Nebraska Water for Food at 8th World Water Forum in Brazil

cindy zimmerman

The 8th World Water Forum, held in Brazil last month, drew more than 20,000 participants from 170 countries to focus on the challenges and solutions to ensuring water security around the world. The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI) coordinated the Water for Food track of sessions with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The institute organized a High Level Panel on Water for Food, moderated by DWFI executive director Peter G. McCornick, featuring international leaders who shared their views and experiences on ways organizations and nations can work together to improve food security and successful farming production, conserve natural resources and mitigate the effects of climate variability.

“We are building awareness of the urgent importance of looking at water issues differently, especially when it comes to agriculture,” said McCornick. “If we’re not including agriculture in the water security challenge, we’re ignoring 70 percent of the equation, and missing the opportunity to increase resilience in our food systems. Nebraska has a lot of expertise to share, as well as a lot to gain through our involvement with the many partners participating in the World Water Forum – developing potential projects that will further our goal of ensuring water and food security.”

DWFI also held a side event to discuss ways in which organizations can support farmer-led agricultural production, including access to irrigation for small-scale farms.

Listen to my interview with McCornick here: Interview with Peter McCornick, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute

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Precision Ag Bytes 4/4

carrie muehling

  • Dr. Henry Nguyen, a Curators’ distinguished professor of plant sciences in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, has employed NRGene‘s DeNovoMAGICTM to assemble two genomes of soybean: “Lee,” a Glycine max variety, and a Glycine soja accession PI 483463. In addition to the United Soybean Board, funding for the sequencing project was provided by three private companies: Bayer CropScience, DOW AgroSciences and Monsanto.
  • Semtech Corporation, a supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, announced that Teralytic, a manufacturer of wireless soil sensors, implemented LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) in its wireless sensor to detect nitrogen, phosphate and potassium (NPK) levels in soil to help farmers reduce waste and to improve crop yields. Teralytic launched its LoRa-enabled NPK soil sensor at the recent World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco on March 20, 2018.
  • The National Corn Growers Association partnered with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council to conduct a study on the benefits of poultry exports to corn. The study, conducted by World Perspectives, Inc., entitled “Corn and Poultry: A Great Partnership,” outlined the benefits realized by America’s corn farmers from exports of poultry and eggs.
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U.S. Farmers Advocate for Trade in SE Asia

jamie johansen

Ag Supply Chain Asia 2018 took place in Surabaya, Indonesia March 20-22. The event, organized by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and U.S. Grains Council (USGC), took international attendees ‘Beyond the Horizon of Food and Agriculture.’ Relationships sit center-stage even in the international marketplace and putting a face to the U.S. farmer is pivotal for buyers of U.S. agricultural products.

This event brought buyers and U.S. farmers together to share stories, ask questions and even discuss challenges each face. I was able to sit down with a few of the farmers to learn why they are involved in such trade missions, how trade impacts their bottom line and why free trade is so important.

Meet the U.S. Farmers:
Interview with Jamie Beyer, Minnesota Farmer

Interview with Bill Bayliss, Ohio Farmer

Interview with David Droste, Illinois Farmer

Interview with Sharon Covert, Illinois Farmer

Interview with Jeff Frank, Iowa Farmer

Interview with John Longley, Illinois Farmer

Interview with Josh Miller, Indiana Farmer

Interview with Alan Moore, Michigan Farmer

Interview with Ryan Wagner, South Dakota Farmer

View and download images from the event here: USSEC SE Asia Buyers Conference Photo Album

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EOS Offers Remote Sensing Data for Agriculture

cindy zimmerman

Earth Observing System (EOS), a Menlo Park based startup, has released a unique cloud-based platform called EOS Crop Monitoring, which provides solutions for farmers and all sectors of the agriculture supply-chain.

EOS Crop Monitoring allows its partners to extract valuable insights from remote sensing data, including crop types classification maps, crop yield forecasts, field boundaries, vegetation indices, crop conditions, soil moisture and weather data on a field, regional or country scale. It includes both historical and current observations allowing for quick identification of a field’s performance throughout the growing season as well as high-risk areas affected by weather conditions.

EOS Crop Monitoring features include reliable algorithms for more accurate agriculture statistics estimation, crop yield prediction, a seasonal overview of current and historic crop conditions to manage risks and evaluate crop performance. With an extensive global satellite imagery database, EOS’ data analytics provides its partners with new, expanded capabilities, such as the ability to monitor crop production rates in any crop zone at any given time in both numerical and imagery formats.

EOS’ solutions are available in North America, Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and are currently being developed in Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and South America by applying its own cutting-edge methods and algorithms.

Learn more from EOS.

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Deere Introduces 60 Foot No-Till Drill and ProSeries™ Openers

cindy zimmerman

Small-grain and oilseed producers can now plant more acres faster and more accurately with the introduction of the 60 foot 1895 No-Till Air Seeder from John Deere, which is 40 percent wider and incorporates many new technologies designed to improve seed and fertilizer placement, while decreasing soil disturbance and maintenance demands.

Highlighted features of the 60-ft. (18.29m) 1895 Seeder include the new ProSeries™ Openers, RelativeFlow™ blockage warning system, TruSet™ in-cab downforce pressure control, and larger, high-floatation tires for less soil compaction when operating in the field. When combined with an air cart and NH₃ wagons, the 1895 provides the ultimate single-pass seeding system for producers of small grains and oilseeds.

The new ProSeries Openers, which replace the 90 Series Openers, will be available for the first time on the wider 1985 and expanded to other models in the future. These performance-driven openers feature a serrated closing wheel option for better seed and fertilizer sealing, narrow and flexible press wheels along with a narrow seed boot for reduced soil disturbance while ensuring more precise seed placement.

Learn more from John Deere.

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Insect Control in Cotton with Prevathon

jamie johansen

One of the new products creating buzz from FMC Corporation is Prevathon, which offers insect control in BT cotton. We were able to stop by the FMC booth at the 2018 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show to learn why cotton growers will want to take advantage of Prevathon this growing season.

“Reseach has shown that at least one application of Prevathon as an overspray reduces the amount of damage from those pests and also increases the yield for cotton growers,” said Don Johnson, FMC. “Prevathon gives you up to 21 days of residual control on that cotton plant. With it, you are also getting straight Rynaxypyr. You don’t have a pyrethroid in that combination that will flare mites and aphids in the cotton. And it’s easy on the beneficial insects out there.”

Prevathon insect control delivers crop protection to pests that have developed resistance to products with other modes of action. Listen to my complete interview with Don to learn more: Interview with Don Johnson, FMC Corporation

View and download photos from the event here: 2018 Farm & Gin Show Photo Album

Coverage of the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show is sponsored by FMC
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John Deere Connected Support Helps Dealers Help Growers

cindy zimmerman

John Deere Connected Support™ Expert Alerts was honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the AE50 Award for 2018 as one of the most innovative designs in product engineering in the food and agriculture industry. But for John Deere dealers, what it means is helping their customers reduce downtime and save money, and that gives farmers who buy John Deere equipment piece of mind.

“What’s really cool is that we have embedded technology on our machines,” said Deere Product Marketing Manager Scott Brotherton during an interview at Commodity Classic. “In the event that something should happen in the field, this technology will alert the dealership and make them aware of the problem.”

Expert Alerts utilizes JDLink™ machine connectivity and data analytics to predict service needs, reduce diagnostic time and minimize downtime. This results in higher levels of machine availability, improved machine performance and lower cost of operation. “Customers are starting to see the value first hand because the dealers are so much more responsive,” said Brotherton.

Learn more about Deere Connected Dealer Support in this interview: Interview with Scott Brotherton, John Deere

John Deere at 2018 Commodity Classic

Commodity Classic coverage made possible by
Commodity Classic coverage made possible by FMCCommodity Classic coverage made possible by John Deere
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Precision Ag Bytes 3/28

cindy zimmerman

  • A new report from USDA’s Economic Research Service finds that despite higher winter loss rates, the number of U.S. honey bee colonies has remained stable or risen between 1996 and 2016. The report, “Effects and Responses to Changes in Honey Bee Health” provides an overview of the pollination services market and examines empirical data on pollinated crop production, pollination service fees, and annual numbers of honey bee colonies.
  • Farm supply retailer Southern States Cooperative has added industry veterans Jay Quickel and Joe Paoli to head-up their farm supply and sales divisions. Quickel will serve as executive vice president of the co-op’s farm supply division and Paoli comes on board as the executive vice president of sales.
  • Understory, the weather network, edge computing, and machine learning company, has announced an international expansion and strategic collaboration with Monsanto. Monsanto’s use of Understory’s weather network is providing on-the-ground insights into localized weather in Argentina to drive growers’ decisions and optimize high value operations.
  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 AEM Hall of Fame. The Hall recognizes and celebrates industry leaders, innovators and pioneers who have contributed to the growth and overall quality of the off-road equipment industry.
  • Nichino America introduces Gatten®, a new fungicide for powdery mildew control in grapes and other crops. Nichino and OAT Agrio Co., Ltd., the discoverer and manufacturer of Gatten, have reached an agreement for Nichino America to market and sell Gatten in the United States and Canada.
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Scholar Farms Offers Masterclass for Drones

chuck zimmerman

If you’ve got a drone and are looking for some lessons then you need to talk to Dr. Greg Crutsinger, Founder, Scholar Farms. You can listen to my conversation with him about his newly announced Phytomappers Pro Masterclass below.

This course explains how to integrate drones into commercial workflows for agriculture, forestry, environmental consultancies, scientific research and other plant-related industries.

“Navigating the drone industry can be a daunting process with so many options for hardware, sensors, and software. Then, it can then be quite challenging to understand what all those data mean for different kinds of plants and across the growing season,” says Greg. “Phytomappers Pro was built to provide a solid foundation for plant professionals to get up to speed quickly and integrate drone effectively into their everyday workflow”.

Phytomappers Pro is designed for drone service providers, commercial agriculture team members, land managers, and academics (students, faculty, and researchers) that want to get the best results from using drones for mapping in the field.

The course is available for $397 from Additionally, there is a free lesson available, “A Quick Start Guide to Plants and Drones” which gives an industry overview.

You can listen to my interview with Greg here: Interview with Greg Crutsinger, Scholar Farms

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Soil Health Partnership Grows and Changes

cindy zimmerman

As the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) heads into its fourth year of long-term data collection on working farms, the National Corn Growers Association initiative (NCGA) continues to grow and change.

Nick Goeser, who has served as the project’s director since its launch in 2014, has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Production and Sustainability for the National Corn Growers Association, and while he will still be involved to some degree, SHP will be seeking a new director.

“The Soil Health Partnership is a project I have poured my heart and soul into for the last four years,” Goeser said. “My hope is that this change will bring additional opportunity and support to the partnership.” Goeser will serve as a member of the SHP Steering Committee and remain engaged with the Science Advisory Council.

In other SHP staff changes, former Eastern Iowa Field Manager Elyssa McFarland has accepted a promotion to a new position as Key Relationships Director to identify key contacts at new and existing stakeholder organizations to establish and foster relationships.

Jack Cornell has been promoted to Field Team Director from his former position of Operations Manager to oversee the SHP Field Team and work to add new levels of support in areas like farmer relationship management, data collection and management, special collaborative projects and network expansion efforts.

Former Program Coordinator Anne Dietz has been promoted to SHP Project Manager and will take a more active role in overseeing management of essential projects across SHP such as assistance in grant management, website development, and technology integration efforts.

In addition to a new director, the organization plans to hire a Business Development Director, a Lead Scientist and additional field managers as expansion continues. Several positions are posted on the Soil Health Partnership careers page.

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