Most Like Crop Insurance in New Farm Bill

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What’s best in the new farm bill?” More than a third of our respondents agree that crop insurance tops the charts, along with nothing. We see a bit of an oxymoron there!

Our poll results:

  • Crop insurance – 31.25%
  • None – 31.25%
  • Conservation – 9.38%
  • Rural Development – 9.38%
  • Energy – 6.25%
  • Specialty Crops – 6.25%
  • Forestry – 3.13%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “ How does farm economy compare to general U.S.?”

USDA is predicting lower net farm income this year after big gains in 2013 and overall the U.S. economy still appears to be sluggish. But as the farm show season is in full swing and farmers are looking ahead to spring planting, optimism is in the air. How do you think the farm economy looks compared to the general U.S. economy overall? Let us know.

Grant Applications for Conservation Innovation Efforts

The U.S. Department of Agricultureusda-logo (USDA) is accepting applications for competitive grants to develop and accelerate conservation approaches and technologies on private agricultural and forest lands.

“Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) have contributed to some of the most pioneering conservation work on America’s agricultural and forest lands,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “It’s an excellent investment in new conservation technologies and approaches that farmers, ranchers and forest landowners can use to achieve their production and conservation goals.”

About $15 million will be made available nationwide by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). State and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses and individuals are eligible to apply.

Vilsack said priority will be given to applications that relate to nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, air quality, climate change, wildlife, economics, sociology, environmental markets, food safety, historically underserved groups, or assessments of past CIG projects.

WSS Update Improves Data Delivery, Customer Service

12306461954_6bf4bc69a9Data on soils on the nation’s 3,265 soil survey areas are now updated and available free online from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

This update, the first since the Web Soil Survey went online in 2005, features:

  • Soils data for the Continental U.S. that flows seamlessly, without gaps, across county lines and other political boundaries;
  • A full complement of national soil survey interpretations that let users analyze interpretations nationally, regionally and in several states at one time;
  • The first set of soil survey Major Land Resource Area update projects; and
  • A subscription feature that forwards updates for specific soil survey areas directly to customers via email.

The NRCS Web Soil Survey now serves more than 180,000 users a month, attracting a large audience that includes landscape architects, community planners, real estate developers, engineers, as well as researchers in universities. Everyday, people in agriculture reference the survey, as do NRCS employees as they help customers with a host of issues and questions, and putting together conservation plans.

2014 National Agriculture Education Summit

ffaHundreds of agricultural education thought leaders, higher-education executives and business professionals will converge on Indianapolis next week for a three-day summit focusing on the future of experiential learning in school-based agricultural education.

A joint project of the National Council for Agricultural Education and the National FFA Organization, the 2014 National Agriculture Education Summit is Jan. 28-30. The theme of this year’s event, held at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing located at 8787 Keystone Crossing, will focus on renewal of experiential learning and supervised agricultural experiences within agricultural education.

During the three-day summit, updates will be provided from national agricultural education organizations, including the American Association for Agricultural Education, on plans to support local implementation of supervised agriculture experiences for all students. Highlights of how educators have creatively engaged students in experiential learning regardless of backgrounds will be shared and discussions will focus on resources available and resources needed to help educators overcome barriers to engage more students.

The summit also provides National FFA Organization leaders the opportunity to get together with national agricultural education groups and discuss future programming and activities. It also provides the opportunity for FFA leaders to provide updates on state and national FFA officer training programs; the National FFA Convention and Expo, which is the single-largest annual student gathering in the nation and last year drew nearly 63,000 students; national award and leadership programs; teacher training; and best practices to gain increased adoption of the Agricultural Career Network, a national online portal for students to use to develop their educational and career timelines, document awards and achievements, apply for scholarships and pursue careers in the agriculture industry.

The 2014 National Agriculture Education Summit will be streamed online at and action can be followed on Twitter at #AgEdSummit.

Traditional Christmas Dinners

New Holland ZimmPollOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What is your traditional Christmas dinner?”

Our poll results:
· Other – 30%
· Ham – 28%
· Turkey – 22%
· Roast Beef – 11%
· Lobster – 5%
· Wild Game – 5%

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How is your health insurance for 2014?”

The Zimmermans are still figuring out their health insurance coverage for 2014. Their plan, which was not very good, was increased significantly due to Obamacare. So they found another plan that is still more expensive but has way better coverage. Meanwhile, they are still working on coverage for their daughters in Missouri, since the insurance they had for them was supposedly increased in cost but they never even received a notice from the company and are up in the air right now. What about you?

Plenish High Oleic Soy IP Contract Program

Dupont PioneerDuPont Pioneer and Bunge North America announced they will double acreage in 2014 of Pioneer brand soybeans with the Plenish high oleic trait. For the 2014 growing season, Pioneer will again contract with soybean farmers in the Delphos, Ohio, region to grow Plenish high oleic soybeans that will be delivered to Bunge’s facility for processing or to a participating elevator. Growers will be eligible for a processor-paid incentive for producing and delivering high oleic soybeans. The 2014 contract program will support ramping up of supply to meet increasing oil demand from food companies.

The development of Plenish high oleic soybean oil is an important milestone for Pioneer in its efforts to bring product innovation to the food industry and complements solutions offered by DuPont Nutrition & Health to address the world’s challenges in food. High oleic soybean oil provides a soy-based trans fat alternative for food companies and foodservice operators. Plenish high oleic soybeans from Pioneer contain the highest oleic content (~7 percent or higher) of any soybean product under commercial development.

Plenish high oleic soybeans are approaching completion of global regulatory approvals with over 96 percent of U.S. soybean export markets now approved. For more information on Plenish high oleic soybeans visit

Weed Control for Soybean Growers

fmcFMC Agricultural Solutions announces a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) crop registration of its Anthem SE herbicide now for use on soybeans. Anthem herbicide offers both corn and soybean growers control of broadleaf weeds and grasses with flexible application timing up to 45 days preplant, preemergence and early postemergence.

Introduced for corn in fall of 2012, Anthem herbicide provides powerful control of broadleaf weeds and grasses. Now available for soybeans, Anthem offers growers a soybean application window up to 45 days preplant through V3 with 4-8 weeks of residual activity. Applied in-season, growers can easily combine the concentrated liquid formulation of Anthem with tank mixes of companion herbicides with effective rates as low as 4 to 11 ounces per acre.

With preemergence and postemergence application flexibility, Anthem provides growers with a residual herbicide that also has postemergence activity on several broadleaf weeds including pigweed species, like waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, before or after soybean emergence. Anthem also is an excellent tool as part of an OverlapSM system when used postemergence in conjunction with Authority® herbicides preemergence as part of a sequential program for outstanding, season-long residual on key grasses and broadleaf weeds that challenge growers’ ability to maximize yield potential.

National Corn Yield Contest Winners for 2013

NCGA color logoAdvanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2013 National Corn Yield Contest. Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of 454 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.

The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 49th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members, setting a new participation record this year with 8,827 entries. This surpasses the previous record of 8,431 entries, set in 2011, and far outstrips the 8,263 entries received in 2012.

The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 354.6 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 160.4 bushels per acre in 2013. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 454.9837.

What Winter Shows You’re Going To

zp-nhOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “ Which winter farm shows/events are you planning to attend?”

Our poll results:
· National – 29%
· None – 24%
· All of the above – 19%
· State – 10%
· Other – 10%
· Regional – 5%
· Local – 5%

Looks like quite a few of you will be traveling to shows this winter. Be careful and we hope you find what you’re looking for.

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “ What is your traditional Christmas dinner?” Will there be a big bird in the middle of your family dinner table or a mouthwatering roast beef? Let us know!

2014 4R Advocate Award Winners

tfiThe Fertilizer Institute (TFI) announced the winners of the 2014 4R Advocate Awards. The 4R Advocate Award program, now in its third year, recognizes on-farm stewardship actions. Winners are selected based on their actions to protect the environment, boost profitability and benefit society through nutrient stewardship practices based on the 4Rs (using the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place). Winners were nominated by their retail dealers who are also recognized with 4R awards. The 2014 winners are as follows:

· Clint Wortman of Jackson Wortman, LLC, in Quitman, Ga.; nominated by A.J. Radford of Crop Production Services in Moultrie, Ga.
· John Werries in Chapin, Ill.; nominated by Vern Bader of Bader Agricultural Services, Inc. in Meredosia, Ill.
· George Brand of Brand Dairy Farms in Waterloo, Ind.; nominated by Terry Bechman of The Andersons, Inc. in Waterloo, Ind.
· Dennis and Greg Iott of Iott Seed Farms, Inc. in Kalkaska, Mich.; nominated by Dale Dosenberry of Wilbur-Ellis in Edmore, Mich.
· Chris VonHolton of AgView FS in Walnut, Ill.; nominated by Malcolm Stambaugh of AgView FS in Walnut, Ill.

Current and past 4R Advocates serve as spokespersons providing outreach to peers and stakeholders on fertilizer best management practices. The 4R Advocates speak from experience and bring on-farm knowledge when engaging with others.

GROWMARK Announces Essay Contest Theme

growmarklogoThe theme for the 2014 GROWMARK Essay Contest is: “Promoting Sustainability and Conservation of Natural Resources.” The contest is open to all high school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

This is the 21st year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues affecting agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives. This year, students will focus on three questions: What does sustainability mean? Why should farmers be concerned with conservation and sustainable practices? What role do cooperatives play in this effort?

Essays should be approximately 500 words, typed and double-spaced. The postmarked entry deadline for Iowa FFA members is February 14. The postmarked entry deadline for Illinois and Wisconsin FFA members is March 14. Additional program details have been sent to agriculture teachers and are online at (click on Our Commitments/Youth & Young Farmers/Essay Contest).

Each state’s winner earns a $500 award and the winner’s FFA chapter receives a $300 award. Four runners-up per state each win $125 awards.

AgGateway Launches Redesigned AGIIS Directory

AgGateway_LogoAgGateway, a non-profit consortium of businesses that works to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture, announced the launch of a redesigned website for the Agriculture Industry Identification System (AGIIS) at The new AGIIS website has improved design, navigation and functionality across a full suite of web browsers.

About 150 agricultural companies currently subscribe to the AGIIS directory, which serves as the fundamental building block for efficient electronic interactions between ag companies. AGIIS provides a repository for industry common data elements; today, AGIIS contains 4.8 million uniquely identified entities (Businesses, Consumers, and Locations) and over 60,000 agricultural product codes, including crop protection chemicals, seed and fertilizer products.

Companies use the standardized information in AGIIS to conduct business more efficiently with their trading partners. Entity information in AGIIS is maintained by the subscriber community, including agricultural retailers, distributors, product manufacturers and associated business providers serving the ag community.

2018 Precision Farming Market Worth

MandMAccording to a new market research report “Precision Farming Market by Technology (GPS/GNSS, GIS, Remote Sensing & VRT), Components (Automation & Control, Sensors, FMS), Applications (Yield Monitoring, VRA, Mapping, Soil Monitoring, Scouting) – Global Forecast & Analysis (2013 – 2018)” , published by MarketsandMarkets, the overall Global precision farming market will be worth$3,721.27 billion by 2018, at an estimated CAGR of 13.36%.

Browse 94 market data tables and 64 figures spread through 327 pages and in-depth TOC on “Precision Farming Market – Global Forecast & Analysis (2013 – 2018) “.

Early buyers will receive 10% customization on this report.

Trimble Acquires Assets of C3

trimblelogo_hpTrimble announced that it has acquired the assets of privately-held C3 of Madison, Wis. The acquisition will enable Trimble to provide unique soil information as well as decision recommendations to farmers’ trusted advisors—such as agronomists, Trimble resellers or Ag retail suppliers. Farmers will be able to view the C3 data and recommendations from their trusted advisor on the Connected Farm™ dashboard, a Web portal that provides one centralized location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations. To align with Trimble’s brand agnostic strategy, the data can be applied to all manufacturer equipment types. Financial terms were not disclosed.

C3 combines crop information with detailed soil data to enable a more complete assessment of the site-related factors that impact crop yield, quality and health. The C3 Soil Information System™ (SIS) solution is a collection of innovative tools and techniques for digital, 3-D mapping of soil characteristics—analyzing 120 unique soil and topographic properties. With SIS, it’s now possible to precisely map the top four feet of the earth’s surface using above and below ground sensors combined with GPS. The data is processed with a series of algorithms resulting in more than 60 precise 3-D soil models for physical and chemical soil characteristics including root zone depth, soil texture, plant available water, compaction depth and severity, macro and micro nutrient levels, soil nutrient holding capacity, and salt and toxicity concentrations.

By providing a greater understanding of the physical and chemical characterization of the soil, including how inputs move through the soil, agronomists and other Ag service providers will be able to help farmers implement a more effective solution to resolve the unique challenges of each area of their field. For example, if a field has areas of high soil compaction, the farmer may be over watering or over fertilizing to accommodate for areas of low productivity without realizing that the main issue is lack of root expansion. SIS helps service providers pinpoint problem areas, develop a more effective strategy for improving output, and provide a recommendation such as the exact depth and area to break up hard soil.

Year End Equipment Purchase Intentions

zp-nhOur latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you plan to make any year-end equipment purchases?”

Our poll results:

· No. Not this year: 35%
· Yes – Planting equipment: 18%
· Yes – Sprayers: 12%
· Yes – GPS/guidance: 12%
· Yes – Hay equipment: 6%
· Yes – Harvest equipment: 6%
· Yes – Tillage: 6%
· Yes – Other: 6%

Looks like most of the farmers out there are either up-to-date on equipment or satisfied with what they have. Are things like Farm Bill uncertainty holding you back?

Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Which winter farm shows/events are you planning to attend?” Are you planning to get out of the house to browse new products and services this fall and winter or wait and see what spring brings? Let us know!