Energy companies offer incentives on the farm

Dave Warrington, Alliant Energy, 2014 Farm Progress Show

Dave Warrington, Alliant Energy, 2014 Farm Progress Show

Efficiency on the farm includes energy efficiency and more energy providers are offering incentives for farmers.

Dave Warrington with Alliant Energy in Iowa, at the 2014 Farm Progress Show, says technology has taken great leaps in energy products.

“Our main focus is on anything that will conserve energy on ag-related business or production agriculture. Our big hitters are ventilation in the livestock industry, dairy equipment in the milking, lighting, of course, all across the board. We work with a lot of co-ops and grain handling with motors, variable frequency drives, grain dryers.”

Alliant Energy offers a rebate program and will meet one on one with farmers to decide the best course for energy efficiency in their operations.

Interview with Dave Warrington (5:00 mp3)

Monsanto offers weed management solutions

RR Plus logoWeed resistance is a growing problem. And regardless of where you farm and what weed control product you use, a single herbicide mode-of-action is no longer adequate to protect your yields and long-term profitability.

In the Monsanto Media Center at the Farm Progress Show, we discussed weed management and Roundup Ready Plus Weed Management Solutions with Chris Reat, Roundup Ready Plus marketing manager.

AUDIO: Chris Reat (3:02 MP3)

Nafziger: Big crops on the way

nafziger-emerson-u of illinoisDr. Emerson Nafziger, Extension agronomist at the University of Illinois for more than 30 years, was one of the speakers in the DuPont Pioneer tent at the Farm Progress Show.  Nafziger shared his thoughts on the state of crops in the Midwest this season.  His conclusion on the corn crop—it’s going to be a big one.

AUDIO: Dr. Emerson Nafziger (6:53 MP3)

Providing a premier product to global markets

Last week a group of young farmers participated in the United Soybean Board’s See for Yourself Tour through Panama and Ecuador.

After spending a week in Central and South America, central Kentucky farmer Brennan Gilkison says he was surprised at the impact American agriculture has on these other countries.  “It’s unbelievable that we have a product that is premier that they want,” he says.  “As a global society we’ve got to do our part in feeding the world and produce the best product we can.”

While Ecuador sources soybean meal from the United States and other South American countries – agri-businesses told the group American soybean meal is their preference because of its quality.

Gilkison tells Brownfield he thinks the only advantage those South American countries have over the US – is their proximity to Ecuador.

AUDIO: Brennan Gilkison, Winchester, KY (4:49mp3)

Food labels in other countries

Beginning this month – Ecuador’s government is implementing a new food labeling system.

Herman Romo, the lab production director for Pronaca, a South American meat processor says the new labeling system is to keep the customers informed.  “There are two main things,” he says. “The first is the nutritional information where you have to label with colors – either red as “bad”, yellow as “in between or average”, and green as “good” – on three nutrients: fat, sugar, and salt.”

Products also must be labeled if they contain transgenics – or GMOs.  “Based on a 1 percent level of any ingredient that has trangenics in your formula,” he says.  “If it has more than 1 percent you have to label as ‘Contains Transgenics’.”

Romo tells Brownfield there hasn’t been a lot of push-back from customers.  “The very first week people looked at the label and said ‘Oh my gosh it’s high in sugar’ or whatever ingredient,” he says.  “And then they realized they’ve been purchasing the product for the last 10 to 20 years and kept on purchasing it.”

He says the new labeling plan is a good idea, but the implementation has been a challenge.

AUDIO: Herman Romo, Pronaca (7:30mp3)


Farm Progress Show field demonstrations mulled

The field harvest demonstrations at the Farm Progress Show have been called off because of slow maturity the result of the cool summer and by rain that soaked the fields in the past few days.  Matt Jungman, the events manager for Farm Progress Companies, told Brownfield Ag News on Wednesday that despite planting some very short season corn, it was a tough call whether fields would be ready to combine during the show.

“Of the 300 acres, we have 60 acres of 79-day corn that we think will be ready to go for show time,” said Jungman, during a media preview on Wednesday at the Farm Progress Show site, “but the 82-day corn, it wasn’t warm enough to bring it along and get it ready, and so I don’t think we’re going to be able to do anything on that.”

A day later, Farm Progress Show personnel made the decision to not conduct the demonstrations.

