About Reynolds Farm Equipment

Reynolds Farm Equipment has been an authorized John Deere dealer serving central Indiana since 1955. We are an authorized John Deere dealer that markets John Deere Tractors, John Deere Farm Equipment, John Deere Agricultural Equipment, John Deere Commercial Worksite Equipment, John Deere Golf and Turf Equipment, John Deere Lawn and Garden Equipment, John Deere New Parts, John Deere Used Parts, John Deere Tractor Parts, and John Deere Toys. Our blog, John Deere Stuff, will provide you with useful information related to our business in the farming equipment industry.

If you are looking for further John Deere information or products, visit the Reynolds Farm Equipment website.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nebraska Man Donates Hundreds Of John Deere Christmas Toys


A Grand Island, Nebraska man is acting as Santa's helper this year buying all the toys on the shelves at Toner's Incorporated in Grand Island. He bought more than 300 toys.

They are worth more than $5,000.

And he is donating all these toys – model tractors, grinders and wagons – to the News 5 Present Patrol.

"Just because he can, that is what he said, just because I can and I want to give back and bless his heart for being able to wanna do this," said Parts Manager Jamie Sich.

Last year, the same man bought all the John Deere toys in The Conestoga Mall and all the toys at the John Deere Dealership.

A big thank you to him for helping make our 2009 Present Patrol Campaign a success.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Toy Tractors Match Big Farm Counterparts

Aurora News-Register

The love that two Hamilton County ag producers felt for their lifelong careers extended beyond their work day and well into their spare time where they spent hours collecting and displaying hundreds of toy tractors and farm implements.

Those displays were made available to the public several years ago when the Plainsman Museum in Aurora devoted space inside the Wesley Huenefeld Agricultural Museum to the collection in a fitting setting, next to "real life" tractors used in the county many long years ago.

Along the north wall of the building rest two display cases featuring various tractors, cars, implements and other toys from the collection of Marian and Thelma Salmon and Willis and Doris Akerson.

In Salmon’s collection, there are 100 tractors, 99 implements and 18 other various pieces.

The Akerson collection features 201 toy tractors, model die-cast cars and John Deere lawn and garden equipment.

Megan Sharp, director of the Plainsman Museum, said having all of those toys and John Deere clothing together in one place is really neat.

"The kids really love this when they come here," she said. "But the adults really enjoy it too."

"It’s like they are automatically drawn to it," she added. "It’s neat for them to see things like miniature plows. It really draws the people in."

Sharp said the collection is significant because is showcases a person’s passion for something.

"It shows off something they really took a big interest in," she said. "And now that interest is shared with everyone and it’s really neat."

Nancy (Salmon) Lohrmeyer of Aurora was the youngest of seven children in the Marian Salmon family. She said it was very interesting to grow up with her father’s tractor collection.

"He would only buy John Deere models and toys," she said. "We lived on a farm and it’s what he farmed with."

"I thought it was kind of cool to have a dad interested in toys," she added.

Toys that were off limits except for once each year when the kids "sort of" got to play with them.

"Dad had them stored up on shelves all along the living room walls and once a year we would take them down to help clean them," she said. "We had to be very careful with them."

Lohrmeyer said her son, Alex, also got to experience the tractors first hand when he came to the museum for a Boy Scout community service project and he helped clean the toys and the exhibit.

She said her father always liked history.

"Our grandparents homesteaded land in Hamilton County near the Blue River," she said. "My father grew up during the 30s."

"Money was always tight," she added. "But it was fun watching him collect his tractors. I enjoyed watching him and I think we all did. It was the one thing he enjoyed spending money on. He really enjoyed buying his toys and it made him so happy."

She said her father never had a duplicate toy and always knew what he had in the collection.

When her parents moved into town in 1981, Lohrmeyer said they built shelves in the basement along the south, west and east walls to house the tractor collection.

"Those cases were covered on the inside with green felt, for John Deere of course," she said. "They were full of tractors and John Deere toys and it was a lot of fun to see."

She said she thinks it’s great the group of John Deere collectibles is now featured inside the Plainsman Museum.

"It’s a more manageable way for people to look at them," she said. "They can see them and be like, ‘I remember my dad had one of those.’"

"They can also see the progression of John Deere ag equipment," she added. "I think he wanted to contribute these for others to enjoy because of his love for history and it was something people could remember him by. There was a very brief discussion about each one of the kids keeping one piece of the collection, but we knew he would want the entire collection to stay together and we decided that was the best thing to do."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Classic Toys Go To Highest Bidders

Globe Gazette

Denny Borchardt watched from the back row as farm toys from the collection of the late Chuck Behr were auctioned off Saturday at the North Iowa Fairgrounds.

Pencil in hand, he noted the prices toys were selling for and waited until the ones he had highlighted in yellow came up for bid.

“There’s always toys I’m looking for,” said Borchardt of Mason City. “Especially John Deere.”

One of about 250 Iowans who turned out for the auction in the Olson Building, Borchardt was watching for farm toys to add to his collection of about 700.

Like others who attended, he had come in the day before to survey the toys and make note of the ones he could use.

Arranged neatly in rows on long tables, many of them in the boxes in which they came, the farm toys were being sold by members of the Behr family.

Chuck Behr, a farmer and owner of Chuck Behr’s Trailer Farm in Algona, died at the age of 70 in 2006. He collected farm toys all his life, but particularly once he retired, his son, Joe Behr of Mason City, said.

Chuck Behr’s particular favorites were Model B and Model G John Deere tractors, the first tractors his family owned, said Joe.

The 400 items being auctioned off by Joe’s brother, Ed Behr, represented about half of their father’s collection.

Their mother Sue said selling the farm toys was difficult for her.

“I’ve bonded with every one of them,” she said, emotion building in her voice.

She made the decision when she moved to a smaller home and didn’t have room for all of them.

One of her favorites was a Model G, 1/12th-scale John Deere tractor that makes a noise when the electric motor runs, she said, walking over to the tractor and starting it up.

Among the early buyers Saturday was Darlene Linahon of Clear Lake, who paid $55 for an orange Case VAC tractor No. 632 she planned to give to her son for his birthday.

“This is the best-organized auction I’ve been to by far,” she said, scanning the room. “They don’t do anything half-way.”

Shelly Richardson of Clear Lake purchased two red McCormick pedal tractors for her children, ages 4 and 6. She paid a total $260.

“I spent a lot less than I thought I would,” she said, laughing.

“The kids will be ecstatic. They love to do tractor pulls at the fair.”

Rilla Arnold of Mason City purchased a Farmall MV tractor for her brother’s collection.

“It looked like a good buy,” said Arnold, who paid $75 for it.

“I’m also looking to get John Deere toys, which is what we used on the farm.”

Among the farm toys that brought in the highest bids were a Knudson Custom Long Creek trailer, which went for $275; and custom-built John Deere tractors that brought in more than $200 each.

The auction was expected to last six hours.

Deere Santa

San Marcos Daily Record

The only elf in the room appeared to be six-year-old Sarah Gonzales, seated on a dais alongside Blue Santa Wednesday afternoon at the San Marcos Conference Center.

But just because the men and women swarming tables in the room about them didn't have green pointy shoes like she did, didn't mean they couldn't match Santa's helpers, toy by toy.

Employees of John Deere Landscapes attending a convention at the conference center and Embassy Suites Hotel assembled dozens of bikes, wagons, mini-tractors and the like in a span of only minutes.

The finished products were then donated to Blue Santa, the San Marcos Police Department program that this year will provide gifts for around 1,200 local children.

"That equals 300 families," said Daniel Arredondo, Brown Santa coordinator.

Arredondo said requests for Brown Santa are up this year, and as of Wednesday he was still compiling a final list.

While donations are down, he said those who are able to give in these touch economic times were "giving more."

The SMPD's Blue Santa program was founded in 1972, and gets assistance from community organizations and individuals.

Landscaping employees assembled the John Deere toys as part of a team-building exercise. Ninety employees attended the convention.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Deere Comes Out On Top In Ergonomics Competition

Occupational Health & Safety

Humantech, an Ann Arbor, Michigan - based ergonomics firm, announced the winners of its third annual Find It - Fix It ChallengeTM, which recognizes and rewards simple and effective workplace solutions that result in increased productivity, improved worker morale, and fewer workplace injuries and illnesses. Organizations were encouraged to submit photos and videos of their best ergonomic improvements for judging by Humantech's board-certified professional ergonomists and staff.

This year's first place was awarded to John Deere Des Moines Works. The winning improvement focused on the company's 7760 Cotton Harvester's muffler assembly installation. Before the fix, the operation required two employees to lift the 30+ pound assembly above their heads and maintain awkward postures holding it in place while one additional operator fastened it to the machine. An internal team designed and fabricated a fixture to hold the assembly and mounted it to an electric lift to raise and lower it. The solution enables one operator to quickly and easily maneuver the muffler assembly into place and fasten it without additional assistance. According to Find It - Fix It judges, the customized lift cart has eliminated the overhead work and awkward postures while dramatically improving the productivity of the operation.

"We are proud to be recognized for developing an effective ergonomic solution that not only improves workplace safety but also improves the efficiency of the operation," says Dan Wisner, ergonomic engineer at John Deere Des Moines Works. "This fix, along with our two other improvements in the Challenges top 15 finalists, showcases our team's ingenuity and commitment to John Deere's continuous improvement process."

Deere To Invest In Israeli Manufacturing Company


Deere & Co. announced that it made a conditional offer to buy certain assets and customer relationships of Israel-based BHC Manufacturing. BHC manufactures cotton picker repair parts for all makes of equipment and supplies cotton picker row units for other equipment manufacturers.

This investment will expand Deere’s products and services in its already successful cotton picker business. Management said that by combining BHC’s assets with Deere’s existing manufacturing capacity, John Deere will have improved efficiency and better geographic reach to serve its customers.

Deere continues to focus on its global growth strategy. Earlier in the third quarter, the company announced its plans to expand its farm, forestry and construction operations in Russia. It is setting up a manufacturing and parts center near Moscow. Deere considers Russia an important growth market
for agriculture, forestry and construction equipment. The company said that it will make significant investments over the next five to seven years to expand its capacity for manufacturing and supporting all types of Deere equipment.

The company is currently facing tough market conditions. It saw a 19% drop in sales in fiscal 2009 as farmers and other customers cut their spending under recessionary conditions. Deere now projects a 1% drop in for fiscal 2010, including a 10% drop in the first quarter. We do not see any drivers for growth in farm spending and U.S. construction activity over the coming months.

We maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Vintage Deere Literature Yields Financial Harvest

Yankton Press & Dakotan

Auctioneer Ken Girard was pleased with the results of a John Deere literature sale held at his Wakonda auction business this past Friday. The large collection came from British John Deere collector and author Don Macmillan

WAKONDA — Approximately 180 pounds of vintage John Deere literature, most of it provided by a buyer in England, was sold Friday at Girard Auction and Land Brokers, Inc. in Wakonda.

The highest-selling pieces included a John Deere 430-630-730 Hi Crop brochure that brought $1,400; a 1960s JD sales manual that sold for $800 and a JD 620 Orchard piece bid up to $500. A rare JD Lawn-Gard Fertilizer brought $395. The majority of brochures sold for $100 to $300 each.

The rare collection came to the auctioneering firm from a buyer in England who recently purchased the brochures and maintenance manuals at the estate sale of longtime John Deere history author Don Macmillan who resided in Devizes, Wiltshire, Great Britain. The English author was one of the world’s most respected authorities on Deere & Company. He bought his first John Deere tractor in 1943 and was appointed the first United Kingdom Deere dealer in 1958.

Macmillan went on to establish one of the world’s foremost collections of John Deere toys, tractors and memorabilia. In cooperation with Deere & Company, Macmillan authored “John Deere Tractors & Equipment,” Volumes 1 and 2 and “John Deere Tractors Worldwide,” all published by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. He also authored “The Big Book of John Deere Tractors” and “The Field Guide to John Deere Tractors.” Macmillan was also a contributing author to “the Little Book of John Deere” and “This Old John Deere,” both published by Voyageur Press.

Macmillan used his John Deere literature collection as reference material for his books. The pieces range from single page brochures to maintenance manuals with more than 160 pages. Most have been well preserved and were in mint condition.

“We don’t usually see a collection that’s this well preserved,” auctioneer Ken Girard said. “A lot of times there are stains on covers and water or rodent damage. Every time you handle a piece of literature there’s some damage from creases, oils from your hands and that type of thing. For the most part, this collection is in very good condition.”

The collection was sold in the Midwestern United States because it’s likely to be where the strongest market exists. A few test pieces were sold earlier this year and netted substantial prices.

“There’s always the possibility that we can be surprised by sale results and that we don’t see the sales we expect,” Girard said. “What we sold earlier this year was tremendously successful. We notified the collectors we’re aware of in this region. That mailing list has about 4,000 names. This type of artifact is somewhat like a coin collection. People who like to have the literature don’t usually display it or do much with it. They just like to have it in their possession.”

One of the rarest pieces sold was a brochure outlining the benefits of JD Lawn-Gard Fertilizer. The four-panel foldout compared JD fertilizer with other companies. It’s a piece the auctioneers have never run across at any other sale.

Many of the brochures referred to tractors that were not popular in the United States but were well used in Europe. Orchard tractors are one model that was very popular there for a period of time. The John Deere 620 Orchard was only manufactured for a few years. It was designed with a wide front end and metal fenders that protected both the tractors tires and engine from tree branches as the tractor was used in fruit orchards.

“This tractor had several unique features, including a fuel cap cover that reduced damage to blossoms as workers drove through the orchard,” Girard said. “That brochure went for $500.”

The rarest piece of literature among these John Deere Collectables was the John Deere 430-630-730 Hi Crop tractor brochure in mint condition. Girard saw another one with water stains and rodent damage sell for $1,100. The tractors were mainly used in the southern and western United States in vegetable fields. His auction saw the brochure sell for $1,400.

“An actual John Deere High Crop tractor sold this year for $29,000 because the models are so rare,” Girard said. “The majority of them incurred a lot of rust damage because they were used in areas with a lot of humidity. They were also used to death. There’s been a real interest amongst collectors for that type of tractor. For years no one had much interest in them but for now they’re a hot item.”

A few of the brochures featured foreign languages, most likely German. John Deere bought out France’s Heinrich Lantz and the Lantz models were produced in that country. A few of the brochures feature tractors that were only made in Europe.

“The value of the literature covers a pretty wide range,” Girard said. “This was a very strong auction.”

John Deere Breaks Ground On 16-Megawatt Wind Farm

It Only Makes Sense That John Deere Would 'Go Green'
Renewable Energy World

John Deere Renewables this week broke ground on a new wind energy project in Idaho. Located in Twin Falls County, the Tuana Springs Wind Farm will consist of eight 2-megawatt (MW) turbines. Idaho Power Company is purchasing energy from the project under a long-term power purchase agreement. Commercial operation of the wind farm is expected to begin as early as Spring 2010.

John Deere Renewables funded the Tuana Springs Wind Farm and will also serve as owner and operator of the project, which is the company’s fifth mid-sized wind farm development in Idaho. The Tuana Springs project creates new economic opportunities in Idaho including jobs and tax revenue for the state and local governments.

“From our Project 60 economic growth initiative to creating the Office of Energy Resources, making Idaho more energy independent by realizing the potential of alternative and renewable energy production in Idaho has been a cornerstone of my administration’s efforts,” said Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. “The John Deere name brings with it a lot of public recognition and trust. I’m happy to have this exciting new business venture here in Idaho."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Kids And Big Kids At Farm Toy Show

Washington Daily News

If the Beaufort County FFA Alumni Association’s 11th annual farm toy show is any indication, the future is bright for the agricultural association.

Farm-raised children were just as excited as their elders to display their miniature farm displays, including tractors, combines and big rigs, and to pick up new pieces.

Brian Edwards, of Chocowinity, joined his grandfather, Gordon, behind a display table at the show forhis sixth straight year. The elder Edwards, who’s been showcasing and selling his farm toys at the show for 10 years, said his grandson has a “nice collection at the house.”

The elder Edwards has been collecting farm toys since he was 8 years old, and passed on the hobby to his grandson.

Cousins Dawson and Garret Boyd of Pinetown showed off an impressive miniture replica of 3B Farms in Pinetown. The cousins said they worked about an hour each night for three weeks to put the display of their family’s farm together.

James McCollum’s stepson, Hunter Taylor, 5, of Washington, was awe struck by the model of 3B Farms.

McCollum said his stepson’s bedroom is lined with farm toys. Taylor is especially fond of John Deere memorabilia, McCollum said.

“He’s a John Deere man,” McCollum said in regards to his step-son. “Some are John Deere Toys, but some he doesn't play with because they are serious John Deere collectables.”

