Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires QC Corporation

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

verdesianVerdesian Life Sciences has announced the acquisition of QC Corporation, a leading producer and supplier of granular and dry micronutrients and ferrous sulfate products.

“We are excited to welcome QC and its micronutrient platform, including its unique Nutripaction compaction granulation technology, to Verdesian,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer of Verdesian. “The Gordon family and the rest of QC’s employees share our commitment to researching and developing innovative and proven yield enhancing plant-health products.”

The Gordon family will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of QC and manage QC customer relationships with Jason Gordon serving as president of QC, a Verdesian Life Sciences Company.

qc-corp“QC’s leading micronutrient business and manufacturing capabilities are highly complementary to Verdesian’s plant health and nutrition offerings,” said Gordon. “This combination enables us to leverage Verdesian’s resources and growth platform to capitalize on new opportunities while continuing to provide QC’s customers with the innovation and service that has been the cornerstone of QC’s success over the last 40 years.”

“QC is an established market leader in the fast-growing micronutrients category. We expect that the combination will bring QC’s expertise increasingly into Verdesian’s core agricultural markets, while QC’s lawn and garden, and turf and ornamental customers will see new applications for Verdesian’s proprietary products,” added Grow.

Fertilizer, micronutrients, Nutrient Management Cindy ZimmermanVerdesian Life Sciences Acquires QC Corporation

Alternative Weed Control Opportunity

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

wssaEliminating weed seeds before they can establish new plants is a practical and effective means of weed control in crop farming in certain parts of the world. At grain harvest, removing the weed seed often becomes a missed opportunity, and a tremendous amount of weed seeds are left on the field. Harvesting weed seeds can prevent them from becoming part of the soil seed bank.

A study featured in the journal Weed Technology tested the seed retention of four dominant weed species plaguing Australian crop production. A high seed retention rate (with low early shatter rates) shows potential for the use of harvest weed seed systems to reduce the amount of seed from being reintroduced into the field.

To assess the seed retention and thus establishing the probability of harvesting success, researchers collected annual ryegrass, wild radish, brome grass, and wild oat plants from nine wheat fields in Western Australia at the time of wheat harvest. Plants were cut at 15 cm (approximately 6 inches) above the ground level and bagged. Plants and seeds were collected at the beginning of the wheat harvest and every 7 days thereafter for 28 days.

Although the nine sites were widely dispersed and experienced varying climatic conditions, the weed seed dispersion patterns were similar. At wheat crop maturity, the average proportions of seed production retained for the weeds were: 85% of ryegrass, 99% of wild radish, 77% of brome grass, and 84% of wild oat. Additionally, this high seed retention persisted throughout the 28-day harvest period for ryegrass and wild radish.

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Ag Group, agronomy, Harvesting, Weed control Jamie JohansenAlternative Weed Control Opportunity

Monsanto’s New Insect Management Knowledge Program

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Monsanto-LogoTwo years ago, Monsanto launched the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program, designed to reward the research and academic community for outstanding projects that addressed specific aspects of the pest and how best to manage it. Now, with $6 million in funding and 13 research projects currently underway, Monsanto is expanding the program to include projects on insect pests that can significantly impact all row crops across the U.S.

Monsanto’s new Insect Management Knowledge Program (IMKP), is set up similar to its predecessor, providing merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per award per year for up to three years for projects that will enhance the collective understanding of insect management. Monsanto has committed an additional $3 million over three years to support this public sector research on insect management.

The IMKP will be guided by an 11-person Advisory Committee that is co-chaired by Dr. Sherri Brown, vice president of science strategy for Monsanto, and Dr. Steven Pueppke, associate vice president of research and graduate studies for Michigan State University. The committee consists of academics and growers, and provides guidance on integrated pest management, as well as recommendations for areas of basic research on insect resistance and management that would be of interest to growers, the academic community and Monsanto.

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Agribusiness, Corn, Insecticide, Monsanto Jamie JohansenMonsanto’s New Insect Management Knowledge Program

AEM Helps Launch Precision Ag Coalition

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

aemThe Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) helped mark the launch of the Coalition for the Advancement of Precision Agriculture (CAPA), a new industry coalition that will help to shape emerging policy issues involving precision agriculture.

Leif Magnusson, AEM AG chair and president CLAAS of America & regional president of the Americas, kicked off the event with a discussion of some of the emerging technologies in the agricultural sector. “These are huge topics for global members of AEM today,” said Magnusson. “Especially precision ag and farm equipment makers are investing big R&D dollars into technology communicating from machine to man.”

Watch the video below with Leif Magnusson commenting at the CAPA launch event:


AEM, Data, Video Cindy ZimmermanAEM Helps Launch Precision Ag Coalition

Wheat Growers Announces Site for Grain/Agronomy Facility

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

wheat growersWheat Growers will build a first-class grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Lyman County, starting yet this fall. Wheat Growers’ Board of Directors has chosen a site in Lyman County, South Dakota, for a shuttle loader grain handling facility and agronomy center. The site will be in Kennebec, South Dakota, and will be located along the soon-to-be rehabilitated line that is part of the state of South Dakota’s expansion of heavy-rail service from Chamberlain to Presho.

“We selected this site after an extensive financial and structural review of several sites in the area,” Hal Clemensen, President of the Wheat Growers Board of Directors, said. “Our cooperative will move forward with dirt work and construction this fall with the goal of having the agronomy facility ready for business by the winter of 2015/2016 and the grain handling facility completed in time for harvest 2016.”

Wheat Growers had pledged to build a shuttle loader grain handling facility and agronomy center in Lyman County if the state of South Dakota rehabilitated the Chamberlain to Presho route. The South Dakota Department of Transportation recently announced that the state had been awarded a $12.68 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The grant money, along with $7 million approved by the South Dakota Legislature for the project, an additional $7 million committed by the state Railroad Board, and over $1 million in private funds raised by Rails to the Future will be used to rehabilitate approximately 40 miles of rail line between Chamberlain and Presho.

“This is great news for the state and for growers and agribusiness in central South Dakota,” Dale Locken, Wheat Growers CEO, said. “As promised, our farmer-owned cooperative will now move forward with our plans to build a first-class elevator and agronomy facility on the rehabilitated heavy rail line in Lyman County.”

“We want to thank Governor Daugaard, the state legislature, our Congressional delegation and the Rails to the Future group for their tremendous support of this project and the commitment of state and private funding in addition to the TIGER grant funds,” Clemensen added. “Now we’ll put our pledge into action as we build this state-of-the-art facility for growers in the area.”

Ag Group, agronomy, Grain, wheat Jamie JohansenWheat Growers Announces Site for Grain/Agronomy Facility

Be Part of Nutrient Management Solution

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

This is the third of a four part series on Nutrient Management sponsored by FS/GROWMARK

There are lots of good reasons to be proactive about nutrient management in agriculture, not the least of which is the threat of government regulation and litigation.

growmark-hobart“If we aren’t part of the solution, regulations and legislation will define agriculture and how we farm,” says GROWMARK Government Relations Manager Liz Hobart. “Agriculture does a very good job with production practices and I think we need to take ownership of that issue.”

Hobart says the regulatory landscape impacting agricultural practices continues to threaten with cases such as the Chesapeake Bay nutrient management program, which established a precedent with a judge’s ruling last year affirming the legality of broad federal authority under the Clean Water Act. Another case is the Mississippi River Basin Initiative, which would include some 7,000 streams. “We are definitely working on the federal, state and local levels to help growers be a part of the solution,” said Hobart, which includes minimizing the impact of regulation, legislation and civil litigation. “GROWMARK encourages the use of best management practices in all phases of farming.” Interview with Liz Hobart, GROWMARK

Our final segment of this series will look at developing nutrient management plans. Read the first post in the series on Illinois’ nutrient loss reduction strategy here and the second with Dr. Howard Brown on N-Watch.

Nutrient Management Series

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Nutrient Management Series is sponsored by GROWMARK
Audio, Conservation, Government, Growmark, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management Cindy ZimmermanBe Part of Nutrient Management Solution

GMO Answers AMA on Reddit

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

gmo-enrightGMO Answers took to the social media site Reddit this week to participate in the Ask Me Anything series. Cathleen Enright, Ph.D., executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information and GMO Answers spokesperson answered questions about GMOs.

“We need to do a better job talking about the technology—what GMOs are, why farmers choose them, what benefits they provide, and what about those assertions of safety risk?,” Enright said.

While Reddit has covered the topic of GMOs and agricultural biotechnology, this is the first time that an executive from the biotechnology industry participated in an Ask Me Anything event.

“Our engagement here in a real-time, unmoderated conversation on Reddit is one of the many ways the industry is engaging in an open, transparent conversation about GMOs; a commitment that served as the central tenet for the creation of GMO Answers and GMOAnswers.com, an initiative designed to provide information about GMOs in one, easy-to-access public resource,” said Enright.

The hallmark of GMO Answers is a public Q&A. In-person, across social media and online we invite folks to ask us anything. And they have. More than 700 questions have been answered on the website alone, by independent experts—farmers, dietitians, scientists, grocers, and academics—and by biotech company employees. A community of more than 100 experts is volunteering to provide responses to all questions asked on the site.

biotechnology, social media Cindy ZimmermanGMO Answers AMA on Reddit

Farm Bill Risk Managment Programs Unveiled

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

usda-logoAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday unveiled the new programs included in the 2014 Farm Bill to help farmers better manage risk. The new programs, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), represent the end of direct payments by offering farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and/or revenues. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to select which program works best for their businesses.

Stressing that the programs are “farm by farm and crop by crop” decisions, Vilsack announced that new tools are now available to help provide farmers the information they need to choose the new safety net program that is right for their business.

“One of the Farm Bill’s most significant reforms is finally taking effect,” said Vilsack. “These new programs help ensure that risk can be effectively managed so that families don’t lose farms that have been passed down through generations because of events beyond their control. But unlike the old direct payment program, which paid farmers in good years and bad, these new initiatives are based on market forces and include county – and individual – coverage options.”

Farm owners may begin visiting their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices starting September 29 if they want to update their yield history and/or reallocate base acres, the first step before choosing which new program best serves their risk management needs.

Learn more from Secretary Vilsack in this teleconference held with reporters: Secy Vilsack announces new farm programs

Audio, USDA Cindy ZimmermanFarm Bill Risk Managment Programs Unveiled

Hick Chick Chat: Unilever, ADM, and Sustainability

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oLast month at the 2014 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa I attended the ADM press conference regarding their involvement with Unilever’s movement to become more sustainable by the year 2020.

_DSC0116The common theme was working together to showcase and highlight agriculture and tell the story of the farmer who works the ground to make the best product. ADM sources 100% of the soybeans that go into making Hellman’s Mayonnaise. Stefanie Grant is an Iowa native, and says telling the farmer’s story is an additional highlight for her. Maree Deventer, the soy sustainability program coordinator for ADM in Des Moines, tells me that producers are making her job even easier by coming to her to be a part of the program. Finally, Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey has helped promote the sustainability project since the beginning and he says it fits well with Iowa’s latest conservation policies and practices.

You can listen to my chat here: Hick Chick Chat Unilever, ADM, and Sustainability

Join in the conversation on Twitter and on Facebook

Audio, Conservation, environment, Farm Progress Show, Government, Soybeans Leah GuffeyHick Chick Chat: Unilever, ADM, and Sustainability

Global Water Event to Unveil Global Yield Gap Report

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Water-for-food-logoOn October, 20, 2014 at 7:30 am PT, a new crop analysis will be unveiled. The results of the six-year collaborative research project, “The Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas,” will be shared. The Atlas is designed to help farmers policy makers, foundations and private sector organizations identify regions with the greatest potential to sustainably produce more food with strategic use of inputs such as water, fertilizer or better seed.

The unveiling will take place during the sixth annual Water for Food Conference in Seattle, Washington October 19-22, 2014. One focus will be how to produce enough food for more than the estimated 9 billion people living on the planet by 2050.

The event will bring together more than 250 world experts working to overcome the urgent food challenge of sustainably producing enough food to meet the demands while conserving natural resources and ecosystems. The conference will feature presentations by world-renowned experts, including:

  • Robb Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto
  • Roberto Lenton, Founding Executive Director, DWFI
  • Jeff Raikes, Co-Founder, Raikes Foundation; Former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Jeremy Bird, Director General, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka

Hosts for the event include Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute (DWFI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Registration is still open. Click here for more information and online registration.

Agribusiness, Conservation, Education, environment, water, Water Management Joanna SchroederGlobal Water Event to Unveil Global Yield Gap Report