Precision AgBytes 10/11

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  • EFC Systems, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for agricultural retailers, has announced the purchased of AgSolver Inc.’s assets.  The acquisition has led to a new Agronomic Planning and Sustainabilty division, headed up by Dr. Dave Muth as Vice President.
  • With anhydrous ammonia prices looking good this fall, AgXplore is encouraging growers to take a look at a product called NZONE GL, a non-detrimental, calcium-based formulation that’s safe to handle. Studies show the product reduced leaching by 47 percent and delivered an average of 12 bushels more per acre.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest in 48 new, multi-year projects that build vital infrastructure and conserve natural resources in 20 states or territories through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program.
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Farmers Edge and Planet Bringing Daily Imagery to the Farm

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Global decision agriculture leader Farmers Edge™ today announced a strategic partnership with global satellite data company Planet to provide game-changing global monitoring data and platform capabilities to farmers.

Planet operates the world’s largest fleet of earth imaging satellites and Farmers Edge is now a sole distributor for Planet in key agricultural regions, with the right to use and distribute high-resolution, high-frequency imagery from Planet’s three flagship satellite constellations. Farmers Edge customers will be among the first to take advantage of field-centric, consistent, and accurate insights from satellite imagery.

Farmers Edge president and CEO Wade Barnes says this partnership equips Farmers Edge growers with the most comprehensive, most frequently updated, high-quality field imagery in the industry. “At Farmers Edge, providing our customers with the most concise, comprehensive, and consistent data is at the core of what we do,” said Barnes. “We understand the need for more image frequency, that’s why we are partnering with Planet. Daily imagery is a game-changer in the digital ag space.”

Barnes adds that retailers, co-ops, equipment dealers, agronomists, and other important farmer advisers can now “partner with Farmers Edge and leverage this industry changing capability within their business.” Interview with Wade Barnes, Farmers Edge president and CEO

Planet’s unique ability to receive data from nearly 200 satellites daily could help solve agricultural challenges around the world.”We’re able to collect the entire earth on an almost daily basis,” says Andrew Pylypchuk, Planet account executive for agriculture. This will allow farmers to see their fields as they never have before “on the right date, at the right time, and allow them to take the right action.” Comments from Andrew Pylypchuk, Planet account executive for agriculture

Nebraska Farmers Edge grower Randy Uhlmacher says daily imagery can mean catching a problem early enough to prevent yield loss. “We’ve had so much cloudy weather, if you are running once a week and it happens to be cloudy that day, it could be several weeks before you get an image again,” he said. “The more often you can do it, the faster you can pick up changes in your fields.” Interview with Randy Uhlmacher, Nebraska farmer and Farmers Edge user

AgWired Precision, Audio, Farmers Edge, Precision Agriculture, technology

Bayer Invests in Youth for Future of Ag

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This week there are 100 youth delegates from 49 countries working together to generate innovative and sustainable solutions to global food security challenges and come up with concrete new ideas to drive agricultural progress across the globe. It’s a tall order for the 3rd Youth Ag Summit sponsored by Bayer, but Liam Condon, President of Bayer Crop Science, is optimistic they are up to the challenge.

“We want them to look at real problems that real farmers are facing in real areas today and come up with potential solutions…and we will support them to implement those ideas,” said Condon.

He says the goal of the summit is two-fold. First, each individual is to come up with three things that they promise they are going to implement themselves in their own homes, such as reducing food waste. Secondly, they work as a group on challenges linked to United Nations sustainable development goals and the best ideas will be supported by Bayer.

Learn more in this interview –
Interview with Liam Condon President of Bayer Crop Science

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Food, Food Security, sustainability, Youth Ag Summit

Youth Ag Summit Kicks Off in Brussels

jamie johansen Leave a Comment

Today marks the kick-off of the 3rd edition of the Youth Ag Summit in Brussels, Belgium, with 100 bright young talents from around the world – including five from the U.S. All here to tackle one of humanity’s biggest challenges: how to feed a growing population in a more sustainable manner. Organized by Bayer, together with the two Belgian young farmers associations Groene Kring (GK) and Fédération des Jeunes Agriculteurs (FJA), the summit aims to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger, achieve food security, and promote sustainable agriculture.

The youth delegates from 49 countries will work together to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas which can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.

In addition to talks designed to spark their creativity, delegates will have the opportunity to tour EU institutions and meet with European policymakers, visit one of Bayer’s innovative sustainable farming sites, and gain real-world insights into sustainability in action from companies and organizations such as Rabobank, CropTrust, Thought for Food, BioBest, International Society for Horticultural Science, VIB – Flemish Institute for Biotech, Inagro, University Ghent and Ahold Delhaize Group.

Throughout the week, delegates will work to develop “Thrive for Change Projects”; concrete ideas to help achieve the UN SDGs in their communities and countries. Following a pitch process, the strongest ideas will be selected for future funding and development by Bayer.

During the very first Summit in Calgary, Canada, attendees learned how three ideas can turn into three actions. One of Derrick Rozdeba’s, VP of Communications at Bayer Inc. Canada, “3 little things” was making the Youth Ag Summit a recurring global event. I sat down with him to learn how that goal has become a reality.

Listen to our chat here: Interview with Derrick Rozdeba, Bayer Inc.

