Introducing the SMART Farmer Podcast

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

We are pleased to introduce the very first SMART Farmer podcast which features interviews with the people who use data and technology to be more sustainable while still producing the most affordable and safe food in the world.

In this first episode, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance CEO Randy Krotz talks about how people can relate to the SMART Farm concept – just like a smart phone or a smart home. Then we visit with Katie Brenny from the recent Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show to find out how she and her husband use the latest technology to produce beef more sustainably on their operation in Minnesota.

Listen to the first podcast:
SMART Farmer Podcast with Katie Brenny

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Audio, Podcasting, SMART Farmer, Technology, USFRA

AgCompass Helps Make Tax Time Easier

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

If you are ready to make tax time easier, a virtual desktop and your accounting software hosted by AgCompass may be just what you need for secure sharing.

“Security and data independence are important concerns for farmers,” says Nick Chambers, Business Manager for AgCompass. “With a virtual desktop, while your data is technically in the cloud, unlike web-based applications, your personal data is securely stored in your own licensed software – like how it is stored on a personal computer.”

The advantage of hosting your software with AgCompass is that they provide all the software updates, conduct daily backups, and your data is stored in a world-class data center making it less vulnerable to hardware failure. AgCompass can host any windows-based software including QuickBooks, FBS, RedWing, Microsoft products, and many more.

“We work with a variety of software companies and work with farmers and CPAs who use their products,” said Chambers. “It has never been easier to collaborate with others through the software you already use.”

To learn more about AgCompass and to download “3 Farm Business Management Tips for Tax Time,” go to

Learn more about AgCompass in this previously published interview: Interview with Nick Chambers, AgCompass

Audio, Technology

N-WATCH Fits GROWMARK Sustainability Platform

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

nafb-16-growmark-lance Farmers know that every year is different, so GROWMARK is helping producers make the best choices for their fields both environmentally and economically through the N-WATCH program.

“It’s a tool that allows us to better manage nitrogen, so we’re doing what’s best for the crop from an economic standpoint, but also from an environmental standpoint, so we’re not over applying,” Lance Ruppert, Director of Strategic Agronomy Marketing for GROWMARK told Cindy Zimmerman.

Soil samples from a 3 inch grade around the cutter bar’s 30 inch application are analyzed to understand where nitrogen is across the field, what form it is in, and how deep it has traveled– information that is always important, but especially when conditions vary from average, Ruppert explains. For example, soil sampling provides information about the necessity of additional applications after a warm winter with big rains . In a drought year sampling can help determine if leftover nitrogen can best be utilized by planting a cover crop.

Understanding the movement and placement of nitrogen is critical for good management and to make the most of the investment, Ruppert emphasizes. It’s how you build better soil, a better business, and a better environment.

Listen to Cindy’s full interview with Ruppert here: Interview with Lance Ruppert, GROWMARK

Audio, GROWMARK, Sustainability

Celebrating National #FFAweek

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Tomorrow kicks off National FFA Week, running from Saturday to Saturday around George Washington’s birthday. More than 649,000 FFA members will share the message of agriculture by hosting activities that highlight the importance of raising food and fiber.

The tradition began in 1948 in recognition of Washington’s legacy as a farmer. Today National FFA Week encourages chapters to be involved in their communities and schools, giving back through service projects and recruiting new members.

National FFA Week is also a time for alumni and sponsors to advocate for agricultural education and FFA. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the National FFA Foundation will celebrate Give FFA Day, a daylong campaign that will encourage the public to support the various needs impacting FFA members. Every gift will count toward achieving the FFA mission of premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. If interested in giving, one can visit or text “Grow” to 27722 to make a $10 gift to National FFA.

Follow the fun with the hashtag #FFAweek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and @NationalFFA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Ag Group, FFA

Final 10 Startups Selected for The Pearse Lyons Accelerator

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

A total of 183 startups from 38 countries applied to be a part of The Pearse Lyons Accelerator, a late-stage, agri-tech accelerator run by Alltech and Dogpatch Labs. The accelerator will commence with 10 startups that have been chosen to take part in a mentorship program for agri-business innovators with a proven technology that is ready for market.

The accelerator is a 15-week, mentorship-driven program aimed at collaborative learning and seeking new business and/or partnership opportunities. The program will culminate with the startups presenting on the main stage at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, May 21–24, 2017.

Startup participants will receive access to Dr. Pearse Lyons. In addition, participants will receive free space for three months in Ireland’s leading startup hub, Dogpatch Labs, located in the heart of the Dublin Docklands, a €15,000 cash fund and mentoring covering a range of areas, from product development to strategy and international expansion. Additional benefits include software perks worth more than €300,000 from companies such as Google, Facebook, Softlayer and Amazon.

“We had a great selection week in Dublin, and I’m really impressed with the startups’ ideas, their engagement and the talent,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer at Alltech. “We were especially looking for emerging technologies in agri-tech, such as drones, sensors, the internet of things and artificial intelligence, and I’m excited to see those are all represented within the 10 companies that were chosen.”

Agribusiness, Alltech

FMC Excited About Product Pipeline

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

FMC Agricultural Solutions is expanding its portfolio, and herbicide product manager Chris Reat says it’s an exciting time to be with the company.

“FMC was always recognized as a very strong insecticide company, we’ve morphed into a strong soybean pre company, and now we’re looking to build that portfolio out even further,” said Reat during an interview at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville. “We’re getting to a point where we can have a positive conversation with growers about an FMC solution for their corn or soybean acres.”

Reat says recent acquisitions, such as the Cheminova purchase in 2015, have helped build up FMC’s portfolio but being stable now during a time of industry mergers and acquisitions may provide them with new opportunities. “We want to make sure that farmers don’t lose the tools they have,” he said.

Learn more in this interview. Interview with Chris Reat, FMC

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
Audio, FMC, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS

BigIron Auction at #NFMS17 Benefits Blue & Gold

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 536This edition of the ZimmCast comes to you from the 2017 National Farm Machinery Show where BigIron Auctions has been sharing its story and innovative auction platform with show attendees while also supporting the future of agriculture.

BigIron hosted a Blue and Gold Benefit Auction for the Kentucky FFA Foundation during the Exhibitor Reception Wednesday, celebrated seasons with show attendees, and talked about their website and mobile application that make on-line bidding a breeze.

Mark Stock founded the business with his brother Ron in 1984 as an onsite auction company. Today the company conducts both weekly online and scheduled onsite auctions, and has reinvented the way used equipment is sold.

Mark sat down with Chuck for this ZimmCast to tell us more about this unique auction company. Listen here: ZimmCast with Mark Stock, BigIron Auctions

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

The ZimmCast

sponsored by
The ZimmCast podcast is sponsored by GROWMARK
Locally owned, globally strong.
Audio, Equipment, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS, ZimmCast

FMC Urges Growers to Comment on Pyrethroids

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Farmers at the National Farm Machinery Show are being encouraged to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency to protect widely used class of insecticide being targeted under a routine regulatory review.

Pyrethroids are used to control insects in 120 different crops, as well as turf, lawns and gardens. But an EPA assessment released at the end of last year found that use of the chemical was a risk for aquatic insects, a claim the industry says is based on models instead of actual use data.

“FMC is a member of the Pyrethroid Working Group industry consortium which has developed a lot of additional data that we consider more real world…and EPA has chosen not to use that at this stage in the risk assessment process,” says FMC Registration and Regulatory Affairs Manager John Cummings. FMC’s Capture LFR and Brigade are two products that would be impacted under the review.

The comment period on the review opened at the end of November and originally closed at the end of January but has been extended now until the end of March. “Obviously the industry will be submitting very technical comments,” said Cummings. “But it’s important that EPA hears from the growers how these products are actually used…EPA is required to consider not only the risks but also the benefits to society.”

FMC has an easy way for growers to comment without having to navigate the government websites – just click here.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with John Cummings, FMC

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
Audio, FMC, Insecticides, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS

#NFMS17 Highlights Story of Rural Infrastructure

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

People don’t know the story of agriculture, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarels stated at the kickoff panel of the National Farm Machinery Show. The event, sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), highlighted the importance of rural infrastructure and the challenges faced due to a lack of understanding by consumers.

Recently Kentucky passed a bill to make transporting equipment easier; old laws required the removal of duel wheels to drive on roads. During debate on the matter one committee member had to ask what duel wheels are, which is funny, Quarels says, but shows us that we have to do a better job.

“We have to do a better job, as agricultural leaders. We have to do a better job explaining what our industry is about, who we are and why we continue to be the backbone of America, because if you look at where American agriculture was 50 years ago to where we are today, we have doubled the amount of food we produce. We’re doing it with 22 million less workers and we’re only using 75 percent of the land we used to use in the United States to farm. So we’re doing a very good job.”

In fact, it’s that story of efficiency that is the cause of the disconnect, but our new administration and his cabinet need to understand that the concerns of agriculture rank right up there with the concerns of the EPA or anything else in the nation. And sure, trade looks different now than it did a few months ago, but agriculture can benefit from new agreements and we need to be ready to transport our product, Quarels emphasizes.

You can listen to his full address here: Ryan Quarels, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
AEM, National Farm Machinery Show, transportation

“Seeding Innovation” Website Unveiled by ASTA

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has announced a new, educational website, The organization hopes to provide answers to consumer questions like: What is plant breeding innovation? What do plant breeders do? And what could the latest breeding techniques like gene editing mean for the future of agriculture and our society?

The new site offers informational videos, blog posts, plant breeder profiles, FAQs and other resources about the ever-changing field of plant breeding. You can also follow ASTA @Better_Seed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ag Group, ASTA, Website