Ag Groups Urge EU to Approve Biotech Events

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

eu-flagNearly 20 agricultural organizations signed on to letters sent this week to the European Commission and the U.S. Trade Representative urging that the European Union (EU) take action in September on nine biotech events that have received positive safety reviews and are awaiting final import authorization.

There are currently nine products, including four soybean products, which have already received positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinions and completed the subsequent review process, but are still awaiting final authorization for import for food and feed use from the EU’s College of Commissioners.

In a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman, the groups encouraged the Administration to contact EU Commission President Barroso to ensure action on the pending events in September and to ask the EU to respect its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make timely regulatory decisions on new biotechnology applications.

In a letter to the EU Commission, the groups stated that “the time required for EU decisions on new biotech crops has only lengthened in recent years and no authorizations have been issued since November 2013. Some of the products have been before the European Commission since the end of 2013 and were submitted to EFSA more than five years ago.

The letters were signed by groups including the American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, National Corn Growers Association, and the U.S. Grains Council.

AFBF, Ag Group, ASTA, biotechnology, Grain, NCGA, Tractor Cindy ZimmermanAg Groups Urge EU to Approve Biotech Events

Versatility in Tractors at John Deere

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

jd-product-14-brad-tolbertJohn Deere’s 6 family of tractors is their most versatile tractor yet. They say it has ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t.’ Chuck’s at John Deere’s media product launch and spoke with Brad Tolbert, Division Marketing Manager for John Deere, at the event and they talked tractors.

“What we are excited to release here is our large chassis 6R’s. We have three new models there. They are all FT4 compliant, but that’s just the underlying piece. There is a lot of customer value that is built in to add to the top of the tractors we introduced in Indianapolis several years ago.”

After conducting focus groups, Brad said John Deere went in and changed the hydraulic valve stack. This increases the use of the tractor and makes it easier to hook and detach from implements. The focus group also said they wanted more visibility in the cab, so John Deere added wide-angle mirrors.

Brad said the 6R’s are available today. Contact your local dealer and they can hook you up. These tractors also have many add-ons that allow customers to customize them to fit their operations needs.

You can listen to my interview with Brad here: Interview with Brad Tolbert

Agribusiness, Audio, Equipment, John Deere, Machinery, Tractor Jamie JohansenVersatility in Tractors at John Deere

Right to Farm Laws Necessary

Jamie Johansen 1 Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What do you think of Right to Farm laws?”

This ZimmPoll struck very close to home for me. As a Missouri farmer, I did what I could to help educate everyone I knew on the truths about the Right to Farm amendment that took a narrow victory earlier this month. I was excited to see that the majority of pollers thought laws such as these were needed to ensure the right to farm for generations to come. I believe we will see more and more states taking action to protect farmers. In my opinion it is a necessity.

Here are the poll results:

  • Necessary to save farming – 47%
  • Not necessary – 16%
  • Too dangerous – 14%
  • Maybe some states- 5%
  • Should be federal law – 8%
  • no opinion – 10%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What’s the most important skill set for ag communications?

College campuses across the country are flooded with students heading to class. With that in mind, we want to know what you feel is the most important skill agriculture communications students need to have mastered when they enter the workforce. Is it still the traditional writing/editing skills or more current social media/blogging skills that employees are seeking?

ZimmPoll Jamie JohansenRight to Farm Laws Necessary

John Deere Launches 2015 Products

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

John Deere 9RXThe new John Deere products are launched. Now it’s on to the field and fall farm shows and time to take orders.

However, you can’t order this machine which someone on Twitter last night dubbed the AgriTerminator. It’s a prototype Model 9RX with four tracks! The machine charged onto the show floor last night and was an example of how John Deere is being transparent with its dealers about the products the company is working on. That’s according to John Lagemann, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, United States/Canada/Australia/New Zealand, Agriculture and Turf Division who was on hand for the product reveal.

I spoke with John who says the theme of the show is “Committed to Lead.” We saw a full range of products from turf and utility to full size combines and new high horsepower 9 series tractors. John says that this is not only a product launch that addresses all types of equipment but also all segments of customers. It is also the biggest launch into the hay and forage business with products like a new large square baler.

Interview with John Lagemann

Now, if you’d like to see the new equipment in action then check out this video. I’ve compiled all the equipment that came out on the floor along with some entertainment for you to enjoy. I hope you like it and share it.

2014 John Deere Product Launch Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Equipment, John Deere, Video Chuck ZimmermanJohn Deere Launches 2015 Products

Second Year for NCGA-DuPont New Leaders Program

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

ncga-dupontThe National Corn Growers Association and DuPont have announced the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program, designed for corn growers interested in building skills to better serve local, state and national stakeholders.

“It’s important that farmers become strong leaders and spokespersons for American agriculture,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre, a corn grower from Illinois. “We’re grateful to DuPont for its support, and we’re proud of the men and women who joined this program for the first class, and we’ve already seen them doing some great things. Now, we’re actively looking for more couples and individuals to get involved in this dynamic new program.”

Ideal participants will be farming couples or individuals from NCGA’s affiliated states, or may be considering a board position. Those interested must be at least 21 years of age, active in corn farming, NCGA members and not currently serving in a state affiliate board officer position or as a Corn Congress delegate or alternate.

“We are proud to sponsor the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program,” said Jim Hay, regional business director, North America, DuPont Crop Protection. “These participants symbolize the future of agriculture in the United States and this program will teach them skills to benefit their careers and help feed our growing population.”

One couple or up to two single persons per NCGA-affiliated state will be chosen to participate in this hands-on communications and leadership training. The program will be implemented in three phases, with two plenary sessions: Iowa, January 2015; Washington July 2015, respectively.

The application deadline is Sept. 30, 2014 and participants accepted for the program will be notified in November. Find out more here.

Ag Group, Corn, Dupont Pioneer, NCGA Cindy ZimmermanSecond Year for NCGA-DuPont New Leaders Program

USDA Invests New Conservation Funds for Lake Erie

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

lake-erieThe U.S. Department of Agriculture is allocating $2 million in conservation funds for Ohio to help implement conservation techniques designed to improve water quality.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made that announcement this week and said USDA is also partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to expand “boots-on-the-ground” capacity in the area and will be contributing an additional $1 million in technical assistance which will in turn be leveraged by the NFWF along with other public and private entities. Earlier this month, water service in Toledo, Ohio was disrupted by algae blooms in Lake Erie.

“The voluntary conservation efforts supported by this new funding will help improve water quality in Lake Erie,” Vilsack said. “Many farmers have consistently stepped up to the plate on efforts to protect our water and we want to provide support and incentives for continued action. Along with these resources, we will be offering technical and financial assistance through our direct relationships with farmers, and by partnering with private and public groups on continuing conservation efforts in the Great Lakes basin.”

The Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is accepting applications from farmers this week for resources that will help with the planting of cover crops, which experts agree offer the best protection to prevent soil and nutrient erosion in the next season. The funding will be allocated to the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) to help farmers and partners accelerate water quality conservation activities to benefit Lake Erie. NRCS will be providing up to $2 million in Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds in Ohio for a targeted, one-week signup. This signup will be focused on planting cover crops on vulnerable soils this fall in order to reduce soil and nutrient loss from farm fields.

Conservation, USDA, water Cindy ZimmermanUSDA Invests New Conservation Funds for Lake Erie

Hick Chick Chat One Week to Farm Progress Show

Leah Guffey 1 Comment

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oIt’s starting next week. The Farm Progress Show will be back in Boone, Iowa August 26-28. ZimmComm has a full staff that will be on the grounds bringing you all the coverage from the 2014 Show. I spoke with Matt Jungmann a few weeks ago, but thought we’d remind you that in case you were considering checking out the 2014 show there’s a few things to remember.

FPS14-flagGates open at 8am each day, bring your walking shoes and be prepared to see the latest and greatest in agriculture. This will be my 14th show and I’m always impressed at the number of folks who attend each year, how far they travel and what they walk away from the show with as far as knowledge and checking out the latest and greatest agricultural equipment as well as more information. The show has expanded again this year just like it did in Decatur last year and Matt is expecting to see the field demos happen this year despite the cooler weather this summer, but he expects a great show.

If you’re planning to attend the show, the gates open at 8AM each day, they close at 5PM on Tuesday and Wednesday and 4PM on Thursday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for youngsters 13-17. You can get more information at

Hick Chick Chat with Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress Show

Join in the conversation on Twitter and on Facebook

Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by John DeereCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by GrowmarkCoverage of the 2014 Farm Progress Show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience
Audio, Events, Farm Progress Show Leah GuffeyHick Chick Chat One Week to Farm Progress Show

John Deere Introduces New Commercial Series of Tractors

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

jd-product-14-dave-guettermanBesides having the media in for John Deere’s product launch, dealers and others came for information and training on all their new equipment rolling out. Chuck’s first interview for the event was with Dave Guetterman who specializes in John Deere’s 9R and 9RT.

“The new 9 family of tractors was designed around three customer values: performance, up-time and cost of operation. The way we have addressed those needs is with increased horsepower, increased comfort and increased capability to the customer through these machines.”

Dave shared that the target market for the 9 series of tractors is the commercial ag grower and producer. This event marks the first time the public has seen this new machine and it will hit the marketplace later this fall. Each class Dave is teaching consists of a 40-minute presentation including video, animations, graphics and demonstrations.

You can listen to my interview with Dave here: Interview with Dave Guetterman

Agribusiness, Audio, Equipment, John Deere, Machinery, Tractor Jamie JohansenJohn Deere Introduces New Commercial Series of Tractors

AgGateway Leadership Transition

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

aggatewayAgGateway announced that President and CEO Rod Conner is resigning effective January 1, 2015, in order to lead the newly formed AgGateway Global Network; and that current Executive Vice President and COO Wendy Smith will move into the role of AgGateway President and CEO beginning in 2015.

Conner has served as president since 2009 and has been in AgGateway leadership for the past decade, through a period marked by significant year-to-year growth in both the association’s membership and productivity. Membership has grown in that time from fewer than a dozen companies to more than 200, and from eBusiness projects in two industry segments to current work under eight active Councils – for crop nutrition, crop protection, seed, feed, grain, precision agriculture and ag retail, as well as for the allied providers that support the industry.

Smith has worked closely with Conner through most of this growth. She has served in her current role since 2010, and before that time was an active volunteer in the organization while working as Regional Commercial Manager at BASF. Smith has over 30 years of work experience in the agricultural industry in a diverse set of roles, from research scientist and technical service training manager to new business development manager. She holds a B.S. in Plant and Soils Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in Botany from the University of California, Riverside.

“This is the best of all possible leadership transitions, with Rod Conner moving on to a new, affiliate organization to expand the AgGateway vision internationally, and with Wendy Smith moving in to take the reins. She is a talented and trusted leader who has already proven many times over her devotion to the AgGateway vision and mission,” said Randy Beard, Agronomy Input Manager at River Valley Cooperative and acting AgGateway Board Chairman.

The new non-profit AgGateway Global Network (AGN), a separate organization with its own board of directors, will expand the use of eBusiness and the collaborative efforts that AgGateway has begun in North America to other regions of the world. Through AGN, regional organizations will share and contribute to the AgGateway Open Standards and Implementation Guidelines, and will work to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture globally.

Agribusiness, Company Announcement Jamie JohansenAgGateway Leadership Transition

WSSA Updates Popular Herbicide Handbook

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 7.42.21 PMThe Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) announced the availability of the 10th edition of its popular Herbicide Handbook – a trusted resource used by educators, researchers, growers, extension agents, government officials, students and others interested in weed management.

First published more than three decades ago, the handbook offers comprehensive information on the more than 230 herbicides currently available in the U.S. It includes physical properties, mode of action, environmental fate, solubility, toxicity to humans and wildlife, binding properties and much more.

The new edition has been completely updated and reorganized in an easy-to-navigate alphabetical format. It also includes approximately 20 new herbicide compounds introduced since the last edition was published.

A handy glossary includes definitions of technical terms and acronyms, a conversion table for measurements, lists of adjuvants that improve herbicide performance, and an updated genealogy of agrichemical companies that reflects how the industry has changed through the years.

“Dozens of weed scientists volunteered their time in support of the project,” says Dale Shaner, a past president of WSSA and editor of the new edition. “They’ve helped us bring together a comprehensive body of information that should be useful to anyone who uses or studies herbicides.”

Ag Group, Weed control Jamie JohansenWSSA Updates Popular Herbicide Handbook