CAPA Hosts Precision Ag Forum

Jamie Johansen 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 12.15.06 PMThe Coalition for the Advancement of Precision Agriculture (CAPA) hosted its inaugural Precision Ag Forum, Sept. 18, in Washington, D.C. The Agricultural Retailers Association, along with CropLife America, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and other organizations with a stake in precision agriculture organized the event to educate and inform legislators, regulatory agencies and Capitol Hill staff about precision technology and its application on the farm.

“Precision agriculture has made incredible strides in the last seven to eight years,” said Paul Schrimpf, executive editor with Meister Media Worldwide and director of the Precision Ag Institute. “These advances go beyond equipment and application to agronomy, sustainability and conservation.”

The well-attended event included a panel discussion, moderated by Schrimpf, featuring growers and leaders in agricultural equipment, crop inputs and conservation. Panelists discussed their perspectives on trends in precision agriculture, big data, variable rate technology, guidance systems and soil testing and conservation.

“This forum serves as an opportunity to gather key stakeholders, share knowledge and foster a better understanding precision agriculture’s benefits,” said Daren Coppock, president and CEO of ARA and co-chair of the new coalition.

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Ag Group, Events Jamie JohansenCAPA Hosts Precision Ag Forum

Iteris Launches ClearPath Ag™ Select

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iteris-logoIteris, Inc. has launched a new agriculture weather information solution called ClearPath Ag™ Select that features high-resolution weather information combined with mapping visualization for real-time decision support.

The expanded Application Programming Interface (API) for iOS, Android and other computing platforms is based on Iteris’ ClearPath Ag cloud platform, which “combines the power of big data and analytics with the seasoned experience of Iteris’ in-house staff of growers, agronomists, meteorologists, and data scientists.”

ClearPath Ag Select provides high-resolution map visualizations of field-specific weather data up to a 1×1 kilometer, with location-specific weather information derived from a targeted array of ag weather observation and forecasting platforms. Advanced data assimilation and modeling then delivers the high-resolution data for precision agriculture applications.

Once integrated into their information systems, ClearPath Ag Select’s comprehensive solution allows agribusiness field staff to use the power of the ClearPath Ag platform to understand the effects of weather on their customer’s crops and the dynamic conditions in the field.

Learn more about this new product here.

Apps, Data, weather Cindy ZimmermanIteris Launches ClearPath Ag™ Select

Forecast for Next Growing Season Equals Buying & Planting Less

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New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How will low crop prices impact next year?”

Corn and soybean prices have dropped dramatically this year with record crops but the question is how much will that impact plans for next season. Will farmers plant less, buy less, or just hope prices will go back up next year? It looks like most feel farmers will be buying less and therefore equipment sales will be down. But overall we can expect to see fewer of all things.

Here are the poll results:

  • Lower planted acreage – 28%
  • Lower equipment sales – 38%
  • Less use of new traits – 10%
  • No impact – 19%
  • Other – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, When do you think medicinal marijuana will become a major cash crop?

More and more states are legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana and a few are even legalizing it completely. What does this mean for agriculture? Are we looking at the next major cash crop or will this trend fade?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenForecast for Next Growing Season Equals Buying & Planting Less

Great Lakes Restoration Plan Announced

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great-lakesThe Obama administration today announced a new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan that outlines steps that federal agencies will take during the next five years to protect water quality, control invasive species and restore habitat in the largest surface fresh water system in the world.

“We’re currently engaged in the largest conservation initiative in American history, with more farmers taking action to preserve clean land and water than ever before. As part of that historic effort, many farmers in the Great Lakes region are working hard to help improve water quality downstream,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We’re proud to partner with farmers and the many others engaged in voluntary efforts to restore the health of the Great Lakes. Supporting sound conservation practices such as planting cover crops, rotating crops, installing filter strips and restoring wetlands not only helps keep our water clean, it can help create jobs and grow the economy in local communities.”

The GLRI Action Plan announced today will focus on:

· Cleaning up Great Lakes Areas of Concern;
· Preventing and controlling invasive species;
· Reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful and nuisance algal blooms; and
· Restoring habitat to protect native species.

