July 4th Cookout a Bit More Affordable

Cindy Zimmerman

What will be on your grill for the 4th of July? Chances are it probably costs a little less than it did last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Farm Bureau’s informal annual survey reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $55.07, or $5.51 per person – that’s down about one percent from 2017. The All-American cookout menu includes hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, ketchup, mustard and watermelon for dessert.

While lower prices are good news for consumers, it’s not so much for farmers. “This is a very tough time for farmers and ranchers due to low prices across the board. It is appropriate that this very painful situation hitting farmers be reflected at the retail level as well,” said AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton.

A total of 96 Farm Bureau members in 28 states served as “volunteer shoppers,” checking retail prices for summer cookout foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.

AFBF, AgWired Animal, Food

AMVAC Purchases Bayer Bromacil Business

Chuck Zimmerman

AMVAC Chemical Corporation recently announced the purchase of the Bromacil herbicide business in the United States and Canada from Bayer Crop Science. The transaction is unrelated to the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer, and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

I spoke with Greg Warren, Marketing Manager, AMVAC, about the transaction and what it means to the company. It primarily adds the largest markets for these products which are Canada and the U.S. The product brands made with Bromacil are used mostly in citrus markets.

The assets being purchased include the Bromacil trademarks and product registrations for sale of Hyvar® and Krovar® in the USA and Canada. In order to ensure a seamless transfer from Bayer to AMVAC, Bayer will continue to market and provide customer support for these products until the end of September 2018.

Bromacil is a broad spectrum residual herbicide used for non-agricultural industrial vegetation control and on many crops, such as pineapples, citrus, agave and asparagus. Marketed under the Hyvar® and Krovar® brands, Bromacil herbicides are valued and long-established weed control tools. AMVAC previously purchased these brands from DuPont Crop Protection in 2015 for markets outside of US and Canada including Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Cost Rica and Brazil.

You can listen to my interview with Greg to learn more: Interview with Greg Warren, AMVAC

AgWired Precision, AMVAC, Audio, Bayer, Crop Protection

Increasing Profit Margins for Ethanol

Carrie Muehling

Ethanol production has become a key market for U.S. corn, but margins are often tight. New technology would allow existing ethanol plants to convert a part of their production into making plant-based chemicals that have higher values, with profits that could be passed along to corn growers.

“We know that ethanol today is a commodity that has been really pressed down with pricing and margins,” said Joaquin Alarcon, President and CEO of Catalyxx. “So, this technology allows a plant to convert part of their production into chemicals that have higher value and provide significant profits related to that.”

Alarcon told participants at the 2018 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in St. Louis that higher end butanol and other alcohols are examples of fuels that could provide at least $1.00/gallon of additional profit to the ethanol producer. Alarcon said it’s an exciting prospect as these are green, renewable chemicals with a cost of production that is the lowest in the industry. He said a facility could be built onto an existing ethanol plant or as a standalone processor that would transport ethanol from the Midwest.

To learn more, listen to Chuck’s interview here: Interview with Joaquin Alarcon at CUTC18

2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference Photo Album

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Corn, CUTC, Ethanol

Animal Ag Bites 7/2

Carrie Muehling

  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., in which researchers evaluated filtration systems with the goal of reducing ammonia in poultry houses.
  • BioZyme Incorporated, a world-wide leader in animal health through nutrition and microbial products and services has acquired Cogent Solutions Group, LLC (CSG). CSG is a trailblazer in the research, development and production of bioactive polysaccharides.
  • Two students will gain experience in dairy management and the feed industry as Vita Plus interns this summer. Cristian Sosa and Simon Johnson will work on different teams and focus on specific projects for the duration of the summer while learning the values of Vita Plus.
  • Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with other land-grant universities, is conducting a nationwide survey of food-animal producers to learn more about how the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules that have been in effect just over a year have impacted animal agriculture. All responses are confidential and participation is voluntary. Click to take the survey.
  • Minnesota pig farmers Randy Spronk and John Schwartz will travel to the Dominican Republic to attend the 2018 Latin American Product Showcase. The two farmers will participate in a market tour, marketing sessions and networking activities designed to highlight U.S. pork to importers in the rapidly growing Latin American export market.
  • Lane Giess has joined the American Simmental Association team as Director of Commercial and Nontraditional Data Programs.
  • Select Sires honors Bob Sabo of Green Bay, Wis. with the 2018 Select Mating Service (SMS) genetic consultant of the year award. Sabo was recognized at the 2018 SMS Conference among more than 115 genetic consultants and support staff from the United States, Canada and Brazil.
  • The American Feed Industry Association honored two individuals in the animal science field at the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting in Knoxville, Tenn. Ian J. Lean, Ph.D., of Scibus received the AFIA-ADSA Nutrition Research Award, and Ronald L. Horst, Ph.D., of Heartland Assays received the AFIA and Federation of Animal Science Societies New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award.
  • A nationwide grilled cheese competition inspired original recipes with everything from Cap’n Crunch® to peanut brittle, and nachos to grilled shrimp. All these unique ingredients combined with award-winning Wisconsin cheeses delivered sandwiches that went far beyond the traditional grilled cheese. Wisconsin Cheese announced the grand prize winner — The Green Lobster, which features a blend of Wisconsin butterkäse and fontina cheese, rich lobster and vibrant chimichurri sauce.
  • Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, released the following statement in response to Canada’s announcement of higher tariffs on U.S. beef products beginning on Sunday, July 1: “For the past few weeks Canada has threatened to retaliate against the United States by slapping a tariff on $170 million worth of U.S. beef products in direct response to the steel and aluminum tariffs. Today, they made good on that threat. These retaliatory tariffs were and still are clearly avoidable, and the unfortunate casualties will be Canadian consumers and America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. We may not know the extent of the damage these tariffs may have on our producers, but we believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation. As Canadians gather to celebrate Canada Day and we prepare to celebrate American Independence, we encourage our government and the Canadian government to remember that we are allies and we rely on each other for future economic prosperity.”
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture

Planted Acreage Report Surprises

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s planted acreage report out Friday contained some surprising numbers for the trade.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates 89.6 million acres of soybeans planted in the United States for 2018, down 1 percent from last year, and corn area planted is estimated at 89.1 million acres, also down 1 percent from last year.

All cotton planted area for 2018 is estimated at 13.5 million acres, 7 percent above last year, and all wheat planted area for 2018 is estimated at 47.8 million acres, up 4 percent from last year.

NASS also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report Friday:

• Soybeans stored totaled 1.22 million bushels, up 26 percent from June 1, 2017. On-farm soybean stocks were up 13 percent from a year ago, while off-farm stocks were up 33 percent.
• Corn stocks totaled 5.31 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were down 3 percent from a year ago, but off-farm stocks were up 7 percent.
• All wheat stored totaled 1.10 billion bushels, down 7 percent from a year ago. On-farm all wheat stocks were down 32 percent from last year, while off-farm stocks were down 2 percent.
• Durum wheat stored totaled 35.9 million bushels, down 1 percent from June 1, 2017. On-farm stocks of Durum wheat are down 19 percent from June 1, 2017. Off-farm stocks of Durum wheat were up from the previous year by 17 percent from a year ago.

Jack Scoville of The PRICE Futures Group provided commentary for the MGEX Crop Report Conference Call. “A very interesting report – farmers planted a lot more of everything than anybody thought,” said Scoville on the call. “Corn planted area…is well above the average trade guess – really above all trade guesses.”

Listen here: MGEX 6-29-18 Crop report call with commentary from Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Markets, MGEX, USDA

Timac Agro USA Introduces Fertiactyl®ST Seed Treatment

Cindy Zimmerman

Timac Agro USA, a provider of crop nutritional solutions, introduces Fertiactyl® ST, a liquid seed treatment suitable for any crop started from seed. This formulation was developed from Timac Agro’s Fertiactyl® GZ to help farmers battle environmental stress during spring planting. It is the newest addition to an extensive portfolio developed from 20 years of research and development in the plant extract and liquid patented formulas sectors.

Fertiactyl® ST is formulated with the Fertiactyl® Complex, which is comprised of precision plant extracts, zinc, and humic and fulvic acids. Fertiactyl® ST was officially launched at the 2018 Commodity Classic where Timac’s National Specialty Crops Manager, Alex Duffy, presented at a What’s New session.

“Fertiactyl® ST is a seed treatment using our active ingredient that helps with establishment and reducing stress in adverse growing conditions,” said Duffy.

The intent of the product is to provide farmers a seed treatment to protect growing seedlings from tough environmental conditions. Extremes in temperature, water, and salinity can severely impact crop establishment. By reducing the negative impacts of these stressors, emergence, root growth, and recovery time after stress are improved.

“One of the most economical options we’ve developed in the past few years is Fertiactyl® ST,” said John D. Bailey, Ph.D., National Row Crops Manager for Timac Agro USA. “With many farmers treating their own seed on the farm, as well as major expansion in seed treatment options at the retail level, we recognized a major unmet need in this space. That need was to transform the world’s leading seaweed extract technology into a suitable formula to put directly on the seed.”

Recent independent research has demonstrated that soybeans treated with Fertiactyl® ST improved yield compared to fungicide/insecticide seed treatments. This synergy with existing seed treatments will be the subject of future research. Several other independent studies showed improved performance and ROI from Fertiactyl® ST compared to other biological seed treatment products. Information on Fertiactyl® ST and BioSinc® research studies can be found at http://www.us.timacagro.com/research.

