Win a #RealYield Field from @Bayer4CropsUS

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

realyield-16The 1st annual Bayer Showcase Plot Tours are underway across the country delivering diverse solutions and expertise for many pressing crop challenges. Athens, Illinois was home to one stop where I got to chat with Bayer’s Daren Bohannan to learn more about Bayer’s LibertyLink Real Yield Sweepstakes which is in it’s second year.

Growers have the chance to win up to 500 acres of the LibertyLink system for either cotton or soybeans with the 2016 Liberty Link Real Yield Sweepstakes. There will also chances to win 200 acres of the LibertyLink system for cotton and soybeans monthly. Two winners will be drawn each month through December. Once again, state FFA will have the chance to compete for dollars to support their organizations.

Growers can participate in the Sweepstakes by attending one of the Bayer Showcase Plot Tours, or by visiting and entering their information. Six cotton growers and six soy growers will win 200 acres of LibertyLink, and one lucky winner will win 500 acres of LibertyLink for the crop of their choice.

Listen to my complete interview Daren to learn even more about the 2016 LibertyLink Real Yield Sweepstakes. Interview with Daren Bohannan, Bayer

bayer-showcase-illinois-40-editedMore Showcase Days include:

Pikeville, NC – August 30
Troy, OH – September 8
Stockbridge, MI – September 13

Bayer Showcase Days Photo Album

Audio, Bayer CropScience, Cotton, Soybeans

AgCatalyst Offers Advocacy Conference

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

AgCatalystConnecting with consumers is more and more a part of a farmer’s job description, and that comes with all its own challenges and opportunities.  For those interested in effectively telling the agri-food story the third AgCatalyst marketing and communications conference is being held in Minneapolis on November 1-2.  You can see detail and register here.

This value-packed two-day event is about fostering insight and igniting discussions around new opportunities to reach and engage with farmers in our modern consumer-empowered landscape. Attendees can look forward to hearing from top experts in the field, applying their learning in breakout sessions, and networking with the brightest minds in social media, marketing, public relations, agriculture and food communication.

“This year’s AgCatalyst promises to deliver bold insights and fresh thinking to help communicators embrace the new world of consumer awareness around food and farming,” says Roger Reierson, CEO of AdFarm, host of the annual event. “Attendees will learn how to engage, educate, connect and build positive relationships all the way from the field to the consumer – and back again.”

Keynote speakers include Joe Schwartz, director of McGill University’s office for science and society; Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers; and Mathew Sweezey, principal of marketing insights at and author of Marketing Automation for Dummies.

Early bird pricing ends September 15th.


Pioneer Demonstrates CRISPR-Cas Potential

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Dupont PioneerDuPont Pioneer researchers  have been working with an advanced plant breeding technology known as CRISPR-Cas.  Now the Plant Biotechnology Journal has reported their success in improving a corn plant’s own ability to withstand drought stress.

“Rapid population growth coupled with limited resources and climate change requires innovation to keep pace at a similarly rapid rate,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer. “DuPont Pioneer scientists are working hard to improve the efficiency with which we develop robust seed products for the benefit of growers and society. CRISPR-Cas is one of the tools we’re using to do just that.”

CRISPR-Cas advanced plant breeding technology develops improved seeds by using the native characteristics available within the target crop. In this most recent published example, Pioneer scientists applied CRISPR-Cas to specifically edit a gene identified for its innate ability to promote drought tolerance. DuPont Pioneer field trials of the resulting elite corn hybrids exhibited an average five-bushel-per-acre increase in grain yield under water-limited stress during flowering, and no decrease in yield under optimal water availability. Additional trials are currently being conducted to determine commercial potential under a variety of environments.

Other Pioneer studies related to CRISPR-Cas advanced plant breeding published within the last 12 months include two seminal reports demonstrating the efficiency and flexibility of the CRISPR-Cas system in crop development, one in corn and one in soybean, which appeared in the same issue of Plant Physiology. Another report, “Robust Seed Systems, Emerging Technologies and Hybrid Crops for Africa,” appeared in Global Food Security.

“Our researchers are making exciting progress, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others to further the science and expand the adoption of the technology across crops and geographies,” Gutterson said.

Pioneer has been working with  CRISPR-Cas advanced breeding platform to create crops with greater environmental resiliency, productivity and sustainability.  The company is hoping to first commercialize waxy corn, pending completion of field trials and regulatory reviews, but the tech has applications for all of Pioneer’s seed.

Agribusiness, biotechnology, Corn, Dupont Pioneer, Traits

Advantages of Ag Eagle’s UAVs from #InfoAg

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Ag Eagle If you’re in agriculture there’s a good chance you had a strong loyalty to an equipment color, maybe even before you were old enough to drive it. As Precision editor and family farmer myself I went to InfoAg wondering about a product preference of a different kind. I took the opportunity to ask a few vendors why their aerial imagery method was the best and one of those interviews was Kyle Miller with Ag Eagle’s fixed wing UAVs.

“First would be the timeliness; you can use it when you need to,” Miller told me. “So if you’re going to be out doing a side dressing of nitrogen you can fly in the morning, have a prescription map written up within a couple of hours and send that out through an applicator through some of Raven’s technology as well, like the Slingshot and the Viper 4, and then you can go out and apply a prescription map you’re getting back, literally, the same day.”

He also touted the UAVs ability to fly under cloud cover and the high-resolution of the images. Miller says some management decision can be made on the centimeter scale using Ag Eagle.

Ag Eagle is also bringing customers new things, like a partnership with Raven to utilize their dealer network to sell the UAVs. Another partnership with BotLink provides behind the seances advantages, like flight planning.

To listen and learn yourself, here is my full interview with Kyle: Interview with Kyle Miller, Ag Eagle

2016 ICPA/InfoAg 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 CropTrak
Aerial Imagery, Agribusiness, InfoAg

New Holland’s Solutions Fit All Sizes

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

unnamed-4 PLM stands for Precision Land Management, and it is what Luke Zerby does at New Holland. It’s also what he hopes was shared at the recent Info Ag Conference in St. Louis- the message of just how much New Holland has to offer.

“Really we’re just trying to show all the options we have here; that New Holland isn’t just a producer of excellent farm equipment, but also an excellent source of precision farming solutions as well,” Zerby explains.

Solutions like the add-on steering kit that allows for an update on an older tractor using the same interface as a machine just off from the dealership are important because New Holland strives to serve farmers of all sizes. From the small cow/calf rancher to the large-scale row crop grower, precision is the future, and everyone will need access to move forward.

Zerby says one product that has caught the attention of many customers is a system for the baler to set the speed for the tractor when putting up hay. This kind of connectivity is key. Farmers can send data seamlessly to the service providers of their choice and New Holland is also amping up their signal to make sure those kinds of connections can happen in any field. The new RTK network means sub-inch accuracy even behind buildings or trees with cell service. Custom harvesters can now travel from the southern border to Canada with the same RTK service.

Learn more about precision at New Holland in Chuck’s interview here: Interview with Luke Zerby, New Holland

2016 ICPA/InfoAg Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, InfoAg, New Holland

Grower Perspective @Bayer Showcase Plot Tour

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

bayer-showcase-illinois-103-edited Denis Kopp is a grower from central Illinois with a problem any other grower in the Midwest can relate to. His corn and soybean farm is fighting against weeds.

“Well, this time of year I think everyone in the Midwest would agree, at least in central Illinois, the biggest problem is water hemp. In August you start to see the weeds popping up, so we’re looking for a better program to help control this particular problem,” Kopp told AgWired’s Jamie Johansen.

That’s why Kopp traveled to Bayer‘s Showcase Plot tour, to get a better idea of the program offered there. He also wanted to take a close-up look a few other new products, like a pre-emerge for weed control. The Showcase offered a great opportunity to see it first hand.

Listen to Jamie’s full interview here: Interview with Denis Kopp, grower

Bayer Showcase Days Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer CropScience

BioFlora Offers Organic Nutrient Balance

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

bioflora-logoThe USDA reports that total organic acreage is increasing at a rate of 15 percent each year.   As consumer demand for organic food increases, so does the demand for products growers can use in their fields.

“Farmers today face a quandary,” said Stephen P. Pavich, senior plant nutritionist at BioFlora®. “They recognize their responsibility as stewards of their lands to preserve the earth, but at the same time they must maximize their yields of high-quality crops to stay in business. We developed BioFlora’s DynaMega® 2-1-1 as one way for growers to increase yields and improve fruit quality in a variety of crops while farming in a sustainable way.”

DynaMega 2-1-1 is organic and environmentally friendly; made from a proprietary mixture of fish solubles and a liquid seaweed product, it is OMRI listed for both certified organic or sustainable crops. Agricultural researchers have shown that fish solubles promote plant growth and that liquid seaweed increases yields and helps develop plants more resistant to drought, frost and stress. With this blend, BioFlora provides the combination of amino acids, proteins, growth stimulants such as auxins and micronutrients that activate enzyme systems and are essential to plants’ vigorous development. 

Through years of testing, BioFlora has determined the optimum amount of nitrogen to include in DynaMega 2-1-1, the amount that will stimulate plant growth without harming the land.

“Field research has demonstrated that DynaMega 2-1-1 can improve fruit set, size, Brix levels and shelf life in table grapes,” Pavich said. “It can enhance early set, uniform netting and uniform sizing in melons and and help produce stronger calyxes, increased fruit and higher nutrient density in strawberries.”

DynaMega 2-1-1 can be applied through drip tape, stationary sprinklers, pivot or furrow irrigation.  Application varies by crop, but 3 applications during the growing season with a possible post fruit spray show good results.

For more information, visit

Agribusiness, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management, Organic

Credenz Soybeans Offer Growers Choices

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

bayer-showcase-illinois-69-editedNick Weidenbenner is more than just an agronomist with Bayer.  He’s also an expert on the Credenz soybean line.  At the Bayer Showcase Plot Tours Jamie Johansen spoke with him about the options Credenz provides to growers.

Introduced in 2014, the idea was to offer farmers more choices, underlined by Bayer’s four pillars; tailored genetics, herbicide tolerance, state of the art breeding and on going innovation.  Credenz offers these smart genetics, Weidenbenner says, and demonstrates Bayer’s commitment to the industry.

The LibertyLink system is part of the Credenz success as well.  LibertyLink has proven itself with top customer satisfaction.  Better weed control helps growers achieve the 2.1 bushel/acre yield advantage over the competitor, although Credenz offers varieties for both systems to ensure growers have what they need.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of positive feed back,” Weidenbenner reports.  “There is a lot of excitement around LibertyLink and having a national brand to kind of carry with that flag, and really coming to market with some stellar varieties has been a lot of help to launch a top brand.”

Learn more about Credenz in Jamie’s interview here: Interview with Nick Weidenbenner, Bayer

Bayer Showcase Days Photo Album

Agribusiness, Bayer CropScience, Soybeans

EPA Atrazine Decision Could Costs Farmers Billions

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

NCGA-Logo-3The EPA’s latest decision on atrazine is estimated to cost the agriculture industry $2.5 billion in yield losses and input costs.  Farm groups are pushing back, saying the current economic state of the ag community is already in a decline.

“Farmers cannot afford to lose access to atrazine,” said Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas, and First Vice President of the National Corn Growers Association. “The farm economy has been struggling the past few years, and this could mean the difference between a profit and a loss for many farmers.”

EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016, as part of the re-registration process for the herbicide. If the recommendations included within the assessment stand, it would effectively ban atrazine. EPA is accepting public comments on the assessment through October 4.

A 2012 economic analysis by the University of Chicago found that farming without atrazine could cost corn farmers up to $59 per acre. That’s a staggering cost at a time when net farm income has already declined 55 percent over the past 2 years, according to USDA figures─and one that’s bound to have repercussions across the entire agriculture industry.

“Farmers have been tightening their belts the last couple years, and we’ve seen those ripple effects throughout our rural communities,” said Spurlock. “Implement dealers sell less equipment, manufacturers scale back production, and agribusinesses lay off employees. We can’t further weaken the farm economy by taking away one of the most effective tools farmers have to combat weeds and grow an abundant crop.”

Atrazine has been an important to farmers growing corn, sorghum and sugar for more than 50 years.  It controls a variety of weeds, some of which have developed resistance to other pesticides but still respond to atrazine.  NCGA is asking growers to share their concerns with the EPA at

Ag Group, EPA, Herbicides, Weed control

2016 Quivira Conference to Address Soil

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Quivera ConferenceThe 2016 Quivira Conference is coming up in November.  From the 9-11 in Albuquerque, New Mexico speakers will be addressing soil issues.  With a theme “Lights, Soil, Action!” and featuring speakers like Dr. Temple Grandin and Wes Jackson attendees will have the opportunity to learn about real-wold projects that are making a difference.

Thanks to more than three decades of innovation and on-the-ground beta-testing we have an amazing toolbox of regenerative, profitable and potentially scalable solutions to a wide variety of twenty-first century challenges, including drought and food scarcity. However, most of these solutions have not reached their potential despite their many benefits. Quivira’s 15th conference, will tackle the urgent question: How can we transform our world by getting regenerative solutions implemented widely and quickly? What are the obstacles? The opportunities? What are we doing wrong? Right?

Other speakers include: Lesli Allison, Executive Director, Western Landowner’s Alliance, New Mexico; Gary Burnett, Blackfoot Watershed, Montana: Jonathan Lundgren, PhD. , Entomologist, agroecologist, CEO of Blue Dasher Farm and Director of Ecdysis Foundation, South Dakota; Jim Howell, CEO, Grasslands LLC, Montana; Lindsey Lusher Shute, Executive Director, National Young Farmers Coalition, New York and Lucy Waruingi, Executive Director, African Conservation Center, Kenya, East Africa.

Ag Group, Events, Soil