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Youth Ag Summit Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Food, Food Security, sustainability

Two More USDA Nominees Get Their Hearing

cindy zimmerman

The Senate Agriculture Committee yesterday heard from nominees Greg Ibach to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Bill Northey to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.

“Both Mr. Ibach and Mr. Northey have valuable ‘boots-on-the-ground’ experience. They are both farmers,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). “They know what weighs on the minds of farmers and ranchers, the challenges they face on daily basis, and the focus and drive they put into their life’s work. And, significantly, they are both dedicated public servants who have led their home state’s agriculture departments.”

Earlier this week, the full Senate approved Stephen Censky as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

Here are the opening comments to the committee from Ibach and Northey Ibach/Northey Hearing Comments

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Ag and Ethanol Groups Among EPA Partners

cindy zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency this week rolled out Smart Sectors, a partnership program with regulated sectors of the economy – including agriculture and renewable fuels – which is “focused on achieving better environmental outcomes.” Trade associations from 13 industry sectors were selected for their environmental and economic impacts.

“The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit.”

Organizations chosen to represent the agricultural industry in the program are the American Farm Bureau Federation and CropLife America. “Modern agriculture is environmentally sustainable,” said AFBF president Zippy Duvall. “EPA’s Smart Sectors Program provides a framework of welcome collaboration that embraces continued innovation aligned with our commitment to continuous improvement.”

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) was chosen to represent biofuels under the oil and gas sector as the only ethanol industry association representative invited to partner in the launch.

“We’re grateful Administrator Pruitt invited ACE to participate in this Smart Sectors program given the timely and critical ethanol issues currently under consideration at EPA,” said Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President.

According to EPA, the Smart Sectors program is intended to facilitate better communication and streamline operations internally at EPA.

ACE, AFBF, Ag Group, AgWired Precision, EPA

Precision Ag Bytes 10/4

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  • The Seam, a leading provider of agribusiness software and trading solutions, is launching new business intelligence tools for peanut farmers and handlers with real-time, actionable insights. The tools are part of The Seam’s Peanut Commodity Management Platform, which was released a year ago.
  • Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC) has released “Considerations for First Time Cover Crop Adopters.”  This guidebook for Illinois farmers contains the most recent research and information on the best management practices for effectively incorporating a cover crop ahead of soybeans.
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Help Finally on the Way for USDA

cindy zimmerman

Secy Perdue greets McKinney and Censky before Senate hearing (USDA Photo)

Over five months after he took office, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue finally has some help on the way.

Yesterday, the Senate voted to formally approved the nominations of Stephen Censky as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan and swift manner to confirm Stephen Censky and Ted McKinney,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chair Pat Roberts (R-KS). “Secretary Perdue, help is on the way.”

“I commend the Senate for confirming these two experienced, prepared, and capable nominees, who will provide the steady leadership we need at USDA,” said Secretary Perdue in a statement. “We eagerly await their arrival at USDA, and urge the Senate to continue to act on other nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing with both nominees on September 19. Tomorrow, the committee will hold a hearing on the nominations of Greg Ibach of Nebraska to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Bill Northey of Iowa to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. No hearing has been scheduled yet for Sam Clovis of Iowa, President Trump’s controversial pick for Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.

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Ag Export Coalition Urges Increased Funding for Export Programs

cindy zimmerman

More than 120 members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports are urging leaders of the House Committee on Agriculture to increase funding for USDA export promotion programs in the new farm bill.

The coalition ssent a letter to Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX), and Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), asking them to increase funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) to $400 million annually and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program to $69 million annually, phasing in the additional funding over the life of the next farm bill. Coalition members include virtually all of the major commodity organizations, as well as state and regional groups, representing everything from apples to wine.

“Over the years we’ve had a decrease in funding based on sequestration, administrative costs, and just overall inflation and depreciation of the U.S. dollar,” said Mark Powers, president of Northwest Horticultural Council and chairman of the coalition. “It’s a very positive public-private partnership, but the real purchasing power of those matching funds provided to MAP and FMD has decreased over the years.”

MAP and FMD are cost-share programs. Overall, producers and other participants contributed matching funds representing 70 percent of total program funds in 2016. Federal MAP funding has been apportioned at an annual level of $200 million since 2006 and FMD at its annual level of $34.5 million since 2002.

In this interview, Powers talks about how successful the programs have been and how important exports are to specialty crop producers, and you can learn more at Interview with Mark Powers

Ag Group, AgWired Precision, Exports, Specialty Crops

Bayer Showcasing Commitment to Cotton

chuck zimmerman

The Head of Seeds, North America, for Bayer CropScience is Lee Rivenbark. Lee was a lunchtime presenter during the Bayer Showcase Plot Tour in Lubbock, TX. I thought he would be a great person to provide an overview of why Bayer holds these events and especially the one in their new Cotton Breeding Station. He started out by telling me, “Today gives us a unique opportunity to interact with our growers. That’s what we’re here to do today.”

The event allows growers to hear about Bayer’s new technologies, germplasm, new varieties and commitment to agriculture and the cotton industry. Probably the most visible sign of that commitment is the Cotton Breeding Station itself. Growers got to tour the facility and see some of the equipment Bayer is using in its research. You can see photos from that part of the tour in the photo album below.

For more on what was going on during the day listen in to my interview with Lee: Interview with Lee Rivenbark, Bayer

Bayer Showcase Plot Tour – Lubbock, TX Photo Album

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Cotton