EPA Announces New Dicamba Rules

cindy zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced new requirements for the use of dicamba formulations “over the top” to further minimize the potential for drift when applying to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton.

EPA worked worked with impacted states and land-grant universities, as well as Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures that will allow farmers to make informed choices for seed purchases for the 2018 growing season.

Label changes that impose additional requirements for “over the top” use of these products next year include classifying the products as “restricted use,” permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them and requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions. Other restrictions include limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 mph (from 15 mph), reducing the times during the day when applications can occur, including tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination, and enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries.

American Soybean Association president Ron Moore of Illinois was encouraged by EPA’s label changes to allow farmers to continue to utilize this important tool while also working to protect and prevent damage to non-dicamba tolerant crops. “Moving forward, ASA looks forward to working with EPA, states, manufacturers and our farmers to implement these changes while also seeking the root cause of this issue so new technologies can be used in years to come,” said Moore.

AgWired Precision, ASA, BASF, Cotton, Monsanto, Soybean

Bayer Agrees to Sell Selected Crop Science Businesses to BASF

chuck zimmerman Leave a Comment

I didn’t see this one coming. Just learned of this announcement and it’s a big one. I’m sure we’ll have more to come. From the Bayer website today:

In light of the planned acquisition of Monsanto, Bayer has signed an agreement to sell selected Crop Science businesses to BASF for EUR 5.9 billion. The assets to be sold generated net sales of approximately EUR 1.3 billion in 2016. “We are taking an active approach to address potential regulatory concerns, with the goal of facilitating a successful close of the Monsanto transaction,” explained Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. “At the same time, we are pleased that, in BASF, we have found a strong buyer for our businesses that will continue to serve the needs of growers and offer our employees long-term prospects.” The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals as well as the successful closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.

The assets to be sold include Bayer’s global glufosinate-ammonium business and the related LibertyLink™ technology for herbicide tolerance, essentially all of the company’s field crop seeds businesses, as well as respective research and development capabilities. The seeds businesses being divested include the global cotton seed business (excluding India and South Africa), the North American and European canola seed businesses and the soybean seed business. The transaction includes the transfer of relevant intellectual property and facilities, as well as more than 1,800 employees primarily in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Belgium. As part of the agreement, BASF has committed to maintain all permanent positions, under similar conditions, for at least three years after closing of the transaction.

Bayer will continue to own, operate and maintain these businesses until the closing of this divestiture. After the closure of the planned Monsanto acquisition, Bayer will continue to be active in these same areas as a result of Monsanto’s current programs, products and offerings.

The base purchase price of EUR 5.9 billion excludes the value of any net working capital and will be subject to customary adjustments at closing, including the value of any inventories transferred to BASF. Bayer will use net proceeds from the announced divestiture to partially refinance the planned acquisition of Monsanto. Bayer will provide an update on the total expected synergies from the Monsanto acquisition latest upon closing of the transaction.

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, BASF, Bayer

#YouthAgSummit Explores Innovation in an Age of Acceleration

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Innovation can mean different things, but Bayer Crop Science Head of Research and Development Adrian Percy describes it this way.

“For me, it’s bringing value to growers,” Percy said. “It’s bringing something new that they need, that will actually help in their operations, perhaps make them more efficient, help them perhaps access different markets, but it’s also about bringing something that’s acceptable to consumers and that’s a lot of what we talked about today.”

Percy addressed youth delegates at the 2017 Youth Ag Summit, sharing his excitement about advancements in areas like precision agriculture and plant breeding. He was inspired by working with the youth delegates in attendance.

“What inspires me is the energy, the hope, the passion for what they’re doing. They’re discovering things about themselves and what they want to do in life. They’re seeing agriculture as a tremendous place to be,” he said.

Listen to Jamie’s interview with Adrian Percy here: Interview with Adrian Percy, Head R&D Bayer Crop Science

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer

Precision AgBytes 10/11

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  • EFC Systems, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for agricultural retailers, has announced the purchased of AgSolver Inc.’s assets.  The acquisition has led to a new Agronomic Planning and Sustainabilty division, headed up by Dr. Dave Muth as Vice President.
  • With anhydrous ammonia prices looking good this fall, AgXplore is encouraging growers to take a look at a product called NZONE GL, a non-detrimental, calcium-based formulation that’s safe to handle. Studies show the product reduced leaching by 47 percent and delivered an average of 12 bushels more per acre.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest in 48 new, multi-year projects that build vital infrastructure and conserve natural resources in 20 states or territories through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Farmers Edge and Planet Bringing Daily Imagery to the Farm

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Global decision agriculture leader Farmers Edge™ today announced a strategic partnership with global satellite data company Planet to provide game-changing global monitoring data and platform capabilities to farmers.

Planet operates the world’s largest fleet of earth imaging satellites and Farmers Edge is now a sole distributor for Planet in key agricultural regions, with the right to use and distribute high-resolution, high-frequency imagery from Planet’s three flagship satellite constellations. Farmers Edge customers will be among the first to take advantage of field-centric, consistent, and accurate insights from satellite imagery.

Farmers Edge president and CEO Wade Barnes says this partnership equips Farmers Edge growers with the most comprehensive, most frequently updated, high-quality field imagery in the industry. “At Farmers Edge, providing our customers with the most concise, comprehensive, and consistent data is at the core of what we do,” said Barnes. “We understand the need for more image frequency, that’s why we are partnering with Planet. Daily imagery is a game-changer in the digital ag space.”

Barnes adds that retailers, co-ops, equipment dealers, agronomists, and other important farmer advisers can now “partner with Farmers Edge and leverage this industry changing capability within their business.” Interview with Wade Barnes, Farmers Edge president and CEO

Planet’s unique ability to receive data from nearly 200 satellites daily could help solve agricultural challenges around the world.”We’re able to collect the entire earth on an almost daily basis,” says Andrew Pylypchuk, Planet account executive for agriculture. This will allow farmers to see their fields as they never have before “on the right date, at the right time, and allow them to take the right action.” Comments from Andrew Pylypchuk, Planet account executive for agriculture

Nebraska Farmers Edge grower Randy Uhlmacher says daily imagery can mean catching a problem early enough to prevent yield loss. “We’ve had so much cloudy weather, if you are running once a week and it happens to be cloudy that day, it could be several weeks before you get an image again,” he said. “The more often you can do it, the faster you can pick up changes in your fields.” Interview with Randy Uhlmacher, Nebraska farmer and Farmers Edge user

AgWired Precision, Audio, Farmers Edge, Precision Agriculture, technology

Bayer Invests in Youth for Future of Ag

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This week there are 100 youth delegates from 49 countries working together to generate innovative and sustainable solutions to global food security challenges and come up with concrete new ideas to drive agricultural progress across the globe. It’s a tall order for the 3rd Youth Ag Summit sponsored by Bayer, but Liam Condon, President of Bayer Crop Science, is optimistic they are up to the challenge.

“We want them to look at real problems that real farmers are facing in real areas today and come up with potential solutions…and we will support them to implement those ideas,” said Condon.

He says the goal of the summit is two-fold. First, each individual is to come up with three things that they promise they are going to implement themselves in their own homes, such as reducing food waste. Secondly, they work as a group on challenges linked to United Nations sustainable development goals and the best ideas will be supported by Bayer.

Learn more in this interview –
Interview with Liam Condon President of Bayer Crop Science

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Food, Food Security, sustainability, Youth Ag Summit

Youth Ag Summit Kicks Off in Brussels

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Today marks the kick-off of the 3rd edition of the Youth Ag Summit in Brussels, Belgium, with 100 bright young talents from around the world – including five from the U.S. All here to tackle one of humanity’s biggest challenges: how to feed a growing population in a more sustainable manner. Organized by Bayer, together with the two Belgian young farmers associations Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA), the summit aims to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger, achieve food security, and promote sustainable agriculture.

The youth delegates from 49 countries will work together to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas which can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.

In addition to talks designed to spark their creativity, delegates will have the opportunity to tour EU institutions and meet with European policymakers, visit one of Bayer’s innovative sustainable farming sites, and gain real-world insights into sustainability in action from companies and organizations such as Rabobank, CropTrust, Thought for Food, BioBest, International Society for Horticultural Science, VIB – Flemish Institute for Biotech, Inagro, University Ghent and Ahold Delhaize Group.

Throughout the week, delegates will work to develop “Thrive for Change Projects”; concrete ideas to help achieve the UN SDGs in their communities and countries. Following a pitch process, the strongest ideas will be selected for future funding and development by Bayer.

During the very first Summit in Calgary, Canada, attendees learned how three ideas can turn into three actions. One of Derrick Rozdeba’s, VP of Communications at Bayer Inc. Canada, “3 little things” was making the Youth Ag Summit a recurring global event. I sat down with him to learn how that goal has become a reality.

Listen to our chat here: Interview with Derrick Rozdeba, Bayer Inc.

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Food, Food Security, sustainability

Two More USDA Nominees Get Their Hearing

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The Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday heard from nominees Greg Ibach to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Bill Northey to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.

“Both Mr. Ibach and Mr. Northey have valuable ‘boots-on-the-ground’ experience. They are both farmers,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). “They know what weighs on the minds of farmers and ranchers, the challenges they face on daily basis, and the focus and drive they put into their life’s work. And, significantly, they are both dedicated public servants who have led their home state’s agriculture departments.”

Earlier this week, the full Senate approved Stephen Censky as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

Here are the opening comments to the committee from Ibach and Northey Ibach/Northey Hearing Comments

AgWired AgNewsWire, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Audio, Government, USDA

Ag and Ethanol Groups Among EPA Partners

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The Environmental Protection Agency this week rolled out Smart Sectors, a partnership program with regulated sectors of the economy – including agriculture and renewable fuels – which is “focused on achieving better environmental outcomes.” Trade associations from 13 industry sectors were selected for their environmental and economic impacts.

“The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit.”

Organizations chosen to represent the agricultural industry in the program are the American Farm Bureau Federation and CropLife America. “Modern agriculture is environmentally sustainable,” said AFBF president Zippy Duvall. “EPA’s Smart Sectors Program provides a framework of welcome collaboration that embraces continued innovation aligned with our commitment to continuous improvement.”

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) was chosen to represent biofuels under the oil and gas sector as the only ethanol industry association representative invited to partner in the launch.

“We’re grateful Administrator Pruitt invited ACE to participate in this Smart Sectors program given the timely and critical ethanol issues currently under consideration at EPA,” said Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President.

According to EPA, the Smart Sectors program is intended to facilitate better communication and streamline operations internally at EPA.

ACE, AFBF, Ag Group, AgWired Precision, EPA

Precision Ag Bytes 10/4

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  • The Seam, a leading provider of agribusiness software and trading solutions, is launching new business intelligence tools for peanut farmers and handlers with real-time, actionable insights. The tools are part of The Seam’s Peanut Commodity Management Platform, which was released a year ago.
  • Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) has released “Considerations for First Time Cover Crop Adopters.”  This guidebook for Illinois farmers contains the most recent research and information on the best management practices for effectively incorporating a cover crop ahead of soybeans.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes