Have You Started Planting Yet?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s your favorite use for Easter eggs?”

Deviled eggs is a clear winner in last week’s ZimmPoll. Personally, it is my favorite way to eat boiled eggs too. This Easter I was reminded of my husband’s family tradition of egg tapping. Each person takes a dyed boiled egg and taps the pointed end of their egg with that of another person. The last person left with an egg that is still in tact is the winner. When there is a couple dozen kids running around, this keeps them occupied for awhile. The catch is if you want to play you had better like hard boiled eggs, because when you loose you must eat it.

Our poll results:

  • egg salad – 16%
  • deviled eggs – 37%
  • unpeeled & plain -21%
  • special recipes – 5%
  • not a boiled egg fan – 8%
  • only use plastic – 5%
  • for hunts – 8%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Is corn planting underway in your area?”

Farmers across the country are busy in the fields. For some, planting is well underway. For others Mother Nature hasn’t quite cooperated. Let us know where you are in your corn planting.

What do you do with your Easter eggs?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Has spring sprung for you yet?”

It looks like many across the nation are still shoveling snow. Good thing Easter weekend looks warmer for most. Here in Missouri the Dogwoods are in full bloom and the grass is getting greener by the day.

Our poll results:

  • Still snow on the ground – 27%
  • Still too cold – 24%
  • Seeing positive signs – 18%
  • Late spring for sure – 15%
  • Same as normal – 3%
  • Too wet – 9%
  • Too dry – 3%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What’s your favorite use for Easter eggs?”

The incredible edible egg is in the spotlight this time of the year, but what do you do with all those hard boiled, multi-colored eggs on Monday? Eat them, toss them or watch them rot?

Where Your Marketing Dollars are Going

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s the largest percentage of your 2014 marketing budget?”

It looks like the old faithful form of print marketing tops this week’s ZimmPoll. But what is interesting is that rest of the choices were almost evenly spread across the board, with the newer trends of social media and digital marketing right up there with broadcast and direct mail.

Our poll results:

  • Broadcast – 10%
  • Digital – 15%
  • Direct mail – 10%
  • Print – 25%
  • Social media – 15%
  • Trade show/promo items – 15%
  • Other – 10%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Has spring sprung for you yet?”

If you haven’t got a case of Spring Fever, then you must be living in Florida with Chuck and Cindy. Here in the Midwest we had an 80 degree weekend and now are back into the 30′s. I think Mother Nature is a little confused. Are you seeing any signs of spring in your neck of the woods?

Where Does Your Marketing Budget Go?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you think farm movies can help the public image of agriculture?”

It looks like the majority polled believe these farm movies can play a positive role in improving the agricultural industries image. Getting people to theaters to watch them might be tricky, but the old fashioned word-of-mouth advertising could be the ticket. I, personally, am eager to watch them and share with friends and family.

Our poll results:

  • Definitely – 38%
  • Maybe – 27%
  • No – 11%
  • Not sure – 4%
  • Can’t hurt – 15%
  • Other – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What’s the largest percentage of your 2014 marketing budget?”

Next week is the annual Agri-Marketing Conference in Jacksonville, FL. Agribusiness/agency/media and more will be networking and participating in professional development activities. We’re pretty sure this question will be a part of the conversation.

Can Farm Movies Help Public’s Image of Agriculture

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How will you celebrate Ag Day?”

National Ag Day is nothing new to the agriculture community, but that doesn’t weaken the importance of it’s purpose. Our poll results showed an even spread of those heading to D.C. to celebrate Ag Day, participating via social media and taking a farmer to lunch. It was also evident that there were many state and local events happening nationwide. Others shared that eating good food while toasting American farmers was on their schedule. We all took part in festivities no matter big or small.

Our poll results:

  • In Washington DC – 21%
  • State or local event – 17%
  • Through social media – 21%
  • Take a farmer to lunch – 21%
  • Other – 13%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Do you think farm movies can help the public image of agriculture?”

National Ag Day activities were special this year because of of two great documentary films about farming. There was a private advance screening of Farmland and the national premier of The Great American Wheat Harvest for those lucky enough to get a sneak peek. There is no question we in the agriculture community need to stop sitting on our hands and tell our ag story so it is not told by others inaccurately. Are these movies doing just that? Do you think farm movies will help improve the public’s opinion of agriculture?

How Will You Celebrate Ag Day?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What do you think of the Open Ag Data Alliance?”

Over half of those who participated in this week’s poll thought the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA) was a great idea. Even though many are for this new software project, there are many who are questioning it’s benefits and believe it is confusing. If the learning curve was easy, would more be for it?

Our poll results:

  • Great idea – 54%
  • Terrible idea – 16%
  • No idea what it is – 22%
  • Other – 8%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How will you celebrate Ag Day?”

National Ag Day is Tuesday, March 25. The agriculture community will be taking part in festivities across the country to celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Chuck and Cindy will be in Washington D.C. Chuck is covering the National Ag Day Activities and Cindy the American Coalition for Ethanol Biofuels Beltway March. Whether big or small, we can all do something to recognize the contributions of farmers and ranchers to our nation. What will you do?

Opinion About Open Ag Data Alliance?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s your favorite fish?”

Looks like grilled is a favorite by a landslide. Personally, I agree. I didn’t learn to like fish until later in life and still don’t cook it often, but love when someone makes it for me. It is interesting to see all the fast-food chains adding a fish sandwich to their menu this time of year. Maybe we should have added fish sticks to the list.

Our poll results:

  • Pan Fried – 11%
  • Deep Fried – 19%
  • Poached – 3%
  • Baked – 9%
  • Grilled – 35%
  • Smoked – 9%
  • Soup – 0%
  • Don’t eat fish – 11%
  • Other – 3%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What do you think of the Open Ag Data Alliance?”

The Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA), an open standards software project to ensure farmers have full data access, security and privacy, has officially been launched with the goal of enabling farmers to have flexibility and control over data-driven decisions on their farm. What do you think about it? Do you think there is a need for this – or do you even understand it at all? Let us know!

Majority in Ag are Boycotting Chipotle

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What do you think about Chipotle’s Farmed & Dangerous?”

An overwhelming majority said they have boycotted Chipotle and I am proud to say I fit into that majority. I also believe Chipotle should be ashamed and have decided I don’t need to watch their recent stunt to know they are bad news. Thank you to those in the agricultural community who have made a stand against this restaurant giant and joined the fight to tell agriculture’s story.

Our poll results:

  • Chipotle should be ashamed – 25%
  • Hilarious – Lighten up! – 6%
  • Thought provoking – 4%
  • Refuse to see it – 6%
  • Will never eat at Chipotle – 47%
  • Never heard of it – 12%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What’s your favorite fish?”

Today is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. Many across the country are giving up something beloved to them in the 40 days leading up to Easter and reframing from meat on Friday’s. In honor of that we want to know what’s your favorite way to prepare fish.

Opinion on Chipotle’s Farmed & Dangerous?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “If available, would you put E15 or E85 in your vehicle?”

Although for different reasons, the majority of you said you would use E15 or E85 in your personal vehicle if it was available. It seems the availability is the question. When will we see more stations carrying different blends of ethanol beyond the Midwest?

Our poll results:

  • Yes, if save money – 29%
  • Yes, supports USA – 31%
  • Maybe, need for info – 5%
  • No, have concerns – 14%
  • I already do – 21%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What do you think about Chipotle’s Farmed & Dangerous?”

Chipotle is at it again. It seems their is no limit to their extreme marketing tactics. Many in the agriculture community have voiced their opinions via social media and other online outlets. Has that made a difference? Are we preaching to the choir or are our words only reaching deaf ears?

Most Think Farm Economy Better than Overall

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How does farm economy compare to general U.S.?”

Results varied, but the majority say they feel the U.S. farm economy is better then the general economy. As we move further into 2014 it will be interesting to see how small herd numbers and the drought in California affect people’s outlook.

Our poll results:

  • WAY better – 20%
  • Somewhat better – 52%
  • The same – 7%
  • Worse – 7%
  • Much worse – 0%
  • No idea – 14%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “If available, would you put E15 or E85 in your vehicle?”

Chuck and Cindy just got home from the 2014 National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, FL. The event touched on the state of the ethanol industry, the impact of the RFS on the industry, breaking down the blend wall, the global ethanol industry, perspective from the oil industry and auto manufacturers, and much more. More and more vehicles are becoming equipped with E15 and E85 capabilities, but many still haven’t committed to using this alternative fuel or simply don’t have access to it. Would you use E15 or E85 in your car or truck?

Most Like Crop Insurance in New Farm Bill

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s best in the new farm bill?” More than a third of our respondents agree that crop insurance tops the charts, along with nothing. We see a bit of an oxymoron there!

