Ag Equipment Sales Higher at Mid-Year

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

All categories of agricultural machinery sales are in the plus column so far this year compared to last, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“We view 2018 as a rebuilding year for agriculture; we’ve experienced a steadily improving economy, tax reform provides incentives and machines need to be replaced,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, AG services. “We’re still concerned with the impact of tariffs and trade wars on continued stability for manufacturers and their customers.”

AEM reports that U.S. sales of self-propelled combines are up 20.5 percent compared to 2017 January-June; U.S. sales of the machines in June grew 4 percent compared to June 2017. January-June U.S. sales of 4-wheel-drive tractors gained 5 percent over 2017 year-to-date sales; June sales jumped 23 percent compared to last year. Total U.S. sales of 2-wheel drive tractors at mid-year grew 6.5 percent over the same time period in 2017; all categories were positive, with strongest gains in the under-40 HP category at 8 percent.
For 2-wheel drive tractors, June U.S. sales in the 100-plus HP category increased 16 percent, under-40 HP tractors grew 15 percent, and 40-100 HP 2-wheel drive tractors gained 4 percent.

AEM, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Equipment, Tractor

IFAJ Congress 2018 Begins

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists kicked off their 2018 Congress today in the Netherlands. The theme is Dutch Roots, Small Country Big Solutions. We have a group of U.S. ag journalists participating as always. Wish I was with them. But next year the Congress will be back in the USA!

Thank you to Josephine van Gelder for this photo of the delegates meeting that is kicking off the Congress. Besides this business session of the association there will be awards and each day different farm tours. The tours are one of the best parts of the Congress. I’ve learned a lot about farming in countries all over the world from my attendance in past years. It serves to make you a better ag journalist in my opinion. Additionally, you have the chance to meet with ag journalists from lots of countries and talk about your work and the challenges and benefits you enjoy.

Follow the Congress on Twitter or on Facebook.

IFAJ, International, Media

Precision Ag Bytes 7/11

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Golden Harvest is growing its strong portfolio for the 2019 planting season with the release of 37 new corn hybrids—21 of which are from our 16 new genetic families—and 17 new soybean varieties. Earlier this year, Golden Harvest announced it would benefit from an incremental $400 million investment. The breadth and quality of its 2019 seed portfolio showcases that pledge.
  • USDA has launched a new soil health webpage with the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters in mind. Visit today to learn more about the principles of soil health, and give feedback.
  • A novel gene editing approach could hold the key to broad-spectrum disease resistance in certain staple food crops without causing physical detriment to the plants, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist. Dr. Junqi Song, AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Dallas, explores how a “knock-in” gene editing approach might achieve better disease resistance in a wide range of crop plants. His team places special focus on addressing late blight disease in tomato and potato.
  • Nutrien Ltd. has officially rebranded its retail business to Nutrien Ag Solutions, aligning the company’s retail operations across the globe. The rebrand also features the roll out of an integrated digital platform designed to empower growers to effectively manage their agronomic and commercial needs.
  • Nutrien Ltd. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Waypoint Analytical, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries. Waypoint is the largest agriculture laboratory group in the U.S. and among the top 25 U.S. environmental lab groups.
  • Tate Mesbergen of Mesbergen Farms feels the need for speed — and so do his customers. On July 1, Mesbergen put the hammer down on his DISCO 1100 RC triple mower, behind the wheel of an AXION 880 tractor, both made by CLAAS. Exactly eight hours later, he stepped out of the cab of his tractor as a new world record holder. A survey crew and independent witnesses would later confirm that Tate had cut a total of 348.7 acres in four different fields, beating the previous record by more than 100 acres.
  • NewLeaf Symbiotics has announced that Aaron Kelley, Ph.D. has joined the company as Vice President of Manufacturing.
  • American Farmland Trust joins other major agriculture and conservation organizations at a “Learning Lab” for the U.S. Climate Alliance Natural and Working Lands Initiative. A team of over 50 technical experts from government, academia and industry will provide technical assistance to state governments on how to draw down carbon from the air and sequester it in the soil across diverse systems such as farms, rangelands, forests and wetlands. The lab also will help states develop strategies related to policy development and funding projects.
  • The replacement for the AyrMesh IndoorAP is now available. The AyrMesh IndoorHub is a tiny but powerful indoor 2×2 access point with meshing.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Animal Ag Alliance Responds to Animal Rights Groups

Carrie Muehling 2 Comments

The Animal Agriculture Alliance has shared reaction to the most recent gathering of the Animal Rights National Conference, held June 28 through July 1 in Los Angeles.

The event was organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and sponsored by Mercy for Animals, The Save Movement, Compassion Over Killing and The Humane League, along with other animal rights extremist groups. According to conference organizers, the Animal Rights National Conference is the world’s largest and longest-running gathering of animal rights activists with the shared belief that “animals have the right to be free from all forms of human exploitation.”

“We believe it is important for everyone in animal agriculture to stay informed of how animal rights extremists plan to target us next,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “That’s why we release reports from major activist conferences every year. If your livelihood depends on animals, whether for food, research, transportation, or any other purpose, you need to review this report and prepare for what strategies and tactics these groups and individuals will use in their increasingly aggressive efforts to take meat, poultry, dairy and eggs off of our plates.”

This year’s conference speakers focused heavily on the “reproductive rights” of animals, an apparent new focus area for the movement. The 2018 Animal Rights National Conference Report, which includes personal accounts of speaker presentations and general observations, is available to Alliance members in the Resource Library on the Alliance website. The Alliance also has reports from previous animal rights conferences accessible to members on the Alliance website.

Ag Group, AgWired Animal, Animal Activists, Animal Agriculture

Alltech Founder Honored by Irish-U.S. Business Group

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Alltech founder, the late Dr. Pearse Lyons was honored on the 4th of July with the Kennedy-Lemass Medal by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland. The award honors U.S. leaders of Irish heritage who have helped to strengthen the Irish-U.S. relationship. Pictured with the award here are Dr. Lyons’ wife Deirdre and son Mark.

Chamber president Barry O’Sullivan described Dr. Lyons, who passed away in early March of this year, as someone who “truly lived the American Dream,” who “had the courage and skills to turn a vision into a reality.”

In the late 1970s Dundalk-born Dr. Lyons emigrated to the United States, where in his Kentucky garage, he established Alltech with an initial investment of $10,000. Focused on improving animal, crop and human health and performance, Alltech today has a global team of more than 6,000 people. In Ireland, Alltech has its European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne, Co. Meath, the Pearse Lyons Distillery in the Liberties, Co. Dublin and Stations Works Brewery in Dr. Lyons’ hometown of Dundalk, Co. Louth.

“My father was passionate about Ireland and the United States and spent his life promoting both countries around the world,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president of Alltech. “He had an extraordinary ability to bring people from all walks of life together to make a difference in the world, this was especially true when it came to cultivating and supporting scientific, ag tech and agricultural endeavours between the U.S. and Ireland.”

During his lifetime Dr. Lyons was awarded many honours, including the Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Achievement and the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal in recognition of the creation of a global business based on scientific research. Dr. Lyons also received the RDS Gold Medal Award for Enterprise for his contribution to Irish business.

“Pearse was passionate about his heritage and making a difference in the world,” ,” said Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, Alltech co-founder and head of corporate design. He used his boundless philanthropic spirit to inspire those around him. For Pearse and me, making a difference in the world by empowering others has been an everyday reality of our personal and professional lives.”

Alltech, Award

Registration Open for Export Exchange 2018

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Registration is now open for Export Exchange 2018, Oct. 22-24 in Minneapolis.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Growth Energy are encouraging U.S. suppliers of coarse grains and co-products, industry representatives and members of the grain trade to plan on attending this biennial event which connects them with international grain buyers.

The Exhange is expected to bring together 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives.

In addition to networking opportunities, the conference will have general sessions, which will address critical issues facing U.S. agricultural exports, offering the customers and sellers in attendance an increased awareness of the benefits of U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including DDGS.

Following Export Exchange 2016, buyers and end-users reported sales of approximately 2.6 million metric tons of grains and co-products worth $460 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.

Registration is available online and members of USGC, RFA, and Growth Energy members are eligible for discounted pricing.

Ag Group, Ethanol, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA, USGC

Animal Ag Bites 7/9

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Sixteen culinary experts from across the country got a taste of the beef industry during the Pasture to Plate Beef Tour, sponsored by state beef councils in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas. Invited to the beef checkoff-funded event were the culinary chairs responsible for the 28 International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes across the country. The non-profit Art Institutes operate the largest system of culinary schools in the United States.
  • Media pre-registration for the 2018 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting, which will be held August 1-4 in Denver, is open. Click here to access the registration page.
  • A jury verdict against a North Carolina hog farm in favor of plaintiffs who lodged unwarranted nuisance claims sets a dangerous precedent for American livestock agriculture, according to Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio. The following statement can be attributed to Heimerl: “For the second time in as many months, a North Carolina verdict has come back in favor of plaintiffs after a jury was prevented from visiting the farm subjected to baseless claims. We are deeply troubled by this decision against a farm that has operated responsibly and in compliance with state laws since 1985 and that maintains the highest standards of environmental and community stewardship. American hog farmers already face serious headwinds, including export market uncertainty caused by ongoing trade disputes. We can’t allow trial-lawyer abuse of our legal system to continue as it threatens the livelihood of livestock farming families, undermines the rural economy and unnecessarily increases food prices for consumers.”
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Scott Pruitt Resigns From EPA

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Well, here’s news that probably won’t upset too many people I know. I’m actually amazed that this didn’t happen much sooner. Of course this had to happen during a pretty much vacation week for the ZimmComm Team and many, many other folks.

Here’s some industry reaction on the announcement. I think you can sum it up that everyone is pretty happy about it.

President Trump’s Tweet announcing his acceptance of Pruitt’s resignation

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)
Quote from Kevin Skunes, president and North Dakota Farmer:
“It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Growth Energy
Quote from Emily Skor, CEO:
“Administrator Pruitt’s tenure as administrator of the EPA put a heavy strain on this administration’s relationship with supporters, farmers, and biofuel producers across the heartland.

Renewable Fuels Association
Quote from Bob Dinneen, CEO:
“For the past year, Scott Pruitt had been waging war against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the biofuels industry, and the millions of farmers and rural Americans who helped Donald Trump get elected.

National Biodiesel Board
Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs:
“The EPA plays an important role in implementing policies that have a great impact on our industry. For that reason, we look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler and hope he will act more in line with President Trump’s support for America’s farmers, biofuels producers and the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Biodiesel, Biofuels, EPA, Ethanol, Government

Zimfo Bytes 7/6

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

  • The Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation has announced the winners of their annual scholarships. Each student will receive $2,500 for post-secondary agricultural education. The 2018 winners are: Adriana Van Tryp, Laura Carruthers, Pete Giesbrecht, Owen Ricker, Jeremy Chevalley, Émilie Carrier, and Justin Kampman.
  • The Farm Credit Administration has appointed Dennis Shields to serve as associate director of the Agricultural and Economic Policy Team and as FCA’s chief economist. He will succeed Dr. Steve Gabriel, who is retiring July 3 after 34 years of federal service.
  • Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig was elected to serve as Vice President of the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture by his peers from 12 states across the region.
  • Farm Aid’s annual music and food festival featuring family farmers, homegrown food, inspiring music and agrarian experiences will come to Connecticut for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 22, at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • After more than 25 years in business Charleston|Orwig, Inc.,a Wisconsin-based strategic marketing and communications agency focused on clients across thefood and agricultural industries, is now 100 percent employee owned through an employee stock ownership plan.
  • Cotton consultants spend long hours in the field in an effort to make their farmer clients more profitable. If you would like your consultant to be recognized, nominate him or her for the prestigious 2018 Cotton Consultant of the Year award. To access the 2018 nomination form, click here.
  • The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City is pleased to partner with the National Association of Farm Broadcasting on their 2018 Summer Agribusiness Luncheon, Tuesday, July 10, at the Chamber of Commerce Board Room at Union Station.
  • Answering the call to help solve agriculture’s severe labor shortage, Western Growers and Radicle Growth awarded Ganaz and GroGuru each with $250,000 in seed funding to advance their automation technology.
Agribusiness, Zimfo Bytes

ZimmCast 590 – Precision, Pork, Podcasts

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Happy Independence Day week. This episode of the ZimmCast will introduce you to some other farm podcasters you may not be familiar with. If you are not subscribing to podcasts then get started. There are many really good programs and quite a few that have started recently.

In this week’s program I’ll share the following:

The Raven Precision Podcast – The latest information on Raven precision technology. This episode focuses on “Gary Esselink returns to talk with Mat Roy about the advantages of using Sidekick Pro Direct Injection. Gary goes over how direct injection works, the history behind it, and how it best fits into a multitude of different applications.” (abbreviated version)

Pork Pod – A look at the hot topics in the pork industry. This episode focuses on “South Dakota pig farmer Steve Rommereim is the new president of the 15-member National Pork Board. In this podcast, we learn more about Steve’s background and his goals for the year ahead for the Pork Checkoff.”

The Business of Agriculture Podcast – Listen to Damian Mason’s take on topics surrounding the business of food, fuel, and fiber, interviews with industry professionals, and other great original content. This episode focuses on “Ours is a unique industry with many factors that are unfamiliar to most people or businesses. Zoning, livestock operation disputes, estate planning headaches, employment legalities, environmental regulation, are just a few of the issues in Ag. My guest is Amy Cornell, president of Agribusiness Council of Indiana. She’s also an attorney specializing in Agriculture, a lobbyist, and farm girl.” (abbreviated version)

Here are a couple of links which you might find helpful if you are not a regular podcast listener:

How to subscribe to podcasts on iPhone
How to subscribe to podcasts on Android

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 589 - Precision, Pork, Business of Ag

I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.

The ZimmCast

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