Local farm children weren’t the only ones satisfied with the show.

“All the vendors have been pretty happy,” said David Jackson, co-coordinator of the show.

He said about 350 enthusiasts attended the show, which was held from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Red Men’s Lodge on Third Street.

“It went pretty good considering the economy,” Jackson said.

The show featured door prizes, a raffle and a Future Farmers of America-sponsored food stand. Admission was $2 for adults and free for children under 10, with proceeds from the show going towards scholarships for area agricultural students.

ActiveCommand Steering Wins German Award

Irish Independent

John Deere's new ActiveCommand Steering concept has won a gold medal which was awarded at last week's Agritechnica in Germany.

The new concept is a steer-by-wire design, combining a gyroscope and sensors on a smaller steering wheel to a set of electro-hydraulic actuators. Both the manual force and the number of steering wheel turns required when driving will automatically adjust to the tractor's actual speed.

The driver benefits from the reduced effort required during field, front loader and transport operations, and from a more stable ride at high road speeds (up to 50kph).

In addition to the gold medal, Deere scooped five DLG silver medals for several innovative solutions for tractors, harvesting equipment and crop-care solutions.


First up is a system which enables two-way ISOBUS data exchange between the tractor and more complex implements. During operation, the system allows the implement to take command of certain pre-assigned tractor parameters. For example, a round baler can tell the tractor when bale formation is nearly complete and will then make the tractor slow down to release the bale.

The extension of iSolutions from self-propelled sprayers to 700i and 800i Series trailed sprayers also nabbed a silver medal. This facility includes the integration of a tank fill calculator, an advanced SprayerPro boom control package and an AutoDilute function to handle the appropriate dilution of residual liquid in the sprayer.

Also among the prize-winning innovations was the newly designed Condition Monitoring System (CMS), which will be optionally available on the new 7950i self-propelled harvester.

This system continuously monitors the bearing vibrations of key components, such as compaction rollers, drum, kernel processor and accelerator fan. If these bearings begin to change their vibration frequency, the driver or fleet owner is alerted via a signal in the cab or remotely via JDLink.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Local Man Turns Old Sewing Machines Into New Toy Tractors


Roy Gaunt holds one of the model tractors he made out of 
an old sewing machine at his home in Shelbyville.

The Bible says, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks."

There's some dispute among scholars about this, but the passage from Isaiah is widely interpreted to mean the sword and spear bashing will coincide with the establishment of a future Messianic Kingdom of God on Earth.

That could take awhile. In the meantime, we can enjoy the handiwork of Shelbyville's Roy Gaunt, who is busy in his basement workshop beating antique sewing machines into models of vintage farm tractors.

Well, it's not so much beating as it is a careful laying of hands to remove bits and add bits, rounded off by skillful painting in authentic factory colors. The results are a major transfiguration: sewing machine bodies morphed into John Deere, Farmall and Allis-Chalmers tractors from the nostalgic heyday of the American family farm.

Gaunt explains that the bodies of old Singer machines and others from the 1800s and first third of the 20th century do actually look remarkably like the chasses of old farm tractors. His art is to heighten the visual tromp l'oeil effect with skilled tweaking here and there. Wheels from a push lawnmower become the big back tires, while front wheels, attached to adapted needle shafts, are the same ones found on Ertl-brand farm toys.

A particularly effective touch is the vertical mufflers above the engine canopy. "I use pieces of vacuum hose slipped over a little piece of round metal rod that I cut to length and paint," he said.

His tractor seats are liberated from the cutlery drawer in the shape of soup spoons bent to the correct angle, the bowl of the spoon a perfect miniature butt-shape. "And the older seats had holes bored in them, so I do that, too," said Gaunt, 71.

Wife Eleanor Gaunt says her husband is blessed with mechanical acumen and an eye for understanding what works visually. "Just always a very observant person," she says. "He sees things most people would not see. He's very good at noticing details."

Gaunt used to get detailed knowledge of real tractors every day as a farm boy growing up in Iowa, who first drove the family's 1930s F-20 Farmall when he was 7. Gaunt stayed down on the farm into the turbulent 1980s, when staggering interest rates ripped a hole in the fabric of American rural life and, as singer John Mellencamp put it, there was "blood on the plow."

Separated from the land, he needed a job and moved with his wife and two sons to Central Illinois, where he worked for a farm supply company. He stayed there until retirement in 2002 and worked part time in another job for five years until some creeping health problems demanded retirement take a more comprehensive form.

The old farmer had seen a magazine story about a guy who did the sewing machine-tractor thing and decided it sounded fun and doable now that he had the time. "I kept the idea in the back of my mind for three or four months and then just thought, 'Well, I really could do that,' " he recalls. "And so I made one."

That stitch in time occurred about a year ago, and he's been on a roll ever since, cranking out  John Deere toy tractors that sell for prices starting at $60 and do a good job of cultivating their own word of mouth advertising. "They are conversation pieces, and no two are exactly the same," he says. His wife even managed to sell one just chatting to her hairdresser about them.

"The lady needed one for a birthday present for her husband," recalls Eleanor Gaunt, 69. "You guys are hard to buy for."

Gaunt usually builds to order and, pedal to the metal, he can piece together a sewing machine tractor in about two weeks. He's constantly on the lookout for vintage sewing machine raw materials but says the golden thread of prosperity sometimes loops right around tractor conversions and ends up back at the machine itself.

"I run ads seeking sewing machines and think I bought about a dozen this one time, and I noticed a machine in there that had a kind of a unique cover over it," he says. "I didn't tear it down right away but did some research and ended up selling it to a private party for more than I could have received if I'd made it into a tractor. I guess I'm learning."


If you would like Roy Gaunt to create a sewing machine tractor for you, call 774-3377.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Scotsturf '09 Show Preview

from Horticulture Week

The show involves over 80 exhibitors, educational presentations, live product demonstrations and award ceremonies for the grounds care, golf course, local authority and arboriculture industries.

Show Manager Roy Daniels said this year's agenda would be dominated by pesticide approvals, weed control, integrated turf management and health and safety.

As well as the presentations there are awards for innovative and new products, IOG awards, the Scottish Groundsman of the Year award and presentations to the land based colleges.

Many companies will be launching new products at the show, which promises to offer something for every aspect of the Scottish sports turf, amenity and leisure sectors.

The companies exhibiting include:

Bernhard and Company will display the Express Dual and Anglemaster 3000MC range of cylinder and bottom blade grinders along with blade thinning attachment for the Express Dual cylinder grinder.

New this year from Broadwood International is the SnowEx TLR-275 mount, which opens up the world of salt and grit spreading to users of quad bikes, ATVs and UTVs as well as functioning perfectly with any vehicle fitted with a standard 50mm ball hitch.

Dennis will be showing, among other things, the S500 PLUS, which takes the effort out of surface spiking, slotting and overseeding. The 500mm operating width, Honda-powered unit has simple changeover between applications with an optional overseeding box mechanism.

The Double A Trading Company will launch the new Gianni Ferrari ML360 Turbo Loader, a 36 HP diesel pivot steer multi-purpose compact wheeled loader capable of operating a wide range of attachments including buckets, pallet forks, trenchers, brushes, post hole borers and excavators.

Pride of place on the Fairways Group stand (Wiedenmann UK) will be the Terra Spike GXi8 - Wiedenmann's latest deep fast aerator which, with a working width of 1.8m, is40 cm wider than the GXi6 (which was designed for fine turf areas and compact tractors) and fits tractors from 30 HP. Coverage is 5,800sq m/ hour at 110mm square hole spacing (based on a crank speed of 485revs/min and assumes the pulling tractor is moving at 3.2km/hour). Also debuting is Wiedenmann's trio of surface conditioning equipment — the Terra Float, Terra Slit and Terra Seed.

IPU Group will showcase a selection of new models from Ferris Industries' ride-on mower range, including the new-to-the-UK Ferris Evolution - a ride-on mower with a seating position allowing the operator to take the ‘ideal' ergonomical position for comfort and all-round visibility.

GreenMech will show the new six inch capacity turntable Quad Chip 150 woodchipper that was launched at IOG SALTEX show. The turntable allows ultimate positioning of the in-feed chute for convenience of access in limited space and more importantly safer use when working from the road side - when the chute is moved to 90° of the drawbar the rear of the machine stays within the width of the axle and does not protrude.

