National briefs - Kubota begins construction

Wisconsin State Farmer

Jefferson, Ga.

Kubota begins construction on major expansion of its national distribution center

Kubota Tractor Corporation announced that it has begun construction on an important 617,865 sq. ft. expansion of its National Distribution Center (NDC) on the company’s existing property in Jefferson, Georgia, the project is adjacent to the Kubota Industrial Equipment (KIE) facility off of I-85 North.

Scheduled for completion in July 2017, the expansion’s nearly $16 million investment is a direct response to Kubota’s continued growth and manufacturing demands in its compact tractor, utility vehicle and turf product markets.

The extended facility will triple the existing square footage to accommodate 956,161 sq. ft. of space that will allow the company to increase warehousing efficiencies to store and process more equipment produced by nearby Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA) and KIE, which are both primed to increase production to meet growing consumer demand.

“This is an exciting time for Kubota as our continued growth has led us to several facility expansions in recent years – from our new manufacturing plant in nearby Gainesville to our new headquarters building in Grapevine, Texas,” said Alex Woods, vice president product resources, parts and divisional operations for Kubota Tractor Corporation. “We are diversifying our product lines and expanding our operational footprint here in Georgia to better respond to ongoing dealer and customer demand for multiple product lines here in the U.S.”

The newly expanded NDC will store and process Kubota equipment – tractors, backhoes, loaders, tires, weights, along with hay tools, utility vehicles, and turf equipment – until it’s ready for distribution to dealers around the country.

In January 2017, KMA in nearby Gainesville-Hall County will start production at its new 502,000 sq. ft. plant to increase production of Kubota’s RTV-Series utility vehicles.

Kubota has been operating in the state of Georgia for more than 40 years, with its first operations located in Norcross. In the mid-1980s, Kubota purchased its first office building in the state at the current Kubota Tractor Corporation Southeast Division headquarters in Suwanee and has since expanded operations in both Gainesville and Jefferson. Kubota Tractor Corporation, KMA and KIE are U.S. subsidiaries of Kubota Corporation, based in Osaka, Japan.


11 held, roosters rescued after California cockfighting bust

Nearly a dozen people were detained and several roosters were rescued after authorities busted a weekend cockfighting tournament at a California farm where spectators bet thousands of dollars, officials said.

Officers acting on an anonymous tip responded Sunday to the property near Santa Maria and found as many as 50 people gathered around a large ring with a cockfight in progress, said Kelly Hoover with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

The spectators scattered but authorities managed to detain 11 people on suspicion of participating in an illegal cockfight and resisting or delaying a peace officer, Hoover said. Several of those detained were also cited for possession of cockfighting paraphernalia including blades and suture kits, she said.

A search of the farm turned up six dead roosters, as many as 20 live roosters in cages, and two injured roosters, officials said. Santa Barbara County Animal Services took possession of all the birds. The injured roosters will be euthanized.

An initial investigation found the cockfight was part of a tournament that attracted spectators from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo counties, Hoover said.  Some of the bets placed were as high as $12,000, she said.

Officials praised the tipster who first alerted authorities.

``Because of this anonymous tip we were able to stop this horrific cruelty to animals and apprehend some of those responsible,'' said sheriff's Detective John McCarthy said.


Farm-to-foodbank bill awaits action by NY Gov. Cuomo

A bill creating a tax break for New York state farmers who donate food to food banks is awaiting action by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Farmers already donate millions of pounds of food every year, but say the credit of up to $5,000 annually would reduce the costs of harvesting and transporting surplus crops that would otherwise go to waste.

The Hunger Action Network of New York State has made the bill a priority, saying it will address a growing hunger problem around the state.

It's also supported by environmentalists and agriculture groups who say it will reduce food waste and help poor New Yorkers get access to healthy fruits and vegetables.

The Democratic governor vetoed the bill last year because lawmakers didn't include it in the budget.


Kansas company considers second wind farm in North Dakota

A Kansas-based wind energy company is considering pursuing a second wind farm in the heart of the western North Dakota oil patch.

The Williston Herald reports the Williams County Planning and Zoning Board recommended approval last week of Trade Wind Energy's proposal to put up six meteorological towers near the site of Lindahl Wind Farm near Tioga.

Trade Wind Energy senior development director Brice Barton said the site's proximity to the wind farm makes the company fairly certain that conditions for another nearby facility are satisfactory.

He said the towers take up a small amount of space and can be assembled in less than a day.

``Really the point is to gather the wind data to make sure the wind is there,'' Barton said.

The company must now take its request to the Williams County Commission.

``The towers are minimal impact in terms of traffic, you won't really notice them, but if they proceed to the next level, that's a whole other series of conversations,'' Tate Cymbaluk of the Planning and Zoning Commission said.

It will take a year for the company to collect enough information to determine whether to pursue a second farm.

Officials will need to approve future plans, which will also be subject to public hearings.