Inari Aims to Transform Agriculture

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

A new plant breeding technology company called Inari Agriculture is being introduced today with the mission to transform agriculture and its impact on society and the environment by developing a more personalized plant breeding approach.

Inari is a Flagship Pioneering company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., which started in early 2016 and has since recruited more than 80 leading research scientists and academic advisors from a range of diverse disciplines, including plant biology and medical research.

Ponsi Trivisvavet

Ponsi Trivisvavet was named CEO of Inari in April 2018. Prior to that she was COO at Flagship Pioneering company Indigo Agriculture, and before that she was with Syngenta for eight years and served as President of Syngenta Seeds, Inc.

“We have assembled a world-class team to execute on Inari’s mission and believe we have a unique opportunity to change the culture of agriculture,” said Trivisvavet. “Over the coming months our priority is to accelerate the deployment of our technologies into crops whilst increasing our cutting-edge technology and patent pool.”

Learn more about Inari from Trivisvavet. Interview with Inari CEO Ponsi Trivisvavet

Julie Borlaug, who inherited her desire to feed the world from her famous grandfather Norman, is the Vice President of Communications and Public Relations for Inari. “Our overall goal is to develop ‘personalized seeds’ to help growers meet specific challenges,” says Borlaug.

She says that working in a start up is different for her but she is very excited about it and believes it fits in with her goal of changing the conversation and creating a communications revolution for agriculture. “It might be a little unconventional but when my grandfather received the Nobel Peace Prize he was called a ‘refreshing, unconventional scientist’ so hopefully that’s where we are leading,” Borlaug said.

Learn more in this interview. Interview with Julie Borlaug, Inari Agriculture

AgWired Precision, Audio, Research, seed

Precision Ag Bytes 7/18

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

  • Teralytic released a limited number of the world’s first wireless NPK soil probes for pre-ordering on July 17. The in-ground wireless probe measures soil quality every 15 minutes using 26 different sensors, analyzing the data on an easy-to-use platform so farmers can save time and money on inputs as well as access insights into their soil’s fertility.
  • Buckwheat researchers from Japan now have access to the most accurate genome available, thanks to NRGene. The project was done with Dr. Yasuo Yasui, a renowned buckwheat scientist, in cooperation with GeneBay, NRGene’s partner in Japan.
  • Soil health policies are growing in number and importance across the United States but are widely dispersed across a variety of academic institutions, state agencies and legislative bodies. Developed by the Soil Health Institute Policy Action Team, this comprehensive online catalog of soil health policies will help agricultural leaders find action-focused resources quickly.
  • Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) reaffirmed its commitment to improving Iowa water quality with the approval of the organization’s 2018 work plan during its March board of directors meeting. ACWA is comprised of 11 agricultural retailers and five associate members with business operations in the Des Moines River and Raccoon River watersheds in Iowa. ACWA aligned with the 4R Plus program as one of the key elements of their work plan, especially for the purposes of training agronomy teams on conservation practices.
  • Raven Industries, Inc. has announced several new services available on the Slingshot® and Viper® 4 platforms: Job Generator and Job Sync. A new tool, called Job Generator, helps increase efficiency and reduce the risk of costly mistakes. Users are now able to prepopulate important job data, including field attributes and location, products, rates and other useful information that can be sent to compatible Raven field computers instantly using Slingshot.
  • Nutrien Ltd. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Agrible, Inc. for total consideration of $63-million. Agrible is a digital agriculture company with an advanced platform and product offering that includes a broad set of agronomic and on-farm advisory tools, data science capabilities, predictive analytics and a global sustainability business that connects growers with leading agricultural, food and consumer products companies to measure, benchmark and empower sustainable crop production.
  • Legend Seeds announces the promotion of Tim Bratland to president, effective August 1, 2018. Bratland’s appointment is part of an executive transition that includes prior president, Glen Davis, moving into the role of CEO.
  • Nominate a farmer friend, neighbor or family member who epitomizes the title “Good Steward” for the National Corn Growers Association’s Good Steward Recognition Program. Every profession has its early adopters that point the way for others, and National Corn Growers Association thinks these good stewards of the land are special people who deserve to be recognized. Nominations are due 5:00 p.m. CDT August 6, 2018.
  • Farm Market iD announces the launch of MarketView: a platform to provide strategic analysis and business intelligence to agribusiness.
  • Proagrica announced it will be bringing together its F4F, DBT and SST Software businesses under the Proagrica brand. This comprehensive move will integrate the varied offerings from Proagrica, and in turn deliver more connected solutions for customers.
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Precision Ag Bytes – 7/11

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

  • Golden Harvest is growing its strong portfolio for the 2019 planting season with the release of 37 new corn hybrids—21 of which are from our 16 new genetic families—and 17 new soybean varieties. Earlier this year, Golden Harvest announced it would benefit from an incremental $400 million investment. The breadth and quality of its 2019 seed portfolio showcases that pledge.
  • USDA has launched a new soil health webpage with the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters in mind. Visit today to learn more about the principles of soil health, and give feedback.
  • A novel gene editing approach could hold the key to broad-spectrum disease resistance in certain staple food crops without causing physical detriment to the plants, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist. Dr. Junqi Song, AgriLife Research plant pathologist in Dallas, explores how a “knock-in” gene editing approach might achieve better disease resistance in a wide range of crop plants. His team places special focus on addressing late blight disease in tomato and potato.
  • Nutrien Ltd. has officially rebranded its retail business to Nutrien Ag Solutions, aligning the company’s retail operations across the globe. The rebrand also features the roll out of an integrated digital platform designed to empower growers to effectively manage their agronomic and commercial needs.
  • Nutrien Ltd. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Waypoint Analytical, Inc. and its operating subsidiaries. Waypoint is the largest agriculture laboratory group in the U.S. and among the top 25 U.S. environmental lab groups.
  • Tate Mesbergen of Mesbergen Farms feels the need for speed — and so do his customers. On July 1, Mesbergen put the hammer down on his DISCO 1100 RC triple mower, behind the wheel of an AXION 880 tractor, both made by CLAAS. Exactly eight hours later, he stepped out of the cab of his tractor as a new world record holder. A survey crew and independent witnesses would later confirm that Tate had cut a total of 348.7 acres in four different fields, beating the previous record by more than 100 acres.
  • NewLeaf Symbiotics has announced that Aaron Kelley, Ph.D. has joined the company as Vice President of Manufacturing.
  • American Farmland Trust joins other major agriculture and conservation organizations at a “Learning Lab” for the U.S. Climate Alliance Natural and Working Lands Initiative. A team of over 50 technical experts from government, academia and industry will provide technical assistance to state governments on how to draw down carbon from the air and sequester it in the soil across diverse systems such as farms, rangelands, forests and wetlands. The lab also will help states develop strategies related to policy development and funding projects.
  • The replacement for the AyrMesh IndoorAP is now available. The AyrMesh IndoorHub is a tiny but powerful indoor 2×2 access point with meshing.
Precision Ag Bytes

Ag Equipment Sales Higher at Mid-Year

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

All categories of agricultural machinery sales are in the plus column so far this year compared to last, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“We view 2018 as a rebuilding year for agriculture; we’ve experienced a steadily improving economy, tax reform provides incentives and machines need to be replaced,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, AG services. “We’re still concerned with the impact of tariffs and trade wars on continued stability for manufacturers and their customers.”

AEM reports that U.S. sales of self-propelled combines are up 20.5 percent compared to 2017 January-June; U.S. sales of the machines in June grew 4 percent compared to June 2017. January-June U.S. sales of 4-wheel-drive tractors gained 5 percent over 2017 year-to-date sales; June sales jumped 23 percent compared to last year. Total U.S. sales of 2-wheel drive tractors at mid-year grew 6.5 percent over the same time period in 2017; all categories were positive, with strongest gains in the under-40 HP category at 8 percent.
For 2-wheel drive tractors, June U.S. sales in the 100-plus HP category increased 16 percent, under-40 HP tractors grew 15 percent, and 40-100 HP 2-wheel drive tractors gained 4 percent.

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Scott Pruitt Resigns From EPA

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Well, here’s news that probably won’t upset too many people I know. I’m actually amazed that this didn’t happen much sooner. Of course this had to happen during a pretty much vacation week for the ZimmComm Team and many, many other folks.

Here’s some industry reaction on the announcement. I think you can sum it up that everyone is pretty happy about it.

President Trump’s Tweet announcing his acceptance of Pruitt’s resignation

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)
Quote from Kevin Skunes, president and North Dakota Farmer:
“It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Growth Energy
Quote from Emily Skor, CEO:
“Administrator Pruitt’s tenure as administrator of the EPA put a heavy strain on this administration’s relationship with supporters, farmers, and biofuel producers across the heartland.

Renewable Fuels Association
Quote from Bob Dinneen, CEO:
“For the past year, Scott Pruitt had been waging war against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the biofuels industry, and the millions of farmers and rural Americans who helped Donald Trump get elected.

National Biodiesel Board
Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs:
“The EPA plays an important role in implementing policies that have a great impact on our industry. For that reason, we look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler and hope he will act more in line with President Trump’s support for America’s farmers, biofuels producers and the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Biodiesel, Biofuels, EPA, Ethanol, Government

Commodity Classic Releases 2019 Schedule

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Less than eight months to go ’til Commodity Classic 2019 – time to start getting prepared!

The tentative schedule for the show to be held February 28 through March 2 in Orlando, has been released and includes extended trade show hours, a full slate of educational sessions, and the Main Stage on the trade show floor returns with presentations from agribusiness leaders, well-known ag personalities and other speakers.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is presented by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Ag Group, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Commodity Classic

God Bless America and the American Farmer

cindy zimmerman

Food for thought this Independence Day from former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack:

“America has to understand and appreciate what it has in agriculture.

American consumers walk out of the grocery store with still more money in their pocket and their paychecks and their incomes than virtually anybody else in the world.

That creates great flexibility in our economy directly connected to American agriculture.

It also provides the opportunity for every single one of us who are not farmers to be able to choose alternative opportunities for ourselves and our families.

We have transferred the responsibility of feeding our families to a relatively small percentage of our population called the American farmer.”

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Farming, ZimmComm Announcement

Expanded Portfolio Includes New Enogen Varieties

carrie muehling

Among fans attending the NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway on Father’s Day was Craig Ehlers, a farmer and Golden Harvest dealer from northwest Iowa.

Golden Harvest is expanding its 2019 portfolio with 37 new corn hybrids and 17 new soybean varieties. Among the new offerings are seven new Enogen hybrids for use in selected geographies. Ehlers said Enogen is an important part of his business because it helps his customers to be more profitable.

“It’s not something we have to buy from across seas and bring in. Enogen helps the guys that are growing it make more money on each acre they grow,” Ehlers said, noting one of his customers estimates Enogen adds about $100 per acre of value to his operation. During many growing seasons, that could be the key difference between profit and loss on the farm.

Ehlers is in his fifth year as a Golden Harvest dealer, where he appreciates what he can offer to fellow growers.

“Innovation is key to making tomorrow better,” he said. “It’s what we do today to help make tomorrow better, and being part of Golden Harvest and the Enogen program, I can see the future of helping guys make more money.”

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Craig here: Interview with Craig Ehlers, Golden Harvest dealer, Iowa

2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Iowa 250 presented by Enogen Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Corn, Ethanol

Precision Ag Bytes 7/3

carrie muehling

  • Monsanto Company and Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, announced the companies have reached an agreement on an expanded license for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology for soybeans. Through this non-exclusive, royalty bearing license, Corteva Agriscience™ will offer U.S. and Canadian growers additional weed control flexibility through broader access to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology across its North America seed brand portfolio. Specifically, the technology can be incorporated into the Mycogen® and Dairyland Seed® brands in the U.S. and the Brevant™ seed brand in Canada.
  • CommoditAg.com, an e-commerce platform for growers, further expands its network with the addition of six Liqui-Grow warehouse locations in Northern Illinois and Iowa.
  • The challenges and opportunities of gene editing will be the focus of the Farm Foundation Forum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Register HERE if you plan to attend the Forum in person at the National Press Club. Register HERE for the free, live audiocast. Audiocasting is made possible by a grant from Farm Credit.
  • Anthem® MAXX and Authority® Elite herbicides from FMC have just been added to the Engenia® herbicide website page as approved tank-mix partners. This is the final step required to allow Anthem MAXX and Authority Elite herbicides as tank mixes with Engenia herbicide when used on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans.
  • New decision agriculture solutions will be available to growers around the world under a strategic alliance announced by Farmers Edge™ and Nufarm Limited. Under the alliance, Nufarm channel partners in Australia, will be able to distribute the Farmers Edge suite of precision digital solutions, including daily satellite imagery from the most comprehensive farm and risk management platform available – FarmCommand™.
AgWired Precision, Corteva Agriscience, FMC, Monsanto, Precision Ag Bytes

AMVAC Purchases Bayer Bromacil Business

chuck zimmerman

AMVAC Chemical Corporation recently announced the purchase of the Bromacil herbicide business in the United States and Canada from Bayer Crop Science. The transaction is unrelated to the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer, and financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

I spoke with Greg Warren, Marketing Manager, AMVAC, about the transaction and what it means to the company. It primarily adds the largest markets for these products which are Canada and the U.S. The product brands made with Bromacil are used mostly in citrus markets.

The assets being purchased include the Bromacil trademarks and product registrations for sale of Hyvar® and Krovar® in the USA and Canada. In order to ensure a seamless transfer from Bayer to AMVAC, Bayer will continue to market and provide customer support for these products until the end of September 2018.

Bromacil is a broad spectrum residual herbicide used for non-agricultural industrial vegetation control and on many crops, such as pineapples, citrus, agave and asparagus. Marketed under the Hyvar® and Krovar® brands, Bromacil herbicides are valued and long-established weed control tools. AMVAC previously purchased these brands from DuPont Crop Protection in 2015 for markets outside of US and Canada including Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Cost Rica and Brazil.

You can listen to my interview with Greg to learn more: Interview with Greg Warren, AMVAC

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