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, February 23, 2010

Deere Dealership Celebrating 40 Years in the Business

Farmers Guardian

HERTFORDSHIRE and Bedfordshire-based John Deere dealers J.E.Buckle Engineers will reach its 40th birthday come April. The business relies on strong family ties to ensure it continues to grow, with no fewer than four Buckle family members running the company on a day-to-day basis.

Formed by the late Jim Buckle and his wife Ann in 1970, the business has bloomed from a one man and service van outfit to become one of the leading and most respected machinery dealers in the UK.

A turnover of just under £10 million in 2009 is testament to the company, which employs 32 staff in total across two depots at Cromer, near Stevenage, and at a new site at Maulden in Bedfordshire.

Buckles originally took on the John Deere agricultural equipment franchise at Cromer in 1988, with the dealership opening its second branch at Millbrook in Bedfordshire in 2000, starting with just three staff before transferring to Maulden in December 2009.

“We have effectively doubled turnover and staff numbers across the whole business since 2002,” says managing director Gary Buckle, who continues the family tradition alongside mother Ann, brother Paul and sister Julie Murr.

The new premises have a showroom, fully-equipped workshop and parts stock room, as well as meeting areas for staff and visitors. Buckles also offers products from manufacturers such as Kuhn, Manitou, Gregoire Besson, Spearhead, Kockerling and Bailey Trailers.

“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our Maulden branch open days from March 30th to April 1st, which will include two days of working equipment demonstrations,” Gary adds.

After-sales care is as a key to Buckles’ service, and two of the company’s technicians recently gained LTA4 Master Technician status. Dan Massey and Kevin Drage at Cromer were presented with their certificates and registration cards in recognition of this achievement at Lamma in January.

Other technicians are on their LTA3 level award too. The company also employs AMS specialists and is a certified John Deere sprayer dealer, recognising the expertise needed to ensure good advice is offered to customers.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ashok Leyland to Enter Construction Equipment Business with John Deere

India Times

CHENNAI: Ashok Leyland, India’s second-biggest commercial vehicle maker by sales, is all set to make a foray this year into the booming construction equipment segment dominated by players such as Telcon of Tata Motors, JB, Escorts, L&T, Caterpillar and Komatsu.

Ashok Leyland CFO K Sridharan told ET on Wednesday that the joint venture with John Deere to manufacture construction equipment will take off in December this year. The company is setting up a facility near Gummidipoondi and has started testing products in the market. ALL floated the 50:50 joint venture in September 2008.

“The facility is being set up with an initial investment of less than Rs 300 crore and will roll out the products by year end. It will produce John Deere construction equipment like backhoes and four wheel drive loaders. We will start with a market share of 15%. We have examined some of the inherent disadvantages faced by existing players and corrected them in our venture.”

Mr Sridharan expectes the venture to do a business of Rs 300-Rs 400 crore in the first full year of operation. It will leverage on the technology muscle of JD and ALL’s manufacturing strength, engineering skills and distribution network. It will adopt a co-branding strategy using the names of both the partners.

Mr Sridharan said ALL’s plant in Uttrakhand will go on stream in the first week of March. It will be the only plant to start producing vehicles ahead of March 31 when the excise duty exemption will come to an end. It has been set up with an investment of Rs 1,100 crore with a capacity of 50,000 vehicles. In the first year, it will produce 25,000 vehicles.

“We expect the next year to be a landmark one for the company in terms of production. We will no longer be plagued by capacity constraints. We will go aggressive in pushing sales. While our internal target is to sell 90,000 vehicles, we hope to sell about 80,000 to 85,000 vehicles, including exports of 7,500 vehicles.”

The CFO noted that this will be a big jump over the expected sales of 65,000 vehicles in 2009-10 and beat the previous peak of 83,307 vehicles sold in 2007-08. “Our game plan will be to maximise production at the existing plants as well as to get additional production from the Uttrakhand plant taking advantage of the 8% excise duty relief or Rs 50,000 saving per vehicle.”

Hoping to get RBI approval soon for the new NBFC (Hinduja Leyland Finance), Mr Sridharan said as such finance is not an issue. It has tied up with 12 banks and the PSU banks have increased their share from 4% to 12% based on the government’s policy to support SME sector.

