The Best Time Ever in Agriculture

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Dr. Lowell CatlettThe eternal optimist, Dr. Lowell Catlett, spoke to the attendees at the Bayer CropScience 2014 Corn and Soybean Future Forum. As a futurist this was the perfect place to hear his outlook.

Dr. Catlett thinks this is the best time ever for the agriculture industry and that includes corn and soybean production. This was a key take away from his remarks. The demand for more food and food choices is being driven by a global increase in wealth.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Catlett here: Interview with Dr. Catlett

Excerpt from Dr. Lowell Catlett: Dr. Lowell Catlett Remarks

2014 Bayer CropScience Corn & Soybean Future Forum Photos

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer

Alltech Founder to Receive 2014 Henry Clay Medallion

John Davis Leave a Comment

alltech-p-lyonsThe founder of a company that improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation will be honored with an award that recognizes individuals of exceptional merit. Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, will receive the 2014 Henry Clay Medallion for Distinguished Service.

The Henry Clay Medallion recognizes, honors and celebrates individuals of exceptional merit who share characteristics of the life and work of the great Kentucky statesman, Henry Clay. Senators, Speakers of the House, royalty and business visionaries are among the list of distinguished past recipients.

Lyons was selected for his accomplishments within Kentucky as well as for bringing the best of Kentucky to the attention of people throughout the United States and around the world. Lyons founded Alltech in Kentucky in 1980 with $10,000, and it is now a $1 billion company operating in 128 countries with more than 3,500 employees.

Wherever his frequent travels take him, Lyons brings along Kentucky, promoting the region as an ideal place to live, visit and do business. His enthusiasm for the state extends to a number of community and education-focused initiatives, such as the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, which annually awards more than a half-million dollars in University of Kentucky Opera Theatre scholarships; a commitment with his wife, Deirdre Lyons, the director of Alltech’s corporate image and design, to construct at least one Kentucky primary school laboratory each year; and an annual Innovation Competition that sets Kentucky university business teams against one another to promote economic growth within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Check out Chuck’s conversation with Lyons during this year’s annual Alltech Symposium.


Bayer CropScience Dedicated to Corn & Soybeans

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Mathias Kremer Bayer CropScienceProviding the welcome address at the 2014 Bayer CropScience Corn & Soybean Future Forum is Mathias Kremer, Head of Strategy. In his comments Mathias talks about the company outlook for the growth of the corn and soybean markets. Additionally, he says they are investing a billion euros in research and development.

Listen to my interview with Mathias to hear a few of his take-aways: Interview with Mathias Kremer

You can listen to his comments here: Mathias Kremer Welcome Address

Attendees also got to ask a few questions of Mathias after his presentation: Mathias Kremer Q&A

2014 Bayer CropScience Corn & Soybean Future Forum Photos

Agribusiness, Audio, Corn, Crop Protection, Crop Science, Soybean

Go All Out! at the 87th National FFA Convention

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

DSC_0854The streets of Louisville, KY are flooded with FFA members from across the country here to attend the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo. The largest youth organization currently have over 600,000 members and their mission of Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success is modeled in all the organization does for the future of the agricultural industry.

Day one of the event is well underway and I just sat down with Western Region Vice President, Jason Wetzler. He shared what the last year of service has meant to him and how the convention’s theme of “Go All Out” has influenced him.

“People call this our year of service. But as we stand here on stage, my teammates and I really think of everyone else here. I really just hope whether it’s their first convention or their last that they leave here and try and make the world a better place.”

“To me the theme embodies the work ethic behind agriculturist. Each one of my teammates will tell you something different, but for me it’s waking up before the sun, working those 48 hour shifts that us farmers are really familiar with and something that is everyday for us. At the end of our session today we remind them that Go All Out isn’t just something we do here at convention nor something we do every once in a while. It has to be the way we live our lives and agriculture has truly embodied that.”

Listen to my complete interview with Jason here: Interview with Jason Wetzler, Western Region Vice President

Find all our photos from the event here: 87th National FFA Conventions Photo

Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by FMC
Ag Group, Audio, Education, FFA, FMC

Propane Powered Engines for Ag

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

2014 World LP Gas Forum Photo Album

perc-ag-enginesThe new Tier 4 emission standards for diesel engines have opened up new opportunities for propane in the agricultural engine market.

At the World LP Gas Forum in Miami this week, Propane Education and Research Council agricultural director Cinch Munson talked about how they have worked with OEMs to develop and commercialize new engines for ag applications, especially irrigation. “Since 2009, we’ve brought a number of new engines to the market,” said Munson. “A new industrial propane engine will cost about half of a new Tier 4 diesel engine and then cost about 56% less to run that engine.”

On display at the forum were an 8.8 liter PSI engine and a 9.1 liter Origin engine which are new to the market. Pete Stout with Origin Engines says they went to farmers and asked them what they wanted. “The adage they gave us is ‘there’s no replacement for displacement,'” he said. “They want large displacement, low speed engines that are designed to run on propane.”

Jeremy Lessaris with PSI Engines said they also worked with PERC to first develop smaller engines for irrigation. “We kept moving up the horsepower and torque band, up to 5.7 and now into the 8.8,” said Lessaris. “We’ve seen newer markets where the requirement for irrigation is much bigger, in California where they have large diesels pumping a lot of water…so we went from the 8.8 liter all the way up to 22 liters.”

PERC has a Propane Farm Incentive Program under which up to $5,000 can be available for farmers to switch to propane irrigation. In addition, states such as California and Nebraska have additional incentive programs.

Listen to Cinch, Pete and Jeremy talk about propane engines for ag here and see what they are talking about in the video below: PERC and Propane Engines for Ag

Audio, Energy, Irrigation, PERC, Propane, Video

PERC Debuts New Videos at World LPG Forum

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

perc-wlpgf-willisThe Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) released a series of online videos with leading U.S. equipment manufacturers highlighting their investment in developing and commercializing new propane technologies. The videos debuted to an international crowd at the 2014 World LP Gas Forum in Miami, where they ran continuously on screens in the PERC showcase at the event.

Companies featured in the series include Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Generac, Kohler Engines and Power Systems, Marathon, Origin Engines, Power Solutions International, and Roush CleanTech. “These world-class companies continue to build and commercialize new equipment that runs on propane for good reason: Propane is a smart investment. It’s clean, economical, and it performs,” said Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO. “On top of that, these companies stand behind propane because it’s an American-made fuel that supports American jobs and our domestic energy independence.”

At the LPG forum, Willis spoke to members of various industry publications that focus on different sectors where propane is used – from agriculture and on-road, to commercial landscaping, building and residential. PERC is an industry checkoff program which has been in existence since 1998, and Willis explained how they have transitioned in recent years from a focus on marketing and advertising to developing new technologies. “The industry recognized that to grow our industry we needed to expand beyond our existing customer base and to do so we needed propane technology that customer base could use,” said Willis.

While agriculture has been a long-time user of propane, new engine technology is reaching new markets. “Engines are the engine of growth in our industry,” said Willis. “Using propane instead of gasoline or diesel will save the end user substantial funds.” For agriculture, that includes new, efficient propane irrigation engines, which I’ll tell you more about in future posts.

Listen to Willis’ comments here: Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO

2014 World LP Gas Forum Photo Album

Audio, Energy, PERC, Propane

Brandt Consolidated and Advanced Data Analysis

Talia Goes Leave a Comment

bccqtxsp5dl714bive3x_400x400Data is an important part of effective agronomics. With access to spatial data, farmers can uncover new areas of efficiencies and cost savings. However, when data is coming in from multiple, disparate sources, it is nearly impossible to aggregate it, and put it to good use.

Brandt Consolidated, a leader in technical agronomic solutions, recently overcame the challenge presented by data silos by working with Engage to build a unique, custom application, BASE (Brandt Agronomic Solutions Engine) to integrate with third-party platforms and serve as a data repository. Since implementing the solution, Brandt has been able to increase customer satisfaction by providing insight into new efficiencies that enhance productivity and reduce costs, based on the growing season.

With BASE, Brandt consultants can directly upload spatial data into the system from virtually anywhere, regardless of the software used to collect the data. BASE then consolidates the data in a standardized format so that employees can then easily pull the data into Brandt’s precision agriculture software tool, Total Acre, to analyze and generate reports to help make recommendations to the customers based on the growing season.

With Engage and BASE, Brandt has experienced the following results:
· Successfully aggregated data into one, single repository for streamlined reporting and analysis.
· Powered its Total Acre precision agriculture tool by using BASE to seamlessly bring data into the system.
· Maximized the value of Total Acre to increase customer satisfaction by providing insight into new efficiencies that enhance productivity & reduce costs.


Zimfo Bytes

Talia Goes Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Lessing-Flynn won big at the 2014 PRIME Awards, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America Central Iowa Chapter last week.
  • Monsanto Company reinforced its commitment to further improve the genetic potential of seeds by announcing a $20 million investment in integrated technology centers as part of its global breeding program.
  • At its October 28, 2014 Organizational Meeting, the MGEX Board of Directors named 2014-2015 public directors, Board officers and approved committee assignments.
  • Former NAFB President Earl Hunter, broadcaster for 38 years in Wisconsin, has passed at the age of 85.
Zimfo Bytes

Discussing Future Corn & Soybean Issues

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alan Ayers Bayer CropScienceThe 2014 Bayer CropScience Corn & Soybean Future Forum got kicked off today with a discussion that included not only an update on products but issues affecting farmers decisions and bottom line profits.

Alan Ayers, Bayer CropScience, seen being interviewed by Cyndi Young, Brownfield Ag News, led much of the discussion this morning. Bees and bee health dominated the early part of our discussion as Alan brought out some data showing an increase in bee populations. He made a good point about how important pollinators are to a company like Bayer who actually need healthy bees for their own seed production!

Other topics included weed management, seed traits and technology, consumer acceptance and more. Listen to my interview with Alan to get an overview of what we’ll be talking about the next couple days. Interview with Alan Ayers, Bayer CropScience

2014 Bayer CropScience Corn & Soybean Future Forum Photos

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, Bees

Best Future Jobs in Agriculture

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What should US do about WTO COOL ruling?”

The industry has reacted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision against the United States on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law since the announcement was made earlier this week. Some feel the issue can be handled by USDA, others feel Congress should take charge. But it looks like an overwhelming majority of those who took our poll feel we should appeal and do nothing.

Here are the poll results:

  • Appeal and do nothing – 83%
  • Congress should change – 4%
  • USDA should amend again – 3%
  • Should be repealed – 6%
  • Don’t know – 4%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, Where are the best future jobs in ag?

This week thousands of FFA members from across the country have flooded the streets of Louisville, KY for the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo. The future of agriculture is in the hands of these young people who are passionate about the agriculture community. The number and variety of careers in agriculture continues to grow. This week we want to know what field of study are the best future jobs in agriculture.