ZimmCast 621 – Ag Media Summit/IFAJ Congress Preview

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This week we have a preview of the upcoming 2019 Ag Media Summit and International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in Minneapolis/Bloomington, Minnesota. This is the largest gathering of agriculture’s top writers, editors, photographers, publishers and communication specialists in the U.S. This year’s dates are July 26-31 for the Congress with AMS overlapping on July 27-31. The last time the two programs were held together was in 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The annual Ag Media Summit includes AAEA The Agricultural Communicators Network, the Livestock Publications Council and the Connectiv Agri-Media Committee. With the addition of IFAJ, more than 700 media and communications professionals are expected to attend.

To help me preview the events I spoke with Carey Brown, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and co-chair of the coordinating committee for the events.

Listen in to our conversation. I hope you enjoy it and hope to see you there in a week or so!

Listen to the ZimmCast here: Preview of Ag Media Summit & IFAJ Congress

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Deere Announces Registered Apprenticeship Program

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In an effort to address the nationwide shortage of service technician labor, John Deere has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for its new Registered Apprenticeship Program and is making it available to its Agriculture & Turf and Construction & Forestry dealers. The program will provide dealers with a formalized, on-the-job and technical training plan to help them develop more highly skilled employees.

“The new Registered Apprenticeship Program complements our existing John Deere TECH program,” said Grant Suhre, director, region 4 customer and product support for John Deere Ag & Turf. “In addition to the on-the-job training experience, an apprentice will receive technical instruction and be assigned a personal mentor as a part of the highly organized training structure. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, he or she will receive a nationally recognized journeyworker certificate.”

Through participation in the apprenticeship program, dealers formally commit to developing additional talent in an earn-while-you-learn program. A participating apprentice benefits from structured, on-the-job training in partnership with an experienced mentor. As training progresses, apprentices are rewarded for new skills acquired. According to Tim Worthington, manager, customer support for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division, participating dealerships will see numerous benefits.

Learn more about the John Deere Registered Apprenticeship Program.

AgWired Precision, John Deere

Precision Ag Bytes 7/17

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  • Andrew Pylypchuk has joined TerrAvion as Vice President of Enterprise Sales.
  • The integration of TerrAvion high-resolution imagery in the Farm Dog mobile scouting app gives agronomists a way to effortlessly view your TerrAvion data layers on your phone or tablet while you are in the field scouting.
  • Applied GeoSolutions, the Conservation Technology Information Center and The Nature Conservancy haverelease of regional-scale data from the Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS), a new tool that has the potential to unlock conservation solutions for a variety of food and agricultural supply chain stakeholders.
  • The challenges and opportunities of implementing a new biotechnology regulation review process will be the topic of the Farm Foundation® Forum on Tuesday, July 23, 2019.
  • Evogene Ltd., a leading biotechnology company developing novel products for life science markets, announces that after achieving positive results, its corn disease resistance research collaboration with the Crop Science Division of Bayer is being refocused on the identification of genome editing targets for evaluation against a broad range of corn diseases.
  • Triangle Plant Sciences, a division of Verdesian Life Sciences of Cary, NC, has announced a partnership with MustGrow Biologics Corp. of Saskatoon, SK, to offer exclusive Canada and global access to TPS’s TP-1000, the first product in a suite of researched hydroponic technology offerings.
  • Certis USA announced new citrus canker fighting technology to combat bacterial diseases and antibiotic resistance in citrus. AgriPhage™ Citrus Canker is the only citrus canker product to use bacteriophages, also known as “bacteria eaters”.
  • Four innovative startups have been selected to participate in the AgLaunch and Knoxville Entrepreneur Center agtech bootcamp this week being held on the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture campus in Knoxville.
  • Nufarm Americas announced plans to showcase Trunemco nematode management technology and more Nufarm-exclusive solutions at Ag PhD Field Day in Baltic, SD, on July 25, 2019. Trunemco, launched earlier this year, is a new seed-applied nematode management technology that provides a leading level of protection and higher yield profiles in soybeans, cotton and corn. The patented dual defense is available to add nematode management efficacy and consistency to seed treatment programs for Crop Year 2020.
  • Mycogen Seeds offers three considerations to help farmers get the most out of their crops this fall: don’t skimp on your inputs plan; watch stalk quality; and be prepared for a premature frost before drydown.
  • West Central has developed a new broadcast fertilizer additive, Trivar™, designed to maximize phosphate fertilizer by increasing the availability of phosphorus and other key nutrients.
  • GMO Answers has put together a handy new video for you to share in your networks showing which crops are GMO and when they came to market. And no, there is no GMO wheat on the market, no GMO strawberries, no GMO watermelon, and definitely no GMO tomatoes on the market today.
  • The National Cotton Council is grateful for EPA’s decision granting use on cotton of sulfoxaflor (commercially known as Transform©) – a uniquely designed insecticide that targets piercing/sucking insect pests such as aphids and plant bugs.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

ISPA Definition for Precision Agriculture

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ISPA LogoThe International Society for Precision Agriculture has publised their official definition of the term, precision agriculture. This is from the ISPA newsletter.

“Precision Agriculture is a management strategy that gathers, processes and analyzes temporal, spatial and individual data and combines it with other information to support management decisions according to estimated variability for improved resource use efficiency, productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of agricultural production.”

The definition was recently recognized by the Board of directors as the official definition of the International Society for Precision Agriculture (ISPA).

There was clearly a need to clarify what Precision Agriculture really is. A non-exhaustive list (http://www.grap.udl.cat/en/presentation/pa_definitions.html) of definitions assembled by the Research Group in AgroICT & Precision Agriculture reported 27 different contributions from the very beginning of PA to date. As the sole international scientific society completely devoted to Precision Agriculture, the ISPA could not avoid the need to provide clarity and guidance on this important concept. The Precision Agriculture concept emerged in the early ‘90s and was then totally focused on the study and management of spatial variability in crop production. Since then, other components of variability and other sectors of agriculture related to the concept in a duly manner.

The ISPA is proud of both the definition that emerged and the process by which it was achieved. The ISPA Board wants to thank all people who contributed their time and expertise for this important endeavour, and particularly Dr. Alex Escolà from Lleida University and Dr. Viacheslav Adamchuk from McGill University.

AgWired Precision, Precision Agriculture

FMC Growing U.S. Biologicals Portfolio

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FMC LogoFMC just announced the submission of two new active ingredient microbial pesticide strains, RTI 301 and RTI 477, and associated formulated products to the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD).

Submissions have also been made in the EU and field work is continuing in Canada as well as countries in Latin America and Asia Pacific.
This unique combination of two bacilli strains offers a new option for growers to suppress some difficult to control and yield robbing diseases such as Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in soybeans as well as Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora. FMC is developing biological solutions which are unique to the marketplace and bring consistency in performance and higher yields.

The submission for these strains is for seed treatment, in-furrow and transplant application usages and the Company has filed petitions to establish exemptions from the requirement of tolerances. These submissions are anticipated to receive EPA approval in late 2020.
FMC previously received U.S. EPA registration for a Bacillus licheniformis strain FMCH001 and Bacillus subtilis strain FMCH002, as well as two associated formulated products, in May 2018.

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Soil Health Institute Releases Progress Report

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Soil Health Institute StudyBased on data from the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, the Soil Health Institute (SHI) has released PROGRESS REPORT: Adoption of Soil Health Systems.

The analysis includes a state-by-state breakdown of changes in adoption from 2012 to 2017 for cover crops and no-till production. Cover crop and no-till practices both support biological activity in the soil. Cover crops are particularly effective at protecting water quality, and no-till is particularly effective at increasing carbon sequestration in soils.

The report was developed by Rob Myers, Ph.D., a University of Missouri agronomist and Co-chair of the Soil Health Institute Policy Action Team, and Joe LaRose, a University of Missouri extension associate.

For further information, visit the Soil Health Institute website.

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Precision Ag Bytes 7/10

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  • Bayer CropScience, The Mosaic Company, Syngenta and the Conservation Infrastructure Initiative co-led by the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance and Iowa’s Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship have signed on as a Diamond-level sponsors of the Conservation Technology Information Center Conservation in Action Tour. The tour, which will be held August 20 and 21 in Des Moines, Iowa, is CTIC’s 12th annual program of its type. Online registration for the tour is quick and easy at https://www.ctic.org/cia_tour/registration.
  • Through the Illinois Corn Growers Association, local farmers are taking a small step with potentially big implications to address food security and crop efficiency and it starts at the farm level. The farmer-led group is working with NASA and University of Illinois researchers to develop a Farmer Data Cooperative that brings together practical farmer knowledge, internationally recognized scientists and the most advanced technology available.
  • Marrone Bio Innovations Inc., a leading developer of bio-based products for pest management and plant health, announced that California almond and grape growers are gaining an edge as they address mid-season pest control issues through the implementation of the company’s novel BioUnite program.
  • Over the last four years, Stuart and Cedar Anderson – second and third generation father-son beekeepers from Australia – have revolutionized the beekeeping industry, making a positive impact on the plight of struggling pollinators through their Flow Hive invention. Regarded as the most significant advancement in beekeeping since 1852, the innovative beehive makes it much easier to harvest honey. For more information about Stuart’s U.S. tour visit http://bit.ly/flow-in-the-usa.
  • At the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) will present an update on the plant-based bioplastic, MonoEthylene Glycol (MEG). For more information on ICPB research, click here.
  • Mercaris, the market data and online trading platform supporting the growth of organic and non-GMO agriculture in the U.S., released a Spring Planting Special Report. The report focuses specifically on organic agriculture and details how organic field crop acreage has been impacted by unprecedented cold and wet springtime weather this year, limiting farm management options. To request the Spring Planting Special Report, please email jason.farrell@mercaris.com.
  • AgJunction Inc. has announced that it has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a patent titled “Integrated Multi-Sensor Control System and Method.”
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Consider Corn Challenge Winners Announced

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The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II this week at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa. Three winners were chosen, each with a unique technology to improve a product or process using field corn to produce biobased materials.

ExoPolymer, Inc. intends to create a new profile of customizable, polysaccharide-based hydrocolloids that are domestically produced by microbial fermentation using corn sugar as a feedstock. These new hydrocolloids will meet the growing needs and performance gaps in the healthcare, personal care, food, pharmaceutical and energy industries.

Sumatra Biorenewables, LLC develops and produces novel monomers that are incorporated into polyamides and polyesters to provide uniquely valuable properties: notably tensile strength and low water absorption. These superior performance-advantaged materials have wide-ranging applications in the specialty nylon’s industry. Opportunities include improved hydrophobicity, anti-static, flame-retardant, or have tuned mechanical strength to meet customer specifications.

USDA Agricultural Research Service – National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, IL plans to use emulsifiers, polymer films and coatings made from corn starch and vegetable oil rather than petroleum, which could open the door to new products with a smaller environmental “footprint.” The lab continued research on starch-based emulsifiers, positioning America’s corn farmers to grab a share of a global food emulsifiers market.

Each of the three winners received $50,000.

AgWired Precision, BIO, Corn, NCGA

Hemp Farming is Getting Real

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The seeds planted in the 2018 farm bill legalizing the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity are starting to grow.

Florida has officially entered the field with the governor just signing a measure allowing an agricultural hemp program to be developed. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried believes hemp could be the boost the state’s farm sector and rural areas need.

Fried held workshops around the state in anticipation of the bill being signed, with the goal of having a first set of rules published in July, with the hemp program running by the end of the year. Southeast AgNet has been keeping up with hemp progress in the state and recently posted some of Fried’s comments about the potential for the industry.
FL Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried discusses hemp potential

University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently joined forces with Florida-based hemp industry company Green Point Research (GPR) to support an industrial Hemp Pilot Project. Hemp plants have been planted at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead Florida and at the UF/IFAS Agronomy Forage Research Unit in Hague, Florida — the first hemp plants to be legally grown in the state since the 1950s. GPR donated 200,000 seeds and 100 living plants for the project with more to come.

In addition, GPR has announced the rollout of its pilot Farmers First initiative to help restore struggling and defunct farms in Florida by helping them get into hemp farming. Green Point Research CEO David Hasenauer says hemp can be cultivated for more than 25,000 industrial uses, including clothing, nutritional supplements, biodegradable plastics, and fuel.

Learn more in this interview with Hasenauer, who is also president of the Florida Hemp Industries Association.
interview with David Hasenauer, CEO of Green Point Research

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USDA Corn Acreage Report Surprises

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With all the weather-related planting delays we’ve had, USDA’s Acreage report out Friday was a big surprise to the trade with corn acres estimated to be three percent higher than last year. At the same time, soybean acres are estimated to be the lowest in six years.

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2019 is estimated at 91.7 million acres, up 3 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acres are up or unchanged in 40 of the 48 estimating States. Area harvested for grain, at 83.6 million acres, is up 2 percent from last year.

Soybean planted area for 2019 is estimated at 80.0 million acres, down 10 percent from last year. This represents the lowest soybean planted acreage in the United States since 2013. Compared with last year, planted acreage is down in all 29 estimating States.

USDA also estimates all wheat planted area for 2019 at 45.6 million acres, down five percent from last year and the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. All cotton planted area for 2019 is estimated at 13.7 million acres, three percent below last year.

The MGEX Crop Report conference call featured commentary from Brian Hoops of Midwest Market Solutions.
MGEX call commentary, Brian Hoops, Midwest Market Solutions

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