GROWMARK Encourages Sustainability with N-WATCH

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

nafb-16-growmark-lance Farmers know that every year is different, so GROWMARK is helping producers make the best choices for their fields both environmentally and economically through the N-WATCH program.

“It’s a tool that allows us to better manage nitrogen, so we’re doing what’s best for the crop from an economic standpoint, but also from an environmental standpoint, so we’re not over applying,” says Lance Ruppert, Director of Strategic Agronomy Marketing for GROWMARK.

Soil samples from a 3 inch grade around the cutter bar’s 30 inch application are analyzed to understand where nitrogen is across the field, what form it is in, and how deep it has traveled– information that is always important, but especially when conditions vary from average, Ruppert explains. For example, soil sampling provides information about the necessity of additional applications after a warm winter with big rains . In a drought year sampling can help determine if leftover nitrogen can best be utilized by planting a cover crop.

Understanding the movement and placement of nitrogen is critical for good management and to make the most of the investment, Ruppert emphasizes. It’s how you build better soil, a better business, and a better environment.

Learn more about how N-WATCH fits with GROWMARK’s overall sustainability initiatives in this interview: Interview with Lance Ruppert, GROWMARK

Audio, Growmark, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management

Growers Urged to Comment on Pyrethroids

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Farmers at the National Farm Machinery Show are being encouraged to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency to protect widely used class of insecticide being targeted under a routine regulatory review.

Pyrethroids are used to control insects in 120 different crops, as well as turf, lawns and gardens. But an EPA assessment released at the end of last year found that use of the chemical was a risk for aquatic insects, a claim the industry says is based on models instead of actual use data.

“FMC is a member of the Pyrethroid Working Group industry consortium which has developed a lot of additional data that we consider more real world…and EPA has chosen not to use that at this stage in the risk assessment process,” says FMC Registration and Regulatory Affairs Manager John Cummings. FMC’s Capture LFR and Brigade are two products that would be impacted under the review.

The comment period on the review opened at the end of November and originally closed at the end of January but has been extended now until the end of March. “Obviously the industry will be submitting very technical comments,” said Cummings. “But it’s important that EPA hears from the growers how these products are actually used…EPA is required to consider not only the risks but also the benefits to society.”

FMC has an easy way for growers to comment without having to navigate the government websites – just click here.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with John Cummings, FMC

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
Audio, EPA, FMC, Insecticide, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS

Camso Brings CTS Up to Speed at #NFMS17

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Quebec-based Camso is back at the National Farm Machinery Show this year with some new track products for the North American agriculture equipment market.

One of those products is a Conversion Track System (CTS) with suspended frame and integrated final drive system for combines. Track Systems Business Line Executive Director Martin Lunkenbein says Camso’s new CTS High Speed allows tracked harvesting machines to reach road speeds similar to wheeled combines with its integrated final drive system. “Less ground compaction, more flotation, and full speed – so when you’re going from field to field you’re getting there when you want to,” he says.

The new CTS features a frame suspension system and double oscillating wheels that improve ground contact on uneven surfaces, improve machine stability and header placement for more efficient harvesting and provide better overall operator comfort – all with a 12 percent larger footprint to further reduce ground compaction and field damage.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Martin Lunkenbein, Camso

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
Audio, Equipment, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS

Texas A&M Study Investigates Strip Tillage

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Drs. Daniel Leskovar, Yahia Othman and Xuejun Dong at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center have been researching conservation tillage methods that may offer benefits to high-value crops and the effect of strip tillage on soil biological activity.

The study, titled “Strip tillage improves soil biological activity, fruit yields and sugar content of triploid watermelon,” investigated the influence of strip and conventional tillage practices at different water levels on the morphology, physiology, yield and quality of the seedless Majestic watermelon variety. The results showed strip tillage not only had a positive effect on watermelon quality and yield, it also had a positive effect on the soil’s biological activity.

“Research has been done on the use of conservation tillage for traditional crops, but there’s not much out there on using conservation tillage to produce high-value crops,” said Dr. Leskovar. “Despite the economic importance of watermelon in the U.S., which the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates $483 million annually, no study we know of has assessed the influence of strip tillage on this crop.”

Fruit, Research, Tillage

4-H Clubs Eligible for Pollinator Gardens from GROWMARK

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

GROWMARK is providing an opportunity for 4-H clubs to be a part of sustaining and increasing the honey bee population. 4-H clubs in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin with a public space and secure permission are eligible for enough seeds to plant a 700 square foot pollinator garden and educational signage.