Our poll results:

  • Crop insurance – 31.25%
  • None – 31.25%
  • Conservation – 9.38%
  • Rural Development – 9.38%
  • Energy – 6.25%
  • Specialty Crops – 6.25%
  • Forestry – 3.13%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “ How does farm economy compare to general U.S.?”

USDA is predicting lower net farm income this year after big gains in 2013 and overall the U.S. economy still appears to be sluggish. But as the farm show season is in full swing and farmers are looking ahead to spring planting, optimism is in the air. How do you think the farm economy looks compared to the general U.S. economy overall? Let us know.

President Signs Farm Bill in Michigan

fb-sign-farmer-1A young Michigan cherry farmer had the honor of introducing the president of the United States prior to signing of the new farm bill at Michigan State University Friday.

“On behalf of farmers across Michigan, I want to say thank you Congress for passing a great farm bill,” said Ben LaCross, former American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher chairman. “Under the previous farm bill, my cherries were not eligible for crop insurance. This farm bill strengthens crop insurance and gives farmers like me the tools we need to survive a weather disaster.”

fb-signing“Despite its name, the farm bill is not just about helping farmers,” President Obama told the small crowd invited for the signing. “Secretary Vilsack calls it a jobs bill, an innovation bill, an infrastructure bill, a research bill, a conservation bill. It’s like a Swiss Army knife.”

Vilsack was among those who joined the president as he signed the bill, along with Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and others.

Listen to the president’s speech here: President Obama farm bill signing

What do you think of the new farm bill? Which part is most important to you? Tell us in this week’s ZimmPoll.

What is Best in New Farm Bill

New Holland ZimmPollBefore we get to the Farm Bill let’s look at our latest ZimmPoll which asked the question, “Could drones (UAV’s) serve a purpose on your operation?”

Well over half of the voters this week said that drones could in fact serve a purpose on their operation. Price is still a factor and may be the reason that some operations would not use them yet. We’re going to see a lot more about this new technology since predictions have been made that eighty percent of the multi-million dollar market will be for agricultural use.

Our poll results:

  • Yes, if affordable – 50%
  • No – 18%
  • Yes, at any price – 14%
  • No, worried about privacy – 14%
  • What are they? – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What’s best in the new farm bill?”

The Senate finally passed its version of a conference bill Jan. 29, and now the farm bill goes to President Obama’s desk. As you can read on Senator Debbie Stabenow’s website: “This isn’t your father’s Farm Bill. It is a bill for our future that grows our agriculture economy, helps provide greater access to healthy Michigan-grown foods, preserves our land and water, and cuts unnecessary spending. The Farm Bill is a rare example of a major bipartisan jobs bill and a bipartisan deficit reduction bill,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. Have you had the chance to review the new bill? Let us know what you think is the best part.

Most Don’t Trust HSUS Ag Councils

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s your opinion of state HSUS Ag Councils?”

We had an overwhelming large turn out of voters for this controversial ZimmPoll question. The majority of voters agree that if the HSUS label is present in anything, then it can’t be trusted. However, many are eager to work with the group. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It will be interesting to see how productive these HSUS Ag Councils are and if their goals aline with those of the agricultural community.

Our poll results:

  • Can’t trust HSUS – 55%
  • Should work with HSUS – 32%
  • Waste of time – 7%
  • Don’t know – 2%
  • Other – 4%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Could drones (UAV’s) serve a purpose on your operation?”

Precision technology in the agricultural industry is impossible to ignore and continually growing interest with farmers and ranchers globally. We have been seeing a lot of talk about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) or better known as drones. The use of drones to fly over crops and livestock to maximize profits is one of the hottest topics entering the agriculture sector. The sky seems to be the limit when it comes to the possibilities with this new technology, but advancements won’t be seen at all until approval is given from the FAA. The price tag might seem high to some, but others may see only see the benefits. We did a similar ZimmPoll on this topic last year asking, “What use would you have for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle?” Could you see yourself utilizing these unmanned aircrafts to increase profitability on your operation?

What’s your opinion of state HSUS Ag Councils?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How did the ‘Polar Vortex’ affect you?”

Old man winter hasn’t left and chances are won’t anytime soon. This winter’s buzz word has been polar vortex. Has your winter been different then others? If so, has it been caused by this new buzz word. Or has winter at your house been about normal? Well, in this week’s ZimmPoll the majority said it made work more difficult. Farmers and ranchers around the country are among many other’s who don’t get a day off when the weather gets bad. I was surprised to see the number of people who weren’t really affected. Maybe they live in the deep South or maybe they are used to brutal weather and adapt.

