#ASTACSS in Chicago

Joanna Schroeder

asta-css-2016-photoAmerica’s largest seed industry conference – the American Seed Trade Association 71st Corn & Sorghum Seed Research Conference 46th Soybean Seed Research Conference and Seed Expo, better known as ASTA’s CSS 2016 & Seed Expo, or #ASTA-CSS, is taking place this week in Chicago.

The event brings together over 3,000 seed industry professionals for educational and networking opportunities and the program includes the most timely session topics for participants. There is an expanded Student Track program this year that offers opportunities for students and young professionals to collaborate with industry veterans on their future career paths. There’s also a new Columbus Hall Innovations Lounge and round table meeting area, as well as the Expo that features everything new in the seed industry.

2016 ASTA CSS 2016 & Seed Expo Photo Album

SGS Brookings Moving to New Building
Interview with Nichole Berkenhoff, SGS

Moving the Middle at #ASTACSS
Tim Hassigner, Dow AgroSciences

The Ag Outlook at #ASTACSS
Interview with Dan Basse, Ag Resource Company

Evolution of Plant Breeding in Focus at #ASTACSS
Andy LaVigne, ASTA Jerry Flint, DuPont Pioneer Corinne Marshall, Sakata Seeds America Juliet Marshall, University of Idaho Gene Editing and Consumers

#Seed is Focus of New @BASFAgProducts R&D Center
Interview with Nathan Froese, BASF

Everyday Advocate at #ASTACSS
Interview with Jessie Alt, DuPont Pioneer

BASF Proud to Support FFA at #ASTACSS
Interview with Colby Mower, BASF

Beck’s & Benson Hill Partner for Corn Genetics
Interview with Matt Crisp, Benson Hill Biosystems

ASTA Chair Optimistic for 2017 at #ASTACSS
Interview with Mark Herrmann, ASTA Chairman

Clarinet Introduces New Pigment at #ASTACSS
Interview with Mark Self and Andreas Wacker, Clariant

ASTA, audio, seed

2016 North American PRRS Symposium

Cindy Zimmerman

prrs-2016The 2016 North American PRRS Symposium was held December 3-4 in Chicago. The PRRS symposium was expanded this year to include emerging and foreign animal diseases.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI) once again sponsored a session at the annual symposium focused on prevention. Links on this page include photos and stories from the event.

2016 BIVI PRRS Seminar Photo Album

Swine Health Monitoring Project UpdateInterview with Bob Morrison, University of Minnesota

Big Data in Swine Health – Measure, Model, Fix
Interview with Dr. Jim Lowe, University of Illinois

Pork Producers Working Together to Control PRRS
Interview with Dr. Erin Lowe, BIVI

Biosecurity and the Control of PRRS
Interview with Dr. Daniel Linhares, Iowa State University

Animal Health, audio, Boehringer Ingelheim, swine

GROWMARK Funds Illinois Pollinator Education Program

Cindy Zimmerman

growmark-amy-ilfbIllinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) programs will have an increased emphasis on pollinators next year, thanks to GROWMARK and its FS member cooperatives.

GROWMARK recently renewed its IAITC commitment with a $73,000 contribution that supports the development of a new Pollinators Ag Mag and classroom poster. Materials and lessons also will feature native Illinois plants that serve as pollinator hosts, discuss what farmers do, and what students can do to help protect and encourage pollinator habitats.

At the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) annual meeting this week, GROWMARK Corporate Relations and Foundation Manager Amy Bradford announced new collaborative efforts focused on activities and education related to the importance of pollinators. Interview with Amy Bradford, GROWMARK

audio, growmark, pollinators

General Mills, Xerces Society & NRCS Hit Milestone

Joanna Schroeder

nrcsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted an announcement between themselves, General Mills, and the largest and oldest pollinator conservation organization, the Xerces Society this morning. The three organizations are joining together to protect the habitats of pollinators on hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. The project is a five-year, $4 million commitment to provide the technical assistance for planting and protecting wildflowers and flowering hedgerows. The goal is 100,000 acres in the next five years.

In North America alone, bees are responsible for over $25 billion in agricultural production each year. In addition to improving the yield of many crop species, research demonstrates that pollinators such as bees may also improve the nutritional value and commercial quality of some crops.

Listen to the press conference here: General Mills, Xerces Society, and NRCS Press Conference

audio, Bees, pollinators, USDA

#ARA2016 In Orlando, Florida

Joanna Schroeder

ara-16-2The Agricultural Retailers Association Conference & Expo (ARA2016) is in full swing in Orlando, Florida. The three-day event had a focus on mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues and talent. Also included in the event is an Expo that features many new technology companies especially those with drones. All the event coverage will be here including photos and audio interviews.

2016 ARA Conference & Expo Photo Album

#ARA2016 in Full Swing
Interview with Leroy Startz, ING Capital

Florida FFA President Welcomes #ARA2016 Members
Welcome Remarks, William Jameson, Florida State FFA President

CEO Daren Coppock Addresses #ARA2016
Daren Coppock, ARA CEO

Political Insights from #ARA2016 Keynote
ARA Keynote Address, Stuart Rothenberg

Topguard® Terra Helping SW Cotton Farmers
Interview with Matt Hancock, FMC - Topguard Terra

#ARA2016 Awards Presented
ARA Retailer of the Year ARA Distinguished Service Award ARA Lifetime Achievement Award

Two Years of Progress for ResponsibleAg
Bill Qualls, ResponsibleAg

Ag Economic Outlook at #ARA2016
Interview with Terry Barr, CoBank

Topguard® EQ Fungicide at #ARA2016
Interview with Matt Hancock, FMC on Topguard EQ

Changing of the Chairs at #ARA2016
Changing of the ARA Chairs

Creating Disney Magic At #ARA2016
Interview with Lee Cockerell, Walt Disney World

agribusiness, ARA, audio

Wisconsin Christmas Tree Adorns White House

Joanna Schroeder

First Lady Michelle Obama and her nephews with Dave and Mary Vander Velden at the White House

First Lady Michelle Obama and her nephews with Dave and Mary Vander Velden at the White House

While close to 350 million Christmas trees are growing on farms throughout the country, a Christmas tree from Wisconsin made its way to the White House Friday where it was presented to First Lady Michelle Obama. The 19-foot Balsam-Veitch fir was presented by Dave and Mary Vander Velden, owners of Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto, Wisconsin.

The Vander Veldens won the National Christmas Tree Association’s annual contest this year, when a group of White House officials visited Whispering Pines and selected their tree as the contest’s top contender.

Dave tells us more about this tree and the Christmas tree farming business in this interview:
Interview with Dave Vander Velden, Whispering Pines

Ag Group, audio, government

Blessed Thanksgiving to You

Chuck Zimmerman

thanksgivingAt this time of Thanksgiving we pause to count our blessings.

The freedom of this great country in which we live
Its opportunity for achievement and freedom to worship
The friendship and confidence you have show in us

For this and so much more we are deeply thankful.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from the ZimmComm/AgWired team.


RFA Comments on #EPA 2017 RVO #Ethanol Increase

Joanna Schroeder

The Renewable Fuels Assbob-dinneen-at-2016-necociation (RFA) is thanking the EPA for its commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by increasing renewable volumes across the board for 2017. This includes raising the conventional biofuel category back to where the statute intended – 15 billion gallons per year from 14.8 billion gallons as proposed in May of 2016. In response, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said that they are very happy and at the end of the day, this is a win for consumers.

RFA CEO Bob Dinneen Reaction to EPA 2017 RVO

To learn more about what the increased RVO’s mean for the ethanol industry, including continued efforts to increase infrastructure, listen to the full interview with Bob Dinneen here: RVO Interview with Bob Dinneen, RFA

audio, Biofuels, Ethanol, RFA

NPB State of the Industry Press Conference

Joanna Schroeder

pork checkoff The National Pork Board hosted a media teleconference this morning to address the current state of U.S. pork production, highlight current market trends, and define the impact these trends are having on America’s 60,000 pork producers.

Speaking on the call were Jan Archer, National Pork Board president, Len Steiner, Steiner Consulting Group, Patrick Fleming, Director, Market Intelligence and Innovation for National Pork Board, and Brett Stuart, Global AgriTrends. Their remarks were followed by a Q & A session with members of the media.

Listen to the full conference here:
Pork Production and Consumer Demand

audio, Pork

Car Talk Host Answers #Ethanol & Cars Questions

Joanna Schroeder

likis-smallAs more and more consumers choose ethanol at the pump, Bobby Likis, host of Bobby Likis Car Clinic, says there is a continued need to educate mechanics about ethanol. Likis is a 45-year auto veteran who in his shop has worked on more than 200,000 cars and he loves ethanol. He said that most car problems are not caused by ethanol, but by neglect. Likis and I spoke in-depth about ethanol and technicians and following is our discussion.

Q1: How well-versed are today’s auto mechanics when it comes to ethanol fuels?
Bobby Likis on need for ethanol education

Q2: How familiar are technicians with the basics of ethanol and its assets?
Bobby Likis on mechanics level of ethanol knowledge Bobby Likis' 1 minute ethanol history

Q3: As the auto industry moves to achieve 2025 CAFE Standards of 54.5 mpg, how do/should the industry, or others, keep auto technicians informed about these changing technologies such as higher blends of ethanol?
Bobby Likis on achieving 2025 CAFE standards

Q4: What is the future of ethanol and engines?
Bobby Likis on future of ethanol Bobby Likis closing thoughts

audio, Biofuels, Ethanol