First National Wheat Yield Contest in 20 Years

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

National wheat FoundationThe National Wheat Foundation has unveiled the first National Wheat Yield Contest in over 20 years.  The rules and registration have just opened on their website and you can submit your entry today!  The contest has been looked forward to with great anticipation since it was announced at the 2015 Commodity Classic.  BASF Crop Protection, Monsanto Seed, John Deere, and Winfield have contributed generous support to make the contest possible.

“We have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the National Wheat Yield Contest and look forward to U.S. wheat farmers competing with the best available technology to demonstrate how they can increase productivity, drive innovation and enable knowledge transfer between growers,” said NWF Chairman Dusty Tallman, a wheat grower from Brandon, Colo.

Wheat growers can compete in two primary contest categories – winter wheat and spring wheat. There will be two sub-categories for each category, respectively, for dry land and irrigated wheat production. Entrants must be a producer, at least 14 years of age, and member of their recognized state wheat grower association, or if from a state without a recognized state wheat grower organization, a member of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). All contest entries must use certified or branded, and currently commercially available, wheat seed.

To register for winter wheat is April 1 and spring wheat is June 15.  After these date the registration fee increases from $100 to $125 per entry.  Final deadlines are May 1 for winter wheat and August 1 for spring wheat.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with wheat and Monsanto is proud to be a sponsor,” said Dr. Jeff Koscelny, Wheat Commercial Lead at Monsanto. “This national yield contest provides a great platform for U.S. wheat farmers to showcase the genetic potential of today’s wheat seed and the innovative farm management practices and technologies being deployed.”

Five winners will be honored from each category.  These winners will be recognized at the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

Ag Group, Contest, wheat, yields

USDA Tries New Pest Control Method for Cotton

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The USDA has created a YouTube video featuring new ways to control the pink bollworm.  The pest has nearly been eliminated in the U.S., but flare-ups threaten the $100 billion dollar cotton industry.

The solution?  Moths.

When outbreaks are detected sterile moths can be released to mate with the pink bollworm, preventing offspring.

Watch the full video to see the process in action.

Cotton, Pesticides, USDA, Video

Biotech Included in TPP

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

tpp-congressThe newly concluded Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes language related to biotechnology in agricultural products for the first time ever.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calls the biotech inclusion “historic” and says it discusses “acknowledgement by member countries that they’ll use science-based determinations relative to biotechnology and to promote greater transparency in the regulatory presence.”

During a press conference about the agreement Tuesday, Vilsack promoted the benefits of TPP for U.S. agriculture. “History of free trade agreements with reference to agriculture will tell us that agriculture is a winner every time,” said Vilsack. “TPP is going to be no exception to that history.”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack comments on TPP Agreement
Audio, International, trade, USDA

Next Generation Smart Commercial Drones

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

PR NEWSWIRE INDIA- Big Market researchBig Market Research has completed a new study of Smart Commerical Drones.  This next generation of drones will have better technology, support high quality video, improved stability, reliability, and navigation, softer landings, longer flights, and the ability to carry loads.

The term “smart” can be applied to drones that have sensors and software which allows for automated response to a camera or sensor input.  Connectivity to smartphones is coming, but isn’t a requirement of the name.  Smart commercial drones will connect to the Internet and each other.

They contain sensor logic, making them easier to fly, and come with computer driven collision avoidance technology.  Cameras are rapidly improving as well– taking pictures that are realistic and detailed.

In this study, we illustrate how drones achieve doing work even though they are remotely controlled. Drones are expected to provide billions of dollars in economic growth. The economic benefits are significant. Developing countries are more receptive to drones than the U.S. is. In the US the FAA early on granted one exception, then granted 8 commercial UAS exemptions, then 10 more. It has by now granted 1,000 exceptions, but this does not a market make.

You can read the full report to learn about the technology, their implications and the study’s findings.

drone, Research, technology, UAV

HarvXtra Trait Will Benefit Dairy Farmers

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

wde-harvxtra The development of HarvXtra™, Monsanto’s new trait for reduced lignin alfalfa, will offer some truly remarkable benefits for dairy producers.

Jeff Herrmann, Specialty Crops Technology Development Manager for DeKalb, Channel, and Jung seed brands sat down with AgWired at the 2015 World Dairy Expo to discuss this breakthrough technology. His takeaway centered on how the new trait is engineered to provide unprecedented improvement to both production level and forage quality of alfalfa over a longer period of time, providing growers with a solution to the historic yield vs. quality dilemma in alfalfa production.

“HarvXtra is a trait that focuses on a high-quality yield,” said Hermann, “The reduced lignin levels are going to allow the grower a higher Relative Forage Quality, so it’s more digestible forage for their animals, and it also allows them, if they wanted, to harvest a little bit later, and get more yield, and still maintain good forage quality.”

Growers should expect to see 10-15% less lignin in the plant, about 10% higher fiber digestibility, an increase of around 20 points for Relative Forage Quality(RFQ), and a $15-20/T price premium based on current Midwest hay pricing standards.

The HarvXtra trait will be stacked with the existing Genuity® Roundup Ready® alfalfa trait. Monsanto is planning on a limited release in 2016, pending regulatory approval, with a larger release in 2017.

Listen to my interview with Jeff here:
Interview with Jeff Herrmann, Monsanto

View and download photos from the event here: 2015 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by
Coverage of World Dairy Expo is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Group, Agribusiness, agronomy, biotechnology, Forage, GMO, Hay, Monsanto, seed, technology, World Dairy Expo

K State Researchers Uncover New Genetic Markers

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The Plant JounralKansas State University wheat scientists, in cooperation with scientists from Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic, are calling their study of wild wheat genes “a breakthrough.”  The research is the first completed study of a chromosome in a tertiary gene pool.  The study was published in The Plant Journal on Sept. 27

“What we did is develop a strategy that can be used as a model to explore genomic resources for gene mining from distant wild relatives of wheat,” said Vijay Tiwari, research associate in the plant pathology department and the study’s lead author.

