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

New Holland Sponsors Great American Wheat Harvest

New Holland AgricultureNext week I’ll finally get to see The Great American Wheat Harvest! AgWired has been a sponsor of this fantastic project since the beginning and now we get to see the fruit of that investment during National Ag Day Activities next week in Washington, DC. Conrad Weaver, ConjoStudios, the film producer is happy to announce another silver sponsor for the project, New Holland. Two of the harvesting crews featured in the film use New Holland equipment.

The Zeorian Harvesting & Trucking of Manley, Nebr., and the L. Petersen Farms of Hodgeville, Saskatchewan, both run New Holland combines on the wheat harvest route from Texas and Canada. The Great American Wheat Harvest follows three other farm equipment crews and kicks off its national premiere screening at the 2014 National Ag Day on March 25 in Washington, D.C.

“We appreciate the New Holland sponsorship and the collaboration of all our sponsors who have made our national premiere screening possible,” Weaver says.

“We’re pleased New Holland, and two of our customers, have the privilege of playing a role in this important documentary. As an advocate for agriculture, we feel this film is a smart way to connect consumers with the people who harvest a crop that feeds the world,” says New Holland Vice President Abe Hughes.

New Holland now joins other Great American Wheat Harvest major sponsors, including: Legacy Sponsor, John Deere; Platinum Sponsor, U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc.; Gold Sponsors, C & B Operations and North Dakota Wheat Commission state ag and commerce collaboration; and Silver Sponsors, MacDon Industries, Case IH, Association of Canadian Custom Harvesters, TMCO/National Manufacturing, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, and media partner,, an online media service.

For more information about sponsorship packages, media interviews, speaking appearances of the filmmaker and questions, contact Jody L. Lamp, GAWH National Executive Co-Coordinator, call (406) 698-9675(406) 698-9675 or by email at

Wheat Growers Named Most Valuable Dealership

WheatGrowers_5001_showLessiter Publications and Precision Farming Dealer has named Wheat Growers its 2014 Most Valuable Dealership.

“This award wasn’t earned in one year,” Brent Wiesenburger, Precision Ag Manager with Wheat Growers, says. “It was earned over the last ten years, thanks to the vision of our cooperative and the talent and dedication of our employee team.”

In an article for Precision Farming Dealer, announcing the award, Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor, notes that for nearly 20 years, Wheat Growers, “…has succeeded in connecting customers to technology solutions and continues to progressively grow the business. During the last three years alone, Wheat Growers has doubled its overall precision farming revenue from $5.1 million in 2011 to $10.9 million in 2013, with nearly 70 percent of profits generated through service offerings, including its cornerstone Management Zone-Based technology (MZB) program.”

Wheat Growers’ Precision Ag Services include MZB, geo-referenced soil sampling, yield monitors, planting and application systems, mapping software and map printing services, lightbars and AutoSteer Systems. Wheat Growers’ Precision Ag Specialists work with member-owners to recommend the right technology, equipment and field data for their needs and production expectations.

Wheat Growers is a grain and agronomy cooperative in the heart of South and North Dakota. Owned by the members it serves, Wheat Growers exists to provide, with integrity, customers with reliable markets, services and quality products through a safety-oriented, profitable and innovative organization.

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.

BASF Zidua® Herbicide Gets Registration for Wheat

BASFWheat growers have new class of chemistry to fight Italian ryegrass.

BASF just announced that Zidua® herbicide
has received federal registration from the Environmental Protection Agency for spring and winter wheat.

basf-ziduaZidua herbicide provides wheat growers with a powerful tool to fight tough to control weeds like Italian ryegrass, annual bluegrass and canarygrass. In addition, Zidua herbicide suppresses many broadleaf and grasses in wheat including brome species, wild oat, foxtail species, kochia, pigweed, chickweed, henbit and wild mustard. Zidua herbicide was previously registered only for use in corn and soybeans.

Zidua herbicide utilizes a unique class of chemistry – pyroxasulfone. More than 10 years of research and field trials by BASF have demonstrated that Zidua herbicide provides excellent residual control of resistant weeds like Italian ryegrass.

“Wheat growers now have access to a new residual tool for long-lasting weed control with Zidua herbicide,” said Greg Armel, Ph.D., Technical Market Manager, BASF. “The pyroxasulfone in Zidua herbicide helps control Italian ryegrass weed populations, even those populations resistant to ALS-inhibitor and ACCase herbicides.”

We talked with Greg about Zidua at last year’s Commodity Classic after they received registration for soybeans. I suspect we will hear more about it this year at Classic!

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.

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


Great American Wheat Harvest Thanksgiving

conradThe Great American Wheat Harvest will debut in 2014, according to the director of the documentary who was at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting talking about the project.

Conrad Weaver tells us the documentary will be seen first in March 2014. “We are premiering the film nationally on National Ag Day in Washington DC on March 25,” he said. Conrad logged more than 70,000 air- and 30,000 driving-miles this year alone, capturing the harvest from Texas to North Dakota to the Northwest and across the U.S. border into Canada. Listen to Leah Guffey’s interview with Conrad here: Interview with Conrad Weaver, Great American Wheat Harvest

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the makers of the film wanted to let everyone know how grateful for all the help they have received in making this great American documentary.

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Soybean Executive Named NAWG CEO

palmerLongtime soybean industry executive Jim Palmer has been named chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). Palmer was selected by the NAWG Board of Directors after a search process led by the NAWG officers and grower-leaders of the National Wheat Foundation, NAWG’s affiliated charitable organization.

He will officially begin work with the Association and Foundation as of June 1, though he plans to meet with NAWG’s grower-leaders and staff throughout the month of May.

Palmer has worked in administrative roles for national and state agriculture organizations for the past 30 years, most of that time in the soybean industry. From 1997 until early 2012, he worked as the executive director for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Earlier in his career, he was engaged in commercial agriculture credit and was the staff lead during the development of the United Soybean Board, the national soybean checkoff. Since leaving Minnesota Soybean, he has worked as an independent management and development consultant with agriculture companies around the United States.

USDA Prospective Plantings Commentary

USDA-LogoA 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

Commodity Group Presidents Talk Sustainability

Commodity Classic PresidentsA 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

Precision Pays Podcast: The Great American Wheat Harvest

pp-podcastCustom harvesters are big users of precision technologies.  An upcoming documentary is now in production that will follow custom harvesters and show how wheat goes from the field to the bread on your dinner table. 

In this Precision Pays Podcast, sponsored by Ag Leader Technology, we’ll take a closer look at the new documentary by Conrad Weaver, The Great American Wheat Harvest

Precision Pays Podcast

Our sister website,, has come on board as a Silver Sponsor of this great project.

You can subscribe to the Precision Pays Podcast here.

The Precision Pays Podcast is sponsored by Ag Leader Technology.

AgWired announced this month that they have come on board as a Silver Sponsor.

Commodity Classic Launches App

comm-classic-appThe 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 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.

Creating A Voice For Custom Harvesters

U.S. Custom Harvesters, like many other agricultural organizations, represented themselves well at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk. Tracy Zeorian, President, and Kent Braathen, Vice President of U.S. Custom Harvesters, shared the history of the organization and how they are providing a voice for custom harvesters across the country.

“Our organization is comprised of all custom harvesters: combines, silage choppers and cotton pickers. We were formed in 1983. Prior to that we really had no voice for our industry. Our industry began basically during WWII’s Harvest Bargade. It was time for somebody to start something and have a voice for custom harvesters.”

“We’ve got an issue we really want to try and get changed with our fuel tanks. We have worked on this for almost 22 years and that is our #1 issue we would like to push forward and try and get changed. We are only able to haul up to 119 gallons of diesel fuel with our class A CDL. We are trying to get it up to 1,000 gallons.”

The mission for this growing organization is to advance the cause of the members of the corporation by representing and promoting the harvesting industry; to positively influence government and regulatory agencies; to enhance the relationship between custom harvesters, their clients, and service providers to the industry and the general public; to manage the changing lanscape within the industry while enhancing the profitability of custom harvesters and their customers.

U.S. Custom Harvesters cover northern Texas in early May, then head to south central Kansas, eastern Colorado, central South Dakota and northern North Dakota. Then it is time to head south again for the fall crop harvest.

Listen to my interview with Tracy & Kent here: Interview with US Custom Harvesters

2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Meet Dan Hughes – Precision Pays Profile

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