One of the things I did not get to participate in at Sunbelt Ag Expo was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Georgia Peanut Commission. Thanks to Willie Vogt, Farm Progress, I got this photo of the peanut cake that was cut and shared at the event.
The Georgia Peanut Commission also broke ground recently on a new building. Contact them if you’d like to purchase a commemorative brick that will be used in the construction.
The new headquarters will be the first net-zero energy building for state government in Georgia. The cost for the new building will be covered from the sale of the existing building, energy grants, sponsorships and a commemorative brick program.
My visit to this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo was a relatively short one and the weather during the first two days was not very cooperative. I had to get back on the agriblogging highway mid day yesterday so I did not get as many interviews as I had hoped. There was a huge line of cars and trucks trying to get in as the weather started to improve. Today will probably be a great day to be out at the show! Of course.
The weather has been a little up and down for opening day of the Sunbelt Ag Expo. Actually, the morning was pretty nice but after lunch the rain kind of set in.
I had a nice time this morning working with New Holland on behalf of their Boomer 555 Contest. I’m collecting some interviews for this social media campaign like this one with Joe Capps from Opelika, Alabama. He told me what he would do with a new Boomer tractor. The contest runs through the end of November so it’s not too late to get your entry in.
The Porters farm hay and are also involved in swine, poultry and beef cattle. Tommy says he always wanted to farm. He had the opportunity to say a few words during the luncheon and first of all thanked God for the opportunity to “tend just a small portion of His land.” You could tell how much this recognition meant to him from the emotion in his voice.
Hello from Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA. Here’s Executive Director, Chip Blalock, addressing the media at this morning’s breakfast. I spoke with Chip and got a comprehensive overview of all that you’ll find at this year’s show. We’re hoping the forecast is a little off on timing today since rain is forecast but one way or the other the show will go on.
Joining the ranks of farm shows with an app is the Sunbelt Ag Expo. It’s the Know On The Go app for all your mobile device types. It’s on my iPhone already because I’ll be there next week thanks to the support of the New Holland Boomer 555 Contest!
“Know on the Go” is the official mobile app for the 2011 Sunbelt Ag Expo, to be held Oct. 18-20 at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. The Sunbelt Expo is a must-attend event for anyone in agriculture, featuring hundreds of exhibits, a working farm, equipment demonstrations and driving ranges, and various educational opportunities.
“Know on the Go,” provided for the first time by Farm Press Publications and Penton Media Inc., will allow those attending the Sunbelt Expo this year to use their iPhone, IPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry, Android and other web-enabled phones to receive up-to-the-minute news alerts and other breaking information during the three-day show.
“The Sunbelt Expo: Know on the Go mobile app was developed by Penton Custom Media and has been used at some of the largest trade shows in the nation,” says Greg Frey, vice president at Penton Media and publisher of Farm Press. “We believe this new technology will greatly enhance participants’ experience at this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo.”
He’s Robert Dasher of G&R Farms in Glennville, GA. He’s a pioneer in the Vidalia sweet onion industry.
Dasher was announced as winner during the Willie B. Withers Luncheon at the 2010 Sunbelt Ag Expo farm show in Moultrie, Ga. The award honors excellence in agricultural production and management and leadership in community and farm organizations. The award also recognizes family contributions in producing safe and abundant supplies of food, fiber and shelter for U.S. consumers.
Have you ever wondered what switchgrass looks like? That’s it behind Cory Christensen, Director of Product Managment, Ceres, who was conducting Sunbelt Ag Expo presentations in the field. He says it’s a first season stand of their Blade energy crop. It was developed specifically for the southeast. Since it’s the first season for this crop they won’t harvest it at Sunbelt until next year. A mature yield for the crop is about 8 tons per acre of dry matter.
Switchgrass is native to the United States everywhere east of the Rockies. Ceres, has been working on varieties that will yield better in different growing environments though. Cory says that they don’t expect it to displace corn in Iowa but in the southeast with the difficulties in cotton and tobacco it becomes a viable alternative on open acres. He provides some estimates of what the crop can mean financially as the market for a fuel crop like switchgrass develops.
Cory describes the current market as a “developing market.” They have a map that shows developing opportunities where plants will be located to process energy crops. He says that biomass is a local business so you need to be located near a biorefinery. He also points to the USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program that provides monetary assistance to facilitate the transition of eligible land to energy crops.
US Farm Data is the new name of what we knew as GoLeads Farm. The new name goes along with a new commitment to agricultural marketing.
At the Sunbelt Ag Expo I spoke with Chris Sidles, National Accounts, who tells us what the company offers and why they created a new name. To start with he says they’re a full service direct marketing and database management company.
Their ag database has 2.5 million U.S. farmers and ranchers. They can pull specific farmographic data like number of acres, type of crop and how they own that farm. They also cross reference the farm data with their residential database of 220 million consumers as well as a business database of 14 million of which about 1 million are specific to ag. Clients range from technology to seed to irrigation and includes small business and Fortune 500 companies.
Chris says they help a client understand their customers and figure out ways to increase their footprint and market to new customers. Strategies can include direct mail, telemarketing and email blasts. They are also looking at ways to include new social networking strategies into their campaigns.
I’d like to thank AgWired Sponsor, Fluidigm, for their support of the ZimmCast.
She says the college has 24 majors and over 50 specializations ranging from agriculture education to animal sciences to family youth and community sciences. They also have a famous soon to be graduate who will be leading the #1 ranked Gator football team tonight, Tim Tebow!
You can listen to my interview with Charlotte below:
The largest field demonstration of precision applications at Sunbelt Ag Expo was conducted by Trimble. I stopped and spoke with Matt Hesse, Autopilot Sales Manager.
The company was showing various levels of precision integration. They had two different land leveling systems. One used a GPS control and one used a 2D laser system. They also had their new TrueGuide passive implement steering system in use. This system puts an antenna on the implement to tell the tractor where it is so the tractor knows how much to move in relation to the desired line to optimize the placement of the implement. They also had their TrueTracker System on multiple tractors and implements.
Matt says that they take applications that are not possible for human beings and put them into a machine to do it for us. This ultimately increases efficiencies that have produced up to 20 bushels per acre increases in corn.
There are exhibits from land grant colleges throughout the southeast at Sunbelt Ag Expo. As a member of the Gator Nation I had to spend some time with the University of Florida.
One stop in their building was with a display for the Florida Center for Renewable Chemicals & Fuels. On hand to tell their story was Sheilachu P. Gomez, Assistant Director, pictured here. She says the Center is primarily for the development of the technology to convert biomass to ethanol and organic acids. They have two patents that have been purchased by two companies already (an ethanol patent to Verenium and organic acids patent to Myriant). They have a pilot plant for cellulosic ethanol production to optimize biomass conversion at the campus and have a planned plant to be located in Perry, FL. The last is a partnership with Myriant and Buckeye. In the future Sheila says they’re looking more into the value added products of the production process.
I got out in the field on Wednesday at Sunbelt Ag Expo and the most active area was hay baling. As you’ll see in the video clip, there were a lot of machines being demonstrated. I also stopped at the precision ag demonstrations and will have an interview from there to post later as well as getting to learn about switchgrass at a plot that was grown here for the first time this year.
He says he’s been the media director for Sunbelt Ag Expo for 32 years and he’s Mr. Peanut. Actually he’s Tyron Spearman, Spearman Marketing. Tyron also reports for Southeast AgNet.
At Expo Tyron coordinates all the requests of the media here covering the event. In the photo he’s giving us an overview of the show during our media breakfast. Tyron says the show is “excellent.” The weather has cleared up from the rain of last week and he thought the setup went a lot easier than normal. He says the first day crowd was estimated between 40 – 50,000 which was very good for an opening day. The challenge now is the good weather which has farmers out in their own fields. I asked him about the peanut crop and he says that after the largest crop in history last year the crop was reduced this year. Challenges during the planting season meant that there are actually 3 separate crops being harvested this year with the last one coming in later in November.
He says it’s the 20th year that the company has sponsored the awards program. He says business is good for his company which makes cigars and smokeless tobacco products. The bulk of their business is domestic but they also sell products in 80 other countries.
You can listen to my interview with Mr. Ryan below: