Arkansas Cattlemen Take On the Black Headed Vulture

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Cattle producers seek depredation order from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service allowing producers to control an invasive vulture species stalking and killing livestock. I was recently in North Central Arkansas where I saw first hand the devastation the Black Headed Vulture leaves in its wake.

Adam McClung, Executive Vice President, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association (ACA), said, “The Black Headed Vultures and the depredation loss cattlemen are seeing has been an ongoing discussion inside the ACA with policy for a number of years. Over the last few years, the stories and testimonies we get from cattlemen give evidence of the birds moving from a migratory to predatory.”

The aggressive birds are protected under the Miragroty Bird Act and the Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma Cattlemen Association’s have come together taking policy to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. This created a greater voice for reaching out to elected officials stressing economic loss and the need to measure populations and migratory patterns of these birds.

Farmers take steps during calving season to protect their cattle, but there simply isn’t much that can be done to detour these aggressive birds. The solution to any migratory bird problem is proper management. When it comes to these birds, population reduction is the answer. Farmers can obtain annual permits to begin eliminating the invasive species. These permits will allow measurable data to be collected and used to justify the management needed. Controlling bird population without a permit can put producers in violation of the Migratory Bird Act which has serious penalties. The number of birds permitted is given on a case by case basis according to the % of population found.

“We want some help. Let’s measure these populations. Are these birds migrating or are they staying here year round,” said McClung. ACA has had many meetings with USDA-APHIS and U.S. Fish & Wildlife to get everyone on the same page with what the permit means and how it works. “Our end game and the reason for the policy is a depredation order to be filed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife. We want our cattlemen to have the right to take at time of loss.”

Listen to my complete interview with Adam and watch This Week in Agribusiness this weekend for the complete story: Interview with Adam McClung, Arkansas Cattlemen's Association

AgWired Animal, Audio, Beef, Livestock

Two More USDA Appointees Announced

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

President Donald Trump intends nominate Indiana Agriculture Director Ted McKinney to be USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and former Iowa economics professor Dr. Sam Clovis for Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.

Ted McKinney

McKinney grew up on a family farm in Tipton, Indiana. He began his career at Elanco Products Company in 1981, and in 1990 joined Dow AgroSciences where he spent nearly 20 years in a variety of Corporate Affairs responsibilities. In 2009, he returned to Elanco in Global Corporate Affairs and in 2014 became director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

Sam Clovis

Clovis has been the White House representative at USDA since President Trump was elected. He was born in Kansas and spent 25 years in the Air Force where he attained the rank of Colonel. Clovis holds Ph.D. in public administration from the University of Alabama and was formerly a professor of economics at Morningside College in Iowa.

Several sources reported the likely nominations of McKinney and Clovis in May, as well as Steve Censky to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, whose nomination was officially sent to the Senate yesterday. Bill Northey was also reported at the time to be undersecretary for farm and conservation programs, but that announcement has yet to be made.

Government, USDA

Senator Blasts Ethanol from the Floor

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

As over 200 corn growers were meeting in the nation’s capitol this week, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) blasted corn ethanol in an attempt to kill legislation that would allow 15% ethanol blends to be sold year round, instead of being restricted in some areas during the summer months.

Inhofe began his speech by complaining that “the fossil fuel industry has long been under assault” from people who want to put it out of business but thanks to the election of President Trump “help has arrived.”

The National Corn Growers Association refuted Inhofe’s remarks that, “Land is increasingly set aside for the production of corn to feed the mandate, and the more corn that is diverted to ethanol production, the less there is for our food consumption and for ranchers who need corn to feed their livestock, making the cost of our food rise,” and “Fuels with corn-ethanol are less efficient than gasoline or diesel—by 27 percent.”

The nation’s corn farmers would like to assure Senator Inhofe that, despite his claims to the contrary, corn productivity has increased significantly over the past 10 years, going from an average of 150 bushels per acre in 2007 to 174.6 bushels per acre in 2016. Today’s efficient farmers produce more than enough corn to meet feed, food, and fuel needs, in an increasingly sustainable manner. Corn farmers are also proud that, based on actual corn and ethanol production experience over the past 10 years, ethanol currently results in 43 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) data disputes other claims by the Oklahoma Republican. Inhofe said that “with the shale revolution our dependency on foreign energy has stopped” so the Renewable Fuel Standard is no longer needed. According to EIA, the United States imported just over 10 million barrels per day of petroleum, or about 25 percent of our consumption, with over half coming from OPEC and Persian Gulf nations.

Inhofe also stated that to comply with the RFS, the U.S. has “become reliant on foreign imports of soybeans and ethanol from South America to count towards the RFS.” But, again according to EIA, foreign imports of ethanol have dropped from a high of 11.7 million barrels in 2012 to only 862 thousand last year.

Listen to Inhofe’s remarks here: Sen. Inhofe floor speech

AgWired Energy, Audio, Corn, Ethanol, Government, NCGA

Teachers Offered a Day on the Farm

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) has partnered with U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to start a program to help urban teachers learn more about agriculture so they can teach it to their students. To kick it off, educators in Minneapolis and Sacramento are invited to take a farm tour at the end of August to engage with farmers and others who work in the agriculture industry.

“We hope to teach the teachers,” said MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka. “We want to make sure that teachers in large cities hear the story of agriculture and have the tools to help them teach.”

The teachers who take part in the program will learn about innovation in today’s agricultural industry, sustainability, crop biotechnology, animal health and welfare. They will also learn more about USFRA’s Discovering Farmland curriculum and receive an iPod Touch and virtual reality headsets to help incorporate agricultural videos into their curriculum and classrooms.

The Minneapolis event will be held August 29 and the Sacramento event will be on August 31. Click on the links for registration information and details. There is no cost for participation and the curriculum tools are free.

Learn more in this interview and if you can help get the word out in Minneapolis and Sacramento, please do: Interview with Tom Slunecka, MSR&PC CEO

AgWired Precision, Audio, Soybean, USFRA

First ASA-Valent Ag Voices of the Future

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ASA voices – Front row: Mason Gordon, Kelsey Smith, Evan Jackson and Kelsey Cassebaum. Back row: Corbin Bell, Abby Steinkamp, Will Nalley and William Raftis.

Eight college students from five states make up the inaugural class of the Ag Voices of the Future program, sponsored by Valent U.S.A. and the American Soybean Association (ASA). The class provides an opportunity for young people to improve their understanding of agricultural policy issues, advocacy, and careers, and was held last week in conjunction with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Forum in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to this enthusiastic group of young people:
Corbin Bell, Missouri
Kelsey Cassebaum, Alabama
Mason Gordon, Indiana
Evan Jackson, Kentucky
Will Nalley, Kentucky
William Raftis, Illinois
Kelsey Smith, Illinois
Abigail Steinkamp, Indiana

Also congrats to farm broadcaster Jeff Nalley, since young Will is his son. Being a voice for agriculture is already in his DNA!

AgWired Precision, ASA, Valent

Bayer Hosts Field Day in Dekalb

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Farmers and retailers gathered near Dekalb, Illinois on Tuesday for the Bayer Innovation Plus Tour.

Bayer Technical Development Rep Daren Bohannan says the event focused on corn and soybeans and included presentations on disease observations, selective corn herbicide trials, Balance GT soybeans, ILeVO Seed treatment & PPO Herbicides, Liberty weed control, new Credenz products and more.

“We got planted late up here, a lot got planted right around Memorial Day weekend,” said Bohannan. “A lot of our flushes of weeds are worked out so things look really good…In general we’ve had a really good growing season so far.”

Learn more in this interview – Daren Bohannan, Overview of Plot Tour

Go to AgNewsWire for more interviews from the Bayer field day in Dekalb.

Bayer Showcase Plot Tour 2017 – Illinois

AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Crop Protection, Soybean

Precision Ag Bytes 7/19

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

  • The National Science Foundation has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant to Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM). The money will allow ABM to develop a new class of biorational chemicals based on chemical communicants from plant symbiotic fungi to offer greater crop yields, enhanced root growth and resistance to stress.
  • Penn State University Extension reminds growers to be ever vigilant against spider mites and offers a solution to producers with a center-pivot irrigation system.  A chemical injection of Boundary Rider from Agri-Inject is specifically designed to control the migrating insects.
  • Verdesian Life Sciences has field tested Take Off, a product that speeds up the rate corn processes nitrogen.  South Dakota Wheat Growers have seen a respectable yield increase and improved ROI for farmers using the product.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

New Propane Irrigation Engines Available

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has partnered with Origin Engines to develop new 5.7- and 6.2- liter engines, EPA-certified and optimized for industrial applications like irrigation and power generation.

Pete Stout, Origin Engines

PERC invested in the research and development of Origin’s new engines, providing industry expertise and financial support through the research, development, and testing process for the new technology.

“We are excited to introduce these highly efficient, innovative engines to the market,” said Pete Stout, product manager for Origin Engines. “We built our product line based on feedback from the end users because their satisfaction is what is most important to us. We are confident they will be very pleased with these new products.”

The new engines complement Origin’s larger 8.0-, 9.1-, and 10.3-liter engines, which were introduced in 2015, and are now available from distributors Industrial Irrigation, KEM Equipment, and Flint Power and Western Power Products. In addition, a new Propane Farm Incentive Program is offering $300 per liter of fuel displacement for propane-powered irrigation engines (up to $5,000 total), according to Cinch Munson, director of agriculture business development at PERC.

Munson and Stout talked about propane engines for irrigation at the 2014 World LP Gas Forum in Miami when the larger propane engines were first announced. Here is a segment of their remarks about the development and benefits of propane irrigation engines in general. PERC's Cinch Munson and Origin's Pete Stout

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Irrigation, Propane

Corn and Soybean Condition Down Slightly

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Most of the corn and soybeans around the country remain in good to excellent condition but dry weather is taking a toll in some areas.

According to the latest USDA-NASS report, corn condition as of Sunday was rated 64 percent good to excellent and only 11 percent poor to very poor, but South Dakota’s corn is ranked as 38% poor to very poor. Colorado, Indiana, and North Dakota also have low rankings.

Similar situation for soybeans, with 61% good to excellent and 11 percent poor to very poor. South Dakota soybeans are also suffering with 33% in poor to very poor condition.

Corn, Soybean, USDA

Syngenta Receives China Approval for Agrisure Duracade®

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Syngenta has received notification of import approval from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture for its Agrisure Duracade® trait, which covers corn grain and processing co-products, including dried distillers grains (DDGs), for food and feed use.

“Obtaining this regulatory approval opens up new opportunities within our portfolio,” said David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC. “Moving forward, growers can expect expanded access to the full depth and breadth of our genetic portfolio with more choice and exciting new hybrids that offer elite genetics plus the latest in corn rootworm control technology.”

Hollinrake adds that Syngenta will continue to offer Agrisure Duracade for the 2017 and 2018 planting seasons under its grain-use marketing program.

AgWired Precision, Corn, Syngenta