A New Look at Corn and Soybean Production

agronomy, AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, BASF, Corn, Soybean

Mark Seem, AgReliant Genetics; Emerson Nafzinger, Univ. of Ill.; Gary Ury, BASF

Those attending the 2019 American Seed Trade Association CSS & Seed Expo had the opportunity to learn more about modern corn and soybean production from a couple of industry experts.

Retired University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger provided some insight on managing today’s more efficient corn hybrids.

“My basic thesis is that hybrids have gotten so much better that it changes what we need to do to optimize the management for them,” said Nafziger.

BASF‘s Greg Ury talked about the critical factors that influence soybean production to help put growers in a position to succeed.

“Planting dates, variety selections, soil fertility – we have to maximize all of those components,” said Ury.

The session was moderated by Mark Seem of AgReliant Genetics.

Listen to Emerson Nafziger’s presentation here: ASTACSS19 Emerson Nafziger – University of Illinois (31:12)

Listen to Greg Ury’s presentation here: ASTACSS19 Greg Ury, BASF (31:12)

2019 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo Photo Album

FMC Announces CEO Change in 2020

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, ARA, Audio, FMC

The Board of Directors for FMC Corporation has elected Mark Douglas as president and chief executive officer of FMC, effective June 1, 2020, replacing Pierre Brondeau who will continue to serve as chairman and CEO through May 31, 2020, at which time he will become executive chairman and remain a member of the Board of Directors.

“Mark has been elected following the Board’s careful and thorough assessment of the experience, track record and leadership qualities needed to lead FMC,” said Brondeau. “He has been a trusted partner during a period of significant change. During the last decade, Mark has been engaged on every major decision and strategic action we pursued to transform FMC into a high growth agricultural sciences company. His more than 30 years of global business and operational experience in the chemical industry, including most of the last 10 years leading FMC’s agricultural business, makes him ideally suited as our next CEO,” Brondeau added.

Douglas is now FMC president and CEO-elect, and he will work with Brondeau and the Board during the next five months on an orderly transition.

Brondeau presented the keynote address at the recent 2019 Ag Retailers Association Annual Conference and Expo in New Orleans. Listen to an interview with him from there.
ARA19 Interview with FMC CEO Pierre Brondeau (3:34)

Precision Ag Bytes 12/18

AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

  • USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA’s flagship program that helps producers plan and implement 150-plus conservation practices on working lands. The rule – now available on the Federal Register – takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • CLAAS of America Inc. recently received six 2020 AE50 New Product Awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
  • AgGateway has announced its 2020 leadership and meeting dates, and has also released its Annual Report, entitled “Driving Digital Solutions”.
  • Vinduino award-winning crop optimization products are now available for sale on Amazon.com.
  • FarmTrade.com, the first and only online exchange for crop protection products, announced the launch of their redesigned website landing page.
  • For the third time, David Hula of Charles City, Virginia, set a new world record in the National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest with the Pioneer® brand P1197 family of products. Hula achieved an astounding yield of 616 bu/A with Pioneer® hybrid P1197YHR, crushing his previous world record of 542 bu/A, set in 2017 with Pioneer® P1197AM™ brand corn.
  • National Sorghum Producers is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 NSP Yield Contest. Producer yields are highlighted in five different categories from the eastern and western regions of the U.S. This year’s top yield and Bin Buster winner is Santino Santini of New Jersey with 212.5 bushels per acre.
  • The Ohio Soybean Council, in partnership with Persistence Data Mining, Inc., has won its eleventh R&D 100 Award for a revolutionary soil nutrient mapping and testing platform.

Hula Sets Corn Yield Record of Over 616 Bushels

AgWired Precision, Corn, NCGA

David Hula of Charles City, Virginia has once again broken his own record in the National Corn Growers Association 2019 National Corn Yield Contest and set the bar pretty high for the future.

Hula produced the highest yield on record at 616.1953 bushels per acre, beating his previous record of 542-plus bushels in 2017, which broke his 2015 record of 532 bushels per acre. Hula set his record this year in the Strip, Min, Mulch, Ridge-Till Irrigated category.

The 27 winners in 9 production categories had verified yields averaging more than 383 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 167 bushels per acre in 2019. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 616.1953 bushels per acre.

Despite adverse growing conditions that impacted most farmers, improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices, allowed corn growers to achieve many impressive yields across all categories again this year. Heath Cutrell of Chesapeake, VA came in first for the Conventional Non-Irrigated category this year with over 381 bushels per acre, beating out his 2018 win in the same category of almost 361. See a list of all the winners.

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 55th year. The winners will be honored during Commodity Classic 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.

BASF and Arable Partner to Provide Field Analytics

AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, Precision Agriculture

Arable Labs and xarvio™ Digital Farming Solutions are partnering to provide weather and plant insights to farmers across Europe

The resulting integration of Arable’s unique dataset with xarvio FIELD MANAGER allows for optimized crop production decisions. BASF’s digital platform is built on decades of experience in crop production and protection, with Arable’s hyper-local crop and weather data it enables more precise in-field decisions.

Arable developed an innovative method that accurately measures precipitation using sound. Arable’s Mark device delivers unique value by employing an acoustic disdrometer, eliminating the complex maintenance requirements of the traditional tipping bucket. The multi-spectral sensing capabilities of the Mark bring real-time insight into how plants are responding to observed field conditions. Housed in a durable casing reinforced with nanotechnology protection, Arable supports the latest generation of wireless internet connection, LTE-M. Fit-for-the-farm tech combines weather measurements, plant health parameters and over 40 additional in-field measurements to create a first-of-its-kind solution integrated into xarvio FIELD MANAGER.

The Arable Mark is now available online and will be integrated into xarvio FIELD MANAGER for the 2020 growing season. Geographic rollout is based on LTE-M availability with the initial countries being France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland and Ukraine.

Arable Labs promoted the news at the ASTA CSS and Seed Expo last week in Chicago and we sat down with VP of Strategic Partnerships Jess Bollinger to find out more about the partnership.

ASTACSS19 Interview with Jess Bollinger, Arable (3:36)

2019 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photos

Precision Ag Bytes 12/11

AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

  • ARVA Intelligence has established the first research farm of its kind in Humphrey, Arkansas. The ARVA Intelligence Delta Research Farm combines 3000 acres of highly censored field data with cutting-edge machine learning analytics to provide the most in-depth understanding of product efficacy and soil context available in agriculture.
  • Benson Hill, a crop improvement company dedicated to unlocking the natural diversity of plants, today announced the launch of Benson Hill Seeds, a business focused on delivering superior seeds to meet the evolving needs of the growing human food and animal feed markets, including the eMerge Genetics portfolio of non-GMO soybean varieties.
  • An impartial team of agricultural industry judges named WinField United‘s InterLock Adjuvant as the “2019 Product of the Year” and Corteva Agriscience’s Enlist E3 Soybean Trait as the “2019 NEW Product of the Year.” This is the 17th year Agri Marketing magazine has sponsored the program.

ASTA Announces Student Video Contest Winner

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, ASTA, Audio, BASF, seed

Recent Iowa State University PhD graduate Kevin Falk was honored as the grand prize winner of the Better Seed, Better Life Student Video Contest for the second year in row during the Opening General Session of ASTA’s CSS & Seed Expo 2019 in Chicago.

Falk’s PhD work focuses around harnessing technology to develop high throughput phenotyping platforms and machine learning approaches to advance plant breeding and he is very interested in science, agriculture and using media to connect and communicate with the public. He recently accepted a position with Corteva Agriscience as an Integrated Field Sciences Research Scientist.

The Better Seed, Better Life Student Video Contest is a collaboration between the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) and the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of American and Soil Science Society of America (Tri-Societies). Open to both graduate and undergraduate university students, this year’s contest focused on the theme, “Our Planet, Our Health, Our Food – it all starts with the Seed.”

Second place went to Matthew Wilson, University of Missouri; and third place went to Hannah Van Eendenburg, University of Colorado Boulder.

Listen to an interview with Kevin here and watch his award winning video below:
ASTACSS19 Interview with video contest winner Kevin Falk

2019 ASTA CSS & Seed Expo photos

EOS Crop Monitoring Case Study

AgWired Precision, Precision Agriculture, sponsored content

How to get maximum value from satellite monitoring: EOS Crop Monitoring case study
Sponsored content provided for AgWired by EOS Crop Monitoring

Finding the reason behind low field performance could be tricky. Often seems there were no pests and fertilizers properly applied, but somehow results are unsatisfactory. EOS Crop Monitoring case study illustrates how satellite data enables problem-solving on a field.

Satellite monitoring in a nutshell
Satellite crop monitoring is an online-based technology that enables ground surface analysis for vegetation levels assessment. This allows to track plant development dynamics and identify problem spots on a field without leaving the office. Other features include weather prediction tools, rainfall information, and field historical data. Insights from satellites are visualized in software platforms for efficient field management.

