- New Ag International will take two conferences to Brazil in August 2019. InfoAg International Conference & Exhibition, a three-day event jointly organized with the International Plant Nutrition Institute, will run in Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil from 26-28 August 2019.
- Kynetec, the global leader in agricultural and animal health market research, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Neil Clark & Associates, one of Australia’s most established providers of agribusiness data and business intelligence.
- The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator hosted its second annual AgTech Day on Tuesday, March 26. Nine early-stage AgTech startups from across the country gathered in West Des Moines, Iowa, where they showcased their innovations to The Accelerator’s community of mentors and supporters.
- Solinftec, a leading international digital ag company, was presented with a 2019 AgFunder Innovation Award in the category of Most Innovative International Startup Series A and Beyond.
- Nominations for the 2019 Borlaug Field Award are open. This award honors a young scientist or extension worker who has shown Borlaug-like determination, dedication and intellectual innovation in the fight to eliminate global hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This prestigious award offers a USD $10,000 prize endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. To learn more about awardee qualifications, visit www.worldfoodprize.org/nominate.
- TerrAvion announces the promotion of Lee Smith to Chief Commercial Officer. In this role, Lee will be responsible for all commercial activities at TerrAvion, the world’s largest volume agricultural aerial imagery provider.
- Having succeeded in protecting funding for the Conservation Title in the 2018 Farm Bill, more than 140 leading farm, conservation, and wildlife groups are once again joining together to protect those hard-fought conservation funds and programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations process. The groups called upon appropriators to respect the funding decisions made in the 2018 Farm Bill and reject any cuts to farm bill conservation funding through the appropriations process.
Bayer national pollinator forage initiative, Feed a Bee, has announced it has reached its goal of awarding grants supporting diverse forage for honey bees and other pollinators in all 50 states. The 50th recipient awarded recently was Gateway to the Arctic Camp in Talkeetna, Alaska. I talked with Dr. Becky Langer, Bayer, about the milestone and success of this program.
Dedicated to service and agriculture, the nonprofit camp teaches the significance of serving those in need and the value of hard work through fun activities involving sustainability, farming and environmental stewardship. This summer it will dedicate an entire field as forage for bees and other pollinators where campers of all abilities, including those with special needs, will discover the connection between honey bees and the crops they pollinate.
“We’re proud to have awarded more than $650,000 for pollinator-focused planting projects over the last three years,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We’re now connected to nearly 170 organizations all over the country who are thinking critically about how to diversify forage for pollinators, have put that plan to action and, equally important, have integrated educational components encouraging their local community to get involved.”
Listen to my interview with Becky here: Interview with Dr. Becky Langer, Bayer
InfoAg International Conference & Exhibition, a three-day event jointly organized with the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), will run in Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil August 26-28.
This is the ideal event to learn how digital revolution is changing agriculture in South America. After years of success in the USA, the organizer of InfoAG is partnering with New Ag International and coming to South America to create the premier event for discussion and advancement for precision agriculture looking at field centric monitoring with imagery and sensors, seamless connectivity with IoT, data analytics and prediction modelling, variable rate technology, precision plant nutrition and irrigation management, prescription platforms and digitalization.
This event will be followed by the largest biocontrol event in Latin America – the Biocontrol LATAM Conference and Exhibition, scheduled for Campinas August 28-30.
The event is co-organized by 2B Monthly, in conjunction with IBMA and with support from the host association ABCBio. Topics to be covered include regulation in Latin American countries; new and emerging technologies in microbials, natural extracts and semiochemicals; the current status of the biocontrol market; the integration of biocontrol solutions in IPM programmes; case studies of adoption by growers; and novel approaches to formulation and production.
For more information about the events, contact marketing manager Carmen Hernandez.
Research conducted at Texas A&M University has shown wide-spread bollworm/earworm resistance to the majority cotton and corn Bt technologies and that cotton bollworms have developed resistance to pyrethroids to some degree in most of Texas. One of the insecticides recommended for growers to manage cotton bollworm populations is FMC Prevathon.
At the recent Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, we talked with FMC senior technical service manager Don Johnson about Prevethon and how it fits in with what has changed recently in bollworm control and the new guidelines for treatment with a foliar insecticide. Listen here: Interview with Don Johnson, FMC Prevethon
- The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are currently collecting comments on their proposed rule of the term “Waters of the United States.” Agricultural Retailers Association has prepared draft comments that are supportive of the proposed rule. The draft comments are intended for you to easily submit to the agencies before the deadline of April 15th. Submit comments now on the Clean Water Rule.
- Feed a Bee, the national pollinator forage initiative by Bayer, announced it has reached its goal of awarding grants supporting diverse forage for honey bees and other pollinators in all 50 states. The 50th recipient awarded recently was Gateway to the Arctic Camp in Talkeetna, Alaska.
- As the Soil Health Partnership heads into its fifth year of long term data collection on working farms, the organization is hiring for several roles to support its expanding footprint. Open roles include Development Director, a Michigan Research Manager, Soil Health Kansas-Nebraska Field Manager, and Soil Health Minnesota Field Manager.
- EnviroMonitor is an award-winning sensor platform that helps farmers measure, monitor, and manage crops at every stage of the growth cycle. With the Davis Mobilize app, farmers can monitor soil moisture and soil temperature to plant with confidence, track growing degree days for each field by crop and plant date, and improve daily decisions with real-time field conditions.
- NewLeaf Symbiotics announces the hiring of three experienced agriculture leaders to its business development team. Dave Coorts has been named Director of Field Biology; Brad Walkup joins as Technical Sales Lead for the Western Region; and Caroline Currie will serve as Technical Sales Lead for the Eastern Region.
ZimmComm congratulates Dr. Adrian Percy for his new role as Chief Technology Officer for Finistere Ventures. Adrian will provide strategic, technical and regulatory guidance for current portfolio companies. He will also support Finistere’s continued investment efforts, working with the team to identify and evaluate potential opportunities. Adrian is pictured with Arama Kukutai, a co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures.
As part of the appointment, he will be joining the Boards of two Finistere-backed companies, BioLumic and Hi Fidelity Genetics (also based in Research Triangle), and will play a pivotal role in helping shape their ongoing research and development strategies, as well as supporting their partnership and commercialization efforts.
Adrian Percy noted: “We need to completely transform our agricultural and food production systems so we can ensure food security for all, meet evolving consumer demands and conserve our planet’s precious resources for many generations to come. I am excited to continue to contribute to this ecosystem by helping talented and passionate entrepreneurs drive meaningful change in the food and agriculture space through technology innovations.”
I spoke with Adrian just now as he is on his way to the first of what sounds like many flights around the world in his new job with Finistere Ventures. Interview with Dr. Adrian Percy
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CropLife America president and CEO Chris Novak is hopeful that science will prevail in the end when it comes to legal and regulatory challenges to products such as glyphosate.
“The thing that we can rely upon is the science conducted by, not just the U.S. regulatory agencies, …but most all of our chemistries are approved and in use in countries around the world,” said Novak in an interview at the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit this week in Washington DC. “When you start to take a look at the safety profile of glyphosate, there’s a strong story to be told.”
CropLife America was a major sponsor of the Agri-Pulse summit. Listen to my interview with Chris here: Agri-Pulse 2019 Summit Interview with Chris Novak, CropLife America
A jury in California reached a unanimous verdict Tuesday that the herbicide Roundup was a significant factor in causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to develop in a second person. Another jury reached that conclusion last year and awarded the plaintiff $289 million.
The verdict is the first phase of the trial in the case of 70-year Edwin Hardeman. The trial will now proceed to the damages phase.
Bayer, which acquired Roundup when it bought Monsanto last year, stands by the safety of the glyphosate-based herbicide.
A statement from the company says, “We are disappointed with the jury’s initial decision, but we continue to believe firmly that the science confirms that glyphosate-based herbicides do not cause cancer. We are confident the evidence in phase two will show that Monsanto’s conduct has been appropriate and that the company should not be liable for Mr. Hardeman’s cancer. Regardless of the outcome, however, the decision in phase one of this trial has no impact on future cases and trials because each one has its own factual and legal circumstances. We have great sympathy for Mr. Hardeman and his family, but an extensive body of science supports the conclusion that Roundup was not the cause of his cancer. Bayer stands behind these products and will vigorously defend them.”
- Kubota Corporation announced its decision to utilize the development and production capabilities of Buhler Industries Inc. for a new series of tractors. Buhler has a proven track record for designing, manufacturing, and distributing large tractors in North America.
- The Yield Lab Institute has released a new report on agtech ecosystems titled “Foundations for Agricultural Ecosystems.” The Yield Lab Institute and Universidad Austral commissioned this whitepaper in an effort to begin to define the “Rules of Engagement” for agriculture technology stakeholders.
- Weather conditions halted nitrogen applications last fall, and with a wet start to spring, it’s likely farmers’ fertilizer plans will remain behind schedule. With March in full swing, farmers may soon need to weigh their options on how and when to apply nitrogen and still hit optimum planting dates. Jason Welker, Mycogen Seeds commercial agronomist for western Nebraska, says there are still several valid options for farmers to apply the required nitrogen.
- Belchim Crop Protection USA announces that Beloukha®, a new biodegradable herbicide, has received approval for EPA registration, and has been submitted to all states for registration across the United States.
- Aromyx, Inc., a CA-based, big data start-up set to revolutionize agtech, has been announced as the winner of the Radicle Challenge at the World Agri-Tech 2019 Pitch Day in San Francisco. Selected from a pool of eight finalists, Aromyx, Inc. has unlocked a $250k investment and mentoring from Radicle Growth.
- Concentric Ag Corporation, a developer of biological and plant nutrient inputs, has formed an alliance with AgroCares that will add real-time soil nutrient diagnostics to the services it currently provides to broadacre and specialty crop growers.
- Corn researchers from around the world gathered in St. Louis last week for the annual Maize Genetics Conference. This year, many presentations and posters highlighted the importance of the Genomes to Fields research initiative, which has been financially supported through state and national corn grower organizations.
- Scientists at NRGene have unveiled the most complete genome assemblies ever achieved for the top two leading cultivated cotton species. The study sheds light on the mysterious origins and domestication of modern cotton—and helps explain how differences in the genes between cotton species has led to striking changes in fiber quality, growth habits, and yields. The research was published in Nature Genetics.