NCGA Online Campaign Highlights Proper Grain Channeling

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Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 2.30.52 PMThe National Corn Growers Association has launched an online campaign reminding growers of the importance of properly channeling grain this harvest. Through a series of online placements on, email blasts and text message alerts, the association will focus farmer attention during this critical harvest period, running from mid-September through early November.

“NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team always stresses the importance of balancing access to technology and export markets,” explained team chair Jim Zimmerman, who farmers near Rosendale, Wis. “The Know Before You Grow online tool plays an important role in this by empowering growers with the knowledge that they need to make educated decisions. With a potentially record crop on the way, it is more important than ever that we all work together to grow markets and maintain access to the products that allow us to provide such an abundance.”

Know Before You Grow stems from NCGA’s firm commitment to the principle that U.S.-grown biotech hybrids not intended for some export markets should not be placed into export channels. While the need to maintain export markets remains of great importance to NCGA, it also recognizes the potential difficulty farmers would face if a regulatory system that is not functioning overseas could bar farmers’ access to necessary technology indefinitely.

NCGA developed this campaign to highlight the importance of proper stewardship of corn, particularly that planted as part of the Right to Grow system for limited release of Duracade.

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Ag Group, Corn, Grain, NCGA Jamie JohansenNCGA Online Campaign Highlights Proper Grain Channeling

AFBF Videos on Big-Data Share Risks & Rewards for Farmers

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afbfThe American Farm Bureau Federation released a series of short educational videos to help farmers and ranchers understand the rewards and risks of data-analysis technologies sweeping the agricultural landscape.

“Modern data technology offers great benefits for America’s farmers and ranchers, but these new advantages don’t come without some risks,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.

From collecting weather data to analyzing nutrient applications and seed varieties, agricultural technology providers collect data that help farmers increase efficiency and yield higher profits. But many questions remain unanswered regarding who owns and controls this information once it is collected. Farm Bureau is leading the way in helping farmers get answers to these questions and secure their business data.

Through a series of four new educational videos, Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for AFBF, explains ownership of data, discusses key concerns for data use and provides guiding questions for farmers as they translate privacy agreements and terms-of-use contracts.

“Farmers must understand the issues being raised now, before they sign an agreement with an ag tech provider,” Thatcher said.
Ownership of data is often misunderstood, but this educational tool is an important introduction for farmers and ranchers considering signing on with ag tech providers.

Ag Group, Data, Farm Bureau, technology Jamie JohansenAFBF Videos on Big-Data Share Risks & Rewards for Farmers

N-Watch Program Growing

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

This is the second of a four part series on Nutrient Management sponsored by FS/GROWMARK

howard-brownTwo years ago, GROWMARK started a pilot program in the state of Illinois called N-Watch to help farmers determine the concentration, form and location of plant-available nitrogen. It started with about 45 sites in Illinois and it has grown quite a bit since then.

“Right now we’re a little under 400 sites,” said Dr. Howard Brown, GROWMARK director of nutrient management and environmental stewardship. “We go from western Iowa, all the way up to the southern part of Ontario, down into Ohio and Indiana. So, we’re really excited about where we’re currently at with the program and there’s a lot of interest growing with farmers who want a new management tool to monitor the dynamics of plant available nitrogen.”

The objectives of the program are to quantify the form of available, soil-applied nitrogen (N), where it is located, and what happens to the concentration of available N over time in the upper 0-12 and 12-24 inch profiles of the soil. “Basically we break it into two different types of sampling,” Brown explains. “One we refer to as the inventory and the other is the tracking.”

Inventory sampling takes a look at a cross section of a field to measure plant available nitrogen every three inches for 30 inches. “Starting after harvest, this allows us to inventory residual nitrogen as we’re moving into the time of year when there will be no crop cover,” said Brown. The program then tracks the nitrogen by taking composite samples every 2-4 weeks until it freezes, and then in the spring to see if the residual nitrogen is still there.

Listen to Howard explain more about this program and its role in nutrient management on the farm. Interview with Howard Brown, GROWMARK

As this series continues, we will hear about the impact of N use beyond farm economics, and developing nutrient management plans. Read the first post in the series on Illinois’ nutrient loss reduction strategy here.

Nutrient Management Series

sponsored by
Nutrient Management Series is sponsored by GROWMARK
Audio, Growmark, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management Cindy ZimmermanN-Watch Program Growing

Registration Opens for AgGateway Annual Conference

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AgGatewayRegistration is now open for AgGateway’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference, “Cultivating eBusiness for Global Success”, to be held November 10-13 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz.

AgGateway’s ninth annual conference is expected to draw hundreds of business and IT professionals from across the ag industry to discuss ongoing activities and the latest resources in implementing eBusiness between agricultural trading partners. The program is especially geared to ag retailers, distributors, manufacturers of ag inputs (e.g., seed, crop nutrition, crop protection), and software and data service providers, as well as professionals in precision ag, academia, agricultural organizations, ag media and students interested in eBusiness developments. Attendance at the conference has doubled in the past four years. AgGateway currently has more than 200 member companies working collaboratively on eBusiness projects within eight major ag industry segments.

“We’re particularly excited about our speaker line-up and the many educational programs this year, including sessions that will help companies get connected more rapidly, how to access the many resources available, and ways to navigate such timely issues as Big Data and data privacy,” said Karen Thomas, Southern States Cooperative, the 2014 Annual Conference Committee Chair. “This is the best meeting of the year to bring colleagues and trading partners to learn about electronic connections being made to improve how we do business in agriculture.”

Register by October 17 to take advantage of significant early bird registration discounts. A discounted hotel rate of $149 per night is available until October 20 at the Renaissance.

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Gangster® Herbicide Program Update

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Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 2.43.19 PMValent U.S.A. Corporation announced the launch of Fierce® XLT Soybean Herbicide for growers seeking premium residual control of tough weeds and annual grasses. In order to best service the needs of new Fierce XLT customers, Valent will discontinue Gangster® Herbicide after the 2015 growing season, as growers will now have a new choice for long-lasting, broad spectrum weed control.

“As an organization, our aim is to provide growers with the most reliable herbicide solutions,” said Gary Schaefer, senior manager, row crops for Valent. “Valent is committed to product innovation that best benefits growers and our channel partners with new solutions like Fierce XLT Herbicide.”

Valent will continue its support and service of Gangster in the field as the product transitions out of partner inventories. Valent will also support Gangster sales in its marketing programs for distributors, retailers and growers through the 2015 marketing year, beginning October 1, 2014, and ending September 30, 2015. Those interested in more information are encouraged to contact their local Valent sales representative.

Fierce XLT joins a strong lineup of soybean herbicide products from the Valent family of products: Valor®Herbicide, Valor XLT Soybean Herbicide, Fierce Herbicide, Cobra® Herbicide, Phoenix™ Herbicide, Resource®Herbicide and Select Max® Herbicide with Inside Technology™.

Ag Group, Crop Protection, Herbicides Jamie JohansenGangster® Herbicide Program Update

New AgGateway Global Network Seeks Expansion

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aggatewayMembers and leaders of the AgGateway organization have launched an affiliate non-profit organization, AgGateway Global Network (AGN), that seeks to promote and establish global collaboration and coordinated use of global agricultural eBusiness standards, guidelines and implementation processes. The new organization will be led by Rod Conner, who is leaving his post as President and CEO of AgGateway at the end of this year to head the newly formed organization.

AGN will be made up of various regional organizations from around the globe that can work through AGN to share and contribute to the AgGateway Open Standards and Implementation Guidelines, and to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture globally.

“We will share the successes that AgGateway has achieved with regional eBusiness-focused organizations, to help address the reality that the world has become ever smaller in terms of the global supply chain,” Conner said. “The significance of AGN is that best practices and standards that have been proven to be successful in certain regions of the world can be shared with other regions to enhance productivity, profitability and sustainability for everyone.”

Conner said several factors make the timing right for AGN: Customers and suppliers everywhere expect immediate, accurate information; there is a continued streamlining of the global supply chain; markets today are more volatile and more global in nature; food safety and traceability have become business imperatives throughout the world; and agriculture as a whole needs to produce more food with fewer resources through precision agriculture, sustainability and better technology.

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2014 Borlaug Field Award Honors Scientist Under 40

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.49.42 PMThe World Food Prize announced that the winner of its award for agricultural leaders under 40 goes to Dr. Bram Govaerts, a native of Belgium now working from Mexico, for his work developing leading-edge, sustainable programs that are transforming subsistence agriculture and unsustainable farming systems in Mexico and other regions of the world into productive and sustainable production operations. Dr. Govaerts’ collaborative work with farmers has made it possible for smallholders in Mexico and other developing countries to escape hunger and poverty and improve their livelihoods.

Dr. Govaerts will be formally presented with the $10,000 “Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation” on October 15, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of this year’s World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue international symposium.

Dr. Govaerts, 35, currently serves as Associate Director of the Global Conservation Agricultural Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). The announcement of his selection was made by World Food Prize President Ambassador Kenneth Quinn at the USAID Frontiers in Development Forum on September 18 in Washington, D.C.

In developing his vision to help poor farmers increase food production from their existing farmland, Dr. Govaerts was inspired by the great agricultural scientist and World Food Prize Founder Norman Borlaug’s credo: “Take It to the Farmer.” To that end, Dr. Govaerts was instrumental in framing the Mexican government’s major initiative known as the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro), and, in June 2014, he assumed leadership of the entire program, with responsibility for coordinating the evolution of related projects in Latin America.

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The Good Growth Plan on Track One Year After Launch

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.42.32 PMSyngenta provided an update on the progress of The Good Growth Plan one year after its launch in September 2013. The Plan comprises six measurable commitments for the year 2020 to help address the global food security challenge. These include increasing farm productivity while boosting resource efficiency, rejuvenating ecosystems and strengthening rural communities.

Syngenta has established a global network of 893 reference farms and 2,673 benchmark farms. The reference farms are adopting tailored crop protocols with the aim of increasing productivity without using more land, water or inputs. Progress is measured against the benchmark farms by Market Probe, an independent market research firm, and will be externally audited. Data are collected on land productivity as well as the efficiency of fertilizers, pesticides, water and energy on crop production. First results will be available in Syngenta’s 2014 Annual Report to be published in March 2015.

Projects and crop solutions designed to address the commitments are underway in all regions and are supported by broad employee engagement. The scale and scope of these initiatives is being increased through collaborations, including a Soil Leadership Academy partnership with UNCCD and the expansion of relationships with USAID and the Fair Labor Association.

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PrecisionHawk Raises $10 Million

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.47.14 AMThis weeks, PrecisionHawk, closed a Series B financing round of approximately $10 million led by New York City-based investor Millennium Technology Value Partners. Existing investors, Bob Young, founder of RedHat, and the Innovate Indiana Fund, an Indiana University affiliated venture company, also participated in the round.

Millennium analyzed more than two dozen companies to find the one they believed will be highly successful as the UAV ecosystem matures.

“PrecisionHawk envisions a world, as we do, where businesses across a wide variety of industries can access aerial information and gain actionable insights in an affordable manner,” said Samuel Schwerin, Founder & Managing Partner, Millennium Technology Value Partners.

Next PrecisionHawk will be doubling their employee base. This aggressive hiring plan will allow them to increase hardware production on their UAV platform and integrated plug and play sensor suite, which includes over 15 data collecting sensors.

They also will open a new office in College Station, TX. In partnership with Texas A&M University, this office will focus on the needs of the insurance industry as well as emergency response applications.

Strategic partnerships have been key to our success. This is a philosophy they will continue to expand upon moving forward. The PrecisionHawk team would like to say thank you to their investors and are excited about the amazing potential in the UAV and aerial data industry.

Aerial Application, Aerial Imagery, Agribusiness, Company Announcement, UAV Jamie JohansenPrecisionHawk Raises $10 Million

FS HiSOY® Celebrates 50 Years of Legacy

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.22.26 AMFor 50 years now, FS HiSOY has stood for cutting edge innovation, superior quality and consistent performance. These key components are the foundation in which the HiSOY Legacy was built.

“We’ve been innovators since the early days,” said John Earley, a retired FS Crop Specialist. HiSOY began its journey in 1965 by being the first proprietary soybean made available. Since then, science and technology has changed the agriculture industry by leaps and bounds, but HiSOY has used these advancements to become leaders in the field for the past 50 years.

In 1996, the Roundup Ready trait was adopted, helping FS growers to yield more bushels per acre. In 2010, HiSOY began offering the Genuity Roundup Ready® 2 Yield trait technology that was developed to deliver more yield and profit potential to farmers, while maintaining the same Roundup Ready® weed control benefits. These cutting edge advancements allow FS to offer full agronomic packages to growers.

FS HiSOY’s excellence continues to be driven by the infrastructure of local FS Crop Specialists and local research which gives the ability to develop and market soybeans that perform on local growers farms. Additionally, HiSOY sources genetics from multiple leading companies that allows for the selection of the very best soybean genetics that the industry has to offer. FS works with leading trait providers to bring growers the latest and best trait options to help make their businesses more profitable. Today, HiSOY is keeping up with the ever-changing times and will soon be offering new advanced herbicide traits such as Enlist, Extends and Glyphosate, helping growers to maximize every acre.

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Agribusiness, Crop Protection, Growmark, Soybeans Jamie JohansenFS HiSOY® Celebrates 50 Years of Legacy