Our poll results:

  • Not at all – 26%
  • Somewhat – 26%
  • Made work more difficult – 33%
  • Couldn’t work – 14%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What’s your opinion of state HSUS Ag Councils?”

HSUS has been organizing state Agriculture Councils with the intention to unite farmers. These councils are made up of farmers, ranchers and conservationists and HSUS says the goal is to foster better animal welfare and environmental stewardship. Councils have been established in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio. Most recently they have created one in Missouri. Many question the legitimacy of these councils and claim they are front groups for HSUS. What do you think? Do you trust HSUS?

Would You Wear Google Glass?

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Would you wear Google Glass?”

Some are still unsure what Google Glass is and even more have no desire to wear them at all. But those techies out there look willing to jump on the bandwagon with Chuck and see how these computers you wear on your face could make work easier or simply life more entertaining. Chuck brought his ZimmGlass with him to AFBF earlier this week and captured a few photos and video interviews. But admits there is a learning curve to master them.

Our poll results:

  • Yes – Depending on price – 38%
  • Yes – No matter what – 8%
  • No – 42%
  • What are they? – 12%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How did the ‘Polar Vortex’ affect you??”

Last week the country faced record lows. Some trudged through heavy snow and blizzard like conditions and others battled ice and freezing rain. Chuck and Cindy even suffered in Florida with temps in the teens. Windchill conditions closed schools and cancelled events. But farmers and ranchers nationwide still had work to do. Even more of a reason to thank a farmer! How did last week’s extreme cold affect you?

Mixed Results on New Health Insurance Plan

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How is your health insurance for 2014?”

We had a pretty low voter turn out for this ZimmPoll. It may be due to the holidays, but I’m thinking it might be due to confusion. Most people probably still haven’t figured out how their personal health insurance plans will change, if they will change and what it will cost them. I am one of the lucky ones and my insurance won’t be changing.

Our poll results:

  • Lower cost, better benefits – 23%
  • No change – 23%
  • Other-Higher costs, same benefits – 23%
  • Higher cost, better benefits – 15%
  • Higher cost, less benefits – 8%
  • Can’t figure it out yet – 8%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Would you wear Google Glass?”

Chuck has been flaunting his new toy around quite a bit lately. This toy being Google Glass. I asked when I would be receiving mine, but was quickly informed that because he is part of Google’s beta test, only one is allotted per company. That means I will have to wait along with the rest of the population. Chuck has deemed his the ZimmGlass and has been experimenting with ways he can use it out on the agriblogging highway. Does this new technology have a place in agriculture? Can you see yourself wearing this computer on your face while out in public? Tell us what you think!

What Do You Have For 2014 Health Insurance

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is your traditional Christmas dinner?”

Our poll results:
·         Other – 30%
·         Ham – 28%
·         Turkey – 22%
·         Roast Beef – 11%
·         Lobster – 5%
·         Wild Game – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How is your health insurance for 2014?”

The Zimmermans are still figuring out their health insurance coverage for 2014. Their plan, which was not very good, was increased significantly due to Obamacare. So they found another plan that is still more expensive but has way better coverage. Meanwhile, they are still working on coverage for their daughters in Missouri, since the insurance they had for them was supposedly increased in cost but they never even received a notice from the company and are up in the air right now. What about you?  

What’s on Your Christmas Table?

zp-nhOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “ Which winter farm shows/events are you planning to attend?”

Our poll results:
· National – 29%
· None – 24%
· All of the above – 19%
· State – 10%
· Other – 10%
· Regional – 5%
· Local – 5%

Looks like quite a few of you will be traveling to shows this winter. Be careful and we hope you find what you’re looking for.

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “ What is your traditional Christmas dinner?” Will there be a big bird in the middle of your family dinner table or a mouthwatering roast beef? Let us know!

Attending Any Winter Events?

zp-nhOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you plan to make any year-end equipment purchases?”

Our poll results:

·         No. Not this year:  35%
·         Yes – Planting equipment:  18%
·         Yes – Sprayers:  12%
·         Yes – GPS/guidance:  12%
·         Yes – Hay equipment:  6%
·         Yes – Harvest equipment:  6%
·         Yes – Tillage:  6%
·         Yes – Other:  6%

Looks like most of the farmers out there are either up-to-date on equipment or satisfied with what they have. Are things like Farm Bill uncertainty holding you back?

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Which winter farm shows/events are you planning to attend?” Are you planning to get out of the house to browse new products and services this fall and winter or wait and see what spring brings? Let us know!