FMC Tackles Weeds in the South

farm-gin-14-rusty-mitchellFMC representatives were eager to visit with attendees of the recent Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis, TN. Chuck spoke with Rusty Mitchell during the event about some of their products corn and soybean growers across the South can and should take advantage of.

“We’ve got a couple of new products that we have available for both corn and soybean. Of course we have our Authority brand, our pre-herbicide. We have a couple new Authority products that we introduced last summer. One was Authority Elite. It has done really well this past year. We also are introducing this year, Authority Maxx, which has mulitple modes of action all pointed towards control on Palmer Amaranth.”

Rusty also talks about their product Anthem that was originally slated for corn, but recently has been approved for use on soybeans. They both have a very flexible application window and it controls a broad spectrum of broadleaves.

On the topic of Anthem, FMC is investing in farming’s future by hosting their 3rd Annual Stand & Be Heard Anthem Singing Contest. It is officially underway and youth can submit their entires here.

“Always remember regardless of what crop you are producing from the standpoint of weed control is to start clean, utilize a good burn down program, utilize a residual pre and then come back in with a follow up application of some kind of overlapping residual.”

You can listen to my interview with Rusty here: Interview with Rusty Mitchell

2014 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show Photo Album

Coverage is sponsored by FMC

Soybean Priorities at Classic

classic14-asa-gaesserAt last week’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio, American Soybean Association (ASA) president Ray Gaesser of Iowa said that after three long years of debate, it was great to see the Farm Bill become law.

“It was a compromise bill, and the final product strengthens risk management, streamlines conservation programs, reinforces the safety net, and invests in key programs in the areas of trade promotion, research and renewables,” he said, adding a big win for ASA in the new law is that planting decisions remain separated and decoupled from income safety net programs. “This helps to ensure that farmers plant for the market and not for government programs.” ASA News Conference at Commodity Classic

classic14-asa-murphyMoving ahead in 2014, ASA Chairman Danny Murphy of Mississippi says their first priority is to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse its biodiesel proposal.

“These proposed regulations would reduce the production over the next year or two and really stifle the growth in a really valuable market for soybean farmers,” he said.

The hundreds of comments his members sent into the EPA might be having an effect as he told Cindy in a separate interview that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy might be having second thoughts about her agency’s proposal. “So we hope that means they’ll make some changes and allow this biodiesel industry to grow.”

During that interview, Danny also talked about trade agreements, biotechnology, and how good demand and good prices are really helping soybean farmers do well. “It’s an exciting time to be a soybean farmer,” Danny said. ASA Chairman Danny Murphy

2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Coverage is sponsored by John Deere

CruiserMaxx Beans Win No-Till Product of the Year

cruisermaxxOur friends at Syngenta have been honored with a product that cuts down on the amount of tillage producers have to do. Their CruiserMaxx® Beans insecticide/fungicide seed treatment won No-Till Product of the Year for 2013 at last month’s 22nd annual National No-Tillage Conference in Springfield, Ill.

“We are honored to have CruiserMaxx Beans recognized as the seed treatment No-Till Product of the Year,” said Wouter Berkhout, Seedcare product lead at Syngenta. “Recognition from these farmers speaks volumes about the early-season pest protection and results that CruiserMaxx Beans consistently provides to soybeans.”

Paid subscribers and readers of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide selected CruiserMaxx Beans for this award. Many of these voters are farmers who have firsthand experience with the nominated products. Matt Rausch from Winamac, Indiana is one such farmer.

“We do a lot of no-till soybeans following corn, and I think we get a lot of early-season protection from pests with CruiserMaxx Beans,” said Rausch. “We also see a lot better stands. There are definitely a lot more soybeans, and they are better-looking compared to areas that are untreated.”

Syngenta officials went on to say that this honor is just another example of their “commitment to provide seed treatments that will enable soybeans to start strong and ultimately allow farmers to grow more soybeans.”

Vilsack to Address Commodity Classic

vilsackccThe growers of the Nation’s biggest crops will once again host the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for their biggest meeting of the year. For the fifth time in a row, Tom Vilsack will deliver the keynote address to Commodity Classic, the annual convention and trade show for corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers. This news releases says Vilsack speaks to an expected crowd of more than 6,000 during the event’s General Session on Friday, Feb. 28, in San Antonio, Texas.

“We are honored to welcome Secretary Vilsack-someone who has been a strong advocate and voice for agriculture-to a conference that is both focused on and led by farmers,” said American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser. “As we face many challenges in this industry throughout this next year- trade agreements and access, conservation and water quality, moving the RFS forward and access to innovative technology-we are excited to hear the secretary speak on these issues and other important topics that impact farmers who grow the nation’s food.”

“Secretary Vilsack has done a lot to support our growers, and to encourage all farmers to speak out and represent their industry at a time when the general public is more removed than ever from the farms that feed them,” said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre. “We’re looking forward to his visit to Commodity Classic so he can speak with our growers and learn more about our great efforts to rebuild consumer trust in what we do.”

The 19th annual Commodity Classic is Feb. 27-March 1, 2014, along the banks of the famous River Walk at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Tex. Your ZimmComm New Media team will be there, including myself, bringing you the latest from this annual meeting of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers, America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show.

Check out the 2014 Commodity Classic website for additional information.

Farm Polices Impact on Precision Ag

nbb-14-kevin-rossMember of the National Corn Growers Association Board and director of Western Iowa Energy, LLC, Kevin Ross, chatted with Chuck after the opening session at the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference. They discuss farm policy and how precision agriculture technology has impacted his farming operation where he raises cattle and grows corn and soybeans.

Kevin shared that if we don’t move past what RFS has already provided then we become stuck and the innovation stops. He says everyone needs to do what they can to ensure the investments continue and technologies are utilized. He feels the government has given mixed signals and believes simple education on the issue could help.

“The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) itself is vitally important to my operation at home and to my neighbors. Not just from the farming side, but also from the livestock side. Especially, operations like mine in western Iowa where we can utilize the fats and add value back to the livestock. I am not sure how many people know that its even possible. Let alone be done on an industrial scale. Agriculture is about value-added. Creating markets in those new economies within a broader ag industry is what it is all about.”

Kevin goes on to discuss what types of precision agriculture they have taken advantage of on his operation.

“On our farm it has been a fast ramp up of precision technology. Just a couple years ago on our own farm we’ve gone to auto steer. I couldn’t plant straight rows if I tried. We also use single row shut-offs and it has been a huge plus for us. Overall newer equipment is more efficient with yield monitors and data that we collect. We are going into a new soil data collection phase on our farm which is an entirely new way of doing it then before. We have made major advancement in the recent years and profitability in ag and RFS have really had a huge role in making that possible.”

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Kevin here: Interview with Kevin Ross

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

MANA Introduces Custodia Premix Fungicide

Custodia logo_high resMANA is introducing Custodia premix fungicide for use on corn, soybeans and wheat. Custodia combines the two most complementary systemic fungicide active ingredients available today in an optimized ratio to deliver both preventive and curative disease control. The simultaneous movement of the active ingredients within the plant quickly knocks down diseases and provides a residual barrier that inhibits diseases from developing.

The multiple active ingredients in Custodia allow growers to minimize the number of products they need to control various diseases. Plus, it is labeled on several common rotational crops, which provides flexibility in planning disease control strategies.

“Custodia controls the most devastating diseases that row crop growers are facing today,” said Matt Bradley, Custodia brand leader. “It prevents or controls gray leaf spot and anthracnose on field corn, Cercospora and Septoria on soybeans, and rusts and powdery mildew in wheat. By keeping these diseases at bay, Custodia can help growers remain profitable throughout the season.”

In field corn, Custodia optimizes grain fill by preventing stress during periods where non-optimal photosynthesis periods occur, therefore helping growers increase yield. It can also help soybean growers get to harvest sooner by preventing extended stalk greening.

“Custodia is the broadest spectrum combination fungicide that performs on the most important diseases that are present in corn, soybeans and wheat,” said Bradley. “It adds peace of mind to growers who are looking for solid disease control without having to manage numerous products.”

You can find more information on MANA’s new product at or call 866-406-6262.

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

Iowa Conservation Action Network Launches

iacanThe Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and the Iowa Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA) have launched a unique private sector initiative to demonstrate technology-based conservation practice planning, called the Iowa Conservation Action Network (IACAN).

“What we currently use in the public sector for conservation technical assistance isn’t keeping up today,” said Roger Zylstra, a farmer from Central Iowa and the President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. “We can do a better job and through technology, we can accelerate our adoption rate and have better farmer support of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.”

IACAN will offer subsidized conservation planning assistance to ICGA and ISA farmer members for a limited time in five priority watersheds: Floyd, Turkey, Middle Cedar, and East and West Nishnabotna. Members in these watersheds can call, email or attend meetings to get planning assistance for grassed waterways, wetlands, ponds, sediment basins and soil loss assessments.

“This project is a great opportunity for ISA and ICGA members in these watersheds to receive conservation planning assistance,” according to Brian Kemp, Iowa Soybean Association President and farmer from Sibley. “ISA is committed to helping Iowa farmers engage in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and this project is a great opportunity to test some cutting edge tools.”

The planning assistance relies on a suite of conservation practice planning software developed by Iowa-based small-business, Agren. The Agren software utilizes aerial imagery and high resolution elevation data to reduce the time to plan conservation practices from weeks to just minutes.

Chairman of Iowa LICA, Tim Recker said, “By combining resources, we have the capacity to make a significant and long-term impact on conservation delivery in Iowa. Furthermore, as representatives of farm and earth-moving businesses in Iowa, we aim to preserve the livelihoods of our member businesses.”

USDA Talks Numbers at NAFB Trade Talk

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) representatives were on hand at NAFB Trade Talk last month to discuss the 2013 crop and the 2012 census.

usda-nassThe 2013 harvest is considered completed at this point and Lance Honig with NASS says with a record corn crop and near record soybean crop forecast it’s turned out to be a pretty good year, despite the weather challenges.

“We started one way, we kind of went another way.  It’s just the weather shifting throughout the season, but apparently we had enough moisture at the right times to produce a good crop this year”

The November crop production forecast was the final one of the season so Honig says NASS is beginning the process this week of surveying some 80,000 farmers for the final end-of-season numbers coming out January 10.

Listen to my complete interview with Lance here: USDA NASS, Lance Honig

Meanwhile, NASS is also gearing up to release the first numbers from the 2012 Census of Agriculture soon.  However, that release is running a little behind schedule due to the two week government shutdown in October.  According to Donald Buysse with NASS, the preliminary results are scheduled for release on February 20, 2014 at the Ag Outlook Forum, with the bulk of the data to come later.
Listen to my complete interview with Donald here: USDA NASS, Donald Buysse

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album


Rabo AgriFinance Report From NAFB

nafb-13-40-editedRabo 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

New Website

footer-rounduplogoThe last U.S. patent covering the original Roundup Ready soybean trait expires in 2015. As U.S. farmers begin thinking about purchasing their soybean seed for 2014 planting, they have a new resource to answer their questions about the expiration of Monsanto’s original Roundup Ready soybean trait –

“Even though the original Roundup Ready soybean trait is covered by a patent in the United States until the start of the 2015 planting season, we’re already getting questions from farmers about what they can and cannot do with Roundup Ready soybeans. can help answer questions growers may have about patents as they pertain to planting and saving original Roundup Ready varieties, as well as the benefits of new seed. It’s a great resource for farmers as they plan for next year,” said Monsanto’s U.S. Oilseeds Product Management Lead Norm Sissons.

The site outlines Monsanto’s commitments regarding the original Roundup Ready trait patent expiration, explains the different patents and breeders’ rights typically covering soybean seed, and includes frequently asked questions and a decision tree on saving seed.

Conservation Programs & More Shutdown with Gov’t

us-capitolA shutdown of the U.S. government has also meant a shutdown of some vital services provided by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. As we mentioned in an earlier post, not the least of the USDA programs coming to a halt are the ones dealing with conservation issues, and that is mostly due to the fact that when the government shut down on Oct. 1, the extension of the farm bill did as well.

The fact that the 2008 Farm Bill extension expired and the new farm bill still is to even make it to committee, resulting in the stopping of important conservation measures, worries farmers like American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy, a soybean, corn and wheat farmer from Canton, Miss.

ASA LOGO ® 120ppi x 63ppi.jpg“There’ll be no more CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) sign-up, no Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) money, no conservation payment or activities of any kind,” he cites as just some of the concerns of farmers. Plus, there will be the expiration of market development funds, something he says are particularly important to soybean farmers.

“Soybeans are the nation’s most valuable agricultural export. Our overseas market development arms, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), work with foreign buyers and carry out trade servicing and demand building activities,” Murphy says.

He concludes saying that the shortsightedness of Congress in failing to pass a new farm bill is more than just a political embarrassment; it will cost the industry global market share almost immediately.

“It’s time for our elected officials to remember who they represent and get to work passing a farm bill that works for American farmers.”

Monsanto Invites Farmers to Follow a Field

Monsanto is encouraging farmers to “Follow-A-Field” in order to learn more about the next innovation in soybean and cotton weed control.

extend-follow-fieldThe Follow-A-Field initiative from Monsanto is an interactive experience featured on that follows three farmers as they take their Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybean fields from burndown through harvest as part of the Monsanto Ground Breakers® Field Trials Under Permit program. The initiative will include testimonials, videos and photos captured from the three growing sites in Missouri, Illinois and Minnesota.

Michelle Vigna, Monsanto Roundup Ready Xtend launch manager, says the goal of the program is to prepare farmers, retailers and applicators to effectively use Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans with a diversified weed management plan such as Roundup Ready PLUS® Weed Management Solutions. “By bringing dicamba tolerance as an option within soybeans, it’s a totally new mode of action for helping manage tough-to-control and resistant weeds,” she said.

Monsanto has been working with BASF on the development of the herbicide to use with the dicamba-tolerant soybeans. BASF has already applied for registration of Engenia™ herbicide in anticipation of regulatory approval. Pending regulatory approval, Vigna says they hope to introduce Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ soybeans in time for the 2015 growing season. Interview with Monsanto's Michelle Vigna

What’s New In Herbicide Products at Bayer

chuck-fps-peters-augustBayer CropScience is making the fight against weeds a little easier with their soybean herbicide products. The recent Farm Progress Show was a great outlet to share the new and exciting products available for growers nationwide.

Chuck spoke with Eric Peters, Soybean Herbicide Product Manager for Bayer CropScience, during the event and Eric went into more depth about Balance Bean, Balance GT and Liberty products for soybean growers.

“One of the exciting things we’ve had here recently is we did get US approval the Balance GT for Soybeans. It is the new soybean system that has dual herbicide tolerance. It is a HPPD based herbicide, so it’s a different mode of action for soybean growers than what they have had to work with. It will be a total system to provide weed control to growers that offers a good strong broad spectrum soil residual with reactivation combined with the post-merge control of glyphosate to offer a season long control through canopy closure.”

Lauren August, Brand Manager for MS Technologies, walked by during the interview so Chuck took advantage of that and asked about the collaboration and working relationship with both companies.

“The relationship is great. We have been working with Bayer for awhile now. We first introduced the Liberty Link system together and we have been working together ever since.”

“It’s a big step. Just allowing growers to plant multiple modes of action is going to be a big thing for their fields. They are really going to be able to combat some weeds that maybe they haven’t been able to. It’s also going to give them another tool in their tool belt to continue fitting those tough weeds.”

Listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Eric and Lauren here: Interview with Eric Peters & Lauren August

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Coverage of the 2013 Farm Progress show is sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Growmark and New Holland

Monsanto’s Ground Breaker Growers

monsanto-media-fps-13-27-editedMonsanto hosted a Ground Breakers Media Event right before the 2013 Farm Progress Show kicked off last week. Media gathered for dinner and then headed out into the field to see first hand the results from Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybean Ground Breakers.

Tony White is the Soybean Technology Development Manager for Monsanto. His main responsibilities are managing the trait with Roundup Xtend soybeans. At his station he hit on the highlights of their Roundup Xtend Crop System and on the application requirements. He also shed some light on the feed back they have received from the Ground Breaker Growers who have used this system in their own fields.

“This is really the first time we will come to market with a trait and chemistry package. So we will have Roundup Xtend which will be resistant to dicamba and we will also have chemistry we can spray over the top of that. This is really an important tool for growers who are battling weed resistance and who need tools in the tool box to help control weeds.”

Listen to my interview with Tony here: Interview with Tony White

monsanto-media-fps-13-45-editedDuring the event we also had the chance to hear from some of the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Ground Breaker Growers. Jim Hild from Illiopolis, IL. farms just 25 miles from the Farm Progress Show location. He specializes in corn, soybeans and seed corn and has been very pleased with the results. Jim also shared how straight forward the application requirements are and how simple they are to follow.

“We sprayed the beans three to four weeks after planting wuth Roundup Xtend, which is a mixture of Roundup and dicamba. And cleaned up the weeds. I was very pleased. Probably two to three weeks of residual from that product. I’d like to use it on every acre, it’s a very good program.”

Listen to my interview with Jim here: Interview with Jim Hild

Check out photos from the event here: 2013 Monsanto Ground Breakers Media Event Photo Album