United States
A large, prospective cohort study conducted among agricultural workers, farmers and their families in Iowa and North Carolina in the United States reports that there are no associations between glyphosate use and overall cancer risk or with total lymphohematopoietic cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma.

The long term study updated the previous evaluation of glyphosate with cancer incidence, and is part of the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a large and important project that tracks the health of agricultural workers and their families.

Led by AHS principal investigator Laura Beane Freeman, the study results state that among 54,251 applicators studied, 44,932 (82.8 percent) used glyphosate. "Glyphosate was not statistically significantly associated with cancer at any site," the study said. For the full story, click here.
Published in Seed/Chemical
The New Holland T6.175 Dynamic Command tractor was crowned Machine of the Year 2018 in the Mid Class Tractor category at the Agritechnica trade show in Hanover, Germany.

The machine received the coveted award for its technical innovation and the benefits it brings to customers, with selection criteria focusing on innovative features, performance, productivity, cost of operation, ease of use and operator comfort.

“This award is testament to New Holland’s long-standing leadership of the mixed farming and dairy segment. It is a well-deserved recognition of the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the development of the T6.175 Dynamic Command tractor, who worked tirelessly to produce a tractor that meets the specific requests of our customers,” said Carlo Lambro, President of New Holland Agriculture Brand.

In August 2017, New Holland announced it is expanding its acclaimed T6 Series offering with the new T6 Dynamic Command option. These new T6.145, T6.155, T6.165 and T6.175 are the only tractors in the segment featuring a 24x24 semi powershift transmission on the market. They are versatile tractors that will be an asset to the fleets of dairy, livestock, and hay and forage operations.

For more information, visit: http://www.newholland.com/na
Published in Tractors
Pipeline Foods LLC, the first U.S.-based supply chain solutions company focused exclusively on non-GMO and organic food and feed, recently announced it is building a new state-of-the-art grain terminal in Bowbells, North Dakota.

Pre-winter construction is underway in preparation for a late summer opening in 2018. The Bowbells project complements three other recent elevator acquisitions in North Dakota and Saskatchewan.

Pipeline Foods purchased the land north of Bowbells where it is constructing the new grain terminal. This is the company's first greenfield project, strategically located adjacent to the BNSF main line railway and US Highway 52 to allow for efficient rail and truck transport. READ MORE
Published in Corporate News
A new Montana State University-developed spring wheat that's already attracting attention because of its potential for excellent yields and superior bread-making qualities is making its way through the pipeline toward Montana growers.

Lanning has higher grain protein and stronger gluten than Vida, the most widely grown spring wheat in Montana from 2010 to 2015. It is a hollow-stemmed wheat and has a grain yield that's equivalent to Vida, according to the Journal of Plant Registrations. READ MORE 
Published in Plant Breeding
Prairie potholes are usually small in size, but when farmed, these perennially wet spots on the landscape can have outsize implications for the environment and farm profitability.

The Prairie Pothole Region extends from Canada south and east, and through parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. In Iowa, many potholes are found in the Des Moines Lobe, an area that spans the north-central part of the state, ending around the Polk-Story county line and the vast majority of them are farmed.

These areas in crop fields habitually yield poorly and drag field yield averages down, and they are prone to nutrient loss and leaching, raising questions about the benefits of continuing to grow corn and soybeans in them. For the full story, click here
Published in Seeding/Planting
Farmers keep a close eye on the yield monitor as their combines roll across the field. GSI (Grain Systems, Inc.) recommends that growers also monitor their grain storage system during harvest and rate its performance once the season’s over.

“Evaluating how well their grain system handled the harvest season, and what improvements may be needed, is one of the most important steps farmers can take to help prepare for next year,” says Gary Woodruff, GSI conditioning applications manager.

