Ag Groups Ask Congress to Strengthen Safety Net

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

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

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

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

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

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

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

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

Kelly Marshall

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

Kelly Marshall

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

Kelly Marshall

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

Kelly Marshall

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 smartnitrogen.com. 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

Sorghum Partners Powered by Chromatin

Cindy Zimmerman

Sorghum is gaining in popularity thanks to new and improved hybrids being developed by Chromatin, your Sorghum Partners. We had the opportunity to chat with Chromatin Vice President for Research & Development Scott Staggenborg at Commodity Classic last week to find out what is new with sorghum and how the crop is being grown in new areas from a company that is all about sorghum.

Listen to my interview with Scott here and watch the Facebook Live video from Classic below: Interview with Scott Staggenborg, Chromatin


View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Commodity Classic Photo Album

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New SMART Farmer Podcast

Kelly Marshall

Our latest SMART Farmer podcast episode – and the first of three from Commodity Classic – features Illinois farmer Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare. In the craziness that is Classic, Robert and I found a quiet corner to sit down and talk about what being a SMART farmer means to her.

Roberta says she and her husband are first generation farmers, with their daughter and son-in-law recently joining the operation, so farming smart is important to them. “We’ve had to buy our own (land) so it’s nice to think of passing that on to a next generation,” she said.

Listen to the podcast here: SMART Farmer Podcast with Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Podcast, SMART Farmer