President Trump to Address Farm Bureau

cindy zimmerman

Next month, for the first time in 26 years, the President of the United States will address the membership of the largest general farm organization in the country.

Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, will address farm and ranch families from across the nation at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th Annual Convention, Jan. 5-10 in Nashville, Tenn. It was January 13, 1992 when the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, addressed the AFBF 73rd annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

That was just two weeks after Chuck and I had uprooted our Florida family and moved them to Missouri to work for the Brownfield Network. Lynn Ketelsen and I were chosen for some reason to anchor the live audio feed of President Bush’s speech, delivered via satellite to radio stations. That was where I first heard the pronunciation Missour-uh for the Show Me State and wondered if I had been pronouncing it wrong all my life. The scanned photo here is the best I could find in my archives – which is a box in the attic.

Searching on-line for photos from the event, I did find the video of the address on C-SPAN, and the text of the speech from the American Presidency Project. Two of President Bush’s main themes were international trade and tax reform, which are likely to dominate President Trump’s remarks as well. President Bush actually addressed the AFBF annual convention twice – the first time in 1990, which C-SPAN also has archived.

This is pretty fun to watch – and thanks to C-SPAN for keeping such an extensive archive and being a good use of our tax dollars!

AFBF, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Video

Precision Ag Bytes 12/20

carrie muehling

  • BRANDT has announced that Randy Blackburn has joined the U.S. ag sales team as Territory Sales Manager for the Northeast region. Randy has over 25 years of ag sales experience in the northeastern U.S. Prior to BRANDT, Randy managed customer development for Meherrin Chemical and spent 15 years in customer development for WinField Solutions and 10 years in sales and retail management for CPS.
  • Several successful Midwest agricultural retailers are partnering in a new business. CommoditAg™ is an easy-to-use online ordering platform utilizing an extensive network of local warehouses offering high quality agriculture products at low prices direct to your farm. With easy pick-up and delivery services, customers no longer have to wait to get what they need before going to the field. is now live and accepting orders.
  • The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today named five farmer and fertilizer retailers pairs who are implementing innovative and sustainable 4R fertilizer management practices on the farm to increase production and reduce their environmental impact. The 2018 Advocates include: Glenn Beck, Windermere, Fla./Rob Watson, Griffith Fertilizer Company, Frostproof, Fla.; Maria Cox, Whitehall, Ill./Kyle Lake, CHS Carrollton, Carrollton, Ill.; Chuck and Darin Dunlop, Parker, Kan./Jason Sutterby, AgChoice, Moran, Kan.; Jeff, CJ, and Greg Durand, St. Martinville, La./Earl Garber, Sanders/Pinnacle Agriculture, Crowley, La.; Doug Weathers, Salem, Ore./John Peters, Wilbur-Ellis, Woodburn, Ore.
  • ​USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to invest $10 million in the Conservation Innovation Grants program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

NCGA Announces 2017 Yield Contest Winners

carrie muehling

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has named the 2017 winners in its popular National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC). Five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel mark in the contest again this year.

The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 386 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 175.4 bushels per acre in 2017. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 542.2740.

That 542-plus bushels is another world record, set by the previous world record holder David Hula of Virginia. The new record yield was accomplished using Pioneer® P1197AM™ brand corn and breaks his 2015 record of 532 bushels per acre. Pioneer is proud to say that nine national and 191 state NCYC awards for 2017 are going to growers using Pioneer® brand products in their contest entry.

NCGA will honor this year’s winners during Commodity Classic 2018 in Anaheim, Calif. Find the complete list of state and national winners at The NCGA National Corn Yield Contest is in its 53rd year.

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Corn, NCGA

Soil Health Partnership Grows Program

cindy zimmerman

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is expanding its program thanks to a large investment made by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and matched by other donors.

The FFAR, a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill, awarded a $9.4 million grant to SHP, the Soil Health Institute, and The Nature Conservancy. The grant is being matched by General Mills, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, Monsanto, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Walmart Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and individual donors for a total investment of nearly $20 million.

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) director of soil health and sustainability Nick Goeser says the grant represents one of the largest investments ever made in soil health. “It will allow us to expand our program to include more farmers who want to benefit from our body of work analyzing how practices like growing cover crops, reducing tillage and using advanced nutrient management can help family farms survive and thrive,” said Goeser, who also serves as director of SHP, which is an initiative of NCGA

The partnership, which is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health, has already expanded to 111 farms in 12 states a year ahead of schedule and hired two new field managers. Abigail Peterson and Alex Fiock will help manage the growing number of farmers enrolled in the program in Illinois and Indiana.

In this interview, Goeser talks about the growth of SHP, as well as the upcoming 4th annual Soil Health Summit. Interview with Nick Goeser, Soil Health Partnership director

AgWired Precision, Audio, Conservation, Corn, NCGA, Soil, Soil Health Partnership

SMART Farmer Jerry Flint

cindy zimmerman

Jerry Flint may not technically be a farmer, but he did grow up on a farm in Ohio and his entire career has been focused on delivering new innovations to smart farmers.

In addition to being vice president of regulatory affairs for Dow DuPont Agriculture Division, Flint is also first vice chair for the American Seed Trade Association, and his company is an industry partner of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. DowDuPont is the official name of the company which now includes the very first commercial hybrid corn seed company – Pioneer Hi Bred, which was started in the mid-1920s.

Plant breeding has come a long way since the first hybrid was created, and in this edition of the SMART Farmer podcast, Jerry talks about the benefits of technological innovations in agriculture – SMART Farmer Podcast with Jerry Flint, Dow DuPont Agriculture Division

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Learn more about USFRA and SMART Farm

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, DowDuPont, Pioneer, Plant Breeding, seed, SMART Farmer, USFRA

What Secretary Sonny Needs From Santa

cindy zimmerman

It’s been a long and busy year for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, but he here at the end he is still short-staffed at USDA and could use some help from Santa to get the job done.

“I had no idea we would be delayed like this and it’s unfortunate,” said Sec. Perdue in a recent interview with Iowa Agribusiness Network‘s Ben Nuelle. “We have seven or eight different mission areas that need leadership, we’ve got less than half of those filled.”

One of the delays continues to be Bill Northey as USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation, who was nominated over three months ago but put on hold by Sen. Ted Cruz over ethanol politics. “The senate has its rules where one member can hold a nominee in this way, it has nothing to do with Bill Northey’s qualifications,” said Perdue. “But there is a provision where the majority leader can bring his nomination to the floor…over the objection of Sen. Cruz.”

As Congress gets closer to passing a final tax reform bill this week, Secretary Perdue says it would make a “tremendous Christmas present for Americans,” especially farmers. “We revere farmers and all that they do, we have to remember they are businesses as well and they gotta make a profit to stay in business and the less they have to pay in any expense, including taxes, the better they can reinvest in their farming operation.”

Listen to Ben Nuelle’s interview with Sonny here. It was conducted earlier this month, but all of Perdue’s comments are still pertinent – Iowa Agribusiness Network interview with Sec. Perdue

Sec. Perdue made his first appearance at the National Press Club last week to talk about USDA’s mission, the 2018 farm bill, trade, and other topics. Listen to that here: Sec. Perdue at National Press Club

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Audio, USDA

Sentera and AgDNA Integrate With Deere Ops Center

Cindy Zimmerman

Sentera and AgDNA have completed integration work that allows users to seamlessly share real-time in-season precision ag information using the John Deere Operations Center. The digital insights delivered by the integrated capability help advisors and growers gather data, run analytics, manage protection and nutrition strategies, build management zones, and push prescriptions seamlessly to John Deere on-field equipment, all within the Operations Center.

“Integration with AgDNA and the Operations Center lowers barriers to accessing high accuracy Sentera sensor data and analytics products, and provides better, faster inputs to the AgDNA product suite’s own data analysis engine. The result is greater productivity and more accurate prescriptions,” remarked Eric Taipale, Sentera CEO.

“By combining real-time sensor data from Sentera with in-field agronomic data from John Deere equipment, AgDNA is able to provide growers and their trusted advisors with a deeper understanding of crop performance throughout the season,” said Paul Turner, AgDNA CEO.

Click to read more.

Drones, John Deere, technology

Precision Ag Bytes 12/13

carrie muehling

  • Valley Irrigation announced that the Valley ICON series of smart panels has been named New Product of the Year by Agri Marketing Magazine. The four smart panels in the series provide center pivot irrigation operators equipment with an intuitive, customizable graphical user interface they can utilize at the pivot point or from a tablet or smartphone. The panels are compatible with most center pivot brands, are easy to upgrade and have plenty of memory.
  • This year marked the 175th anniversary for Case IH. The history of Case IH goes back to 1842 when Jerome Increase Case founded Racine Threshing Machine Works to produce a revolutionary machine to speed up the separation of grain after harvest. This legacy combines with that of other historic agriculture equipment manufacturers to make the company Case IH is today. The iconic equipment used on farms throughout the world includes Farmall, Maxxum, Magnum and Steiger series tractors; Early Riser planters, Patriot series sprayers and Axial-Flow combines.
  • Case IH has announced seamless data transfer capabilities between its Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) Connect farm management system and six new major service providers, including popular farm management system AgDNAUsers of AFS Connect will have the ability to share their agronomic data from their management portal directly to and from these third-party service providers.
  • Spensa​ ​Technologies​ ​Inc.,​ ​a​ ​precision​ ​agriculture​ ​technology​ ​company,​ ​announced​ ​its​ ​partnership​ ​with​ ​TerrAvion,​ ​Inc.,​ ​a​ ​California-based​ ​startup​ ​which​ ​provides​ ​aerial​ ​imagery​ ​for agriculture. As​ ​customers​ ​of​ ​Spensa​ ​work​ ​with​ ​farmers​ ​to​ ​scout​ ​fields,​ ​they​ ​can​ ​subscribe​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​up-to-date​ ​aerial imagery​ ​of​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fields​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​synthetic​ ​maps​ ​and​ ​analyses​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​growing​ ​season​ ​using TerrAvion’s​ ​image​ ​delivery​ ​platform,​ ​OverView.
  • TerrAvion,​ ​the​ ​market​ ​leader​ ​in​ ​aerial​ ​imagery​ ​for​ ​agriculture,​ ​announced a partnership​ ​and​ ​full​ ​integration​ ​with​ ​agX,​ ​the​ ​precision​ ​agriculture​ ​industry’s​ ​solution​ ​to​ ​data standardization​ ​and​ ​seamless​ ​exchange​ ​of​ ​data​ ​between​ ​software​ ​applications.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

AgriVisor’s Insight Program Kicks Off Eighth Year

carrie muehling

Farmers will again have the opportunity in 2018 to commit bushels into the Insight managed bushel program through participating elevators across the Midwest.

Participating farmers can choose any or all of four analysts including AgriVisor, who will then price grain out for them during a specific time period. Farmers can commit corn, soybean or wheat bushels to the program. They are notified anytime a transaction takes place. While the program doesn’t guarantee the best price, GROWMARK Manager for Grain Risk Cory Winstead explains it as another way to manage risk.

“The idea of the program is to diversify risk, take some of that marketing pressure off of the farmer and put it in someone else’s hands,” said Winstead.

The deadline to participate in the 2018 pricing period is December 31, 2017. The Insight program is offered by local elevators through Illinois and Iowa, as well as Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Alabama and Ontario, Canada. AgriVisor is a partnership between GROWMARK and Illinois Farm Bureau.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Cory Winstead here: Interview with Cory Winstead, GROWMARK

AgWired Precision, Audio, Growmark, Marketing

Plant Breeders Award Grad Scholarships

jamie johansen

The National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders (NCCPB) represents member companies in the business of plant improvement. So, a perfect place for them to award their Graduate Student Plant Breeding Award was the recent American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) CSS & Seed Expo in Chicago, IL.

NCCPB offered three graduate student currently pursuing a PhD. in plant breeding awards of $2,500 each and an invitation to attend the CSS 2017 meeting with expenses paid.

We were able to sit down with the three recipients to learn more about their research and future plans in the seed industry. Meet Race Higgins, Iowa State University; Mitchell Schumann, Texas A&M Univerisity; and Stacie Shuler, University of Wisconsin.

Listen here: Interview with NCCPB Scholarship Winners

2017 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo photo album

Ag Group, AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Crop Science, Plant Breeding