Industry Ag News 7/1

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  • The American Farm Bureau Federation has named Joby Young the organization’s next Executive Vice President, stepping into the role in mid-July following the retirement of Dale Moore.
  • In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will collect updated information on 2022 acres planted to barley, canola, corn, dry edible beans, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and Durum and other spring wheat in three states. NASS previously collected planted acreage information during the first two weeks of June, with the results published in the June 30 Acreage report. Excessive rainfall had delayed planting at the time of the survey, leaving a portion of acres still to be planted in: Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. If the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the Crop Production report to be released at noon ET on Friday, Aug. 12. It will be available online at
  • The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) shares their 2023 Farm Bill priorities as Congress prepares for the next Farm bill.
  • Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, supported by Purina. This is the fifth year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America. The contest opened in January and the nomination deadline has been extended to July 15. Eligibility guidelines and submission requirements are available at
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new pilot program created under President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the development of biobased products that have lower carbon footprints and increase the use of renewable agricultural materials, creating new revenue streams for farmers.
  • Rising fuel prices are putting growing pressure on farmers and ranchers as they grapple with increased costs of growing food and fiber. USDA estimates show that the cost of fuel, lube and electricity is expected to increase 34% in 2022 compared to 2021. American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyze the factors contributing to rising fuel prices in the latest Market Intel.
  • Fifteen agriculture students have been selected as the sixth class of recipients of the GROWMARK Foundation scholarship. More than 300 students from across the United States and Ontario, Canada, applied for the award. Applications were evaluated by a panel of agribusiness professionals, and the funds are available for the fall 2022 semester.
Zimfo Bytes

Meister Media Launches Global Ag Tech Initiative

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Meister Media Worldwide, Inc. (MMW) has just announced the launch of the Global Ag Tech Initiative(SM) to lead a new generation of worldwide agriculture forward to sustainably produce safe and abundant food to feed the world.

“The MMW CropLife Media Group® and its PrecisionAg® brands have been at the forefront leading the precision agriculture industry with an expanding portfolio of new products and services enabling U.S. crop input providers to bring these new capabilities alive on the farm,” says Eric Davis, Managing Director of the Global Ag Tech Initiative. “Building on this foundation the Global Ag Tech Initiative will leverage all MMW domestic and international markets and diverse platforms to build out new global and region-specific programs to advance the new generation of digital data-driven agriculture around the world.”

The Global Ag Tech Initiative provides opportunities to connect with the industry on multiple levels through a portfolio of events and informative products. Some of those include: — A global digital source of expert commentary, longer-range trends and insights, headlines from key precision regions, and curated precision tech content from Meister Media Worldiwde’s family of brands across production agriculture.

The VISION Conference — The definitive digital farming conference for North America, providing market-tested insights set to transform agribusiness with a focus on a 3-to 5 -year view. An event for decision-makers and those interested in seeing what the future holds for ag tech.

Tech Hub LIVE – The leading new event for data-driven digital agriculture practitioners in the U.S. showcasing new technologies and solutions to deploy today – coming up July 19-21 in Indianapolis!

The Global Ag Tech Alliance North America — A partnership with industry-leading technology and crop input organizations supporting the activities, research, and outreach that facilitate the adoption of precision and digital agriculture products and practices.

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Events, Media, Precision Agriculture, Tech Hub LIVE, Technology

New ASTA Leadership Elected

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New ASTA chair Jim Schweigert (L) with outgoing chair Brad May

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) elected its 2022-23 officer team during the association’s Leadership Summit this week in Indianapolis. Jim Schweigert, Gro Alliance, is the new chair for the organization, replacing Brad May of BASF. Both are pictured here during the “ASTA Night at the Ball Game” pre-summit event.

A third-generation seedsman, Schweigert is the president of Gro Alliance, the largest independently-owned contract corn and soybean seed production company in North America. The company is also a leader in custom corn breeding and seed corn nursery services in the U.S. and in Chile where it operates through its joint venture, CIS Alliance. He also serves as a board advisor for ZeaKal.

Among Schweigert’s top priorities for the association over the next 12 months is increasing engagement with the next generation of seed industry innovators. “The recent influx of investments in the seed industry, both in terms of capital and ideas, is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in breeding, on-seed chemistry, channels to market and new business models,” said Schweigert. “This is not the time to be on the sidelines, as policy will be made by those in the game.”

In addition to Schweigert, other members of the 2022-23 ASTA officer team are:
• First Vice Chair: David Armstrong, Sakata Seed America
• Second Vice Chair: Dan Foor, La Crosse Seed

Newly-elected Regional Vice Presidents are: Bryan Gerard, JoMar Seeds (Central); and Luke Turner, Turner Seed Co. (Southern). The new ASTA leadership team will begin official duties on July 1.

