Industry Ag News 9/29

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will begin issuing more than $1.75 billion in emergency relief payments to eligible farmers and livestock producers. These much-needed payments are helping farming and ranching operations recover following natural disasters in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
  • USDA is making more than $3 billion in funding available for agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices in fiscal year 2024 as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The announcement comes as the Biden-Harris Administration hosts the first-ever White House Climate Resilience Summit.
  • USDA announced that it is expanding crop insurance options with a new Grapevine insurance program, which will provide coverage for loss of grafted vines caused by natural perils such as freeze or fire. The new program also will complement the Grape crop insurance program that covers the fruit growing on the vine.
  • After a thorough review of public relations agencies, John Deere has elected to work with Bader Rutter for the company’s Production and Precision Ag and Small Ag PR effective November 1, 2023. Mod Op will be transitioning media relations efforts and responsibilities to Bader Rutter.
  • Agriculture is on the cusp of revolutionary change. The confluence of a series of powerful technological, geopolitical, economic and social megatrends is poised to create an increasingly chaotic future for us all. But within this sea of uncertainty, a world of opportunity awaits those who embrace change, remain flexible, trust experimentation and work to create a culture of innovation. Global futurist and best-selling author Jack Uldrich will explain at the October 26 NAMA webinar — FREE for NAMA members.
  • On November 29, join the FarmHer team at the Impact Summit, a one-day conference focused on empowering women in agriculture for the purpose of connection, collaboration, and personal development. The event will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa.
  • In its continued efforts to support agriculture and farming communities, Farmland is proud to be an official partner of country superstar Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour for the third consecutive year. The annual concert series gives back by awarding college scholarships to students from farming families who are attending the local college or university near the tour stops. To date, more than 78 scholarships have been granted! To help Luke celebrate year 14 year of the tour, Farmland surprised him backstage in Colfax, Iowa, with a custom Bacon Sushi Bar, uniting two of the star’s favorite foods.
  • In its ninth annual FFA Essay Contest, Culver’s asked students to share what excites them about agricultural programs spearheading this crucial work, like the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action’s (USFRA) Decade of Ag movement. Culver’s selected three winning FFA members’ entries, donating a total of $15,000 to their chapters to help fund agricultural education and leadership opportunities, such as the trip to the 2023 National FFA Convention & Expo, Nov. 1-4, 2023: First place ($7,500): Clara K. of the Rowva FFA in Illinois; Second place ($5,000): Sarah H. of the Locust Grove High School FFA in Georgia; Third place ($2,500): Caleb S. of the Valmeyer FFA in Illinois.
  • The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s (FFAR) annual Public Conversation will be held on Thursday, October 5th at 10:30 a.m. EDT. The Public Conversation is an opportunity for the FFAR Board of Directors to engage with the food and agriculture community and for FFAR leadership to provide updates on the Foundation’s recent work. This gathering, held in person and virtually, includes a forum for the public to provide comments on FFAR’s research and other topics concerning the Foundation’s strategic direction.
  • Bartlett, a Savage Company, and POSCO INTERNATIONAL announced the exploration of a joint venture in soybean crush and grain origination and export. A joint venture between the two companies would leverage Bartlett’s North American agriculture supply chain and operational capabilities together with POSCO’s global ag network and market expertise to drive growth and new business opportunities. A joint venture would also be synergistic with the companies’ shared emphasis on sustainability and supporting growing international markets for grain and renewable transportation fuels.
  • Kubota continues its commitment to invest in hometowns across America with its Kubota Hometown Proud community grant program, awarding $600,000 in grants to five deserving communities. Kubota Hometown Proud is an annual grant program that encourages municipalities and nonprofit organizations to partner with their local Kubota dealership to apply for grant funding consideration.
  • Cotton Council International, the export promotions arm of the National Cotton Council, announced the tour dates and locations for its 2023 COTTON USA Orientation Tour.
  • U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Protecting Future Farmland Act, new legislation to support farmers’ land stewardship efforts as many choose to deploy solar energy on their land. The legislation will ensure that federal investment in rural energy projects prioritizes both land stewardship and responsible deployment of renewable energy to protect America’s farmlands for future cultivation.
  • RiceTec, a global leader in sustainable rice agriculture, announced the appointment of Chakra Sankaraiah as its new Global Chief Technology Officer. With over 21 years of experience in data and digital technologies, Sankaraiah brings expertise to RiceTec’s leadership team.
  • Zimfo Bytes

    ZimmCast 719 – Preview of 2023 NAMA Fall Conference

    Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    ZimmCastHello and welcome to the ZimmCast.

