USGC Releases Latest Corn Harvest Quality Report

cindy zimmerman

A warm and moist growing season resulted in near-record yields and good quality for the 2018 corn crop, according to the U.S. Grain Council’s (USGC) 2018/2019 Corn Harvest Quality Report.

The report revealed the majority of 2018 corn crop conditions were rated as good or excellent during the growing season, leading to strong plant health, good kernel size and a projected crop of 371.52 million metric tons (14.626 billion bushels), the third-largest crop on record. Nearly 94 percent of tested U.S. corn samples rated at U.S. Grade No. 2 or better, thanks to a warm, wet vegetative period and a moderate pollination and grain-filling period. The drier, moderate temperatures during the second half of the growing season promoted healthy plants, good test weights and low kernel damage.

Average test weight of 58.4 pounds per bushel (75.1 kilograms per hectoliter) was higher than the five-year average and indicates good kernel filling and maturation. Average 100-kernel weight of 35.07 grams was lower than 2017, but above the five-year average.

All but one sample, or 99.5 percent of samples, tested below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action level for aflatoxin (20 parts per billion). One-hundred percent of the samples tested below the FDA advisory level for deoxynivalenol (DON), or vomitoxin, for chicken, cattle, hogs and other animals.

The 2018/2019 Corn Harvest Quality Report provides timely information about the quality of the current U.S. corn crop at harvest as it enters international merchandising channels. This information will be supplemented by a second report, the 2018/2019 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, scheduled for early 2019, that measures corn quality at export terminals at the point of loading for international shipment.

AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Corn, Grains, USGC

Latest AEM Ag Tractor and Combine Report

cindy zimmerman

The latest Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) Ag Tractor and Combine Report from November shows overall sales remained positive.

U.S. Sales of self-propelled combines gained 9.2 percent in November compared to last year, and U.S. sales of 4-wheel-drive tractors increased 60.7 percent month-over-month. November year-to-date U.S. sales showed a 16.6 percent growth for combines and 15.9 percent growth for 4-wheel-drive tractors.

Total November sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors declined .9 percent compared to last year: a 2 percent gain for under-40 HP tractors, a 7.8 percent drop for 40-100 HP tractors, and a 4.4 percent gain for 100-plus HP tractors.

November year-to-date growth for overall U.S. sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors grew 6.9 percent; under-40 HP tractors gained 9.3 percent; 40-100 HP tractors increased 1.4 percent; and 100-plus HP tractors grew 5.5 percent.

“Equipment sales overall have been resilient this year, but we are starting to see some softening s the year winds down. Trade issues remain a major concern, especially the uncertainty caused by tensions with China. On a brighter note, we are encouraged by the administration’s efforts regarding year-round availability of E-15 fuel. And we’re urging swift action on the farm bill to provide some stability for farmers dealing with uncertain markets and lower farm income,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, Ag services.

Click here to see the full report

AEM, AgWired Precision, Equipment, Tractor

USDA Launches ReConnect Program

cindy zimmerman

USDA is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA’s new ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service.

“High-speed internet e-Connectivity is a necessity, not an amenity, vital for quality of life and economic opportunity, so we hope that today rural communities kick off their rural broadband project planning,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Projects funded through this initiative must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people with no broadband service or where service is slower than 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload. Approved projects must create access speeds of at least 25 mbps download and 3 mbps upload.

“When Congress wrote the 1996 Telecommunications Act, it promised rural America it would one day have broadband Internet service equal to the rest of the country. We’re not quite there, but 25-megabit downloads and 3 megabits up is the sort of speed we’ve been waiting for,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.

To help customers with the application process, USDA is holding a series of online webinars and regional in-person workshops. The full list of upcoming public webinars and workshops can be found at the ReConnect Program’s resource portal at

AFBF, AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Internet, USDA

Former Agriculture Secretaries Meet

cindy zimmerman

Just days after the passing of former Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, four former secretaries met with current Secretary Sonny Perdue to discuss the latest agricultural issues.

Those in attendance included former Secretaries John Block (1981-1986), Dan Glickman (1995-2001), Ann Veneman (2001-2005), and Mike Johanns (2005-2008). The Secretaries discussed several issues including trade, wildfires, agriculture research, infrastructure, cell-based meat, and rural prosperity.

Former Agriculture Secretaries Bob Bergland, John Block, and Clayton Yeutter at 2012 NAFB Convention

The last time the four were together at USDA was in 2012 to celebrate the agency’s 150th anniversary. Three other former secretaries still living are Mike Espy (1993-1994), Ed Schafer (2008-2009), and Tom Vilsack (2009-2017). Espy recently lost his bid to replace retiring Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran in a high profile runoff election.

Bergland, a Minnesota farmer who served as secretary under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 died December 9 at the age of 90. He also served as vice president and general manager of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association until he retired in 1992.

In 2012, Bergland joined former secretaries Block and Yeutter at the NAFB Convention. Enjoy his opening comments here – Former ag secretary Bob Bergland at 2012 NAFB

2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, NAFB, USDA

USFRA Announces New Chair, Board Members, and Podcast

cindy zimmerman

Maryland crop farmer Chip Bowling, representing National Corn Growers Association, is the new chair for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) elected last month at the coalition fall board meeting along with new executive committee and board members.

Bowling, who is the fourth chairman of the group, is joined by a new executive committee:
• Vice Chair: Scott VanderWal, American Farm Bureau Federation
• Treasurer: Blair Van Zetten, American Egg Board
• Secretary: Anne Meis, representing Nebraska Soybean Board
• At-Large: Jennifer Houston, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
• At-Large Premier: Michael Parrish, Bayer
• Immediate Past Chairman: Brad Greenway, National Pork Board

USFRA also added two new members to its 15 member board – Joe Koss, president and chief executive officer of Culver’s Franchising System and Brody Stapel, President of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.

In addition, USFRA introduced a new “Farm, Food, Facts” podcast for food retailers, sustainability supply chain leaders and food trade media. The podcast, hosted by SupermarketGuru Phil Lempert, discusses top stories about today’s food.

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, USFRA

Praise for Farm Bill Soil Carbon Pilot Program

cindy zimmerman

Several organizations are pleased that the new farm bill includes a climate-friendly soil carbon pilot program.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) thank the Farm Bill conferees for including language in the 2018 Farm Bill to establish an Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) pilot program to promote and document the benefits of farming practices which improve soil health.

“This new EQIP provision provides the tools to incentivize farmers to adopt smart soil management practices that improve soil health to increase drought resiliency, improve nutrient utilization, and enhance soil carbon sequestration,” said Keith Alverson, South Dakota farmer and NCGA board member.

“The economic value farmers can receive from being properly credited for their ability to sequester carbon and participate in low carbon fuel markets and for other climate policies is significant,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “ACE is committed to fostering the development of these low carbon market opportunities that also increase income to farmers and rural America.”

ACE, AgWired Precision, Climate Change, Corn, Ethanol, NCGA

BASF Looks Forward to 2019 Growing Season

carrie muehling

BASF continues to educate growers about one of the newest products available for the 2019 growing season in LibertyLink GT27. The new technology will offer tolerance to three different herbicide groups: Liberty, glyphosate and HPPD, pending approval.

“Because it’s the first technology that you can use Liberty and glyphosate with, it really allows them to address a broad range of weed species – both broadleafs and grasses – that allows them to really have the best tool on the market to address their issues,” said Jody Wynia, U.S. Soybean Licensing Lead for BASF.

Wynia said LibertyLink GT27 is a strong tool when it comes to driver weeds like marestail, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth.

Hear more in Chuck’s interview with Jody: Interview with Jody Wynia, BASF

BASF at 2018 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo

2018 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo photos

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, BASF, Herbicide, LibertyLink, Video

Conaway Pleased with Final Farm Bill

cindy zimmerman

Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill is a “big deal for rural America” and for House Agriculture Committee chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), who loses his chairmanship next month when the Democrats take the majority in the House.

After the House voted 386-47 to pass the conference report and send the bill to the president, Conaway released a video talking about the importance of it and how pleased he was to be able to complete a farm bill as chairman.

“You really can’t lay claim to being chairman of House Ag unless you’ve done a farm bill. For me personally, it’s a sense of accomplishment,” said Conaway. “…it is a big deal and a good Christmas present for each and every person in rural America, and that’s who I have been fighting for.”

Conaway held a press conference Thursday morning to talk about the new legislation – Rep. Conaway press conference remarks on farm bill

AgWired Animal, AgWired Precision, Audio, Farm Bill, Video

Clariant and Eastman Announce Agrochemical Collaboration

cindy zimmerman

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, and Eastman Chemical Company, a global advanced materials and specialty additives company, have announced an agreement for the distribution of a new solvent for the agriculture industry.

TamiSolve NxG was developed for the global plant protection sector, for use in plant growth regulators, biological control agents, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Under this exclusive agreement, Clariant will globally market and sell TamiSolve NxG under Clariant’s trade name, “Genagen™ NBP.”

With this collaboration, Eastman and Clariant hope to utilize their strengths to bring more sustainable, efficient, and innovative solutions to farmers around the world.

Clariant once again exhibited at the ASTA 2018 CSS and Seed Expo last week and we caught up with Mark Self, technical marketing segment manager for the company here in the United States. He was talking there about Agrocer, Clariant’s brand for agricultural products, including colorants, polymers, dusting agents and anything related to seed coating.

“Clariant was started as a color company,” said Self. “We’re trying to take it to the next level by introducing new colorants into the portfolio and show people they can color to the brand, to differentiate, to show value-added…you can do that with seed coating.”

Learn more in this interview from the seed expo – ASTACSS18 Interview with Mark Self, Clariant

2018 ASTA CSS and Seed Expo

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Clariant, seed

Bayer Spotlights NemaStrike at #ASTACSS

carrie muehling

Bayer representatives at the 2018 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo wanted growers to take notice of NemaStrike technology as they make decisions for the 2019 growing season.

“We believe it’s going to provide a fantastic opportunity for growers to protect themselves against a pest that they were maybe underestimating – nematodes,” said Brent Craig, Seed Applied Solutions Marketing for NemaStrike with Bayer.

Craig said nematodes that come into contact with a seed or root that has been treated with NemaStrike will die before getting a chance to do much damage. In addition, NemaStrike technology provides 75 days of broad spectrum control, covering multiple generations of the pest that may exist within the same field.

“NemaStrike is the most efficacious product we’ve seen for nematodes,” said Kelli Brown, N.A. Seed Applied Solutions Product Manager for NemaStrike. “When you look at various competitive products across the board, we’re going to reduce populations of nematodes significantly further and for longer periods of time than any other product.”

Brown said nematodes are microscopic roundworms, and they are the most ubiquitous species on the planet. She said nematode pressure will be higher in some years than in others, which is why a broader seed treatment portfolio including fungicides, insecticides, nematicides and biologicals is important to consider. NemaStrike technology is available in Bayer-treated corn, soybean and cotton seed for the 2019 growing season.

Interview with Brent Craig, Seed Applied Solutions Marketing, NemaStrike –
Interview with Brent Craig, Bayer

Interview with Kelli Brown, N.A. Seed Applied Solutions Product Manager, NemaStrike –
Interview with Kelli Brown, Bayer

Bayer at ASTACSS18 Photo Album

2018 ASTA CSS Photo Album

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Bayer