Animal Ag News 3/20

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced this week that they are awarding the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) with $445,396 in funding to advance the Secure Beef Supply Plan (SBS) in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the U.S.
  • The World Pork Expo is returning to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines for its 35th year this June 7 through June 9. Presented by National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), this year’s event will mark a major milestone for the world’s largest pork-specific trade show.
  • The 2022 Cattlemen’s Beef Board Annual Report is now available. See how the Beef Checkoff utilized your producer dollars to support and strengthen the entire beef industry through research, promotion and education.
  • Alltech has published a new white paper comparing selenium sources by form, source and function, by Dr. Richard Murphy, director of research at Alltech.
  • Joseph Scimeca, PhD, senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), recently announced his plans to retire in the summer of 2023 following nearly four decades in the food industry. IDFA has begun a national search for Dr. Scimeca’s successor to lead the trade association’s Regulatory & Scientific Affairs team.
  • The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Pork Board awarded former Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Executive Director Mike Telford with the Paulson-Whitmore State Executive Award. Presented at the National Pork Industry Forum joint annual business meeting, Telford was recognized for his leadership, vision, and long-standing commitment to the pork industry.
  • The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced 12 scholarship winners at the recent National Pork Industry Forum. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship and the Neil Dierks Scholarship were awarded to college students pursuing careers in the U.S. pork industry.
  • Athian (, the world’s first cloud-based carbon marketplace for the livestock industry, announces a seed investment from Tyson Ventures for a transactional carbon credit inset program for the livestock sector.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture

AgriPro Hybrid Wheat Stands Out at #Classic23

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Paul Morano (left) and Jon Rich, Syngenta Agripro

NK Seeds Agripro brand hybrid wheat marks a new era for wheat production as the first to bring commercial hybrid wheat seed and all of its benefits to farmers, starting with spring wheat in the Northern Plains region.

“Our big focus right now is building an R&D pipeline for hybrid wheat,” said Jon Rich, Hybrid wheat Operations Head Syngenta-Agripro. “We’re trying to bring a new technology to the marketplace for the farmers.” Benefits for farmers include increased yield consistency, yield increases from heterosis, and reduced seeding rate.

Paul Morano, Head of Cereals at Syngenta-AgriPro, says they started learning launches last year with a few hundred acres. “This year we raised that up to a couple thousand acres of hybrid wheat in the field to the farmers,” he said. “Next year we will plan our full launch in spring wheat.”

Learn more in this interview and in their remarks during the Syngenta press conference at Commodity Classic.
Classic 23 interview with Jon Rich and Paul Morano, Syngenta-AgriPro hybrid wheat (5:49)

Audio, Commodity Classic, Syngenta, Wheat

Industry Ag News 3/17

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has confirmed that he will appear in person as the luncheon keynote during the March 20 Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit. Registration for the day long event at the National Press Club remains open with virtual options available.
  • The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has released its policy recommendations for the 2023 Farm Bill. The recommendations fall under the following priority areas: 1) conservation; 2) agriculture research; 3) trade; 4) innovation; and 5) risk management
  • Early registration for the 2023 Water for Food Global Conference has been extended through Monday, March 27. A discount of $100 is available to those who register on or before this date. The conference, held May 8-11, at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, will focus on innovative ways to improve water and food security by increasing farmers’ resiliency to a changing landscape.
  • It’s time for the 2023 Livestock Publications Council awards contest! New this year are tiered entry fee deadlines. The early deadline is April 18 and the final deadline is May 9, 2023. Save money by entering early!Find rules, fees, deadlines, entry instructions and other information here.
  • Nominations are now open for the newly established American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Mentorship Award. The award will recognize ASTA members who have made significant and sustained contributions to the career development of trainees and to the profession through outstanding mentoring.
  • The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) and G&S Business Communications selected McKenna Greco, a senior at Rutgers University studying animal science, with a minor in business and technical writing, as the 2023 ARC/Gardner & Gardner Communications intern. As the intern, she will also serve as the student adviser to the ARC board of directors.
  • The Renewable Fuels Association is pleased to welcome ArrowUp LLC and Hanigan Law Group PLC as its newest associate members.
  • Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX™) reported February 2023 trading volume of 253,274 contracts, representing an 18.8% year-over-year (YoY) decrease from the same period in 2022 and a 52.9% increase from January 2023.
  • 400 farm and industry groups signed onto a letter shared with congressional leadership on agriculture’s budgetary needs in the 2023 Farm Bill. That letter sent to the chairmen and ranking members of both the House and Senate Budget Committees is a strong example of “united, we stand,” a phrase popular amongst the country’s founding fathers.
  • The American Soybean Association presented several awards at Commodity Classic last week. Les Seiler of Fayette, Ohio received ASA’s 2023 National Conservation Legacy Award. Willard Jack, retired ASA director and soy farmer from Belzoni, Mississippi, was the Pinnacle Award honoree this year in recognition of a lifetime of work. Parks Wells of Tennessee, was the Distinguished Leadership Award recipient and Ryan Bivens, Hodgenville, Kentucky, won the Outstanding State Volunteer Award.
  • GROWMARK, Inc. announces a revamped scholarship program for 2023. The GROWMARK Foundation will provide 55 scholarships of $2,000 each to students pursuing agriculture and business-related degrees or certificates at colleges, universities, and technical schools in the United States and Ontario, Canada.
Ag Groups, Agribusiness, ZimmNews

Endangered Species Act Discussion at #Classic23

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Endangered Species Act is “one of the most difficult pesticide issues” farmers have faced on the federal level and they need to be aware of what could happen on their operations as a result of it.

Mary Kay Thatcher, Syngenta Senior Manager, Federal Government and Industry Relations, led a panel discussion on the ESA at Commodity Classic last week to discuss what it means for your operation and how you can make sure pesticide measures minimize the impact on production while protecting the environment.

Thatcher says essentially EPA has ignored the ESA for the past decade or so and now is increasingly working to better understand what pesticide and field measures might be needed to protect endangered species from potential pesticide exposure. “So they are very much trying to figure out if there is a way to mitigate some of the problems with the Endangered Species Act by making farmers do more conservation mitigation practices,” said Thatcher.

The comment period is over but Thatcher says EPA still wants to hear from farmers and other stakeholders. Joining Thatcher on the panel were Jake Li, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator; Stanley Culpepper, farmer and UGA Professor of Weed Science; Tony Burd, Senior Regulatory Stewardship Manager, Syngenta; and Ohio family farmer Patty Mann.

Listen to the panel and a summary interview with Thatcher below:
Classic 23 - Endangered Species Act panel (46:23)

Classic 23 interview with Mary Kay Thatcher, Syngenta (4:00)

2023 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Audio, Commodity Classic, EPA, pesticides, Syngenta

ZimmCast 708 – New at Commodity Classic

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ZimmCastHello and welcome to the ZimmCast.

ZimmComm is celebrating 19 years in business this month. Our primary service at the time was AgNewsWire and sending news releases with pre-recorded audio to ag media representatives. Additionally, we had a number of projects of various sorts that included media buying for a local Sheriff’s race. But once AgWired, which started as my blog about agricultural marketing, took off, things really escalated. It has been a journey through new technology and eventually social media. So, onward to what’s next.

Getting back on track, the 2023 Commodity Classic was a record as far as attendees. Final numbers are still to be announced but were over 10,200 with more than a day to go. That alone was the highest number in Classic history.

Phospholutions Hunter SwisherIf you missed it you can find plenty of content in our virtual newsroom on AgNewsWire. Lots of photos and interviews and speaker audio like our Secretary of Ag Tom Vilsack.

I want to say a special thank you to Syngenta and Phospholutions for making my attendance possible. You can find out what’s new from these companies and more. And that’s my focus on this weeks episode.

First you’ll hear my conversation with Hunter Swisher, CEO/Founder, Phospholutions. This was the companies public announcement of their product RhizoSorb, an entirely new phosphate fertilizer technology. Hunter will explain.

Golden Harvest Morgan DuganMoving over to Syngenta, a key announcement was a new way to buy seed. They call it Seed Simplified and it is starting with their GHX by Golden Harvest brand to farmers in Iowa and Illinois. Golden Harvest’s Morgan Dugan explains it.

I’d also like to thank the Commodity Classic staff and communications folks from NCGA and ASA for another well run media center. It gives us plenty of room and a mostly quiet space to work with internet access and, very importantly, food!

That’s the ZimmCast for now. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here:
ZimmCast 708 - New at Commodity Classic (16:20)

Want to sponsor the ZimmCast? Just let me know and we can talk through ideas for your company. I’m AgriBlogger on Twitter or just email me at

Subscribe to the ZimmCast in:

Agribusiness, Audio, Commodity Classic, Fertilizer, Seed, Soil, Syngenta, ZimmCast

Precision Ag News 3/15

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) presented the sixth-annual Davidson Prize to the top three innovative products, selected from the AE50 honorees on March 9 during Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla. Winning entries included: Precision Planting for the Radicle Agronomics system, which focuses on saving time and eliminating error-prone processes in soil sampling and testing. The Radicle Agronomics system is designed for professional crop consultants and aims to make daily processes more efficient; RedSea for the Iyris Heat Blocking Greenhouse Roof, a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) solution; and TerraClear for the TC80 Rock Picker, one of the most versatile and efficient precision rock pickers available today.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department received $3 billion in applications from more than 350 independent businesses from 47 states and 2 territories for the first two rounds of a new grant program to add innovative domestic fertilizer production capacity. The Biden-Harris Administration’s Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is part of a government-wide effort to promote competition in agricultural markets.
  • Syngenta Group announced the launch of “Shoots by Syngenta,” a global platform designed to help tackle agriculture’s most complex challenges, increase innovation, and advance more sustainable agriculture. Starting with science-based innovation challenges, the platform will connect scientific discovery and creativity, bringing together academics, research institutes, startups, and cross-industry sectors to collaborate with Syngenta’s global network of 5,000+ scientists.
  • CNH Industrial has purchased Augmenta to accelerate the growth of their innovative Sense & Act technology. Augmenta was a previous CNH Industrial Ventures investment and a strategic partner for CNH Industrial.
  • U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the Promoting Precision Agriculture Act. The bill would create a federal working group to establish interconnectivity standards to better communicate and share data. Precision agriculture includes the use of devices like robotics, sensors, monitors, drones, etc. to help growers increase efficiency, potentially increasing crop yields while reducing costs. Establishing interconnectivity standards will help promote the growth of the precision agriculture industry and make such tools easier for farmers to use and access.
  • The National Corn Growers Association, along with a broad coalition of national and state agriculture and bioscience organizations, sent a letter to President Biden to thank the administration for beginning technical consultations with Mexico concerning its action to ban imports of biotech corn. The letter calls for those consultations to start without delay.
  • Following a 2021 strategic partnership announcement with Microsoft, Bayer launched new cloud-based solutions for the agri-food industry: AgPowered Services from Bayer in combination with the new Microsoft Azure Data Manager for Agriculture provide ready-to-use capabilities available for businesses and organizations from start-ups to global enterprises to license and use for their own internal or customer-facing digital solutions.
  • Pegasus Robotic, Inc., a company focused on solutions for agriculture, and an exclusive XAG distributor, announced the launch of the XAG P100 Pro agriculture drone to the American market. Progressive growers, retailers, and service providers can now “go Pro” with the fastest high-capacity spraying and spreading drone to date, enabling them to cover more acres and achieve top-end yields for their crops this season.
  • Indigo Ag, the premier sustainability partner of the agriculture industry, announced FieldFlex, a comprehensive suite of sustainable agriculture programs, designed to give farmers the freedom and flexibility to choose how they make money from their sustainability practices for every field, every year of their rotation.
  • Long known for dependability and durability across a variety of operations, the Case IH Puma series lineup now includes the AFS Connect Puma tractor, as well as an addition to the short wheelbase Puma series tractor lineup: the Puma 175. Existing Puma 185, 200, 220, 240 tractors — as well as the all-new high-horsepower Puma 260 — now come equipped with more power options, a revamped operator environment and AFS Connect technology for unparalleled data management, tracking and sharing across a range of machines. Meanwhile, the Puma 175 offers greater horsepower to efficiently complete a variety of tasks across tough applications.
  • John Deere has introduced a new See & Spray Premium performance upgrade kit for John Deere self-propelled sprayers, the next addition in the See & Spray lineup. The kit uses a vision system powered by artificial intelligence that can help farmers gain cost efficiency and combat herbicide resistance with precise application by only spraying the weeds and not the entire field.
  • Tech Hub LIVE, the premier event advancing tech-enabled agriculture, is proud to announce Ever.Ag Agribusiness, Proagrica, and Greater Des Moines Partnership as Partners for the upcoming event taking place July 24-26, 2023 at the Iowa Events Center.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Rabobank Analyst Sees Potential in SAF

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The sky seems to be the limit for the future of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and can be a real opportunity for farmers, according to RaboResearch Senior Grains & Oilseeds Analyst Owen Wagner.

Wagner was at Commodity Classic last week talking about how sustainable aviation fuel fits into the landscape for commodity demand. “This (SAF) is not just for vegetable oils,” said Wagner. “We’re also seeing new facilities going up that are going to be using corn or cellulosic materials as feedstock.”

Wagner says the policy to promote SAF is moving rapidly with tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act and even state incentives like one recently brought forth in Illinois. “That’s a really phenomenal way to get this product off the ground,” he said – no pun intended. Listen to a recent Rabobank podcast with Wagner on the topic.

Learn more in this interview from Commodity Classic.
Classic 23 interview with Owen Wagner, Rabobank (6:08)

2023 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Audio, Biodiesel, Biofuels, Commodity Classic, Corn, Ethanol, Soybean

What’s New With Syngenta?

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Syngenta had a lot to talk about at the Commodity Classic last week in Orlando.

Paul Minehart, who has been Syngenta Head Crop Protection Communications North America since 2009, told us he will be retiring soon. But first, he moderated the Syngenta crop protection and seeds press conference at Classic, which started off with the big coming-soon announcement about Storen corn herbicide, expected for next year. Mark Kitt, Technical Product Lead for Corn Herbicides, provided an overview of Storen.

Jonathan Furasek, Product Lead for Soybean Herbicides, talked about the success of Tendovo soybean herbicide from Syngenta during its first season of use last year.

Steven Wall, Development Manager for Sustainability gave an update on Syngenta’s Cropwise app which helps farmers along their journey to improve sustainable operations.

Syngenta’s Head of Federal Government Affairs and Industry Relations Mary Kay Thatcher discussed the Endangered Species Act.

Jason Sparks, Global Seeds Communications Lead, introduced Paul Morano, Head of Cereals at Syngenta-AgriPro
and Jon Rich, Hybrid wheat Operations Head Syngenta-Agripro, to talk about hybrid wheat.

Listen to it all here:
Classic 23 Syngenta press conference (28:00)

AgWired Precision, Audio, Commodity Classic, Syngenta

Animal Ag News 3/13

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the passage of H.J. Res. 27, a joint resolution that would invalidate the Biden administration’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule through the Congressional Review Act.
  • Registration is now open for six Stockmanship & Stewardship regional events in five states this spring and summer, with an additional virtual event to be held in November. During each event producers can become Beef Quality Assurance certified, network with fellow cattlemen and women, participate in hands-on demonstrations led by animal handling experts including Curt Pate and Dr. Ron Gill, and learn cutting-edge operation techniques.
  • The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) installed new officers and elected members to its board of directors at its annual business meeting — the National Pork Industry Forum. Scott Hays of Monroe City, Missouri, was elevated to NPPC president for 2023-2024.
  • Innovation, family, and a customer-focused mindset were foundational for the latest National Pork Industry Hall of Fame inductee, William “Billy” Herring. With his successful career spanning more than 50 years in the pork industry, Herring was inducted at the National Pork Producers Council’s annual business meeting — the National Pork Industry Forum.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an investment of more than $43 million in meat and poultry processing research, innovation and expansion in support of its ongoing efforts to transform the food system at every stage along the supply chain. This investment is funded through the American Rescue Plan and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
  • The USDA released a proposed rule with new regulatory requirements to better align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. The proposed rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States.
  • For the second year, WATT Global Media will present the Chicken Marketer of the Year award during the annual Chicken Marketing Summit, with nominations being accepted until May 1, 2023. The executive conference is scheduled for July 31-August 2, 2023, at Hotel Effie Sandestin in Miramar Beach, Florida.
  • The National Milk Producers Federation’s (NMPF) Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a proposal to modernize the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system at its March meeting, a milestone that caps more than two years of discussion and more than 130 meetings on different aspects of the proposal.
  • Join the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association on March 16 at 7 p.m. Central for a live webinar hosted by Redd Summit Advisor’s Risk Management Consultant, Ross Bronson. He’ll talk through real scenarios and financial examples showing the true costs associated with drought. And, learn how to supplement those costs using PRF insurance, as well as understand the benefits and drawbacks of disaster relief programs like NAP and Pasture Relief. Register here.

NK Seeds Taking Aim at Tar Spot

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Tar Spot cost U.S. farmers more than 231 million bushels of corn in 2021, according to the Crop Protection Network, and last year there were outbreaks reported in eight states. NK Seeds has compiled products, tools and agronomic tips to help farmers know how to recognize and manage Tar Spot to prevent it from having a significant impact on their 2023 yields.

At Commodity Classic last week, NK Seeds Corn Product Manager Matt Dolch said because Tar Spot is a relatively new disease, there’s still a knowledge gap around its management practices but planting hybrids with resistance to Tar Spot can delay disease development and minimize yield loss. “NK genetics have been proven to be resistant to common diseases, including Tar Spot — that makes our hybrids an essential tool for keeping Tar Spot in check in susceptible fields,” said Dolch.

Learn more in this interview with Dolch.
Classic 23 interview with Matt Dolch, NK Seeds (3:25)

2023 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Audio, Commodity Classic, Corn, NK Seeds, Seed, Syngenta