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Today’s Agriculture into Consumer Products

Even before this weekend’s Earth Hour encouraging people to switch off their lights around the globe for one hour and commit to additional energy saving actions, there has been a lot of talk about how humans can become more self sustainable by using our natural resources more viably; in our daily lives with our daily products. Pepsi is one company striving to improve sustainability with innovative technology leveraging agricultural products.

In America, 1500 plastic water bottles are consumed every second. Pepsi has taken a charge at creating a greener water bottle containing renewable materials as switch grass, pine barks and corn husks. PepsiCo hopes to make future versions of the bottle with orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricultural byproducts from its foods business.

PepsiCo plans to make several hundred thousand bottles in a pilot program next year and roll them out more widely later. They have not stated which brands will get the bottle first. But PepsiCo did say the undercover research and development project spanned four countries and took several years.

“We’re learning our way,” said Denise Lefebvre, senior director of advanced research at PepsiCo. “We want to make sure all the science is absolutely right.” PepsiCo says the bottle looks and feels like existing beverage containers, and protects beverages equally well.

“The beauty of the technology is, we’ll be able to use a lot of different types of biomass,” said Lefebvre. “Our intent is certainly to create a closed-loop system.”

The PlantBottle technology will also appear in Heinz bottles, under a partnership with the ketchup-maker, and possibly in bottles for Honest Tea, a Maryland company Coca-Cola just acquired. The PlantBottle is made partly with natural sugars found in sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. Odwalla, a Coca-Cola juice brand, plans to switch to the PlantBottle within the next few weeks. If you would like to read more about this visit PepsiCo. Source: LA Times.

Technology is helping humans create a use for agricultural products other than for feeding the world. A more sustainable world is created through agriculture with modern technology. Here at AGCO, we are working to create clarity of that vision by measuring our sustainability initiatives and helping farmers pioneer the future in agriculture with improvements in technology.

Do you know of some other ways technology is being used to develop new consumer products from agriculture?

Valtra Biogas Tractor Tests Continue

Valtra showed the biogas concept technology on the Valtra N101 tractor at the SIMA exhibition in Paris earlier this year.

Equipped with front loader, front linkage and front PTO, the N101 is a compact and versatile tractor. This makes it ideal for husbandry farms, municipalities and contractors that have the possibility of refueling with biogas. Valtra Biogas Tractor

Without making any changes to the original diesel engine, 70 to 80 percent of power is generated by biogas. The dual-fuel engine functions like a diesel engine. The gas is injected with the intake air, and combustion occurs when a small amount of diesel fuel is injected into the cylinder. If biogas is not available, the engine can run completely on diesel fuel.

The test drivers have been very satisfied with the tractor. The performance is equal compared with an ordinary Valtra N101 and the diesel fuel consumption is reported to be very low, some 3 litres per hour. The 2010-2011 winter has been exceptional cold but the tractor has been functioning without problems. The tests will continue through 2011 in Skåne, Sweden.

The Valtra biogas tractor concept was developed in cooperation with Afcon Oy, Alt-Control Oy, RAP Clean Air Systems, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Ecocat Group, Biogas Syd and Lantmannen Maskin.  Source: Valtra News

Do you think biogas will become a good fuel alternative?

Fendt SCR Technology Pays Off

With SCR technology, the Fendt Vario Tractors are compliant with emissions standard Stage 3b and Tier IV interim. Engine exhaust is after-treated with AdBlue®, a 32.5 percent solution of urea, which converts harmful nitrous oxides (NOx) into non-toxic nitrogen and water. The consumption of AdBlue®, also known as DEF or Diesel Exhaust Fluid, the standard urea-water solution used by commercial vehicles, lies at an average of seven percent of the diesel consumption. This can vary depending on the operation. AdBlue/DEF is available all over the world at filling stations or through AGCO Parts.

Does your tractor use SCR technology?

It’s Easier Than You Think to Win an iPad!!

I know what you’re thinking. You want to enter into the AGCO blog contest for a chance to win an iPad but you just haven’t done it yet. Either you don’t know what to write about or maybe you think it’s too hard. Well, I am here to help you out.

First of all, it’s super easy to enter: all you have to do is fill out our simple form and we will build the blog post for you. You don’t even have to have your own blog to do it!

And if you are suffering from writer’s block, here are just a few topics you could potentially write about or at least, these will spark an idea in your brilliant soon-to-be-blogging brain.

  • Tell your ag story: how are you connected to agriculture and why do you love it?
  • Tell us about your farm or take us on a virtual video tour of your farm. 
  • What makes your farm special? What is your farming heritage?
  • Tell us about your farm family, both now and generations past?
  • What is farming like in your region of the world?
  • How does agriculture impact your daily life?
  • Why do you love your Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson or Valtra tractors or other AGCO products?
  • Present both sides of a ag issue in two different blog posts. (ie: Pro and against organic farming or genetically modified crops, etc…)
  • Tell us how you prepare your equipment for winter, spring, summer or fall.
  • What is a typical day-in-the life of a corn/soybean/wheat/livestock/etc… farmer?

Did you recommend the contest to a friend? Remind them about the deadline by “sharing” our contest on Facebook, Twitter, etc. While you are at it, share it with any farmers you may know, agribusiness students, ag journalism students, 4H alums, FFA-ers or even your next door neighbor’s grandma’s cat-sitter’s boyfriend. Basically, anyone can enter and win!

The deadline for entries is THIS FRIDAY and YOU could win an iPad!
Enter the contest now.

Win an iPad in AGCO’s Blog Contest

I am excited to announce AGCO’s first blog contest, launching today! We want to know your thoughts and we want to share them with the world. Your ideas of “articulating agriculture” may be featured on the AGCO Blog,  so we can help spread your message. We might even ask you to become an AGCO guest blogger!

For example:

- If you are a college ag student, this is the perfect place for you to get some commercial experience for your resume and write about ag issues that really matter to you.

- If you are a farmer, you could tell the story of your family farm and the generations that went into building your business.

- If you just like to eat, tell us why you love the farmers who work so hard to grow your yummy food. You might even want to share about food producers or manufacturers you know or are passionate about.

However you would like to interpret “articulating agriculture,” we want to hear it. We would like to get stories from all regions and all types of farming. You certainly don’t need to be a professional writer, we are sure you have cool stories to tell that will help to articulate why agriculture is an amazing industry that provides food, fuel and fiber to the world. Everyone is touched by agriculture, so get ready to enter and tell your friends to join in the fun!

Submit your entries here by October 29, 2010 at 5pm EST for your chance to win. AGCO will then select 5 finalists that will be showcased right here on the AGCO blog the week of November 1st. You can then invite your friends and family to comment on your post either here on the AGCO Blog, or on the AGCO Facebook page. The winner of the iPad will be announced on November 9, 2010.

Be creative and get your thoughts heard.