BASF Sponsors Media Tent at FPS19

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Media covering the 2019 Farm Progress Show have a place to escape the outside elements, thanks again this year to a BASF-sponsored media tent. In addition to providing wifi connectivity and meals for working media, BASF works hard to line up helpful content, as well.

“We put some time and effort into having great content and great topics and great spokespeople that the media can come and talk to, and we’ve got them prepped and ready to go,” said Casey Allen, External Communications Manager, BASF Agricultural Solutions. “We always value the chances that we have to work closely with our media and want to provide good content, good opportunities to provide to their listeners and their readers and their viewers, as well.”

The media tent also offers a venue for press conferences and panel discussions on relevant topics like weed control.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Casey here: Interview with Casey Allen, BASF

2019 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

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Rep. Davis Visits Farm Progress Show

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Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) spent time Tuesday in his own 13th District, visiting the Farm Progress Show in Decatur.

Davis said the event is a great place to see farmers and agricultural companies alike, and recognized a level of displeasure in the agriculture industry when it comes to trade. He said a vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is critical and would help farmers to get what they’re looking for, and that’s a market for their products.

“It’s crucial for Illinois because 40 percent of our Illinois ag products are exported to Canada and Mexico, and it has given China leverage to walk away from the table,” said Davis. “It could be the lynchpin. It gives America leverage over countries like China who have been trading unfairly, and it gives us a starting point to be able to get a deal on the floor of the House. I think it opens the floodgates.”

Davis also realizes the ethanol industry is unhappy with recent refinery waivers and said those need to be limited to small refiners in the future.

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Rep. Davis here: Interview with Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL 13th District

2019 Farm Progress Show photo album

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Farm Progress Show 2019

chuck zimmerman

2019 Farm Progress ShowIt’s that time again. Farm Progress Show 2019. Cindy and I are on our way to Decatur, IL for this year’s show.

We want to thank BASF for sponsoring the media tent once again this year. It’s looking like temperatures will be a little cooler but I’ll take air conditioning any day!

We’ll be on site this afternoon to get set up for an early start tomorrow when Carrie Muehling will be join us as we work with companies like GROWMARK, Syngenta, Can-Am and Bayer among others. It’s going to be a busy show. I’ve never had so many invitations to come to exhibits for their media event or to just meet and interview various representatives. I wish we could do them all!

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is scheduled to attend the show on Wednesday afternoon, which should be interesting considering the current dissatisfaction among farmers in the Midwest – crop forecasts, refinery waivers, trade wars…etc. Wonder what Secretary Sonny will have to say this week. We know there will be farmers there with plenty to say!

See you at the Show!

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US and Japan Shake on Trade Deal

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During the G-7 summit in France Sunday, President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shook hands on a deal “in principle” that involves agricultural products.

“(We) have excess corn in various parts of our country, with our farmers, because China did not do what they said they were going to do,” said President Trump. “And Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of Japan, they’re going to be buying all of that corn. And that’s a very big transaction. They’re going to be buying it from our farmers.”

Prime Minister Abe said there is a demand for some agricultural products right now in Japan because they are experiencing some insect pest issues. “And there is a need for us to buy certain amount of agricultural products. And this will be done by the Japanese private sector. That means that Japanese corporations will need to buy additional agricultural products.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the deal “will be a major benefit for beef, pork, wheat, dairy products, wine, ethanol, and a variety of other products.”

Listen to remarks by Pres. Trump, PM Abe (translated), and USTR Lighthizer.

US-Japan trade deal announcement

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GROWMARK Foundation to Provide FFA Jackets

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After the unexpected passing of GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee Mike Builta in April 2019, the GROWMARK Foundation is helping his family to honor his memory by providing FFA jackets to FFA members in Illinois.

“In the weeks and the days after his passing, his wife approached us and asked if the GROWMARK Foundation could become a place to funnel memorial funds through, and also to come up with some ideas of appropriate ways to honor his memory,” said Karen Jones, GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer Specialist.

More than $12,000 was collected in Builta’s memory. Part of that money will go towards providing 25 Illinois FFA members with FFA jackets for the next four years, for a total of 100 jackets. Interested students will fill out an online application including two short answer questions about what the FFA jacket means to them, and the main goal they wish to accomplish as an FFA member.

The application is available at and is due September 30.

Builta was raised on a family farm near Bellflower, Illinois. He was an active FFA member and lifelong supporter of agricultural education. He held GROWMARK System management roles at Christian County Farmers Supply Company in Taylorville, Illinois and GRAINCO FS in Ottawa, Illinois, before becoming GROWMARK vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.

Listen to Carrie’s interview with Karen here: Interview with Karen Jones, GROWMARK

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FMC Working on New Herbicides Modes of Action

chuck zimmerman

It’s been a long time since the industry has seen a new mode of action in herbicides, so FMC is excited to be working on some they hope to launch in five to ten years.

“We haven’t had a new mode of action in herbicides in 30 years,” said FMC Field Development Representative Scott Swanson at the recent Ag Media Summit expo. “Advancing chemistry to advance agriculture is what we are doing.”

Swanson says they are looking at a compound for hard-to-control grass species in rice, as well as one for corn and soybeans to control Palmer amaranth.

Learn more in this interview from AMS: Interview with Scott Swanson, FMC, on new herbicide MOAs

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

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Precision Ag Bytes 8/21

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  • EFC Systems, Inc. announced Steve Dietze has joined EFC Systems as Senior Vice President, Business Development effective August 14th.
  • Syngenta and the Analytics Society of INFORMS launched the 2020 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition that seeks analytical approaches to improve complex crop breeding processes. Data analytics, mathematics and statistics students, as well as professionals worldwide are invited to enter by Jan. 21, 2020. Using real-world crop data, entrants are tasked to develop models that can predict the performance of potential corn products.
  • Aided by a $480,000 cooperative agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) will expand its ecosystem services markets protocol and pilot efforts to four additional regions beyond its first project in the Texas/Oklahoma Southern Great Plains area.
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Intergro Launches Innovative Line of Bioenhancers

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Agricultural Solutions, a subsidiary of Intergro, Inc., is launching a new portfolio of products. Registrations are being obtained in the U.S. for patent-pending microbial-based formulations that help improve soil and plant health, as well as stress resistance.

A line of natural fertilizers (NutriBoom, NutriBoom Powder and NutriBoom Plus) scientifically proven to stimulate the soil microbiome, particularly microbes associated with the biological control of plant pathogens and parasitic nematodes, to improve soil health for greater root and plant vitality.

A foliar application that enhances biological fungicide programs by facilitating the establishment and persistence of biocontrol organisms on the surface of plant tissue to boost defense mechanisms against stress and disease.

The active ingredient in the products is chitin, a natural material derived from crustacean meal, which Agricultural Solutions sources from North, Central and South America. Unused crab and/or lobster shells are milled to various levels of fineness, depending on their application. When used within an integrated systems-based approach, chitin-based amendments provide a food source for beneficial microbes, altering the microbial community composition in the soil or on the plant in favor of those associated with improved plant growth and vitality, as well as disease and pest suppression.

Agricultural Solutions products may be applied to a variety of conventional and organic crops, including fruiting vegetables, nuts, stone fruit, hemp, berries, grapes, commodity crops, roots and tubers, pome fruit, citrus, specialty crops and leafy greens. Learn more at

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FMC Offers Fall Residual Herbicide Program Advice

carrie muehling

FMC is recommending growers aim for a zero tolerance policy when it comes to weeds, according to Brandon Schrage, technical service manager. Schrage said preventing weed growth in the seedbank is particularly important.

“What we want to see is that fall residual being applied once soil temperatures are 50 degrees and falling. That’s going to ensure that our product is going to be there. The microbial activity in the soil is going to be low, so we won’t have degradation. It will be present in the spring. And if we have a year like we did in 2019 where it is a very wet spring and guys couldn’t necessarily get out and apply a pre-emergence product when they wanted to, that product is going to be there to help them get to that post application time.”

Schrage said weeds like Palmer amaranth often emerge late in the season. Products like Authority MTZ have the flexibility to be applied in fall or spring to help growers best manage weed challenges. Schrage said it will depend on geography, the environment, and whether a cover crop is present, but the goal is immediate weed control during and after harvest.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Brandon here: Interview with Brandon Schrage, FMC, on fall residual herbicide programs

2019 AMS/IFAJ Congress Photo Album

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Precision Ag Bytes 8/14

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  • AgroLiquid introduced the newest product in its microLink line-up. Micro 1000™ is a combination of eight essential micronutrients: zinc, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, iron, copper, cobalt, and boron; and two secondary nutrients: calcium and magnesium.
  • Ag Leader announced a limited beta release of a new grain cart connectivity feature, CartACE. Powered by Ag Leader’s InCommand display, CartACE gives the grain cart operator assistance while unloading on-the-go.
  • Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Pro Farm Technologies OY, which will increase Marrone Bio’s market share and global platform in the $4.6 billion seed- and soil-treatment market.
  • Larta Institute has announced the first wave of the 2019 cohort of early-stage AgTech and food companies to present at the 11th Annual Ag Innovation Showcase, which has moved from its origins in St. Louis to a new home in Minneapolis.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture