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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Customers Help Shape D-Series Loaders

Construction Equipment
New skid steer and compact track loaders feature a host of improvements stemming from end-user input

Upon visiting John Deere Construction’s Web site, you’ll be entertained by a virtual skid steer sitting inside a suggestion box, complete with interactive notes to click on and see what customers asked for in the way of improvements for Deere’s D Series skid steers and CTLs. The company says the product launch results from years of research and partnering with skid-steer owners and operators from around the world.

“We’ve listened to what customers told us they wanted in skid steer and compact track loaders, and we’ve responded with nine new models that incorporate their suggestions,” says Gregg Zupancic, Deere product marketing manager for the products.

New skid steers include models 318D, 320D, 326D, 328D and 332D, with net-horsepower ratings of 58 to 89; rated operating loads from 1,800 to 3,200 pounds; and tipping loads from 3,600 to 6,400 pounds. The new 319D, 323D, 329D and 333D compact track loaders have a horsepower range of 58 to 89 and rated operating capacity of 1,900 to 3,300 pounds. Tipping loads range from 5,600 to 9,425 pounds.

According to Deere, one of the most dramatic differences in the D-Series is the cab. Customers asked for larger, more comfortable cabs, and Deere answered with 24 percent more room overall and 6 more inches of headroom than predecessor machines. The cabs also offer a 50-percent noise reduction inside and out resulting not only from improved sound absorption, but also a hydraulic fan drive, auto-idle feature, and new electronically controlled Tier 3/interim Tier 4 PowerTechE diesel engines. Deere claims best-in-class visibility as well, with 100-percent more front glass and 50-percent larger top window and lower side windows. In addition, HVAC directs 50 percent more air flow and 30 percent more heat for improved operator comfort.

Three choices of controls are available on all D-Series machines. Foot controls come standard. Operators can also choose hands-only levers or electro hydraulic joysticks for steering, forward/reverse, and boom/bucket functions. Optional EH (electro hydraulic) Performance Package includes switchable controls from ISO to H pattern; creeper mode, allowing the operator to set wheel/track speed in 10-percent increments of top speed; and boom and bucket metering, with three settings.    

Other options include reversing hydraulic fan, which works with a computer program that monitors engine and hydraulic fluid temperatures to increase or decrease fan speed as necessary. The V-Plenum cooling system sports aluminum coolers that are larger, taller and positioned side by side. They are protected from air-blown debris damage because the fan is rearward of coolers, Deere says. 

Despite all the changes, D-Series units have retained many of the productivity features of the 300 Series such as planetary gear drives on the CTLs, “industry-leading” bucket roll-back and dump angles, and ease of maintenance.

Retail prices for the line of John Deere construction equipment range from $20,000 to $60,000.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Top Deere Technicians in UK


The first six John Deere service technicians in the UK to achieve LTA4 Master Technician accreditation were presented with their certificates and registration cards on the John Deere stand at the LAMMA 2010 show at Newark in January.

ntroduced as the top tier of the industry’s Landbased Technician Accreditation (LTA) scheme, the Master Technician designation recognises individuals as having a proven and professionally assessed track record as the very best technicians, with the highest level of diagnostic skills and specialist product knowledge. The six John Deere service technicians are (five of the six are pictured at LAMMA, as listed left to right):

Robert Watson – RBM Agricultural, Market Weighton, Yorkshire
Andrew Walker – RBM Agricultural, Retford, Nottinghamshire
Robert Griffiths – Agricultural Machinery (Nantwich), Cheshire
Dan Massey – J E Buckle Engineers, Cromer, Hertfordshire
Tom Cooper – Ben Burgess, Norwich, Norfolk (not in photo)
Kevin Drage – J E Buckle Engineers, Cromer, Hertfordshire

“By employing an LTA accredited technician, or choosing a dealer with LTA registered technicians, customers can be secure in the knowledge that their equipment is being serviced by the best in the industry,” says Christopher Whetnall, chief executive of IAgrE. “With the ever increasing complexity and sophistication of agricultural machinery, it is vital to know that your equipment will be maintained by highly skilled professionals.”

To achieve the full Master Technician qualification after being accredited at LTA3 level, individuals have to undergo additional training and assessment of their abilities in advanced diagnostic testing and product knowledge, as well as their customer and technical mentoring skills.

