Vilsack Speaks at 2021 Commodity Classic

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom VilsackThe 2021 Commodity Classic Special Edition ended today with a closing general session featuring U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Moderating was National Association of Farm Broadcasting president Gale Cunningham, WYXY, who posed questions to the Secretary after his opening remarks.

Secretary Vilsack addressed a number of topics, including COVID relief, trade with China, renewable fuels, and conservation and carbon sequestration.
Remarks from Secretary Vilsack (48:53)

Audio, Commodity Classic, USDA

Industry Ag News 3/5

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Bayer announced a series of decisions to accelerate the strategy implementation of its Crop Science division. In order to focus on its core agricultural business, this includes the intent to divest the company’s Environmental Science Professional business.
  • National Sorghum Producers launched a new podcast Sorghum Smart Talk: Policy Edition. The spin off of the original Sorghum Checkoff Sorghum Smart Talk podcast will focus on legislative and regulatory matters impacting sorghum farmers, answering a call for more information that can be accessed easily at home, on the road or in the tractor cab.
  • For his seminal coverage of farm stress and rural mental health, National Farmers Union awarded farm broadcaster Don Wick of the Red River Farm Network with its 2021 Milt Hakel Agriculture Communications Award.
  • Register now for the next Farm Foundation Forum, titled Emerging Carbon Markets in Agriculture: Issues and Opportunities. The Zoom forum is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16 from 9-11 a.m. CST.
  • The Agriculture Council of America has announced the 2021 National Ag Day video and written essay winners. The winners were chosen based on the theme: How American Agriculture Brings Food to the Table. The theme presented an opportunity for high school students to address how agriculture brings everyone together by feeding a growing population. Entrants chose to either write an essay or create a video. A first-place written winner and a video winner were selected.
  • Farm Journal announced that Craig Heimbuch joins the company as chief creative officer. In this new role, he will guide Farm Journal’s multi-layered content ecosystem to extend reach and engagement with audiences across agriculture.
  • The Yield Lab Institute, in partnership with the United Soybean Board, Syngenta, Amazon Web Services and the ICL Group, is proud to announce the winners of the Soy Innovation Challenge. Seven finalists were selected from nearly 90 worldwide applicants.
  • IFAJ Star Prize entries are due March 15. You will find the rules and registration forms on the IFAJ website or by clicking here.
  • Big Idea Ventures LLC announces the appointment of Bette Brand, former Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development and Bill Northey, former Under Secretary for USDA Farm Production and Conservation as senior advisors to the General Food Rural Partners fund.
  • John Deere unveiled new tractors, sprayers and other equipment for the coming year. Deere updated its 8 Series and 9 Series tractors, as well as introducing the industry’s first factory-installed, integrated tractor and planter solution. John Deere also unveiled new 400 and 600 Series sprayers with See and Spray Select technology, as well as a new lineup of Hagie self-propelled sprayers. The company has also made key updates for model year 2022 to its lineup of air seeding tools.
Zimfo Bytes

Precision Ag News 3/3

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • PureAcre™ has released their first product to row-crop farmers. Augere is a soil amendment that increases nutrient assimilation when added to liquid fertilizers, such as UAN (urea ammonium nitrate) and starter fertilizers.
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) presented the fourth-annual Davidson Prize to the top three innovative products, selected from the AE50 honorees on March 2 during the virtual special-edition of Commodity Classic.
  • UPL Ltd. announced a long-term strategic collaboration with FMC Corporation, a leading global agricultural sciences company. The agreement provides UPL access in key markets prior to patent expiration, to commercialize Rynaxypyr®active, FMC’s leading insecticide. As per the agreement, UPL will toll manufacture and supply Rynaxypyr to FMC in India, and FMC will supply the active ingredient to UPL depending on the markets. The deal adds a key portfolio of products to UPL’s business and supports FMC in maximizing the penetration of this important active ingredient.
  • UPL announces the Environmental Protection Agency has granted approval for TEPERA® PLUS HD, a new liquid-fertilizer-compatible fungicide and insecticide formulation that offers exceptional protection from seedling disease and insect pressure. With Tepera Plus HD growers see consistent results in improving stand, uniformity, and plant health.
  • Golden Harvest farmers now have access to the E-Luminate® Mobile app, a digital agronomy platform designed to deliver timely insights directly to farmers from their trusted Seed Advisors.
  • Raven Industries has joined BASF and AGCO as the newest Operation Weed Eradication coalition member to support farmers in their weed control efforts. Operation Weed Eradication is an industry-wide mission to enlist tough-minded farmers and industry leaders to take the approach that the last weed standing is the strongest, most capable and most genetically resistant weed on the farm.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

