Agrible Pocket Drone Control App Makes Drones Easy

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The Pocket Drone Control app from Agrible is making it easier for growers to gather insights from ariel images. The new software works with Crop Copter’s UAVs to find damage in a field from weather or pests. The iOS app works with the Morning Farm Report suite of analytic tools that provide decision-making information about everything from when fields are ready for equipment to nitrogen levels and it is free with your current account.

Pocket Drone Control uses Morning Farm Report to seamlessly plan a flight and launch the drone with just a few swipes on an iPhone or iPad. It can cover an 80-acre field in less than 15 minutes, all on one battery with life to spare. After the drone takes photos, you can quickly classify damage as hail, disease, drift, flooding, etc on your mobile device, even if you don’t have a data connection. Then, the information uploads to Morning Farm Report where you can access and share it at any time.

“Aerial survey can provide invaluable insights for crop insurance adjusters, ag service providers, and growers,” said Jack Marck, Product Engineer at Agrible. It’s a unique perspective of their crop that has historically been expensive or even impossible to get.”

Aerial Imagery, Agrible, Agribusiness, Data, Scouting

Knoa Helps GROWMARK Boost Performance

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Knoa Software is pleased to announce that GROWMARK, Inc. is utilizing SAP® User Experience Management (SAP UEM) to increase user adoption and improve performance of its applications.

“This is a groundbreaking project that further confirms our commitment to supporting SAP enterprise solutions,” said Brian Berns, CEO of Knoa Software. “We are very pleased to help GROWMARK identify and proactively address user experience issues, and look forward to supporting them throughout their entire journey with SAP software.”

GROWMARK began rolling out SAP software in 2015 and uses the SAP UEM application to help monitor user behavior and system performance/processing times for applications running in the cloud environment.

“This solution enables us to apply real analytics to any problems we encounter, rather than having to rely solely on feedback from our users,” said GROWMARK’s Steve Whaley, SAP Basis and senior database administrator for the company. “If an employee complains that the system is slow, we can now see the exact processes that are causing issues. SAP UEM will provide tremendous value as we continue to roll out new applications.”

Knoa is an SAP partner whose user experience management solution is resold by SAP as an SAP Solution Extension. SAP UEM sheds light on application usage, user adoption and user workflows, helping customers protect and maximize investments in SAP applications and upgrades.

Read more here.

Agribusiness, Data, Growmark, Software, technology

Wet Weather Sends Planters to the Shed

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It’s discouraging when the writer in the family is busier than the farmer, but if your planter was in the shed this week take solace– so was ours.  And since misery loves company, here’s the latest USDA report showing national corn planting progress falling behind last year and the five year average.

Texans are doing well, with more than 60 percent planted and ahead of schedule but Kansas is well behind at just nine percent when the average is twice that. Illinois at six percent is half the average and Missouri has only 17 percent of the crop planted compared to the average of 25 percent and last year’s record progress at this time when over half of the crop was already in the ground.

Cotton planting is running right around the five year average at eight percent and sorghum is also about average at 21 percent.

Corn, Cotton, Planting, Sorghum, Soybeans, USDA

Irrigation Pumps Move Africans Out of Poverty

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Now founder and CEO of KickStart International, Martin Fisher went to Africa for one year.  Seventeen years later he was still in Kenya, finding ways for technology and engineering to make a difference.  Martin presented what he’s learned at the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference where Jamie was able to sit down with him to hear his story of the challenges of farming in sub-saharan Africa.

Through those years Martin came to the simple conclusion that when you are poor anywhere around the world your #1 need is a way to make more money, thus KickStart International was formed.  In sub-saharan Africa the majority of the poor are farmers, Fisher explained, therefore his mission focused on moving farmers from rain-fed farming to irrigated farming.

With the focus of low-cost irrigation, Martin and his team developed a line of human-powered irrigation pumps called MoneyMaker Pumps. The pumps are mass produced and distributed across Africa through small local retail shops. KickStart has a team to educate farmers about irrigation and its impact on their farms. Over 300,000 pumps have been sold globally, but the job isn’t done when a pump is sold. The team also tracks the impact the pump has on the family. Martin said well over 75% of the families take a major step out of poverty.

Listen to the complete interview with Martin here: Interview with Martin Fisher, KickStart International

Listen to his case study presentation during conference here: Case study on MoneyMaker Pumps

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Water for Food Global Conference Photos

Ag Group, Audio, Food, Irrigation, water

BASF Issues Monarch Challenge

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BASF is partnering with farmers to help save the monarch butterfly. The company has issued the Living Acres Monarch Challenge, offering the first 500 farmers to join the Monarch Challenge the materials needed to plant vital milkweed plant.

Since milkweeds are difficult to grow from seedlings, BASF will send participants 18 butterfly milkweed seedlings, a hose, gloves and a guide book to help them plant a butterfly habitat. The plant is critical for monarchs, explains Laura Vance, Biology Project Leader for BASF. “The leaves are the only food source for monarch caterpillars,” Vance says. “It is where the adults lay their eggs and the blossoms provide food for migrating adults.”

Challenge participants are asked to share their projects on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MonarchChallange.

Agribusiness, BASF, pollinators

Bayer Insecticide Provides Application Flexibility

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Altus insecticide will be available for purchase beginning May 1 from Environmental Science, a business unit of the Crop Science division of Bayer. The product offers insect management solutions for greenhouse growers that is flexible, with applications before, during, and after bloom. It is compatible with honey bees, bumble bees and other beneficial arthropods and is classified as a Reduced Risk by the EPA.

“Bayer is a life science company focused on cultivating science for a better life, so we understand how important it is to develop solutions that not only control pests, but also offer strong flexibility to growers as well as application before, during and after bloom,” said Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D., technical specialist on the Bayer Green Solutions Team.

Flupyradifurone, a new active ingredient in the butenolide class of chemistry, is a systemic and translaminar insecticide for controlling major sucking pests, such as aphids, whiteflies, psyllids and other key insect pests. It was inspired by a molecule derived from nature – the plant Stemona japonica. Altus is classified as a reduced risk product by the EPA, offering flexible application before, during and after bloom and is compatible with honey bees, bumble bees and many beneficial arthropods.

Learn more from Bayer.

Agribusiness, Bayer CropScience, Insecticide

California Approves FMC’s Rhyme for Chemigation

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The California Department of Pesticide Regulation as granted approval for growers of strawberries, tomatoes, cucurbits, and other fruiting vegetables to use FMC’s Rhyme fungicide through a chemigation application. Rhyme is registered for a variety of specialty crops across the U.S. for use against diseases like charcoal rot. Its active ingredient, flutriafol, moves quickly through the plant to provide protection against fungal pathogens, making it ideal for use in a drip application.

FMC is pleased that Rhyme fungicide can now be applied via efficient drip irrigation systems that help growers achieve the right rate at the right time in the right place with minimal environmental exposure to crop protection products,” says Henry Buckwalter, state regulatory and government affairs manager for FMC.

Agribusiness, FMC, Fungicides

ASTA Weighs in on New Phytosanitary Measures

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Last week the seed industry announced good news in the form of the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM), a world wide attempt to put seed regulations on the same page. Ric Dunkle, Senior Director of Seed Health and Trade for the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) was at the International Plant Protection Convention in Korea when the standards were adopted.

We’re trading seed on an international level at an unprecedented rate, Dunkle explains. “As you increase the volumes and amounts, numbers, different kinds of seed moving around the world, you increase the potential for seeds moving around unwanted pests and disease.”

The snag is that currently countries make their own phytosanitary measures as they see the need, creating different regulations and measures for the same seed across the globe. An international company marketing to 50 or 60 nations faces a huge challenge, but the new standard will change that.

“What this standard does is attempts to provide sort of uniform guidance to countries in how to regulate seed movement so these phytosanitary measures can become more harmonized and more predictable,” says Dunkle.

Dunkle expects the process to take a year to 18 months for countries to amend legislation or regulations. Regional organizations will work to provide training and workshops and ASTA will be among those helping to provide guidance on what the new standards will mean, but one thing Dunkle does foresee is improvement in international trade.

“If we can get those [regulations] harmonized from one country to another around the world, then the trade environment becomes much more predictable and certain to our seed industry.”

Hear more about what the new standards will mean here: Interview with Ric Dunkle, ASTA

Ag Group, ASTA, Audio, Regulation, seed, trade

Swift Navigation, Carnegie Robotics Form Partnership

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Swift Navigation is a San Francisco-based startup building centimeter-accurate GPS technology for autonomous vehicles. Their RTK technology offers 100 times more accuracy than traditional GPS solutions and at a more affordable price point. Carnegie Robotics supplies rugged, reliable robotics systems, transitioning the latest innovations to real-world working situations for agriculture and other industries such as the military.

Recently the two companies announced a partnership to provide navigation products for agriculture, as well as transportation/logistics, autonomous vehicles, outdoor robotics and machine control. The partnership expects their first product to be announced next month.

Agribusiness, GPS, Robot, RTK

Non-GMO High Oleic Soybeans Expand to Missouri

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The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council has signed an agreement to bring non-GMO high oleic soybean technology to growers in the state. Schillinger Genetics, Inc. (SGI) is now licensed to commercialize high oleic soybean traits and to breed soybean varieties that combine high oleic with low linolenic beans. The partnership is the first of its kind.

“We believe strongly in the potential of high oleic soybean oil,” said John Schillinger, president and founder of SGI. “SGI is investing in development of high oleic soybean varieties for US soybean producers, and our pipeline includes highly promising varieties of maturity groups 0 to V, and this partnership stands to expand that work.”

“Bringing new soybean varieties and trait technologies to growers is at the heart of our research program,” said John Kelley, chairman of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. “Partnerships are key to bringing growers the best return on their investments in the soy checkoff, and we’re proud to be taking this step forward in helping farmers improve their bottom line by adding value to commodity soybeans.”

Test plots throughout the Midwest are planned for 2017. The first seed will be available in 2018, marked with patent numbers 9,035,129 or 9,198,365, and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council’s logo.

Ag Group, Soybeans, Traits