POST-HARVEST BIN REVIEW
An annual review of your grain system is a sound strategy as a first step in planning necessary upgrades for next season. “That’s especially true this season, considering the big yields experienced in many parts of the country,” said Gary Woodruff, GSI district manager and grain management expert.
Woodruff offered a checklist for grading grain systems:
— Storage space: Determine if existing bin capacity is sufficient or if you need to improve your grain storage position. “Many farmers not only lacked enough on-farm storage this harvest but also found that their local elevators were full,” he said.
— Drying capacity: “Grain drying capacity fared better in most areas this season,” Woodruff said. “However, if your wet storage bin was full before the end of each day during harvest, it may be time to increase drying capacity.”
— Grain handling: High yields put additional stress on grain-receiving equipment. “Yields continue to grow every year,” Woodruff noted. “If your existing dump pit and bucket elevator can’t keep up with the inflow of grain, the result will be a bottleneck to your harvest. Increasing the capacity of your grain handling equipment will improve harvest speed and efficiency.”
— Safety: Post-harvest is also a good time to consider possible safety enhancements. “This can include installing roof stairs or peak platforms on bins, checking to see if bin safety cages are secure, and making sure all safety shields on motor drives and dump points are in good condition,” he said.
For more information: www.grainsystems.com
TRACTOR ZOOM RAISES $3 MILLION IN NEW INVESTMENT ROUND
Iowa-based auction marketing and equipment pricing company Tractor Zoom has raised $3 million in a boost to its pricing and analytics platform, Iron Comps. Tractor Zoom is partnering with investors, including Innova Memphis, Hyde Park Angels, Iowa Corn Opportunities, ISA Ventures, Ag Ventures Alliance, and Ag Startup Engine, among others.
The company’s www.ironcomps.com package tracks used equipment transactions and helps customers transparently price used farm equipment. The technology provides users with real-time comparable sales. Since Tractor Zoom’s founding in November 2017, the tech-company has partnered with 450-plus auction companies to help market over 6,300 farm equipment auctions.
“We’ve consistently been asked ‘What did that sell for?’ That’s been the driving force behind building and evolving Iron Comps,” Tractor Zoom Founder and CEO Kyle McMahon said. Equipment dealers and financial institutions use Iron Comps equipment valuations to drive ROI, increase margin and reduce risk.
The new capital will allow Tractor Zoom, the company said, to invest in opportunities found within its data that will give farmers, equipment manufacturers and insurance companies new tools for evaluating the used equipment market.
TRACTOR SALES CONTINUE STRONG INCREASE
Sales of farm tractors and self-propelled combines continued to grow in November 2020, according to the latest data released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
“On the whole, this sales report continues the generally positive trends we have seen since April,” said Curt Blades, senior vice president of ag services at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “That trend includes strong growth in the smaller units, while bigger units are following along a little more slowly.”
Overall, U.S. farm tractor sales rose 41% in November compared to 2019 while U.S. self-propelled combine sales grew 33.1%.
U.S. four-wheel-drive sales nearly doubled in November, up 91.4% to 201 units, compared to November 2019. Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors are now up 4.7% in 2020, year to date.
Sales of 100-plus-hp tractors also grew in November, up 24.2%. Sales of these tractors for 2020 through November remain in positive territory, up 1.2%.
It is sales of 100-hp-and-below units that continue to set the tractor market on fire. Less-than-40-hp tractor sales rose 47.5% in November, compared to November a year ago. That is 10,738 units sold in the month, compared to 7,281 November 2019. Year to date, sales are up nearly 20% over 2019. Tractor manufacturers have sold 182,461 40-hp-and-below units through November this year.
Unit sales of tractors 40-100 hp were up 28.3% in November 2020 over November 2019. That’s 4,094 units this November, compared to 3,190 in November 2019. For this year through November, tractor manufacturers have sold 61,020 40-100 hp units.
Total year-to-date farm tractors out the door are up 16.4% in 2020, while combines are now up 6.4% on the year.
Dan Miller can be reached at email@example.com
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