GROWMARK Foundation to Provide FFA Jackets

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

After the unexpected passing of GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee Mike Builta in April 2019, the GROWMARK Foundation is helping his family to honor his memory by providing FFA jackets to FFA members in Illinois.

“In the weeks and the days after his passing, his wife approached us and asked if the GROWMARK Foundation could become a place to funnel memorial funds through, and also to come up with some ideas of appropriate ways to honor his memory,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer Specialist.

More than $12,000 was collected in Builta’s memory. Part of that money will go towards providing 25 Illinois FFA members with FFA jackets for the next four years, for a total of 100 jackets. Interested students will fill out an online application including two short answer questions about what the FFA jacket means to them, and the main goal they wish to accomplish as an FFA member.

The application is available at and is due September 30.

Builta was raised on a family farm near Bellflower, Illinois. He was an active FFA member and lifelong supporter of agricultural education. He held GROWMARK System management roles at Christian County Farmers Supply Company in Taylorville, Illinois and GRAINCO FS in Ottawa, Illinois, before becoming GROWMARK vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.

Listen to Carrie’s interview with Karen here: Interview with Karen Jones, GROWMARK

Agriculture Education, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, FFA, Growmark

FMC Working on New Herbicides Modes of Action

chuck zimmerman Leave a Comment

It’s been a long time since the industry has seen a new mode of action in herbicides, so FMC is excited to be working on some they hope to launch in five to ten years.

“We haven’t had a new mode of action in herbicides in 30 years,” said FMC Field Development Representative Scott Swanson at the recent Ag Media Summit expo. “Advancing chemistry to advance agriculture is what we are doing.”

Swanson says they are looking at a compound for hard-to-control grass species in rice, as well as one for corn and soybeans to control Palmer amaranth.

Learn more in this interview from AMS: Interview with Scott Swanson, FMC, on new herbicide MOAs

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

Ag Media Summit, AgWired Precision, Audio, FMC, Herbicide, Video

Precision Ag Bytes 8/21

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  • EFC Systems, Inc. announced Steve Dietze has joined EFC Systems as Senior Vice President, Business Development effective August 14th.
  • Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS launched the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition that seeks analytical approaches to improve complex crop breeding processes. Data analytics, mathematics and statistics students, as well as professionals worldwide are invited to enter by Jan. 21, 2020. Using real-world crop data, entrants are tasked to develop models that can predict the performance of potential corn products.
  • Aided by a $480,000 cooperative agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) will expand its ecosystem services markets protocol and pilot efforts to four additional regions beyond its first project in the Texas/Oklahoma Southern Great Plains area.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Intergro Launches Innovative Line of Bioenhancers

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Agricultural Solutions, a subsidiary of Intergro, Inc., is launching a new portfolio of products. Registrations are being obtained in the U.S. for patent-pending microbial-based formulations that help improve soil and plant health, as well as stress resistance.

A line of natural fertilizers (NutriBoom, NutriBoom Powder and NutriBoom Plus) scientifically proven to stimulate the soil microbiome, particularly microbes associated with the biological control of plant pathogens and parasitic nematodes, to improve soil health for greater root and plant vitality.

A foliar application that enhances biological fungicide programs by facilitating the establishment and persistence of biocontrol organisms on the surface of plant tissue to boost defense mechanisms against stress and disease.

The active ingredient in the products is chitin, a natural material derived from crustacean meal, which Agricultural Solutions sources from North, Central and South America. Unused crab and/or lobster shells are milled to various levels of fineness, depending on their application. When used within an integrated systems-based approach, chitin-based amendments provide a food source for beneficial microbes, altering the microbial community composition in the soil or on the plant in favor of those associated with improved plant growth and vitality, as well as disease and pest suppression.

Agricultural Solutions products may be applied to a variety of conventional and organic crops, including fruiting vegetables, nuts, stone fruit, hemp, berries, grapes, commodity crops, roots and tubers, pome fruit, citrus, specialty crops and leafy greens. Learn more at

AgWired Precision, biologicals, Biotech, Precision Agriculture, Soil

FMC Offers Fall Residual Herbicide Program Advice

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FMC is recommending growers aim for a zero tolerance policy when it comes to weeds, according to Brandon Schrage, technical service manager. Schrage said preventing weed growth in the seedbank is particularly important.

“What we want to see is that fall residual being applied once soil temperatures are 50 degrees and falling. That’s going to ensure that our product is going to be there. The microbial activity in the soil is going to be low, so we won’t have degradation. It will be present in the spring. And if we have a year like we did in 2019 where it is a very wet spring and guys couldn’t necessarily get out and apply a pre-emergence product when they wanted to, that product is going to be there to help them get to that post application time.”

Schrage said weeds like Palmer amaranth often emerge late in the season. Products like Authority MTZ have the flexibility to be applied in fall or spring to help growers best manage weed challenges. Schrage said it will depend on geography, the environment, and whether a cover crop is present, but the goal is immediate weed control during and after harvest.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Brandon here: Interview with Brandon Schrage, FMC, on fall residual herbicide programs

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

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Precision Ag Bytes 8/14

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  • AgroLiquid introduced the newest product in its microLink line-up. Micro 1000™ is a combination of eight essential micronutrients: zinc, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, iron, copper, cobalt, and boron; and two secondary nutrients: calcium and magnesium.
  • Ag Leader announced a limited beta release of a new grain cart connectivity feature, CartACE. Powered by Ag Leader’s InCommand display, CartACE gives the grain cart operator assistance while unloading on-the-go.
  • Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Pro Farm Technologies OY, which will increase Marrone Bio’s market share and global platform in the $4.6 billion seed- and soil-treatment market.
  • Larta Institute has announced the first wave of the 2019 cohort of early-stage AgTech and food companies to present at the 11th Annual Ag Innovation Showcase, which has moved from its origins in St. Louis to a new home in Minneapolis.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Coming Soon from Farm Market iD

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With a database of over 2.4 million active operations, Farm Market iD is already the leading provider of farm and grower data to inform and improve agribusiness strategy, marketing and sales efforts. But the company is aiming to launch a new product soon for even more specialized data.

“What we’re essentially doing is monitoring fields on behalf of our clients,” said Farm Market iD CEO Steve Rao during the recent InfoAg Conference. This service would provide alerts for clients when there are fields that should be checked for issues.

Rao says they are also opening up their data to API developers to facilitate integration with other platforms. “Software and platforms are only as good as the data they have to power them and we can power a lot,” he said.

Learn more about some of the other Farm Market iD data products in this interview.
2019 InfoAg Interview with Steve Rao, Farm Market iD, new products

2019 InfoAg Conference Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Data, Farm Market iD, Info Ag, Marketing

Ag Media Summit Awards

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Ag Media Summit is the annual awards extravaganza for LPC and AAEA.

AAEA, The Agricultural Communicators Network, handed out communications awards for writing, design, mar-com, photography, digital and social media, in addition to the Lifetime Achievement and Andy Markwart Horizon awards. Jim Patrico and Jo Ann Alumbaugh were honored for their career achievements, and Cassie Yontz with Charleston-Orwig received the horizon award.

Click for a list of all AAEA winners in all categories.

The Livestock Publications Council (LPC) honored its members outstanding work and accomplishments as well. Among this year’s LPC honorees was retiring Lyle Orwig, who received the Headliner Award; Todd Donner was inducted into the LPC Hall of Fame, and Cal-Poly professor Scott Vernon received the Distinguished Service Award.

Click here for a list of all LPC winners.

Students and interns were also honored at the event, including the LPC Forrest Bassford award, sponsored by Alltech. The winner this year was Jessica Wesson from the University of Arkansas who received a $2,000 scholarship.

If you go through the photo album you will find plenty of pictures of award winners.

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

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USDA Updates Acreage and Production Forecasts

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In the August Crop Production report released today, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) revised planted acres downwards, while at the same time increasing corn production to 13.9 billion bushels and raising the average national yield by more than 3 bushels to 169.5 bushels an acre in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) report.

