Precision Planting Announces vDrive® Insecticide

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 8.54.29 AMA new insecticide control system by Precision Planting® enables farmers to simplify their planter and achieve more precise control of insecticide on every portion of their fields.

Luke Stuber, vDrive® Insecticide engineer, explains. “Farmers applying insecticide today calibrate their meter for a single speed. As operators speed up, slow down or plant around curves, the intended application rate is impossible to maintain. And, as high speed planting is now a reality with SpeedTube, the insecticide system needs to keep pace.”

As growers have adopted vDrive® technology from Precision Planting® for row-by-row population control, it has allowed them to eliminate existing drive systems, chains, sprockets and hex-shafts. vDrive® Insecticide allows farmers to eliminate the mechanical drive systems for insecticide, and the maintenance that goes with it.

“vDrive® Insecticide provides flexibility for farmers to micromanage their inputs with row-by-row control, and with a newly designed metering system, allows growers to optimize an application technology that has not had significant improvements in years,” Stuber said. “As farmers work to closely manage their inputs and optimize yields, vDrive® Insecticide helps them more precisely manage insecticide applications in a continued effort to promote sustainable agriculture practices,” Stuber adds.

vDrive® Insecticide will be field tested on a limited number of make/model combinations as a beta product for the Spring of 2015.

Agribusiness, Crop Protection, Insecticide

NFU Supports NRCS Conservation Program

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

national-farmers-union-logoNational Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted comments to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on an interim rule regarding the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), commending NRCS for their promotion of conservation in agriculture and offering suggestions to focus the program more heavily on conservation outcomes.

“Family farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists,” said Johnson. “NFU members understand that stewardship of our natural resources is crucial to long-term farm viability and the integrity of the food supply.”

Johnson pointed out that NFU policy, enacted annually by delegates to the organization’s national convention, states, “Conservation programs should be fully funded to benefit the environment, reward stewardship of land and water resources and marine habitat, discourage speculative development of fragile land resources, strengthen family farming, and enhance rural communities.”

“CSP is a very innovative attempt at rewarding producers for enhanced conservation practices and NFU supports a robust and unrestricted program,” said Johnson. “CSP rewards farmers for adopting and managing conservation systems to address priority resource concerns, including soil, air and habitat quality, water quality and quantity, and energy conservation.”

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Ag Group, Farmers, NRCS

Digi-Star to Introduce New Grain Tracker App

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

DS_Grain Tracker app_012015Digi-Star will introduce the new Grain Tracker app at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show held February 11-14 in Louisville, Ky.

The Grain Tracker app will give producers full functionality of the GT 460 grain cart scale system straight from their smart phone or tablet. By adding Digi-Star’s ERM-WIFI module to the GT 460, producers will be able to connect wirelessly via the app making harvest-time tasks even easier.

“Combine operators will be able to easily update and correct their yield monitor with the Grain Tracker app,” says Jerome Bump, Digi-Star senior product development manager. “Additionally, truck drivers will be able to easily see how much grain has been loaded on the truck.”

The Grain Tracker app will be available for download later in 2015. By downloading the app producers will receive a free one-year subscription to Grain Tracker Online, giving them access to their harvest records from anywhere and on any device with internet access.

Digi-Star sales manager Jack Danner says, “This full feature system will allow custom harvest teams to have billing data available as they are pulling out of the last field.”

Visit Digi-Star’s booth during the National Farm Machinery Show (South Wing B, #933-935) to learn more about the new app. For more information, call (920) 563-1400 or email:

Agribusiness, Apps, Grain

Super Bowl Food Fever

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Is China’s recent ban on imports of U.S. poultry & eggs justified?”

On January 8, the Chinese government imposed a nationwide restriction on U.S. imported poultry and eggs following the detection of avian flu in wild birds in the Pacific Northwest. There is no doubt the majority of those polled agree with the rest of the poultry industry in that this ban was unjustified and extreme. The longterm impact of this decision is unknown, but let’s hope our government can convince China that they have over reacted.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes, better safe than sorry – 19%
  • No, unjustified & extreme – 68%
  • Undecided – 13%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What’s your favorite Super Bowl party food?

The 2015 Super Bowl is right around the corner. What’s the game without monumental commercials and mouthwatering food. We want to know your favorite Super Bowl party food. Do you prefer a bowl full of chili, hot wings that make you sweat or are you satisfied as long as it contains bacon?


New DuPont Pioneer Sorghum Hybrids for 2015

John Davis Leave a Comment

dupontpioneerDuPont Pioneer has introduced its new sorghum hybrids for 2015. This company news release says the new offerings give growers strong yield potential, improved agronomic performance, a wide range of defensive trait packages, and adaptability to both irrigated and dryland acres.

Pioneer® hybrid 83P56 – a medium full-grain sorghum hybrid available in south and central Texas. The product provides improved standability with excellent root and stalk strength, in addition to above-average head exertion and a defensive trait package that fights pests such as downy mildew and sugarcane aphid.

Pioneer® hybrid 83P73 – a new grain sorghum hybrid with excellent yield potential, adapted for both irrigated and dryland acres in south and central Texas. It has good defensive agronomic traits and brings improved harvest standability into the current sorghum lineup.

Pioneer® hybrid 84P72 – provides strong yield potential and above-average stalks with acceptable root lodging resistance for its maturity, and is available in the High Plains regions of Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. This hybrid has demonstrated strong drought tolerance, above-average cold emergence and good tolerance to fusarium rot.

The company points out that Pioneer® brand sorghum hybrids recently won three of seven first-place finishes and nine of the 21 national categories in the 2014 National Sorghum Producers Yield and Management Contest. In addition, Pioneer is currently working on hybrids that are non- or low-tillering, precision phenotyping for reduction in stress-induced lodging, and disease management.

Agribusiness, Dupont Pioneer, Sorghum

Hick Chick Chat: Top Ten All-Time Favorite Tractors

Leah Guffey Leave a Comment

leahpro250Farm and Ranch Living recently asked their readers to submit and vote for their favorite tractor of all time. This very much hit home for me as my dad still has the first tractor he over bought. A Massey-Harris 101 Junior. He also has the first car he ever bought, but that’s a different story.

farmandranchlivingOld tractors are still used on a lot of farms and ranches today because they don’t make them like they used to. You’ll hear that time and time again. I teased my dad when he took me to my first antique show by asking him why it was an antique when it was what we used. I spoke with Robin Hoffman, editor of Farm and Ranch Living. He said it was really a lot of fun to calculate the votes and read through the stories their readers sent in. He told me that most of the stories they received weren’t that much different from what my dad and I had discussed. People are very passionate about their thoughts and how they feel about their old iron.

You can find the complete list and check out the stories that were printed by going online or checking our their publication, but Robin and I go through all 10 and the honorable mentions here in this interview: Hick Chick Chat with Robin Hoffman, Farm and Ranch Life

Join in the conversation on Twitter and on Facebook

Audio, Hick Chick Chat, Tractor

FalconScan’s Ground-Breaking Aerial Mapping System

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

FalconScan Mapped ImageThe FalconScan Camera System has been under development for several years and has currently completed over 100 aerial imagery missions.

Applications include:
– Agriculture and Forestry
– Environmental Monitoring for Spills or Leaks
– Water Quality
– Telecommunications Planning
– Threat Detection
– Transportation Corridor Surveillance
– Disaster Preparedness and Response

FalconScan offers customers a turnkey operation that delivers high spatial resolution images which benefit from the unique spectral characteristics of the system. It offers off-the-shelf components and software that supplies a complete and affordable aerial data acquisition solution right out of the box. Its size, weight and automated data collection system allow operation from either manned or unmanned platforms and delivers finished product into clients’ hands as quickly as the images can be processed in the cloud and downloaded to multiple locations.

Due to the small footprint, FalconScan can be transported by hand to any location and operated from almost any aircraft. The self-contained camera, navigation and tablet control system installs in minutes and operates from aircraft power. Flight lines are automatically generated from the areas of interest and the camera collects the images without assistance so it is a strong candidate as a UAV payload.

Benefits include the ability to use FalconScan with other remote sensing instruments on the same aircraft and fuse the resulting data sets to create powerful mapped images. The information contained in the pictures can be represented as 2 or 3D on the computer screen and imported into any GIS system. Commercial uses include high definition base mapping for agriculture, forestry, water quality, oil and gas corridor monitoring, and the rapid generation of urban landscapes.

Aerial Imagery, Agribusiness, technology

Field to Market Workshop at AFBF

John Davis Leave a Comment

afbf15-field-marketAn alliance for sustainable agriculture is giving farmers, companies and ag organizations what they need to measure sustainability and meet the needs of a booming global population. During the American Farm Bureau Federation’s recent 96th Annual Convention, Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market, the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, talked about the tools available to help farmers track their progress and choose best practices on their farms.

“Sustainability is about meeting the needs of today while improving the ability of future generations to meet the needs of tomorrow,” Snyder said.

afbf15-snyderField to Market offers several resources to help farmers and companies achieve this goal and share that story more broadly. Their national report analyzes trends across several commodities, with a focus on efficiency and production, and their Fieldprint Calculator allows farmers to analyze specific fields to measure progress and to share that data with suppliers, should they so choose.

“The real value of Field to Market is in the information that farmers are able to collect and then put to use, making long-term improvements on their farms,” Snyder said.

The most recent information into Field to Market shows a marked decrease in agriculture’s environmental footprint, important for major companies which have set ambitious sustainability goals for the next five to 10 years.

AFBF, Ag Group, Agribusiness, Farm Bureau, sustainability

Agribotix Wants You to ‘Bring Your Own Drone’

John Davis Leave a Comment

agribotix1Agribotix wants you to be able to “Bring Your Own Drone” when it comes to collecting and analyzing information. The company that’s known as a pioneer in turnkey drone data collection and analysis services, launched its new cloud-based, Bring Your Own Drone™ data processing solution that lets anyone use any drone for agricultural data collection, anywhere in the world.

“During our first year flying our own drones over crops, we discovered that drone pilots need a simple way to produce reports that are useful to a farmer. This includes everything from an overhead view of a field used to spot problem areas, to a zone map for precise fertilizer application. We’ve developed a solution that addresses these needs and more,” said Paul Hoff, Agribotix CEO. “The resulting reports can be imported into virtually any farm data management system,” Hoff noted.

“Agricultural drone pilots don’t want to be software experts; they want to focus on the business of producing reports for their customers that maximize crop yields and improve their bottom line. We give them a very high level of customer service and fast turnaround so that they can act quickly, before conditions change.”

More information is available on the company’s website,

Agribusiness, UAV

DuPont Pioneer Expands Encirca℠ Services

John Davis Leave a Comment

dupontpioneerCorn and soybean growers are expected to benefit from the expansion of DuPont Pioneer’s Encirca℠ services. This company news release says the new service is Encirca℠ Yield Stand, joining the Encirca℠ Yield Nitrogen Management Service as a cutting-edge input management offering for growers.

The novel approach of the Encirca℠ Yield Stand service helps growers tailor corn and soybean planting prescriptions to unique areas of each field. Risk analysis and planting priority tools help growers make real-time adjustments if weather or other factors interfere with spring planting. Post-season yield analysis and consultation with a trusted Pioneer advisor offers the opportunity to learn from every field every season.

“The mission of Encirca℠ Yield is to give growers information to help them maximize yield by holistically optimizing inputs like seed and nitrogen fertilizer while also factoring production challenges like planting delays and unseasonal weather,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, regional director – U.S. & Canada.

Company officials add that Encirca℠ Yield Stand works to help growers differentially manage acres at a sub-field level or decision zone to improve productivity and control costs, using the Nitrogen Management Service to help growers apply varied rates of nitrogen fertilizer (N) to improve yields in parts of the field that can benefit from higher N levels.

Agribusiness, Corn, Dupont Pioneer, Soybeans