Having conversations with consumers

Spreading the message about the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) during the recent Commodity Classic was the task at hand for Lisa Lunz, a corn and soybean farmer from Wakefield, Nebraska. Lunz is on the Nebraska Soybean Board and a director on the USFRA.

Lunz tells Brownfield that because agriculture has not had a voice, many consumers are confused. Consumer education, having conversations with consumers and answering their questions is something every farmer can do.

Conversation with Lisa Lunz 02282013

Fungicides important tool for farmers

Fungicides have become a more important tool for farmers in recent years. Randy Myers, Fungicide Product Manager for Bayer CropScience tells Brownfield that the newer chemistries are curative in nature and can make a significant difference in crop health and yield. Fungicides, explains Myers, protect the investment a farmer makes in growing a crop.

Although most farmers consider the role of the fungicide to protect against disease, Myers tells Brownfield components in the majority of fungicides used on corn can cause cascade reactions in the plant that make it healthier and better able to handle stress.

Looking ahead to the 2013 growing season, when growers are making a post-emerge herbicide application early in the season Randy Myers suggests putting a fungicide in the tank since the farmer is going across the field anyway. At that timing, you keep the plant cleaner longer, making for a stronger stalk.

Conversation with Randy Myers 02272013

Corn, soybean growers helped by poultry and egg exports

Record exports of U.S. poultry and eggs are also a benefit to corn and soybean growers. Poultry and egg exports totaling $5.7 billion in 2012 increased demand for chicken feed, according to Greg Tyler, vice-president of marketing for the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council.

“The more that we can continue to grow these export markets and expand the number of export markets, the better off that we’re going to be here in the U.S. on the production side, because we can continue to grow production and at the same time continue the usage of U.S. soybean meal and corn,” Tyler told Brownfield Ag News.

Domestically, poultry and egg consumption will grow with the population, said Tyler, but he says most of the increases in demand will be from overseas.

AUDIO: Greg Tyler (8 min. MP3)

Attention turns to South American soybean harvest

US Soybean Export Council CEO Jim Sutter at Commodity Classic, Kissimmee, Fla., Feb. 28, 2013.Even when soybeans are in a drought-shortened supply, the process of building foreign demand for the crop goes on. The South American crop, growing in the Southern Hemisphere, is nearing harvest or is being harvested, depending on the latitude. Jim Sutter, the executive director of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, updates us on the current U.S. soybean export picture from the Commodity Classic. And while U.S. farmers lament the dry 2012 season, there’s more to the story that gives us a better view of U.S. soybean exports.

AUDIO: Jim Sutter (7 min. MP3)

Celebrating 20 years with a fast pick-up

Jessica Robinson of the National Biodiesel Board with the pick-up land speed record holder (over 182 mph, on B20 biodiesel) at Commodity Classic, Kissimmee, Fla., March 1, 2013.The National Biodiesel Board is marking the 20th anniversary of its founding. There’s demand for well over a billion gallons of it since its humble beginnings and performance is proven with the help of a Ford F-250 truck that in 2010 went 169 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats on petroleum diesel fuel. Driver Brent Hajek drained the truck’s fuel tank, filled it with a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel and promptly got the pick-up to 182 mph. “That is a fast truck, and that fast truck runs on biodiesel,” said Jessica Robinson, director of communications for the National Biodiesel Board. “It’s really unbelievable,” Robinson told Brownfield Ag News, “we’re looking at something that’s really going to make a difference in our long-term fuel security.”

AUDIO: Jessica Robinson (4 min. MP3)

New herbicide tolerant soybean trait coming soon

MS Technologies' Lauren August at Commodity Classic, Kissimmee, Fla., Feb. 28, 2013.MS Technologies and Bayer CropScience will market a new soybean trait called Balance GT, which is tolerant to both glyphosate and isoxaflutole. Growers will have the flexibility to use both glyphosate and isoxaflutole to control grasses and broadleaf weeds, according to Lauren August, MS Technologies Brand Manager. “Growers are going to need change and choice in the coming years,” said August, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News at Commodity Classic. She points out that isoxaflutole “has a different mode of action than glyphosate, so what glyphosate doesn’t kill, isoxaflutole actually will be able to combat.”

AUDIO: Lauren August (5 min. MP3)

South Dakota farmer still looking for a good crop

South Dakota corn grower Kurt Stiefvater at Commodity Classic, Kissimmee, Fla., Feb. 28, 2013.It seems that it’s the exception to bounce back from a severe drought to make a good crop, but Kurt Stiefvater thinks it could happen. The Salem, South Dakota farmer thinks the coming growing season will surely be better than last year. “It’ll probably be pockets of real good crop and others that are a little more poor, depending on rainfall,” Stiefvater told Brownfield Ag News, during Commodity Classic. Much of what Steifvater was discussing with his farming colleagues at the gathering centered on the farm bill and that a robust crop insurance program should be part of it. “If we keep a good strong insurance program, I think that can really help the rural economy and the agriculture sector,” he said.

AUDIO: Kurt Stiefvater (2 min. MP3)

On Demand seed treatment

The On Demand fully automated seed treatment system is new from Bayer CropScience. Kerry Grossweiller, SeedGrowth Product Manager, tells Brownfield the system is fully automated. On Demand helps ensure seed treatment is applied correctly and according to labeled rates, resulting in healthier plant establishment.

This computer software has pre-loaded recipes. At the touch of a button insect, disease and nematode protection. Grossweiller says On Demand offers customized solutions while at the same time, following EPA registered labels. On Demand applies only approved seed treatment recipes, ensuring precise application.

Conversation with Kerry Grossweiller 02272013

Enzyme source for the ethanol industry

Raj Iragavarapu, Syngenta Head of Stewardship & PLMEnogen technology is a revolutionary solution from Syngenta, bio-engineered specifically to enhance the productivity and efficiency of dry grind ethanol production.

Raj Iragavarapu oversees stewardship & quality for Syngenta’s Enogen technology. He tells Brownfield that as the industry’s first biotech energy trait for the ethanol industry, the grain is identity-preserved, and his team makes sure certain standards are met. Among other practices, growers must have border rows and a dedicated bin for Enogen grain.

Growers receive on average a 40 cent per bushel premium for Enogen grain delivered to the ethanol plant. These hybrids are grown just as regular corn hybrids are grown, so the corn can be grown anywhere corn is grown.

Iragavarapu tells Brownfield there is plenty of seed available for the 2013 growing season.

Stay tuned, future traits – second generation output traits – from Syngenta will be available in the future.

Conversation with Raj Iragavarapu 02282013

Environmentally smart nitrogen

Jason Kuhlemeier, Marketing Manager, Agricultural Products, AgriumGrowers visiting the Agrium Advanced Technologies exhibit at Commodity Class had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of ESN – Environmentally smart nitrogen. Jason Kuhlemeier, Marketing Manager, Agricultural Products, told Brownfield that ESN is designed to prevent against loss of volitization, leaching and de-nitrification.

Its controlled-release technology delivers nitrogen to crops all through the growing season. That means ESN helps crops reach their full potential and helps you make the most of your nitrogen investment.

Kuhlemeier tells Brownfield that farmers are paying a lot more attention to everything that can impact their yields. He suggests soil testing and putting a plan in place to correct any deficiency of micronutrients. Agrium has both single and multi-nutrient products.

Conversation with Jason Kuhlemeier 02282013