Mr Sridharan said on top of the capex of Rs 950 crore this year, it plans to spend Rs 1,200 crore in the next two years. It will be required to
raise only Rs 400-Rs 500 crore per year. He clarified that the proposed 15% price increase in vehicles is meant for the change in emission standards from Euro III to IV or from Bharat Stage III to IV. That depends on when the government wanted to make the change.

As such, the company took price action in January based on the commodity based increase in cost. It will act further based on cost-push factors such as steel and rubber prices.

He said the 15% price increase will happen predominantly in buses which are operated in the cities and when they moved to Bharat Stage IV. In the truck segment, the increase will be a maximum of Rs 50,000 or 5% when they moved from Bharat stage II to III emission norms.

While expecting no radical change in the stimulus package and complete withdrawal of excise-duty cut, he said at the most a 2-4% increase is expected. This will be passed on to the consumer and therefore the company hopes to maintain its margin. He also expected Budget to step up allocation for road building under NHAI and Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission

Monday, February 15, 2010

Farm Toys Draw Young and Old Alike in Cassopolis

South Bend Tribune

Farming has always been in Jerry Zahner's blood — for better or worse.

He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, and passed along his trade to his two grown sons.

"I wish my father would have been a doctor," Zahner, 62, of Wakarusa, said with a laugh. "Then I might have been a doctor, too. It's a hard job."

But kidding aside, Zahner wouldn't do it if he didn't have the passion and pedigree for working the earth.

One of those passions that came from farming over the decades has been collecting miniature farm toys. In all, he said he likely has thousands of them.

"It's been something that's kept me busy," he said.

Hundreds of farm toys were on display Saturday at the second annual Farm Toy Show at Brookside Learning Center on Dailey Road west of Cassopolis. In total, there were 47 tables divided between about 15 venders, up from last year's total of 25 tables, organizer Tim Wallace said.

Thousands of such toys, mostly tractors and combines, were shown off — from green tractors to yellow and red combines. Like Zahner, many venders have been traveling — sometimes great lengths — to farm toy shows for decades and have formed tight bonds with those around them.

Jane Demske, 62, of Pierceton, Ind., has been coming to such shows with her family for 40 years. Her husband, Jim, who died from cancer last August, packed the family up two weekends a month for decades. Demske, who was attending a show for the first time since her husband passed, had hundreds of cars, tractors and other farm equipment miniatures displayed on her table.

She'll eventually hold an auction at her home at the end of the year to sell off most of her husband's toys — except for one dresser of her husband's favorites, which will be kept.

"The kids grew up on these," she said. "We would pack the whole family up and go to these all over; it would be our vacation. It's been a big part of our family. The kids made so many great friends."

Demske's daughter, Kary Gentry, said her son learned to walk at a show, and that she slept in boxes on the tables when she was a kid.

Bruce Hart, 72, of Niles, and his wife, Jean, said they have been collecting for at least 15 years and have an estimated $20,000 worth of farm toys.

"We've met so many wonderful people," she said. "But it's a lot of work. There's so much packing and re-opening."

Zahner said it took him three or four hours early Saturday morning to unpack his items and display them on the tables.

But it's worth it if he comes away with a little money, especially since last year was tough on farmers.

"I don't do it for my health," he said with a smile.

Asked just how many he has in total, Zahner said he couldn't even guess.

"This," he said looking at the table in front of him, "is just a drop in the bucket."

He's had miniature tractors and combines of all sizes and makes — from John Deere toys, the most common, to McCormick-Deering Farmall and Minneapolis Moline. Some of his rare items include grain combines — about the size of a toy car — that actually run when you turn them on. The grain head moves, the doors open and the steering wheel shifts.

"It runs better than a regular run," Zahner said.

And costs more when you figure in its size. One of them can go for $2,300 at such shows, he said.

Some people, many of whom are farmers, showed up just to browse. That was the case for Mike Bradley, of Cassopolis, and his 12-year-old son, Jacob.

"It's grown threefold this year," Bradley said. "Some of the displays are pretty neat."

Jacob, meanwhile, is well on his way to becoming a collector, having 40 to 50 toys already. He said he, too, could get to 1,000 someday like so many of the collectors on hand.

