New Anhydrous Applicator from John Deere

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

_DSC0139The recent increase in continuous corn acres requires rugged nutrient application equipment that keeps pace with today’s intensive crop production. The tough new John Deere 2410C Anhydrous Applicator gives customers in the anhydrous ammonia applicator business exactly what they need.

John Deere engineers designed the 2410C Applicator from a field-proven frame design to meet the specific needs of operators, including 44 inches of underframe clearance. These machines are available in wider 19-, 21-, 23-, 24 and 25-row (47.5 ft. to 62.5 ft.) widths and feature an innovative chisel option that gives applicators the opportunity to increase revenues and reduce costs by completing nutrient application and tillage in one pass. In addition, the deeper frame design with floating hitch improves applicator flexibility over rolling terrain by providing more-uniform depth integrity from front to back, especially in challenging field conditions. The hitch provides consistent knife depth, ensuring thorough anhydrous application through the entire width and length of the applicator.

During the 2014 Farm Progress Show in Boone, I had a chance to catch up with Doug Felter, product marketing manager for sprayers and tillage with John Deere.

You can listen to my interview with Doug here: Interview with Doug Felter, John Deere

Audio, Farm Machinery, Farm Progress Show, John Deere Leah GuffeyNew Anhydrous Applicator from John Deere

What’s New with Bayer Stratego YLD

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

fps14-bayer-schwindtBayer CropScience’s Thorsten Schwindt and Randy Myers both work in the company’s fungicide department. They shared with us during the Farm Progress Show what was going on with Stratego YLD, how growers can utilize it to get greater return on investment and what we can see coming out of Bayer’s research and development labs when it comes to fungicides.

“Stratego YLD is our most important brand in corn and soybean. It is one of the biggest products being sold at tassel timing. What we are doing with the product is positioning it at an earlier application with the big advantage being you bring it out with a herbicide. What growers don’t always know is it is also great for soybeans too. In a year like this where the corn prices are down there is a lot more soybean acres and Stratego YLD has a must higher interest in getting a yield boost in your soybean and also protect it from disease,” stated Thorsten.

fps14-bayer-myersThorsten said that right now growers are concerned about getting a good return on investment. Because of many farmers’ economic state, they are hesitant to apply a fungicide. He said the message they try and share with growers is to look at the yield figures and see the return on investment when a fungicide is applied to a crop. Interview with Thorsten Schwindt, Bayer CropScience

Randy goes on to explain why an earlier application of Stratego YLD can really give growers an upper hand. “There are two different things that you are dealing with. You are trying to protect the middle part of the plant from disease. A lot of those diseases survive in the residue in the soil. Another thing is protecting the stalk integrity. A lot of those diseases come in early and we want to keep pathogens out of the stalk.”

Randy also shares with Cindy examples using this past year’s growing season of where Stratego YLD has really paid off. Interview with Randy Myers, Bayer CropScience

2014 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, Crop Protection, Fungicide Jamie JohansenWhat’s New with Bayer Stratego YLD

Farming in Scotland

Chuck Zimmerman 1 Comment

Nigel MillerThe President of the National Farmers Union in Scotland is Nigel Miller. farms 550 hectares in partnership with two of his sons in the Scottish Borders. His upland hill farm supports 175 cows and 950 breeding ewes. He was one of speakers at the IFAJ Congress in Aberdeen. Nigel is not shy about expressing his opinion and shared some statistics with us in a very entertaining manner.

In the photo Nigel is being interviewed by some of the ag media attendees. I visited with him briefly during that morning session where he was on the program. He shares how information about how agriculture is doing in Scotland.

Listen in to my interview with Nigel here: Interview with Nigel Miller

2014 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Audio, Farming, IFAJ Chuck ZimmermanFarming in Scotland

Big Crops Getting Bigger

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

usda-logoUSDA has increased its estimate of both the corn and soybean crops this month, building on already forecast record highs.

Corn production is forecast at 14.4 billion bushels, up 3 percent from both the August forecast and from 2013. Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 171.7 bushels per acre, up 4.3 bushels from the August forecast and 12.9 bushels above the 2013 average. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down 4 percent from 2013.

Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.91 billion bushels, up 3 percent from August and up 19 percent from last year. Based on September 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record high 46.6 bushels per acre, up 1.2 bushels from last month and up 3.3 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 84.1 million acres, unchanged from August but up 11 percent from last year.

NCGA-Logo“It will be the fifth record crop that we’ve had in the last 12 years,” says National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett, who noted that prices are falling as the bushels are rising. “We are selling corn today at about 35% of what we did just a couple of years ago, certainly below the cost of production for many of our growers.”

Doggett commented on the crop during a during a press call today discussing the importance of EPA keeping the ethanol requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) going forward. “When the energy bill was passed in 2008, there was a challenge to the corn industry to produce the corn, and we have produced the corn,” he said. Jon Doggett, NCGA comments on corn crop

Audio, Corn, NCGA, USDA Cindy ZimmermanBig Crops Getting Bigger

A 9/11 Husker Harvest Memory

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Husker Harvest DaysI did not got to this week’s Husker Harvest Days but I did go on 9/11/2001. That was during my very short gig with DTN and I drove out from Omaha with my boss, Kim Lang, to attend the show. We were talking and not really listening to the radio news which was on but very low. Cindy called us with the news and our whole attitude of excitement to get out of the show lot vanished. However, we did attend the show that day.

One of the first images I remember was a group of people gathered around a small tv at one of the exhibits. I don’t remember which one. I joined them as we watched events unfold. It was hard to believe this was real and right here in America.

We returned to Omaha listening to the news this time and learning that President Bush would be flown into Omaha. I think he actually did arrive and depart before we got back to town. I drove home to Missouri the next day and kept watching the sky, especially when I drove past KC airport. No planes anywhere. That was an eerie feeling.

So that’s where I was and I will never forget it or the people who died that day. May God grant them eternal peace.

Farm Shows Chuck ZimmermanA 9/11 Husker Harvest Memory

Will you be investing in an Apple Watch?

Jamie Johansen 1 Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How important is it to know about farming in other countries?”

This might be the most one-sided poll we have every had. It seems, and I definitely don’t disagree, that having a global understanding of agriculture is crucial. We may not all be able to learn about them first-hand, but thats where we come into play.

Here are the poll results:

  • Very important, global economy – 91%
  • Not important, who cares – 4%
  • Somewhat, simply curious – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, Would you buy an Apple Watch?

Apple’s roll out of a few clever and exciting new techie items has lead us to wonder if their new Apple Watch is something you plan on spending money on. It’s a no brainer that all Apple product enthusiasts will eventually be owning an iPhone 6, but do the product specs of the Apple Watch intrigue you enough to make the investment. Do you see it being a must have in years to come?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenWill you be investing in an Apple Watch?

John Deere’s New ExactEmerge Planter

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

_DSC0130John Deere is breaking the planting speed and accuracy barriers of traditional row-crop planting with the introduction of a new seed delivery system. With the launch of their ExactEmerge row unit for the most accurate planting at speeds up to 10 mph and the new industry-leading MaxEmerge 5 row units for planting at traditional speeds, customers can now plant with greater speed, accuracy and ease than ever before. The John Deere ExactEmerge row unit incorporates new technology that gives corn and soybean producers the ability to plant at speeds up to 10 mph while maintaining superior seed placement. This exclusive seed delivery system cradles the seed from the meter down to the seed trench maintaining optimal seed spacing in varying field conditions. The new system ensures superior seed placement at faster planting speeds and offers a 10 percent improvement in seed spacing at traditional speeds.

fps14-jd-exactAccording to Kelby Krueger, product specialist, John Deere Seeding Group, the ExactEmerge row units are a perfect fit for producers who want to plant more acres in less time due to narrow planting windows, or to increase the size of their operations without adding equipment. “We know that accurate, timely planting pays off in improved stands and higher yields at harvest,” Krueger says. “Now row-crop producers will have the ability to place seeds at higher operating speeds with even greater accuracy in the field. They will be able to optimize their seed investment, reduce operational costs and generally increase productivity. This exciting new high-performance system is the most productive planting solution we’ve ever offered.” Some of the fields around Farm Progress Show this year were planted using the system.

You can listen to my interview with Kelby here:Interview with Kelby Krueger, John Deere

2014 Farm Progress photo album

Audio, Equipment, Farm Machinery, Farm Progress Show, John Deere Leah GuffeyJohn Deere’s New ExactEmerge Planter

Food Prices Not Following Corn Down

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Just two years ago when corn prices were up due to the drought, critics were blaming higher food prices on the use of corn for ethanol. Today, corn prices are lower than the cost of production, but food prices are still rising.

RFA Corn Prices are plungingThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a new report that shows how false food versus fuel claims are when retail food prices have remained steady or increased recently as corn prices have fallen.

RFA Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper says the report compared corn prices to the price of dairy products, pork products, beef products, and poultry and egg products from January 2007 – July 2014. “We found no evidence whatsoever that volatile corn prices were reflected in retail prices for those products,” said Cooper. “For dairy, we actually saw an inverse relationship at times, when you had corn prices moving higher there were many periods where milk and cheese prices were moving lower.”

Beef and pork prices are up significantly this year due to higher demand and reduced supplies. “Those increases are happening at a time when we’re seeing corn prices plunge,” said Cooper. Corn prices went from a peak of $7.53 a bushel in August of 2012 to less than half that now. “Today September corn is selling at $3.36 a bushel,” Cooper said. “Farmers are losing money if their selling corn at that price.”

Breakeven is at least $4 a bushel and there are no deficiency payments anymore to make up the difference. “We are quickly moving into a situation that has a lot of people worried in farm country,” Cooper added. Interview with Geoff Cooper, RFA

Audio, Corn, Ethanol, Food, RFA Cindy ZimmermanFood Prices Not Following Corn Down

2014 IFAJ Congress Wrap

Chuck Zimmerman 1 Comment

ZimmCast 450I’m calling on all AAEA, LPC, NAAJ and NAFB members to put the annual IFAJ Congress on your calendars. In October 2015 it will be in New Zealand!

Adrian Bell and Jane CragieBut let’s take a listen to some information about last week’s Congress in Scotland. First up in the program is opening remarks from the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ Jane Cragie. Then you can get a wrap up interview with Congress Chair Adrian Bell. They are both pictured here at the closing Gala Banquet. You’ll have to ask Adrian about the cap.

This year’s Congress seemed to have more first-timers than I can recall. That’s a good sign. I don’t know what the exact final total of attendees was but approximately 220 is close enough.

Listen in to this week’s program here: 2014 IFAJ Congress

2014 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

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Audio, IFAJ Chuck Zimmerman2014 IFAJ Congress Wrap

Bayer CropScience Expanding R&D

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

bayer-bio-percyThe opening of the new Bayer CropScience research and development facility last week in Sacramento will allow the company to better leverage its full capabilities by consolidating and expanding its global R&D organization.

“The investment into this state-of-the-art facility creates an environment where our researchers and experts can find the best possible conditions to discover solutions that growers across the globe can depend on to produce high-quality food in a sustainable manner,” said Dr. Adrian Percy, Global Head of Research and Development at Bayer CropScience.

Percy says the new West Sacramento site is situated on 10 acres of land and features a 100,000-square-foot building and a 35,000-square-foot pilot plant to support research and development of biological crop protection products, as well as a 30,000-square-foot Vegetable Seeds research building. The facility will also include a 2,000-square-foot greenhouse and five acres of nearby land for future greenhouse space as well as the has the capacity to house up to 300 employees.Interview with Adrian Percy, Bayer CropScience

bayer-bio-margolisDr. Jonathan Margolis, Vice President of Biologics Research for Bayer CropScience, says there are a whole range of products that fall under the heading of biologics. “We focus primarily on beneficial microbes, bacteria and fungi, usually from soil,” said Margolis. “What we do here is characterize those to pick out the very best ones to use for agricultural products.”

When it comes to research, Margolis says they always start with the problem “because that means we’re starting with the customer in mind” then they design a project around that. “We have a major new initiative, for example, around crop efficiency, the idea of developing particularly seed treatments for broad acre crops to increase yield.”Interview with Jonathan Margolis, Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience Biologics Center Photo Album

Audio, Bayer, Crop Protection, Research Cindy ZimmermanBayer CropScience Expanding R&D