Announcing from @JohnDeere

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John Deere Tips NotebookJohn Deere and Frontier Equipment know that farmers are often the “do-it-yourself” types, which is why they are announcing the launch of a convenient, trustworthy, and one-stop resource to answer customer questions. has more than 45 articles and videos create to help users tackle property jobs and projects.

“Go to and you’ll find the kind of how-to information customers are really looking for,” says Scott Geier, manager, sales/marketing, John Deere. “You’ll find instructions and product information on a range of topics including gravel drives, fence building, garden building, mowing, seeding, snow removal, water control, and much, much more.”

The project began as a result of conversations with equipment users about what they really needed while using their machinery.  Maintaining and improving property and getting the most out of their equipment were far and away top on the list.

“There are other places that have this kind of information,” adds Geier. “But it’s scattered across dozens of websites and it’s hard to sort. At, project tips and solutions developed by experts are centralized, trustworthy and easy-to-find. And, we’ll be adding new tips and advice regularly.”

Some tips are about seasonal chores and how to get them done a little better, a little faster, a little easier. Others are just general good advice on taking care of equipment and the land. Topics include: How to use a grooming mower. How to plant a wildflower meadow. How to maintain a gravel drive. How to use a manure spreader. How to aerate, fertilize, and over seed your lawn. How to create a large vegetable garden with a one-bottom plow. How to build a rail fence. How to use a wood chipper. How to renovate a pasture. Even How to free a tractor stuck in the mud.

Get started by visiting the new website at

Agribusiness, Equipment, John Deere, Website

Farm Safety for Just Kids Disbands After 3 Decades

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Progressive Agriculture Foundation2016 will mark the end of Farm Safety for Just Kids (FS4JK). The Board of Directors has announced that further education, research and outreach will happen through the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF). PAF has a similar mission and founder Marilyn Adams likens it to “sending your child off to college.”

Motivated by her own family’s tragic circumstances surrounding a farm accident, Adams started Farm Safety For Just Kids in 1987 during a time when there were few resources for promoting safety on farms and educating young people on farm safety. Though the transition to the Progressive Ag Foundation marks the end of Farm Safety For Just Kids as it is known today, Adams says she is excited about PAF’s plans to continue the legacy of agricultural health and safety education for youth on farms in the U.S. and around the world.

FS4JK’s materials and assets will be donated to the Birmingham, Alabama-based PAF. FS4JK will no longer be accepting donations, but as part of the transition, FS4JK will be donating $5,000 to each the National 4-H Council and the National FFA Organization for youth safety advocacy.

“We are proud of the work we have done to promote farm safety for the youngest members of farm families,” says Adams. “We believe this move will further the mission of keeping farms safe for youth. That was the goal 30 years ago, and that remains the goal today. We feel the organization has accomplished what we set out to do almost 30 years ago: To support farm safety education in the U.S. and around the world. I believe that this move will further the mission we all have worked hard to accomplish.”

Ag Group, Safety

Mycogen Sports New Paint Scheme for Brickyard

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Mycogen Seeds along with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) sported a new paint scheme for the No. 3 Dow/Mycogen Chevrolet SS driven by Austin Dillon this past weekend. The Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race took place in Indianapolis, the home of Mycogen Seeds, on Sunday, July 24, 2016. No. 18 Kyle Busch, driving the Skittles Toyota, took the trophy with Dillon finishing 9th. POET’s logo was also part of the new paint scheme.

vcsPRAsset_515593_111814_0c53c3ff-5699-43df-878f-2b8da757d28e_0We are thrilled to have POET join Mycogen Seeds and RCR to further support ethanol and American farmers,” said Damon Palmer, Mycogen Seeds general manager prior to the race. “The No. 3 is sure to stand out at the Brickyard debuting the POET paint scheme with Austin Dillon behind the wheel.”

The entire field, including the No. 3, runs on 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel, which has powered every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car since 2011.

Just as ethanol use in NASCAR improves efficiency on the track, ethanol use overall helps balance the U.S. corn supply,” continued Palmer. “We’re proud to be part of industry collaborations that deliver better market opportunities for American farmers.

Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, added, “By using E15, NASCAR shows the world the power, efficiency and dependability of high-octane ethanol fuel. We’re glad to work with Mycogen Seeds and RCR to highlight the benefits of ethanol to our nation’s air, public health and rural economies.”

Corn, Ethanol, Events

Nufarm Lanuches Herbicide for Broadleaf Weed Control

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ScorchScorch is the new broadleaf herbicide from Nufarm.  It contains three active ingredients desinged for use on glyphosate-resistand and dicamba-tolerant weeds, as well as control of more than 60 annual and 50 biannual/perennial weeds like ragweed, water hemp, marestail, lambsquarters and Palmer amaranth.

Scorch trialsIt is register for use on cereal grains, fallow, field corn, sorghum, range and pasture and more.  It promises to kill weeds above and below ground, rather than just stunning them.  It also works better in cooler weather than other dicamba and 2,4-D herbicides.

“Herbicide-resistant or tolerant weed populations are widespread, and many weed populations are resistant to more than one herbicide,” says Bob Bruss, Director, Technical Services for Nufarm. “With Scorch, we have combined three active ingredients, each with a broad range of activity, to create a tool that’s very effective in combatting weeds resistant to glyphosate, dicamba and ALS-inhibitor herbicides.”

It can be applied by aerial, broadcast, band or spot spray applications or using water or sprayable fluid fertilizer as a carrier.

Agribusiness, Herbicides

EU Approves Three Soy Biotech Traits

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USSECThe U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has just announced the approval of three biotech soybean traits by the European Union.  Now ready for import and processing are:

Monsanto’s Xtend (dicamba x glyphosate MON87708 x MON89788)
Monsanto’s Vistive Gold (high oleic x glyphosate MON87705 x MON89788)
Bayer CropScience’s Balance GT (glyphosate x HPPD inhibitor FG72)

“The EU’s approval of these events is welcome news for U.S. soybean farmers,” said USSEC chairman Laura Foell, a soybean grower from Schaller, Iowa. “We’re happy that we can supply our European customers with a reliable supply of safe food.”

American Soybean Association President, Richard Wilkins weighed in as well. “We are very relieved to see these three traits approved for import into the European Union, as today’s announcement represents a clearing of an important hurdle for the commercialization of these valuable products in the U.S. In Europe, the approval means that the EU’s livestock and feed industry, which is more than 70 percent dependent on imported feed, can get the high-quality protein it needs. In the U.S., American farmers need an ever-increasing range of tools to tackle the challenge of resistant weeds that now impact nearly every soy-growing state. Similarly, with the continuing move away from trans-fats in American diets, farmers need additional tools to produce soybeans that meet that market demand as well.”

Europe is one of the largest customers of U.S. soybean farmers with over 165 million bushels of soybeans in exports already this year.

Ag Group, EU, Exports, Soybeans, Traits

Coffey Named VP for CNH Industrial Parts & Service

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KurtCoffeyKurt Coffey will now be heading up CNH’s after sales product support division.  As the new Vice President of CNH Industrial Parts & Service in North America Coffey will be responsible for overall sales growth and profitability of the division.

“Since joining the company in 2008, Kurt has demonstrated the kind of exceptional leadership that is needed to drive the continued development and growth of our company’s aftermarket business,” says Brad Crews, Chief Operating Officer-NAFTA, CNH Industrial. “Kurt and his team are fully committed to providing our equipment dealers and their customers throughout North America with the best products, service and support capabilities in the industries we serve.”

Recently Coffey has served as Director of Sales and Marketing for CNH Industrial Reman. Before that he lead a parts product marketing mangers team responsible for parts sold through the dealer network.  He has also held various sales roles within CNH and Monsanto.

His degree in agriculture business comes from Illinois State University and Coffey remains an active part of his family’s grain farm in central Illinois.

Agribusiness, Case IH, New Holland

Wuertz Earns Netafim Award for Microirrigation

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NetafimHoward Wuertz’s work in the adaptation of drip irrigation technology in the western US has earned him the third annual Netafim Award for Advancement in Microirrigation.  Netafim is a leader in drip irrigation.  Together with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) the two honor an ASABE member who has advanced the use and adaption of microirrigation technology at any level of production.

Often referred to as the “father of subsurface drip irrigation” in America, Wuertz is a managing partner of Sundance Farms where he works as a consultant for farming operations on the 3,200-acre farm. During Wuertz¹s long career, he pioneered the use of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), first developing it for cotton irrigation and later for use with row crops. From early on, Wuertz developed a pragmatic systems approach to subsurface drip irrigation.

ASABE“We realized a long time ago that successful farming in the dry Arizona desert is not only about using water more efficiently, but about being more productive with the resources we have. Subsurface drip irrigation has allowed us to boost our productivity per acre with less water than traditional irrigation methods,” said Wuertz. “It is a great honor to be recognized by Netafim and industry peers for the steps we have made at Sundance Farms to achieve greater efficiency and productivity. We aim to generate awareness of the many benefits that SDI delivers and in doing so, encourage growers in Arizona, and nationwide, to take measures to ensure the sustainability of their farming operations for many generations to come.”

Wuertz has successfully reduced water usage on his farm by 50 percent, while increasing yields and improving the marginal soils of the region.  He quickly realized drip subsurface drip irrigation need specialized equipment for minimum tillage, so he developed is own implements for cotton stalk destruction, drip tubing installation and tillage.  He now holds five patents and has made it possible to grow a broad range of crops over many years on a permanently buried drip line.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and there may be no better example of recognizing and adapting to environmental challenges than Howard Wuertz,” said Zeev Barylka, Marketing Director for Netafim USA. “We are inspired by his commitment to sustainable farming in a region with a harsh and often unforgiving climate. His approach to overcoming barriers goes hand-in-hand with the philosophy upon which Netafim was founded over 50 years ago. Howard is a perfect fit for this award.”

Agribusiness, Award, Irrigation

Turf Feeding Systems Making Jatropha More Sustainable

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Jatropha has been a crop in and out of favor as a feedstock to produce advanced biofuels such as biodiesel and biojet fuel. One criticism of the crop is that it is difficult to produce sustainably. Mexican company Zphere Works is launching a project in the Mexican Yucatan to produce 30 million gallons of biojet and biodiesel fuel using jatropha grown by local farmers. Turf Feeding Systems has come on board to assist growers in learning how to grow the crop in a more sustainable manner that would protect soil and plant health and reduce water needs by 50 percent.

gI_161122_Picture1We will create happy soil and plants that use 50% less water, fertilizer and little or no chemicals, while producing 50% more production,” said Michael Chaplinsky, president of Houston, Texas-based Turf Feeding Systems in regards to the goals of creating a sustainable method for growing jatropha. “We can grow more Jatropha on less land at a lower cost, which means you will need less land, less irrigation, less labor and the efficiency and savings will get better each year. We will create and start the soil engine to grow plants.

Jack Katz, CEO of Zphere Works said the vision is to create the first truly sustainable project that embraces the most productive precision ag technologies, improves soil health and water efficiency and uses the least amount of land to meet the needs of producing 30 million gallons of biofuels per year.

The two companies have brought together an impressive team of outstanding team of agronomists, scientists, engineers, plant geneticists, arborists and soil biologists from around the world including Paul van Jaarsvelt, an agronomist, grower and livestock expert from South Africa. His expertise is crop design and management, as well as irrigation. He is bringing to the project a new, less expensive irrigation system that is more efficient and faster to install. He is also bringing inter-cropping, satellite pastures and livestock into the project to create additional profit centers. Chaplinsky added that the team also includes experts in soil biology and soil inoculants. The plantation will include a facility to brew special soil treatment products (biology) to feed the soil engine. This will reduce imports and costs.

Water in the Yucatan is plentiful; however, it will need to be treated for sodium by another technology with a special water treatment system. This system reduces sodium, makes water more efficient and does not use any chemicals.

“We want the project to become the first totally sustainable project in Mexico. It will include education and career development for the rural Mayan people and create the site as a habitat sanctuary,” said Chaplinsky. With this in mind, the company has also partnered with Audubon International to dedicate 5 percent of the plantation land as habitat pockets of native forests and grassland that the groups hopes will protect and repopulate Yucatan endangered species including the Mayan honeybee. Ultimately, the team hopes their project will be the most sustainable and efficient biofuel project in Mexico.

agronomy, Energy, Soil, water

MN #Water Topic of USFRA Dialogue

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

FR_MN Food Dialogues Header Image v2Water is a hot issue this year and makes it the perfect topic for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). The organization is partnering with the Farm and Food Alliance of Minnesota to  host a Food Dialogues next week in Minneapolis called “A Celebration of Minnesota’s Waters.

We’re addressing this as a celebration of water but also working to try to communicate to a new audience,” said USFRA CEO Randy Krotz. “We’re really focused on young people this time.”

Krotz says they feel there is a real need to communicate with high school and college age people because each generation becomes a little further removed from food production. “They’re very distant from agriculture but they have more interest in how they’re food was grown and raised than they ever have,” he said.

Water issues may vary from one region of the country to another, but Krotz says whatever they are, it’s important that farmers are part of the conversation to educate the rest of the public about “the incredible strides that agriculture has made in the area of sustainability and water quality over the past several decades.”

A Celebration of Minnesota’s Waters” will be held July 26 from 2:00-4:00 pm with registration and networking beginning at 1:00 pm at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Randy Krotz, USFRA

Agribusiness, Audio, Education, USFRA, water

NACD & NRCS Award $2M for Urban Ag Projects

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

As urban agriculture gains momentum in tandem with the movement of knowing where your food comes from, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have awarded $2 million in funds to 42 conservation districts for urban ag and conservation projects.  The goal of the initiative is to help conservation districts and their partners provide technical assistance for ag conversation in areas where the land is predominately urban or urbanizing, especially in underserved communities.

NACD_Logo_200NACD and the conservation districts we represent work on a scale that no other conservation organization or coalition does,” NACD President Lee McDaniel, who is in his second and final year as president of NACD, told an audience of conservation leaders in Minneapolis on Sunday. “We have the reach we need to engage the 98 percent of folks who don’t necessarily produce our fuel, fiber, and food, but still can make a sizable and positive difference on the landscape. With today’s announcement, NACD is broadening its base and the base of support for conservation in this country. We are going to reward, support, and encourage conservation implemented on every landscape.

The 2016 grants will help urban farmers, community gardens, other local agricultural partnerships implement conservation practices that support local food production, provide opportunities for education and stewardship, and protect natural resources.

Jason Weller, chief of NRCS and longtime champion of voluntary and incentive-based conservation said of the announcement, “I commend Lee for his leadership and vision, and for emphasizing the importance of urban conservation and urban agriculture. NACD and NRCS are focused on broadening our reach through more partnerships with communities across the country. Awarding this funding is an important step that NACD, state associations, and individual conservation districts are taking along with NRCS – a step that I’m very proud to support.

Click here for a full list of the 42 award winners and their projects.

Agribusiness, Conservation, Food, Urban Farming