During the recent Farm Progress Show Monsanto’s Crop Protection Marketing Lead, Steve Knodle (left), sat down with me to talk about what is new with Monsanto.
Steve says there are a number of new announcements from Monsanto this fall. One of them is Warrant Herbicide for pre-emerge use in soybeans and cotton for residual weed control. He says that it is very important for farmers to consider using a pre-emerge product.
Another announcement is the Monsanto Roundup Ready PLUS, Weed Manager PLUS mobile application. This is a tool for use in the field when making weed management decisions. You can find it in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Finally, Steve talked about Acceleron Seed Treatment that will offer a new generation fungicide for soybeans and cotton that will help avoid poor emergence and stand development due to fungal diseases.
When a honey bee lands on a flower, she is helping to feed the world. Didn’t really think about it like that did you? In fact, honey bees are vital to agriculture and our food supply, and many bee populations have been dwindling at an alarming rate. This is why Bayer CropScience has launched a program to save the bees. The Bee Ambassador Program is an awareness and educational campaign aimed at showcasing the importance of bees. The company has also unveiled several Bee Care Centers.
Bayer’s Bee Ambassador Program will integrate key topics related to honey bee management and health with issues facing agriculture. Ambassadors will engage at the local level with beekeepers, farmers, researchers, government officials, educators, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the general public about the value of honey bees and the challenges they face.
During the 2012 Farm Progress Show, Cindy Zimmerman had an opportunity to learn more about Bayer’s Bees from Robyn Kneen. She explained that bees pollinate more than one-third of our crops so they play a very, very important role in agriculture. Without bees 90 percent of the world’s food would not exist.
We’re looking at the various factors that affect bee health so we’re doing research to the different factors, particularly the Varroa mite. That is a big problem for beekeepers today,” said Kneen. “We’re also promoting best practices in terms of stewardship of use of best products to ensure crop protection and agriculture and bees all live in harmony together.”
Bayer strongly believes supporting bee health requires ongoing collaboration and engagement to build new relationships with stakeholders and the Ambassador Program will become an integral component of Bayer’s outreach efforts.
“We have 6D tractors which is our value spec tractor, we have a 6M which is our mid spec tractor – which replaces our 6030-7030 standard tractors, and then we have a full line of 6R tractors which is our premium spec model in the 6 family,” said Jeff Ostermann, senior marketing rep with John Deere Waterloo Works.
The whole family offers new features including a redesigned cab on the 6D, increased horsepower on the 6M, and new direct drive transmission on the 6R. The new 6D Series include 4 models – 6105D, 6115D, 6130D, and 6140D – ranging from 105 to 140 engine horsepower. The all-new John Deere 6M Series Tractors features six models, including the 6140M is pictured here, from 105 to 170 engine horsepower. And the expanded 6R tractors for the row-crop market includes two mid-horsepower model, 6140R and 6150R.
John Deere has a brand new species of Gator that is out to chomp the competition when it comes to speed, power and agility.
“It’s the Gator RSX850i, our first recreational utility vehicle,” said Product Line Marketing Manager Kevin Lund, who introduced the new Gator at the 2012 Farm Progress Show . “With 62 horsepower and 53 mile an hour top speed, four-wheel independent multi-link suspension, it delivers the performance that you need and still has the capability that you expect from a John Deere Gator.”
Lund says utility vehicles have been a part of John Deere’s 175 year history for the past 25 years. “John Deere really started the utility vehicle industry in 1987 with the AMT600,” he said. That evolved over the next few years into the Gator by 1993 and has continued to evolve with new models over the years.
The 2012 Farm Progress Show was a chance for AgVantage FS to put the spotlight on a fresh new look for FS Seed products HiSOY and InVISION corn.
FS seed marketing and development specialist Amanda Weigel told us during FPS that AgVantage FS just expanded into the Boone county area this year. “So I’m doing some marketing to get our name out here in the Boone county area … letting people in the area know what’s going on with FS and GROWMARK.” AgVantage FS is a full-service agriculture and energy supplier headquartered in Waverly with locations in 30 surrounding Iowa counties.
