Grassland Oregon Releases FIXatioN Balansa Clover

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

grassland-oregonGrassland Oregon has released a “next generation cover crop” specially designed to be winter-hardy and set up to 100 units of nitrogen per acre.

Grassland Oregon co-founder Jerry Hall says they created FIXatioN to address a number of farmers’ concerns “and the result is a cover crop that outperforms all other clovers in hardiness, biomass and most importantly, nutrient fixing to increase cash crop yields.” He adds that the crop is also a high protein forage for livestock.

balansa-cloverFIXatioN Balansa clover is a small-seeded annual legume that features rapid germination and vast quantities of biomass. Individual plants can exceed ten feet in length, however, the plant structure is only able to support three feet of vertical growth. The biomass produced completely shades the ground, smothering the majority of weed and crop species. In Oregon field trials, FIXatioN was able to outgrow and smother rogue daikon radish plants that had not winter-killed.

The plant’s deep tap roots also contribute to long-term soil health and conservation, creating channels for rainfall to penetrate deep into the soil, breaking up compacted soil and preventing erosion.

Learn more here.

ASTA, Cover Crops, seed Cindy ZimmermanGrassland Oregon Releases FIXatioN Balansa Clover

More Accurate Soil Test Can Reduce Fertilizer Use

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

hands-soilA USDA Agricultural Research Service soil scientist has developed a more accurate test for how much fertilizer a farmer needs to add to a field, reducing costs by $10 to $15 per acre and diminishing run off.

Richard Haney, with the Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple, Texas developed a soil test that replicates some of the natural processes that occur in a field, accounting for microbial activity while measuring nitrate, ammonium (NH4), and organic nitrogen.

The new soil test is known as the Soil Health Tool. It involves drying and rewetting soil to mimic the effects of precipitation. It also uses the same organic acids that plant roots use to acquire nutrients from the soil. The tool measures organic carbon and other nutrients, accounts for the effects of using cover crops and no-till practices, and will work for any crop produced with nitrogen or other types of nutrient fertilizer.

Haney has made it available to commercial and university soil testing laboratories and has worked with farmers to promote it. Growers who use it receive a spreadsheet that shows the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium available to crops. On average, they reduce fertilizer costs by about $10 to $15 per acre. With less fertilizer applied, there is less of it running off into surface water.

Read more here.

Uncategorized Cindy ZimmermanMore Accurate Soil Test Can Reduce Fertilizer Use

Ag Leader at InfoAg Conference

Melissa Sandfort Leave a Comment

Insights Weekly

July 29-31, growers, crop consultants and other industry representatives will be able to find Ag Leader experts at the InfoAg Conference at Union Station in St. Louis, Mo. This show is a premier conference for attendees to hear about a wide range of topics on technology applications and data management and interpretation.

Luke James, Ag Leader Software Sales Manager, gives a preview of what Ag Leader will be displaying during the conference and why it’s a benefit to stop by and chat with the Ag Leader team.

Listen to James explain

Become a fan of Ag Leader on Facebook today, and get the latest precision ag videos on the YouTube channel. For more information about Ag Leader products and services, or to visit the blog site, go to

Ag Leader, Insights Weekly Melissa SandfortAg Leader at InfoAg Conference

AgGateway Releases Agricultural Glossary

Melissa Sandfort Leave a Comment

AgGatewayAgGateway is introducing a comprehensive agricultural glossary that can be freely accessed and used by the industry to facilitate accurate communications. The glossary is a one-stop location in the form of an online wiki for agriculture terms, definitions, acronyms, key words and synonyms. The glossary pulls from a number of established industry sources and includes government definitions for key terms, from “field” and “production” to “irrigation” and “pump”. There are currently more than 3,000 terms in the glossary.

The glossary is now available at

A major impetus for creating the new glossary is the need for defined terms when establishing eBusiness connections between companies, which is AgGateway’s mission.

An AgGateway team of members has been creating the glossary for the past three years. The glossary includes a contribution/feedback process, and the group encourages industry members to use and contribute to the glossary.

More information on how the glossary is organized, and how it will continue to be expanded, can be found at the glossary site at

Agribusiness Melissa SandfortAgGateway Releases Agricultural Glossary

Your Thoughts on Cellulosic Ethanol?

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How would the EPA water rule impact you?”

This is one of the hottest topics in the ag sector these days with a lot of uncertainty about what the future holds, especially when you see states starting to fine people for “wasteful use of water.” On the federal level the EPA says that under the proposed rules defining Waters of the United States (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) “all normal farming practices are exempt – period” but those in the agriculture community are questioning if that will hold true. Hopefully you’ve looked at how this will impact your farm or customers?

here are the poll results:

  • Just more govt. regulation – 38.9%
  • Permits for routine activities – 16.67%
  • Will regulate more of my property – 18.67%
  • Not sure but worried about it – 11.1%
  • Not worried about it – 11.1%
  • Don’t know or don’t care – 5.56%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What are your thoughts on cellulosic ethanol? We just saw the first commercial production of cellulosic ethanol in Iowa from team work between Syngenta’s Enogen and the Quad County Corn Processors. Let us know what you think.

ZimmPoll Chuck ZimmermanYour Thoughts on Cellulosic Ethanol?

New Features to DirectCommand Application Management

Melissa Sandfort Leave a Comment

DirectCommand-HeroAg Leader Technology has announced the addition of new features to its DirectCommand™ application management system. This update is part of a recent firmware upgrade – version 5.4 – to the Ag Leader® Integra and Versa™ displays.

Among the new features with the 5.4 firmware is Product Templates. Product Templates are a significant improvement to
product mix/blend functionality, providing easy and accurate documentation of product placement from field to field
throughout the day.

Additionally, a mix calculator is included with the Product Template feature. The mix calculator provides operators the ability to enter the required amount to finish a field, and the display will then provide a list of each product and the amount to add to the tank.

Another key function in 5.4 is the ability to use a reference map for AutoSwath™ section control for planting and application configurations. A reference map is a coverage map created within the display.

Learn more at

Ag Leader, Agribusiness Melissa SandfortNew Features to DirectCommand Application Management

Kinze Electric Multi-Hybrid Planter Progress

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

kinze-multi-hybridKinze® Manufacturing is reporting progress this season on the “world’s first electric multi-hybrid planter.”

According to Kinze, six multi-hybrid planters were successfully used for planting this spring on test plots in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Based on success so far, Kinze is putting the model into limited production for the spring 2015 planting season.

Last December, Kinze first announced the concept planter, which provides farmers with the ability to change the seed hybrid they are planting automatically as the planter moves through the field.

In planting trials this spring, the planter successfully demonstrated automatic on-the-go changing of seed hybrids and population. Hybrid changes were conducted within a single seed drop, so there were virtually no gaps or overlap when switching from one hybrid to the other.

Additionally, the planter successfully demonstrated the creation and application of prescription maps controlling the seed hybrid and population. This was done in conjunction with Raven and the partnering seed companies, which created prescription maps to take advantage of their portfolio of seeds and optimize every part of the farmer’s fields.

Read more here.

Equipment, Kinze, Planting Cindy ZimmermanKinze Electric Multi-Hybrid Planter Progress

Hick Chick Chat with Central Illinois Farmers

Leah Guffey 1 Comment

_DSC0040This week’s Hick Chick Chat was recorded during the 2014 Precision Aerial Ag Show at Progress City where I literally bumped into former National Corn Growers Association president Leon Corzine while he was chatting with another central Illinois farmer, Jim Reed. I decided that it would be a good time to talk about precision ag and how it’s making the differences on their farms as well as how important having a one of a kind show like PAAS is to the area.

I first met Leon at a Farm Progress Show when he was coming up the ranks in NCGA and I was a brand new farm broadcaster, so I always enjoy learning more about his perspective as well as being a local Central Illinois farmer. This was my first time meeting Jim and he really had a lot of good ideas about how to become more involved and become an advocate.

You can listen to my chat here: Hick Chick Chat with Leon Corzine and Jim Reed

Join in the conversation on Twitter and on Facebook

Audio, Data Collection, Events, Farm Progress Show, Hick Chick Chat, UAV Leah GuffeyHick Chick Chat with Central Illinois Farmers

All I Do is Farm – Peterson Brothers

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Peterson Brothers (Greg, Nathan and Kendal) are at it again with a new parody music video of the song, “All I Do is Win,” by DJ Khaled done by the Peterson Farm Bros (Greg, Nathan, and Kendal)! It’s a great look at farming life that touches on important issues like conservation and family. Please enjoy and they say to share it out.

Conservation, Video Chuck ZimmermanAll I Do is Farm – Peterson Brothers

Southwestern Fertilizer Conference Breaking Records

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

sw-fertilizerNearly 1600 fertilizer industry representatives from 17 countries have pre-registered for the 79th annual Southwestern Fertilizer Conference (SWFC) coming up later this week in San Antonio.

Combined with the 200-300 attendees expected to register onsite, that is expected to make it the largest gathering of the fertilizer industry on record, according SWFC Executive Director Pat Miller. “It’s an exciting time to be in the fertilizer business and the number of registrations we’re seeing is a reflection of the optimism and opportunity that exists in the industry,” Miller added.

Sales and networking are the primary attractions at the conference, but education is also a focus. Speakers this year include Christopher Jahn, president of The Fertilizer Institute, Tony Will, president and CEO of CF Industries Holdings, Inc., and Lauren Williamson, editor of the Argus FMB North American Fertilizer publication.

The Southwestern Fertilizer Conference will be held at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio from July 19-23. Find out more here.

Events, Fertilizer Cindy ZimmermanSouthwestern Fertilizer Conference Breaking Records