And his dad just laughed at the thought of having such a large collection.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Clearing Up Misconceptions About Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture

The Farmer

Media reports are associating the use of antibiotics in livestock production with antibiotic resistance in humans. Iowa State University veterinary professor Dr. Scott Hurd, who is a former USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety, says this concern is not based in science. Hurd emphasizes that pork producers adopt withdrawal periods for antibiotics, which protects the meat supply. The main issue is actually resistant organisms so Hurd says it is a much bigger, more difficult topic.
In 2000, Denmark implemented a blanket ban on preventative antibiotics. That ban has been repeatedly highlighted in media reports about antibiotic resistance. Hurd, who spent some time in Denmark as the ban was moving forward, is able to offer some perspective on the Danish ban.

"Immediately after that ban, in swine the number of pigs that had to be treated for illness actually doubled and that trend continued for many years after the ban," Hurd said. "The World Health Organization did a study in 2002 and they said very clearly they could find no evidence that human health has actually improved or that risk has actually been reduced."

The media has unfairly portrayed this as a food safety story. Hurd says an antibiotic ban would actually decrease the health of meat animals entering the food supply.

"Antibiotics and other treatments and management are used in livestock in order to produce healthy animals, which result in healthy food," Hurd said. "As the deputy undersecretary I was in charge of all food and meat inspection in the United States. Our first concern is to make sure that no unhealthy animal enters the food chain, so obviously healthy animals are an important part of that, antibiotics are an important part of making animals healthy and getting those into the food chain."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seeds Could be in Short Supply

San Francisco Chronicle

Dreaming of biting into a garden-fresh cucumber sandwich this summer? Better order your seeds now.

A poor growing season last year and increased orders from Europe could make it difficult for home gardeners to get seeds for the most popular cucumber variety and some vegetables this spring. Farmers, who usually grow different varieties than home gardeners, aren't likely to be affected.

Seeds for what's known as open-pollinated cucumbers seem to be most scarce, but carrots, snap peas and onions also could be in short supply.

"I suspect there will be some seeds you just won't be able to buy if you wait too long on it," said Bill Hart, the wholesale manager in charge of seed purchasing at Chas. C. Hart Seed Co. in Wethersfield, Conn. "The sugar snap peas we're not able to get at all, and other companies that have it will sell out pretty quickly."

The problem is primarily because of soggy weather last year that resulted in a disappointing seed crop. European seed growers also had a bad year, leading to a big increase in orders for American seeds.

Demand for seeds in the United States soared last year, as the poor economy and worries about chemical use and bacteria contamination prompted many people to establish gardens. Homegrown food seemed safer and more affordable. But some wonder if the wet weather that ruined gardens in many areas last summer will discourage first-time gardeners from planting again.

"A lot of people are getting into it, but it was a disastrous year for gardens last year because it was so cold and wet," said wholesale seed distributor Mel Brekke, who owns Brekke's Town and Country near Ames, Iowa.

Kathy Gocke of Bondurant, Iowa, said she orders seeds early for herself and her county's master gardener's program and advises others to do the same.

"If you do it before the first of January, they have a pretty good stock," Gocke said.

Burpee Seeds in Warminster, Pa., bills itself as the largest provider of home garden seeds, and Chief Executive Officer George Ball said the company's huge reserves mean it will have plenty of seeds. But Ball said he understands why others might have limited supplies after a big spike in demand in the past two years.

"It was unlike anything I've seen in the past 30 years," he said.

Barbara Melera, owner of D. Landreth Seeds of New Freedom, Pa., expects carrot seeds to be especially hard to find because of big orders from Europe, which had a poor crop last year. Also, fewer farmers are opting to grow seeds, she said. Many now have switched to growing corn for the biofuels industry.

"In this country, farmers who grow things for seed are becoming an endangered species," Melera said. "The farms producing things for seeds is reduced significantly, and in the past two to three years they can get more money for growing corn for ethanol plants than carrots for seeds."

Jennifer Nothwehr, seed coordinator for Earl May, a seed and nursery business in Shenandoah, Iowa, said she hasn't run into shortages, but her company typically orders its seeds from wholesalers a year in advance. They received and packaged the seeds they'll sell this year last fall, and because they set prices last spring, any shortage won't affect them.

Nothwehr also said that while popular varieties, like one known as the straight eight cucumber, may be hard to find, others are available.

"One of the most popular carrots we can't get, but we have four other varieties we can get if a customer wants to try something different," she said.

Hart said his family business has a small retail operation, and he's noticed people coming in earlier than usual this year, possibly because of worries over a shortage of seeds.

"I don't know if they're hoping for spring or just hoping to get going," he said.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Fresh Look at Food

Salisbury Post

A new way of thinking about food.

That's what the documentary "Fresh," screened last Thursday in Salisbury, was designed to promote.

The screening at Catawba College's Center for the Environment was co-sponsored by the center, Bread Riot and Wild Turkey Farms.

A panel discussion followed, featuring Dr. Chris Magryta of Salisbury Pediatrics, Maggie Blackwell of the Salisbury City Council and Bread Riot, Lee Menius of Wild Turkey Farms and Libby Post, director of child nutrition for Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

The innovative way "Fresh" is being distributed around the country seems to fit its subject matter. Rather than screening in theatres, it's been released to small groups — who often discuss its content afterward — in order to create a shift in consciousness from a grassroots level.

The goal, according to the "Fresh" Web site, has been to "create a ripple effect" and help "reach a tipping point where sustainable food is no longer a niche market but mainstream."

With 200 people attending locally, there is clearly strong interest locally.

The movie explains different farming approaches and ultimately expresses optimism that we can evolve beyond our current industrialized farming paradigm to smaller, more sustainable — and still profitable — models.

The movie begins with a poultry farm that packs huge numbers of chickens into small spaces, giving them antibiotic-laced feed to prevent the illness that often accompanies such stressful conditions.

Such a "monoculture," with large numbers of a single species grown together, is not healthy or sustainable in the long term, the film argues, whether it's chickens or cottons or soybeans being exclusively grown.

For example, in the cattle feedlot model, with no field crops, vast lagoons of waste are produced, creating serious environmental issues.

And when only crops are grown, with no animals to produce the manure that keeps fields healthy, huge amounts of chemical fertilizer must be used, since planting the same crop year in, year out, depletes the soil.

In the ideal system, diversity promotes health and efficiency. Animal waste goes back into the soil, so plant crops don't need chemical fertilizers.

The film questions factory farming without demonizing those who practice it, since many farmers have simply done what "experts" have recommended in recent years.

Joel Salatin is one farmer, from Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, who practices sustainable farming. Salatin, who is featured prominently in Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," explains that cows are herbivores and points out that in our quest for cheap food and more "efficient" farming methods, some farming operations are feeding animal protein — "dead cows" — to cows.

Salatin said that when his father acquired the farm many years ago, he rejected the prevailing wisdom and chose to follow a more natural template.

Following in his father's footsteps, Salatin is an outspoken and charismatic advocate of grass feeding. After the cows have grazed one area, it's the chickens' turn to follow behind, pecking through the waste, eating what's useful for them, including undigested grain and bugs.

His chickens are allowed, Salatin says, "to fully express their chicken-ness."

(It's an approach that is quite similar to what Lee and Domisty Menius are doing at Wild Turkey Farms near China Grove.)

Hog farmer Russ Kremer explained that when he went to college, increased production was the main goal for the modern farmer.

"I got hung up on efficiency," he says. He finally came to the realization that his "efficient" operation was anything but. His hogs were constantly sick, he says, and he spent much of his time injecting them with medication.

He had an epiphany after one of his boar hogs stabbed him in the kneecap.

The resulting strep infection, he believes, was a particularly virulent "monster" strain because of the overuse of antibiotics — common practice in the industry.

Deciding he'd gone down the wrong path, he exterminated his whole herd and started over, with a radically different approach.

As a result, the diseases disappeared, and Kremer says he hasn't used an antibiotic on his hogs in 14 years. His vet bills have all but disappeared.

He now raises 300 hogs — fewer than before, but enough for him to earn a living. Raising fewer animals will mean

that farmers will need to make more on each one, but the writer of "Omnivore's Dilemma" Michael Pollan points out that local and organic food, while more expensive, is a higher value product.

Cheap food is an illusion, he says, when the bill is ultimately charged to the environment or to our health.

Farm subsidies, he points out, tend to go to crops like soybeans and corn, which are main ingredients of unhealthy processed food.

The movie also highlights Will Allen, an urban farmer and activist who farms on three acres in Milwaukee. More importantly, perhaps, Allen teaches what he knows and spreads the gospel of healthy food production.

The film also looks at David Ball, owner of a chain of independent supermarkets dedicated to supporting local sustainable agriculture.

Discussion Thursday night after the film focused on shopping locally, from local producers. Many questions concerned how consumers could support local producers.

