Pesticide Safety Education Program Reaches 50-Year Milestone

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

wssaScientists with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) joined with the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA) to recognize the 50-year anniversary of the national Land-Grant University Pesticide Safety Education Program. Although the program has evolved over the past 50 years, it remains the focal point for pesticide safety education throughout the United States.

The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) had its genesis in 1964 to enhance pesticide label compliance and to develop the first training manuals. In the early years, the program was under the direction of each Land-Grant University’s Cooperative Extension Program and was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 1970, USDA passed the safe-use education torch to the newly created U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which concentrated especially on safety issues on the farm and in other occupations.

In 1978, EPA classified the first 12 restricted-use pesticides (RUPs). Applicators were required to demonstrate competency to apply RUPs, and Pesticide Applicator Training (as PSEP was then called) served as the primary developer and deliverer to inform and educate on safe pesticide use.

The reach of the Pesticide Safety Education Program has expanded greatly over the years. There are many more RUPs, and many states now require whole categories of users to be certified, even if they do not apply RUPs. Examples include certification of hired applicators, public employees and those treating schools or aquatic environments. In fact, an estimated 40% of certified applicators in the U.S. today do not apply RUPs.

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Ag Group, Pesticides, Weed control Jamie JohansenPesticide Safety Education Program Reaches 50-Year Milestone

Conservation Grants Announced

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

nrcsAt a farm in Moline, Illinois Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the award of $15.7 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) to 47 organizations, funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Among the grant recipients, the National Corn Growers Association will receive almost $1 million to promote soil management practices aimed at improving productivity, profitability and environmental outcomes in seven states. The National Association of Conservation Districts will receive $750,000 to fund a project to significantly increase the number of farmed acres nationwide (including Illinois) that are successfully managed for soil health. Other organizations, tribes and academic institutions will receive funding for conservation projects.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) chief Jason Weller held a press conference Monday to talk about the new grants: Press Conference with Jason Weller, USDA NRCS

Audio, Conservation, Government, USDA Leah GuffeyConservation Grants Announced

NIMITZ Nematicide Approved by EPA

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 1.01.30 PMADAMA, a world leader in customer-focused agricultural solutions, announced that NIMITZ, a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features and unmatched user safety, has received federal registration from the EPA.

The active ingredient in NIMITZ has a unique mode of action which categorizes the product within a new chemical classification. The U.S.A. is the first country to receive a federal registration, with approved crop use on cucurbits, (including cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupe and squash), and fruiting vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplants).

“NIMITZ is the nematicide that growers have been waiting for,” says Herb Young, ADAMA brand leader. “It is highly effective in controlling plant-parasitic nematodes. It also has a ‘Caution’ signal word which has never existed until now for a chemical nematicide. No other nematicide in the U.S.A. currently has this same mode of action or classification.”

ADAMA’s latest entry is a new paradigm for nematode control on high value crops. NIMITZ eliminates stringent use requirements of fumigant nematicides including Fumigant Management Plans, re-entry intervals (REI), 24-hour field monitoring and restrictive buffer zones.

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Agribusiness, Crop Protection, environment Jamie JohansenNIMITZ Nematicide Approved by EPA

State-of-the-art Grain Rail Terminal Open for 2014 Harvest

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

1. LSC_Fall River Grain FacilityLandmark Services Cooperative announces the opening of their new Grain Rail Facility in Fall River, Wis. Grain growers can now market their grain quickly and efficiently at this new location.

“The Fall River Rail Terminal is a game-changer is the industry,” says Bob Carlson, chief executive officer for Landmark Services Cooperative. “It is built to perform to be efficient and provide benefits in speed, space and markets to Midwest grain growers. True to its vision, the facility is lightning fast, efficient and steeped in technology and innovation.”

In addition to a nearly $6.575 million investment in the local community, the facility provides a local solution to feeding a growing world, through benefits in speed, space and markets.

Speed: With new technologies and a customized layout incorporated into the facility, grain haulers will be in and out in less than 10 minutes. A CompuWeigh system scans an RFID tag on each grain load when it enters the facility. Each load is then weighed and probed before being unloaded into one of three pits.

“This facility includes a streamlined, computerized system all based on speed,” says Doug Cropp, vice president grain for Landmark Services Cooperative. “We have capacity to receive about 40 semi-trucks per hour and then load 100 to 110 rail cars in eight hours or less. It’s all automated to get the farmer back into the field as quickly as possible.”

Space: The Fall River facility sits on 188 acres with capacity to hold up to 4.65 million bushels of grain and to market 15 to 25 million bushels of grain annually. Silo capacity is roughly 880,000 bushels, two covered ground piles can hold 1.5 million bushels and a steel bin holds an additional 737,000 bushels.

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Agribusiness, agronomy, Company Announcement, Grain Jamie JohansenState-of-the-art Grain Rail Terminal Open for 2014 Harvest

Soil Health Partnership Field Days Move to Illinois

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 8.18.24 AMSoil Health Partnership field days resume their schedule of presentations and demonstrations on Tuesday, Sept. 16. Corn farmers David, Joe and Chase Brown will host area growers, soil health experts and neighbors on their farm near Decatur, Illinois.

The day’s agenda topics will include the benefits of soil health and advanced nutrient management, cover crop integration in corn systems, and new equipment for seeding cover crops. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. CDT, regardless of weather conditions.

Registration will occur on-site and a continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be served to participants. The field day location is at 3965 Strawn Rd., on the northwest side of Decatur, Illinois.

Additional field days continue to be added to the schedule. For the most current listing of Soil Health Partnership field days and locations, visit

The mission of the Soil Health Partnership is to catalyze enhanced agricultural sustainability and productivity by demonstrating and communicating the economic and environmental benefits of improved soil health.

Ag Group, erosion, Events, Soil Jamie JohansenSoil Health Partnership Field Days Move to Illinois

Farm Foundation Forum on WOTUS Set for Sept. 17

John Davis Leave a Comment

farmfoundationlogo3As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes public comment on their proposed “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS regulations, Farm Foundation is offering a forum on the issue. Next Wednesday, Sept. 17th from 9 am-11 am at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Farm Foundation hosts a free forum on how the regulation would expand EPA and Corps authority and could impede land-use decisions and farming practices near the waters in question.

The perspective of the regulator will be presented by Tracy Mehan, with Gene Schmidt providing perspectives of farmers/landowners.

Mehan is currently the National Source Water Protection Coordinator for the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. He is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University School of Law, a member of the Environmental Law Institute and a former assistant administrator for water at the EPA.

Schmidt is an Indiana grain farmer and past president of the National Association of Conservation Districts. In addition to his work at the national level, Schmidt is a member of the Board of the LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District, and has served in numerous leadership position in the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

More information and registration are available here. If you can’t attend in person, Farm Foundation will provide an audiocast of the event on its website.

Government, water John DavisFarm Foundation Forum on WOTUS Set for Sept. 17

What’s New with Bayer Stratego YLD

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

fps14-bayer-schwindtBayer CropScience’s Thorsten Schwindt and Randy Myers both work in the company’s fungicide department. They shared with us during the Farm Progress Show what was going on with Stratego YLD, how growers can utilize it to get greater return on investment and what we can see coming out of Bayer’s research and development labs when it comes to fungicides.

“Stratego YLD is our most important brand in corn and soybean. It is one of the biggest products being sold at tassel timing. What we are doing with the product is positioning it at an earlier application with the big advantage being you bring it out with a herbicide. What growers don’t always know is it is also great for soybeans too. In a year like this where the corn prices are down there is a lot more soybean acres and Stratego YLD has a must higher interest in getting a yield boost in your soybean and also protect it from disease,” stated Thorsten.

fps14-bayer-myersThorsten said that right now growers are concerned about getting a good return on investment. Because of many farmers’ economic state, they are hesitant to apply a fungicide. He said the message they try and share with growers is to look at the yield figures and see the return on investment when a fungicide is applied to a crop. Interview with Thorsten Schwindt, Bayer CropScience

Randy goes on to explain why an earlier application of Stratego YLD can really give growers an upper hand. “There are two different things that you are dealing with. You are trying to protect the middle part of the plant from disease. A lot of those diseases survive in the residue in the soil. Another thing is protecting the stalk integrity. A lot of those diseases come in early and we want to keep pathogens out of the stalk.”

Randy also shares with Cindy examples using this past year’s growing season of where Stratego YLD has really paid off. Interview with Randy Myers, 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, Crop Protection, Farm Progress Show Cindy ZimmermanWhat’s New with Bayer Stratego YLD

USDA Increases Crop Estimate

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

usda-logoUSDA has increased its estimate of both the corn and soybean crops this month, building on already forecast record highs.

Corn production is forecast at 14.4 billion bushels, up 3 percent from both the August forecast and from 2013. Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 171.7 bushels per acre, up 4.3 bushels from the August forecast and 12.9 bushels above the 2013 average. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down 4 percent from 2013.

Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.91 billion bushels, up 3 percent from August and up 19 percent from last year. Based on September 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record high 46.6 bushels per acre, up 1.2 bushels from last month and up 3.3 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 84.1 million acres, unchanged from August but up 11 percent from last year.

Corn, Soybeans, USDA Cindy ZimmermanUSDA Increases Crop Estimate

ZimmPoll Says Knowledge of Global Agriculture Crucial

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How important is it to know about farming in other countries?”

This might be the most one-sided poll we have every had. It seems, and I definitely don’t disagree, that having a global understanding of agriculture is crucial. We may not all be able to learn about them first-hand, but thats where we come into play.

Here are the poll results:

  • Very important, global economy – 91%
  • Not important, who cares – 4%
  • Somewhat, simply curious – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, Would you buy an Apple Watch?

Apple’s roll out of a few clever and exciting new techie items has lead us to wonder if their new Apple Watch is something you plan on spending money on. It’s a no brainer that all Apple product enthusiasts will eventually be owning an iPhone 6, but do the product specs of the Apple Watch intrigue you enough to make the investment. Do you see it being a must have in years to come?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenZimmPoll Says Knowledge of Global Agriculture Crucial

Latham Field Day Features Drone Giveaway & Demo

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 8.58.16 AMSome people say “drone on” like it’s a bad thing. At the high-tech field day September 19 at Latham Seeds in Alexander, attendees are more likely to say “Drone On!” with excitement.

“What’s more exciting than seeing today’s hottest technology in action?” asks John Latham, president of family-owned Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. “Someday soon, farmers will be able to scout and manage crops with the precision of a camera flying 400-feet above a field. That’s why we’ll be demonstrating this emerging technology at our Seed-2-Soil® Field Day.”

Several types of drone equipment will be demonstrated by Chad Colby of AgTechTalk. Colby, one of the most respected and well-versed individuals in the UAV field, spends much of his time traveling the nation. He talks with growers about the newest drone technologies. Following Colby’s presentation, a drone sponsored by Greenleaf Genetics will be awarded to one attendee.

This Seed-to-Soil Field Day is open to the public at Latham headquarters, 131 180th Street, Alexander, Iowa. Programming begin at 9:00 a.m. Tours will include introductions to Latham® brand corn and soybean products and an introduction to Latham Seeds’ hallmark Seed-2-Soil, which has 4 main components: Crop Planning; Nutrient Management; Agronomic Resources including TheFieldPosition blog; and Research. Latham’s research team also will be on hand to give tours of stress wheel studies, cover crop trials and population/row spacing studies.

Agribusiness, agronomy, Events, seed Jamie JohansenLatham Field Day Features Drone Giveaway & Demo