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.”
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.
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
Bayer CropScience is giving thanks to people in agriculture who help feed us this holiday season. You can help them with their big goal.
Bayer CropScience is donating 20,000 meals to World Food Program USA to help feed hungry Americans. Help us reach our goal of donating 40,000 meals by December 20th by sharing educational facts with your friends and family. We’ll donate $1 for each item you share on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and $1=4 donated meals. Join the conversation on Twitter with #Thankful4Ag and @Bayer4CropsUS.
You loved the commercial, you’ll love the book. It’s a new photography book launched by Ram Trucks with National Geographic titled, “The Farmer in All of Us: An American Portrait.” The book is available for purchase now for $45 at www.ramtrucks.com/outfitter and will be in retail stores beginning late spring 2014.
The 300-page coffee table book is a beautiful and comprehensive collection of original agriculture and farming photography, including many of the images commissioned by the Ram Truck brand for its “Farmer” Super Bowl commercial inspired by Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” essay. Every book purchase backs a minimum contribution of $25,000 by the Ram Truck brand to the National FFA Organization’s “Give the Gift of Blue” program, which donates traditional FFA blue corduroy jackets to members who would not otherwise be able to own one.
“Supporting farmers isn’t just about those who till the soil, it’s about reminding America who we are and where our greatness comes from,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysler Group, LLC. “This book truly brings the ‘Farmer’ story to life, and continues to give back in support of the amazing students of the FFA who embody this spirit every day.”
To create the book, ten world-class photographers were tasked with traveling throughout America’s heartland over the course of three weeks to capture the essence of the farmer. Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech served as their inspiration. The photographers’ original goal was to create the visual backdrop for a television commercial celebrating the “Year of the Farmer.” The two-minute tribute aired during Super Bowl XLVII, stopping the nation in its tracks.
The Ram Truck crew was present during the recent NAFB Convention and Jamie caught an interview with David Sowers, who is head of Ram’s marketing team. He discusses the book along with what’s new for Ram Truck. Interview with David Sowers, Ram Truck
2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album
Rabo AgriFinance was present for the recent Trade Talk during the 2013 NAFB Convention. The company is the leading U.S. ag lender and specializes in protein to produce and inputs to oilseeds. Their expert team monitors and evaluates the global market that influences agriculture around the world.
I spoke with one of the team’s analysts at the event and he shed some insight into the upcoming 2014 futures and recapped how growers and producers faired in 2013. John Grettenburg is a Relationships Manager in Western and Southwest Iowa and specializes in the corn and soybean market.
John hit on on-farm storage of grains and how it can benefit growers.
“I think it gives the producer the opportunity to mange it from one tax year to the next from an income tax perspective. Historically we have had some increases and bumps in the market through the spring months and early summer. It allows farmers to increase the speed of their harvest if they have their own drying facility and by not have to wait in lines at local elevators. It gives them that flexibility to move that crop to market when the price dictates.”
Listen to my complete interview with John here: Interview with John Grettenburg
Checkout photos from NAFB Convention: 2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album
Another ag based company who attended this year’s Trade Talk at the recent NAFB Convention was the Climate Corporation. They are focused on applying data science to production agriculture and take all the environmental data, weather, soil conditions and current and seasonal projections and apply it to the production agricultural decisions growers make on a daily basis.
Greg Smirin, CEO of The Climate Corporation, sat down with me during the event to talk about some new products they are offering growers and what changes customers might see with the Monsanto acquisition.
“We help protect the grower from things they cannot control with our total weather insurance, crop insurance and we are rolling out for the season Climate Basic and Climate Pro, which helps the farmer make decisions throughout the growing season to boost profitability.”
Climate Basic and Climate Pro will use data science to change agriculture. The basic program is a free web and mobil service and will provide hyper-local weather on each of the fields a grower has. A grower gets projected growth stages, soil moisture tracking, alerts along with scouting and notes. The pro version comes with a fee, but growers get everything the basic provides with an advisor for planting, nitrogen, pest and disease, harvest and in variable rates.
There is no doubt the company provides a service for growers that can increase profitability by over $100 per acre. Recently, the company was acquired by Monsanto. The two companies have found that they are doing the same science based research. The Climate Corporation will continue to operate independently with growers, but they are now able to leverage the research that has come out of Monsanto’s labs.
Listen to my complete interview with Greg here: Interview with Greg Smirin
Checkout photos from NAFB Convention: 2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album
The International Society of Precision Agricutlure invites you to submit abstracts online for the various 2014 conference topics due November 30th, 2013. Abstracts will be reviewed for suitability based on scientific content and clarity. Abstracts meeting these criteria will be accepted for presentation as either oral or poster presentations at the conference. Abstracts should be a minimum of 400 words and are limited to no more than 800 words. Authors of accepted abstracts will be entitled to present their research at the Conference after payment of registration fees. They will also be entitled to submit full papers (more details later) for the Conference Proceedings in February of 2014. Conference Proceedings will be available at the conference.
The 12th International Conference on Precision Agriculture (ICPA) will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, California, USA from July 20th to July 23rd, 2014.
With corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum growers all part of the Commodity Classic, who thought it could get any bigger?
But it will definitely be bigger in 2016 when Classic joins forces with AG CONNECT expo to become what may well be the biggest farm show on Earth.
“2016 will be the opening salvo into a new bigger, better,” said 2014 Commodity Classic chair Rob Elliott of Illinois. “The synergy aspect of it could be fairly significant.”
I talked with Rob at the NAFB Trade Talk about the partnership for 2016, as well as what is in store for 2014 in San Antonio and a little bit about this season on his farm near Monmouth, Illinois. Interview with Rob Elliott, NCGA
Sara Mooney, AG CONNECT show director with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, says there are lots of details to work out in the next two years, but they are really excited. “The producers that attended AG CONNECT and our exhibitors and other stakeholders are really going to find that this combined event is really greater than its two parts alone,” she said. “More technology, more engagement with the whole ag community, more experts to talk to, more industry leaders – just more of that quality experience.”
Listen to my interview with Sara here: Interview with Sara Mooney, AEM
2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album