VP Candidates at the Iowa State Fair

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Both presidential candidates skipped the Iowa State Fair this year, but their running mates were there.

iowa-fair-kaineDemocratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine strolled the grounds first with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – former governor of the state who was on the short list of finalists to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. The Republican VP candidate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, was accompanied at the fair by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

iowa-fair-penceBoth running mates did the usual Iowa State Fair stuff – meeting the butter cow, eating pork, and talking politics.

It was definitely a quieter Iowa State Fair this year after playing host to a total of 20 presidential candidates of both parties last summer. Eighteen took part in the Des Moines Register Soapbox, while the two candidates who ultimately received their parties nominations made drop in visits.


Syngenta Moving Forward with ChemChina Deal

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

syngenta-logoChina National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) and Syngenta are announcing they have received clearance from the Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) to proceed with their proposed transaction.

The closing of the transaction will also be reviewed by numerous global regulators and other customary closing conditions.  Both Syngenta and ChemChina are working with the regulatory agencies to keep discussions constructive.

They expect to finalize the closing by the end of 2016.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Syngenta

John Deere’s MyAgCentral Solutions

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

infoag-16-deere-pinkstonOne year ago John Deere announced a partnership with DN2K to create a joint venture called Sage Insights. The result of that venture is MyAgCentral, and Pat Pinkston, VP of Technology and Information Solutions, took the time to tell AgWired a little more about the program at the recent InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

MyAgCentral focuses on the needs of retailers and a growers trusted advisors. It works with the Operations Center, and like Operations Center, the platform is quickly growing. Last year Sage Insights had 13 or 14 third party companies. Now they have more than 30, and each of them can be used to integrate with customers, Pinkston says.

The best way to understand the platform is to think of the required workflow for fall harvest. Growers need to alert someone when they finish harvesting a field so soil samples can be gathered. Someone needs to report on the soil sample results and then make calls necessary to get as applied maps. All of this takes multiple phone calls, emails and text messages. Now, if a grower is in MyAgCentral, the system is notified when harvest is finished and a work order for soil samples is automatically generated. When results are sent back another work order for the prescription map is automatically filled and all of this happens without contact from the farmer.

Pinkston explains the platform helps the farmer by helping the team around him, like improving the communication between assistant coaches.

“What we’re trying to do is focus on that overall workflow and really make that whole process seamless for the grower,” he says. “Because they’re looking not only for someone to do the work, provide the prescription, but to enable that flow of that work. So by creating that environment, that MyAgCentral environment for the retailer that is seamlessly connected to the Operations Center, now that grower who is in the Operations Center (again, by the way, regardless of whether they have green equipment, red equipment or blue equipment, because we now enable all of those) they can get that data to their ag retailer, seamlessly connect up their data, seamlessly connect up the work, and enable that work flow to be accomplished with very little, fuss, muss, or bother.”

The program is still brand new, and currently the company is building out additional features and connections, but Pinkston hints at announcements about retailers who are signing on. The process proves to him that John Deere truly is committed to providing that total solution.

You can hear more about MyAgCentral in Chuck’s interview: Interview with Pat Pinkston, Sage Insights

2016 ICPA/InfoAg Photo Album

Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by John Deere Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by CropTrak
Audio, Info Ag, John Deere

Bayer Reviewing Options in Belt® Insecticide Decision

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

bayer-beltEarlier this month, an appeals board for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upheld the agency’s decision to cancel registration for Bayer’s insecticide flubendiamide, marketed in the U.S. as Belt®, while still existing stocks to be sold by retailers or used by growers, but Bayer is continuing to evaluate its options going forward.

“We’re currently going through due diligence and vetting all of the information and reviewing that internally,” said Lee Hall, Industry Relations Lead for Bayer. In the meantime, Hall says there is no problem with growers and retailers taking care of existing stocks.
“All the Belt product that was in the channel is allowed to move through the channel as it would in a normal year,” he explains.

“It’s very important to understand that all of our labels are still intact, that Belt can be used in all of the over 200 crops that it’s registered for,” said Hall. “So a grower can use Belt to provide his pest control, he can harvest that crop without a concern of issues with domestic consumption or export to other markets.”

In this interview, Hall provides background on the insecticide and explains some of Bayer’s concerns with how the flubendiamide decision was handled by EPA. Interview with Lee Hall, Bayer

Audio, Bayer, EPA

“Farmer of the Year” Contest Announced

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Farmer of the YearFarmers’ Almanac and American Farm Bureau Federation are partnering together to recognize three farmers or ranchers as “Farmer’s Almanac Farmer of the Year.”

The 200th Collector’s Edition of 2017 highlights the hard work and dedication of farmers who bring food to our tables.  The edition contains their stories, along with the announcement of a contest designed to recognize some of these individuals.

“We’re looking for farmers and ranchers who have figured out how to keep their centuries-old, family run farms alive and thriving, as well as newcomers who may have just started out in farming or ranching,” said Farmers’ Almanac Managing Editor Sandi Duncan, Philom. “The people who work in agriculture are vital to our everyday life and we’d like to honor them in the pages of the Farmers’ Almanac.”

AFBF President Zippy Duvall added, “Farmers and ranchers have long used their ingenuity and tireless work ethic to preserve natural resources and build up local communities while producing food, fiber and fuel for consumers here at home and around the world. We’re pleased to join the Farmers’ Almanac in launching the Farmer of the Year program.”

Nominations must highlight, in 300 words or less, the following criteria:

· Supporting the Tradition: How long has the nominee been in their field? How did he or she get involved in agriculture and why?
· Innovation in Agriculture: How the nominee has embraced technology or new ways of farming and ranching;
· Community Involvement: How has the nominee engaged his/her community to support agriculture and/or teach us more about farming overall; and
· Inspiration: How the nominee is a true leader in agriculture and deserves to be recognized.

All nominations must be received by Jan. 31, 2017, and must be submitted online at FarmersAlmanac.com/FarmeroftheYear.

The three winners will have their own stories published in the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac.  The will also receive a one-year membership in the Farm Bureau county of their residence and a lifetime subscription to the Farmers’ Almanac.

AFBF, Ag Group, Contest

#IFAJ2016 Bayer Tour – Part 7 – Application Tech – Nozzles

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Drop NozzlesIn this episode of my series on touring Bayer CropScience during the IFAJ Congress in Germany the focus will continue on application technology. This time specifically on spray nozzles.

Ralph-Burkhardt Toews, Bayer Application Technology Manager, gave a field demonstration using different types of nozzles. In the first part of the demonstration he shows the difference between standard spray nozzles vs drift reduction nozzles that are now widely used in the EU.

In the second part of the demonstration Toews shows a technology that has been developed to help reduce the exposure of pollinators to crop protection products. These is the dropleg spraying device. You can see these in the image included in this post.

Underleaf spraying is a much targeted application method. It improves both the coverage of the leaves and efficacy of application technology for disease and pest control. Many pests and diseases are located underneath of the leaves and droplet applications allow a real targeted application with much better efficacy results. Field trials with fungicides and insecticides carried out by Bayer CropScience have shown that using the dropleg technology results in a significant reduction of drift.

You can listen to the presentation here or watch below: Ralph-Burkhardt Toews Presentation

2016 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Bayer
Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, Bees, IFAJ, Precision Agriculture, Video

Food Dialogues Inspired @DairyStrong Alliance

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

The new Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance (DSSA) launched this week was inspired by a sustainability themed installment of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) Food Dialogues panel discussion held earlier this year as part of a Dairy Business Association (DBA) conference.

dssa-16-trotter“After the Food Dialogue on sustainability at the January Dairy Strong event, we sat down and said ‘Now what? As an industry and a dairy community, how do we advance sustainability across Wisconsin?,'” said DBA Executive Director Tim Trotter. “So the collaborators got together and decided to put together a sustainability alliance that brings tools to the farms and gives farmers tools to be more sustainable.”

Collaborators include DBA, Yahara Pride Farms, the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), and The Nature Conservancy.

“What we’re bringing is a toolbox to farmers, so these programs have already been developed. So whatever specific goals a farmer may have, we can give them whatever resources they need, and they have already been developed and are ready for use,” said Trotter. “We aren’t producing anything, we’re a group of collaborators that connect the dots between farmers ad the programs that are already available to them.”

Learn more in this interview with Tim:
Interview with Tim Trotter, Dairy Business Association

View and download photos from the event here:Dairy Strong Sustainability Alliance Photo Album

Dairy, Sustainability, USFRA

USDA Invests in New #Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

USDADuring a visit to Iowa State University this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced some new initiatives to help new and beginning farmers.

First, Vilsack announced a new investment of $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). In addition, Vilsack said USDA will host a series of Fall Forums in the coming months to “highlight the progress made on the top issues facing the future of agriculture and set the stage for the next administration to continue to support a strong future for American agriculture.” The forums will be hosted in partnership with leading universities across the country and each will focus on an important issue facing farmers and ranchers, such as land tenure, export markets, local and regional food systems, and agricultural research.

More information on USDA’s assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers can be found at www.usda.gov/NewFarmers.


#IFAJ2016 Bayer Tour – Part 6 – Application Technology

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Dr. Reinhard FriesslebenYou don’t usually think of Bayer CropScience as an application equipment company but did you know that the company does a lot of work with machinery manufacturers, supporting them in ways like the development of environmentally friendly spray technology. The team for this is lead by Dr. Reinhard Friessleben, Head of Bayer’s Application Technology. He along with Armin Lind, Application Technology Manager, gave a demonstration with some products they are working on during the IFAJ Congress in Germany.

One of the products you’ll see demonstrated is the easyFlow closed transfer system developed by Bayer and agrotop, a German mid-sized company that specializes in professional agricultural spray technology. It is a manufacturer independent way to transfer products that can be adapted to most existing spray equipment.

This is part six of my series from the tours I did with Bayer during the annual event. Besides what you will see and hear from this presentation I have more to come on drift-reducing nozzles. That will be the next episode.

You can listen to the presentation here or watch below: Dr. Reinhard Friessleben & Armin Lind Presentation

2016 IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Coverage of the IFAJ Congress is sponsored by Bayer
Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer, IFAJ, Technology, Video

Zimfo Bytes

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

Zimfo Bytes

  • Woodruff Sweitzer (WS) has announced the hires of Ron Simmons and Mary Wheeler to the company’s traffic and content departments, as well as the promotions of Justina Frost, Vincent Townsend and Shelby Mertz to new positions in the account services department.
  • Issues Ink Media has named Aqueena Clennett as a new Account Manager and has named Janet Kanters as the managing editor for Spud Smart and the Alberta Seed Guide.
  • The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded a total of $10,000 in grants to 10 middle-school science classrooms nationwide, as well as 10 after-school programs serving middle school-age students. The recognized schools will each receive $500 to pilot a new Maker Kit challenge.
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