ASA, Valent Host Soy Leaders of the Future

Kelly Marshall

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and Valent USA have created the Soy Leaders of the Future program to provide an understanding of agriculture policy and tools to advocate effectivly. Classes begin this summer on July 10-13 in Washington D.C., in association with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Briefing.

The new Soy Leaders of the Future program, sponsored by Valent and ASA, is designed to expose young people with a connection to the farm to an education on major policy issues and advocacy. The program will also encourage these future young leaders to consider careers within agriculture associations and industry, as well as government regulatory and legislative positions.

Students 18 and older with an interest in policy and advocacy may apply online by Friday, June 9.  All costs are covered for students selected to take part in the program.

Ag Group, ASA, Government, Policy

ASCEND Conference Now Offering Mentor Meetings

Kelly Marshall

The ASCEND Drone Business Conference & Expo is coming up in Portland, Oregon on July 19-21, so mark your calendars for the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with experts in UASs. The conference offers sessions designed to teach attendees about commercial application workflows, understanding policy and regulations, financial and legal risk, maintenance and repair, and finding resources, as well as the chance to be matched with a mentor in their needed area of expertise.  Mentor sessions are part of the registration packet and available on a first-come, first-served bases.

“We were amazed by the immediate, positive response we received when we invited industry experts to act as mentors,” said Sara Dumford, ASCEND Conference Director. “Comments from the mentors ranged from ‘Absolutely; honored you would ask me,’ to ‘This is a terrific idea!’ to ‘Heck yes! Sign me up!!’ This is clearly a need people are eager to fill in an industry still in its fledgling stages. It also reflects a collaborative spirit among those who want the UAS community to reach its full potential.”

Agribusiness, drone, Events, UAS, UAV

Laboratorie M2 to Commercialize THYMOX

Kelly Marshall

THYMOX™ is a the breakthrough, botanically-derived disinfectant with applications in animal health and crop protection. Laboratorie M2, the maker of this new product, has raised $4.6 million in financing to move from being a technology development company to having the ability to commercialize THYMOX.

THYMOX is derived from thymol, an active ingredient in the plant thyme. It is biodegradable, non-toxic, and highly effective. Its anti-microbial properties kills microorganisms without harming living tissue or the environment.

Agribusiness, Fungicides

Secretary Perdue Visits Iowa

Kelly Marshall

It was a sunny day in Iowa Friday for the visit of new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at Couser Cattle Company.

The Secretary was welcomed by Bill, Nancy and Tim Couser, as well as Iowa Senators Joni Erst and Chuck Grassley, and Rep. Steve King. Looking comfortable in worn jeans, the new secretary bragged about the value of American agriculture and the great job USDA does to help farmers and ranchers do their jobs. “Our new motto is Do Right and Feed Everyone,” Perdue said. “We want to let farmers farm and let ranchers ranch.”

USDA is doing an amazing job providing content from Secretary Sonny’s many appearances, with some especially good photos. Check out their photo albums on Flickr. Watch the Facebook Live video on Iowa Agribusiness Radio. Download audio of Perdue’s introduction and remarks here: Sec. Perdue visit to Iowa

Government, USDA

AEM Represented in NAMA Leadership

Jamie Johansen

The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) has elected John Rozum, director of ag events for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), to the NAMA Executive Committee.

Rozum was elected a vice president of the executive committee and is president of the NAMA Badger chapter who received the Outstanding Professional Chapter Award from the Student NAMA organization during the 2017 Agri-Marketing Conference. He is also past chair of the NAMA Chapter Services Committee, and a member of the organization’s conference planning committees.

His work for AEM trade shows and exhibition collaboration includes Commodity Classic, National Farm Machinery Show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and ICUEE-The Demo Expo, and he is show director for the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE).

AEM, Ag Group, NAMA

Swift Navigation, Carnegie Robotics Announce Duro

Kelly Marshall

When Carnegie Robotics saw Swift Navigation‘s centimeter-accurate GPS technology, they knew the mashup with their rugged robotics components would lead to great things. Today the two companies are announcing the first of their joint projects, the Duro– a dual frequency RTK GNSS receiver ready to withstand what precision agriculture can throw at it.

“In precision agriculture what customers demand is a rugged enclosure that can be applied outside,” Akshay Bandiwolekar, Product Manager at Swift Navigation told me. “One of the key applications is for vibration and shock– very difficult in the agriculture space. What we ended up coming up with is an enclosure that is based on design principles typically used in the military side of things. As you know, military specifications are very challenging and extra stringent, so we leveraged those in our Duro platform.”

Not only has the product withstood rigorous testing against weather, dust, vibration and other outdoor conditions, it’s also easy to use. “We at Carnegie Robotics, as designers and integrators of ground robots have a lot of experience and background in integrating other people’s products in our systems, and we’ve felt the pain of products that haven’t quite had enough thought in their integration or out of the box experience. That’s where a lot of design time and development time has gone into Duro,” explains Chris Osterwood, CTO at Carnegie Robotics.

Mounting options for tractors and equipment are extensive and the product doesn’t need to be protected. The antenna can be mounted directly to it, and users can have it connected and ready to go with just a few cables.

Another outstanding feature of Duro is its price point. At about $600 Duro hits the sweet spot, Bandiwolekar said, by offering high-end precision, a durable protection system, and opportunity to be used by the mass market.

Listen to my full interview here to learn more: Interview with Akshay Bandiwolekar and Chris Osterwood, Duro

Agribusiness, GPS, Robot, RTK

John Deere Knows SMART Farming

Kelly Marshall

We are already up to episode number seven in our SMART Farmer podcast series and this week our subject is John Deere, the company.

John Deere was not a farmer, but he was a real person who started innovating for farmers back in 1837 when he designed a newfangled kind of plow that helped pioneers break through rich Midwest soil. Bev Flores is Media Relations Manager for John Deere and took part in a U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance panel at the 2017 National Ag Day event in Washington DC where she talked about SMART Farming.

In this podcast, Bev talks about how John Deere helps farmers farm smarter: SMART Farmer Podcast with Bev Flores, John Deere

Subscribe to the SMART Farmer podcast

Audio, John Deere, SMART Farmer, sustainability, technology

Agriculture Robotics Expected to be Worth 8.8 Billion

Kelly Marshall

Graphic from Grand View Research

A report from Grand Veiw Research Inc. suggests that the agriculture industry robotics market will reach 8.82 billion USD by 2025.  The study looked at the use of UAVs, antonymous tractors, automatic milking systems, and management materials.  Milking robots dominated the robotics sector in 2014 and are expected to maintain the lead in the foreseeable future.  Antonymous tractors are expected to see the largest rise in growth.

As for applications of the robots, soil conservation is expected to benefit the most, followed by crop management. Grand View Research suggests that as UAVs become better able to find pests and diseases in the field, they too will see an increase.

North America is expected to be the biggest driver, thanks in part to the FAA’s shift in regulatory policy.  Government regulation will be a major factor in adaptation in the European Union as well.

The full report is available here.

Agribusiness, Robot

Syngenta Shareholders Meet ChemChina Requirements

Kelly Marshall

China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) is one step closer to acquiring Syngenta.  Syngenta has announced the provisional interim results from their May Offer Period.  The company was required to see that 67 percent of their shares were tendered.  As of May 4th, they have reached approximately 80 percent of shares, with a few more days till the final count is due.

The prospective timetable for the closing of the offer can be found here.

As soon as permitted by law and applicable regulations, it is intended to de-list the shares from the SIX and to de-list the ADSs from the NYSE.

Agribusiness, Syngenta

Isagro USA Focuses on Bio-Solutions

Kelly Marshall

Isagro USA, Inc. is taking this year to focusing on a bio-solutions portfolio for growers looking for bio-based and organic food production solutions. In 2006 the company purchased select products, and then followed a distribution agreement in 2013 for select tetraconazole and copper-based products. Now they’re building on this success by bringing products to the bio-friendly crop protection and nutrition products.

“Building a dynamic portfolio of bio-based and organic crop protection and plant beneficial nutrient products has been our priority for several years in the United States,” according to Paul Du Pré, Executive Chairman, North America. “This expanding portfolio of products will serve growers with an ever-widening range of bio-based solutions in 2017 and beyond,” said Mike Allan, President Isagro USA.

Agribusiness, Crop Protection, Organic