Technicians who reach LTA3 status are already registered with the Engineering Council as an engineering technician (EngTech), with the ability to display the technician’s full qualifications on service vehicles. Currently John Deere’s agricultural and turf dealers in the UK and Ireland have over 900 staff registered with the LTA scheme, including 454 at LTA2 level, 25 at LTA3 and six at LTA4.

“The LTA scheme is designed to raise the profile of dealership technicians and underline their value to the industry,” says John Deere’s manager, customer support Peter Leech. “By reaching the Master Technician level, these six John Deere dealer technicians have proved that they are at the top of their profession, and expertly qualified to provide the highest possible level of after-sales support to customers.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Deere CEO Part of White House Management Forum

The Wall Street Journal

Not everyone in the business community has been wooed—administration officials said there was little political downside to calling out "fat cat" bankers, as Mr. Obama has done three times in the past week alone. And some CEOs said the administration's antibusiness rhetoric has chilled relations with the broader business community.

That's something top advisers to Mr. Obama want to fix, because pushes on climate change, job growth and further stimulus initiatives aren't likely to fly without broad business support.

Office of Management and Budget spokesman Kenneth Baer said the invitees came from a list of CEOs who had used technology well in their companies—as opposed to the government, which processes patent applications manually and takes three years to approve one.

Liz Claiborne CEO Bill McComb said he believed he was invited in part because his company is a well-known American manufacturer with a diverse work force. "We're not attached to a lot of big scary issues like health care, big tobacco or anything controversial," he said.

To dig into specific topics, the CEOs broke up into small groupsin the Eisenhower Executive Office building. One was convened in a wood-paneled conference room with a mantelpiece painting of George Washington that was obscured by a chart on an easel.. Deputy Veterans' Affairs Secretary Scott Gould and three deputy cabinet secretaries guided the discussion on "streamlining operations." Mr. Gould said the group would talk about inspiring top performance from government employees. Then he explained that this inspiration would have to be done without much in the way of financial bonuses, threats of firing or promotions that leapfrogged the normal civil-service rules.

Cabinet Affairs Secretary Chris Lu pointed out that government managers worry that if they slash costs, "next year your appropriations go down."

The CEOs gave it a shot. Jeff Fettig of Whirlpool Corp. said, "It's about better customer benefit for a lower cost, faster."

Government needs to do what John Deere did, said Sam Allen, its CEO. "Get 32 handoffs down to one handoff."

Ms. Nooyi, the PepsiCo chief, said the government needs "a Project Manhattan type mentality to stop and say we're going to do it and we're going to go all the way."

Department of Energy Secretary Dan Poneman picked up on that. "Do we have a Manhattan Project? Actually we were the Manhattan Project. That was us." Everyone but Mr. Poneman laughed.

After the session wrapped up, Mr. Gould said the findings and ideas from the forum would be live-streamed on the White House Web site so the public could follow along.

The ultimate result, he said: a report.

But that would take 30 days.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fed Steps Up Antitrust Investigation Against Monsanto

Business Week

The Justice Department has intensified its antitrust investigation into Monsanto Co., demanding internal documents that outline marketing tactics of the world's biggest seed company.

The demand, disclosed Thursday by Monsanto, formalizes a months long investigation into possible antitrust violations at the company, which has gained unprecedented power in the multibillion market for biotech seeds. It has already provided millions of pages of documents to the department and is cooperating with the agency's civil probe, spokesman Lee Quarles said Thursday.

The government asked this week for information on Monsanto's biotech soybean business, Quarles said. Monsanto's patented genes are inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S.

The government is examining whether farmers and seed companies will have access to Monsanto's popular Roundup Ready soybeans after the seeds' patent expires in 2014. The company is trying to shift customers to the next generation of patented soybeans, but said in a statement it will grant full access to the current variety even after the patent expires.

Justice Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona would not comment on the matter, but confirmed for the first time the department is "investigating the possibility of anticompetitive practices in the seed industry."

Last month, an Associated Press investigation uncovered contracts showing that Monsanto's business practices squeeze competitors, control smaller seed companies and protect its dominance over the genetically altered crops market.

One contract clause, for example, bans independent companies from breeding plants that contain both Monsanto's genes and the genes of any of its competitors, unless Monsanto gives prior written permission. That could let Monsanto effectively lock out competitors from inserting their patented traits into the vast share of U.S. crops that already contain Monsanto's genes.

Scott Partridge, Monsanto's deputy general counsel, said the company has done nothing wrong.

"Monsanto continues to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice inquiries, just as we have over the last several months," Partridge said in a statement Thursday. "We respect the thorough regulatory process. We believe our business practices are fair, pro-competitive and in compliance with the law."

Monsanto shares fell $1.22, or 1.5 percent, to $82.73 in afternoon trading Thursday.

Morgan Stanley analyst Vincent Andrews said antitrust troubles would likely fade with time and not have a significant impact on Monsanto's business. Because the department asked about access to Roundup Ready products after the patent expired, it is likely not interested in other issues around Monsanto's practices, Andrews said in a report Thursday.

"We expect this to be the sole focus of the Department of Justice's inquiry into Monsanto, and that a formal lawsuit will not be filed," Andrews said in the report.

Monsanto, which is based near St. Louis, introduced its first commercial strain of genetically engineered soybeans in 1996. The Roundup Ready plants were resistant to the herbicide, allowing farmers to spray Roundup whenever they wanted rather than wait until the soybeans had grown enough to withstand the chemical.

The company gained broad market reach over the last decade by letting competitors and independent seed companies sign licensing agreements allowing them to insert Monsanto's patented genes into their own strains of corn, soybeans and other crops.

Monsanto has the right to control how its genes are used because they are patented. Competitors worry that Monsanto could prolong its dominance for years if customers aren't allowed to use Roundup Ready seeds after the patent expires in 2014.

Monsanto said in a Dec. 15 letter to the American Soybean Association that seed companies and farmers will have access to the Roundup ready trait after its patent expires.

The company's business practices also are at the center of civil antitrust suits filed against Monsanto by its competitors, including a 2004 suit filed by Syngenta AG, that was settled with an agreement, and ongoing litigation filed this summer by DuPont in response to a Monsanto lawsuit.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

John Deere House Sold At Auction

Chicago Tribune


A major piece of Quad Cities history drew only one bid when it went on the auction block at the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department.

In Tuesday's auction, the John Deere House in Moline was sold to SaukValley Bank in Sterling for $167,000. The bank, which recently foreclosed a mortgage on the house, offered the only bid on the property.

John Deere purchased the house from grocer William Dawson in 1875, and spent the next five years more than doubling its size.

It was purchased by the City of Moline in 1993.

Roger Colmark bought the Deere house from the city for $100 in 1996 and planned to restore the home to how it looked when John Deere lived there, but the restoration was never completed. Foreclosure proceedings began last year. 

Let's Talk About The Weather

Business Week

The eastern half of the U.S. faces a cold, windy day with record-breaking temperatures in the Rocky Mountains and northern Plains. Florida orange growers likely escaped crop damage last night.

The National Weather Service issued hard freeze warnings for this morning and tonight into tomorrow morning for southern Alabama and Georgia and the northern part of Florida, including the panhandle. Such warnings alert growers of temperatures that may fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero Celsius) for more than three consecutive hours.

A southern dip of the jet stream, which normally keeps the coldest air north of the Hudson Bay in Canada, prompted record low temperatures in North Dakota and Minnesota, said Dave Samuhel, a meteorologist for AccuWeather.com Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“It has been really cold the past two nights in North Dakota and Minnesota, including 37 degrees below zero in International Falls,” Samuhel said in a telephone interview.

The temperature in that Minnesota town, typically the coldest spot in the nation, set a daily record, he said. The January record for International Falls is 46 degrees below zero, Samuhel said.

Jacksonville, Florida, fell to 26 degrees overnight, well below the typical temperature of 42 degrees, he said. A low of 20 degrees is forecast for tonight, which would break the existing record of 22 degrees, Samuhel said. Orlando may slip to 27 degrees tonight, shattering its record of 31 degrees, he said.

Florida likely escaped any crop damage since the main citrus-growing areas were above freezing last night, Samuhel said. “Tonight will be a little bit colder, but I don’t expect widespread damage.” Below-freezing temperatures wouldn’t last long enough to cause damage to the fruit, he said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month estimated Florida’s orange crop will be 0.7 percent smaller than earlier forecast because adverse weather reduced fruit size. The state is the world’s second biggest orange producer after Brazil.

