New Holland Launches MyNewHolland.com

MyNewHolland.comToday is the launch of MyNewHolland.com. This new virtual community is set up to provide a meeting place to share information, contribute to farming related discussions and access premium contents and services. It is very simple to create your account by visiting MyNewHolland.com. Then you’ll have access to the features currently active.

A list of features includes:

  • My New Holland: a new online community for all
  • The Spotlight: discussions on a variety of topical subjects in the farming world
  • The first Spotlight: ethanol and renewable energy
  • Valuable information resources: instructional videos, white papers and more
  • Premium content: owners of New Holland equipment and Precision Land Management products gain access to useful materials that will help them get the most from their machines
  • Easy registration and log in through social networks

The Spotlight discussion is a key feature of MyNewHolland.com. Each discussion will feature a guest farmer or industry expert who supports a farming-related topic. All My New Holland members are invited to contribute their comments, opinions, material or images, driving the conversation forward. Each discussion will be open for a number of weeks; subsequently a white paper will be produced and made available for downloading.

Ron Clauson MyNewHolland.comThe first Spotlight discussion topic is “Ethanol: Renewable Energy for America – Profit for American Farmers.” Our guest is Indiana farmer Ron Clauson. His farm has produced corn for ethanol production for the last eight years and he’s passionate about it.

“One hundred percent of the corn and soybeans we produce go into ethanol and biodiesel,” Clauson says. “It makes me proud to be able to say we market our crops to produce fuel that reduces dependence on imports.”

There are several questions being posed in this first Spotlight discussion for you to respond to and your feedback is highly appreciated.

  • Are you producing a crop for ethanol production? If so, what type and why?
  • How would a change in the Renewable Fuel Standard impact your community and you personally?
  • What do you think about the misleading claims against ethanol by critics and what can farmers do about it?

I am very proud to be assisting our long time sponsor in the daily management of MyNewHolland.com in this startup phase. To get some more perspective on it I spoke with New Holland Director of Marketing for North America, Mark Hooper, while visiting headquarters in Pennsylvania recently. He says there are many more features planned for MyNewHolland.com as the community grows and develops.

You can listen to Mark talk about MyNewHolland.com here: Interview with Mark Hooper

So there you have it. The website is live and available for you to create your personal login and let New Holland know what you think, especially about the first Spotlight discussion. See you there.

Hick Chick Chat with AEM on Farm Equipment

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oThe important contribution of U.S. agriculture equipment manufacturing to the health of the nation’s economy is demonstrated in an economic paper recently released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

charlie o'brienFor this edition of the Hick Chick Chat, I spoke with AEM senior vice president Charlie O’Brien about the analysis. “Agriculture’s achievements have resulted from scientific advances in many areas, including inputs and other efficiencies, yet the productivity explosion continues to be driven by enormous strides in the farm machinery and equipment technology now used to farm millions of acres,” he told me. “We want people to understand how important this industry as a whole is for the U.S. economy.”

Hick Chick Chat on Impact of Ag Equipment Industry to Economy

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Congresswoman Visits Bayer Bee Center

bayer-bee-ellmersEven though she had to miss the grand opening ceremony due to a conflict, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) made it a point to make it out to see the new Bayer CropScience North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park.

“The research and development that they are doing here is going to help us grow more food into the future,” she said in an interview. “It is vital to the North Carolina economy but also to the world.”

Ellmers added that bees are an important part of the discussion about genetically modified crops. “It’s a discussion that’s being had on the national level,” said Ellmers. She is pictured here at the Bee Care Center with Bayer’s Robyn Kneen who was instrumental in the development of the center.

I also asked the Congresswoman about the new farm bill and why she is a strong supporter of immigration reform for farmers in her state. Interview with Rep. Renee Ellmers


Bayer CropScience Bee Care Center Grand Opening Photo Album

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

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

GROWMARK on Board with ResponsibleAg

responsibleagThe Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently announced the selection of individuals to serve on the newly formed ResponsibleAg Board of Directors.

The nine representatives include:
– Alicia Duke, Director, Health and Safety, Simplot
– Justin Gough, Director, Agricultural Products, LSB/El Dorado Chemical Company
– Dave Ito, Manager, Human Resources & Regulatory Affairs, Lyman/Tremont Group
– Pete Mutschler, Environmental and Safety Director, CHS Inc.
– Tim McArdle, Executive Vice President & COO, Brandt Consolidated, Inc.
– Rosemary O’Brien, Vice President, Public Affairs, CF Industries, Inc.
– Billy Pirkle, Sr. Director, Environmental, Health & Safety, Crop Production Services
– Scott Rawlins, Director, Regulatory & Governmental Affairs, Wilbur-Ellis Company
– Rod Wells, Manager, Plant Food Division, GROWMARK, Inc.

Wells says it’s important for GROWMARK to be involved in this non-profit organization designed to work with retailers ensuring best practices are in place providing a safe product to the consumer.

“This is an industry led initiative,” said Rod. “We want to demonstrate that we are doing the right things, that we are operating safety, we’re complying with regulations, that we are accountable. We feel like ResponsibleAg is a very transparent way to show that we are committed, compliant, and safe operators in the communities that we serve.”

