Precision Ag Bytes 11/20

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  • Over 60 scholars representing 30 leading U.S. universities have shown their solidarity for the proposed Agriculture Data Act of the next Farm Bill in a letter sent to Senate and House Agriculture Committee leaders. The Ag Data Act would establish the framework for a conservation and farm productivity national data warehouse; the first of its kind in the United States, that would unlock solutions to conserve natural resources and improve farmer success while protecting data privacy.
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development, Land O’Lakes International Development, and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research announced the six winners of the Feed the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize at the AfricaCom conference in South Africa.
  • The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., announced a $1.5 million grant to support the South Dakota State University precision agriculture program and construction of the new Raven Precision Agriculture Center on campus.
  • A locally-led, multi-stakeholder program designed to improve the sustainability of winter wheat production in the Southern Plains took top honors as the 2018 Collaboration of the Year at the Field to Market Sustainability Leadership Awards Ceremony in Denver, Colo. The winning collaborators on the innovative and successful Southern Plains Wheat Fieldprint® Project included Illinois-based Agrible, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland and General Mills.
  • Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and global ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle announced a new collaboration to advance conservation practices on Midwest farms – specifically in sourcing sustainable corn.
  • Organic Materials Review Institute recently approved an organic formulation of Rhizolizer™, a line of non-GMO microbial soil amendments that has proven to be highly successful in increasing yields and reducing time to harvest. The unique treatments, which were developed by Locus Agricultural Solutions™, LLC, have drastically improved the vitality of more than 40,000 acres of crops, leading to demand for organic offerings.
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Poncho/VOTiVO 2.0 Boosts Yields Again

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BASF looks to bring even more yield to growers with Poncho® /VOTiVO® 2.0, adding a third mode of action to a trusted family of products.

Since Poncho came on the scene in 2004, followed by Poncho/VOTiVO in 2011, the products have been providing secondary insect protection and yield boosts to growers. The newest product brings even more advantages, said Kerry Grossweiler, BASF Seed Solutions Product Manager.

“[It has] an additional biologic bacterial that increases the microbial activity in the soil around the corn roots. It results in additional nutrient availability and uptake by the corn plant,” said Grossweiler.

Trials show that translates to an average yield increase of 3.8 bushels per acre over previous versions as it pushes the plant to work harder. Grossweiler encouraged growers to talk to local seed dealers about the opportunity do a trial with Poncho/VOTiVO 2.0 in 2019. Grossweiler was at the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Kerry here: NAFB18 Interview with Kerry Grossweiler, BASF

2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Photo Album

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FMC Introduces Ethos 3D

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Participants at the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event learned more about Ethos® 3D insecticide/fungicide from FMC.

The product is formulated specifically for the 3RIVE 3D® in-furrow application system that converts traditional high-volume applications to low-volume applications through patented technologies. FMC’s Bob Hooten said farmers are beginning to view crop protection products as a program and not just an application, and that’s important. Fighting waterhemp is just one example.

“Waterhemp is an incredible plant in the fact that it has wiped out a lot of our chemistries and we just don’t have options anymore. So we ave to really make sure that we manage. And don’t slack up on the rates at planting time. If you do that, you’re going to develop resistance again, so keep your full rates out there,” said Hooten.

Hooten said Ethos 3D offers rootworm, wireworm and grub control, and includes a biological component that grows along the root system to protect against pythium, rhizoctonia, fusarium and phytopthora. He said the equipment is free right now when growers commit to buying FMC products over a one-year or three-year period.

Ethos 3D insecticide/fungicide and the 3RIVE 3D application system are part of FMC Freedom Pass, which includes application innovations, agronomic rewards, product financing and product assurances.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Bob here: NAFB18 Interview with Bob Hooten, FMC – Ethos® 3D

2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Photo Album

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Corn Growers Partner With Environmental Defense Fund

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The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is joining forces with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to address one of the most pressing challenges for farmers, rural communities and natural resources – how to improve environmental outcomes while optimizing productivity and profitability.

The partnership will work on gathering data for tracking of water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions, and developing user-friendly technology solutions for data reporting and analysis. It will also include on-farm engagement to increase knowledge about innovative conservation tools and practices, policy advocacy to support voluntary conservation programs with measurable outcomes, and finding ways for farmers to benefit economically from conservation practices such as cover crops and conservation tillage.

The Soil Health Partnership, an NCGA initiative, has been working on making agriculture more productive and sustainable through improved soil health since it was started in 2015. Iowa farmer and NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross was among the first to enroll in the program, which has been gathering data from more than 100 working farms enrolled in 12 states on progressive farm management practices such as cover crop usage to determine both economic and environmental sustainability.

In this interview from NAFB Trade Talk last week, Ross talks about the Soil Health Partnership 4th annual summit, January 15 – 16 in St. Louis, which is open to all growers and agronomists for the first time. He also talks about the new agreement between NCGA, United Soybean Board, and National Pork Board for sustainability research. NAFB18 Interview with Iowa farmer Kevin Ross, NCGA 1st VP

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

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Introducing USFRA 2.0

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In Kansas City last week, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) introduced its refined focus, the new Farmer Ambassador network, and 2019 projects that connect food and agriculture stakeholders to enable better decision making.

Speaking to affiliate members and media attending the NAFB Convention were USFRA chairman Brad Greenway of South Dakota, USFRA Chief Executive Officer Erin Fitzgerald, and USFRA Communications Committee Chair Mace Thornton, who is American Farm Bureau Federation’s Executive Director for Communications.

Listen here:
USFRA 2.0 press conference

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GROWMARK Simulator Aids Training

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Using a sprayer simulator for training is not new to members of GROWMARK and FS System companies, but a virtual reality (VR) component is a recent addition.

“It’s helped out our training quite a bit because you can move around and look up and down, but you can also lean forward and see your tires and everything, so the realistic feeling is definitely coming through with the new goggles that we have out,” said Erik Wilcox, equipment manager for crop protection.

Wilcox said there is a need to fill a gap between operators with 30 or more years of experience who are near retirement, and those coming in with little or no experience. It can be costly to find a machine and ground to use for training, and weather is also a factor. The simulator allows for continuous training as new regulations and new operators come in, no matter the season.

GROWMARK is working to obtain more simulators that will be shared across the area where its member companies are located that would be available to train employees or to rent to others needing access to this type of training. Wilcox was at the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Erik here: Interview with Erik Wilcox, GROWMARK

2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Photo Album

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ASTA Talks Seed and Trade at #NAFB18

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The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) team attended the NAFB Trade Talk last week and discussed what their name is all about – seed and trade.

ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne says trade is critical for the seed industry and acceptance of new plant breeding methods is important on a global scale, so the recent signing of the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology by the U.S. and 13 other countries is welcome news. “This is a strong showing of support by governments around the world in recognition of the necessity of continued evolution in plant breeding, and the critical role that it will play in ensuring a more sustainable and secure global food production system,” said LaVigne.

In this interview, LaVigne also talked about the federal Food and Drug Administration’s new Action Plan on biotechnology innovation, the impact of recent mergers on the industry, and the ASTA CSS 2018 and Seed Expo, coming up December 3-6 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. NAFB18 Interview with Andy LaVigne, ASTA

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the NAFB Convention is sponsored by FMC
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Precision Ag Bytes 11/14

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  • The Weed Science Society of America and its affiliated scientific societies have scheduled information-packed annual meetings over the coming months. Registration details for this year’s annual meeting of the Canadian Weed Science Society are available at Registration details for the annual meeting of the North Central Weed Science Society are available at
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ October U.S. Ag Tractor and Combine Report shows overall sales remained positive year-to-date, although a few categories recorded October declines. Here is link to the full report online:
  • The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN announced the forthcoming availability of Field to Market’s sustainability metrics within the new Truterra™ Insights Engine from Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN in mid-December. Land O’Lakes is the first partner that will integrate fully with the latest version of Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform released this month.
  • Midwest farmers and row crop advisers can learn valuable take-home precision solutions to increase return on investment on every acre at the Farm Progress Tech Forum on Nov. 27-28 in Coralville, Iowa. Check out all the details and register to attend at
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John Deere and Pheasants Forever Working Together

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A new partnership between John Deere and Pheasants Forever will promote conservation on the farm.

“John Deere and Pheasants Forever just announced a new joint effort that will improve wildlife habitat across the country and provide discounts on select models of new John Deere equipment to Pheasants Forever members,” said Lyle McMillan, tractor marketing manager for John Deere.

McMillan said John Deere will now become the “Official Habitat Tractor” for Pheasants Forever and the company also plans to sponsor a Conservation Farmer of the Year award to promote conservation practices. John Deere will also host workshops on how to maximize those returns on investment for every acre on the farm. McMillan was at the 2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event in Kansas City, where he also shared information about new features added to existing models this year including technology updates to 5R and 6R Series tractors.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Lyle here: Interview with Lyle McMillan, John Deere

2018 National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention Photo Album

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FMC Proud to Be Part of NAFB

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FMC Corporation was once again a sponsor of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual Trade Talk, a unique event that provides the chance for agribusiness companies and organizations to be interviewed by dozens of agricultural reporters in one place.

In this interview, FMC Senior Communications Manager Lisa Homer (now a proud member of the Golden Mic Club!) says the event is a great opportunity to connect with the people who tell the story of agriculture, and she talks about the exciting FMC product pipeline.

Listen here – Interview with Lisa Homer, FMC, at 2018 NAFB Convention

2018 NAFB Convention Photo Album

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