Amanda says they were highlighting the FS HiSOY® brand of soybeans and the new FS InVISION brand of seed corn. “Growers need to know that HiSOY and InVISION are brands that are locally grown, you get local recommendations, and the trials are done locally,” she said. A focus on local results led to a selection of hybrids best suited for wherever a farmer may choose to plant.
Amanda suggests that growers contact their local FS representative to find out more – and check out and like them on the FS Facebook page!
At the recent Farm Progress Show, Bayer CropScience showcased its “One World to Grow On” theme… a holistic approach that helps producers figure out how to maximize harvests in the short and long terms. “Our purpose is to propel farming’s future,” said Inci Dannenberg, VP commercial operations for Bayer CropScience. “The whole idea was to take a look at what are the critical aspects that our agricultural industry is looking at and facing, and specifically growers, in order to be able to maximize their output to feed that planet out there and what can we offer to help that producer maximize.”
Dannenberg said Bayer CropScience “offers a balanced portfolio of innovation,” from seeds to crop protection products. Plus, the company’s recent acquisition of AgraQuest gives the company an inroad on biologicals. “[This acquisition provides] an opportunity for a programmed approach for sustainable products, long term,” as well as a variety of seed treatments.
“[The One World to Grow On theme] is an incredible opportunity for BayerCrop Science, and we’re very proud to work for such a noble cause as the American grower and feeding the planet,” Dannenberg concluded.
A dirty tank can make even the best of fuel less than optimum, which is why GROWMARK STAR energy was demonstrating a high efficiency fuel tank cleaning process at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
Curt Snyder with STAR Energy demonstrated the cleaner, which can run in any size tank from 500-1000 gallons. “It has a pressurized nozzle that sprays throughout the tank, scours it inside. Meanwhile, in the back, it’s sucking up the fuel and running it through our filtering system to take out all the impurities,” he explained. “We’re able to get down to even the smallest pieces of sand.”
Curt says it’s good to go into harvest season with a clean tank. “It’s very important that we don’t get any grit from an old tank into your fuel system,” he said, noting that growers at the Farm Progress Show showed a lot of interest in the tank cleaning process that many did not even know existed. He said that more information is available from STAR Energy in Iowa or any FS fuel delivery service.
Wouldn’t you like to have more yield and with less pressure? Michelin’s new YieldBib tire can give it to you. Here’s how. MICHELIN® YieldBib™ is the first standard size VF rated tire on the North American HHP tractor market.
MICHELIN® YieldBib™, featuring Michelin Ultraflex Technology, allows you to carry the same load with reduced air pressure of up to 40% compared to standard radial technology tires. Plus, the longer footprint means reduced soil compaction and increased yield in the seasons to come.
During a media event at the Farm Progress Show I spoke with Demetric Mass, Ag Sales & Development Manager, for Michelin. Demetric says farmers told them they wanted a tire that would reduce soil compaction, provide better traction and reduce stubble damage. He says that’s what they’ve done with this tire that allows you to “carry the load at lower air pressures and get better yields.”
An Iowa teacher will be able to give her students a leg up in the National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Rocks video contest, thanks to an NCGA giveaway at the recent Farm Progress Show. Mediapolis High School ag instructor and FFA Advisor Alaina Holdgrafer picked up an NCGA backpack filled with goodies, including a Sony HandyCam and a lot of information about ethanol.
“Promoting the Ethanol Rocks video contest at Farm Progress was a great way for NCGA to interest high school and college students in taking part in supporting America’s leading source of domestic renewable fuel,” said Chad Willis, chairman of NCGA’s Ethanol Committee. “The drawing for the video camera, literature on the benefits of ethanol, along with presentations by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, turned Iowa Corn’s booth into the one-stop-shop for information on corn grower contributions to our economy.”
Ms. Holdgrafer was delighted to learn of her windfall. Now that the tools to do so are available, she said she is confident that her students will want to take part in the contest.
