In more than 25 years of covering the machinery industry I've learned one fact: change happens. Sometimes the changes can be of the large variety - like the purchase of the IH line by Case back in the mid-1980s or more subtle, like a couple of announcements that floated across my desk recently.
First a name change that might clear some confusion - at least for stock pickers - but may do little to help farmers on the brand front. CSI Wireless, Inc. has changed its name to Hemisphere GPS Inc. This is a case of changing a company name to make sure potential stock investors looking for a "pure GPS play" can find the company. For farmers, the name to remember is Outback.
The Outback line of products started through RHS Inc., makers of Bestway sprayers. The high-tech Outback equipment was actually made by CSI Wireless (yes it sounds like some kind of spin-off television show) and sold by RHS. However, CSI Wireless acquired the Outback line and continues to market the products.
However, CSI is now Hemisphere GPS. Farmers should still look for Outback products at the fall farm shows - along with other GPS makers - when looking to upgrade their equipment. The name change won't impact the Outback brand. The company also offers other brands to different industries including aerial applicators and marine applications. Those products carry different brand names.
The purchase of Spray-Air Technologies ag products by sprayer maker Miller-St. Nazianz offers the buyer new tech for its sprayers right away, including access to this 132-foot Trident boom sprayer; and the Shear Guard nozzle technology.
Hemisphere GPS also recently announced it was opening a new 40,000 square foot Ground Agriculture distribution center in Hiawatha, Kan. The "Ground Application" group is where you'll find the Outback brand. Learn more about the company at www.hemispheregps.com.
Acquiring new technology
In another development, the folks at Miller-St. Nazianz have acquired from Spray-Air Technologies Ltd. the technology and manufacturing rights to its agricultural sprayer products. Spray-Air created high-tech boom and spray nozzle technology that Miller can put to work in its line of sprayers including the Nitro and Mechanical Drive self-propelled units.
Spray-Air innovated the spray market with its Shear Guard PLUS Nozzle technology and offers Miller the opportunity to use new boom technology on its sprayers. Spray-Air also made Trident Boom technology, which Miller says will appear on its Mechanical Drive sprayers as early as this summer, and Nitro front-mount booms by next season.
Miller will also incorporate other Spray-air innovations into its pull-type and self-propelled lines quickly. According to a press announcement, the company has already expanded its Mechanical Drive sprayer offering to include a 120-foot Spray-Air Advantage Series Boom.