Precision Ag News 10/14

Carrie Muehling

  • Cibus announced an additional 12 of its trait products have been designated as non-regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services. This brings Cibus’ total number of designated non-GMO trait products to 14.
  • All segments of ag equipment, small to large, grew in September 2020 continuing a positive trend for the year according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. U.S. total farm tractor sales rose 21.6 percent in September compared to 2019 while U.S. self-propelled combine sales grew 8.2 percent. Four-wheel-drive units grew for the second month in a row in the U.S. in September, up 21.4 percent to 374 units, cutting the year-to-date deficit almost in half to -4.7 percent. 100+hp also climbed in September, up 7 percent, bringing big units closer to breaking even for the year, now down only 1.8 percent. Total YTD farm tractors out the door are up 14.7 percent in 2020, while combines are now up 4.3 percent on the year.
  • As part of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) steadfast commitment to building on the momentum of a sustainable future, AEM has announced the establishment of a Sustainability Council comprised of leaders from member companies.
  • Registration is open for AgGateway’s Virtual Annual Conference, November 16-19, which will feature an array of sessions and networking opportunities for companies seeking to realize the many benefits of digital agriculture. Details are available on the Annual Conference meeting page at www.AgGateway.org.
  • HELM Agro US, Inc. announced that Reviton™ herbicide has received federal registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • USDA released the final rule for its Conservation Stewardship Program. The rule makes updates to the popular conservation program as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill as well as integrates feedback from agricultural producers and others.
  • Advanced Biological Marketing, headquartered out of Van Wert, OH is celebrating 20 years of serving the agricultural industry.
  • Highland Ag Solutions, LLC has hired Aimee Smith as Sales Manager. Aimee will be responsible for implementing and managing our strategic sales efforts. Based in Ventura, California she will expand our West coast presence driving customer acquisition and increasing brand awareness in key markets.
  • Kubota Tractor Corporation announced that it is furthering its commitment to the hay and forage segment by offering a two-year standard limited warranty across its entire hay tools line, including Kubota balers, and a three-year standard limited warranty on its disc mower and disc mower conditioner cutterbars and gearboxes.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

2020 Water for Food Global Webinar Series

Cindy Zimmerman

The next in the series of Water for Food Global Webinars coming up this week will focus on Advancing Science-based Targets for Fresh Water. The webinar is schedule for Thursday, October 15, 9:00-10:00 am Central time.

This webinar will provide the background, context, status, timeline and next steps for science-based targets in the private sector and how interested parties can engage.

Participants will come away with an elevated awareness and understanding of the Science-Based Targets Initiative and Science-Based Targets Network (STBN). Specifically, this session will provide an update on the methodology development for the SBTN Freshwater Hub and visibility of the expected platform for corporates to set enterprise-level water targets, including addressing their supply chain impacts. This session will also provide the corporate perspective regarding the business case for water sustainability, especially from the food/beverage sector.

The webinar is free, registration is required for a Zoom link to join.

Water, Water for Food, webinar

USDA Lowers Corn, Soybean and Cotton Estimates

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA is now forecasting smaller corn and soybean crops for this year, compared to last month’s estimate, but still higher than last year.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) October Crop Production report, acreage updates were made in several states based on a thorough review of all available data.

Corn production for grain is forecast at 14.7 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the previous forecast but up 8 percent from 2019. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average a record high 178.4 bushels per harvested acre, down 0.1 bushel from the previous forecast but up 10.9 bushels from last year. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 82.5 million acres, down 1 percent from the previous forecast, but up 1 percent from the previous year.

Soybean production for beans is forecast at 4.27 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the previous forecast but up 20 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average a record high 51.9 bushels per harvested acre, unchanged from the previous forecast but up 4.5 bushels from 2019. Area harvested for beans in the United States is forecast at 82.3 million acres, down 1 percent from the previous forecast but up 10 percent from 2019.

The all cotton production forecast was also adjusted slightly to 17.0 million 480-pound bales, which is 14% lower than 2019. Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, yields are expected to average 909 pounds per harvested acre, down one pound from the previous forecast but up 86 pounds from 2019.

Corn, Cotton, Soybean, USDA

Animal Ag News 10/12

Carrie Muehling

  • After thoughtful and thorough consideration, show management for the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) has made the difficult decision to not hold the in-person component of IPPE 2021 in Atlanta, scheduled for Jan. 26-28. The decision was based on numerous factors, including extensive surveys, direct feedback from our industries and other stakeholders, as well as the expected decrease in participation due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, issued a statement on the August 2020 agricultural export data released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Trade System.
  • Signaling bold climate change action, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy unveiled the Net Zero Initiative, an industry-wide effort that will help U.S. dairy farms of all sizes and geographies implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices. The initiative is a critical component of U.S. dairy’s environmental stewardship goals, endorsed by dairy industry leaders and farmers, to achieve carbon neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality by 2050.
  • Iowa Corn® is proud to announce its contributions to the Beef Up Iowa program which was launched in July to connect Iowa beef producers with food insecure Iowans. Iowa Corn’s Animal Agriculture and the Environment Committee donated funds directly to the Beef Up Iowa program, while Iowa Corn’s District 2 Committee donated funds to purchase a family-owned steer that was processed at Iowa State University. The beef was distributed through the Iowa Food Bank Association.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued a statement in response to reports of another reported occurrence of foot-and-mouth disease in Namibia.
  • The FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative board of directors made the tough decision to move it’s district member meetings from 17 in-person meetings throughout its seven state membership region to a single-day virtual format due to concerns and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual meeting will be on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.
  • Ralco announced that Dr. Tim Broderick has joined the company as Poultry Research & Development Manager. Dr. Broderick is responsible for research and development of products for the poultry industry leveraging Ralco’s patented natural approaches.
  • Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, announced the completion of its acquisition of Erber Group’s Biomin and Romer Labs for an enterprise value of €980 million. The transaction, first announced on June 12th, forecasts enhanced earnings in the first year upon completion.
  • Alta Seeds, the premium seed brand of Advanta US and a leading provider of premium genetics and technology specific to sorghum, introduces EMPYR™ Premier Forages, a complete line of forage sorghum, sudangrass and sorghum-sudan hybrids. This innovative product will be revealed to growers during Sorghum Frontiers, a virtual field day experience on Nov. 8, 2020. Visit altaseeds.advantaus.com to register online.
  • For more than two years, by claiming regulatory jurisdiction over gene edited livestock, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stalled the development of an emerging technology with tremendous promise for livestock agriculture, including improved animal care, production efficiency and environmental impact. The scientists who invented one of the most promising forms of this technology – the “CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors” – have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Gene editing accelerates genetic improvement that would occur naturally over time by making changes to an animal’s own genome. For additional information, please visit the National Pork Producers Council’s Keep America First in Agriculture web site.
  • In effort to educate key opinion leaders in the food and hospitality industry on the beef production cycle, from pasture to plate, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, held a webinar in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. The “Pasture to Plate” webinar highlighted the beef community’s commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable manner. The webinar was part of the James Beard Foundation’s Industry Support Webinar series, targeting chefs and other hospitality leaders.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Industry Ag News 10/9

Carrie Muehling

  • Register now for NAMA’s Fall Webinar Series. Programs include: Driving Around the Beltway on October 15 at 11 a.m. CDT with Matt Roberts; Marketing: What’s On Our Minds Now on October 29 – 11 a.m CDT with David Meerman Scott; and a Producer Panel on November 12 – 11 a.m. CDT moderated by Cyndi Young with Brownfield Network.
  • The National Association of Wheat Growers announced that it has joined the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC). ESMC is a non-profit organization working to advance ecosystem service markets that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems that benefit society.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is seeking comments on a proposal for a new national Pecan Promotion, Research and Information Order. Information on the proposed program was published in the Federal Register Sept. 22, 2020. Comments must be received by Nov. 23, 2020, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. All comments must be submitted through the e-Rulemaking portal at Regulations.gov and should reference the document number, and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting comments will be made public at Regulations.gov.
  • The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City looks forward to welcoming Ryan LeGrand, President & CEO, U.S. Grains Council to the Council’s October webinar meeting.
  • Global Farmer Network announced the 2020 Kleckner Award winner, from Zimbabwe, Ruramiso Mashumba.
  • Register now for the next Farm Foundation Forum via Zoom – “Focus on Farm Policy: The Food and Agriculture Platforms of the 2020 Presidential Candidates.”
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation encourages development of young farmer leaders in a variety of ways including through support of Collegiate Farm Bureaus. Recently announced recipients of Collegiate Farm Bureau mini-grants for the fall cycle are: Colorado State University, North Dakota State University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Penn State University, The Ohio State University, University of Arkansas-Monticello, University of Georgia, and University of Missouri.
  • For the first time in its more than 56-year history, the Colorado Farm Show Board of Directors announced that its annual event, held each January since 1964 has been cancelled for 2021. The 2021 Colorado Farm Show Scholarship Program will continue. Applications are due on November 1.
  • CLUTCH, a hybrid consultancy and agency with a roster of clients across the agriculture and food value chain, continues to add to its senior level talent with the hiring of Cindy Hackmann as Director of Reputation and Content Strategy.
  • The inaugural Women and Mentors Retreat will kick off virtually on October 15. Tara Smith, executive vice president at Michael Torrey and Associates and Kellie Bray, chief of staff at CropLife America, will open the event with a panel delving into mentorship relationships, including how these vital connections lead to career and personal growth. In January, National Corn Growers Association will host a second virtual session designed to help participants set deliberate intentions and goals with an in-person meeting will June 24 to 25, 2021.
  • The Georgia Peanut Commission and Georgia Bankers Association will join forces Oct. 12-16, 2020, to promote the 44th annual Georgia Peanut Bank Week. Financial institutions and local banks across the state will offer a tribute to Georgia’s 4,500 peanut farm families and the sustainability they provide to Georgia’s state and local economies.
  • The next webinar in the Water for Food Global Webinar Series via Zoom will provide the background, context, status, timeline and next steps for science-based targets in the private sector and how interested parties can engage. Register here.
Zimfo Bytes

C-Lock Awards Grants to Help Improve Livestock Production

Cindy Zimmerman

C-Lock Inc. has announced the award recipients of their inaugural 2020 Research Equipment Grant program, designed to fund projects at institutions around the world that use C-Lock technology to help improve efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in animal agricultural production. C-Lock received 44 research proposals from 17 countries and the U.S.

“We were thrilled with the quality and quantity of proposals and feel this is a clear indication of the broad application and interest in our technology globally,” said Scott Zimmerman, President of C-Lock Inc. “We fully anticipate that partnering and investing with these institutions and research teams will not only enhance scientific discovery in animal sciences, but also bring to the forefront how our technology can be used by farmers, ranchers, and agri-business to improve animal management, profits, and sustainability in their livestock systems.”

Among the research award projects are:

Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) – Use of GreenFeed for on-farm sampling design for gas respiration measurements to establishing genomic predictions for feed efficiency in dairy cattle.

University of Missouri – Use of GreenFeed for prediction of cow efficiency genetic merit (cow efficiency EPD) by combining gas flux data, metabolic theory, genomic, and pedigree data.

University of Tennessee – Use of SmartScale for partial body weight and behavior measurements to predict cattle estrus activity, morbidity in high risk stocker cattle, performance monitoring for precision supplementation of developing heifers and bulls, and learning opportunities for key beef industry stakeholders.

Agriculture Victoria (Australia) – Use of Super SmartFeed and SmartScales for improving welfare and adding value to dairy-beef calves.

University of Arkansas – Use of SmartFeed Pro for controlling intake of various feed additives, pharmaceuticals and anthelmintics to evaluate effects on fetal programming, performance, immunocompetence and quantification of residual feed intake on limit fed diets vs. ad libitum.

University of Nebraska – Utilization of Super SmartFeed Producer system for evaluation of mineral supplementation programs of range beef cattle systems.

University of Pennsylvania – Use of SmartFeed Pro in an integrated dairy system to develop precision individual feeding management tools to improve efficiency and sustainability of dairy herds.

South Dakota State University – Use of SmartFeed and SmartScale technology to develop a data analytics tool to help producers make informed and effective decisions regarding heifer development programs.

C-Lock developed and patented GreenFeed for measurement of ruminant gas fluxes in production environments and has also developed their SmartFeed and SmartScale systems for measuring, monitoring, and controlling individual animal feed intake and performance.
Read more here.

AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Equipment, Livestock, Technology

Precision Ag News 10/7

Carrie Muehling

  • Syngenta Group announces the acquisition of Valagro, a leading Biologicals company, by its business unit Syngenta Crop Protection. The investment positions Syngenta Crop Protection as one of the key global companies poised to shape the rapidly growing Biologicals market, which is set to nearly double in size over the next five years. Valagro will continue to operate as an independent brand in the market within the Syngenta Crop Protection business.
  • With funding from the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC), researchers from the University of Illinois have launched the new Cover Crop Analyzer. The new support tool is designed to help Illinois farmers manage cover crops in their fields. The tool can be access here: https://covercrop.ncsa.illinois.edu/.
  • AGI SureTrack has released another hardware offering for the connected farm. Available only through the AGI SureTrack platform, the AGI FieldLab grain analyzer delivers grain content data, enabling more robust marketing options for grain producers and better supply chain management for grain buyers when sourcing based on protein, starch, and oil content. The new AGI FieldLab grain analyzer supports increased productivity and profitability for both grain producers and grain buyers.
  • An interdisciplinary University of Nebraska team led by the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, has received a three-year, one million dollar grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to advance access and education around smallholder farmer irrigation in Africa.
  • During the CropLife America 2020 Annual Meeting, the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data’s own Jim Gray was honored with receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, in memoriam. This award recognizes someone who has dedicated their life to successfully defending the pesticide industry with passion and professionalism.
  • Heliae Development, LLC announced the addition of B. Pratyusha Chennupati as Regulatory Affairs Manager. The expansion of the company’s regulatory affairs team reflects Heliae’s commitment to grow its sustainable impact worldwide by delivering solutions that make a difference to global caretakers now and in the future.
  • Heliae® Agriculture is pleased to announce the addition of Julia Engler and Porter Phelps as Regional Sales Managers to oversee two new U.S. territories. In their new roles, Engler and Phelps will work closely with distributors and retail partners in their regions to strategically implement the PhycoTerra® product line into recommended grower applications.
  • Raven Industries, Inc. announced it is making key leadership changes as part of the Company’s continued strategy to drive greater growth and to further position the Company for long-term success. Steven Brazones, current Chief Financial Officer, will become Vice President for Applied Technology. Brian Meyer, current Vice President of Applied Technology, will become Vice President for Engineered Films.
  • The 5th Annual Meeting Report features an executive summary of the Soil Health Institute‘s recent meeting; video links and text descriptions for all plenary and keynote presentations; and poster session abstracts with authors. All videos are posted to SHI’s YouTube Channel.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Celebrating Second Annual World Cotton Day

Cindy Zimmerman

Today, October 7, is the second annual celebration of World Cotton Day to pay tribute to what is often called the “most important natural fiber in the world.”

The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) co-established the global day last year with four other organizations – the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – as a formal recognition of the countless benefits that cotton brings to communities worldwide.

Virtual events covering an array of topics surrounding cotton are being held in celebration, hosted by key global cotton stakeholders and available to consumers, brands, supply chain players and government organizations and leaders worldwide. COTTON USA™ is holding a three-and-a-half-hour virtual event based in Latin America. Cotton Council Interrnational is also putting a special focus on U.S. cotton by teaming up with 12 Latin American COTTON USA™ licensees for a “dress to take care of the world” campaign.

Learn more about World Cotton Day.

Cotton, International

ZimmCast 657 – 2020 Hunting John Deere Gator Style

Chuck Zimmerman

Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast.

This is an exciting time for deer hunters. The season is about to get started for those of us who hunt in Georgia. So, preparations are being made for a great opening day at the Crystal Pig Hunt Club.

John Deere Gator XUV855MMy preparation includes getting to test drive a new John Deere Gator XUV855M S4. This crossover utility vehicle will take us out into the woods over some tough terrain and hopefully to include transporting some of our harvest. I’ll be documenting our experience but thought I’d kick start things with an interview with Mark Davey, John Deere Marketing Manager.

There are many features on these new Gators that make them ideal for hunting. Some of those include easier shifting and instant engagement of 4-wheel drive, better power steering and a digital display panel to see important indicators. In this week’s program Mark and I talk about the new Gator models and what the key updates are. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 657 - 2020 Hunting John Deere Gator Style (15:57)

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Audio, Equipment, Hunting, John Deere, ZimmCast

EPA Administrator Wheeler Visits Ohio Farm

Cindy Zimmerman

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler kicked off a swing through northeast Ohio Tuesday which included attending an Ohio Farm Bureau event on a dairy farm in Stark County where he highlighted EPA’s commitment to working with Ohio’s farmers on a number of environmental issues.

During the event, Administrator Wheeler delivered remarks to a group of farmers highlighting President Trump’s commitment to the agriculture community, and the Trump EPA’s efforts to strengthen partnerships with farmers and rebuild trust with rural America. Additionally, Administrator Wheeler discussed EPA’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) that replaced the overreaching Obama Administration’s Waters of the United States rule that lacked clarity. He reiterated that NWPR provides clarity on waters that are federally regulated, specifically noting they no longer include farm ditches or stock water ponds.

Administrator Wheeler also touted how EPA is ensuring crop protection tools are made available for the agriculture community. For example, following the 9th Circuit of Appeals decision in June that threatened to upend the growing season for many farmers, the Trump Administration fought to ensure farmers were able to use already-purchased dicamba.

Listen to Wheeler’s press gaggle in Ohio here:
EPA Admin Andrew Wheeler in Ohio 4:42

Audio, EPA