Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill

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By a vote of 20 to 1, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Wednesday

“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill process is a reminder of how things should work in Washington – listening to the folks back home, working through issues with the other side of the aisle, then writing a good bill,” said Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “Today marks another important step in the road to getting an on-time Farm Bill enacted into law. We urge our colleagues to support this bill.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was the sole dissenting vote, continuing his long-time crusade for payment limitations.

“Setting sound, enforceable limits to farm safety net payments is a straightforward way to exercise fiscal responsibility and close loopholes that exploit the intent of farm programs that allow some non-farmers to game the system and take resources away from real, working farmers,” said Grassley in a statement after the vote. “I’ve been an advocate for making these reforms for more than a decade, so you can imagine my disappointment that they weren’t included in the committee’s legislation. I intend to offer an amendment on the Senate floor to include commonsense payment limits in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Grassley was the first to make his comments during the mark-up. Here are his remarks.
Sen. Grassley comments on Senate farm bill

Grassley also opposed including the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the farm bill. The legislation to remove federal roadblocks to industrial hemp was included. “By securing my hemp provision in the Farm Bill, we are building upon the successes of the hemp pilot programs and encouraging the great potential of this versatile crop,” said McConnell.

Listen to McConnell’s comments here:
Sen. McConnell comments on hemp legislation in farm bill

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Farm Bill, Government

New Processes Create Opportunities in Biochemical Industry

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Companies like Dedert Corporation are watching technologies they’ve used in the petrochemical industry for years now being applied to the biochemical industry in exciting ways. The company provides thermal systems to the starch and ethanol industry, with a focus on drying solids and concentrating liquids.

“For us, the most interesting thing is seeing what’s happening with in particular the bio-based chemicals,” said Colin Crankshaw, vice president of process engineering and sales with Dedert Corporation. “Our equipment and technology is used throughout the world in the chemical industry, and seeing now that there is opportunity to generate the same chemical products from corn that have been generated from petrochemicals for 50 to 100 years is exciting now. So we can employ our technology into this new biochemical business.”

Crankshaw said new processes to separate sugars and proteins are generating value-added products that used to be considered byproducts. He said the company recently built a new research facility in the Chicago area that will help them to seek better solutions for every possible drying and evaporation problem brought to them by their customers. Crankshaw attended this year’s Corn Utilization & Technology Conference in St. Louis.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Colin here: Interview with Colin Crankshaw, Dedert Corporation

2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, biobased, Corn, CUTC, Ethanol

New Market Insights for Crop Biologics

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Microbial additives or “biologics” are becoming an important approach for farmers looking for ways to manage production challenges and a new study conducted by BioCognito and Farmgate Insights takes a multifaceted look at this expanding field of agriculture.

According to the study, “Plant Microbiome, The Next Wave in Agriculture?,” more than $5 billion has been invested in this space in the past five years. “We have seen multinationals form new alliances, well known crop protection and nutrient companies purchase startups, and an explosion of innovators, all trying to be a part of the action” said Nathan Danielson, one of the report’s authors.

While the use of biologics in specialty crops and the organic industry are ahead of row crops, with over 250 million acres planted annually this is a huge potential market. “One of our study goals was to look at the five primary field crops in the U.S. (corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum) and analyze their unique barriers to entry and potential delivery systems for biologics,” stated co-author Paul Bertels. “We have talked with a number of growers and commodity organizations to get their perspectives on what do want to enhance adoption.”

The authors have created an interactive cost-benefit model for each crop to help assess the value of a new product and those models indicate value creation in excess of $8.5 billion in farm gate revenue for these five crops in the US alone.

Read more here.

For more information, please contact the authors: or

AgWired Precision, Biostimulants, Crop Protection, Soil, sustainability

Precision Ag Bytes 6/13

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  • Lindsay Corporation and Farmers Edge have announced a partnership that will deliver an unmatched suite of ag tech and digital agronomy solutions for their customers. This collaboration between Lindsay Corporation and Farmers Edge provides farmers with a simple solution to easily access field-centric data and deep insights they need to make informed decisions and get the most out of every acre.
  • The Soil Health Institute seeks up to six scientists and a statistician/database manager to join the Soil Health Institute team. The professionals will assist in the evaluation of soil health indicators at long-term agricultural experimental sites across North America.
  • The Soil Health Institute has released the Agenda for its Third Annual Meeting, August 1-3 in Albuquerque. National and international leaders will address such contemporary topics as achieving corporate sustainability goals and environmental markets through soil health, recent advances in understanding the soil microbiome, links between soil health and human health, federal and state policies for advancing soil health, enhancing research-farmer connections for greater adoption, and others. Click here to register.
  • Broadgnss announced at the 9th China Satellite Navigation Conference a new high precision satellite position receiver with patented RAC (Real-time Array Calibration)technology. It features positioning accuracy closer than one meter (up to 10cm) by receiving only single frequency (GPS L1) satellite signals, the RAC technology in high precision satellite positioning which frees the dependence on traditional augmentation network and significantly reduces the cost, making way for high precision satellite positioning in large-scale applications.
  • AgbioInvestor announces that subscriptions are now available to its AgbioCrop and AgbioSeed services. In addition to these reports, AgbioInvestor’s range of services also includes sigma Select and AgbioNews.
  • Midwestern BioAg has launched a wholesale and ag retail sales strategy through a partnership with Vivid Life Sciences. Vivid has an extensive wholesale and ag retail distribution network and together the two companies will introduce the TerraNu Nutrient Technology products throughout the United States.
  • Agrian has added a new feature to its field scouting app – a pest trap counting solution. The new functionality will allow for more automated and seamless information sharing, empowering field staff, agronomic advisors and growers to easily monitor activity and look at aggregated data to make decisions on the fly as it relates to pest threats. The upgrade is already available and ready for immediate use to all current Agrian scouting clients.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

ASTA Elects 2018-19 Officer Team

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2018-19 ASTA Chair Jerry Flint

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is pleased to announce its 2018-19 officer team, officially elected during the ASTA Policy & Leadership Development Conference in Washington, D.C.

The members of the 2018-19 ASTA officer team are:
• Chair – Jerry Flint, Corteva Agriscience™
• First Vice Chair – Wayne Gale, Stokes Seeds
• Second Vice Chair — John Latham, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds

Newly-elected Regional Vice Presidents are: Rick Falconer, Rijk Zwaan (Western Region Vice President), and John Romines, WinField Solutions (North Central Vice President).

Incoming Chair Jerry Flint leads Global Initiatives and Sustainability for Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. Throughout his 25-plus year career, Dr. Flint has served on several committees and held leadership roles to support and promote the seed and crop protection industry.

In addition to serving as an ASTA officer for the past two years, Dr. Flint is a member of ASTA’s International Executive Committee. He also serves on the Crop Life International Plant Biotech Steering Committee, the Biotechnology Industry Organization Food and Agriculture Governing Board and is a member of the National FFA Sponsors Board. Dr. Flint earned his Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Purdue University and his Master of Science and doctorate in crop science from the University of Kentucky.

Learn more about Dr. Flint in this USFRA podcast: SMART Farmer Podcast with Jerry Flint

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Corteva Agriscience, DowDuPont, seed

Crops & Chemicals USA 18 Agenda Features Industry Experts

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The full agenda is now available for this year’s Crops & Chemicals USA meeting, July 23-25, at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC.

The agenda for the meeting provides attendees with the critical science, technologies and contacts needed to accelerate the development and regulatory approval of biostimulant, biopesticide and agrochemical products.

Included on the program this year are industry experts representing Mosanto, BASF, Bayer, DowDuPoint, Syngenta, EPA, USDA, FDA and many more. The program is designed to offer key strategies, industry insights and connections needed to overcome today’s biggest challenges:

Developing targeted, efficacious and economical biocontrol products for use in IPM programs
Creating new offerings, support product claims and dispel misconceptions around biostimulants and biofertilizers
Enhancing the compatibility and delivery of your active ingredient to ensure optimal efficacy

More information and registration details for Crops & Chemicals USA is available online.

Register by June 15 and save $300. Save an extra 10% when you register here using the VIP code AGNEWSWIRE (new registrations only).

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, BASF, Bayer, biobased, Biostimulants, Crop Protection, Events

DuPont Opens Industrial Biosciences Global Headquarters

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DuPont Industrial Biosciences officially opened the doors of its renovated global business headquarters last week in Wilmington, Delaware.

“At this new facility, we have hundreds of people working toward a more sustainable future by innovating biobased solutions that are better, safer and more renewable. These technologies go into products that are used in everyday life,” said William Feehery, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “The redesigned and upgraded laboratories and office spaces are incubators for some of DuPont’s most groundbreaking work.”

The revitalization of Building E353 is part of a more than $200 million investment in the Experimental Station campus, which began in 2016 and encompasses about 50 buildings, with over 2 million square feet of space.

Read more from DuPont.

Agribusiness, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, biobased, Biofuels, Dupont

2018 CUTC is a Wrap

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The first Corn Utilization and Technology Conference was held 30 years ago. Since 1987, CUTC has brought together leading innovators to focus on new uses for corn with the goals of expanding markets and demand while improving quality and efficiency.

National Corn Growers Association CEO Chris Novak says this year’s conference this week was another great success for the future of the industry. “Corn can be at the forefront of a biobased economy,” said Novak. “We have the opportunity to use corn and corn products to replace petrochemicals in a way that will create additional demand for our farmers and create more sustainable products.”

Listen to Novak’s wrap up interview from CUTC: CUTC interview with NCGA CEO Chris Novak

2018 CUTC Photo Album

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Using Digital Agriculture to Enable a Reliable Supply Chain

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Technology is here to stay, and digital agriculture is helping farmers of all ages to better serve the processors and consumers they are supplying.

“I think we sometimes discount how well some of the older generation actually uses the technology. I think some of the older generations have grasped the technology. They are utilizing it,” said Roger Theisen, business manager for specialty corn with Corteva Agriscience. “I believe some of the younger generations are going to be able to take that information, take that technology, and maybe use it a little more specific to acre profitability, just the different things that they want to do with those acres or for their farming operation.”

Theisen said digital agriculture is helping all aspects of agriculture, from the producer to the processor to the consumer. He said using that technology can not only help farmers to realize more profit when margins are tight, but it can also help them to be better stewards of the resources they have on the farm. That same information can better serve consumers as they strive to learn more about where their food comes from and how it is being produced. Theisen moderated a panel at the 2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference in St. Louis.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Roger here: Interview with Roger Theisen, Corteva Agriscience

2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference Photo Album

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Precision Ag Bytes 6/6

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  • Farm Market iD has released the 2018 Annual Update of their database. The update will provide complete details on farmers, crops, livestock and land for the 2017 crop year. The database covers 94 percent of major crop production in the United States going back more than a decade, and is collected from a combination of public and private sources.
  • As part of a 33-year effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat on private lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will resume accepting applications for the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program. Eligible farmers, ranchers, and private landowners can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency office between June 4 and Aug. 17, 2018.
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has presented Statistics Outstanding Merit Awards to 29 companies for their superior participation in AEM data reporting programs.
  • Building on its SeedCommand line of planting products, Ag Leader introduces SureForce. SureForce is a new, bidirectional hydraulic down force system with hydraulic uplift. Weight on the gauge wheels of every row is sensed 200 times per second, and force is automatically adjusted up or down to maintain consistent depth in changing soil conditions.
  • HELM Agro US, Inc. announced that the California Department of Pesticide Regulations has approved HELMET and HELMET SPC herbicides for use on selected crops in that state. HELMET and HELMET SPC are HELM Agro US’ newest additions to the metolachlor herbicide portfolio. Both products deliver superior grass and small-seeded broadleaf control with the added benefit of residual activity. One application controls tough-to-manage weeds, including those resistant to glyphosate, PPO and ALS herbicides.
  • AGCO Corporation announces a development partnership with agricultural technology company AgIntegrated (AGI) to deliver ag information management systems services to AGCO customers. The partnership will enable AGCO customers to connect more easily with their agronomy service providers, create seamless data connectivity, and digitize the farm.
  • Deere & Company took legal action against Precision Planting LLC and AGCO Corporation, claiming that the companies have infringed on 12 John Deere patents. The Deere patents relate to several of the unique and inventive aspects of John Deere planting equipment, many of which are embodied in the state-of-the-art technology Deere has named ExactEmerge.
  • Concentric Ag Corporation (formerly Inocucor), a developer and producer of proprietary biological and essential plant nutrient inputs for specialty and broadacre crops, has hired Mark Trostle as vice president of global regulatory affairs. Trostle is an expert in federal, state and international regulations for crop inputs.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes