Missouri Drought Subject of CornTalk

Chuck Zimmerman

CornTalk PodcastMO Governor Matt Blunt has requested a disaster declaration for farmers in over 100 counties in Missouri due to drought conditions. In this week’s CornTalk, the weekly interview program of the Missouri Corn Growers Association, our guest is Judy Grundler with the Missouri Department of Agriculture who discusses the crop conditions around the state, what the crop losses mean for Missouri, and the details of the crop disaster declaration.

You can listen to CornTalk here Download MP3 File

CornTalk is a weekly podcast on AgWired which you can subscribe to using the link in our sidebar.

Ag Group, Audio, Corn, CornTalk, MCGA, Podcasts

Some NAMA News

Chuck Zimmerman

National Agri-Marketing AssociationIf you’re a National Agri-Marketing Association member you may already know this if you read your NAMA e-News. If you’re not a member then . . . (become one!)

The deadline is August 15th to submit applications for the annual Professional Development Awards. You can download the application here. Awards for Public Relations, Sales, Product/Species Management and Marketing Communications will be awarded at the Agribusiness Forum in November.

Best of NAMA Awards 2006Are you Jazzed about the work you’ve done? Start thinking about entering it into the Best of NAMA regional judging competition. Watch your mail (if you’re a member!) for the Best of NAMA Call for Entries which will be in your mailbox next week.

The Best of NAMA awards program honors the best work in agricultural communications. Actually, the best of the best, since companies/agencies must first qualify through regional competition in order to advance to the national level. The national awards ceremony will take place April 19, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.


2005 Agroterrorism Assembly

Chuck Zimmerman

AON CorporationAgroterrorism is a hot topic right now. Aon Corporation looks like they not only have a handle on the issue but are being very proactive in helping create public dialogue.

On August 18, 2005, Aon, in cooperation with the US Department of Homeland Security and the University of California’s Western Institute for Food Safety & Security, is sponsoring the 2005 AgroTerrorism Assembly on August 18, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Sacramento, California. The Assembly is designed to inform community leaders (government and business), food industry leaders, emergency responders (local, state and federal) — of the risks and vulnerabilities of agroterrorism and other food-related disasters.

Aon’s Agribusiness and Food System Group, based in Kansas City, works with businesses involved in the production, processing and distribution of food. About one-third of Aon Agribusiness and Food System Group’s business in the sector is agriculture, and two-thirds is food-related.

A Senate Agriculture committee reviewing protection for U.S. agriculture recently heard testimony suggesting that sabotaging the nation’s agriculture system would not be that difficult. Aon Agribusiness and Food Systems Group Senior Vice President Rick Shanks says he understands that perception exists, but that doesn’t mean U.S. agriculture is standing pat. “While agroterrorism is perceived as being alarmingly easy, the fact is, the cattle industry is implementing plans to protect against agricultural sabotage,” he says. “While nothing is 100% secure, as a nation we’ve taken big steps in the right direction.”

For more information contact Thaddeus Woosley.

Agribusiness, Government, University

Energy Legislation Good News For Pioneer

Chuck Zimmerman

Pioneer Hi-BredI haven’t mentioned that President Bush signed the Energy bill into law earlier this week since you’ve probably seen it all over the news. However, it has a big impact on agribusiness and ultimately marketing for companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred. You know it means a lot to groups like the National Corn Growers Association, among many others but I haven’t seen many company releases until now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with all this push for renewable fuel. Some are already predicting that we’ll see more production and use than the legislation mandates.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Applauds New Energy Policy Act

New Incentives for Biofuel Seen as Positive Step in Renewable Energy Production; Signals Opportunity for U.S. Growers, Agribusiness

DES MOINES, Iowa – Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., today is applauding the signing of the Energy Policy Act into law by President George W. Bush. A highlight of the act is the creation of a 7.5 billion gallon renewable fuel standard (RFS) that will expand the marketplace for corn and soybean growers by increasing use of renewable domestic fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

“Our nation’s crop producers are the most efficient growers in the world, and now they will have a further opportunity to put those high standards of efficiency to use in bolstering our country’s renewable fuel supply,” said Pat Hilliard, account manager – ethanol industry, Pioneer.

Pioneer currently offers 121 corn ethanol hybrids characterized as high- total-fermentable (HTF) in all maturity groups, said Hilliard. These hybrids are specifically selected for high-potential ethanol yield, he added.

For more information contact Jerry Harrington.


Monsanto Completes Enviro-Chem Sale

Chuck Zimmerman

MonsantoMonsanto announced this deal in April and it looks like they finally got it done.

Monsanto Completes Sale of Enviro-Chem Systems

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) announced today that it has completed the sale of Monsanto Enviro-Chem Systems Inc. to a new company formed by the Enviro-Chem management team and an outside investor. The new company will do business as MECS, Inc. Terms of the sale were not released.

For more information contact Lori Fisher of Monsanto Company, +1-314-694-8535.


Use Google News As A Clipping Service

Chuck Zimmerman

Google NewsWant an inexpensive news clipping service? Want to keep up with the news on a specific subject? Have you tried Google News? For a while now you’ve been ableto set up a Google News Alert for any keywords which generates an email to you with links to stories Google find for those words. You can have it set up for delivery as it happens, once a day or once a week.

But now Google’s joined the RSS world. This means that when you create a Google news search it automatically creates an RSS feed for that search term (keyword). Then you can use that to subscribe with your news aggregator program. I still recommend NewsGator.

If you’re scratching your head about this give me a call and I’ll be happy to explain. In the meantime you might want to consider that this service is FREE! Can’t get a clipping service for that price can you?

BTW. Yahoo has a news search feature too. They just haven’t developed it to automatically deliver updates as they happen yet.


Iraq Seed Industry Needs Help

Chuck Zimmerman

Iraq FlagI don’t know if this provides some opportunity for a U-S business but according to the latest FAO release there’s a real shortage of quality seed in Iraq. Perhaps some of our companies here could help out? Anyone know of this already being done?

Rebuilding Iraq’s collapsed seed industry – Country has suffered severe losses of important seeds – FAO appeals for $5.4 million

8 August 2005, Rome – Iraq’s seed industry has collapsed and the country is currently not able to meet farmers’ needs for improved crop varieties, FAO warned today. The lack of high-quality seeds could seriously threaten Iraq’s food security situation, the UN agency said.

High-quality seed is one of the most critical inputs for sustainable agricultural production. FAO has launched an appeal for a $5.4 million project to rebuild the national seed industry.

Iraq had a relatively stable and functioning public-sector controlled seed industry before the war in 2003. After the war, research and seed production facilities have greatly deteriorated.

Official Iraq Government Website (I couldn’t seem to get the “English” version though)

fao, Government

Blogosphere Behavior Analyzed

Chuck Zimmerman

Comscore NetworksNow for some serious research on the online activity of blogs. The folks at Comscore Networks have released the results of a study that you might find interesting. It doesn’t have a breakout for farmers but I think you will gain some insight into even their media usage from this. I am still asked by professional marketing people “what is a blog?” and even after explaining I’m sure some of the folks I’ve spoken with still wonder if anyone would visit a “blog.” Well they do and in a serious and growing way. For example, in this study they report a 45 % increase in visits from internet users to the 400 blog domains they analyzed in the last year! I found this study thanks to a link on the Fast Company weblog. Here’s some tidbits from their news release and you can also view the full report here.

50 Million Americans Visited Blogs During the First Quarter 2005, According to New comScore Study
First Comprehensive Study of the Actual Online Behavior of Blog Visitors Now Available

RESTON, Va., Aug. 8, 2005 – comScore Networks today released a report detailing the scale, composition and activities of audiences of Weblogs, commonly known as “blogs.” The report, which was sponsored in part by Six Apart and Gawker Media, found that nearly 50 million Americans, or about 30 percent of the total U.S. Internet population, visited blogs in Q1 2005. This represents an increase of 45 percent compared to Q1 2004.

Other key findings of the Behaviors of the Blogosphere report include:

* Five hosting services for blogs each had more than 5 million unique visitors in Q1 2005, and four individual blogs had more than 1 million visitors each

* Of 400 of the largest blogs observed, segmented by eight (non-exclusive) categories, political blogs were the most popular, followed by “hipster” lifestyle blogs, tech blogs and blogs authored by women

* Compared to the average Internet user, blog readers are significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections

* Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many web pages as the Internet average, and they are much more likely to shop online

“The fact that we found 30 percent of the online population to have visited blogs clearly underscores the commercial importance of consumer generated and driven media,” said Dan Hess, senior vice president of comScore Networks. “It’s noteworthy that while the blog audience is already quite large and growing, its demographic composition relative to the total population will appeal to many marketers.”

For more information contact Jeremy Shermak.