FARMLAND at Walmart March 3

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

classic15-usfra-lisaThe U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) was pleased to announced at the 2015 Commodity Classic this week that the feature-length documentary FARMLAND will be available on DVD beginning Tuesday, March 3rd, at Walmart and

“It’s been available on iTunes and other ways to download or stream it but now you can physically own and have your own DVD,” said USFRA board member Lisa Lunz of Nebraska during the Classic trade show on Thursday.

Lisa says the film, which was supported by USFRA to help educate the public about farming and ranching, is proving to be a great investment for the agriculture industry. “It’s a tool to start a conversation,” she said. “As producers we need to have those conversations.”

Plans are to get the film into the classroom through the “I am FARMLAND” effort. “They’re developing a curriculum, a 44 minute version, so we can tell the story about producers in schools,” said Lisa. She encourages individual producers who would like to help make that happen to go to and make a donation.

Listen to my interview with Lisa here: Interview with Lisa Lunz, USFRA board member

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by
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Audio, Commodity Classic, USFRA

Phoenix Welcomes 2015 Commodity Classic

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

classic15A record number of farmers and exhibitors from all over the country have descended on Phoenix for the 20th Commodity Classic – the annual event for corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum producers.

The massive trade show at the event is the largest ever with 355 booths – a record by a large margin according to the Commodity Classic officials. Attendance has already broken the record on the first day with 7759 registered so far and more are expected.

“The Commodity Classic Trade Show is always a popular event, and this year is no exception with a sold out event that offers attendees a chance to see the most cutting edge technology while interacting with industry leaders,” said National Corn Growers Association Joint Venture Committee 2015 Co-Chair Bart Schott. “Those searching for new ideas and a better picture of what is now and soon will be available to farmers will find the most extensive, comprehensive offering to date while exhibitors reach a larger audience than ever.”

Commodity Classic runs through Saturday night.

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by
Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by BASF Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by New Holland Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by Propane Education and Research Council
Ag Group, Commodity Classic, NCGA, sorghum, Soybean, Wheat

BASF Awards SOY, Corn and Wheat Scholarships

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

classic15-basf-scholarshipsBASF Crop Protection made 10 students pursuing agricultural degrees very happy today with the presentation of scholarships at the 2015 Commodity Classic, in partnership with the American Soybean Association (ASA), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF).

“Investing in the future is how the agricultural industry can sustain success,” said Neil Bentley, Director of Marketing, U.S. Crop, BASF. “As BASF celebrates its 150th anniversary, we are pleased to provide scholarships to bright, agriculture-passionate individuals to invest in that future and assure the sustainability of the industry in the years to come.” Interview with Neil Bentley, BASF

The winners are:

The 2015-2016 ASA Secure Optimal Yield $5000 (SOY) Scholarship – Maria Kuhns of Mason, Illinois – Interview with 2015 SOY Scholarship winner
National Corn Growers Association Scholarships

Caleb Brannon of Puryear, Tennessee
Deja Jackson of St. Helena Island, South Carolina
Amber Pickard of Hastings, Michigan
Faith Wendte of Urbana, Illinois
Elizabeth Wittenbach of Belding, Michigan
Interview with 2015 Corn Scholarship winners and NCGA representative

National Wheat Foundation Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarships
JD Rosman of Creston, Washington
Matthew Stubbs of LaCrosse, Washington
Maya Wahl of Lind, Washington
Faith Wendte of Urbana, Illinois – double award winner!
Interview with 2015 Wheat Scholarship winners and Wheat Foundation rep

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

2015 BASF Science Behind Photos

Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by
Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by BASF Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by New Holland Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by Propane Education and Research Council
Audio, BASF, Commodity Classic, Corn, Education, Soybean, Wheat

New Holland 3-A-Day iPad Giveaway

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

New Holland iPad GiveawayHey tablet fans. New Holland is doing a great incentive program at their show booths, including here at the 2015 Commodity Classic. It’s the New Holland 3-A-Day iPad Giveaway.

Using the Golden ZimmComm Microphone I spoke with Rebecca Gunderson, New Holland, about the promotion and other incentives being offered if you stop and visit with the company. She says it’s an easy entry process at a kiosk in the exhibit. Tune in to hear more about why you should visit our sponsor while you’re in Phoenix.

Listen to interview here: Interview with Rebecca Gunderson

You will find all the ZimmComm team photos from Classic here: 2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by
Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by BASF Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by New Holland Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by Propane Education and Research Council

Ag Issues Forum Celebrates Ten Years

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 466It is a week of anniversaries here in Phoenix, AZ. ZimmComm New Media is still celebrating the 10th year of its founding, Commodity Classic is celebrating 20 years and Bayer CropScience is celebrating ten years of its pre-Classic Ag Issues Forum.
Beth RodenI talked with Beth Roden, Bayer CropScience, about how the Forum has evolved over the last decade and as you might guess, new communication technology has played a big role. This event brings in a large group of ag media representatives and they are now using new channels like Twitter to distribute information instantly. The hashtag for this year’s event is #AIF2015. Check it out to see what was tweeted!

Learn more about the Ag Issues Forum in this week’s program: Ag Issues Forum 10th Anniversary

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

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Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, ZimmCast

Hold Onto Your Hat!

Melissa Sandfort Leave a Comment

hatpinI’ve done a lot of traveling in my day, but never spent much time in Chicago – “The Windy City” – other than a quick layover in O’Hare. I have, however, spent many, many years in Nebraska. When I moved back home after living in Denver for two years, I recall thinking, “I don’t remember Nebraska being this windy!” But I guess it is:

For the purpose of identifying the states offering the best wind power resources, the Department of Energy has analyzed which have the strongest and lightest winds. The windiest weather tends to occur in the Plains, while the least windy weather occurs in the Southeast.

