Trying to Get it Right in Wisconsin
For the past two years, the farm equipment industry has been watching attempts by local governments in Wisconsin, via the state legislature, to place restrictions on limited use farm equipment on public roadways. They sought a permit process that we believed would not work. We have been involved, with many other industry groups, because it matters to our members and farmers in Wisconsin, and it matters in every state where farmers must move large, modern farm equipment on local roads.
NLRB Rule Changes Timeline for Union Elections
A new rule from the National Labor Relations Board that compresses the timeline in which workers can hold union-organizing elections is effective this week.
Opponents have dubbed this the “ambush election rule” because organizers could hold a union election in less than 14 days after a petition is filed. The previous rule called for at least 25 days. The new rule also provides for electronic filing and requires employers to include contact information for workers. >>>
NLRB Challenges Language in Employee Handbooks
The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a memo last week that put a fine point on what is lawful in employee handbooks.
The memo focused on rules related to confidentiality, professional conduct, harassment, trademarks, videography and photography and contacting the media. >>>
AgDNA Gets Help through Crowdfunding
Australia-based AgDNA has teamed up with the New York-based AgFunder to attract investors to its mobile data analytics platform.
AgDNA is a cloud-based data analytics platform that seeks to put information into the hands of equipment dealers, growers, contractors, and agronomists worldwide. >>>
Nebraska Considers Lifting Meat Packer Ban
A proposed change to Nebraska state law could lead to meat packers owning livestock.
In pork-producing states like Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina, many farmers today are under contract with giant meat packers like Tyson or Smithfield Foods.The companies own the pigs and pay the farmers to raise them. >>>
Farmers Spared in Water Restrictions
The drought in California dominated national news in recent weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) issued an executive order calling for a 25% mandatory reduction in water use through February 2016. Agriculture is exempt from the order, a move Brown explained in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” >>>
Steel Industry Seeks Recourse
U.S. steelmakers struggling to compete with overseas exporters of the metal are taking their case to Congress. The industry seeks a revision in the way in foreign trade complaints are reviewed.
The domestic steel industry recently has idled 32% of its capacity, according to reports, and U.S. raw-steel output is down 14% this year. U.S. steelmakers are being pinched by a strong dollar, which makes it possible for foreign producers to spend less in production hence net more in sales, and a geographic shift in demand. The U.S. needs more steel as demand levels off in China and remains flat in Europe. >>>
Documentary on Farming Named Campaign of the Year
PR Week named the film FARMLAND as recipient of the prestigious Arts, Entertainment and Media Campaign of the Year award.
The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance supported the 2014 documentary, which debuted in more than 170 theaters and surpassed ticket sale expectations by 84 percent. >>>
Lawmaker Introduces Bill on GMO Labeling
U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced legislation in March to guard against a state-by-state food labeling system on genetically modified ingredients.Residents in nearly 30 states are asking their state leaders to require warning labels on foods that contain these ingredients derived from biotechnology. In response to this movement, Pompeo introduced The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. In a news release announcing the bill, he said a state-by-state labeling system would impede interstate commerce, discourage innovation among farmers, and mislead consumers about the safety of the food supply. >>>
ASABE Adopts New Standard for Linkages
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers recently adopted an amended international standard related to rear-mounted, three-point linkages in tractors.
The new standard is ANSI/ASABE AD730:2009 W/Amd. 1:2014 - Categories 1N, 1, 2N, 2, 3N, 3, 4N and 4. It includes link coupler illustrations and hitch data for larger tractors equipped with 45 mm PTO shafts, which were added in the July 2014 Amendment 1 to ISO 730:2009. This adoption replaces the 2012 adoption of ISO 730:2009. >>>
Rick Raborn Succeeds Rick Pummel at Alamo
Alamo Group Inc. has named Richard H. (Rick) Raborn as its executive vice president of its North American Agricultural Division. He succeeds Rick Pummell, who retires in May after more than a decade leading Alamo’s Agricultural Division. >>>
New Ag Show ‘Literally in the Field’
The organizers of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show will introduce this year a demonstration-focused outdoor show near Saskatoon. >>>
Manufacturer Seeks Space
A member company is interested in establishing a distribution and warehouse location to serve the Midwest and beyond. >>>
An Introduction, Invitation
Your gift, in broad terms, is to manufacture innovative equipment for farmers. You succeed through your own smarts but also through relationships and knowledge of goings-on in the industry. That is where the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association and I come into play.
I found my niche as a writer and editor, and I joined the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association to spend my days gathering and distributing news relevant to Association members. You and I can work together on this. >>>
World Cotton Market Continues Shift
Data recently released from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals a continued trend in the textile industry as China becomes less dominant in yarn spinning, a first step in fabric production, and countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia claim more of the industry.
Manufacturer Seeks Territory Manger
A member company that manufactures peanut harvest equipment, tillage tools, poultry house maintenance equipment, and disc mower caddies is seeking a territory manager to cover Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, southern Ohio, and Iowa. A dealer network and established market is in place. >>>
EPA Clarifies its Clean Water Rule
After a year-long review that included 400 meetings across the United States and feedback from more than a million people - farmers, manufacturers, hunters, and anglers - the Environmental Protection Agency, with the US. Army Corps of Engineers, submitted this month a revised Clean Water Rule to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. >>>
Member Committees: Shaping Association's Direction
The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association serves as the collective voice of members and provides resources so members can continually learn and engage in industry developments. The Association belongs to you, so it is fitting that you help shape its direction.
Association members serve on committees designed to assure continued success among our 742 member companies. In this issue, we thank the members who give their time to committee work and encourage every member to share suggestions on how the committees can meet their objectives. >>>
Commodity Classic Offer
Commodity Classic is offering a new benefit to regular members of our Association: early reservation for exhibit space at the 2016 show in New Orleans, March 3 to 5. Sales do not open to others until June 1. >>>
Recognizing April Member Anniversaries
This month we thank these 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 years to come. >>>
Farmers Spend Less to Offset Loss
A story released by Reuters last week reports that after four years of bumper crops and earnings, farmers expect diminished returns in 2015 and are buying less to brace for it.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture anticipates this growing season to be the least profitable since 2007, and early spending among farmers suggests they will not bet against that prediction. In the Midwest, equipment sales are down and seed companies report selling less.
Right to Farm: Voters May Decide
Voters in Oklahoma soon may decide to amend their state constitution to assure that its legislature cannot, without a compelling state interest, pass a law limiting the rights of residents of Oklahoma to farm.
Oklahoma, like every other state in the union, has a Right to Farm law. The intent of such laws is to discourage legal complaints against farmers for nature-of-the-business inconveniences such as dust or noise. >>>
EFC Systems Buys AgJunction Cloud Services
EFC Systems, Inc., a provider of solutions for agri-business retailers and wholesalers, has announced an agreement to purchase AgJunction Inc.’s Cloud Services division. >>>
Disappointing News from Rural Mainstreet Index
Farm equipment sales and farmland prices have declined, according to data released in March from the Creighton Rural Mainstreet Index.
Responses from this monthly survey of bank CEOs in a 10-state rural region led to the lowest Rural Mainstreet Index since February 2010 – 43.6 on a scale of one to 100. >>>
Merwitz Returns to PEER Chain Company
Industrial chain provider PEER Chain Company has announced that Arthur Merwitz will return to PEER as power transmission product manager. Merwitz joined PEER Chain in 1996 and served as regional sales manager, OEM sales manager, and vice president of strategic sales. He left PEER in 2012 to pursue an MBA with a focus on international business. >>>