The major cities along the U.S. East Coast are braced for single-digit wind chill temperatures today with winds gusting as high as 45 miles per hour from New York to Washington. The coldest overnight temperature was 16 degrees at Baltimore, Samuhel said.

“The biggest deal in all the major cities will be the wind,” he said.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Today's Implement Dealer Selling High-Tech


"We're no longer just selling iron," said Paal Haug, general manager of Haug Implement with stores at Willmar and Litchfield. "Today we're selling precision farming products and that requires special training of both our personnel and our farm customers." The firm dates back to when his great-grandfather Gunder Haug started a machinery dealership in Pennock in 1918, when actual horses were the primary source of horsepower on farms.

Thanks to the advent of Global Positioning System farming, today this John Deere dealership of 52 employees has a classroom set up at their Litchfield store with specially trained personnel doing classroom training for farmers on all aspects of GPS technology. There's also "real time" on-farm instruction on how to operate each particular system.

GPS technology breakthrough Reflecting on the past 20 years of their implement business, Haug said it definitely was the introduction of GPS in 1994-95 that opened their dealership to the explosion of new technologies and the new machinery hitched to them.

"We could see this was generating an entirely new future for the farm equipment industry. That's when we hired our first full-time Precision Farming Specialist. Still in its infancy in those days, a GPS system that permitted yield mapping in our combines was the first development," said Haug, who credits his dad, Don, for having the vision to see GPS farming's exciting potential.

What a remarkable acceptance, especially in the last few years. Today, for example, virtually every new John Deere tractor and combine is factory-equipped with the wiring and electronic harness to permit plugging in to a variety of technology capabilities, be it auto steer, yield mapping, variable seeding rate, even row command on planters.

Haug said farmers today are well-versed on what they want when they come shopping for new equipment. "They tell us what they want to accomplish with certain products and then it's our challenge to fit these products to their needs," he said.

As you might expect, there are farmers who aren't up to speed on these new technologies, so education becomes a continual mission of Haug Implement employees. Younger farmers tend to have a stronger "itch" for what's new but Haug said it's the older farmers who better understand the value of a particular new technology.

How do you quantify the value GPS technology has brought to farming? Haug said identifying "savings" to the customer is the best-selling criteria. "With auto steer, for example, because there is no overlap you save fuel, use less input product, reduce hours on your equipment, save man hours and greatly relieve the stress of doing a particular field operation.

"One of the neatest new tools is Row Command, a system of clutches on the planter which automatically shuts off point rows thus eliminating double planting. GPS has already helped you set up your field but perfectly rectangular or square fields seldom exist which means points rows are a frequent occurrence." Precision farming with on-board yield monitoring information and yield mapping gives a farmer much better information for comparing tillage systems, variable planting rates, even comparisons of drainage systems within a field.

"You virtually become your own experiment station on your own farm," said Matt Rohlik, agricultural management consultant for Haug Implement. "And that's the most important information you can have. Being able to document information both at planting time and harvest gives a significant base for making right decisions." Pricey but tremendous capabilities These new technology features cost a few bucks. The John Deere Green Star system, for example, offers three choices of auto steer capability. The SF1 package, costing about $10,000, provides 10-inch accuracy. SF2 gets accuracy down to about 4 inches and costs about $16,000. Rapidly becoming the popular choice of row-crop farmers, especially sugar beet growers, is the $20,000 RTK system with repeatable accuracy of 1-inch or less.

"Repeatability was our primary reason for going the RTK route," said Joe Sullivan of Sullivan Farms in Renville County, which runs three RTK units on their various power units and combines plus two SF2 units on big tractors doing mostly tillage work.

"It takes only about three minutes to switch a unit from a tractor doing tillage work to a tractor doing the planting," Sullivan said. "So the RTK guidance system lets us pre-program each machine to travel virtually the same wheel tracks each pass through a particular field. It's like permanent row tracks regardless the particular task being done.

