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The scoop: News from the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic

THE WINTER farm shows are great places to gather valuable bits of information that point to the future of agriculture. Here are a few of those nuggets from the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic:

  • $4/bu. corn may be as good as it gets. Richard Brock told a 500+ audience of farmers at Commodity Classic that everyone has an opportunity to lock in $4 corn for the next couple of years and should do so because prices may go south with another good year of yields.

  • Expect to see new tractor introductions next winter from most tractor manufacturers. The Interim Tier 4 engine regulations go into effect in 2011 and all new 174+ hp tractors must be equipped with engines that comply.

  • Add “sustainability” to your vocabulary because most ag companies are now talking about how their products fit into a sustainable system. For example, Syngenta has a team devoted to sustainability issues, which the company thinks will become more important in the future.

  • Lagging progress on soybean yields continues to be an issue for many seed companies. Corn yields have increased 30% in the last 10 years, but not bean yields. So companies are now trying many new ways to pump up yields. For example, at a two-hour media event on this topic, BASF announced that it will introduce several new products for soybeans.

  • Debating climate change now may be futile. “We think [climate change] is enough of a possibility that we must factor it into our business,” states J.B. Penn, chief economist, Deere & Co. If John Deere is preparing for it, maybe farmers should as well.

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