Category Archives: Agricultural Exports News

agricultural export

Successful Farming Covers: 12 Issues of Today and Yesterday

Byline:

Take a look back at 12 topics Successful Farming has tackled over the years. See how much technology - and styles - have changed. Our dedication to making farmers successful remains the same.

Hover over the slider in the center of each comparison, then click and drag right or left to reveal the entire cover. Older covers are on the left. More recent coverage of the topic is displayed in the right image.

1. Farm Labor

Labor in agriculture has been a topic of concern for a number of years. We covered hiring and inspiring great employees in March 2006. Twelve years later we shared the stories of farm families who have found unique ways to find and keep the help they need. You can read the March 2018 cover story here.

 

2. Grain Storage

Storing grain has helped farmers overcome down commodity price cycles for decades. We explored the technology available for farmers in the harvest issue of 1979 and again in August 2015. Most recently the USDA reported on-farm storage has grown to 13.45 billion bushels across the country.

 

3. Harvest Hustle

Time is of the essence during harvest season. Successful Farming regularly covers new ways farmers can be more efficient when it matters the most. For example, in this article Successful Farming magazine's Combine Doctor, Rodney Edgington explains how to inspect your combine to avoid mid-harvest breakdowns

 

4. Monitors

Can you believe how much in-cab monitors have changed over the last 10 years? While technology has changed rapidly over the last decade, a monitor is only as good as the data it collects. Five years later, a warning from Kent Shannon in this article still rings true. “Remember, garbage in equals garbage out,” he says.

 

5. Mapping

Maps have also dramatically changed how many farmers manage their ground in recent years. In the 8 years since Treasure Maps made the cover of the May 2010 issue mapping technology has exploded. Read more in this recent article.

 

6. Online Auctions

Online farm machinery auctions continue to play a role in the marketplace. Look how much has changed since computers first brought buying and selling used machinery to farmer's fingertips.

 

7. Outstanding Farmers

Successful Farming is proud to have a tradition of highlighting the innovative ways farmers do business and impact their communities. In 2001 and again in 2017 these inspiring families were featured in the cover story. You can find several of them in this article, 10 Successful Farmers in 2017.

 

8. Soybeans

Seed and chemical technology for soybean farmers has also changed significantly over the years. As the cover story in 1999 and 2011, Successful Farming is committed to helping farmers grow quality, high-yielding crops profitably. This year, for the first time in U.S history farmers are projected to plant more soybeans than corn.

 

9. Spraying

The option to spray pesticides and fertilizers remains an important tool in the toolbox farmers have, but the methods sure have changed. Nearly 40 years after "big sprayers" made the March 1979 cover, Successful Farming is still sharing ways farmers can be more effective this spraying season.

 

10. Top Shops

For more than 20 years farmers have shared their shops of all shapes and sizes in the magazine, and on Successful Farming TV. If you are building a new workspace for your farm take a few tips from farmers that have designed solutions to fit their operation's unique needs. Some of the best ideas in the business were highlighed in these issues from 1999 and 2009.

 

11. UTV

Utility vehicles have become an important tool for farmers. Successful Farming regularly puts the newest models to the test to help farmers determine the best fit for their operation. Our most recent UTV tests made the cover of the May 2017 issue.

 

12. Women in Ag

Successful Farming has been reporting about women in agriculture for more than 40 years. Watch this video clip to meet four female big-time operators that were featured on the Mid-February 2017 cover of the magazine.

The Ag Highlight Reel: Ag Community Rallies Around Oklahoma Fire Victims

Byline:

Welcome to The Highlight Reel. Here you’ll find a recap of recent lighthearted or unusual news. These aren’t the headlines, but the funny, inspiring, or touching stories from across the agriculture industry.

Last week, cool temperatures persisted as snow piled up across the Corn Belt forcing farmers to put planting on hold. Volunteers are being honored around the country this week.

Social media posts about the weather and growing conditions dominated this week, while some farmers shared the way technology impacts thier farm.

Last Week: Farmers Wait for Proper Planting Conditions

While many farmers anxiously wait to begin the planting season, some are finding unique ways to pass the time. A few are getting serious about soil, or spending extra time caring for livestock in the wintry conditions. Others are taking a more lighthearted approach. Here are 21 things you can do as you wait for the snow to melt and soil to warm up.

This Week: National Volunteer Week

Organizations around the country are taking time to thank their volunteers as part of #NationalVolunteerWeek. Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offices around the country are taking time to recognize their farmer partners who are working to help conserve natural resources on their operations.

Share how you’re making a difference in your community by using the hashtag on social media.

Check out this story featuring farmers who volunteer as firefighters.

Facebook: Wildfires Threaten Oklahoma Farms and Ranches

While many farmers and ranchers have been concerned about cold and snow, producers in Oklahoma have battled wildfires. Dry, windy condititions fanned the flames.

Now, agriculture organizations are working to help impacted farmers and ranchers. Hay, calf milk replacer, and other donations are beind directed to producer victims by Oklahoma Extension and Ag Community Relief.

Twitter: Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology in Agriculture

It’s no secret technology has changed agriculture dramatically in recent years. Farmers took to Twitter to share the advantages and disadvantages of technology on their farm.

Trending: Farm Bill, E15, and China Tariffs

The headlines have been dominated by reactions to the drafted Farm Bill, potential new markets fo E15, and trade negotiations with China. Here’s how people in the U.S. were searching for information on the topics.

21 Things to Do While Waiting to Plant

Byline:

Farmers across the Corn Belt are itching to get in the field to start the 2018 planting season.

But unseasonably cool weather and substantial April snow totals are keeping progress on hold.

Here are a variety of ways farmers are spending their time while they wait, including organizing monitors, doing extra cattle chores, and soaking up the extra family time.

If you aren't quite ready for #plant18 yet, check out these 12 overlooked preplanting maintenance tasks.

1. Organize your monitors.

2. Laugh.

3. Farm on the kitchen table.

4. Extra cattle chores.

5. Support local youth programs.

6. Take the kids sledding.

7. Dig out.

8. Soak up the extra family time... and naps.

9. Take time with tech.

10. Read.

11. Help farmers in areas suffering from wildfires.

12. Go digging.

13. Clean the shop.

14. Write poetry.

15. Put Photoshop and your sense of humor to work.

16.Food farming.

17. Tackle the honey-do list.

18. Build a snow fort.

19. Brush up on handling and safety practices.

20. Bake cookies.

21. Play in the puddles.

The Ag Highlight Reel: How One Farmer Is Having Fun With Snow in April

Byline:

Welcome to The Highlight Reel. Here you’ll find a recap of recent light-hearted or unusual news. These aren't the headlines, but the funny, inspiring, or touching stories from across the agriculture industry.

Last week, Sonny Perdue got out of Washington D.C. to visit three big agriculture states. Across the industry, people and organizations are promoting grain-handling safety this week.

Keep reading to see how one Midwest farmer is coping with the unseasonable snow. Learn how you can participate in a book club with other ag enthusiasts from the comfort of your couch. Check back next week for more from The Highlight Reel.

Last Week: Perdue Visited Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky

As part of his third Back to Our Roots RV tour, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made stops at farms and agribusinesses in three states. Along the way, Perdue met with several FFA members and was interviewed by local media. Visit his Twitter page for the highlights of his trip around Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Perdue-Lab-Michigan
USDA

This Week: Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and several industry associations have partnered to raise awareness about grain-handling hazards this week. A free webinar was held on Tuesday, April 10, as part of the Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week. Additional information and educational resources can be found at this University of Texas-Arlington website.

“Employees in the grain industry must be trained on grain-handling hazards and have the necessary tools to ensure they enter and leave a bin or silo safely,” Kimberly Stille, OSHA regional administrator said. “This campaign is intended to encourage industry leaders, farmers, and workers to implement best practices and effective safety and health programs to save lives.”

April-Snowman

Facebook: Spring Slow to Arrive in the Midwest

Farmers across the Midwest are getting anxious to get their planters out, but Mother Nature delivered snow to start the week in some areas. This Illinois farmer decided to make the most of the circumstances and have a little fun.

Twitter: #AgBookClub Discussing No More Food Fights

Ag Book Club, a project started by ag communicators Gracie Weinzierl and Laura Wolf, will be discussing No More Food Fights by Michele Payn. Check out this article for more background on the chat and instructions on how to participate.