You can listen to an interview with Rod here: Interview with Rod Wells, GROWMARK

The board of directors for ResponsibleAg will meet next month to finalize bi-laws, an operating budget, elect officers and begin looking for a business manager to oversee the day to day operations of the new organization.

ResponsibleAg is an independent, not-for-profit organization designed to support fertilizer retailers’ compliance with federal safety and security regulations. Under ResponsibleAg, retail fertilizer dealerships will have access to comprehensive inspections based on federal regulatory requirements. The inspections will be carried out by trained auditors who will have successfully completed an intensive training course based on the objectives of ResponsibleAg.

BASF and the Advanced Acre Hick Chick Chat

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oAt an event not too long ago BASF Crop Protection discussed the Science Behind: the Advanced Acre. Three different growers from distinct parts of the country talked about their operations. Whether it be feedlot, dairy heifer replacement, corn, beans, wheat, sunflowers or millet they use some of the same practices and rely on their BASF counterparts to help them make the best decisions for their operation.

12816088005_bb58a73361_mNot all farming operations are created equal. TJ Shambaugh grows corn and beans in Central Illinois along with his dad and son. Alex Rock comes from Northeast Colorado where they are farming a lot of dry land with irrigation and raising cattle in their feedlot operation. Not all irrigation systems are created the same, Matt Miles in Southeastern Arkansas farms using a different style irrigation with on his 4th generation farm. I had a chance to talk with all three growers about how their operations work, what makes them different and successful. Pictured here from left to right, Matt Miles, Alex Rock, TJ Shambaugh, Scott Kay (BASF, VP Crop Protection), AJ Woodyard (BASF Technical Crop Production Specialist).

You can listen to the Hick Chick Chat with TJ, Alex and Matt Here: Hick Chick Chat; BASF, the Science behind the Advanced Acre

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Childress: Ethanol a Winner for Racers & Farmers

childress-testThe Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week on advanced biofuels. One of the witnesses at the hearing was NASCAR team owner Richard Childress who talked about the many benefits of corn-based biofuels, such as the higher fuel performance he has seen in more than five million miles of racing since the E15 ethanol blend was introduced in the 2011 racing season.

“When they decided to go with an ethanol-blend of fuel, in 2010, NASCAR started looking at what was the correct blend to use. After many tests, they came up with E15,” Childress said, pointing out that his own racing team tested up to E30 blends, which he believes would be even better. “Nothing but positive results came out of our tests. Engines ran cooler, ethanol makes more octane so it makes more horsepower, less carbon buildup, better emissions, and our parts when we tore the engines down looked much better.”

Childress, who has also been in the farming business for 30 years, says he knows what it’s like for farmers.

“Ethanol is definitely a great plus for our farmers in America today.”

Listen to all of Childress’ remarks here: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress testifying before Senate Agriculture Committee

Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says advanced biofuels are here now, and they are an important part of the energy title in the recently passed farm bill.

“The Energy Title funds critical programs that helps our farmers produce energy from non-food sources and helps companies get low-interest loans for those facilities, and of course, all that creates jobs,” Stabenow said, adding that to continue to grow the industry, there needs to be policies that support it. She said passing the Farm Bill was a strong first step toward to that goal. “Now we need to provide certainty through a strong Renewable Fuels Standard and tax credits to support long-term investments in our energy future.”

Hear more of what Stabenow had to say here: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of Senate Agriculture Committee

Hick Chick Chat about Norman Borlaug

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oBack in early October, I got an email from Cindy asking if I would be available to join her in Des Moines for the World Food Prize. Of course I was available, but what on earth is the World Food Prize. I did some Google research, I had seen our agenda, but I really had NO clue what I was about to learn and hear in downtown Des Moines. I kept telling Cindy that I was totally fascinated by the sheer knowledge I was gaining. At some points I think she wanted to choke me if I said “this is fascinating” one more time. Truth be told, I’d never heard of Norman Borlaug, the Borlaug Dialogue and had no idea what I was getting myself into. Boy, did that all change.

normAs the week went on and I started to learn more about the players and was a bit star struck when Julie Borlaug was on our same elevator on the way to one of our functions. Truth About Trade and Technology had allowed me to meet and interact with farmers from around the globe and learn more about each of them. They truly were a fun group to meet and spend time with. But Dr. Borlaug, his legacy and seeing a man I had interviewed many times in my radio days, Dr. Robb Fraley be honored as one of the laureates; the puzzle pieces all began to come together. I can’t say anything more about Dr. Borlaug than what the folks who were on-hand at the installation in the nation’s capital did.

You can listen to the Hick Chick Chat of the Norman Borlaug statue installation: Hick Chick Chat Dr.Norman Borlaug Statue Installation

Borlaug Statue Unveiling Photo Album

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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.

Farmland Film Screened in DC

FarmlandThe latest screening of the feature length film documentary Farmland was a star-studded event this week in Washington D.C. While the movie has been previewed at several events this year, including the Commodity Classic, this one not only helped celebrate National Agriculture Day, it also marked the official announcement of its upcoming theatrical release.

On the red carpet here at the Ronald Reagan Amphitheater are Randy Krotz, CEO of the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), one of the film’s major supporters; director James Moll, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman, chairman of the USFRA.

farmlandThe movie provides an up close and personal look into the lives of six very different types of young farmers who talk about the challenges of becoming farm owners/managers. The story is told completely by the farmers and the imagery of them at work with no narration. “I don’t use a narrator,” said director Moll. “I’m delving into a world that I know nothing about … they can tell the story better than I can.”

Farmland has a deal with D&E Entertainment for the film to first be distributed to 60 major market theaters beginning May 1. “I hope that people watch it, relate to it, come away from it wanting to learn more about farming and ranching, and feeling like they actually had an opportunity to meet and get to know some of them,” said Moll.

Between now and May 1, Farmland will be competing in several film festivals during the month of April. After the theatrical release, Moll says they plan on the film being released on DVD and through the usual channels for home viewing. Interview with James Moll

Hick Chick Chat: Dick Durbin talks Ukraine, Farm Bill

11326519286_c9a07ae0bf_oDriving into town one day last week, I caught most of an interview with Senator Dick Durbin on the radio station where I used to work. Senator Durbin has been a staple on the air with morning show AM Springfield host Sam Madonia and he would often join me when I hosted my own noon show on the same station. Of course he talks a little bit about local topics in this interview as Durbin calls Springfield, Illinois his home. Last weekend, Senator Durbin discussed many of the same topics on Face the Nation that he also discussed on the local morning show.

D000563Senator Durbin is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He and others visited Ukraine last week to see first hand what exactly the situation is there and how he feels the US should be involved.

You can listen to the Hick Chick Chat with Assistant Senate Minority Leader, Dick Durbin here: Hick Chick Chat with US Senator Dick Durbin

Join in the conversation on Twitter and on Facebook

Great American Wheat Harvest Premier

Great American Wheat HarvestThe National Premier Screening of The Great American Wheat Harvest movie took place on National Ag Day in Washington DC this week.

On hand were the stars of the documentary – five custom harvesting operations from around the wheat belt – Jim Deibert; Jim & Tracy Zeorian; Dan, Kristy, & Emma Misener; Lee Petersen; and Eric Wolgemuth.

Listen to an interview with these folks and what went into making this amazing documentary that will be available for national distribution soon:Interview with Custom Harvesters

2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Ag Day Celebration in DC Features Policy

The National Agriculture Day celebration in Washington DC has events spread across three days – and really it should be more because it is officially National Agriculture Week.

ag-day-14-sara-harden1Official events to celebrate agriculture kicked off Monday with the Farm to Fork politics session sponsored by Agri-Pulse. With a live audience of nearly 400, USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden sat down with Sara Wyant to discuss what they have been doing to implement the new farm bill. “Congress did give us a long time to plan, I’ll have to say that,” said Harden, who said the process really started when she took over the office last August, and continued as they waited and waited for Congress to finally get the bill passed.

Harden discussed the conservation title of the bill, which she says she is especially excited about. “Our goal is to really make sure that producers know all the opportunities they have as soon as possible,” she said. “I think farmers and ranchers will see it’s a good title with a lot of opportunities there.”

Listen to the conversation here: Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden and Sara Wyant of Agri-Pulse

Agri-Pulse Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Evolution of Prescription Farming

LGSeeds_logo2012LG Seeds shares the evolution of prescription farming.

When we think about technology advancement over the past 20 years a good example is our electronic devices. Smart phones, hand held tablets, sleeker computers; all these devices having data/software storage by the gigabyte and increasing. We live in a technology driven age with demand for real time information. This technology is common place in our society, but has also incorporated itself quite extensively into production agriculture over the past few years.

Prescription Farming at the Beginning
When thinking about prescription farming, variable rate fertilizing and/or seeding, generally comes to mind. Variable rate seeding began with the advent of hydraulic motors serving as the drive or transmission on the planter, giving farmers the chance to change seeding rates on the go. They were also putting GPS receivers and equipment on and in their tractors and combines for auto-steer and yield mapping capabilities.

Prescription Farming Today – Nutrient Application
The evolvement of prescription farming has become more of a streamlined process in farming today. Incorporation of the “smart technologies” into the farm, along with modern GPS/rate controlling equipment
has led to more fine tuning of seeding prescriptions and nutrient application. Nutrient management has seen
an influx of aerial imagery from satellites, airplanes, and now unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s).

Prescription Farming Today – Variable Rate Seeding
With past history of yield maps, fertility tests/maps, and topography/soil information for a field, we now have the opportunity to layer different data points on top one another to create more precise seeding zones.

Recently, LG Seeds parent company, AgReliant Genetics, began to do additional hybrid testing beyond traditional strip tests and randomized research yield trials. Testing includes population trials in high, medium, and low yielding environments along with larger strip tests over multiple soil types and topography changes, allowing for multiple data points across hybrid entries at one location. In the future, this data can be coupled with the grower’s yield history and soil tests to get more accurate seeding rates, in the right locations of the field.

Between the Ears - Evolution of Prescription Farming

You can view the entire release here.