BioLumic and Gro Alliance Bring UV Light Technology to Row Crops

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

BioLumic™ and Gro Alliance today announced a partnership to utilize ultraviolet (UV) light seed treatment technology for corn and soybean seed production.

Based on 20 years of science and seven years of large-scale field validation, BioLumic’s proprietary light treatment technology regulates genetic expression in plants to improve yield, crop quality, root growth and plant resilience across specific cultivars.

Since 2021, BioLumic has tested light-treated corn and soybeans seeds on more than 3,000 United States field plots, averaging yield increases of 15% in corn and 12% in soybeans.

“UV light signaling is the next frontier in plant science, changing the paradigm of crop production gains without solely relying on genetic modification, chemical inputs or time-intensive breeding programs,” said Steve Sibulkin, CEO of BioLumic. “Based on their longstanding record of rapid adoption of scalable innovation, partnering with Gro Alliance and their network of corn and soybean farmers and seed companies means we can rapidly deploy light-activated seeds that increase farmer profitability and contribute to a more sustainable global food production system.”

BioLumic founder and Chief Science Officer Jason Wargent, Ph.D. in front of a BioLumic light-treatment unit

The partnership will deploy BioLumic’s light treatments platform in the seed production facilities of Gro Alliance, North America’s largest independently-owned contract corn and soybean seed producer, supplying seed production and breeding services for more than 100 different organizations around the world.

“We are excited to partner with BioLumic to bring this game-changing technology, which delivers a step-change in crop yields and quality, to market,” said Jim Schweigert, president of Gro Alliance. “This innovation enables farmers to improve their financial and environmental performance, helps seed companies deliver on their ESG goals and creates more climate-resilient crops.”

The technology was first developed for seedlings in large-scale specialty crops, such as lettuce, broccoli, strawberries and tomatoes. “Discovering that the same technology activated seeds as well as seedlings was a ‘eureka’ moment,” said Jason Wargent, Ph.D., founder and Chief Science Officer at BioLumic. “It opened the door to broad-acre, commodity production of crops like soybean and corn benefiting from the same remarkable results of UV light treatment that we had developed for seedlings.”

The partnership will start at Gro Alliance’s Mt. Pulaski, Illinois production facility and expand across the Midwest starting in 2025. Later this year, select seed companies will be given access to BioLumic Light Treatments for their cultivars and the in-seed treatment will be commercially available to the broader market in 2024.

Learn more about BioLumic in this interview with CEO Steve Sibulkin.
Interview with BioLumic CEO Steve Sibulkin 11:40

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Corn, Crop Protection, Precision Agriculture, Seed, Soybean

Keynote Speakers Announced for AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit for crop protection, biologicals, and plant and soil health, is pleased to announce the opening keynote presentation by Derek Oliphant and Allister Phillips of AgbioInvestor. The summit will take place on 9-10 August 2023, at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida, United States.

The keynote presentation titled, “Recent Developments and Future Outlook for the Crop Protection and Seed Industries,” will provide a comprehensive analysis of the current market trends and a detailed look at the key drivers behind future developments in the crop protection and seed sectors. Oliphant and Phillips, Founding Partners of AgbioInvestor, will share insights into regulation, crop economics, biologicals, new technologies, and more.

“We are thrilled to welcome Derek Oliphant and Allister Phillips as keynote speakers at the AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit,” said Renee Targos, Conference Chair and Editor of AgriBusiness Global. “Their expertise and insights will provide invaluable perspectives on the current state and future directions of the crop protection and seed industries. Delegates can expect to gain valuable knowledge and networking opportunities to further their business interests.”

For more information and to register for the AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit, please visit the event’s official website at


Animal Ag News 6/5

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The World Pork Expo returns to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, June 7-9. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), this year’s Expo will give attendees a packed schedule of events, including an expansive tradeshow, educational seminars, and numerous networking events.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced support for H.R. 3419/S. 1666, the Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act of 2023. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would continue making critical investments in foreign animal disease response programs currently overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • The National Milk Producers Federation applauds USDA for proposing its “Action Plan” to move toward a national hearing based on NMPF’s proposal to modernize the Federal Milk Marketing Orders. The largest representative of U.S. dairy farmers and farmer-owned dairy processors is eager to begin the next phase of creating a federal order system that better reflects today’s market conditions and dairy producer needs.
  • The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program Excellence Awards are back for the third year. The prestigious awards recognize farms and evaluators who demonstrate excellence in their engagement with the FARM Program. Awards are presented in four categories: Animal Care & Antibiotic Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship, Workforce Development and FARM Evaluator. Nominations are open until 11:59 p.m. PDT Aug. 1 and should be submitted using the online form on the FARM website.
  • World Dairy Expo recently welcomed Brian Paul, Milton, Wis., as the organization’s new Trade Show Manager. In this role, Paul will work on all aspects involved in planning and executing the world’s largest dairy-exclusive trade show, including working closely with Expo’s trade show exhibitors and the Commercial Exhibitor Committee.
  • The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) announced the annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party will take place on the National Mall on June 21, 2023. The celebration on the National Mall just outside the U.S. Capitol Building is one of Washington’s most anticipated for professionals working in food and agriculture, bringing together thousands of guests, including members of Congress and officials from the executive branch, in a fun event showcasing America’s favorite frozen treats.
  • The inaugural class of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s (NIAA) Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders completed their 16-month leadership training program at NIAA’s Annual Conference.
  • DARI LLC, a trailblazer in the dairy industry, announces a new taste challenge, “Approve of MOO’V,” supporting Children’s Hospitals in the upper Midwest. To celebrate June Dairy Month, DARI will donate $1 to Children’s Hospital for each social media post by people experiencing the new MOO’V ultra-filtered, lactose-free, high-protein, low-sugar, naturally flavored, whole milk beverage.
  • In a new study published in the journal “JDS Communications,” scientists at the University of Florida have discovered that human interaction with calves helps to reduce abnormal oral behaviors and increase rest during early life. As part of an ongoing effort to enhance dairy cows’ lifelong welfare, this research is related to a previous study looking at how housing young calves in pairs and larger social groups may allow them to develop better social skills and produce more milk as a cow later in life. Building off these aims, this latest study sought to learn whether human contact provided additional complexities and enrichment in dairy calves’ environment during weaning.
  • AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

    Industry Ag News 6/2/23

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

  • Agri-Pulse is pleased to announce that Rep. Brad Finstad, the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture and Horticulture will be the luncheon keynote speaker at this year’s Food & Ag Issues Summit in Sacramento on June 5. First elected in 2022, Finstad is a farmer, soil lab business owner and a former state Rural Development director in Minnesota. He will be speaking virtually at the Summit. In person and virtual registration for the event is available here.
  • Michelin has announced its plan to invest more than $100 million into its Junction City, Kan. operations over the next five years to increase production capacity of tracks for agricultural equipment. The investment, part of Michelin’s global growth strategy, will increase the output of Camso agricultural rubber tracks to better respond to market evolution.
  • A group of 13 Southern Land Grant University Extension Programs in collaboration with the Southern Extension Economics Committee, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center at the
    University of Arkansas officially launched Southern Ag Today, a new digital platform to provide timely, concise, insightful analysis on issues facing southern agriculture. The platform distributes a daily digital periodical that features a short peer-reviewed article on a different issue of interest. The topics follow a set schedule and include crop marketing, livestock marketing, farm management, agricultural policy, trade, and agricultural law.
  • Five FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars — one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students — for their academic accomplishments, the arts, and career and technical education. Congratulations to Madison Echols of Hattiesburg, MS; Isabella Herrod of Shinnston, WV; Hannah Rice of Brunswick, MO; Cecelia Rogers of Bardstown, KY; and Alaina Whittington of Diagnol, IA.
  • Uncategorized

    Bio Huma Netics® Marks 50 Years with Rebrand to Huma®

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Bio Huma Netics® is celebrating its 50th anniversary by officially rebranding the company as Huma®, Inc. Inspired by the word “humus,” which is the highly fertile, organic layer of topsoil that brings life to the soil and our planet, Huma® seeks to deliver “Humic Solutions with a Human Touch®.”

    Founded in 1973, the three-generation, employee-owned company is a global leader in sustainable humic-based products and technologies, with distribution across the world. The new Huma® brand name will now consolidate six current agricultural, turf and environmental brands — HUMA GRO®, HUMA GRO® TURF, FERTILGOLD® ORGANICS, Mesa Verde Humates®, PROBIOTIC SOLUTIONS® and Alpha Synectics.

    Through company-owned humate mining rights, and a proprietary extraction and development process, Huma® provides groundbreaking technology to boost beneficial microbial activity, helping lead to premium crops, healthy soils and clean water. Micro Carbon Technology® is the foundational building block of Huma®, resulting in innovative biostimulant products that naturally increase nutrient availability and uptake, improve soil and plant health, and offer zero-residue crop protection against pests and diseases.

    According to the announcement, the company is also renaming the world-class Alpha Synectics Laboratory to Huma® Research & Development, and will be hosting the Huma® World Conference in Gilbert, Arizona, in November 2023.

    Visit to learn more.

    AgWired Precision, Precision Agriculture, Soil, Technology

    Preview of the 2023 AgGateway Mid-Year Meeting

    Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    2-23 AgGateway Mid-Year MeetingIt is almost time for the 2023 AgGateway Mid-Year Meeting and you can still register. To get a preview of the program I spoke with Brent Kemp, President and CEO of AgGateway. Besides some interesting keynote speakers and working group meetings there will be plenty of networking time. That will include racing at Prairie Meadows!

    The AgGateway Mid-Year Meeting, June 12-15, 2023, is the place where the work of digital connectivity gets done. Getting together in-person catalyzes the progress that member Working Groups have made to that point on existing projects, while new work is identified and prioritized through Meet-Ups. Ample networking opportunities throughout the event provide time for attendees to share ideas and discuss solutions.

    More than 200 stakeholders from across the industry attend the Mid-Year Meeting to gain insight into the state of digital connectivity, and to find out more about the work of AgGateway.

    Listen in here to learn more about this year’s meeting in my interview with Brent.
    2023 AgGateway Mid-Year Meeting Preview 18:13

    AgGateway, AgWired Precision, Audio, Precision Agriculture, Technology

    Precision Ag News 5/31/23

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    • Des Moines will once again host the third annual Tech Hub LIVE Conference and Expo, bringing together tech-enabled, data-driven agriculture practitioners for a groundbreaking conference, July 24-26 at the Iowa Events Center. Tech Hub LIVE, powered by CropLife Media Group™, will kick off with a 1990s-themed welcome party, sponsored by the Greater Des Moines Partnership, on July 24 at 5:30 pm. Just prior to the reception, Tech Hub LIVE has announced the inaugural meeting for Women in Ag Tech on July 24 starting at 2:00 pm. Click here for registration and more information.
    • UPL Ltd. has announced a partnership with Biome Makers to use the BeCrop® Test technology in a series of global trials across multiple locations and cropping systems to gain further insights into its inputs’ modes of action. The data received from these trials will guide future product development and allow growers to make more informed decisions about their farming practices.
    • Farmers for Soil Health recently received $13.6 million in grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help farmers who plan to enroll in the program later this year. The grants, a key component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $95 million Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities, will offer personal, on-the-ground technical support to farmers in 19 states. Farmers for Soil Health is a collaboration between the National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Board and United Soybean Board with the goal to advance conservation practices to improve soil health across the U.S., including doubling cover crop acres in the U.S. to 30 million acres by 2030.
    • The Nebraska Water Center Fall Water Conference will be held again this year. On October 3 and 4, we’ll gather in Omaha to discuss the management of water resources in urban Nebraska. The conference will look to learn from the past in order to prepare for the future.
    • Producer engagement and collaboration with researchers is critical to a successful global transition to climate-smart agriculture. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and AgMission™ partners awarded a $394,000 grant to the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) to develop a novel farmer-driven methodology to consult producers on a global scale and collect unique data and insights on their climate-smart agriculture needs and expectations. AgMission is an initiative co-created by FFAR and the World Farmers’ Organisation to develop and implement climate-smart agriculture solutions.
    • AGCO Corporation has announced plans to transform its Jackson, MN, customer facility into the home of its Fendt® brand in North America. Upon its grand opening in early 2024, a new customer experience center, called the Fendt Lodge, will become the brand’s center for customer visits, launch events, dealer meetings, factory tours, and corporate gatherings.
    AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture, Tech Hub LIVE, Technology

    Brazilian State Interested in Nebraska Water Management

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    DWFI’s Christopher Neale, right, interprets remarks from Mato Grosso Gov. Mendes

    One of the largest global producers of corn, soy, cotton, and corn ethanol is looking to Nebraska, via the University of Nebraska and the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI), for aid in mapping out the region’s available surface and groundwater resources for sustainable irrigation development.

    Governor Mauro Mendes of the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, recently met with Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen during the 2023 Water for Food Global Conference to discuss opportunities for partnership between the two states.

    “We are looking forward to a partnership with Nebraska, because Nebraska has the components of education, agricultural research, irrigation sector and the governance of water,” said Mendes during remarks at the conference interpreted by Dr. Christopher Neale, DWFI Director of Research. “Nebraska and Mato Grosso have similarities, they are both in the center of their countries and are both food-producing states.”

    Gov. Mendes explained that sustainable irrigation expansion will play an important role in meeting its ambitious goals because it will intensify production while taking pressure off the natural ecosystems. Mato Grosso is geographically large enough to encompass both Germany and Spain combined, and eight months of rain allows for two growing seasons, which produce $21.6 billion in exports.

    Gov. Mauro Mendes, Mato Grosso, Brazil, remarks translated by Dr. Christopher Neale, DWFI
    2023 Water for Food remarks - Mato Grosso Gov. Mendes 24:05

    Audio, Corn, Ethanol, Food, Irrigation, Water, Water for Food

    Animal Ag News 5/30/23

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

  • Nath Morris has been named the next president of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) by the board of directors. He will succeed John Starkey, who will retire in August. Starkey will remain as advisor through the end of the year. Morris has been serving as executive vice president – expo at USPOULTRY. He managed the International Poultry Expo (IPE), part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), and recognized by Trade Show Executive magazine as the 22nd largest U.S. trade show. He has been on the USPOULTRY staff since 2014.
  • The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) announced a new partnership with the Information Technology-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC) on the launch of a Food and Agriculture ISAC to enhance cybersecurity for the meat and poultry industry. An ISAC is a non-profit established by critical infrastructure owners and operators to foster information sharing and best practices about physical and cyber threats and mitigation.
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new research facility, known as the Forage-Animal Production Research Unit (FAPRU), on the University of Kentucky campus. The ceremony was hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (UK-CAFE), which will house the new facility.
  • The 59th World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) is set to take place in conjunction with the Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) Annual Convention June 7-10, 2023, in Punta Gorda and Arcadia, Fla. A total of 31 semi-finalist auctioneers will compete in the championship event. Reigning World Livestock Auctioneer Champion, Will Epperly, will be in attendance, along with many other former World Livestock Auctioneer Champions. Each will sell cattle during the Parade of Champions, a portion of the WLAC sale between the semi-finalist and finalist rounds. The interviews will be on Friday, June 10, and can be viewed live on or the LMA Facebook Live starting at 3:00 p.m. (ET).
  • Scientists have collaborated to produce the first gene-edited calf with resistance to bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), a virus that costs the U.S. cattle sector billions of dollars annually. The recent study published in PNAS Nexus results from a collaboration between the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL), the University of Kentucky, and industry partners, Acceligen and Recombinetics, Inc.
  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) are now accepting applications for spring 2024 public policy internships in Washington, D.C. The internship provides students with the opportunity to work jointly with NCBA and PLC to advance policies important to the beef and sheep industries. Applicants must be a junior or senior undergraduate student, or a graduate student. A background in agriculture or the beef industry is preferred.
  • The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) is pleased to welcome Kim Atkins as its new manager of membership and engagement and Emma Bower as its summer communications intern. In addition, the AFIA adapted the titles of two of its policy staff to better reflect the depth and breadth of work they do for members on a global scale. Gina Tumbarello, who has been with the association since 2011, has been named senior director of global strategies, policy and trade, and Mallory Gaines, who has been with the association since 2019, has been named director of market access and multilateral affairs.
  • Alltech is inviting the global agriculture and agri-food industry to participate in the company’s inaugural Sustainability Insights Survey to gather insights on the issues that matter most to the agri-food value chain’s stakeholders. The survey is now open to the global agri-food industry to provide input until June 12, 2023. The results of this global research will only be presented in aggregate form and will be made available for the benefit of the agri-food industry and its partners later this year.
  • AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture

    Honor and Remember Our Military Heroes Who Lost Their Lives

    Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Buffalo Chip Campground Wall of Honor for Vietnam Veterans who died or where left behind.On this Memorial Day we are honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. I hope everyone knows and understands this. And if you’re wondering how many have died over time, keeping our country and citizens free, there is a lot of data you can find. At morning Mass today our priest recommended saying one decade of the rosary for our fallen soldiers. I intend to do so.

    On a related topic, I am seeing social media posts including the number of suicides of our veterans. It is a big number and again, you can find sources and studies from different time periods and definitions. Here’s a current story about this topic and I think we should keep these veterans in mind today also.

    The photo above comes from a 2011 display at The Buffalo Chip Campground during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It includes a wall of honor with the names of our military killed in the Vietnam War and lost in action.