Kon’nichiwa

When the press release from Versatile (Buhler Industries) first popped up in my email inbox with the name Kubota in the heading, I thought, “Here it comes!”. There’s a good reason I was bracing for a really big announcement between those two brands. The rumours around a deal between them have swirled through the ag

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My knowledge as of the Ides of March

The amount that I have learned since my last blog is scary. The real scary thing I learned – my editor said if I don’t write more timely blogs they may be looking for a new writer. (The ancient Romans seemed to have been acting on a similar impulse on this day in 44 B.C.

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Species extinction?

When I attended Case IH’s introduction of the new AFS Connect Magnum tractors near Phoenix, Arizona, in January, just a couple of miles away in another field on the University of Arizona’s grounds a different and much more private event was taking place. Regina-based DOT Technologies had one of their autonomous implement carriers there conducting

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Aren’t we better than that?

In January, John Deere did something quite unusual. It displayed a combine and some of its leading edge equipment at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Why? Well much of the equipment Deere had on display had a digital component that relied on Artificial Intelligence. That’s pretty cutting edge in any aspect of the

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Marketing and the media

During the Manitoba Ag Days show in Brandon last month, I had a chance to sit in on a presentation by John Gehrer, an entrepreneur who created the Never Spill Spout for grain augers. His presentation was meant to give budding inventors the benefit of hearing about his experiences turning an on-farm invention into a

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Broadening horizons

In mid January, John Deere did something neither it nor any other farm equipment manufacturer had ever done before (at least as far as anyone can remember). It took one of its combines, an S770, to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This is the place all the tech companies go to show off

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Something for nothing

We’ve all heard the old expression “you get what you pay for”. And I would be the last one to argue that isn’t true. More than once I’ve tossed out a cheap pair of shop gloves that tore or started coming apart on the first day of use. I’ve actually thrown out cheap wrenches too,

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Machinery, burgers and seminars

This week I was back at the annual Manitoba Ag Days show in Brandon. I’m sure I haven’t missed that event in far more than a decade. It, like a handful of other equipment shows, has become an annual ritual that gets penciled onto my calendar at the start of the year. Each show I

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A model of controversy

This past week I was having lunch with a group of machinery product reps. We were talking about new machinery introductions when one asked me if I’d ever been to a European farm machinery show. The answer was, I’ve been to farm machinery shows on three different continents at one time or another. We started

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Making headlines today – Jan 10, 2019

SMAll BUT POWERFUL I love practical research results that really speak to me. I was reading this morning that researchers in the United Kingdom have determined that people with a few extra pounds around their waist — these even used the word obese— have smaller brains — 12 per cent smaller than people who aren’t over

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