The top 5 windiest states are: Nebraska (1), Kansas (2), South Dakota (3), North Dakota (4), and Iowa (5). (From the Washington Post.)

So it wasn’t only in my head. Nebraska tops the list of windiest states, beating Kansas (which was a surprise to me). Hold onto your hats!

When I was visiting my grandparents this past weekend, ironically enough, grandma showed me this beautiful hat pin holder. Ladies would weave one of these slender pins through their hair and hat in hopes of keeping their hat on their head on windy Nebraska days.

People say about the cold in Nebraska: You’ve lived there for years…you should be used to it! Maybe they say the same about the wind. Chalk it up to a lot of bad hair days.

Until we walk again …


USDA Gives $14 Million for Rural Economic Growth

John Davis Leave a Comment

usda-logoRural economies are getting a $14 million boost from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This news release from the agency says the grants through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) are aimed at increasing prosperity in rural America through research, education, and extension programs focused on promoting rural community development, economic growth, and sustainability.

“Nearly 60 million Americans live in rural areas, and their value and impact through the agriculture industry can be felt both domestically and internationally,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “To help these communities remain prosperous and viable, we need to support discovery of new ways that promote economic viability among producers, small businesses, and communities in rural America.”

Farmers, ranchers, and rural communities are the backbone and economic lifeblood for Americans everywhere, providing food, feed, fiber, fuels, and open spaces. However, rural areas and communities face many hardships. High poverty rates, slow recovery from economic recession, and low average income per household are all challenges to having a successful and viable community. Funding from NIFA is expected to assist communities and regions in creating self-sustaining, long-term economic development through research and strategic planning.

The list of awardees is available here.

Agribusiness, Government, USDA

BASF Survey Says Farmers Concerned About Risk

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

basf-science15-kayNo doubt farming is a risky business or everyone would do it, but this year more than ever farmers are concerned about managing financial risk and worried about potential commodity price fluctuations.

According to a survey of over 200 farmers, BASF Crop Protection found that farmers are very or extremely concerned about managing financial risk in the coming season, and a full 90% say they are concerned about commodity price fluctuation. In addition, BASF Vice President for US Crop Protection Scott Kay said they found farmers would feel better if they had someone to share that risk. “60% of them said they would like to partner with a chemical manufacturer to help me make better decisions moving forward,” said Kay. In addition, 55% said risk sharing with a crop protection company would “give them peace of mind.”

Kay invites farmers to visit with BASF during Commodity Classic this week to find out how they can work together. Interview with Scott Kay, BASF

Stay tuned to find out what’s new from this 150 year old company!

2015 BASF Science Behind Photos

Audio, BASF

Learning More About BASF ecovio®

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

basf-science15-ecovio2You might recall that we first told you about BASF ecovio® compostable polymer after the ASTA CSS meeting in December. That was the first we heard about this amazing material that has a variety of agricultural applications and at the Science Behind event on Wednesday agricultural media got to touch and feel it and learn more about it.

basf-science15-ruthRuth Watts with BASF’s Biopolymers Group in North America highlighted the use of this material for mulch applications. “The molecular structure is designed specifically to be designed to be recognized as food for microbes (in soil) … it basically becomes biomass, CO2 and water,” Watts explains.

Which makes it a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly mulch film, which is traditionally polyethylene and used for weed and water management and maximizing soil quality. It’s been used in Asia and Europe for a couple of years already and Watts says it is now available in the United States, particularly for high value fruit and vegetable crops like tomatoes, peppers, and melons.

Learn more about ecovio in Ruth’s short presentation at the Science Behind and my interview with her: Ruth Watts, BASF Biopolymers Group, at the Science Behind Interview with Ruth Watts, BASF Biopolymers Group

Stay tuned to find out what’s new from this 150 year old company!

2015 BASF Science Behind Photos

Audio, BASF, Crop Protection

BASF Celebrates 150 Years of Science

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

basf-science-15-scott-ajSince 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of BASF, our friends with BASF Crop Protection are pleased to kick off this anniversary year in the U.S. with the 9th annual media symposium, the Science Behind the Right Chemistry, prior to the official start of Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. Opening the big event was Technical Crop Production Specialist AJ Woodyard and Vice President for US Crop Protection Scott Kay.

BASF was founded in 1865 as Badische Anilin und Soda-Fabrik (hence the BASF acronym) in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and since that time has played a key role in turning family farms into the modern operations they are today.

basf-science-15-rheaJoining the Science Behind event via Skype from RTP headquarters, where he said there was a “blizzard” underway, was Senior VP Crop Protection Paul Rea. “Conscientious care toward the environment and society are two of the reasons for our long-term success,” said Rea. “Sustainability is a core value that has supported our growth since 1865 into the world’s largest chemical company, and will take us into the next 150 years.”

Rea told us that from 2015 to 2019, BASF Crop Protection plans to introduce 45 new products to help growers increase yield potential and grow more and better crops. The new products will join the already big BASF portfolio of industry-leading products including Priaxor® fungicide, Xanthion™ In-furrow fungicide, Limus® nitrogen management, Kixor® herbicide technology, and Engenia™ herbicide, which will be BASF’s most advanced formulation of dicamba. Engenia herbicide is expected to receive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration this year.

Listen to Paul Rea via Skype at #ScienceBehind15 here: BASF Senior VP Crop Protection Paul Rea

Stay tuned to find out what’s new from this 150 year old company!

2015 BASF Science Behind Photos

Agribusiness, Audio, BASF, Crop Protection, Science