#TPP Signed in New Zealand

Joanna Schroeder

tpp-signTrade ministers representing Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam gathered for the signing of the historic signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement concluded four months ago in Atlanta. The ministers released a joint statement noting that the “signing of the agreement signals an important milestone and the beginning of the next phase for TPP. Our focus now turns to the completion of our respective domestic processes.”

During a press conference following the signing, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman was asked if he thought Congress would pass TPP. Listen to Froman’s statement here: USTR Froman at TPP signing ceremony

audio, international, trade

Syngenta COO on ChemChina Offer

Cindy Zimmerman

syngentaSyngenta confirmed Monday that ChemChina, a Chinese state-owned company, has offered to acquire the company with the cash purchase of all Syngenta shares. The $43 billion deal must still be approved by two-thirds of Syngenta shareholders and receive regulatory approval.

Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Davor Piskof held a press call with reporters Monday to talk about the deal, noting that the offer will allow Syngenta “to continue as a stand alone company,” and keep its commitment to research and innovation. “To ensure that Syngenta remains Syngenta (is) one of the most important elements of this transaction,” said Piskof, adding that it “helps preserve choice for growers at a time when we’re seeing a lot of consolidation.”

Listen to or download entire call here: Syngenta COO Davor Piskof

agribusiness, audio

Ethanol Report Analyzes Iowa Caucuses

Joanna Schroeder

ethanol-report-adSince the ethanol industry made a strong effort to support candidates who favored the Renewable Fuel Standard going into the Iowa caucuses, the oil industry is making much about the fact that one of the only two candidates opposed to the RFS won the Republican vote in the state. In this Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen analyzes the caucus results and the position GOP winner Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has taken on ethanol, and comments on the successful efforts of America’s Renewable Future to educate all the candidates about the RFS and renewable fuels.

Listen here: Ethanol Report on Iowa Caucuses

audio, Ethanol, Ethanol Report, RFA

Ethanol Key Issue in 2016 Iowa Caucuses

Joanna Schroeder

caucusSen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won the Republican ticket in Iowa last night with Donald Trump coming in second despite Cruz’s ambiguity on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). However, ethanol has gained a significant amount of positive ground according to a press conference held by Growth Energy. On the call:

  • Tom Buis, Co-Chair of Growth Energy
  • Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
  • Paul Tewes, Political Strategist

Buis noted on the call that the oil industry is calling the results proof that Iowans don’t care about ethanol. However, he says the facts are: “Over 80 percent of the votes yesterday in Iowa were cast for candidates that are in favor for the RFS.”

Listen to the full press conference including the Q&A here: Iowa Caucus Results Press Conference

audio, Biofuels, Ethanol, politics

ARA Hosts National Policy Conference

Joanna Schroeder

aralogoThe Agricultural Retailers Association is hosting its National Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. February 1-3, 2016. During the event, members will conduct the business of the association through committee meetings leading up to a final board meeting mid week. In addition, ARA members will hear from regulators and interact with legislators while they are here, addressing their priorities on the legislative front.

For event photos, please email Chuck Zimmerman.

Ag Retailers Hold Winter Meeting
Daren Coppock, Agricultural Retailers Association

Sen. Thune on What Now for WOTUS
Sen. Thune comments on WOTUS fight

Policy Priorities for Ag Retailers
Harold Cooper, Premier Ag

Ag Group, audio

#NBB16 Feature of this Week’s ZimmCast

Joanna Schroeder

ZimmCast 499The 13th National Biodiesel Conference and Expo was held last week in Tampa and it was the 11th year that ZimmComm has done the Biodiesel Conference Blog. Way back in 2006, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) was one of the first industry organizations to see the value in new media like blogs and they continue to stay on the cutting edge to keep up with the latest trends.

nbb16-jessicaWe all know that social media is not everyone’s “thing,” but at this point it’s pretty safe to say it’s not going away. It has become more important for everyone, especially in the agriculture and bioenergy industries, to be engaged on some level in the social media world. NBB Director of Communications Jessica Robinson did a nice presentation at the conference about ways that people who might feel a little intimidated by social media to take baby steps – day by day, one at a time – to get involved. I interviewed her about that for this edition of the ZimmCast.

Listen to this week’s ZimmCast here: ZimmCast with NBB Communications Director Jessica Robinson

audio, Biodiesel, Biofuels, NBB

GOP Debate Spotlights Cruz’s Views on #Ethanol

Joanna Schroeder

debate-cruzWith the Iowa caucuses coming up on Monday, agriculture and renewable fuels finally got some attention in the Republican debate last night, as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was asked about his position on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“We should be developing oil and gas and coal and nuclear and wind and solar and ethanol and biofuels but I don’t believe that Washington should be picking winners and losers,” said Cruz during the debate.

Listen to Cruz here: Sen. Cruz on RFS and ethanol

However, the senator’s words got him no love from Iowa Corn Growers president Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah, who urges people in Iowa to “support a candidate who supports the RFS.”

Listen to Hemesath’s comments here: Iowa Corn Growers president Bob Hemesath

audio, Biofuels, Ethanol, politics

Wetland Preservation Gets $9M from USDA

Joanna Schroeder

USDA_logo.svgAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the establishment of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program will provide $9 million to help states, local governments or other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks that restore, create, or enhance wetland ecosystems, broadening the conservation options available to farmers and ranchers.

“This is an important opportunity for us to focus on critical efforts and conservation across the United States. Our producers, farmers and ranchers need tools to have the flexibility to do what is right for their operations, but at the same time to do what’s right for the environment,” Vilsack said.

Listen to Secretary Vilsack’s announcement here: Secretary of Ag Vilsack

audio, Environment, USDA

Mavrx Announces First Promotional Grower Offer

Talia Goes

Mavrx-logo-2CMavrx, a leader in Ultra-High-Resolution (UHR) imagery for agriculture, introduced its first promotional grower offer during the 2016 Top Producer Seminar. Mavrx CEO Max Bruner made the announcement at a series of luncheon meetings with top growers during the event where Mavrx is a premier sponsor.

Bruner explains, “With commodity prices the lowest in years, growers are seeking tools to help them squeeze out more yield and save money where they can. Ultra-High-Resolution imagery and the Mavrx algorithms and tools help focus attention where it is needed. Rather than walking every field, growers and their advisors can identify through imagery the economic impact of yield at risk and prioritize where to go to get a real head start on what they might do.”

At $1000 for 500 acres including three sets of images per acre, pricing for the new Mavrx Optimizer offer is lower than historic costs for aerial imagery, and significantly lower than the cost of flying your own drones. Bruner feels a real sense of urgency in helping farmers get this technology in their hands. “By using piloted aircraft, and a proprietary Mavrx system to collect the imagery and delivery it, we can get the volume of acres covered with less operating time and at a lower cost,” shares Bruner. “We’re able to pass some of those savings on to growers, which is important at a time like this.”

He shared that the Mavrx Optimizer Offer includes a number of new imagery-driven, high-value analytical tools for driving profitability in 2016, along with a number of features that were field-tested in 2015.

• Mavrx Field Velocity helps farmers compare the performance of a field to its own historic performance, and to that of other fields in the area. This objective information can help farmers identify fields that are off track and those progressing above average, tailoring their management to the field’s potential this season.
• The Mavrx In-Season Nitrogen (beta) tool uses a novel type of Ultra-High-Resolution imagery to precisely measure the nitrogen demand of the crop – a unique and robust approach in a space where most other VRN solution providers rely almost entirely on modeling. Tissue sample measurements calibrate the recommendation for higher accuracy, so farmers will save money by only using the amount of fertilizer needed in a variable rate prescription.

Read Full Release Here.


Cattlemen, Cattlewomen Head West for CIC & NCBA

Joanna Schroeder

cic-16-6-editedCattlemen and women made their way West January 27-29, 2016 to take in the sunshine and sea breeze for the 2016 Cattle Industry Conference (CIC) & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in San Diego, CA. The event brought beef leaders together to attend the educational Cattlemen’s College, walk the aisles of the industry trade show and network, network, network. The event is the oldest and largest convention in the cattle business. Special thanks to New Holland for sponsoring our coverage.

2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show Photo Album

Dr. Robert Fraley: Innovation Feeds Our World
Interview with Dr. Robert Fraley, Monsanto

NCBA CEO Highlights #CIC16
Interview with Kendal Frazier, NCBA Interim CEO

New Holland’s Commitment to Cattlemen
Interview with Seth Doman, New Holland

NCBA President Elect’s Priorities for 2016
Interview with Tracey Brunner, NCBA President Elect

DC Policy Update From #BeefMeet
Interview with Colin Woodall, NCBA

NCBA’s Important Role in Beef Community
Interview with Phillis Ellis, NCBA President

Maggie Creek Ranch Wins Environmental Stewardship
Interview with Jon Griggs, Maggie Creek Ranch

Wendy’s Keeping Consumers Informed
Interview with Liliana Esposito, Wendy's

New Holland Baler Recognized With AE50 Award
Interview with Curtis Hoffman, New Holland

Producers – The Face of the Beef Industry
Interview with Anne Anderson, CBB Chairman

Cattlemen’s Beef Board CEO Talks Long-Range Plan
Interview with Polly Ruhland, CBB CEO

BIVI’s Commitment to BQA Education
Interview with Dr. Craig Jones, BIVI

EPNIX Feedlot Program from Alltech
Interview with Dr. Vaughn Holder, Alltech

BIVI Talks Cattle Health Concerns
Interview with Dr. John Davidson, BIVI

Zoetis Genomics Tests Enhance Beef Production
Interview with Kent Anderson, Zoetis

Adding Beef Facts to Producer Tool Belt
Interview with Dr. Gary Sides, Zoetis

Hawaiian Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner
Interview with Dale Sandlin, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council

CoBank Report for U.S. Protein in 2016
Interview with Trevor Amen, CoBank

Animal Agriculture, audio, Beef, New Holland