Bayer Celebrates New $8 Million Research Center

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On Thursday, Bayer wrapped up a week of grand openings by celebrating the expansion of the Soybean Breeding and Trait Development Center in Champaign County, Illinois. The new station will house research and development to identify, develop and test new varieties, using modern breeding methods, pushing the limits of yield potential for growers in the Midwest.

The expansion is part of a three-year, $1 billion commitment from Bayer to invest in new research facilities, expansions and renovations around the country.

Listen to the complete press conference about expansion and future research here: Midwest Field Tech Station Soybean Breeding & Trait Development Presser

View and download photos from the event here: Bayer Soybean Research – Illinois

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer CropScience, Research, Soybeans, Video

PrecisionHawk Builds Unifying Brand

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PrecisionHawk has rebranded their products and offerings, using the same solutions, but creating a more complimentary feel for their drone platform. New names for the data tools have been selected to better align with the overall vision of PrecisionHawk.

The data management and analysis software formerly known as DataMapper is now PrecisionMapper.  DataMapper InField that provides on-site survey reviews and flight path adjustments is now PrecisionViewer, and DataMapper InFlight applications that fly the drone autonomously is PrecisionFlight.

Username and passwords for subscription accounts will remain the same.

Agribusiness, drone

Ag Groups Ask Congress to Strengthen Safety Net

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A total of 18 agriculture groups representing everything from sorghum to sunflowers, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, sent a letter to the congressional budget and appropriates committees asking for an increase in funding in the 2018 farm bill. The letter emphasizes the need for a strong safety net in light of the current economic conditions, pointing out the 50 percent drop in farm income over the last four years.

“While we do not yet have a full-fledged financial crisis in rural America, a good many farmers and ranchers are not going to be able to cash-flow in 2017,” the letter states. “With USDA projecting continued low prices in 2018 and beyond, this situation threatens to quickly and vastly expand with each and every crop year.”

“Now we look to Congress to provide the resources necessary to help America’s farmers and ranchers through this very difficult period.”

AFBF, Ag Group, Farm Bill, Government

Weed Resistance Strategy at #Classic17 with FMC

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Weed resistance may just be one of the most discussed topics over the last couple years and that didn’t change at Commodity Classic. FMC is one of the companies that has worked aggressively on this issue and Chuck Zimmerman spoke with Ken Smith about it. He said, “What we have learned in the last ten years of our research is, we can not spray these out post emergence. We have to rely on soil applied herbicides.”

A suggestion from FMC is to adopt their Overlap System. Growers, like the one visiting with Ken in the photo, can find a lot more information about this strategy on the FMC website.

The Overlap System involves: (1) applying strong residual herbicides preplant or preemergence to control weeds early in the season (2) following that application with an early postemergence herbicide that features a different mode of action.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Ken here:
Interview with Ken Smith, FMC

2017 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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Agribusiness, Audio, Commodity Classic, FMC, Video, Weed control

5th Annual Bayer Bee Care Award Seeks Nominations

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The Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award recognizes a grower, researcher, golf course superintendents or other stakeholder who is working with a beekeeper to protect pollinators. It also honors a young beekeeper involved in pollinator initiatives in his or her school or community. The winning partners receive $5,000 towards their collaboration and the youth will receive $1,000 for their project. Nominations are now being accepted.

The award winners are selected from a pool of applicants by a panel of three judges. Returning in 2017, the judges include Pamela Smith, editor at The Progressive Farmer, Joe Graham, editor at the American Bee Journal and Dr. Becky Langer-Curry, project manager for the Bayer Bee Care Program. The judges will select winners based on responses to two essay questions and a reference from one of several stakeholders, such as an apiarist, community organization, grower, agricultural group, teacher, school official, or member of a relevant organization, such as a beekeeping or gardening association.

“We’ve found that growers, researchers, golf course superintendents and similar stakeholders play an essential role in helping beekeepers provide pollinators sustainable habitats and diverse food sources, and youth are critical to promoting and preserving the overall health of pollinator species for generations to come,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager for the Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We’re passionate about celebrating these strategic partnerships and young beekeepers and supporting the valuable work they’re doing in their communities.”

Agribusiness, Bayer CropScience, Bees, Honeybees

Bayer Talks Future of Weed Control

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The continued prevalence of herbicide resistant weeds pose a significant threat to the future availability of many of the industry’s most important crop protection technologies, making the need to take a proactive approach to weed resistance more important than ever. David Tanner, Liberty Product Manager at Bayer, spoke during the 2016 Bayer AgVocacy Forum earlier this month about the current challenges presented with weed resistance and ways that growers can work to combat them.

“75% of the soybean acres received one mode of action 10 years ago, and now we’re at over 100 million acres in the U.S. with glyphosate-resistant weeds,” he said in an interview during the Forum. “In 2016, an additional 15 million acres were reported to have glyphosate-resistant weeds, so the increase in resistance continues, and I think it stems from the premise that growers are looking for a simple and easy solution.”

Liberty has no known resistance in broad acre crops, and Tanner stressed the importance of keeping it that way.

“If you’re not controlling your weeds you’re not going to get that optimal yield that the seed genetics can perform, and we know that if we get resistance and we’re not able to control those weeds, that’s going to impact us in the future,” he said.

As part of the ongoing commitment to prevent Liberty resistance, Bayer has put together the STOP Weeds with Liberty Guidelines to help growers ensure that they continue to practice good stewardship with the herbicide.

Catch Lizzy’s full interview with David here:
Interview with David Tanner, Bayer

2017 Bayer AgVocate Forum Photos

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer CropScience, Herbicides, Weed control

2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge Finalists Selected

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Five teams have been selected as finalists in the 2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics. The challenge asked participants to develop a model to predict what soybean varieties are most likely to be selected by farmers in a specific region. Finalists were selected by the Analytics Society of INFORMS, a leading association for professionals in operations research and analytics.

“After multiple rounds of evaluation, the prize committee has selected five excellent submissions for this year’s Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics award. This competition clearly demonstrated that innovations in the agriculture industry can come from creative problem solvers anywhere in the world,” said Robin Lougee, research industry lead at IBM Research and committee chair of the Crop Challenge prize committee.

Finalists make their presentation on April 3, 2017 and winners will be announced following the presentations. First place will earn $5,000, the runner up will receive $2,500 and third place goes home with $1,000.

Agribusiness, Contest, Syngenta

Scholarships Awarded from #Classic17

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The four hosting commodity groups, American Soybean Association (ASA), National Sorghum Producers (NSP), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Wheat Foundation (NWF), along with BASF, offered 12 academic scholarships to students studying agriculture at the recent 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

“These students have shown a commitment to the future of our industry through their enthusiasm for learning and desire for sustainable agriculture,” said Neil Bentley, Director of Marketing, U.S. Crop, BASF. “The growth of agriculture starts with promising students like these, and we look forward to seeing their impact.”

Award winners and information about their scholarships may be found in this press release.

2017 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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Ag Group, BASF, Commodity Classic, Scholarship

New Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App

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Agrible has a new iOS app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free app that works with Agrible’s Morning Farm Report software that helps plan applications, when to get equipment into the fields, and what to expect for yields.

Agrible’s Spray Smart technology in Morning Farm Report shows a farmer what the conditions look like hour by hour for spraying up to three days in advance. It shows hourly wind speed and direction, timing and duration of temperature inversions that could impact spraying, and whether the soil will support equipment. Farmers can see all of that for each field in their operation. Now with Pocket Spray Smart, farmers have all of that information on location and in the palm of their hand to confidently decide when to spray to reduce off-target movement of herbicides.

“Spray Smart is really going to make a big play moving forward, especially with the new release of dicamba products in soybeans and having to log all your spraying information,” said Kris Ehler of Ehler Farms, Thomasboro, Illinois.

Agrible, Agribusiness, Apps, Spraying

Smart Nitrogen from Agrium

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Mike Howell spent time at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show telling growers about the benefits of Agrium‘s ESN smart nitrogen. ESN is a polymer-coated urea that slowly releases nitrogen over a period of 60-90 days while preventing loss from volatilization, leaching or de-nitrification

It can work with nearly any grower’s program and with any crop Howell says. Whether a farmer wants to put nitrogen on at the beginning of the season or come back and apply with a side dressing later, Agrium has research data for pretty much any geography in North America. The company has plans for even more research this season and will be hosting field days in conjunction with research at the University of Arkansas, with dates and information coming soon.

Howell recommends growers wanting more information visit The site offers an “Ask the Agronomist” section where questions get answers in a timely manner.

You can also learn more in Chuck’s full interview with Mike Howell here: Interview with Mike Howell, Agrium

Mid-South Farm & Gin Show

Coverage of the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show is sponsored by
Coverage of the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show is sponsored by FMC
Audio, Farm & Gin Show, Fertilizer