EPA Still Evaluating Dicamba Products

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency continues to evaluate dicamba products, according to Administrator Michael Regan.

At the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) annual meeting this week, Regan said they are still receiving and analyzing new incident information and are taking steps to better understand the nature and severity of any reports since the Trump administration approved the use of dicamba for five more years in October 2020. “EPA has been engaging with stakeholders to learn more about reports of adverse incidents in the 2021 growing season,” said Regan, noting that EPA has held listening sessions on the topic this summer.

Earlier this month, EPA notified registrants of the products containing dicamba that they are required to report any adverse effects of the pesticide to EPA.

NASDA21 EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Dicamba (2:14)

Audio, Crop Protection, EPA

Industry Ag News 9/24

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The National Biodiesel Foundation welcomes newly elected Director Todd Ellis to the NBF Board. Ellis currently is the Executive Director, North American Sales, for Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
  • In the midst of limited travel and continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, The Packer and PMG are launching a new virtual platform to conveniently connect fresh produce growers with the right retail and foodservice buyers. BizMatch Plus is an expansion of the popular in-person BizMatch program that has successfully paired buyers and sellers at recent West Coast Produce Expos and Global Organic Produce Expos. Sessions are scheduled to align with key commodity buying seasons with the first commodity-specific session Sept. 29, 2021, highlighting citrus growers to five top retail buyers. Subsequent sessions in October and November will feature onion and tomato growers.
  • Total Grain Marketing, a venture of GROWMARK, Inc., Illini FS, South Central FS, and Wabash Valley Service Company announce the acquisition of grain assets from The Andersons, Inc. in Champaign, Illinois.
  • The National AgrAbility Project, modeled after Purdue Extension’s Breaking New Ground Resource Center and hosted at Purdue University, is celebrating 30 years of making agriculture accessible for people with disabilities.
  • The development of innovations and technologies that can further agricultural sustainability, the future political landscape, and the need for uniting the voice of the pesticide industry were key topics at the 2021 CropLife America and RISE Joint Annual Meeting, held September 12 – 15. The meeting provided an opportunity for CLA and RISE members to review 2021 initiatives and reflect on the opportunities ahead for the industry. A highlight of the Annual Meeting is the recognition of members who have shown exemplary leadership within the pesticide industry.
  • AgCareers.com announces the new 2021-2022 season of Feed Your Future virtual career fairs across the United States. AgCareers.com developed this Feed Your Future initiative last year to virtually connect agri-food employers and job seekers, addressing travel constraints on traditional in-person recruitment events. Careers in agriculture and food remain essential, and virtual recruiting is here to stay.
  • The Farm Credit Administration recently made four key staff selections: Sara Lynn Major as FCA chief diversity officer in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Inclusion; Autumn Agans as deputy director for the Office of Regulatory Policy; Dan Fennewald as deputy director for the Office of the Director and Chief Examiner in the Office of Examination; and Ward Griffin as deputy general counsel in the Office of the General Counsel.
  • In 2021, the Global Farmer Network is honoring three farmers who are working in different ways to build bridges and in doing so, take agriculture to a higher level. The recipients are Joanna Lidback, a dairy producer from Vermont, USA, Annechien ten Have Mellema, a pork producer from the Netherlands and Gabriel Carballal a crop and cattle producer from Uruguay.
Zimfo Bytes

ARC Annual Meeting Features National PR ‘Big Hitters’

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ARC LogoNow is a good time to register for the 2021 Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) Annual Meeting, Oct. 26-28, in Richmond, Va., at the Courtyard Richmond Downtown.

The dozen presenters will share strategies to develop your public relations skills and build your network of agricultural professionals and resources. To register for the meeting, click here. Reserve your hotel room by Oct. 3, to take advantage of the discounted ARC room rate.

With a theme of “Virginia is for Lovers (of Ag PR),” this event provides a forum for agricultural public relations professionals to share ideas and strategies, collaborate among peers and learn about innovative communication tools. “If you have a passion for excellence in agricultural public relations, join ARC members in Richmond, Va., for a career development event that will inspire you personally and professionally,” said ARC Executive Director Kristy Mach.

“This year’s ARC Annual Meeting is a phenomenal opportunity to hear from powerful Washington, D.C. communicators,” stated Mach. “Day in and day out, these ‘movers and shakers’ lead, strategize and implement creative and persuasive messages to build the reputation of U.S. agriculture – domestically and internationally.”

Find the complete ARC Annual Meeting agenda here.

The Agricultural Relations Council is the only association dedicated to serving the unique needs of public relations professionals working in agriculture, food, fiber and other related industries. ARC is a conduit for problem solving, idea sharing and collaboration among members, who share a passion for excellence in public relations.


