Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Are so-called “ag gag” bills fair?”
Our poll results: Fifty-two percent said No, forty-one percent said Yes and seven percent said I Don’t Know. So most of you feel that ag gag bills are not fair. Do you think answers would be different if we called them “See Something, Say Something” laws?
Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What’s your opinion of committee farm bills?” The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 15-5 to approve their version of a 2013 farm bill. And according to House Ag Committee Chairman, Frank D. Lucas, “The work of the Agriculture Committee, including reauthorizing the Farm Bill, affects every American; ensuring that our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to produce an abundant and affordable food and fiber supply is as important to our country as national defense.” Let us know what you think.
ZimmPoll is sponsored by .
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack reminded farmers and ranchers that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14. Vilsack also announced the restart of sign-up for continuous CRP, including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative, the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, the Pollinator Habitat Initiative and other related initiatives. Sign-up for continuous CRP began on May 13 and will continue through Sept. 30, 2013.
Vilsack encouraged producers to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, sign-up basis.
FarmLogs, the leading agricultural tech startup that helps farmers plan, manage and analyze their farm’s operations, announced the launch of its all-new mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. The apps make it incredibly easy to keep track of everything that happens in the field in real time. The FarmLogs apps are now available for free download in iTunes and in the Google Play store.
The FarmLogs mobile applications allow farmers to log records as they work in the field, in the shop, or anywhere else. Field activities such as planting, fertilizing, and harvesting can be quickly logged and tracked right from the GPS-enabled mobile apps. Multiple team members can track activities and make updates in real time. Additional app features will be rolled out later this year.
Unmanned aerial systems and remote sensing company Winehawk Labs announced they will release a new model of their successful UAV platform in May of 2013 to coincide with company re-branding. The change in company name, from WineHawk Labs to Precision Hawk, reflects a change in focus from specifically viticulture to broader agriculture where there is a great need for precise data collection and cost-effective platforms for farmers and surveyors.
The new UAV model, the HawkEye Lancaster Mark III, has a fully integrated sensor suite that provides more flexibility in data collection than the previous model. The small and lightweight fixed-wing platform, weighing only three pounds and measuring three feet nose to tail, is completely autonomous, running on the ‘fly and forget’ method. The user-friendly platform allows users to walk out of their back door, toss the platform, wait for it to come back and instantly have the data transfer to a preferred software location. The hyper-intelligent sensors allow for the collection of data on anything from plant research to crop production and protection and account for the current weather conditions to ensure reliable and complete data.
The National Cotton Council coordinated Beltwide Cotton Conferences has a new format that no longer includes the production conference component but continues the forum’s technical conferences and adds emphasis to the consultant’s conference.
The 2014 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 6-8 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel, will include a half-day Cotton Consultants Conference and the day and a half Cotton Technical Conferences. The 2014 Consultants Conference, set for Monday, January 6, will be more robust, providing technical information desired by consultants and others involved in key production/marketing-related decisions such as Extension specialists/agents, industry sales/support personnel and many producers.
Planned for the 2014 Consultants Conference are new developments from industry, including discussions of new varieties and chemistries. Also included will be special sessions where scientists, from the various disciplines ranging from agronomy to weed science, will interact with attendees to foster a lively exchange of ideas and experiences.
Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How many generations are you removed from the farm?”
Our poll results: Thirty percent say they are “One Generation, My Parents are Farmers,” 23% are Two, My Grandparents Were Farmers, 22% say None, I’m a Farmer, nine percent are not farmers but work in the ag industry, seven percent have No Direct Farm Connection, and three percent say Three, My Great-Grandparents Were Farmers, More Than Three, or Other. It is safe to say that most of our followers are not far removed from the farm, if at all!
Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Are so-called “ag gag” bills fair?” In the wake of undercover videos at animal agriculture operations that have shown abuse, and especially those that were compiled over a period of time, edited and then released to the public without doing anything to stop the abuse or take it to the proper authorities, several states have passed legislation making that illegal. Most of the laws simply require mandatory reporting of animal cruelty when it happens but opponents have labeled them “ag gag” laws that would suppress efforts to document and publicize animal abuse. Those in favor prefer to call them “See Something, Say Something” bills. Do you feel that the so-called “ag gag” bills are prohibitive? Will these laws hamper efforts to stop animal cruelty? Does this impede our efforts for transparency in the food systems? Let us know.
ZimmPoll is sponsored by .
Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. is opening its first production plant abroad in Lithuania. The facility will manufacture Kinze row crop planters, contributing to its growing market in neighboring countries including Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Hungary. Kinze will hire welders, mechanics, CNC operators and other specialists to work in the new plant. Assembly in this new facility is scheduled to begin this fall.
Kinze also will support local educational institutions in Lithuania by working with universities as well as other professional schools and centers for engineering and production training. It will offer students internships in the manufacturing facility as well as hands-on learning opportunities in advanced manufacturing technology and production processes
Farmers are accustomed to adjusting to the twists and turns of growing seasons on a short-term basis, but long-term planning is more difficult, according to climate field specialist Laura Edwards from South Dakota State University’s Extension office in Aberdeen.
The Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project explores ways that corn growers can adjust their cropping practices to make their operations more sustainable. It is also aimed at limiting or reducing the vulnerability of farmers to short term climate events, such as the 2012 drought. The $20 million grant, headed by Iowa State University, brings together 140 experts from 10 land-grant institutions and a USDA research unit in the Corn Belt.
A smaller more applied project, Useful2Usable, seeks to give farmers the soil, crop and climate data they need to make shorter-term and long-range decisions. The $5 million project is headed by Purdue University.
Precision Laboratories has released an update to their award-winning Mix Tank application, available immediately for download on iPhone and Android smartphones. Mix Tank 2.1 improves the already easy-to-use application and introduces new features to help applicators prevent tank mixing problems. More details on the latest mobile application update are available online at www.precisionlab.com/mixtank.
As part of the latest update, Mix Tank 2.1 introduces “My Favorites” – a tool that allows users to select their most used crop protection products from more than 1,200 available. In addition, “Mixing Precautions” which alert users of a potential compatibility issue, is now more identifiable and appears only when a precaution exists.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new rules to better target Community Connect broadband grants to areas where they are needed the most. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. This announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
USDA Rural Development’s Community Connect Grant program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens.
USDA’s Rural Utilities Service plans to publish information on Community Connect funding opportunities, including application deadlines and the amount of assistance available, in the Federal Register soon.
Scientists at the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service recently developed a simple, web-based tool that helps producers easily understand the quality of water flowing off their fields – the Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff (WQIag).
“Water quality is complex,” said NRCS National Water Quality and Quantity team leader Shaun McKinney. “Experts usually focus on one aspect of water quality – such as temperature, nutrients or pesticide content – instead of thinking about a more complete picture.”
On the WQIag website, producers input information about their field, such as slope, soil characteristics, nutrient and pest management, tillage practices, and finally, conservation practices. The WQIag calculates these variables into a single rating on a 10-point scale: 0 being very poor; 10 being excellent.
Though some variables – such as slope and soil type – won’t change, producers can adjust other factors for a quick estimate of how conservation impacts water quality. A few clicks calculate the value of less tillage, less fertilizer and other conservation practices, which makes it versatile to use.
Key members of the U.S. agricultural value chain have joined together to applaud the work of the United States and like-minded governments to promote the importance of science-based regulations to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities derived from agricultural biotechnology.
In a joint statement, the United States was joined by the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Paraguay to announce their intention to work collaboratively to remove global barriers to the trade of agricultural biotechnology and promote science-based, transparent and predictable regulatory approaches.
The U.S. agriculture sector agrees that a particular area of concern is the timeliness and efficiency of global regulatory systems. In the joint statement, the like-minded governments have highlighted their intention to promote synchronization of authorizations by regulatory authorities – in particular for food, feed and processing purposes.
Growers across the Corn Belt are either anxiously waiting to get into their fields or are in the early stages of planting their 2013 corn crop. If cool, wet weather continues, planting will be delayed for many growers and prompt questions about switching to earlier season hybrids.
Long-term research studies from DuPont Pioneer and several universities show that adapted, full-season corn hybrids usually offer the best yield and profit advantage when planting delays are not extreme.
Full-season hybrids typically make full use of a growing season. Even when planted late, these hybrids often outperform early maturing hybrids, adjusting their growth and development to reach maturity in a shortened growing season.
Long-term studies by both Pioneer and universities which included a range of hybrid maturities across planting dates extending from April through June have shown a clear yield and profit advantage for full-season hybrids.
Longtime soybean industry executive Jim Palmer has been named chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Palmer was selected by the NAWG Board of Directors after a search process led by the NAWG officers and grower-leaders of the National Wheat Foundation, NAWG’s affiliated charitable organization.
He will officially begin work with the Association and Foundation as of June 1, though he plans to meet with NAWG’s grower-leaders and staff throughout the month of May.
Palmer has worked in administrative roles for national and state agriculture organizations for the past 30 years, most of that time in the soybean industry. From 1997 until early 2012, he worked as the executive director for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Earlier in his career, he was engaged in commercial agriculture credit and was the staff lead during the development of the United Soybean Board, the national soybean checkoff. Since leaving Minnesota Soybean, he has worked as an independent management and development consultant with agriculture companies around the United States.
Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Does celebrity media attention sway your purchasing/listening/watching decisions? (e.g. Carrie Underwood supporting HSUS)”
Our poll results: Sixty-four percent said No, sixteen percent said Yes, eleven percent said Carrie Underwood Who, seven percent said Depends on the Celebrity, and two percent said Other. It looks like our audience doesn’t make decisions based on what media coverage of so called “celebrities.” How about you? Do you think differently? Let us know.
Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How many generations are you removed from the farm?” With fewer and larger farms in the United States, not as many people are involved in production agriculture as 40 years ago. What is your family connection to farming? Let us know.
ZimmPoll is sponsored by .