Scholarships and Awards: American Agri-Women Scholarships Now Open

American Agri-Women is offering two $1,000 scholarships for young women pursuing agricultural degrees. Women ages 18 to 23 are invited to apply for the Jean Ibendahl Scholarship, while students 24 and older should apply for the Sister Thomas More Bertels Scholarship. The deadline for both awards is June 1, 2018. Review the eligibility requirements and application here.

3 Big Things, March 20, 2018

Byline:

DES MOINES, Iowa -- After building up large bullish positions, the funds are liquidating long-the-market contracts, and the corn and soybean markets are paying the price.

Also, investors are waiting with baited breath, regarding a possible announcement this week by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. And, the trade tariffs announced recently by the White House are affecting U.S. ag products already, USDA says.

After falling 26¢, yesterday, the soybean market is slightly higher Tuesday.

In overnight trading, the May corn futures are ¼¢ higer at $3.75; July futures are ¼¢ higher at $3.83. May soybean futures are 2¾¢ higher at $10.25; July soybean futures are 2½¢ higher at $10.36. May wheat futures are 4¢ higher at $4.54. In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is 45¢ higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are seen mixed.

On Tuesday, the macroeconomic factors will be hard to find, with no notable events scheduled. Very little economic data is expected to be announced. Today, the Federal Reserve starts its two-day policy meeting. On Wednesday, the Fed will release latest monetary policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT.

On the earnings side, today’s schedule is also light.

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Funds Sell, Prices Fall

This week’s grain market has featured funds liquidating their long positions in corn and soybeans. Friday’s Commitments of Traders Report noted that funds are now long the corn market with 233,000 contracts. The funds are holding 208,000 long contracts in soybeans. For wheat, the funds are short that market by 6,000 contracts.

Al Kluis of Kluis Commodities says the aggressive stance by the funds going into this week’s market was scary for the soybean market. “When the funds are done selling, corn and soybean price charts are likely to put in a V-type bottom,” Kluis stated to customers in a daily note Tuesday.

In the meantime, Kluis is watching the bull spreads between corn and soybean markets. The spreads were firm, as prices rallied then turned weaker when prices hit their high three weeks ago, Kluis stated.

With the USDA March Prospective Plantings Report released in less than 10 days, funds are expected to be positioning themselves ahead of time.

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Trade War?

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue told members of the National Feed & Grain Association that President Trump’s tariffs on China and other countries have already caused trade disruptions, according to a Reuters report.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Perdue “believed agricultural and farm products were the ‘tip of the retaliatory spear’ and would be likely targets for angry trading partners.”

Perdue did not name any specific trade disruptions.

Happy 45th National Ag Day

Byline:

Today, as farmers eagerly welcome the first day of spring, many are also celebrating National Ag Day and the role of youth in the future of agriculture.

The Future of Agriculture

Among the youth playing a vital role in the future success in agriculture are two high school students who won the 2018 National Ag Day essay and video contests.

Rio Bonham of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, believes National Ag Day is important to help bridge the gap between those involved in production agriculture and those involved in the consumption of agricultural products.

“These efforts by the Agriculture Council of America have a substantial impact on making agriculture an understood and appreciated topic for consumers, as well as a career path for the next generation,” says Bonham. “I am extremely proud to be part of such a cause.”

As the winner of a $1,000 prize for his essay, How Will Agriculture Feed the World?: It Starts Today, Bonham will travel to Washington, D.C., be recognized at the National Press Club where he’ll read his essay, and meet farmers and industry representatives.

Zoe McCormick considers the day to have a huge influence in educating the public on the importance of agriculture while putting the spotlight on the significance of farmers across the nation. As the winner of the video contest, McCormick also receives a $1,000 prize that she plans to use toward college and to buy 4-H show pigs this year.

Both winning essays can be viewed on the National Ag Day website. 

What You Can Do Today

The National Ag Day program believes that every American should understand how food, fiber, and renewable resource products are produced, value the essential role of agriculture for a strong economy, and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products.

The National Press Club Event, a Taste of Ag Reception, as well as the Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit are among the events taking place in Washington this week with additional events held around the country.

You can take part in the national celebration simply by making a farm-to-table meal with your family, planning an activity to educate youth on agriculture, sharing photos related to agriculture on social media using the hashtag #foodforlife, or visiting local farms. The opportunities are endless.

The 2018 theme is “Agriculture: Food for Life” to tell the story of American agriculture and to remind citizens of the prominence of it in their daily lives.

Each year, National Ag Day is held during National Ag Week, which is organized by the Agriculture Council of America to celebrate all those who feed our world, care for crops and livestock, and bring awareness to agricultural production.

3 Big Things, March 19, 2018

Byline:

DES MOINES, Iowa -- As the end of March approaches, farmers lean heavily on every updated planting weather forecast while watching for price rallies.

Rain is falling in the parts of the world that need it, but the moisture is few and far between.

In overnight trading, the May corn futures are 4¼¢ lower at $3.78; July futures are 4¾¢ lower at $3.86. May soybean futures are 13¼¢ lower at $10.36; July soybean futures are 13¼¢ lower at $10.47. May wheat futures are 8¼¢ lower at $4.59. In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is 23¢ lower, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are seen mixed.

On Monday, the macroeconomic factors will be hard to find, with no notable events scheduled. However, the Federal Reserve will hold its two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Following that meeting, it’s expected that the Fed will announce an interest rate hike, revise its economic outlook, and release a fresh forecast for interest rates.

Also Wednesday, new Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold his first press postmeeting conference.

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Funds Go Long Corn, Soybeans

This week’s grain market could be a reflection of weather and or the funds’ position highlighted in Friday’s Commitments of Traders Report. The funds bought a lot more contracts in the corn and soybean markets and approach a record bullish betting position in soybeans.

The COT Report noted that funds are now long the corn market with 233,000 contracts. The funds are holding 208,000 long contracts in soybeans. For wheat, the funds are short that market by 6,000 contracts.

The question for this week is whether the outside investors continue to get long the corn market. Keep in mind, the USDA March Prospective Plantings Report will be released in less than 10 days. Funds are expected to be positioning themselves ahead of that report.
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More Rain Needed For Everyone

The grain markets continue to eye crop weather in the U.S. Wheat Belt and in South America.

Over the weekend, some rain fell in the hard-hit soybean areas of Argentina. Although not enough moisture was felt to turn that country’s soybean crop around, the psychology of the market sees the light rain as bearish.

The weather models are showing measured rainfall for Argentina in the next 10 days to two weeks, according to WxRisk.com.

In the U.S., the weekend weather was mild. Some rain fell in the Kansas wheat region, proving negative to Sunday night’s markets. The western Wheat Belt has received more rain for its crop than the eastern side. The wheat in the center of the Wheat Belt is mixed on received rainfall. The story for the U.S. winter wheat crop cannot be written just yet.

Going forward, rain is expected Tuesday and Wednesday in the Delta and up the east U.S. coast. Also, a system will bring rain and snow across the northern Corn Belt, this week, with significant accumulations of snow and measured rainfall as the system works into the eastern Corn Belt.

3 Big Things, March 16, 2018

Byline:

The soybean futures market continues to be fed bullish news, helping that complex lead ag markets Friday. 

Meanwhile, private crop estimates, world weather, and outside money flow continue to be eyed by investors.

1. Market Outlook

In overnight trading, the May corn futures are ¼¢ lower at $3.86; July futures are ¼¢ lower at $3.94. May soybean futures are 5¾¢ higher at $10.46; July soybean futures are 5¾¢ higher at $10.57. May wheat futures are 1¼¢ lower at $4.77. In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is 20¢ higher, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 77 points higher.

On Friday, the macroeconomic factors include a report on U.S. consumers with the University of Michigan’s outlook on consumer sentiment for March. Wednesday’s retail sales report indicated that February’s sales declined for a third straight month, but consumer confidence remains high.

Also, February data on housing starts, building permits, industrial production, and capacity utilization have been released. The January reading on job openings is also set for release in the morning. Some notable companies will release earnings reports.

2. Money Flow

This afternoon’s Commitments of Traders Report will be watched by investors. Last week, the funds were very aggressive in the corn futures. The question for today is whether the outside investors continue to get long the corn market. Keep in mind, the USDA March Prospective Plantings Report will be released in less than two weeks. Funds are expected to be positioning themselves ahead of that report.
 

3. Strong Demand

The grain markets continue to build in crop-loss premium into the soybean market. On Thursday, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated Argentina’s drought-stricken soybean crop down to 40 million metric tons, from the previous 46 mmt. There is rain in the forecast for today and this weekend in the hard-hit areas. Unfortunately, the damage has been done to Argentina’s soybean crop and investors now watch to see just how far the crop estimates will fall.

Also, better-than-expected weekly soybean exports Thursday indicate stronger demand for U.S. soybeans. Cory Bratland, Kluis Commodities broker, says this is a surprising market factor. “If we see weekly sales continue on the recent pace, the USDA will have to increase its annual export projections.

For corn sales, Latin American buyers are snatching up U.S. corn at a pace not seen since the mid-1990s, due to short supplies in Argentina and Brazil, accord to a Reuters report Friday. U.S. corn sales totaled more than 2.5 million tonnes in Thursday’s USDA Weekly Export Sales Report. That amount marked the highest weekly sales for a single marketing year in 23 years, according to the USDA. For nine weeks, sales have averaged an unprecedented 1.8 million tonnes a week.

 

How Do Farmers Rank on 9 Consumer Trends?

Byline:

Researchers have identified key trends they are expecting to be prevalent in the U.S. in 2018. The nine trends below were identified through analysis of GfK Consumer Life Global data. Each trend looks at what consumers value and their life attitudes.

How do farmers feel about these trends? Which ones resonate most with you? Complete the poll below and we will share the results online after we receive your feedback. 

A Discussion with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue sits down with Successful Farming Editorial Content Director Dave Kurns and discusses some of the hot topics in agriculture, including the RFS, trade, immigration, and the farm bill.  

Video

‘Not a Lot of Room for Improvement’ in Argentina’s Conditions, Meteorologist Says

Byline:

This winter all eyes have been on South America. The grain markets have been reacting to the drought conditions in Argentina for weeks. Meteorologist David Streit of Commodity Weather Group, LLC says, “It’s a situation where there’s not a lot of room for improvement at this point.”

“In Argentina, they continue to lack adequate moisture for corn and soybean development in about two thirds of the belt. Moisture stress is definitely taking a toll on yield potential for the crops as we move through some of the more critical stages of development. In fact, with limited shower activity over the next week, we’ll see that kind of stress continue,” Streit explains. “There is a chance for some showers the following week in the western half of the belt, but probably by then it’ll be a little late to do much to help the corn. It could help some of the soybeans that are filling still. But we are getting a little bit late for any significant turnaround at this point and quite honestly, once that shower event occurs next week, there’s not a whole lot after that.”

The Argentine National Meteorological Service report indicated that chances of rain are highest in the first week of March.

The potential rain event is expected to be within the normal range for the region, .25 to 1 inch total precipitation, says Streit. Radiant Solutions published a report on Monday that said, “Light and scattered showers are possible across Argentina this week, but most of the major growing areas should receive less than 0.5 inches of rainfall, which will allow dryness to persist.”

Meteorologist Kyle Tapley at Radiant Solutions also noted that increasing temperatures, particularly in the southern part of Argentina, will contribute to crop stress in the coming days.

Experts say the La Niña is to blame for the country’s drought conditions. Since the La Niña pattern is not expected to continue into next year, it’s unlikely the drought will persist into next growing season. “Most of the models take us out of La Niña and into a more neutral if not slightly weak El Niño pattern as we go forward,” says Streit. “There is one model that wants to hold onto La Niña, but it’s sort of the outlier right now.”

Brazil

“In Brazil, the moisture situation has definitely been a more favorable one for crop development,” Streit says.

However, there are concerns about the Brazilian soybean harvest and second-crop corn planting due to too much precipitation. “Both of those are going to see some delays due to a fairly active shower pattern in the north half of the belts over the next two to three weeks,” Streit adds.

The Radiant Solutions report indicates the heaviest rainfall is expected in central Brazil this week.

Striet doesn’t expect outright damage or fallow acres due to the rains at this point, but harvest and planting will happen a little slower than normal. The additional soil moisture may prove to be beneficial later in the growing season.

Midwest

As spring gets closer in the U.S., farmers are beginning to think about planting. Farmers in parts of the country may not be able to get into the field as soon as they hoped.

In recent days, heavy rains have been reported across the southern Midwest and southeastern Plains. Extensive flooding in the southeast Midwest and the Delta is causing concern as river levels in Indiana reached record heights. Arkansas and Tennessee are at particular high risk for continued flooding as rains are expected to resume Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Striet says the flooding is severe enough to cause concern for the soft red wheat crop in the far southern parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri, along with Arkansas and Kentucky where standing water may cause damage.

“Down in what we call the northern Delta (the Arkansas, Mississippi area), they like to plant corn early and are probably not going to be able to do that this year unless something changes dramatically,” notes Striet.

This week’s southern rains will likely turn to snow as the system arrives in the central Midwest, Tapley writes.

“I think you might run into a snowstorm in the next week up in the Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Iowa area,” Striet says. “The model is kind of flipping back and forth on it, but I think there’s a pretty decent return for some snow up in that area.”

Looking to next month, Striet says March is likely to be the wettest month of spring 2018. Most of the Corn Belt is looking at near- to above-normal precipitation during the month of March. This far out it’s difficult to predict if there is going to be a late spring freeze.

U.S. Wheat

In western wheat country, Streit expects the crop will continue to struggle. The below-normal precipitation pattern is likely to persist through spring.

“For the big producing areas in portions of western Oklahoma, much of Kansas and down into the Texas panhandle, I’m still not seeing any signs of relief. With this kind of an outlook going forward, I would be surprised if we don’t see some notable yield reductions to the wheat crop out there,” he says. “It struggled through the winter. We had a winter kill event in January that is going to have taken a toll to a certain extent as well. It’s got a lot of things working against it.”

Russia

Looking at wheat on a global level, Streit says the winter wheat situation in Russia is quite good. “They have lots of snow out there to provide them with spring moisture, and I don’t have any big warning flags as far as their development goes. They’ll have a big winter wheat crop.”

While it is a ways out, the areas known for growing spring wheat in Russia may be places to watch, says Streit. Those parts of the country have had a very dry winter, and therefore less snowmelt to boost soil moisture in the beginning stages of the growing season.

This Week in Agriculture, 2.21.2018

Byline:

Welcome to This Week in Agriculture. We will bring you interesting, out-of-the-ordinary finds going on in agriculture. Not the big headlines, but the curious, funny, and inspiring stories across the land.

In this week’s installment, we share the agriculture related highlights from trade shows across the country. Believe it or not, the first corn of the 2018 planting season is in the ground.

1. Trade Show Season Is Here

Two massive farm shows attracted farmers to opposite ends of the country over the last week. See how interest in these events compared according to the Google Trends graph below. The visual shows how users have been searching for National Farm Machinery Show and World Ag Expo from February 8, 2017, to February 15, 2018. Web search traffic for both shows has been very cyclical. Google explains, “Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.”

2. A Memorable Trade Show

Trade shows are a great time to escape winter weather, learn about the latest technology, and catch up with friends in the agriculture business from around the country. For this couple, a trip to the National Farm Machinery Show marked a new chapter in their lives.

3. Other Trade Show Attractions

While parents and grandparents browse machinery and meet up with friends, kids find their own fun around trades shows. Collecting company swag, shoulder rides, and hosting puppet shows seem to be popular choices.

4. Get Your Steps In

Trade shows are also a great place to get a little exercise. Did anyone else keep track of their steps while browsing National Farm Machinery Show or World Ag Expo?

5. Excuse Notes

Any school excuse notes like this come from your farm?

6. FFA Week Celebrations

Hundreds of FFA students and alum are taking to social media to celebrate National FFA Week. Many chapters are hosting events or dress-up days at their local schools. FFA alums across the country are changing their profile pictures to throwbacks from their younger years in the blue corduroy jackets. Companies and individuals are financially supported the 90-year-old organization on Tuesday as part of #GivingTuesday.

7. Planting Underway

Planters are rolling in Texas. How soon before #plant18 begins in your area?

SF Editors Visit John Deere Archives

Byline:

A team of Successful Farming video producers and editors traveled to East Moline, Illinois, Monday for an exclusive tour of John Deere's archives.

The facilities house an extensive collection of machinery, historical artifacts, and paper records dating back more than a century. Tours were lead by Corporate Archives and History Manager Neil Dahlstrom and Historical Equipment Manager Brian Holst. Both men were interviewed for an upcoming 30-minute SF Special scheduled to premier on RFD-TV on March 29, 2018. They also shared more about their day to day roles and the assets they manage in Facebook Live interviews.

