Reinke’s Partnership with NCTA in Curtis

jamie johansen

A skilled labor shortage is being addressed by providing student scholarships for workforce training for the manufacturing industry. And that is how Reinke Manufacturing’s partnership with the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) in Curtis comes into play.

Reinke Manufacturing has teamed with NCTA to offer an Irrigation Technician Area of Concentration. This 34-credit, hands-on program helps students obtain knowledge in electricity and mechanized irrigation systems. Reinke Manufacturing’s partnership offers access to the Reinke PLUS Certification program.

“If you learn hands-on, this is an awesome program for you,” said Collin Overmann, NCTA student in Curtis. “There’s always different companies calling our program expressing their need for technicians, so [job] placement is pretty good.”

“Reinke is honored to support students focused on technical skills especially with the shortage of skilled labor,” said Reinke President Chris Roth.

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, Education, Irrigation

Precision Ag Bytes 1/24

  • The 2018 NC Ag Biotech Summit will focus on the importance of soil health, highlighting challenges being faced and the responsibility needed to provide a sustainable future. The event is scheduled for February 20-21 at the UNC Friday Center.
  • AgGateway has announced its 2018 leadership, including the directors of its Strategic Board and Operational Management Board, and leaders of its councils and committees. A summary can be found in the 2017 Annual Report on the AgGateway website.
  • Only a few days remain to take advantage of standard registration fees for the 2018 Commodity Classic to be held Feb. 27-March 1, in Anaheim, California. The last day regular registration fees are in effect is Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. Late registration fees will apply after that date.
  • Agrible, Inc. has announced that Chris Harbourt will step down as its Chief Executive Officer. Chris is one of 8 co-founders of Agrible and has been with the company since its formation. Agrible’s Morning Farm Report currently has over 12 thousand users and over 8 million acres enrolled on it for tracking and predicting productivity, sustainability, nutrient availability, pest potential, and other field-specific features. Dennis E. Beard, a current board member, will serve as Interim CEO of Agrible.
  • Hortau, a provider of precision irrigation management systems and services for agriculture, today was named to the THRIVE AgTech Top 50 list of companies shaping the future of agriculture for 2018. Hortau was recognized on the Top 50 list in the “Connected Devices” category, along with five other companies.
  • Aerospace giant Airbus will host a webinar on January 31, entitled: Supporting the Growth of Your Crops from Space. Sky Rubin, North America Ag Solutions Manager at Airbus Defence and Space, will be joined by his guest Mark Davis, Pacific Northwest Regional Manager for Simplot SmartFarm, of major US-based agribusiness the J.R. Simplot Company. The webinar will also give the industry a first look at the upcoming Airbus FieldMaps API, ahead of its launch later this year.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

Bayer Focusing Future Research, Innovation on Soil

The keynote speaker at this year’s Soil Health Summit told participants they need to get involved and understand how the global economy affects innovation and the regulatory environment regarding agriculture. Sustainability is a key factor globally, and many of those efforts are tied to the soil.

“We have a lot of very emergent technologies, disruptive technologies we’re working on, and they’re all based in the soil,” said Dr. Robert Graney, who is in charge of regulatory science for Bayer North America, including regulatory affairs outreach and product safety from an environmental and human health perspective. “I think in the future, there’s much more emphasis on what’s happening in the soil from an overall plant health perspective as opposed to what’s happening above ground. So we’re definitely investing in that area.”

Graney said other challenges include trade flow and regulation at a local or state versus federal level.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Dr. Robert Graney here: Dr. Robert Graney, Bayer

2018 Soil Health Summit Day One Photo Album

2018 Soil Health Summit Day Two Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Bayer, Soil, Soil Health Partnership

First Soil Health Partnership Awards Presented

cindy zimmerman

Four “Seeds of Change” awards were presented at the 4th Annual Soil Health Partnership Summit, Jan. 18-19 in Chicago. These first awards were developed to highlight those members of the Soil Health Partnership who go above and beyond to advocate for the partnership and for soil health throughout the year. And the winners are – from left to right in the photo:

Super Spout – Andrew Reuschel, Golden, Illinois
Andrew is a first-year member of the partnership who practices reduced tillage and cover crops on his farm and became interested in expanding soil and water conservation efforts. Interview with Andrew Reuschel, SHP Super Sprout award

Champion Communicator: Mark Mueller, Waverly, Iowa
Mark often takes the initiative to tell the story of what’s happening on his farm – a vital way to encourage other farmers to consider adopting new practices, and to share the progress agriculture is making with the public. Interview with Mark Mueller, SHP Champion Communicator award

Data Digger: Tom Vaske, Masonville, Iowa
Tom Vaske started farming on his own in 2001 by renting land from a neighbor who wished to have conservation tillage practices maintained on the farm, so Tom converted an old planter into a strip till bar. Tom has been testing the use of interseeding cover crops on his farm through randomized, replicated field trials with SHP. Interview with Tom Vaske, SHP Data Digger award

Ace Agronomist: Jack Hardwick, Beardstown, Illinois
Both an agronomist and a farmer, Jack’s interest in soil health started with his degree in soil science. He then spent 12 years in various roles with FS, AgriGold, and BRANDT before going back to the family farm and starting a crop consulting business. Interview with Jack Hardwick, SHP Ace Agronomist award

2018 Soil Health Summit Day One Photo Album

2018 Soil Health Summit Day Two Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Audio, Award, Soil, Soil Health Partnership

4th Soil Health Summit Underway in Chicago

chuck zimmerman

The 2018 Soil Health Summit kicked off yesterday in Chicago and all of the proceedings can be found on the Soil Health Summit Blog! This is a brand new blog which is being used to feature photos, interviews and other media content from this annual event. You can subscribe to the Soil Health Summit Blog with this feed link.

This is the fourth Soil Health Partnership Summit, which has come a long way since the first one in 2015. Soil Health Partnership Director Nick Goeser welcomed participants to the opening day general session of the 2018 Soil Health Summit, setting the stage for the theme Rooted in Data, Growing in Success.

Listen to Nick’s welcome here: SHP director Nick Goeser opens 4th Soil Health Summit

Check out the official blog for all the content from the summit.

2018 Soil Health Summit Day One Photo Album

AgWired Precision, Soil, Soil Health Partnership, sustainability

AEM Reports 2017 Tractor and Combine Sales

cindy zimmerman

The 2017 Ag Tractor and Combine Report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) shows some recovery from 2016.

“When we look at 2017 U.S. retail sales, especially from mid-year on, the bright spot continued to be the small-tractor sales under 40 HP with consistently positive numbers, while tractors 40-100HP have essentially been flat,” AEM Senior VP for AG Services Curt Blades. “For the larger ag tractor sales (100+ HP 2WD) we saw some real softening at the beginning of the year but some sizable reversals to end at a negative 8 percent, and 4WD drive tractors and combines ended on a positive note with modest gains. So, while the downturn of 2016 carried over into 2017 it began to reverse as the year progressed.”

In this interview, Blades talks about how the new tax reform package has the industry cautiously optimistic for continued overall improvement in 2018.

Interview with Curt Blades, AEM

AEM, AgWired Precision, Audio, Equipment, Tractor

New Coalition Advocates For NAFTA Preservation

cindy zimmerman

More than 30 organizations have joined to form Americans for Farmers & Families (AFF), a coalition dedicated to preserving and modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by educating political leaders about its importance to agriculture. The groups represent growers, refiners, producers, transporters, retailers and consumers, including major industry organizations such as American Farm Bureau, Corn Refiners Association, National Corn Growers Association, and National Pork Producers, to name a few.

“Farm Belt voters supported President Trump by a three-to-one margin in the last election and they are counting on President Trump to improve NAFTA in the modernization negotiations,” said John Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association and a member of AFF’s leadership committee.

As part of the effort, AFF will be launching an educational campaign to highlight the positive impact NAFTA has had for Americans and lay the groundwork for an updated trade agreement that preserves America’s strong economic standing for decades to come. Since NAFTA took effect in 1994, food and agriculture exports have more than quadrupled and account for 25 percent of American exports. One in every 10 acres of American crops is for export to NAFTA partners.

“NAFTA has opened markets for America’s farmers and ranchers, and U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled under the agreement,” said AFBF president Zippy Duvall, also a member of AFF’s leadership committee. “The current negotiations should build on that success.”

AFBF, Ag Group, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Corn, trade

Cold Tolerant Berseem Clover Provides Frost Seeding Option

cindy zimmerman

As cold as it has already been this winter in so many areas, Frosty Berseem Clover might be just the ticket for farmers and ranchers implementing frost seeding into their hay and pasture systems.

Grassland Oregon was recently awarded a patent for Frosty Berseem Clover, making it the first cold tolerant berseem clover suitable for frost seeding in the United States and Canada, surviving in trials with temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit and zero snow cover. Extended growing seasons, higher yields, increased establishment rates and convenience are just a few of the benefits to frost seeding, according to Jerry Hall, director of research for Grassland Oregon.

“Frost seeding is the broadcasting of seed onto the frozen surface of the soil. Ideally, it is done at a time when there is either no snow or a minimal amount. The freezing and thawing cycle of the soil surface will allow for the seed to work into the top .25 inches of soil,” Hall explains. “Seeds will then germinate and begin growing as soon as weather conditions become favorable – allowing producers to gain a couple of weeks of growth versus waiting for the soil to firm up enough to drill the seed in.”

Hall says Frosty Berseem Clover is excellent for frost seeding into declining alfalfa fields and also blends nicely with alfalfa due to its similar quality and appearance.

Learn more.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, ASTA, Cover Crops, Hay

Agri-Pulse Launches Breeding Edge Editorial Series

cindy zimmerman

Agri-Pulse has launched a new seven-part editorial series, “The Breeding Edge,” focused on new scientific discoveries, genetic research, and systems for precision breeding for producing food, protecting the environment, and improving animal health.

“Animal and plant breeders are trying out a set of powerful new tools which have the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and provide consumers with more healthy and safe food options,” says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “But few people truly understand how these new innovations can help farmers and ranchers and ultimately improve human health. And that’s a big risk when you consider how some previous agricultural innovations have been accepted by consumers.”

“In addition to being more efficient and economical, newer breeding methods hold tremendous potential for both public and commercial plant breeders in developed and developing countries, and can be used across all crops, including food, feed, fiber and fuel crops,” explained Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). “To ensure the full potential of new and emerging breeding tools, it’s critical that we have a policy environment, both domestically and internationally, that allows for, and encourages, continued innovation.”

ASTA is one of the sponsors of the new series, together with Genus, Syngenta Seeds, National Pork Board, Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer, United Soybean Board, and the National Corn Growers Association. New innovations in agricultural technology will also be discussed at the Agri-Pulse Ag & Food Policy Summit, scheduled for March 21 in Washington, D.C.

Agri-Pulse, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, ASTA

Precision Ag Bytes 1/17

  • The Honey Bee Health Coalition announced that it has awarded $40,000 to four innovative projects aimed at improving honey bee nutrition and supporting honey bee and pollinator health. The awards, announced at the 2018 American Bee Research Conference, are part of the Coalition’s inaugural Bee Nutrition Challenge.
  • Syngenta has licensed NRGene’s GenoMAGIC, a cloud-based big data analytics platform, to evaluate, predict, compare and select the best genetic makeup for crop molecular breeding and genomic selection. The agreement is on a non-exclusive, multi-year basis.
  • SkySquirrel Technologies Inc. and VineView Imaging, leading providers of aerial imaging and crop diagnostics for vineyards, have announced a merger of the two companies. The merger is effective Jan. 16, and the companies plan to begin integrating operations, customers, global partners and employees immediately. The combined company, which will operate under the name VineView, uses drone and airplane-based hyperspectral imagery to provide wine growers with essential information about the health of their grapevines. VineView’s specialized data products allow growers to optimize yields, improve grape quality and reduce damage from environmental factors like grapevine diseases and frost.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes