- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed survey codes to all known agriculture producers across the 50 states with an invitation to respond online to the 2022 Census of Agriculture at agcounts.usda.gov. The ag census is the nation’s only comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state, county, and territory. By completing the survey, producers across the nation can tell their story and help generate impactful opportunities that better serve them and future generations of producers.
- Multi-platinum Southern Rock band 38 Special will close out the 2023 Commodity Classic during Saturday night’s Evening of Entertainment. Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, March 9 through Saturday, March 11 in Orlando.
- The National FFA Foundation announced its new chair for the Sponsors’ Board during the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis this fall. David Hollinrake, global head of strategy and portfolio management for Syngenta, was named chair for the upcoming year. Mary Snapp, vice president of strategic initiatives for Microsoft, was named chair-elect.
- Trust In Beef announced that Syngenta has joined as a partner of the collaborative value chain program helping ranchers integrate climate-smart agriculture systems into their operations while sharing their learnings and success stories.
- From farm to frontline, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) has taken another giant leap forward to highlight environmentally friendly investments from the soybean checkoff. In summer 2022, the Council, which directs the state’s soybean checkoff resources, launched the Stepping Up campaign to boost farmer profitability and promote the value-added uses of the “miracle bean” while making community connections.
- The RaboAgriFinance Marketing and Communications department welcomes a new leader to their team, Melanie Bernds. Melanie previously served as the Director of Communications at Benson Hill, one of the fastest-growing food tech companies in the country, backed by Google Ventures, and a member of their core IPO team that led the company to go company in the fall of October 2021.
- American Agri-Women (AAW) presented the LEAVEN Award, its highest honor for members, to Rose Tryon VanCott of California Women in Agriculture at its 2022 National Convention held recently in Bozeman, Montana.
- While American families are spending 20 percent more for their holiday dinners this year and farmers are struggling to keep their doors open, the Department of Labor announced the new seven percent to 15.5 percent spike in Adverse Effect Wage Rates for farm guest workers that will drive up costs for farmers and American consumers. New research from ABIC Action breaks down the significant costs per employee and per state for farmers and agricultural producers using the H2A program.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the appointment of 19 new farmer-leaders to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB). In addition, 24 farmer-leaders were reappointed. Forty-six leaders and alternates will serve three-year terms, and one new appointed member will serve a one-year term. Leaders will be sworn in for service during the USB December Meeting in St. Charles, Mo.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is seeking nominations to the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics. Members of this committee advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the scope, timing and content of periodic agricultural censuses, surveys of agriculture, and other related industries. The committee also makes recommendations on the content of agriculture reports and represents the views and data needs of suppliers and users of agricultural statistics.
- The Renewable Fuels Association welcomed Pearson Fuels as its newest associate member. Established in 2002, Pearson Fuels became a pioneer in the alternative fuel industry in California and is the largest and fastest-growing distributor of E85 in the state.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its proposed rule to establish required Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes and percentage standards for 2023, 2024, and 2025, as well as to propose a series of important modifications to strengthen and expand the RFS program.
Ethanol producers and corn farmers are generally pleased with the proposal, while soybean farmers and biodiesel/renewable diesel interests are disappointed.
The proposal sets next year’s (2023) total RFS requirement at 20.82 billion gallons, including 5.82 billion in advanced biofuels and 15 billion from conventional renewable fuels like corn ethanol. In addition, EPA proposes to add a supplemental volume of 250 million gallons on top of the 2023 standards to address a 2017 D.C. Circuit Court decision. The total RFS volume proposed for 2024 is 21.87 billion gallons, with 6.62 billion advanced and 15.25 billion conventional; and for 2025, EPA increases the total volume to 22.68 billion gallons, 7.43 billion of advanced biofuel and 15.25 billion of conventional renewable fuel.
Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Geoff Cooper said they are pleased because the proposed rule “solidifies a role” for the RFS going forward in future efforts to reduce carbon emissions. “By including three years’ worth of RFS volumes, EPA’s proposed rule will finally provide certainty and stability for the entire supply chain.”
Cooper answered questions from the media about the proposal during a conference call Thursday.
RFA CEO on EPA Proposed RFS Volumes Rule 20:23
“We are pleased with EPA’s forward-looking approach of annual increases in the proposal,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag. “EPA clearly recognizes that renewable fuels like ethanol play a critical role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing U.S. energy independence and providing long-term relief to consumers at the pump.”
However, Clean Fuels Alliance America criticized the agency’s minor increases proposed for biomass-based biodiesel volumes are for “undercutting investments in biodiesel and renewable diesel capacity.”
“EPA’s overdue set proposal significantly undercounts existing biomass-based diesel production and fails to provide growth for investments the industry has already made in additional capacity, including for sustainable aviation fuel. The volumes EPA is proposing for 2023, 2024 and 2025 ignore the more than 3 billion gallons currently in the market and fail to take into account the planned growth of the clean fuels sector,” said Clean Fuels Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik.
American Soybean Association president Brad Doyle was surprised and disappointed by EPA’s proposal. “This draft rule slams the brakes on progress being made in biofuels investment and growth. Instead of continuing to support available, low-emission plant-based fuel sources, EPA has changed course and seemingly is ignoring the major investments in and consumer demand for biomass-based diesel and other biofuels that exists right now,” said Doyle.
The entire proposal released by EPA this week is nearly 700 pages. EPA will hold a virtual public hearing by Zoom on January 10, 2023, for the proposed rule. An additional session will be held on January 11, 2023, if necessary, to accommodate the number of testifiers that sign-up to testify. There will be no in-person hearing.
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) held its 2022 Conference & Expo this week in San Diego with more than 600 agricultural retail industry professionals convening to share insights, network, and celebrate 30 years of ARA.
During the conference, ARA honored Tim McArdle with the Jack Eberspacher Lifetime Achievement Award for his legacy of leadership at the Brandt Co., and across the industry. “Tim’s quest to support our industry did not end when he retired from his role as chief operating officer at Brandt Consolidated,” says ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “Now serving as ambassador and recruiter for ResponsibleAg, Tim started as a charter board member and chair helping to develop the industry-led initiative into what it is today.”
Gary Vogen, vice president of corporate and regulatory affairs at Yara North America, received the ARA Distinguished Service Award. “Gary has served on the ARA Board of Directors for several years and acts as an insightful resource when the ARA policy team reaches out for input to inform our advocacy efforts on a variety of issues,” says ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “Gary’s leadership has benefited our industry in important ways as board chair of ResponsibleAg through its strategic transition in order to better meet the needs of ag retail facilities across the nation.”
ARA honored Marion Ag Service with its Retailer of the Year Award in front of more than 640 attendees during the 2022 ARA Conference & Expo. Known for the team’s incredible caliber of customer service and integrity, Marion Ag Service empowers its grower customers to thrive. “Marion Ag Service excels at more than delivering an exceptional level of value to its customers,” says ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock. “As a leader in government affairs, Marion Ag promotes the interests of the agronomy industry while balancing good environmental stewardship for farmlands, growers, and employees.”
I’m talking about the new MacBook Air M2. It was time for this agnerd to upgrade from my MacBook Pro 2019. I’ve already been on-location with it and I’m very happy (mostly) with it.
Things I like so far:
Battery – I didn’t charge it for two full days of uploading photos, editing audio, etc!!
Light weight and thin
Things I’m so-so on so far:
MagSafe charging – Apple, I wish you could decide on some standards in your products
Only 2 Thunderbolt/USB-4 ports – That’s why I had to have a Hyper-Drive USB Type-C Hub (in picture)
I got the midnight finish and purchased a Speck clear case. I’m happy and would recommend it. And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
BTW. I’m still in the Windows world. I just got Cindy a Surface Laptop 4 recently to run Windows 11 on. She is doing well with it. Her older laptop couldn’t upgrade to Windows 11.
So, that’s about all I can say about that right now. I’m definitely enjoying my iPhone 14 Pro. I think I’m using it more and more as the camera just continues to improve to a point that I’ve used many photos from it for social media and other web use.