How to detect issues on a field via satellites
In October 2019, EOS Crop Monitoring team was requested to identify the reason behind low NDVI readings. NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) is a formula that estimates near-infrared light reflected from the Earth’s surface to assess vegetation conditions. The platform reported sparse plant performance which in NDVI spectra is visualized in shades of red. (click on image for larger version)

And in order to examine sprouts conditions, the EOS team joined up with an agronomist and traveled to the area. Pictures directly from the field confirmed low quantity and quality of the sprouts:

Since the main condition for successful rapeseed growth on its initial stages is high soil moisture levels, the first thing the EOS team examined was available data that had the biggest impact on this parameter. Though Crop Monitoring does not measure soil moisture levels directly (the feature will be added soon), it revises rainfall records on specific areas for several years. By comparing the sowing date (August 13th, 2019) with relevant entries in August-September, EOS scouts have seen that the latest minor rains were gone a couple of days before the sowing. And since the August 13th until the middle of September there were none whatsoever:

According to the field agronomist, lack of rainfall is the main reason for overdried soil which eventually caused vegetation failures. This theory was confirmed after comparing the level of vegetation in the researched area with the neighboring rapeseed field which was sown ten days prior, caught the rain, and did not suffer from poor vegetation.

As a result, with the help of the EOS Crop Monitoring, the farmer was able to graphically see the problem as well as its cause. Understanding the core of the issue helps to avoid mistakes in the future as the platform provides data and notifications on weather conditions, showing when additional watering is necessary.

More about EOS Crop Monitoring
Besides the information about rainfalls, EOS Crop Monitoring allows to precisely measure field areas, monitor the plant health performance, alert on dangerous weather conditions, as well as saves these valuable records in its database. Depending on the landbank layout the cost-advantage of the satellite crop monitoring technology might reach from 5 to 20 %.

Heliae and R.W. Griffin Team Up for Georgia Soil Health

AgWired Precision, Audio, Cotton, Peanuts, Soil

Appropriately on World Soil Day, Heliae® Agriculture announced a partnership with the R.W. Griffin family of companies to drive soil health in Georgia and North Florida. R.W. Griffin, one of the largest fertilizer retailers in Georgia, has become one of the company’s official distributors for the southeast region.

Griffin Evans, Chemical and Seed Director for R.W. Griffin says, “We are happy to create a strategic alliance with Heliae. Their efforts to drive healthy soils allows us to help our growers achieve improved return on investment on their current crops, while sustaining their soil for future generations.”

In this strategic partnership, R.W. Griffin will be working with Heliae on the application of its microalgae soil microbe food PhycoTerra®, to support its efforts in peanuts, cotton, and specialty crops. PhycoTerra® is created from a Heliae-proprietary strain of microalgae that feeds microbes present in soil, which in turn creates a more complex soil profile that improves water retention and nutrient use efficiency in the field, among other demonstrated benefits.

“Our soil microbe food will give the R.W. Griffin Specialty Ag product line the additional tools needed to support their efforts in soil health to their growers across the region,” said N.R. (Norm) Davy, Chief Revenue Officer of Heliae. “Our U.S. third party trials have seen more than 10:1 ROI’s for farmers in a number of key crops. This is another important step in providing regenerative agriculture solutions to growers in the southeast region.”

Learn more in this interview with Davy from the Agricultural Retailers Association convention in New Orleans this week.

Audio interview with N.R. (Norm) Davy, Heliae Chief Revenue Officer (7:57)

ARA 2019 Retailer of the Year is Premier Ag

Agribusiness, AgWired Precision, ARA, Audio, Precision Agriculture

Premier Ag was named 2019 ARA Retailer of the Year during the Agricultural Retailers Association convention in New Orleans this week. The award, sponsored by Bayer and AgPro magazine, honors an ARA member retailer company or individual representing quality and prestige within the industry.

Premier Ag is the agricultural retail branch of Premier Companies, a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in Seymour, Ind., and founded in 1927 with a mission to enhance the success its member-customers by ensuring a premier source of supplies and services including fuel, propane, seed, fertilizer, crop protection and more in the agricultural and energy sectors.

“We are honored to be named the 2019 the ARA Retailer of the Year, receive an Environmental Respect Award, and to have all our facilities certified by ResponsibleAg,” said CEO Harold Cooper.

Listen to Cooper’s remarks:
ARA19 Retailer of the Year, Premier Ag (1:27)

2019 ARA Convention and Expo