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Educating the Public on Ag

At first, things look pretty quiet at the dairy, located a few miles northwest of Fort Wayne, Ind.

The only activity, it seems, is dozens of healthy-looking Holsteins with full udders munching feed. Drive a little farther, though, and a long line of parked cars comes into view, as do scores of parents and children walking into an open area surrounded by cattle and cornfields, where the Kuehnert family is hosting its newly initiated fall festival.

Al Kuehnert

Al Kuehnert

For more than 100 years, the Kuehnerts have been farming on this land, where they grow corn, soybeans and hay on 1,100 acres. Their bread and butter, however, is the farm’s 300 mature Holsteins, which produce 7 million pounds of milk a year. Ask fourth-generation producer and family patriarch Al why he added yet another element of work to his day (and night) in the form of a family-oriented festival, and he’ll tell you, “It’s amazing how many people think milk comes from the grocery store.”

Al sees the festival, which his family started in 2013, as a way to educate the general public about agriculture and, more specifically, dairy. The family also uses the festival as a means to promote the dairy products marketed through the 700-member Prairie Farms Dairy cooperative, of which the Kuehnerts are a part

Then, there’s the benefit of introducing the public to Kuehnert Dairy Farm, which supports Al and his brother Stan as full-time farmers, as well as partially supporting the families of Al’s two sons, Nathan and Andrew. All together, there are currently four generations of Kuehnerts working in some capacity on this dairy farm.

Last year, the festival drew 3,500 visitors—no small feat in Al’s opinion. “We had a really good turnout, especially given the bad weather we had every weekend,” he says, and adds that it accomplished job No. 1. “Our main thing with doing the festival is to educate the consumer about dairy and show people where their milk comes from.”

At AGCO, we salute farm families across North America who are involved in pubic outreach in all forms. That’s no small task and one that’s vital to agriculture, present and future.

For more about the Kuehnert Dairy Farm Fall Festival, which continues through October 26, 2014, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/educating-the-public-on-agriculture/.

RG700 Sprayer Nominated for No-Till Product of the Year

At AGCO, we’re pleased to announce that the RoGator RG700 self-propelled sprayer has been nominated for another industry award!RG700 Sprayer Nominated for No-Till Product of the Year

The RG700 is among top products nominated by readers of No-Till Farmer magazine for Product of the Year. Voting is open for growers only through Saturday, November 8, in 13 different categories, including Category 9-Spraying Equipment. Multiple products can be cast within each product category.

Visit http://www.no-tillfarmer.com/pages/Vote-Now-Open-For-No-Till-Product-Of-The-Year.php to learn more and cast your vote for your favorite products. You could be one of 20 lucky voters who will receive a No-Till Farmer shirt just by voting!

The winners will be announced in the Winter 2015 issue of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide and will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, Jan. 16, at the 23rd annual National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Engineered for smaller fields, the nimble RG700 sprayer was recognized in 2013 as CropLife Iron Product of the Year and AgriMarketing magazine’s New Product of the Year, and as a 2014 recipient of an AE50 design award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

 

Get to Grips with Soil Compaction

How do you protect your soils from yield-sapping hardpan?

“Soil compaction is one of the most common problems farmers face today – it severely limits yields and impacts margins,” says Cameron McKenzie, Seeding & Tillage Product Marketing Manager for the farm equipment brand, Challenger. “However,  key steps can be taken to deal with it through the use of proper soil management.”

CompactionIMG_0383[1]

“As the name implies, compaction occurs when soil particles are compacted together, restricting the amount of space for the air and water needed for optimum plant growth. Compaction can occur naturally or be caused by farming practices. Most often, compaction is created by today’s modern heavy equipment traffic. The key to controlling it is to understand your farm’s soils, ascertain the root cause of compaction and learn how to reduce its costly effects.”

“Compaction tends to build up over time and gets worse every time you work your fields -  most particularly in wet conditions,” he says. “If you haven’t deep-ripped your fields for example, compaction from a wet spring three years ago can dramatically lower yields further down the line.”

Certain soils compact more easily than others. Soils made up of particles of about the same size compact less than soils with particles of varied sizes. Wet soils compact more easily than dry, while soils high in organic matter have a better structure and are more likely to resist compaction.

Some important things to remember:

  • Most compaction is caused by equipment traffic
  • Up to 80% of compaction in the field occurs on the first pass  of the season
  • Surface compaction is caused by high ground pressure created by reduced contact area
  • Deep compaction is caused by high axle loads
  • Slip compaction is caused by low surface contact areas and smearing of the topsoil
  • Pinch-row compaction is caused by dual or triple wheels as ground pressure from the tyres shifts from the centre of the tyre to the outside

To read the full article, please click here

Massey Ferguson Helps Showcase Innovations From a Small Island

Massey Ferguson helped provide a taste of British farming and food production to more than 250 leading journalists attending the International Federation of Agricultural Journalist’s Congress in North East Scotland.

‘Innovations from a Small Island’, the congress provided a packed programme of seminars, visits and events showcasing the UK’s world-leading farming, food and drink producers. As a principal sponsor of the event, Massey Ferguson ensured these influential writers and photographers from around the world not only learned about the UK advanced food and farming industry, but passed it on to their global farming audience.

DSC2279_ifajvisit_harvesting_mikemclarensfarmMassey Ferguson sponsored the ‘Market Makers’ farm tours that demonstrated how its equipment is being employed by producers of diverse range of crops and livestock north-east Scotland. These farms are renowned for the highest quality potatoes, fruit, berries and vegetables as well as cereals and beef and lamb.

“We are honoured to help showcase the work of some of not just Scotland’s, but Europe’s leading farmers,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson’s Director, Sales Engineering and MF Brand Development. “It was a pleasure to see how these leading journalists were eager to see these progressive, professional businesses and learn more about their knowledge of agriculture and see examples of the finest crop and animal husbandry.”

The European Commission is Set to See a New President & New Commissioners – Q & A With CEJA

In this month’s regular column from CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers), President, Matteo Bartolini discusses the prospects under the new regime.

Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker

MF: Can you give us a brief description of the role of the European Commission?

MB: This is the EU’s executive body and stands for the interests of Europe as a whole. It is led by one President and 27 Commissioners (one from each of the 28 EU member states), known as the ‘College of Commissioners’ which meets once a week. A new team of Commissioners is appointed every five years, with the next one due to start their term on 1 November 2014. The President-Elect Jean-Claude Juncker has already been nominated by the Council, elected by the European Parliament and has, in turn, chosen all 27 nominees from candidates put forward by their member states and assigned them a policy area. This list must now be approved by the European Parliament.

MF: What is Jean-Claude Juncker’s background?

MB: Mr Juncker is an experienced politician with 17 years as Luxembourg’s Prime Minister under his belt as well as institutional experience in terms of his background as President of the Eurogroup. He is said to be an idealist and European federalist, but also a deal-broker with a knack for achieving consensus. The President of the Commission is arguably the most influential position of all institutional jobs, considering that the European Commission has the sole right of initiation of all EU law. However, there is a close second in the form of the President of the Council. This is a leader who sets the agenda for the work of the European Council and brokers consensus between member states. A few weeks ago, Donald Tusk, Poland’s Prime Minister, was elected by the Council to be the head of the Euro Summit as well as Council President.

For the full article, please click here
If you would like to get in touch with Mr. Bartolini or CEJA, email allusers@ceja.eu.

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