RIB Products Simplify Grower Compliance

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

NCGA-Logo-3Refuge-in-a-bag (RIB) products continue to simplify how growers meet refuge requirements in the Corn Belt. In a survey by the Compliance Assurance Program (CAP), many growers surveyed in the Corn Belt planted exclusively RIB products, while all planted at least one refuge in a bag product. The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with the continued increase in use of RIB products.

The Compliance Assurance Program, implemented by the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), is designed to improve compliance and includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey, IRM education and awareness.

“We are pleased to see that growers have rapidly adopted refuge-in-a-bag products to meet refuge requirements. Refuge compliance, whether through planting structured refuges or using refuge-in-a-bag products, is important to help preserve Bt corn technology durability” said Mark Kimm, ABSTC IRM subcommittee co-chair.

Highlights of the survey indicate a strong adoption of refuge-in-a-bag products, which include Bt and refuge seed interspersed in a single bag or container. In 2015, the majority of growers surveyed planted the required refuge size on their farms and planted it within the required distance for all of their Bt corn fields. Furthermore, the survey indicated that the percentage of growers not planting any refuge acres continues to be low.

The ABSTC continues to promote educational programs and strategies to preserve the efficacy of Bt technology. In addition, the ABSTC partners with NCGA to ensure that NCGA’s membership and networks are fully informed of refuge requirements and the CAP. A collaboration supporting insect resistance management and the use of best management practices for corn rootworm (CRW) has provided readily accessible information at www.ncga.com/cornrootworm. The campaign also includes advertisements and editorials in local publications that include best management practices on how to help protect fields from corn rootworm.

“This type of collaboration is vital to the industry’s efforts to showcase the benefits of best management practices – such as crop rotation, scouting, and trait selection,” said John Linder, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “The industry is committed to the success of the grower. The availability of refuge in bag products and educational programs provide our growers options that help manage challenging on-farm situations, as well as durability and stewardship of the industry’s trait technologies.”

Read the full release here.

Corn, NCGA, Planting

Bayer Rejects EPA Request to Halt Belt® Sales

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

bayer-beltBayer is rejecting a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to voluntarily cancel the uses of flubendiamide insecticide, marketed as Belt® in the United States, and instead will seek a review of the product’s registration through an administrative law hearing.

According to a company release, Bayer believes EPA is exaggerating the environmental risk of the product and “would deny farmers access to a critical pest management tool.” Flubendiamide is approved for use on more than 200 crops, including corn, soybeans, cotton, grapes, tree nuts, pome fruit and stone fruit.

Bayer strongly disagrees with the EPA’s methodology, which is based on theoretical models and assumptions that exaggerate risk. Years of water monitoring studies have shown residues of flubendiamide and its metabolite are well within safe levels established for aquatic invertebrates.

“We are disappointed the EPA places so much trust on computer modeling and predictive capabilities when real-world monitoring shows no evidence of concern after seven years of safe use,” said Dr. Peter Coody, Bayer’s Vice President of Environmental Safety.

While under review, farmers and retailers can continue to buy, sell and use the product in their operations.

Bayer CropScience, Crop Protection, Insecticide

Cotton Council Planting Intentions Survey Released

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

cotton-councilThe National Cotton Council (NCC) 35th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey indicates U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 9.1 million cotton acres this spring, up 6.2 percent from 2015.

Upland cotton intentions are 8.9 million acres, up 5.7 percent from 2015, while extra-long staple (ELS) intentions of 208,000 acres represent a 31.2 percent increase, according to the survey results announced at the NCC’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Jody Campiche, the NCC’s vice president Economics & Policy Analysis, said, “Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed. Ultimately, weather, insect pressures and agronomic conditions play a significant role in determining crop size.”

She said that with abandonment set at 11 percent for the United States, Cotton Belt harvested area totals 8.1 million acres. Using an average U.S. yield per harvested acre of 831 pounds generates a cotton crop of 14.0 million bales, with 13.4 million upland bales and 595,000 ELS bales.

The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2015 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked producers for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2015 and the acres planned for the coming season. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.

Campiche noted, “History has shown that U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions. During the survey period, the cotton December futures contract averaged just under 65 cents per pound, which is very similar to year-ago levels. However, corn and soybean prices are 8-12 percent below year ago levels, so price ratios of cotton to competing crops are a bit more favorable than in 2015.”

Read more here.

Cotton, Planting

Indoor Farms of America to Display at World Ag Expo

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Indoor Farms of America Display Farm (PRNewsFoto/Indoor Farms of America)The makers of aeroponic indoor farm equipment have another exciting addition.  Their vertical farm system has received a U.S. Patent, allowing for increased indoor farm production and reduced installation costs.  Indoor Farms of America, LLC will be showcasing this platform at the upcoming World Ag Expo in Tulare, California on February 9-11.

“The whole company is very excited to publically debut the production farm equipment at such an important event like the World Ag Expo, and we look forward to showing folks what we believe is a game changer in the industry, ” says company CEO, David Martin.  “Traditional farming operators can also add to their bottom line financial performance by integrating indoor growing operations and serving their local markets, which is our core focus, cost-effectively getting ultra fresh, locally grown produce in the hands of consumers.”

And customer feedback proves the product is worth buying.  One buyer reports, “We visited every manufacturer of indoor farms that can operate in a shipping container, and we found the GrowTruck technology to really be superior. They provide over double the functional growing capacity of the nearest competitor in the same space, and the price was far more attractive on a comparative basis.”

The display for World Ag Expo will be the Farmers Market model.  The large Box Truck platform can grow more than 5,000 plants and can actually be driven to market and harvested at point-of-sale.

Agribusiness, Urban Farming

New Education Materials Available about Weeds

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

wssaYou can now find newly updated materials about weeds on the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) website.  The fact sheets are available to download for free.

New offerings includes information that helps identify similarities and differences among several categories of weeds, including so-called “super weeds.”  A new definition of “weed” has also been endorsed by the WSSA.

“There are many definitions for a ‘weed’ found on the web and in other reference materials – ranging from the very simple to the very complex,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., science policy director for WSSA. “We decided it was time for us to distill the best and most accurate aspects of those into a single definition that clearly reflects the significance of weeds on our world.”

WSSA’s new definition is now, “a plant that causes economic losses or ecological damage, creates health problems for humans or animals, or is undesirable where it is growing.”

You can also find the newest version of the Facts about Weeds brochure, with many informational facts and tidbits, or access a special, online issue of the Weed Science journal.

A large global team of weed scientists helped to develop this special issue. Nilda Roma-Burgos of the University of Arkansas and Stephen O. Duke of the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service served as editors.

“Our goal was to produce a consolidated reference, authored by experts in various fields of weed science, that presents updated protocols for designing and conducting weed science experiments and for analyzing research data,” says Nilda Roma-Burgos, a member of the team who helped develop the journal.  “We believe the information will be invaluable for students and young weed scientists, as well as senior practitioners.”

Education, Weed control

Championship Tractor Pull Returns To NFMS

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

nfms-tractor-pullThe 48th Annual Championship Tractor Pull, sponsored by Syngenta, will once again be held at Freedom Hall during the National Farm Machinery Show next week. The top pullers in the country will return to Louisville to compete for the title of Grand Champion and a share of nearly $250,000 in prize money.

Each year more than 500 teams apply to pull in the prestigious event and approximately 180 are chosen. This year’s list includes numerous reigning Grand Champions, former Grand Champions, and a record-number of women drivers.

Champion Tractor Pull Tickets are $40 for the Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Saturday afternoon pulls. Tickets are $45 for the Friday night pull and Saturday evening finals. Tickets are available at the Kentucky Exposition Center and Kentucky International Convention Center Ticket Offices, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.

For additional information, visit the Champion Pull website.

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC and Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by New Holland
National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS, Tractor

John Deere Urges Congress To Ratify TPP

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

john_deere_logo_3623This week, John Deere urged Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying the trade agreement signed by 12 countries today is a much-needed step to boost the global economy.

“A robust U.S. trade agenda expands jobs and opportunities for American workers, farmers and businesses,” said Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Company chairman and chief executive officer. “This benefits our customers, our employees, and expands our business opportunities.”

Allen said the global marketplace is important to Deere’s employees as nearly 40 percent of the company’s revenues already come from sales outside the U.S. and Canada. Exports at Deere’s larger agricultural and construction equipment factories in Iowa and Illinois account for between one-third and one-fourth of all units manufactured at those facilities.

Deere serves customers in the TPP participating countries and has facilities in seven of them. The agreement is expected to boost trade flows among all participants and strengthen global food security by improving efficiency in meeting food and feed needs as well as improving infrastructure across the Asia-Pacific region.

“TPP delivers transparent and consistent rules for our investments and freer trade for our products, both of which are increasingly more important as Deere’s global footprint has grown,” Allen said. “The agreement’s provisions enhance the business environment in these important economies, making Congress’s swift ratification of the agreement important to Deere and our customers.”

The participating countries signed the TPP today in New Zealand, taking another step toward ratification and implementation of the agreement. TPP members account for about 40 percent of the global economy and one-third of world trade.

John Deere, Policy, trade

Deere Releases Software Update For Operations Center

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

john_deere_logo_3623The John Deere Operations Center, an online tool to access farm information, has received a new software update to better serve the needs and expanding interests of John Deere customers.

“The latest release of the John Deere Operations Center is a big step forward for our customers,” says Tyler Hogrefe, senior product manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. “We’re making machine and agronomic information available to users where they want it and when they need it. Users will be able see how their operation is performing, direct and adjust operations in the field, and seamlessly collaborate with trusted partners in order to increase efficiency and profitability.”

The new software release for the Operations Center allows growers to reduce their reliance on desktop software (such as Apex™) and to eventually adopt one system for their farm data management needs. This update will also more seamlessly connect in-cab monitoring technology such as SeedStar™ Mobile with Job Monitor and the 4600 CommandCenter™ Display.

The new tools and features available in the Operations Center include:

  • Prescription Creator by Agrian®
  • 4600 CommandCenter doc data compatibility
  • SeedStar Mobile integration with Job Monitor
  • New Notifications Center
  • Data cleanup tools
  • Setup Builder enhancements
  • Shapefile export of application data

“The most significant update is our partnership with Agrian which gives our customers an opportunity to optimize their placement of inputs through the Prescription Creator,” explains Hogrefe. “This closely-integrated tool, available at no extra cost, allows growers and their consultants to easily construct management zones and variable rate prescriptions based on yield and moisture data. Prescriptions based on soil types will also be made available later in February 2016.”

The resulting prescription is then available in the Operations Center where it can be sent directly to the machines through wireless or mobile data transfer, downloaded to a USB stick, or shared with a partner directly within the application.

For more information on the individual updates, read the full press release or visit JohnDeere.com.

Company Announcement, Displays, John Deere

National Farm Machinery Show Expanding

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

nfms16-logoThis year’s National Farm Machinery Show will offer an expanded exhibit area with the most complete selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services available in the farming industry. The AgWired team will once again be attending to provide our readers with the best coverage thanks to our great sponsors.

Held Feb. 10-13 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY, the National Farm Machinery Show allows farmers and others in the agribusiness industry to stay up to date with the newest trends and offers hands-on access to various technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season.

The 1.2 million square feet of the Kentucky Exposition Center will be completely filled with more than 880 exhibitors making it the country’s largest indoor farm show. Nearly every major line of farming equipment will be on display for side by side comparison. The most innovative technology and new product launches will be showcased, as well as alternative energy information and solutions to the challenges facing today’s agribusiness industry.

Visitors will be able to attend free seminars covering a variety of topics as well as a live-taping of the ‘U.S. Farm Report’. In order to accommodate the additional exhibitors, the shopping and souvenir area – renamed the Gift and Craft Market – has a new location in the South Wing Mezzanine. Featuring more than 80 booths, the area will include many perennial favorites such as the Sweet Shoppe, Moore’s Farm Toys and Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Company.

Admission to the show is free and open to the public, parking is $8 per vehicle. The National Farm Machinery Show is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC and Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by New Holland
National Farm Machinery Show, New Holland

USDA Awards $30.1 Million in Food Security Projects

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

usda-logoThe USDA and the Food Research Initiative (AFRI) have made possible $30.1 million to fund research projects pertaining to food safety, antibiotic resistance, and resilience of plants facing climate change.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and President Obama’s Science and Technology Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dr. John P. Holdren recently announced that, after a competitive process, this money has been awarded to 80 research projects.

The announcement further included the information that the President’s 2017 Budget will fully fund AFRI, with $700 million.  In the seven years since it was established, AFRI has worked to combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate the impact of climate change, and enhance resiliency of the food system.

“In the face of diminishing land and water resources and increasingly variable climatic conditions, food production must increase to meet the demands of world population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050,” said Vilsack. “Funding in research to respond to these challenges should be considered as an investment in our nation’s future, an investment which will pay big dividends in the years to come.”

Since its creation, AFRI has been funded at less than half the levels established in the 2008 Farm Bill, and USDA has only been able to fund one out of ten research proposals presented. While grants awarded to universities, non-profits, community groups, businesses, foundations, associations, and federal agency and international partnerships have led to significant achievements that address critical issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and communities, thousands of innovative research proposals have been left unfunded.

“Science, technology, and innovation are essential to meeting virtually every challenge our Nation faces, which is why the Administration has consistently supported increasing Federal investments in R&D,” said Dr. Holdren. “Further strengthening our investments in agricultural research will be essential for U.S. farmers to be able to keep the Nation’s food supply abundant, healthy, reliable, and sustainable through the 21st century. That’s why the President’s forthcoming 2017 budget request doubles funding for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to the full authorized level of $700 million.”

climate, Food, Government, USDA