You’ve spent some good money to treat those seeds before you plant them in the ground. But the dust that forms when the treated seeds rub together and rub off those expensive treatments is more than a loss of protection and an irritant for workers – it’s like money blowing away in the wind. Charlie Hale, marketing strategy and support lead for Becker Underwood says that’s why having the right polymer is so important.
“You might think of the polymers as glues that glue those solids on to the seed surface, but they are also designed these days to help fill in the spaces between the particles to make the seed smoother,” cutting down on that friction that creates that dust. Charlie adds that Becker Underwood’s new Flo Rite® 1706 plantability polymer does all that and gives you more uniform plant distribution out in the field. He also points out that losing protection for that seed also means a loss in yield potential. “With today’s prices for grain, we lose significant amounts of money, just because we haven’t kept that protection on the seed.”
Charlie says Becker Underwood has two formulations for legumes, two for corn and another one on the way for cotton. He says this is the third generation of the Flo Rite products for soybeans and corn, so his company has some experience to bring to the table. They’ve got it down to producing almost no dust, no matter how aggressively it gets rubbed.
He cautions that growers who think they can cut down on dust really aren’t gaining anything. “Yeah, [a half rate] does [cut down on dust]. But you still are losing protection.” You want to put on and keep on everything that you’ve invested. And he thinks the latest Flo Rite polymer will be near zero dust. “You get pretty close to that.”
Listen to Cindy’s interview with Charlie here: Charlie Hale, Becker Underwood marketing and support lead
Becker Underwood media tour photo album
One of the biggest concerns for any ag operation is getting the most out of your inputs. During the recent tour of BASF‘s newly acquired Becker Underwood St.Joseph, Mo. seed facility, Russ Berndt, product manager for legumes and northern crops for Becker Underwood, talked about the symbiotic relationship soybeans have with the living organism rhizobia, a soil bacteria that fixes nitrogen for soybean plants. While the rhizobia are naturally occurring, they’re not always the right kind for soybeans to get the most out of the nitrogen relationship. That’s where Becker Underwood’s VAULT HP and its compounds come in.
“One of them is a compound that stimulates the rhizobia so that they send signals to the plant to produce more [nitrogen-producing] nodules sites,” adding that another component is INTEGRAL, a biological fungicide that gives more protection for the plants. Russ says that while inoculant technology is not necessarily new, VAULT HP’s approach differs from the old days of the dusty black powders. Liquid concentrations allow more rhizobia to be in each treatment. “It’s now very convenient. Growers can have it put on their seed when they’re getting other seed treatments put on. They’re put on at a very low rate so the treater can put on multiple products. And the concentrations are high so the grower is getting a high count rhizobia along with all the other components of VAULT HP,” he says.
Russ goes on to say that not only are growers ensured a maximum nodulation on those roots with a surefire nitrogen fixer, they get a living biological in INTERGRAL that grows on the roots surface to provide protection throughout the season. It all adds up to a better bottom line.
“What we see as far as return on investment is growers are going to get a 5-to-1 or better return half the time and over 70 percent of the time, get at least a 2-to-1 return.”
Listen to Cindy’s interview with Russ here: Russ Berndt, Becker Underwood product manager for legumes
Becker Underwood media tour photo album
A little more corn, a little less soybeans, more wheat and a lot less cotton – that summarizes the USDA 2013 Prospective Plantings report out today.
Corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.
Soybean acres are estimated at 77.1 million acres, down slightly from last year but the fourth highest on record. All wheat acreage is forecast at 56.4 million, up one percent, and cotton is expected to total 10 million acres, down 19 percent from last year.
The Minneapolis Grain Exchange held its usual crop conference call with reporters when the report was released today, with commentary by Brian Basting of Advance Trading.
Listen to the MGEX call here: MGEX Prospective Plantings call
Teams of Purdue University students who created fiber insulation from soybeans and a fireworks casing from corn won the top prizes in the annual Student Soybean and Corn Innovation Contests. The awards were announced at a reception March 20th, 2013 in Indianapolis.
