Bayer Reacts to Latest Glyphosate Trial Result

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

A third case over the herbicide Roundup resulted in a jury awarding a California couple who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma more than $2 billion in damages, the largest award so far. The jury found that Monsanto “acted with malice, oppression or fraud” for failing to warn about the risks of spraying Roundup, which became part of Bayer last year.

A press release from Bayer expressed disappointment with the decision and said the company will appeal the verdict in this case, “which conflicts directly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s interim registration review decision released just last month, the consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, and the 40 years of extensive scientific research on which their favorable conclusions are based.”

Bayer is also appealing the two previous court decisions against Roundup, which both resulted in awards of about $80 million.

AgWired Precision, Bayer

Study Shows Economic Impact of Grain Exports

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

A new study commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) points to the importance of export markets to U.S. farmers.

The study highlights the total economic impact of U.S. grain exports to be $55 billion in 2016 and also shows grain exports supporting 271,000 jobs directly or indirectly, according to Kimberly Atkins, vice president and chief operating officer for the USGC. The results are available through a complete report and also an interactive tool that breaks the information down to show the value of production and exports by state or congressional district.

“It’s important for our farmers to see the exact impact that exports are having for their exact state,” said Atkins, who said this kind of information is particularly important amid trade challenges happening right now.

“For U.S. grain producers, this report really highlights why it is that we need good trade policy in place and hopefully can be used to strengthen that conversation as we move forward in the next few months,” she said.

Atkins discusses the study in this interview: Interview with Kimberly Atkins, U.S. Grains Council

Audio, Exports, NCGA, Research, USGC

ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference Preview

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (#ONE19) has some big name keynote speakers but the biggest is Dr. Mark Lyons, President and CEO, Alltech. I spoke with Mark to get a preview of this year’s conference. I’ve been attending this annual event since 2007 and it has continued to grow with an expectation of a record attendance this year according to him. I’m looking forward to seeing many friends from around the world that I’ve met at the annual event. BTW, Cindy will be with me for the first time this year.

Here is some information about what to expect at ONE this year.

ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE19) returns May 19–21, 2019, in Lexington, Kentucky, to welcome everyday heroes united by the search for inspiration, motivation and ONE meaningful idea. ONE19 is a unique global conference that transcends culture and industry, presenting innovation-driven solutions for overcoming challenges in agriculture, business, health and wellness, brewing and distilling, and everyday life.

Keynote speakers who will anchor ONE’s 35th annual exploration of transformative ideas include Bear Grylls and Chris Zook.

Alltech’s flagship conference is attended annually by nearly 4,000 people from over 70 countries who gather to dream bigger and explore solutions to improve their businesses and the world around them. The conference experience extends beyond superior presentation content, as attendees are invited to embark on area tours throughout the Bluegrass State and network with peers from across the globe.

While world-class speakers will light up the plenary stage with universal themes of perseverance and achievement, subject- and species-specific breakout sessions with industry experts give attendees an opportunity to explore their particular fields, including aquaculture, beef, crop science, dairy, pig, poultry, equine, health and wellness, business, and brewing and distilling.

Listen to my interview with Mark here: Interview with Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech

AgWired Animal, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Audio

New Dicamba-tolerant Stoneville Varieties from BASF

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

***Post Updated with interview***

BASF has added three new dicamba-tolerant Stoneville® cottonseed varieties to its ever-expanding cotton portfolio.

“At BASF, we’re committed to providing growers with choice and innovation in the seed traits they’re using in their fields,” said Malin Westfall, Head of U.S. Cotton Business at BASF. “With the new line of Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® cotton technology added into our Stoneville portfolio, the Bollgard II® XtendFlex varieties introduced in January and the strength of our existing traits, we are able to provide growers with a wealth of options to bring value back to their farms.”

Each of these new varieties is tolerant to Liberty,® Engenia® and glyphosate herbicides and brings three-gene lepidopteran resistance, which decreases the likelihood that an application for worm control will be needed. The new varieties include:

ST 4480B3XF
A new early- to mid-maturity variety for growers in Oklahoma, Kansas, all of West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, ST 4480B3XF brings excellent performance on all kinds of acres. It features good seed size, storm tolerance and a very good fiber package.