NASDA Wraps With New President and New CEO

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

New NASDA president Richard Ball of NY; new NASDA CEO Ted McKinney; NASDA Public Policy director RJ Karney; retiring NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture wrapped up its annual meeting Wednesday with the election of New York Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball as 2021-2022 President.

Ball held a press conference at the conclusion of the annual meeting, along with retiring NASDA CEO Dr. Barb Glenn and her successor Ted McKinney, and NASDA Senior Director of Public Policy RJ Karney.

They discussed some of the policy positions taken at the meeting, including support for strengthening emergency food supply networks, amending visa programs to include year-round agriculture workers; and the free flow of interstate trade.

NASDA concluding press conference (24:29)

Audio, Trade

Precision Ag News 9/22

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • BASF has expanded its Xitavo™ soybean seed portfolio with the addition of 14 new high-performing Enlist E3® soybean varieties. Xitavo soybean seed is owned by MS Technologies and is exclusively distributed by BASF.
  • Researchers at the Salk Institute’s Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI) have established a five-year, $6.2 million collaboration with Nadia Shakoor, PhD, principal investigator and senior research scientist and her team at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to identify and develop sorghum plants that can better capture and store atmospheric carbon.
  • JLG Industries, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company and leading global manufacturer of mobile elevating work platforms and telehandlers, marked its entry into the North American agricultural industry at Ag Progress Days in Furnace, Pennsylvania, Farm Progress in Decatur, Illinois, and Husker Harvest Days in Grand Isle, Nebraska, where the company featured its new AG925 telehandler.
  • CNH Industrial N.V. announced that it has joined the 5G Open Innovation Lab, a global applied innovation ecosystem for corporations, academia and government institutions working on developing 5G technologies, as corporate partner.
  • Available for fall 2022, the VT-Flex™ 435 vertical tillage tool from Case IH offers simple, variable gang angle adjustments, allowing producers to meet the soil management needs of any field with greater flexibility and precision. With adjustments that can be performed on the go and a rugged, durable design built to withstand tough conditions, this vertical tillage tool is ideal for mixed farms and small to midsize grain operations. The VT-Flex 435 is available in widths 11 to 25 feet.
  • U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), members of the Senate Agriculture committee, introduced the Precision Agriculture Loan (PAL) Act. The bipartisan legislation would create a program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide loan financing to farmers and ranchers interested in purchasing precision agriculture equipment.
  • The Soil Health Academy announced it has selected Jason Marmon to serve in the role of secretary on the non-profit organization’s board of directors. Marmon, who also serves as development director for US Energy, a social impact non-profit focused on sustainable system design coordination, is an accomplished program advisor and business development leader with 10 years of experience helping companies, communities, causes and individuals achieve measurable results through effective programs.
  • On Thursday, September 30th, Wayne Honeycutt, CEO & President of the Soil Health Institute will present the Economics of Soil Health on 100 Farms. In this study, farmers, who have successfully implemented soil health systems, reported the economic and productivity benefits they achieved through improving soil health. Registration is free and required to attend, so sign up today!
  • Registration is open for the 33rd IPSA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN, January 24-27, 2022. The IPSA Annual Conference will be held in conjunction with the Corn Belt Seed Conference.
  • THRIVE and Bayer have announced that MagGrow, the company behind the patented, proprietary technology that is reducing waste associated with conventional pesticide spray applications, has won the THRIVE | Bayer Sustainability Challenge “Sustainable Scaleup Award.” MagGrow is one of three winners chosen from a global pool of approximately 300 applicants from across 57 countries.
  • Cargill has been enrolling farmers in Cargill RegenConnect™, a new regenerative agriculture program that pays farmers for improved soil health and positive environmental outcomes, including payment per metric ton of carbon sequestered. The new program connects farmers to the growing carbon marketplace and will help scale the voluntary adoption of regenerative agriculture practices.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Nebraska Senator Promotes Precision Ag Loan Bill

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced bipartisan legislation to create a program within USDA to provide loan financing to farmers and ranchers interested in purchasing precision agriculture equipment.

Sen. Fischer spoke on the Senate floor Monday about the Precision Agriculture Loan (PAL) Act, highlighting the importance of increasing the adoption of precision agriculture technologies for agriculture producers, rural communities, consumers, and the environment.

“This would be the first federal loan program dedicated entirely to precision agriculture,” said Fischer. “Instead of paying upwards of 5 percent in interest, producers would be eligible for interest rates lower than 2 percent through the new program with loan terms from 3 to 12 years in length.”

The PAL Act would establish the Precision Agriculture Loan program within USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The program would offer low-cost and long-term loans to agriculture producers who want to adopt precision agriculture technologies but can’t afford to through traditional financing. These loans would cover any precision agriculture technology that improves efficiency or reduces inputs.

Listen to Sen. Fischer on the Senate floor.

Sen. Deb Fischer Precision Ag Loan Act (9:23)

AgWired Precision, Audio, Precision Agriculture

2021 NAMA Professional Development Awards of Excellence

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) has announced three marketing and agricultural leaders as winners of the 2021 Professional Development Awards of Excellence.

The NAMA Professional Development Awards of Excellence honor members of the organization based on outstanding achievement in each of the Professional Development Areas. The awards will be presented in conjunction with the NAMA Fall Conference, October 4-6, in St. Louis.

This year, NAMA recognizes Susan Carney, Corteva Agrisciences, in the Marketing Communications area; Amy Bradford, Growmark, in the area of Public Relations; and Nicole Bechtel, National Cattlemens’ Beef Association, in the area of Sales.

Susan CarneySusan Carney has been improving and impacting marketing communications at Corteva Agriscience (legacy Dow AgroSciences) for more than 31 years. Although she has held various project management, sales and marketing roles, Carney has built the bulk of her career in marketing communications. During the last 11 years, she has been a marketing communications leader. She manages and directs a team of up to 15 people and oversees agency partner selection and relationships. Carney manages one of the largest marketing communications budgets in U.S. agriculture. An early adopter of new channels, she constantly guides her teams to innovate, test, optimize and learn.

Amy BradfordAmy Bradford has drawn attention to GROWMARK in the national conversation. Moreover, she has aligned GROWMARK to be packaged as a company with an expanding future – demonstrated by the expansion of the GROWMARK footprint into all of Canada and Mexico. Bradford has made sure that GROWMARK is always a sponsor of NAMA events and activities, further advancing the fact that GROWMARK is a major player in the U.S. Agribusiness. She has been instrumental in GROWMARK sponsoring a number of other agriculturally-based organizations, including Young Farmers and Ranchers, FFA, Women in Agribusiness and Student NAMA, among others. Her presence also has heightened the visibility of GROWMARK – increasing business and personal networking opportunities.

Nicole BechtelIn a year full of uncertainty, Nicole Bechtel led her team in media sales and contributed greatly to sponsorship sales for the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention and the Winter Reboot. She was instrumental in brainstorming new sponsorship ideas for the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention such as a “Keeping You Safe” sponsorship that provided soap, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to all attendees and our large equipment manufacturers. She ensured that that all signage had sponsor representation and that the sponsorship was marketed heavily to increase ROI for the sponsor. Bechtel was instrumental to her team in creating new sponsorships and ended up selling 30% of total Winter Reboot sponsorships.

Ag Groups, Agribusiness, NAMA

Vilsack Promises to Press China on Phase One

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack promises to press China to fulfill its Phase One trade agreement obligations, but admits it’s complicated.

“We’re involved in a multiple level, complex relationship with China,” said Vilsack during a virtual appearance before the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City and Agri-Pulse Ag Outlook Forum Monday. “And it’s not a simple thing to put together how to approach China.”

China is the main reason USDA is forecasting record agricultural exports both this year and next year. The FY 2021 forecast of $173.5 billion is $33.8 billion, or 24 percent, higher than the FY 2020 final total and nearly $17 billion above the previous record set in FY 2014. Next year, U.S. farm and food exports are projected at a record $177.5 billion, topping 2021 by $4 billion. China is expected to remain the United States’ largest export market, followed by Canada and Mexico.

KC Ag Outlook Forum - Vilsack on trade (9:01)

Agribusiness, Audio, Exports, Trade, USDA

Trade Ambassador Addresses NASDA

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke to state agriculture officials across the country Tuesday during the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Hybrid Annual Meeting.

“Farmers are always planning for the future and that’s what we have to do together,” said Tai in a pre-recorded conversation with NASDA member Derek Sandison, Washington State Director of Agriculture. “I want to ensure that farmers and agriculture workers have a voice in USTR’s work and I want to hear from them directly.”

Sandison asked Tai about a number of trade issues important to state agriculture officials, including China, biotechnology provisions in Mexico, dairy issues with Canada, expanding market opportunities for agriculture, shipping container shortages, and trade promotion authority.

NASDA21 USTR Katherine Tai remarks (15:01)

Audio, Exports, Trade

EPA Administrator Pledges Transparency in WOTUS Rule

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan spoke to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) hybrid annual meeting this morning and pledged to work with them on rewriting the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“Normal farming, silviculture and ranching activities, as defined by the Clean Water Act, will not require a permit,” said Regan. “We are pledging to engage all of our stakeholders, be extremely transparent, learn the lessons of the past, and charge forward with a doable rule that provides certainty, that doesn’t overburden or penalize the small farmer, while protecting water quality and good drinking water.”

Regan says they hope to have a preliminary rule out by November.

NASDA21 EPA Administrator Michael Regan on WOTUS (3:09)

Audio, Environment, EPA, Farming, Water