    It is time to get a preview of what to expect at this year’s NAMA Fall Conference. I spoke with Trista Thompson, Wyffels, Chair for the conference and Laura Rustmann, J.L. Farmakis, Vice Chair. In our discussion we talk about the ag tour the day before the official start of the conference; keynote speakers; breakout sessions, professional development awards and lots of opportunity for networking. You can still register and we hope to see you there.

    Listen to the episode here:ZimmCast 719 - Preview of the 2023 NAMA Fall Conference (17:14)

    That’s the ZimmCast for this week. I hope you enjoyed it and thank you for listening.

    Subscribe to the ZimmCast in:

    Audio, NAMA, ZimmCast

    USDA Agribusiness Trade Mission Delegation Visits Chile

    Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

    U.S. Ambassador to Chile Bernadette Meehan (left) and USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor

    USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor led an agribusiness delegation to Santiago, Chile this week with representatives from the U.S. food and agriculture sectors and state departments of agriculture.

    “As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Chile relations, I am honored to lead such an incredible group as we work with Chilean importers on expanding our bilateral trade even further,” said Taylor. “Customers in Chile are especially interested in U.S. consumer-oriented products, such as dairy, beef, poultry, pork, condiments and distilled spirits, providing U.S. exporters with many new and exciting opportunities.”

    While in Santiago, the members of the delegation are looking to establish business relationships and explore opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports to the region. Buyers from Chile, as well as from neighboring Ecuador and Peru, have been invited to participate and meet with U.S. exporters. In addition, this trade mission will allow participants to learn about production and marketing practices throughout South America.

    Taylor held a media call from Santiago, Chile Thursday to talk about the trip.

    USDA Trade Mission to Chile - Under Secretary Alexis Taylor 25:38

    Audio, Exports, Trade, USDA

    ADM and Syngenta Group Partner for New Biofuels Feedstocks

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    ADM and Syngenta Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of low carbon, next-generation oilseeds and improved varieties to help meet growing demand for biofuels fueled by sustainable aviation fuel.

    ADM and Syngenta hope to leverage their existing capabilities to accelerate the research, processing, and commercialization of oilseeds such as Camelina that are typically grown in the fallow period of a crop rotation. Such feedstocks could help meet global demand for biofuels which is expected to grow by 35 billion liters per year, or 22%, over the 2022-2027 period, according to the International Energy Association.

    “Farmers have always been stewards of the land,” said Alison Taylor, ADM’s chief sustainability officer. “We’re already expanding our partnerships with farmers through our re:generations™ regen ag program; this MOU represents another pathway for us to help them drive value by positioning their businesses to meet global demand for sustainably-sourced products.”

    “Transforming agriculture will be fueled by innovation, but it must be achieved at scale,” said Daniel Vennard, Syngenta Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “This cannot be done alone. The whole food and agriculture system needs to work in partnership with farmers at the center. Our collaboration with ADM is a perfect example of our continued commitment and we are excited to see what we will do together and how we can inspire the industry.”

    The companies expect to sign definitive agreements by the end of the year and are already advancing important work together around growing and processing next-generation varieties.

    Biofuels, Syngenta

    Dr. Mary-Dell Chilton, Syngenta, Receives Golden Goose Award

    Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Mary-Dell ChiltonOne of the awardees of the Golden Goose Award this year is Dr. Mary-Dell Chilton. I had the opportunity to interview her during a Syngenta Media Event in 2006. You can find that interview here.

    Here is an overview of the work Dr. Chilton is well-known for.

    Using millions of years-old bacteria to genetically modify plants resistant to pests. Awardee: Mary-Dell Chilton – Syngenta .

    In the 1970s, scientists were trying to uncover whether bacteria’s ability to repair their own DNA could also hijack plant growth — a survival strategy which, while savvy, threatened agricultural crops. Determined to find the answer, Mary-Dell Chilton analyzed data at her kitchen table after her kids had gone to bed. To her surprise, she discovered that bacteria could transfer their DNA into plants. The technique she eventually developed based on the bacteria’s natural abilities, known as Agrobacterium-mediated transformation (AMT), is now widely adopted by U.S. corn, soybean and cotton farmers.

    The Golden Goose Award, which celebrates federally funded research that sounds silly, but ultimately benefits society, has selected five researchers across the fields of biology, agriculture and genomics for their unexpected breakthroughs as 2023 awardees. On September 27, 2023, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, co-hosted the 12th annual Golden Goose Award ceremony with the Association of American Universities, a founding member of the Golden Goose Award, at the Library of Congress to celebrate the awardees’ achievements. You can find the video of the presentation on YouTube.

    You can see the full news release here. (pdf)

    Agribusiness, Audio, Biotech, Syngenta

    Precision Ag News 9/27

    Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • On the heels of the first anniversary of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has seen record interest in the conservation and clean energy programs that received funding from the law. As a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the Inflation Reduction Act is the nation’s largest-ever investment to combat climate change.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resolved longstanding litigation covering over 1,000 pesticide products, allowing EPA to fulfill its obligations to protect endangered species while conducting reviews and approvals of pesticides in a safe and protective manner. In 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network filed a complaint in Federal Court in California against EPA alleging that it was violating the Endangered Species Act when it registered or reevaluated the registration of 382 pesticide active ingredients, which was ultimately reduced to 35 active ingredients covering over 1,000 pesticide products containing one or more of these active ingredients. This became known as the “megasuit” because of the number of pesticides it covered. The settlement entered by the Court last week resolves all outstanding claims.
  • Stratovation Group, fresh off releasing landmark research about the sentiments of traditional row-crop farmers on the use of agricultural biologicals, is engineering a new study to look at how specialty-crop growers perceive agricultural biologicals for vegetable, leafy greens and fruit and nut crops. The new study, “Biologicals: Specialty Crop Growers’ Perceptions, Values and Potential,” will be conducted in collaboration with Western Growers, the Agricultural Retailers Association, DC Legislative and Regulatory Services, and The Fertilizer Institute.
  • To meet the increasing demands and projected future growth for its industry-leading MycoApply arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) products, Valent BioSciences LLC has announced the construction of a new manufacturing facility in White City, Oregon. This new plant will complement the existing headquarters and manufacturing operations for its subsidiary company, Mycorrhizal Applications LLC, in Grants Pass, Oregon.
  • John Deere and DeLaval have joined efforts to create the Milk Sustainability Center, a digital ecosystem to help dairy farmers improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations. The ecosystem will be open for partners to join, with the objective of providing farmers with data needed for a holistic view of the dairy operations.
  • The upcoming seventh annual VISION Conference is returning to Glendale, AZ from January 22-24, 2024.
  • Camryn Hyde has joined the Concept AgriTek team as an Executive Assistant specializing in data report and analysis.
  • Best-in-class research and innovation requires top notch lab facilities and AgXelerators has found it in the Purdue Technology Center (PTC). Owned and operated by the renowned Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Research Park is the largest Certified Technology Park (CTP) in the state of Indiana. More than 250 high-tech companies call the park home, including those working in a wide array of market segments.
  • AgMission, an initiative co-created by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and World Farmers’ Organisation to develop and implement climate-smart agriculture, awarded The Nature Conservancy (TNC) a $1,784,805 grant to expand the scale and scope of the Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS). OpTIS is a remote sensing tool that gives the conservation and agriculture communities vital data to help farmers accelerate soil health and climate-smart practices.
  • New Zealand-based agritech company Robotics Plus has launched Prospr, an autonomous, multi-use, hybrid vehicle designed to carry out a variety of orchard and vineyard crop tasks more efficiently and sustainably while reducing reliance on labor. Prospr is now commercially available from Robotics Plus, a specialist in the design and build of innovative agricultural robotics.
  • AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

    House Ag Committee Members Discuss Farm Bill

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    U.S. Representatives Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Tracey Mann (R-KS)

    The current farm bill expires this weekend, so it is less than unlikely that a new one will be passed before that time, but will it happen before the “drop dead” deadline of the end of this year?

    Two members of Congress from Kansas were at the Ag Outlook Forum in Kansas City on Monday, hosted by AgBizKC and Agri-Pulse Communications. U.S. Representatives Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Tracey Mann (R-KS), both members of the House Agriculture Committee, discussed the potential for getting a farm bill across the finish line without an extension.

    “You’ve got to remember that the farm bill today is 81 percent food and nutrition, 19 percent everything else,” said Mann, who is fifth-generation Kansan, born and raised on the family farm. “In the everything else bucket are things like crop insurance, market access programs, conservation programs, all of the things that effect production agriculture.”

    Davids, who has served in Congress since 2019, admittedly knows little about agriculture but says she has embarked on a listening tour around the state to learn more. “I went to a livestock auction. I didn’t buy anything, luckily they wouldn’t let me,” said Davids. “I went to a co-op, a vegetable farm, a goat farm. I’m learning the difference between all the different types of cows.”

    Listen to their opening statements here:
    Ag Outlook Forum - Reps. Mann and Davids 20:13

    Agri-Pulse, Audio, Farm Bill

    Save the Date for VISION Conference 2024

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    The seventh annual VISION Conference is returning to Glendale, Arizona, January 22-24, 2024.

    The VISION Conference has firmly established itself as the premier gathering for forward-thinking executives in the ag tech community. This event serves as a critical platform where industry leaders come together to chart the strategic roadmap for the adoption of the latest innovative technologies and systems. Our primary focus is on the key drivers that will transform the agribusiness industry within the next 3 to 5 years.

    New in 2024, the second in-person meeting of Women in Ag Tech (WiAT) will be co-located with the VISION Conference, starting with a networking reception on January 21.

    AgWired Precision, Events, Technology

    Agri-Pulse to Host Webinar on Infrastructure and U.S. Soy

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    With low water levels in the Mississippi River and thousands of roads and bridges in need of improvement, what’s the future look like for moving this year’s soybean crop to domestic and international buyers?

    Find out during a free one-hour webinar, “Our Soy Checkoff: Improving U.S. Infrastructure to Meet Demands for U.S. Soy,” on Sept. 28. American Soybean Association Chief Economist Scott Gerlt, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition Mike Steenhoek and Agri-Pulse will share news on current conditions as well as some promising infrastructure improvements.

    “As harvest gets underway, this is an opportunity to gain insights into the impact of this year’s drought on crops and key waterways, as well as the potential implications for market prices,” says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant.

    The webinar at 1 p.m. ET is sponsored by the American Soybean Association and the United Soybean Board. You can sign up by clicking on this link.

    Agri-Pulse, Soybean, webinar

    Animal Ag News 9/25

    Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) held its 52nd annual Liquid Feed Symposium (LFS) in Louisville, Ky., where over 170 attendees gathered to hear the latest ingredient, weather and market forecasts and discuss the ways this unique industry segment factors into cattle producers’ sustainability objectives.
  • The Greener Cattle Initiative (GCI), a multi-partner international consortium investing in research mitigating enteric methane, awarded additional grants to reduce enteric methane emissions from cattle. The grants aim to understand how mitigating methane emissions impacts cows’ biology, performance and health, and if selective breeding can result in cows that produce less enteric methane.
  • U.S. EPA Region 7, Iowa State University, and the University of Iowa announced that registration is now open for the upcoming conference titled Anaerobic Digestion on the Farm – Optimizing Environmental and Economic Outcomes for Rural Communities and Beyond. EPA and the universities will host the conference Nov. 6-8, 2023, at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
  • The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) is hosting two educational sessions for established and emerging meat and poultry processors this fall. The webinars are free and will focus on key business and financial decisions facing small and medium-sized operators. The first session will cover the process of transitioning or selling a meat processing business. The second course will explore emerging and proven strategies to help meat processing businesses reduce costs and add value by using hides and animal byproduct harvesting during processing.
  • Nedap’s North American team continues to grow and strengthen. The global leader in dairy data management technology announces Thierry Perrotin has joined Nedap as vice president for dairy, North America and Emily Rolli has joined as a technical experience manager.
  • Kevin Burkum, Chief Communications Officer, is leaving Global Dairy Platform. Kevin will be CEO for U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action (USFRA). USFRA is a network of farmer and rancher-led organizations and food and agricultural partners that work together to address critical issues facing U.S. agriculture and global food and renewable energy systems. Kevin’s last day with GDP will be Monday, October 2.
  • Poultry Tech Summit, the essential global event for collaborating on next-generation technologies, features an agenda packed with new ideas that improve profitability and productivity for growers, integrators and processors. The 2023 event is scheduled for Nov. 6-8, 2023, at a new location in the conveniently located Hilton Atlanta Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Registration is open with early savings ending Sept. 29.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have approved $330,000 for five new research grants at four institutions through the comprehensive research program. The research funding was approved by the boards of directors of both organizations, based on recommendations from the Foundation Research Advisory Committee. The committee evaluates research proposals to determine their value to the industry and then makes recommendations to the boards for funding. Committee members are professional specialists from different segments of the poultry and egg industry who represent a variety of disciplines.
  • Meghan Cline has joined the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) as director of policy communications. In her role, she will focus on strategies for effectively communicating NPPC’s policy positions to a wide variety of audiences, including producers, lawmakers, the media, and consumers.
  • AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites