DuPont & Sumitomo’s Global Seed-Applied Tech Agreement

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DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited announced a global agreement to collaborate on the development, registration and commercialization of seed-applied technologies for use in key crops around the world.

DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical formed this collaboration out of a shared objective to accelerate development and commercialization of novel seed-applied technologies to improve early plant growth and yields. The global agreement leverages the strengths of both companies, combining the conventional chemical and biological pipeline from Sumitomo Chemical, with the advanced seed technology and development and commercialization capability of DuPont Crop Protection, a business unit of DowDuPont Agriculture Division.

Collaborations between DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical’s regional affiliate, Valent U.S.A. LLC., will focus on the North American region with potential expansion opportunities to multiple crop markets globally.

During the American Seed Trade Association’s (ASTA) CSS & Seed Expo a press conference was held where Meg Brodman, Valent; Trey Soud, marketing director, row crops, Valent; and Mick Messman, director, DuPont Seed Applied Technologies spoke on the announcement.

Listen here: Dupont/Sumitomo Press Conference

2017 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo photo album

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ASTA Announces Student Video Awards

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ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne; Katelyn Fritz; and Susan Chapman, Tri-Societies

The first-place winner of the first “Better Seed, Better Life” student video contest was awarded this week during the CSS 2017 & Seed Expo in Chicago.

Sponsored by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB), and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies), the contest asked graduate and undergraduate students focusing on plant-science disciplines to submit videos bringing plant breeding innovation to life.

The winning video was produced by Katelyn Fritz of Iowa State University. As a junior double majoring in Agronomy and Global Resource Systems with focus areas of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology as well as Central America, Katelyn is on an eight-month internship in Guatemala with a small NGO named Semilla Nueva that works to sustainably overcome chronic malnutrition in Guatemala through biofortified corn.

Learn more about her enthusiasm about life and seed in this interview: Interview with Katelyn Fritz, ASTA Better Seed Better Life video winner

2017 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo photo album

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ASTA CSS 2017 Attendance Strong

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The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is ushering in the holiday season in its traditional way – with the annual CSS & Seed Expo in Chicago.

ASTA president and CEO Andy LaVigne says turnout at the annual event that includes the industry’s biggest trade show is still very strong despite ongoing mergers and acquisitions. “We’ll probably have close to 2700 this year and a good international representation,” said LaVigne.

Because international trade is so important to the seed industry, ASTA is urging its members to members to take part in today’s social media campaign in favor of NAFTA. “Mexico and Canada are huge markets for U.S. grain farmers and our customers,” said LaVigne, so it is important for the industry to make its voice heard loud and clear at the White House.

NAFTA Grassroots Day today encourages farmers and others in the industry to share their stories about the importance of NAFTA using #Farmers4NAFTA and #JustGrowIt and tagging @WhiteHouse

LaVigne has more information in this interview: Interview with ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne

2017 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo photo album

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Precision Ag Bytes 12/6

carrie muehling Leave a Comment

  • Verdesian Life Sciences, the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America will provide a soil health management systems webinar on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 2–3 p.m. Central, 3–4 p.m. Eastern. Registration is through the ASA’s Online Learning Platform. Participants will also receive a recording of the on-demand webinar. For details or to register visit
  • Following a highly successful first year, Alltech will select another cohort from across the world to participate in The Pearse Lyons Accelerator, a unique global accelerator backed by Irish entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons. Last year’s startups collectively added $50 million in new qualified sales leads across 28 international markets by the end of the accelerator. Last month, seven of the 10 startups were featured by CB Insights* in “Agtech: 100+ Technology Companies Changing The Farm,” illustrating the quality of the startups involved.
  • General Mills continues to invest in soil health practices on U.S. agricultural farmland with its latest contribution of $735,000 to the National Wheat Foundation who together with the Soil Health Partnership, will advance widespread adoption and implementation. The funds, equally distributed over the next three years, will be used to conduct soil health research on wheat farms and education outreach to more than 125,000 wheat farmers across the Northern and Southern Plains.
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GROWMARK’s Wells Joins ARA Executive Committee

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GROWMARK Crop Nutrients Division Manager Rod Wells is the newest member of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) executive committee. Wells has been involved in ARA for a number of years and believes it is an important place to participate.

“It’s all about being engaged in the process. It’s about advocating for the industry,” said Wells. “It’s critical that we make our voices heard and that we’re all active, and people listen. They want to hear that grassroots voice coming to them.”

Wells said in addition to policy work, ARA provides important educational and networking opportunities, as well providing for the exchange of ideas on topics like regulations and crop insurance.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Rod Wells here: Rod Wells, GROWMARK

2017 ARA Conference and Expo Photo Album

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Missouri Farm Bureau Listening Session on #FarmBill18

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The Missouri Farm Bureau held their annual meeting earlier this week and a highlight for many was the discussion on the 2018 Farm Bill. In a packed house, a Focus on the Farm Bill Seminar took place with Capitol Hill decision makers and thought-leaders in Missouri agriculture.

– Ranking Member House Ag Committee, Congressman Collin Peterson
– Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
– Chairman Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Chris Giancarlo
– Former Congressman Kenny Hulshof
– Retired Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Bob Young,
– Senior Advisor, USDA Secretary, Brian Klippenstein

Remarks from Collin Peterson, Congressman

Remarks from Chris Giancarlo, CFTC

Remarks from Vicky Hartzler, Congresswoman

Remarks from Kenny Hulshof, Former Congressman

Remarks from Brian Klippenstein, USDA

Remarks from Dr. Bob Young, Retired AFBF

Q&A and Closing Remarks

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GROWMARK Opens New Tank and Truck Center

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Bolt cutters instead of scissors cutting through a chain instead of ribbon marked the grand opening of GROWMARK’s new Tank and Truck Center in Morton, Illinois last month.

The bolt cutters were a last minute change when weather forced the celebration inside. Tank and Truck Center Sales and Operations Manager Mike Davis says they were supposed to use a blow torch to cut the chain. “It wasn’t quite as dramatic an effect as we wanted but it symbolized what we do – we manufacture stuff and we can make changes on the fly,” said Davis.

The buildings at the Morton location had been vacant for some time and it was a perfect match when GROWMARK’s Tank and Truck Center near Tremont was in the market for a bigger home. “It’s around 30,000 square feet of office and shop space,” said Davis. “Since the building was empty we could go through and make it what we wanted.”

The Morton center is one of six that GROWMARK maintains, with three more in Illinois and two in Iowa, and Davis says they have plans to open more in the future. The facilities serve the general public as well as GROWMARK System members.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with GROWMARK Tank and Truck manager Mike Davis

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Survey Spurs Farm Groups to Action on Opioid Crisis

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Two of the nation’s largest farm groups plan to work together in response to staggering numbers released in a recent survey on opioid abuse in rural America.

The Morning Consult survey shows farmers and ranchers are more affected than the rest of their rural neighbors, with 74 percent confirming they’ve been directly impacted by opioid abuse. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Farmers Union together sponsored the survey, and those groups will collaborate on how to fight opioid addiction on America’s farms and ranches.

“This is a new challenge,” said Will Rodger, director of policy communications for AFBF. “It’s not the boll weevil, it’s not the Dust Bowl, but it’s something just as tough and something just as potentially fatal, and we need to start getting moving on this.”

Rodger said the groups don’t have a specific plan in place just yet, but the process will begin with conversations.

“You can’t beat this problem unless you address it. The worst thing we can do is to judge people for mistakes that they or others may have made. The best thing we can do is to get them the help that they so desperately need,” said Rodger.

Listen to the full interview here: Interview with Will Rodger, AFBF

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New Ag Retailers Chair Has Game Plan

Cindy Zimmerman

New ARA chair John Oster; outgoing chair Tim McArdle, CEO Daren Coppock

The new chairman of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) says 2017 was a championship year for the organization and he hopes to sustain that excellence moving forward.

John Oster with Morral Companies in Ohio says one area where ARA will be very active in the coming year is in development of the new farm bill. “Although we are a small percentage of the total outlay for the farm bill, what we do is extremely important,” he said in an interview after the passing of the ARA gavel to him from Tim McArdle.

Oster says they want to work closely with new administration officials such as Sonny Perdue and Scott Pruitt on regulations impacting the industry, and do an even better job of telling agriculture’s winning story.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Oster here: Interview with new ARA chair John Oster, Morral Companies

2017 ARA Conference and Expo Photo Album

ARA, Audio

Agriculture Secretary Addresses Ag Retailers

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Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue topped off the ARA Conference and Expo on Thursday in Phoenix, covering a broad range of topics in his comments including tax reform, de-regulation, trade, food security, infrastructure, school lunches and the farm bill.

Perdue, who noted his past experience in the fertilizer business and with ARA’s predecessor organization, the National Fertilizer Solutions Association, talked extensively about the tax reform bill currently under debate in the Senate. He encouraged those in the business of agriculture to contact their representatives in Washington, D.C., to communicate their corporate and individual interests.

“Farming is a great lifestyle, but you don’t get to do it very long as a lifestlye if you don’t make money at it,” he said. “You need to speak through your associations, but you also need to speak independently. Talk to your members of Congress and let them know what’s on your mind. Weigh in on what you like about (the tax reform bill), what you don’t like about it.”

Perdue also stressed the need for development of rural broadband to maximize technological innovations within agriculture. Precision agriculture depends on broadband everywhere, he said.

Watch the video.

Listen to or download his entire remarks and press gaggle –
Secretary Perdue at ARA2017

Secretary Perdue press gaggle

2017 ARA Conference and Expo Photo Album

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