Connect with us

Demo Trading

4 Ways to Get More Value Out of Agriculture Equipment and Technology

From retrofitting existing equipment to routine maintenance, there are several ways growers and their advisors can maximize use of their ag equipment and technology. Uncertain. Challenging. Or the one we continue to hear the most, unprecedented.

From retrofitting existing equipment to routine maintenance, there are several ways growers and their advisors can maximize use of their ag equipment and technology.

Advertisement

Uncertain. Challenging. Or the one we continue to hear the most, unprecedented.

Even as companies are trying to show empathy with all the chaos COVID-19 has caused, these buzzwords have started to fall on deaf ears as we are inundated with corporate placations on struggle and fear. Although we may be tired of hearing them, the root of the words have truth: economically, things are tricky right now.

While farms are considered essential businesses and haven’t been shut down during the pandemic, to say growers are operating under “a business as usual” philosophy couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to equipment and financial management strategies.

Investing in the Existing
Growers’ equipment that was slated for a sale or trade-in at the local dealership may now have to remain fixtures in the fleet for another year, or two, or even more. New technology solutions they hoped to add this year may have to be put off for the time being.

But this isn’t a bad thing. Buying new machines and technology are not the only ways we can advise growers to invest in their business and remain profitable.

It’s always good advice to help growers get the most out of what they have but in these uncertain times (there, I had to say it), this advice becomes crucial. How can we help keep those older pieces from deflating in value faster than necessary? How do we advise keeping those used items valuable for the operation instead of feeling old and slow?

Looking ahead to this winter and with a little forethought, we can make the most out of the tagalong equipment and technology that may be around for another year or two – or more. Agronomic and technological tools are often thought of as too expensive or inaccessible, but there are many ways to upgrade equipment without buying brand now.

With the economic road ahead still unclear, here are four ways growers can invest in their existing equipment and technology.

1. Utilize the Under- (or not at all) Utilized

A seasoned piece of equipment may have new value by properly utilizing its features fully, particularly when it comes to technology. Too often, growers fear technology, seeing it as something unknown they have to learn. However, in many cases that “new” technology isn’t necessarily that new, it’s been there all along, and fully-utilizing it may mean increasing productivity, and reducing cost and time spent.

Story from the Field
I was recently calling on hundreds of growers that needed to accept terms and conditions on agronomic software through our equipment partner, John Deere. I learned, not only were many of them not using the software, they were not even aware of it and what it was capable of doing for their farm management. More importantly, they did not know how much value they were leaving on the table by not using the technology and John Deere Operations Center, an account which they already had access. In fact, a couple of them thought I was trying to sell them the program, not simply encourage use of a software they already had.

As a follow up, one grower asked me to come out and show him how to use the Operations Center. As I was going through the different tools, he was engaged in the opportunity and asked if needed to upgrade from his old display and GPS equipment to utilize the software.

The answer? No upgrades were needed! What was even better, the software was 100% free.

He will now be saving money with map creation next spring – a task which he had paid for and relied on from his seed dealer – as well as saving time with his sprayer record-keeping – which he could have been utilizing with his rate controller – among other things.

Total extra cost to this grower? Zero dollars.

Added benefit of fully utilizing technology already purchased? Priceless.

2. Look for Upgrade Options

New features and technology are among the most attractive reasoning for buying new equipment, to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. When new machine purchases just are not feasible, it is good to know that most new opportunities from equipment manufacturers can be retrofitted back to previous year’s equipment. Instead of buying that new piece of equipment, growers may be able to give the reasonably newer pieces of equipment a quick upgrade.

Story from the Field
Earlier this spring, a brand-new John Deere R4033 sprayer sat outside a grower’s shop. We excitedly looked around the straight-out-of-the-box (quite literally) sprayer that he had received to demo and was going to use the next day.

As we did our pre-start walkaround, we went over the agronomy and business highlights of some of the features – but I could tell he was uncomfortable. When he had signed up for the demo, he had been eager and optimistic about adding the new sprayer to his fleet, particularly because he was interested in its Deere ExactApply system.

Now he had arrived at demo day and was becoming acutely aware that a new sprayer wasn’t likely to happen in the next year or two. But he still had a fundamental need for the ExactApply for production success.

