Partnerships Move the Ethanol Industry

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper this week addressed the biggest crowd for the National Ethanol Conference since before 2020, stressing the importance of partnerships and the need for critical questions to be answered soon.

The theme of this year’s NEC is “Powered by Partnerships” and Cooper reflected on the ethanol industry’s many victories and advancements over the past 50 years and noted that “None of those successes would have been possible without the industry’s valuable partnerships and ability to work together with a diverse group of stakeholders.”

However, he noted that several critical policy decisions expected in next three to six months “will shape the future course of the ethanol industry for years—and perhaps decades—to come.”

Specifically, Cooper addressed looming questions about the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and clean fuel production tax credits, year-round E15, light-duty vehicle tailpipe GHG standards, and other important policy issues.

Listen to Cooper’s remarks here:
NEC24 RFA CEO Geoff Cooper address 32:15

2024 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

Audio, Ethanol, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

Huma® Acquires Gro-Power, Expands Team

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Agricultural humic solutions company Huma®, Inc. has acquired global granular fertilizer company Gro-Power, Inc., effective immediately. The acquisition comes as the result of a long term partnership with Huma® supplying high-quality humates for Gro-Power humus-based fertilizer and soil conditioner products.

In addition to Huma® Plant & Soil products encompassing liquid nutrients, plant protection and growth managers, the company now has the ownership rights to a suite of granular, humic-based fertilizers and soil conditioners. Such conditioners increase fertility by adding organic matter and beneficial microorganisms to the soil.

In addition, Huma® has made leadership appointments to bolster a growing regional company focus. Those appointments include:
Executive Vice President, Global Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Fred Nichols
Executive Vice President, Business Development Justin Smith
Midwest Sales Manager Cory Ritter
Director of Huma® Turf & Ornamental Michael Gardner

Through company-owned humate mining rights, along with a proprietary extraction and development process, Huma® provides groundbreaking technology to boost beneficial soil microbial activity, helping lead to premium crops, healthy soils and clean water. Micro Carbon Technology® is the foundational building block of Huma®, resulting in innovative biostimulant products that naturally increase nutrient availability and uptake, improve soil and plant health, and offer zero-residue crop protection against pests and diseases.

AgWired Precision, Fertilizer, Nutrient Management, Precision Agriculture

Animal Ag News 2/20

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has opened registration for its Feed Industry Institute, happening June 17-20 in Minneapolis, Minn. This biennial event brings together emerging professionals in the animal feed industry to learn more about the ingredients, processes and regulations used within the industry to manufacture and sell animal feed.
  • The deadline for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative scholarships for 2024 is fast approaching and membership youth pursuing a post-secondary education in any field of study are encouraged to apply. The scholarship application deadline is March 31, 2024.
  • District 3 Director John Rettler of Neosho, Wis. was re-elected president of the FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative’s board of directors following the cooperative’s 12th annual meeting held on February 10, 2024. District 1 Director Steve Brock of Daggett, Mich. was re-elected vice-president, District 5 Director Stephanie Hughes of Pittsville, Wis. was re-elected secretary, and District 6 Director Bob Dietzel of East Dubuque, Ill. was re-elected treasurer. Newly elected to serve as the District 2 Director is Mark Leichtfuss of Two Rivers, Wis.
  • A dairy checkoff partnership is putting hot chocolate milk into the hands of students during a pilot with a leading school foodservice company. National Dairy Council (NDC) and Chartwells K12, which serves more than two million meals daily at 700 U.S. school districts, have launched the Hot Chocolate Milk program in 58 schools. The pilot, which will run through the end of the school year, features chocolate milk – with toppings such as cinnamon and peppermint – served hot during breakfast and lunch.
  • Smithfield Foods has named Brendan Smith as its chief marketing officer and Allyson Bouldon as its chief ethics and compliance officer.
  • Smithfield Foods has named Kraig Westerbeek as president of its hog production operations effective Feb. 29, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith.
  • Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is a disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes that infects pigs, horses and humans. In swine, this virus causes reproductive failure, delayed farrowing, stillbirths, mummified fetuses and weak piglets. While this virus has not been detected in the U.S., it is recently spreading, increasing the potential it could reach the U.S. To address this threat, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) are funding a $1 million Japanese Encephalitis Virus Research Program to enhance U.S. prevention, preparedness and response capabilities.
  • dsm-firmenich received market authorization for Bovaer in Canada for use with dairy and beef cattle. Bovaer is a feed ingredient which immediately and effectively reduces methane emissions from cattle. This feed ingredient is an important tool for the nearly 10,000 dairy farmers in Canada, and will enable them to make a substantial step forward towards their net zero ambitions. Bovaer reduces methane emissions by 30 percent on average for dairy cows, and thereby lowers the overall greenhouse gas footprint per liter of milk by 10-15 percent.
  • Vytelle announced a strategic collaboration with Blocktrust Network, an innovative, API driven platform to enhance transparency and efficiency in the beef supply chain. This collaboration marks the first of its kind aimed to leverage their respective strengths targeting the feeder cattle market.
  • Nearly 500 pet food industry professionals came together Jan. 31 to hear the latest in pet food innovation, sustainability and emerging trends impacting the industry at the American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) 17th annual Pet Food Conference, held during the 2024 International Production & Processing Expo.
  • The 2024 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) had a terrific year with 1,432 exhibitors covering 620,850 square feet of exhibit space, setting two new records. IPPE is the world’s largest annual feed, meat, and poultry and egg industry event of its kind and is one of the 25 largest trade shows in the United States. IPPE is sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and the Meat Institute.
  • Veterinarians and animal health distributors continue to show support to the next generation of agriculture through the Zoetis Industry Support Program. From Feb. 1 through April 30, 2024, customers may designate a portion of sales from eligible Zoetis Cattle and Equine products to their local FFA chapters. Last year, more than $375,000 was donated to 1,175 FFA chapters with over 25,000 students benefiting from the contributions.
  • Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association announced student opportunities available during the 2024 Cattle Raisers Convention & Expo including a graduate research poster showcase and a youth photo contest. Application deadline for both the graduate poster showcase and youth photo contest is March 1, 2024. To learn more about contest, student opportunities and to register, visit cattleraisersconvention.com/student-opportunities.
  • National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter to Appropriations Committee leadership opposing harmful restrictions that would undo important work to revitalize the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) to better protect family farmers and ranchers. The letter, signed by national, regional, and state organizations, points out that “opponents of competitive agricultural markets are seeking to roll back the work USDA has already completed, prevent USDA from making additional progress on these rules, and prevent any similar effort in the future.”
  • The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and Competitive Markets Action (CMA), publicly announced the recipients of their 2023 Congressional Leadership Awards and their Competitive Markets Legislator of the Year Award recipient, U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-WV. The groups measured recognition by three actions in the U.S. House: Leaders of a letter to the House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-PA, and Ranking Member David Scott, D-GA, with staunch opposition to the Ending Agriculture Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, H.R. 4417/S. 2018, led by Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-IA, and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS, that would nullify more than a thousand state and local laws that provide certainty and security in the marketplace for independent family farmers and ranchers. Those who received the award include Reps. Andrew Garbarino, R-NY, David Valadao, R-CA, Nancy Mace, R-SC, and Michael Waltz, R-FL.
  • AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

    Pivot Bio Program Pays Off for Growers

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Sustainable agriculture company Pivot Bio today announced that its sustainability program, N-OVATOR™, has paid over $6 million to growers for implementing better nitrogen management practices since its launch in 2022. N-OVATOR™ is the first insetting program to focus on nitrous oxide emissions.

    Repeatable by design and flexible by nature, the Pivot Bio N-OVATOR™ program compensates farmers every crop cycle for using a more reliable form of nitrogen by connecting them with companies looking to achieve Scope 3 emissions reduction goals. The growing list of N-OVATOR™ partners includes major consumer packaged goods companies, ingredient suppliers, spirit producers and grain buyers who are working to improve the sustainability of their agricultural supply chains.

    This year, downstream companies participating in N-OVATOR™’s insetting partnerships made payments to reward Pivot Bio growers for their practice change following the 2023 harvest.

    The largest transaction to date was the sale of 100,000 nitrogen credits to a global food and beverage company. The credits from this transaction represent 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent that was avoided by over 450 farmers across 300,000 acres within the company’s supply shed. In total, the growers in this insetting partnership replaced over 10 million pounds of synthetic fertilizer.

    Learn more about how to participate in the N-OVATOR™ program by visiting www.pivotbio.com/novator-program.

    AgWired Precision, Nutrient Management, Precision Agriculture, Sustainability

    Taranis Board Welcomes Syngenta Executive

    Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

    Taranis is pleased to announce the appointment of Vern Hawkins to its Board of Directors. Hawkins, currently serving as Syngenta’s President of Crop Protection and Regional Director of North America, brings extensive international agricultural leadership to Taranis.

    Taranis is at the forefront of agricultural innovation, creating engagement and transparency between ag retailers and growers to unlock opportunity on every acre. To do so, the company looks to its Board of Directors for the vision and guidance needed to meet the demands of rapid acreage expansion while ensuring the company continues to develop products and services that meet the needs of the entire agricultural value chain, including machinery companies, seed and chemistry manufacturers, ag retailers and their growers. Hawkins’ extensive understanding of the crop production sector both domestically and internationally makes him a tremendous asset to the team of industry leaders on Taranis’ Board of Directors.

    “Taranis’ commitment to providing leaf-level insights to ag retailers, co-ops and farmers is a boon the agriculture industry needs to continue advancing farm productivity. They are committed to showing every acre of the farm in a way the industry has never seen before,” says Hawkins. “I’m excited to be a voice in guiding this service for the betterment of the agriculture industry and on-farm profitability.”

    AgWired Precision, people, Precision Agriculture

    Industry Ag News 2/16

    Carrie Muehling

  • New agriculture census data released by USDA shows the number of farms operating in the United States and the number of farm acres have both fallen significantly. The 2022 Census of Agriculture reports 141,733 fewer farms in 2022 than in 2017. The number of farm acres fell to 880,100,848, a loss of more than 20 million acres from just five years earlier. Read the full 2022 Census of Agriculture here.
  • Submissions are now open for the Top Agri-food Pioneers (TAP) List, a new initiative by the World Food Prize Foundation. The list will feature 38 leading innovators from across the world working to transform food systems, in honor of the organization’s 38th anniversary this year.
  • This month, FFA members across the country, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will celebrate agriculture and FFA. It’s all part of National FFA Week. National FFA Week is a time for FFA members to raise awareness about the National FFA Organization‘s role in developing future leaders in agriculture and the importance of agricultural education.
  • It’s not too late to enter the IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders program — the deadline has been extended to February 25, 2024. Click here for details on the program. Click here for a nomination form.
  • The National AgrAbility Project (NAP), headquartered at Purdue University, invites farmers, ranchers and agriculture professionals to the 2024 AgrAbility National Training Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia, to address issues of disability in agriculture. The conference will take place March 25-28 at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead. Early bird pricing ends Feb. 23, with conference registration ending March 18. The complete conference schedule, pricing details and hotel information are available online.
  • National Farmers Union (NFU) will host the organization’s 122nd Anniversary Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, from March 10 through March 12. Review the full agenda at nfu.org/convention.
  • World Ag Expo and E.M. Tharp, Inc. have teamed up again for the 17th annual “We Believe in Growing” scholarship, supporting area high school students who will be attending four-year universities to major in an agricultural field. This year’s winners, Kendra Ward of Hanford, CA and Reed DeBoer of Porterville, CA, will each receive $2,500 scholarships to be renewed up to four years, totaling $10,000 per student.
  • Join the Livestock Publications Council for the February Coffee and Collaboration on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 10 a.m. CT! This session is titled “Being Prepared is for More Than Just Boy Scouts” with Cindy Cunningham and LeAnne Peters of Woodruff. Join us for a discussion on reputation management. This free monthly webinar is moderated by Jennifer Shike and Angie Stump Denton. No registration necessary! It’s open to members and non-members.
  • Holly Spangler, senior editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and executive editor for Farm Progress Publications, was presented the Service to Agriculture award by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers during the group’s annual meeting on February 8 in Champaign, IL. Presenting the honor was Michael Lauher, AFM, vice president of the organization. It is the Chapter’s highest honor to a non-member and has been awarded annually since 1940.
  • Brownfield welcomes Jared White to the team as Anchor/Reporter based in Clinton, Illinois.
  • Tracy Zink, who farms in Indianola, Nebraska, joins the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) as the sorghum representative. She was appointed by Gov. Jim Pillen on Nov. 20, 2023, and confirmed by the State of Nebraska Legislature in early 2024.
  • Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced the construction of a pea protein isolate production plant dedicated to its Plant Proteins business, at the site of its existing industrial complex in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada.
  • The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) awarded Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA-15) with its 2023 Wheat Leader of the Year Award for his work as Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. NAWG President and Oregon wheat farmer, Brent Cheyne, presented the award to Chairman Thompson during a recent visit to Washington, D.C.
  • Elite Octane — a leader in the biofuel industry, producing 150 million gallons of bioethanol annually — joined the nation’s leading biofuel trade associations, the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy.
  • Zimfo Bytes

    EmGenisys Announces EmVision™ Enrollment for Cattle

    Cindy Zimmerman

    EmGenisys, Inc., an animal health company improving success rates of embryo transfer (ET) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) for cattle producers, announces open enrollment for EmVision™.

    EmVision™ analyzes the viability and health of embryos at the microscope, giving producers and embryologists objective data to make strategic decisions on transferring embryos. The software will identify the 5-20% of embryos that are already dead or dying to help improve pregnancy rates.

    “We can help producers manage their breeding strategy by showing them which embryos are alive and healthy,” said Dr. Cara Wells, founder and CEO. “It’s also helping IVF labs because they can make sure their embryos are growing at the right rate and use it to boost the production of all the embryos that they make.”

    EmGenisys is currently enrolling users for EmVision™ in a limited time special offer for a 30-day subscription. This allows the users to have access to the software and work with EmGenisys team members to implement the procedures easily into their embryo transfer workflow.

    Enroll now by contacting Dr. Wells, at cara@emgenisys.com and become a part of ‘Breeding Something Epic.’

    Listen or download an interview with Cara Wells about EmGenisys.
    Interview with Cara Wells, EmGenisys 6:11

    AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Health, Audio, Beef, Cattle Industry Conference, Dairy, Livestock

    Alltech Researcher on Breeding Cattle for Sustainability

    Cindy Zimmerman

    With sustainability and carbon reduction the main focus of food production right now, there was discussion at the recent CattleCon about breeding cattle to be more sustainable.

    Dr. Emily Stackhouse is a research manager in livestock and environment at Alltech and she shared a Cattlemen’s College panel around sending beef x dairy calves into beef production, how the carbon of these calves is allocated across the two industries and how they can actually help increase beef output while decreasing carbon emissions.

    “Because when those calves from the dairy enter our beef system, they come in with lower embedded emissions than our purebred beef calves,” said Stackhouse.

    Learn more in this interview from CattleCon.

    Interview with Emily Stackhouse, Alltech 3:22

    AgWired Animal, Alltech, Animal Agriculture, Animal Health, Audio, Beef, Cattle Industry Conference, Dairy

    Precision Ag News 2/14

    Carrie Muehling

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small made her inaugural visit to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to see firsthand the ways the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) is using the federal agency’s funding to advance programs, research and scholarships. She also came to announce that USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will invest nearly $1 million in a new A&T project to help advance environmental justice in agriculture through its Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
  • The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) is providing a $998,784 Seeding Solutions grant to Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) to quantify how adopting soil health practices can reduce the need for nitrogen inputs without sacrificing yield. Growers Edge, Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Meridian Institute, Midwest Row Crop Collaborative and PFI are matching the grant with $1,428,849 for a total project investment of $2,427,633.
  • Memphis-based AgLaunch Initiative has selected 10 game-changing agtech startups to participate in AgLaunch365, a leading accelerator program aimed at tackling contemporary challenges in farm and food production and promoting sustainability.
  • The non-profit Soil Health Academy recently announced that Kim Barmann has been appointed president of the regenerative agriculture education organization. Barmann, who previously served as vice president, is a managing partner at CS Ranch in Colfax County, New Mexico. She replaces Dawn Breitkreutz who recently stepped down as president of SHA after serving for two years in that position.
  • AgGateway announced that Stephen Christian has joined the organization as Member Serices Analyst. Stephen fills a staff role that was vacated by the departmental promotions of Chris Crutchfield and Nikki Marshall late last year.
  • National Farm Machinery Show is the site for several next-level announcements from Case IH, continuing to drive purposeful solutions for producers. Building on the legacy of Axial-Flow and Steiger, Case IH is not only showcasing the recently unveiled AF11 and the next generation corn head, designed to match its capacity, but also introducing the Quadtrac Heavy Duty Suspension for Steigers that ups the ante in track technology. For farmers looking to cover more acres in less time, the AF11, which Case IH announced earlier this month, sets the bar in maximizing time in field. To maximize capacity of the AF11, Case IH is introducing the C516 corn head, offering improved performance with a swift, clean harvesting solution.
  • LG Seeds successfully completed a series of experimental corn test plots in a wide geographical area of the Western Corn Belt, expanding the company’s knowledge base and enhancing its product portfolio.
  • Farmers Business Network, Inc. (FBN), the global AgTech platform and farmer-to-farmer network, announced updates to its Gradable platform, its sustainability partnerships & supply chain programs, and regenerative financing offers for farmers for 2024, all of which aim to increase the profitability of growers while enhancing sustainability.
  • February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month and a time to review pesticide safety practices at your home or business, announces the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). WSSA, The American Phytopathological Society (APS), and the Entomological Society of America (ESA) are among the many organizations in public and private sectors that promote pesticide safety awareness during February and throughout the year.
  • Surtain herbicide, the first solid encapsulated premix formulated product on the market, has received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is now approved for use, subject to state approvals. Surtain herbicide’s innovative technology offers growers a wide application window ranging from pre-plant through early post-emergence with control or suppression of 79 key broadleaf and grass weeds.
  • AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

    USDA Releases 2022 Census of Agriculture Data

    Cindy Zimmerman

    USDA officials release 2022 Census of Agriculture

    USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on Tuesday released results of the 2022 Census of Agriculture, which includes more than 6 million data points about America’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them down to the county level.

    The information collected directly from producers shows a continued decline in the total number of U.S. farms. However, the data also show a rise in the number of new and beginning (operating 10 or fewer years on any farm) as well as young (under the age of 35) producers. The full Census of Agriculture report as well as publication dates for additional ag census data products can be found at nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. Ag census data can also be found in NASS’s searchable online database, Quick Stats.

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joined NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer and USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economic Chavonda Jacobs-Young to present the report, which showed a decline since 2017 in the number of U.S. farms and ranches and amount of acres in farmland.

    “This survey is a wake up call…Are we okay with losing that many farms? Are we okay with losing that much farmland? Or is there a better way,” said Vilsack. “I hope we take this information very seriously and understand that it need not be that every five years we report fewer farmers and less farm land, it doesn’t have to be.”

    There were 1.9 million farms and ranches (down 7% from 2017) with an average size of 463 acres (up 5%) on 880 million acres of farmland (down 2%). That is 39% of all U.S. land.
    Family-owned and operated farms accounted for 95% of all U.S. farms and operated 84% of land in farms.
    U.S. farms and ranches produced $543 billion in agricultural products, up from $389 billion in 2017. With farm production expenses of $424 billion, U.S. farms had net cash income of $152 billion. Average farm income rose to $79,790. A total of 43% of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2022.

    Secretary Vilsack - 2022 Census of Agriculture 16:50

    Audio, USDA