Bayer Bee Care Center Opens in NC

bayer-bee-14-ribbonBayer CropScience Tuesday celebrated its more than 25 year commitment to pollinator health with the grand opening of the North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP, pictured here cutting the ribbon to officially open the new facility, is thrilled to see this dream fulfilled. “This is an absolutely great day,” he said proudly. “We’ve been dedicated to bee health, it’s an important part of who we are, and we’re very serious about finding the science behind what the interactive functions are here so we can come up with some solutions.”

The $2.4 million center brings together significant technological, scientific and academic resources, with goals of promoting improved honey bee health, product stewardship and sustainable agriculture. A 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, the Center will complement the Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, N.C., and a Bee Care Center at the joint global headquarters campus of Bayer CropScience and Bayer Animal Health in Monheim, Germany.

Listen to my interview with Jim here: Interview with Jim Blome, Bayer CropScience


Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Grand Opening Photo Album

An Interactive Directory For Agriculture

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 12.09.34 PMTechnology start-up company Agribite has just launched an innovative interactive directory website aimed to help the agriculture community. Agribite has been built with the sole purpose of connecting the agriculture community with vendors, clients, organizations, and friends in one place. It provides an easy-to-use platform for all ag industry members to have a free web and mobile presence and to be listed in a growing directory without cost.

Agriculture is a multibillion-dollar industry that creates millions of jobs in the U.S. alone. However, there is a widening gap between consumers and producers due to a lack of awareness. Agribite aims to be the face of the ag industry to stand alongside other networks but with the more focused goal of empowering agriculture.

Census of Agriculture Report Coming Soon

nama14-nassThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced it will publish the 2012 Census of Agriculture full report on May 2. The announcement was made last week as NASS Census and Survey Division Director Renee Picanso was attending the National Agri-Marketing Association conference in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Agribusinesses are highly represented here and they are definitely big users of the data,” she said during an interview. The complete data series will be available in multiple formats, including Quick Stats 2.0 – an online database to retrieve customized tables with Census data at the national, state and county levels.

Picanso says the census data is being released a little later than normal this time around. “Usually we release in early February, but with the government shut down last fall, we got a little bit behind,” she said. Interview with Renee Picanso, USDA-NASS

iCropTrak Makes WagNet Irrigation & Field Data Mobile

AgSense PressiCropTrak Mobile Farm Management announces support for Agsense WagNet network for pivot irrigation and soil sensor monitoring. iCroptrak automatically integrates the WagNet water and soil sensor data with your farming data to help farmers make better decisions and monitoring your irrigation efforts painless.

With water restrictions and sustainable farming playing an ever-growing role in farming, iCropTrak integrated one of the leading irrigation monitoring applications to automatically populate irrigation efforts and allows them to be reviewed easily with your other field data.

iCropTrak cloud talks directly with WagNet network to capture a farmer’s pivot and soil moisture sensor probe data. Formatting the WagNet data to be loaded onto the iCropTrak mobile platform for access while in the field. Allowing the farmer to combine soil, farming, harvest, weather, zone, and irrigation data together to make informed decision.

To learn more about iCropTrak mobile farm management capabilities including automated data entry support for MyJohnDeere.com and Weather Underground data feeds by visiting our website at www.iCropTrak.com and contact our sales team at Contact@Cogent3D.com.

GEOSYS, Tavant Technologies Enter Partnership

GEOSYS Inc., the global leader in remote sensing for agriculture and Tavant Technologies, a global technology solutions company involved in some of the latest GEOSYS innovations, announced today a preferred partner agreement. The agreement recognizes the success both businesses have experienced working together on GEOSYS products; the award-winning R7® Tool iPad app developed for WinField Solutions is the most recent example. R7® has received the 2013 FINovation award from Farm Industry News and the Agricultural Retailers Association Technology Award presented in partnership with AgGateway.

“The collaboration with Tavant is a prime example of GEOSYS working with best in class experts to help increase our ability to deliver innovations for customers. Getting the power of the tools we have developed into the hands of the users is critical to our success. Tavant helps us deliver,” said Norm Davy, vice president of GEOSYS.

GEOSYS will continue to leverage Tavant expertise to develop new innovative applications for advancing its decision support tools for agriculture.

“Our leading edge technology expertise, particularly in Mobility and Big Data, and deep understanding of the agricultural technology industry has enabled us to turn complex data and processes into actionable tools for our customers,” said Manish Arya, CTO of Tavant Technologies. “We are excited about this strategic partnership. It formalizes our working relationship and recognizes that each company benefits from this dynamic collaboration.”

Registration Open for Delta AgTech Symposium

Delta_AgTech_color_croppedUnmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have become one of the hottest topics in agriculture today. With predictions that up to 80 percent of future commercial usage of UAVs will be in the agriculture sector, farmers, researchers and industry professionals alike are curious about the technologies and applications on the horizon.

Registration is now open for the Delta AgTech Symposium — a two-day conference set for July 7-8 at Agricenter International in Memphis — that will bring together farmers and the businesses who serve them, along with UAV manufacturers and dealers, to collectively explore how this technology can be integrated into farming practices. The conference is hosted by Entira, an agricultural marketing and management firm with support from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are also available for this unique conference. Visit the website or contact Kelli Polatty at kpolatty@entira.net. Attendees and exhibitors who register online before May 15 are eligible for a 5 percent discount.

“We’re excited about the interest in the conference across all sectors of agriculture,” said Mike Karst, senior partner at Entira. “The lineup of speakers and demonstrations will give attendees a valuable preview into the technologies that may be available to them in coming years.”

Several industry leading speakers have been confirmed, with more to be announced in coming weeks. Confirmed speakers include:
– Kyle Snyder, Director of the NextGen Air Transportation Center, Institute of Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University
– Gretchen West, Executive Vice President of Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
– T.J. Agresti, CEO of RoboFlight Systems

Mix Tank Features Ready for Planting Season

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 9.11.34 AMWell before the planters have stopped rolling, efficiency-minded retailers, applicators and growers are already thinking about best practices for tank mixing and applying their crop protection products. Precision Laboratories’ Mix Tank 3.0, an award-winning and patent-pending app for iPhone and Android smartphones, is a convenient tool to help ensure that tank mixing compatibility, proper logging and more are available right in the palm of your hand.

Mix Tank simplified its design and added features in November 2013. In time for the 2014 growing season, retailers and growers will be able to utilize Mix Sheets™, the app’s latest feature that captures product use rates, field size, spray volume and tank size. Use rates are calculated automatically after entering basic information, which can then be easily shared via email.

“We’re excited for applicators to get out in the field and start using the Mix Sheets feature this season,” said Jim Reiss, vice president of Ag Chemistries at Precision Laboratories. “Mix Tank was created to make tank mixing easier and more predictable by identifying compatibility issues and encouraging proper mixing sequences. Applicators will appreciate having these new features available during the busy spring and summer months ahead.”

Along with its newest features, Mix Tank offers additional tools such as weather integration, which captures real-time data to maintain accurate spray logs and documentation. It also has a “My Favorites” feature, providing quick access to the user’s preferred crop protection products.

Mix Tank is the only app in the ag industry that offers these features completely integrated into one user-friendly platform. The app is available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play by searching for Mix Tank or Precision Laboratories.

Syngenta Supports FFA Ambassador Program

Syngenta_BiotechAs the pressure on natural resources increases from feeding, fueling and clothing a growing global population, the agricultural industry needs a stronger chorus of voices to tell its story effectively. With support from Syngenta and other sponsors, the National FFA Organization has developed the National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassadors program to help meet this challenge.

“The FFA Ag Ambassador program helps educate a broad audience on food production,” said J.R. Peterson, district manager at Syngenta. “It is critical that our best and brightest young people can effectively communicate the importance of agriculture in public settings.”

Each year, 20 college students from across the country are selected to participate in the program. These Ag Ambassadors serve for one year, speaking at local schools, colleges, FFA chapters, civic organizations and Farm Bureau groups about the importance of sustainable agriculture in their communities. In return, they receive a $1,000 scholarship, a digital camera, the use of an LCD projector and compensation for travel.

Applications for the 2014-2015 Collegiate FFA Agriculture Ambassador team are now available. College sophomores, juniors, seniors or graduate students pursuing agricultural degrees can apply for the program. All ambassadors must be former FFA members, current collegiate FFA members or members of the National FFA Alumni Association.

Applicants must submit a video presentation of themselves to showcase facilitation skills. They also must answer essay questions and provide references by the April 15, 2014, entry deadline. Selected ambassadors will attend two training sessions: The first is August 4 to 8, 2014, in North Carolina, where they will spend part of the week at the Syngenta facility in Greensboro. The second will take place in December 2014.

“Our goal is to grow these students personally and professionally through their experience as ambassadors,” says Ryan Amaral, an FFA education specialist. “Throughout their year of service, students are learning more about agriculture, building a strong network of peer and professional contacts in the industry, and telling the inspirational story of agriculture.”

The 2013/2014 Ag Ambassador team, which is featured on the Syngenta Thrive website, is currently hard at work helping to promote the industry.

Sam Tauchen, a senior at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, says, “When I share my story of agriculture, I realize what I am doing is bigger than myself. The program has been a blessing, and I am honored to join a group of people who are committed to improving the future of agriculture.”

Leica mojoXact Plus Adds ISOBUS Universal Terminal

4315_024 (screens from 4415_061,64, 65, 68)By supporting ISOBUS Universal Terminals, Leica Geosystems Agriculture make its Leica mojoXact Plus more versatile than ever before. With a simple software upgrade, farmers can minimise cab clutter, and maximise the use of their existing equipment, thus reducing capital costs and installation complexity.

The ISOBUS (ISO11783) standard provides a communication network that links compliant equipment through a single user interface. It allows farmers to connect different tools and controls to their machines by simply attaching a cable via standardised connectors. By complying with the ISOBUS standard, the Leica mojoXact Plus makes a breakthrough by providing a fully functional guidance system that works with existing equipment available on the machine. This provides farmers with many benefits such as easy installation, less cab clutter, reduced costs, simplified machine integration and the confidence that they are investing in a future-proof technology.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved with the Leica mojoXact Plus. It’s very compact and the fact that it can be installed in any direction and orientation inside the tractor cab is a big advantage over the competition. By adding Universal Terminal support, farmers can not only leverage the ISOBUS standard to customise their precision guidance solution but they also maximise their return on investment,” said Joe Arico, Manager of Product Management and Global Support at Leica Geosystems Agriculture.

The Leica mojoXact Plus continues to provide all the functions of the previous Leica mojoXact product, keeping the RTK upgrade option for the Leica mojo3D and continuing to support open standards (ISO, NMEA, RTK correction formats). The remote service and support tool, Leica Virtual Wrench™ remains a key benefit and is available for both Leica mojo3D and Universal Terminal system configurations. GLONASS continues to be a no-cost option and used in combination with the 6 axis inertial measurement unit and dual frequency GNSS receiver the mojoXact Plus provides repeatable accuracy and unsurpassed steering performance.

NovAtel CORRECT™ With TerraStar Service

NovatelLogoNovAtel Inc. announced today that with the release of its 6.400 firmware, NovAtel CORRECT positioning technology is now available with TerraStar’s precise point positioning (PPP) corrections. Delivered via L-band, TerraStar corrections provide decimetre-level accuracy worldwide on all NovAtel OEM6® high precision receivers, without users having to add base-station infrastructure. Subscriptions to the TerraStar correction service are available seamlessly to customers through NovAtel’s standard sales order process. Interested parties need only contact a NovAtel sales representative.

NovAtel CORRECT optimally combines data from multiple GNSS satellite constellations with corrections from a variety of sources, to deliver the best position solution possible. The strategic importance of TerraStar’s decimetre-level correction service to NovAtel’s product offering is reflected in the recent purchase of TerraStar parent company Veripos by Hexagon.

“The OEM nature of TerraStar’s correction service makes them a perfect partner for NovAtel,” stated Sara Masterson, New Business Development Manager for NovAtel. “We are extremely pleased with the performance of our current TerraStar offering and, with the ability to now work more closely together, we are very excited about developing positioning innovations for our customers in the future.”

NovAtel CORRECT is available for land, air and sea applications, providing customers with one-stop shopping for receivers, antennas and correction services. It provides integrators with the opportunity to choose pricing and subscription options that best match their OEM business objectives.

Global Expansion for Raven’s Precision Ag Group

RavenRaven Industries Applied Technology Division has recently taken their diverse product offering into new territories throughout the world as part of their continuous vision for global expansion. Raven recently signed new product dealers in Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines with new prospects continually being identified. To support their efforts of global development, Raven has also translated their website and product guide app into several languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese, among others.

“Precision agriculture is an industry with world-wide growth potential. As Raven pursues new markets, we are strongly committed to providing customer service and sales tools, including web sites and product apps, translated into local languages,” said Michelle Lavallee, global leader of sales and marketing.

As further commitment to the global vision, Raven has promoted Jeff Rohlena to global manager of business development managers, where he will focus on promoting and expanding the reach of Raven’s innovative precision agriculture solutions around the world.

“Jeff has the vision, knowledge and experience to lead the global business development team to new markets and new verticals,” said Lavallee. “He clearly understands the need to take Raven’s business in new directions and I am confident he can help achieve one of our most important initiatives of the year.”

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Michelle Lavallee here: Interview with Michelle Lavallee

For more information on Raven’s global expansion, please visit www.ravenprecision.com.

Powerful & Accurate Steering in Precision Farming

4570_085Leica Geosystems today released the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus, the electric steering system for farmers who seek a brand independent retrofit solution for their auto steering needs. Using Leica SteerDirect ES Plus farmers benefit from improved accuracy, diminished skips and overlaps, and reduced operator fatigue.

The Leica SteerDirect ES Plus has a built-in encoder for more accurate steering and a powerful electric motor that provides superior performance. Adding Leica SteerDirect ES Plus doesn’t involve integration into the hydraulic system or dismounting the steering wheel. The steering system latches on and off for easy transfer between vehicles and it comes with a separate engage switch to allow convenient and flexible operator handling.

Leica SteerDirect ES Plus provides assisted steering for a wide range of tractor, sprayer and harvester models. It is compatible with the Leica mojo3D guidance system and the Leica mojoXact Plus, Leica Geosystems’ latest RTK upgrade option with ISOBUS capability. The steering solution supplies customers with a large number of vehicle specific installation kits as well as a universal installation kit.

”With the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus farmers can easily add auto-steering regardless of the machinery brand they use. Due to the simple installation and the transferability of the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus customers can save money by utilizing the system across their fleet. An extended list of supported vehicles and technical improvements help more customers to achieve accuracte steering hassle-free.”, said Joe Arico, Manager Product Management and Global Support at Leica Geosystems Agriculture.

More information about Leica Geosystems Agriculture products is available from all authorized Leica Geosystems distribution partners and at www.AgGuidance.com.

Measuring Tractor Engine Performance

Engine PerformanceI am not a tractor technician. But even someone like me can learn a lot from the trainers at New Holland. During Operation Blue Force our agricultural media group got a lesson in measuring tractor performance and validating Tier 4B. This was part of our training that focused on New Holland’s Hi-eSCR solution.

In the lesson which you can watch in the video below you’ll learn about maximum horsepower, rated engine HP and rated PTO HP which is the important measure. When it comes to performance “torque is king.” The presentation includes a live tractor measurement demonstration.

New Holland Operation Blue Force Photo Album

Innvictis Launch of EndurX Technology Platform

innvictis Innvictis Crop Care, LLC, announces the launch of EndurX Technology Platform. Developed and tested in 2012 and 2013, Innvictis will be launching its first product containing EndurX in 2014. EndurX was developed to improve the performance of key insecticide technologies.

EndurX Technology is a patented technology platform that improves the activity and performance of contact pesticides. Endurx is premixed with key active ingredients where the two molecules attach to each other. When mixed with water and sprayed in crop, the EndurX escorts the active ingredient to the leading edge of the spray droplet.Upon hitting the leaf surface, the droplet rapidly spreads and immediately penetrates the leaf where more AI is at the target interface and attacks the target site much quicker. When contact is made with the insect, a higher dosage is delivered and quicker knockdown and control is achieved. EndurX will also provide greater translaminar leaf penetration which protects the pesticide from drying and wash off of the leaf surface. The pesticide stays more active and available improving performance and mitigating loss to environmental exposure through evaporation and runoff.

In 2014, EndurX will be available in Reveal EndurX, a premix of bifenthrin and EndurX. Reveal Endurx matches the broad spectrum, long lasting active ingredient bifenthrin with its ideal partner – EndurX Technology.

“Bifenthrin plus EndurX is a natural fit. Typically, bifenthrin is perceived to be a slower acting, but powerful pyrethroid. EndurX, by leading the active ingredient into the pest more quickly, will deliver the bifenthrin quicker and with greater impact,” states Greg McManic, Director of Research and Development at Innvictis. “At the same time, Reveal EndurX will quickly find a home just inside the leaf surface where it will be protected from the environment and ready to work when an insect bites or pierces the leaf surface.”

Innvictis Crop Care is currently developing and testing additional EndurX based products and expect to launch a new product in each of the next three years utilizing this technology. Reveal EndurX has been approved by the U.S. EPS and will be available in 2014.

RhinoGator® Adds Size to Pivot Tire Portfolio

14_smallRhinoGator® has announced the new 14.9×24 version of its popular no-flat pivot tire. This option was developed for use in areas where this size tire is already popular especially in non-grain crop applications. Features of the RhinoGator® 14.9×24 option include a lower tread profile, reinforced center rib and wide tread lugs. Built for a 10×24 rim, this poly tire will increase flotation in light or heavy soils and on any brand of pivot.

Like the original RhinoGator®, the new 14.9×24 RhinoGator® is guaranteed to never go flat. Constructed of super-tough, high-density composite plastic resins (including corn-based plastic), RhinoGator® tires are engineered especially for the rugged conditions of pivot irrigation. Manufactured in the United States, RhinoGator® comes with the highest UV protection package available and is covered by a 5-year limited warranty.

The high-traction, non-directional tread design of RhinoGator® provides optimum performance regardless of pivot direction. The sturdy center rib and large anti-slip plate provide overall integrity, reliability and strength.

RhinoGator® is precision manufactured for consistency and easy assembly. RhinoGator® fits standard pivot wheels and is available pre-mounted if desired. Both the original and shallow tread RhinoGator® tires are available in 11.2-38 and 11.2-24 sizes. The new 14.9×24 is available in a single tread depth combining the shallow tread design with increased traction lugs.

For the name of the RhinoGator® dealer nearest you, call toll free 866.97.RHNO (866.977.4466) or visit www.RhinoGator.com.