“There was rain on Wednesday and part of Thursday morning that caused us to decide to not do the demos,” Dena Jensen, part of the Farm Progress Show staff, told Brownfield Ag News on Friday.

Jensen added, however, that the ride and drive areas will be open so that they can go ahead as planned.

Cancellation of the harvest demonstrations also resulted in the cancellation of the tillage demonstrations.  There is still plenty going on, according to Jungman,  the show involves “ride and drive activities and cattle handling demonstrations and a really interactive event for the visitors.”

The Farm Progress Show is between Boone and Ames, Iowa, on highway 30, Tuesday through Thursday, Aug. 26-28.

AUDIO: Matt Jungman (3 min. MP3)

See For Yourself: It’s competitive out there

When it comes to global supply of soybeans and soybean meal, there is competition in the marketplace.  But, in some cases it isn’t the cheapest price that wins.

Javier Anhalzer operates one of the largest poultry and egg farms in Ecuador.  The operation, located in Guayaquil has been in the family for nearly 40 years.  Not only do they raise over 400,000 chickens per week, they also produce roughly 8,000 metric tons of their own feed.

Anhalzer says roughly 30 percent of their feed ration includes soybean meal. And they import more of it from the United States. “The main reason to choose the American soybean is the nutrient value,” he says. “We find better amino acid levels with the American soybean.”

Anhalzer tells Brownfield – sometimes Argentinian or Brazilian soybeans are more inexpensive and have a higher protein value.  But, for him, that’s not the only factor in his decision.  “It may have 46 or 47 percent protein and it’s the same,” he says.  “But, chickens are not fed and pigs are not fed only protein.  They need the amino acid levels and the American soybean is higher.”

AUDIO: Javier Anhalzer, Argentinian poultry farmer (3:30mp3)


2014 ISF attendance third largest

The 2014 Indiana State Fair ended its 17-day run on Sunday, August 17, and when the numbers were tabulated, 954,884 people attended, making the 2014 attendance, the third highest.

“There were a number of really special moments at this year’s fair, but seeing that first Draft horse show take place before a capacity crowd in the Coliseum had to be among the best,” State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye said.  “We’re humbled by the tremendous response to the Coliseum renovation and we appreciate everyone who came out to enjoy this year’s fair. It was wonderful!”

The Indiana Beer and Wine Exhibition, new this year, attracted just over 48,000. More than 70 different brewers and wineries took part in the exhibit, which featured up to four different brewers and four different wineries each day of the fair.

Fair officials expect to announce the “Year of” theme for 2015 sometime in October. Next year’s State Fair runs Aug. 7 – 23.

See For Yourself: Reaching a growing market

This shrimp is not quite ready for harvest.The aquaculture industry is a growing market for US soybeans.  By using soybeans instead of fishmeal, there is the potential to increase the sustainability and affordability of farm-raised seafood.  In fact, soy can replace up to one-half of the fishmeal used in feed rations.

Chris Olsen of Lanec Corporation says their shrimp farm has successfully incorporated soybean meal.  “We have participated in many trials between soybean and fishmeal and we have gotten the same results,” he says.  “And better results.”

Olsen tells Brownfield on their farm, the shrimp consume 14,000 pounds of feed per hectare per year.  And as the price of fish meal continues to increase, he says the plan to increase their use of soybean meal.

Lanec Corporation operates roughly 279 hectares or almost 700 acres of shrimp farms.


AUDIO: Chris Olsen, Lanec Corporation (4:00mp3)


See For Yourself: The Port of Balboa

h2014-Don-Holbert-see-for-yourselfThe Port of Balboa is one of two ports located at each end of the Panama Canal and was the first stop for the USB’s See for Yourself tour yesterday.

Don Holbert farms in Eastern Tennessee and says he’s always known transportation is vital to the agriculture industry but says it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture once the grain leaves the his farm.

He tells Brownfield the trip through the Port of Balboa was eye-opening. “When you go on this trip and you see how far it has to go, and the size and scale of things,” he says.  “Then, when you see things happen on the news you have a better understanding of why things cost what they do to get them to a location.  You also understand why any hiccup in the supply chain really affects the entire supply chain.”

The Port of Balboa is ranked third in Latin America in the number of container units as 3.5 million containers pass through the port every year.  Balboa covers approximately 550 acres and 18 super post-Panamax ships.

AUDIO: Don Holbert, See For Yourself (3:30mp3)