Author Archive

The Future of Farming Is Now: Africa Set to “Leapfrog” Farming Practices of Old

By Matt Rushing

“Technology leapfrogging” refers to the adoption of advanced or state-of-the-art technology in an application area where immediate prior technology has not been adopted. Discussions of Information and communication technologies (ICT)  leapfrogging have largely focused on developing countries, which generally lag behind on technology adoption, and unlike the developed countries, are not inhibited by entrenched intermediate technology. New and advanced technology provides developing countries with the opportunity to accelerate economic development…In addition, the advancement of ICTs has reduced costs and imposed lesser demands on the skill of the users due to user-friendly features…1

Last month, AGCO held its sixth annual Africa Summit in Berlin, Germany, where I was honored to give a short presentation about how precision farming can help solve many of the challenges facing today’s growers.


What is especially exciting for Africa is that the new generation of growers has the opportunity to “leapfrog” farming practices of old and start with the best technology AGCO can offer. For example, they can skip manual planting and fertilizing practices and go straight to mechanical and automated rate and section control, in the same way many developing countries never fully developed a traditional telecommunications infrastructure, but skipped straight to mobile phones.

Although there are challenges such as climate volatility and agronomic know-how, the future is bright and opportunities are boundless to take advantage of the last several decades of agricultural technology leaps and apply them in a fresh environment. AGCO’s Fuse precision farming technologies can help growers reduce waste and maximize yields from the smallest subsistence farmers to the largest corporate farming operations.

To learn more about the Summit and view the event gallery, visit

To learn more about Fuse, visit

Matt Rushing is the Vice President of AGCO’s Global Fuse Product Line. Learn more about AGCO’s precision farming technology solutions by visiting


Precision Planting: New White Planters for 2017

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Capturing the full yield potential of every seed planted is the key to maximum yields in any crop. To that end, the new White Planters™ 9800VE Series features the latest in seed-placement technologies, plus the simple maintenance and operation White Planters has provided customers for more than 40 years.

One of those new technologies is the SpeedTube® seed tubes from Precision Planting, which deliver precise seed placement of corn faster than ever.

“To achieve the best yields in corn, producers focus on getting as many acres as possible planted during that very narrow, five-to-10-day ‘optimum planting window’,” says Larry Kuster, senior product specialist for Seeding and Tillage at AGCO. “With SpeedTube on White Planters 9800VE Series planters, they can now achieve precise seed placement of corn at speeds nearly double traditional operating speeds.”

The 9800VE Series planters incorporate a full range of attachments to fit virtually any production system. The new 9812VE-30, 9816VE-30 and 9824VE-30 models (12-row, 16-row and 24-row configurations) are built on three-section frames that flex 21 degrees up or down at each wing for consistent planting depth, even over irregular terrain.

The 9800VE Series also includes state-of-the-art advancements in planting technologies. In addition to SpeedTube, many of the innovations found on the 9800VE Series are the result of AGCO’s latest investment in planting technology available from Precision Planting,® Kuster says.

“White Planters have always been recognized in the industry for their simplicity and reliability,” he explains. “At the same time, our partner, Precision Planting, is known as one of the best in the business for precision components.”

More specifically, Kuster highlights the reliable vSet® seed meters, which offer the industry’s most consistent seed singulation, and the new vDrive® electronic drive system that allows prescription planting to match plant population to the soil’s yield potential. The vDrive also provides independent row shutoff to prevent overplanting point rows and end rows, saving seed and ensuring even plant spacing for optimum yields.

“To ensure consistent seed depth placement for each individual row, regardless of field conditions or soil compaction, 9800VE Series planters can also be equipped with Precision Planting’s DeltaForce® hydraulic downforce control system as an option,” Kuster continues. “This system automatically compensates within seconds for soil variation caused by wheel track, changes in soil type, soil moisture and varying amounts of crop residue across the field.”

For more details, see your White Planter dealer or log onto

Youth Movement Redux: A Look Back at our 2011 Young Farmers Special Report

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Back in 2011, FarmLife magazine, our exclusive customer publication, asked young producers what fuels their passion for farming. We visited with them again recently and learned, despite the odds and obstacles, they’re doing well.

When last we reached out to Michel Camps, the Barnell, Alberta, farmer spoke of his mistakes, mentors and wife, Hanneke. In 2011, Camps’ CP Farms consisted of 1,750 acres of potatoes, sunflowers, small grains, sugar beets and corn. The farm, says Camps, has grown to about 2,400 acres, in part because of long-term leases of neighboring land and purchasing land.

“We still grow the same crops, but just do a little bit more,” Camps says. In 2012, the Camps family built and tripled their on-farm storage capacity for potatoes and stopped renting storage, and they added additional grain storage. “With all the crops being in one yard now, it has made it easier to manage crop deliveries in the winter, especially potatoes,” he says.

Camps just came off eight years serving on the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers board. During that stint, he spent a fair amount of time away from the farm, especially in the winter. His current day to day in winter, he says, involves organizing parts, servicing machinery, planning for the next season, attending meetings (agronomy, seed, fertilizer, chemical) or delivering crops to the buyers. “In the farming season,” he adds, “I run the RoGator, our self-propelled harvester, and do almost all the irrigation.”

See the original story on the Camps farm here or click here to read the full update.

We interviewed Doug Sass in 2011 as a 31-year-old farming on his Monona, Iowa, operation. Quite a bit has changed over the past five years. Sass farmed 1,100 acres of corn (including seed corn) and soybeans then. He also helped his father feed 500 head of cattle a year, and they shared some equipment. Part of his business included hauling seed corn on contract for Monsanto.

“I’m farming around 2,000 acres,” Sass says now. He’s still hauling Monsanto seed corn and has cut back on cattle—feeding less than 100—but has new livestock. “Last winter, I added a 65-head flock of sheep, which I’ve really enjoyed,” he says. “Plus, they’re great weed-eaters!”

Sass has plenty of additional farm experience under his belt, and he says he’s always looking for farming opportunities— “and ways to take more fishing trips,” he quips.

See the original story on the Sass farm here or click here to read the full update.

6th AGCO Africa Summit: My Experience as AGCO’s Africa Ambassador in Berlin


When people hear “Madagascar”, the first thing that comes to their minds is the famous cartoon. However, it is a country – the country where I come from. I cannot tell you how happy I was when I received the final e-mail announcing that I was elected as the AGCO Africa Ambassador 2017 – I jumped for joy! At the same time I was afraid because a great responsibility had been given to me to represent a country, a continent.

And then, things went so fast! I prepared my trip with the help of my team, my family and friends. Then I took off to Berlin via Mauritius, then Paris. Far away from our sunny days, it was the first time I have faced such a cold, I assure you. Once I arrived in Berlin, I was welcomed warmly with honor by the organizing team of the AGCO Africa Summit and I was accommodated in a sumptuous hotel – “comfort guaranteed”.

There I met Tosin Odunfa, the AGCO Africa Ambassador of 2013 – what a great speaker. He supported and helped me in my preparations for the Summit. Together we visited Berlin, its tourist places, its urban sides and its gastronomy. If you can spend one day in Berlin, do not forget to taste their bread and their beer. What a magnificent city!

The evening before the conference we had a Speakers’ dinner and I had the first opportunity to get to know and chat with the speakers and senior officials from AGCO.


On the morning of the 6th AGCO Africa Summit I was really nervous: I had the honor of being the host of the event. But I had the support of the whole AGCO team and two excellent moderators: Dr. Amrita Cheema from the famous TV channel DEUTSCHE WELLE (a really lively and talented woman), and Jeff Koinange from KENYA’S TELEVISION NETWORK (a voice so deep that when he speaks you’re obliged to turn around). To my surprise, I also met Jean Kaahwa, the winner of AGCO Africa Ambassador contest 2015, who also supported me and gave me courage.

I was amazed that so many people were mobilized to discuss the future of agriculture in Africa. The AGCO Africa Summit brought together so many personalities who are directly involved in agriculture (bankers, entrepreneurs, officials from public administration), as well as young people involved in activities and projects for the development of agriculture in Africa. This experience allowed me to establish professional relationships for our project LEGUMA. I was also able to meet His Excellency Christian Wulff, the Former Federal President of Germany and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Arab Association. The topics discussed during the Summit were exciting and unfortunately the day went by very quickly. By the end of the conference, I was surprised by Nuradin Osman, Vice President and General Manager Africa for AGCO Corporation, who called me on stage to thank me for my participation. The event ended with a dinner where everyone gathered around a good meal and we were able to appreciate talented African musicians who made us dance and vibrate until the end of the night.

The next day I prepared my suitcase to return blessed and safe to Madagascar. I would like to congratulate AGCO for this inspiring event and the possibility to get to know all these important people. I hope that we will go further together in promoting agriculture in Africa.



Biomass at a Glance


Biomass has been around since the dawn of man. In today’s quest to feed the world as well as quench our energy needs, the potential for biomass is huge.

It’s estimated that the Earth grows about 130 billion tons of biomass annually. That’s more than six times the world’s energy use. Today, we have the ability to convert biomass residue into fuel, high-value chemicals, recyclable products, feed pellets and more.

However, only a small percentage is being captured. According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, if more biomass was captured and converted, the residue could provide 14% of the U.S. electricity use or 13% of the nation’s motor fuel. And, that’s not all – the removal of ag residue also is proven to increase farming yields and profitability.

Think of it, a source of food and renewable energy, and increases profits for farmers all from the residue that is normally left on the fields.

Learn more about the impact that biomass is having throughout the world today by downloading an informative infographic we prepared with key data and information: biomass-at-a-glance.

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