Green-tech will be on hand to explain the success of its innovative Mona Plant System irrigation system which offers significant saving in time and water efficiency. They will also be displaying the gt composphere, an environmentally friendly composter alongside some of its best-sellers - gt Gree-tree topsoil, the 100% sustainable, recycled topsoil; and gt GRB, the 100% recycled ground reinforcement block.

From GroundsCare Products, the Turf Teq brush cutter features a variable angle cutting head that allows the operator to cut under hedges, fences and trees; a deck that pivots incrementally to the left by up to 300 mm beyond the handle bars; a 711 mm wide deck with 660 mm cutting blade; and adjustable mowing heights of 70 mm and 95 mm.

Showcased at IOG SALTEX, the Orbs prototype from Inclusive Play (UK) will be on show. Despite being only 45 cm high and 35 cm diameter, the eye-catching items are designed for their sensory appeal. The Orb is manufactured from high density polyethylene which is durable and impact-resistant, but the product becomes more tactile when a ‘smiley' is machined into the top.

Irrigation Supplies will be showing for the first time the new range of K-Rain sprinklers and providing details of the new Kasco water treatment fountains. The company manufactures pop up impact golf sprinklers that are interchangeable with Logic/ Watermation GN / GR sprinklers, and is the distributor of HIT solenoid valves, Perrot sprinklers  Nelson, Hunter, K-Rain Weathermatic and Tonick.

Machines from John Deere's new golf and sports turf maintenance product range will be featured. The 220e E-Cut walk-behind greens reel mowers with hybrid electric drive, and the 7200 PrecisionCut trim and surrounds mower, with the patented Width on Demand cutting system, both have Quick Adjust cutting cylinders featuring a Speed Link system for extremely quick height of cut adjustment.

Additional new machines on show will include the 8400 Commercial triple reel lawn mowers which features high capacity 10 inch Jumbo cutting units, an intelligent all-wheel drive traction system and a Cross Cut function for increased productivity; the HD200 SelectSpray amenity turf sprayer, fitted to a John Deere Pro Gator utility vehicle; and the X749 lawn tractor, an all-wheel steer version of the 4WD X748 model, also designed for demanding commercial applications.

JSM Distribution will be launching the Sweep N Fill system, a trailed twin-brush system providing superb topdressing performance, filling aeration holes with topdressing in two passes, with no damage to the plant.

Lloyds will be exhibiting the Buffalo turbine blowers at Scotsturf for the first time, including the Cyclone PTO and the Cyclone KB3 Debris Blower in engine and PTO version.

Symbio will display the new Symbio TraceOlite highly porous zeolite that is impregnated with essential trace elements and holds 30-40 per cent of its weight in water. Also new nd on show will be Symbio Liquid Aeration, which releases oxygen molecules into the thatch layer and rootzone for thatch degradation. This helps oxidise nutrients and can oxidise black layer.

Symbio also launches its new range of Early Start Fertilisers to help overcome the problems of a late start to the growing season and Compost Tea Brewers that help increase soil biology for healthy perennial grasses.

Spray Techniques plan to stage a sprayer nozzle display, demonstrating a range of nozzles that can be used in pesticide, herbicide and liquid feed application. Various nozzle sizes and designs will show how there are always options as the conditions of weather, growth stage and amount of diseases etc change. The display will also feature new drift reduction air inclusion nozzle the Bubble Jet.

As local dealer for Massey Ferguson Groundcare equipment, SGM (UK) will display a selection of models from the newly extended range which now covers from 19.5 to 91 DIN HP.

Scotbark provides innovative solutions for erosion, flood and sediment control, and its expanding ‘tool box' of products includes the use of filter and growing media that is custom-installed to suit individual applications. The products are used in conjunction with the Express blower system.

The Scottish Golf Environment Group (SGEG), a subsidiary of the Scottish Golf Union (SGU), can help address environmental issues by:

• Giving free best practice and legislation advice on managing and creating habitats and landscape features such as coastal links, grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, ponds and heathland

• Providing free advice on nature surveys and protecting and providing habitats for flora and fauna species, environmental training and integrated management planning.

• Giving free advice on water management, waste reduction and energy efficiency - helping clubs obtain specialist audits (some free of charge) and promoting green technologies such as recycled products and renewable energy sources.

• Assisting in developing practical projects, plus providing information on grants and sources of project funding along with advice for new golf developments and course extensions.

Adopting green mowing technology such as the Scotts Classic reel mowers, or the German-designed Brill reel mowers.

Shelton Sportsturf Drainage Solutions LLP's Supertrencher + range has many new features, including a twin-speed digging wheel to suit dry, hard soils or wetter conditions. The digging wheel is in line with the centre of the tractor, with twin cylinders adjusting the digging depth either manually or by laser. Excavated soil is thrown into a large aperture at the front of the machine, then elevated via two conveyors into a trailer running alongside. The newly designed conveyor is hinged so that it can be turned through 90 deg to lay alongside the body of the machine for transport purposes.

This is Simon Tullett Machinery's first full season with the RoboFlail zero-turn remote controlled mower which won the New Product and Innovation Award at Scotsturf 2008, and is available with either standard rotary or open-front rotary deck. STM took the machine on a successful roadshow in Scotland - for example, Dundee City Council had a demonstration then placed an order.

One Man's Pursuit Of All Things 'Tractor'

from The Fence Post

This display of John Deere pedal tractors depict the preference of the equipment used on the Oatts Farm. The Ford pedal tractors reflect the preferred brand in the Oatts Farm Antique Tractor Museum.
Photo: Fred Hendricks

What do you call a person who lives in the south, farms several thousand acres for grain production, has a bunch of antique tractors displayed in museums in two states, collects farm toys, including pedal tractors and owns a farm toy store? Some would call him a Southern Gentleman.

Charles Oatts is a true Southern Gentleman but he does not take all the credit for the aforementioned family enterprises. “While each family member has varied interests, we're all involved. My wife, Shirley, is very supportive and as active as any wife could be. Our son, Brian and his wife, Carla and their two children are involved with all facets of our family farm. And a 36-year loyal employee, Tommy Johnson, helps manage the farm toy store and restores the antique tractors. In addition, numerous other employees make untold contributions to the farm business,” Charles shared.

The Oatts Family farm business is located in Hopkinsville, a community in the fertile Pennyrile region of southwestern Kentucky. Charles grew up on the family farm helping with the tobacco, hay and grain cropping. Their livestock included; beef, hogs and a small herd of milk cows. He attended a one-room school for grades one through seven with the same teacher all seven grades.

After high school graduation, Charles began his college studies. Charles farmed part time during college. With a degree in hand, Charles taught school and served as a school administrator. After a short stint in the classroom, he started farming full time. His management and farming skills were honed as the family developed their many enterprises.

Collection Hobby — Toy Show
Charles developed a farm related hobby collecting antique tractors. “The collection has grown with five brands represented. Although we farm primarily with John Deere equipment, I was intrigued with Ford and Ferguson tractors. And now with Tommy's help, we have more of those than any other make. All told, we have about 40 tractors fully restored. The majority of the tractors are displayed in our home farm tractor museum. We also have a number of antique tractors on permanent display in the Ford Tractor and Toy Building at the Florida Flywheeler Show grounds located in Ft Meade, Fla. This show is a very large event with tractors on display during their November, January and February shows. Shirley and I spend several months in Florida during the winter so we're able to maintain those tractors while taking in the Flywheeler Shows,” Charles stated.

With farming activities moving at a slower pace during the winter season, the Oatts Family hosts the annual Western Kentucky Farm Toy Show the first Saturday in December. Charles talked about the show, saying “We open our museum for visitors to view the antique tractors while attending the toy show. We also use a portion of the warehouse adjacent to the toy store for other venders to display. Toy collectors attend the show from across Kentucky and the surrounding states. This activity is a real family affair with all the Oatts clan involved.”

Toys Spring from the Earth

The bug to collect farm toys caught Charles in 1977. “We were excavating a sight for a tool shed and came across two childhood John Deere toy tractors buried under a tree. They were in remarkably good shape. This spiked my interest so I started going to farm toy shows to collect other desired toys. Today, the collection consists of all brands and has grown to several hundred. Two of the prized pieces in the collection include; a 1:16 scale die-cast John Deere model A with the high post and a 1:16 scale die-cast John Deere model A with a man on the seat, both made by Ertl. We also have the 1:16 scale die-cast John Deere models 14 and 17 made by Wagner. Our farm operation uses all John Deere equipment so we try to focus on those,” Charles said.