Agribusiness, ASTA, Seed

Precision Ag News 6/30

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  • The Soil and Water Conservation Society awarded the prestigious Hugh Hammond Bennett Award to American Farmland Trust Senior Research Advisor, Ann Sorensen, PhD, for her 50 years of service to the conservation of natural resources.
  • Share the story of how conservation is part of your farm operation and you could be recognized with a Conservation Legacy Award. The awards recognize farm management practices of U.S. soybean farmers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. All applications must be submitted by August 15, 2022.
  • Experienced ag account professional Taylor Janicek has joined Meristem Crop Performance Group, LLC, one of the fastest-growing crop input suppliers in America. Janicek now becomes Meristem’s sales representative in the Northern Corn Belt, operating out of central Michigan.
  • Global soil health innovator and regenerative agriculture leader Heliae Agriculture is proud to announce the appointment of a new Director of Ag Science, Cassidy Million, Ph.D. This position will champion Heliae Agriculture’s industry outreach, agronomy trials, and product training for its portfolio of microalgae solutions.
  • Gowan Company is pleased to announce the EPA’s rescission of a cancellation order for the active ingredient spirodiclofen. This result was based on work done by Gowan’s regulatory team and included data Gowan submitted to the EPA, allowing for the completion of risk assessments and registration review decisions for spirodiclofen. In addition, this submission included Gowan’s commitment to implement label changes that adequately address the EPA’s risk concerns. As a result, Gowan has submitted an amended label for the sole end-use Envidor™ product that reflects the risk mitigation proposed by the Agency.
  • John Deere now offers a new AutoTrac™ Ready option for select full-size Gator™ Utility Vehicles to give farmers and ranchers hands-free steering capabilities and increased versatility.
  • Bushel announced the availability of a payment and money facilitation network. The product launch, announced during Bushel’s first-ever customer conference, will address the challenge the industry faces of facilitating payments for nearly 90% of a $200 billion industry through paper checks.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Yara Alabama Incubator Farm Explores Soil Health

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Yara’s new Incubator Farm in Auburn, Alabama is focused on exploring practical approaches to managing and positively impacting soil health.

The 80-acre farm, located on the EV Smith Research Station in partnership with Auburn University, will implement three different sets of soil health management and crop nutrition programs utilizing established techniques such as cover crops, minimum tillage and 4R nutrient management, as well as exploring the use of new biological and organic inputs combined with mineral nutrition to further understand what combination of practices maximizes soil health.

On-site is also the new Knowledge Grows Center, a space for collaboration, education and training around soil health practices. Yara’s partners and other agriculture stakeholders will be invited to leverage the farm’s research and center to advance their own farming and soil health practices.

Yara North America has three additional Incubator Farms in Modesto, California; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and the Columbia Basin, Washington. These three farms each have a regionally and crop-focused objective to support the local agriculture community while also playing an instrumental role in advancing Yara’s ambition of “Growing a Nature-Positive Food Future” by building solutions to decrease carbon footprint, improve water and nitrogen use efficiency, regenerate soil sources and more.

AgWired Precision, Farming, Food, Precision Agriculture, Soil, Technology

Greg Nickerson Joins Ag PR Hall of Fame

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Lynn Henderson, award sponsor, with Greg Nickerson

Bader Rutter chairman and former CEO Greg Nickerson has joined a distinguished group of agricultural public relations professionals as the newest member of the Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame, sponsored by AgriMarketing Magazine. The award was presented during the ARC Annual Meeting, held June 21-23, in Milwaukee.

The largest advertising agency in Wisconsin and the largest agricultural marketing agency in the country, Bader Rutter doubled its size under Nickerson’s leadership. Key clients include Continental Properties, Corteva Agriscience, Zoetis, Milwaukee Bucks, Case IH, Zoro and Trane. Today, Bader Rutter employs 275 individuals in three states.

As chairman, Greg Nickerson splits his time between business development, financial oversight and serving on several non-profit boards representing Bader Rutter. During his three decades at the agency, he has seen it more than triple in size and diversify its client base into many different industries.

Agencies, Agribusiness, ARC

ASTA Honors Past, Present Industry Leaders

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ASTA chair Brad May (left) with award winners Richard Denhart, Rick Turner, Ed Podleckis, Rajat Pruthi, and Ron Walcott

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) honored past and present seed industry leaders during its Leadership Summit this week in Indianapolis. In addition to the time-honored Lifetime Honorary Member and Distinguished Service Awards, this year’s slate of honors included the all-new Heritage Award and the Seed Science Foundation’s Excellence in Science Award.

ASTA’s Lifetime Honorary Member Award was presented to two worthy individuals this year – Rick Turner with BASF and Richard Denhart of the Illinois Seed Trade Association. In his 45-year career in agriculture, Turner served posts in domestic and international markets focusing on diverse seed portfolios, seed treatments and crop protection products. Denhart served in various leadership positions, including with Illinois Crop Improvement, Illinois Foundation Seeds, Illinois Seed Trade Association; as the first Chair of the ASTA State Government Affairs Working Group and the first State Association Representative to the ASTA Board of Directors.

The ASTA Distinguished Service Award honors Dr. Edward Podleckis, USDA-APHIS. For over 20 years, he worked as a risk analyst and risk manager developing APHIS plant pest risk analysis programs and policies, providing analytical support to inform agency import and policy decisions and plants for planting import policy.

The Roger Krueger Memorial Scholarship, established in 2008 by the American Seed Research Foundation, was presented to Rajat Pruthi, University of Georgia.

The first-ever Seed Science Foundation Excellence in Science Award was bestowed upon Dr. Ron Walcott, University of Georgia. Dr. Walcott has been a friend and resource for the vegetable seed industry for over 20 years through his research that focuses on diseases, especially those that can be seed borne, and of commercially important vegetables. He has been a major source of technical knowledge on vegetable pathogens to ASTA and the seed industry.

The inaugural Heritage Award, created to preserve and build seed industry history, recognized five individuals who have significantly impacted the seed industry and ASTA. The winners are: W. Atlee Burpee, W. Atlee Burpee & Co.; Dr. Harry Collins, Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL); Dr. Owen Newlin, Pioneer Hi-Bred International; Dr. Norman Borlaug, CIMMYT; and Jerry Peterson, Peterson Seed Co.

ASTA, Seed

Animal Ag News 6/28

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  • Farmers, including pork producers, are encouraged to participate in USDA’s 2022 Agriculture Census. The data collected looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. The information collected from the census provides a variety of public data that represents the ag industry. The census includes data from every operation – large or small, urban or rural – from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products are produced and sold, or would normally be produced and sold, in the ag census year. Sign Up for 2022 Ag Census by June 30.
  • Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative stressed flexibility and fairness in announcing its priorities for reforming the federal milk pricing system. Edge’s proposal primarily focuses on two key principles ― flexibility and fairness. Differences across the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO) require added flexibility to meet their respective needs, and current markets driving milk outside the FMMO system point to a need for a standard set of “contracting principles” to build a more fair and equitable pricing system.
  • The National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry gives poultry facility and safety professionals the necessary tools to help ensure the continued well-being and protection of industry personnel. The Conference, sponsored by the Georgia Tech Research Institute/ATRP and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), is scheduled for Aug. 15-17 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Destin, Florida.
  • The Supreme Court of the United States denied R-CALF’s lawsuit against 13 state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff. This ruling effectively ends yet another R-CALF attack on the Beef Checkoff and prevents the activist attorneys at Public Justice, from further diverting Checkoff and beef industry resources.
  • Whether you grew up on a farm, visit farms for work, or have friends and family who are farmers, we all have life lessons learned from the farm. Pork industry colleagues have been filling LinkedIn newsfeeds recently with their #LessonsFromTheFarm to talk about the pork industry’s ethical principles, goals/metrics and elevate the industry’s story. When you post, use the hashtag #LessonsFromTheFarm and tag @NationalPorkBoard.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Crow’s Seed Being Re-Launched in Eastern Corn Belt

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Crow’s Seed is being re-launched in the Eastern Corn Belt, by Outward Ag, LLC. This follows the re-establishment a few years ago of Midwest Seed Genetics in the Central and Northern Corn Belt and NC+ in the West, which have become two of the fastest growing seed brands in U.S. row crop agriculture.

Crow’s Hybrids, originally from Milford, IL, was one of the pioneering hybrid seed brands, launched in 1935. Over six decades, it provided strong performing seed through strong local relationships. In the late 1990s, Don Funk acquired Crow’s and turned this local company into a regional powerhouse. Crow’s became a key foundational brand that spurred the record-setting growth of Channel, subsequently acquired by Monsanto, now Bayer.

Michelle Vigna will lead efforts to re-introduce Crow’s to the Eastern Corn Belt, following a wide-ranging career at Monsanto, now Bayer. Vigna notably served as the System Launch Manager for the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System in US Product Management and Marketing from 2012 through 2014. Following this, she led Monsanto’s DEKALB/Asgrow sales team as the Area Business Manager in Northern Indiana.

“My focus has always been to support American farmers in the manner that they need to be successful in their businesses. I see the re-launch of Crow’s as an opportunity to do this, by bringing simplicity and a customer-first approach in delivering the highest quality seed possible. That’s all we will be focused on, “says Vigna.

Read more about the re-launch of Crow’s Seed.

Corn, Seed, Soybean

Congrats to #ARCinMKE Winners

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The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) 2022 Golden ARC Awards winners were announced last week in Milwaukee, during the group’s annual meeting.

MorganMyers won the Golden ARC de Excellence Award – the contest’s best all-around entry in the campaigns division – for its “The SCN Coalition: Battling A Bug to Improve America’s Soybean Profitability and Sustainability” entry in the PR Campaigns – Issues Management category. The Golden ARC Awards contest has recognized exceptional work created by public relations professionals in the agricultural industry since 1990.

This year’s Golden ARC Awards contest drew 72 entries – 27 campaigns and 45 tactics. Twenty-one entities, including individuals, agencies, companies, commodity groups and associations, submitted entries. In addition to the Golden ARC de Excellence Award, ARC presented 32 Golden ARC awards.

See all the winners.

Ag Groups, Agencies, ARC, Public Relations