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May 27, 2015

EPA Ignores Ag and Business Objections, Goes Full Steam with 'Waters' Rule
The Obama administration on Monday moved ahead with the EPA’s sweeping WOTUS measure to control the nation’s waterways and every imaginable point of connection to those waterways. The initiative has drawn strong opposition from almost every agriculture interest in the nation.

Vernon Schmidt, the Association’s Executive Vice President, called the proposal an “unlawful power grab by the EPA to assert federal jurisdiction over local water and land use.”

Today Schmidt added, “This decision by the administration shows a continued pattern of disregard for business, industry, and farm and ranch families. Given the opportunity to reach a reasonable solution, EPA has chosen to ignore millions of Americans, extending its control over private land. The EPA should not be in the business of regulating irrigation ditches, isolated ponds and other ‘non-navigable’ waters as waters of the United States.” >>>



California Claims Six of Top 10 Farm Economies
Agriculture in America accounts for 3.75 million jobs—farm jobs, of course, manufacturing, transportation, research, and more. That total compares to about 4.3 million jobs in the tech sector, according to Joel Kotkin, who explores demographic, social, and economic trends, and who recently contributed an article to Forbes on “The Uncelebrated Places Where America’s Farm Economy is Thriving.” >>>



Ag Chair Calls for Repeal of COOL Rule
The chair of the House Agriculture Committee has introduced legislation to repeal the Country of Origin Labeling requirement, commonly known as COOL. The law, intended to provide consumers information about the origin of their beef, pork, and poultry, has been mired in a 13-year dispute between the United States and its North American neighbors, Mexico and Canada. >>>


Problems in Trucking Industry Threaten Economy
Bottlenecks at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are forcing some who depend on them to reroute their shipments through other ports, ship by air, or reduce their workforce to offset losses. >>>


Ag: Good Market for College Grads
A report recently released from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue University anticipates more jobs in agriculture than graduates in coming years. Researchers expect about 58,000 jobs to open each year of the next five years in agriculture and agriculture-related jobs and only about 35,500 graduates to fill them. >>>


Have a Legal Question?
Your association membership entitles you to free 30-minute consultations with attorneys on distribution and human resource issues. >>>


Drone Can Pinpoint Crop Damage, Stop Disease Spread
Three Ph.D. candidates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won $100,000 for a technology that can scan and analyze farmland to pinpoint crop damage before pests and diseases can spread. >>>



Sukup Sells its Implement Line
Sukup Manufacturing Co. of Sheffield, Iowa has sold its implement line to Remlinger Mfg. Co., of Kalida, OH. The implement line includes grain drills, row crop cultivators, shredders, rotary cutters, food plot planters, seeders, grain carts, and rippers. >>>


GT Mfg. to be Featured on Science Channel
GT Mfg., Inc., in Clay Center, Kansas, will be featured in a “How It’s Made” episode on the Discovery Science Channel. Tune in at 8 p.m. (central time) on Thursday, June 4.

A production crew for “How It’s Made” spent 10 hours at GT a year ago; company president Dennis M. Pederson said the footage has been whittled down to 10 minutes that explains to viewers how grain dryers are made. Pederson said the TV crew worked with GT on narration of the piece, but the company has not seen it in its final edited form. >>>




Quick Dairy Fact
Dairy prices fell by 2.2% last week to the lowest level since August 2009.

Causing the fallout: Demand for imports is soft while the “spring flush” is underway in the northern hemisphere. >>>



Ace Pump Wins U.S. Commerce Award
The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded Ace Pump Corporation of Memphis, TN , The President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting. The “E” Awards are presented annually to organizations that have made significant contributions to increasing America’s exports. Only 26 companies received the award. >>>


Mahindra Buys Stake in Mitsubishi Agribusiness
Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) announced last week it will pay ¥3 billion ($25 million) for a 33% stake in Japan’s Mitsubishi Agricultural Machinery Co. Ltd. >>>


Deere Reports Tough Quarter, Remains Optimistic
Deere & Co. reported Friday that a weak global farm economy led to a second-quarter profit loss. Earnings fell from $981 million in the second quarter of 2014 to $690.5 million this year, a 30% decline. >>>


Kubota Moves to Texas
Kubota Tractor Corp. and Kubota Credit Corp. will move out of their corporate headquarters in Torrance, CA, and into new space in Grapevine, TX, near Dallas.

Kubota also announced this week it will build a 502,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and expand existing operations in Gainesville, GA. >>>



Downturn in Ag Affects Rural Economies, Surveys Continue to Show Lag
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported earlier this month that financial pressures on farmers are bleeding beyond the farm and into rural communities. The data show crop farmers are bearing the brunt of the downturn; livestock producers continue to see better market conditions because of the affordability of grain. >>>


Dealer News
Moodie Implement and Frontline Ag announced merger

Brokaw Supply Co. and Riggins Ag Equipment also merged >>>



AGI Buys Westeel
Ag Growth International Inc. (AGI) last week completed its $221.5 million previously announced acquisition of the Westeel division of Vicwest Inc. >>>



Osmundson Is ISO Certified
Osmundson Mfg. Co. in Perry, Iowa, is now certified as an ISO 9001:2008 company.

The designation establishes the company as meeting criteria in quality management systems that focus on providing customers the best value possible, implementing a continuous improvement model, and reducing waste and maximizing resources. >>>



Buhler Releases Quarterly Report
A revenue report from Buhler Industries Inc., shows a $40 million decline in second-quarter revenue from 2014. Revenue for the first six months of 2015 was $124.8, down $48.8 from 2014. >>>


CLAAS Restructures into Six Global Regions
CLAAS has restructured its top management to position itself for continued growth.

With the restructuring, the company’s America President Leif Magnusson has been named President of CLAAS Global Sales - Americas. He will oversee three sales regions: CLAAS of America, Argentina and America Latina. >>>




Soo Tractor Announces Closure
After 73 years in the farm equipment manufacturing industry, Soo Tractor is closing its doors.

Soo Tractor, a 54-year member of the Association, began in 1942 as Soo Tractor Sweeprake, a name which referred to >>>



Did You Know?
As of January 1 of this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Act expanded employers’ responsibilities for reporting events in the workplace. >>>


USPS Postage Rates Increase
The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the USPS requested postage rate increases, with rates noted below all effective on Sunday, May 31, 2015. Our thanks to our friend David Wysong at AllMail USA for reducing the 133-page PDF published by the Postal Regulatory Commission titled Order No. 2472 into something we could share with members. >>>


Ag-Supported Trade Bill Moves to House
Congress moved a step closer Friday to passing Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which is commonly known as the fast-track bill. The legislation would give Congress the ability to vote for or against—but not amend or filibuster major international trade agreements negotiated by the White House. >>>


Film Aims to Build Awareness About Food Security, Modern Ag
A non-profit organization committed to closing the “farm to food knowledge gap,” is about to release its first project, a film about a struggling family dairy farm and a conflict that emerges when the family’s Harvard-educated son pushes for high-tech farming processes. The family’s drama plays out against the backdrop of a community where schoolchildren are not getting enough to eat. >>>


Rubber: An Emerging Crop in Ohio
A pinch in global demand for the resource has led researchers in Ohio to explore the possibility of creating a domestic source. In the early growing, the crop shows promise. >>>


California Farmers Volunteer to Cut Water Use
Farmers in California have offered to reduce their water use by 25%, which matches a mandatory water reduction that Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for in cities and towns in April.

The BBC reported that a group of about 350 farmers made the concession after state officials threatened to cut their water rights. The agreement is the first of its kind in more than 30 years, and involves farmers in the delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. >>>



Early Days of Ambush Rule Alter Labor Landscape
A new rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that compresses the schedule between the filing of a petition to unionize and conducting a union election has in its first six weeks altered the labor-organizing landscape. >>>


Name Mixup: Deere CEO called ‘Sam Adams’
“Mr. Samuel Adams ... Allen,” said Clarke President Sister Joanne Burrows. “I knew I was going to ... you know, I practiced not to say that.” >>>


Tractor & Combine Sales Report
Highlights from Association of Equipment Manufacturers monthly Ag Flash Reports for unit retail sales of tractors and combines in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, go to FarmEquip.org/flash. >>>