ZimmCast 666 – The Off-Farm Income Podcast and More

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast.

This week Commodity Classic is having a Special Edition. Which means virtual since it is not an in-person event this year. For many of you and including myself, it was the last farm show or event we’ve attended since the pandemic shutdown a year ago. But, like so many virtual events we’ve been participating in, it is still nice to see and hear from people we know and to still help clients with their media outreach when they are involved in this type of event. Just check out our AgNewsWire website to see what I mean.

Off-Farm Income PodcastThis week I’m going to talk with a fellow farm podcaster. He’s Matt Brechwald, producer of the Off-Farm Income Podcast and a lot more. Matt produces a lot of podcasts and when I learned about what he’s doing I wanted to talk with him about it since he really jumped into farm podcasting in a big way. So, listen in to our conversation and at the end we let you know the best way to find either of us.

I’m going to keep in touch with Matt and hope you’ll subscribe to his podcasts.

So, that’s the ZimmCast for this week. I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 666 - The Off-Farm Income Podcast and More (54:41)

If you like what you hear in the ZimmCast please subscribe in any of the major platforms. And you can also search for the ZimmComm Golden Mic Podcast too, which includes all the audio we produce.

If you would like to advertise in the ZimmCast or become an on-going sponsor please let me know and we’ll work out a plan just for you.

Subscribe to the ZimmCast in:

Audio, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Syngenta Press Conference at 2021 Commodity Classic

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Syngenta Press ConferenceIt is early on day one of the 2021 Commodity Classic Special Edition. First up on the schedule have been press conferences.

I sat in on the Syngenta press conference which featured the following speakers and was moderated by Paul Minehart, Head, Corporate Communications, North America at Syngenta. You can listen in to the conference below.

Syngenta announced the new Field Forged Series™ from NK® Seeds, coming this fall, which will include 10 new NK corn hybrids, four new Enogen® corn hybrids and 20 new NK soybean varieties for the 2022 growing season, selected for both agronomics and yield potential.

  • Digital Ag – Ron Cowman, the new head of North America Digital Ag Solutions at Syngenta, will provide an update on the state of Syngenta Digital Ag and his vision for Syngenta Digital Ag in the U.S.
  • Golden Harvest – Grant Merron, Golden Harvest digital enablement lead, to introduce the E-Luminate® Mobile app, a digital agronomy platform designed to deliver timely insights directly to farmers from their trusted Seed Advisors.
  • NK – Joe Bollman, NK® corn product manager, announced the Field-Forged Series from NK Seeds. The Field-Forged Series is a new class of products from NK Seeds that features new innovations and proven products for both corn and soybeans.
  • Vayantis – Dale Ireland, seedcare technical product lead, will unveil a new standard of Pythium protection. Upon EPA registration, Vayantis® seed treatment will deliver reinforced Pythium protection for corn growers.
  • Acuron GT – Mark Kitt, herbicide technical product lead, will speak on a new product in the Acuron® corn herbicide family of brands: Acuron GT, anticipated to receive registration in 2021.

Listen in to the Syngenta Press Conference: Syngenta Press Conference

You can also find images of the speakers in this photo album: Syngenta at 2021 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Commodity Classic, Seed, Syngenta

Fastline Marketing Group Launched

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Fastline Marketing GroupFastline is now a full service agency according to this announcement. The company provides a full suite of digital offerings including website development, SEO, digital advertising, social media and email marketing.

Fastline, known primarily for its print and online marketplace for farm equipment, parts and machinery, is rebranding and repositioning as Fastline Marketing Group. The new name highlights an expanded and evolving suite of digital and marketing tools the company offers to the agricultural community alongside its traditional media properties.

Fastline Marketing Group is a full-service agency that provides marketing solutions exclusively for agricultural dealers and manufacturers, many of whom lack the time and resources to market their business. With the rebranding, Fastline has positioned itself to help its core customers tackle the challenges of an ever-changing digital landscape, while building off more than 40 years of industry experience.

“Fastline has grown and evolved alongside our core audience throughout our history,” said John M. Anderson, President of Fastline Marketing Group. “We pride ourselves on listening to our customers —both the dealers and farmers ­— to create solutions that meet their needs. Fastline Marketing Group is a natural continuation of that promise and combines our experience with innovative marketing tools geared specifically to the agricultural industry.”

Agencies, Marketing, Media

2021 Commodity Classic Special Edition Week

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

2021 Commodity ClassicWelcome to 2021 Commodity Classic Special Edition Week. It is being “Delivered Right to Your Farm” since it is online only this year. For most people I know, the 2020 event was the last in-person one they attended.

Cindy and I have attended many of these over the years. In fact, Cindy has a Commodity Classic photo album collection from the last 15 years. Feel free to take a look and see who you know or remember.

If you haven’t registered yet then don’t delay. The agenda kicks off tomorrow with press conferences and then the Opening General Session.

Commodity Classic

Ag Secretary Vilsack Addresses NFU

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack started his first full week of work Monday addressing the National Farmers Union’s virtual convention, the first of many appearances he will likely be making to agricultural organizations. As secretary under the Obama Administration for eight years, Vilsack made an effort to attend as many agriculture and biofuel related events as possible each year.

NFU officially convened the final portion of its 119th Anniversary Convention this week with more than 500 farmers, ranchers, and other participants from across the country registered. Secretary Vilsack addressed several important issues in his remarks, including “new, more, fairer and better markets,” carbon sequestration, biofuels, and COVID relief.

USDA Secretary Vilsack addresses NFU convention 13:08

Ag Groups, Audio, USDA

Animal Ag News 3/1

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • During the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) virtual Winter Reboot conference, NCBA CEO Colin Woodall and NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane discussed the state of the industry and priority issues in Washington, D.C. that could affect cattlemen and women.
  • RealmFive announced the release of its Barn View product suite, a new product lineup for use in swine production facilities. Barn View product suite utilizes a wireless system of hardware that records data generated by feedlines, flowmeters, and environmental monitors and sends the data to the cloud through a cellular gateway network, with more sensors and data sources coming online quickly. A single RealmFive gateway can service dozens of monitors in multiple barns at remote sites. The data is then available to the producer through the R5 Click online platform or to partner platforms. Inside R5 Click producers can access the data from any browser-equipped device.
  • The U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards – celebrating its 10-year anniversary – is seeking nominations for its Class of 2021. The farmer-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which unites the industry through a shared social responsibility platform, launched the awards to honor exceptional farms, businesses and partnerships for their socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sound practices and technologies that have a broad and positive impact. The deadline for award submissions is March 26 and they can be submitted at
  • A Chicago-based start-up has launched GoodSport, a sports drink that is 97 percent dairy and aims to compete nationally against leading brands. This first-of-its-kind natural sports drink made from the goodness of milk and backed by science will be available this month at and Broader retail distribution is planned for later this year. The product launched with support from the dairy checkoff and other industry groups.
  • The National Dairy FARM Program has published its 2020 Year in Review. Serving as the annual summary of the achievements and program developments of the FARM Program, the Year in Review showcases successes and challenges during a year of change and uncertainty.
  • The Public Lands Council announced their 2021 Legislative Conference is being held virtually March 23-25, 2021. This is the perfect opportunity for livestock producers to learn more about the federal policymaking process, with no cost to attend.
  • People wanting to support the newly-chartered Center of Excellence for Bison Studies now have an opportunity to double the value of their contribution, thanks to two generous donors committing challenge grants to support fundraising efforts last week. Following a presentation on the Center’s activities at the National Bison Association Winter Conference last week, an anonymous donor offered to match up to $50,000 in new donations in support of the Center. Immediately after that announcement, John Flocchini of the Durham Ranch in Wyoming announced that the ranch would match the $50,000 commitment and would pledge an additional $50,000 as a new challenge grant. Conference participants stepped up with pledges of $23,000 toward that second $50,000 challenge. The next $27,000 in pledges will continue to be matched by the Durham Ranch. Those pledges can be submitted to the National Buffalo Foundation.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Industry Ag News 2/26

