Beltwide Cotton Conference Shares Weed Management Research

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

New weed science research from the University of Georgia (UGA) was on the agenda at the 2021 virtual Beltwide Cotton Conference.

“We must reduce the selection pressure that’s being placed upon these herbicides in order to preserve our ability to use this technology,” said Taylor Randell, UGA Weed Science student, who presented the research in response to the evolution of herbicide resistance and the ongoing threat to the sustainability of cotton production.

Randell shared with participants that integrated weed management strategies like the use of cover crops, pre-emergent and residual herbicides, herbicide tank mixtures, and timely post-emergence applications can reduce selection pressure being placed upon any one control measure, therefore delaying the spread of herbicide resistance. The study aimed to quantify any reduction in selection pressure through a combination of these strategies.

2021 Beltwide Interview with Taylor Randell, UGA 6:40

Audio, Beltwide Cotton, Cotton, weed management

Industry Ag News 1/15

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  • Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 102nd Annual Convention have adopted policies to guide the organization’s work in 2021. Key topics ranged from farm diversity to farm labor and dairy policy to livestock marketing. For the first time in AFBF history, delegates met and voted virtually due to COVID-19.
  • The GROWMARK Foundation is once again offering a $1,500 scholarship program for students in the United States and Ontario, Canada, pursing two- or four-year degrees or trade school certification in an agriculture-related field. High school seniors or students at any level of higher education may complete the application, which can be found at Applications are due by midnight Central Time on April 15, 2021 and recipients will be notified by July 1, 2021.
  • Join ag public relations professionals for the Agricultural Relations Council’s (ARC) February 2 webinar, starting at 11 a.m. Central time. The topic is “Your work is great, but is your contest entry?” Register here.
  • Agri-Pulse is pleased to announce that Jesse Harding Campbell has joined the Agri-Pulse team as executive assistant. Campbell grew up on a farm near Marine, Il., and studied Agricultural and Environmental Communications at the University of Illinois. While in college, Campbell completed a farm broadcasting internship at WYXY. She also served as assistant farm director at the Wisconsin Farm Report and KRVN/Rural Radio Network in Nebraska. Most recently, Campbell served as director of communications with a law firm based in Omaha, Neb.
  • The American Soybean Association is pleased to announce a fifth addition to its in-house Washington, D.C., policy team. Ariel Wiegard will join ASA Jan. 19 as a director leading the portfolio for conservation, precision agriculture, nutrition, and other issues of importance to soy.
  • The third largest indoor U.S. farm show, presented by Farm Credit Services of America and AgDirect, will go on as planned February 2-4 in Des Moines, Iowa. Spread across 8 acres, the Iowa Ag Expo will be the first major indoor ag show to be held in the Midwest since spring.
  • A new GSI dealership, Innovative Grain Systems, has opened in Jonesboro, Ark., to serve farmers in a 300-mile radius and commercial grain operations throughout the mid-South.
Zimfo Bytes

USDA Offers Additional CFAP Aid for Some Producers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program.

Among the announced updates:
Contract producers of swine, broilers, laying hens, chicken eggs and turkeys who suffered a drop in revenue in 2020 as compared to their 2019 revenue because of the pandemic now are eligible for assistance. Producers could receive up to 80% of their revenue loss, subject to the availability of funds.Producers of pullets and turfgrass sod also now are eligible for CFAP payments.

FSA adjusted the payment calculation to use the producer’s eligible 2019 calendar year sales, and 2019 crop insurance indemnities, NAP, and WHIP+ payments, multiplied by the applicable payment rate for all sales commodities, which include specialty crops, aquaculture, tobacco, specialty livestock, nursery crops and floriculture, for CFAP 2.

USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey and Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce provided details on the announcement in a call with reporters. Read more in the USDA press release.

USDA CFAP Update with Bill Northey and Richard Fordyce (19:34)

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Audio, USDA

Biodiesel Conference Goes Virtual Next Week

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The virtual 2021 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo officially launches next Tuesday, January 19th, with a full agenda on-line to allow participation from anywhere.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Rise” and National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Chief Operating Officer Doug Whitehead says it reflects the resilience of the industry. “We’re rising up to meet the challenges of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

The conference grand opening on Tuesday will focus on the Dawn of a New Era for Low-Carbon Fuels, with NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen offering his State of the Industry remarks, followed by a panel of experts to discuss the opportunities that exist for biodiesel and renewable diesel in this low carbon transformation.

Whitehead says timely topics for the conference will address the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), bioheat, and working with a new presidential administration and Congress.
2021 Biodiesel Conference preview with Doug Whitehead, NBB (11:47)

NBB Director of Regulatory Affairs Kate Shenk will be moderating a panel on the first day of the conference called “What to Expect When You’re Expecting an RFS Rule” and with all of the turmoil going on right now regarding what the Trump EPA may do before leaving office, that landscape is changing daily.

In this interview, Shenk talks about some of the policy issues facing the biodiesel industry right now.
2021 Biodiesel Conference preview with Kate Shenk, NBB (9:41)

Audio, Biodiesel, National Biodiesel Conference

BASF Presents Awards at Beltwide Cotton Conferences

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

At last week’s virtual Beltwide Cotton Conferences, BASF sponsored two prestigious professional awards: Cotton Specialist of the Year and Cotton Marketer of the Year.

The Joseph J. O’Neill Cotton Marketer of the Year award was presented to Barry Evans of Texas. The award is sponsored by BASF and ICE Futures (formerly the New York Cotton Exchange). BASF’s Kenny Melton presented the award to Evans as it was announced by O.A. Cleveland of Mississippi State University.

“As a farmer, we never think we’re very good at marketing so to receive this, it is very humbling. It’s very nice to be recognized,” said Evans, who farms full time in Swisher County, Texas.

BASF also named Dr. Seth Byrd, an agronomist with Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension, the 2021 Cotton Specialist of the Year during this year’s virtual conference.

Listen to the Marketer Award presentation here:
2021 Beltwide Cotton Marketer Award 2:39

Audio, BASF, Beltwide Cotton, Cotton

Traction Launches New Accounting Solution For Farmers

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Traction™ announced today the launch of a new cloud-based farm accounting application. This first release gives farmers an easy way to manage their day-to-day cash accounting transactions from any connected device including phones and tablets.

Until now, farmers have had to choose between non-farm specific applications or legacy desktop software to manage financial information and overall farm profitability. The challenge is two fold: integration of accounting to field-level analysis and using older, sometimes non-supported software that is challenging to maintain.

With Traction, farmers can invest in their future by capturing all of their financial and field information with one platform. This provides an accurate view of operational performance while using cutting-edge technology that is intuitive and expandable in the future.

The release of Traction’s Basic Accounting enables you to:

  • Manage an unlimited number of farm entities.
  • Connect your bank and credit card accounts to synchronize your transactions.
  • Maintain your cash-based balance sheet and income statement with drill-down analysis.
  • Use your phone to take pictures of invoices and tag them to transactions.
  • Perform standard tasks like adding accounts, transaction editing and reconciling bank statements.
  • Create field names and boundaries and see a map of your farm (Spring 2021).
  • View profit centers by field and/or crop from your actual expenses and revenue (Spring 2021)

Traction’s Basic Accounting solution is available for $950 per year which includes 2 manager logins. The company is working on field operations and agronomy solutions that will provide seamless integration, available later in 2021. Additional information and a free 30-day trial can be found at

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Farming

Precision Ag News 1/13

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The introduction of the Vermeer round baler in 1971 had a major influence on how hay and cattle producers harvested hay. To help commemorate the half century of innovation, Vermeer has planned a number of activities that will take place at the factory, online and across and its dealerships. To follow along as the company celebrates “50 years of the Vermeer round baler,” visit, or
  • By decision of the board of directors and CEO, the 32nd Independent Professional Seed Association Annual Conference has gone totally virtual. The conference is scheduled for January 20-21, 2021. Registration is still open for the virtual event at
  • Golden Harvest agronomists are hosting a series of free virtual Winter Agronomy Summits where they will share their perspectives on key topics to help farmers start 2021 strong. To view a full schedule with session descriptions and register to attend a Golden Harvest virtual Winter Agronomy Summit, visit
  • The University of California, Riverside, is leading a new effort to stop and reverse a worldwide decline in honeybees, which threatens food security and prices. To boost dwindling honeybee populations, the University of California’s Office of the President has awarded $900,000 to a four-campus network of bee researchers and engineers. The network, which includes researchers from the Davis, San Diego and Merced campuses, is approaching the problem in three main ways. The first is through breeding programs. A second goal of the new network is to develop medications and treatments for sick bees. Finally, the group is looking to give beekeepers tools to better monitor bees’ health. Small devices will be able to ‘listen’ and ‘smell’ inside hives to give beekeepers indications about the health of the hive.
  • Showcasing farmers growing commitment to sustainability will be a major goal for the National Corn Growers Association in 2021. Several major initiatives by NCGA, as well as collaborative efforts with partners, will bear fruit in the new year.
  • Precision Planting’s annual winter conference is the preeminent gathering of farmers and farm equipment dealers who are dedicated to exploring the future of high-return technology on-farm. This year’s theme is, “Build Your Picket Fence Stand.” Through a combination of in-person and video sessions and demonstrations, Precision Planting is continuing to share new agronomic information, real-world research and trial results, new product announcements and local expertise with farmers across the U.S. to help them build their ideal or “picket fence” crop stand. Winter Conference registration is now open to farmers and members of the media at: Farmers are encouraged to find a Winter Conference location nearest to them and register online to attend in person.
  • Monty’s Plant Food Company deepened their capacity as a trusted advisor and innovator of product solutions to farmers through the expansion of their research and development department. They announced the arrival of two key R & D department employees, Dr. Fritzie Chen and Dr. Cassidy Million, as well as an ongoing expansion that will double the footprint of Monty’s laboratory facility for in-house plant testing and experimentation.
  • The National Wheat Foundation is accepting grower enrollment for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest. The Contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. The Foundation is accepting entries for Winter and Spring Wheat. The deadline for Winter Wheat entries is May 15th with an early registration deadline of April 1st. The Spring wheat entry deadline is August 1st, with an early registration deadline of June 15th.
  • BRANDT has added four new members to the company’s Discovery & Innovation team and a new Territory Sales Manager. New Discovery & Innovation team members include John Weber, Technical Agronomist, Pacific Northwest; Gregory Jackson, Technical Agronomist, Eastern Seaboard; Natalie Starich, Technical Data Specialist; and Grant Meckes, Lab Technician. The Discovery & Innovation team is led by Vice President Brian Haschemeyer, who oversees the company’s formulation development, agronomy research and technical support. On the commercial side, BRANDT has added Beau Artist as a Territory Sales Representative for the Turf and Ornamental group covering OR, WA and ID. In addition, BRANDT veteran Charles Lanfier has been promoted to Regional Sales Manager, Southeast/Delta.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Agri-Pulse Plans 2021 Ag & Food Policy Summit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

After the 2020 Agri-Pulse Summit was rescheduled several times and ultimately went virtual, the 2021 event is already planned to be a virtual event

The 2021 Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit will feature three half-day sessions, March 22-24, with the theme: “Climate Risks, Rewards and Uncertainties.”

“President-elect Joe Biden made action on climate change a key part of his campaign platform and has pledged to focus on climate in every federal agency. He’s not alone,” says Agri-Pulse Editor and Founder Sara Wyant. “Major food companies are already making carbon commitments and expecting farmers and supply chains to comply with a focus on sustainable and regenerative practices. Yet, there are a lot of different factors involved with getting the science, the economics and the cultural factors to align in a way that produces measurable and valuable outcomes.”

The agenda will include political appointees, members of Congress, food and agricultural leaders, along with industry experts and academics, who will discuss the potential for agriculture to play a key role in providing solutions to climate change. Discussions will focus on research needs, potential costs and carbon payments, options for federal policy, proposed regulatory changes and more.

If COVID-19 restrictions allow, Agri-Pulse will also host a reception at the National Press Club on March 24.
Click here for registration and more information.

Agri-Pulse, Events

Partnership Aims to Standardize Cotton Research Data

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Cotton Incorporated recently joined forces with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Partnerships for Data Innovations (PDI) on an effort to standardize and centralize cotton research data.

At last week’s Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Cotton Incorporated Senior Director of Agricultural & Environmental Research Ed Barnes said the project actually grew out of discussions at last year’s Beltwide and it is really just getting underway. “This project is really focused on we can do a better job of capturing our research data,” said Barnes. “We’ve really made a lot of progress in just six months.”

Listen to an interview with Barnes here:
2021 Beltwide Interview with Ed Barnes, Cotton Incorporated 9:19

2021 Beltwide Cotton Conferences Virtual Newsroom

Audio, Beltwide Cotton, Cotton

EPA Announces Sustainable Pest Control Initiative

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Photo provided by MS Farm Bureau

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler was in Mississippi on Monday where he announced a $2 million dollar initiative that encourages smart and sustainable pest control in agriculture. The initiative, which is an extension of EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP), expects to award grantees up to $200,000 to implement sustainable pest management practices that align with the agency’s goal of providing a healthier environment for all Americans.

“EPA wants farmers to choose what they can use in their fields and not have it chosen for them,” said Wheeler.

At the event, Mississippi Farm Bureau president Mike McCormick signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EPA Regional Administrator Mary Walker to enhance their communication and coordination efforts, as well as promote education and outreach.

Wheeler answered a few questions after his remarks, including whether he will resign from the administration. “I was disgusted by the events of last Wednesday,” he said. “I believe in the best interests of the agency, in order to ensure a smooth transition to my successors, it’s important for me to stay on.”

EPA chief Andrew Wheeler in Mississippi (15:28)

AgWired Precision, Audio, Crop Protection, EPA, pesticides