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  IN THIS ISSUE                             SEPTEMBER 2012

Special Report

How the Weather is Changing Agriculture

Dry field

Whether it’s too wet, too dry or perfect for producing a bumper harvest, weather is a front-of-mind issue every growing season for anyone and everyone involved in agriculture. Every farmer, rancher, farm equipment dealer, ag equipment manufacturer and commodity trader frets and/or rejoices about the weather every growing season. When it comes to emotions and farming, there’s not a lot of in-between.

The biggest difference during a year like drought-plagued 2012 is the volume of speculation about potential crop yields and the impact it will have on sales of farm equipment — and ultimately the price of food.

In this special report, contributing editor, Martha Mintz, examines how weather patterns will change the equipment farmers utilize and dealers sell. From her interviews with weather experts, she found an overwhelming consensus that “the weather is simply going to be more volatile.”

This will result in the growing use of equipment that preserves residue and builds soil quality for moisture management, such as vertical tillage and no-till/strip-till equipment. The industry will also see increasing use of equipment for in-season input applications such as sidedress units and sprayers. Producers also are shifting toward larger equipment to deal with a shorter planting season in the spring.

While there’s very little in the way of certainty when it comes to the weather and farming, there’s one thing everyone connected with agriculture can count on: as the weather changes, so will farming.

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