In addition to the tractors in the machinery collection, there are a number of seed drills, snowmobiles, and bicycles. Deere can't keep one of everything it has ever produced so company archivists must decide which milestone, prototype, and futuristic products should be preserved. From there, the team decides whether or not to restore the piece. Even if the decision is made to keep a machine in its current condition, Holst works to preserve and maintain it. Holst is a trained ag mechanic and became interested in old machinery started when he worked in a salvage yard that specialized in two-cylinder tractors. Now he maintains, coordinates logistics for, and answers questions about Deere's collection of mechanical artifacts.

Several machines from this collection are rotated through displays at the John Deere Pavillion, museums, historical sites, and Deere offices and factories. This summer, Holst will make sure 13 pieces from the East Moline collection will be on display at John Deere's celebration of 100 years in the tractor business in Waterloo, Iowa. The event takes place on June 15-16, 2018. Holst looks forward to seeing collectors, past employees, and the community connect with the exhibits.

As a trained archivist, Dahlstorm spends much of his time working with shelves and shelves of paper and film artifacts in the stacks. In this area of the archives, massives storages shelves on automated tracks house art, photos, and record books in a light and temperature controlled environment. Recently, by connecting details from a newspaper in the collection and a set of handcolored lantern slides they'd been storing for 15 years or more, Dahlstom and his team discovered the slides may have been used 100 years ago when the WaterlooBoy tractor was debued in Salina, Kansas. Dahlstrom enjoys helping people in and outside John Deere get to know the real people who've dedicated thier time to serving the company and its farmers customers over the years. To help share those stories, Deere archivists have published a selection historic films dating back as far as 1929 on YouTube in a series called Out of the Vault.

LEARN MORE

To learn more about John Deere and its contributions agriculture check out these recent articles from Executive Machinery and Tech Editor Dave Mowitz.

The Deere archivist team publishes some of their work in the John Deere Journal, and on YouTube.

Stay tuned to Agriculture.com for continued coverage as John Deere celebrates 100 years in the tractor business. The 30-minute SF Special featuring both Holst and Dahlstrom will premier March 29, 2018 on RFD-TV.

National FFA Week Celebrates the Gift of the Corduroy Blue

Byline:

This week kicks off the 70th year of the celebration of National FFA Week and activities to promote and celebrate agriculture will take place throughout the week.

“FFA members aren’t just the future of agriculture, we are the now of agriculture,” says Erica Baier, National FFA secretary. “We as members can all come together as one under this blue jacket while also celebrating our individuality from our different backgrounds.”                  

Baier says the basis of the week is for members to advocate for agriculture and their beloved FFA chapters that have impacted them while giving back to their local communities. Baier will be traveling to the state of Virginia to network with educators, industry representatives, and many FFA members.

FFA members across the nation will be celebrating by hosting fund-raisers, working on projects, driving tractors, and proudly wearing their blue corduroy jacket to school.

“For me, when I wear this jacket, I’m home,” says Baier. “I’ve created an FFA family of friends, teachers, mentors, and industry people in which we all work to advocate for this great industry. Wearing the jacket, I know I can contribute to my place in the world to develop and maintain a sustainable food supply by empowering others to be successful.”  

However, not every FFA member will have the opportunity to wear the blue corduroy. Of the record-breaking 653,359 members nationwide, almost half can’t afford the timeless garment. Baier says that’s what Give FFA Day is all about.

“Not only is the day-long campaign for students to raise funds for personal growth events such as Washington Leadership Conference, it also creates an opportunity for members to receive the empowering jacket,” says Baier.

On Tuesday, the organization is hosting its third annual Give FFA Day giving supporters and sponsors the opportunity to give to an organization growing tomorrow’s agricultural leaders. The money raised goes toward professional development events, scholarships, and of course getting every FFA member a life-changing jacket.

“The mission of the National FFA Organization is to create an equal opportunity for every member,” says Baier. “It becomes difficult for them to see their future, not just in FFA but agriculture as a whole. “The jacket empowers members to be leaders, know their worth, and lets them see they are needed for a successful agricultural future.”

For more information on this week’s activities, visit the FFA website. To find out how you can give an FFA member the gift of blue, visit Give FFA Day.