Seed Trade Expo to Focus on Cutting-Edge Issues

John Davis Leave a Comment

ASTAconf2014This year’s American Seed Trade Association’s CSS 2014 & Seed Expo has been redesigned to focus on the most relevant and cutting-edge issues facing the seed industry. Organizers are inviting potential attendees to take a look at the schedule and see the topics for the Dec. 8-12 event in Chicago, Illinois, the largest seed industry conference in the country.

Keynote speaker Bill Whitacre of J.R. Simplot Company will address attendees during the General Session Tuesday, December 9. Popular presenter Dan Basse will also return with his market outlook and trend report during The Economics of the Export Market Breakfast on Wednesday, December 10.

Also new this year will be a dedicated, fully functioning media room that will offer private areas to live broadcast and host one-on-one interviews. Industry press conferences on a variety of topics are also being planned. All media will receive complimentary registration.

For a full schedule of events, registration and hotel information click here. Register by November 15 to take advantage of discounted hotel pricing.

Agribusiness, ASTA, seed

FMC’s Investment in Farming’s Future

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

ffa-14-3-editedOver the past couple of years FMC has put a strong emphasis on investing in farming’s future. Here at the 87th National FFA Convention they are asking students to step into their sound booth and share what investing in farming’s future means to them. Following the convention FMC will create a mashup of the students audio to share with their industry partners about where the future of agriculture is headed through the eyes of high schoolers.

FMC’s support for the next generation of agriculturalists is nothing new. They also provide internships in sales, marketing, tech support and product development. All while helping to bring new solutions to farming and agriculture.

FMC is also sponsor of the Agriscience Research Plant Systems Proficiency Award. “We look at this as another opportunity for us to give back to the community and to help with the growth of the future of agriculture.” They also give support to FFA chapters in local FMC communities.

Listen to my complete interview with Matt here:Interview with Matt Thompson - FMC

Find all our photos from the event here: 87th National FFA Conventions Photo

Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by
Coverage of the National FFA Convention is sponsored by FMC
Agribusiness, Audio, FFA, FMC

Vital Force Technology Offers Organic Ag Tools

John Davis Leave a Comment

Vital Force Technology Logo TMOregon-based Vital Force Technology is offering organic ag producers some new tools to feed their animals while meeting strict organic standards. The company says it is focusing its efforts on bringing the benefits of energy-infused products to the growing organic agriculture sector.

“Producers and manufacturers of food and animal care products in the organic agriculture sector are desperate for new solutions that conform to strict, organic farming and livestock principles and practices,” said Dr. Yury Kronn, Ph.D., ETI’s founder and chief scientist. “Vital Force Technology infusions – based on our proprietary process that maps the energy signatures of existing products/formulations to deliver experimentally verified enhancements – have proven to be useful in promoting animal health and reducing morbidity in organic farming applications.”

The company is targeting the “business-to-business” niche, reaching out to animal and veterinary care formulators; feed manufacturers; and, other channel intermediaries that serve the growing organic sector within the larger agriculture market. “Organic farmers and ranchers have an urgent need for alternatives to traditional, antibiotic-based solutions,” continued Dr. Kronn. “We are encouraged by field experiments conducted by a doctor of veterinary medicine that document the benefits of our technology.”

Company officials says that in addition to amplifying and enhancing existing ingredients and components, their products come in a wide variety of formulas so that customized infusions can be developed in collaboration with each individual client.


USDA to Provide $4 million For Honey Bee Habitat

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

usda-beesUSDA is providing more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers in the Midwest improve the health of honey bees, which play an important role in crop production.

“The future of America’s food supply depends on honey bees, and this effort is one way USDA is helping improve the health of honey bee populations,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Significant progress has been made in understanding the factors that are associated with Colony Collapse Disorder and the overall health of honey bees, and this funding will allow us to work with farmers and ranchers to apply that knowledge over a broader area.”

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is focusing the effort on five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. From June to September, the Midwest is home to more than 65 percent of the commercially managed honey bees in the country. It is a critical time when bees require abundant and diverse forage across broad landscapes to build up hive strength for the winter.

Funding will be provided to producers through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Applications are due Friday, November 21. The assistance will provide guidance and support to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that will provide safe and diverse food sources for honey bees.

This year, several NRCS state offices are setting aside additional funds for similar efforts, including California – where more than half of all managed honey bees in the U.S. help pollinate almond groves and other agricultural lands – as well as Ohio and Florida.

Bees, pollinators, USDA

Propane Powered Engines for Ag

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

2014 World LP Gas Forum Photo Album

perc-ag-enginesThe new Tier 4 emission standards for diesel engines have opened up new opportunities for propane in the agricultural engine market.

At the World LP Gas Forum in Miami this week, Propane Education and Research Council agricultural director Cinch Munson talked about how they have worked with OEMs to develop and commercialize new engines for ag applications, especially irrigation. “Since 2009, we’ve brought a number of new engines to the market,” said Munson. “A new industrial propane engine will cost about half of a new Tier 4 diesel engine and then cost about 56% less to run that engine.”

On display at the forum were an 8.8 liter PSI engine and a 9.1 liter Origin engine which are new to the market. Pete Stout with Origin Engines says they went to farmers and asked them what they wanted. “The adage they gave us is ‘there’s no replacement for displacement,'” he said. “They want large displacement, low speed engines that are designed to run on propane.”

Jeremy Lessaris with PSI Engines said they also worked with PERC to first develop smaller engines for irrigation. “We kept moving up the horsepower and torque band, up to 5.7 and now into the 8.8,” said Lessaris. “We’ve seen newer markets where the requirement for irrigation is much bigger, in California where they have large diesels pumping a lot of water…so we went from the 8.8 liter all the way up to 22 liters.”

PERC has a Propane Farm Incentive Program under which up to $5,000 can be available for farmers to switch to propane irrigation. In addition, states such as California and Nebraska have additional incentive programs.

Listen to Cinch, Pete and Jeremy talk about propane engines for ag here and see what they are talking about in the video below: PERC and Propane Engines for Ag

Audio, Energy, Irrigation, propane, Video

New Study Shows Value of Neonics

John Davis Leave a Comment

growing_matters_logo1A new study shows just how valuable neonicotinoid insecticides are for farmers in North America. The research, commissioned by Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, Valent U.S.A. Corporation and others under the umbrella coalition called Growing Matters, documents the value of neonicotinoids to agriculture as well as residential and urban landscapes, and the significant implications if these products were no longer available.

The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the United States and Canada. Research included commodity crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, sorghum and canola, specialty crops such as citrus, vegetables and grapes, plus turf, ornamental and landscape uses.

As the largest selling insecticide class in the world, some have questioned the value of neonicotinoids. This study was undertaken to provide reliable, objective evidence of the benefits these products bring to modern pest management systems.

Research results prove that neonicotinoids add billions of dollars to the economy, and benefit entire communities, not just individual growers.

“Although many people know intuitively that this class of chemistry is highly valued within the industry, we now have a comprehensive, science-based analysis that documents the magnitude of this value,” said Dr. Pete Nowak, emeritus professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and AgInfomatics principal. “The studies were conducted with a level of rigor necessary to meet the stringent standards of peer-reviewed publications.”

The researchers also contend that a loss of neonicotinoids would force growers to rely on a few, older classes of insecticides that could ultimately reduce crop yield and quality, disrupted pest management practices impacting beneficial insects including honey bees and, in some cases, cause catastrophic damage due to a lack of suitable alternatives to manage invasive pests.

More than 22,000 growers, consumers and applicators in the U.S. and Canada were surveyed for the report.

Agribusiness, Bayer CropScience, Insect Control, Insecticide, Pesticides, Syngenta

Monsanto Transforms Plant Breeding

John Davis Leave a Comment

monsanto1Monsanto has announced a $20 million investment in integrated technology centers as part of its global breeding program that will help feed a hungry, growing world. This company news release says these tech centers will use continuing advancements in data science, genomic breeding methods and predictive analytics to further enhance seeds and unlock untapped yield potential.

“We are at a unique inflection point in the evolution of plant breeding where data science and predictive analytics will help to unlock previously untapped potential of plant genetics,” said Sam Eathington, Monsanto vice president of global plant breeding. “Monsanto is committed to continue to deliver new agricultural solutions through plant breeding so that farmers can keep up with the growing demands of food production in the face of population growth and climate change.”

Monsanto utilizes its broad network of breeding and field testing locations, global germplasm library and advanced technologies to develop better products for farmers. And with today’s announcement, the company highlighted its commitment to invest $20 million over the next two years to accelerate plant breeding research across integrated technology centers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska. These integrated technology centers will enable the company to combine some local operations, utilize new advancements and discoveries, as well as share best practices across crop research.

Monsanto officials go on to say that advanced plant breeding techniques and data science are key elements that work together to contribute to a food-secure future.

Agribusiness, Monsanto, Research, seed

NAGC, AgIDG Partner to Accelerate Ag Tech

John Davis Leave a Comment

NAGCAgIDGA group that furthers science for agriculture has partnered with another group that looks to bring new tools to farmers that will accelerate the commercialization of agricultural technology. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the partnership between the National Agricultural Genotyping Center and the Ag Innovation Development Group.

The technologies created will increase farm production, improve sustainability and increase income.

“Partnerships like this are important to the economic future of American farmers,” said Richard Vierling, Ph.D., director of research for NCGA. “We need to attract more money into agricultural startups. Vetting technology through NAGC will help identify commercially viable technologies and lower the risk for investors.”

NAGC, a non-profit initiative founded by the National Corn Growers Association and Los Alamos National Laboratory, will provide research and testing services to both public and private researchers. The center will translate scientific discoveries into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.

“Ag Innovation Development Group was founded to help increase the efficiency of commercializing university research in the agricultural sector to benefit farmers,” said Ag Innovation Development Group CEO Pete Nelson. “A core part of this mission is to partner with farm organizations and their commercialization efforts. The partnership with NAGC will allow us to achieve this mission and ultimately grow more startup companies in the agricultural sector.”

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Corn, NCGA, Research, technology

Best Future Jobs in Agriculture

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What should US do about WTO COOL ruling?”

The industry has reacted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) decision against the United States on the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law since the announcement was made earlier this week. Some feel the issue can be handled by USDA, others feel Congress should take charge. But it looks like an overwhelming majority of those who took our poll feel we should appeal and do nothing.

Here are the poll results:

  • Appeal and do nothing – 83%
  • Congress should change – 4%
  • USDA should amend again – 3%
  • Should be repealed – 6%
  • Don’t know – 4%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, Where are the best future jobs in ag?

This week thousands of FFA members from across the country have flooded the streets of Louisville, KY for the 87th National FFA Convention & Expo. The future of agriculture is in the hands of these young people who are passionate about the agriculture community. The number and variety of careers in agriculture continues to grow. This week we want to know what field of study are the best future jobs in agriculture.


$3,000 Grand Prize in World Ag Expo Video Contest

John Davis Leave a Comment

worldagexpo2015aA $3,000 grand prize is being offered in the World Ag Expo contest for the video that best answers the questions, “Where Would We Be Without Farmers?” The videos are due for submission by December 1, when they will be evaluated by a panel of judges and then posted on for the public to vote for their favorites.

“Farmers play an integral role in every part of our lives,” said Jerry Sinift, chief executive officer of the International Agri-Center. “We’re asking for talented individuals to portray the connection between farmers and the world they feed and clothe.”

The winner will be announced on January 30, 2015 and awarded the $3,000 cash prize. The top video will be posted on World Ag Expo’s website; will play during the show, February 10-12, 2015 in Tulare, California and the winner will be recognized at World Ag Expo.

To enter, upload your video to your own YouTube or Vimeo account and complete the online entry form on the World Ag Expo website. Videos must be at least 30 seconds long and may not exceed six minutes. Anyone of any age is eligible to enter.

Ag Group, Video