Secretary Sonny Shines at Commodity Classic

cindy zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the 2019 Commodity Classic Friday and addressed most of the major issues being discussed at the big annual meeting of corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum farmers.

Perdue talked about the farm economy, farm bill implementation, ethanol, and a lot about trade. He also addressed many of the same issues during a press conference with the many members of the farm media in attendance. Here are both for listening and downloading.

Classic19 Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue remarks

Classic19 Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue press conference

2019 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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BASF Unveils the Future of Fungicides

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BASF unveiled its latest fungicide called Revysol during its annual pre-Commodity Classic Science Behind event on Wednesday.

The new triazole is a DeMethylation Inhibitor (DMI) fungicide that BASF plans to label for more than a dozen crops, using the brand name Veltyma for corn and Revytek for soybeans. EPA registration for Revysol is expected to be finalized this summer.

Get the details in the presentations from the Science Behind event from BASF Product AI Manager Matt Bradley and Technical Marketing Manager Paula Halabicki.

The Fungicide Landscape –
Matt Bradley, BASF – Revysol Announcement

The Future of Fungicides –
Paula Halabicki, BASF, Presentation

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Veris Unveils Tillage and Planter Mounted Soil Sensors

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At the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando this week, Veris Technologies is introducing iScan+, the first real-time sensor suite that measures four critical soil features while planting or tilling.

Eric Lund, president of Veris Technologies, says the iScan+ optimizes implement adjustments and warns against yield robbing mistakes with real-time insight into changing soil conditions. All while providing high-resolution soil mapping for long term precision ag zones.

“Manufacturers are giving growers more options to adjust implements to improve equipment operation and crop performance,” said Lund. “Without high quality soil information these infield adjustment features are underutilized and can be erroneous.”

The iScan+ platform deploys four unique sensing modules adapted from Veris’ proven and patented line of soil sensors:

Moisture: Moisture affects seed germination, emergence, root-inhibiting compaction, and overall seedbed quality. The iScan+ gives growers immediate feedback as moisture changes across the field. By harnessing the gold standard of moisture measurements, the iScan’s capacitance sensing technology guarantees planters and tillage tools have the information needed to optimize adjustments for varying moisture conditions.

Temperature: Even when a planter drops seed into ideal moisture and a smooth seedbed, low soil temperature can cause damage during this crucial time. A key benefit of the iScan+ is its ability to inform planting decisions even before the planter hits a field by mounting to the seedbed preparation tool. When attached to a planter it has the flexibility to measure temperature and moisture above and below the current seed drop.

CEC: It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of the soil’s physical structure when adjusting tillage tools. However, wet clay soil compacts differently than wet silt soil. That’s why Veris has combined the moisture sensor module with soil cation exchange capacity (CEC) readings. This fused data feed can help avoid stunted plants caused by sidewall and seedbed compaction. Veris soil CEC readings are gathered by measuring the electrical conductivity (EC) of the soil. Because the electrical current travels two feet into the rooting zone, these readings provide soil depth and water-holding capacity information that has significant implications on management decisions.

Organic Matter (OM): Whether creating variable rate seeding prescriptions, guiding fertility sampling or improving nitrogen management, Veris OM readings give growers the power to manage each yield environment accurately. The robust but small module that houses the Infrared and Red light sensors is designed to resist breakage and mud sticking to the optical window.

Learn more about iScan+ on the Veris website or stop by and visit them at Commodity Classic this week.

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Perdue Reviews State of Farm Economy

cindy zimmerman

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appeared before the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday to update members on the current state of the farm economy and what USDA is doing about it.

Implementation of the 2018 farm bill, the Dairy Margin Program, immigration, trade negotiations with China and the new USMCA, were among the many topics that Secretary Perdue addresses. Importantly, he announced several sign up dates for the new farm bill programs, including June 17 for the dairy program, September 1 for ARC and PLC, and December 1 for conservation reserve.

Listen to Perdue’s opening remarks and questions from committee Chairman Colin Peterson (D-MN) and Minority Leader Mike Conaway (R-TX) – House Ag Committee hearing with Secy Sonny Perdue

Secretary Perdue is scheduled to speak to the 2019 Commodity Classic on Friday.

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Bayer Driving Innovation Forward

cindy zimmerman

The Crop Science division of Bayer is hosting its 14th AgVocacy Forum prior to Commodity Classic this week in Orlando, the first time since the completed acquisition of Monsanto, so one of the most interesting sessions for the media attending the event so far has been one with the executives leading the new company.

Bob Reiter is Global Head of Research and Development, Crop Science for Bayer. With a doctorate in plant science and genetics, he worked for Monsanto in a number of roles since 1998. He talked about the continuing need for innovation in food production, such as short stature corn which is in the Bayer pipeline.

“At the end of the day, corn yield is coming primarily from packing more plants per acre,” said Reiter. “Short statue corn sets us up for a whole new standard.”

Lisa Safarian, President and Head of Commercial Operations for Crop Science, North America also comes to the integrated company from Monsanto where she spent 25 years in leadership positions. She talked about change and possibility in agriculture and using data to help growers reduce risk and optimize performance on every acre.

“The innovation for tomorrow is not about a specific product, it’s about data and how we pull that data together,” said Safarian.

Both executives took questions from the audience after their remarks – listen to the whole session here:
Driving Innovation Forward Session

2019 Bayer AgVocacy Forum Photo Album

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Precision Ag Bytes 2/27

carrie muehling

  • Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. announced that Dr. Pamela Marrone, founder and CEO of MBI, was honored this week with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award by BioAg World and Bionema, a leading biopesticide product testing and technology development company.
  • Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. also announced that Venerate® CG has been approved for use in California.
  • This week marks 15-years in business for the ag software company, Agrian Inc.
  • The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has named The Praxidyn Mixmate Fusion a winner of a 2019 AE50 award.
  • Registration for the 2019 Water for Food Global Conference is now open. The conference theme is “Water for a Hungry World: Innovation in Water and Food Security,” focusing on the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices that are achieving breakthroughs in this vitally important mission.
  • The Conservation Technology Information Center is seeking applicants interested in serving as its new Executive Director. Applications are due by 5:00 pm Eastern time on Friday, March 1. For more information or to submit an application, click here or visit
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FMC Offers Seminars at NFMS

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FMC Agricultural Solutions held three learning sessions at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show to provide information to growers about some of the company’s new products like Lucento.

The sessions focused on disease, pest, and weed management and control and some of the solutions that FMC offers for growers.

In the first session, Bruce Stripling and Nick Hustedde discussed disease treatment and technology and Lucento –
NFMS19 FMC Learning Session 1 – disease treatment

The second session featured FMC subject matter expert Bob Hooten discussing root system protection and 3Rive technology –
NFMS19 FMC Learning Session 2 – root system protection

Last but not least, Drake Copeland and Matt Wiggins talk herbicide resistance and weed control –
NFMS19 FMC Learning Session 3 – weed control

Watch for more updates from FMC this week at Commodity Classic and the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.

2019 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

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New Deere Products on Display at NFMS

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John Deere introduced two more models to its 6R Tractor lineup at the National Farm Machinery Show this year, the 6230R and 6250R.

Both models are loaded with new levels of power and premium features to make them an ideal choice for hauling hay, forage and slurry, yet versatile enough for loader and PTO work. The 6230R and 6250R Tractors expand the upper limits of horsepower available for the 6R lineup, delivering 230 and 250 rated engine horsepower respectively. When power bulge and John Deere Intelligent Power Management (IPM) are factored in, the larger 6250R is capable of up to 300 horsepower.

“Livestock, dairy and hay producers will appreciate the power of these tractors, especially when they need to haul heavy loads or want to reach optimal transport speed more quickly. The performance and versatility of these tractors makes them a solid choice for loader and PTO work such as baling,” said Anne Anderson, product marketing manager with John Deere.

Laura Handke interviewed Anderson about the new models at NFMS – Interview with Anne Anderson, Deere Product Manager

Also at NFMS, Deere introduced the redesigned N500C Series Air Drills for 2019. These new air drills integrate the latest in seeding technology, including new ProSeries™ Openers, to provide small-grains producers the most productive, accurate and smart seeding tools in the industry.

In this interview, Deere Product Manager Tyler Rumboldt explains how the N500C Air Drill was designed to give operators much easier meter access, and the latest in integrated technology for improved seed placement accuracy for cereals, canola, soybeans and other crops.

Interview with Tyler Rumboldt, Deere Product Manager

2019 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

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Below Ground Protection with Ethos 3D

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FMC is encouraging growers to pay just as much attention to what’s happening below the ground as they do to what’s happening on the surface, according to Bob Hooten, Midwest Technical Support Manager.

“Below ground you have to worry about your root system,” said Hooten, who was at the 2019 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville. “You have to protect your root system and have the largest root system – very deep – because you want to bring in nutrients and you want to bring in water.”

Hooten said there are a number of pests that can present problems below the ground, as well as diseases that can wreak havoc on the root system of a plant. Using products like FMC’s Ethos 3D for in-furrow protection can allow roots to grow deeper into the soil for better utilization of nutrients and moisture. Hooten said it’s important to keep the big picture in mind when choosing crop protection products.

“I’m not telling people that they’re going to gain every single solitary time,” he said. “You probably won’t. But over time, you will make a very good return on investment.”

Hooten said seed treatments last about two weeks and will help seed to emerge, but they don’t protect the roots of the plant. He suggested that growers who are investing in inputs above the ground and not seeing benefits or are capping out at a certain yield plateau in corn or soybeans probably need to take a look at protecting their root systems, as well.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Bob here: Interview with Bob Hooten, FMC

2019 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

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FMC Bringing New Modes of Action to Market

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FMC‘s acquisition of DuPont research and development assets more than doubled the number of active ingredients in the company’s development pipeline. The need for additional modes of action to fight disease and weed resistance is a reality, and FMC is rising to the occasion.

“It looks like we’re hitting on the major target species and we’re going to be able to provide growers something that’s going to truly help them get back on top of some of the resistant species that we have had trouble with. We’re managing through some of those situations but some of our options keep slipping away and maintaining an acceptable level of management is becoming more and more difficult,” said David Wheeler, Associate Director Technical Services at FMC Ag Solutions.

Wheeler said FMC has wasted no time in launching new chemistries, with Lucento fungicide already approved for 2019 and another fungicide product coming next year. He looks for two new herbicide modes of action to come to market over the next five to seven years. Wheeler believes the company’s focus on crop protection sets them apart.

“FMC is committed to crop protection. There are a lot of folks in our space that have some of the same market-based objectives, but most of our competitors now are in the seed business or in the crop protection business, and with that comes some competition for resources,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got some specific targets we’re working on in the crop protection realm that I think gives us a competitive advantage.”

Wheeler was at the 2019 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with David here: Interview with David Wheeler, FMC

2019 National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

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