City Council member and Bread Riot member Maggie Blackwell emphasized the importance of people supporting local businesses and building relationships with the farmers who grow our food. Exposing your children to those relationships makes them feel like part of a community, she said.

She mentioned several farmer's markets available seasonally in Salisbury — the Salisbury Farmer's Market and one at the hospital. She also mentioned the Bread Riot, a community group that has formed buying relationships with local producers to support local production.

Dr. Chris Magryta spoke on the relationship of food and disease, and how making positive changes in the way we eat can forestall or prevent the onset of many diseases.

He pointed out that grass-fed beef, which contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, is preferable to grain-fed beef, which contains the kind of fat that can cause an inflammatory response in our bodies.

Lee Menius, owner of Wild Turkey Farms, spoke of promoting a different way to farm, and of the need to help farmers transition from the old way of doing things to a more sustainable model. "Markets need to be in place," he said. He also spoke of the loss of the infrastructure to support sustainable farming — for example, he has to drive miles in order to find a plant that will process his meat.

Libby Post, who is head of cafeteria services in the local schools, talked about changes being made in the schools, including more fresh vegetables offered, with an emphasis on locally and regionally produced produce when feasible.

Dr. John Wear, executive director of the Center for the Environment, pointed out that the center will be offering spring and summer workshops on creating community gardens, as well as planning, planting, harvesting and preserving food.

A reception at the event included food provided by Bame Farms, Poplin Farms, Laughing Owl Farm, Goat Lady Dairy, New Moon Organics, Fisher Farm and the Bread Basket.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Enrollment in U.S. Agriculture Schools Growing

The Modesto Bee

Tristesse Jones probably never will drive a tractor or guide a combine through rows of soybeans at harvest time.

There isn't a farm within miles of where she grew up on Chicago's west side, but she's set to graduate with a bachelor's degree in crop sciences from the University of Illinois' agricultural school next spring.

"People ask me what is my major, and they say 'What is that? So you want to grow plants?' " Jones said.

She is one of a growing number of students drawn to U.S. agricultural schools not by ties to a farm but by science, the job prospects for those who are good at it, and interest in the environment.

Enrollment in bachelor's degree programs in agriculture across the country grew 21.8 percent from 2005 to 2008, from about 58,300 students to nearly 71,000, according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the numbers are likely higher -- not all schools respond to the surveys.

National enrollment figures for 2009 aren't available, but numbers from major schools make clear that the trend continues: The University of California at Davis has more than 5,490 students enrolled in agricultural majors -- a jump of 210 from a year earlier. Purdue University has 2,575 ag students this fall, up 40 from last year.

Yet the number of farms nationwide has been dropping for decades.

There were about 2.4 million farms in the United States in 1978, and 2.2 million last year, the USDA claims.

Educators say many students are choosing to major in agriculture after finding out that much of what they'll learn is science -- biology, chemistry and a long list of specialized skills that can land jobs at companies that produce seeds and chemicals for farms, or in nascent industries such as biofuels.

Almost a quarter of the University of Wisconsin's incoming freshmen want to do "something in biology," said Bob Ray, associate dean for undergraduate programs and services.

Agricultural schools are doing their best to reach out to these students.

Texas A&M University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has several full-time recruiters on the road talking to high school students. It also uses its Web site, YouTube and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to reach prospective students. A lot of the messages focus on job prospects.

"Every one of our poultry science graduates, they average about five job offers per graduate," college spokesman Bill Gibbs said.

Demand for science graduates, agriculture industry officials say, outstrips supply.
Monsanto, the St. Louis agribusiness giant that makes seeds, pesticides and an array of other farm products, can't hire enough.

"We find it really hard to find people in science, in particular, because they tend to get snatched up by medical and health care-related things," Monsanto spokesman Darren Wallis said, adding that it has openings for 100 researchers in St. Louis.

UC Davis' College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is one of the country's biggest ag schools and still has many students studying in traditional areas, said Diane Ullman, the college's associate dean for undergraduate academic programs.

But more than 3,200 of UC Davis' ag students -- almost 60 percent -- are studying so-called human sciences such as nutrition, or environmental sciences such as environmental policy and landscape architecture.

"I think that young people are recognizing all of the issues that surround our society that have to do with food, and I think there's a real interest in new ways of doing things and solving some of these problems," Ullman said.