"Everything about production agriculture keeps getting more exact," he said. "We now have up to 10 years of yield data on some fields. That's enough history on those soils so we're looking at more variable-rate planting. And that leads us into variable-rate fertilizer programs applied precisely as suggested by our yield maps." Sullivan said they were up to 39,000 plants per acre on certain portions of certain fields. This year working with newer hybrids and another year of crop history, they pushed to 41,000 ppa. "Despite the dry growing season yield benefit showed more at 41,000 ppa than where we cut back population on soil types suggesting lighter planting rates. So as we get more history on each field we can start adjusting planting rates, fertility inputs, perhaps even spray programs." GPS technology is an upfront cost needing justification but, once equipped, adds to future resale value.

"You don't recapture all of that initial investment but remember you've enjoyed the 'stress-free' benefits plus enough savings in just one or two years to cover the extra cost," Rohlik said. He said that generally in the resale of two similar used tractors, the one equipped with GPS technology sells first -- and for more bucks.

Despite the complexity of these electronic packages, Sullivan said John Deere's Green Star system is user-friendly, "as long as you put it together correctly." For example, they have the row command technology on their planters plus a row sensor on their combine headers that automatically does the same shut-off of row units in point-row situations. They're down to 2 1/2 acre grid analyses on their fields so precise inputs are even more practical.

Haug cautioned that glitches do occur, hence the special training of GPS technicians "so we can handle these problems rapidly. Often the glitch can even be corrected over the phone. Most farmers carry cell phones so may not even leave their combine cab or tractor cab to correct a particular electronic issue." Going forward he sees even more of this specialized instruction to farmers about new and specialized electronic systems, all geared to making production agriculture safer, easier, more efficient and more profitable.

Not bigger, but better equipment Haug doesn't visualize farm equipment getting much bigger, simply because the footprint eventually gets too large for road movement, but he does see more power being designed into the engines of future John Deere tractors. Because of precision farming he sees future improvements centering around how to better manage farm equipment.

A good example: the continual improvements and engineering versatility of John Deere planters such as row command, which permits on-the-go, in-the-row adjustments of planting rates, and the "central commodity" system that gives growers tremendous improvements in the ease and efficiency of handling seed.

Regarding future auto-steer packages, Rohlik said the RTK system is hot. "It's becoming more popular every year, especially for the farmer looking for repeatability in everything he's doing in his cropping program. You could spray in the same exact row tracks; run your combine in the same exact row tracks. It's popular for guys getting into strip tillage." If/when carbon credits become an important "trading commodity" GPS farming could take on even further dimensions.

To make RTK accuracy work regardless of what fields you are doing, Haug Implement has developed their own RTK network -- a series of nine, 100-foot tall towers -- which permits overlapping GPS accuracy regardless of where your rig is running within the five-county area of their Willmar and Litchfield stores. Other implement dealers across Minnesota are doing similar RTK network building to better serve their GPS farming world.

Farmers pay into the system to get the benefits. Rohlik said it's a one-time upfront cost of $3,900 into their RTK network plus yearly fees of $200 per "rover unit" on your equipment. Each tower in the Haug RTK system provides electronic accuracy within a 25-mile radius.

Sullivan likely speaks for many farmers in GPS farming when he said, "perhaps the biggest benefit is simply less stress on the operator. We all know that during the planting and harvesting crunch time, 16- to 18-hour days can happen. With GPS and auto steer, we can now do that schedule and stay both more relaxed and alert." He also now has 10 years of yield data on selected fields and that's a world of useful information when they chart planting rates, fertility programs, spray issues, etc.

GPS might even make harvesting easier. Relating to the harvest challenges this fall, if a combine was working a field with down corn, Sullivan said the RTK system showed the operator exactly where the rows should be and guided the combine accordingly.

Sullivan, 28, and a real student of GPS technology, said further improvements will be coming such as multiple RTK units in the same field being able to "talk to each other." Right now with two planters working the same field only one of the RTK units is going to work citing that if one planter unit did the headlands, only the auto shut-off system on that particular planter will work. The same challenge occurs with two combines harvesting the same field -- automatic shut-off at rows end will be working only on one of the combines.

So stay tuned. As helpful as GPS systems already have become, they will get better.

Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau president and a GPS farmer, said "it's saving fuel. It's making us more efficient on every acre. And it's certainly less stressful. I think if you would have told me even 10 years ago that I would be in the field with a tractor that's steering itself, and while that's happening I'm on my Blackberry twittering a message to some elected official, I would have said 'you're nuts'. But that's the amazing technology at our fingertips today."