Woodruff suggests farmers keep track of any grain handling, drying or storage issues, and then give their grain system a post-harvest “report card” based on the following considerations:
  • Material handling – How well did grain handing equipment – dump pits, grain legs and other conveyors – perform in loading and unloading of grain? If bottlenecks were experienced, consider adding faster, higher-capacity handling equipment for next season.
  • Dryer capacity – Ideally, grain should be dried the same day it is harvested. If wet grain remained in a hopper tank longer than one day, plan to add drying capacity next season to protect grain quality.
  • Grain storage capacity – Did grain bins have adequate storage for the bushels harvested? If not, and it was necessary to transport more grain than expected to an elevator, expanded storage may be a wise investment for 2018. Hauling grain to an elevator not only entails storage costs, but may also can take time away from harvest for transportation.
  • Safety – Post-harvest is also a good time to consider possible system enhancements, such as improving safety. This can include installing roof stairs or peak platforms on bins, checking to see if bin safety cages are secure, and making sure all safety shields on motor drives and dump points are in good condition.
  • Maintenance – Grain bins and dryers should be thoroughly cleaned of debris as soon as they are empty and the entire storage system inspected, so that all equipment will be ready for next season. Common maintenance needs can include repairing and/or replacing worn motors and belts, damaged down spouts, noisy gear boxes, worn flights on augers and oil leaks. “The off-season is a much better time to address these issues, rather than waiting until the busy spring or summer periods, when dealers are booked and required parts may be difficult to find in time for harvest,” Woodruff notes.
“Farmers know the importance of inspecting and cleaning their combine following the harvest season,” says Woodruff. “It’s just as important to evaluate their grain system to be sure it will efficiently meet their storage needs for next season.”

For more information, farmers can contact their GSI dealer or visit www.grainsystems.com.

Published in Storage
Harvest timing can have a huge impact on soybean shatter losses, according to North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang.

Because harvest losses increase dramatically when the moisture content is below 11 per cent, harvesting during high humidity such as early morning or late evening or damp conditions may reduce shatter loss, Hellevang notes.

Many times, the discount for delivering beans with a moisture content in excess of 13 per cent may be less than the discount for shatter losses from harvesting overly dry soybeans. For the full story, click here

Related: PAMI uncovers keys to higher returns on soybeans
Published in Harvesting
Rye’s weed-fighting skills along with its cover crop benefits make it a particularly good companion crop for soybeans.

“Soybeans and rye complement each other really well,” says Mike Ostlie, agronomist at the North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center. “Rye adds a lot of things to soybeans that really complete a good production system. You can use rye as a weed-management tool because it suppresses weeds that are becoming increasingly resistant to glyphosate.” READ MORE
Published in Soybeans
Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide have identified a naturally occurring wheat gene that, when turned off, eliminates self-pollination but still allows cross-pollination - opening the way for breeding high-yielding hybrid wheats.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, and in collaboration with U.S.-based plant genetics company DuPont Pioneer, the researchers say this discovery and the associated breeding technology have the potential to radically change the way wheat is bred in Australia and internationally. To read the full story, click here.
Published in Genetics/Traits
Invasive plant species can pose a serious problem for farmers. The lack of native competitors or predator species often allows invaders to spread virtually unchecked, so a minor challenge can quickly become a major problem facing farmers across a large area. With a lot of time, effort and resources, the spread of some invasive plants can be checked and in some instances, the plants can be entirely eradicated from an area.
Published in Weeds
The Scoular Company recently announced that Bryan Wurscher has joined Scoular's senior leadership team as vice president, division manager and general manager of the company's special crops business. He is reporting to CEO Paul Maass and working from Scoular's office in Minneapolis, Minn.

Wurscher will oversee all aspects of the company's operation that sources and processes special crops in Canada and U.S. for use around the world. Scoular's special crops offering includes various pulses (lentils, whole and split peas, edible beans, and chickpeas) as well as canary seed, flaxseed, and sunflower seed.

"Bryan is a strong leader, and I'm thrilled to have him bring 20-plus years of diverse experience and talent to this critical role," said Maass.

Wurscher came to Scoular from Cargill where he most recently served as President and Managing Director Cocoa & Chocolate, Cargill North America. Wurscher joined Cargill in 1995 and held a variety of general management, commercial, merchandising and business development roles with Cargill's Trade and Structured Finance, Sugar, Corn Milling and Cocoa & Chocolate businesses. His roles included assignments in the United States, Singapore and Mexico.
Published in Corporate News
Several soybean farmers have contacted Michigan State University Extension regarding premature yellowing of soybeans. The symptoms observed were yellowing along leaf margins followed by scorching and dieback.

Most of this damage was reported from areas that encountered some droughty conditions in 2017. Although these symptoms appeared to resemble that of potassium (K) deficiency at first glance, other factors such as herbicide injury, foliar diseases, compacted soil and root injury could cause similar symptoms to appear. READ MORE
Published in Soybeans
HORSCH, a global manufacturer of seeding, planting, tillage, and application equipment, is proud to introduce Canola Ready Technology for its Maestro SW row crop planters.

The new Canola Ready Technology consists of a small seeds kit, including a set of stainless steel seed discs and quick-change meter components for fast conversion from row crops to canola. The kit allows producers unmatched precision seed placement and significant input savings when seeding canola.

With the Maestro SW row crop planter equipped with Canola Ready Technology, canola producers are experiencing seed cost savings of 50 per cent or more per acre versus air seeders without sacrifice to yield, due to lower seed mortality rate and improved precision seed placement.

“The seed savings alone in canola gains an extra $30-40+ per acre of margin. Features such as individual row shut off to control seeding overlap, curve compensation, and auto row unit downforce control add even more seed savings,” says Jeremy Hughes, product manager at HORSCH. “Beyond seed cost savings, the uniform emergence and consistent crop development seen in seeding canola with the Maestro is adding tremendous benefits to crop health management and harvest quality. These all have positive benefits on the farmer’s bottom line”.”

“The Corn Belt is moving north,” adds Hughes. “The changes in crop rotations are shifting more toward canola/soybeans/small grains/corn in areas such as northern North Dakota and into the Prairie Provinces of Western Canada. The past two generations of farmers have primarily used air seeder technology for seeding crops. As our producers seek more precise seeding technologies for canola along with incorporating significant acres of soybeans and corn into their rotations, row crop planters become more viable in these areas. Maestro SW’s row unit and singulation technology provides superior seed placement precision for all of these crops.”

The Canola Ready Technology is available to use on all Maestro SW row crop planter models. Maestro SW planters are available in 40’ and 60’ toolbar widths with row spacing of 15”, 20”, 22” or 30”.

For more information, contact HORSCH LLC, 200 Knutson Street, Mapleton, SD 58059; call 1-855-4HORSCH; email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or visit www.horsch.com.

Published in Machinery
Ceres Global Ag Corp. announced that Chief Financial Officer Mark Kucala has stepped down from his position but will stay on with the company as treasury, risk and process improvement manager. Replacing Mr. Kucala as CFO is Kyle Egbert who previously served as Ceres' vice president finance.

"For nearly a decade, Mark has been a stalwart supporter of our business," said Robert Day, Ceres' President and Chief Executive Officer. "Throughout his tenure, he has helped Ceres navigate through many changes and significant growth, including the development of our Northgate infrastructure, reaching more than 110 million bushels handled and doubling of revenues. Going forward, Mark will continue to provide leadership and support in the areas he is most passionate about; treasury and banking relationships, risk processes and procedures, and operations systems and reporting."

Mr. Day continued, "Replacing Mark as CFO is Kyle Egbert who recently joined the company as vice president finance. Kyle has deep knowledge of our industry through previous positions held with Royal Dutch Shell in commodity trading, along with a depth of experience in financial reporting, valuation and controls and compliance. Kyle will assume responsibility for helping guide Ceres into the future and we wholeheartedly welcome him to the senior management team."

The appointment of Mr. Egbert to the role of chief financial officer for Ceres was effective October 1, 2017.
Published in Corporate News
Nitrogen can present a dilemma for farmers and land managers.

On one hand, it is an essential nutrient for crops.

However, excess nitrogen in fertilizers can enter groundwater and pollute aquatic systems. This nitrogen, usually in the form of nitrate, can cause algal blooms. Microbes that decompose these algae can ultimately remove oxygen from water bodies, causing dead zones and fish kills.

In a new study, researchers have identified nitrate removal hotspots in landscapes around agricultural streams.

“Understanding where nitrate removal is highest can inform management of agricultural streams,” says Molly Welsh, lead author of the study. “This information can help us improve water quality more effectively.”

Welsh is a graduate student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She studied four streams in northwestern North Carolina. The streams showed a range of degradation and restoration activity. One of the streams had been restored. Two others were next to agricultural lands. The fourth site had agricultural activity in an upstream area.

The researchers analyzed water and sediment samples from the streams. They also analyzed soil samples from buffer zones next to the streams. Buffer zones are strips of land between an agricultural field and the stream. They often include native plants. Previous research showed they are particularly effective at absorbing and removing nitrate.

Welsh’s research confirmed previous findings: Nitrate removal in buffer zones was significantly higher than in stream sediments. “If nitrate removal is the goal of stream restoration, it is vital that we conserve existing buffer zones and reconnect streams to buffer zones,” says Welsh.

Within these buffer zones, nitrate removal hotspots occurred in low-lying areas. These hotspots had fine-textured soils, abundant soil organic matter, and lots of moisture. The same was true in streams. Nitrate removal was highest in pools where water collected for long times. These pools tended to have fine sediments and high levels of organic matter. However, pools created during stream restoration by installing channel-spanning rocks did not show high levels of nitrate removal. Creating pools using woody debris from trees may be more effective than rock structures for in-stream nitrogen removal.

The researchers also tested simple statistical models to understand which factors promote nitrate removal. Bank slope and height, vegetation and soil type, and time of year explained 40% of the buffer zone’s nitrate removal. Similar to the hotspots identified in the field experiment, fine sediment textures, organic matter, and dissolved carbon content were key to removing nitrates in streams.

“Our results show that it may be possible to develop simple models to guide nitrogen management,” says Welsh. “However, more work is needed in terms of gathering and evaluating data. Then we can find the best parameters to include in these models.”

Welsh continues to study how stream restoration influences the movement of water and nitrate removal. She is also examining how steps to increase nitrate removal influence other aspects of landscape management.

Read more about Welsh’s work in Journal of Environmental Quality.

Funding was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship.
Soybean harvest is nearing as most, if not all, soybeans have turned color or dropped leaves.

Fall time is the best time of year to sample and test the soil for soybean cyst nematode, the number one silent yield robber of soybean.

Soybean cyst nematode is estimated to cause over $1 billion annually in the U.S. soybean crop. As of 2017, SCN has been detected in 30 counties in South Dakota.

Some fields have been found to have very high SCN population densities (>60,000 eggs per 100 cc of soil) and therefore the yield loss caused by SCN in such fields is high. READ MORE
Published in Soybeans
As Canada, the United States and Mexico continue to work towards modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Government of Canada remains committed to hearing from Canadians from across the country about trade.

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada-U.S. Relations), held a roundtable with Canadian agricultural stakeholders, ranging from beef to dairy to grains.

Discussions focused on how the sector can maximize the benefits of a modernized NAFTA and look at ways to make North America an even stronger agricultural market.

"A strong NAFTA is important for our farmers and our economy. Millions of sector jobs across North America are supported by NAFTA, which has helped grow agricultural trade between our three nations to $85 billion annually. Our Government will continue to work together with Canadian farmers to ensure trade remains an engine of growth and prosperity for our nations," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Published in Imports/Exports
The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) and the Canada Institute of the Wilson Center are pleased to co-publish a short piece on approaches to food safety co-operation in Canada and the United States.

With NAFTA renegotiation talks in full swing, it is a critical time for a conversation on protecting and improving our shared food supply chain. As think tanks and think networks, CAPI and the Wilson Center know the importance of good debate and a robust marketplace for ideas. This short piece, written by Rory McAlpine and Mike Robach, encourages just such debate.

"The contents of the piece represent an opportunity for our two organizations to present to our respective stakeholders on the frontlines of Canada-US economic policy some new thinking on important food safety issues," said Don Buckingham, President & CEO of CAPI. "Food safety is not just about consumer protection, it's about enhancing the competitiveness of the Canada-US agri-food supply chain around the world. A well-functioning food safety regime helps to increase global demand for safe and wholesome North American food products."

Laura Dawson, Director of the Canada Institute of the Wilson Center added: "During a period of trade upheaval and fractured supply chains, it is particularly important to bring practical suggestions to the table that will build trade, increase competitiveness and safeguard the protection of consumers."

The short piece is available here: Risk and Reward: Food Safety and NAFTA 2.0
Published in World Outlook
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. announced that the Canadian Competition Bureau ("CCB") has granted unconditional regulatory approval for the proposed merger of equals by issuing a no-action letter dated September 11, 2017.

The CCB concluded that the proposed transaction is not likely to lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition with respect to potash fertilizer, phosphate fertilizers and nitric acid.

The CCB found that global prices of potash are correlated with prices in Canada and that customers can source potash from multiple suppliers. The issuance of the no-action letter satisfies the Canadian regulatory condition of closing of the proposed merger of equals transaction.

The companies previously received unconditional clearance for the merger in both Brazil and Russia. The regulatory review and approval process continues in the U.S., China and India and the parties expect to close the transaction by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

Upon closing the merger transaction, the new company will be named Nutrien. As the largest global provider of crop inputs and services, Nutrien will play a critical role in "Feeding the Future" by helping growers to increase food production in a sustainable manner.

Additional information on the merger between Agrium and PotashCorp can be found at the following website http://www.worldclasscropinputsupplier.com/

Information about Agrium and PotashCorp can be found under their respective corporate profiles on SEDAR at www.sedar.comor on EDGAR at www.sec.gov, respective websites at www.agrium.com and www.potashcorp.com
Published in Corporate News
The U.S. environmental agency is considering banning sprayings of the agricultural herbicide dicamba after a set deadline next year, according to state officials advising the agency on its response to crop damage linked to the weed killer.

Setting a cut-off date, possibly sometime in the first half of 2018, would aim to protect plants vulnerable to dicamba, after growers across the U.S. farm belt reported the chemical drifted from where it was sprayed this summer, damaging millions of acres of soybeans and other crops.

A ban could hurt sales by Monsanto Co (MON.N) and DuPont which sell dicamba weed killers and soybean seeds with Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant Xtend trait. BASF (BASFn.DE) also sells a dicamba herbicide.

It is not yet known how damage attributed to the herbicides, used on Xtend soybeans and cotton, will affect yields of soybeans unable to withstand dicamba because the crops have not been harvested.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussed a deadline for next year’s sprayings on a call with state officials last month that addressed steps the agency could take to prevent a repeat of the damage, four participants on the call told Reuters.

It was the latest of at least three conference calls the EPA has held with state regulators and experts since late July dedicated to dicamba-related crop damage and the first to focus on how to respond to the problem, participants said.

A cut-off date for usage in spring or early summer could protect vulnerable plants by only allowing farmers to spray fields before soybeans emerge from the ground, according to weed and pesticide specialists.

Monsanto spokeswoman Christi Dixon told Reuters on Aug. 23, the day of the last EPA call, that the agency had not indicated it planned to prohibit sprayings of dicamba herbicides on soybeans that had emerged. That action “would not be warranted,” she said.

The EPA had no immediate comment.

EPA officials on the last call made clear that it would be unacceptable to see the same extent of crop damage again next year, according to Andrew Thostenson, a pesticide specialist for North Dakota State University who participated in the call.

They said “there needed to be some significant changes for the use rules if we’re going to maintain it in 2018,” he said about dicamba usage.

State regulators and university specialists from Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and North Dakota are pressuring the EPA to decide soon on rules guiding usage because farmers will make planting decisions for next spring over the next several months.

Tighter usage limits could discourage cash-strapped growers from buying Monsanto’s more expensive dicamba-resistant Xtend soybean seeds. Dicamba-tolerant soybeans cost about $64 a bag, compared with about $28 a bag for Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans and about $50 a bag for soybeans resistant to Bayer’s Liberty herbicide.

Already, a task force in Arkansas has advised the state to bar dicamba sprayings after April 15 next year, which would prevent most farmers there from using dicamba on Xtend soybeans after they emerge.

Arkansas previously blocked sales of Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide, XtendiMax with VaporGrip, in the state.

“If the EPA imposed a April 15 cut-off date for dicamba spraying, that would be catastrophic for Xtend - it invalidates the entire point of planting it,” said Jonas Oxgaard, analyst for investment management firm Bernstein.

Monsanto has projected its Xtend crop system would return a $5 to $10 premium per acre over soybeans with glyphosate resistance alone, creating a $400-$800 million opportunity for the company once the seeds are planted on an expected 80 million acres in the United States, according to Oxgaard.

By 2019, Monsanto predicts U.S. farmers will plant Xtend soybeans on 55 million acres, or more than 60 percent of the total planted this year. READ MORE 
Published in Herbicides
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