PERC Unveils Propane Safety on the Farm Website

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

PERCouramazingfarmA new website is giving kids more information about how to be safe around propane on the farm. The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) unveiled the interactive site – – that includes fun and educational videos, science experiments, and activities aimed at children ages 12 and under.

Our Amazing Farm,” the latest addition to the site, features a series of entertaining 5-minute science experiment videos to support PERC’s national agricultural safety initiative. The video series, titled “Science Rocks,” is designed to engage young minds while providing a resource grounded in science to be used by both parents and educators.

The videos explain fundamental principles relating to propane, a ubiquitous energy source in rural America. Other features of “Our Amazing Farm” include hands-on, age-appropriate, interactive activities that teach kids about grain bin safety, fire extinguishers, static electricity management, and other important topics. The videos use common household items – and the site offers printable instructions – to enable teachers and parents to share the lessons at school or home.

Developed by PERC with funding from CHS Inc., the national agricultural safety program promotes the videos and e-learning elements with the aim to improve safety on America’s farms. All components are available free of charge and are directly accessible by educators, the public, and any organization wishing to offer the tools through their own websites.

“We expect these videos to become valuable tools for kids, families, businesses, and schools to help prevent accidents and improve safety around the farm,” said Stuart Flatow, PERC’s vice president of safety and training.

Farm Safety, propane

AL Extension Hosts Precision Ag Workshop

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Alabama ExtensionJanuary 28, 2016 is the date scheduled for the Precision Agriculture Workshop in Auburn, Alabama.  Hosted by the Auburn University and Alabama Extension professionals, the event will cover cutting edge precision with demonstrations by Extension professionals and private companies.  The workshop will take place at the Auburn University Dixon Hotel and Conference Center.

“There are still lots of farmers in the Southeast who have not adopted precision ag practices,” says Brenda Oritz, Extension Precision Ag and Grain Crops Specialist. “We want to provide current information, access to current technology and connect farmers with private companies and consultants who can assist producers with this move.”

Topics covered by presenters will include precision planting, precision spraying, variable rate nitrogen, variable rate irrigation and data management.

Ortiz said the workshop will combine speaking and demonstrations to give attendees a thorough overview of site specific management practices.  Speakers include Dr. Ajay Sharda from Kansas State University, Dr. Brian Arnal from Oklahoma State University, Dr. Timothy Stombaugh from the University of Kentucky and Dr. Kenneth Stone from USDA/ARS. Company presenters include Trimble, SunSouth John Deere Dealer, TriGreen John Deere Dealer, MapShots and Raven.

“Site specific management can help farmers increase yield and profitability, increase efficiency and be better stewards of the environment,” she said. “We want to help farmers understand how to better use our natural resources, and how to analyze data collected in their fields and use it effectively.”

The conference has been designed to bring something for producers who are new to precision agriculture and farmers who are already using the technology on their farms.   Registration is free, but you must sign up to attend the event.

Data, Education, Events, Irrigation, Planting, Spraying, Variable rate

AgDNA Offers Data Solutions to Deere Owners

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

AgDNAPaul Turner of AgDNA took some time to talk with us at the recent Develop with Deere conference.  AgDNA offers an app and farm management system that takes the data right off of the machine in the field from the cloud and turns that data into information.  They’ve been working with John Deere and since 2013 and they offer their app directly to the John Deere dealers themselves.

Turner has a fifteen year history with precision agriculture and has watched as Deere began with an in-house policy about data to a time when they welcome third parties in order to meet the many needs of the marketplace.

“I guess its five or six years ago now that they started opening up APIs and allowing third parties such as AgDNA to have access, and as I’ve said it’s been quite revolutionary. I think not only for companies such as AgDNA, but for growers to be able to choose the solution of their preference that best suites their farm and also for the industry. We now see all the major manufacturers, not only in machinery but irrigation and elsewhere opening up third-party APIs, which makes it a far better marketplace for growers to have choices.

Turner feels the process is quite refreshing and looks forward to his continued partnership with Deere. To hear more about AgDNA listen to his interview with Chuck. Paul Turner, AgDNA at Develop with Deere

Agribusiness, Apps, Audio, Data, John Deere

USDA Announces $350 Million to Protect and Restore

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

acepAgricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that  $350 million has been designated to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands.  The funding comes from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which was designed in the 2014 Farm Bill to protect water resources and wildlife habitat, as well as to encourage owners to maintain land for farming and ranching.

“The benefits of restoring, enhancing and protecting these working agricultural lands and critical wetlands cannot be overstated,” Vilsack said. “USDA is committed to preserving working agricultural lands to help protect the long-term viability of farming across the country as well as to restoring and protecting vital sensitive wetlands that provide important wildlife habitat and improve water quality.”

ACEP’s agricultural land easements not only protect the long-term viability of the nation’s food supply by preventing conversion of productive working lands to non-agricultural uses, they also support environmental quality, wildlife habitat, historic preservation and protection of open spaces. Native American Tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs are eligible to partner with NRCS to purchase conservation easements.

Wetland reserve easements allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts.

NRCS invested more than $600 million in ACEP funding in the past two fiscal years to help landowners with voluntary conservation.  They estimate 250,000 acres of farmland, grassland and wetlands have gained long-term protection with this program.

farm land, USDA, Water Management, Wildlife

Green Fever Sales Program Offers Year-End Discounts

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Green Fever LogoNow through February 1, 2016 John Deere customers can take advantage of prices with the annual Green Fever sales program.  Discounts and hard to beat financing terms are available on a variety of compact utility and utility tractors, hay tools and other equipment.

“The Green Fever sales program gives farmers and ranchers a great opportunity to upgrade their chore tractors and hay tools while cashing in on year-end savings,” says Steve Geick, tactical marketing manager at John Deere. “Equipment featured in the Green Fever program can be used on a wide variety of farms, such as beef cattle farms and dairy farms, making reliable, service-backed John Deere equipment more affordable than any other time of the year.”

Green FeverThe sales program provides customers with retail bonuses and financing offers on select tractor models, including 5E, 5M, 6D, 6E, 6M and 6R Series Tractors, with savings up to $6,000 off and 0% financing. The customers can also get cash discounts and attractive cash-off bonuses on equipment like select hay tool models and 1-4 Series Tractors with the purchase of additional John Deere or Frontier implements.

“Each piece of John Deere equipment in the Green Fever program offers tremendous performance and value to producers looking to add to their fleet,” adds Geick. “Plus, with the additional discounts and financing offers, the next three months are the best time of the year to save on new John Deere equipment they need.”

Three coupons are also available for those customers that enter their name, address and email on the John Deere website.  Customers have a choice of: an additional $1,000 off 6 series tractors, an additional $500 off 5 series tractors or $250 off a 5-year PowerGard™ Protection Plan with the purchase of a 1-4 series tractor.

Agribusiness, Hay, John Deere, Tractor

Raven Industries Expands Agreement With CNH Industrial

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

ravenThe use of Raven products and technologies has been expanded further through the CNH Industries dealer network with a new, strengthened agreement between the two companies. CNH Industries is the parent company of two well-known agriculture equipment companies, New Holland and Case IH. Paul Welbig, Raven Industries, spoke with Chuck Zimmerman to share more about the new agreement. Raven has provided a lot of technology for both ag equipment brands, especially in application equipment like sprayers and air spreaders, for a number of years. With newer technology available from Raven, this new agreement will expand capabilities for customers for years to come.

“Something we both wanted to accommodate were expanded opportunities between us. Today [CNH] equipment sprayers come with factory fit options like Viper 4, AutoBoom, and AccuBoom. Presumably we can add some of the functionality into other lines as we see fit.,” Paul Welbig, Raven Industries. “This partnership also offers the opportunity to get Raven products through the global CNH dealerships. A grower can walk into their local dealership, whether it be Case IH or New Holland, which allows growers greater access.”

CNH-logo“We are committed to developing ground-breaking products and high quality service that has a positive impact on our customer’s efficiency and profitability in their operations,” says Brian Meyer, Vice President and General Manager of Raven’s Applied Technology Division. “One of the ways we achieve this is by working with partners such as CNH Industrial to develop solutions to the challenges our mutual customers face every day in the field. This agreement also positions Raven well for growth in key markets moving forward.”

The partnership is a reflection on Raven’s ability to deliver high quality, innovative products that drive results for growers and custom applicators around the world. It enables Raven and CNH Industrial to help customers increase efficiency, decrease input costs, and deliver higher yields in order to feed a growing population both today and in the future.

For more information on the partnership: Interview with Paul Welbig, Raven Industries

Case IH, New Holland, Raven, technology

FDA Denies GMO Food Labeling Requirement

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

In a victory for food producers, the Food and Drug Administration Thursday denied petitions from anti-GMO activist organizations requiring the labeling of biotech foods. The FDA maintains that there is no need for additional labeling of foods derived from GE (genetically engineered) sources unless there is “a material difference – such as a different nutritional profile – between the GE product and its non-GE counterpart.”

As part of the ruling, the agency issued a final guidance document that explains how food companies can voluntarily label their products.

CFSAF-logo“The FDA announcement shows that there is a clear path forward for bipartisan compromise in support of consistent, science-based, factual food labeling and ends any chance of a federal mandatory on-package labeling requirement,” said Claire Parker, spokesperson for the Coaliton for Safe Affordable Food. “We applaud FDA for standing up for sound science by opposing mandatory GMO labeling that would mislead consumers and drive up food costs.”

“The FDA’s approach to voluntary labeling of food products would provide American consumers with truthful information in a clear manner that respects regulatory processes already in place,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “A voluntary labeling system, like the one outlined, provides information that would allow consumers to make choices based in facts and not in fear.”

The FDA action provides additional credibility to the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 which has already passed the U.S. House, with similar legislation being crafted in the Senate.

Corn, Food, GMO, Government, NCGA

AgGateway Launches Specialty Chemical Council

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

aggatewayAgGateway‘s recent annual conference focused on eAgriculture and they’re putting that into action with a new council created to address electronic connectivity issues related to the specialty chemical business.  The council will cover areas of professional vegetation management, pest control services, and turf and ornamental, in addition to subset areas like aquatics and forestry.  The council hopes to improve specific problems between the exchange of business data between these areas and aims to work within the industry to create standards and guidelines for that data.

“As with crop protection, we want to use best practices and set standards for efficient data exchange, in a way that meets the unique characteristics of the specialty chemical business,” said the council’s new chair, Sarah Moster, Manager of Business Analysis and CRM for BASF. “Electronic standardization and coding on products will enhance the accuracy and timing of billing and payments to distributors while also reducing complexity within the industry. Reducing complexity will solve pain points for everyone, improve efficiency and save money.”

The council will begin work to determine 2016 priorities with a conference call on December 17, including incorporating product codes into the Ag Industry Identification System (AGIIS), starting the process of using standard product identifiers, and creating consistent industry guidelines for contract-to-invoice and sales reporting. Companies interested in joining the council and participating in the December 17 meeting can contact AgGateway’s member services at

This most recent council makes eight total AgGateway is using to address eAgriculture.  Other councils include: Ag Retailers, Allied Providers, Crop Nutrition, Crop Protection, Grain & Feed, Precision Ag, and Seed.

AgGateway, Agribusiness

Cover Crops in Focus at ASTA CSS & Seed Expo

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

nafb15-asta-risaCover crops have been around for a long time in agriculture but are now gaining new attention in the conservation arena and the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is reflecting that at the CSS 2015 and Seed Expo next month in Chicago with a big new session on Taking Cover Crops Mainstream.

“We’re continuing to connect the dots so that everybody is on the same page and working together to accomplish sustainability,” said ASTA president Risa DeMasi during an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk last week.

Few people are more passionate about cover crops than Risa, who is co-founder of Grassland Oregon, a leader in the development of new cover crops. “We’re commercializing some products that are coming on the market that really provide some solutions for challenges growers are facing,” she said. Grassland Oregon was a new participant in NAFB Trade Talk this year, as well as a sponsor of the NAFB convention. “Because we think we have a really great story to tell,” DeMasi added.

In this interview, Risa talks about some of the important issues that the seed trade industry is addressing when it comes to technology, trade, and feeding a growing population. Interview with ASTA president Risa DeMasi

NAFB Convention Photo Album

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ASTA, Audio, NAFB, seed

Kinze Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation And Looks Forward

Taylor Truckey Leave a Comment

mike grypKinze is celebrating a long history of innovative projects over the last 50 years, and is keeping an innovative agenda for future products. Mike Gryp, District Manager for Kinze Manufacturing, spoke with us while at Trade Talk about what sets Kinze apart, and the exciting projects they’re working on to offer growers currently.

Jon Kinzenbaw, President and CEO of Kinze, was recently inducted into the AEM Hall of Fame; the industry is recognizing the offerings and impact that Kinze has made through their equipment. From the two-wheel grain cart and the rearfold planter, to the interplant planter, and everything going forward,

“At the company we have a very strong leader and founder in Jon. He wants to help, and is committed to building solutions to farmer problems. Now the rest of the industry is acknowledging the great things that he has done.” Mike Gryp, Kinze.

The innovation doesn’t stop for Kinze. Available now is a multi-hybrid planter that will allow farmers to change hybrids on-the-fly which will help produce good results for farmers and has shown a 7.9 bu/ac increase in a 3 year corn trial with Beck’s. Working with Pioneer, Kinze has seen an average soybean trial with 3 bu/ac increase.

Perhaps most exciting is Kinze’s new Blue-Verified Planter Program. In 2000, Kinze came out with their 3000 model series planters; they are nearing 15 years old. Now, to help dealers that have inventory concerns with used equipment and to help farmers have ease-of-mind when purchasing used equipment, Kinze is offering a one-year warranty on their Blue-Verified Planters.

To hear more of my interview with Mike Gryp: Interview with Mike Gryp, Kinze

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Audio, Equipment, Kinze, NAFB