Happy Holidays from Seed World Media

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 2.54.24 PMOur friends at Seed World are introducing the 2014 Ugly Sweater Challenge.

We’ve armed our staff with the necessary accessories, tools, and the ultimate incentive – bragging rights for the year. But we need your help to crown our winner.

Watch the video, then vote for your favorite ugly sweater by clicking on your team of choice below.

From all of us to all of you, Happy Holidays and all the best for a prosperous New Year.

Agribusiness, Holiday, seed, Video

Progress Reported With China on Biotech Traits

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

According to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, one of the outcomes of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meetings this week was in the area of agricultural exports related to biotechnology traits. “China announced that it would approve the importation of new biotechnology varieties of U.S. soybeans and corn ­… and also that it would pursue a regular dialogue with the United States focused on the benefits of the increased use of innovative technologies in agriculture, for both the United States and China.”

NCGA-Logo-3“We see this as an encouraging first step in what needs to be an ongoing process,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder. “For years, NCGA has advocated for synchronizing international approval processes and thus opening markets for farmers. We hope that progress toward this goal continues.”

The news came out earlier this week that Chinese officials committed to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack that the ban on imports of U.S. corn and distillers grains (DDGs) containing the MIR 162 trait would be dropped.

biotechnology, Corn, trade, USDA

NCGA Announces 2014 Yield Contest Winners

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

NCGA-Logo-3Advanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2014 National Corn Yield Contest. Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of 503 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record six national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 50th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2014 with 8,129 entries received.

“While this contest provides individual growers a chance for good-natured competition with their peers, it also advances farming as a whole,” said Don Glenn, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques and practices contest winners develop provide the basis for widely used advances that help farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations, including drought. This contest highlights how innovation, from both growers and technology providers, allows us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”

Read More

Ag Group, Contest, Corn, NCGA

BASF Compostable Polymers on Display at CSS

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

asta-css-14-basf-ruthBASF has a biodegradable solution for plastics with ecovio® and ecoflex® technology.

Ruth Watts, product marketing manager for BASF’s Biopolymers Group in North America, was at last week’s ASTA CSS & Seed Expo demonstrating the use of this type of packaging for agricultural applications. “This (ecovio) is new technology by BASF,” Watts explained, adding that ecoflex was the very first polymer presented to the market in 1998. “They then involved the compounding of polylactic acids, which is now branded as ecovio.”

One application for ecovio is a mulch product. “It’s formulated so that when the farmer’s at the end of the harvest season, they get the functionality of weed control and moisture enhancement, and instead of having to worry about pulling it up, we encourage them to till it under the soil,” said Watts. “Then it will break down and become biomass, CO2, and water.”

Listen to Ruth talk more about uses for these compostable polymers in this interview – and see them on display at the BASF Commodity Classic exhibit in 2015: Ruth Watts, BASF

2014 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photo album

Coverage of CSS 2014 and Seed Expo brought to you by
Coverage of CSS 2014 and Seed Expo brought to you by the American Seed Trade Association and Coverage of CSS 2014 and Seed Expo brought to you by BASF Ag Products
ASTA, Audio, BASF, bioproducts

First the Seed Foundation Update

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

asta-foundationFirst the Seed Foundation (FTSF) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2008 by the American Seed Trade Association with a focus on attracting bright young minds to the industry.

“The seed industry is an exciting, dynamic, high tech industry,” said Foundation chairman Bud Hughes of Verdant Partners during an update at CSS 2014 and Seed Expo last week. “We want people to see that whether their interest is marketing and communications, or computer skills, or back to being a biologist or a plant breeder, that there are many different careers available in this industry.”

asta-css-14-foundationHughes says they have taken on several major initiatives over the past six years, with funding by industry participants. “We’ve put together a product we call ‘Grow’ which is a career kit aimed at high school students,” said Hughes, adding that the program has already reached an estimated 500,000 students.

Another project they call “TomatoSphere” which was originally developed in Canada and is aimed at elementary and middle school students. “TomatoSphere takes tomato seeds as an example of a biology project and puts them into the classroom,” he said.

The Foundation has just developed a seed specific school curriculum for teachers, called “Planting the Seed,” based on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) system. And they also have a Seed Ambassadors program which encourages industry professionals to be spokespersons at their local schools.

Hughes says FTSF has grown to the point now where they have hired their first full-time administrator, Jim Reynolds, who is a former educator, coach and high school principal.

Learn more about FTSF from their website and in this update from Hughes at CSS.
Bud Hughes, First the Seed Foundation chairman

2014 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photo album

Coverage of CSS 2014 and Seed Expo brought to you by
Coverage of CSS 2014 and Seed Expo brought to you by the American Seed Trade Association and Coverage of CSS 2014 and Seed Expo brought to you by BASF Ag Products
ASTA, Education, seed

Top Ten Favorite Tractors List

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

farm-and-ranch-magFarm & Ranch Living magazine has come up with a Top 10 list of All-Time Favorite Tractors.

The full list is in the magazine’s December/January issue, but we have the top three here – two of which are Farmalls.

#3: FARMALL MODEL M – 270,140 produced from 1939-1952. The retail price for the 4 cylinder machine in it’s last year of production was $2,400. At the time, the M was the largest row crop tractor that International Harvester made.

#2: FORD MODEL 8N – 524,000 produced between 1947 and 1952 with the last listed price at $1,404 in 1952. New Holland remade that popular tractor in 2010 for a limited release as the Boomer 8N, one of which was given to Jay Leno.

#1: FARMALL MODEL H – with 391,227 manufactured between 1939 and 1953, the final price was $2,000 and many H’s are still being used on farms today. It was one of the first projects of industrial designer Raymond Lowey, who was hired to restyle the entire International Harvester line.

To find out which others made the Top 10, check out the December/January issue of Farm & Ranch Living. The special section also includes a timeline of tractor history (1920-1960) and a trivia section to test your old iron IQ.

Machinery, Tractor

Bayer to Fund 2015 FFA Grants for Bee Health

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

bayer-cropscienceBayer CropScience is partnering with the National FFA to inspire interest in agriculture and apiculture professions among America’s youth.

The new grant program will help FFA members develop their unique talents and explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers with a focus on finding solutions that will help honey bees thrive. “I have a real passion for the FFA and I love to support them,” said Dr. Becky Langer, manager of Bayer‘s Bee Care Program. “So, we’re sponsoring $50,000 that can go towards grants – whether individual, chapter, or environmental … these grants will provide funds to develop projects over 2015 and help us arrive at some great solutions for pollinator health.”

Langer provides more details in this interview: Interview with Becky Langer, Bayer CropScience on FFA partnership

2014 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photo album

Audio, Bayer CropScience, Bees, FFA

Bayer CropScience Soybean Update

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

asta-css-14-bayer-diegoGrower needs drive the Bayer CropScience soybean business according to Diego Angelo, director of US soybean operations, who was at last week’s CSS 2014 and Seed Expo to provide an update.

“Innovation is in our blood and it’s driven by our passion to help growers be productive and profitable long term,” says Angelo. Right now what growers need most to be profitable is weed control options to fight herbicide resistant weeds. “Bayer had a vision a few years ago that this was going to happen and developed a technology called Liberty Link.” said Angelo, adding that they have seen steady growth in adoption of the technology since it was introduced in 2008. “Our expectation that 1 out of 10 acres sees a Liberty Link soybean in 2016.”

This year, Bayer introduced Credenz, their first ever soybean seed brand. “We need to take a more active role in bringing our technologies to the market and Credenz is our commitment to this technology,” said Angelo. “With Credenz we’ll be offering more choice than any other national brand.” Credenz offers wide range of varieties and traits including LibertyLink, as well as glyphosate-tolerant traits, in 27 high-performing varieties developed for Maturity Groups 2-7.

Learn more about Bayer’s soybean commitment here: Diego Angelo at CSS 2014 Bayer CropScience press conference

2014 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photo album

ASTA, Audio, Bayer CropScience, seed, Soybeans

PrecisionAg Big Data Conference Program

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 1.10.26 PMWhy should you attend the PrecisionAg Big Data Conference in Columbus February 16? Leading experts are preparing to share information vital to your success, as experienced farmers share insights to help you adopt best practices as they relate to data collection and application. See the complete program.

Here are a few program highlights:
Data Ownership and Privacy – Dr. Shannon Ferrell, Associate Professor – Agricultural Law, Oklahoma State University
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF): Data Principles Panel – AFBF’s Mary Kay Thatcher moderates a panel discussion including growers and industry partners on the Data Ownership and Privacy Principles created by AFBF in conjunction with leading manufacturers
Players and Partners – Dr. Scott Shearer, Professor and Chair, and Dr. John Fulton, Associate Professor, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University
Empowering Data-Driven Decisions: Yield Building and Beyond – A panel of experienced farmers share success stories
Seward Farm: A Case Study in Data Value And Partnerships – Darrington Seward; Clint Jayroe, Jimmy Sanders Inc.; and J.D. Cresswell, John Deere dealer
A Data-Driven Future: Driving Decisions Beyond The Field – Dr. Terry Griffin, Associate Professor – Economics, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

Join your peers at Crown Plaza Columbus North-Worthington for Big Data: Understanding and Leveraging the Most Elusive Farm Asset, the one-day conference that sheds light on the opportunities and challenges of big data.

Ag Group, Data, Events

Comments Needed on EPA Neonic Report

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

asta-css-14-beckyFarmers and other stakeholders have only a few days left to comment on the EPA report about the “Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production” which finds little or no overall benefits. The comment period concludes on December 22.

Dr. Becky Langer, Bayer CropScience Bee Care Program manager, says the EPA document came out of the presidential memorandum this year to develop a national pollinator strategy. “I believe they are using the information to see what kind of response they get,” she said. “Soybean we don’t see as much yield increase as we do with some of the other crops, so perhaps that’s why they chose it to see how much interest there is.”

Langer says Bayer developed a platform for people to comment on the report called AgVoice4Choice.com. “Where stakeholders can go and submit a letter based on their zip code, they can choose whether they’re a grower, applicator or concerned citizen, and let their concerns be voiced.”

Becky explains more in this interview: Interview with Becky Langer, Bayer CropScience

2014 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photo album

ASTA, Audio, Bayer CropScience, Bees, Pesticides, pollinators