The Beginning... During the 1800s cotton was the main cash crop for southeastern Richmond County in North Carolina. All of the work was done by hand with the only power source coming from mules. During this time John Blue was farming and making items in his blacksmith shop. Having only his personal experience and knowledge he began making simple tools to make the work easier. His first invention was the cotton stalk cutter and his interest was in designing implements that would make cotton farming easier.
In 1886, John and his father, Angus, established a business to repair cotton gin parts and other farm equipment. The need for more efficient methods of distributing fertilizer and cottonseed resulted in the invention of the Rex Guano fertilizer distributor and the John Blue Cotton Planter, both revolutionized farming. The business grew with the manufacturing of implements and included a foundry for the casting of metal parts.
During the early 1900s, John obtained patents for all of his inventions. His goal was to make his implements low cost so they were available to all farmers. He wanted farming dependent on machinery rather than man-power.
Sadly, a fire destroyed the John Blue Foundry in 1945. John Jr. moved the business to Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville being in the heart of southern agriculture was chosen because of its proximity to the source of iron and coal and a foundry was available. In the early years, the John Blue Company manufactured: liquid applicator pumps; self-propelled sprayers; small tractors; cotton module makers; cotton wagons; dry, liquid and anhydrous ammonia applicators; and nurse units.
The John Blue Company was sold in 1967 to STV from New York. With the changes in the agricultural economy of the 1980's, the company chose to devote all of its resources to developing and building pumps, flow dividers, manifolds and accessories for applying liquid fertilizers and chemicals.
Meanwhile, in 1980, CDS Ag Industries, Inc. began business in Chino, California, as a manufacturer of squeeze tube and irrigation pumps. Through the 1980s and 90s, CDS Ag Industries grew by acquiring other product lines to broaden its customer base. In 2000 John Blue Company purchased CDS Ag Industries forming CDS-John Blue Company now a division of Advanced Systems Technology.
More than a 130 years later... CDS-John Blue Company continues the John Blue tradition of being an award-winning leader and pioneer of new precision agriculture equipment. You can see the John Blue legacy in our commitment to outstanding design, premium materials and uncompromising craftsmanship plus our unconditional warranty: "Guaranteed To Do The Job." We are proud of our warranty, which has been earned over time like few companies have.
Due to the success of our VisaGage II Flow Monitor, we recently introduced the VisaGage Orifice Selector, allowing you to turn your flow monitor into a self-contained orifice changing system. Couple it to our patented Electronic Liquid Blockage Monitor System and you will know your flow from your tractor cab, detecting low, high or no-flow. Plus, we just released the NH3 VisaGage that is coupled to Electronic Blockage Monitor System, offering all the same features and benefits as the liquid system.
CDS-John Blue Company achieved technological breakthroughs in the development of the patented Impellicone for Anhydrous Ammonia Applications. We continue to bring to market "must have" products like our Variable Rate Hydraulic Drives for Piston Pumps and the first of its kind Direct Hydraulic Drive for Piston Pumps. CDS-John Blue continues to commit to outstanding pump product design, premium materials, and uncompromising craftsmanship. With our unconditional warranty: "Guaranteed To Do The Job," we are moving vigorously forward to build on the heritage that has served our customers so well in the past and will continue well into the future.