Best part of this job, sometimes, is the ability to get out and see a lot of agriculture around the country. That's a pleasure I'm sure a lot of our readers would enjoy, especially when you get to visit a wide range of places. Recently, I got to visit Wilcox Agri-Products near Walnut Grove, Calif. They make a hefty, versatile multi-purpose, one-pass tool they call the Wilcox Eliminator.
You can read more about that tool in my October Farmer Iron column in your favorite Farm Progress publication. Just wanted to share something interesting that came out of the visit.
Those of us with a more Midwest or Southern orientation often look out West and think the diversified farmers of California have a lot going on. Interestingly, while talking with Alan Wilcox, president, Wilcox Agri-Products, he talked about the great farmers of the Midwest.
Perhaps he said that because his sixth-generation family farm also grows corn like a lot of Midwesterners - but corn like you can't see in Iowa. Maybe he thinks we're real good out here because we have a different kind of soil and we get a crop - usually - year in and year out.
Not sure of the answer, but my impression was that Wilcox was looking at our equipment. We have tools for a wide range of jobs and we're usually pretty economical about what we do. The equipment we use is specially tailored to our soils and there are so many farmers that need that tillage equipment, you have a good choice of options.
In California, the higher residue created by super-tall corn that still only yields about 200 bushels; the specialty crops that need to be turned under and worked into the soil; and the changing nature of land use means that a lot of equipment from here does not work as well there.
Wilcox answered that challenge by creating his own one-pass product - which I'm showing below. It's just great to connect with another farmer from a different part of the country and get his perspective. Of course, Wilcox likes to keep in touch with what all of ag is doing, so chances are I'll get to see him next week at the Farm Progress Show since he usually makes the trip east every year.
Agriculture is a local business. We've always said that here at Farm Progress, and our local magazines show it. But the interchange of ideas from locality to locality remains a hallmark of the industry.
Here's the one-pass Wilcox Eliminator. Learn more about this interesting rig in the October print edition of Farmer Iron.