PRODUCTS TO WATCH
by Bekah Reddick, Assistant Editor
For the past several years, Agri Marketing has selected an annual recipient of the prestigious Product of the Year award. We are now in the process of repositioning the purpose of the award, which will be launched in 2002. In the interim, innovation still abounds in agriculture. Below are three innovative products recently developed and launched - products that we feel provide a substantial benefit to the industry.
PROTIONE PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT
Positioned as an innovative alternative to traditional feed supplements, ProtiOne is a protein supplement, that when added to starter diets of weanling pigs, improves gain and feed conversion. ProtiOne was introduced into the swine industry in June 2000 and has captured two percent of the baby pig protein supplement market since then. It is a product of Trouw Nutrition, Highland, Ill., a Nutreco company.
The product is a globulin protein supplement that provides a natural source of immunoglobulins during the most crucial period of a pig’s life - the first weeks postweaning. ProtiOne is based on two technologies - spray-dried plasma, the standard that has been widely used for more than 10 years, and hyperimmunized eggs, a new technology that compliments the known effectiveness of plasma.
Studies show that ProtiOne significantly improves gain and feed conversion in comparison to plasma. And, because producers can use up to one-third less of the product in the diet compared to plasma, the overall cost of supplementation is less.
The official launch of ProtiOne occurred at the 2000 World Pork Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. The marketing theme was "Move over plasma - there’s a new sheriff in town." Graphics centered on artwork of a ProtiOne bag dressed as a sheriff with six-shooter, cowboy hat and accompanying steed (a pig) with a saddle on its back. The graphic was the focal point of ads and brochures, and the trade show display. For more information, visit www.nutreco.com.
FIBERMAX COTTON SEED
Transgenic seed has claimed a huge stake in the cotton seed market in years past, but there is still demand for conventional seed. Distributed by AgChem, FiberMax is a new player in the conventional market, which boasts two characteristics that were not thought to be possible as a combination: quantity and quality.
FiberMax has raised the bar in terms of quality and yield, which were once considered mutually exclusive by researchers and economists. These two elements create a valuable blend, as both are required in the global arena to maintain a competitive edge in the world market.
The product also proves valuable to the producer’s bottom line. Textile mills with new spinning technology are demanding higher quality cotton and paying more for it. According to growers, including members of the FiberMax Cotton Growers Assn. - a group established to generate better returns by pooling and marketing high-quality FiberMax cotton - FiberMax has consistently achieved better return on investment at the gin.
The success of FiberMax did not just happen on its own. It has come from both strong push and pull marketing efforts. Aventis launched the product in 1996 and has used public relations to feed into the continuing interest in fiber quality. Most of the marketing and communications efforts have been targeted toward the geography with the most potential for initial sales. As continued success occurs, these efforts will be expanded throughout the Cotton Belt. Visit www.cottonexperts.com for more information. AM
STX SERIES STEIGER TRACTORS
Agriculture producers no longer have to choose between power and versatility when selecting a four-wheel-drive tractor - now they have both in one machine. The STX Series Steiger tractors by Case IH, Racine, Wis., are unlike traditional machines, in that they can be used for both high-horsepower productivity and row-crop work.
The Case IH exclusive AccuSteer® precision steering system allows the front frame to pivot an additional 10 degrees, creating a more precise steering option. Farmers can now make in-row steering corrections without articulating the tractor, which improves tractor handling and reduces implement sway, along with cultivator blight and machinery wear.
Because of their new design, STX Steiger tractors also effectively transfer power to where farmers need it most. The design features a lengthened wheelbase and drawbar to increase stability and improve the pull angle, providing more pulling power with less effort.
Case IH launched the new tractor series in August 2000. The target audience for the STX series is customers with greater than 2,500 acres who will use either the STX 4WD or Quadtrac equipment for heavy tillage, land leveling, and planting and cultivating in row crops and small grains.
Initially, Case IH developed an ad to launch and position the new STX Steiger 4WD and STX Quadtrac. It followed up with application-specific ads to target key customers in the heavy tillage, scraper, row crop planting or cultivating and small grain seeding applications. For more information, visit www.caseih.com. AM