Benson Hill Contracts 30,000 Premium Soybean Acres

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

St. Louis-based crop improvement company Benson Hill has contracted 30,000 acres to advance its non-GMO soybean varieties through partnerships in the consumer food, animal feed and aquaculture markets.

“The consumer food, animal feed and aquaculture markets are demanding innovation that improves the health and sustainability profile of their ingredients,” said Chris Wilkins, Chief Operating Officer of Benson Hill. “Our portfolio of high-quality soybean varieties delivers this innovation through a full range of in-demand, premium attributes, including better digestibility, heart-healthy omega fatty acids and higher protein that benefit farmers, producers and consumers and further allow Benson Hill to deepen its relationships across the entire value chain.”

Released through the Benson Hill Seeds division, the varieties deliver quality traits like lower anti-nutrients, high oleic and low linolenic oil, and higher protein content, while maintaining competitive yields.

“More than ever, farmers are looking for new opportunities to improve the profitability and predictability of their operation beyond the traditional commodity landscape,” said Kevin Van Trump, CEO of Farm Direction. “Benson Hill understands how to serve these markets and how to serve the farmer. Their dual focus unlocks a massive opportunity for those who want to be part of the evolution underway in food and agriculture.”

In addition to the premium meal and oil ingredients these acres will deliver, Benson Hill recently announced the first commercially available soybean varieties that can effectively replace soy protein concentrate via typical soybean crushing. Available in the 2021 crop year, this innovation will enable food companies to eliminate costly energy and water-intensive processing steps across the consumer food, animal feed and aquaculture markets.


Feed, Food, Seed, Soybean, Technology

Regenerative Agriculture Expands Into New Regions

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Heliae® Agriculture continues to expand as it builds its efforts on promoting regenerative agriculture and soil health to the Delmarva, Kentucky, and Carolina regions. Chris Templeton will work with distributors to implement the PhycoTerra® product line into their recommended grower applications.

“We have learned how to stimulate the microbiome and improve the soil structure while seeing a dramatic effect on crops nationwide,” stated Heliae President and CEO, Eric Lichtenheld. “Building our regenerative agriculture story with a best-in-class team ensures us that growers nationwide will get the attention they need for immediate results and long term success.”

Templeton joins the team with over 15 years plus of experience in turf and agriculture sales and management. Norm Davy, Chief Revenue Officer said, “Templeton is going to be an immediate resource to our growers in the southern and east coast markets, providing them custom application recommendations and dedicated soil health recommendations.”

Templeton will be joining the growing agronomy and sales team that is introducing regenerative agriculture practices to growers nationwide.

Agronomy, AgWired Precision, Precision Agriculture, regenerative agriculture, Soil

Precision Ag News 5/13

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • HELM Agro US, Inc., a global manufacturer of high-quality crop protection and fertilizer products, announces the hiring of Brock Waggoner as Sales Agronomist for the Midwest region.
  • Through a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy provided essential support for Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency and project partner California Lutheran University in their effort to establish a market-driven and producer-led approach to reduce groundwater pumping. Under a cap-and-trade style system, agricultural producers in the Fox Canyon area have fixed groundwater allocations based on historical use and can then purchase or sell their unused allocation and realize income from their water savings.
  • With technology powering more of our professional and personal lives in this new age of social distancing, GROWMARK’s AgValidity program is more vital than ever. This month, the AgValidity team is celebrating its first year of delivering value to GROWMARK/FS customers.
  • Bill Page of Insight FS has worked with specialty crop producers across Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for more than 40 years. It’s this dedication to customer service and agronomy expertise that has earned Page the 2020 Wisconsin Certified Crop Adviser of the Year Award.
  • This week the National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the importance of neonicotinoids as part of the registration review process for three products. The comments reinforced the importance of the neonicotinoid products being considered for reregistration – Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid – which are found in common corn seed treatments to combat early-season pests that attack seeds and seedlings when they are at their most vulnerable.
  • Roquette, a global leader in plant-based ingredients and a pioneer of plant proteins, announced the development of a new brand identity for its range of NUTRALYS® plant proteins, a sustainable source of innovative plant proteins of the highest quality.
  • Farm Market iD announces the launch of new field-level irrigation data which provides deeper insights for agribusinesses to better understand and serve their farmers.
  • Limagrain Cereal Seeds is one of the breeding programs leading the wheat portfolio charge, with four CoAXium hard red winter wheats in its portfolio. All four varieties provide excellent grassy weed control, and each one offers additional distinct advantages for Central Plains farmers.
  • Join a Zoom webinar on Friday, May 29 at noon Eastern/11:00 Central to learn about a new, free, online data tool that uses satellite imagery to study trends in the adoption of conservation agriculture practices. The Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS) offers a range of applications for government agencies, researchers, carbon market administrators, conservationists and businesses. Register for the free webinar now at
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Alexa Lamm Receives Borlaug CAST Communication Award

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

CAST Borlaug Communication Award 2020Today the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) used Zoom to announced that the 2020 Borlaug CAST Communication Award goes to Alexa Lamm, an Associate Professor of Science Communication at the University of Georgia.

With a long list of accomplishments as a scientist, educator, and writer, Dr. Lamm is recognized nationally and internationally as an acclaimed research scholar. Colleagues and associates praise her intelligence and hard work, and they note that she is a “skilled translator”—Lamm has a way of making tech and science accessible for all, from policymakers to the general public.

An award presentation will occur during World Food Prize Symposium week in October, 2020. The Borlaug CAST Communication Award honors the legacies of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug and Dr. Charles A. Black, the first president of CAST.

You can hear the presentation below by Juan Tricarico, Ph.D., VP Sustainability Research, Dairy Management Inc. and CAST President, followed by remarks from the Julie Borlaug, the CropLife Foundation award sponsor and closing remarks from Kent Schescke, Executive Vice President, CAST.

Borlaug CAST Communication Award
Ag Group, Audio, Science, Technology

Summit Agro USA Announces New Regev Fungicide

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Summit Agro USA is pleased to announce the introduction of the first hybrid fungicide for US agriculture – REGEV. This next generation disease control product combines the benefits of a botanical product with the advantages of a conventional fungicide.

“REGEV brings together Tea Tree Oil and difenoconazole giving growers across a variety of crops a very effective disease control product, while reducing chemical usage and providing effective resistance management control,” said Fred Yates, Summit Agro marketing manager for botanical products. “The preventative and curative activity of REGEV with a broad crop and disease control label, plus its ability to enhance plant growth and yield all provide significant value to growers,” Yates added.

The hybrid nature of new REGEV means reducing the chemical load in treated crops, which differentiates it from conventional options. In addition, the multiple modes of action with REGEV presents a very low probability for the development of resistance or cross resistance in plant pathogens.

REGEV will be introduced in major crops such as soybeans, rice and potatoes as well as specialty crops including cucurbits, fruiting vegetables, bulb vegetables, brassica leafy vegetables, legume vegetables, grapes, tree nuts and citrus.

Yates explained that “studies have shown that the addition of Tree Tea Oil to difenoconazole improved the efficacy of difenoconazole and its sensitivity against fungal isolates.” The bottom line is growers can now obtain excellent disease control from two modes of action, yet with only one residue.

AgWired Precision, Crop Protection, Fungicide, Precision Agriculture

Ag and Biofuel Groups Ask Congress for COVID-19 Relief

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

America’s top biofuel and farm advocates are calling on Congress to ensure the next round of COVID-19 relief includes U.S. ethanol and biodiesel production.

A joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was signed by the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, the National Biodiesel Board, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Farmers Union, the National Oilseed Processors Association, the National Renderers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, and Fuels America.

“The situation we face is dire,” wrote biofuel and farm advocates. “More than 130 biofuel plants have already partially or fully shut down as motor fuel demand plunged to 50-year lows. America’s biofuel plants purchase annually more than one-third of U.S. corn and U.S. soybean oil, and the loss of those markets has depressed farm income and will continue to push corn and soybean prices down dramatically. The damage has rippled across the entire agricultural supply chain.”

The letter notes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) excluded the biofuel sector from initial aid under CARES Act, despite urgent letters of support to Secretary Sonny Perdue from broad, bipartisan coalitions in the House and Senate.

Read the letter here.

Ag Group, ASA, Biodiesel, Biofuels, Corn, Ethanol

Animal Ag News 5/11

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The newest episode of the Dairy Stream podcast features Greg Ibach, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ibach’s agency is at the center of the federal government’s response to farmers who are trying to manage the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded the safe reopening of critical infrastructure meatpacking facilities across the United States. These meatpacking facilities have resumed or plan to resume operations this week following President Trump’s Executive Order directing the facilities to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines specifically created for the meat and poultry sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the CDC and state and local health officials have been working around the clock to ensure a safe and stable supply of protein is available for American consumers all while keeping employees safe.
  • From astronaut to economist, the Alltech ONE Virtual Experience welcomes a stellar keynote lineup to this year’s program. A different keynote presentation will be streamed each day beginning Monday, May 18, through Friday, May 22.
  • During this unprecedented time, Kent Nutrition Group is responding to the pork industry’s need for options to manage feed intake and weight gain. Packing plant closures and slowdowns have placed a critical strain on the industry as market hogs are held longer than expected. KNG swine nutritionists have promising results from an ongoing trial at the KNG Research Farm of over 400 finishing pigs. For the nation’s pork producers, these results can provide viable feeding options until processors can receive pigs.
  • The American Sheep Industry Association has completed the development of the Secure Sheep and Wool Supply Plan for Business Continuity in a Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. ASI worked with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine to develop this plan.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have approved approximately $400,000 for seven new research grants at six institutions through the comprehensive research program.
  • The American Feed Industry Association and Kansas State University have launched an online and on-demand extension of their well-respected AFIA/KSU-500, “Fundamentals of Feed Manufacturing,” online course. The online modules are ideal for employees who need to understand more about the animal food industry or their specific role in the operation.
  • Kincannon & Reed welcomes Jimmy Paulakuhn as Managing Director focusing on the talent acquisition needs of its Animal Agriculture clients. Based in North Carolina, Jimmy brings more than two decades of experience within these markets, including more than six years as Director of Commercial Poultry Operations at Pfizer and two years as Zoetis’s National Sales Director-US Poultry.
  • The South Dakota Beef Industry Council‘s May Beef Month campaign focuses on the past, present and future in regard to the role that beef has played throughout history and highlights how Beef has ALWAYS been What’s For Dinner. Part of the campaign is bringing back a new version the SD Beef Ambassador program.
  • A DCHA webinar featuring Kevin Dhuyvetter will address the “Economic Cost of Respiratory Disease in Dairy Replacement Heifers.” The webinar is scheduled for May 21 at 2:00 p.m. Central time. Register here.
  • In a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota urged the Administration to provide guidance on how the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help farmers depopulate and dispose of livestock following the closure of meatpacking plants due to coronavirus outbreaks and worker safety concerns. Joining Peterson on the letter is House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California, and a group of lawmakers representing Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and South Dakota. A copy of the letter is available here.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Industry Ag News 5/8

Carrie Muehling

  • Farm Foundation, the Cornell University Initiative for Digital Agriculture, and the University of Illinois Center for Digital Agriculture and Center for the Economics of Sustainability are pleased to announce a new, virtual, multi-day policy workshop on Advancing Digital Agriculture and Conservation to be held on May 20, 27, 29 and June 3. The workshop aims to advance policy discussions to realize the promise of data applied to conservation in agriculture.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Robert Johansson has announced the appointment of Dr. Cindy Nickerson as the Deputy Chief Economist, effective June 7. In her role as Deputy Chief Economist for Policy Analysis, Dr. Nickerson advises the Chief Economist, the Secretary, and top policy officials regarding the economic implications of programs, regulations, and legislative proposals affecting the U.S. food system and rural areas.
  • In a big win for clean air, corn farmers in Illinois and PepsiCo have documented the ability to cut CO2 emissions, a major greenhouse gas contributor, through the adoption of cover crops and other sustainable farming practices. The partnership with PepsiCo and other large corporations across their supply chain is achieving large reductions in carbon emissions. In the first two years of the corn checkoff-funded project, participating farmers have reduced CO2 emissions by 8,155 metric tons, equivalent to taking 1,762 cars off the road. In Illinois, Precision Conservation Management (PCM), Illinois Corn Grower Association’s premier conservation program, is working with PepsiCo to drive change at the farm level and achieve these substantial emissions reductions.
  • BASF Corporation will join COVID-19 hunger relief efforts with a $170,000 donation to Feeding America. The company’s North America Agricultural Solutions employees in the U.S. hosted a virtual food drive in March and April to support Feeding America food banks across the country.
  • CropLife America is excited to welcome Molly O’Connor to the association’s government relations team. Molly will join the organization as director, federal government relations, bringing with her a new perspective and expertise in the areas of global policy and trade.
  • Michigan’s dry edible bean industry and the Food Bank Council of Michigan announced Michigan dry bean farmers, processors and shippers are joining forces to donate seven tons of dry beans for distribution to food banks across the state.
  • Swanson Russell has been selected as creative agency for national workwear brand, Walls Outdoor Goods. Known as a go-to brand for workers who earn a living outdoors, Walls products are built to keep workers safe, warm and dry. The agency will handle Walls’ creative needs including brand development and seasonal campaign work, and focus on building deeper connection with professional tradesmen who are wired to be outdoors.
  • The University of Florida has named J. Scott Angle, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to lead the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences into the next decade. He is expected to assume the role as vice president for agriculture and natural resources on July 13.
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers Hall of Fame recognizes the pioneers whose inventions, ideas, leadership and courage have contributed to the industry and our community’s quality of life. Nominations are open until June 12, 2020 and can be submitted online at this link.
Zimfo Bytes

ZimmCast 644 – COVID-19 Impacts on Ag Comm Groups Part 2

Chuck Zimmerman

Hello and welcome to the ZimmCast.

This week’s program is part two of a series featuring conversations with the leadership of agricultural media and marketing associations. This week I’m sharing conversations with Samantha Kilgore, AAEA, The Ag Communicators Network, Lindsay Graber Runft, Livestock Publications Council and Kristy Mach/John Blue, Agricultural Relations Council.

Each of these organizations has had to cancel or postpone important annual events and the staff has had to deal with that as well as looking at alternative communications methods and what plans look like going forward. Learn how they’ve handled things and hear some good ideas and suggestions as well.

How has your company or organization has been affected and what are you learning during this trying time? Let me know.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 644 - COVID-19 Impacts on Ag Communications Groups Part 2

Subscribe to the ZimmCast in:

AAEA, ARC, Audio, Communications, LPC, Marketing, Media, ZimmCast

Coalition Wants Rural Infrastructure in Future COVID-19 Relief

Cindy Zimmerman

The 258 members of the Rebuild Rural coalition are asking Congress for increased rural infrastructure funding in any future COVID-19 relief packages.

In the letter, the coalition called on Congress to: “Ensure that our rural communities have access to: clean and safe drinking water and wastewater facilities, secure and dependable surface transportation, reliable and affordable power, healthcare, housing, and broadband and research institutions with state-of-the-art facilities, in order to thrive and attract future generations. Many of these needs – including access to broadband and quality healthcare – have become acute in the past several weeks because of COVID-19. Media have reported parents driving students to fast food parking lots for access to Wi-Fi, and the current challenges of rural hospitals which struggled to meet the needs of the communities they serve under normal conditions before this pandemic and the economic viability of rural communities.”

“Our farmers and ranchers are the most efficient producers in the world. The supply chain enabling that efficiency has kept food stocked at grocery stores and markets across the country. But the ability to meet these demands depends on robust and reliable transportation infrastructure including roads, inland waterways, ports, and railways and support for the local people and institutions that will ensure this infrastructure is able to meet 21st century realities. Deteriorating rural infrastructure, however, threatens the competitive leadership of American agriculture.”

Ag Group, Infrastructure, Rural Lifestyle