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Equipment/Tools Wish List For ’09

A wish list is often a mental list of things wanted or wished for. Kids make up wish lists for birthdays and Christmas. Coaches make up wish lists for talented players that they would like to lure to their teams. So, why shouldn’t farmers have a wish list, too?

Last month we asked our readers to name their first choice of equipment/tools that they would like to invest in next year – a production wish list of sorts. After the votes were tallied, we have a tie between irrigation equipment and precision ag tools with both choices coming in at 29 percent.

In one of our past Web Polls, a respondent noted that “water is the most precious resource a farmer can have.” However, having access to that water and managing it efficiently can determine how much it contributes to your bottom line.

Many farmers report increased efficiency and higher yields from using tools such as irrigation schedulers. Much of the success of efficient watering systems can be attributed to university researchers working closely with farmers, irrigation equipment manufacturers and industry organizations, such as Cotton Incorporated.

As for precision ag tools, which shares first place with irrigation equipment, Cotton Incorporated notes, “Precision agriculture was developed to provide farmers with cost savings in fuel and other inputs. This technology uses computers, sensors and controlled applicators to apply expensive inputs only where needed.”

Results of the other “first choices” are as follows: 19 percent chose harvest equipment, 13 percent picked spray equipment and 10 percent put a tractor at the top of their list.

Not everyone who votes in the Web Poll also make comments on the topic of the month, but many who did this time reflected the frustrations felt not only by farmers but also the American public in general. References to inability to make payments on what they already have and even a “rob Peter to pay Paul” strategy was alluded to when one respondent talked of selling a piece of equipment to make the payments on some of his other inputs. The underlying current was one of “wishing the agricultural environment will become profitable for all farmers on a consistent basis.”

Following is a sampling of some specific comments from readers who voted in the September Web Poll. As always, we do appreciate the feedback.

• “My first choice of equipment/tools to invest in will be the ones that will provide the most potential return.”

• “It was hard to decide between precision ag and irrigation with the high cost of inputs and the savings with variable rate and irrigation schedules provided by precision ag. I chose irrigation because of experiencing two droughts in a row.”

• “I can’t make the payments on the equipment I have now, but if I do decide to purchase something, it will be a boll buggy.”

• “I don’t believe we will see many people making purchases unless they are necessities or perhaps to replace something that cannot be repaired. The most logical purchase, if justification develops, will likely be precision ag gear to apply fertilizers, chemicals and seed at variable rates based on the land’s productivity and needs. I expect rates will be reduced anyway, regardless of precision.”

Modern cotton production becomes more sophisticated and high-tech as each growing season rolls around. This month we’re asking our readers to vote and share their comments about what type of technology has had the most positive impact on their operations.

To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the November poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming January issue.

Web Poll Results

In September, we asked: What would be your first choice of equipment/tools to invest in next year? Please explain your answer in the comments section.

• Tractor — 10 %

• Harvest equipment — 19 %

• Irrigation equipment — 29 %

• Spray equipment — 13 %

• Precision ag tools — 29 %

November Web Poll Question

What type of technology has had the most positive impact on your operation and why?

(1) Seed traits

(2) New crop protection products

(3) Precision ag tools

(4) Equipment

(5) Other

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.

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