ZimmCast 584 – More NAMA, Farm Bill & Precision Ag

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

There is a mix of topics in this week’s ZimmCast. In this week’s program you will hear:

We have new members of the #GoldenMic Club, some discussion on sustainability as it relates to the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill and comments from ag equipment companies about the advancement of precision ag.

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Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 584 - Farm Bill, NAMA Members & Precision Ag

I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

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The ZimmCast

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AgWired Precision, Audio, Farm Bill, Farm Policy, GROWMARK, NAMA, Precision Agriculture, ZimmCast

Cattlemen’s Webinar Looks at Sustainability

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The next event in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattlemen’s Webinar Series will focus on sustainability. Specifically, the webinar will be an opportunity to learn from fellow cattlemen about the recently released Sustainability Framework.

Produced through a U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef working group process, the framework includes real world tools specific to farms, ranches and feedyards. Hear more about these resources and your opportunity to comment on how they could be improved. There will be Q&A with presenters at the end of the webinar.

The webinar is schedule for Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. Central time. Register here.

AgWired Animal, Beef, NCBA, Sustainability

Precision Ag Bytes 5/16

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • CommoditAg launches CommoditAg LIVE, an enhanced ecommerce platform providing more benefits to growers and a superior customer experience. CommoditAg LIVE is an open access, transparent, and convenient ecommerce platform now with more features and benefits for the grower.
  • National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 29, fees will be reduced to $75. To enter today using the online form, click here.
  • Graduate and undergraduate students pursuing agriculture disciplines are invited to participate in the second annual Better Seed, Better Life student video contest sponsored by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB), and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies). The 2018 contest theme is: “Rumor Has It.” Videos should help set the record straight on a common misconception or myth associated with the seed industry. Video submissions are due August 31, 2018.
  • A new blog post from GMO Answers aims to help consumers understand what’s going on with food labels. Read Beyond the Label: 3 Truths & No Lies About GMOs here.
  • The Soil Health Institute, in collaboration with the Soil Health Partnership and The Nature Conservancy, received a $9.4 million grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to match a similar amount provided by other donors to advance soil health science and implement soil health management practices. Read the full release and see the complete list of indicators and methods here.
  • Farmobile has announced the appointment of two distinguished agricultural leaders, Kip Pendleton and Joan K. Archer, to Farmobile’s team. Pendleton, president of the Pendleton Group in St. Paul, MN, will serve as an Outside Director on Farmobile’s Board of Directors. Archer, former partner at Husch and Blackwell, Kansas City, MO, now serves as the company’s General Counsel.
  • Farmobile has announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska has granted summary judgment for Farmobile in a lawsuit filed against it by Farmers Edge (FEI). The court dismissed all claims filed against Farmobile ranging from misappropriation of trade secrets to a request that a judgment be entered declaring FEI to be the owner of Farmobile’s Canadian patent and U.S. patent application.
  • Farmers Edge released their position on the ruling made by the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska in the ongoing case with Farmobile. Farmers Edge believes there are grounds for appeal and will proceed with further action once the counterclaims have been dispensed with.
  • FMC announces veteran Agricultural Solutions business and strategic accounts lead Bob West will head the company’s new Customer Engagement Center (CEC). The Center has been established to develop, foster and support customer interactions and growth of the FMC agricultural business.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Equipment Manufacturers See Strong April Sales

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) shows strong U.S. sales of self-propelled combines and 4-wheel-drive tractors in April 2018.

“We saw that 2017 was better than 2016, and in 2018, growth is sluggish but still positive,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, AG services. “The downward trend in net farm income obviously is a concern since it is such a big factor in equipment sales. A bright spot, if you will, is the impact of continued replacement of aging machines; one downside is the continued threat of U.S. protectionism on farmers’ business as well as for equipment manufacturers. So, there’s still a lot of uncertainty with the year one-third over.”

U.S. sales of self-propelled combines jumped 59 percent over the previous month and 21 percent year-to-year. Tractor sales showed more modest gains.

Read the full AEM report online.

AEM, AgWired Precision, Equipment

GROWMARK Talks Farm Bill Priorities

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

The House version of the farm bill is expected to come to the floor this week, and GROWMARK is among those weighing in with policymakers about priorities for the legislation. The cooperative is particularly looking for support of the Conservation Title, among others.

“Important to conservation is to make sure that we have program funding to put conservation practices on the land. As an ag retailer, we’re very interested in working hand in glove with farmer as a partner in the watershed,” said Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK’s executive director for government relations, during an interview last week.

Spencer explained that GROWMARK would like to work in partnership with the USDA NRCS as a technical service provider to help farmers develop nutrient management plans, noting language for that already exists in the current House version. Spencer also named the Commodity Title as a priority, along with crop insurance and infrastructure policies.

In this interview, Spencer also discusses how sustainability in agriculture has become an important issue when talking with lawmakers on both the state and federal levels: Interview with Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Conservation, Farm Bill, GROWMARK, Sustainability

Funny Or Die Peel Back the Label Video

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Peel Back the Label has partnered with Emmy-winning video company Funny Or Die to produce a new video highlighting the absurdity of deceptive food labels with a tongue-in-cheek take on how far food companies are willing to go to confuse consumers into buying their products.

The video features two food executives – one from a milk company and the other from a marketing agency – scheming over how to separate their product from the rest of the pack, with consumers paying the price as they encounter increasingly ridiculous deceptive and misleading food labels with terms like “non-GMO” and “natural.”

“Anyone who has ever been to the grocery store knows the feeling of being manipulated when faced with dozens of labels all saying different things about the same types of products. With this video, we shine a spotlight – in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek way – on just how difficult some food companies are making grocery shopping, something which should be a simple and straightforward endeavor for consumers,” said Jim Mulhern, President of the National Milk Producers Federation.

Watch it and laugh – or cry because it’s so true!

AgWired Animal, Dairy, Food, GMO, Labeling

Fordyce Named USDA FSA Administrator

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Richard Fordyce pictured at 2015 Develop with Deere conference in Kansas City

Former Missouri Department of Agriculture director Richard Fordyce has been selected to serve as Administrator of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). In his role, Fordyce will provide leadership for FSA and its mission to support agricultural production across America through a network of over 2,100 county and 50 state offices.

“As a fourth-generation farmer, Richard brings firsthand knowledge and experience to this role,” Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “I am confident that he will continue to help USDA become the most efficient, effective customer focused agency in the federal government as he leads this customer focused mission area.”

Richard Fordyce most recently served as State Executive Director for FSA in Missouri. Prior to his appointment by the Trump Administration, Fordyce served as the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 2013 to 2017. In 2015, Fordyce was awarded the Missouri Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award and the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow Alumnus of the Year. He and his wife, Renee, have two children and grow soybeans, corn and beef cattle on the family farm.


Animal Ag Bites 5/14

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Jared Brackett is the newly elected secretary/treasurer of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Jared lives and runs a cow-calf/stocker operation in southern Idaho. He is a fifth-generation rancher.
  • The three largest milk marketing cooperatives in California, California Dairies, Inc., Dairy Farmers of America and Land O’Lakes, Inc., on behalf of their respective members, have voted in support of the California Federal Milk Marketing Order as proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • For the second year in a row, Alltech is donating a KEENAN mixer wagon that will be auctioned off at the fifth annual South Dakota Prime Time Gala on June 23, 2018. Hosted by the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Prime Time Gala is an annual fundraiser that benefits Feeding South Dakota, an organization that provides emergency food assistance to thousands of people in any given week and hundreds of men, women and children every day across South Dakota.
  • Hubbard Feeds has committed $5,000 to help support the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation raise awareness of the hunger problem that exists in South Dakota as well as the need to provide more donated products to food insecure individuals and families.
  • My Dairy Dashboard, a data-visualization tool for dairy producers, earned the Ag Data Transparent seal after completing a required certification process. A multi-organization and company project, Ag Data Transparent was created to provide transparency, simplicity and trust in data collected through ag precision technology.
  • Scientists at ONCE, in conjunction with two major US universities, have found that the addition of an Ultraviolet A (UV-A) spectrum into animal housing lighting reduces stress levels by a significant margin. This reduction of stress represents possibly the biggest breakthrough for poultry animal welfare in recent history.
  • Join a webinar in the Cattlemen’s Webinar Series to learn from fellow cattlemen about the recently released Sustainability Framework. Produced through a U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef working group process, the framework includes real world tools specific to farms, ranches and feedyards.
  • GEA’s recently published book, GEA Milking Intelligence, is an illustrated guide to optimal cow milking. From milk harvest history and milking equipment function to promoting good cow flow and milk quality, the book illustrates the fundamentals of how milk is made and collected, while highlighting some of today’s advanced automation technologies.
  • Registration is now open with early bird savings available for the inaugural Poultry Tech Summit, scheduled for November 5-7, 2018, at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Poultry Tech Summit is a new one-of-a-kind conference showcasing innovative technologies that are ready for future application in poultry live production, processing and supply chain. The conference will connect entrepreneurs with technology experts and financiers looking for projects to fund.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

USFRA Elects New Board Member and Unveils Research

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA) Board of Directors gathered in St. Louis recently for its bi-annual board meeting.

At the meeting, the 2017 Consumer Perception research was presented and Cameron Gibson was elected as a board member to represent the United Soybean Board. The board also proposed the FY19 USFRA strategy to bring agriculture’s voice back into pop culture and entertainment.

Gibson is a Virginia crop farmer who looks forward to being part of USFRA to help “enlighten food influencers and end users about the value, sustainability, and usefulness not only of our U.S. soybean crop, but also for other farming and ranching practices.”

According to the USFRA’s 2017 Consumer Perception Research, 34 percent of Americans strongly trust farmers and ranchers, a significant increase from 24 percent in 2015. Additionally, nearly half of consumers say that U.S. farmers and ranchers are heading the right direction with how food is grown and raised.

USFRA also highlighted its new app, engAGe, which aims to activate farmer and rancher voices on digital and social media platforms. To continue to build consumer trust in American farmers and ranchers, it’s crucial that all agriculturalists practice transparency on their farms and ranches and share their story online. engAGe’s ability to provide resources and simplify social media, while scouting a field, walking the barn, or even sitting behind a desk, has resonated with the agriculture community, as the app has garnered nearly 500 users.


CUTC Extends Poster Submission Deadline

Chuck Zimmerman

The Corn Utilization & Technology Conference (CUTC) just announced that the deadline for posters to be submitted has been extended to Friday, May 18, 2018. There are a number of categories that you can submit a poster to including:

The professional category for both general and mycotoxin posters
General session student posters
Mycotoxin student posters

The Poster session is a great way to showcase your research to your peers and industry stakeholders.

For students who are interested, there is a contest with cash awards in both the general and mycotoxin poster sessions. Judging criteria and submission guidelines can be found here: http://www.corntechconf.org/guidelines.htmlJudging Criteria.

The CUTC runs June 4-6, 2018, at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, St. Louis, MO. Poster presenters must be registered as conference attendees.

I will be there once again and just in case you don’t know, the conference hashtag is #corntech18. You can register here.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Corn, CUTC, NCGA, Technology