USB Names Ruhland as New CEO

Cindy Zimmerman AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, CBB, Soybean, USB 0 Comments

PollyRuhlandThe United Soybean Board (USB) has named Polly Ruhland as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the checkoff organization, effective November 1, replacing retiring John Becherer. Ruhland has served as CEO of Cattlemen’s Beef Board since 2011.

“Polly exceeded all of the attributes for what we as a board were looking for in a new CEO to lead us into the future,” says John Motter, USB chair and soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio. “Polly brings a platform of experience and expertise that parallels the opportunities and challenges facing the soy industry – building demand in domestic and global markets, creating consensus throughout the commodity supply chain, solidifying partnerships with national and state organizations and being an industry catalyst.”

In accepting the position, Ruhland said, “USB’s innovation and agriculture industry leadership attracted me to this opportunity. I am looking forward to working alongside farmer leaders and organizational partners to take USB into a bright future.”

John Becherer has served USB for the last 23 years and will work with USB to support the transition and the incoming CEO until his retirement at the end of the year.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, CBB, Soybean, USB

Baize Offers View of Soy Past and Future

Kelly Marshall AgWired Precision, Audio, Soybean 0 Comments

When John Baize spoke to attendees of the 2017 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange, it wasn’t just some nice thoughts.  Baize comes from 38 years of working the global market on behalf of soybeans and other farm products.  That experience gives him a great him not just a good view of the past, but also of the future.

“By all accounts we are going to continue to see the global economy grow,” Baize said.  “We’re seeing continuous growth in the GDP in countries all throughout Asia, particularly in the Asian sub-continent- southeast Asia, certainly in China, and elsewhere.  When you see more per capita income in developing countries, the first thing that is going to happen is they’re going to improve the quality of their diet, which means more animal protein in the diet, it’s going to mean more vegetable oil in their diet, and I think that’s where the future is going.”

The global demand for soybeans is growing twice as fast as corn, and four times faster than wheat, rice, or cotton. The U.S. has taken advantage of that marketshare through it’s agreements with Columbia, Morocco, and Korea.  In Baize’s opinion, missing out on TPP isn’t a huge factor for the soybeans either, since the U.S. already has good access to Japan, southeast Asia and the agreement didn’t include China.

Listen to Baize’s predictions for 2018 in Jamie’s full interview here: John Baize, John C. Baize & Associates

You can find photos from the event here: U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Soybean

Preview of GROWMARK Annual Meeting

Chuck Zimmerman Audio, Cooperatives, GROWMARK 0 Comments

Just prior to the start of today’s GROWMARK Annual Meeting I spoke with John Reifsteck, Chairman/President to get a preview. I’m a first time attendee, so I needed it!

The theme for this year’s meeting is Execute with Excellence. John says that for GROWMARK it is not something you say or do once but it’s a habit. “We think it’s important for us to be successful, to help our customers, to help our owners, that we execute the things we do with excellence.”

Besides the annual business meeting this morning the program will move to an Agribusiness Symposium with speakers to motivate and inform attendees.

You can listen to my interview with John here: Interview with John Reifsteck, GROWMARK

You can find photos from the events of the annual meeting here: 2017 GROWMARK Annual Meeting Photo Album

Audio, Cooperatives, GROWMARK

Precision Ag Bytes 8/23

Kelly Marshall AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes 0 Comments

  • The application deadline for the Award for Conservation Excellence (ACE) is August 31, 2017.  This non-profit award acknowledges exceptional contribution to wildlife conservation and is presented by Banovich Wildscapes Foundation and Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and sponsored by Cabela’s Outdoor Fund and the Cabela Family Foundation.
  • Monsanto Company has reached a global licensing agreement with biotechnology company, ToolGen, Inc., The agreement includes the use of ToolGen’s CRISPR technology platform to develop agricultural products.
  • NRGene, the worldwide leader in genomic assembly and analysis, has provided scientists with the complete genome of Italian ryegrass, one of the most important forage crops in temperate regions worldwide.  This task was previously impossible but was accomplished with DeNovoMAGICTM 3.0.
  • Vermeer is pleased to introduce the latest 5 ft by 4 ft balers, the 504R Classic and the 504R Premium. These introductions complete the brand’s 504R baler platform by adding an economical, entry-level option, as well as a top-of-the line baler.
  • AgBiome announced that Howler fungicide received registration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Howler is a biological fungicide that is highly effective against fungal diseases common to high-value crops.



AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Midwest Seed Genetics Humbled By Reception

Jamie Johansen Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Grains, Soybean, USSEC 0 Comments

Just a few weeks ago we announced the comeback of seedsmen Don Funk, who is leading a team of entrepreneurs in the launch of Midwest Seed Genetics. While attending the 2017 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange, I ran into Wayne Hoener, Midwest Seed Genetics, we sat down to learn what’s happened since their debut.

“It has been overwhelming and we are so humbled by this reception. I can hardly keep up whether it’s a text, email or phone call. That just tells us that the grower today is looking for a change. What we are doing isn’t rocket science. We are just trying to match really good, elite products with a component story and option for growers that’s best for them. We also want to be surrounded by great people. It’s that simple.” Hoener said.

Midwest Seed Genetics has taken on an outward focus. They do the things that growers tell them they want, not what they decide is good for them.

“We believe our seed industry has forgotten there is a use for every bit of this grain we produce in this world,” Hoener said. They want to equally focus on the consumer, the poultry and hog integrators, etc. What are they wanting in the products?

Listen to my complete conversation here: Interview with Wayne Hoener, Midwest Seed Genetics

You can find photos from the event here: U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Grains, Soybean, USSEC

Commerce Finds Unfairly Subsidized Biodiesel Exports

Cindy Zimmerman Biodiesel, Trade 0 Comments

The preliminary determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce is that exporters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia did receive “countervailable subsidies” and may allow for collection of retroactive duties.

“The U.S. values its relationships with Argentina and Indonesia, but even friendly nations must play by the rules,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The department determined that both countries subsidized exports by as much as 68 percent, and that “critical circumstances exist” that would pave the way for imposing duties going back to May 2017.

“The Commerce Department has recognized what this industry has known all along—that foreign biodiesel producers have benefited from massive subsidies that have severely injured U.S. biodiesel producers,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board, on behalf of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition.

As a result of Commerce’s ruling, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries once the preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register sometime next week and rates for Argentina will apply retroactively 90 days from the date of the notice. Imports of biodiesel from Argentina again jumped 144.5 percent following the filing of the petitions.

Biodiesel, Trade

Nebraska USFRA Food Dialogues to Focus on GMOs

Cindy Zimmerman AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Soybean, USFRA 0 Comments

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is joining with the Nebraska Soybean Board to host a “Food Dialogues: Pivoting the GMO Conversation” at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln September 6 from 1:00-2:30 pm.

Among the Dialogue participants will be Hilary Maricle, a Nebraska cattle, corn, pig and soybean farmer and CommonGround volunteer; and USFRA Face of Farming & Ranching Jeremy Brown, an organic cotton farmer from Texas.

The Dialogue will be livestreamed on USFRA’s Facebook page for those unable to be there in person. Find out more here.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Soybean, USFRA

Bayer at Work to Combat Citrus Greening

Chuck Zimmerman Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, Citrus 0 Comments

During the 2017 Citrus Expo I visited with Adrian Percy, Bayer, about the partnership announcement between Bayer and the Citrus Research and Development Foundation to combat citrus greening disease. Adrian says that Bayer is uniquely qualified to take on the disease because of its long history in disease control and a great range of fungicide products and also work in the biologicals space.

The need to find a solution is significant according to Adrian since the Florida citrus industry has seen a fifty percent drop in production in the last ten years due to the effects of the disease. He says there will probably be a number of elements to a final solution that will come out of the project which is in an initial three year agreement period.

You can listen to my interview with Adrian here to learn more: Interview with Adrian Percy, Bayer

You can find photos from the event here: Bayer/CRDF Press Conference Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, Citrus

U.S. Grain Inspection – What to Expect

Jamie Johansen Ag Group, AgWired Precision, Audio, Exports, GIPSA, Grains, Soybean, Trade, USDA, USSEC 0 Comments

One of the breakout sessions during the 2017 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange provided an overview on how the soy and grain inspection system operated. This gave U.S. growers a better understanding of how their grain was managed once it left the farm and more importantly provided international buyers with the information needed to ensure they were getting a quality product.

Director, USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Office of Dept. Initiatives and International Affairs, Byron Reilly, said, “The federal grain inspection service is an impartial third party to the sale of a contract. We don’t see the particulars of the contract. We only look at the grain quality requirements that the buyers want us to look for.”

Reilly also reminds parties involved that the cost of these services is included in the price per ton. His office also helps organizations like U.S. Soy Export Council (USSEC) with their market development activities in other countries holding hands-on grain inspection seminars with attendees.

Listen to my complete interview with Reilly here: Interview with Byron Reilly, USDA, GIPSA

You can find photos from the event here: U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange Photo Album

Ag Group, AgWired Precision, Audio, Exports, GIPSA, Grains, Soybean, Trade, USDA, USSEC

Shifting to High Octane Ethanol Future

Cindy Zimmerman ACE, AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol 0 Comments

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) annual conference last week included a panel on shifting to high-octane fuel.

First, Trey Binford, product manager of North America Dispensers at Wayne Fueling Systems, discussed the infrastructure component. He explained why Wayne differentiated itself as the first equipment manufacturer to exclusively offer fuel dispensers UL-listed for E25 to gasoline retailers in North America.

Brian West with the Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory shared the testing underway on engines to help demonstrate the benefits of high-octane fuel to help automakers meet fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.

Finally ACE members heard from Adam Gustafson, partner at Boyden Gray & Associates, who is helping lead an effort to enable automakers and consumers to experience the benefits of high-octane fuel.

ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings moderated the panel discussion – listen to it here: ACE Conference Octane Panel

2017 ACE Conference Photo Album

ACE, AgWired Energy, Audio, Ethanol