Bayer/Monsanto Merger Looks Promising with Trump

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

President-elect Trump’s transition team updated reporters yesterday on the outcome of meetings last week regarding Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.

Trump press secretary Sean Spicer says the president-elect received commitments from Bayer CEO Werner Baumann that they would keep Monsanto in St. Louis and “retain 100 percent of Monsanto’s 9,000-plus U.S. workforce and create at least 3,000 new U.S. high-tech jobs.” Additionally, Spicer said Bayer committed to $8 billion in new U.S. research and development. “The reason for this commitment and expansion is because of the president-elect’s focus on creating better business climate here in the United States, which is already increased consumer and small business confidence since the election,” said Spicer.

A joint statement from Monsanto and Bayer said Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant had “a very productive meeting” last week with Trump, and that they would be investing $16 billion in R&D over the next six years, with “at least half” of that being in the United States – “an investment in innovation and people that will create several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete.”


Ag Secretary is Last Minute Choice for Trump

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

President-elect Donald Trump will officially round out his cabinet by nominating former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture just a little more than 24 hours before the inauguration.

As word about the choice spread Wednesday evening, most agricultural groups were waiting until the official announcement to respond, but one of the first was American Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall who strongly supports his fellow Georgian. “I have known Gov. Perdue for years,” Duvall said. “I’ve seen firsthand his commitment to the business of agriculture as we worked together on issues facing farmers and ranchers in our home state of Georgia.”

George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III is 70 years old and served as governor of Georgia from 2003 to 2011 and was the first Republican governor elected in 130 years. He grew up on a farm, was a veterinarian and operates grain and fertilizer businesses. And even though Georgia is a top poultry producing state – no, he is not related to the Perdue poultry business.

AFBF, Government

Great Selection of Early Riser Sessions at Classic

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Rise and shine early to get the most from your Commodity Classic experience! Early Riser Sessions kick off at 7 a.m. each morning and offer a wide variety of education on important topics like market trends and ag issues.

Thursday, March 2 begins with “The Great 2017 Grain Marketing Debate,” while a live taping of the U.S. Farm Report will getting you going on Friday. Saturday you’ll have to pick between “What Would Make Someone Invest in Your Farm?” and “Piles to Files: Weed Through Your Paperwork.”

“Early Riser sessions really bring out the crowds at Commodity Classic,” said Kevin Ross, an Iowa farmer and co-chair of the 2017 Commodity Classic. “These sessions are real eye-openers and are well worth setting the alarm a few minutes early. We even reward your early start with complimentary coffee and pastries!”

Checkout the entire Commodity Classic schedule at

Commodity Classic

Syngenta Introduces CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Syngenta introduced the CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato insecticide/fungicide seed treatment just in time for the Potato Expo earlier this month. Chuck Zimmerman had the opportunity to talk with Christopher Clemens about the latest addition to the Syngenta Seedcare potato portfolio- the Vibrance fungicide.

CruiserMaxx has been around for a while now, Clemens explains, but we’re talking about it again because of the improved Rhizoctonia protection. The product also provides protection against Helminthosporium and Fusarium and is linked to stronger roots and higher yield potential. Combined with Cruiser insecticide seed treatment, the whole package can also protect against Colorado potato beetles, aphids, potato leaf hopper, potato psyllid and others.

“We have talked to a number of growers here, we’ve been talking to growers at GrowMore events through the field season, and what we’re showing and what we’re seeing there is that when you have high pressure situations with high rhizoctonia, you get a lot better control with CruiserMaxx Vibrace Potato and you’re also seeing a rooting power effect as well,” says Clemens.

For more information about the CrusierMaxx Vibrance Potato, growers can contact their local dealer, but Clemens also encourages them to look into the Grow More events being held in Washington and Idaho.

Listen to Chuck’s full interview here: Interview with Christopher Clemens, Syngenta

2017 Potato Expo photos

Potato, Syngenta

Balance GT Soybeans Receive Approval from China

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Balance GT soybeans from MS Technologies and Bayer have received import approval from China.

The Balance GT Soybean Performance System offers growers a high-yielding genetic along side a double herbicide-tolerant trait for both glyphosate and isoxaflutole, the active ingredient in Balance Bean. Approval from China is an important milestone in getting Balance approved for commercial soybean use. Already the product has approval from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the European Union and the U.S., but will not be available until it has received all required regulatory approvals.

“We are thrilled to have received approval from China — a key country in the process of bringing this technology to the market. Balance™ GT will truly improve the future of farming through its high-yielding genetics and control over glyphosate-resistant weeds,” said Joseph Merschman, president of MS Technologies™.

MS Technologies™ and Bayer have been collaborating for more than a decade to commercialize new herbicide-tolerant technologies for soybeans, starting with the LibertyLink® system in 2009. Balance™ GT will mark the second collaboration for the two companies and will provide a strong alternative to current weed management options.

Balance™ GT will be broadly licensed throughout North America. In upcoming years, Balance™ GT is expected to evolve into a triple-stacked herbicide-tolerant soybean, Balance™ GTLL, providing tolerance to glyphosate, Balance® Bean and Liberty® (glufosinate-ammonium).

Agribusiness, Bayer CropScience, Soybeans, Traits

WestBred Wheat Profitability Calculator Now on Website

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

WestBred® wheat is offering growers a new tool on their website. The Wheat Profitability Calculator was created to help growers understand the return on investments when planting Certified Seed and using WestBred wheat’s Optimal Seeding Rate recommendation, rather than saved seed.

“We wanted to find a beneficial way to demonstrate the advantage of using Certified Seed to our growers,” said Tipton. “With this tool, growers will be able to input their current planting information to determine how planting Certified Seed leads to higher profit potential.”

For more information about WestBred wheat and the Wheat Profitability Calculator, visit


SARL Leaders Explore CommonGround Approach

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

CommonGround volunteer Dawn Caldwell from Edgar Nebraska recently addressed the State and Ag Rural Leaders (SARL),informing them how the program connects farm women with urban and suburban women with concerns about food, farming and ranching. Caldwell was part of a panel and focus group that came together to help attendees better understand both consumer concerns and ways to better communicate with them.

The panel address topics like GMOs, pesticides, grocery purchasing patters and antibiotic and hormone use. Caldwell shared her own experiences from six years of participating in the CommonGround program, talking about their positive approach and asking state leaders to launch the program in states where it does not yet exist.

CommonGround is funded through the checkoff program by the United Soybean Board and the National Corn Growers Association.

Ag Group, NCGA, USB

Precision Ag Bytes

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

  • FMC is sponsoring the ARA Crisis Management Workshop on February 27-March 1 in Las Vegas. Learn to create or refine a customized Emergency Action Plan that is relevant, implementable, and sustainable for the needs of your business and local emergency resources.
  • CNH Industrial, parent company of Case IH and New Holland Agriculture, has appointed Dan Danford to the position of Industry Relations Manager, Precision Solutions and Telematics (PS&T). Danford joined CNH Industrial in 2012 as Public Relations and Sponsorship Manager for Case IH Agriculture in North America.
  • College students from the California area have been invited to the World Ag Expo Speaker Series, an event organized by the Women in Ag for Mentoring and Empowerment (WAME).  For information, visit their Facebook page.
Precision Ag Bytes

Nufarm’s Mycoshield Showing Positive Results

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

The Potato Expo in San Fansisco earlier this month gave Chuck Zimmerman a chance to talk to Nufarm Manager of Tech Services, Alan Haack about an issue affecting the home state of AgWired’s world headquarters. Citrus greening has devastated the citrus industry of Florida, affecting half of the state’s fruit production. Last year the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture declared a crisis and allowed the use of several products, including Nufarm’s Oxytetracycline Calcium Complex– Mycoshield. Now just shy of one year of use, Chuck was able to get the latest on efforts to curb the disease.

There hasn’t been a cure for the disease, which Haack likens to cancer. It can be in a tree for 3 to 5 years, maybe even just a branch, and not show signs, all the while spreading the bacterium. “Now with this product they’re seeing very positive results in extending the production of the current trees,” he tells Chuck.

That’s a huge step, considering trees can take 5 or 6 years to get back into production. Maintaining those trees instead of loosing them has great benefits to growers. Mycoshield could also have great benefits to the citrus industries in other states as well. Currently Nufarm is working with the state of Texas, which as seen a small outbreak of the disease, and California to prevent problems before they start.

To hear the latest for yourself, listen to the full interview here: Interview with Alan Haack, Nufarm

2017 Potato Expo photos

Coverage of the Potato Expo is sponsored by Coverage of Potato Expo is sponsored by Nufarm
Audio, Fruit, Nufarm

Bayer Honors 2017 Cotton Specialist

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Robert Hutmacher, PhD, has been named the 2017 Cotton Specialist of the Year, an award sponsored by Bayer.

Hutchmacher is an Extension Cotton Specialist at the forefront of disease management and water efficiency issues for California growers. He was selected based on peer evaluations in the areas of leadership and outstanding industry service.

“Extension Cotton Specialists are the backbone of our industry, providing leadership in our industry and the collaboration our growers need,” says Kenny Melton, PhD., Bayer Western Regional Agronomic Manager. “This role is the perfect marriage of science – the research and technology that drives our industry, and art – the management finesse that brings home the crop each season. Dr. Robert Hutmacher is a master of defining a grower challenge, rallying all parties to come to the table to address the challenge and then working with growers to put that science to work in their fields. Whether the challenge is finding resistance to Fusarium wilt Race 4 or increasing water efficiency, Dr. Hutmacher rises to the challenge. It’s an honor to work with him and a special joy to help bestow this award.”

Bayer CropScience, Cotton