BASF Presents Cotton Research Award

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Dr. Gaylon Morgan of Texas A&M University received the Outstanding Career Research for Cotton Agronomy Award at the 2019 Beltwide Cotton Conference. Morgan said he was honored by the recognition.

“Everything that we do within my program, the end goal is to improve things for the farmer,” he said. “A lot of that is working with allied industry to bring new products to the industry, provide an unbiased approach in looking at those and then provide that information to those growers that ultimately will make them money and keep them sustainable.”

Award sponsor BASF is a company Morgan works with closely. He said they are very supportive of applied research within the field.

“We were really happy to be able to sponsor this award for him,” said Dr. Kenny Melton with BASF. “Gaylon has been really important in the industry for many years now, not just in Texas, but across the Cotton Belt. He has participated in a lot of projects that have really been beneficial to the industry.”

Melton called Morgan an integral part of the cotton community.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Dr. Gaylon Morgan here: Interview with Dr. Gaylon Morgan, Texas A&M University

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Dr. Kenny Melton here: Interview with Dr. Kenny Melton, BASF

2019 BASF APT Summit Photo Album

Audio, Award, BASF, Cotton

GROWMARK Announces 2019 Essay Contest Winners

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GROWMARK has named state winners of the 2019 essay contest for FFA members. The theme of the contest was “What does the future of agriculture look like to you, and what skills will you need to play a part in it?”

The winners are John Schubbe of Peotone, Illinois; Tyler Tessman of Audubon, Iowa; Taylor Case of Russellville, Missouri; Cori Lee of Marysville, Ohio; and Marie Hamlin of Roberts, Wisconsin. Each state’s contest winner receives a $500 award from GROWMARK at their state FFA convention. The winner’s FFA chapter also receives a $300 award in honor of their accomplishment.

This is the 26th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

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Animal Ag Alliance Debuts Sustainability Report

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The Animal Agriculture Alliance has released its “Sustainability Impact Report” focusing on animal agriculture in the United States.

The report covers nine industries: dairy, beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, egg, sheep and aquaculture. “Animal agriculture has made great strides in environmental stewardship, animal welfare and overall sustainability over the years,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “As new technology and research become available, the industry will continue to innovate and improve.”

Read the report.

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AEM Releases Year-End Ag Equipment Sales Data

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2018 was a strong year for ag tractor and combine sales in the U.S., according to the latest numbers released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

The association’s December U.S. Ag Tractor and Combine Report shows all machine categories recorded year-to-date growth as the year closed out.

“2018 was a solid year for equipment sales despite a weak overall farm economy and lingering trade issues,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Agriculture Curt Blades. “As we look at 2019, we’re still seeing a lot of uncertainty related to the Administration’s efforts to reset global trade parameters. We’re also watching some uncertainty with stock market ups and downs, which could indicate a potential slowing economy. As a whole, we remain optimistic that the replacement market for large equipment will continue through 2019, and that the small tractor market will continue to be a bright spot on overall sales numbers.”

According to AEM’s latest report, U.S. December year-to-date sales of self-propelled combines saw growth of more than 18 percent, while year-to-date sales of 4-wheel-drive tractors jumped nearly 13 percent. In addition, overall U.S. sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors for December experienced growth of 6.8 percent, and under-40 HP tractors saw growth of 9.2 percent. Also, 40-100 HP tractor sales grew 1.5 percent and 100-plus HP tractors saw a jump of 5.5 percent.

Read more from AEM.

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President Trump Addresses 100th AFBF Convention

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For the second year in a row, President Donald J. Trump addressed the members of the American Farm Bureau Federation at its 100th annual convention Monday in New Orleans.

Despite being nearly an hour late, the president was greeted by thousands of farmers and ranchers who had been in place waiting to see him since early in the morning, and he did not disappoint. President Trump spent about half of the speech talking about the importance of border security and getting a wall, which is a very big issue for agriculture and especially for ranchers like Jim Chilton of Arizona who lives on the border and has smugglers coming into the country through his property. “Mr. President, we need a wall,” said Chilton when he was invited on stage by the president.

Trump hit on all the important agricultural issues of the day, from trade and the estate tax, to WOTUS and ethanol. “We are fighting for the American farmer and we are fighting for the American dream,” the president said as he wrapped up his one hour address. “The greatest harvest is yet to come. The future for America’s farmers is bigger, better, bolder and brighter than ever before.”

Listen here:
AFBF19 President Trump address

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Tennessee Educator is Cotton Specialist of the Year

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(L to R) Dr. Steve Nichols, BASF and Dr. Tyson Raper, University of Tennessee with Monty Christian, BASF Head of Global Cotton

Dr. Tyson Raper is the 2018 Beltwide Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year.

Raper, who began in his current role in 2014, said he is extremely honored by the recognition and excited about the future of the cotton industry.

“I think things are looking good,” said Raper. “We’re kind of on an upswing right now. Tough 2018 harvest season, but in the next few years, a lot of promise. We definitely have some real improvements in quality, I think, coming down the line. It’s an exciting time to be in the cotton industry.”

Raper said he appreciates partnerships with companies like BASF, who sponsors the award. It’s an industry that is very connected and where companies, researchers and growers are quick to collaborate and share information, according to BASF’s Dr. Steve Nichols.

“Those cotton specialists are the cornerstone of the industry, to me. They’re the ones that connect this industry together in the U.S.,” said Nichols, BASF Global Agronomic Services for cotton. “I think you kind of see some of the passion that you saw in there as we announced the winner.”

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Dr. Tyson Raper here:
Interview with Dr. Tyson Raper, University of Tennessee

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Dr. Steve Nichols here:
Interview with Dr. Steve Nichols, BASF

2019 BASF APT Summit Photo Album

Audio, Award, BASF, Cotton

Sen. Moran Hosts Townhall at #AFBF19

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Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) hosted a townhall meeting at the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show on Sunday in New Orleans.

Moran, together with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a resolution last week recognizing AFBF’s 100th anniversary and celebrating their long history representing farmers across the United States.

“For a century, American Farm Bureau has advocated and fought for agriculture and rural America,” said Sen. Moran. “This resolution honors AFBF and the countless contributions they and their over six million member families in all 50 states have had on our nation’s producers.”

Sen. Moran held a press conference following his townhall meeting where he talked about trade and other important agricultural issues.
AFBF19 Sen. Jerry Moran press conference

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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#AFBF19 Honors Outstanding New Member of Congress

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Rep. James Comer (R-KY) was honored by the American Farm
Bureau Federation with its first Outstanding New Member of Congress award, presented at the organization’s 100th Annual Convention.

“Congressman Comer has been a good friend to agriculture not only in his home state of Kentucky, but to farmers and ranchers across the country,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We commend his tireless work on the House Agriculture Committee and as a member of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee.”

Kentucky Farm Bureau endorsed Comer for the award because of his commitment in Congress to issues important to farmers and ranchers.

One of those big issues is industrial hemp, which Comer helped to include as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. Congressman Comer participated in a workshop about the “comeback crop” and talked about it during a press conference at the convention.
AFBF19 Rep. James Comer press conference

Listen to hemp session here:
AFBF19 Industrial Hemp Session

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Sen. Roberts Addresses #AFBF19

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), who just announced he will be retiring from Congress after his current term ends in 2020, addressed some 7,000 members of the American Farm Bureau Federation at the organization’s 100th annual convention Sunday in New Orleans.

Known for his caustic wit and straight talk, as well as his dedication to the agriculture community, Roberts served eight terms in the House and this is his fourth in the Senate. He is the first member of Congress to chair the Agriculture Committees in both Houses.

His address to Farm Bureau focused on the 2018 Farm Bill and trade issues, and proved to be as entertaining as ever. He also gave a nice shout out to members of the farm media. “Thank God for the ag press, they tell it like it is, they shine the light of truth into darkness,” said Roberts.

Listen here:
AFBF19 Sen Pat Roberts remarks

Roberts also held a press conference for the media where he addressed a number of current topics:
AFBF19 Sen Pat Roberts press conference

2019 AFBF Annual Convention photo album

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Animal Ag Bites 1/14

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  • Applications are being accepted for college scholarships that are awarded by America’s dairy farmers and importers through the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Eleven scholarships worth $2,500 each will be awarded, in addition to a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship to one outstanding recipient. Applications can be downloaded at or by sending an e-mail to DMI’s Nate Janssen at Completed applications should be postmarked no later than April 26.
  • Plans are underway for the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2019 to be held at the Madison Marriott West, Madison, Wis. Conference registration is now open.
  • Nedap, a global leader in swine and dairy management systems, recently hired Cheryl Day and Jeff Morten to join its North American swine support team and José Roberto Simeone for its Latin America swine support team. Day joins as the U.S. vice president of business development, Morten joins as the U.S. sales manager and Simeone as the Latin America sales manager.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase roughly 1.8 million pounds of pork products from Brazilian firm JBS, one of the world’s largest meatpackers, using funds appropriated by the Trump Administration to help American family farmers and ranchers weather the administration’s trade war. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said the funds should instead be targeted to American farmers and ranchers.
  • The American Feed Industry Association announced the addition of Lacie Dotterweich as its communications coordinator, effective January 4.
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