United States
The agriculture division of DowDuPont has announced the name of the intended company once it is spun-off, which is expected to happen by June 1, 2019. The intended agriculture company will become Corteva Agriscience, which is derived from a combination of words meaning "heart" and "nature".

Corteva Agriscience brings together DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences to create a standalone agriculture company with positions in seed technologies, crop protection and digital agriculture.

The company says it will continue to invest in brands including Pioneer, Mycogen and the newly launched Brevant seed brands.

The corporate name, brand identity and logo were unveiled earlier this week at Commodity Classic. The corporate headquarters for the intended company will be located in Wilmington, Del., and will include key corporate support functions. Sites in Johnston, Iowa, and Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve as Global Business Centers, with leadership of business lines, business support functions, R&D, global supply chain, and sales and marketing capabilities concentrated in the two Midwest locations.
Published in Corporate News
Canada has always been an agricultural powerhouse, but these days it’s not just about selling prairie wheat, P.E.I. potatoes and maple syrup to the world. Now we’re also building bio-cars from ag-based fibres, composites and foams. We’re creating naturally derived pharmaceuticals and functional foods that help fight disease. We’re cutting carbon emissions by finding valuable uses for agricultural wastes, and we’re boosting agricultural productivity in all kinds of ways.
Published in Biomass
Two hay tool innovations from John Deere Ottumwa Works have been honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the AE50 Award for 2018.

The awards are for the BalerAssist feature on the large square balers and the Plus2 Bale Accumulator for large round balers, both introduced in late 2017. The AE50 Award highlights the year’s 50 most innovative designs in product engineering in the food and agriculture industry, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts.

The BalerAssist option on the L331 and L341 Series Large Square Balers was recognized for allowing the operator to more quickly and easily clear plugs between the baler pickup and rotor, without leaving the tractor cab.

“This significantly reduces downtime and increases bale-making productivity, especially in tough crop conditions,” says Travis Roe, senior marketing representative for large square balers. “In addition, this feature makes it easier for operators to access service points inside the baler and improve overall operational control and maintenance.”

Also receiving an award are the A520R and A420R Plus2 Round Bale Accumulators, which give customers the ability to carry up to two round bales behind the baler while making a third bale in the chamber. The Plus2 Accumulators are fully integrated into the design of the balers and can be used with 6-foot (1.82 m) diameter John Deere 7, 8, 9 and 0 Series Round Balers.

“These accumulators allow operators to strategically place the bales where they can be removed from the field most efficiently,” says Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for pull-type hay tools. “This dramatically reduces the damage to crop regrowth from excessive field travel, as well as fuel and labor associated with collecting individual bales scattered across the field.”

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. The awards will be presented at the ASABE Agricultural Equipment Technology Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, in February. Information on all award winners will be included in the January/February 2018 ASABE’s Resource magazine and on the ASABE website. Further information on the Society can be obtained by visiting www.asabe.org/.
Published in Combines/Harvesters
"IDC [iron deficiency chlorosis] was much more of a concern [this year] than in previous years,” says Dennis Lange, pulse specialist with Manitoba Agriculture. Symptoms persisted for 14 to 21 days rather than 10 to 14 in typical years.
Published in Soybeans
Weed control in corn and soybeans will only get more complicated and costly.

That was a key message by long-time Iowa State University weed scientist Mike Owen in his 2018 weed management update presentation at the Integrated Crop Management Conference in November. He noted the management practices used by many farmers are leading to more resistance to herbicides, and he doesn’t foresee an end to that anytime soon. For the full story, CLICK HERE

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Herbicides
John Deere 5R Series Tractors have received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ (ASABE) AE50 Award for 2018. The AE50 Award recognizes innovative designs in product engineering as selected by a panel of international engineering experts.

Introduced in 2017, 5R Series Tractors leverage existing technologies normally found in large tractors and feature four models ranging from 90- to 125-engine horsepower.

“John Deere engineers designed tractor features to provide customers with unrivaled maneuverability, an easy-to-use transmission, increased visibility, loader integration and operator comfort,” said Nick Weinrich, product marketing manager for Deere.

A 7.4-foot (2.25 m) wheelbase, paired with a 60-degree steering angle, provides a tight turning radius of 12.1 feet (3.68 m). “For customers working in confined areas such as barns, this is a big improvement because they can more easily maneuver the tractor while increasing their productivity,” said Weinrich.

Customers can choose from two fully electronic transmission options, CommandQuad Manual and Command8. Weinrich said Deere made it easy for operators to toggle from B range through D range without stopping, thanks to a multi-range selection feature. Base equipment on 5R Tractors also includes AutoClutch, a feature leveraged from larger Deere row-crop tractors that completely eliminates the need for clutching. Operators can automatically re-engage the clutch by depressing the brake pedal.

Deere engineers improved upward and forward visibility from the tractor to help make 5R Series Tractors an even better fit for loader applications. Engineers also integrated an interactive display into the tractor’s right hand cornerpost. Operators can use the display to customize a variety of tractor functions to fit their preferences.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Tractors
Kinze Manufacturing, an industry leader in planter and grain cart equipment, is expanding its offerings with the addition of four high-speed disc tillage models, Mach Till 201, 261, 331 and 401.

Susanne Veatch, Kinze president and chief marketing officer, said the new Mach Till high-speed disc products support farmer interest in faster tillage that enables them to stay ahead of the planter and be more productive by covering more acres in less time.

"Farmers will now be able to obtain three types of equipment from their Kinze dealer, all with the same standard of quality," she said.

The new product line is based on a Canadian design, produced by Degelman Industries, that has been licensed to Kinze to build at its manufacturing facility in Williamsburg, Iowa. Kinze will exhibit one of its first tillage models - the Mach Till 331 - at the 2018 National Farm Machinery Show Feb. 14-17 in Louisville, Kentucky.

"We are constantly evaluating opportunities in the market for new products that would be a good fit for Kinze," Veatch noted. "The Mach Till product line allows us to improve our already strong brand and have instant access to the growing high-speed disc segment with an already proven product."

In addition to high speed (8-12 mph) and high capacity, the versatile Mach Till lineup also offers simple setup and ease of use, maintenance-free parts and the ability to perform in various soil types, from fall primary tillage and residue management to spring secondary tillage and seedbed preparation.

The product is built heavy for high speed and deep working depth, but provides great flotation for lighter seedbed preparation that minimizes soil compaction. Veatch said the tillage products will be available from Kinze dealers in the United States and Canada, as well as for export to customers in Eastern Europe and Russia. Pricing information will be released this spring, with product availability beginning in fall 2018.

Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Tractors
Organic sales in the United States were worth $47 billion in 2016, and organic food sales represent more than five per cent of total retail sales. In Canada, over 55 per cent of consumers purchase organic products on a weekly basis. With its new Certified Organic linPRO and linPRO-R animal feed ingredients, O&T Farms is helping its customers serve this growing market segment.

O&T Farms is a proven leader in the Omega-3 animal feed ingredient market, using its patented dry-extrusion process in the manufacturer of linPRO and linPRO-R. These specialty feed products aid in the consistent and reliable enrichment of Omega-3s into eggs, dairy and meats. The organic LinPRO products now provide the same nutritional advantages of enhanced digestibility, energy availability and improved rumen escape values only now using verified organic ingredients.

“We always strive to be responsive to changing markets, such as the incredible growth in organics, and develop products that allow our customers to be as versatile and serve as many markets as possible,” says Elan Ange, CEO of O&T Farms. “The organic certification of linPRO(organic) and linPRO-R(organic) means our flaxseed-based products can offer animal health and production benefits to a wider range of livestock producers. They open the door for the production of Omega-3 enriched organic alternatives for consumer food products such as milk, eggs, beef and chicken.”

LinPRO and linPRO-R are certified through International Certification Services Inc. under the National Organic Program (NOP) in accordance with USDA Agricultural Marketing Services and the Canadian Organic Regime (COR). The LinPRO brand offers high-energy, flaxseed-based feed products with high levels of fatty acids and amino acids.

The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in flaxseed have been associated with many animal and human health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to provide immunological benefits and potential production benefits to livestock, as well as human benefits that include improving brain and eye health and lowering the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and arthritis. Additionally, feeding linPRO branded products to livestock is a natural way to improve the nutritional value of the end product (i.e. milk, eggs and animal protein) and therefore offer healthier alternatives to consumers.

RELATED: Flaxseed in animal feed has exciting potential
Published in Corporate News
Ag Growth International Inc. recently announced it has acquired CMC Industrial Electronics and Junge Control Inc.

CMC is a leading supplier of hazard monitoring sensors and systems used in agricultural material handling applications. CMC also manufactures commercial bin monitoring sensors and systems. Founded in 1997, CMC has locations in Burnaby, B.C., and Minneapolis, MN. CMC has strong relationships with domestic and multinational customers and provides AGI with new products to better serve its customers in an environment of increasingly stringent safety standards.

JCI is a leading manufacturer of automation, measurement and blending systems for the agriculture and fuel industries. Founded in 1979, JCI is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. JCI's precision blending and measurement systems, focused primarily on liquid fertilizer blending, are highly complementary to AGI's fertilizer product offering and further broadens AGI's fertilizer platform.

The acquisitions of CMC and JCI add significant strength to our applied technology platform, and continue to evolve our product and solution portfolio enabling us to serve current and future customers with broader solutions. AGI is proud to welcome the teams from CMC and JCI to the AGI family.
Published in Corporate News
John Deere grain and cotton harvesting equipment have been honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) with the AE50 Award for 2018. The AE50 Award highlights the year’s most innovative product-engineering designs in the food and agriculture industry, as chosen by a panel of international engineering experts.

The John Deere S700 Series Combine was recognized for its significant innovations in “smart” technology, improved operator comfort and data capabilities for more efficient grain harvesting, said Matt Badding, John Deere marketing manager for harvesting equipment.

“The S700 Combines integrate new technologies that optimize and automate grain harvesting, making it easier, faster and more efficient for the operator,” Badding said. “By automating more adjustment and calibration tasks, we’ve enhanced the operational intelligence of these machines while improving overall durability and productivity, based on each customer’s crop and field conditions.”

The latest features include the Combine Advisor package that incorporates seven technologies to help operators set, optimize and automate the combine performance as crop conditions change; Auto Maintain and ActiveVision cameras for maximum threshing performance and grain quality; and Active Yield technology that automatically calibrates the mass flow sensor to eliminate the need for manual calibrations and ensure the best data is collected during harvest.

In addition, the CP690 Cotton Picker and CS690 Cotton Stripper were recognized for innovations in precision cotton-harvesting technologies that include moisture sensing, round module weighing, Harvest Identification, Cotton Pro and John Deere Operations Center Field Analyzer.

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. From the many entries submitted each year, an expert panel of engineers selects approximately 50 products for recognition. The award-winning products are those ranked highest in innovation, significant engineering advancement and impact on the market served.
Published in Combines/Harvesters
Imagine being able to harvest an extra eight to 10 bushels per acre of soybeans without spending another dime. According to Kris Ehler, a seed agronomist with Ehler Bros. Seed, a family-owned business based near Thomasboro, Illinois, all you have to do is plant soybeans early.

Ehler Bros. Seed has been doing early planting soybean trials since 2009. Although the Feb. 22 planting date the company experimented with this past season may sound a little extreme, Ehler advocates planting full-season soybeans (normally groups 3.5 to 4.2, with 4.7 soybeans tossed in this year) no later than the end of April. For the full story, click here

RELATED: Dating decisions - How critical is soil temperature for soybean planting date decisions?
Published in Soybeans
Scientists working to increase soybean oil content tend to focus their efforts on genes known to impact the plant’s seeds, but a Purdue University study shows that genes affecting other plant parts deserve more attention.

Wild-type soybeans contain bloom, a powdery substance originating in the pod that can coat seeds. This trait makes the seeds less visible and is believed to be advantageous for their long-term survival in natural environments. But the bloom is enriched with allergens and can be harmful for animals and people if ingested. People domesticating soybeans selected a naturally occurring mutation that makes soybean seeds shiny through eliminating bloom. For the full story, click here
Published in Soybeans
Canada and the United States share deeply integrated economies and enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. As negotiations on a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continue to progress, the Government of Canada is working hard to strengthen the Canada-U.S. trade relationship and create new opportunities for producers and food processors on both sides of the border.

As part of these efforts, Minister MacAulay travelled this week to Nashville, Tennessee, where he delivered a keynote address to the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) annual convention. Minister MacAulay reiterated the importance of NAFTA as an engine of growth and prosperity for Canada, the United States and Mexico.

While in Nashville, Minister MacAulay participated in a roundtable with key U.S. agricultural producer and business groups to discuss opportunities for cooperation, hosted a breakfast for all State Farm Bureau Presidents, met with Zippy Duvall, President of the AFBF, with Kevin Paap, Minnesota State Farm Bureau President, and with Jai Templeton, Commissioner of Agriculture for Tennessee, to discuss bilateral trade opportunities. He also met with AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers.
"The Canada-US relationship is strong, balanced and beneficial to both of our great nations. The Government of Canada is committed to continue working with the United States to strengthen our partnership for the good of our businesses, our jobs, our citizens and our economies."
- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick Facts
  • Canada and the United States are each other's largest trade partners for agriculture and agri-food, with bilateral agriculture trade reaching $62 billion (CAD) ($47 billion (USD)) in 2016.
  • Canada is the top agriculture and agri-food export market for 29 states.
  • Canada-United States trade supports millions of middle class jobs on both sides of the border.
  • The AFBF is a non-partisan, non-sectarian national organization that represents farm and ranch families at all levels.
  • The AFBF convention is a gathering of more than 5,000 delegates bringing together agricultural producers from all levels and sectors representatives from the local, state and national levels.
Published in Imports/Exports
Engineers at Rice University’s Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Center have found a catalyst that cleans toxic nitrates from drinking water by converting them into air and water.

The research is available online in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Catalysis.

“Nitrates come mainly from agricultural runoff, which affects farming communities all over the world,” said Rice chemical engineer Michael Wong, the lead scientist on the study. “Nitrates are both an environmental problem and health problem because they’re toxic. There are ion-exchange filters that can remove them from water, but these need to be flushed every few months to reuse them, and when that happens, the flushed water just returns a concentrated dose of nitrates right back into the water supply.”

Wong’s lab specializes in developing nanoparticle-based catalysts, submicroscopic bits of metal that speed up chemical reactions. In 2013, his group showed that tiny gold spheres dotted with specks of palladium could break apart nitrites, the more toxic chemical cousins of nitrates.

“Nitrates are molecules that have one nitrogen atom and three oxygen atoms,” Wong explained. “Nitrates turn into nitrites if they lose an oxygen, but nitrites are even more toxic than nitrates, so you don’t want to stop with nitrites. Moreover, nitrates are the more prevalent problem.

“Ultimately, the best way to remove nitrates is a catalytic process that breaks them completely apart into nitrogen and oxygen, or in our case, nitrogen and water because we add a little hydrogen,” he said. “More than 75 percent of Earth’s atmosphere is gaseous nitrogen, so we’re really turning nitrates into air and water.”

Nitrates are toxic to infants and pregnant women and may also be carcinogenic. Nitrate pollution is common in agricultural communities, especially in the U.S. Corn Belt and California’s Central Valley, where fertilizers are heavily used, and some studies have shown that nitrate pollution is on the rise due to changing land-use patterns.

Both nitrates and nitrites are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets allowable limits for safe drinking water. In communities with polluted wells and lakes, that typically means pretreating drinking water with ion-exchange resins that trap and remove nitrates and nitrites without destroying them.

From their previous work, Wong’s team knew that gold-palladium nanoparticles were not good catalysts for breaking apart nitrates. Co-author Kim Heck, a research scientist in Wong’s lab, said a search of published scientific literature turned up another possibility: indium and palladium.

“We were able to optimize that, and we found that covering about 40 percent of a palladium sphere’s surface with indium gave us our most active catalyst,” Heck said. “It was about 50 percent more efficient than anything else we found in previously published studies. We could have stopped there, but we were really interested in understanding why it was better, and for that we had to explore the chemistry behind this reaction.”

In collaboration with chemical engineering colleagues Jeffrey Miller of Purdue University and Lars Grabow of the University of Houston, the Rice team found that the indium speeds up the breakdown of nitrates while the palladium apparently keeps the indium from being permanently oxidized.

“Indium likes to be oxidized,” Heck said. “From our in situ studies, we found that exposing the catalysts to solutions containing nitrate caused the indium to become oxidized. But when we added hydrogen-saturated water, the palladium prompted some of that oxygen to bond with the hydrogen and form water, and that resulted in the indium remaining in a reduced state where it’s free to break apart more nitrates.”

Wong said his team will work with industrial partners and other researchers to turn the process into a commercially viable water-treatment system.

“That’s where NEWT comes in,” he said. “NEWT is all about taking basic science discoveries and getting them deployed in real-world conditions. This is going to be an example within NEWT where we have the chemistry figured out, and the next step is to create a flow system to show proof of concept that the technology can be used in the field.”

NEWT is a multi-institutional engineering research center based at Rice that was established by the National Science Foundation in 2015 to develop compact, mobile, off-grid water-treatment systems that can provide clean water to millions of people and make U.S. energy production more sustainable and cost-effective. NEWT is expected to leverage more than $40 million in federal and industrial support by 2025 and is focused on applications for humanitarian emergency response, rural water systems and wastewater treatment and reuse at remote sites, including both onshore and offshore drilling platforms for oil and gas exploration.

Additional study co-authors include Sujin Guo, Huifeng Qian and Zhun Zhao, all of Rice, and Sashank Kasiraju of the University of Houston. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the China Scholarship Council.
Published in Consumer Issues
Scientists say they have made a step forward in the fight against a wheat disease that threatens food security.

Researchers from the UK, U.S. and Australia identified genetic clues that give insights into whether a crop will succumb to stem rust.

They discovered a gene in the fungus that triggers a wheat plant's natural defences. A second pathway has been discovered which switches on a wheat plant's immune response. READ MORE
Published in Cereals
Plant-parasitic nematodes are hidden yield robbers. But research and monitoring efforts are helping to uncover their secrets. Plant pathologist Albert Tenuta conducted a survey of soil-dwelling nematode species in Ontario crops and his ongoing collaborative research looks to improve management strategies for these microscopic, worm-like pests.  
Published in Insect Pests
The highest recorded corn yield is 532 bushels per acre set by David Hula at Charles City, Virginia in 2015 in an annual contest conducted by the National Corn Growers Association in the United States. By comparison, the highest yield in 2016 in Manitoba Corn Growers Association’s annual yield contest was 274 bushels per acre (bu/ac) set by the Baker Colony at MacGregor, Man. Both impressive yields indeed, given growing conditions at those locations. But how can new corn growers reach those yields?
Published in Corn
FarmLead, North America's largest and fastest growing online grain marketplace, recently announced the launch of GrainCents, a digital subscription service that provides specific recommendations to North American farmers on when to sell, hold and/or hedge in various market conditions to improve balance sheets, operations, and grain marketing schedules. GrainCents also educates farmers by providing expert insights on global market conditions and how they impact farm operations for specific crops.

"FarmLead's blog is a great hub for grain marketing information," said Chad Sebulsky of Sebulsky Farms. "Over the past few months, I have grown to trust the insight that Brennan Turner provides on a daily basis, allowing me to sell my wheat, barley and canola at the right time."

Time-constrained North American farmers fulfill a variety of roles on the farms, one of which includes marketing and selling their grain. Many turn to outside consultants who may or may not operate on their schedule, while others look to market analysts who fail to cover all the supply-and-demand factors required for effective grain marketing.

In contrast, GrainCents offers a cost-effective solution to make sense of what is really moving the markets for 12 crops grown in North America, including corn, soybeans, three wheat varieties, and canola.

GrainCents is built on FarmLead President & CEO Brennan Turner's accurate track record of 93 per cent right calls of when to sell, hold or hedge grain over the past two years. The cost for the annual GrainCents subscription ranges from $250 to $450 per crop, and discounted packages for multiple crops are available.

"Too often I hear about 'just-in-time' grain marketing; hoping and wishing for better prices," Turner said. "We think that knowing the market you're in, and the main factors influencing it, can generate a successful grain marketing plan. GrainCents is the first fully transparent tool that weighs all the factors to help farmers make the smartest and timeliest decision when selling grain."

The addition of GrainCents is another step in the company's mission to provide value throughout the grain marketing lifecycle of the North American farmer. From market analysis, grain testing and pricing recommendations, to accessing more qualified buyers and ensuring the best possible price for grain, farmers on FarmLead receive more value than any other grain selling platforms.

For more information, please visit: https://farmlead.com/graincents.
Published in Corporate News
The Herbicide Resistance Summit is a bi-annual conference brought to you by Top Crop Manager (TCM) and a group of generous sponsors that aims to facilitate a more unified understanding of herbicide resistance and promote awareness that all industry members have a role to play in managing the growing threat of herbicide resistance.
Published in Herbicides
More farmers are showing interest in and using an approach called bio strip-till, where specific cover crops are planted in individual strips after the harvest of an early season crop.

Goals for using this approach typically include a combination of creating a dark strip in the field with residue to simulate strip till, opening up the soil for cash crop root growth, to keep competitive winter annual species like cereal rye out of the cash crop planting row, and residue management to keep problematic residue out of the planting strip.

For the full story and a few examples of bio strip-till being used by farmers in North Dakota, click here.

Related: Strip tilling for higher yields
Published in Tillage
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