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

Join in the conversation on Twitter and on Facebook

Expert Habitat Advice Provided to Land Managers

prairie-chicken copy 2Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Robert Bonnie, announced today a renewed and expanded partnership to provide expert habitat advice to farmers and ranchers managing land within lesser prairie-chicken range.

“Our goal is to deliver a win-win for agricultural producers and wildlife,” said Bonnie. “We want to help farmers and ranchers succeed for the long term while also protecting and improving habitat for the lesser prairie-chicken and protecting the region’s ecosystem. Often, what is good for prairie-chickens is good for ranching.”

As part of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative (LPCI), the agency is partnering with Pheasants Forever, a national wildlife conservation organization, to jointly invest $5 million over three years to support technical assistance, including hiring non-federal field conservationists to help farmers and ranchers voluntarily maintain and improve lesser prairie chicken habitat in the Southern Great Plains.

In addition, NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recently finalized a plan that can provide regulatory predictability for farmers and ranchers improving lesser prairie-chicken habitat, should the species be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

As agreed to by NRCS and USFWS, farmers and ranchers voluntarily applying lesser prairie-chicken-friendly conservation practices may be protected from additional regulations under the Endangered Species Act for up to 30 years.

“The partnership between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pheasants Forever, state fish and wildlife agencies and others is will provide crucial tools and resources for voluntary conservation on lands that can benefit the lesser prairie-chicken,” Bonnie said. “It’s partnerships like these that can find solutions for some of our country’s most challenging conservation issues.”

Website Spotlights Caring Florida Farmers

this farm caresThe Florida Farm Bureau Federation (FFBF) is launching a newly designed website, thisfarmcares.org, to recognize farmers throughout Florida who practice environmental stewardship and educate the public on agriculture’s role in protecting Florida’s natural resources.

The website recognizes more than 600 farmers who have taken voluntary steps to protect the land and water quality by implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) on their farms. A photo gallery along with a calendar of statewide County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES) recognition events will also be featured. Profiles and events will be updated weekly.

The website will boast a modern, sleek, easy-to-navigate design. Other features include a News Blog, eligibility requirements for the CARES program, frequently asked questions and direct links to This Farm Cares social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

“We are extremely excited to launch the CARES website,” said Scot Eubanks, CARES coordinator for FFBF. “Through this website we are able to give farmers and ranchers public recognition and bring awareness to their advanced farming practices nationwide.”

The CARES program was established by Florida Farm Bureau and the Suwannee River Partnership in 2001 to recognize superior natural resource conservation by agricultural producers. Since its inception, more than 600 agriculturists statewide have received the CARES award.

More Powerful & Accurate Steering for Farmers

4570_085Leica Geosystems announced the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus, the enhanced successor to the Leica SteerDirect ES. The electric steering system gives farmers a brand independent steering solution to improve accuracy by diminishing skips and overlaps, saving fuel, fertilizer, chemicals, and reducing operator fatigue.

The Leica SteerDirect ES Plus is a flexible solution that enables assisted steering on most tractor, sprayer and harvester models. Once installed the electro-mechanical drive unit latches on and off effortlessly enabling quick and simple transfer across multiple vehicles via the innovative switch kit. Installation does not require removal or replacement of the steering wheel which further simplifies the user experience.

The new electric steering system features several improvements: It has a built-in encoder for more accurate steering and an upgraded, more powerful electric motor that provides superior steering performance. The steering system comes with simplified cabling and a separate engage switch to allow convenient and flexible operator handling. Compatible with the Leica mojo3D guidance system and the Leica mojoXact Plus, the Leica SteerDirect ES Plus supplies customers with a universal installation kit as well as a large number of vehicle specific installation kits.

The SteerDirect ES Plus will be released in March alongside an extended list of supported vehicles. Customers using the Leica SteerDirect ES can upgrade to the ES Plus trouble-free with existing installation kits.

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

Today’s Farmer CEOs Reshaping Ag

bayer-aif14-farmersThe recent Bayer CropScience Ag Issues forum featured a panel of young farmers who really gave some insight into what it takes to run a modern farm.

The “How Today’s Farmer CEOs are Reshaping Modern Ag” panelists were (left to right) Chad Leman, co-owner of Leman Farms hog operation in Illinois; Jeremy Jack, partner at Silent Shade Planting Company in Mississippi; and Bruce “Onion Man” Frasier, owner of Dixondale Farms in Texas.

These guys discussed the everyday challenges they face running their farms, including training the next generation, new regulations, the public’s perception of farming, and weight of responsibility. They also discussed the importance of recording everything they do to help them track efficiencies and responsibilities.

Listen to the conversation here: Bayer Ag Issues Farmer Panel

bayer-issues-button2014 Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum Photos

2014 Bayer Sustainability Award

bayer-aif14-awardBayer CropScience has honored Bryan Boll of Minnesota as the 2014 Bayer Young Farmer Sustainability Award winner.

“Sustainability means so many different things to people,” said Boll, adding that he looked it up in the dictionary and found that “It basically means to continue on forever without interruption.” That’s what he works toward on his 5,000 acre diversified farming operation. “That includes profitability, environmental sensitivity, community involvement, community awareness … there’s a lot of things that go into sustainability.” Interview with Bryan Boll, Bayer 2014 sustainability award winner

Bryan is the fourth recipient of this award. Pictured with him here are 2013 winner Jeremy Jack of Mississippi on the left, and the CEO and president of Bayer CropScience LP, Jim Blome.

Jack, who also participated on a panel during the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum on how today’s farmer CEO are re-shaping modern agriculture, says he believes “sustainability has got to be the action plan” for every farmer in the future. Interview with Jeremy Jack, Bayer 2013 sustainability award winner

2014 Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum Photos

Seeking Great Social Media Farmer Nominations

Social Media Farmer of the YearZimmComm New Media is proud to announce sponsorship of the Social Media Farmer of the Year Award, coordinated by Food Nutrition & Science.

The new award recognizes farmers who have incorporated social media, digital media and internet strategies to achieve their business objectives including growing revenue, sharing information for more effective farming practices, and promoting positive awareness of the industry.
http://www.foodnutritionscience.com/2014award/”>
Nominations for the award
are now being accepted and farmers can nominate themselves or a colleague. The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2014. The winner will be presented with a trophy and other prizes at the FMI Connect show in Chicago on June 11, 2014.

The Social Media of the Year Award is also being sponsored by Monsanto, Bolthouse Farms, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, AgChat Foundation, Inc., and our AgWired.com.

John Deere Excited About ExactEmerge

nfms14-john-deere-aaronThe folks at John Deere are more excited about the new ExactEmerge planter than they have ever been about any product in their history. “We’ve been able to design from the ground up a whole new technology,” said Aaron Wetzel, John Deere VP Global Crop Care. “Being able to provide to our customers unparalleled accuracy in the trench with great opportunity to enhance yield.” That goes for both corn and soybeans. Interview with Aaron Wetzel, John Deere

nfms14-john-deere-gregAaron says they have tested ExactEmerge with hundreds of farmers around the country and “every single one of them are just completely blown away” by the capabilities of the new planter. One of those farmers is Greg Smith of Cummings, Kansas.

“The guys from John Deere said ‘drive it like you stole it’ just go as fast as you can go,” Greg said. But, since he only raises one crop a year, he was a little nervous about that idea. Once they got up to 7-8 miles an hour, Greg had to get out of the tractor and check it out for himself. “Sure enough, seed depth and spacing was – right on, it was exact,” he said. “No joke, there was absolutely no difference between five mile an hour and ten mile an hour.”

He adds that the emergence was “unheard of – all the agronomists say you want to have everything come up within 48 hours, I think it was 48 minutes,” he said. Interview with Kansas farmer Greg Smith

Great question, Ben (in comments) – yes!! If you are not at NFMS, ExactEmerge will be on display at all the major farm shows in the United States this year – starting with Commodity Classic in San Antonio in just two weeks!

John Deere 2014 NFMS Photo Album

Sponsored by John Deere

Growers Edge Releases New Free iPad App

Growers_Edge.color.tag[1]Farmers have trusted Growers Edge™ for personalized weather, local & best cash prices, markets and news to help maximize profits for years. They continues to innovate with new technology from text messaging services to smartphone apps and now the free iPad app. The Growers Edge iPad app, is available now in the App Store, includes Profit Analyzer™, local & best cash prices, pin pointed weather and many additional features to help growers make more informed profitability decisions wherever they are on the farm.

“We value our users feedback, they asked for an iPad app and we delivered.” said Craig Mouchka, president of Growers Edge. “Our farmers are utilizing technology to increase efficiency and generate higher profits with Growers Edge. The accessibility of Growers Edge on the iPad allows the farmer to have information readily available to make decisions that positively affect his profitability.”

Growers Edge iPad App features include:
– Local & Best Cash Prices
– Risk Management
– Pin Pointed Weather
– Markets
– Commentary

Growers-edge.com provides farmers with a one-stop resource for business and marketing needs, for free. More than 28,000 farmers are using growers-edge.com to help enhance their profits. For more information, and to sign up for the My Weather Report and other free features from Growers Edge on their website.

11 Myths About Electric Fences

fi-shock-electric-fence-myths-infographicHow many times have you heard that simply wearing shoes will prevent you from getting shocked from an electric fence? Well, it’s not the case.

These and other myths about electric fences have been debunked by Fi-Shock Animal Containment Systems.

As with most myths and urban legends, it’s a lack of understanding that perpetuates these misconceptions. Not understanding how electric fences work and how they keep animals safe has led people to believe a lot of tall tales about electric fences.

The folks at Fi-Shock created this infographic to help educate people about electric fences and remind them that they provide an affordable, safe way for farmers and ranchers to keep livestock contained, predators out and crops protected.

Here are the 11 myths about electric fences.
Checkout the infographic to learn the truth.

Myth #1 – Electric fences are expensive.

Myth #2 – A low voltage line is safe.

Myth #3 – Electric fences are inhumane to animals.

Myth #4 – Everything that touches an electric fence will be shocked.

Myth #5 – You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Myth #6 – Don’t whiz on the electric fence.

Myth #7 – Wearing shoes will prevent the shock.

Myth #8 – Horses can’t see electric fences.

Myth #9 – Plants near the fence will not grow.

Myth #10 – Grab the wire to test the fence.

Myth #11 – An electric fence will stop a herd of cows.

I remember growing up my dad would always say I was safe if I had on my rubber boots. I guess he was right. I, however, have since been shocked by many electric fences. Not a fun thing to endure.

Top Agronomy Apps Provide Practical Solutions

Dupont PioneerThe word “app” has become regularly used in the vocabulary of farmers and ranchers across the country. Apps are designed to help users perform useful tasks.

Growers can find agronomy-related apps to help them with just about any chore, and app development is being driven by grower use of these high-tech tools.

“Rapid adoption of mobile devices among farmers is incredible,” says Matt Snyder, product manager, digital marketing platforms for DuPont Pioneer. “With convenient apps, growers have practical solutions literally in their pockets, accessible anytime, anywhere.”

Apps can allow you to record crop observations, including text, photos and field boundary information on a phone or tablet. Users can then share with others in the app or via email.

Here are a few Synder recommends for growers:

FarmLogs Announces $4 Million Series A

farmlogs_white_on_greenFarmLogs is a leading farm management software company that helps farmers digitally manage their farm. Today, they have announced a $4 million Series A round of financing led by Drive Capital.

The funding comes on the back of massive growth for the company and will be used to expand the FarmLogs team as they execute on an aggressive product roadmap for 2014. Open positions are available on the FarmLogs jobs page.

“We are very excited about the trajectory we are on, and having additional support and resources will continue to accelerate our growth,” said Jesse Vollmar, CEO and co-founder of FarmLogs. “We’ve helped thousands of farmers around the world take advantage of technology, and with their feedback and suggestions they’ve helped us create a smarter future for farming.”

More than 5% of row-crop farmers in the United States are using their product. Farmers in all 50 states and 130 countries are using the product to manage and analyze the large amounts of underutilized data collected from their fields in order to make smarter, more efficient and more profitable farming decisions. FarmLogs’ intuitive web and mobile apps provide meaningful insights and help break down the barriers that the farming industry and big hardware manufacturers have put in place.

Drive Capital co-founder and partner Mark Kvamme will be joining the company’s board of directors. Prior to founding Drive Capital, Kvamme was a partner at Sequoia Capital for 12 years where he led investments in Linkedin, MarkLogic, Cast Iron and more.

“FarmLogs is giving farmers the technology to optimize their business that was only available to Fortune 500 businesses just a couple of years ago,” said Mark Kvamme. “We’re honored to be partnering with the exceptional entrepreneurs at FarmLogs solving such important problems for the world’s farmers.”

Precision Pays Podcast: Looking ahead to 2014

pp-podcastAs we head into 2014 all indications show that farmers won’t see the record high prices they’ve been experiencing in recent years.

David Lynn, senior vice-president of financial services for Farm Credit Mid-America says that will change how farmers plan for the coming years.

In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we’ll take a look at what could be in store for farmers as we head into 2014 and why producing more efficiently could benefit profit margins.

Precision Pays Podcast

The Precision Pays Podcast is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology.

2014 Iowa Power Farming Show Will Attract Hundreds

iowa farming showIf you build it and put it on display at the Iowa Power Farming Show, over 20,000 people will come to see it. In January, over 750 ag-related companies will once again set up shop at the Iowa Events Center, where they will showcase their best and latest ag products and services to thousands of Midwest growers.

With over 1840 booths spread out across 7.0 acres of real estate on six floors in three different buildings, the Iowa Power Farming Show is the third largest indoor farm show in North America. Because it takes place in January, it’s the first big opportunity of the year for farm equipment manufacturers and agribusinesses to launch new products and services or offer sneak peeks at upcoming innovations.

“The location in central Iowa means growers in the heartland can see the next big things in agriculture without incurring heavy travel expenses,” said show director Tom Junge. “And the timing early in the year means companies can introduce new innovations directly to their target customers in the Midwest.”

The 2014 Iowa Power Farming Show takes place January 28-30 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. General admission is $6 and children under 14 are admitted free. The show owned and managed by the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association, which represents over 400 agricultural and outdoor power equipment dealers throughout Iowa and Nebraska.

For complete show information and directions, visit www.iowapowershow.com.

Lincoln Gears Up for Farm Show

NEBRASKAWebBanner_2013The population of Lincoln, Nebraska will surge considerably next week as thousands of people from across the region swarm the state’s capital for the 2013 Nebraska Power Farming Show, where they will gawk at big iron and futuristic gadgets from the top agricultural companies in the world.

Growers and ranchers from states like Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas will rub shoulders with those from Nebraska at the Lancaster Event Center on December 10-12, as they flow between the booths of the 1,000-plus ag-related exhibitors who will be presenting at the nation’s second largest indoor farm show.

That one location is of course Lincoln. Those traveling from out of state won’t have any trouble finding the show once they arrive safely in town since the Lancaster Event Center is conveniently located right off of Interstate-80. Nearby visitors will find comfortable lodging, memorable dining experiences, and other fun activities for people of all ages. That is, of course, when they aren’t busy enjoying the excitement of the 2013 Nebraska Power Farming Show, where parking, admission and awesome ag sights are all free to the public.