The competitions, sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council, teach students how to be innovative entrepreneurs with soybeans and corn. Both teams received a $20,000 prize for their work.
The winning soybean team produced Nature Loft, a soy protein fiber insulation that can be used in bedding, including sleeping bags; apparel such as hats, gloves and footwear; and other products such as headphones.
The winning corn team created Sky Maize, a biodegradable fireworks casing that is lighter and less expensive than what is now commercially available.
Winning $10,000 the second-place soybean team developed water-soluble Double Eyelid Glue.
The second-place corn team also winning $10,000 created Fog-Away, an anti-fog glass and mirror cleansing solution.
We published the announcement of the new Balance Gt soybean varieties that will available in 2015 just prior to the recent Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, FL. After that announcement MS Technologies and Bayer CropScience held a press conference for ag media to discuss the product launch and new name.
On the stage are Lauren August, MS Technologies Brand Manager, and Eric Peters, Bayer CropScience Soybean Herbicide Product Manager. These new soybean varieties are giving farmers more choices.
When growing Balance GT soybeans, growers will have the flexibility to use both glyphosate and isoxaflutole during burndown, pre- or post-emergence to achieve broad spectrum weed control of both grasses and broadleaf weeds. Rotating crops, herbicide modes of action and herbicide tolerant traits are good stewardship practices, and three of the best ways growers can achieve effective weed resistance management.
Listen to the MS Technologies press conference to learn more here: MS Technologies Press Conference
2013 Commodity Classic Photo Album
University of Illinois Crop Physiologist Dr. Fred Below of Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World fame revealed his Six Secrets of Soybean Success to growers for the first time last week at the 2013 Commodity Classic, thanks to BASF Crop Protection products.
Dr. Below was joined by BASF Technical Crop Production Specialist AJ Woodyard for the educational session that drew a record-breaking number of attendees, sharing new data that shows farmers how they can nearly double their yields with a comprehensive pest management plan. Even though they conducted research separately, their results both indicated that growers can maximize yields by using agronomic management program featuring a combination of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.
According to Below, the current average soybean yield in the U.S. is roughly 42 bu/A, and has been hovering around that figure for the past few years. “While it may seem daunting, the quest for 85.0 bu/A isn’t a stretch. Yields of this nature are produced each year in state contests, so we know it can be done,” Below said. “The trick is figuring out how to consistently produce these yield levels, and our research has identified six strategies to help accomplish this task.”
The Six Secrets to Soybean Success are:
- Improve soil fertility
- Maximize genetic yield potential
- Protect yield potential and maximize seed size
- Enhance seed emergence and vigor
- Utilize narrow row spacing
Listen to Dr. Below explain here: Dr. Fred Below
2013 Commodity Classic Photo Album
A highlight of the general session of Commodity Classic is moderator Mark Mayfield’s “visit with the Presidents.” Left to right are Mayfield, Terry Swanson, National Sorghum Producers; Erik Younggren, National Association of Wheat Growers; Pam Johnson, National Corn Growers Association and Danny Murphy, American Soybean Association.
Mayfield kicked off the session by asking each of the presidents what “sustainability” means to them.
Listen to Danny Murphy’s comments here: ASA Danny Murphy
Listen to Pam Johnson’s comments here: NCGA Pam Johnson
Listen to Erik Younggren’s comments here: NAWG Eric Younggren
Listen to Terry Swanson’s comments here: NSP Terry Swanson
2013 Commodity Classic Photo Album
The 18th Annual Commodity Classic has launched their first-ever mobile app for this year’s event in Kissimmee, Fl. The app will allow attendees to access information, receive messages and engage in social media from their smart phones and tablets. You can even make your own schedules, take notes, lookup session and event times and navigate with maps.
Visit www.commondityclassic.com/app to download it now or check out the App Store on your mobile device and search Commodity Classic. I just did and can’t wait to attend my first ever Commodity Classic. And the best part about it is it’s free!
In less than two weeks, soybean, corn, wheat and sorghum growers will be traveling to the far Southeast from across the county to take in the sights of Kissimmee, Fl. Producers will be educated about important agricultural issues, enlightened by new product rollouts and entertained by all the events coordinators have planned.
“The innovation you’ll witness and information you’ll gather at Commodity Classic will absolutely change the way you farm,” said Commodity Classic co-Chair Bob Worth. “Agriculture faces new challenges every year, and Commodity Classic’s educational sessions and opportunities to speak with other growers and industry leaders will arm attendees with the tools they need to overcome these challenges and increase the profitability of their farming operation.”
The 2013 Commodity Classic takes place February 28-March 2 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center and the Orlando World Center Marriott in Kissimmee, Fla., and is presented annually by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers.
The American Soybean Association announces a new partnership with FMC Corporation and NACHURS — the 2013 Soy Booster Plot Program. ASA is seeking 125 growers across the soybean-growing region to enroll by the March 2 deadline and conduct a Soy Booster field trial on their farm during the 2013 production season.
ASA, FMC and NACHURS will work with the participating growers to conduct field trials utilizing FMC’s Capture LFR (Liquid Fertilizer Ready) insecticide and NACHURS HKW6 liquid starter fertilizer on soybeans. These trials will give individual soybean farmers the opportunity to observe and measure for themselves how the application of Capture LFR insecticide with HKW6 starter fertilizer will enhance profitable production on their farm.
Growers will need to devote 20 acres treated with Capture LFR and NACHURS HKW6 liquid starter fertilizer and 20 acres untreated. Products for treatment will be provided free of charge and participants must be able to apply the starter fertilizer and liquid insecticide in-furrow to all row units as they seed soybeans. Growers who complete the Soy Booster plot program will receive a free 7” Kindle Fire HD, 16 GB with WiFi.
A popular Purdue Extension pocket reference guide for corn and soybean producers has been updated and is now available.
The 2013 Corn and Soybean Field Guide is an in-field reference to help farmers quickly identify and manage crop problems, such as weeds, diseases and insects.
The 324-page guide has information useful from planting to harvest and features color photographs and reference tables to help farmers make fertilizer and pesticide application decisions. Other topics include crop development, nutrient deficiencies, planting decisions, soil fertility and herbicide injuries.
Growers can use the guide to help them apply appropriate amounts of fertilizers for soil nutrient deficiencies or pesticides for pest management, which could save them money, said Corey Gerber, director of Purdue’s Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center.
Updates from last year’s guide include improved photographs and new information about soybean vein necrosis virus, which was first confirmed in Indiana in 2012.
Guides are available individually or in bulk from Purdue Extension’s The Education Store. Individual copies are $7 each, or boxes of 25 can be ordered for $157.50.
Former United Soybean Board Chairman Greg Anderson of Nebraska says it is remarkable to see the yields that farmers in the United States were able to achieve this year in one of the worst droughts in history.
“I think that’s a tribute to farming practices and the technology we have at our finger tips,” Greg said during an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk last month.
The Anderson farming operation in Newman Grove, Nebraska will celebrate 140 years next year and Greg says agriculture has changed a great deal since that time. “It’s the most exciting time to be in production agriculture right now,” said Greg. “I’m convinced that five years from now it will be that much better.”
Greg says modern farming practices have made agriculture more efficient and more sustainable. “I think of practices as simple as no-till and building organic matter in my soil,” he said, and improvements in irrigation, such as center pivot technology that saves money, is better for the crop and better for the environment.
Greg also talks about new traits, information technology and how the best is yet to come in this interview: Interview with Greg Anderson
CropLife Foundation (CLF) announces that it will publish a comprehensive report in spring 2013 entitled “The Role of Precision Seed Protection in Modern Crop Production.” The report closely examines research from case studies conducted throughout the U.S. and outlines the benefits of using pesticides for sustainable crop production. Preliminary findings of the report were presented at the American Seed Trade Association Corn & Sorghum and Soybean Seed Research Conference and Seed Expo 2012.
The report cites many specific benefits for modern crop production as a result of precision seed protection, including:
• Research demonstrates that the use of precision seed protection in corn results in improved plant health and stress tolerance under drought conditions;
• Soybean seed treatments reduce the damage caused by soybean cyst nematodes, which can decrease yields by 15 to 30 percent;
• Modern precision equipment is highly computerized and ensures that seed protection products are applied at the correct rates and leave minimal environmental impact;
• Precision seed protection increases crop yields, decreases operating costs and encourages other sustainable practices such as no-till farming.
The report states that global precision seed protection sales grew from $700 million in 1997 to $2.25 billion in 2010 and are projected to exceed $3 billion in 2016.
Time for another Precision Pays Profile where we spotlight a farmer who is taking advantage of the technologies in precision agriculture. Meet Bob Haselwood, a crop from Kansas and treasurer for the United Soybean Board. I met Bob at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk.
“We are using precision agriculture. We started about 2001. The first step we thought we would do was get a yield monitor and work from there. Over in our county the conservation district had some programs to encourage people to use precision based fertilizer. We went in thinking we were going to ease into it using only yield monitors for records. But quickly moved to grid sampling and variable rate application of phosphate in about a years time.”
Bob’s farm was part of the hard hit areas in terms of the drought. He shared how his crop yields were almost cut in half and how they are making it through these tough times.
“We’ve got a corn/soybean operation. We were in an area that was hit pretty hard by the drought. Corn yields were pretty low. Soybeans were lucky catching some late August rains. Soybeans were about 3/4 of a crop and corn 1/4 of a crop.”
Bob said they jumped into the use of new technologies to save money, but he admits he has also saved lots of time and his body has thanked him. He enjoys coming in of an evening without all the aches and pains he was once use to.
Listen to my interview with Bob here: Bob Haselwood
2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album
FMC Corporation shared new product lines during the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talks. Chuck talked with Bentley Curry, FMC Representative, about herbicides and harvest aids farmers can take advantage of in the fields.
“This year we had the Authority line of products in combination with Authority XL, Authority MTZ. Probably the product that was best fitted for the Mid South was Authority MTZ. It has a great point when you get resistant management where we got pigweed, water hemp and lambs quarter that has become glyphosate resistant. It is a super fit for that because it gives residual that you can go down at pre planting and at planting with the product and take care of those small seeded resistant type weeds.”
“On the cotton side we are really excited about a new product for the defoliation department called Display. I had the opportunity to look at sizable acreage of it this year. It had just received its label for 2012. We had the opportunity to see it after some rain events had come in. The cotton was getting pretty close to harvest and the cotton had greened back up, had all this second growth and typically that stuff is really hard to get off the cotton plant. But Display is a new PPO type compound that disrupts the cellular action in the leaf and gives you really fast dry down of that juvenal growth. It take that stuff off the plant, shuts the plant down from growing and gets it ready for harvest.”
Listen to my complete interview with Bentley here: Bentley Curry - FMC Corporation
2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album
It is time for another Precision Pays Profile. Again, NAFB Trade Talk made it possible for me to meet Dan Hughes, a farmer from western Nebraska.
Dan operates an 11,000 acre farm with 20% irrigated and 80% in dry land. He manages a diverse selection in the field including: hard red winter wheat, hard white winter wheat, corn, soybeans, dry edible beans, sunflowers and millet. Dan and his family jumped in to the world of precision agriculture about 10 years ago, with their first investment being in a no-till drill. He shared how nice it was to end a day in the field without being completely worn out. I heard that commonality from many farmers I interviewed.
“It is a very exciting time, the technology that has come to agriculture in the last 10 years is just phenomenal. That’s part of the reason my kids have come back to the farm. They just recently graduated college and they are excited. For me that is a wonderful thing to see. Agriculture is being penalized for GMO crops. It is not fair for agriculture to be penalized for taking advantage of technology. The whole world has embraced cell phones and that type of technology, but why would you deny agriculture that same opportunity.”
Off the farm Dan is still involved in the agriculture industry and especially the U.S. wheat industry. He serves as Vice Chairman for U.S. Wheat Associates, an organization that assists buyers, influences trade policy and gives a voice to producers.
Listen to my interview with Dan here: Dan Hughes - Nebraska Crop Farmer
2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album