A New Holland NHDrive ZimmCast

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCast 524A self driving tractor generated a lot of buzz during the Farm Progress Show. New Holland, a sponsor of our event coverage, had their brand new autonomous concept tractor displayed in the center of their show lot and it was getting a lot of attention.

Dan HallidayIn this week’s program I talked with New Holland’s Dan Halliday to get a detailed view of what this machine is capable of and how this new technology is fitting into future plans for features on new tractors. The AgNerd in me really enjoyed his remarks as I’m sure many of you out there will as well. In the picture, Dan is providing New Holland North American Vice President, Bret Lieberman, with details just prior to the show start.

Dan says this is no pipe dream but a reality. I hope you’ll enjoying listening to him talk about the systems that make this technology work.

Listen here for more on this self driving machine: Dan Halliday, New Holland

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here.

The ZimmCast

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AgNerd, Agribusiness, Audio, Farm Progress Show, New Holland, Technology, Tractor, ZimmCast

#Agribusiness Executives Defend Consolidation

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

senate-judiciary-committeeAt a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning on “Consolidation and Competition in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Industry,” executives of DuPont, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto defended the current spate of mergers and acquisitions as being important to continue to deliver on the innovation that farmers need to feed a growing global population.

Bayer CropScience President and CEO Jim Blome said that as a native Iowan and farmer, he is “highly optimistic” for the future. “This transaction brings together creative minds from two complementary segments of the industry to address the challenges farmers face today and in the future,” said Blome of Bayer’s proposed acquisition of Monsanto.

Dr. Robb Fraley of Monsanto, who received the 2013 World Food Prize for his achievements in the development of agricultural biotechnology, also drew on his family farming background. “As someone who grew up on a small family farm in Illinois, I understand that change can be unsettling to farmers,” said Fraley, who contends that competition will actually increase under the mergers proposed. “Innovation drives competition. Innovation strengthens the farming economy. And innovation lifts our society and improves the environment.”

Also speaking at the hearing were James Collins, DuPont Executive Vice President, Agriculture Division; Tim Hassinger, President & CEO Dow AgroSciences; and Mr. Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, Syngenta International AG.

Listen to their opening comments here: Judiciary Committee Hearing Agribusiness Company Statements

Audio, Bayer, Government, Monsanto

Senate Committee Hearing on Ag Consolidation

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

senate-judiciarySome of the biggest names in agribusiness are on Capitol Hill this morning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Consolidation and Competition in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Industry.”

The committee chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will hear from head executives of DuPont, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto, as well as representatives from agricultural organizations such as American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union and National Corn Growers Association.

The meeting starts at 10 am Eastern time and can be watched live online.


Hearing opening statements from Sen. Grassley, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-AZ) – Judiciary Committee Hearing Opening Statements

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Audio, Government

Global Update on BASF Maglis

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

basf-media-16-maglisBASF held the global launch of Maglis at the 2016 Commodity Classic and the global media got an update on the online agricultural platform during a press event last week in Germany.

Dr. Matthias Nachtmann, head of BASF’s agIT project team, says they had a good initial launch of the Maglis Customer Navigator in North America. “We’re really excited by the feedback and looking forward to 2017 now,” said Nachtmann. “The plan is now to make Maglis Customer Navigator broadly available under the roof of the GrowSmart initiative where we connect our physical products together with our sales team in the field.”

BASF is continuing its investment in the development of mobile decision-making tools for farmers and working with other developers for integration with other platforms. “We differentiate by actual agronomic insights,” said Nachtmann. “We’d love to provide it with our Maglis platform. We’re also ready to provide it to other farm management systems, for example John Deere.”

Learn more about Maglis in this interview: Interview with Matthias Nachtmann, BASF

BASF Global Press Conference Photo Album

Audio, BASF, Precision Agriculture, Technology

MaxEmerge 5e Rolling Out in 2017

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

29035092560_e63fe9bf30_o John Deere is offering growers more consistent population control than ever before with the release of the MaxEmerge 5e set for the 2017 planting season. Ryan Hough, Product Marketing Manager, Planting and Seeding Operations, sat down with Chuck during the John Deere Product Reveal for Ag Media to discuss how the MaxEmerge offers growers precision technology that can help increase the value of their older machines.

The MaxEmerge is a 5 meter unit with electric drive options, leaving the challenges associated with chains and sprockets in the dust, and the unit’s single electric dive, motor, and unit row controller offer consistent population control, especially true around curves.

“It’s a best of both worlds approach with an electronic drive to get that seed population accuracy, yet still keeping it in a traditional seed tube design,” said Hough. “We have it in a new planters as well as in a retro fit opportunity, so it offers an opportunity to current planter owners and looking to make that progression without buying it new.”

Listen to Chuck’s full interview with Ryan here:
Interview with Ryan Hough, MaxEmerge

John Deere Product Reveal Photo Album

Ag Group, Audio, Equipment, John Deere, Planting

New Deadline for GROWMARK Essay Contest

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

2017 is the 24th year for the essay contest sponsored by GROWMARK and participating FS member cooperatives. The contest is for active high-school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

“Essays will be due now at the end of October, instead of in the spring like we’ve done in the past,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Cooperative Education Specialist. She explained that they had received feedback from teachers that fall was a better time for the students to participate. Another change this year is that the submission process is entirely online, which should simplify the process.

What has not changed is the goal of the essay contest. “It was designed to encourage young people to practice their writing skills while learning more about a current issue in agriculture,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Cooperative Education Specialist. “This year’s topic happens to be ‘What value do cooperatives provide for today’s farmers.'”

The contest offers four state winner awards of $500 each, four runners-up per state with a $125 award each, and FFA chapter of the state winner with a $300 award.

Learn more about the GROWMARK essay contest here: Interview with Karen Jones, GROWMARK

Audio, Cooperatives, Education, GROWMARK

It’s #NAMAFall16 Week

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

NAMA Fall Conference 2016It’s time for the 2016 National Agri-Marketing Association Fall Conference. Yours truly is headed that way today. Want to know who is going to be there? Check here.

This year our keynote sessions will contribute to your career success. From wanting to achieving, learn simple steps to accomplish your goals and accelerate your success. Change is inevitable; discover how to navigate it more effectively for bigger success. Hear leadership and marketing lessons from big companies that can be adapted to any organization and budget. Catch our keynote speakers and take part in these next level management prep conversations.

The breakouts will be refreshing as well. Learn to improvise your dialogue for a more authentic message. Hear the very latest on social media. Check out an all-female panel and see how women are advancing ag. Discover the science behind collecting data and what the future will bring. Enjoy two sessions focused on digital. And much more!

You can find the schedule here. Looking forward to seeing friends in the industry of agribusiness marketing.


#FutureFarming Dialog With @Bayer Execs

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Bayer CropScience Executive Committee Members Marc Reichardt, Dr. Adrian Percy, Liam Condon, and Bernd Naaf

Bayer CropScience Executive Committee Members Marc Reichardt, Dr. Adrian Percy, Liam Condon, and Bernd Naaf

The Bayer Future of Farming Dialog held in Germany the week before the Monsanto deal was announced was all about dialogue – or dialog – however you want to spell it.

Bayer CropScience division president Liam Condon was joined by three of his Executive Committee members – Marc Reichardt, Dr. Adrian Percy, and Bernd Naaf – and opened up to questions from journalists and bloggers from around the world. Translators were available so that questions could “be asked in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese – although English is preferred,” said event organizer and moderator Beth Roden.

Also joining the dialog was Tobias Menne, head of Digital Farming at the Crop Science Division, who talked about the company’s emerging efforts in that field.

Listen to the dialog here: Future of Farming dialog with Bayer execs

Bayer Future of Farming Dialog 2016 Photo Album

Audio, Bayer

Cuba – Oh the Possibilities

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

flag_of_cuba-svgThroughout my life I have viewed Cuba as a piece of history, a far off distant land. Today, the country is being discussed in every agricultural circle I come across. The possibilities of future trade with our neighbor creates great opportunities for American farmers and ranchers.

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing earlier this week exploring the benefits of American agricultural trade with Cuba. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has long supported opening trade with this market and said American agriculture is poised for substantial growth in the Cuban market but financing restrictions are placing U.S. farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage.

“Real opportunities exist for increased sales of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba as growing demand is driven by 11 million Cubans and by increasing tourism,” AFBF wrote. Yet, the U.S. has fallen from being the number one supplier of agricultural products to number five due to restrictions imposed on financing those sales.

“U.S. agriculture is at a global disadvantage as we watch foreign competitors continue to take away our market share,” AFBF said. “There is no better time than now to provide American farmers and agribusinesses the tools they need to expand agricultural exports to Cuba and help our industry survive this difficult economic environment.”

In just a few days I will embark on a journey to visit this nearby market and witness it’s potential first hand. The American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA) is hosting an ag media delegation and I am honored to be part of those who will be able to bring back a bit of Cuban agriculture to you. A special thank you goes to Alltech for helping make this trip possible for me. I will have little internet while abroad, but will hopefully be able to share a few photos along the way. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram – @JamieDJohansen. But once home, you can find audio and photos here.

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AAEA, Ag Group, Alltech, Exports, Farm Bureau, Government, Trade

The Global Value of US Soy

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

ussec-16-163-edited Our 300 international attendees were present for the 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange held earlier this month in Indianapolis, offering soy growers from across the country the opportunity to engage with an international audience about the value of U.S. Soy.

One attendee who utilized the opportunity to communicate with the international audience was Kevin Scott, a diversified corn and soybean grower who works alongside his brother, nephew, and son on their operation in South Dakota. Scott also holds several different leadership roles within the soybean industry, serving as an American Soybean Association (ASA) Director and a U.S. Soybean Exchange Council (USSEC) Board Member.

“ASA and the USSEC Board are just furthering my education into what the U.S. soybean industry needs as far as talent and the work force are concerned,” said Scott in an interview during the 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange. “It’s amazing the things that you learn as you move up in these organizations. I’ve been here quite a while and I’m still not done learning, there is always more to learn.”

Talking with foreign buyers was the main focus for Scott during the event, with his take-home message focused on the universal value that U.S. soybeans can offer.

“It’s the most economical and sustainable product we can use to feed livestock, to feed people, and to feed the world. It’s a wonderful source of protein for the whole world, and our foreign buyers know that,” he said. “It’s really important for us as U.S. producers to show the world how we produce soybeans and highlight our sustainability practices, our multi-generational operations, and all the things that we do to produce the best, safest, and most abundant product we can.”

Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Kevin here:
Interview with Kevin Scott, SD Soybean Grower

View and download photos from the event here: 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange Photo Album

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Audio, International, Soybean, Trade, USSEC