A tertiary gene pool in wheat refers to distant relatives of current varieties. Tiwari said having a complete understanding of the tertiary gene makeup helps wheat breeders develop new varieties that are resistant to disease and more tolerant of heat and drought.

In the study, researchers used a flow sorter to dissect a single chromosome from the larger genome in a wild wheat relative. Tiwari said the scientists then studied the gene composition and developed genomic resources and markers in the wild relative for gene mining and transfer to wheat.

“It’s interesting to see how similar wild relatives are to wheat in terms of gene content and gene composition,” Tiwari said.

The 5M chromosome that was studied has important implications for breeding resistance to wheat rust.

Education, Genetics, GMO, Research, wheat

Precision Ag Bytes

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment


  • Melissa Hughes of Organic Valley has been selected to serve as president of the Organic Trade Association‘s Board of Directors.  She was chosen for the second year in a row by her fellow board members.
  • Digi-Star announces Kevin Klubertanz has been appointed as president of Digi-Star and RDS Technology. Klybertanz has been with Digi-Star for 20 years and now accepts this position to further integrate Digi-Star and RDS Technology.
Precision Ag Bytes

Hagie Introduces Next Generation Sprayer

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Hagie 2The 2016 DTS10 is the newest, most innovative applicator in the Hagie Mfg. product line.  It is lightweight, rugged and self-propelled for the next generation of applicators.  The sprayer is a state-of-the-art machine, capable of widening the application widow and maximizing productivity.

It is the smallest applicator with a high clearance frame, 1,000 fallow capacity, and boasts the industry’s lightest weight and most well balanced design.

Over the past two decades, applicators have become an increasingly vital piece of production agriculture. Within this timeframe, the industry has experienced adoption trends toward larger, yet significantly heavier, equipment solutions to meet developing demands for enhanced productivity.

In recent years, Hagie Mfg. deliberated on the creation of an ultimate sprayer for the evolving industry needs of the next decade. This machine design would definitively be encompassing of key industry drivers including being weight, balance, capacity, application speed, boom width, grade ability, maneuverability, precision compatibility, safety, price and comfort.

Hagie“When evaluating the mid-sized self-propelled sprayer market, customers made clear the desire for a low weight, balanced machine that is compact and maneuverable; all while staying highly productive and lower cost than larger commercial sprayers,” stated Newt Lingenfelter, Senior Product Manager. “The 2016 DTS10 by design has a perfectly balanced, lightweight frame that carries a low center of mass, thus making it compact and easy to maneuver in tight areas. It also features many of the high end options that in the past were only available on the larger units, such as all wheel steer, auto fold, a premium cab, as well as all precision capabilities.”

The 2016 DTS10 is designed for application from early spring to late in the season.  It’s high clearance design, narrow crop package, 90′ boom, drive and auxiliary hydraulic system helps it deliver maximum profit potential while still offering a comfortable cab.

Agribusiness, Equipment, Spraying

Tessenderlo Kerley Inc. Acquires Herbicide Assets

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

TKIDuPont Crop Protection has announced the sale of it’s Hexazinone product and mixture product business to Tessenderlo Kerley Inc. (TKI).  Assest in Brazil were excluded in the sale and financial terms have not been disclosed.  Hexazinone is a broad spectrum herbicide created for use on crops like alfalfa, blueberries, pineapples and sugarcane.  It is marketed under the brands Velpar, Pronone, and Advance.

The assets to be divested by DuPont include the Velpar®, Pronone® and Advance® trademarks, formulated product registrations, formulated product registration data, customer information, supply agreements with third parties, access to certain know-how, certain Hexazinone and Diuron technical registrations and associated registration data, for each product.

“This acquisition is another step for the NovaSource® crop protection division of TKI to improve its position in the niche crop protection industry,” said David Cassidy, group vice president for TKI. “These products enable NovaSource to add new distribution opportunities both in North America and in Asia.

“This agreement is another step in the execution of our DuPont Crop Protection business growth strategy,” said Timothy P. Glenn, president, DuPont Crop Protection. “This continues to enhance our focus on innovative new product offerings for our customers.”

Agribusiness, Dupont Crop Protection, Herbicides

How Insurance, Conservation Can Work Together

John Davis Leave a Comment

farmfoundationlogo3Crop insurance provides an important risk management tool for farmers, especially in the short term. Conservation practices look to the long term to reduce farmers’ risks. Our friends at Farm Foundation will hold another one of their free forums on Thursday, Oct. 8, to examine how the relationship of crop insurance and conservation practices has evolved over the years, and policy options that might be considered for the future.

Moderating the panel will be Bruce Knight of Strategic Conservation Solutions.The panel will include:

Keith Coble of Mississippi State University, who will provide an overview of crop insurance and conservation practices, and how that relationship has evolved over the years;
Bruce Sherrick of the University of Illinois, who will discuss current policy dynamics;
Deb Atwood of AGree, who will discuss policy options generated by AGree’s Agricultural Conservation and Crop Insurance Task Force; and
Dan DeSutter, of DeSutter Farms Inc., who will provide a farmer’s perspective.

The forum will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. EDT at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C., with a live audiocast is available free of charge here.

This link has more information, including registration.

There is no charge to participate in the Oct. 8 Forum, but registration is requested. Register online to attend the Forum in person at the National Press Club. Registration is required for the live audiocast and can be completed here.

Conservation, Crop Insurance