4th Soil Health Summit Underway in Chicago

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The 2018 Soil Health Summit kicked off yesterday in Chicago and all of the proceedings can be found on the Soil Health Summit Blog! This is a brand new blog which is being used to feature photos, interviews and other media content from this annual event. You can subscribe to the Soil Health Summit Blog with this feed link.

This is the fourth Soil Health Partnership Summit, which has come a long way since the first one in 2015. Soil Health Partnership Director Nick Goeser welcomed participants to the opening day general session of the 2018 Soil Health Summit, setting the stage for the theme Rooted in Data, Growing in Success.

Listen to Nick’s welcome here: SHP director Nick Goeser opens 4th Soil Health Summit

Check out the official blog for all the content from the summit.

2018 Soil Health Summit Day One Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Soil, Soil Health Partnership, Sustainability

Zimfo Bytes 1/19

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has appointed five members and six alternates to serve on the National Peanut Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and ending Dec. 31, 2020. One appointee will serve the remaining one-year portion of a vacancy.
  • The World Food Prize Foundation has announced that Madeline Goebel has been named the new Director of the Iowa Hunger Summit and Community Outreach. In her new position, Goebel will be responsible for planning the annual Iowa Hunger Summit, which over the past decade, has grown to become the premier conference in the state for those confronting hunger.
  • Beck Ag, Inc. has named Jay Kelley as its new president. Kelley has also assumed an equity position in Beck Ag and has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Kelley’s new leadership positions are effective immediately.
  • Mike Builta has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Energy and Logistics. He will replace Kevin Carroll, who is retiring from GROWMARK after 32 years of company service.
  • CropLife America has launched its redesigned website, which still features timely information about the crop protection industry, but with an updated look and easily shareable modern agriculture resources (i.e. infographics, posters, etc.). The goal is to enhance overall operation, navigability and present a more mobile-friendly platform.
  • Join The Center for Food Integrity‘s CEO Charlie Arnot for “Shifting Food Beliefs and Trends: Insights Into Closing the Trust Gap,” Tues., Jan 23, 10 to 11 a.m. CT. Arnot will detail disconnects, changing attitudes and trends on important food system issues, and how to engage to earn trust. Register at www.foodintegrity.org.
  • Hoegemeyer Hybrids has selected Swanson Russell as its advertising and public relations agency of record. Based in Hooper, Neb., Hoegemeyer Hybrids is a regional seed company providing locally tested and performance-proven products for farmers in the Western Corn Belt.
  • The U.S. Soybean Export Council and the Midwest Shippers Association have announced the sixth annual U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange and the 15th annual Midwest Specialty Grain Conference and Trade Show will be jointly held in Kansas City, Missouri from August 29 – 31, 2018, marking the sixth year that the two organizations will co-host this event. Follow developments at www.grainconference.org.
Zimfo Bytes

AEM Reports 2017 Tractor and Combine Sales

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The 2017 Ag Tractor and Combine Report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) shows some recovery from 2016.

“When we look at 2017 U.S. retail sales, especially from mid-year on, the bright spot continued to be the small-tractor sales under 40 HP with consistently positive numbers, while tractors 40-100HP have essentially been flat,” AEM Senior VP for AG Services Curt Blades. “For the larger ag tractor sales (100+ HP 2WD) we saw some real softening at the beginning of the year but some sizable reversals to end at a negative 8 percent, and 4WD drive tractors and combines ended on a positive note with modest gains. So, while the downturn of 2016 carried over into 2017 it began to reverse as the year progressed.”

In this interview, Blades talks about how the new tax reform package has the industry cautiously optimistic for continued overall improvement in 2018.

Interview with Curt Blades, AEM

AEM, AgWired Precision, Audio, Equipment, Tractor

Bayer Award Honors Cotton Extension Specialist

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

A former University of Missouri Extension cotton specialist was recognized last week during the Beltwide Cotton Conference as the 2018 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year, an annual award sponsored by Bayer.

Andrea Jones, the first woman to be named Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year, technically was a research associate at the University of Missouri for most of her 18-year tenure and became the de facto cotton specialist for Missouri through hard work, dedication, and commitment to providing Missouri cotton producers with the latest information in an effort to increase their bottom line. In addition to leading variety trials and field days, Jones provided extensive research on irrigation and weed control. Jones left the University of Missouri in July and now works in a commercial role.

The prestigious award is voted on annually by Extension cotton specialists who represent every cotton-producing state across the U.S. Cotton Belt. Each year, the recipient’s peers evaluate and select a winner based on a number of considerations including exceptional leadership and outstanding industry service. The Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year has been awarded since 1984 and sponsored by Bayer since 1998.

Bayer, Cotton

DBMMC Now Officially Edge

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

It’s official – Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative is now Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative. The formal resolution was passed at the cooperative’s annual business meeting this week during the Dairy Strong conference in Wisconsin.

The co-op’s new name was unveiled in November with the tagline “The voice of milk” and a fresh approach to representing dairy farmer members. Edge provides members with a voice on Capitol Hill in matters critical to their businesses and the broader dairy community. Under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, the co-op also provides milk testing verification services and market information for its members throughout nine Midwestern states. It is one of the top cooperatives in the country in terms of the amount of milk produced by its members.

Also during the business meeting, members re-elected John Pagel, Todd Doornink and Mitch Davis to the board. Pagel of Kewaunee, Wis. serves as president of the cooperative; Doornink from Baldwin, Wis. is vice president; and Davis, Belle Plaine, Minn., is treasurer.

