Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Silver Ridge Farm on Thursday, Dec. 5th to announce the release of a new report that outlines the impact of voluntary incentive-based conservation practices across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
The Conservation Effects Assessment Project report demonstrates the need for a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will invest in conservation partnerships with our nation’s famers, ranchers and landowners.
Silver Ridge Farm, located in Fredericksburg, VA, is a multigenerational family farm that, like many farms in the Bay Watershed area works with the USDA to implement a wide range of conservation measures.
The Cotton Belt Challenge is in its second year, and Bayer CropScience is encouraging FiberMax and Stoneville cotton growers to enter to win great prizes. Growers with the highest yields and highest overall loan values in 12 regions will be recognized for both irrigated and dryland cotton. In addition to regional awards, there will be two grand prize drawings for a custom 4WD Bad Boy Buggies Ambush vehicle.
“FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties have the germplasm and trait technologies to help growers produce profitable cotton yields and fiber quality,” said Jeff Brehmer, U.S. product manager for FiberMax and Stoneville cotton. “Cotton production varies across the United States, depending on weather, irrigation, soil type, pest pressure and other factors. We want to recognize successful cotton production in diverse regional scenarios, and the Bayer CropScience Cotton Belt Challenge gives growers a chance to be rewarded by region for producing high-yielding and high-quality cotton.”
Growers enter by filling out an official entry form and submitting their gin receipts. All regional irrigated and dryland winners in the yield and fiber quality categories will receive 10,000 Innovation Plus™ points – a $500 value.
To qualify, growers must submit their yield and quality results from a minimum of 50 acres and verify their production through gin receipts. Yield is based on ginned lint yield, and quality is based on USDA loan value. If any portion of a field is irrigated, then the entry must be in the irrigated category.
The shareholders of Lincoln Land FS, Inc., headquartered in Jacksonville, Ill., and Two Rivers FS, Inc., headquartered in Rushville, Ill., have approved the merger of their two companies effective December 1, 2013. The new company – Prairieland FS, Inc. — will be headquartered in Jacksonville. Keith Hufendick, formerly manager of Two Rivers FS is named chief executive officer; Matt Busby, formerly manager of Lincoln Land FS is named chief operating officer.
Joe Pickrell, Buffalo Ill, was named President of the newly-formed company; Chet Esther, Frederick Ill, is Vice President. The combined entities recorded $300 million in sales for the most recent fiscal year ended July 31, 2013.
Valley Irrigation, the leader in precision irrigation, is adding the innovative Proof Positive Span Cable to its extensive line of cable theft deterrent products.
Copper theft is a global epidemic, and agricultural irrigation equipment is particularly vulnerable to copper theft. Thieves can grab long spans of cable from unattended center pivots and escape undetected among acres of crops. Stolen span cable immediately cuts power to the pivot, stopping irrigation and potentially ruining crops. Repairs can cost thousands of dollars, and repeated incidents can jeopardize insurance coverage.
One of the biggest challenges in stopping the epidemic of copper cable theft is proving rightful ownership so thieves can be prosecuted. Proof Positive Span Cable, manufactured by Southwire Company and sold through Paige Electric Co, is a traceable, theft-deterrent span cable that provides proof of ownership. Valley is the only center pivot irrigation manufacturer offering Proof Positive Span Cable through its dealer network.
A bright yellow outer jacket alerts recyclers – and thieves – that this is traceable cable. Recyclers can instantly identify stolen cable and verify ownership in seconds at www.2idcu.com.
Land O’Lakes, Inc. announced its acquisition of Geosys, a global technology firm that provides satellite imaging and insights to agribusiness.
The acquisition caps a multi-year relationship between Geosys and Land O’Lakes through its WinField division, which utilizes select Geosys technologies in the United States.
“This acquisition further cements Land O’Lakes’ position as a leader in agribusiness. We are developing tomorrow’s agricultural technology today, and this acquisition fits that strategic drive,” said Land O’Lakes President and CEO Chris Policinski. “Today’s purchase demonstrates Land O’Lakes’ leadership in helping to build the farm of the future with cutting-edge concepts and technologies. These industry-leading technologies give farmers the tools to make critical decisions to improve yields while reducing their environmental footprint and further help our member cooperatives to leverage proven tools that turn data into decision enablers that drive productivity and sustainable agricultural practices.”
Geosys, which has more than 50 employees in multiple countries, has sought a strategic partner for accelerated growth, said Damien Lepoutre, president of Geosys.
“We are excited to align our business with Land O’Lakes because of the cooperative’s outstanding reputation in the industry, their understanding of the critical need for cutting-edge technology in agronomy and our excellent relationship,” said Lepoutre, who will remain president of Geosys. “We know the combination of Land O’Lakes’ expertise in agriculture and Geosys’ expertise in technology have proven results, and we know this combination will position both companies to continue to be leaders in precision agriculture.”
Farm Foundation, NFP and The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation today announced the launch of a new initiative designed to :bring attention to the critical role of soil health in the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.”
The announcement was made to mark World Soil Day which will be commemorated tomorrow, December 5, and coincides with Farm Foundation’s forum today on the Future of Federal Conservation Programs.
Through the leadership of the two foundations, the Soil Health Initiative will bring recognition to the central role of soil in productive agricultural systems, and establish a strategic plan to address soil health issues.
An alliance of organizations supporting biotech crops has named a leader to help “spearhead collaborative efforts to improve the environment for technology innovation and the market for U.S. crops produced through modern biotechnology.”
Dr. Michael J. Phillips has been selected as the first secretariat for the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance (USBCA), which was established by several organizations under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012. The USBCA has been developing and working to “implement consensus positions on key policy issues designed to improve the introduction, stewardship, domestic and international regulatory policy, and distribution in U.S. and export markets of commodities and processed products containing or derived from modern biotechnology.”
In his capacity as secretariat, Phillips will be the focal point of the group’s efforts to further advance the reach, work and wide range of activities being pursued under the expanding broad-based national initiative that currently consists of 11 influential national organizations representing U.S. biotechnology providers; seed, grain and oilseed producers; grain handlers, feed manufacturers, grain processors and millers; exporters; and other end-users. The secretariat also will serve a key role in helping develop and implement consensus positions on specific policy issues.
Phillips is president of MJ Phillips and Associates LLC, an agricultural consulting firm that specializes in agricultural biotechnology issues, and prior to that was vice president for science and regulatory policy for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
The USBCA’s founding organizations include National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, American Seed Trade Association, Biotechnology Industry Organization, National Grain and Feed Association, and North American Export Grain Association. Other national organizations now members of USBCA are American Farm Bureau Federation, Corn Refiners Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Soybean Export Council.
A new grower survey by BASF Crop Protection shows majority of are facing challenges with glyphosate-resistant weeds.
Three out of four growers who participated in a recent survey by BASF suspect that glyphosate resistance is a cause of their tough to control weeds. As a result, a staggering 76 percent of these growers have already changed their weed management program to address resistance. In addition, many growers have experienced lower yields, which they attribute to resistant weeds. These growers have also spent more time scouting and invested more money in their crops due to resistant weeds.
Growers in the survey also identified how they plan to change their control programs next year, with more than two-thirds indicating they would be applying a preemergence herbicide this season and more than half planning to add an additional herbicide to their existing program. Half of the growers surveyed plan to use more than one site of action and nearly half said they plan on using overlapping residual herbicides to control resistant weeds.
According to the survey, growers say the most difficult weed to control is waterhemp, with ragweed species coming in a close second. Lambsquater and marestail were also identified as difficult weeds.
Read more from BASF.
Everyone has their preferences. On our farm, we liked red tractors and combines, on yours you may like green ones, maybe blue or even yellow or silver. Regardless, new products are rolling out for 2014. I had a chance to chat with the boys from CaseIH while at Trade Talk at NAFB about their upcoming 2014 line.
Dr. Rob Zemenchik, Case IH Crop Production Marketing Manager. Rob discusses with me how important their new discs and plows make for a successful planting season which in the end makes harvest more profitable.
Ryan Schaefer, Case IH Marketing Manager for High Horsepower Tractors, talks about Efficient Power. He shares how Case IH is delivering Tier 4 B/Final compliance with superior performance, economy and operating efficiencies.
Nathan (Nate) Weinkauf is the North American Harvest Marketing Manager at Case. We discuss what they are learning about their 2013 models following this year’s harvest and look forward to 2014 and where they are headed with 2014 year models.
You can listen to the Hick Chick Chat here: Hick Chick Chat Case IH
2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album
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USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) representatives were on hand at NAFB Trade Talk last month to discuss the 2013 crop and the 2012 census.
The 2013 harvest is considered completed at this point and Lance Honig with NASS says with a record corn crop and near record soybean crop forecast it’s turned out to be a pretty good year, despite the weather challenges.
“We started one way, we kind of went another way. It’s just the weather shifting throughout the season, but apparently we had enough moisture at the right times to produce a good crop this year”
The November crop production forecast was the final one of the season so Honig says NASS is beginning the process this week of surveying some 80,000 farmers for the final end-of-season numbers coming out January 10.
Listen to my complete interview with Lance here: USDA NASS, Lance Honig
Meanwhile, NASS is also gearing up to release the first numbers from the 2012 Census of Agriculture soon. However, that release is running a little behind schedule due to the two week government shutdown in October. According to Donald Buysse with NASS, the preliminary results are scheduled for release on February 20, 2014 at the Ag Outlook Forum, with the bulk of the data to come later.
Listen to my complete interview with Donald here: USDA NASS, Donald Buysse
2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album
At the 70th Annual Convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and on the Trade Talk floor I stopped in to see our friends from Koch Agronomic Services to find out what’s new in their world.
Vice President for North American Sales Ron Rustom tells me about the acquisition of new companies and how Koch looks to become the global leader in agriculture. While this new company is fairly young, they have a vision to take them further than ever before. “Our vision is to be the global leader in making nutrients more efficient,” Rustom says, noting that their acquisitions of Georgia Pacific and Agrotain International have really helped them toward that goal.
Listent to my interview with Ron here: Ron Rustom, Koch Agronomic Services
Greg Scwaab, director of agronomy for Koch, says they are looking ahead now to nutrient applications in 2014. He says that higher than expected harvest has been great, but they are encouraging growers to take a look at their application process as no one wants to wait for the last minute and now is a great time to be planning ahead. Greg says, “farmers learned they have to be prepared for loss of fertilizer, nitrogen especially.” He recommends their products to be safe and help prevent nitrogen loss in the field.
Listen to my interview with Greg here: Greg Schwaab, Koch Agronomic Services
Checkout photos from NAFB Convention: 2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album
City dwellers as well as farmers need bottom-line returns from over $4 billion invested in federal conservation programs every year. A new “Farm Portfolio” approach shows that the U.S. economy, human health and the environment can benefit in measurable ways from coordinating conservation at all levels.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) highlighted the new six-step approach to focusing conservation programs in a first-of-its-kind Farm Portfolio webinar on Conservation Practices: Farm Fix-it to Farm Portfolio.
Since the 1930s, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has relied on the 9-step conservation plan and its local and state partners to meet with landowners and install conservation practices like field terraces and streambank filter strips. While farm bill conservation programs remain an important component of the new farm portfolio approach, the priority shifts to national-scale environmental outcomes and using resource-driven, data-based professional expertise.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is opening the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments for federal fiscal year 2014. Starting now through Jan. 17, 2014, producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS.
Eligible landowners and operators in all states and territories can enroll in CSP through January 17th to be eligible during the 2014 federal fiscal year. While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods.To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.
Because in-the-bag seed protection only works when pests take a bite, season-long damage is done before target insects are controlled. This season, corn growers can take a proactive approach to maximizing germination and save $5,000 on startup costs when they create a zone of protection with Capture® LFR® insecticide by FMC Agricultural Solutions.
Growers can sign up at www.zoneofprotection.com to participate in the Capture LFR Equipment Voucher Giveaway. The first 50 eligible growers to sign up and submit proof of purchase for 40 gallons or more of Capture LFR insecticide will receive a $5,000 voucher toward a new in-furrow liquid application system. Vouchers can be redeemed with participating equipment suppliers: SureFire Ag Systems; Ohio Valley Ag; AgXcel; Sprayer Specialties, Inc.; or C&R Supply.
Growers who have previously participated in the Capture LFR Equipment Partner Bonus Program are not eligible to receive a voucher. To verify eligibility, growers must submit contact information, agree to the giveaway rules and regulations, and answer five basic questions about their use of at-plant fertilizer and crop protection products.
Advanced plant health and grower engagement were two topics that BASF Crop Protection representatives discussed with reporters at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk.
Dr. Brianne Reeves is a member of the BASF Plant Health Technical Market team and in that role supports field research efforts and manages technical training for Priaxor® fungicide. Brianne is a DPM – Doctor of Plant Medicine – so she knows quite a bit about plant health and how Xemium® fungicide, the active ingredient in Priaxor fungicide, brings advanced plant health benefits to the table.
“The advanced plant health benefits are advanced growth efficiency, advanced disease control and advanced stress tolerance,” she says, noting that BASF has done hundreds of research projects to show those benefits, such as the “root and shoot” advantages. “Better roots, better shoots, more leaves, greener leaves, more photosynthesis, better yields.” Interview with Dr. Brianne Reeves, BASF
In addition to advancements in plant health, BASF has made a commitment to advancing its partnership with farmers in the field by introducing Innovation Specialists like Kaleb Hellwig to engage with growers and help them manage their operations more effectively.
“It’s not about selling them a product, I make recommendations for competitive products, I make recommendations in the fertility area,” Kaleb says. “So that when they make an application of Priaxor in soybeans or Headline AMP in corn or Twinline in wheat that they get the very highest return.”
Kaleb says BASF has gotten such positive feedback with Innovation Specialists in the field that they will be expanding the program next year. Interview with Kaleb Hellwig, BASF
2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album