Topcon Acquires Digi-Star

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

topcon-600x117Topcon Positioning Group announces the acquisition of Digi-Star, a global leader in agricultural solutions involving weight sensors and control systems for feeding, planting, fertilizer, and harvest equipment manufacturers.

“After several years of working on development projects together, we are delighted with this acquisition. Digi-Star and Topcon Precision Agriculture are a perfect fit, bringing complementary technologies and distribution channels to our rapidly growing precision agricultural division,” said Ray O’Connor, president and CEO of Topcon Positioning Group. “At a time when many companies are decreasing their investment in agricultural markets, we are increasingly optimistic about their growth based upon our strong commitment to developing management systems and solutions that bring the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to every farm.”

Based in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Digi-Star is a global supplier of electronic equipment, precision sensors, optical yield and feed management sensors, displays, position verification, and software used by farmers and other equipment operators to precisely measure and analyze valuable data from critical farming processes. Digi-Star has a unique balance of expertise in the livestock and grain equipment markets.

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Agribusiness, Company Announcement, technology

Case IH Introduces Certified Pre-Owned Program

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 12.08.22 PMDan Danford, Case IH, talked with Ag View‘s Ken Rahjes at the 2015 Commodity Classic about the Case IH Certified Pre-Owned Program. The program is aimed to give customers the best warranties and financing on late model Case IH Steiger tractors, Magnum tractors and Axial-Flow combines.

“This is targeted for those who over the past five or six years have been trading in for new equipment and might be interested in looking into some used equipment, but don’t want to sacrifice reliability or peace of mind.”

The new program will assign additional warranty on units that have met the stringent CPO qualification requirements. CPO standards will include a rigorous 100+ point inspection, fluid analysis and genuine Case IH parts wherever any replacement is necessary.

Program Highlights:
– Includes late-model Axial Flow series combines and Steiger and Magnum tractors.
– Industry-leading Case IH Protection Plan with Extended Powertrain Coverage; 12 months/2,500 total engine hours, whichever occurs first for Steiger and Magnum tractors and 12 months/2,000 total engine hours, whichever occurs first for Axial Flow combines, covered by Case IH.
– $0 deductible on all qualified Certified Pre-Owned warranty visits.
– CNH Industrial Parts & Service will issue a $100 reward card, which can be used to purchase genuine Case IH parts at a Case IH dealership, for each Certified Pre-Owned unit purchased.

Listen to Ken’s complete interview with Dan here: Interview with Dan Danford, Case IH

2015 Commodity Classic Photo Album

Coverage of Commodity Classic is sponsored by
Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by John Deere Coverage of Commodity Classic sponsored by Propane Education and Research Council
Agribusiness, Case IH, Commodity Classic, Equipment, Machinery, Tractor

AgChat & Valent are #Relentless

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Valent Relentless ContestThe newest sponsor of the AgChat Foundation, Valent, is running a contest called “Relentless As You.” It’s easy to enter by submitting a 100 word essay & a pic and you may provide your community $1K!

One of our newest sponsors, Valent U.S.A. Corporation wants to honor YOU! They have launched the “Relentless As You” initiative which aims to recognize the relentless spirit of the American Farmer and growers who go above and beyond in their communities and farming operations.

The contest has been EXTENDED to March 28, 2015, on relentlessasyou.com/contest.

To enter, growers, or someone nominating a grower, must submit a 100-word description of their relentless spirit of dedication and determination to succeed on the farm and in the community accompanied by a photo or video. Growers can nominate themselves or be nominated by a family member, friend or neighbor.

At the conclusion of the contest, a panel of judges from Valent will choose five national winners, who best exemplify a relentless way of living. A $1,000 grant will be awarded in the winner’s name to a local 501(c)(3) charity of the winner’s choice. In addition, a $500 grant to a local 501(c)(3) charity will be given in each winner’s respective local retailer’s name.

AgChat, Agribusiness

Global Cancer Group Findings on Glyphosate Disputed

Cindy Zimmerman 1 Comment

A new evaluation by the International Agency for Research classifying glyphosate as being “probably carcinogenic to humans” departs from the general scientific consensus, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

“This contradicts a strong and long standing consensus supported by a vast array of data and real world experience, and comes from an organization that rarely addresses potential pesticide carcinogenicity, perhaps because the real concerns in this area are minimal, and lie elsewhere,” said ITIF Senior Fellow Val Giddings. “The IARC statement is not the result of a thorough, considered and critical review of all the relevant data. It is beyond the pale.”

monsanto1Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the company issued a release joining “fellow members of both the EU and U.S. glyphosate taskforces in our disagreement with IARC’s classification.”

Monsanto Vice President Global Regulatory Affairs Dr. Philip Miller stated that they “take great pride in the science behind, and safety of” their products and they dispute the agency’s findings for several reasons. “(T)here is no new research or data that was used; the most relevant, scientific data was excluded from review; the conclusion is not supported by scientific data; and there is no link between glyphosate and an increase in cancer when the full data set is included in a rigorous review.”

The IARC assessed the carcinogenicity of five organophosphate pesticides and in addition to glyphosate, classified the insecticides malathion and diazinon to be “probably” carcinogenic and insecticides tetrachlorvinphos and parathion as “possibly” carcinogenic.
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Agribusiness, Herbicides, Monsanto, Pesticides

Bayer CropScience Launches Flower-Growing ‘Feed a Bee’

John Davis Leave a Comment

feedabeeBees are a lot like farmers in the way they play a crucial role in feeding a growing a world population. That’s why the folks at Bayer CropScience have launched an effort called “Feed a Bee,” an initiative to grow 50 million flowers to increase forage for honey bees and other pollinators.

As the world’s most heavily traveled livestock, bees are transported to pollinate crops where resources are challenged to sustain large bee populations. Bees are working harder and need more food and more food diversity.

“Reduced bee habitat has decreased food options for bees at a time when agriculture and apiculture must work together to feed more people than ever,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP North America. “The Feed a Bee initiative provides opportunities for everyone to be a part of creating more forage for these amazing creatures.”

The Feed a Bee initiative will work with people across the country to grow 50 million flowers and to increase bee forage areas. People can join this initiative by visiting www.FeedABee.com and requesting a free packet of wildflower seeds to plant on their own or by asking the Feed a Bee initiative to plant on their behalf. Each campaign packet contains about 200 seeds. As a result, for either seed packet planting action, a supporter will help provide honey bees with 200 additional flowers for forage. Visitors to the site can also commit to growing their own bee-attractant plants. The site features a ticker so supporters can view campaign progress and a collection of shareable facts about bee health and gardening tips.

Feed a Bee will use collaborations with at least 50 government and nonprofit organizations and businesses to plant thousands of acres of flower-producing crops grown between regular crop production periods for bees. Some of those partners include the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, and the Conservation Technology Information Center, among others.

Agribusiness, Bayer CropScience, Bees

Protecting Ag Important to Rep. Lucas

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Sara Wyant with Agri-Pulse and Rep. Frank Lucas

Sara Wyant with Agri-Pulse and Rep. Frank Lucas

Former House Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) stopped by the Agri-Pulse Ag Day kickoff event Tuesday evening and commented on the budget plan unveiled by House Republicans would protect 2014 Farm Bill programs.

“The 2014 Farm Bill is primarily mandatory spending for the next five years but there’s a certain amount of discretionary spending, like day to day operations at USDA,” said Lucas, explaining that the annual appropriations bill for that spending is where farm bill programs are at risk. “So this is the first step in a long process of protecting the resources that the House and the Senate and the president agreed should be available for production ag and rural America.”

Lucas says events like National Ag Day help agriculture stay visible in Washington and to educate new members of Congress. “The turnover in membership in the U.S. House and Senate in the last decade has been nothing short of incredible,” he said. “Literally half the House wasn’t here six years ago.”

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Rep. Lucas here: Interview with Rep. Frank Lucas, R-OK

Agri-Pulse Farm to Fork Politics Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day Activities is sponsored by
Coverage of National Ag Day Activities is sponsored by Growmark
Ag Day, Audio, Government

Kubota Partners with Farmer Veterans with ‘Geared To Give’

John Davis Leave a Comment

farmvetcoalition1Kubota Tractor is giving back to U.S. military veterans pursuing a future in farming. The company launched its “Geared To Give” program, a partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) that will provide financial support and donated Kubota equipment to those vets who want to farm.

Beginning this spring, FVC will select qualified veterans who are pursuing a future in farming to receive donated Kubota equipment and other support for their respective farming operations. Farmer veterans who are FVC fellowship members can apply for the “Geared to Give” program and be considered for the donated equipment. Kubota has selected its versatile and efficient Standard L-Series compact tractors, which are proudly built in the U.S., to meet the varying needs of many small and medium-sized farming operations.

“Kubota and the Farmer Veteran Coalition share a belief in the future of farming and the future of America’s veterans,” said Todd Stucke, Kubota vice president of sales, marketing and product support. “Our philanthropic mission is to ‘power and empower those who move the earth.’ We do this by providing equipment and funding to organizations that help people who work with the earth in ways that help our communities thrive – that is why we’re proud to support FVC and their farmer veteran members: they need support to make their dreams of a career in farming a reality, and Kubota is honored to answer their call.”

The California-based FVC is cultivating a new generation of farmers and food leaders, while developing viable employment opportunities and meaningful careers for veterans through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, Equipment, Tractor

Farmers Unite to Fight Organic Attack Video

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Both conventional and organic farmers joined together last week on social media to criticize a video that uses cute kids to attack modern farming practices.

The YouTube video was produced by a group called Only Organic and features children acting out a school play singing “Old McDonald had a Farm” with lyrics about pesticides and GMOs and hormones and antibiotics.

USFRAIn response to the video, a diverse group of farmers representing all types of production practices responded with one voice during an Only Organic Twitter party last week to “celebrate the video”. According to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance CEO Randy Krotz, the farmers criticized the video for being misleading and unfair and called for an end of “farmer bashing.”

“We have farmers that grow both organic and conventional crops,” said Krotz. “It’s concerning to see people trying to demonize today’s agriculture and promote only their type of food production.”

Krotz says they are reaching out to Only Organic and food companies that support the organization to engage in dialogue rather than attacks. “Farmers and ranchers have the tools to tell their stories, even in hostile environments,” he said. “And organic and conventional farmers who respect each other are beginning to work together to make sure that truthful information gets to consumers.”

Listen to an interview with Randy about USFRA’s response to the video here: Interview with Randy Krotz, USFRA

Audio, biotechnology, USFRA

Local Grain Bids Now in Farmers Hands with AgMobile App

John Davis Leave a Comment

agmobile1A new free app will put the power of timely grain bids in farmers hands. AgriCharts, the agricultural commodity division of Barchart, and Successful Farming, have incorporated intraday cash grain bids into their new AgMobile app.

“AgMobile is helping consolidate physical grain pricing in a currently highly-fragmented market. With local grain bids available through one central app, farmers can better monitor market prices,” said Mark Haraburda, Managing Director of AgriCharts. “Between the market data we are providing and the news, weather, and video content from our partner Successful Farming, AgMobile is a reliable new tool for farmers,” added Haraburda.

AgMobile’s Local Grain Bids features:

Grain bids are updated intraday
Local cash grain bids based on zip code or GPS coordinates
Farmers can view old and new crop bids
Access to multiple locations per elevator
Integrated Google Maps for elevator location and contact information

AgMobile is available in the App Store and Google Play. Information in the app besides the local cash grain bids includes futures quotes, charts, news and weather.

Agribusiness, Apps

Trimble Offers Enhanced Commodities Data

John Davis Leave a Comment

trimbleFarmers will get better commodities information thanks to our friends at Trimble. The company says it is providing farmers with the markets data as part of its Connected Farm™ solution.

The information is available to all farmers using Trimble’s Connected Farm dashboard, a Web portal that provides one central location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations. With this enhancement, Trimble continues to make Connected Farm a trusted source of quality information for growers.

In the commodities section of the Connected Farm dashboard, farmers are now able to view local cash bid prices by postal code and futures market commodity prices delayed by only 10 minutes. This gives users the ability to monitor the value of their crops so they are better able to determine when and where they should be selling them in order to maximize profits.

In the Connected Farm dashboard, farmers can also view their weather forecast, daily rainfall totals, Doppler radar maps, farming tasks, field boundaries, fleet locations and monitor irrigation systems. With this information, farmers are able to make more informed management decisions for their farming operation. For example, knowing daily rainfall totals can help growers determine whether to run irrigators or not, or determine a specialized irrigation prescription based on differing rainfall amounts across the field. The Connected Farm dashboard is customizable and accessible via Internet-enabled devices such as desktop and notebook personal computers, smartphones and tablets, and the Trimble® TMX-2050™ display.

Trimble officials say with all this information conveniently located in one place, farmers will be able to make timely decisions to maximize their profits.

Agribusiness, Data, Trimble