Used Machinery Dilemma Drifts into 2016

By: Jim Patrico Progressive Farmer Senior Editor The farm equipment industry won't remember 2015 fondly. Sales of new equipment continued a two-year slide; used equipment began to pile up on dealer lots and production lines slowed, causing employee layoffs.

Looking ahead to 2016, the industry sees a largely unchanged ag business environment and can only hope the trend line will at least flatten and not continue downward.

Over the last couple of years, manufacturers have tried to help move used equipment by offering certified pre-owned programs. The idea was to provide a type of extended warranty that would entice customers to buy used equipment.

Congress tried to help, too. In December, it made Section 179 of the IRS code permanent. The intent is to give...

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Weather Extremes Increase Water Transportation Challenges

By Mary Kennedy, DTN Basis Analyst In 2016, the biggest issue for the aging river system will be ongoing and new repairs to some of the key lock and dam areas along the Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois rivers.

As 2015 ended, this became even more evident and critical. The U.S. river system was under siege: heavy rains caused massive flooding and added pressure to the aging water transportation network.

Flooding is unusual for this time of year, but the extreme weather systems that moved through Texas, up into the Midwest, and across the Ohio River Valley at the end of December brought on excessive rains, which were 200% to 300% above normal in a compressed period of time, according to Tom Russell, of the Russell...

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Big Crops Got Smaller, USDA Report Summary

By Katie Micik, DTN Markets Editor WASHINGTON (DTN) -- USDA trimmed the size of the 2015 corn and soybean crops, forecast significant declines in winter wheat seedings and left Brazil's soybean production unchanged in the bevy of reports released Tuesday morning.

At 11 a.m. USDA released its quarterly Grain Stocks, Annual Crop Production, Winter Wheat Seedings, the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report and more.

The U.S. estimates in Tuesday's reports should be viewed as neutral-to-bearish for corn, bullish for soybeans and bearish for wheat, according to DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. World estimates should be viewed as bullish for corn and soybeans, but bearish for wheat, Hultman said.

For DTN's exclusive audio comments, visit:…

Among the major highlights:

-- The U.S. soybean crop was...

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