Farmers Heading to Phoenix for #Classic15

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

commclassic2015Corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers from all over the country are heading to Phoenix this week for the 20th annual Commodity Classic convention and trade show.

“Commodity Classic gives us the opportunity not just to celebrate great work, meet with friends and learn about new products and services, it allows growers to get together in one place to shape policy for our organization,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chip Bowling. “This year, all eyes and ears will be focused on the importance of building profitable demand for our farmers when corn production is high and corn prices are low.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will make his sixth visit to Commodity Classic to address farmers during the event’s General Session on Friday.

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show, produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers. Starting in 2016, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers joins as the newest affiliate of Commodity Classic.

We’ll be bringing it all to you right here on Precision.AgWired, thanks to our wonderful sponsors!

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
Ag Group, Commodity Classic, Corn, NCGA, Sorghum, Soybeans, wheat

10th Annual Bayer CropScience Forum #AIF2015

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

Jim Blome Bayer CropScienceThe 10th Annual Ag Issues Forum (AIF), conducted by Bayer CropScience, is underway in advance of this year’s Commodity Classic in Phoenix. First speaker was Jim Blome, President/CEO, Bayer CropScience LP, who talked a little bit about his farm background and challenged attendees to get local though leaders out on a farm to help them better understand where their food comes from.

“If someone sits down to a meal, they’re part of the food system,” said Blome. “Conversations about agriculture have been happening without key contributors from our industry for far too long. Events like Ag Issues Forum foster the kinds of conversations so needed between those who work across agriculture and the people who consume the food they help produce. We can learn a lot from each other.”

Presenters and topics at the two-day event include Michael Rogers, futurist and author; former U.S. Rep. Thomas Latham; Jason Brown, former NFL player-turned-farmer; Bill Hohenstein, director of the Climate Change Program Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Robert Colangelo, founder of Green Sense, a large-scale vertical farm; Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, a nonprofit dedicated to building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters; and Mae C. Jemison, M.D., the first African-American female astronaut and science literacy advocate for Bayer’s award-winning Making Science Make Sense® program.

Listen to Jim’s remarks, discussion with AIF host Frank Sesno, and answering questions from ag media: Jim Blome, Bayer CropScience, Remarks

2015 Ag Issues Forum Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer CropScience

Ag Groups Call for Rejection of Farm Bill Cuts

John Davis Leave a Comment

nfu-smallA coalition of nearly 400 organizations, including the National Farmers Union (NFU), is calling for Congress to reject efforts to make additional cuts to the 2014 Farm Bill. The NFU and the coalition of groups, representing family farmers and ranchers, agribusiness, food banks, environmental and faith-based organizations, sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House leaders asking them to stop the cuts.

“The 2014 Farm Bill required over three years of debate in both chambers of Congress and ultimately ended with the consolidation of over 100 programs and cuts to mandatory spending across many titles, including the elimination of the direct payment program,” noted the letter, sent to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate and House Budget Committees. “These cuts came in addition to those already in effect due to sequestration.”

The letter noted that the bipartisan Farm Bill was estimated to contribute $23 billion to deficit reduction over 10 years, when including sequestration. “These difficult cuts were made across the farm safety net, conservation programs, and nutrition programs,” noted the letter, which was sent late yesterday.

The signators underscored their united opposition to re-opening any title of the Farm Bill during the consideration of the 2016 Budget Resolution and urged both chambers to refrain from including reconciliation instructions to the respective committees with oversight duties for the Farm Bill.

NFU President Roger Johnson said the 2014 Farm Bill “was a great victory for America’s family farmers and ranchers” and a big win for taxpayers. He added that it is legislation that has already been debated and passed and should be left alone.


Many Still in Quandary Over Crop Insurance

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Which crop insurance option will you be choosing?”

It is evident that many farmers across the country still do not understand the crop insurance options offered in our recent farm bill and deciding has become a chore. However, the majority of those who took our poll and have made a decision have selected agriculture risk coverage or ARC.

Here are the poll results:

  • PLC – 15%
  • ARC – 47%
  • Still unsure – 38%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, What do you think of proposed government control over the internet?

We have been hearing the term net neutrality or open internet in the news lately. The FCC says open internet ensures that every American has access to open and robust high-speed internet service. As we understand it, the FCC’s guidelines for this are being challenged by a number of organizations. So, we want to know what you think about a proposed government control over our internet.


Farmall 100A Series Meets Needs of All Customers

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nfms-15-case-farmallIf you walked through the Case IH booth at the National Farm Machinery Show last week you were bound to see their line of Farmall 100A tractors. Denny Stroo, Case IH, was on hand to share his knowledge of the esteemed tractor and Chuck was there to capture it.

“This particular Farmall is a 140A, which is part of the 100A series of tractors. Brand new this year is our cab platform as well as our new engine platform. The new cab gives us the ability to have a really nice ergometry laid out controls along with a couple of nice options. We have a high visibility roof panel that makes loader work very convenient. Another option is the instructors seat.”

Denny shared many other options you can select from to fit your operations needs, whether you are a row crop or livestock customer it seems this line of tractors has something for you. Case IH dealers have been taking orders for a couple of months now and they will start showing up on dealer lots this Spring.

The goal at Case IH was to provide a industry leading, cost-effective product for their customers, Denny believes they have succeeded. Learn more about how you can get your own in Chuck’s complete interview with Denny here: Interview with Denny Stroo, Case IH

Find photos from the event here: 2015 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Case IH, NFMS, Tractor

Extra Propane Incentives at Commodity Classic

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

propane-incentiveFarmers attending the Commodity Classic this week in Phoenix can learn about the latest developments in reliable and efficient propane-powered agricultural technologies – and earn up to $6,000 towards equipment purchases through the Propane Farm Incentive Program.

The program, sponsored by the Propane Education & Research Council, already offers up to $5,000 for qualifying equipment purchases but during the Commodity Classic, an additional incentive of $1,000 will be available.

The special $1,000, show-only discount will be valid for producers who stop by the PERC booth spaces, located at #2126, 2128, 2227, and 2229. PERC’s booths will feature a new 8.8-liter propane irrigation engine by SRC Power Systems and a propane-powered Exmark Laser Z X-Series commercial mower.

“With so many new technologies available on the market, and incentives of up to $6,000 available from PERC, now is the perfect time for producers to learn what’s new, and to take advantage of the benefits of clean, American-made propane,” said Cinch Munson, PERC’s ‎director of agriculture business development.

PERC has worked with a number of manufacturers to bring a new generation of propane-powered irrigation engines to the market in recent years. New emissions-compliant propane engines cost less up front than costly Tier 4 diesel engines, and Propane Farm Incentive Program participants report cutting fuel costs by over 50 percent by switching to propane irrigation, compared with similar diesel engines. Propane-powered irrigation systems also produce 11 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel systems, and 24 percent less than gasoline-fueled systems.

PERC is one of our Commodity Classic sponsors this year so we will be learning much more this week about how switching to propane makes more dollars and sense than ever. Find out details about the incentive program here.

Commodity Classic, Energy, Irrigation, PERC, propane

iSOYL App Makes Variable Rate Application Easy

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 4.15.46 PMiSOYL, the pioneering new app from SOYL, streamlines the variable rate application process for iPad users, saving growers time, money and effort. It uses a smart cable and adaptor to connect with all popular spreader, sprayer and drill controllers, and a data transfer system allows information to be effortlessly and efficiently transferred between field and office. Outside the UK application maps can be used from any provider using the shape file format which is converted to run in iSOYL.

Simon Parrington, SOYL’s commercial director, says, “We are always looking for ways to make precision crop production as simple as possible, and this is a really exciting development. It is the next generation of precision technology and will enable more growers to use variable rate techniques on their farms.”

SOYL has listened to its customers, and has responded to their feedback by ensuring that iSOYL is easy and intuitive to use. The clear, uncluttered layout makes it easy to find variable rate application files and maps, and the touch-screen interaction allows the user to quickly control and edit them. Tom Parker is business development manager with SOYL and he explains that iSOYL is much more practical to use than current systems. “When you mount the iPad in the tractor cab, you have a large, full colour display making everything really clear and much easier to use than having to peer at a small screen and fiddle with tiny buttons” he says. “That can make a real difference if you are amending your application files on the move or dropping markers to record a point or interest.”

iSOYL allows users to add their own points of interest such as weed populations or crop variation in their fields by simply dropping a pin on the relevant area and recording a note. Because the system uses a GPS signal, it is easy to locate the exact location next time they return to the field.

iSOYL is compatible with iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Air. Tom goes on to explain that many growers are already using iPads, “That helps to keep the initial outlay to a minimum” he says. “Furthermore they will be used to the way that apps work, which will make iSOYL even easier for them to use.”

Agribusiness, Apps

Bold New Look for the Case IH Maxxum Tractors

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nfms-15-case-maxxumCase IH has added a few new products to their lineup this year and Chuck caught up with David Bogan, Case IH, during the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) to learn more about their Maxxum tractors.

“As we have moved into the 2015 calendar year we have had to meet those new EPA standards for this horsepower range tractor. This tractor is equipped with the Tier 4 B technology and the Final SCR-only technology that is exclusive to our brand. This means we only treat the emissions after combustion within the exhaust.”

“As you look at this tractor you can see that the styling has changed. It has a very bold, aggressive new look. A new roof cap as well that has LED lightings that are now standard. You can light up the night just like the day.”

The Maxxum tractors were publicly launched during the Cattlemen’s Industry Conference earlier in February, but if you missed them there and at NFMS I am sure you will see at next week’s Commodity Classic.

David suggests farmers and ranchers dig a little bit deeper into the specifications on these tractors to see if it will fit their operations needs. Listen to Chuck’s complete interview with David here: Interview with David Bogan, Case IH

Find photos from the event here: 2015 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Agribusiness, Audio, Case IH, NFMS, Tractor

USDA Announces $37 Mil to Reduce Wildfire Threats

John Davis Leave a Comment

usda-logoThe Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service are partnering to reduce wildfire threats. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced nearly $37 million in investments designed to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet.

Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie unveiled the 15 Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership projects for 2015. Located across the country from Washington to Vermont and Arizona to Ohio, NRCS and Forest Service will invest $10 million in new projects to improve conditions on public and private lands. One new project is in the Upper North Fork region near Gibbonsville, Idaho designed to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire to communities along a portion of the Highway 93 corridor.

“By leveraging the technical and financial resources of both agencies, this coordinated effort is helping to restore lands across large landscapes regardless of whether they are on public or private lands,” Bonnie said. “Our successes from the 2014 projects demonstrate that these partnerships make a difference on the ground and we are grateful for the cooperation of several partners.”

Bonnie noted that in some cases these new projects build on last year’s efforts. The partnership made investments in 2014 that will result in conservation improvements to over 266,000 acres. NRCS and Forest Service will provide an additional $27 million to continue work on 2014 projects.

Partner organizations will also kick in more than $5 million in financial, technical and in-kind services over the next three years for the 2015 projects.


Raven’s Hawkeye Nozzle Control System

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

nfms-15-ravenOne of the products our friends at Raven were featuring at the National Farm Machinery Show was their Hawkeye Nozzle Control System. Chuck spoke with Raven’s Gary Esselink about what sets this sprayer apart from others on the market.

“The Raven Hawkeye is a sprayer system where we maintain constant pressure through application. One of the things that is becoming a big issue with farmers and applicators these days is the ability to maintain a consistent spray pattern throughout the field. The best way to do that is to maintain your pressure.”

Gary said another nice thing about this product is the ISO product controller that controls all functions of the Raven system. The Hawkeye Nozzel Control is compatible with AGCO, Case, Miller and Apache sprayers.

Learn more about Raven’s sprayer system in Chuck’s complete interview with Gary at NFMS here: Interview with Gary Esselink, Raven

Find photos from the event here: 2015 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Agribusiness, NFMS, Raven, Spraying