Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday December 6 Ag News

Fischer Talks NAFTA with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

As the administration continues renegotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, today met with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to emphasize the trade agreement’s value to Nebraska:

“Secretary Ross was very forthcoming today about where these trade negotiations currently stand. He shared examples of the priorities the administration is focused on as they develop NAFTA 2.0. I was able to highlight Nebraska’s perspective when it comes to trade and the great value of this agreement to our state’s producers, manufacturers, and exporters,” said Senator Fischer.

Yesterday, Senator Fischer attended a meeting at the White House with President Trump focused on U.S. trade policy. She highlighted the significance of NAFTA to agriculture exports and related manufacturing jobs in Nebraska. 

NAFTA represents a critical market for Nebraska’s exports. Mexico and Canada are Nebraska’s two largest customers for agricultural goods. In 2016, exports of Nebraska agricultural goods to these two countries exceeded $2.9 billion and accounted for 45 percent of Nebraska’s total agricultural exports that year. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 91,400 Nebraska jobs are supported by NAFTA.

Natural Resources Districts Now Taking Tree and Shrub Seedling Orders

Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) is encouraging landowners to invest in trees this year. The Natural Resources Districts Conservation Tree Program assists property owners with windbreaks and many other benefits every year. Hundreds of thousands of tree-seedlings are planted across Nebraska with the help of the NRDs every year.

Since the NRDs’ creation in 1972, landowners have planted more than 96 million trees and shrubs across the state with the help of the NRDs.

“Our NRD Tree Program planted more than 700,000 tree and shrub seedlings last year across the state and we hope to do more this year,” Jim Bendfeldt, president of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts said. “The program offers landowners an inexpensive way to enhance their properties whether for functional use, wildlife habitat or beautifying the land.”

For often less than a dollar or two a tree, conservation trees shade and shelter homes, reduce energy costs, protect and increase crop yields, reduce soil erosion caused by water and wind, improve water quality, control snow and preserve winter moisture, protect livestock, provide food and cover for wildlife, control noise, capture atmospheric carbon, raise property values, and add beauty to our landscape.

Each of the 23 Natural Resources Districts administer their own tree program. Available species and tree and shrub options may differ from district to district depending on what grows well in different areas of the state. NRD staff is available to assist landowners in determining the right trees are planted in the right place.

“Not only are we seeing farmers and ranchers investing back into trees, but families with small acreages too,” Bendfeldt said. “The cost is very reasonable.”

Many NRD Conservation Tree Program order deadlines are due as early as March. Contact your local Natural Resources District to put your tree orders in today. You can go to or to see the selection of trees and shrubs being offered.

 Cow-calf profit and loss, alternative production systems, and using reproductive technologies to improve profit to be addressed at Three-State Beef Conference

Opportunities for producers to visit with experts on cow-calf profit and loss and calculating breakevens, alternative cow-calf production systems, and using reproductive management and technologies to improve profitability are all on the agenda for the 33rd annual Three-State Beef Conference, to be held January 16, 17 and 18, 2018 at locations in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.

When it comes to profit and loss in the cow-calf operation, knowing your cost of production not only helps with managing risk, but provides an opportunity to make changes to improve the bottom line. Shane Ellis, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Outreach and Extension, will be on the program to address this topic on cow-calf breakevens.

Also on the program will be Erika Lundy, extension beef program specialist with Iowa State University’s Iowa Beef Center. For many producers, additional pasture is hard to come by or cost prohibitive. Confinement systems are of increased interest, but there are a number of alternative production systems that could have potential. Erika will discuss opportunities and challenges with some of the alternative systems, and share data from cooperator herds.

Beef cattle reproductive technologies have advanced rapidly and provide producers with incredible opportunities for genetic improvement, among other benefits. Dr. Sandy Johnson, extension livestock specialist with Kansas State University Extension, will discuss how those technologies can be used to increase calf value and increase profitability of the cow herd.

The conference is a traveling program, repeated three times in three different locations. At each site, registration will open at 5:30 p.m., and the program will start at 6:00 p.m. The first program will be on Tuesday, January 16 in Creston, Iowa at Southwestern Community College. The second program, on Wednesday, January 17, will be in Missouri at the MU Hundley-Whaley Learning Discovery Center in Albany. The final program will be Thursday, January 18 in Nebraska at the Gage County UNL Extension Center in Beatrice.

The registration fee is $25 per person and includes a meal and copies of the presentations.  Registrations are appreciated by Friday, January 12 to help with meal planning and reducing costs.

To register for the program in Creston, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Union County at 641-782-8426 or For the program in Albany, contact MU Extension in Gentry County at 660-726-5610 or Registrations for Beatrice can be directed to Nebraska Extension in Gage County at 402-223-1384 or

If you need accommodations because of a disability, have emergency medical information to share, or need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform us immediately.

For more information contact your local university extension office or visit our website at


A new University of Nebraska-Lincoln-led partnership is helping agricultural producers explore emerging technologies and identify ways to strengthen profitability without increasing risk during the growing season.

Organized by Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Testing Ag Performance Solutions farm management competition involved managing center pivot-irrigated corn. Seventeen producers squared off against university scientists and two student groups in three categories: most profitable farm, highest input use efficiency and greatest grain yield.

"We came up with the idea for the UNL-TAPS competition as a way to help producers become familiar with new ag technologies and techniques, while also leveraging a peer-to-peer exchange of information," said Daran Rudnick, assistant professor of biological systems engineering and agricultural water management specialist with Nebraska Extension.

The competition took place at the university's West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte. Each participant managed three small plots under a variable rate irrigation system. Preseason decisions included hybrid selection, population density and crop insurance selection. Each week, participants made decisions regarding irrigation and nitrogen management, and grain marketing. Decisions were submitted through a password-protected website, which also included in-season photographs of the plots, weather data and additional farm management resources.

"With today's low commodity prices, we really wanted to focus on profitability," said Chuck Burr, an extension educator. "It's not just about highest yield; it's about highest economic yield, meaning at what cost did it take to achieve a certain yield."

The competition attracted the attention of several industry partners, who were curious about the management practices being used. The industry representatives were able to share information about their new technologies with producers.

John Walz owns and operates a farm 22 miles north of North Platte. He participated in the competition because the knowledge needed to manage an operation is constantly expanding.

"I've really learned a lot by participating in the UNL-TAPS competition," he said. "There were a lot of really cool tools at our disposal, and we've had the opportunity to see if they can add value to our operation without risk."

Some of the participating producers implemented the same management practices they use on their farms while others used the competition to evaluate different practices. Not only were producers able to expand their knowledge, but the contest allowed Nebraska Extension to expand its expertise.

"We recognize that the university plot might not be the most successful one in the group, but that provides a great learning opportunity," Rudnick said. "It's critical for us to understand different management practices that take place on individual operations so that when a grower comes to us and asks 'Why?' we have actual scientific background on why that outcome took place."

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top-performing producer, excluding university scientists, in each category at a Dec. 12 awards banquet. In the coming weeks, each producer will share their management strategies and discuss their successes and challenges during educational workshops.

Others involved in launching the competition were Matt Stockton, associate professor of agricultural economics, and Rodrigo Werle, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture. The competition is supported by Nebraska's Natural Resource Districts, the Nebraska Corn Board, AquaMart and several industry partners.

For more information, visit

2017 Harvest Outlook Shows Record Production

Corn and soybean yields in 2017 were higher than expected, resulting in the largest grain surpluses in recent years. According to United States Department of Agriculture crop production estimates released on Nov. 9, national corn yields exceeded 2016 production. Soybean yields are estimated to be lower than the record in 2016, but total U.S. supply will be larger due to acreage increases.

As of Sept. 1 there were an estimated 2.3 billion bushels of corn and 301 million bushels of soybean in storage nationwide. Approximately 30 percent of the combined carryover was held on farms and 70 percent in commercial facilities. Broken down by grain, 34 percent of corn and 29 percent of soybeans were held on farms.

“Many farmers and grain buyers needed to come up with alternative corn storage plans due to the record-breaking corn yields,” said Charles Hurburgh, professor and grain quality and handling specialist at Iowa State University. “This has resulted in corn piles, some without cover protection. This has created the risk of corn not being in adequate storage conditions due to the lack of aeration and unpredictable weather. Storage bags were also used to store excess grain. Though storage bags keep the grain covered, there is no aeration and the temperature is set once the bag is filled.”

The 2017 growing season experienced significant swings in weather patterns with excessive amounts of rain in the spring and very little rain in June and July. Drought was a major concern in parts of the U.S., especially in the major growing area of the western Cornbelt and four counties in Iowa’s south central region. Dry conditions peaked around Aug. 5-10. The growing season was extended due to moderate temperatures and wet conditions, but the end results were excellent, especially corn, which had very high grain fill with heavy kernels and high test weights. 

Long term storage of the 2017 crop into the 2018 season is likely. It will be important to move grain in temporary storage to market or to covered and aerated storage as soon as possible.

Pork Demand Remains Steady As Signs Point to Strong Fourth Quarter

Pig farmers and food production companies alike are wrapping up a successful 2017 that continues to show steady consumer demand for pork. The summer grilling season ended strongly, and signs point to a solid year-end opportunity for ham.

According to Nielsen Perishables Group data for the 13 weeks ended Oct. 28, total sausage and rib volumes were up from the same time last year 3.3 percent and 2.6 percent respectively, while sales were up in those categories 4.1 percent and 3.2 percent.

“Summer is always an ideal time for cooking pork outdoors,” said Patrick Fleming, National Pork Board director of market intelligence. “Whether it was brats on the grill or a few racks of ribs on the smoker, consumers made room for pork on their picnic plate in 2017.”

That momentum carried over into fall, as overall retail spending on pork by U.S. consumers was up by more than 3 percent in dollar sales during the month of October.

The Nielsen data shows that consumer spending for ham was up a slight 1 percent for the 13-week period ending Oct. 28. Fleming acknowledges this demonstrates strong consumer demand for a pork cut that normally shines at year end due to the holidays.

“It’s encouraging to see that more consumers are spending more on ham as we head into the holiday season,” said Fleming. “We are already hearing anecdotally that some key retailers saw more hams leave the cold case heading into Thanksgiving. The volume of hams currently in storage should create favorable price points for consumers through yearend and into 2018.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, frozen ham inventories at the end of October were up 2.1 percent, compared to this time last year. With both strong summer and fall sales performance, pork producers are encouraged by signs that point to a strong finish to the year.

“Hams are no longer saved just for Christmas,” said Terry O’Neel, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska.  “And with the kids, grandkids and other family members visiting for a few days, other cuts like bacon and sausage shine at breakfast, while prosciutto and salami are showcased in the New Year’s charcuterie tray. Pork’s value and versatility make it a go-to meal option this time of year.”

Additionally, pork plays a growing role in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Since 2011, pork has been the fastest-growing protein, according to Technomic, Inc.’s 2017 Volumetric Assessment of Pork in Foodservice. During the past six years, pork use has grown on a per pound basis by more than double chicken, largely due to foodservice operators seeking higher quality cuts and cooking them to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (with a three-minute rest). During this same time period, pork represented 61 percent of all protein growth in the foodservice industry.

October another Stellar Month for U.S. Pork, Beef Exports

U.S. pork exports remained ahead of last year’s record volume pace, and beef exports are poised to break $7 billion this year for only the second time, according to October export results released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

October pork exports were the largest since May, totaling 211,592 metric tons (mt), up 5 percent from a year ago, valued at $565.4 million, up 8 percent. Through the first 10 months of the year, pork exports increased 8 percent in volume (2.005 million mt) and 10 percent in value ($5.28 billion) from the same period last year.

Exports accounted for 25.4 percent of total pork production in October (steady with last year) and 21.6 percent for muscle cuts only (up slightly from a year ago). For January through October, these ratios increased about one percentage point from a year ago to 26.4 percent of total production and 22 percent for muscle cuts. October export value averaged $51.41 per head slaughtered, up 9 percent from a year ago and the highest since July. Through the first 10 months of the year, per-head export value was $52.64, up 7 percent.

Beef exports reached 111,287 mt in October, up 5 percent from a year ago, valued at $662 million, up 18 percent. These were the second-largest monthly totals of 2017, trailing only August. For January through October, exports totaled 1.038 million mt, up 9 percent year-over-year, valued at $5.93 billion – up 16 percent from a year ago and slightly ahead of the record value pace established in 2014.

Beef exports accounted for 13 percent of total production in October, the highest since July but down from 13.9 percent last year. The percentage of muscle cuts exported was steady with last year at 10.7 percent. For January through October, beef exports accounted for 12.8 percent of total production (down from 13.3 percent last year) and 10.2 percent for muscle cuts (steady with last year).

October beef export value averaged $301.88 per head of fed slaughter, up 12 percent from a year ago and the highest since December 2016. January-October export value averaged $279.85 per head, up 10 percent.

Pork exports rebound to Mexico, Japan; record month for South America

Following a modest slowdown in September, pork exports to leading volume market Mexico regained momentum at 69,529 mt, up 7 percent from a year ago, valued at $129.8 million (up 13 percent). Through October, exports to Mexico are well-positioned for a sixth consecutive annual volume record at 655,527 mt (up 14 percent) valued at $1.24 billion (up 17 percent).

Mexico is an especially important destination for U.S. hams, and consumption growth in Mexico has been critically supportive of ham prices in this time of record U.S. pork production, explained USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.

“Although ham prices are currently below last year’s level, they have been up an average of 2 percent in 2017 and predictions of ham prices plummeting have not come true," he said. “Strong demand in Mexico is absolutely a key reason for this. USMEF has focused on expanding per-capita pork consumption in Mexico, which is up by about one-third in the past 10 years. This has helped make Mexico an even more critical and more reliable trading partner for the U.S. pork industry.”

Exports to leading value market Japan also trended upward in October, increasing 5 percent from a year ago in both volume (32,475 mt) and value ($134.5 million). January-October exports to Japan were 322,422 mt (up 1 percent) valued at $1.33 billion (up 3 percent). This included 176,609 mt of chilled pork valued at $834 million, down 2 percent in volume but 2 percent higher in value than a year ago.

Led by Colombia and Chile, October pork exports to South America reached a record 12,624 mt (up 31 percent from a year ago) valued at $32.3 million (up 29 percent). Through October, exports to South America were 78 percent ahead of last year’s pace in both volume (85,175 mt) and value ($218.8 million), already surpassing the previous records set in 2014. Export volumes to Colombia and Chile have also exceeded previous highs reached in 2014 and 2013, respectively.

Other January-October results for U.S. pork exports include:

-    Having gained further momentum in October, exports to South Korea have already exceeded their full-year 2016 totals in both volume (136,041 mt) and value ($372.7 million). Compared to the first 10 months of last year, exports were up 27 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
-    Led by mainstay markets Honduras and Guatemala, exports to Central America are on a record pace, totaling 56,906 mt (up 7 percent year-over-year) valued at $138.4 million (up 9 percent). Exports also increased substantially to El Salvador and Nicaragua, and edged slightly higher to Costa Rica.
-    Exports are also on a record pace to the Dominican Republic – up 26 percent year-over-year in volume (26,476 mt) and 32 percent in value ($60.6 million).
-    Despite trending lower in October, pork exports to the ASEAN region were still 16 percent ahead of last year’s pace in volume (39,910 mt) and 31 percent higher in value ($109.2 million), led by strong performances in the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
-    October exports to China/Hong Kong were below last year’s volume but steady in value, reflecting the upward trajectory of China’s domestic pork production. Through October, exports to the region dropped 8 percent from a year ago in volume (413,032 mt) but were just 1 percent lower in value ($872.8 million) as continued strong demand for variety meat largely offset the slowdown in muscle cut exports.

Japan, Korea, Hong Kong drive outstanding beef export value growth

Japan continued to be the pacesetter for U.S. beef exports in October, with volume climbing 19 percent from a year ago to 23,981 mt and value up 23 percent to $147.1 million. This pushed January-October volume to 260,517 mt (up 22 percent) valued at $1.59 billion – up 29 percent and already setting a new single-year record. Chilled beef continues to drive export growth to Japan, with chilled exports up 40 percent in volume (124,699 mt) and 43 percent in value ($918.8 million)

“The U.S. beef industry has really broadened its reach in Japan, expanding the range of cuts offered and the retail and foodservice venues in which they are featured,” Halstrom said. “But USMEF remains concerned about market access barriers in Japan, as we face significantly higher tariffs than our main competitor, Australia, and import safeguards that could hinder further growth.”

Exports to South Korea continued to climb in October, up 2 percent in volume (17,224 mt) and 24 percent in value ($122.4 million) from a year ago. Through October, exports totaled 148,998 mt (up 7 percent) valued at $979.3 million – 20 percent above last year’s record pace. Demand for U.S. chilled beef is especially strong in Korea’s retail sector, with chilled beef exports up 88 percent to 36,773 mt valued at $329 million, up 93 percent.

Other January-October highlights for U.S. beef exports include:

-    Despite a slow start in 2017, exports to Hong Kong climbed 12 percent from a year ago in volume (97,334 mt) and 23 percent higher in value ($646.1 million). Since the mid-June market reopening, exports to China have totaled 1,570 mt valued at $17.2 million.
-    While beef exports to Taiwan slowed in October, January-October results remained 4 percent ahead of last year’s pace at 36,719 mt, valued at $335.6 million (up 18 percent). With a strong finish, Taiwan will easily top last year’s value record of $362.8 million.
-    Led by strong increases in Indonesia and Vietnam, beef exports to the ASEAN region increased 57 percent in volume (34,777 mt) and 46 percent in value ($173.5 million). Exports were also higher year-over-year to the Philippines.
-    A bounceback year in Peru and strong demand in Chile and Colombia have beef exports to South America on a record pace. Exports increased 27 percent from a year ago in volume (24,236 mt) and 23 percent in value ($93.3 million).
-    Beef exports within North America have remained solid in 2017, with shipments to Mexico increasing slightly from last year in both volume (196,604 mt) and value ($813.3 million). Exports to Canada increased 4 percent in volume (96,401 mt) and 7 percent in value ($667 million).

Lamb exports lower in October

October exports of U.S. lamb were 560 mt, down 7 percent from a year ago, and value slipped 6 percent to $1.32 million. For the first 10 months of the year, exports declined 14 percent in volume (6,139 mt) but increased 8 percent in value to just under $16 million. The volume decline is due to slow demand for lamb variety meat, as muscle cut exports through October were up 15 percent in volume (1,913 mt) and 20 percent in value ($11.38 million). Muscle cut exports have increased year-over-year to leading markets Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada, while also showing promising growth in Central America and Taiwan.

NCBA Welcomes Updates to Beef Standards

Today NCBA President Craig Uden released the following statement in response to the notice from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it is revising the United States Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef (beef standards):

“Today’s update to the beef standards will benefit U.S. beef producers in every segment of our industry. By basing carcass quality grades on the most current scientific data available, we will improve grading accuracy and ensure that producers are getting maximum value out of each head. We are grateful to Secretary Perdue and the staff at USDA for implementing this decision, which demonstrates their continued commitment to supporting American cattlemen and women.”


Following a petition led by NCBA, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service today announced that dentition and documentation of actual age will now be used as additional methods for classifying maturity of carcasses. The full notice in the Federal Register can be found here.

Dentition is a method for measuring the age of cattle based on their teeth. Cattle with fewer than three incisors are classified as less than 30 months of age (MOA). Three or more incisors indicate cattle are more than 30 MOA.

Prior to the change, a significant portion of cattle under 30 MOA were incorrectly deemed ineligible for USDA quality grades because of limitations in the process used to assess their age. Dentition and/or documentation of actual age provides a more accurate assessment method. Ultimately this will ensure that more carcasses are eligible for USDA quality grades and allow producers to maximize the value of each head. More details can be read in NCBA’s comments on the issue here. 

A beef industry working group composed of representatives from the cow-calf, feeder, and packer segments conservatively estimated that incorrect classification of carcasses cost the industry nearly $60 million annually. Carcasses incorrectly classified were sold at an estimated discount of nearly $275 per head.

Dentition assessments have long been used in U.S. federally inspected plants, with effective USDA Food Safety Inspection Service oversight, to meet the export requirements of many U.S. trading partners.

US Ethanol Stocks at 6-Month High

The domestic stock level of ethanol increased alongside higher production, while blending demand declined during the week-ended Dec. 1, the Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Ethanol supply increased 500,000 barrels (bbl) to a 22.5 million bbl six-month high during the week reviewed, while up 4.0 million bbl, or 21.6%, against the comparable week a year ago.

U.S. ethanol plants registered a production rate at a record high 1.108 million barrels per day (bpd) during the week reviewed, up 42,000 bpd from week prior and 85,000 bpd or 8.3% above year prior.

Refiner and blender net ethanol inputs dropped 37,000 bpd, or 4.0%, to 885,000 bpd, while up 13,000 bpd against the prior year. During the four weeks ended Dec. 1, blending demand for ethanol averaged 911,000 bpd, up 11,000 bpd against the same four weeks in 2016.

More Mixed Moves for Retail Fertilizer Prices

As has been the case for several weeks, average retail prices for most fertilizers were higher, while prices for a couple fertilizers continued to buck the trend and push lower the last week of November 2017 compared to last month, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

Six of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to the prior month, though none were up by a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $435/ton, MAP $460/ton, urea $340/ton, anhydrous $417/ton, UAN28 $216/ton and UAN32 $271/ton.

The two remaining fertilizers were lower in price compared to a month earlier, but again, neither was down a considerable amount. Potash had an average price of $342/ton while 10-34-0 was at $403/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.25/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. Both MAP and urea are 3% more expensive, UAN32 is 6% more expensive and potash is now 8% more expensive.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower compared to a year prior. Both DAP and UAN28 are 1% less expensive while both anhydrous and 10-34-0 are 10% less expensive.

House and Senate Clear Major Tax Reform Hurdles

Now that the House and Senate have approved separate tax reform legislation, lawmakers from both chambers will have to compromise on a single measure to send to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Farm Bureau praised both bills for bringing Congress one step closer to a tax code that works for everyone in agriculture.

“Farm Bureau looks forward to the Senate and House reconciling the differences between their respective versions in conference to achieve a final tax reform package that addresses the needs and concerns of farmers and ranchers and boosts economic growth in rural America,” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said in a statement.

The bills overlap on some key provisions for farmers and ranchers, including the continuation of immediate expensing, business interest deduction and cash accounting. In addition, both bills would double the estate tax exemption to $11 million per individual indexed for inflation. The House bill would permanently repeal estate taxes in 2024, but that provision is unlikely to be included in the final measure. Another difference on estate taxes is that the Senate bill indexes the exemption for inflation only through the end of 2025.

One of the biggest questions for people involved in agriculture is how the compromise legislation will treat pass-through business income, which is income reported by farmers and ranchers who file under sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-corporations. The Senate bill provides a significant deduction for business profits, while the House only provides a lower rate for a third of farm and ranch profits.

Lawmakers are optimistic a final bill will be approved before Christmas.

Case IH Wraps Up 2017 With Strong Brand Loyalty and Innovative Engineering

This year marked the monumental milestone of the 175th anniversary for Case IH. Jim Walker, Case IH vice president, NAFTA, reflects on the anniversary year and shares a positive outlook for 2018.

“Case IH is more than just Case and IH — it’s about the combined legacies and values of equipment companies, dealerships and farms that never settle for anything but the best,” Walker said. “Building on the strength of what Case IH is today, we have a lot of possibilities in front of us.”

Legacy of innovation

The history of Case IH goes back to 1842 when Jerome Increase Case founded Racine Threshing Machine Works to produce a revolutionary machine to speed up the separation of grain after harvest. This legacy combines with that of other historic agriculture equipment manufacturers to make the company Case IH is today.

“Over time, our company grew, diversified and acquired different businesses. Throughout this rich history, there continue to be three principles — innovative engineering, Agronomic Design™ and Efficient Power — that guide us in everything we do,” Walker said.

These principles have delivered the iconic equipment used on farms throughout the world, such as Farmall®, Maxxum®, Magnum™ and Steiger® series tractors; Early Riser® planters, Patriot® series sprayers and Axial-Flow® combines.

Strong brand loyalty

According to a 2017 Farm Equipment study, Case IH was voted the most loyal brand in the agriculture equipment industry. Case IH brand loyalty increased from 77% when the study was conducted in 2014 to 80% in 2017 — the highest percentage of any brand included in the survey.

“We thank our dealers for making this possible,” Walker said. “Case IH dealers are the ambassadors of the brand. They go to work every day to deliver the right solutions and best-in-class service to our customers.”

The study, conducted every three years, demonstrates the importance brand loyalty plays in the purchase of farm equipment. It’s also designed to show the role equipment dealers play in helping producers throughout the equipment buying process and ownership cycle.

A positive outlook for 2018

“Case IH is not backing off our investment in research and development,” Walker said. “We’re committed to finding new ways to help producers be more productive and profitable.”

Through a Customer Driven Product Design (CDPD) process, Case IH continues to bring new equipment to market — even through the downturn in the ag economy. Four of these products have been recognized by the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for 2018 AE50 awards, including:
-    Trident™ 5550 liquid/dry combination applicator
-    Steiger series tractor with new CVXDrive™ continuously variable transmission
-    2140 Early Riser planter with in-cab split-row lift system
-    Nutri-Placer® 930 fertilizer applicator with new High-speed Low Disturbance (HSLD) coulter

“Innovative engineering and precision technology through our Advanced Farming Systems platform are what gives producers an edge. When you see a farm with red equipment, you know it’s a High-Efficiency Farming operation,” Walker said.

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