In an interview with AgWired last month, Pagel said priorities for the cooperative’s members this year include immigration, trade and the 2018 Farm Bill. Listen to that interview here: Interview with John Pagel, Edge

AgWired Animal, Audio, Dairy

New Coalition Advocates For NAFTA Preservation

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

More than 30 organizations have joined to form Americans for Farmers & Families (AFF), a coalition dedicated to preserving and modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by educating political leaders about its importance to agriculture. The groups represent growers, refiners, producers, transporters, retailers and consumers, including major industry organizations such as American Farm Bureau, Corn Refiners Association, National Corn Growers Association, and National Pork Producers, to name a few.

“Farm Belt voters supported President Trump by a three-to-one margin in the last election and they are counting on President Trump to improve NAFTA in the modernization negotiations,” said John Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association and a member of AFF’s leadership committee.

As part of the effort, AFF will be launching an educational campaign to highlight the positive impact NAFTA has had for Americans and lay the groundwork for an updated trade agreement that preserves America’s strong economic standing for decades to come. Since NAFTA took effect in 1994, food and agriculture exports have more than quadrupled and account for 25 percent of American exports. One in every 10 acres of American crops is for export to NAFTA partners.

“NAFTA has opened markets for America’s farmers and ranchers, and U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled under the agreement,” said AFBF president Zippy Duvall, also a member of AFF’s leadership committee. “The current negotiations should build on that success.”

AFBF, Ag Group, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Corn, Trade

GROWMARK Continues Nationwide Scholarship Program

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

For the second year, the GROWMARK Foundation is offering a $1,500 scholarship program for students in the United States and Ontario, Canada, who are pursuing college degrees or trade school certification in an agriculture-related field.

“In the past, we offered some smaller regional scholarships but as our business has grown and evolved, we saw a need to provide a scholarship to students throughout our core geography,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer Specialist. “Last year we had several hundred applicants and we are hoping to have at least that money or more this year.”

High school seniors or students at any level of higher education may complete the application here at growmar.com/scholarship. Applications are due by midnight on April 13, 2018 and recipients will be notified by July 1, 2018.

Learn more in this interview. Interview with Karen Jones, GROWMARK


Cold Tolerant Berseem Clover Provides Frost Seeding Option

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

As cold as it has already been this winter in so many areas, Frosty Berseem Clover might be just the ticket for farmers and ranchers implementing frost seeding into their hay and pasture systems.

Grassland Oregon was recently awarded a patent for Frosty Berseem Clover, making it the first cold tolerant berseem clover suitable for frost seeding in the United States and Canada, surviving in trials with temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit and zero snow cover. Extended growing seasons, higher yields, increased establishment rates and convenience are just a few of the benefits to frost seeding, according to Jerry Hall, director of research for Grassland Oregon.

“Frost seeding is the broadcasting of seed onto the frozen surface of the soil. Ideally, it is done at a time when there is either no snow or a minimal amount. The freezing and thawing cycle of the soil surface will allow for the seed to work into the top .25 inches of soil,” Hall explains. “Seeds will then germinate and begin growing as soon as weather conditions become favorable – allowing producers to gain a couple of weeks of growth versus waiting for the soil to firm up enough to drill the seed in.”

Hall says Frosty Berseem Clover is excellent for frost seeding into declining alfalfa fields and also blends nicely with alfalfa due to its similar quality and appearance.

Learn more.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, ASTA, cover crops, Hay

Agri-Pulse Launches Breeding Edge Editorial Series

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agri-Pulse has launched a new seven-part editorial series, “The Breeding Edge,” focused on new scientific discoveries, genetic research, and systems for precision breeding for producing food, protecting the environment, and improving animal health.

“Animal and plant breeders are trying out a set of powerful new tools which have the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and provide consumers with more healthy and safe food options,” says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “But few people truly understand how these new innovations can help farmers and ranchers and ultimately improve human health. And that’s a big risk when you consider how some previous agricultural innovations have been accepted by consumers.”

“In addition to being more efficient and economical, newer breeding methods hold tremendous potential for both public and commercial plant breeders in developed and developing countries, and can be used across all crops, including food, feed, fiber and fuel crops,” explained Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). “To ensure the full potential of new and emerging breeding tools, it’s critical that we have a policy environment, both domestically and internationally, that allows for, and encourages, continued innovation.”

ASTA is one of the sponsors of the new series, together with Genus, Syngenta Seeds, National Pork Board, Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer, United Soybean Board, and the National Corn Growers Association. New innovations in agricultural technology will also be discussed at the Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit, scheduled for March 21 in Washington, D.C.

Agri-Pulse, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, ASTA

Precision Ag Bytes 1/17

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The Honey Bee Health Coalition announced that it has awarded $40,000 to four innovative projects aimed at improving honey bee nutrition and supporting honey bee and pollinator health. The awards, announced at the 2018 American Bee Research Conference, are part of the Coalition’s inaugural Bee Nutrition Challenge.
  • Syngenta has licensed NRGene’s GenoMAGIC, a cloud-based big data analytics platform, to evaluate, predict, compare and select the best genetic makeup for crop molecular breeding and genomic selection. The agreement is on a non-exclusive, multi-year basis.
  • SkySquirrel Technologies Inc. and VineView Imaging, leading providers of aerial imaging and crop diagnostics for vineyards, have announced a merger of the two companies. The merger is effective Jan. 16, and the companies plan to begin integrating operations, customers, global partners and employees immediately. The combined company, which will operate under the name VineView, uses drone and airplane-based hyperspectral imagery to provide wine growers with essential information about the health of their grapevines. VineView’s specialized data products allow growers to optimize yields, improve grape quality and reduce damage from environmental factors like grapevine diseases and frost.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes