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Across the Editor's Desk: The coming battle

LOREN KRUSE 09/08/2010 @ 3:43pm Editor-in-Chief Successful Farming

Increasingly, today’s business-minded farmers are as interested in what’s next as what’s now. If that’s you, then your attention span will be tested over the next 10 months or so. While your immediate focus is getting your soybeans and corn harvested, 2011 crops will be flirting for your attention with provocative prices.

Here’s why. “The U.S. will have a hard time planting enough corn and bean acres in 2011 to meet world demand,” says Al Kluis of Kluis Commodities, who writes the “Your Profit” column in each issue of Successful Farming magazine.

The acreage battle is already under way with current wheat-planting decisions in the U.S. and the world. It will intensify with corn acreage fertilizer commitments you make after harvest. Most likely it will continue until the last available acres are finally planted to corn or beans next spring.

Kluis will break down the battle, lay out possible scenarios, and outline an action plan for growers in his column in the October issue. Part of his plan will be no surprise, as it has been an on-going emphasis of his advisory service: Manage your costs to optimize your margins.

“With the world growing more wheat, corn, and oilseeds in 2011, getting your inputs locked in early will help your bottom line,” he says. “Higher grain prices will not create higher profits unless you are positioned correctly.”

New diesels: Cleaner and also turn out more power

Another “what’s next” for farmers that will get a lot of attention are the new diesel engines designed to meet EPA’s Tier 4 interim pollution-reduction standards effective in January. EPA estimates modifications to diesels since Tier 1 standards began in 1996 have cut nitrous oxide smog by 1 million tons a year. That’s equivalent to 35 million cars.

Machinery Director Dave Mowitz, who takes you inside the new diesels with his in-depth report, “Meaner, Cleaner, Leaner Engines,” says the incredible performance of the new engines is a tribute to the prowess of engineers at major manufacturers.

For farmers, Mowitz says the new engines  will require you to become familiar with new engine components such as postcombustion filtration systems, some of which will require extra maintenance. Also, get ready to learn a new set of acronyms, such as DEF, DOC, and DPF. See his story for the complete list with definitions.

Loren Kruse
Editor in Chief
loren.kruse@meredith.com

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