2 New FAO Websites

Chuck Zimmerman

FAOWhen we hear about new websites it always gets our attention. Today, the FAO announced not just one, but 2 new websites.

Ask FAOA new web-based FAO information service launched today, Ask FAO,” lets users pose questions directly to experts in the Organization and also includes a searchable “knowledge base” of answers to frequently asked questions covering issues as varied as how to ask FAO for technical assistance to controlling bird flu to finding out national rates of deforestation.

FAO Best PracticesSimilarly, FAO’s new Best Practices website, also launched today, serves as a one-stop source of technical information on recommended practices and techniques in food production, rural development, natural resource management and other areas.

fao, Internet

Today On AgWeb E-Pub

Chuck Zimmerman

AgWebThere’s a new entry into the world of e-delivered farm news and this time it’s Farm Journal Media’s Today On AgWeb. They claim that it’s “Delivered to the inbox of more than 72,000 farmers.” The new e-pub offers 4 primary sections:

Today’s Top Picks
Money & Markets
Ag on the Net

Today on AgWeb is distributed Monday through Thursday, with the more comprehensive weekly AgWeb NewsBrief distributed each Friday afternoon. To sign up for AgWeb’s free daily email services, go to www.agweb.com/email.

Internet, Publication

2 Beefmobiles 3 Wranglers

Chuck Zimmerman

BeefmobileI wonder if they include blogging in the Beefmobile wrangler training program. If not, I’ll offer to teach it. Where there once was just one Beefmobile now there will be 2 and instead of just one lonely wrangler there will be 3. Tracey Orsburn has been the lone wrangler but she’s now got company.

Joining Orsburn as Wranglers in 2006 will be Holly Branecky and Stacy Loutzenhiser.

Holly BraneckyBranecky grew up in rural Texas, the daughter of a vocational agricultural educator. She attended Clarendon College where she was on the 2001 National Junior Collegiate Champion Meats Judging Team and was honored as the 2002 Female Agricultural Student of the Year. Branecky is a December 2005 graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications.

Stacy LoutzenhiserLoutzenhiser grew up on his family’s cow-calf operation near Flagler, Colo., with responsibilities that included animal husbandry, range management and dryland farming. He served in various officer positions in FFA including Colorado State FFA President. Loutzenhiser is a December 2005 graduate of Colorado State University (CSU) as an Honors Scholar with a bachelor’s degree in animal science & ag business.

Branecky and Loutzenhiser have been undergoing Wrangler training since October 1, and will officially begin their duties after the first of the year. Packets explaining the Beefmobile program and its benefits are being distributed to state beef councils and others who may wish to use the service.

Ag Group, Beef

Mycogen Seeds Knows Sunflower Oil Is Good For You

Chuck Zimmerman

Mycogen Sunflower VarietiesI knew I should have deep fried that Thanksgiving turkey in sunflower oil. Then I would have been lowering my cholesterol while chowing down. I wonder if you can use it as a dipping oil for bread with a little balsamic vinegar. Something to check on. Anyway, the American Dietetic Association has certainly made sunflower growers and seed companies happy. You can read more about it on the National Sunflower Association website.

BTW, the Mycogen Seeds sunflower lineup has five new NuSun hybrids for growers that are available for the 2006 growing season.

Sunflower growers have one more reason to be excited about growing NuSun™ sunflower hybrids from Mycogen Seeds, a retail seed company of Dow AgroSciences. Diets with NuSun sunflower oil have been demonstrated to lower cholesterol, according to a recent Penn State University health study published in the July 2005 Journal of the American Dietetic Association. “We have known about and believed in the benefits of NuSun oil for some time,” says Larry Kleingartner, President, National Sunflower Association. “We are pleased that this research has now been published. This finding establishes that NuSun is a healthy, viable alternative to other types of oils.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness

Listen To Podcasts With John Deere Headphones

Chuck Zimmerman

John Deere HeadphonesNow granted you might not need these if you’re in a climate controlled tractor cab with a surround sound music system. However, if you’re not and you want to listen to your weekly ZimmCast without noisy interruptions then ask Santa for a set of John Deere noise cancelling headphones. I know you’ve got your iPod or are getting one for Christmas so you can subscribe to the latest farm podcasts. You need to listen on some quality headphones.

These are a great gift idea. They will be sold at John Deere dealers and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores by January. I hope they beat that deadline so they can be a Christmas gift. They also should be showing up in the online John Deere gift shop. These “cans” are manufactured for John Deere by Outside the Box, Inc. and have a suggested retail price of $89.99.

