Serving countries of all different sizes

Paraguay is one of the smaller countries that make up the International Soybean Grower Alliance.

Last week that group was in China talking about the role biotechnology plays in meeting the world’s growing demand for soybeans.  Karsten Friedrichsen, president of the Oilseed Producers Association of Paraguay says its important for them to be part of such an organization.

“Ninety percent of our soybeans are for exports,” he says.  “It’s very important for Paraguay to participate with the other larger producers of soybeans because the economy of Paraguay depends on a strong market for soybeans.”

Because members of the group share similar concerns with market access in places like the European Union and China, Friedrichsen says its important for the countries that supply over 90 percent of the world’s soybeans to have a unified voice.

AUDIO: Karsten Friedrichsen, Paraguay (1:30mp3)

Biotechnology education

As an international delegation of soybean farmers visited with Chinese agricultural officials last week in Beijing – biotechnology was always at the center of conversations.  In the meetings, producers expressed that genetically modified organisms enabled farmers to provide China with the quality and quantity of soybeans needed to meet the country’s increasing demand.

Brazilian farmer Ricardo Tomczyk, vice president of the Association of Soy Producers in Brazil says part of the solution is educating the Chinese consumers and that he says, won’t be easy.

“We have a lot of work to do,” he says.  “We had important suggestions that we received from them and I think that we can focus on the next steps to continue to reach those goals.”

Farmers from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the United States make up the International Soybean Growers Alliance who, along with members of the United States Soybean Export Council, met with members of the Chinese agriculture industry last week.

AUDIO: Ricardo Tomczyk, Brazil (6:00mp3)

Why biotechnology should be part of the solution

This week has been an opportunity for farmers from the countries that make up the International Soybean Growers Alliance to engage in conversations with Chinese officials about the use of biotechnology in their respective countries.

Miguel Calvo, president of the Argentina Soybean Chain Association, the Argentinian value chain, says the takeaway from this week has been clear – we need to continue to produce more soybeans with fewer resources.

And, he says, biotechnology is one way to do that.  “There is a large market east of Asia that is demanding quite a lot and they are pushing the market and pushing the demand,” Calvo says.  “We need to have sufficient enough protection to be able to provide for them.”

In addition, he tells Brownfield the amount of land available on which to plant crops isn’t increasing in size – it is decreasing.  Because of that, Calvo he feels biotechnology is needed to increase production capacity on less arable land.

The International Soybean Growers Alliance wraps up their visit with Chinese officials on Friday.

AUDIO: Miguel Calvo, President, Argentina Soybean Chain Association (7:30mp3)

Addressing food security in China

Food security is a big problem in China. Could biotechnology be one of the solutions?

The combination of limited natural resources and increasing environmental challenges, urbanization, a fragmented agriculture industry, and a lack of modernization creates an uphill battle for China to meet its food security needs.

As representatives from the United States Soybean Export Council meet with Chinese officials this week, the message they’re taking is that biotechnology could be one of the answers.

Jared Hagert, is a North Dakota farmer and the United Soybean Board Treasurer.  “It provides a more reliable soybean supply, if you will,” he says.  “It helps take some of the risk out of the market with weed pressures.  It’s absolutely an answer to food security issues.”

USSEC also says the US soybean industry isn’t just a supplier of soybeans to the country, they’re also committed to helping China meet its long-term goal of achieving sustainable food security.

AUDIO: Jared Hagert, United Soybean Board (6:20mp3)

Soybean growers unified in biotech message

In the global marketplace – competition between nations is fierce to get a piece of the soybean market in China.  This week, several of those suppliers are putting aside their differences to meet with Chinese officials to talk about biotechnology.

American Soybean Association president and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser is one of the farmers meeting this week.

He says that while they are competitors, they are all farmers and want to provide more for their customers.  “As farmers we’re confident in the technology,” he says.  “We’re confident there will be an improvement in supply and certainty in the supply of soybeans to everyone around the world.”

