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, August 28, 2012

Investors Thirsty Amid Drought

 Original article appeared in USA Today

Thirsty investors are finding ways to profit as an ongoing drought sends commodity prices soaring. Soybean and corn prices are hitting all-time highs and rising fast as parched fields threaten the nation's food production cycle. Companies that consult on Alternative Energy solutions are poised to benefit.

And while the most severe drought in decades may mean higher food prices for consumers next year, investors are finding ways to make money now. International Arbitration services handle all aspects of the arbitration process.

"The costs will go up and go right through the entire food chain. It's going to be significant," said a representative with DLS Capital. "Look for food inflation, no doubt about it." Expert Environmental Engineering Analysis is available. Given the size of the dry spell baking major sections of the Midwest, the world's biggest grain-production center, investors are keying on:

  • The rapid rise of agricultural commodity prices. Corn and soybeans are in the hot zone for the fast price increase. Going into the year, the Agricultural Department expected yields of 166 bushels of corn an acre; that's fallen to 123 bushels, says Paul Georgy, CEO of Allendale, a commodity market research firm. Corn prices rose from $5.50 a bushel earlier in the year to a record $8.49 on Aug. 10, says Bloomberg. That's a 64% jump since mid-June. Troubled Projects or Businesses can seek resolution.
  • Disruption to the livestock market. Locate a Consulting Firm to assist in the analysis and resolution of issues relating to business, construction or engineering. Corn, soybeans and alfalfa prices have risen so much, it's affecting meat producers, who use those commodities as raw materials to feed their herds, Georgy says. Meat producers are losing roughly $200 a head on cattle and $50 a hog, as it costs more to feed the animals than their meat can be sold for, he says. Big meat producers such as Tyson and Smithfield are suffering; their stocks have fallen 27% and 21%, respectively, this year, a period in which the Standard & Poor's 500 is up 12.2%.
  • Stocks poised to benefit. Investors able to look beyond the current crop can find ways to profit, says Evan Smith of U.S. Global's Global Resources Fund. With grain prices high and inventory low, farmers will aggressively plant next year to profit, he says. Monsanto, which has already seen its shares rise 22% this year following a busy planting season in 2012, will benefit again, Smith says. Meanwhile, fertilizer makers CF Industries and Potash are likely to see strong demand in 2013 as farmers look to boost their yields when they replant, Smith says. Shares of CF are up 43% this year; Potash's are flat.
Prices are expected to continue to rise world-wide.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Drought Leveling Off, Problems Remain

Original article appeared in the Star Tribune 

With drought conditions leveling off, after reaching the worst dry period in decades, federal weather forecasters announced Thursday report is still of little comfort for farmers and ranchers who were hit hard. Farmers will rely on Ripper Points to cut through damaged top soil, as they begin to till under losses.

While the latest forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center calls for the drought to linger in the nation's breadbasket and parts of some mountain states at least through November, it provided a silver lining with the news that conditions aren't expected to get worse. Now is the time to replace worn Irrigation Tires in preparation for next season.

Conditions may even improve in the Southwest and in a band sweeping from South Dakota through a section of Iowa and east to southern Indiana, then south to Texas. Some areas have seen rain and cooler temperatures in recent weeks, although one forecaster cautioned he doesn't expect enough extra rain to end the drought. Nebraska Pole Barns offers refuge for livestock and protection for equipment and feed as they protect from the harsh summer sun.

A seasonal forecaster at the center, said his September-through-November outlook "is taking away the dry, but not necessarily making it wet." An Illinois state climatologist said he would describe the drought as "leveling off," rather than easing.

The rain and break in 100-degree temperatures comes too late for most farmers and ranchers, who already have seen crops wither and pastures dry up. Corn farmers in some areas cut their fields weeks ago, giving the year up as a loss. Many ranchers have sold livestock because they had no grass for grazing or money to buy feed.

Even farmers who still have crops in the field aren't likely to benefit from rain this late in the growing season. In some areas, farmers who planted corn early in the unusually warm spring have started harvesting.

"The impact in a lot of places has been done for this year, and any easing will just help things out a little next year," said a National Climatic Data Center scientist who put together the latest weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

The update showed the drought worsening in Kansas and Nebraska even as it eased in other key farming states.

Overall, the amount of the continental U.S. mired in drought remained about the same at 61.8 percent as of Tuesday. The portion enduring extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — also remained virtually unchanged at 24.14 percent.

In Iowa, the nation's leader in corn production, there was good news, with the amount of land in the two worst categories of drought dropping 7 percentage points in the past week to 62.05 percent, thanks to recent storms.

Conditions also got slightly better in Illinois, another key supplier of corn and soybeans, with the amount of land in the two worst drought categories slipping from 81.18 percent to 79.54 percent.

But in Nebraska, the amount of land in exceptional drought spiked by 19 percentage points to 22.5 percent, and in Kansas, it jumped from 38.6 percent to 63.3 percent.

The deepening drought continues to strain a Kansas rancher who has sold off one-fourth of his 320-cow herd as heat and drought burned up his pastures. He has spent the summer scrambling to find grazing and haul water to his cattle.

Just last Friday, he peddled 37 more cows at a sale barn and took all his calves to a feedlot to take the stress off his remaining animals. Cows that were nursing had started to lose body fat, and their ribs and backbone were showing.

A neighbor said he feels fortunate he has been able to move the cows he has left to 1,000 acres of conservation land opened for grazing by the federal government.

"We will find a way to keep these cows through the winter," he said. "I guess the sad reality is we won't know until spring whether we are out of this situation. We have to have precipitation — in the form of snow and spring and fall rains — to put enough moisture back in the soil to grow pastureland."

The U.S. Agriculture Department twice has slashed its forecast for this year's corn and soybean output because of the drought and now expects the nation to produce 10.8 billion bushels of corn, the least since 2006. If that estimate holds, the federal government says it will be enough to meet the world's needs and avoid shortages, but experts say food prices will almost certainly climb as corn is an ingredient in many products.

This has been one of the hottest years on record, according to NOAA scientists.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tires Seen From Space

Story first appeared in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

The sprawling pile of hundreds of thousands of tires including tractor tires isn't easy to spot from the ground, sitting in a rural South Carolina clearing accessible by only a circuitous dirt path that winds through thick patches of trees. No one knows how all those tire got there, or when.

But, Calhoun County council Chairman David Summers said of these giant rubber menace, that you can see it from space.

Authorities have charged one person in connection with the mess of roughly 250,000 tires, which covers more than 50 acres on statelite images. Now a Florida company is helping haul it all away.

Litter control officer Boyce Till said he contacted the local sheriff and state health department, which in investigating who had been dumping the tires that are said to include ag tires. But the worst possible penalty that could be imposed locally? A single $475 ticket for littering.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Original story first appeared in USA TODAY.
John Deere chairman and chief executive officer Samuel Allen has aligned the manufacturer with military and aviation interests against a broadband proposal by Virginia-based LightSquared. Allen said LightSquared's proposal for 40,000 new cellphone towers in rural areas would push the global-positioning systems in farmers' tractors and combines further down the band, compromising movements across the fields.
Allen said that it's not a money issue for them; they contract with GPS providers, but precision agriculture is vital.
Lightsquared has said it would resolve potential interference for most GPS users. The Federal Communications Commission is due to report on the matter later this summer, but Allen thinks ultimately Congress will make the final call.
Allen stated that what he worries about more than anything in this business is government action, particularly if it comes suddenly. He feels they can handle volatile commodity prices and mechanical and engineering problems. It's always the public issues that worry him.
In a wide-ranging interview at Deere's Eero Saarinen-designed corporate headquarters in Moline this month, Allen talked about Deere's business, the agriculture industry, golf and other topics.
To ease his edginess about the vagaries of politics, Allen is confident that high commodity prices will continue and will be something of a buffer against the expected changes in ethanol tax policies or the farm bill next year.
As head of the world's biggest maker of agricultural equipment, Allen is automatically a senior statesman in agriculture.
The boom in agriculture and partial recovery of the industrial equipment sector has put Deere Financial, the company's credit arm, on stronger ground.
But Deere Financial has developed a unique problem.
Allen said they have to be creative to find ways to get financing business for agricultural customers, because they are in such good cash position now that their biggest competition for credit business is the farmer with cash.
Allen is a John Deere lifer who joined the company in 1975 after receiving an industrial engineering degree from Purdue University.
He succeeded Robert Lane as CEO in 2009 after being president of Deere's Worldwide Construction and Forestry Division. Earlier he oversaw human resources and credit operations and from 1999 to 2001 was Deere's senior officer in China.
Allen's first year as CEO in 2009 was rocky. A dip in agricultural commodity prices and the construction recession forced Deere to temporarily lay off more than 1,400 workers.
While agricultural equipment sales held their own in the post-2008 recession, a plunge in sales of industrial and forestry equipment to 50-year lows took Deere's stock down from $73 per share in mid-2008 to less than $40 per share when Allen became CEO 49 months ago.
But in the last year Deere has caught a break as corn, wheat and cotton prices have doubled, soybeans are up more than 50 percent and construction activity has picked up.
Deere's shares reached $92 per share earlier this summer and the company has forecast double-digit increases of sales along most of its product lines.
Numbers like those impress shareholders and analysts, as well as dealers and farmers.
Allen's low-key approach won over Mike Brelsford, a Perry-area farmer. Brelsford had reason to appreciate Deere's pioneering approach to equipment.
Brelsford was one of the first buyers of Deere's 48-row planter, and the machine paid off this spring when corn planting was delayed until late April by wet, cold conditions. They started on April 30 and got their entire corn and bean crop, over 5,000 acres, planted in 10 days, and that included several moves of 30 miles or more.
Brelsford was just an extreme example of the power of modern big equipment agriculture, which uses 24 and 16-row planters pulled by tractors with 500 or more horsepower and 16-row cornheads on combines.
"Industrial" agriculture is a frequent target for critics. But to Brelsford, bigness is simply an answer to a problem.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Private Equity sees 'Buckets of Money' in Water Buys


Water scarcity will generate big returns for the irrigation sector once climate change and population growth take their toll on farming, private equity managers said on Tuesday.

Asked at an agriculture investing conference whether it is possible to make money from water, typically a public good rather than a bankable commodity, Judson Hill of NGP Global Adaptation Partners was unequivocal.

"Buckets, buckets of money," he told the meeting of bankers and investors in Geneva, a leading European hub for commodity trading. "There are many ways to make a very attractive return in the water sector if you know where to go."

Smart irrigation technology will be at a premium in arid regions and places where higher crop yields are needed to meet rising food demand, Hill said, also citing opportunities from water rights in Australia and parts of the United States.

"Irrigation is a big industry and it is growing. I think it's going to grow dramatically," he said, estimating the sector at $3.5 billion today. "In parts of the U.S. we still grow rice in the desert, as crazy as that is. I think that will change."

Gary Taylor, a partner with AgriCura, a fund focused on U.S. corn, soybean, cotton, rice and wheat farming, said water was fundamental to smart agricultural land investments.

"We have done extensive work to understand the aquifer system along the Mississippi river and do believe over the term of our fund that water will become increasingly important," Taylor, a former executive at Cargill, said.

For agricultural equipment manufacturers such as  John Deere, there are also opportunities in tailoring irrigation systems to drought-resistant seeds developed by companies such as Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta.

"There are very efficient ways to approach irrigation," said Cory Reed, John Deere's director of strategic marketing, describing a need to water certain commodity crops with careful volumes on a fixed schedule.

Hill also named links with communities as critical to gaining traction in the "very, very local" water sector, where investments can involve negotiations with governments amid growing awareness about scarcity risks.

"The water business is very much like the energy business was 20 or 25 years ago," he said. "As the price of water increases we are all going to become better stewards, not because we all become environmentalists but because it will affect our pocketbooks."

Friday, November 5, 2010

School brings Farming to Big Apple

Kansas City Star

No one expects to find beets and carrots in a sliver of the South Bronx wedged between Metro-North Railroad tracks and a busy elevated highway.

But there they are, along with late-season eggplant, tomatoes, basil and habanero peppers, all growing in a pocket-sized farm called La Finca del Sur, Spanish for Farm of the South.

The formerly weed-choked vacant lot will be a classroom for a new venture called Farm School NYC: The New York City School of Urban Agriculture.

Starting in January, the school will offer a two-year course aimed at developing "the next generation of leaders who will work to use urban agriculture to transform their communities into healthy food communities," said executive director Jacquie Berger.

The school is not yet accredited, but Berger said a number of colleges have expressed interest in partnering with Farm School to offer accreditation in the future.

Once it is up and running, Farm School will join an urban agriculture movement that includes former professional basketball player Will Allen's Growing Power, which operates farms in Milwaukee and Chicago with the goal of creating "a just world, one food-secure community at a time."

The movement has a bimonthly magazine, Lexington, Ky.-based Urban Farm. Magazine editor Lisa Munniksma said Farm School would serve a useful purpose because "a lot of people who are interested in growing food for themselves or for others in cities or in suburbs don't have a lot of agricultural skills."

One of Farm School's instructors will be Karen Washington, a longtime urban farmer and a founder of La Finca del Sur, which sells its produce at a farmer's market.

Washington said she hopes Farm School will serve as a prototype for other urban centers by providing "the incentive to say, you know what? We can do the same thing."

On a crisp fall afternoon, Washington stopped by La Finca on her way to pick up chickens for a community garden in another Bronx neighborhood. It is legal to keep hens in New York City but not roosters - too noisy. Beekeeping was legalized this year.

She grabbed a handful of soil and said, "This is life here. This is what we call black gold because it's compost. Smell it."

Washington said she hopes to train students for jobs like working in the school system to oversee school gardens or canning and selling local produce.

A lifelong New Yorker who has grown food for 20 years, Washington also works as a physical therapist.

Her routine of rising early to farm before heading off to her day job is not so different from the lives of many small farmers in rural America, even if they till 300 acres instead of three.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average family farm household in 2010 will receive just 11 percent of its income from farm sources. The rest is largely from off-farm jobs. Sixty percent of the nation's family farms are small farms with gross annual sales of less than $10,000.

For Farm School students who hope to scratch out a living in agriculture, the second year of the program will include training in setting up a business plan, Berger said.

But for many the overriding goal is to grow nutritious food in neighborhoods where a dearth of fresh produce contributes to health problems like obesity and diabetes.

"When you grow food in the city it's such a visible act," Berger said. "It has such a visceral impact on the neighborhood around it."

Farm School will start with 10 students who will commit to one evening and one weekend day each week. Another group of more casual students will take one class at a time. Tuition is on a sliding scale starting at $1 per course hour.

Farm School is a program of a nonprofit organization called Just Food, which also promotes other agricultural initiatives in New York.

Berger said the school will have classroom space at Just Food's Manhattan offices but most classes will be hands-on and outdoors.

One of the first students will be Tanya Fields, a Bronx activist who said she believes in urban agriculture "as a community development tool."

Fields didn't start out as a farmer. "I don't really have a green thumb," she said. "I don't know how my acrylic tips are going to feel about this."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deere Lawnmowers Recalled


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of John Deere mowers with foot lift option due to an injury hazard.

About 6,450 John Deere EZtrak Zero Turn lawnmowers were manufactured by Deere & Co. of Moline, Ill., and sold nationwide -- except in California -- from February 2009 through September 2010 for about $5,300.

The BM22809 Premium Foot Lift Kit, sold separately from mowers for about $80, is also being recalled, the commission said.

A bolt on the steering lever can catch on the tab of the foot lift stop and lock in place, the commission said. This can stick the steering lever in a forward position, which poses a risk of injury to users.

The recall involves numerous models of Z445 riding mowers with 54-inch-high decks and 7445 or 7465 Zero-Turn Mowers with Premium Foot Lift features.

Consumers were advised to stop using the mowers and contact a John Deere dealer to have the lift stop bracket removed.

Consumers can call 800-537-8233 for information.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fair Showcases Alternative Fuel, Electric Vehicles

The Desert Sun

Turn on Nissan's new all-electric Leaf and here's what you hear — nothing.

“There's no rev,” said Greg Tabak, director of Business Sales for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which is set to introduce the electric car into its rental fleet in 2011.

“There's no transmission (noise). When you hit the accelerator, it just goes,” he said.

Tabak and the Leaf were in Palm Springs Friday for the city's first Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fair, which brought a small fleet of electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles — and more than 150 residents and visitors — to the Palm Springs Convention Center.

“I think it's the nicest,” said Mark Thomas, 46, of Cathedral City, who was checking out the Leaf. “It seems the back seat has a lot of space. The only problem is it's all electric so the range is going to be short.”

Tabak said the car has about a 100-mile range, a little more depending on how you drive.

Electric vehicles such as the Leaf and the supercharged Tesla roadster, which goes 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, can travel as fast as 245 mph and comes with a six-figure price tag, were the stars of the event.

“It's fantastic. I've never run out of juice,” said Tesla owner Gary Warner, 64, of Indio. “The only thing that makes noise is the battery for the air conditioning.”

But beyond the flash, the purpose of the event was to focus valley officials and businesses on getting ready for the range of electric and hybrid vehicles coming to the market in 2011.

Enterprise plans to add the Leaf to its rental fleets in San Diego and Los Angeles locations — where Nissan is introducing the car — before gauging the market in the Coachella Valley, Tabak said. The roll-out to smaller markets could be in 12 to 18 months, he said.

Hertz will also be offering the Leaf and Mitsubishi's i MiEV beginning the end of the year, but again in larger, metropolitan markets to start, said Annette Zackey, a sales representative for the company.

With more and more car companies introducing electric models, Michele Mician, sustainability manager for Palm Springs, says the valley needs a network of charging stations for visitors and residents.

“We have to have infrastructure,” she said. “You have to be able to run errands, to move around the valley and plug in.”

Valley residents ready to take the leap will be able to install chargers in their homes, sold by local businesses such as the Green Bay Group in Palm Desert.

The company has a 240-volt home charger that can recharge a car in six to eight hours, said Jeffrey P. Bay, company president. Installing the device is similar to installing a dryer hookup, he said.

And Dick Cromie of Southern California Edison, said electric models such as the Leaf would cost about $1,100 to $1,300 a year less to operate than comparable gas cars.

Assemblyman V. Manuel PĂ©rez said electric vehicles can only add to the valley's profile as a renewable energy powerhouse, with wind, solar and geothermal resources.

“We have a window of opportunity that has never existed in the past,” he said. “Let's incorporate electric vehicles; let's incorporate infrastructure. We can create good-paying jobs; we can recover as a state and a nation, while reducing our greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Corn Prices Soar amid Supply Worries

Associated Press

Corn prices extended their rally Monday amid heightened concerns about tight supplies even as demand remains strong from ethanol producers, livestock owners and overseas buyers.

Corn rose 27.5 cents, or 5.2 percent, to settle at $5.5575 a bushel. It was the third straight gain for corn, which is at its highest price since the recession intensified in the fall of 2008.

Much of the trading action was driven by a U.S. Agriculture Department report issued Friday that lowered this year's production estimate to 12.7 billion bushels from last year's record of 13.1 billion bushels. Yields were forecast at 155.8 bushels per acre, compared with 164.7 bushels per acre a year ago.

Meanwhile, more overseas buyers are turning to U.S. corn to help feed their livestock after a drought ravaged Russia's wheat crop, including grains used to feed cattle and hogs. In addition, there is strong demand among ethanol producers and domestic livestock owners.

Barclays Capital analysts said in a report issued Monday that U.S. corn production is on track for the third-highest level on record. At the same time, high consumption levels and demand for corn exports is taking U.S. corn supplies to their lowest levels in 14 years.

"The global corn market ... suddenly finds itself on thin ice," the report concluded.

The impact of higher corn prices eventually may result in higher prices for bread and other products, but manufacturers and wholesalers also factor in other costs, such as labor and delivery, said Greg Grow, an Archer Financial Services broker who specializes in grains and livestock.

"The raw commodity price can be absorbed by wholesalers and manufacturers to a degree, but it will undoubtedly place upward momentum on wholesale and then retail prices for foods," he said.

In other grains contracts, November soybeans rose 17.5 cents to settle at $11.5250 a bushel while December wheat lost 10 cents to $7.0925 a bushel.

In December metals contracts, gold for December delivery rose $9.10 to settle at another record high of $1,354.40 an ounce; silver gained 24.4 cents to settle at $23.349 an ounce; copper added 1.5 cents to settle at $3.7895 a pound and palladium gained $1.15 to $588.75 an ounce.

Platinum for January delivery lost $17.90 to settle at $1,690.80 a pound.

Oil prices slipped Monday as the dollar strengthened and traders hunkered down ahead of some important economic news, due out later this week. Since crude and other commodities are priced in dollars, a stronger dollar makes crude, priced in dollars, less attractive to investors who buy it with other currencies.

Benchmark crude for November delivery dropped 45 cents to settle at $82.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wheat Futures Drop Most in a Week in Chicago as U.S. Supply Concerns Ease

Bloomberg / BusinessWeek

Wheat prices fell the most in a week as U.S. supply concerns eased after futures soared the most allowed by the Chicago Board of Trade in the previous session.

The U.S. may produce 2.224 billion bushels in the year ending May 31, up 0.3 percent from last year, the government said Oct. 8. Futures surged 9.1 percent on that date after the Department of Agriculture slashed its estimate for U.S. corn production and said global wheat inventories were shrinking.

The USDA report “for wheat wasn’t nearly as bullish as it was for corn,” said William Bayer, a partner at PTI Securities in Chicago. Among corn, soybeans and wheat, the “fundamentals are probably the weakest” for wheat, he said.

Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 10 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $7.0925 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the CBOT. That marked the biggest drop since Oct. 1. The most-active contract has soared 48 percent since the end of June after drought hurt crops in Russia and Eastern Europe.

On Oct. 8, wheat futures jumped 60 cents, then the exchange limit, after the USDA said global stockpiles will total 174.66 million metric tons on May 31, down 1.8 percent from the agency’s forecast last month. The department said the U.S. corn crop may be 3.4 percent smaller than last year.

Rain in the Plains

Rain in some winter-wheat growing areas in the U.S. Great Plains may boost soil moisture for crops being planted.

“Southwest Nebraska had very good rain over the weekend,” said Louise Gartner, the owner of Spectrum Commodities in Beavercreek, Ohio. Hard-red winter-wheat areas of Kansas and Oklahoma still need rain, along with soft-red regions in Ohio and Indiana, she said.

Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, the largest winter-wheat producing state, got as much as 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) of rain in the past week, “not enough to end dry conditions,” Mike Tannura, the president of T-Storm Weather LLC in Chicago, said in a report. As much as 30 percent of the U.S. winter-wheat belt is experiencing “abnormally dry conditions,” he said.

Soft-red winter wheat is used to make cookies and cakes. Hard red-winter varieties are used in bread.

Wheat is the fourth-biggest U.S. crop, valued at $10.6 billion in 2009, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.