Agrikua’s Gender Equality Project = 1st at #YouthAgSummit

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Last week, I was given the opportunity to attend the 2017 Youth Ag Summit organized by Bayer Crop Science. Never have I ever attended such a motivating and uplifting agricultural event. One hundred young people, aged 18-25, gathered in Brussels, Belgium to tackle some of the world’s top issues in agriculture.

During the Summit, delegates worked in groups of ten to develop their ideas centered around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of Gender Equality, Quality Education, and Responsible Consumption and Production. Groups pitched to a jury of experts and the audience. Winners were selected based on feasibility, innovativeness, and creativity. Bayer will be funding the top three future projects developed.

– Third place went to “Imperfect Picks”, a group who was assigned to work on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. These delegates impressed with their cartoon campaign to promote “ugly fruits” to children and enable a broader cultural shift towards accepting food that appears blemished but is still of good quality. They won €3,000 to further develop and implement their project.
– Second place went to “Seeds of Change”, a group of delegates focusing on SDG 4: Quality Education. They will use their prize of €5,000 to fund a project aimed at promoting agriculture in schools through young agricultural champions, in order to bridge the disconnect between people who consume, and people who produce food.
– First place was awarded to the group “AGRIKUA” (“kua” being the Swahili word for “grow”), whose project focuses on promoting Gender Equality (SDG 5) in the agricultural sector. Their plan to create an online professional platform for young Kenyan women seeking opportunities in agriculture impressed the jury and audience alike, and they took home the grand prize of €10,000. On top of this funding, the AGRIKUA delegates will also receive dedicated training and coaching to help make the project a reality. They will also be invited back to Europe to present their project to a relevant industry platform.

I was able to speak to the Agrikua spokespeople following the announcement to dive deeper into their project and hear their enthusiasm. Listen here: Interview with Agrikua

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Youth, Youth Ag Summit

Zimfo Bytes 10/20

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

  • National Corn Growers Association will accept online harvest forms for the 2017 National Corn Yield Contest until Friday, December 1 at 4:30 pm CST.  Registration needs to be completed within two weeks of the final yield check or December 1, whichever comes first.
  • DTN/The Progressive Farmer took home three awards from this year’s 2017 Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards last week in New York City.  Two Eddies were received for articles written and one Ozzie was earned for a B2B Feature Design.
  • The National Farmers Union (NFU) has awarded Spring Vasey of Delaware the Hubert K. & JoAnn Seymour Scholarship, a $2,000 award given for dedication and commitment to the NFU. Caitlyn Becker, Jaclynn Knutson, and Jane Umbriaco earned the Stanely Moore Scholarship.
  • The winner of the Borlaug CAST Communication Award (BCCA) was honored at a World Food Prize side event. Jayson Lusk presented an insightful keynote address about The Future of Food. 
Zimfo Bytes

Riding & Driving a John Deere Gator at Sunbelt Ag Expo

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

At this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo, John Deere held a ride and drive of their new line of Gator XUVs for the first time. Before I get to the new line of XUVs let me explain the photo. In the photo is a model 825i that I will be test driving at my deer hunting camp this fall to get a real feel for how well these vehicles work for outdoor trail/hunting applications. I will be writing about the experience periodically. After I left Sunbelt Ag Expo my brother and hunt partner Paul and I picked up the vehicle from Blanchard Equipment in Tennille, GA. We’ve already taken it for a short drive on a new fire trail and it is comfortable!

Now back to my ride/drive at Sunbelt Ag Expo. I rode with Mike Ballou and had him explain the features of the new line of utility vehicles which were first introduced at the Farm Progress Show.

Mike drove an XUV865R unit while I held the camera (iPhone 8). The 865R is a top of the line XUV with a full cab and now includes air conditioning. We were riding on a very dry, warm, dusty and windy day but were very comfortable in the cab. You can find a full list of features and specifications here.

So, ride along in the video below.

2017 Sunbelt Ag Expo Photo Album

Stories from Sunbelt Ag Expo sponsored by Stories from Sunbelt Ag Expo sponsored by John Deere
John Deere, Sunbelt Ag Expo, Video

EPA Administrator Backs Down on RFS Proposal

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

All the noise made this week by biofuels supporters over proposed volume reductions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has apparently made an impression. In a letter to seven senators sent late Thursday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt committed to final 2018 RFS renewable volume obligations “at levels equal or greater” to those that the agency proposed in July, as well as a commitment to finalize the rule by the Nov. 30 statutory deadline. In the letter, Pruitt also announced EPA will finalize a decision within the next 30 days to deny a change to the point of obligation for compliance with the RFS, the agency will “actively explore” whether it has the legal authority to approve year-round access to E15 and the agency will not take action on a rumored proposal to allow ethanol exports to count towards RFS compliance. “The U.S. ethanol industry is grateful for Administrator Pruitt’s epiphany on the road to the RFS,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen.

With the deadline this week to comment on EPA’s recent Notice of Data Availability that would further lower biofuels volume levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), industry supporters increased pressure on the agency to uphold President Trump’s campaign promises.

In this edition of the Ethanol Report podcast recorded prior to Pruitt’s letter, Dinneen discusses how industry supporters responded to recent EPA actions and what EPA should be doing, talks about a new report on RINS and retail fuel prices, and provides RFA’s comments on the EPA notice: Ethanol Report on EPA Notice

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Audio, Ethanol, Podcasting, RFA

Deere Wins Fight to Protect Green and Yellow

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

It’s not easy being John Deere green and yellow – especially if you are another equipment manufacturer.

A U.‍S. District Court in Kentucky this week ruled in favor of Deere & Company protecting the use of the trademark green and yellow color combination on John Deere agricultural equipment. The court decision permanently bans the use of the John Deere colors by FIMCO, Inc., a South Dakota company that manufactures and markets agricultural sprayers under the “Ag Spray Equipment” brand name.

The lawsuit asserted that FIMCO’s green and yellow equipment infringed on Deere’s trademark for the color combination. Deere also claimed that use of the colors by another manufacturer confuses the public as to where the product originated and dilutes the value of the John Deere brand.

The court ruled that John Deere’s green and yellow color combination qualified as a “famous” trademark since as early as the late 1960s and that FIMCO intentionally chose green and yellow to create an association with the John Deere brand. The court also found that FIMCO’s use of green and yellow was likely to cause confusion among purchasers as to whether its agricultural equipment was manufactured by or endorsed by John Deere.

AgWired Precision, John Deere

GAP Report Says Ag Productivity Growth Too Slow

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Global Harvest Initiative 2017 GAP report was released Wednesday at the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines, and for the fourth straight year it shows that global agricultural productivity growth is not accelerating fast enough to sustainably feed the world in 2050.

“If agricultural productivity growth continues to decline, there will be significant ramifications for the economic vitality and environmental sustainability of food and agriculture systems. Farmers in low-income, food-deficit countries will use more land and water to increase their output, straining a natural resource base already threatened by extreme weather events and climate change,” said Margaret Zeigler, executive director of GHI.

The report finds the rate of agricultural productivity growth for low-income countries is only 1.24 percent annually – a decline from 1.5 percent in 2015 and 1.31 percent in 2016. GHI says global agricultural productivity must increase by 1.75 percent annually to meet the demands of nearly 10 billion people in 2050.

Doyle Karr, DuPont Biotechnology Public Policy director and chair of the GHI Board of Directors, says U.S. farmers are concerned about a number of issues that could impact their productivity, including consumer concerns about food production. “The global agriculture sector must renew our commitment to engage in dialogue with consumers through active conversation and collaboration. Farmers and consumers share the same goals, but often there is an information gap between them,” said Karr.

AgWired Precision, Food, World Food Prize

ZimmCast with Chip Blalock, Sunbelt Ag Expo

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 562This week’s program is coming to you from the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA. With me in the program is Chip Blalock, Executive Director.

I asked Chip right away to tell me what’s new this year with the show which is celebrating forty years. To start with, there are 100 new or returning exhibitors bringing the total number of exhibits to 1,211. That’s considered a sell-out of space.

Chip is now a member of the Golden Mic Club, an elite and growing group of people who have been interviewed with our distinctive Golden ZimmComm Microphone.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast with Chip Blalock

2017 Sunbelt Ag Expo Photo Album

Stories from Sunbelt Ag Expo sponsored by Stories from Sunbelt Ag Expo sponsored by John Deere

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Audio, Sunbelt Ag Expo, ZimmCast

Deere Spotlights New Gator™ XUV Models

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

John Deere’s new gas-powered Gator XUV835 and diesel-powered Gator XUV865 utility vehicles were turning heads at the Sunbelt Ag Expo this week.

“It’s our first ever three passenger wide vehicle,” said Mark Davey, John Deere marketing manager. “And we have the ability to give you a factory-installed cab, plus the ability to install heat and air from the factory.”

Davey says the new full-size Gator utility vehicles help farmers and ranchers maximize productivity and comfort. “It’s got tilt steering with a fully adjustable drivers seat to fit all different sizes of folks comfortably,” he said.

Learn more from Davey in this interview – Interview with Mark Davey, Deere Gators

2017 Sunbelt Ag Expo Photo Album

Stories from Sunbelt Ag Expo sponsored by Stories from Sunbelt Ag Expo sponsored by John Deere
Audio, John Deere, Sunbelt Ag Expo, Uncategorized

Newer Cotton Varieties Performing For Growers

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

Two cotton varieties introduced in recent years are helping growers to fight diseases that are prevalent in the northern High Plains, according to Tim Culpepper, senior agronomist for Bayer Cropscience. Culpepper said FiberMax 1911 GLT provides a strong disease package, fighting verticillium wilt, bacterial blight and root knot nematode.

“These guys that are using this variety are seeing some really good control in these diseases. They’re seeing some very good results in their higher input acre as well as in their limited acre. This year everything looks very good with this variety.”

Culpepper said FiberMax 1888 GL, released in 2017, is another good option for growers as it is an easy to manage, high yielding and high fiber variety. Culpepper was at the 2017 Bayer Showcase Plot Tour in Lubbock, Texas.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Tim Culpepper here: Interview with Tim Culpepper, Bayer

Audio, Bayer, Cotton

Iowa Biofuels Interests Get White House Attention

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

President Donald Trump called Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Wednesday to assure her that he continues to support the renewable fuels industry.

“He reached out to me,” said Gov. Reynolds during a press conference in Iowa. “He made it clear that he stood with the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Gov. Reynolds also got a call from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who met with Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley Tuesday about the same issue. She also has meetings set up in Washington DC next week with the president and vice president. The governor and other industry leaders have been questioning the administration’s commitment to renewable fuels in light of recent EPA proposals that threaten to rollback the RFS, and she vowed to keep the pressure on until the final RFS volume obligations are approved.

“They are feeling the pressure and that’s why we can’t let up,” said Reynolds. “I’m very encouraged, it was a positive conversation, and we’re going to continue that conversation next week.”

EPA recently announced it is considering cuts to the RFS for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and advanced biofuels, and is also reportedly considering allowing ethanol exports to generate RINs for RFS compliance. The press conference at Two Rivers Cooperative in Pella on Wednesday also included comments from Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw, Iowa Biodiesel Board Executive Director Grant Kimberley, and
Dennis Bogaards, an Iowa soybean and corn farmer in the Pella community.

Listen to it here: Iowa RFS press conference

Audio, Biodiesel, Ethanol