The students… and of course, you too… have until 5 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 15 to get in entries for the contest. NCGA wants short videos (2 minutes or less) from active high school and college students that highlight the benefits of ethanol fuel blends to the U.S. environment and economy. First prize receives $1,500 and $500 for second place at each at of the two levels, high school and college. More information is available on the Ethanol Rocks Video Contest website.
During the rally, the groups will be telling legislators why this bill is so important, not just to agriculture, but to consumers. “Consumers have been hurting for quite a while with the general economy. And a Farm Bill provides certainty for farmers but it also makes sure we have certainty in our food system in food security,” said Johnson in an interview during the 2012 Farm Progress Show with Cindy Zimmerman.
Johnson believes that the industry is only going to see 60 percent of the crop they usually have. That is why, she said, there is no better year to write a Farm Bill with the devastating drought.
In the spring things were moving along and then a brick wall was hit. “We’re so close. Let’s rally around. Let’s start talking again. Let’s reconcile. Let’s compromise. And let’s get this Farm Bill done by September 30,” said Johnson.
Johnson added that there are choices out there, and this is why they advocated for a Farm Bill and reform in the Farm Bill. “Because this was to be only when farmers really needed help. And farmers really need help this year.”
The 2012 Farm Progress Show gave Koch Agronomics the opportunity to showcase its acquisition of AGROTAIN really for the first time to this audience, since it was just finalized in October of 2011. We got to find out more about Koch and how AGROTAIN fits with that corporation during a media breakfast at the show.
VP of commercial operations for Koch Tom Snipes explains the acquisition of AGROTAIN was a natural fit for his company. “With this new platform [of Koch's agribusiness delivery system] that we established a couple of years ago, we really feel like by adding the resources around our [research and development] function, agronomy function, and things like that, we’re really going to be in a great position to bring a lot of innovative nutrient management technologies to the grower,” he said. It’s his first visit to Farm Progress Show, and he’s amazed and excited to be there. “We’ve got a huge opportunity to educate the grower on nitrogen management.”
Koch’s Director of Agronomy Greg Schwab echoes his colleague’s thoughts about nitrogen management, especially in light of this year’s drought. “This year was pretty rough for farmers, but we’re hoping that they’re going to be focused on next year,” he says. He warns about some of the issues going into the fall because of the dry weather. He urges farmers to wait until they have good soil moistures and temperatures of less than 50 degrees 6 inches down, a real concern with the hot weather this year. Schwab says he was very excited the day he learned Koch would be acquiring AGROTAIN because he had worked with AGROTAIN during his time at the University of Kentucky. “It was a great day when I was able to call those guys and say we’re going to be colleagues!”
Another “what’s new” from New Holland includes a new BigBaler like this 340 model. On site at the Farm Progress Show to talk about it was Scott Wangsgard.
New Holland’s next generation BigBaler sets a new benchmark in baling performance. With up to a 20% increase in capacity and up to 5% denser bales, the BigBalers significantly improve productivity and profitability. The BigBaler 330 produces 3′x3′ bales while the BigBaler 340 produces 3′x4′ bales.
The all-new MaxiSweepTM pickup has been completely redesigned featuring a new full-width feed assist roller with paired overshot-undershot augers at both ends to pull in material to ensure that every last stem of profitable crop is safely baled. The addition of a standard roller windguard helps pre-compress the crop mat before the pickup tine so ensure continuous smooth crop flow from the swath to the baler and prevents crop flow disturbance for uniform bale production.
Case IH equipment provided a few media opportunities at the Farm Progress Show. This combine doing a field demo is just one of them. Nathan Weinkauf, Global Marketing Manager, gave me a run down of what’s new.
Nathan says their new Axial-Flow Combines for 2013 have completely redesigned cabs that are common across all models. He says it’s a true mobile office. It even has its own portable refrigerator. You’ll hear him describe a number of other features that set these combines apart from others. In addition to the new combines Nathan says that in 2013 Steiger Quadtrac will be available in the Steiger Rowtrac machines.
Drought and weather concerns topped the Bayer CropScience Farm Progress Show survey this year about issues and opportunities facing farmers.
Not really surprising, given this summer’s challenging drought – 73 percent of respondents to Bayer CropScience’s daily survey noted climate and weather problems as the biggest challenge experienced on their farm this year. Weed resistance ranked second in terms of challenges this year, with 18 percent of growers reporting this to be of significant concern on their farms.
The grower survey was part of Bayer CropScience’s new “One World to Grow On” trade show exhibit that was unveiled in Boone, featuring a holistic approach to help growers identify ways to establish a healthy harvest which is vital to farming families and their communities, not only next season but for years to come.
I had the opportunity to chat with Bayer Head of Profiling and Market Support Harry Streck during a media luncheon on FPS, and we talked about the problem of weed resistance world wide and how that fits in Bayer’s “One World to Grow On” theme. The “profiling” part of Harry’s title refers to how Bayer screens compounds for crop selectivity and weed spectrum.
“Resistance is all over the world, wherever intensive row crop agriculture is being practiced,” Harry said. “In Europe, the problem is most acute in the cereals. In Latin America, Brazil and Argentina, they’re locked into the same agricultural dynamics as we are in the United States.” Basically, he says, anywhere you practice one weed strategy over and over again, that’s the common recipe for developing resistance, which is why they are getting the message of respecting the rotation out worldwide.
“We recognize there are similarities throughout the world and there are some platforms that combat problems that have similar angles,” he said. “But it’s a big world and there are lots of differences.”
Can’t get enough weather information? Then get this new app from New Holland. This new service was announced last week at the Farm Progress Show.
New Holland’s commitment to making farming easier for enhanced productivity is once again confirmed by the launch of the free ‘Farming weather forecast and services by New Holland Agriculture’ app which forms a key element of the overarching digital strategy. New Holland is the first in the agricultural sector to develop and launch such an application, which is distinct from the purely product based apps already on the market, and offers the increasing number of farmers and agribusinesses that use smart phone technology a comprehensive service.
The essential app for farmers: it provides professional forecasts dedicated to agriculture and important data such as evapotranspiration, degree days and almanac to compare current conditions with average of the same period. In one single place it also provides the most important news on farming and professional agriculture directly from the most authoritative sources. Also locate your nearest New Holland dealer and get driving directions to reach the dealership or contact New Holland for further information or requests
The website features several documentaries: “Atrazine and Water,” “Atrazine and Safety,” and “Atrazine and Food Safety”. The goal of the campaign is for people to watch, learn and decide for themselves if they believe atrazine is safe. As an added incentive, if people go and watch the videos this month, Syngenta will donate $5 to the Iowa Food Bank Association through the end of September.
Ann said they wanted to correct some misinformation that’s out there with the public about atrazine. So the company engaged some academic experts over the last couple of years and released their benefits studies last November. With this information in their arsenal, they decided to turn them into mini documentaries with a focus of some of the benefits of atrazine that many don’t know about.
For example, atrazine helps minimize soil erosion and helps to keep the soil from collapsing into waterways. Ann said it also protects the environment and helps to foster habitat development. It also helps to increase the yield of many crops including corn, sorghum and sugarcane. Lastly, Ann highlighted that with the increase in yields, growers can help to feed a growing population.
Now it is time for you to decide. You can learn more about atrazine by watching the mini-documentaries (and helping those hungry get fed) and by listening to Cindy’s interview with Ann: Saving the Oasis
The next edition of The Food Dialogues is coming up on November 15, 2012 in New York City. Farmers, ranchers, industry experts, pundits and media will meet for in-depth conversations on today’s most provocative topics concerning food and its production – antibiotics, biotechnology, and media, marketing and food. The line up has not been announced yet but should be soon.
During the Farm Progress Show I got to sit down with Lisa Cassady, Internal Communications Manager, to talk about the event. Consumer influencers and the media are a target to get the information presented across to. The event will be streamed live on the USFRA Food Dialogues website. I’m sure that antibiotics and biotechnology will generate some interesting discussion.
If you’re wondering how you can join in the conversation to help non-farmers better understand where their food comes from Lisa suggests contacting USFRA via their website to take their Conversation with EASE training. It is conducted by webinar.
There was a lot of talk during the Farm Progress Show this year about the epic drought and how it was impacting growers across the country. Brent Wilson, DuPont Pioneer technical services manager, was out interacting with growers and when talking with them heard quite often that they just want to put the epic drought of 2012 behind them.
That leads to the question, what should growers be doing to get prepared for 2013? Wilson responded by putting together a list of key things DuPont Pioneer agronomists are doing to help growers prepare for next season. One question that was asked and answered during the press conference was, What impact will the drought have on product positioning for 2013?
A product getting a lot of buzz during the show was Pioneer® brand Optimum® AQUAmax™ products. Wilson said while they were originally developed for the Western corn belt where you see lower yields, the product lineup can also offer top-end yield potential in optimal growing conditions.
Some other issues Wilson brought to the field to think about included understanding maturity issues, knowing what trait packages as far as insect and disease and herbicide resistance are available and learning about the newest genetics that can be incorporated into a growers lineup that will help to increase overall yield potential.
While I have simply posed the questions Wilson suggests asking, he also answered them. To hear more details about the key things growers should consider when planning for the 2013 growing season, listen to the full press conference. Key Tips for 2013 Growing Season
New Holland proudly displayed its support for the ethanol industry during the Farm Progress Show as you can see on the side of the CR6090 Combine. They are the first major manufacturer of farm equipment to do so in this manner. As part of that initiative New Holland has become a partner with Growth Energy and American Ethanol. They are a “Clean Energy Leader!” I learned more about this partnership from Mark Hooper, New Holland Director, Commercial Growth Initiatives.
Here are some of the reasons New Holland supports what Growth Energy and the ethanol industry is doing:
Reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil
Energy that is more environmentally friendly
Renewable energy that is sustainable over many generations to come
Production that produces jobs for rural America – jobs that will not be exported
Support and stability for farmers in America and their families
Mark says the partnership helps New Holland get closer to its customers. He says they recognize the impact ethanol has had on its business and farmer customers. Mark says New Holland is actively involved with Growth Energy initiatives and is “going to our dealers and our growers and putting on events across the country where we bring them in and really partner with the local ethanol plant promoting the message of E15, energy independence, food vs. fuel and dispelling the myths that are out there right now.” New Holland currently has a special promotion for Growth Energy members. The company is also a partner with American Ethanol as a NASCAR sponsor.
These seed treatment products will contain multiple modes of action to deliver more complete and consistent disease protection, including a new fungicidal active ingredient with defense against Rhizoctonia and Fusarium, continuous protection from seed and seedling diseases and broad-spectrum insect protection.
The products are being evaluated in Monsanto field trials this season. The objective is to compare performance in terms of stand development and total stand survival, vigor enhancement and, ultimately, yield. In some plots, time-lapse photography was utilized to capture differences in emergence and early-season plant growth and health. While the focus is on disease, the trials also compared early-season insect protection.
I had the opportunity to chat with Monsanto Global Technology Soybean Lead Roy Fuchs at the Farm Progress Show. He talked about a number of soybean products in the pipeline for Monsanto, such as Roundup Ready Xtend. “Which is a combination of Roundup Ready 2 Yield plus dicamba tolerance for broader weed control of any glyphosate resistant weeds,” Roy explained, noting that they are hoping to launch that in 2014, pending regulatory approval.
When it comes to glyphosate resistance, Roy says they are stressing multiple modes of action for growers. “We have a program we call Roundup Ready Plus, where we’re actually recommending chemistry from other companies, but the best solution for weed control independent of whose product it is and it’s been extremely successful with growers and helping to manage resistance,” he said.