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Brokaw Supply: ‘We can meet all needs’

By Staff | Sep 10, 2010

Craig Harthorn, sales manager for Brokaw Supply Co. in Fort Dodge, explains a bank of monitors which can be added to existing tractors to assist crop growers with precision ag practicies.


Farm News news editor

BOONE During the last two hours of the 2010 Farm Progress Show Thursday, Craig Harthorn was tired, but glad for the experience of meeting with producers from around the region.

After talking with scores of visitors to the company’s booth during the three-day affair, Harthorn said the weather may have kept some people away, but, he added, “The quality of visitors and buyers were great.”

Harthorn, sales manager for Brokaw Supply, said he and a bevy of representatives “were excited to show visitors that Brokaw has evolved from an equipment dealer to a distributing dealership with expertise in precision agriculture.” Precision ag is one of farming’s new buzz words during the past five years.

“We have anhydrous coolers with high flow (capacities),” Harthorn said, in addition to precision ag instruments such as “auto steering,” auto swath and section control of fertilizer application.

“They can map fields to adjust (application) rates on the go.”

And, oh yes, they also have iron. The show was a chance for the company to display its Blu-Jet line of tillage and fertilizer application tools. “Blu-Jet is our flagship line,” Harthorn said.

With all of its offerings, Harthorn said, “We can service our farmer customers, but we can be a one-stop shopping source for co-op elevators in fertilizer retail, seed retail, seed handling, tillage, fertilizer application and maintenance.

“We used to handle one facet (of farming), but now we can handle anything they need.”

Among Brokaw’s precision ag offerings, all manufactured by Raven, are:

AccuFlow: This is a high-flow anhydrous cooling system. It promises to be accurate, easy to operate and reliability. It features a 30-gallon-per-minute cooling system for accurate monitoring and application. It also features a section control boom assembly that automatically shuts down tool bar sections when passing over no-application or previously applied areas.

Viper Pro: Another device by Raven, operates guidance and steering systems, variable-rate application, wireless communications, boom control, real time weather updates and data mapping.

Switch Pro: This is the console through which the two above products are dovetailed. It can control upward to 10 boom sections to spray exactly where nitrogen is needed, avoiding errors and wasteful overlaps. Programs such as assisted steering, auto boom height control and planter controls can be added.

As for new equipment, Blu-Jet has trotted out a new fertilizer applicator, the AT4010, for all terrain fertilizer injection technology.

Besides a 1,400-gallon tank, the machine features a 7-by-7-foot Gullwing toolbar for flexibility in uneven fields.

As members of the Brokaw crew started packing away brochures and discussing post-show activities around him, Harthorn was asked if three days was enough, or if he would have preferred a few more days for the show.

“Three is enough,” he said. “The Farm Progress Show is on the calendar well in advance and farmers have a chance to plan on who they will visit.

“But there’s no doubt, this is the granddaddy of the shows.”

Harthorn said Brokaw will also have a presence at the Clay County Fair later this month.


Fort Dodge Steel partners to promote new potential cash crop

A potential new cash crop for Iowa farmers attracted visitors to the booth of Trellis Growing Systems at the Farm Progress Show this week and Fort Dodge Steel has a hand in the development.

According to TGS founder Richard Barnes, of Fort Wayne, Ind., a new trellis system for growing blackberries has been proven highly successful and was in Iowa trying to sign farmers up for designating a minimum of 10 acres to grow blackberries.

The system is manufactured by Bedford Reinforced Plastics Inc., in Bedford, Pa., and Fort Dodge Steel, of 15 North 1st St., is the Iowa distributor for the hardware.

Barnes said this is designed for commercial scale blackberry production. His company signed two northwest Iowa farms to begin implementing the trellis system next year and has eight additional farmers “that I think are 70 percent likely” to follow suit.

Barnes, an organic blackberry producer in Indiana, said the proliferation of vineyards in Iowa during the past decade showed him that many Iowa producers are open to the prospect of alternative crops.

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, Ext. 453, or at kersh@farm-news.com.

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