GROWMARK Supports National Ag Day

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Beverly Flores of John Deere with Amy Bradford of GROWMARK at 2017 Ag Day

GROWMARK and its FS member companies are proud to be one of the major sponsors of National Ag Day every year, according to corporate relations manager Amy Bradford who attended this year’s event.

“This is one of the events that we support in a big way financially,” said Bradford. “It’s just important for us to support the farmers who are doing the work every day.”

Bradford was pleased to hear the presidential proclamation for Ag Day, the first in 16 years. “We believe that agriculture is definitely on the radar screen in the new administration,” she said, noting the interest in improving rural infrastructure. “We definitely have some ideas of what that means beyond roads and bridges to include rural broadband.”

In this interview, Bradford also talks about GROWMARK farm bill priorities and more: Interview with Amy Bradford, GROWMARK

National Ag Day Photo Album

Ag Day, Audio, Growmark

Benson Hill, CTC Achieve Partnership Milestone

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Benson Hill Biosystems, an ag tech company using data analysis to unlock genetic potential in plants, is working with Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC), a leader in Brazilian sugar cane, to find commercial traits that will increase crop yields. The two companies have been working together since 2014; the most recent partnership announcement concerns the end of phase one in successfully using the Benson Hill platform for the crop.

“The rigor of Benson Hill’s CropOS system and ability to evaluate selected genes in the model crop Setaria viridisincreases the probability of success in sugarcane since the photosynthetic systems of the two plants are very similar,” said William Burnquist, director of R&D at CTC. “We are pleased to have achieved this milestone in our partnership and will soon move forward to the next phase of validating the genes’ efficacy in sugarcane.”

“With CTC’s support, our team and technology have identified leads that demonstrate significant biomass improvement in a relevant crop model and that have the potential to increase the yield and sustainability of the sugarcane crop,” said Mohammed Oufattole, vice president of R&D at Benson Hill Biosystems. “Now, CTC will focus on validating these leads in sugarcane in order to mobilize this technology for the benefit of its growers. Through cloud biology, even the most complex targets such as photosynthesis can be advanced with greater speed and efficiency and for a fraction of historical costs, enabling players of any size in any market to innovate.”

Agribusiness, Company Announcement

Agri-Pulse #FarmBillSummit Hears From Duvall

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President of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Zippy Duvall addressed the participants of the Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit earlier this week. Using his best southern charm, Duvall addressed the issue of the upcoming farm bill, pointing out the different circumstances farmers and ranchers are in as the last bill was being written and the economic climate now.

“The biggest problem with this farm bill and writing the next farm bill will be resources,” Duvall emphasizes. “The baseline that the CBO has is not enough to have a good safety net for the food security of our country and that’s why at American Farm Bureau we’re asking for increases in that baseline so we can build a true farm bill that helps us through the next four years.”

Farmers and ranchers must remain aware of what it happening in the political area, Duvall asserts, sharing the story of two mules he once purchased to give rides to his kids. Turning his back on the animals, “Bill” and “Hillary,” ended in a wrecked wagon; disengaging in today’s political world will result in its own kind of disaster.

Listen to Zippy Duvall’s full remarks here: Zippy Duvall, AFBF

Photos can be found on the Agri-Pulse website.
Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit photos

AFBF, Ag Day, Ag Group, Audio

Muddy Boots Signs Subscription Agreement with Iteris

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Muddy Boots Software has purchased a multi-year global subscription to Iteris, Inc.’s ClearAg weather information. Muddy Boots plans to integrate the weather information into their Greenlight Grower Management System to offer real-time field and crop data, optimize decision making based on current and forecasted weather conditions, reduced risk and better understanding of application timing for crop protection products.

“By being able to accurately predict near-term weather and soil conditions, growers can make more informed crop management decisions,” said John Lord, Manager for EMEA at Iteris. “The integration of ClearAg environmental insights will allow Muddy Boots customers to realize the full value of the Greenlight Grower Management software. With ClearAg, users will be able to better understand and anticipate the impacts of weather on crop production operations such as when to plant, when or where to apply chemical and fertilizer products, and how to best optimize labor and machinery resources.”

Agribusiness, Data, weather

International Ag Purchased by ProAg Insurance Group

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Producers Ag Insurance Group, Inc. (ProAg), announced a purchase agreement had been signed to acquire crop managing general agent (MGA) International Ag Insurance Solutions, LLC (International Ag). The transaction, which is subject to a number of closing conditions including final approvals by certain International Ag members and regulatory authorities, is expected to close by April 3, 2017.

“ProAg believes International Ag provides a complementary platform to add business from a strong group of independent agents, while improving our profitability and enhancing our diversified portfolio. This acquisition shows TMHCC’s continued commitment to the U.S. crop insurance space. We are pleased to welcome International Ag’s management team, employees and independent agents to ProAg,” said Michael Connealy, ProAg’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“International Ag is excited about the opportunity to join the financially strong and geographically diverse agricultural risk management program of ProAg. Under the guidance and support of ProAg, we will be able to expand our product offerings and elevate the superior service our customers have come to expect,” said Rob Boysen, International Ag’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Together with International Ag, we will work through the details to provide a seamless transition for policyholders, agents and employees over the coming months,” said Kendall Jones, ProAg’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Agribusiness, Crop Insurance

Valley Irrigation to Distribute Trimble Irrigation Solution

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Trimble has announced that Valley Irrigation will become with sole OEM distributor of their Irrigate-IQ precision irrigation solution. Trimble’ solution will be available in the Valley Corner Sprinkler Sequencing and Variable Rate Irrigation systems from Valley dealers. The collaboration will bring growers advance control, GPS-guided, individual nozzle irrigation solutions.

“Valley is excited to work with Trimble and believes that this relationship strengthens our position as the technology leader in the global irrigation market. Trimble’s experience, focus on technology and global reach make it an outstanding technology partner,” said Len Adams, president Valley Irrigation. “By distributing Trimble’s Irrigate-IQ solution on Valley products, our customers can benefit from enhanced solutions for precision water application.”

Agribusiness, Irrigation, Trimble

The Climate Corp and Koch Provider Deeper Insights

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Koch Agronomic Services, which provides plant performance technologies, will be working with The Climate Corporation to create data science models for the Climate FieldView platform, specifically models for nitrogen monitoring. Users will be able to find Koch products in the Climate FieldView account, making the insights offered by the software even more personalized. This expansion is part of the August 2016 announcement that The Climate Corporation would be opening its platform to other innovators.

“Our goal is to help farmers achieve their production, profitability and environmental goals, and we believe this data sharing agreement provides an additional tool to increase efficiency in agricultural practices,” said Chase Koch, president of Koch Agronomic Services. “We know each field has different nitrogen needs, and we believe adding data on our scientifically-proven enhanced efficiency fertilizer products into the Climate FieldView platform will deliver deeper insights to farmers to help them manage crop fertility.”

Agribusiness, Data, Koch, Nitrogen

BASF Invests in R&D

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The $270 million in capital improvements over the last three years make BASF‘s faculty in Beaumont, Texas their largest product facility in the company’s history– and the only plant in the U.S. manufacturing dicamba. BASF has also invested $290 million in eight of its other locations to provide solutions for growers, like the latest innovation, Engenia herbicide. The new herbicide is specifically designed for dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton with a heavier weight and stronger bond relative to DGA and DMA formulations. These advancements offer reduced volatility and off-target movement of the dicamba molecule.

“Our commitment to North America is clear. The agricultural market is changing, and growers are demanding the newest and most effective technologies to increase profitability,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, Crop Protection, BASF North America. “BASF responded to growers’ needs by making significant investments in production to deliver effective solutions to help farmers manage weed resistance and produce higher yields. We could not have done this without our skilled workforce in Beaumont and across North America who not only help growers, but also help drive our economy.”

As part of the Engenia herbicide launch, BASF is also offering in-person and online training through the On Target Application Academy (OTAA). This one-of-a-kind educational opportunity provides extensive training that promotes correct and effective herbicide application.

Agribusiness, BASF, Herbicides, Weed control

Bayer Focuses on Credenz Soybeans in Midwest

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The expanded facility in Illinois is Bayer’s third grand opening of a research station in the past few days, says Marc Hoobler, Soybean Seed Product Manager.

“This faculty will specifically focused on Midwest soybean growers, so maturity groups two and three,” Hoobler explained. “Especially for the state of Illinois, we’re going to be providing new genetics that will be coming to the market and help growers manage several things in their field from nematodes and disease to insects and different herbicide trait platforms in soybeans to help them manage their weeds. Just a lot of new innovation coming out of Bayer.”

This new innovation will center around soybeans, so for Bayer that means a focus on their flagship brand, Credenz. Credenz offers state-of-the-art technology from a herbicide standpoint, Hobbler says, and gives growers dealing with glyphosate or PPO resistance another choice in the LibertyLink trait.

The expansion doubles the size of the facilities dedicated to understanding soybean traits and crop protection products, Brent Philbrook, Agronomic Development Director said. This new space demonstrates Bayer’s commitment to soybeans and the need to develop cultivators that cast a broader net.

“Bayer has made significant commitments and put a lot of energy into expanding their trait development and particularly their soybean breeding efforts to bring Credenz varieties to the U.S. soybean growers,” Philbrook notes.

Listen to Cindy Zimmerman’s full interview with both Hoobler and Philbrook to learn more about the new research center and Credenz soybeans:Interview Marc Hoobler Interview with Brent Philbrook

Bayer Soybean Research – Illinois

Agribusiness, Audio, Research, Soybeans

ASA DuPont Young Leaders Complete Training

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American Soybean Association (ASA) DuPont Young Leaders have finished their training, focusing on leadership, marketing, issues and discussions. Training took place in conjunction with the Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, Texas.

“For more than 30 years, the ASA DuPont Young Leader program has identified new and emerging leaders for the soybean industry. The program provides training that strengthens their voices while networking opportunities create a connected and more collaborative organization,” said ASA President Ron Moore. “We’re grateful to DuPont Pioneer and DuPont for their commitment to this program and for helping secure the future of the soybean industry.”

The 2017 Class of Young Leaders includes: Cade Grace (AL); Layne & Ryane Miles (AR); Brock Willard (IL); Jonathan & Derika Spaetti (IN); Alex Brownlee (IA); Casey Schlichting (IA); Brandon & Blair Geiger (KS); Brett Neibling (KS); Kyle Bugg (KY); Mike & Lindsey Gaspard (LA); Angela & Wenceslaus Provost (LA); Andrew Crawford (MI); Matthew & Jessica Swoish (MI); Trevore Brekken (MN); Chad & Monica McCollough (MO); Blake Hokamp (NE); Leslie Hamilton & Dan Stein (NY); Greg Manning & Jessica Harris (NC); Kasey Bitz (ND); Trish Levering (OH); Jean Lam (OK); Jeff & Janie Harrison (Ontario, Canada); Justin & Jessica Rivers (SC); Nick & Shelly Lorang (SD); Rob Holman (TN); Doug & Britni Singleteary (TN); Grayson Kirby & Cindy Dykes (VA); Wes & Amanda Marshall (VA) and Tony & Katie Mellenthin (WI).

Ag Group, ASA, Dupont Crop Protection, Dupont Pioneer