Listen to or download comments from Alex Duffy, Timac National Specialty Crops Manager

Comments on introduction of Fertiactyl® ST at Commodity Classic

Timac Agro is developing unique products for crop nutrition
AgWired Precision, Audio, Crop Protection, Seed

USDA Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report

Chuck Zimmerman

As of June 1, there were 73.5 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up three percent from June 2017, and up 1 percent from March 1, according to the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report out Thursday. The National Pork Board provided commentators to discuss the report via teleconference. The call featured three distinguished agricultural economists and their reactions to the report.

The panelists included:

  • Dr. Ron Plain, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • Dr. Lee Shulz, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Joe Kerns, President, Kerns and Associates, Ames, IA

Economist Steve Meyer with Kerns and Associates starts with a summary of the report.

Listen to the complete teleconference here: USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report - 6-28-2018

Animal Agriculture, Pork, Pork Checkoff, Swine, USDA

Zimfo Bytes 6/29

Carrie Muehling

  • The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has announced that Corteva Agriscience Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer Krysta Harden will receive the 5th annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture. Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will receive the 11th annual George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology. Both awards will be presented at the 2018 BIO World Congress July 16-19.
  • Drs. Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro are the 2018 World Food Prize Laureates, announced during a ceremony at USDA. The Prize rewards their individual but complementary global leadership in elevating maternal and child undernutrition with the result of reducing the world’s number of stunted children by 10 million between 2012 and 2017.
  • Iowa Women in Agriculture has announced its 12th annual conference at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny Aug. 2. This year’s theme is Connections, Challenges and Celebrations.
  • American Agri-Women (AAW) proudly presented the 2018 Champion of Agriculture Award to Representative James Comer of Kentucky and Representative Steve Pearce of New Mexico during their annual Fly-In in Washington, D.C. in June. AAW recently recognized Congressman Tom Emmer of Minnesota with the Presidential Leadership Award for his role in sponsoring the Stemming the Tide of Rural Economic Stress and Suicide bill, known as the Stress Act (H.R. 5259).
  • The American Soybean Association and Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont are seeking applicants for the 2018-19 Young Leader Program. Applications are available online now.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Tucker as Deputy Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service National Organic Program, part of the Marketing and Regulatory Programs mission area.
American Agri-Women, ASA, Corteva Agriscience, Zimfo Bytes

Adding Value with Identity Preservation

Carrie Muehling

Identity preservation (IP) is a popular way to add value to a grower’s corn crop, but it takes some attention to detail.

“Identity preservation is a mindset,” said Chuck Hill, specialty products manager for AgriGold Hybrids. “You’re not producing corn. You’re producing an ingredient that goes into a variety of things, and that’s what the buyer wants.”

Hill presented at the 2018 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in St. Louis, where he told corn growers that consumers want consistency and no surprises. That, in turn, is what buyers are looking for as they source ingredients for products from tortilla chips to barbecue to whiskey and even ethanol. He said preventing and managing contamination is one of the biggest challenges for IP growers, but there are lots of tools available. Keeping track of every step in the growing process is key.

“And now in this day and age of the consumer that really is demanding to know where their food comes from, now more documentation, more traceability is out there,” said Hill. “If you’re an IP grower, you’re going to have to be willing to document what you’re doing and answer a lot of questions and even some of those questions go outside of what you did in that field, but that’s the world that we’re in now.”

While many growers are already working under contract with specific identity preservation specifications, even those who are not might be able to sell products at a premium if the demand is there. Hill recommended documenting everything and keeping hybrids separated in different bins to be ready for the potential of selling that product for added value.

Interview with Chuck Hill, Specialty Products Manager, AgriGold at CUTC 18

2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Corn, CUTC

ZimmCast 589 – Incredible Eggs & New CEO of USFRA

Chuck Zimmerman

In this week’s program you’ll hear mostly from Cindy and the people she interviewed recently. So, let’s get started by thanking our sponsor, GROWMARK, Locally Owned, Globally Strong.

First up will be an interview Cindy did with American Egg Board Marketing Communications Manager Marc Dresner. They discuss the AEB’s eggciting promotional sponsorship of Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” that has audiences scrambling for new “How Do You Like Your Eggs?” recipes reflecting each of the film’s character’s unique personality or super power. The film has made the Incredible Egg into a nutrition super hero!

Then you’ll get to meet Erin Fitzgerald, the new CEO of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance starting in July. Fitzgerald previously served as Senior Vice President, Global Sustainability for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, a part of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 589 - Incredible Eggs & New CEO of USFRA

I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.

The ZimmCast

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Locally owned, globally strong.
Audio, Eggs, Food, USFRA, ZimmCast