ST 4990B3XF
Growers across the eastern Cotton Belt, East and South Texas, the Rolling Plains, Oklahoma, the Southern High Plains, New Mexico and Arizona who want hardy, early-season vigor can plant ST 4990B3XF with confidence. It’s a new early- to mid-maturity variety that’s very adaptable, with strong emergence and a good fiber package.

ST 5610B3XF
A new medium-full maturing Bollgard 3 XtendFlex variety that will fit non-irrigated and irrigated production areas across the eastern Cotton Belt, East and South Texas, the Rolling Plains, Oklahoma, the Southern High Plains, New Mexico and Arizona. ST 5610B3XF offers a high lint percentage, strong emergence, has a smooth leaf and is medium in plant height.

Listen to Malin talk about the new varieties in this interview: Interview with Malin Westfall, BASF

Westfall said BASF is preparing for the launch of the largest volume of cottonseed the company has ever seen as it enters into 2020. To learn more about these new varieties, talk with your local BASF representative.

BASF, Cotton

Animal Ag Bites 5/13

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • With research confirming that swine viruses can be transmitted through feed and feedstuffs, new studies are looking at how to prevent the spread of foreign animal diseases, such as African swine fever, via these vehicles. Based on new research, the Swine Health Information Center, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians have revised the information for feed holding times.
  • Plant-based imitations of butter and other dairy products pose an increasing challenge for consumer understanding in the butter sector, which is dealing with proliferating imposters even as butter’s popularity grows. The American Butter Institute filed a lengthy complaint to the FDA in September calling out imitators. It also supports the National Milk Producers Federation’s citizen petition with the agency filed in February, outlining a road map toward a constructive resolution of the problem of mislabeled, fake dairy products. That petition may be accessed here.
  • The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, established under the leadership of dairy farmers and leading companies, announced its eighth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners during a May 8 ceremony in Rosemont, Illinois. The 2019 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards winners are: Cinnamon Ridge Farms (Donahue, Iowa); Majestic Crossing Dairy (Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin); Philip Verwey Farms (Hanford, California); General Mills and Foremost Farms (Reed City, Michigan); and Gleaners Community Food Bank (Detroit).
  • An official manual for the Beef Quality Assurance program that is both detailed and extensive is now being distributed nationwide throughout the cattle industry. The manual and the BQA Program are both managed by the producer education team at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.
  • The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, with funding provided by the USPOULTRY Foundation, have launched a new My American Farm game, along with a supporting lesson plan, an activity sheet and an eComic. The An Egg-Citing Poultry Adventure game and resources were developed to help third through fifth grade students better understand the poultry and egg industry, with students adventuring through the progression of stages in poultry and egg production in the game.
AgWired Animal, Animal Bites

VP Talks Trade with Minnesota Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Vice President Mike Pence talked trade Thursday with Minnesota farmers and FFA leaders at R & J Johnson Farm near Glyndon.

“Farmers need the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) done now. U.S. agriculture needs strong trade agreements to access 95% of the people in this world who live outside of the United States. Our number one and number two customers on most of our products are Canada and Mexico. Trade is critically important to our members,” said Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap.

Before speaking, Pence heard stories from farmers about how tough the economy is for them right now.

Listen here: VP Pence hears from MN farmers

Audio, Trade

Zimfo Bytes 5/10

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The American Soybean Association announces the promotion of two staff members in an organizational realignment aimed at elevating ASA’s success as the industry’s policy organization. Wendy Brannen, who has served as Director of Policy Communications, has been promoted to Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. Abby Podkul, ASA Director of Commodity Classic, will now lead a new Meetings and Conventions Department as its Director.
  • Thirteen U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen for the National Cotton Council’s 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders Program. Representing the industry’s seven segments are: Producers – Philip Edwards, III, Smithfield, Va.; Jaclyn Ford, Alapaha, Ga.; Ben Good, Starkville, Miss.; Kellon Lee, St. Joseph, La.; Dean Rovey, Buckeye, Ariz.; and Jake Sheely, Lemoore, Calif.; Ginner – Burch Pierce, Jonesville, La.; Merchant – Bob Champion, Prattville, Ala.; Warehouser – Kyle Taubert, Seminole, Texas; Marketing Cooperative – Jeremy Speis, Corpus Christi, Texas; and Josh Warren, Garner, N.C.; Cottonseed – Joe Gribble, Altus, Okla.; and Manufacturer – Ellis Fisher, Inman, South Carolina.
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. announced the appointments of three new executives: Rizal Hamdallah as Global Chief Innovation Officer; Katy Latimer as Vice President of Research and Development; and Chris O’Connor as Vice President of Marketing.
  • Tractor Supply customers and team members raised $917,954 in only 12 days during the Paper Clover campaign by making donations in-store and online across the country. A biannual program, Paper Clover is in partnership with the National 4-H Council.
  • CommoditAg™, the online ordering and purchase option for farmers, announces the addition of Premier Companies in Southern Indiana.
  • The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, with funding from the USPOULTRY Foundation, have launched a new My American Farm game along with a supporting lesson plan, eComic and activity sheet. The game and resources were developed to help third- through fifth-grade students better understand the poultry and egg industry. In the game, students will adventure through the progression of stages in poultry and egg production.
  • The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Nicole Hasheider, who joins the organization as director of biotechnology and crop inputs in the St. Louis office.
Zimfo Bytes

Mastering the Art of Podcasting

Chuck Zimmerman

It has been fascinating to watch the resurgence of podcasting in agricultural communications. Although some of us have been doing this for more than twelve years it seems like communicators are embracing this channel in greater numbers.

I’m hoping to see some new podcasts from Cooperatives after conducting a webinar yesterday for the Cooperative Communicators Association. Of course some cooperatives like GROWMARK already produce a regular podcast but there sure is room to grow. Members and especially farmers jumped on podcasts from the start. I remember getting emails when I started from farmers in the U.S. and Canada who loved having meaningful content on their industry they could subscribe to and listen to on their iPod while sitting in a cab for extended periods of time with nothing else to listen to.

If you want to get started with a podcast for your company or other organization I am ready, willing and able to help you out. Here’s a tidbit from my webinar yesterday to give you a taste of what we talked about. By the way, the webinar was recorded and will be available to CCA members on their website. I am a member of CCA too.

Equipment Suggestions


Deere Offers Updated Bigger Sprayers for 2020

Cindy Zimmerman

John Deere is introducing its biggest sprayer yet in 2020 – the 1,600-gallon (6057 liter) capacity R4060 Sprayer with the new CommandDrive™ powertrain. In addition, the existing R4045 Sprayer will come standard with CommandDrive beginning starting in 2020. Both sprayers are designed for large, broad-acre cropping systems and high-volume applications.

CommandDrive is an intelligent powertrain that uses a single hydrostatic pump to power all four variable-displacement wheel motors. If one or more wheels lose traction, the system adjusts to slow the slipping wheels and directs more flow to the other wheels with traction in order to power the sprayer over the terrain. The powertrain helps the sprayer more easily handle hills, soft soil, and other conditions where additional traction is needed.

In addition, CommandDrive works in tandem with the engine and entire sprayer system to automatically increase RPMs when more power is needed and to maintain proper spraying. With the powertrain’s Auto Mode setting, operators can maintain selected ground speed and application rate at lower engine RPMs, while the Auto Idle setting reduces the engine’s RPM to 900 when the machine is stopped. Both functions help reduce fuel/DEF consumption and provide a quieter cab for the operator.

Learn more from John Deere.

AgWired Precision, Equipment, John Deere

Ethanol Report on Higher Gas Prices

Cindy Zimmerman

The summer driving season is getting closer and gas prices are just expected to get higher, but don’t blame ethanol.

A recent analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association found that gas prices have been getting higher mainly because of a surge in crude oil prices since the start of the year, combined with normal seasonal gasoline pricing, as well as refinery maintenance and unplanned outages.

In this edition of “The Ethanol Report” podcast, RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman discusses the analysis.

Ethanol Report on Higher Gas Prices

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes

Audio, Ethanol, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA