Commodity Classic Registration Open

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brochure-coverCommodity Classic registration and housing reservations are now open online. Space is expected to fill up quickly, so participants are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible.

The upcoming event will be held in San Antonio, Texas on March 2-4, 2017. Events will be in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, including the Welcome Reception, General Session, Evening of Entertainment, Trade Show, Learning Center Sessions and What’s New Sessions.

All registration and housing reservations should be made online at www.commodityclassic.com. Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic. In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel, reservations must be made only through Experient to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms and confirmed hotel rooms.

Commodity Classic is the largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show in the nation. It is produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Commodity Classic

New Face of Plant Breeders at #ASTACSS

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

A new video that puts a face on plant breeders was unveiled by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) during the opening general session of its CSS 2016 & Seed Expo in Chicago Tuesday.

The “Mom, Gardener, Plant Breeder” video is the latest initiative in ASTA’s “Better Seed, Better Life” communications program and it features Jessie Alt, a mother, home gardener, and professional plant breeder—along with her two daughters who help out with their home garden.

“The seed industry has a great story to tell, and this video helps us do that,” said ASTA President & CEO Andrew W. LaVigne. “Jessie, like all of our plant breeders, is passionate about producing new and improved varieties of nutritious crops in a sustainable manner to meet the needs of local farmers and American families.”

This video is part of a larger advocacy and social media campaign to share information with consumers about the importance of seed improvement and its connection to quality of life. As we work to solve the challenges that farmers face, create a more sustainable food supply, and increase choices for American families at the grocery store, it all starts with a seed, and better seed means better life.

Watch the video below and share it online with the hashtag #JustGrowIt.


ASTA CSS 2016 Photo Album

Coverage of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo brought to you by
Coverage of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo brought to you by the American Seed Trade Association and Coverage of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo brought to you by BASF Ag Products
Ag Group, ASTA, biotechnology, social media, Video

Survey Highlights Illinois Nutrient Management

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), along with the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) and Illinois Farm Bureau have released the latest Producer Survey.  The 2015 survey focused on questions relating to nutrient management and knowledge of  Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS), as well as conservation practices like cover crops, edge-of-field practices, use of soil tests and erosion management.  Responses were to be based on 2015 and 2011.

Per the survey, the majority of Illinois corn acres follow the recommended MRTN (Maximum Return to Nitrogen) application guidelines, and this number is increasing. In 2011, 70 percent of the corn acres were using MRTN and by 2015 that number had increased to 81 percent. In addition, more than half of all surveyed farmers indicate that they are either knowledgeable or very knowledgeable of the aspects of the 4R Strategy of Right Nutrient Source at the Right Rate, in the Right Place and Right timing. Between 2011 and 2015, farmers moved to a split application system of less than 50 percent fall/winter applied applications with the remaining Nitrogen applications split between pre-plant and side-dress on nearly half a million acres.

Farmers have also shown increased adoption of cover crops since 2011. With almost half a million acres of cover crops on tile-drained ground, farmers have more than doubled their use of cover crops in the five-year period of the survey.

“This is the first opportunity for farmers to really tell their collective story regarding the use of nutrient management conservation practices in Illinois,” said Warren Goetsch, Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). “This survey is proof that our agricultural community has a good story to tell. Illinois farmers are taking ownership of these uses, specifically agricultural non-point nutrient loss, and they are willing and able to meet the challenge through voluntary involvement and best management practice adoption. They are truly doing a great job!”

Ag Group, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management, USDA

The BioAg Alliance Launches Microbial Seed Coating

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

unnamedThrough The BioAg Alliance, Monsanto Company and Novozymes have a new project in the works.  As part of the commitment to innovative microbial solutions a new corn inoculant, Acceleron B-300 SAT, is being introduced.  The product is based on a fungus found in soil and has shown promising results with a two-year average yield advantage of more than 3 bushels per acre.  The new inoculant will be applied to all of Monsanto’s 2017 corn hybrids sold in the U.S.

“Harnessing the power of nature’s microbes, farmers will be able to produce more crops while using fertilizer more efficiently and producing less CO2. This will benefit agriculture, consumers and the environment,” said Colin Bletsky, Novozymes’ Vice President for BioAg. “This is the first product jointly developed by Monsanto and Novozymes, and it shows the kind of innovation we can achieve in The BioAg Alliance. We believe it could be applied to more than 90 million acres by 2025 and become one of the biggest biological products in the ag industry.”

Acceleron B-300 SAT increases plants’ ability to take up nutrients and is an improved formulation of the JumpStart® inoculant (Penicillium bilaiae), a product that existed in Novozymes’ pipeline before the formation of The BioAg Alliance.

The spores in previous versions of JumpStart last about 120 days on the seed after application.  With Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant, scientists from Monsanto and Novozymes have developed a formulation that, when seed is stored in proper conditions, is viable for at least two years on the seed and is generally compatible with other seed coating chemistries. This allows Monsanto to coat the seeds with the microbial product before the seeds are shipped to retailers and farmers. Acceleron B-300 SAT inoculant is the first ‘upstream’ corn inoculant ever developed.

Monsanto has said it will offer Acceleron B-300 SAT to licensees and distributors.

Agribusiness, Corn, Monsanto, seed

SGS Brookings Moving to New Building

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

astacss-sgsSGS Brookings is moving to a new and expanded facility next year to better serve the growing demands of the seed industry for independent testing services.

“It’s less than a mile from our current facility, so our customers will be able to easily find it,” said Business Manager Nichole Berkenhoff who made the announcement at the ASTA CSS & Seed Expo today. “We spent many years planning this building and efficiency and process flow were top of mind.”

Berkenhoff says the new facility will be 30 percent larger and housed in one building as opposed to three. “We have been in our current three facilities for about 20 years and we have made due with what we had and expanded the building multiple times but we decided we had to rethink the whole process,” she explained.

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and the company is a big supporter of ASTA. They have a construction timeline on display at the ASTA-CSS Innovations Center this week.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Nichole Berkenhoff, SGS

ASTA CSS 2016 Photo Album

Coverage of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo brought to you by
Coverage of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo brought to you by the American Seed Trade Association and Coverage of ASTA CSS and Seed Expo brought to you by BASF Ag Products
ASTA, Audio, seed

BASF and NAAA Award Aviator Scholarships

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

basf-new-logo BASF and the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) have collaborated to reward two promising aviators with scholarships to assist them as they follow their passion in the field of aerial application.

Matthew Burkhammer of Carlisle, Arkansas, and Landunn Koyle of Gooding, Idaho, were awarded NAAA/BASF Agricultural Aviation Scholarships of $2,500 and $5,000, respectively. The two winners were recognized at the 50th Annual NAAA Convention & Exposition kickoff breakfast in Long Beach, California.

“We want to ensure that our aerial applicators are knowledgeable, efficient and safe in the skies, especially with today’s rapid technical advancements,” said John Sabatka, Northern Corn Belt IS Manager, BASF. “Our scholarship support helps create a strong pipeline for the industry and enable young aviators to pursue their chosen career paths.”

Burkhammer is employed at Tidwell Flying Service in Carlisle, Arkansas, and is currently enrolled at Almond Aviation in Searcy, Arkansas, where he is studying for an instrument rating and commercial pilot certificate. Once that is acquired, Burkhammer will enroll in an agricultural flight training school to pursue a career as an aerial applicator.

naaa-logo-2 Koyle is currently attending a private flight school through a certified flight instructor and is employed at Thomas Helicopters, Inc. in Gooding, Idaho. He is working toward a private, commercial and instrument certification in aviation. Koyle’s ultimate goal is to be an agricultural helicopter aviator.

“BASF has been a major supporter of NAAA over the years, and we appreciate their commitment to nurturing a new generation of competent and capable professional ag pilots,” said Andrew Moore, Executive Director, NAAA. “Since 2010, NAAA has awarded $53,500 in scholarship funds to 15 individuals through the NAAA/BASF Agricultural Aviation Scholarship program. BASF’s investments in these aspiring ag pilots helps sustain this important industry to agriculture, forestry, biofuel production and public health protection both now and in the future.”

BASF and NAAA also have a longstanding mission to keep pilot safety and effectiveness as a top priority for the industry, and plan to continue to push their aerial application education and training efforts year-round.

Last year marked another successful year in the Operation S.A.F.E. (Self-regulating Application and Flight Efficiency) Professional Application Analysis Clinic. In 2016, the BASF/Operation S.A.F.E. incentive program continued to encourage aerial applicators to participate in fly-in clinics across the country.

Aerial Application, Ag Group, Award, BASF, NAAA

Find My Seed Updates In Time For #Plant17

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

1480364769905 Agrible has added a new batch of over 8000 corn and 3800 soybean independent seed trials into the Find My Seed database, including trials on dicamba/RR2Y ready soybeans and soybean varieties that were recently the focus on a new label approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The biggest benefit of these updates is making early seed choices to get discounted pricing. Since we’ve added trials for some of the newest corn and soybeans available on the market, you can check your seed picks and get your orders in for the 2017 planting season.

Worried about what seed you were sold? As planting season approaches, we know seed dealers may switch products from what was originally ordered. Agrible’s Find My Seed helps you evaluate those early suggestions, considering your specific soils and management practices, to check whether different products perform well or as well as what you ordered.

Happy seed picking, from your friends at Agrible!

Learn more at Agrible’s Find My Seed website, or contact info@agrible.com with any questions or comments.

Agrible, Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Data, Planting, seed

Precision Ag Bytes

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

  • precision bytesIntelinAir focuses on aerial imagery analytics, offering farmers actionable intelligence to improve decision-making. Now Dr. Ara Nefian will take the lead in all research and development activities and chief technology officer, as well as the responsibilities of VP of web and cloud engineering, and integration of image processing and data analytics.
  • Iteris, Inc. has been named a finalist in the Los Angeles Business Journal 2016 Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Awards for technological and scientific advancements achieved with its digital agriculture platform ClearAg.
  • The USDA has released a report entitled The Adoption of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Canola and Sugarbeets in the United States.  You can read the results of this study here.
Precision Ag Bytes

Soil Health Partnership Celebrates World Soil Day

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

soilhealthpartnershipThe Soil Health Partnership honored World Soil Day yesterday with a fun and educational video.  “Farmers to the Rescue: How Healthy Soil Can Save the Planet” reflects on steps that can be take to protect our most vital resource.

“Soil health is the next frontier in agricultural sustainability,” said Nick Goeser, SHP director. “Restoring organic matter through practices like growing cover crops will help soil sequester more carbon while making it more resistant to drought, and more resilient to floods. These are important goals worldwide as the population grows.”

The Soil Health Partnership includes 65 farm sites from nine Midwestern states.  The organization helps growers test and measure soil health practices like cover crops, conservation tillage and nutrient management techniques.

Ag Group, Soil Health Partnership, Video

GROWMARK Supports Pollinators in the Classroom

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ILFB president Richard Guebert with GROWMARK's Amy Bradford

ILFB president Richard Guebert with GROWMARK’s Amy Bradford

Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) programs are buzzing with an increased emphasis on pollinators, thanks to GROWMARK and its FS member cooperatives.

At the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) annual meeting this week, GROWMARK Corporate Relations and Foundation Manager Amy Bradford announced new collaborative efforts focused on activities and education related to the importance of pollinators.

“We place a high priority on teaching students the role agriculture plays in their lives,” said Bradford. “This year, we are excited to participate in activities that enhance students’ understanding of the importance of pollinators in agriculture and food production. While much of the focus is on honeybees, we want students to understand there are a number of pollinators, including butterflies and hummingbirds, which are all important to ensuring a reliable supply of food.”

GROWMARK recently renewed its IAITC commitment with a $73,000 contribution that supports the development of a new Pollinators Ag Mag and classroom poster. Materials and lessons also will feature native Illinois plants that serve as pollinator hosts, discuss what farmers do, and what students can do to help protect and encourage pollinator habitats.

GROWMARK launched a robust pollinator support program this year as part of its Endure sustainability platform. More than 40 4-H clubs in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, and nearly 30 GROWMARK System employees grew pollinator habitats in 2016 and the program is expanding next year to include FFA chapters.

Learn more about GROWMARK’s pollinator support efforts in this interview with Amy: Interview with Amy Bradford, GROWMARK

Audio, Education, Growmark, pollinators