NASS noted that survey respondents who reported acreage as not yet planted for corn, cotton, sorghum, and soybeans in fourteen states for the Acreage report were re-contacted in July. “Excessive rainfall had led to planting delays and challenges at the time of the survey, leaving a portion of acres still to be planted for corn in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; cotton in Arkansas; sorghum in Kansas; and soybeans in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.”

Corn production for grain is forecast at 13.9 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2018 but up 26 million bushels from the July projection as a decline in harvested acres is offset by an increase in yield, expected to average 169.5 bushels per harvested acre, down 6.9 bushels from 2018. The report indicates that Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota are forecast to have yields below a year ago and Missouri is the only major producing state forecast to have yields higher than last year.

Soybean production for beans is forecast at 3.68 billion bushels, down 19 percent from 2018. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 48.5 bushels per harvested acre, down 3.1 bushels from 2018. Area harvested for beans is forecast at 75.9 million acres, down 4 percent from the previous forecast, and down 14 percent from 2018. Area planted for all purposes totaled 76.7 million acres, down 4 percent from the previous estimate, and down 14 percent from 2018.

In the August WASDE report, 2019/20 U.S. corn outlook is for larger supplies, reduced exports and corn used for ethanol, and greater ending stocks. Corn used for ethanol is reduced 25 million bushels to 5.5 billion. Exports are lowered reflecting U.S. export competitiveness and expectations of increasing competition from Argentina, Brazil, and Ukraine. With supply rising and use falling, ending stocks are up 171 million bushels to 2.2 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers is lowered 10 cents to $3.60 per bushel.

All cotton production is forecast at 22.5 million 480-pound bales, up 23 percent from 2018. All wheat production for grain is forecast at 1.98 billion bushels, up 3 percent from the previous forecast and up 5 percent from 2018.

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Corn, Soybean, USDA

Precision Ag Bytes 8/7

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  • Share the story of how conservation is part of your farm operation and you could be recognized with a Conservation Legacy Award. More information on past winners of the award and how to submit your application is available in the “About” section under “Awards” on the American Soybean Association website. All applications must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.
  • Bayer has awarded BioSTL a $1.5 million grant to support its new headquarters. BioSTL is located in St. Louis’ Cortex Innovation Community. Funds from the grant will help the organization develop new office and lab space as well as expand its comprehensive range of business development programs
  • Inari, the next-generation seed company, announced the closing of its $89 million Series C financing, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $144 million. Funds will be used to accelerate the commercial introduction of the company’s high-performance corn and soybean seeds in the U.S. market.
  • Gevo, Inc. announces a partnership with Locus Agricultural Solutions® (Locus AG) to trial a new technology, developed by Locus AG, that is expected to improve capture of soil carbon, reduce applied nitrogen fertilizer needs and improve yield. Locus AG’s Rhizolizer® is a line of fresh, non-GMO soil “probiotic” treatments which are produced from proven microorganisms and tailored to meet the needs of local farmers.
  • The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) has been fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health since 2014. This year, SHP celebrates its fifth anniversary and the foundational collaborations that developed the program.
  • BRANDT has acquired a retail agronomy company in Farmersville, IL. Farmers Exchange Fertilizer, Inc. will become part of the BRANDT organization, strengthening the company’s commitment to Central Illinois.
  • With grain and forage yields up to 40 percent greater than its conventional cousin, hybrid rye provides growers with abundant marketing, feeding and soil-health opportunities says Walker Sik, Agronomist and Seed Production Specialist with Millborn Seeds.
  • Producers now have an easy-to-use tool to help create custom cover crop mixes, thanks to the Millborn Seeds My SeedMix Web App.
  • Pioneer announced expanded availability of Pioneer® brand Enlist E3™ soybeans for 2020. Varieties will be available across the U.S. in a range of maturities.
  • The National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the Proposed Rule regarding Movement of Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms. The submission voiced support for the proposed rule while also offering several suggestions that would strengthen the final rule. The proposed rule marks the first comprehensive revision of USDA’s regulations since they were established in 1987.
  • The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) put forward a consumer-friendly proposal that would improve public access to information about new agricultural biotechnology products. Combined with a new science-based regulatory approach, BIO’s proposal will foster greater public confidence and support bringing new sustainable agricultural solutions to the market.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes