Tim’s View From Here
Tim Robinson, Ag General Manager
With the close of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 happening on January 1st, we have begun what Howard Buffet referred to in his book “40 Chances” by engaging in another growing and harvest season. For some, 2018 will begin the early years of farming through a 40 year cycle and for others, 2018 will be more towards the end of their cycle. Whichever side of the time scale we are on, remaining optimistic about the combined returns that an agricultural life provides is paramount to a successful farming enterprise.
Seed technology, accuracy tools and implement sizes have reduced planting to a complete science. The growing of most crops requires less steel in the field, but is offset by prescriptive farming techniques. The harvest of commodity crops is relegated to massive machines that now do more work in less time.
One element that has remained the same is that it still takes a full season to successfully produce a bountiful crop. It is throughout each season that the agriculture community comes together, combining their talents and support teams, to carry out each growing cycle.
The winter produce fields in Yuma, Imperial and Central Arizona are being harvested; small grains are planted and tillage for spring row-crop seeding is in full swing. Cattle feeders are going to market with favorable pricing for both fat and feeder animals. Still struggling with the supply/demand issues with milk production pouring in from another record cow herd, the dairy industry faces continued low price thresholds for milk and cheese.
Grain bins, gin yards, hay barns, stack yards and cattle pens are stocked with new crop to take to market and plans have been underway for the best cropping mix in 2018. Cotton has renewed interest with good yield potential combining with some of the better prices seen in recent times. Alfalfa will still be a major cropping choice and prices have strengthened some over last year’s returns. Small grains and corn acres will most likely see a slight decline over past seasons’ relegated acres. Nut acres are solid and production from recently planted acres should start finding its way to the market place too.
We continue to experience an ever growing interest in all product lines of hay and forage harvesting tools. Three tie and large rectangular balers lead the parade of interests with windrowers right behind. We have been selling out of current inventory stocks and have a limited resupply on order set to begin arriving soon. The retail demand for the all new Hesston built Ultra High Density large baler is high elsewhere in the U.S. but we still have a limited opportunity to bring one or two of these balers on line in 2018 to perform here in the deserts.
The all new AGCO high horsepower tractor line identified as the CH1000 series is running in Arizona fields and receiving great reviews. These tractors are all new from the ground up with the proven AGCO CVT transmission at the center of the drive train. The CH1000 series tractors are in a horsepower class by themselves for conventional tractors and are certainly turning heads on the lowered amount of fuel they consume while performing the tasks of articulating 4wd’s.
Each time we are given the opportunity to chat with you about the issues you face while navigating your enterprise, we try to answer with a direct question: “How can we help YOU be more successful?”
The team at Empire Agriculture is attuned to your needs as a grower and is driven to deliver the right tools, data, support and finance to help you reach success.
We would like all of our partners in the agricultural business community to know that our machinery, parts and service teams have appreciated working with you throughout 2017. Empire Southwest remains completely committed to providing you with the best machines, services and support in the industry in 2018. As you prepare to begin work on one of your 40 seasons, give us a call and see how we can assist your operation.
In closing, with a quote from Winston Churchill, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”