Latest articles


Dawn of the ‘smart’ combine

Automated and self-adjusting threshing systems become the norm

Combine manufacturers have made giant strides toward machine automation. Yes, there still needs to be an operator in the cab (and we’re likely some distance away from changing that), but a growing number of today’s combines are making their own decisions about how to adjust their operations on the go for maximum threshing efficiency and […] Read more


Short-liners get aggressive

We sit down with Leah Olson, president of Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada, to take the pulse of today’s Canadian short-line equipment manufacturers

In past years, as the calendar began leading up to summer, my email inbox would fill with press releases from short-line ag equipment manufacturers hungry to show off their their new models and boost sales. This year, however, was quiet. There just weren’t as many announcements as I’d come to expect. Yes, there have been […] Read more



Case IH shifts gears

New transmissions debut in the Steiger and Maxxum tractor lines

Cole Carling, marketing manager for Case IH Maxxum and Puma tractors, was telling our group of farm machinery writers what’s going to be different in the 2018 Maxxum tractors we’ll see rolling off assembly lines starting this fall. Carling was talking to us in Boone, Iowa in August, and said, “We’re introducing new styling… It’s […] Read more


The breakthrough in farm machinery

Could this field robot be the tipping point in equipment design?

It left me saying to myself, “Get your head around that!” There was no real doubt about it, after all. The industry’s biggest surprise this summer was the out-of-the-blue introduction at the Ag in Motion farm show near Saskatoon in July of SeedMaster’s autonomous new implement carrier, dubbed the DOT. Not only is the DOT […] Read more



Right from the farm

Farmer-owned Capricorn Bay bridges the planter-drill divide

The Prince family runs a large-scale family farm in southwestern Manitoba, where for years they have wished for a single, effective piece of seeding equipment that they could use for all of their crops. Now, they’ve turned that dream into a market-ready implement and a fledgling equipment brand. Their on-farm creation, the PPS planter, can […] Read more


Turning friends into targets

Be glad you aren’t the CEO of a major machinery manufacturer in the new era of Donald Trump

Ever since Donald Trump sold 62 million American voters on the idea that, by applying border taxes, he could recreate a manufacturing landscape last seen in the 1950s, there have been sweat stains on the collars of manufacturing executives everywhere. Now, more of those executives within the U.S. are speaking out about what they think […] Read more



John Deere looks to 2018

New combines figure big in the green brand’s plan to get you buying

Stretched out across the large grassy lawn in early June in front of John Deere’s Harvester Works in Moline, Illinois, was a broad assortment of equipment, with marketing staff showing off to the farm media from Canada and the U.S. what Deere would be adding to its product line for 2018. Several of the machines […] Read more


A Genius in the tractor cab

This systems supplier is integrating cutting-edge automotive safety systems into off-road equipment cabs

A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing the industrial designer who styled the cab and body of the first Challenger 65 belted ag tractors, which were then part of the Caterpillar brand before coming under AGCO ownership. Before coming to Cat, the designer had spent several years working for General Motors and […] Read more



A new machinery brand for Canada

Australian manufacturer K-Line makes a big jump into the North American market

If you were a farm equipment manufacturer in a country that is its own continent, where would you look to make your first expansion into the international market? For the Australian company K-Line, the choice was easy. Head to North America. “It’s really one of the best moves we’ve made, as far as our company […] Read more


‘Senior’ management

At 82, Amilcare Merlo is still planning the long-term future of the company that will be his legacy

In February I was invited to tag along with a group of dealers and their customers as they paid a visit to telehandler manufacturer Merlo’s assembly plant just outside the historic old city of Cuneo, Italy. When everyone had arrived, we stood on a balcony at the plant and watched several telehandlers go through a […] Read more