Notes From Owen



Spring is here and another crop cycle is about to begin. As we move into this next cycle, we see a variety of challenges across our region. Clearly, commodity prices continue to be a challenge. Much of the area is abnormally dry, with less than ideal conditions for spring planting. Interest rates are starting to creep upward, after a long period of being historically low. After the challenges of 2016, it kind of feels like starting out the 2017 growing season is like the morning after an all-night bachelor party!!!

So, with all the bearish challenges we face today in agriculture, why is the theme of this quarter’s Flyer “Growing Prosperity”? Because, I believe that today, we have more tools than we have ever had before, to tackle these challenges and make a good farm better….and more profitable even in this environment. The first tool is technology. Using variable rate technology on your planter, to manage plant population, and fertilizer application, is now main stream and is no longer just for the early adopters. We want more units of output, with the same or fewer units of our various inputs. In-season precise nutrient and plant health applications are also an important tool in our tool box today. During harvest, yield mapping is critical to creating a report card to aid you in making adjustments to your plan as you prepare for the next growing cycle. These equipment technologies are even more powerful when they are combined with the rapid advances in seed biotechnology and micro-nutrient development, that are taking place in our industry today.

Capitalizing on technology is a team effort…..Your team includes your equipment supplier, your seed supplier, your agronomist, your crop scout, your input supplier and yes, maybe even your banker. Utilizing the combined experience and capabilities of all your team members can go a long ways in off-setting the challenges we face today. I see the role of our Integrated Solutions Specialists, located across our Company, as being the catalyst to helping you get your team of professionals organized. Don’t hesitate to ask for their help, regardless of where you are on the technology ladder.

Another tool that can help during these stressful times is leasing large capital assets instead of owning them. In most cases, leasing can significantly improve cash flow, which is especially important today. Leasing also allows you to continue to upgrade your equipment and keep up with the advances in machine technology that are constantly changing. If you are interested in hearing more about equipment leasing options from both John Deere Financial, as well as our internal leasing company, 21st Century Leasing, please visit with your local Sales Professional.

The business of production agriculture is constantly changing….and the challenges of keeping up with the ever-evolving technology is becoming greater and greater…..but so are the rewards. You need an equipment supplier and technology partner, who not only helps you keep up, but helps you get ahead. Earning your confidence in our ability to help you on this journey, is our ongoing commitment to you.

I want to close by personally thanking the over 200 of you customers that took advantage of our promotional opportunity to “light-up” your expired JDLink subscriptions or upgrade from a 2G to a 4G modem. This is the first step for you being able to utilize wireless tools like Remote Display Access(RDA™), Wireless Data Transfer(WDT™) and enables our Service Technicians to access the various controllers in your R-Series machines remotely, by using Service Advisor Remote(SAR™). It is now our responsibility to demonstrate to you the value of making this decision.

I personally want to thank all of you for the partnership we share. I know you have a choice when it comes to your equipment needs and my goal is to make 21st Century your best choice. Thank you for your business.