Members of the American Soybean Association and the United Soybean Board along with the United States Soybean Export Council and members of the International Soybean Growers Alliance are in Beijing this week meeting with Chinese officials.

AUDIO: Ray Gaesser, American Soybean Association, (5:00mp3)

International Soy Growers to meet in China

Soybean farmers from Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and the United States make up the International Soy Growers Alliance.  This week, the group is meeting with Chinese officials to discus the importance of biotechnology.

Ray Gaesser, president of the American Soybean Association, and an Iowa soybean farmer says the group has big hopes for the future of agriculture.  “It’s a group of nations and farmers from those nations that have like initiatives and very similar goals for modern agriculture,” he says.  “That means the use of biotechnology, the use of environmentally friendly practices in all of our countries.  Our farmers are quickly accepting the biotechnology.”

Two years ago the group met with officials in Europe to talk about the importance of biotechnology.  This week, they are meeting with Chinese officials.  “Our message to the Chinese will be about the benefits they will receive from biotechnology,” he says.  “That means having a more certain soybean supply for their needs – not only for their animal agriculture but their citizens.”

The group will meet with several agencies and organizations this week in Beijing.

AUDIO: Ray Gaesser, American Soybean Association, (3:00mp3)

54th annual WPS Farm Show this week

WPS Farm ShowThe 54th annual WPS Farm Show is this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the E.A.A. Grounds in Oshkosh. Like many shows, this was started by Wisconsin Public Service in 1960 in an effort to encourage and promote the use of electricity on the farm. Over the years the show has evolved….moved…and grown. Corey Kuchta is Ag Market Leader for WPS and he says the conditions at the E.A.A. Grounds have made it possible to expand the outside exhibits even more this year.

AUDIO: Kuchta talks about the show’s history 2:30 mp3

When a show has been around as long as this one has, you have the opportunity to stop and consider the tremendous evolution of technology. Kuchta says just walking around before the show opens he sees new products

AUDIO: Kuchta talks about how the products have changed 2:30 mp3

One of the most popular booths each year is the WPS booth in Hanger A; Kuchta says this year they are featuring different wiring examples including the proper installation of cattle waterers.

AUDIO: Kuchta talks about the WPS display at the show 2:30 mp3

The WPS Farm Show powered by NatureWise runs 9-to-4 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9-to-3 on Thursday at the E.A.A. Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Details available here:


WPS Farm Show soil health seminar

Educational seminars are featured each day of the WPS Farm Show. The first seminar this year will talk about soil health. Presenters are Chuck Grantham, Director of Field Services at Bio Soil Enhancers and Colin Piaskowski, Sales of Sumagrow Products at Home Turf Advantage. Piaskowski is a Green Bay native and says the focus will be on soil microbes. The seminar is 11 am Tuesday in Hanger A.

AUDIO: Piaskowski talks about the seminar 2:30 mp3

The WPS Farm Show powered by NatureWise runs 9-to-4 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9-to-3 on Thursday at the E.A.A. Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Details available here:


They’re made to carry the weight

David Graden
Tractors are heavier than they used to be. It stands to reason that the tires on the machinery would be made to carry more weight. Michelin supplies the market with just such a tire specifically for John Deere and Case heavy tractors. David Graden talks about the company’s AgriBib tire, which was getting attention at the Commodity Classic Trade Show in San Antonio. On the subject of traction, Graden says the Michelin AgriBib develops 22 percent more traction than its competitors even when it’s 60 percent worn.

AUDIO: David Graden (2 min. MP3)

Grower says data will show sustainability

Neal Bredehoeft

Neal Bredehoeft acknowledges that Big Data is as big of an issue as the term implies, but he thinks that what’s collected could show how some of today’s farming methods are contributing to sustainability.

“Putting this data together and having the ability to go back and say ‘ok, we did do this on this particular field,’ I think it does prove to the non-ag person that we are very careful on how we put our inputs out and how we work the soil,” the Missouri soybean grower told Brownfield Ag News at Commodity Classic.

AUDIO: Neal Bredehoeft (4 min. MP3)_Soy