The annual convention will kick off on Feb. 1, with Buzz Brainard, host of Music Row Happy Hour, returning as emcee. The Opening General Session will include a casual conversation between “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan and NCBA President and Minnesota cattle producer, Don Schiefelbein. The two will discuss ranch life, today’s challenges and sharing the industry’s story in an authentic way. Sheridan is an Academy Award-nominated writer, actor, rancher as well as a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
CattleFax’s outlook session will highlight demand and supplies for beef, cattle and competing proteins. Analysts will present a price and profitability outlook for 2023 and beyond for all classes of cattle and beef, explore export and import markets, and provide a grain outlook. Meteorologist Matt Makens will also give a 2023 weather forecast highlighting weather pattern changes for the United States and around the world.
Plan to attend the high-profile session on Friday morning and hear from government dignitaries as they provide an update on the beef business climate in the United States and around the globe, moderated by NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane.
The Closing General Session will celebrate the Beef Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program and BQA award winners and will feature keynote speaker Chris Koch, who doesn’t let limitations or obstacles stand in his way. Despite being born without arms and legs, Koch grew up like any other small-town kid — playing road hockey, causing mischief at school, and helping on his family farm. Today, Koch is a motivational speaker who inspires his audiences to continually challenge themselves and build the life they always wanted.
Learn more about what’s in store for CattleCon23 in this interview provided by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association with NCBA Executive Director of Meetings and Events Kristin Torres.
NCBA Convention preview interview 4:45
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Auburn University’s College of Agriculture, and the Auburn Research Technology Foundation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new research facility housing the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory.
- Bushel, an independently-owned software technology company focused on developing digital tools for the agricultural supply chain, announced AGRIServices of Brunswick LLC (ASB) has added Bushel digital payments feature to its mobile and web offering.
- John Dodd is the new Limagrain Cereal Seeds (LCS) Pacific Northwest regional commercial manager.
- NeuAG, a leading North American supplier of ammonium sulfate fertilizer solutions, announced its partnership with Tuf Cooper, world champion tie-down roper and all-around cowboy. Together, NeuAG and Cooper will be working toward supporting the agriculture industry and sharing sustainable, locally produced inputs with American producers.
- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced $1.5 million in grants to restore, improve and conserve sagebrush, mesic wet meadow and big game migratory corridor habitats in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The grants will generate $2.5 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $4 million. The grants were awarded through the Rocky Mountain Rangelands Program, a partnership between NFWF, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Cargill and Darden Restaurants, Inc.
- Lawns, playing fields, golf courses, parks and many other outdoor areas are part of the multi-billion-dollar turfgrass industry. Valued in the billions and planted on millions of acres in Florida, that same industry struggles with parasitic nematodes and fungal diseases that prove costly for growers, homeowners and commercial industries. A University of Florida scientist at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) based in Fort Lauderdale is the principal investigator on a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Over the next three years, he will lead a team of UF/IFAS and USDA scientists to develop cost-effective methods for managing these pests and diseases.
- Indigo Agriculture announced the commercial launch of the industry’s first biological fungicide based on the microbe Kosakonia cowanii, giving farmers a leg up on the 2023 growing season. Initially registered and announced by the company in April 2022, biotrinsic X19 is the first fungicide in Indigo’s line of biological seed treatments, which offers farmers the flexibility to design effective crop protection plans based on their specific field conditions. The product establishes Indigo’s biotrinsic portfolio as one of the few in the industry capable of helping farmers address both biotic and abiotic stresses.
Highs in the low 30s but no snow in the forecast in Chicago next week for the last CSS & Seed Expo 2022 to be held in the Windy City.
The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is saying a bittersweet “Farewell Chicago” after 77 years of holding this event in Chicago, and specifically, 45 years at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 2022 will be the last year that this historic event will be held in that location before it moves to the Hyatt Regency Orlando in 2023.
ASTA President and CEO Andy LaVigne says as usual the program this year is packed with important sessions on timely topics. Dan Basse will once again provide his annual Agricultural Economy Report during the first general session on Tuesday, and the final sessions on Thursday include a look at the Global Foresight for agriculture, conservation and foreign policy with former United Nations Ambassador and Indiana farmer Kip Tom, as well as a session on the Political Lay of the Land going into a very busy 2023. “Trying to look at the farm bill as we go forward,” said LaVigne. “We’ve got a midterm election that’s going to impact who’s on the Senate and House ag committees…in the Inflation Reduction Act we’ve got significant money in conservation programs, how does that carry over to the farm bill?”
Learn more about what’s in store December 5-8 for the final CSS & Seed Expo in Chicago in this interview with LaVigne.
ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne previews CSS & Seed Expo 9:58
- The International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit brings unique opportunities for U.S. dairy as the host nation for the Chicago event, to be held next Oct. 16-19. The global conference returns to the United States for the first time in three decades, at a moment when rising exports and world-leading sustainability gives the U.S. industry a great story to tell, according to three leaders in organizing next year’s events.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a 45-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule titled, “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) welcomed the extension while urging USDA to proceed in a cautious, deliberative manner.
- Kelsey Theis of Leavenworth, Kansas, recently was named Miss American Angus. Theis was crowned at the annual American Angus Association Awards Dinner and Reception Sunday, Nov. 6 and will represent the breed as an advocate and role model in the coming year.
- The Big Easy is ready to host the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show, Feb. 1-3. New Orleans, famous for its world class cuisine, jazz music and lively nightlife, is a perfect venue to bring the cattle industry together for education, entertainment and engagement.
- U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) will host its annual Poultry Market Intelligence Forum at the 2023 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta. The event will provide insight into the current markets for chicken, turkey and egg products around the world, in addition to addressing factors that may affect these markets in 2023. This year’s forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, and is free for all registered IPPE attendees.
Verdant Robotics announced the close of a $46.5 million Series A funding to scale its advanced robotic technology and accelerate broad adoption of its regenerative and precision ag solutions. Lead investor Cleveland Avenue was joined by DCVC Bio, Future Ventures, SeaX Ventures and all existing investors, including Autotech Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, and AgFunder, making the series one of the largest investments in ag robotics to date.
“Verdant’s commercial Robotics-As-A-Service (RaaS) is in high demand, actively servicing a wide variety of specialty crops on thousands of acres with orders pending for tens of thousands of additional acres,” said Verdant Robotics COO and Co-Founder Curtis Garner. This investment enables Verdant to rapidly scale its fleet while developing next generation products that massively increase RaaS efficiency. Verdant’s multi-action, autonomous platform is the only ag robot in the U.S. market that can simultaneously weed, fertilize, and treat plants for pests and diseases – all while collecting data on each plant allowing farmers to make key decisions in real time.
“Verdant Robotics is currently operating commercially in carrots, garlic, onions and all the leafy greens,” said Garner. “This funding round will enable us to scale and build more machines into more crops.”
Learn more in this interview with Verdant Robotics COO and Co-Founder Curtis Garner
Verdant Robotics interview 4:49
Coming up this Thursday, December 1, Agri-Pulse is offering a free webinar on “How precision pays with crop insurance.
As farmers look ahead at rising operating costs and tightening margins, upcoming crop insurance decisions will be more important than ever before. Understanding how to leverage precision ag technology as part of crop insurance planning can make a difference in risk management and overall profitability.
“Crop insurance has long been important to farmers and ranchers, but there are opportunities to make the risk management decision-making process ever more efficient and effective when you employ precision tools,” says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant.
Webinar guests include:
Administrator Marcia Bunger, Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency
Matt Olson, manager of Precision Ag Go-To Market with John Deere Agriculture & Turf Division
Jeana Harms, Agri-Risk Solutions agent and western Nebraska farmer
Zach Allsup, assistant vice president of external claims at Farmers Mutual Hail
The webinar takes place at noon central time and is sponsored by Farmers Mutual Hail. Register here.