RACINE, Wis. - Case IH launched its BE READY Discussion Series at the 2011 Ag Connect Expo to provide attendees with insights into opportunities and challenges facing the industry. The educational discussions brought together leading experts from both inside and outside the industry with unique perspectives on key issues impacting agriculture today with the purpose of empowering producers.
"Working alongside farmers every day, Case IH is well-aware of the growing demands on agriculture and the challenges farmers contend with - from feeding an expanding global population while meeting strict new emission requirements, to producing more food on fewer acres while minimizing our environmental footprint," says Ryann Greve, Case IH Marketing Communications Manager. "Our goal for the BE READY Discussion Series was to provide farmers with unique insights to they need to be ready for the opportunities and challenges ahead."
The Series kicked off with a special VIP panel entitled, "The World of Farming is Changing - Will You Be Ready?" Together, moderator John Phipps, an Illinois farmer and host of the U.S. Farm Report, and guest panelists Dan Basse, President of AgResource; Tom Dorr, President & CEO of the U.S. Grains Council; Rep. Jim Nussle, former U.S. House of Representatives; and Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, gave attendees insights into the key issues that could influence their decision making in 2011.
The panelists covered a range of topics, including public policy, global market influences, and the future of ethanol, but, their resounding message was the importance of industry engagement: "As producers we have got to be creative. We've got to be prepared. We've got to be informed. But more important than anything else, we've got to be engaged," said Rep. Jim Nussle. Tom Buis added, "You all need to participate. Whether it's in a commodity organization or a general farm organization, get your views known."
Dan Basse and Tom Dorr headlined the second BE READY Discussion - Global Markets. In their remarks, Basse and Dorr explained that in order for farmers to make sound marketing decisions and control how agricultural commodities compete in the global marketplace, they need to understand how issues, such as political concerns and food safety, influence trade relationships. "We as producers really need to engage so that we stay at the front end of these issues," Dorr explained. "We need to think how they're going to drive our policy and global policy in order to make sure that we meet the demand."
General Wesley K. Clark, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army and co-chairman of Growth Energy, drew a record crowd on Ag Connect Opening Day for a discussion on Alternative Energy and National Security. His comments focused on the national security implications of the United States' foreign oil dependence and agriculture's role in providing alternative energy sources, such as ethanol. "In the agricultural business, you are the most productive sector of America. You're the sector that made America great," declared Clark. "Now we've got to take that productivity out of agriculture and move it to the next level. And that is to produce a liquid fuel that will free us from dependence on imported oil in the near term."
In addition, Brian Hefty, farmer and host of RFD-TV's AgPhD, was also on hand to provide updates on resistant weeds and current weed management strategies in his presentation, "Weed Resistance Around the World." According to Hefty, application equipment, timing, weather, field conditions, and weed type all play a role in weed resistance and effective weed management. However, he explained that "if you have good drainage, good fertility, control your insects and diseases, plant earlier and do everything possible to get a great crop, late season weeds will be a lot less of an issue."
The BE READY Discussion Series wrapped up with two engine emissions technology panels, "Engine Emissions Technology - What's New Here and Abroad?" and "Engine Emissions Technology - Fact vs. Fiction," which offered perspectives from industry experts on the new Tier 4A emissions mandates and the technologies equipment manufacturers are using to meet them.
"The world of agriculture is ever-evolving and Case IH recognizes the need for today's farmers to keep pace with the changes," says Greve. "Case IH is committed to developing thought-provoking seminars, like the BE READY Discussion Series, to help farmers prepare for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."
Daily recap videos live from the Ag Connect Expo and the BE READY Discussion Series can be viewed on the Case IH Be Ready blog at CaseIH.com/beready now. In addition, by completing a simple survey at CaseIH.com regarding the key issues of concern for agriculture, you can receive a Case IH Ag Connect Expo DVD featuring series recaps and behind-the-scenes video from BE READY presenters.
Case IH is a global leader in agricultural equipment, committed to collaborating with its customers to develop the most powerful, productive, reliable equipment - designed to meet today's agricultural challenges. Challenges like feeding an expanding global population on less land, meeting ever-changing government regulations and managing input costs. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of dealers and distributors that operates in over 160 countries. Case IH provides agricultural equipment systems, flexible financial service offerings and parts and service support for professional farmers and commercial operators through a dedicated network of professional dealers and distributors. Productivity enhancing products include tractors; combines and harvesters; hay and forage equipment; tillage tools; planting and seeding systems; sprayers and applicators; site-specific farming tools and utility vehicles. Case IH is a brand of CNH (NYSE: CNH), a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A. (FI.MI).