One of the speakers at the recent Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium in Manhattan, Kansas was Dr. Warren Dick, soil scientist and professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University. Dr. Dick discussed the history of gypsum use and research on gypsum’s impact on crop performance. Following his presentation, we visited with Dr. Dick about what’s behind the resurgence of interest in gypsum for crop production.
The focus of the recent Midwest Soil Improvement Symposium in Manhattan, Kansas was on research and practical insights into using gypsum in crop production. One of the speakers was the founder of GYPSOIL, Ron Chamberlain, who now serves as director of gypsum programs for the company.
As an agronomist and through his extensive experience working with crops and soils, Chamberlain developed the belief that soil structure was a major contributor to crop success or failure and identified the benefits that gypsum could bring in establishing proper soil structure. Chamberlain starting working with gypsum in Indiana in 2002 and founded GYPSOIL in 2006 to help bring those benefits to farmers across the Midwest.
Brownfield visited with Chamberlain about the benefits of using gypsum.
Todd Claussen, FC’s director of agronomy, says the 175-acre Farnhamville site is critically important in demonstrating and evaluating production inputs.
“It’s broken down into 17 individual demonstration blocks that help us demonstrate and evaluate and basically ‘ground-proof’ the products and the inputs that we make recommendations for to grow crops on your farm,” Claussen says.
“These are hands-on, real-time, farm-applicable crop production inputs that we feel are important. They’re not snake oil, they’re not pie in the sky—they’re things that should be and could be utilized on a regular basis.”
This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Tom Hoegemeyer of Hoegemeyer Hybrids. He will discuss how corn has evolved over the last 100 years.
The even is open to the public. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. For more information, go to the FC Coop web site.
According to CLAAS product coordinator Matt Jaynes, the 800 Series is a complement to the current 900 Series. “The 800 Series is positioned to meet the needs of producers and custom harvesters who demand the reliable performance and exceptional throughput they’ve come to expect from JAGUAR forage harvesters, but don’t require every bell and whistle that the higher-end 900 series delivers,” says Jaynes.
At a recent CLAAS event in Omaha, we visited with Jaynes about this and other changes to the JAGUAR product line.
We discussed the new tractor with Drew Fletcher, product manager for tractors with CLAAS.
Tom Evans, Great Plains Vice President of Sales, says they’ve developed equipment that will change the way farmers apply anhydrous ammonia. He says the Great Plains’ Nutra-Pro Bar with high-speed anhydrous coulder is how. We interviewed Evans at the Great Plains Media Day at the Kansas City Expo Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Great Plains Manufacturing, Incorporated’s Ag Division is launching 10 new seeding equipment products this year. We talked with Mike Cleveland of Domestic Sales and Daniel Rauchholz of International Sales about the new offerings.
Much of what they have brought to the market, they tell Brownfield Ag News, has been influenced by European design. Great Plains is based in Salina, Kansas and is holding its biannual international dealer meeting at the Kansas City Expo Center this week. On Wednesday, they held a special media event to showcase their new products.
Syngenta’s Enogen trait technology is the industry’s only corn output trait bioengineered specifically to enhance ethanol production. In this interview with Brownfield, Jack Bernens, head of Enogen marketing and stakeholder relations for Syngenta, talks about growing interest in the product from both ethanol producers and farmers. He also discusses Syngenta’s collaboration with Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies LLC. That company recently began producing commercial-scale quantities of cellulosic ethanol—the first of its kind in Iowa—at the Quad County Corn Processors ethanol plant in Galva, Iowa.
Our travels recently took us to Grinnell, Iowa and a 2014 Ag Academy event hosted by Asgrow and DEKALB.
One of the Ag Academy presenters was Christie Wiebbecke, a soybean breeder with Monsanto. We visited with Wiebbecke about the soybean breeding program, a typical day in the life of a soybean breeder, and what she likes most about her job.
Another Ag Academy presenter was Steve Eichenberger, an Asgrow/DEKALB technical agronomist in northeast Iowa. Eichenberger talked about the local impact of breeding efforts and the role that the technical agronomist plays in product development.
Ag Academy attendees also heard about two new product offerings, Climate Basic and Climate Pro. Making that presentation was Ashley Hartmann, the Climate Corporation’s new customer success district manager for northern Illinois.
Peter Eckes, BASF Plant Science Division president, knows the struggles farmers face in today’s agriculture industry.
“The grower wants to produce more with less. The grower wants to manage the risks that he has either with weather or also with commodity prices and at the end, farming is an incredibly tough business,” Eckes says.
Eckes welcomes these struggles, confirming that the answer to many of them have been discovered through innovation at BASF.
“I think we are really recognizing the challenges,” Eckes says. “Innovation is our life. Innovation means bringing a technical new solution to consumers, customers and in our case ag growers. If you look at our 150 year history, that’s our DNA.”
Eckes says BASF Plant Science focuses on three main areas to help farmers. These areas include attention to new traits, fungal resistance and herbicide tolerance.
Recently, BASF has expanded their advancements by partnering with other agriculture companies.
“We have now launched jointly in partnership with Monsanto the first new generation product in the area of yield and stress,” Eckes says. “This is absolutely novel because it combines the first yield and stress trait, it combines an adapted germplasm for drought conditions and grower recommendations. So, with this product we care about the farmers in the western part of the Corn Belt and I think that pays out because the farmer gets an average of five bushels per acre and a yield advantage.”
Monsanto successfully launched the product last year and this year will be the full launch for new product.
“Plant science for us is an important growth field and we are committed to this field in bringing innovation to customers,” Eckes says. “In that respect, this is a great opportunity for us.”
Eckes proudly states that BASF is committed to the future in the field of plant science.
“I have been with BASF for more than a decade and it has never been more exciting,” Eckes says. “There will be more people asking for more food, more fiber, more fuel and I really see that in BASF we are getting innovation going. I think we have a very well equipped pipeline and with that we can support growers and that’s where our passion really is.”