Ag Groups Testify at House Hearing

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National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Wesley Spurlock, and American Soybean Association (ASA) President Ron Moore both addressed the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management earlier this week. Both testimonies spoke about the need for a strong risk management plan in a weak farm economy, noting the current prices of both corn and soybeans.

“Farm prices are down by 41 percent and farm income is down by 50 percent. Due to continued low prices, estimates for 2017 show a further decline in income of 7.1 percent,” Moore stated. “Land rents and input costs remain stubbornly high, and producers are having increasing difficulty obtaining operating loans. In view of these circumstances, ASA [asks] Congress to write the 2018 Farm Bill based on the very real need by U.S. producers for a stronger safety net rather than extending existing programs.”

“Together, crop insurance and the ARC-County program have helped many farmers weather the storm of a weak farm economy and avoid bankruptcy,” testified Spurlock. “We must work together to rebuild a strong farm economy – but in the meantime, strong farm bill programs are essential to support farmers. ARC was designed to be a market-based program that provides support only when needed, and now is that time.”

Ag Group, ASA, Crop Insurance, Farm Bill, Government, NCGA

Making Conservation Work in the Farm Bill

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As part of the Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit, Sara Wyant moderated the panel “Conservation- What Works, What Doesn’t.” Panel participants included: Tina May, Sr. Director of Sustainability, Land O’Lakes; Eric Lindstrom, National Manager of Agriculture Policy, Ducks Unlimited; Suzy Friedman, Sr. Director of Agriculture Sustainability, Environmental Defense Fund; Dave White, Co-Founder/Partner, 9-B Group; and Anne Simmons, Democratic Staff Director, House Agriculture Committee.

The group discussed the transition of conservation programs we found in the 80s to the evolution of the public and private conservation of today.

“I’ll tell you what’s working,” Dave White answered Wyant’s question. “It’s voluntary, inventive-based private land conservation. We’ve seen some phenomenal things.”

You can listen to the full panel discussion here: Conservation- What's Working, What Doesn't Panel

Photos can be found on the Agri-Pulse website.
Agri-Pulse Farm Bill Summit photos

Ag Day, Audio, Conservation

Register Now for Water for Food Global Conference

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The 2017 Water for Food Global Conference will be held on April 10-12 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The event, hosted by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, will welcome a record 100 speakers and experts coming together to find solutions to the world’s water and food security challenges. Attendees will experience three full days of exploring topics on the theme “Water for Food Security: From Local Lessons to Global Impacts.”

“We are energized to bring together such a dynamic and diverse group of speakers and experts to the University of Nebraska,” said Peter McCornick, executive director. “This year’s conference will push us further toward finding real-world solutions – locally and globally – to the complex challenge of ensuring water and food security.”

More information, including the speaker list, agenda and registration details, are available on the conference website.

Events, Food, Security, water

Lauren Schwab on SMART Farmer Podcast

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This edition of the SMART Farmer podcast comes from National Ag Day in Washington D.C. last week where USFRA Faces of Farming and Ranching representative Lauren Schwab talked about SMART Farming.

Lauren, who is known as FarmGirlWCurls on Twitter and Facebook, loves sharing her love of piglets on social media and educating non-farmers about the business. She talks about how technology helps keep her piglets safe and warm, and how her cell phone is one of the most important tools on the farm.

Listen to the podcast here: SMART Farmer Podcast with Lauren Schwab

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

SMART Farmer

ASA Supports NBB Petition

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The American Soybean Association (ASA) supports the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in the filing of an anti-dumping and countervailing duty petition. The petition alleges Argentine and Indonesian companies are selling dumped biodiesel and subsidized biodiesel in violation of U.S. trade laws. ASA President Ron Moore made this statement in support of the petition:

“Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia have flooded the U.S. market in recent years and these imports receive trade and market distorting subsidies in their home countries that provide an unfair advantage over U.S. biodiesel. Soybean farmers have a vested interest in the biodiesel industry, having made substantial investments over the past several decades to established and build a domestic biodiesel industry and market. We believe an investigation by the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission will show that unfair subsidies provided by Argentina and Indonesia are resulting in imports being unlawfully dumped on the U.S. market. We look forward to the appropriate anti-dumping and countervailing duties being imposed to remedy these unfair and unlawful practices.”

Ag Group, ASA, trade

Alltech Ideas Conference Aims to Inspire

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From soil nutrient management to citrus greening prevention, ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference will give growers real-life solutions.

Producers and agribusiness leaders are sure to be inspired by ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE17) on May 21-24 in Lexington, Kentucky. For three days industry leaders and experts from around the world will share insights and solutions for agriculture.

“We believe it’s important for everyone involved in agriculture to be inspired to harness disruption,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “That disruption, however, needs to deliver on the bottom line.”

Participants may choose from various tracks of sessions, including one dedicated to crop science that will cover issues from nutrient management to citrus greening prevention. Register before April 1 to save $300.Read More

Alltech, Events

BASF Licenses CRISPR-Cas9 Technology

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BASF has announced a global licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to use a CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology for agriculture and industrial microbiology. This gene-editing tool is simpler and more precise than previous technology for making targeted changes in the DNA, providing a quicker and less expensive method to benefit agriculture.

“The CRISPR-Cas9 technology is a game changer within the field of genome editing,” said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Bioscience Research. “We are eager to see the new ways it will augment our research and improve multiple products for agriculture as well as numerous industrial applications.”

“This technology represents a transformative application of genome editing for the research community,” adds Issi Rozen, chief business officer of the Broad Institute. “CRISPR-Cas9 can directly benefit advanced research across many industries including human health and agriculture. We are proud to partner with stakeholders throughout the biomedical and agriculture community to help deliver responsible solutions for our planet.”

Agribusiness, BASF, Gene Editing

Chairman Roberts Highlights Need for Conservation

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U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, (R-Kan), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, spoke with members of the National Association of Conservation Districts, highlighting the importance of voluntary conservation programs in the upcoming farm bill.

“The conservation districts are the perfect example where we see coordination in government working at its best – bringing together federal, state, local and private partners and leveraging those resources to get conservation on the ground,” said Roberts in his address.

“It is important to deliver a united message that locally led and voluntary conservation incentives have always been the foundation of USDA conservation programs. Voluntary conservation – not regulation – is an effective model that resonates with producers across the country.”

“Federal investment in these programs has a proven track record of success to incentivize farmers and ranchers to install best management conservation practices on the ground to help address critical natural resource concerns like improving water quality, improving soil health, or enhancing wildlife habitat.”

You can hear comments made by Roberts covering agriculture issues at last week’s Agri-Pulse event here: Remarks from Senator Pat Roberts, Senate Ag Committee Chairman

Ag Group, Conservation, Government

Conservation District Officials Take on Capitol Hill

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The National Association of Conservation Districts took on Capitol Hill just days after President Trump’s disappoint budget proposal. Members of the group addressed conservation programs in the farm bill, funding of conservation program, technical assistance for conservation efforts, as well as voluntary conservation as they made their visits.

“Today our members will hit the halls of Congress to meet with their representatives and senators face-to-face to discuss the most pressing natural resource issues affecting their districts and communities,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said.

Participants will also get to hear from Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Frank Lucas and Marcia Fudge, chairman and ranking member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.

Ag Group, Conservation, Government

3RIVE 3D Means Farming Faster

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Rick Ekins from FMC, and Chuck have talked about their 3RIVE 3D platform several times since it was introduced and Commodity Classic provided another opportunity.  With spring planting upon us, here’s a quick summation of what 3RIVE 3D can provide:

  • 3RIVE 3D is a new way to deliver crop protection products for seedling defense and yield enhancement
  • Easily mounts to all major planter brands
  • Includes a 130-gallon water tank, 30-gallon product tank and all other necessary components for application
  • Mixes the right amount of product and water, minimizing the need for measuring and eliminating the need for mixing and tank agitation
  • Delivers a three dimensional, continuous Zone of Protection directly into the furrow
  • Uses low volume of water, reducing weight and refills, and speeds the progress of planting
  • Plant up to 500 acres between refills
  • Provides future opportunities for combining multiple active ingredients including insecticides, fungicides and biostimulants

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Rick here to learn more:
Interview with Rick Ekins, FMC

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Agribusiness, Audio, Commodity Classic, Corn, FMC, Planting, Video