Fargo Selected as Site for National Agricultural Genotyping Center

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 5.54.02 PMThe National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board announced that Fargo, N.D., will be the site of the National Agricultural Genotyping Center. The final decision follows careful deliberations by the site selection committee, who visited Illinois and North Dakota to assess the possibility of locating the center in either Decatur or Fargo, and NCGA’s Research and Business Development Action Team.

“This is a first-time-ever, huge step for a farmer-led association that gives growers more influence on research agendas,” said Dr. Richard Vierling, director of research at NCGA. “This can help growers increase production and lower costs. We’re really excited about Fargo and the commitment from the many forward-thinking people involved in this project. The commitment from North Dakota State University, North Dakota Corn Growers, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the state’s congressional delegation and many others really helped sell the plan to our team.”

The site selection committee, which includes Vierling, Pete Snyder, Bob Bowman, Bob Timmons, Phil Gordon and Chad Willis, was chosen to conduct these visits by the Research and Business Development Action Team, and come from states which did not submit proposals. The report submitted following the visits was based upon the team assessment of selection criteria determined by the team for use in deliberations over the final recommendation. The Corn Board approved the final recommendation during a meeting held earlier today.

The site visits followed a July vote taken by the Research and Business Development Team narrowing the final list of site location proposals under consideration.

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center will translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the maize genome project, into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.

Ag Group, agronomy, Events, Genetics, NCGA Jamie JohansenFargo Selected as Site for National Agricultural Genotyping Center

Ag Leader Announces Hydraulic Down Force 8-Section Control

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ag leaderPrecision agriculture company Ag Leader Technology announced Hydraulic Down Force 8-Section Control for planters. The addition of 8- Section Control adds several new features to the company’s Hydraulic Down Force System.

Row-by-row sensing allows the system to monitor and respond to the down force needs of each row, in order to account for frequent variations in field conditions. The system also adds greater flexibility with up to eight sections of control and multiple configurations available.

“More sections of control and row-by-row sensing are two factors that play heavily into improving plant emergence and root development,” says Roger Zielke, Product Manager. “By sensing with more precision, and offering more sections, the Hydraulic Down Force System is able to recognize variations in field conditions and respond by planting seed at the proper depth.”

“The accumulator is able to accept up to 100 percent of the down force actuator’s hydraulic fluid capacity,” explains Brett Buehler, Product specialist. “This allows the row unit to ride more smoothly over in-field obstacles and less stress caused to the row unit by those obstacles.”

Additionally, Ag Leader’s 8-Section Control provides Virtual Terminal capability through a new ISOBUS module. The module allows functionality with any Virtual Terminal capable in-cab display, giving users the option to choose 1-4 sensors per channel and ensuring cross-brand compatibility with the Hydraulic Down Force System.

Hydraulic Down Force 8-Section Control will be available for order Fall 2014.

Ag Leader, Agribusiness, Planting Jamie JohansenAg Leader Announces Hydraulic Down Force 8-Section Control

Case IH, Precision Planting Let Producers Customize Planters

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 2.16.28 PMToday’s planter technology allows producers to place seeds precisely where they want them. Now, thanks to Case IH and Precision Planting®, producers can take that technology to a new level by adding valuable new options that fit their individual needs.

“Producers can leave their trusted Case IH dealership with a new or used Early Riser® planter customized to their specifications — with the right amount of technology to meet their individual goals,” said Dan Klein, Crop Production Marketing Manager at Case IH. “They don’t have to buy any more or any less than they desire.”

When producers order a new Precision Planting-ready Early Riser 1255, it leaves the factory with the right components to make adapting this technology convenient and cost effective. Their new planter arrives at the dealership from the factory ready to accept the Precision Planting components the grower wants.

“The producer is in control,” Klein said. “They don’t have to take what the factory sends them, then strip off the parts they don’t need and replace them with the ones they wanted in the first place. Perhaps most important, it’s all accomplished at their Case IH dealership, making it truly a one-stop shop for the latest planter technology.”

The Early Riser planter capitalizes on Agronomic Design from Case IH. Producers can choose to add any or all Precision Planting components, depending on which they feel will deliver the greatest value to their operation.

Agribusiness, Case IH, Equipment, Planting Jamie JohansenCase IH, Precision Planting Let Producers Customize Planters

Valmont Industries Announces Acquisition of AgSense

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Valmont Industries, Inc., a leading global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure and mechanized irrigation equipment for agriculture, announced that it has acquired a majority interest in South Dakota-based AgSense. The acquisition further extends Valmont’s industry leading offerings in remote monitoring and control technology for agriculture.

AgSense’s cutting edge global WagNet network provides growers with a more complete view of their entire farming operation by tying irrigation decision making to field, crop and weather conditions.

“We are pleased to have entered this long-term partnership,” said Leonard Adams, Group President of Valmont’s Global Irrigation Division. “Growers increasingly seek to utilize data driven technology to increase yields and maximize water efficiency. The cutting edge approach AgSense takes to providing technologies that our customers desire, their passion for customer service and their outstanding reputation fit perfectly with Valmont’s strategy. Combining AgSense with our industry-leading BaseStation™ products will deliver the most comprehensive line of integrated solutions available to the market.”

AgSense President Terry Schiltz said the similarities in customer-focused values led to the creation of this strategic alignment. “We are very excited about this partnership with Valmont,” Schiltz said. “Partnering with the recognized market leader not only enhances our strong position in North America, but will provide opportunities to accelerate our growth internationally.”
Valmont is a global leader, designing and manufacturing highly engineered products that support global infrastructure development and agricultural productivity. Its products for infrastructure serve highway, transportation, wireless communication, electric transmission, and industrial construction and energy markets. Its mechanized irrigation equipment for large scale agriculture improves farm productivity while conserving fresh water resources. In addition, Valmont provides coatings services that protect against corrosion and improve the service lives of steel and other metal products.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement Jamie JohansenValmont Industries Announces Acquisition of AgSense

New RemoteView Feature for FieldView

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.42.43 AMPrecision Planting’s landmark app, FieldView, has brought instant, high-definition visualization of planter performance and yield maps to growers’ iPads across America. Now, with the latest version of FieldView in the App store, farmers no longer need to be in the cab to have instant access to Yield Maps.

“Most farm operations have multiple decision makers,” says Kyle Plattner, Lead User Interface Designer for FieldView. “The RemoteView feature allows everyone in the farm operation with an iPad to have instant visibility into the combine cab — no matter where they are.”

RemoteView uses the data connection of the iPads running FieldView to remotely connect any iPad to a YieldSense display. Farm Managers can instantly keep tabs on each remote combine to monitor progress, watch real time yield maps, and diagnose problems.

Precision Planting dealers and the Precision Planting product support team can also establish a remote connection to provide faster support — with permission granted by the operator.

“RemoteView is another feature that makes YieldSense and FieldView the ultimate combination for harvest, especially for large operations,” says Doug Sauder, Precision Planting’s Research & Development Lead. “Wireless syncing of yield maps, wireless streaming of swath coverage, and simple operation wide reports make life easier for busy farm managers.”

Agribusiness, Apps, Planting Jamie JohansenNew RemoteView Feature for FieldView

Control Power Hop with John Deere HydraCushion Suspension

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

John Deere HydraCushion SuspensionIf you’ve experienced the annoyance and problems of power hop then check out a new suspension system feature on new John Deere 9R Tractors. It’s called HydraCushion Suspension. You can see it happen in the video below and how the new system controls power hop.

An industry exclusive feature customers will quickly appreciate on the 9520R, 9570R and 9620R models is the HydraCushion™ Suspension System. Located on the front axle, HydraCushion Suspension mitigates power hop and road lope to ensure customers get all of the horsepower to the ground for the highest level of traction.


2014 Farm Progress photo album

Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by John DeereCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by GrowmarkCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience
Agribusiness, Equipment, John Deere, Tractor, Video Chuck ZimmermanControl Power Hop with John Deere HydraCushion Suspension

Biologics R & D at Bayer Crop Science

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

14862831029_fa8867ebf1_bBiologics are based on materials found in nature. At the Bayer Crop Science booth during the Farm Progress Show I spoke with Head of Biologic Research for Bayer CropScience, Dr. Jonathan Margolis, who is based out of their new facilities in Sacramento, CA. There he works with live microbes like bacteria, fungi and plant extracts.

“The difference between those and conventional chemical products is they typically have multiple modes of action and they don’t have regulated residue allowing them to be applied up until harvest.”

“The biologics are doing two things. They are acting as crop protectant agents. They are suppressing disease or killing pests. But in addition they act on the plant so they can stimulate yield or stress resistance. In the case of seed growth the microbe colonizes the roots and gives season long protection.”

Dr. Margolis said historically biologics were only used in horticulture because of concerns of residue and safety. Now the row crop industry recognizes all these other benefits which are complimentary to chemical products.

The development of biologics at Bayer stems from the acquisition of AgriQuest and put them in a new world-class facility where they are able to meet the safety standards and gives room for all the new hires they are making with this addition. In my interview with Dr. Margolis he goes on the share what products they have in the research and development stages and what we can see coming down the pipeline in 2015.

Here is my complete interview with Dr. Margolis:Interview with Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Bayer CropScience Biologics

2014 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by John DeereCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by GrowmarkCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience
Agribusiness, agronomy, Audio, Bayer CropScience, biotechnology, Farm Progress Show Jamie JohansenBiologics R & D at Bayer Crop Science

Corn Ethanol Project in Brazil Will Feature Precision Ag

Joanna Schroeder 1 Comment

Alden, Iowa-based Summit Group announced a project to build the first modern corn ethanol plant in Brazil during the 2014 Farm Progress Show. The project will consist of a US$140 million ethanol plant near Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso, a leading agricultural state in west central Brazil and the country’s largest producer of corn and soybeans. The project is being financed by Summit Group who is partnering with Fiagril and will be developed by ethanol technology company ICM and built by agribusiness company Marino Franz.

Eric Peterson Summit GroupTo learn more about the project I spoke with Eric Peterson, Summit Group president, who said that his organization does large crop production, hog production and cattle production and as part of that they have a private equity group, U.S. Farmland Fund, that is providing the financing for the project.

One of the interesting parts in particular about Mato Grosso is because of improved genetics they’re able to double crop. So they are able to raise the first crop of soybeans and the second crop of corn or cotton so they have increasing corn production in the middle of the continent where it is difficult to get it out. So they are embracing “value-added” agriculture.

Peterson also spoke more specifically about the value-added opportunities the corn ethanol plant will provide the community of Mato Grosso. Peterson explained the area has difficulty getting corn exports out of the region and ethanol into the region. With the new ethanol plant, the corn will be purchased locally and the ethanol and DDGs produced will then stay local – overcoming the export/import barriers of the region. This has made the project and partners very accepted in the community.

Another key to the area is the farmer’s use of precision agriculture. Peterson believes there is a great opportunity to create synergistic relationships between U.S. farmers and Brazilian farmers. “When we go there we are impressed with some of their technology and how they adapt to large scale agriculture and they are quickly adopting precision technologies that we have here in the U.S. and there is no better place for people to assimilate technology than in Brazil and so I think we can learn a lot from each other,” explained Peterson.

He also explained that although the U.S. is ahead in the use of precision ag, Brazilian farmers have had to adopt to large-scale farms much more quickly than U.S. farmers. “So in some ways they are ahead and in some ways we are ahead,” commented Peterson.

The plant is to break ground the next six months and to be operational 16 months from groundbreaking, which will occur before the rainy season in Feb/March and will produce 50 million gallons of ethanol per year.

To learn more about the agribusiness and precision ag aspects of the Summit Group’s Brazilian ethanol plant, listen to my interview with Eric Peterson: Interview with Eric Peterson

View the Farm Progress 2014 Flicker photo album.

Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by John DeereCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by GrowmarkCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience
Audio, bioproducts, Corn, Energy, Ethanol, Farm Progress Show Joanna SchroederCorn Ethanol Project in Brazil Will Feature Precision Ag

Bayer Fluency Agent Completes 2nd Year Trials

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

fps14-bayer-kerryBayer CropScience this year engaged equipment manufacturers, seed companies and retailers across the United States to demonstrate the effectiveness of its new Fluency Agent seed lubricant. More than 88 growers with nearly 60,000 acres of corn and soybean acres completed the field study’s survey to provide feedback on the product first field tested last year.

Fluency Agent was developed to reduce the already low-level of potential risk of exposure to pollinators if they come in direct contact with dust during planting. “This year’s testing of Fluency Agent was an unqualified success,” said Kerry Grossweiler, SeedGrowth Equipment and Coatings manager with Bayer CropScience. “The data we have gathered from the second year of field testing in the U.S. are overwhelmingly positive and we are excited for growers to have available to use in 2015.”

Customer feedback reveals that the product performed as expected or better. Bayer will finalize its analysis of the results of the field trials and work with planter equipment manufacturers, seed companies and retailers to have Fluency Agent available for growers in 2015.

I talked with Kerry during Farm Progress Show where he provided more detailed information about Fluency Agent and also talked about the On Demand™ system powered by Bayer SeedGrowth™ – a state of the art, fully automated, completely closed treatment unit. Learn more from Kerry here: Interview with Kerry Grossweiler, Bayer CropScience

2014 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by John DeereCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by GrowmarkCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience
Audio, Bayer CropScience, Bees, Crop Protection, Farm Progress Show, seed Cindy ZimmermanBayer Fluency Agent Completes 2nd Year Trials

EPA Official Talks WOTUS at FPS

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

fps14-epaEnvironmental Protection Agency Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks held an informal press availability at the Farm Progress Show on Wednesday to mainly talk about the proposed Waters of the United States rule. He stressed the point that has been made by other officials that the rule exempts all normal farming practices that are currently exempt.

“If you did not need a permit from the (Army) Corps (of Engineers) or the EPA before this rule becomes final, you will not need a permit from these agencies after it becomes final,” said Brooks. He admits that the so-called “interpretive rule” part of the proposal needs some work. “From the get-go that was not well explained and has not been well understood. I’m fairly sure that the agencies will take another look at that.”

Brooks knew nothing about the maps released by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Wednesday which reportedly appear to detail the extent of EPA’s “Waters of the United States” proposal, but he said the final rule will be dependent on the results of an independent scientific review. “We know we need to have the science firm before we make the law to follow the science,” he said. EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks

2014 Farm Progress Show photo album

Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by John DeereCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by GrowmarkCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience
Audio, Farm Progress Show, Government, water Cindy ZimmermanEPA Official Talks WOTUS at FPS