No one is laughing at drones now. Once considered only a cut above remote-controlled toys, drones have proven their potency in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and manufacturers have their sights set on U.S. agriculture as a tremendous market opportunity....More
“Variable rate agriculture gets back tobasics. It is more specific,” says Billie Scott, Wylie Sprayers Inc., equipment specialist. Variable rate agriculture saves money. “Farmers apply more where they need and less where they don’t.”...More
Beyond the numbers of work-related deaths and injuries in agriculture, sometimes a story comes along that leaves grim statistics behind and reminds us that the victims were someone’s father … or brother … or son. At the Spence farm in September of 2012, in the span of a few minutes, a freak chain of incidents played out that left a family absolutely shattered....More
The largest agricultural input firms are responsible for a large and growing share of global agricultural research and development (R&D), and higher input prices paid by farmers partially reflect the higher quality of inputs created through private-sector R&D....More
Make sure your rubber boots are in the pickup. It’s almost time for the “Tulare farm show.” Officially known as World Ag Expo, the 46th running of the agricultural event of the winter opens its three-day stretch Feb. 12 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, Calif....More
A fire ant attack is a moment of blind panic; an initial frozen blink of time when you realize you’re being swarmed by ant devils. Panic steps aside for primal instinct and fits of bucking, jumping and flailing with movements seldom seen at the wildest of tent revivals....More
In terms of tractor and other farm machinery purchases, “there was a huge windfall in the 2013 tax legislation,” says Roger McEowen, director of Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation....More
The inadequacies of the aging U.S. lock and dam system can add burden, time and costs due to inefficiencies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that an unscheduled closure at this lock can cost up to $2.8 million per day....More
The primary issues motivating robotic vineyard research are cost reduction and concerns about the future availability of seasonal labor. Pruning is one of the most expensive operations in a vineyard, often accounting for about 20 percent of labor costs, and the availability of workers for pruning can be uncertain....More
Each year, Delta and Pine Land gives out awards to the highest-yielding producers in its New Product Evaluator or NPE program. This year one of the awards was a little late because Jerry Rovey’s Arizona cotton operation was harvesting the variety on the day of the 2011 NPE Summit. Rovey’s presentation at this year’s summit in Nashville was special because the variety – DPL 1359 – harvested an average of 3,615 pounds of lint – about seven bales per acre. Rovey discussed the variety and the growing season in this interview with Farm Press Editor Forrest Laws....More
Two of the nation's largest worker safety associations -- the American Society of Safety Engineers and the American Industrial Hygiene Assoc. -- are pushing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to make the injury/illness prevention program (I2P2) rule a top priority in 2013....More
Satellites in orbit around the Earth, plus rovers and other equipment examining other planets, will provide tools to help water organizations better predict and utilize water supplies and help farmers more efficiently manage water use on the farm.
Rod House's latest creation, a cherry and very hot 1952 Chevy hardtop, is Western Farm Press’ first “Rods in Ag” feature ride. On our website we will be featuring cars and pickups built by men and women who work in agriculture....More
Rod House and his wife live on a small almond orchard in Clovis, Calif., where there’s plenty of room to pursue his passion for cars. Several years ago he found his ’52 Hardtop Deluxe as a stock driver. It was just like his first high school ride. However, after several years he decided to turn it into an unconventional Ford/Chevy rumbling beast that ran an 11:624 at 116 mph in the quarter mile test and tune at Famoso last spring. “It was a major rush. It does get the old 70-year-old heart pumping,” says House.
If you have a nice ride you’d like to see featured at westernfarmpress.com, send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a half dozen or so nice photos (preferably in a farm setting) of your ride with a brief description of the vehicle and tell me a little about what you do in agriculture. We might even hold the very first on-line car show with a trophy going to the best featured car of 2013. Car guys love trophies. We spend thousands to earn them.
Welcome to the golden age of copper theft. For thieves, copper is the trump card, and its value has steadily risen since 2002, when the value dipped to approximately 60 cents per pound. Stolen copper now brings well over $3 per pound. Mick Swindells, a retired policeman from England, has taken a boots-on-the-ground approach to metal theft prevention and trained a dog to detect forensic markers on metal....More
California’s central San Joaquin Valley growers thought they had it made in the shade when mechanically harvested dried-on-the vine raisins were promised to produce as much as twice as many raisins per acre at half the labor cost. Who wouldn’t be all ears, if someone promised that overhead and open gable trellising systems would produce 3 to 5 tons or more raisins per acre that never touched the ground for sun drying. However, those promises have turned out to be a bit jaded by shade....More
Who wouldn’t be all ears, if someone promised California raisin growers that overhead and open gable trellising systems would produce 3 to 5 tons or more raisins per acre that never touched the ground for sun drying?
A few weeks back I wrote about my trip in Old Yeller to the Good Guys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, Calif. What a response? I knew there were gearheads in ag. I have been into many shops with a hot rod or some old car in the corner of the shed. I just figured there were more antique farm equipment buffs than gearheads....More