Charles soon learned that farm toy collecting had wide and diversified interest. “Invariably, the collection became a discussion point when friends came by to visit. These friends began asking that we purchase toys for them while at toy shows,” Charles remarked. With this interest in farm toys by friends and neighbors, a retail business evolved. He went on to say, “We realized there was a market for farm toys. So we made the decision to start the toy business. I contacted the toy manufactures and we were soon off and running with the Oatts Farm Toy business.

Expanding the toy collection to include pedal tractors was quite by chance, as with unearthing the toy tractors. “The pedal tractor collection began when we discovered a John Deere model 130 made by Eska in a farm building we had purchased. We soon started adding pedal tractors to our toy collection. We have a few antique versions but most are new versions as they became available through the years. We probably have about 150 pedal tractors with nearly every brand name represented. We also offer all the commercially made pedal tractors through our toy store,” Charles commented.

Unique Pedal Tractors
Rare antique pedal tractors continue to hold their value. If you are among the collectors with any of the old gems, consider yourself fortunate. “We do not have many of the antique pedal tractor versions, but we're fortunate to have a few. Among the more prized ones is the 1958 John Deere model 130 by Eska. This pedal tractor was the one that came with the farm we purchased,” Charles recounted.

Charles went on to comment about additional features of their pedal collection, “Harold Sherron of Boaz, Kentucky is an avid collector of antique Gibson tractors. In fact, he may have the most complete set of anyone in America. Harold had a set of three Gibson pedal tractors made for resale. They include: Gibson model H-Jr row-crop, Gibson model H-Jr standard and Gibson model D-Jr standard. All three are nice quality. We're fortunate to have them in our collection.”

Another very rare pedal tractor in the Oatts hoard is the John Deere model 8310T track version. This custom model 8310T features continues rubber tracks along with front-end weights. Wayne Samuelson of Dyersville, Iowa customized this tractor. “Another favorite pedal tractor is our custom John Deere model 430. We don't know who built it, but we think it is quite special. We enjoy the pedal tractor additions in our collection. They are more out in the open and certainly add color. They also spur a lot of reminiscing along with interesting discussions when customers and friends come by,” he noted.

Twists and Turns of Toy Collecting
When reflecting on how the farm toy hobby evolved, we are often reminded of someone or a special event that influenced us. Charles noted earlier that they came on two toy tractors and the one pedal tractor by chance. “No one really influenced me as I launched the collection. I remember the many fine individuals who were serious toy and pedal collectors that Shirley and I have met over the years. We have been so impressed by them and their collections. It really made us want to continue in the hobby. I would love to name them, but they are too numerous to mention,” he reflected.

The never-ending enhancements to toy tractors and pedal tractors make the collecting hobby more intriguing. Charles recalled, “Details of toys have improved significantly. Plastic is being used more all the time. There are many more models available. And there are more sizes, including 1:32 and 1:50 scale offerings. The higher cost of today's toys makes it more difficult especially with the Key and Precision Series.” He commented further, “I really like the 1:16 scale construction equipment, but we don't see many of them anymore. Having that larger scale made the equipment seem more realistic.”

The average age of the collector suggests that younger people may not be as interested in farm toys or John Deere collectibles. No doubt the cost for high detail toys plays into the age of the collector. There are young collectors with a keen interest in toy replicas, however. “When attending farm toy shows, I am concerned that there are fewer young people who will become dealers. This may become a problem when older dealers stop going to the toy shows. The economy is a problem for many families. It is causing many of them to reconsider how much they should be investing in toys verses necessities,” Charles lamented.

The beginner can certainly find his niche when interested in collecting. “I would advise those who are beginning to collect to consider the space available for their toys. The available space will determine the scale to start collecting. It will also provide direction regarding the availability of numbers of toys available in that scale and chosen brand. I would encourage the starter to pick a brand and stick with that brand. And then, go with a selected series, be it shelf models or high detail,” he advised.

There are numerous avenues to stay informed when collecting. “I get my best information from publications like Toy Farmer. Talking with collector friends, visiting farm toy stores and auction sales are all good sources of information. We also attend 10 or more toy shows each year,” Charles explained.

Friends and Future

The farm toy hobby is people sharing their past, developing friendships and looking toward an optimistic future. “We feel the collection hobby involves some of the best people in the world. And, we are proud to be a part of it. Whether we're assisting a customer in our store or hosting the Western Kentucky Farm Toy Show, we get to see the customers smile when buying or as they admire our collections. It may be a smile of reflection back to a piece of equipment they operated or the purchase of that sought after replica. All of this makes it worth more to us than the actual value of the collections,” Charles expressed. He went on to note, “Through our collections, we feel that we are preserving our agriculture heritage. It also encourages other individuals to preserve their past through collecting farm toys, pedal tractors or antique tractors.”

If you would like to learn more about Oatts Farm Toys, you may contact the friendly folks at (270) 885-8175. Reminder, the store and museum are open by chance or by appointment.

Fred Hendricks owns SunShower Acres, Ltd., of Bucyrus, Ohio, a dairy cattle consulting business. Mr. Hendricks is an avid farm toy collector and a freelance writer.

About the author
Fred Hendricks owns SunShower Acres, Ltd., of Bucyrus, Ohio, a dairy cattle consulting business. Mr. Hendricks is an avid farm toy collector and a freelance writer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Deere Studies Russian Production Options

from Lesprom

Moscow -- /Lesprom Network/  Deere&Company studies possibility of production at Severstal units, as Kommersant newspaper reported.

Voronezh and Nizhniy Novgorod regions now have at least two competitors for an investment agreement with American Deere & Company, the paper reports. The company started negotiations with administrations of Oryol and Lipetsk regions regarding construction of plant producing John Deere combine harvesters. Experts find that irrespective of what Russian region Deere & Company will choose for placing its production lines, construction of the facility will start in three years at the earliest.

Oryol region confirmed that Deere & Company regards the possibility of placing John Deere agricultural equipment plant in the region. A source close to the negotiation process told the paper that Oryol administration proposed the company a site at Oryol steel-rolling plant belonging to Severstal Group having an area of 7,000 to 8,000 sq m. The enterprise is located in Severniy district of the town of Oryol. Region governor Aleksandr Kozlov participated in the negotiation process with Deere & Company, newspaper’s source said. ‘American company is gradually building up its industrial complexes in Russia. They have decided upon assembling sites in Orenburg and Moscow region’s Domodedovo. At the same time, they are looking for a full production site’.

However, he said that the administration did not manage to get an answer from Deere & Company. ‘As in other regions, Americans listened to the proposal and announced that the decision will be taken by the board of directors, though the site in Oryol is ideal. Directly speaking, you just have to wash the floors and move in the machinery’. The source added that, according to his information, Deere & Company regards also a possibility of such production in Lipetsk. ‘Not a single region which is of interest to the company will get precise answer for one more year. It will depend not only on their wishes but also on where the Russian authorities will tell them to locate production’.

This spring Deere and Company showed interest in placing production in Voronezh region. At that time, Voronezh governor Alexei Gordeev met the head of Deere & Company Robert Lane. Mr Lane underlined that their relations with Mr Gordeev, a former agriculture minister, are long and well-established and the company is glad to continue cooperation with him in his new post. The regional government, in turn, expressed confidence that the company will most probably choose Voronezh. Experts said that if the plant in Voronezh was going to be as large as in Kaluga, its construction would cost around $80-100 million. However, soon Deere & Company started talks with Nizhniy Novgorod regional government concerning possible establishment of production there.

Nevertheless, Deputy Chairman of Voronezh government Aleksandr Gusev who is responsible for industry matters said that the company did not lose its interest in the region. Moreover, he announced that the region picked three facilities with an area of 35,000 sq m, though he did not specify what particular facilities they are. A source in regional administration has recently informed that since Mr. Gordeev’s meeting with Robert Lane no progress was reached.

Experts find that irrespective of what Russian region Deere & Company will choose for placing its production lines, construction of the facility will start in three years at the earliest. ‘In such large companies just taking a decision may take several years’, Director of agricultural equipment producers union (Soyuzagromash) Evgeniy Korchevoy commented. Representatives of Deere & Company also said earlier that they will start new facility construction only after they commission their new production and logistics centre in Kaluga.

The board of the company, however, has recently approved construction of a production centre and spare parts storage in Moscow region’s Domodedovo. Deere&Company is going to produce a wide range of John Deere machinery there, including tractors, agricultural and forest harvesting and construction machines. The new project will complement planned investments in a complex in Kaluga region and production facility in Orenburg. It is known that Deere & Company will place a 45,000 sq m site in Giffels Management Russia Yuzhnye Vrata industrial park (Moscow region). Rent fee is estimated by experts in $100-105 per square meter annually. Generally, by 2015 the company is going to invest around $500 million in its Russian projects, namely in Kaluga and Moscow region ones and a joint venture with Russian agricultural machinery producers.

Deere & Co. Recalls 452 Workers

AG Weekly Online

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) _ Farm equipment maker Deere & Co. says it will recall most of the workers it laid off earlier this year at an Iowa plant.

The Moline, Ill.-based company says the 452 manufacturing employees will be recalled to its John Deere Ottumwa Works starting Nov. 30 as it begins production of its 2010 models.

But Deere says 78 other workers will remain laid off until market conditions improve enough to warrant their return.

In June, Deere said it would temporarily lay off 494 of the factory's workers due to weak demand amid the economic slowdown. That followed a layoff of 40 employees in April.

The Ottumwa Works employed about 260 salaried employees and 720 wage employees, including those who remain laid off.

The plant makes equipment such as balers and pull-type forage harvesters used by hay and livestock producers.

A Faster Way To Move A Lot Of Snow

SB2176 Snow Blower for all John Deere 400 Series Loaders
from Construction News

John Deere's Frontier Products has introduced an easier, more powerful way to quickly move snow: the hydraulically driven and loader-mounted SB2176 Snow Blower for all John Deere 400 Series Loaders. Designed to save time and energy, the SB2176's quick-attach feature allows operators to mount the blower without removing the loader. The blower is driven by an independent, hydraulic three-point hydraulic power pack that attaches to the rear of the tractor. Self-contained and driven by the tractor's rear PTO, it is also Category 1- and iMatch -compatible.

"The SB2176 increases tractor versatility and ease of use, both of which are necessities for operators with a long list of duties, such as those at schools or municipalities," said Tom Elliott, division sales & marketing manager for Frontier. "But clearing snow will become every operator's favorite task with the help of the hydraulic controls and the ability to drive the blower facing forward. The ability to quickly disconnect the snow blower and begin using the loader again means more versatility."

Able to face the toughest snowfalls, the SB2176 features a 76-inch working width and automatic auger speed control to prevent clogs. In addition to hydraulic loader control of height and pitch, the chute rotation and optional chute angle adjustment is powered by the rear power pack and controlled with rocker switches installed in the tractor operator station. The cutting edge is replaceable while the steel skid shoes are adjustable and replaceable.

For additional winter needs, John Deere also offers two commercial-mount three-point snow blowers, the 1274 and 1280. These 540 PTO snow blowers feature a 74-inch and 80-inch width, respectively.

Monday, October 26, 2009

John Deere Reel Mowers

From John Deere International

The best seat on your course may well be in the John Deere 1905. This five-unit reel mower features an optional deluxe cabin, prepared with integrated air conditioning for those days when you just can’t beat the heat. A great example of operating comfort is an integrated armrest control for convenient operation. Reels are lifted or lowered by fingertip switches integrated in the CommandArm armrest. And all the operating controls are right at your fingertips.

But where the 1905 line of reel mowers really succeeds is in the area of high-volume mowing. These are excellent mowing units: five John Deere-built ESP (Extra Strength and Precision) 76 cm (30 in) reels. The ESP cutting units provide a patented heavier frame that will sit down tighter and stay in contact with the turf.

A powerful 2190 cc Yanmar Engine with a rated power of 31kW (41.5 hp) helps drive the 1905 through the toughest of conditions. Yet even with all of this power the 1905 has remarkably low sound levels. It also has perfect balance, which will help your crew as they navigate around bunkers and mounds.

The 1905 has plenty of other user-friendly features: a central quick-lift for simultaneously lifting all five units; height adjustable and tilt steering option. And while the 1905 is simple to operate, it’s also safe, thanks to the Safety Interlock System, controlled by the patented White Box.

Deere 8R Series Provides 360-Degree Lighting

From the Prairie Star

Safety comes first in the field, on the farm, and on the road. Good lighting on tractors is an important key to keeping everyone safe 24 hours a day.

Tractor engineers are designing new lighting systems for crop producers who need greater nighttime visibility.

Faced with a need for 360-degree lighting, John Deere engineers used computer software to design and place lights on their newest line of tractors.

“With the new 8R and 8RT Series, the lights within the roof are not adjustable. We've specifically built them to cover a 360-degree pattern around the tractor without having to be adjusted,” said Chad Hogan, John Deere product line marketing manager.

Designed for row-crop farming, the 8R Series' Standard lighting package includes two rear-facing, two front corner and two rear corner 65-watt cab roof halogen flood lights to provide 330 degrees of lighting. Hood lighting provides the remaining 30 degrees for complete stadium-style lighting.

In all, the Standard package comes with 18 lights plus extremity warning lights. Deluxe and Premium packages offer even more lights.

There are many reasons that customers have asked for increased tractor lighting.

“I would say, the increased demand for AutoTrack on tractors has certainly increased the desire for customers to have better lighting,” said Hogan.

Some crop producers have crews, who are more than willing to drive tractors through the night. While AutoTrack keeps the tractor running straight, the operator still needs to see what's going on - whether there is a deer, a tile line, a big rock, or something else up ahead that needs to be seen.

John Deere engineers also found that tractor operators needed more light to monitor wide or long implements in the darkness.

“We have planters as wide as 120 feet. Not that long ago, a 20-foot planter was a big planter,” Hogan said. “Now operators need better lighting to see clear out to the edges of that wider equipment, plus they are working at faster speeds today.”

John Deere offers a Deluxe lighting package for the new 8R tractors that include four additional halogen lights on the front of the tractor plus a rotary beacon light.

“If you are manually steering the tractor, the Deluxe lights - additional lights on the roof and the beltline of the tractor - help with forward visibility,” said Hogan.

A Premium lighting package includes a rotary beacon light, and two halogen lights on the rear fender are replaced with Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights. On the front grille of the R Series tractor, two halogen lights are replaced with three HID lights.

Technology has brought lighting a long ways.

Taken too much for granted, the light bulb is still one of the greatest inventions of all time.

Incandescent lights use glass bulbs that hold a gas such as nitrogen or argon. Electricity heats up the tungsten filament resulting in very hot white heat and light.

A halogen light also uses a tungsten filament and is sealed into a bulb, but the bulb is filled with inert gas and halogen gas. Halogen bulbs give light of a higher color temperature, a blue color. The halogen gas combines with the tungsten atoms to allow the filament to last longer than incandescent light.

A Xenon HID uses xenon gas to also produce a slightly bluish light, but does not use a filament. Light is produced by electricity arcing between two tungsten metal electrodes.

The HID bulbs provide extreme brightness and daylight color to define items in the field or farmyard. The Xenon HID light can last much longer than a filament halogen bulb.

The HID bulbs need extremely high voltages to initially jump the electrode gap when first turned on, and that requires an electric starter and a transformer, or ballast.

“The tractor operator will notice a longer beam of lighting in the center for following marker furrows with the HID lights,” said Hogan. “The overall width of the lighting for a non-row-crop operation will be obvious to distinguish tilled from non-tilled passes.”

The John Deere engineers also designed the HID lighting system to use a smaller housing and a remote-mounted ballast, Hogan said. The smaller house increases the rear window view.

Hogan said the Deluxe package is $715 over the base lighting price. That includes four additional halogens and a rotary beacon light. The Premium package is $3,075 above the base price.

“Anybody that is running a lot of work at night, we're seeing a pretty big interest in the HID lighting package,” he said.

Especially during this long fall season, Hogan encourages producers to think about the lighting system on their tractors. There are light kits available for tractors and combines to improve lighting.

He also encourages producers to think about lighting when ordering a new tractor, and to evaluate the lighting when considering the purchase of a used tractor.

“Make sure you choose a lighting package at the time you purchase your tractor that's going to fit your needs. It's much easier to buy the tractor from the factory with the right lighting up front than to go back and add lights later,” Hogan said. “There are kits available, but sometimes adding the HID lights can be difficult on some tractors because of the way the wiring harnesses have to be routed.

“You might not think about lighting when you're shopping, but after you run a few nights, you may find that you need a tractor with a better lighting system,” he added.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boy's Wish To Visit Deere Headquarters In Moline Granted

From the Press Republican

Anne and Dana Monty will remember July 2009 as the month their youngest beat leukemia.

The 7-year-old's days of chemotherapy, steroids and isolation were over. Dylan would no longer take 13 pills a day — a routine he had endured since his diagnosis at age 3. He was free, and they could all finally breathe.

Dylan, though — he just remembers the tractors.

Lifelong dream

 Dylan plays with John Deere toys in his sandbox.

A recipient of a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York, Dylan chose to visit the John Deere Headquarters in Moline, Ill. It was a wish the foundation had not granted before.

"We are delighted to be able to provide Dylan with his heartfelt wish to visit the John Deere Factory," the foundation's CEO William C. Trigg III said in a press release. "It was his lifelong dream that we were proud to make come true."

At first, it seemed John Deere would not be able to accommodate a wish, as they were dealing with company cutbacks.

Wish coordinators asked Dylan if he would rather wait for John Deere or choose something else. He waited.

The family was given 14 days notice to prepare for their trip.

His wish was granted July 12, and began when a limo filled with toys, balloons and John Deere clothing backed into their Saranac driveway.

Dylan, his parents and his 13-year-old sister, Abigail, piled into the car, which took them to a train station in Albany. They took a 14-hour train — their least favorite part of the trip — to Chicago. From there, they rented a car and traveled to "John Deere heaven," Anne said.

Dylan remembers the trip with a shy smile, his face half in shadow from one of his green John Deere hats, one of his countless souvenirs.

Career aspiration

A boy who has lived for more than half of his life with cancer, Dylan's favorite part of the school day at Saranac Elementary is recess, when he can play outside.

If he's not driving his motorized John Deere 6x4 Gator, a toy John Deere tractor, he is rolling toy tractors around the front porch, riding his John Deere bike or playing with his John Deere dump truck or other John Deere collectibles. His future career aspiration: to drive tractors.

Dylan's father, Dana, and grandfather both worked for John Deere. Dylan's grandparents have a tractor that he knows how to drive, back up and dig holes with.

"John Deere has been in the family for a long time," Anne said.

Upon arriving at the headquarters, Dylan was overwhelmed with the attention.

"He was like royalty," Anne said. "There were hundreds of people. He was like, 'Oh, my!' He doesn't like to be the center of attention."

Workers at John Deere had pooled money to provide Dylan with gifts and $500 worth of gift certificates to the John Deere store. The Montys had the merchandise shipped home — items from toy trains and hats to dominoes and a baseball.

"My top bunk is still full of stuff," Dylan said.

Sprawled on his bunk are rummaged-through and even some unopened boxes of John Deere goodies. They match the rest of his room, decorated with John Deere wallpaper, clock, money bank and bedspread.

At the offices of the CEO, the family was treated to catered lunches. Dylan chose the menu.

"Chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese!" he said. The next day's offering was personal-pan pizza.

After lunch, they gave Dylan bread to feed the Japanese Coy fish in their pond.

"He liked that," Anne said. "That's more North Country to him. He probably would have liked to have a fishing pole out there."

Later, they visited a testing facility with fewer faces and more machines. He drove the equipment for five hours, his mother remembers, until tour guides had to politely tell him the day was over.

Driving Skills

Dylan was armed with a photo ID card that gave him swipe access into the buildings at the headquarters. He proudly displayed it, along with his toys.

Dylan brags about his tractor-driving skills.

"I just did it yesterday, right, Dad?" Dylan asked, looking to Dana.

His father nodded, looking down at the 7-year-old with pride in his eyes.

Working at the John Deere headquarters is Dylan's dream job. But workers there told him that the company was so well-loved, employees rarely leave.

"We're going to put in his application now," Anne said with a laugh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Testing the Deere 7530E Premium

From Farmer's Guardian

Although John Deere showed its E Premium electric generating 7430 and 7530 in late 2007 they only arrived in the UK earlier this year. We chose the popular 7530 which is familiar to anyone who has operated a Deere.

Our 7530 was an E-Premium model that uses an electrical generating flywheel to power components such as the air-conditioning and engine cooling fan.

Not only does this allow the components to be relocated to other areas of the tractor that were restricted by mechanical drives, but offers greater flexibility in how they perform such as reversing the fan to clear debris. But these are not the only advantages.

The engine is said to be more responsive and fuel tests carried out by an Italian journal recently show savings in diesel of around 10 per cent are possible when compared to a conventional 7530. Combining this with Deere’s AutoPowr CVT, which is ZF’s E-Com transmission, should add to this tractor’s fuel sipping abilities.

In the field it performed well with both the six-furrow mounted Dowdeswell and on the 4.6m Cultipress. On the latter, it comfortably reached speeds in excess of 10kph with the tines breaking down any big clods that were smashed further by the DD rings.


The Deere 6.8 litre PowerTech motor is rated at 180hp with the engine revving up to 2,100rpm to a maximum output of 195hp with max torque being 828Nm.

For transport and pto operations, Intelligent Power Management raises engine output to 203hp on the conventional 7530, but because of this model’s electrical generation, the E Premium finds a further 12hp when IPM kicks in.

Our machine produced a mighty 189.5hp at the pto shaft when hitched to the dyno - and this was an unboosted figure.

Engine servicing is every 500 hours with the transmission and hydraulic oil requiring a change every 1,500 hours. The transmission and hydraulics share the same oil.

Raising the bonnet reveals the cooling pack - no fancy unfolding radiators here to aid thorough cleaning, making cleaning out much trickier.

Slide out mesh screens prevent large debris getting sucked in to the radiators though. Deere’s air-filter is positioned up front, making it one of the easiest to access.

Cab access

John Deere has done a very good job of making this six-post cab light and airy, even though it is only marginally larger than the Fendt. Though without a huge growth beneath the steering wheel, there’s much more foot room in the Deere.

The reach and rake adjust steering wheel provides a comfortable driving experience and also suits taller operators.

Because a lot of the tractor functions are contained within the Command Center screen there is no vast array of buttons around the cab - in fact this cab is a bit bland compared to the others. And its not helped by the drab brown interior trim. But there is a useful amount of storage on the side console and the plastic trim fits snugly together.

As this is a six-post cab, you can open a side window to get a bit of fresh air, and this is something that is not possible if you opt for the four-post cab.

Air vents around the steering column can result in chilled knees and this would be more comfortable if air could be distributed more evenly around the cab.


The Command Center screen operates in much the same way as the Power and AutoQuad 6030 and 7030 Premium tractors.

It is in charge of a range of functions, from selecting work lights to setting the linkage lift height, and because this is an E-Premium model, operators can select an auto function for the reversible fan.

It is a small colour screen though, and mounted on the side console does not put this screen in your line of sight. But then, all the performance information can also be found on the dash. The Command Center screen is also fixed into position.

Short-cut keys can be assigned to regularly accessed menus and the highlight function can then be moved around the screen using the dial before using the tick button to confirm.

Armrest controls and console

Autopowr Deere 6030 and 7030s can be supplied with the Command Arm multi-function armrest.

The transmission control lever allows you to alter the speed within one of two sliding ranges - just push the lever past the offset notch to select the second range. The lever’s thumbwheel sets the target speed and is easy to use. It’s so simple it had us looking for other levels of complication.

Like others in this test, the onboard computer alters engine revs according to load for the most economical set-up.

You can also limit engine rpm using a hand throttle. The large plastic finger switches for operating the spool valves are a reasonable size. There are also switches for controlling the rear linkage and engaging the optional auto-steer system.

The steering column powershuttle also looks after the park gear and neutral. If the tractor is left in neutral for more than 10 seconds then the parking lock is automatically engaged. Deere’s power shuttle lever can feel a bit clunky when changing direction, though it is positively engaged.
Rear mudguard controls

Our 7530 came complete with a hydraulic toplink and the relevant mudguard buttons for controlling it to make hitching up easy. It’s possible to select which spool is controlled by which switch using the Command Center screen.

A pair of buttons also look after the rear lift arms, and carry a linkage symbol to differentiate them from the spool buttons - a bit of colour would make it quicker and easier to identify these controls, just as Valtra has done. Lift capacity for the Deere is rated at 9,000kg.

There is also the obligatory pto engage/disengage button. The 7530 comes with 540E, 1,000, and 1,000E rpm speeds, all of which are chosen using the Command Center terminal.

The hydraulic push back hitch gets its own dedicated spool control switch rather than having to swap pipes around, and the spool dust caps are coloured co-ordinated with the in-cab switches.

John Deere 7530E Premium

Good points
  • Very simple transmission controls
  • Familiar control layout
  • Auto reversible fan
  • General visibility
Bad points
  • Bland cab interior
  • Cab space
  • Command Center screen’s size and location
  • Radiator access

Sunday, October 18, 2009

John Deere On Display At Auto Show

From the Midland Daily News

The Northwood University International Outdoor Automobile Show continues through today. It opens at 10 a.m. The closing ceremony is at 5 p.m.

 When people think of the Northwood Auto Show the images that come to mind are usually shiny new automobiles. However most don’t think of tractors. Perhaps until now with some of big farming machines from John Deere on display throughout the show.

“We’re a specialty division, we show off other types of vehicles,” John Deere team captain Tyler Marifke said after his group got a few questions as to what tractors were doing at a car show. Marifke, a junior in Northwood’s entrepreneurship and management program, is from Elkhorn, Wisc. and chose to work the John Deere display because while he’s never been a farmer, he has fond memories of the big green and yellow tractors on display at his county fair when he was younger.

John Deere is the only tractor company with products at Northwood, with an area booth featuring three full-size agriculture tractors, two smaller utility tractors, a zero-turn mower and a “Gator” utility vehicle. A hay baler and a disc tiller also were on display. There is even an industrial generator and air compressor made by John Deere.

“We figured we’d knock them out with stuff,” said Marifke of the selection of equipment on display. By comparison, last year the Deere company display only featured a few lawn tractors. According to Marifke, the display has gone over well.

“The kids love it.” According to Marifke many of the kids are amazed by the size of the 6-foot tall tires on the big agricultural tractors. A few farmers were also impressed, with some saying they might look into them further. 

The vehicles on display at the auto show are often know for speed, such as a 200 mile-per-hour Ford GT parked just yards from the John Deere area. The tractors can’t really compete with that, according to Marifke. The fastest one on display is a new John Deere 8225R that tops out at 27 miles per hour.

“They weren’t made to be fast.” Marifke added that the 8225R is John Deere’s newest model and has been on sale for only aweek. There are only 20 of them in Michigan. The one on display is fresh off the assembly line. The paint still had a fresh-sprayed smell to it when they received it, Marifke said.

The farming machines better match up against the most high-end cars in price. The center piece of the display is the gigantic eight-tired John Deere 9420 articulated tractor. The wheels on the massive machine don’t turn; instead the tractor pivots in the middle. In total the 9420 costs about $500,000.

Not all of the tractors will put you back half a million. Also on display is a John Deere 7230. This more basic model goes for about $45,000. According to Marifke, leasing and financing options are available.

All of the equipment was loaned for the display from the Bader and Sons chain of dealers. The agricultural tractors came from their Linwood dealership and were driven to the show. According to Marifke, the trip getting them there took two hours.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pork Industry Still Hurting From H1N1


After a lifetime of farming and a long year of financial hardship, Danny Kluthe was ready for better days.

But then came April 24, the day the National Pork Producers Council considers the birthday of the "swine flu" as a household term.

"We were about to turn the corner and start making a profit," said Kluthe, 53, who owns a hog farm near Dodge, Neb. "And here somebody labeled H1N1 the 'swine flu,' and it just totally took a nosedive."

The earliest detected H1N1 virus was found in a 5-year-old boy who lived near a pig farm in Mexico, hence the name "swine flu." Almost instantly, concerns over pork safety spread around the world. Indonesia and Japan initiated a nationwide medical examination of their hogs. In Iraq, zoo hogs were killed. Egypt ordered that hogs across the country be slaughtered.

The United States, the world's largest pork exporter, felt the hit in the weeks following the first outbreak, when 27 nations blocked all U.S. pork imports. Domestic demand plunged as well. And all of that came "obviously from fears of H1N1," pork council spokesman Dave Warner said.

In the past two years alone, the U.S. pork industry has lost $5 billion, according to the NPPC. Pork producers lost 66 percent of their equity, meaning that a hog farm previously worth $100,000 is now worth only $34,000.

Of that $5 billion, $1.1 billion has been lost since April 24, continuing the downward trend started by the economy and high feed costs.

"I bet you my bottom line backed up good, probably a good 30 to 40 percent plus," Kluthe said of his 15,000-hog operation, comparing his actual profits this year to what he had expected.

Although there have been no documented cases of a pig passing H1N1 to a human, U.S. pork producers are "treading water that they've never tread before," Kluthe said, appealing to public officials, media and citizens to stop making the connection between "swine" and "flu."

"It's like you're getting blamed for something that's not your fault," said Terry O'Neel, whose 500-sow farm is near Friend in southeastern Nebraska. "It's not just a financial aspect, it's really disheartening, especially when the media use the label so loosely."

Since the first wave of panic, domestic consumption has picked up and many countries have resumed their import of U.S. pork. But one crucial market – China – remains closed. "Clearly, they are very concerned with H1N1," said Dr. John Lawrence, livestock economist at Iowa State University in Ames.

But China is also the world's largest pork producer, with a vast and growing demand, and Chinese domestic hog farming has been undermined by an animal disease outbreak and economic hardship. The Chinese industry is now pleading for government support. On top of everything, many U.S. restrictions on various Chinese imports such as tires and cooked poultry have complicated the trade relationship between the two countries.

"It's like you're getting blamed 
for something that's not your fault"

In this setup, Lawrence said, any economic or political issue may have contributed to China's decision to cite H1N1 fears as a reason behind a blanket ban on U.S. pork.

In 2008, China bought almost $690 million worth of U.S. pork products, according to the pork council. That made it the third largest pork export market for the United States, after Japan and Mexico.

Pork export to China for the first two quarters of this year was half that of 2008, the council reports, and Canada is now the third largest market, with China fourth.

Without exports to China, unsold pork piled up and prices plunged. Before the H1N1 outbreak, hog farmers were already losing $11 off each hog they sold. The loss grew to about $21 per hog.

"The pork industry is really, really in difficult shape," said Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., former secretary of agriculture. "It hasn't been profitable for a while. It's been one compounding crisis after another."

Johanns headed the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the trade embargo on beef after the spread of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as "mad cow disease." Restoring pork export markets now won't happen "unless the USDA gets on the road and beats the drum," he said.

"Literally, you have to go country by country," he said, calling for a developed strategy to send scientific expertise overseas and restore the good image of U.S. pork.

But, for now, the pork surplus continues to grow, even with the recovering domestic demand.

"Well, sure, things are looking a little better," said Larry Sitzman, CEO of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association in Lincoln. "But what are you going to do with all this supply we've got in the meantime?

"You can't just stop the system and say, 'Hey, we've got too many pigs," he said. "So when the people aren't buying, the system builds up, the prices go down; basic supply and demand."

The profits have dropped so much that Peggy Johnson and her husband, who farm near Nebraska City, Neb., have stopped raising hogs for now and will re-evaluate when the economy picks up. "The price just isn't there," Johnson said.

The packers still get all of the pork, she said, but pay far less for it.

U.S. pork producers have reached out for help to the USDA, asking the federal government to purchase excess pork for food programs. It's common practice for the USDA. The government spent approximately $65 million on such purchases in 2008 and $165 million in 2009, a department spokesman said.

But from the $50 million pork producers requested in fiscal year 2009 to handle the so-called swine flu, they received $30 million. The decision on another $50 million requested for fiscal year 2010 has yet to come.

But even if the USDA granted U.S. pork producers all of the money they had asked for, "it wouldn't get us back into black," said Warner of the National Pork Producers Council.

On the state level, Sitzman of the Nebraska pork association agreed. "Basically, we're going to have to eat our way out of this," he said.

Name Confusion

Although the national pork council was leery of drawing conclusions about how much the mislabeling of H1N1 has affected the industry, Sitzman blames it for all the losses.

On a daily basis, he said, he gets phone calls from upset hog farmers: After hearing so many questions about pork safety, even those who raise pigs become confused and doubtful.

Sitzman and several other Nebraska farmers tell almost identical stories of a hog farmer who went to buy some pork at a grocery store and heard a whisper behind him as he put pork loin or pork chops in his shopping cart: "Don't buy it, it'll kill you, it's got that flu virus."

Such sentiments, whether based on actual conversations or not, rub pork producers wrong. They are optimistic about next summer, when prices may go up and export markets may reopen. But, for now, "you've got to backtrack" the tie between hogs and the spreading flu, Kluthe said. "But the damage," he said, "has been done."