Register for AgGateway Now

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

AgGateway conferenceThe Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, TX will welcome guests of AgGateway’s Annual Conference November 9-12.  The them for the conference this year will be “Business Agility-The Power of Collaboration and eConnectivity.”  The is the 10th annual AgGateway conference and hundreds of business and IT professionals in the ag industry are expected to attend.  Early registrants receive a significant registration discount.

In addition to general sessions, educational and working sessions, and networking events, the meeting features recognition of individual and group efforts that are moving the industry forward in eBusiness. First-time attendees are invited to attend a welcome luncheon the first day to learn more about AgGateway and how to take full advantage of everything the conference has to offer.

Keynote and general session speakers include Kenneth Cordell, Jr., President and CEO of Pinnacle Agriculture Holding LLC; Dr. Marty Matlock, Executive Director of the University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability, and Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department; Steve Pitstick, a progressive corn and soybean grower in northern Illinois known for leveraging new agricultural technologies; and Richard S. Sellers, Senior Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for the American Feed Industry Association.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about and take part in the many exciting activities AgGateway members are involved in to make eBusiness possible – from auto identification data capture and better business office processes to regulatory compliance and precision agriculture.” said AgGateway President and CEO Wendy Smith, “The annual conference is the best meeting of the year to bring colleagues and trading partners to learn about the substantial benefits companies are gaining through eBusiness.”

If you are in ag retail, distributing, manufacturing of inputs, software and data service, or are a professional in precision ag, academia, ag organizations, ag media, or a student interested in eBusiness this conference is designed for you.

Details about the conference are available on the webpage.  Find the meeting on Twitter at #AgGateway15.

Ag Group, AgGateway, Agribusiness, Dealers, Events

ASA Praises House GMO Labeling Bill

John Davis Leave a Comment

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased with the bill recently passed by the U.S. House that will bring some sanity to food labeling, in regards to GMOs. The news was welcomed by he American Soybean Association (ASA).

ams15-asa-wade“This is important for every bit of agriculture,” said ASA president Wade Cowan of Texas during an interview at last week’s Ag Media Summit. “We need to prevent this menagerie of 50 different bills in 50 different states. It’s an unworkable patchwork, so we need the consistency throughout the U.S.”

Cowan points out that the bill will give consumers the right to know by giving non-GMO food producers the chance to have their products certified as GMO-free. He’s also grateful to House Ag Committee leaders from both political parties and hopes to get that kind of good support when the measure moves to the Senate. The ASA spent a lot of time educating lawmakers so they can make the smart vote when it comes in front of them. “Some of those lawmakers were really busy, and we were able to go to the congressmen and explain it and they were appreciative of that.”

Cowan feels confident that lawmakers will ultimately do the right thing for American agriculture.

Listen to all of Cindy’s interview with Wade here: Interview with Wade Cowan, American Soybean Association president

2015 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

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Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board
Ag Group, Agribusiness, ASA, Audio, GMO, Government

Soil Health Partnership to Host Soil Health Field Days

John Davis Leave a Comment

soilhealthpartnershipA series of field days is sharing some important environmental and economic benefits of the best practices when it comes to the health of the farmland. The Soil Health Partnership’s demonstration field days is sharing the ideas fueling the evolution of farming with other producers throughout the Midwest. The partnership will host soil health field days from August through the end of the year.

The field days will demonstrate how changing certain practices can create lasting environmental benefits while potentially increasing farm productivity and income. Examples of educational topics include:

· Cover crop benefits and integration into local cropping systems;

· Nutrient management and other strategies to improve soil health;

· Hands-on soil demonstrations; and

· Farmer panels to discuss local experiences with cover crops.

Cover crops have gained attention for improving soil health because they capture excess nitrogen left in the soil and put good plant residue back into the ground.

The SHP is an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association and works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, industry, foundations, federal agencies, universities and well-known environmental groups toward the common goal of improving soil health.

“We encourage sound soil practices combined with scientific quantification of results from farmers taking positive actions,” said Nick Goeser, SHP director. “Improved crop productivity, environmental gains and economic growth are all benefits of progressive soil management strategies.”

For a complete list of Soil Health Field Days, click here. Events will be added throughout the summer.

Ag Group, Conservation, Soil

How Are You Connecting Equipment & Data?

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you consider yourself social media savvy?”

It’s exciting to see so many people out there that have grasped social media as way to communicate online and also use it as a marketing tool. Yet will had a few pollers who don’t see it as beneficial. It is hard to look into the future and not see social media. Changing and developing yes, but not leaving for good.

Here are the poll results:

  • Yes – I’ve got it – 55%
  • Yes – Still need training – 23%
  • No – Want to learn more – 6%
  • No – Not worth my time – 16%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, How are you connecting your precision equipment and data?

Drones, big data, new standards are all precision ag buzz words but connectivity was a common theme this year at the InfoAg Conference. More and more companies are developing stable wireless options to communicate back and forth from the cab. Let us know what method you are using and feel free to leave a comment.


Operations Center in MyJohnDeere

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Pat PinkstonDuring the InfoAg Conference I was moderator for a session presented by Pat Pinkston, John Deere Agriculture and Turf Division, Vice President, Information Solutions, Intelligent Solutions Group. Pat focused on the Operations Center in MyJohnDeere. He also had the largest breakout session group I saw. I liked his use of the term, agriculture/technology decision space to describe an area his group works in.

The Operations Center in MyJohnDeere is John Deere’s commitment to innovation and technology. Operations Center is a unique, open, and accessible online ag-data solution that collects machine, logistic, and agronomic data in a central location. It provides tools that connects and empowers users and their team of advisors to make decisions before, during, and after the crop season. With John Deere APIs, software providers can work with Deere to create applications that benefit Operations Center users with greater insights to their operations. For more information on our APIs, or to ask about becoming a software partner, please visit

Learn more about John Deere from my interview with Pat here: Pat Pinkston, John Deere

2015 InfoAg Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by John Deere   Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by Growmark
Agribusiness, Audio, InfoAg, John Deere

UAVs Help Higher Education Climb to New Levels at SIU

John Davis Leave a Comment

AG DroneSouthern Illinois University Carbondale students are taking higher education to another level. According to this news release, beginning this fall, agriculture students at the school will have the opportunity to learn about the next game-changing agricultural tool – unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Christopher Clemons and Dennis Watson, faculty members in the College of Agricultural Sciences, are preparing a course of study to help SIU students become leaders in the newest agricultural technology.

Beginning this fall, students can take a course introducing them to unmanned aerial vehicles and applications, including learning about UAV types for agricultural use; maintenance and repair; remote sensing attachments and use of lens filters for UAV scouting; and operating and application of the data gathered for agricultural use. Clemons and Watson expect the course of study will supplement the agricultural systems and education major.

“The most obvious application is for precision agriculture,” Clemons said. “But UAV technology has applications for all our majors.”

UAVs have become a very popular tool in precision agriculture, as they help gather vital data from fields. Most of the discussions about unmanned aerial vehicles and agriculture center on precision agriculture. Precision agriculture uses global positioning system (GPS) and other data to allow farmers to manage smaller units within their fields, enabling them to customize fertilizer, water and disease-control for the areas of the field that need it.

Right now, most unmanned aerial vehicles intended for agricultural use are data-gatherers, but some proposed government regulations could make them harder for farmers to use. The FAA’s proposed rule calls UAV operators “pilots” and requires a current aeronautical knowledge test and unmanned aerial systems operator certification. SIU officials in the ag department are working with the school’s program to see if they can help the students take the course that leads to the aeronautical knowledge test.

Agribusiness, UAV

Farmfest to Feature Latest Technology, New Products

John Davis Leave a Comment

FarmfestAttendees of the 2015 Minnesota Farmfest will get to see some of the newest products and latest developments in farm safety and innovation. The show, held Aug. 4-6 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, is the third-largest outdoor agriculture event in the U.S.

“Farmfest is focused on technology and new products. It is one of the largest showcases for everything from input advances to drones and the latest innovations from around the world for agriculture,” said Ray Bianchi, senior director of expositions and events for the American Farm Bureau Federation and IDEAg Group.

IDEAg Minnesota Farmfest has been connecting the Midwest’s top farmers with the latest in farm equipment from local and leading companies for more than 30 years, and this year’s show is no exception.

NAPA Auto & Truck Parts, an official sponsor of Minnesota Farmfest, invites farmers to chat with their knowledgeable reps about equipment needs and check out the newest products and tools.

“With most of our stores being in rural southern Minnesota we know that farming is a big part of our communities and our business. Farmfest allows us to showcase many of the ways we can fill farmers’ tool and equipment needs,” said Steve Windschitl, president of STAR Group NAPA Auto Parts Stores. “We bring in manufacturers’ reps and staff who can fully explain features and benefits of our products and show how these tools can help farmers be more productive.”

For more information on the event, check out the Farmfest website.

Ag Group, Agribusiness

FarmLogs Introduces FarmLogs Flow at InfoAg

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

infoag15-71-editedFarmLogs co-founder and CEO, Jesse Vollmar, was present at the 2015 InfoAg Conference to share details about their recent announcement about FarmLogs Flow. The small plug-in hardware device is the first connected machine product to generate instant yield maps.

“This announcement is about a way that we are extending and making our yield function even better for our customer base by providing a faster or more reliable way to access yield maps without lifting a finger.”

The automatic yield maps eliminate the manual time consuming process of collecting, transferring, downloading and uploading yield files to produce maps benefiting farmers.

DSC_0953“Growing up on a farm, I knew when you are in the moment of harvest your first goal is getting the crops out of the field. The technology is very important to the farmers and there is only once to capture it. We needed to provide a way to do that where you can still focus on the first primary goal of getting the harvest done successfully and behind the scenes know that the technology is capturing the information for you and the minute you open your FarmLogs app that yield map will already be there for you.”

FarmLogs is also announcing that it has open sourced the process for decoding the ISOBUS data for generating yield maps. Jesse said they want to encourage the industry to build on top of this foundation and to start being more open with data formats.

Learn more about FarmLogs Flow in my complete interview with Jesse here: Interview with Jesse Vollmar, FarmLogs

View and download photos from the event here: 2015 InfoAg Conference Photo Album

Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by
Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by John Deere   Coverage of the InfoAg Conference is sponsored by Growmark
Agribusiness, Audio, Data, Harvesting, InfoAg

UAV Safety Campaign Announced by NAAA

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

NAAA safety stuffersThe National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is  begining a UAV safety campaign aimed at the agriculture community.  The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and prevent accidents between UAV operators and low-altitude manned aircraft.  The first step of the campaign was to create a UAV “safety stuffer,” a double-sided insert that illustrates safety concerns of pilots about hard-to-see UAVs.  The leaflet, created for aerial applicators to share with farmers, provides recommendations for the use of UAVs.  There is also a short video available at

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International expects agriculture to make up 80 percent of the potential market for commercial UAVs once the Federal Aviation Administration finalizes its rules regulating the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems. That notion has been reinforced by media reports chronicling a fervor among farmers eager to purchase their own UAV to use for crop-sensing and aerial imaging. However, NAAA is concerned that the widespread use of UAVs, without safe and proper integration, will create conditions ripe for low-level aviation accidents.

“When agricultural aviators cannot see objects they will very likely collide with them,” NAAA Executive Director Andrew Moore said. “Sadly, accidents from collisions with wires and unmarked towers have taken the lives of agricultural pilots. These kinds of accidents generally occur because of an inability by the ag pilot to see the obstacles or lack of information of their whereabouts. There’s no doubt that UAVs will have a similar jeopardizing safety effect on us if ag pilots are unable to see or locate them.”

In addition to lobbying Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration for UAV regulations that protect agricultural aviators and other low-flying manned aircraft, NAAA has enlisted its members and state association partners to help educate farmers, crop consultants, ag retailers and the public about safe and responsible UAV operations in rural areas. The UAV safety stuffers are one component of that.

You can view the stuffers here.

Agribusiness, drone, NAAA, Safety, UAS, UAV

Water for Food & Jain Irrigation Launch Joint Research

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The Robert B. Daughwater_for_fooderty Water for Food Institute at the Universtiy of Nebraska and Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. of India plan to work together on a joint international research and education partnership.  The two groups will provide financing for faculty, grad students, and post-doctoral scholars from UN to work with Jain Irrigation scientists to find solutions for water and food security.

water for foodJain Irrigation, one of the largest irrigation and food processing companies in the world, will donate $500,000 to the University of Nebraska Foundation over the next five years to support the Jain Irrigation – University of Nebraska Water for Food Research and Education Program. The funding from Jain Irrigation and resources provided by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute will help support a cooperative program, including scientific exchanges for hands-on research, training and outreach projects.

Chairman Bhavarlal H. Jain noted  that the University of Nebraska’s Water for Food Institute and Jain Irrigation are committed to a collaborative partnership to sustainably increase yields and improve water productivity.

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said, “Feeding the world’s growing population is one of the most urgent challenges of the day. […] our collaboration will benefit students and faculty, farmers and ranchers, and people in Nebraska, India and elsewhere.”

“We’re excited to move forward with Jain Irrigation. Tapping into their expertise in precision irrigation technology and experience with agricultural settings in a wide variety of climates, soil conditions and cultures will provide beneficial insights for us in Nebraska,” said Water for Food’s Christopher Neale. “The funding will catalyze global, multi-disciplinary research opportunities to advance our shared efforts to improve water management and crop yields, while helping to educate the scientists of the future.”

The focus of the endeavor will be on improving salt and drought tolerance of soybeans and bananas, training and education in biotech for Jain scientists, and using geospatial technology to improve water management and productivity.

Agribusiness, Education, Irrigation, Water Management