Equipment manufacturers unite

Consolidation has not bypassed the ag equipment manufacturing associations. The Equipment Manufacturers Institute (EMI) and the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA) merged into one trade association on January 1. The new organization is called the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and includes 800 member companies, a $10 million operating budget and 50 staff members in Chicago, Milwaukee, Washington and Beijing.

EMI members were agricultural, industrial and construction equipment manufacturers, and CIMA served manufacturers of construction machines and related equipment. The two associations believed that, together, they would have a stronger industry voice, more services and more international trade opportunities.

Internet users check subsidies

Farmers' Internet use skyrocketed when a new farm subsidy site, www.ewg.org/farm, went online. Established by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the site identifies farmers and ranks them by the amount of conservation program payments each has received since 1996. EWG reports that more than 10 million searches were conducted on the site by early January. EWG is a nonprofit group that wants to take money from crop programs and spend it on conservation.
- the Washington Agricultural Record

Attend business seminar

Don't forget to sign up for the business planning seminar sponsored by Deere & Company and Farm Industry News. Scheduled for February 26 through 28 in the Kansas City Airport Marriott, the Farm Management and Business Seminar will help growers write business plans and prepare for the future. The cost is $295. For more information, contact AgInsight at 515/251-8992 or visit www.aginsight.com/businessplan.

Farm chain expands

Tractor Supply Company (TSC), a 323-store farm and ranch chain, announced it is purchasing Quality Stores, a Muskeegan, MI, farm store operation that voluntarily entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy. TSC expects to reopen about 85 of the Quality Stores in the TSC format by mid-2002 and will add several more new TSC stores to its chain this year.

U.S. ships wheat to Cuba

In its first trade deal with Cuba since 1963, the U.S. shipped 1.1 million bushels of hard red winter wheat No. 2 to the island nation in January. ADM/Farmland negotiated the sale, which was the first made under a year-old U.S. law allowing the sale of food and medicine to Cuba.

LibertyLink financing

Growers who buy LibertyLink corn hybrids and Liberty herbicides are eligible to receive low-rate financing through two seed corn companies. Aventis CropScience announces that growers buying Pioneer brand corn with the LibertyLink trait along with Liberty and Liberty ATZ herbicides may receive financing at 2.5% below prime in Pioneer's TruChoice Opportunity Program. Or growers who buy NK Brand YieldGard or NK LibertyLink corn hybrids as well as Liberty herbicides may qualify for 2.5% below prime financing in Syngenta's Seed AgriFit Plan. Contact your local Aventis sales representative for more information or visit www.cornexperts.com.