Marketing Peanuts to Millennials

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

spgc-16-leslie-ryanSouthern Peanut Growers Executive Director Leslie Wagner and National Peanut Board Senior VP of Marketing Ryan Lepicier teamed up at the opening session of the 18th Southern Peanut Growers Conference to talk about what they are doing to market peanuts to the important millennial generation.

“Those of us who have millennials in their life know that they get their information from some sort of electronic device,” said Lepicier. “As marketers we have to be cognizant of where we’re putting our messages. We have to deliver the right message on the right platform.”

“Millennials are the largest living group in the United States. They’re also the first group that grew up not necessarily being able to eat peanut butter in school,” Wagner said. That has impacted how this important demographic views peanuts and peanut butter, making it critical for the industry to connect with them.

Learn more about how the industry is using social media to talk to millennials and provide facts in a fun way in my interviews with Ryan and Leslie. Interview with Ryan Lepicier, National Peanut Board Interview with Leslie Wagner, Southern Peanut Growers

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Audio, Marketing, Peanuts, SPGC

Ag Lender Poll Shows Commodity Prices as Top Challenge

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

AgriBankMidwest Farm Credit lenders reported in a recent poll that commodity prices were the greatest challenge currently facing customers. Senior lenders from 17 Farm Credit Associations said they are responding to this difficulty by offering services that restructure the finical situations of their customers. A new AgriThought report also examines the farm economy and offers lenders support in helping farmers navigate the challenges.

Results showed 69.1 percent chose commodity prices as the top challenge. Approximately 10 percent selected input costs, followed by credit availability and adverse weather effects.

When asked about the support they are providing to help farmers face these challenges, 86.7 percent said rebalancing borrower debt to bolster working capital and/or reduce principal payment requirements and 73.3 percent said refinancing credit to take advantage of current interest rates. Both answers reflect the changing financial landscape for commodity prices and how lenders are working with customers to help them maintain their financial health. Other responses included consulting on crop insurance and other risk management solutions (80 percent), counseling regarding future operating plans (63.3 percent), and marketing and hedging strategies (50 percent).

“The focus has been on commodity prices—in the minds of many producers, if the price of corn were $4.50 per bushel vs. $3.50 per bushel, a lot of problems would be solved,” Jerry Lehnertz, senior vice president of Credit at AgriBank and author of the AgriThought report said. “However, hope—thinking that things might be better next year—is not a plan. Farmers and lenders need to work together to take proactive steps to succeed through today’s environment.”

Agribusiness, Economy

#Peanut Growers Already Preparing for 2018 Farm Bill

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

spgc-16-reddingIt may seem like the last farm bill process just ended, because it did only two years ago, but already farm state legislators and agricultural organizations are looking ahead to starting the 2018 Farm Bill negotiations. Bob Redding of The Redding Group, who represents peanut farmers on Capitol Hill, talked about the preparations for 2018 at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference this past weekend.

“We’re wrapping up with the 2014 farm bill as far as any regulations that were outstanding and now we’re moving into prep for the 2018 bill,” says Redding. “So in 2017, farm groups will start with their policy process, you’ll have hearings and we’ll begin the 2018 farm bill process.”

Redding says the next farm bill will be negotiated in a different economic climate for agriculture. “We drafted (the current) farm bill with high prices. That does change the dynamics. That’s likely not going to be the case this time,” said Redding. “I do think there will be a more pragmatic, realistic approach to a farm safety net.”

In this interview, Redding also discusses what hasn’t worked so well in the current farm bill and what splitting the farm and nutrition titles of the bill could mean for agriculture. Interview with Bob Redding, The Redding Group

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Audio, Farm Bill, Peanuts, SPGC

Bayer Pleased with EU Approval of Balance™ GT Soybeans

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

bayer-balancegtOne of the three soybean traits just approved by the European Union is Balance™ GT (Event FG72), developed by Bayer and MS Technologies.

According to Frank Terhorst, head of the Seeds business unit of Bayer’s Crop Science division, the Balance™ GT trait confers tolerance to both isoxaflutole (an HPPD inhibitor) and glyphosate herbicides. “The new Balance™ GT Soybean Performance System is intended to address the weed management challenges faced by soybean farmers,” said Terhorst. “We are pleased with the progress we are making on the regulatory front for Balance™ GT.”

The dual herbicide tolerance trait Balance™ GT (Event FG72) received a positive scientific opinion from EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which was subsequently accepted by the European Commission for the importation of Balance™ GT soybeans for food and feed uses. This follows approvals received already from the U.S, Canada, and Brazil for cultivation, and is near completion of receiving all key required import approvals globally. The first launch is planned for the US in 2017, pending final key import approvals.

Balance™ GT is owned by MS Technologies and is being co-developed through a joint development agreement with Bayer. “Resistance to herbicides is a global challenge demanding new solutions. The dual modes of action in Balance™ GT soybeans are intended to help soybean growers by providing flexibility in weed management,” said Joseph Merschman, president of MS Technologies.

Bayer and MS Technologies have been collaborating since 2007 with new herbicide tolerance technologies for soybeans.

Agribusiness, Bayer, Soybean, weeds

UF Offers Discounted Tickets to Ag Industry

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

KentuckyUniversity of Florida fans have another reason to be excited about Homecoming this year.  On October 15th UF Athletics and UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will be offering discounted tickets to anyone connected to agriculture in the state of Florida, including their family and friends.

“Florida’s agricultural, natural resources and related food industries add $140 billion to our economy and employ nearly 300,000 people,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “The industry is second only to tourism in Florida, and this is a great way to honor and recognize those who work so hard to put food on our tables and plants and flowers in our yards.”

The Gators will battle the University of Missouri Tigers, tickets are on a first-come, first-served biases.  Seating is available in the upper south end zone for $35 and upper north end zone for $20.  Ticket are available on July 27.  To take advantage of the offer go to Ag Day Tickets and type AgDay2016 in the promo code box. There is also an exclusive discount for premium seating in the Evans Champions Club. Please contact about ordering Champions Club game tickets or special business group sponsorship opportunities.

“Act now to secure your place in The Swamp before this game sells out,” said Matt Sanchez, general manager for ticket sales. “Fans who buy early will be able to get the best seat locations in the Ag & Gardening sections of the stadium.”

UF/IFAS will also be hosting various family actives on campus before kickoff.


.@USSEC Announces EU Approval of Three Soy Traits

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

USSECThe U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has just announced the approval of three biotech soybean traits by the European Union.  Now ready for import and processing are:

Monsanto’s Xtend (dicamba x glyphosate MON87708 x MON89788)
Monsanto’s Vistive Gold (high oleic x glyphosate MON87705 x MON89788)
Bayer CropScience’s Balance GT (glyphosate x HPPD inhibitor FG72)

“The EU’s approval of these events is welcome news for U.S. soybean farmers,” said USSEC chairman Laura Foell, a soybean grower from Schaller, Iowa. “We’re happy that we can supply our European customers with a reliable supply of safe food.”

Europe is one of the largest customers of U.S. soybean farmers with over 165 million bushels of soybeans in exports already this year.

Agribusiness, Exports, Soybean

#IFAJ2016 Tour – Bayer Forward Farming – Part 2

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ifaj-16-8The next stop on my Bayer CropScience headquarters tour during the 2016 IFAJ Congress was the enormous “store” or research compounds overseen by Dr. Mark Drewes, head of Research Compound Logistics at the facility in Monheim am Rhein, Germany. With more compounds being added all the time, the 2.5 million chemical structures stored in this automated warehouse offer researchers a fountain of information.

“We call ourselves the treasure of research,” Dr. Drewes tells Chuck Zimmermann. “I think for a scientist it is an ideal sort of world, to try out new ideas and maybe make a new discovery.”

The facility processes in the neighborhood of 2,000 requests a day; and the collection at Bayer Crop Science isn’t even as large as the storage for the company’s health care division. With both sides collaborating together to get the most out of their research, automation is a key to success. With millions of compounds being moved and used, the advanced system is the only way to avoid making numerous mistakes, Drewes notes. And his staff of 13-16 would swell to at least 100.

And new compounds are added to this amazing collection of data regularly. One third of them are created internally by scientists wondering ‘what can I do?’ and making it happen. Another third come from Bayer’s health care division, and the final third are produced by companies in China that do legwork for Bayer’s researchers.

Considering that these chemical structures are made just for Bayer and are unique tools for research, safety and security are high on the priority list. Besides careful attention to IT, they also have an extremely advanced fire security system. They also keep some samples in Frankfort, to ensure a major disaster can’t shut down research entirely.

Automation and security might be of greatest interest for Dr. Drewes at the moment, but ask him in another year and he might have a different answer. “One of the things we have now built up, which is due to go online in the next two to three months– we’ve built up a totally new evaporation system to get rid of solvent.” Drewes shares. “This is unique, it is the first time in industry that something like this has been built, together with my engineers and other people.” The technique will cut evaporation time from two days to two hours, and is a gentler process as well. If all goes well, this technique may be shaping the face of research for the next decade.

To learn more about Bayer’s research compound, listen to my full interview here: Dr. Mark Drewes, Bayer CropScience

2016 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Bayer
Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, IFAJ

House Ag Chairman Addresses #2016SPGC

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

spgc-16-conawayRep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) told farmers at the 2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference this past weekend in Miramar Beach, Florida that preparations will start next year for the 2018 Farm Bill.

“My goal is, as is the goal of every ag chairman, is to get it done before the current one expires, not have to have short term extensions and all the drama that goes along with that,” said Conaway. “But every chairman ever has said that exact same thing so we’ll see how that works out.”

Addressing the issue of splitting the nutrition and farm titles of the Farm Bill, which was proposed as a party platform at the Republican convention last week, Conaway said that decision has to be made as part of the process. “If you remember back in ’14 we split the farm bill, we split the farm bill from the nutrition program in the House and the Senate put it back together and we ultimately got it passed together,” he said. “To make a hard and fast decision today that you want to do that is wrong headed.”

Listen to Rep. Conaway’s remarks and press conference below and watch his remarks in the video. Rep. Mike Conaway addresses SPGC Rep. Conaway press conference

2016 Southern Peanut Growers Conference Photo Album

Audio, Farm Bill, Government, Peanuts

Visiting with ACT at #AgMedia

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ams-16-1The current President of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow is Taylor Kennedy, grad student at Oklahoma State. Taylor says the group will get to tour Osborn & Barr and elect a new slate of officers. She also wants to make contacts that will be beneficial after she graduates and needs to get a job!

You can listen to my interview with Taylor here: Taylor Kennedy, ACT President

2016 AMS Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland
AAEA, ACT, Ag Media Summit, Audio, LPC

2016 #AgMedia Summit Starting

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Ag Media SummitThe 2016 Ag Media Summit is underway in St. Louis, MO. I’ll be working with ZimmComm General Manager, Clint Underwood, and Editor Jamie Johanson. We’ll be doing, guess what? Taking photos, doing interviews, getting posts up on our websites and more.

I want to start out thanking our sponsors this year which include New Holland and FMC. I’ll be visiting them in the InfoExpo trade show which starts tomorrow evening.

Photos area already being uploaded and you can find them here: 2016 AMS Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland
AAEA, ACT, Ag Media Summit, LPC