Teachers Offered a Day on the Farm

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The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) has partnered with U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to start a program to help urban teachers learn more about agriculture so they can teach it to their students. To kick it off, educators in Minneapolis and Sacramento are invited to take a farm tour at the end of August to engage with farmers and others who work in the agriculture industry.

“We hope to teach the teachers,” said MSR&PC CEO Tom Slunecka. “We want to make sure that teachers in large cities hear the story of agriculture and have the tools to help them teach.”

The teachers who take part in the program will learn about innovation in today’s agricultural industry, sustainability, crop biotechnology, animal health and welfare. They will also learn more about USFRA’s Discovering Farmland curriculum and receive an iPod Touch and virtual reality headsets to help incorporate agricultural videos into their curriculum and classrooms.

The Minneapolis event will be held August 29 and the Sacramento event will be on August 31. Click on the links for registration information and details. here is no cost for participation and the curriculum tools are free.

Learn more in this interview and if you can help get the word out in Minneapolis and Sacramento, please do: Interview with Tom Slunecka, MSR&PC CEO

AgWired Precision, Audio, Soybean, USFRA

First ASA-Valent Ag Voices of the Future

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Eight college students from five states make up the inaugural class of the Ag Voices of the Future program, sponsored by Valent U.S.A. and the American Soybean Association (ASA). The class provides an opportunity for young people to improve their understanding of agricultural policy issues, advocacy, and careers, and was held last week in conjunction with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Forum in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to this enthusiastic group of young people:
Corbin Bell, Missouri
Kelsey Cassebaum, Alabama
Mason Gordon, Indiana
Evan Jackson, Kentucky
Will Nalley, Kentucky
William Raftis, Illinois
Kelsey Smith, Illinois
Abigail Steinkamp, Indiana

Also congrats to farm broadcaster Jeff Nalley, since young Will is his son. Being a voice for agriculture is already in his DNA!

AgWired Precision, ASA, Valent

Bayer Hosts Field Day in Dekalb

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Farmers and retailers gathered near Dekalb, Illinois on Tuesday for the Bayer Innovation Plus Tour.

Bayer Technical Development Rep Daren Bohannan says the event focused on corn and soybeans and included presentations on disease observations, selective corn herbicide trials, Balance GT soybeans, ILeVO Seed treatment & PPO Herbicides, Liberty weed control, new Credenz products and more. “We got planted late up here, a lot got planted right around Memorial Day weekend,” said Bohannan. “A lot of our flushes of weeds are worked out so things look really good…In general we’ve had a really good growing season so far.”

Learn more in this interview – Daren Bohannan, Overview of Plot Tour

Go to AgNewsWire for more interviews from the Bayer field day in Dekalb.

Bayer Showcase Plot Tour 2017 – Illinois

AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Crop Protection, Soybean

Precision Ag Bytes 7/19

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  • The National Science Foundation has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant to Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM). The money will allow ABM to develop a new class of biorational chemicals based on chemical communicants from plant symbiotic fungi to offer greater crop yields, enhanced root growth and resistance to stress.
  • Penn State University Extension reminds growers to be ever vigilant against spider mites and offers a solution to producers with a center-pivot irrigation system.  A chemical injection of Boundary Rider from Agri-Inject is specifically designed to control the migrating insects.
  • Verdesian Life Sciences has field tested Take Off, a product that speeds up the rate corn processes nitrogen.  South Dakota Wheat Growers have seen a respectable yield increase and improved ROI for farmers using the product.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

New Propane Irrigation Engines Available

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The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has partnered with Origin Engines to develop new 5.7- and 6.2- liter engines, EPA-certified and optimized for industrial applications like irrigation and power generation.

Pete Stout, Origin Engines

PERC invested in the research and development of Origin’s new engines, providing industry expertise and financial support through the research, development, and testing process for the new technology.

“We are excited to introduce these highly efficient, innovative engines to the market,” said Pete Stout, product manager for Origin Engines. “We built our product line based on feedback from the end users because their satisfaction is what is most important to us. We are confident they will be very pleased with these new products.”

The new engines complement Origin’s larger 8.0-, 9.1-, and 10.3-liter engines, which were introduced in 2015, and are now available from distributors Industrial Irrigation, KEM Equipment, and Flint Power and Western Power Products. In addition, a new Propane Farm Incentive Program is offering $300 per liter of fuel displacement for propane-powered irrigation engines (up to $5,000 total), according to Cinch Munson, director of agriculture business development at PERC.

Munson and Stout talked about propane engines for irrigation at the 2014 World LP Gas Forum in Miami when the larger propane engines were first announced. Here is a segment of their remarks about the development and benefits of propane irrigation engines in general. PERC’s Cinch Munson and Origin’s Pete Stout

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Irrigation, propane

Syngenta Receives China Approval for Agrisure Duracade®

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Syngenta has received notification of import approval from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture for its Agrisure Duracade® trait, which covers corn grain and processing co-products, including dried distillers grains (DDGs), for food and feed use.

“Obtaining this regulatory approval opens up new opportunities within our portfolio,” said David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC. “Moving forward, growers can expect expanded access to the full depth and breadth of our genetic portfolio with more choice and exciting new hybrids that offer elite genetics plus the latest in corn rootworm control technology.”

Hollinrake adds that Syngenta will continue to offer Agrisure Duracade for the 2017 and 2018 planting seasons under its grain-use marketing program.

AgWired Precision, Corn, Syngenta

ASTA Shares Story of Plant Breeding

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The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has released a new animated video as the latest installment in ASTA’s Better Seed, Better Life initiative. The video, produced in conjunction with CropLife International, explores the history, and future, of plant breeding-from the ancient domestication of wild crops, to gene editing and beyond. Check out the video below, and share it using the hashtag #JustGrowIt.

AgWired Precision, ASTA, seed, Video

Monsanto Call Provides Perspective on Dicamba Developments

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Monsanto held a media briefing Thursday to provide perspective on recent developments with dicamba herbicides.

Monsanto chief technology officer Dr. Robb Fraley and Lisa Safarian, vice president of Monsanto North America, both participated in the call and answered questions from reporters. “Monsanto spent years developing XtendiMax® with VaporGrip® Technology to minimize the potential for off-site movement,” said Safarian. “Like many others in the agriculture community, we are concerned about the reports of potential crop injury.”

Safarian says the outright ban of all dicamba products like Arkansas has done, “will hurt more farmers and not get states any closer to an effective solution.” They are encouraged by the approach taken by Missouri and Tennessee, which have prohibited the use of older dicamba solutions, which are more volatile.

Fraley talked about visiting with farmers in the affected states this week. “The vast majority of farmers that have planted extend beans and cotton on 25 million acres in 34 states and have used the approved over the top XtendiMax® and Engenia formulations have had a great experience,” he said. Fraley admitted he saw soybean fields with “clear symptomology, especially in Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee” but stressed that there are a variety of potential causes for the damage.

You can listen to or download the briefing here: Monsanto Media Briefing

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Censky Nominated as Deputy Ag Secretary

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Over two months since he took office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is finally getting some nominations to fill USDA positions.

Late Thursday, Perdue announced that President Trump has nominated American Soybean Association CEO Stephen Censky to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

“Our work has only just begun in delivering results for the people of American agriculture, and the experience and leadership skills of Stephen Censky will only enhance our efforts. He will bring enthusiasm and a dedication to this country which will be great assets to USDA’s customers. I am extremely pleased with the nomination for this key position and am hopeful that the Senate will take it up in short order.”

Censky has been CEO of the American Soybean Association since 1996 and the association strongly backs his nomination.

“Steve has guided our organization for 21 years and in that time he has proven himself as an effective, dedicated and visionary voice on behalf of soybean farmers nationwide. Nobody in agriculture is better equipped to assist Secretary Perdue in meeting the needs of farmers with practical solutions than Steve. He is a perfect fit for this role and we give him our strongest endorsement,” said Ron Moore, ASA president from Roseville, Ill.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) also proudly supports Censky’s nomination. “President Trump’s pick of Steve Censky to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture is an outstanding step forward for agriculture and the countless related markets, like biodiesel, that play a key role in supporting our economy,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen.

The nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate, which already has a backlog of about 150 presidential nominations not yet approved.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, ASA, Biodiesel, Government, Soybean, USDA

House Ag Hearing on Specialty Crop Innovations

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The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony Wednesday on technology and innovation in specialty crops as input toward the making of the 2018 farm bill.

“As we look at the farm bill through the lens of the current farm economy, innovation and technology will remain essential for farmers and ranchers to continue producing more food and fiber with fewer resources,” said Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX).

ASTA’s Andy LaVigne testifies at House ag committee hearing

Among those who testified was American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) President & CEO Andy LaVigne, who stressed that Farm Bill research programs and policies based on sound science are critical to the development of new technologies for plant breeding.

“New and evolving innovations like gene editing represent exciting opportunities for agriculture,” said LaVigne. “However, if policies toward breeding methods are overly burdensome, then smaller, regional companies and the public sector will likely be precluded from fully utilizing these innovations.”

LaVigne’s opening statement prompted questioning from committee members that allowed him to elaborate on the potential for gene editing and the importance of educating the public about plant breeding. “We have an uphill road just to talk about the plant breeding methods we use today,” said LaVigne, noting that most people have little or no knowledge of genetics.

Listen to LaVigne’s opening remarks and answers to questions from Reps. Neal Dunn (R-FL) and Austin Scott (R-GA) – ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne testifies at House ag hearing

Other witnesses at the hearing included California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger; Paul Heller with Wonderful Citrus; Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Wish Farms in Plant City, Florida; and Driscoll’s CEO Kevin Murphy. Listen to their opening remarks and those of Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) – House Ag Innovation in Specialty Crops Hearing

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Biotech, Farm Bill, Government, seed, Specialty Crops, technology