Planting progress is on the minds of the AgFanatics.
In episode #31, the AgFanatics talk with MaxYield Cooperative’s, Karl Setzer, to get his take on the markets and what he’s been witnessing in the northwest part of Iowa. Karl also shares his thoughts on corn planting progress in his area.
Episode #32 features guest host Graham Utter discussing how his own planting progress is coming along, as well as corn and soybean price projection possibilities for the next few years.
The AgriVisor AgFanatics podcast is updated twice weekly and can be found on Itunes or right from the front page at www.agrivisor.com.
A new agriculture and chemical company has been formed to produce and market a next generation of urease inhibitor.
Eco Agro Resources was launched on May 1, with its patent-pending flagship product, N-Yield.
David McKnight, CEO states “Eco Agro Resources is made up of 30 team members with over 100 years of agriculture and chemical experience. We have multiple lab and manufacturing locations with a home base in High Point, NC. Our current chemical sales are projected to top $50 million USD annually, while our global presence and patent pending technologies continue to expand.”
Ray Perkins President of Sales says, “Our flagship product, N-YieldTM is an environmentally friendly nitrogen inhibitor solution that is used to treat urea and UAN based fertilizers to improve the retention of nitrogen content in soil. N-YieldTM can be used to coat either urea granules or can be mixed with ammonium nitrate (UAN) solutions and offers several advantages over the current brands available.”
Eco Agro ResourcesTM offers a strategic limited distribution business model as well as co-branding opportunities. We are a previous active ingredient supplier to leading urease inhibitor brands.
Thanks to the latest farming technology, farmers were able to make amazing planting progress last week, finally starting to catch up to where they should be at this time of year.
According to the latest crop progress report, over 70 percent of projected corn acres had been planted as of last Sunday, while only 28 percent were planted a week prior. While progress lagged behind the five-year average by 37 points last week, the rapid progress closed the gap to only nine points.
Illinois farmers jumped from just 17% planted the week ending May 12 to 74% on May 19, just 3% less than the five year average. “Everybody here is feverishly working,” National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Chairman Garry Niemeyer of Auburn, Illinois told me on Friday as he was busy playing catch up on planting progress. While it has been the longest cold, wet spring that he can remember, Garry says it has really warmed up in the Midwest and he expects the corn to “come flying out of the ground” now.
Planting progress in Iowa increased by 56% from May 12 to 71% on May 19. “Farmers have the technology and the drive to accomplish more in a week than we could have in three only a few decades ago,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson, a grower in Iowa. “Last week, we knew that we needed a week of drier, warmer weather and, throughout much of the Corn Belt, we got just that.”
Minnesota corn planting progressed by 52 points last week, while Kansas, Michigan, Missouri Nebraska and North Dakota all increased planting progress by more than 40 points. Emergence however is still lagging well behind normal with just 19% emerged nationwide, compared to the 46% average.
The National Cotton Council (NCC) is pleased with the farm bills out of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees this week that make some pretty significant changes in the cotton program to hopefully provide final resolution of the longstanding Brazil WTO case.
“The focus has been to try and come up with farm policy for cotton in the new farm bill that will resolve the case,” said NCC vice president for Economics & Farm Policy Gary Adams. “We believe that STAX, which would be a new area-wide revenue insurance option for cotton, is a way to resolve the case.”
Adams says the provisions for Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) are “very similar” in both bills, while the House also includes transition payments to assist growers and their lenders until STAX can be fully implemented, “so that’s a difference that has to be worked out.”
Bottom line, Adams says producers need a farm bill this year. “The one thing we hope is we can see Congress complete its action this summer so we can get a multi-year farm bill in place and give producers some certainty about what policy is going to be for the next few years,” he concluded.
Interview with NCC VP Gary Adams
Following on the heels of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s action on Tuesday, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) of 2013 by a vote of 36 to 10 Wednesday after more than ten hours of farm bill markup considering 100 amendments.
“This provides a great reason for optimism we will have a new long-term farm bill this year,” said American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman in a statement late last night after the House Ag Committee finally finished its work. “That belief is further supported by the fact that the bills are more striking in their similarities than in their differences.”
One of the differences in the two bills is a provision linking conservation compliance to crop insurance premium subsidies, included in the Senate bill but not in the House. Conservation changes in the House bill include the consolidation of 23 conservation programs into 13 and streamlining program delivery to producers, saving more than $6 billion.
The Senate bill is expected to go to the floor next week while the House bill is slated for next month.
An optimistic Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman met with farm broadcasters on Wednesday morning, the day after her committee passed a new farm bill called the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013. “This is the biggest jobs bill we will pass in any Congress,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “It’s time to get it done.”
Stabenow says the majority of the bill they passed out of committee is virtually the same as last year and she believes they addressed the concerns of southern producers. “I think we have a strong coalition and have really produced what I think my friends down the hall should just take as the commodity title,” she said.
The senator talked about the amount of savings in the bill, concerns about the nutrition title, what they did with cotton in the bill, and conservation compliance. Overall, Senator Stabenow is optimistic about getting a farm bill soon, and that combined with new immigration policy, will be a “positive one-two punch for producers.”
Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow
House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) met with the farm broadcasters just shortly before his committee began markup of their bill and said he was “as wound up as an 8 day clock” and expected it to be a long day but maybe not quite as long as last year’s 15 hour session. “But I would note that we had approximately 100 amendments a year ago, as of this morning we have approximately 100 amendments this time,” he said.
Lucas says the bill will go to the House floor this year “a dramatic improvement over a year ago” but he does expect it to be “a struggle we’re prepared to engage in and we’re prepared to move forward on.”
Chairman Lucas said it’s important to look long term in the farm bill. “Farm bills are not necessarily about this year or next year or year three,” he said. “Farm bills are about making provisions for year four or year five, when the wheels come off.”
House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas
2013 NAFB Washington Watch Photo Album
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack supports provisions in the farm bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee that ties conservation compliance to crop insurance.
“It’s a deal that’s made between taxpayers, farmers and insurance companies,” said Vilsack. “In many cases, we’re paying as taxpayers 50-55-60-63% of the premium. In the past, we also provided a direct payment and as part of the direct payment deal we said in exchange for this check, we’re going to expect something in return and that is conservation compliance.”
Since it is obvious direct payments are going to be eliminated, Vilsack says it makes sense to tie crop insurance premium subsides to conservation compliance. “If you’re going to get the benefit of a premium subsidy that’s pretty significant, we’d ask you to put together a plan and be compliant with that plan.”
Vilsack spoke to members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Tuesday and hit on a variety of issues related to the farm bill.
Listen to Vilsack’s comments here: Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack Mtg. with NAFB
2013 NAFB Washington Watch Photo Album
The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 15-5 today to approve their version of a 2013 farm bill.
“The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act includes an even stronger commitment to conservation, one borne out of the efforts by environmental and agricultural groups who sat down together to find a way to protect our soil and water resources necessary to keep agriculture strong in America for generations to come,” said Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich).
The bill includes an agreement between agriculture and conservation organizations to ensure that basic soil and wetland protection requirements were extended to apply to crop insurance premium subsidies. “We’ve come up with what we think is a very workable alternative which would not limit eligibility and which would have crop insurance tied to making sure you weren’t breaking up highly erodible land or plowing up wetlands. But if you did have an accident and something happened, maybe you drained a ditch a little bit deeper than you should have, you would have two years to mitigate that problem,” said Mary Kay Thatcher with the American Farm Bureau Federation of the framework agreed to last week by 32 groups.
Several conservation-related amendments were approved for the bill in committee, including one by Senator Thune (R-SD) to ensure tracking of conversion of native prairies to crop production and another by Sen. Heitkamp (D-NV) to allow the Natural Resources Conservation Service to have more say over how to allocate technical assistance programs among programs.
The bill is expected to move to the Senate floor next week.
We first told you about Monsanto’s FieldScripts last fall at Farm Progress Show. Now we will be hearing much more from farmers using it on a trial basis in the field.
This planting season, more than 150 farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota are trialing the first offering from Monsanto’s Integrated Farming SystemsSM (IFS) research platform – FieldScriptsSM. With FieldScripts planted on more than 8,300 acres in Illinois, Ground Breakers® farmers there are impressed with how FieldScripts revolutionizes variable rate planting.
FieldScripts integrates Monsanto’s understanding of hybrid performance with the data farmers provide about their individual fields to identify the best hybrids and provide a variable rate planting prescription for each field. The process is led by FieldScripts Certified Dealers, delivered through the FieldView® Plus app on the farmer’s iPad®, and executed with precision equipment on the planter.
Ground Breakers farmer Mark Sturtevant in Carroll County, Ill. has planted several fields with FieldScripts and is excited about bringing together Monsanto’s knowledge of hybrid performance in multiple yield environments with the latest planter technologies, “If we can harness this technology, we’ll be able to increase our yield and profit potential. We’re working to put the right seed, at the right amount, on every acre. FieldScripts is a step in the right direction for the industry.”
While many farmers own variable rate planters, there has not been a simple and accurate way to utilize them. Traditionally, variable rate seeding has been based on soil type or normalized yield, but these methods fall short of revealing the true picture of what is happening in the field or providing a means to plant accurately using that information.
FieldScripts allows the farmer to accurately plant a lower seeding rate in lower-yielding areas of the field, and a higher seeding rate at higher yielding areas of the field, maximizing the yield potential of every seed. Monsanto research has shown that FieldScripts delivers a 5-10 bushel per acre yield advantage across the field as a whole, as compared with fields not planted with FieldScripts. In 2014, Monsanto plans to launch FieldScripts that will be delivered to farmers through FieldScripts Certified DEKALB® seed dealers.
Read more from Monsanto.
As both the House and Senate Agriculture committees are marking up their versions of a farm bill this week, that was the number one issue for farm broadcasters meeting in the nation’s capitol for their annual Washington Watch.
Mary Kay Thatcher with the American Farm Bureau Federation sees few major differences between the two committee drafts released last week. “If you look at all the titles, except commodities and nutrition, they’re fairly similar – there isn’t really a nickel’s worth of difference in conservation, research, rural development or specialty crops,” she said. Even the commodity titles she thinks are more similar this year than last, but there are differences in nutrition. “I still think the food stamp program is going to be the big ticket that’s going to hold us up in getting this thing done.”
Listen to Chuck’s interview with Mary Kay here: Interview with Mary Kay Thatcher, AFBF
Jon Doggett with the National Corn Growers Association says their top priority with the farm bill is risk management and crop insurance, which is why they joined with a number of other agriculture and environmental groups last week in hammering out a compromise to support tying conservation compliance and crop insurance but oppose means testing or payment limitations. “We worked out some common sense language that makes this a very workable program for growers that offers them plenty of opportunity that if they inadvertently get out of compliance they can quickly get back in,” he said. “In return, we have an assurance from the conservation community that they will be with us to protect the funding for crop insurance.”
Listen to Chuck’s interview with Jon here: Interview with Jon Doggett, NCGA
The Senate farm bill mark up is scheduled for Tuesday and the House on Wednesday.
Link to Senate farm bill page.
Link to House farm bill draft.
2013 NAFB Washington Watch Photo Album
Find more NAFB Washington Watch interviews on AgNewsWire.com
Even as the Syngenta-owned Garst and Golden Harvest® brands are being launched under the revised Golden Harvest brand, Syngenta intends to uphold the quality, reliability and legacy that have become synonymous with the Garst brand and the Garst Seed Advisor.
“Roswell Garst’s commitment to customers – to be a trusted advisor in addition to a seed dealer – is the very essence of what the Syngenta Seed Advisor network embodies,” said Lori Thomas, customer marketing manager for the dealer channel commercial unit for Syngenta in North America. “Even though the Garst name won’t have the same market presence, the integrity, tradition and history of the company will continue to live on.” Thomas and her husband, Mike, were Garst Seed Advisors for 10 years.
Founded as Garst & Thomas Hi-Bred Corn Company in 1930, the Garst brand has a rich history of bringing many innovative corn solutions to market, from developing herbicide-tolerant hybrids, including the first IMI-corn, to offering European Corn Borer (Bt) control and herbicide tolerance together in one corn hybrid, to transcending borders and taking the new technology to farmers in other countries, including the former Soviet Union.
Since Syngenta acquired the Garst brand in 2004, the company has focused on building a diverse genetic portfolio, using the genetics from the Garst, Golden Harvest and NK® brand breeding programs and incorporating the market-leading line-up of Agrisure® traits. Earlier this year, Syngenta announced the decision to rebrand the existing Garst and Golden Harvest corn seed brands and launch a unified Golden Harvest brand stemmed from ongoing efforts to strengthen and grow the network of Syngenta Seed Advisors.
A new logo and numbering system for Golden Harvest hybrids will be in place for summer 2013 trials and the 2014 planting season. “The new logo brings elements from the Garst legacy as well as the Golden Harvest legacy,” Lori says, stressing that growers who have counted on Garst seed to maximize their yields will still have access to the same high-quality genetics under the Golden Harvest name through their Syngenta Seed Advisor.
Listen to or download my interview with Lori here: Interview with Lori Thomas
Northern Plains Nitrogen (NPN) officials have announced to build and operate a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer production facility near Grand Forks, N.D. The world-scale production facility will include a 2,200 ton per day ammonia plant plus urea and Urea-Ammonium-Nitrate (UAN) production facilities.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said, “This is an exciting opportunity for Grand Forks, the State of North Dakota, and the Northern Plains. This plant will utilize the increasing supplies of natural gas across the region and will provide a reliable regional supply of fertilizer while reducing producers’ dependence on imported products.”
The facility will be located on land adjacent to the Grand Forks Wastewater Treatment Plant. Larry Mackie, NPN Chief Operations Officer, says it’s a perfect location, and called the flat ground where the plant will be built, “a site that is as good as it gets for our purposes.” There are currently discussions underway for NPN to utilize the wastewater effluent from the Grand Forks wastewater treatment process for the plant’s water supply. NPN CEO, Don Pottinger notes, “this green-field world-scale production facility will be among the safest, most efficient and environmentally compliant ever constructed. By using modern technology which, among other benefits, reduces our carbon footprint, the NPN facility is taking shape to be a very exciting and worthwhile undertaking.”
Northern Plains Nitrogen was created by farmers in the Northern Plains as a result of research conducted by North Dakota State University. The research was funded by the Corn Growers Organizations of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, and the Manitoba Canola and North Dakota Soybean Councils. The North Dakota Department of Commerce is working closely with the company to identify state programs that can be utilized for the plant’s construction.
We are so pleased with the response to our new agri-blogging internship program. It was tough to choose just one for the summer semester, but we finally decided on Maggie Seiler – a sophomore at Kansas State University dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry.
Maggie grew up on a dairy operation outside of Wichita and has worked for the Kansas Dairy Association and the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, as well as serving as an Agricultural Ambassador and an officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She is very interested in the agriculture use of social media.
“Blogging and the use of social media platforms is becoming an increasingly important part of journalism and the agricultural industry,” Maggie said in her application. “I really appreciate the ability of online platforms and blogs to provide the vital information from agriculture industry meeting to members of the community that cannot physically travel to events. ZimmComm is a company that stays on the cutting-edge of industry developments sharing them with producers. I would really like to be a part of this movement and especially focus on increasing my knowledge of using online platforms to reach out to agriculturists.”
We are not wasting any time getting Maggie on the agri-blogging highway. She will be joining Chuck next week for the 2013 Alltech Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky and you can expect to meet her at other events this summer.
Nothing like a little snow in May to really slow down a planter!
This photo from Minnesota was posted last week on the Case IH Facebook page. Despite the snow, Minnesota farmers did manage to get two percent of their corn crop in the ground last week, but they should have over half of it planted by now.
Nearly 50% of the crop nationwide should be planted by now in an average year, but only 12% was planted as of Sunday according to USDA. Last year at this time, nearly 70% of the crop was planted.
There was more progress last week than in recent weeks, even in states that saw more white stuff on the ground. Minnesota, Michigan, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin all finally got a few points on the board after making no progress in the previous weeks. Illinois, Indiana and Iowa move up a few notches from 1-2% to 7-8%. But, again, all should be at or nearing the halfway point by now.
Emergence is far behind normal as well with 11 of the 18 top corn producing states showing no corn above ground yet. Just three percent of the crop has emerged compared to 29% last year and 15% average.
Not to worry yet, however. “It is still early in the planting season and slow progress at this point should not cause alarm,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a grower in Iowa. “Modern farming technology has dramatically reduced the time needed for farmers to plant a large number of acres, and this means we can begin planting much later if need be.”
And a little cooperation from Mother Nature would help.
Save lives in a rollover? There’s an app for that.
Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed an application for smartphones that uses GPS systems to locate farmers who have rolled their tractors.
The app, called VRPETERS (Vehicle Rollover Prevention Education Training Emergency Reporting System), uses sensors and GPS capability built into smartphones that can detect rollovers. Once the app detects a rollover, it sends an automatic emergency e-mail and phone message with the coordinates of the accident location to family or emergency responders.
“The tractor is the main power source for field operations, and tractor rollover accidents have been killing people since the beginning of their use in agricultural production,” said Bulent Koc, assistant professor of agricultural systems management at MU and developer of the app. “More and more farmers are using their smartphones to monitor weather or calculate production inputs while operating machinery. Since they already have their phones with them, installing VRPETERS could help save lives.”
Data from the NIOSH show that one out of every 10 tractor operators will roll a tractor at least once. NIOSH also notes that only half of the 4.7 million tractors on U.S. farms have rollover protection. In order to minimize false alarm rollovers on the app, Koc and his research assistant Bo Liu designed a device that must be attached to the tractor. This device helps calculate the stability characteristics of the tractor and will provide a warning to the driver when the tractor approaches its rollover point.
Read more here.