Whitaker Takes Helm at AGCO-Amity JV, LLC
WAHPETON, N.D. — AGCO-Amity JV, LLC, a leading manufacturer and distributor of tillage and seeding equipment under the Amity, Wil-Rich, and Wishek brands, is pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Whitaker to CEO. In this role, Keith will be responsible for defining and implementing the AGCO-Amity JV seeding and tillage business growth strategy that builds on the agronomic strengths and technology of its products, closeness with its customers, and expanded distribution opportunities.
Howard Dahl and Matt Rushing are co-chairmen of the AGCO-Amity JV, LLC board of directors. “Keith has a proven record leading sales and marketing, as well as strong product knowledge and product development experience. Plus, he brings with him significant global agricultural experience,” remarks Dahl. Rushing adds, “He will be responsible for leading all functions of the organization, including leadership of operations and sales and marketing through strategic development of innovative, agronomic, and value-added tillage and seeding solutions for our customers.”
Keith joined AGCO in 2015, and his prior experience includes President of Kuhn Krause and Vice President of Sales & Marketing of the former Krause Corporation, Engineering and Marketing Management roles at CNH Industrial, as well as engineering experience with John Deere. He also brings management experience with John Deere dealerships. Keith holds an Agricultural Engineering degree from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.
Based in Wahpeton, North Dakota, AGCO-Amity JV, LLC is a leading developer, manufacturer, and distributor of tillage and seeding equipment under the Amity, Wil-Rich, and Wishek brands. AGCO-Amity JV, LLC markets products worldwide, specializing in North America and eastern Europe. In 2011, Fargo, ND-based Amity Technology LLC, a world leader in sugar beet harvesting equipment, and Duluth, Georgia-based AGCO, a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of agricultural solutions and supporting more productive farming through its full line of related services, entered into a joint venture agreement to form AGCO-Amity JV, LLC. For more information, visit www.amitytech.com, www.wil-rich.com, or www.wishekmfg.com.
Sidney Sugarbeet Crop Looks Promising
SIDNEY, Mont. – Despite the challenges of extremely dry weather conditions, the area’s sugar beet crop still looks promising for 2017.
“The growers are working their tails off on all crops,” Duane Peters, ag manager at Sidney Sugars, said. “The beets seem to be handling the weather even now. There’s the potential for a good beet crop.”
Peters said Sidney Sugars is taking in 32,500 acres of beets this year. The total is about 1,200 less than in 2016.
“The decrease of acres is because yields keep getting bigger and bigger. Growers are doing such a great job,” Peters said.
A root sample taken last week showed that beets are a little behind the three-year average due to germination issues.
“Some fields are experiencing germination issues,” Peters said. “It’s been a long, dry spring and early summer for these growers. We appreciate all that they’re doing.”
Peters added, “With this heat, if the growers keep the beets wet, we will still be OK. Thank God for our irrigation.”
One positive of the above 90-degree temperatures is a lower risk of cercospora.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not keep a look out for it,” Peters said of the disease. “We’re very happy that we’re not seeing any spots on the leafs now.” – Bill VanderWeele, Sidney Herald
Cover Crops Catching on in Southern Minnesota
RENVILLE, Minn. — There are plenty of obstacles keeping farmers from adopting the use of cover crops, but perhaps the biggest is this:
“Peer pressure,’’ said Brad Nere, a Renville County corn, soybean and livestock producer, when speaking last week about the challenges he faced.
“You don’t want to be a failure in front of your friends. You don’t want to be a failure in front of your neighbors who said all along, ‘well, that’s not going to work.’”
But work it does, a point that Nere and his son-in-law, Kyle VanOverbeke, made to an audience of 75 to 80 June 29 in Renville. He was among seven crop and livestock producers from the area who described their experiences with cover crops at the bequest of the Hawk Creek Watershed Project, which is encouraging their use.
Interest in cover crops appears to be growing in the region. Most notable, producers with the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative in Renville seed cover crops on roughly 100,000 to 105,000 of the 120,000 acres where they grow sugarbeets each year, according to information presented earlier this year by Todd Geselius, vice president of agriculture for the cooperative. The cooperative initially encouraged their use to reduce phosphorus runoff as part of a deal with state regulators. Producers using cover crops discovered economic benefits for the effort, and their use has grown.
It’s hard to quantify all of the economic benefits, since many are what Grant Breitkreutz termed “delayed savings.’’ He and his wife, Dawn, started experimenting with cover crops in 1998 on their Redwood County crop and livestock operation.
They described how cover crops and a minimum tillage protocol have increased the fertility and water-holding capability of their soil. They have reduced input costs, are realizing improved quality and higher protein contents in their crops, and are taking advantage of the forage value of the cover crops for their livestocks.
Brian Ryberg grows sugar beets, corn and soybeans and has no livestock, but said he still realizes plenty of economic advantages by using cover crops on his farmland in the southeast corner of Renville County and in Sibley County. He knows the peer pressure too.
“Neighbors all think we’re crazy, ask a lot of questions about what we’re doing,’’ he said.
The use of cover crops and conservation tillage means that fields will look messy with residue and green amidst the rows of crops, according to Joel Timm, a Yellow Medicine County corn and soybean producer. “You have to get used to that. Some people are comfortable with that and some aren’t,’’ he said.
The producers advised those looking at using cover crops to start small. There will be failures, and it takes time to develop the cover crop practices that work best for an individual farm operation, they explained. Breitkreutz said he and his wife persisted despite a series of initial setbacks, and comments from a neighbor warning “it is not going to work.’’
An audience member asked if there is anything he would have done differently.
“I wish I would have done it a lot sooner,’’ he said.
Holly Hatlewick, manager of the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District, explained to attendees how cover crops greatly benefit soil health, improve water infiltration, and reduce erosion and the runoff of sediment and nutrients into our waterways.
“What we want to do is get as close as we can to mimicking nature and still make a profit,’’ she said. –
Tom Cherveny, Forum News Service