“Last year, we had nearly 40 clubs participating in the program,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Cooperative Education Specialist. “Growing the number of pollinator gardens this year will help provide even more habitat for bees and other beneficial pollinator species.”

Applications are due online by March 31, 2017.


Water for Food Conference Registration Open

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Registration is now open for the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference April 10-12 at Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The conference, organized by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, will examine the work being done to ensure water for food security from local to global scales. The three-day event will bring together experts from around the world to explore “Water for Food Security: From Local Lessons to Global Impacts,” a theme inspired by the notion that global breakthroughs come from local action.

Among this year’s speakers are A.G. Kawamura, former California Secretary of Agriculture and third generation fruit and vegetable grower; and Marlos De Souza, Secretary, Water Platform Land & Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

A discount of $100 is available to those who register on or before March 10. Conference details, including how to register, are available at

Events, water

AEM to Help Manage NFMS

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Kentucky State Fair Board CEO Jason Rittenberry and AEM President Dennis Slater sign agreement

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers joined with the Kentucky State Fair Board on the first day of the National Farm Machinery Show for a big announcement.

Kentucky State Fair Board CEO Jason Rittenberry and AEM President Dennis Slater signed an agreement during the opening of the 52nd annual show in Louisville that AEM will assist with management and co-production of the show beginning in 2018, and will have an equity position in the future growth of the show.

“Every year, hundreds of exhibitors are wait-listed for America’s largest indoor farm show,” said Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Jason Rittenberry. “This partnership will bring new opportunities for current and future exhibitors, and expand the experience for our attendees.”

“This is a first step in a partnership that will benefit all the stakeholders in the National Farm Machinery Show and the Ag industry,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “AEM’s commitment to its core services like public policy and our success in leading tradeshows, naturally lends itself to our new partnership with the Kentucky Fair Board and the National Farm Machinery Show.”

Hear more from Kentucky State Fair Board CEO Jason Rittenberry and AEM President Dennis Slater:
AEM/NFMS press announcement Additional comments from Rittenberry and Slater

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
AEM, Audio, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS

MZB Brings Precision Tech to Three Kansas Co-Ops

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Last year Garden City Co-op (GCC) began using MZB Technologies on their precision ag platform. The program has been so successful GCC has been added as a mapping center and two more Kansas cooperatives have also selected to use the MZB software package.

The new agreements with Great Bend Co-Op and Frontier Ag will allow MZB to work closely with advisors to offer customers efficient field data, variable rate fertility prescriptions and multi-hybrid prescriptions.

“Great Bend can now offer MZB to our customers as a perfect fit with our precision ag program,” Mark Bauer, Precision Manager, Great Bend Co-op, says. “Our customers are our most important asset, and we are always working to make sure we have the tools to help them be the most efficient with their inputs.”

“MZB will take Frontier Ag’s precision ag program to the next level,” Katie Harness, Frontier Ag Precision Specialist, says. “With MZB’s zone-based management, we can assist our growers to maximize crop production in the most economical and precise way possible.”

Agribusiness, Data, Variable rate

ASTA Announces Educational Website

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has announced a new, educational website, The organization hopes to provide answers to consumer questions like: What is plant breeding innovation? What do plant breeders do? And what could the latest breeding techniques like gene editing mean for the future of agriculture and our society?

The new site offers informational videos, blog posts, plant breeder profiles, FAQs and other resources about the ever-changing field of plant breeding. You can also follow ASTA @Better_Seed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ag Group, ASTA, Website

#NFMS17 Kicks off Today

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Greetings from Louisville and the 2017 National Farm Machinery Show!

Steve Kelly with the Kentucky Exposition Center says they have filled 1.2 million square feet of space under roof and there’s enough demand to sell almost that much more for this largest indoor farm show in America. They have made a few significant changes in the show which allows for more first level room for farm equipment so there is now a Gift & Craft Market on the Mezzanine Level with more than 70 booths for shopping.

This is the 52nd NFMS and also the 49th annual Championship Tractor Pull. Steve says there have been some additions to the tractor pull which include pay per view live streaming from the show this year. Steve says that there will be some big equipment announcements as usual and that this year the show even has “drones.” Keep up with me as I will be your eyes and ears at the show thanks to our sponsor FMC.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Steve Kelly, Kentucky State Fair Board

2017 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC
Audio, Equipment, FMC, National Farm Machinery Show, NFMS