The Great Lakes Interagency Task Force includes EAP, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State and Transportation.

Source: EPA press release

Government, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management, water Cindy ZimmermanGreat Lakes Restoration Plan Announced

Deere to Review Strategic Options for Crop Insurance

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john_deere_logo_3623Deere & Company announced today it will review strategic options for its crop insurance business, which underwrites policies through John Deere Insurance Company, a business unit within John Deere Financial.

Deere said no formal decisions have been made and no agreements have been reached concerning the company’s crop insurance operations. Citi has been retained as exclusive financial advisor to assist in the initiative.

Effective risk management remains an important factor in successful farm operations, Deere noted. John Deere will continue to design, manufacture and offer technology, equipment and services in its precision agriculture offerings that enhance farming operations for customers.

Deere has been involved in the crop insurance business for 8 years, during which John Deere Insurance Company has become a top-10 provider of crop insurance with national distribution and a product portfolio of both government-backed multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) products as well as private crop insurance products such as hail protection.

Deere & Company is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land, providing advanced products and services to cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement, Crop Protection, John Deere Jamie JohansenDeere to Review Strategic Options for Crop Insurance

NCGA Online Campaign Highlights Proper Grain Channeling

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Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 2.30.52 PMThe National Corn Growers Association has launched an online campaign reminding growers of the importance of properly channeling grain this harvest. Through a series of online placements on, email blasts and text message alerts, the association will focus farmer attention during this critical harvest period, running from mid-September through early November.

“NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team always stresses the importance of balancing access to technology and export markets,” explained team chair Jim Zimmerman, who farmers near Rosendale, Wis. “The Know Before You Grow online tool plays an important role in this by empowering growers with the knowledge that they need to make educated decisions. With a potentially record crop on the way, it is more important than ever that we all work together to grow markets and maintain access to the products that allow us to provide such an abundance.”

Know Before You Grow stems from NCGA’s firm commitment to the principle that U.S.-grown biotech hybrids not intended for some export markets should not be placed into export channels. While the need to maintain export markets remains of great importance to NCGA, it also recognizes the potential difficulty farmers would face if a regulatory system that is not functioning overseas could bar farmers’ access to necessary technology indefinitely.

NCGA developed this campaign to highlight the importance of proper stewardship of corn, particularly that planted as part of the Right to Grow system for limited release of Duracade.

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Ag Group, Corn, Grain, NCGA Jamie JohansenNCGA Online Campaign Highlights Proper Grain Channeling

AFBF Videos on Big-Data Share Risks & Rewards for Farmers

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afbfThe American Farm Bureau Federation released a series of short educational videos to help farmers and ranchers understand the rewards and risks of data-analysis technologies sweeping the agricultural landscape.

“Modern data technology offers great benefits for America’s farmers and ranchers, but these new advantages don’t come without some risks,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.

From collecting weather data to analyzing nutrient applications and seed varieties, agricultural technology providers collect data that help farmers increase efficiency and yield higher profits. But many questions remain unanswered regarding who owns and controls this information once it is collected. Farm Bureau is leading the way in helping farmers get answers to these questions and secure their business data.

Through a series of four new educational videos, Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for AFBF, explains ownership of data, discusses key concerns for data use and provides guiding questions for farmers as they translate privacy agreements and terms-of-use contracts.

“Farmers must understand the issues being raised now, before they sign an agreement with an ag tech provider,” Thatcher said.
Ownership of data is often misunderstood, but this educational tool is an important introduction for farmers and ranchers considering signing on with ag tech providers.

Ag Group, Data, Farm Bureau, technology Jamie JohansenAFBF Videos on Big-Data Share Risks & Rewards for Farmers

N-Watch Program Growing

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This is the second of a four part series on Nutrient Management sponsored by FS/GROWMARK

howard-brownTwo years ago, GROWMARK started a pilot program in the state of Illinois called N-Watch to help farmers determine the concentration, form and location of plant-available nitrogen. It started with about 45 sites in Illinois and it has grown quite a bit since then.

“Right now we’re a little under 400 sites,” said Dr. Howard Brown, GROWMARK director of nutrient management and environmental stewardship. “We go from western Iowa, all the way up to the southern part of Ontario, down into Ohio and Indiana. So, we’re really excited about where we’re currently at with the program and there’s a lot of interest growing with farmers who want a new management tool to monitor the dynamics of plant available nitrogen.”

The objectives of the program are to quantify the form of available, soil-applied nitrogen (N), where it is located, and what happens to the concentration of available N over time in the upper 0-12 and 12-24 inch profiles of the soil. “Basically we break it into two different types of sampling,” Brown explains. “One we refer to as the inventory and the other is the tracking.”

Inventory sampling takes a look at a cross section of a field to measure plant available nitrogen every three inches for 30 inches. “Starting after harvest, this allows us to inventory residual nitrogen as we’re moving into the time of year when there will be no crop cover,” said Brown. The program then tracks the nitrogen by taking composite samples every 2-4 weeks until it freezes, and then in the spring to see if the residual nitrogen is still there.

Listen to Howard explain more about this program and its role in nutrient management on the farm. Interview with Howard Brown, GROWMARK

As this series continues, we will hear about the impact of N use beyond farm economics, and developing nutrient management plans. Read the first post in the series on Illinois’ nutrient loss reduction strategy here.

Nutrient Management Series

sponsored by
Nutrient Management Series is sponsored by GROWMARK
Audio, Growmark, Nitrogen, Nutrient Management Cindy ZimmermanN-Watch Program Growing

Registration Opens for AgGateway Annual Conference

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AgGatewayRegistration is now open for AgGateway’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference, “Cultivating eBusiness for Global Success”, to be held November 10-13 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz.

AgGateway’s ninth annual conference is expected to draw hundreds of business and IT professionals from across the ag industry to discuss ongoing activities and the latest resources in implementing eBusiness between agricultural trading partners. The program is especially geared to ag retailers, distributors, manufacturers of ag inputs (e.g., seed, crop nutrition, crop protection), and software and data service providers, as well as professionals in precision ag, academia, agricultural organizations, ag media and students interested in eBusiness developments. Attendance at the conference has doubled in the past four years. AgGateway currently has more than 200 member companies working collaboratively on eBusiness projects within eight major ag industry segments.

“We’re particularly excited about our speaker line-up and the many educational programs this year, including sessions that will help companies get connected more rapidly, how to access the many resources available, and ways to navigate such timely issues as Big Data and data privacy,” said Karen Thomas, Southern States Cooperative, the 2014 Annual Conference Committee Chair. “This is the best meeting of the year to bring colleagues and trading partners to learn about electronic connections being made to improve how we do business in agriculture.”

Register by October 17 to take advantage of significant early bird registration discounts. A discounted hotel rate of $149 per night is available until October 20 at the Renaissance.

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Agribusiness, Events Jamie JohansenRegistration Opens for AgGateway Annual Conference

Gangster® Herbicide Program Update

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Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 2.43.19 PMValent U.S.A. Corporation announced the launch of Fierce® XLT Soybean Herbicide for growers seeking premium residual control of tough weeds and annual grasses. In order to best service the needs of new Fierce XLT customers, Valent will discontinue Gangster® Herbicide after the 2015 growing season, as growers will now have a new choice for long-lasting, broad spectrum weed control.

“As an organization, our aim is to provide growers with the most reliable herbicide solutions,” said Gary Schaefer, senior manager, row crops for Valent. “Valent is committed to product innovation that best benefits growers and our channel partners with new solutions like Fierce XLT Herbicide.”

Valent will continue its support and service of Gangster in the field as the product transitions out of partner inventories. Valent will also support Gangster sales in its marketing programs for distributors, retailers and growers through the 2015 marketing year, beginning October 1, 2014, and ending September 30, 2015. Those interested in more information are encouraged to contact their local Valent sales representative.

Fierce XLT joins a strong lineup of soybean herbicide products from the Valent family of products: Valor®Herbicide, Valor XLT Soybean Herbicide, Fierce Herbicide, Cobra® Herbicide, Phoenix™ Herbicide, Resource®Herbicide and Select Max® Herbicide with Inside Technology™.

Ag Group, Crop Protection, Herbicides Jamie JohansenGangster® Herbicide Program Update