Section 179 Extension Needs Quick Congressional Action
At our Fall Convention in Las Vegas, when our Dealer Panel was asked, “What can manufacturers do to help dealers with year-end sales?”, their answer was loud and clear: Contact your U.S. Senator and your Representative in Congress and tell them how critical it is to restore Section 179 of the tax code. >>>
Ag Growth to Buy Westeel for $221.5 Million
Winnipeg-based AGI announced Tuesday it signed an acquisition deal with Westeel’s owner Vicwest Inc. and Irish building materials manufacturer Kingspan Group. Kingspan said Tuesday it will buy Winnipeg-based Vicwest for $12.70 cash per share, pegging the enterprise value of Vicwest at about $350 million. >>>
Study: Farmers and Scientists Divided Over Climate Change
Crop producers and scientists hold deeply different views on climate change and its possible causes, a study by Purdue and Iowa State universities shows.
More than 90% of the scientists and climatologists surveyed said they believed climate change was occurring, with more than 50% attributing climate change primarily to human activities. In contrast, 66% of corn producers surveyed said they believed climate change was occurring, with 8% pinpointing human activities as the main cause. A quarter of producers said they believed climate change was caused mostly by natural shifts in the environment, and 31% said there was not enough evidence to determine whether climate change was happening or not. >>>
Ag-Pro Companies announced the acquisition of Mid Georgia Tractor -- Jenner Sales has taken over operation of Tri-Co Equipment --- Butler Ag Equipment announced the acquisition of Henkens Equipment >>>
Buffett Unloads Deere Stock
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has disclosed its latest stock holdings as of Sept. 30, 2014 with the SEC. While the value of its portfolio was unchanged at $108 billion relative to the end of June, and it continued to hold 46 stocks, there were still a number of changes to note. >>>
Farmers, Ag Tech Providers Reach Agreement on Big Data
Three out of four U.S. farmers fear data they share with companies offering big data services may fall into the wrong hands or be used without their consent, including for commodity market speculation, according to a survey published this week . . >>>
Association Installs New Officers and Directors
During its 64th annual Fall Convention held Nov. 3-7, in Las Vegas, NV, the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association elected and installed the following officers:
President, Mike Kloster, Worksaver Inc.; 1st Vice President, Ric Kirby, Kirby Manufacturing Inc.; 2nd Vice President, Paul Jeffrey, MacDon Industries Ltd.; Treasurer, Robert Atkinson, W & A Manufacturing Company; and Secretary, Stanley McFarlane, McFarlane Manufacturing Co. Inc. Outgoing President Marc McConnell, Art’s Way Manufacturing Co., will serve as an Ex Officio member of the Executive Committee. >>>
Changes To 3i SHOW Dates
Western Kansas Manufacturers Association (WKMA) announced it will change its 3i SHOW dates beginning in 2015. The Association made the decision after giving significant consideration to exhibitor feedback, as well as crop schedules, other farm show dates, and multiple other factors. >>>
AGCO President Named to Africa Business Advisory Council
The U.S. Department of Commerce named AGCO Corp. Chairman President and CEO Martin Richenhagen to the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, reported MarketWatch.com. >>>
Significant Opportunities and Risks in Russia
Speaking earlier this month at the Association’s Fall Convention in Las Vegas, Howard Dahl reported that the current business climate in Russia and Ukraine offers significant opportunities and risks for equipment manufacturers conducting business there. Dahl, CEO of Amity Technology, Fargo, ND, has been selling farm equipment in Russia since 1991 and has made 73 trips to the region.
“If you’re doing business in the Russian cattle, hog or dairy industry, there are record profits right now,” Dahl said. “The amount of money being made is phenomenal. Potato growers told me in October that they were making $5,000 per hectare in profit.” >>>
Why a 40-Hour Worker Means More to Small Businesses
Some small-business owners hope that a new Congress will change the federal health law’s requirement that businesses provide health insurance to workers who clock as little as 30 hours a week, or pay a penalty, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted in April to back raising what qualifies as a full-time workweek under the health law to 40 hours a week, from 30, though President Obama threatened to veto the change. After midterm elections, House Speaker John Boehner said the 40-hour definition remains one of his top agenda items. The proposal to extend the full-time workweek definition to 40 hours for the purposes of the health law would likely require support from at least 60 votes in the Senate. Republicans have locked in 53 seats for the new year.
ASABE Updates Agricultural Power Take-Off Standards
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) completed three standards projects regarding power take-off drive shafts and related equipment.
The new standards are: >>>
Our Association Asks EPA to Withdraw Its "Waters of the U.S." Proposal
The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association joined with 375 trade associations and chambers from 50 states representing a wide range of industries to voice strong concerns regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ flawed proposed rule to dramatically expand the scope of federal authority over water and land uses across the U.S. and to call for the proposal to be withdrawn. The effort was led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Vernon Schmidt, the Association’s Executive VP, called the proposal an “unlawful power grab by the EPA to assert federal jurisdiction over local water and land use.” Schmidt said the rule would make it impossible for the manufacturers he represents and the farmers and ranchers who buy their equipment to know what routine business practices could be carried out without obtaining an expensive federal permit. “This administration’s EPA has shown a continued pattern of disregard for business, industry, and farm and ranch families,” Schmidt said.
Recognizing November Member Anniversaries
This month we thank the following companies for their membership in, and continued support of, the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Congratulations to these companies on their November anniversaries. >>>
Crops Require More Energy Than Livestock - EIA Report
Crop operations consume much more energy than livestock operations, and energy expenditures for crops account for a higher percentage of farm operating costs, according to a recent brief from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The document also states that rice and peanut crops use the most energy per planted acre; wheat, soybean, and oat crops use the least. >>>
25x’25 Alliance Asks EPA for Flex Fuel Vehicle Guidelines
More than 50 partners in the 25x’25 Alliance have urged the EPA to issue guidance on flex fuel vehicles (FFVs), according FarmIndustryNews.com.
The Alliance wrote a letter to the EPA endorsing the Volkswagen Group of America’s recent request for EPA to issue guidance concerning the E85 weighting factor (“F factor”) for model year 2016-2025 FFVs. The F factor is used to estimate the volume of E85 combusted in FFVs to calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. >>>
U.S. Farmland Prices Continue to Decline
Farm values in Plains states rose by 2.0%, year on year, for irrigated land and by 1.2% for non-watered plots, the weakest price growth pace since 2009.
“After several years of strong price appreciation… cropland value gains have dropped considerably,” the Fed said, adding that about one-third of bankers contacted for its survey forecast a further decline in values, against only 5% foreseeing an increase. >>>
Four States Vote to Increase the Minimum Wage
Four states—Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota—passed measures to increase the minimum wage. Alaska’s measure will increase the minimum wage to $9.75 in 2016, the Arkansas measure raises the minimum wage to $8.50 by 2017, Nebraska’s will rise to $9 by 2016 and South Dakota’s goes to $8.50.
By a wide margin, Illinois voters also recommended an increase to the minimum wage, but the vote was nonbinding.
In Alaska and South Dakota, the minimum wage could climb higher . . .
New Jersey Governor Says He Will Veto Crate Bill
According to a report on NJ.com, Governor Chris Christie told Iowa pork producers he intends to veto a bill passed by the New Jersey Legislature which bans the use of gestation crates for pigs.
The Republican governor made his intentions clear on a pig gestation crate bill when asked about it last month during a visit to Northwest Iowa. >>>
Baker No Tillage Seeks Investors
Baker No Tillage – BNT/Cross Slot is undertaking a Direct Public Offering to raise capital to expand it’s North American operations under the Security Exchange Commission via a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM), reported Lessiter Publications. >>>
Blount Announces Third Quarter 2014 Results
Blount International, Inc. announced its results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2014. Third quarter sales were $245.2 million, an increase of 6.3% over the third quarter of 2013. Operating income for the third quarter of 2014 was $23.5 million, compared to $15.6 million in the same quarter last year. Third quarter net income was $16.1 million, compared to $7.7 million in the third quarter of 2013. >>>
EMDA Elects New Board Members
The Equipment Marketing & Distribution Association (EMDA) announced that its newly elected officers and directors for 2014-2015 will be: >>>