When he admitted this, I explained that ExactApply could be retrofitted onto any R-Series 2014 or newer. Rather than break the bank buying new, he might be able to find a used sprayer on the market and retrofit it with ExactApply.

This is a valuable lesson for growers and trusted advisors. For us advisors especially, it might be worth building a retrofitting plan for a grower, one that focuses on utilizing value-added or newer features on existing equipment as a way to keep it functional and high-performing for a few more years.

This can also be a good strategy for increasing the trade-in value of the equipment down the road, even during some critical years of depreciation if a grower can’t afford to trade in during that window of opportunity. It certainly cannot stop depreciation, but it might make it manageable until the grower can afford to update keystone pieces of equipment.

3. Don’t Allow Wear Out to Wear Down

While it may not be this year or even next, if a grower plans to trade in a tractor, the best advice to give right now is to maintain and care for that machine at 100%.

Story from the Field
“I felt like I had to take my shoes off before getting into the cab!” my co-worker quietly exclaimed as he got out of a customer’s tractor. I laughed because I expected nothing less from this grower and anything he owned. Even his riding lawnmower had a gleaming finish.

The tractor was a 2010 Deere 8285R but you would never guess it’s a decade old by looking at it. One could assume it was fresh from the factory in Moline, IL. The interior was pristine, the oil ran clear, and the grower had documented – down to the last filter change – what work had been done in his shop.

Simply put, well-documented and systematic maintenance, along with meticulous cleaning and upkeep, are the simplest yet most underutilized values that can be put into a tractor. Some growers don’t want to bring in their equipment for annual inspections with their dealer partner but all should be handling their own maintenance – then recording the work that has been done.

Not only is it a solid investment in extending the life of a machine, the proof of routine maintenance and overall care is evaluated on a trade-in. It is hard to replace a first impression so taking the time to care for the machine and keep it in good condition can go a long way in adding value. Plus, there’s the simple value of working in a cab that doesn’t have an anxiety-building amount of dirt, garbage, and clutter. As my mom used to say, mud is incidental, grime takes time.

While it may not be this year or next year, if the grower is planning to trade in that tractor, a strategy of care and cleaning establishes him or her to get the best value when that time comes.

4. Don’t Let the Little Things Get Away

Speaking of investing in today’s equipment for tomorrow’s trade-in, the added value growers can put into their machines goes beyond cleaning and maintenance, to also include more significant upgrades and repairs.

Story from the Field
As an example, consider precision equipment firmware updates. One of my customers is the proud owner of a 12-year-old, Deere 7R Series that still had a 2600 display and a StarFire iTC geolocation system. She asked my coworker and me to look at it for an appraisal and, as we jumped in, learned it was the fastest-booting 2600 we’d seen in years. It took only seconds to load and was ready to work even before we were.

The simple reason: the grower had been updating it, like clockwork. Every time there was a new update, she was downloading her data into Operations Center and deleting it off the display as soon she was done with it. A simple but effective practice is making sure updates are done and the data in managed.

Someone who had not been so diligent may have needed a new system, one that would cost thousands of dollars. In this case, the grower was able to keep the system and upgrade out of the iTC (which was going to be non-functional in a few months) for less than half the cost.

The concept isn’t just in precision technology that needs occasional fixes. How many times has something non-vital broken off on something you own and you just shrug your shoulders? I am as guilty as anyone; almost everything I own has a part broken off that I just never get around to fixing. However, for growers, those little repairs can make an item feel managed and increase the experience of sitting in that cab an extra year or two, not to mention increase trade-in the value.

Many times, especially on ground-engaging equipment like tillage equipment or planters, it is advantageous to do repairs before trading it in. An example: Growers should consider replacing disk blades on a planter. While it may cost a few thousand dollars, it will cost the dealership taking the trade-in much more, even double what it would cost the grower. The costs, such as paying for the parts and the labor from certified technicians on staff will be reflected back on the grower in the trade-in value.

It doesn’t matter if a grower is holding onto a piece of equipment just to get through a hard time or pursuing the opportunity to milk it for every last bit of value before trading in. Investing in a machine or technology now, in any of these four ways, will pay off now and down the road.



0



Continue Reading
Advertisement

Demo Trading

NinjaTrader Review 2020: Pros, Cons, Fees & More • Benzinga

If you’re on the hunt for the best online brokerage, Ninja Trader is a great fit for both new investors and seasoned traders. Some of the key features in NinjaTrader’s futures brokerage service include:

If you’re on the hunt for the best online brokerage, Ninja Trader is a great fit for both new investors and seasoned traders. Some of the key features in NinjaTrader’s futures brokerage service include:

  • Commissions as low as $.09 per Micro contract
  • Low $400 account minimum
  • Low day trading margins of $500 per contract for E-mini S&P 500 (ES), Nasdaq (NQ) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (YM) stock index futures contracts
  • $1,000 margins for Gold (GC) and Crude Oil (CL) futures contracts
  • Free version of NinjaTrader platform included with all brokerage accounts
  • Three platform license levels with varying feature sets and commission rates

In addition, the broker offers competitive spreads and a high-speed execution service for forex currency pairs.  

Who’s NinjaTrader For?

Futures Traders

NinjaTrader’s brokerage services cater directly to futures traders. It’s the ideal destination for those both active and new, with unlimited free use for advanced charting, market analysis, and simulation trading.

Advanced Traders

NinjaTrader’s state-of-the-art trading platform has a variety of features available across three license levels that allow traders to select the best fit for their trading approach. There are two upgrade feature sets available, Trader + and Order Flow +.

While advanced charting, market analysis, and simulated trading are included free for all users, licensing Trader + or Order Flow + gives you access to premium tools such as an enhanced SuperDOM, an advanced alerting system, semi-automated order execution, volumetric bars, and other sophisticated charting systems.

Active Traders

With commission among the lowest in the industry, traders can keep their costs low on a per contract basis. NinjaTrader’s low margins are also a great fit for active traders. With numerous technical analysis tools available, the trading platform can help users target opportunities and manage execution in volatile markets.

NinjaTrader has their flagship advanced trading platform for Windows-based desktop computers. Other third-party platforms are supported and available by request. If you are a Mac user, you can run the software using a multi-boot utility like Apple Boot Camp.

Source: https://ninjatrader.com/

NinjaTrader features a wide range of technical analysis functions that can be useful for those starting out with demo trading — especially if you want to learn how to trade futures.

The broker uses CQG (Continuum) for order routing by default but also supports order execution through Rithmic. Kinetick is also available as a free end of day market data source for stock, futures and forex data optimized exclusively for use with NinjaTrader’s platform.

If you’re interested in trying out the NinjaTrader platform using futures data, you can register to get a free two-week trial.

A free version of the NinjaTrader platform is included with all funded brokerage accounts and has all the core features needed for live trading, with access to charts, market analysis, and simulated trading.

If you want to access some of its more advanced capabilities, you can either lease the software starting at a quarterly basis or purchase a Lifetime license, which includes free upgrades for life.

The advanced tool sets are where NinjaTrader really shines. For example, sophisticated order types known as automated trade management (ATM) strategies are included in the Trader + feature suite. These consist of a set of specific rules you create to manage a group of stop-loss and profit target orders to operate on all or part of an open position.

NinjaTrader’s third-party developer community, known as NinjaTrader Ecosystem, features thousands of third-party apps and add-ons you can use with its trading platform. From their website, you can use the keyword search and filters to scan hundreds of custom tools and trading indicators built to work with NinjaTrader.

If you have programming skills, you can build compatible software within its advanced C# based development environment.

The NinjaTrader platform provides a high-performance backtesting engine which allows users to test and verify futures trading strategies using historical data. A wide range of useful educational materials are available if you’re unfamiliar with its platform and wat to enhance your skills.

These include daily training webinars designed to educate new users on the powerful tools available, hundreds of on-demand training videos, help guides, and an informative YouTube channel.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg4ocBoYrjM]

NinjaTrader’s Commission and Fees

Commission and margin requirements are among the lowest in the industry. A $1,000 minimum initial deposit is required to fund a new account and commissions go as low as $.09 per Micro contract with a Lifetime license. Day trading margins of $500 for ES, NQ and YM contracts, and $400 for GC and CL contracts are also very low.

When it comes to platform fees, the broker’s advanced platform and live data are available free of charge for use in a demo account. For live trading, you can use their free platform with all the basic essentials or choose a paid license level for more advanced features and lower commissions.

If you lease or buy a Lifetime license for the trading platform software, you also gain access to a suite of premium features that include its advanced trading management (ATM) strategic order handling. Traders who purchase a lifetime license also get the Order Flow feature set which comes with free platform upgrades for life.

NinjaTrader’s Security

NinjaTrader is well-regulated in the United States by the National Futures Association and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

NinjaTrader’s Customer Support

NinjaTrader’s online support team excels in prompt replies with inquiries addressed within 15 minutes during market hours. An active user community interacts directly with the NinjaTrader support team in their User Forum. They also host daily live training webinars, have hundreds of on-demand training videos, and more.

NinjaTrader can be reached by email, phone, and an online support form for customer service. For critical trade issues, NinjaTrader provides direct phone support for brokerage clients. International traders are also directly supported with dedicated Spanish, Russian and German brokerage service teams. 

NinjaTrader’s Tradable Asset Classes

NinjaTrader brokerage offers a basic range of asset classes with a focus on futures trading on the CME, CBOT, NYBOT and Eurex exchanges. You can trade the following asset classes via NinjaTrader:

  • Futures 
  • Forex 
  • CFDs
  • Stocks*

*The platform can also be used through other supporting brokers such as TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers to trade stocks.

NinjaTrader’s Ease of Use

After downloading the NinjaTrader platform, it’s best to spend some time on the forum and watch the tutorial videos provided. It may take some time to set-up your ideal dashboard.

While NinjaTrader’s platform is exceptionally customizable and offers numerous advanced features, it may not be considered easy to use when you first download the platform.

Final Thoughts

NinjaTrader is one of the top brokers for futures and forex trading. The unlimited use of its free platform is a great way to get acclimated to NinjaTrader before deciding to trade live.

The free platform is sufficient for new traders with more advanced tools available as need such as semi-automated execution. NinjaTrader’s low commissions and fees, free tools, and an active community forum will work to any trader’s advantage.

Continue Reading

Demo Trading

‘Risk On’ Market Update 12/10/20 – Forextraders.com

Markets finished last week firmly in a ‘risk-on’ frame of mind. Stocks, commodities and non-USD currencies all moved into bullish territory in terms of technical indicators. The uncertainty which characterised September’s price moves made way for a more positive outlook in a wide range of asset groups.

Trading Risk Measurement

Markets finished last week firmly in a ‘risk-on’ frame of mind. Stocks, commodities and non-USD currencies all moved into bullish territory in terms of technical indicators. The uncertainty which characterised September’s price moves made way for a more positive outlook in a wide range of asset groups.

Market Update

Stocks – Market News

• Asian markets had a mixed start to the week. The Hong Kong Hang Seng equity index was up 2.29% on Monday, but the Japanese Nikkei 225 was down -0.17%.

The mixed messages from the Asian trading sessions carried into the European open. Asian traders were wise to the risk of following the buying patterns only to find European and American traders taking profits later in the day.

Metals – Market News

  • Price action in gold and silver hints that they could have started one of their breakout patterns. Fans of the metals will be familiar with how both can build momentum and click through price levels on the way to their next target price. The main issue is deciding on trade entry points.
  • As of Monday morning, the price of gold ($1925.22) is where it was on Friday afternoon. Support 1 is at $1921.98, Support 3 at $1917.87.
  • Such price consolidation is a characteristic of the metal and there’s nothing bearish about the indicators.
  • The Hourly SMA has provided support and could be the indicator to watch. The kiss of that line in the early hours of Monday marking the week-to-date low at 1921.66. Price support in that region was also provided by the 23.6% Fib.

Source: FXTM

Energy Commodities – Market News

  • Geo-political risk rather than technical indicators continue to guide the price of crude with Azerbaijan and Armenia engaging in a will-they won’t-they military stand-off.
  • It’s hard to get a clear picture of how political uncertainty will impact price. Still, the increased volatility and price increase of 6.84% last week will be a tempting proposition for many.

Trade of the Week

Last week has been firmly signed off as a successful opportunity to ‘buy-the-dips’. Our desk put on a buy of the US 500 stock index one hour before the European stock markets opened on Monday the 5th of October. With an opening price of 3367.28, it caught the pre-market exuberance and was mostly in positive territory throughout the week. Only trading underwater in the overnight trading of Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Source: IG

In the morning session on Monday the 12th, the total percentage return on the US 500 position is +3.74%. The two-unit purchase trade, put on using IG, generating a profit in cash terms of £244.72 in the space of one week.

Source: IG

The obvious question to ask is whether there is any juice left in the move towards risk. The countdown to the US presidential election has started in earnest. With 22 days until votes are cast, those looking for this week’s trade might have less conviction than the position our desk put on last Monday.

Gold’s role as a defensive asset is not as strong as some would suggest. It’s hard though to look past the metal’s price action, dollar weakness, and the chance that it be seen as some kind of security as the election nears.

A position in gold could be a useful marker. Our buy-in small size for $1923.15 is one for the Demo Account, but it should help keep track of the markets.

Our analysis is based on a comprehensive summary of market data. We use a range of metrics with weighting given to simple and exponential moving averages and key technical indicators.

Any information contained on this Website is provided as general market information for educational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. The Website should not be relied upon as a substitute for extensive independent market research before making your actual trading decisions. Opinions, market data, recommendations or any other content is subject to change at any time without notice. ForexTraders will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT ALWAYS INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS.

Continue Reading

Demo Trading

Learn with ForexTB: The battle of the currencies!

What is currency trading?How do currency pairs work?What currency pair is the most popular to trade and why? A few of the most common questions concerning traders when it comes to currency trading!Well, we’ve got all the answers, but first let’s start with some simple explanations and, as we go along, we’ll cover everything around…

An introductory guide to forex trading

What is
currency trading?
How do currency pairs work?
What currency pair is the most popular to trade and why?

A few of
the most common questions concerning traders when it comes to currency trading!
Well, we’ve got all the answers, but first let’s start with some simple explanations
and, as we go along, we’ll cover everything around the currency market.  

Forex trading
(aka. Foreign exchange, duh!), is all
about buying and selling currencies in pairs
. All you need to know is how
much the currency pair is worth. However, it’s not that simple, as these
currency pairs do not always deliver the desirable results to traders.

Before we dive into the trading currency
pairs, let’s see some of the most popular currencies out there. These are:

  1. US Dollar (USD)
  2. Euro (EURO)
  3. British Pound (GBP)
  4. Australian Dollar (AUD)
  5. Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  6. Swiss Franc (CHF)
  7. Japanese Yen (JPY)

Now, let’s see how they look in
pairs according to the category they fit in.
Currency pairs are divided into three categories. The “Majors“, the “Crosses” and
the “Exotics“, each with its own
characteristics.

1. The “Majors”
These currency pairs are always paired
with the U.S dollar
, with EUR/USD
being at the top of the currency pairs table as the most traded currency pair
in the market
. These are:

FXTB2

So why is the EUR/USD pair the most popular and traded pair ever?
Because both currencies represent two of
the biggest economies in the world!
Thus, trading this pair will result to
having tight spreads. And YES, this is a good thing because the lower the
spread is, the lower the fees you pay when you enter a trade.

2. The “Crosses”
These currency pairs do not involve the
U.S Dollar
.

These include and not limited to:

FXTB3

3. The “Exotics” *
These currency pairs include one major
currency
, this being the US Dollar, and one currency from a developing market. Some examples of exotic
currency pairs are:

FXTB4

Something
to note in this category: Exotics tend to be “trickier” in terms of price
fluctuation, due to economic factors. For example: A political result or
scandal in Mexico can cause the USD/MXN price to change unexpectedly!
Therefore… Trade at your own risk, if you’re about to trade with these pairs
(well, you should always be careful when trading)!

So, as we’re approaching to the
end of this useful educational article, it
is advised for less experienced traders, NOT TO trade with multiple currency
pairs simultaneously
! We recommend that you make yourself comfortable whilst trading on a demo account, as this
will make you gain confidence and at the same time potentially achieve better
results! Well, we can’t guarantee that, but you get the gist. Once you’ve mastered currencies, you can
slowly expand you trading abilities and start trading with new currency pairs!

Don’t you agree?

This article was submitted by ForexTB.
For bank trade ideas, check out eFX Plus

Continue Reading

Trending