to-order parts within assigned account >>>
Notice of Associate Supplier Section Meeting at Spring Conference
The annual business meeting of our Associate Supplier Section will be held on Friday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. during the Association’s Spring Conference and Supplier Product Showcase in Charlotte, NC. The purpose the meeting shall be the election of leadership of the Associate Supplier Section and the transaction of such other business as may come before the meeting. >>>
Kansas State Legislature Considers Sales Tax Exemptions, Workers Comp
While we monitor all states for legislation that could effect our members, our Association has retained a lobbyist to protect our interests in Kansas for the 2015 session. We have not yet seen any proposed legislation related to dealer buyback, warranty or lemon laws, but we did note some other relevant activity. >>>
Help Wanted: Sales Rep for CA and Canada Markets
A global manufacturer of agricultural tillage parts seeks a sales representative to serve its markets in both Canada and California.
The ideal candidate will have experience in selling to both OEM’s and distributors, as well as a strong background in agricultural sales. He/she will travel extensively throughout the two territories. >>>
Ohio Bill Would Protect Lake Erie From Algal Blooms and Agriculture Pollution
A new bill has been introduced in the Ohio legislature to protect Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms, adding several new proposals to a measure that last year passed the House but failed to make it through the Senate.
The new bill is designated as “Senate Bill 1,” a numbering that apparently reflects the Ohio Senate leadership’s determination to make it a priority. The sponsor claims the bill represents the strongest effort yet by lawmakers to curtail harmful algal blooms that threaten municipal water supplies drawn from Lake Erie.
The bill includes the following provisions, all similar to those in the House measure, House Bill 490, that was defeated in 2014: >>>
• Mahindra USA announced the opening of a new Midwest Authorized Distribution Center in Lyons, KS
• Tractor Supply Company, announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 27, 2014
• Hoober Inc., an agricultural equipment dealer with 9 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, announced it opened >>>
West Coast Port Employers, Union Reach Tentative Five-Year Agreement
West Coast port employers and their union came to a tentative five-year agreement on a new contract Friday night, a union spokesman said, bringing an end to a nine-month negotiation process that resulted in significant slowdowns at the ports. >>>
AgJunction Announces Strategic OEM Partnership with Pulse Aerospace
AgJunction Inc. announced it has entered into a strategic OEM partnership with Pulse Aerospace of Lawrence, KS, to integrate SATLOC®, application controls with a new generation of unmanned aerial system (“UAS”) solutions for precision agriculture. >>>
AGCO Reports 4Q Sales Declines
AGCO reported net sales of approximately $2.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014, a decrease of approximately 13.1% compared to net sales of approximately $2.9 billion for 4Q13.
Net sales in North America declined 11.5% in 2014 compared to 2013. The most significant decreases were in high-horsepower tractors and implements, with growth in small tractor sales and hay tools partially offsetting the decline
Kubota Expands Roles of Senior Leaders
Kubota Tractor Corporation announced earlier this month that it has expanded the roles of several of its senior leaders to reflect the company’s vision of strategic, customer-focused product and market expansion.
Todd Stucke has been named Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Product Support. Stucke will lead the company’s national product and operations strategy for each of the company’s product segments, including ag and turf equipment, utility vehicles, and construction equipment. >>>
House Committee Approves Permanent
Higher Section 179 Expensing Levels
The House Ways and Means Committee in February approved a slate of bills to reform the tax code, including one bill that would make higher section 179 expensing levels permanent, reported FarmFutures.com.
The bill, H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015, makes higher section 179 expensing levels experienced through the 2010-2014 tax years permanent. This will allow farmers, ranchers and small business owners to deduct up to $500,000 in qualifying expenses, with a phase-out threshold of >>>
U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Cap
Federal Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies
U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced bipartisan legislation that would save taxpayers more than two billion dollars by capping federal crop insurance premiums for the largest farm businesses, >>>
EEOC Reports Increase in Retaliation Claims
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released fiscal year 2014 private sector data tables providing detailed breakdowns for the 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination the agency received. >>>
Kifco Acquires Weiss Master Mfg.
Kifco, a water reels manufacturer based in Havana, IL, recently acquired Weiss Master Manufacturing.
Weiss Master, based in Brush, CO, produces hay and livestock handling equipment and cattle guards. The company specializes in custom heavy-duty hay heads for moving, stacking and loading hay in all forms and bale sizes. >>>
Recognizing February Member Anniversaries
This month we thank the following companies for their membership in, and continued support of, the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association. We look forward to having these companies, and yours, as members for many more years.
Congratulations to these companies on their February anniversaries. >>>
Art's Way Announces 2014 Financial Results
Art’s Way Manufacturing Co., Inc. announces its financial results for the year ended Nov. 30, 2014. The company’s consolidated sales increased 5.7%, from $34,227,000 in fiscal year 2013 to $36,170,000 in fiscal year 2014. >>>
Superior Gearbox Earns ISO Certification
SRI Quality System Registrar announced recently that it has awarded an ISO 9001:2008 Management System certificate to Superior Gearbox Company, located in Stockton and Buffalo, MO, for the design and manufacture of gear drives for power transmission systems. >>>
Line Between Vehicles and Tractors Blurs in New Jersey
Last month the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee reported Assembly Bill A1812 favorably out of committee.
This bill amends the new vehicle “lemon law” to extend the protections of that law to “new motor vehicle farm equipment” This bill amends the new vehicle “lemon law” to extend the protections of that law to “new motor vehicle farm equipment” purchased or leased in New Jersey. Specifically, the bill includes farm tractors under the types of motor vehicles covered under the terms of the “lemon law,” along with the existing categories of passenger automobiles, authorized emergency vehicles, and motorcycles. The bill references the definition of “farm tractor” >>>
Companies Boost Cybersecurity to Shield Farm Data
Some ag companies feel the need to build sturdier digital fences to fend off cyberattacks that industry officials say increasingly target the sector, the Wall Street Journal reports. Companies including Monsanto and Deere are investing more in cybersecurity as the farming business grows more data centric, with satellite-steered tractors and algorithm-driven planting services expand. >>>
Caterpillar Dealers Fabick and Fabco Plan Merger
Caterpillar dealers Fabco Equipment, Milwaukee, WI, and John Fabick Tractor Co., Fenton, MO, plan to merge their companies to create one of the largest Caterpillar dealers in the United States, reported rermag.com. Doug Fabick, president and CEO of Fabick Cat, will lead the expanded organization as CEO and dealer principal; his cousin Jeré Fabick, currently president and CEO of Fabco, will serve as president and co-dealer principal. >>>
Deere Announces First Quarter Results
Deere’s equipment operations reported operating profit of $414 million for the first quarter, ending January 31, compared with $891 million last year, according to Nasdaq.com. Net income of the company’s equipment operations was $241 million for the quarter, compared with $543 million in 2014.
The company’s worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to decrease by about 23% for fiscal-year 2015, including a negative currency-translation effect of about 4%. >>>
CNH Industrial Reports Weak Fourth Quarter
CNH reported a drop in fourth-quarter operating profit, amid weak demand for agricultural machinery, according to Reuters.
The company said its operating profit from its industrial activities fell to $376 million in the quarter, down from $389 million in the same period the previous year. For the full year, CNH saw profit for industrial activities at $1.99 billion. Its industrial sales fell 11% to $8.02 billio >>>