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Farm Market iD has been acquired by DTN, LLC. Based near Minneapolis, MN and with operations around the world, DTN is a leading provider of operational intelligence solutions to global agriculture, oil and gas, and other weather-sensitive industries.
  • Living Greens Farm, the largest vertical, indoor aeroponic farm in the US that provides year-round fresh salads, salad kits, microgreens and herbs, has announced that Joe Donnelly, former Congressman and Senator from Indiana has joined their Advisory Board, effective January 2021.
  • Honey bees and other pollinators play an important role in the agricultural ecosystem. These same pollinators are under stress from a number of factors: pests, disease, lack of habitat, and more. The GROWMARK System would like to help 4-H clubs do their part to help sustain and increase honey bee populations. This is the sixth year of the program, open to 4-H clubs, Ag in the Classroom groups, and FFA chapters in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. Groups who previously participated in the program have been automatically re-enrolled. Clubs wishing to participate should fill out the online application by March 12, 2021.
  • Matt Brechwald, the host of the Off-Farm Income Podcast, who proudly refers to himself as “The World’s Most Prolific Agricultural Podcaster”, based on an article that referred to him that way, is celebrating the 1,000th episode of the Off-Farm Income Podcast this week.
  • Farm supply retailer Southern States Cooperative is holding a month-long fundraiser to help raise money for FFA at the local, state, and national levels. Southern States is holding its annual FFA Paper Emblem campaign throughout the month of March where customers can donate $1 or more at checkout and sign their name on an “I’m Supporting FFA” emblem that will be displayed in the store’s window.
  • The California Walnut Board will be conducting its biennial election of walnut growers and handlers statewide to serve as members and alternates for the next two-year term beginning on September 1, 2021 and ending on August 31, 2023. Walnut growers are eligible to petition the California Walnut Board to have the name of their candidate included on the 2021 nomination ballot.
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is pleased to announce the election of Dietz Lankhorst, President and CEO of Krone NA, Inc. and Keith Johnson, P.E., President of Kondex Corporation to its Ag Sector Board.
  • The produce industry’s premier domestic networking event, West Coast Produce Expo, is set for May 18-19, 2021, in Las Vegas. The event was moved from its traditional location in California for this year to provide a COVID-conscious environment. The event will continue to deliver the same high-quality connection opportunities for attendees and exhibitors, backed by The Packer’s industry expertise and data.
  • Fifty-eight partners of the Crop Insurance Coalition, representing farmers, lenders, agricultural input providers, and conservation groups sent letters to key lawmakers and the Administration opposing cuts to crop insurance during the upcoming fiscal year 2022 budget process.
  • The final two days of National Farmers Union’s (NFU) 119th Anniversary Convention will bring together members, industry professionals, policymakers, and reporters for remarks from Congressional leadership and administration officials, award presentations, and the organization’s signature grassroots policy adoption process. Held on Monday, March 1, and Tuesday, March 2, the concluding session wraps up a month-long virtual event ­– NFU’s first convention to be held fully online. Recordings of previous sessions can be viewed on NFU’s YouTube channel.
  • Aimpoint Research®, a global, strategic intelligence firm, recently welcomed Lauren Schwab Eyre of Eaton, Ohio as an Agri-Food WatchDesk Analyst.
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