Soybean, Biodiesel Groups Blast Biodiesel Import Decision

John Davis Leave a Comment

Soybean growers and their close allies in the biodiesel industry in this country are blasting the U.S government’s decision to allow Argentinian biodiesel easier access to American markets. The American Soybean Association (ASA) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) say the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ease sustainability requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to fast-track the South American fuel couldn’t come at a worse time.

ASAlogo1“Today’s decision issued by EPA on Argentinian biodiesel shows a lack of coordination and alarming tone-deafness regarding the purposes of the Renewable Fuels Standard,” said ASA President and Brownfield, Texas, farmer Wade Cowan. “EPA has put the interests of our foreign competitors above those of soybean farmers here in the U.S. At this point, we can only scratch our heads and wonder what EPA’s priorities are when it comes to the domestic renewable fuels industry.”

nbb-advanced“This decision poses a tremendous threat to U.S. industry and jobs, not to mention the overriding goal of the RFS of developing clean, homegrown renewable fuels,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “This is incredibly damaging, particularly in light of the continued delays in establishing RFS volumes. The Obama administration has effectively run the U.S. biodiesel industry into a ditch over the past year by failing to establish a functioning renewable fuels policy, and instead of pulling the domestic industry out, it is fast-tracking foreign competition.”

Under the RFS, feedstocks generally must be grown on land that was cleared or cultivated prior to Dec. 18, 2007 – when the RFS was implemented. Typically, foreign producers must closely map and track each batch of feedstock used to produce imported renewable fuels. EPA’s decision allows Argentinian biodiesel producers to use a survey plan for certifying that feedstocks used, far less stringent than the current map and track requirement and more difficult to verify. NBB estimates that up to 600 million gallons of Argentinian biodiesel could enter the U.S. as a result of the change.

“President Obama should not be pleased with the job EPA is doing on renewable fuels. The agency’s manner of haphazard decision-making, which is so sorely lacking in direction, belies the Obama Administration’s support for the U.S. biofuels industry,” Cowan said. “Until the past year, the White House could rightly share the credit for the benefits that this industry has provided to the rural economy, energy security, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But these latest actions and inactions from EPA overshadow that progress and can only be seen as an embarrassment.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, ASA, Biodiesel, EPA, Government, Soybean

Sustainable Nutrition Solutions from Novus

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ippe-15-81-editedThe International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is well underway and the Novus International team was out in full force to share key elements in their sustainable nutrition solutions for the animal protein industry.

I spoke with Ed Galo, Managing Director for Novus in North America, and he said that beyond presenting their sustainable nutrition solutions to customers they were also highlighting the 10 year anniversary with MINTREX.

“MINTREX is not like other mineral sources. On top of being an excellent product to optimize the nutrition and health and performance in livestock, it also offers the ability for producers to have a positive impact on the environment.”

Listen to my complete interview with Ed where he explains more about MINTREX and the importance of sustainability at Novus. Interview with Ed Galo, Novus International

ippe-15-79-editedIn the Novus booth, I also spoke with Scott Moore, Executive Manager for the Mono-gastric Division at Novus International. Scott discusses some challenges their customers face in the market and more about the focus on sustainability in highlights from their 6th Annual Sustainability Report.

“We recognize the need to protect the environment. We recognize the need to really provide products that are consumer and customer friendly. We have made the investments in technology that will allow our customers to do that.”

Learn more about Novus International’s presence at IPPE and their sustainability efforts in my complete interview with Scott. Interview with Scott Moore, Novus International

Photos from the event can be found here:
2015 International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of the International Production and Processing Expo is sponsored by NOVUS
Agribusiness, Animal Agriculture, IPPE, Novus International, Nutrition, Sustainability

New Holland Seeds of Life Part 3

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

New Holland Seeds of Life SeriesNew Holland has just published episode #3 in its Seeds of Life Series, “A storytelling project for the Heroes who feed us all.”

New Holland Agriculture presents the third episode of the web series “The Seeds of Life”. Come and discover generations of our Heroes #ThanksToHeroes. Follow our farmers in their continuous efforts to meet the growing demand for food and protect the future of the environment.

It begins with a tiny, little seed. From planting to growing, to feeding the world: the seed starts the cycle of life. Farmers take care of its development at every stage, and wait for the right time to harvest. And that’s what being a farmer means. Watch how our Heroes take care of these seeds, and take care of us all. Watch how together, we feed the world #TogetherWeFeedTheWorld @Expo 2015.

Find out more on the New Holland website, dedicated to the new worldwide campaign to reach the Expo Milano 2015 broad audience.

Agribusiness, International, New Holland, Video

United Fresh Produce Rebrands

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

united-fresh-newThe United Fresh Produce Association has a fresh, new look and website.

The organization formally announced a new Association logo and redesigned website with the new year. “January is symbolically a time of fresh starts,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “As we move into the New Year, this transition comes with a new look for our association and a new user-friendly website designed to align with our mission of providing the resources and expertise companies need to succeed.”

The new brand aims to elevate the Association’s mission to build a stronger connection across the United Fresh supply chain encompassing, grower-shippers; fresh-cut processors; wholesaler-distributors; retail-foodservice operators; floral; and industry service providers. This is expressed visually within the modern element – the halos – paired with a traditional type treatment representing the Association’s history of over a century of dedication to the produce industry.

The website carries over the new design from the logo and offers streamlined navigation, improved user functionality, enhanced search features and a robust publications library. The goal of the site is to give the user a cohesive view of the produce industry highlighting news and events, Association commentary and a spotlight on industry achievements.

Ag Group, Produce

US Custom Harvesters Pick Planning Partner

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

uschiU.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., (USCHI) has named Lamp Public Relations
& Marketing
as its strategic planning development partner through June 2016 to help the organization continue strategic discussions towards implementing a Strategic Plan for 2016-2020.

“We’re excited to work with Lamp Public Relations & Marketing as we cultivate outside resources to promote partnerships and collaborations to create our capacity and inventory for Strategic Plan 2016-2020,” says. USCHI President, Kent Braathen of Grand Forks, N.D. “We’re a strong organization with deep roots and need a stronger agricultural voice in Washington, D.C., on labor and other issues that directly affect our livelihoods as we harvest the crops that feed the world.”

The agency and USCHI board members will be seeking input from membership and industry leaders at the 2015 USCHI National Convention this week in Grand Island, Neb.

Agency, Custom harvesters, Harvest

New Propane Irrigation Engine Introduced

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

origin-percThe Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and Origin Engines have released a new, emissions-certified, 9.1-liter propane irrigation engine as an alternative for producers to Tier 4 diesel models.

PERC invested in the development and commercialization of the engine and provided industry expertise to Origin, which has over three decades of experience designing and manufacturing engines for industrial, on-road, and irrigation applications. This is the third engine Origin has developed in its partnership with PERC.

“The need for efficient, emissions-certified, propane engine options has grown as Tier 4 diesel engines have become more expensive. One of PERC’s priorities is developing new technologies that advance energy efficiency in ag,” said Cinch Munson, PERC’s director of agriculture business development. “By working with leading engine developers like Origin, we can help ensure that farmers’ power needs are met as cost-effectively as possible.”

The 9.1-liter model, rated for 95-190 horsepower, was developed to fill the gap between Origin’s popular 8.0-liter and 10.3-liter propane engines. Like the company’s 8.0-liter and 10.3-liter engines, the Origin 9.1-liter is built for continuous use, high-power applications and is also compatible with remote telematics monitoring systems, though third-party installation is required.

The Origin 9.1-liter engine qualifies for a $3,640 incentive through the PERC Propane Farm Incentive Program. Producers purchasing new propane engines may also be eligible for additional purchase incentives through their state propane gas associations. The engine will be on display at the Western Propane Gas Association lot, W20-22, during the World Ag Expo, Feb. 10-12 in Tulare, California.

Find out more from PERC here.

Irrigation, PERC, Propane, Water

The Chicken Wing & Football Bond

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

super-bowl-wingsThe Super Bowl is just days away. The game is very important to many, but we want to focus on another aspect of the game…and no, I don’t mean the commercials. Those are great, but lets talk about Super Bowl food. Our current ZimmPoll asks you to name your favorite Super Bowl party food and one of those choices is wings.

Did you know that 1.25 billion wings will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday? To put that into perspective, the National Chicken Council said, “if 1.25 billion wing segments were laid end to end, they would stretch back and forth from CenturyLink Field in Seattle to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA almost 28 times. And 1.25 billion wings would circle the Grand Canyon 120 times.”

The National Chicken Council 2015 Wing Report also showed that four in five U.S. adults eat chicken wings, which holds steady from last year. Over half (56%) like to eat wings with ranch dressing and only about 36% prefer blue cheese dressing. BBQ sauce even beat blue cheese, coming in at 42%.

Wing eaters were also asked if they preferred bone-in or boneless. According to the survey, 54% like the traditional bone-in wings while 46% chose boneless. They were also asked which segment of the wing was their favorite. 46% like the drumette and only 25% would rather have the flat. The whole wing was preferred by only 10% and almost 20% will eat them anyway they can get them.

It’s clear wings sales spike during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. But did you know that the concept of cooking wings in peppery hot sauce was born in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY? The owners would cook leftover wings in hot sauce for a late-night snack for friends. Soon they were added to the menu, served with celery and blue cheese, “Buffalo Wings” were an instant hit. They started promoting the item around the country and it gradually caught on.

So how did the trend team up with football? In the 80’s consumers began to prefer boneless-skinless breast meat, wings soon became an inexpensive byproduct for chicken producers. Restaurants and bars realized they could sell low priced protein and since it was spicy and salty, it paired perfectly with beer. The popularity of TVs in bars grew and the most common sporting event to watch with friends in bars was football. Wings were an easy “group food” to share and so the “pigskin-chicken wing bond was born.”

Tom Super with the National Chicken Council talks more about wings and football in this interview: Interview with Tom Super, National Chicken Council

Ag Group, Audio, Chicken, Food, Poultry

AgNerd Cloud – John Deere App Center

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 463AgNerd Cloud alert! I was just feeling appy this morning so I thought this week’s program could focus on Apps. As in the new John Deere App Center.

John Deere App CenterTo learn all about it I talked with Nathan Greuel, John Deere Mobile Technician.

The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. They will also be able to share the apps on social media and provide feedback to improve the applications and develop additional apps for the future. The App Center is actually an app itself which allows you to search within it for the right kind of John Deere app you’re looking for. A version for Android is in the works too.

As we learned in last week’s ZimmCast the faster mobile technology on the horizon will only increase the number of apps for farmers allowing them to transfer and utilize more and more data in a mobile fashion. I think that this is just the start of increased app efforts like this. Learn more in this week’s program.

You can listen to this week’s program here: AgNerd Cloud - John Deere App Center

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

The ZimmCast

sponsored by
The ZimmCast podcast is sponsored by GROWMARK
Locally owned, globally strong.
AgNerd, Agribusiness, Apps, Audio, John Deere

Zimfo Bytes

Melissa Sandfort Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Look for a celebration of local Vermont food via the 4th Annual Capital Cook-Off, an Iron Chef-style cooking competition highlighting an exciting secret ingredient; and a Buy Local Market featuring locally made Vermont products.
  • Peterson Farms of Loretto, Ky., has been named the winner of the 2015 Top Producer of the Year award.
  • NCGA announced the 16 winners of the 2014 Fields of Corn Photo Contest.
  • “Tools to Fund Agricultural Research” is the topic to be examined at the Farm Foundation Forum on Wednesday, Jan. 28. To participate by audiocast CLICK HERE.
Zimfo Bytes

Bayer Seeking Bee Leader Nominations

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

bayer CropScienceBayer CropScience is seeking nominations for its third annual Bee Care Community Leadership Award. The award recognizes beekeepers and others who use their commitment and interest in honey bees for the benefit of their communities.

“Honey bees play an important role in supporting our food supply, pollinating as much as a quarter of all plants consumed in the U.S. and $15 billion of American crops,” said Dr. David Fischer, manager of the Bayer North America Bee Care Center. “Beekeepers not only care for these important insects, but also provide a positive influence in their communities by encouraging others to explore innovative ways to incorporate honey bee colonies in their work.”

The award, an initiative of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program, provides a $5,000 grant to the winner to be used in support of a community beekeeping project and the winner will also receive an all-expense paid trip to a reception in Washington, D.C. during National Pollinator Week.

Any beekeeper or individual with a focus on honey bees may apply. Activities the beekeeper or individual may be engaged in include, but are not limited to, the use of beekeeping in therapy, such as with at-risk youth or veterans, bee care education for children or adults and community events that allow non-beekeepers to understand the inner working of a bee hive and more. Individuals interested in applying for the award can obtain an application at The deadline for submission is April 3, 2015.

Bayer, Bees