Ideal for operating lawn mowers, agricultural equipment or other machinery, the headset features Outside the Box’s proprietary noise canceling algorithm for blocking ambient equipment noise. By identifying and silencing these distracting sounds, users can focus on the task at hand, helping ensure their safety. “Noise cancellation is a need for our customers who regularly operate equipment around the home or on-the-job,” said Dean Hamke, manager of licensing for John Deere. “Working with Outside the Box, we have created a unique headset that will benefit both the safety and enjoyment of our customers.”


RFP For Outreach Program On Pierce’s Disease

Chuck Zimmerman

PRWeek reports that the California Department of Food & Agriculture that could be worth up to $500,000 in the next year for “outreach and education on Pierce’s disease, which can devastate grapevines, and the glassy-winged sharpshooter, the insect that carries it.” You need a paid subscription for the full story, which I don’t yet have.

I think we’ll submit a blogging proposal. I don’t know of any better way to get the word out.


Real Christmas Trees For Troops

Chuck Zimmerman

ZimmCast44 - Pam HelmsingTis the season to be jolly and support our troops. That’s the theme of a holiday promotion by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA). It’s called Trees For Troops and my guest on this week’s ZimmCast is Pam Helmsing, who works for Drake & Company, that manages the NCTA. Pam talks about the program and how tree growers are working to help provide some seasonal spirit to our troops and their families.

Oh, and BTW. On the NCTA website it says they have a blog. Nice idea but I have to question calling it that. There are none of the features of a blog that I can see except that there are a couple “entries” that are written in a personalized style in answer to a question. I recommend that they create a real blog because all this feature of the website is doing is creating confusion about what it is, which is just a traditional website feature.

You can also still play the very popular “Attack of the Mutant Artificial Trees” game. Remember these are the “real” Christmas tree people!

You can listen to this week’s ZimmCast here: Download MP3 File

The ZimmCast is the official weekly podcast of AgWired which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar. You can also now find the ZimmCast on CoolCast Radio.

Ag Group, Audio, Podcasts, ZimmCast

Agrium Purchasing Nu-Gro

Chuck Zimmerman

AgriumAgrium has entered into a purchase agreement of Nu-Gro from Spectrum Brands. That’s a lot of logos so I’m only using the one that sent the release out.

Agrium will fund the purchase price of $86-million through existing lines of credit. The transaction is expected to close in January 2006 and is subject to regulatory approval. This acquisition provides Agrium with new products with strong, stable margins and is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings. Nu-Gro is a manufacturer of controlled release and professional turf products. Nu-Gro has strong customer relationships and a number of widely recognized brands. Agrium is acquiring the four production facilities that manufacture these products, as well as the Nu-Gro head office in Brantford, Ontario.


Roll Your Own Search Engine

Chuck Zimmerman

RollyoHave you ever rolled your own? Search engine that is. Now you can. I’ve been a beta tester of Rollyo which lets you create your own search engine called a “searchroll.” You can check out my first one titled agrimarketing.

What this is really all about is searching just the trusted sites you want and not having to deal with a ton of unwanted results. You can create a searchroll of just one site even. Make sense?


Dow Milestone Puts End To Environmental Pollution

Chuck Zimmerman

MilestoneDow AgroSciences intends to save us from “Pushed together, the most notorious noxious and invasive plants, like spotted knapweed, Canada thistle, musk thistle, yellow starthistle and tropical soda apple, would cut a swath about 80 miles wide from Los Angeles to New York City. Assuming a modest 10 percent annual expansion rate under current control and management practices, the band will widen to nearly 130 miles by 2010. ” We just can’t have this so they invented Milestone.

Fortunately, new Milestone™ herbicide gives farmers, ranchers and land and resource managers an effective option to help reverse the spread of this environmental pollution. Milestone brings a new molecule – aminopyralid – to invasive weed management and offers a better option for increasing forage production on grazing lands and restoring native plant communities and wildlife habitats. “Aminopyralid is a revolutionary molecule that brings several advances to noxious and invasive weed control,” says Bob Gordon, Dow AgroSciences senior marketing specialist. “It provides unparalleled results on some of the toughest-to-manage broadleaf weed species threatening rangeland, pasture and wilderness areas today.”

Bull ThistleSo, if you see something like this now you know what to do about it. In fact, this is Bull Thistle and I think I have some of it in my front yard.

Get yourself some Milestone and put an end to this “environmental pollution.”