Tag Archives: crops

(SAN ANTONIO) – Five dedicated leaders in soil health received the Soil Health Partnership’s  (SHP) “Seeds of Change” awards at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. These awards highlight those participants in SHP who go above and beyond to promote soil health throughout the year.

 

“The Soil Health Partnership’s farmers are at the core of our work. Without their commitment and support, the work of SHP does not exist. I feel honored to partner with this strong group of farmers and recognize five farmers that go above and beyond in their work with SHP,” said John Mesko, SHP senior director. “These five individuals exemplify the very best of our dedicated partners, and we thank them for their great work.”

 

The five award recipients are:

 

Super Sprout: Trinity Creek Ranch

Trinity Creek Ranch in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota received the Super Sprout award for their continuous experiments with management practices to improve soil health, despite the challenges of a shorter growing season and extremely cold winters. The farm is owned and operated by Mikayla Tabert and David Miller, a father-daughter duo that can’t wait to use their data to encourage others to consider implementing a cover crop program on their own farms.

 

Champion Communicator: Mark Heckman with Heckman Farms

Mark Heckman of Heckman Farms received the Champion Communicator award for his work helping other farmers understand his farm’s soil health journey. Mark hosted a field day in summer 2019 to give other farmers a firsthand glimpse of the benefits and challenges of some key management changes that have improved his farm’s soil health. Mark and his brothers and parents have also opened their West Liberty, Iowa farm to a cover crop demonstration plot, cover crop seeding equipment, a hog finishing barn, and a constructed wetland, allowing for maximum learning opportunities.

 

Data Dominator: Daryl and Jason Maple with Maple Farms

Receiving the Data Dominator award is Daryl and Jason Maple of Maple Farms in Kokomo, Indiana. Daryl and Jason promote optimum soil health from timely sharing of data with many precision ag programs. They are confident that their data will tell the story of what changes are taking place in their field and they genuinely enjoy the learning opportunities of their Soil Health Partnership trial. The data from their trials offer their farm and others the best opportunities to learn what management changes will work best to improve soil health.

 

Exceptional Educator: Doug Palen with Palen Family Farms

The Exceptional Educator award goes to Doug Palen of Palen Family Farms. Doug and his family enjoy talking about their soil health management experiences, and they jump into many experiences with both feet, giving them even more to teach about.  Palen Family Farms of Glen Elder, Kansas is involved with research via a Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) grant, field demonstration days featuring no-till companion cropping, research on nutrient management, and projects with Kansas State. Doug takes an active role in his community and in the ag community as a whole, so his voice is a respected one in the area of soil health.

 

Ace Agronomist: Darin Kennelly with Precise Crop

A knowledgeable agronomist in his own right, Darin Kennelly received the Ace Agronomist award for his leadership with his test plots. He works diligently to ensure soil tests are pulled correctly, is actively engaged in all soil testing, and is well respected with his farmer. Darin asks thought provoking questions and engages with SHP to ensure his test plots are done with great integrity. Darin is an independent ag consultant based in central Illinois.

Kansas Corn is partnering with Renew Kansas to host the Kansas Corn-Fed Ethanol Seminar. Happening on March 4 at American Ag Credit, 4105 N. Ridge Rd., Wichita, this seminar will provide attendees with updates and learning opportunities covering a broad view of the ethanol industry.

 

“With nearly one-third of Kansas corn going directly into ethanol production,” said Kansas Corn Director of Industry Relations Stacy Mayo-Martinez. “It is important for those in the corn and agriculture industry to understand the market, the opportunities and the hurdles to better grasp how it affects Kansas corn prices. This is a unique learning opportunity and we are proud to partner with Renew Kansas.”

 

The seminar will explore ethanol export opportunities; barriers to increased ethanol use and connecting consumers with ethanol blends. A fuel retailer panel and an expert panel on economic impact and plant innovation will round out the seminar.

 

Kansas is a significant ethanol producing state producing about 500 million gallons of ethanol per year and represents a significant market for corn producers. About one-third of Kansas corn is used to make ethanol and DDGS feed, the co-product of ethanol production.

 

Those interested in the event can find more information and register online at https://kscorn.com/cornfedethanol/.

 

Kansas Corn represents corn farmers in Kansas, while Renew Kansas represents the state’s ethanol industry. For more information, visit kscorn.com and renewkansas.com

 

Senators Gary Peters of Michigan and Richard Burr of North Carolina are working on bipartisan legislation to give the U.S Commerce Department a greater ability to defend smaller segments of agriculture.

Politico says the bill would give the department greater authority to “self-Initiate investigations” to help those less influential sectors combat potential trade manipulation. Peters says, “If you’re a big industry, such as the steel industry, you can hire an army of lawyers and economists to push back against unfairly subsidized trade by foreign governments.

If you’re a smaller industry like cherries or blueberries or other agricultural products, it’s a lot more difficult.” Peters sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection this week, calling for an investigation into tart cherry exports from Turkey. He says shortly after the U.S. slapped duties on cherries from Turkey back in 2018, cherry exports from Brazil surged as much as 1,200 percent. He points out in the letter that “Brazil doesn’t appear to have a discernible tart cherry industry.”

Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide that’s been sprayed on crops like strawberries, corn, and citrus, for many years to kill pests. Corteva, the largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, says it will stop manufacturing the product by the end of the year.

The insecticide has been linked in certain studies to neurological problems in children and has been called a threat to wildlife. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has resisted banning the product from the market, while saying that additional safety tests are needed. Some states haven’t waited for the EPA to make a decision and acted on their own.

California is a state that says farmers can’t use the insecticide after December 31st of this year. Hawaii was the first state to ban chlorpyrifos, with that ban to take effect in 2022. The European Union has also banned using the insecticide. Corteva spokesperson Gregg Schmidt says demand for the product has “declined significantly” over the last twenty years. That’s what drove the decision to stop manufacturing the product, not safety concerns.

Corteva tells Reuters that the company will continue to back chlorpyrifos during the EPA’s review. Environmental groups are happy with the move, but they caution that other companies are still manufacturing the product, which is allowed on imported food.

(DESHLER, Neb.) – Reinke Manufacturing, a global leader in irrigation systems and technology, today announced the acquisition of Ace Irrigation & Manufacturing to expand its manufacturing operation.

“Ace has been a supplier to Reinke for many years, so we know that Ace makes a quality product,” said Chris Roth, Reinke President. “With the addition of Ace, Reinke now has six U.S.-based locations that will give us more capacity to produce and deliver the irrigation products needed by growers.”

Regarding Ace’s culvert division, Roth added “We’re also excited to add the culvert line to our product offering. This will allow Reinke to continue to grow into the future, building upon the success that Ace has delivered their customers for nearly 70 years.”

Family-owned in Deshler, Neb., since 1954, Reinke manufactures center pivots and develops technologies to increase water efficiency for growers. The company currently has five U.S. locations in Deshler, Belleville, Kan., Amarillo, Texas, Burley, Idaho and Tifton, Ga.

Ace began operations in 1952. The company manufactures aluminum and steel pipe for irrigation as well as culvert pipe on 30 acres in Kearney, Neb.

“We’ve worked with and respected Reinke for some time,” said Tom Bokenkamp, ACE Chief Executive Officer. “Their reputation for delivering quality products is something we both have in common. I appreciate the dedication they’ve shown to our organization and our employees throughout this acquisition process.”

With more than 500 employees around the world, Reinke will add another additional 50 employees to their ranks by acquiring Ace. Roth believes the company cultures will fit well together.

“Since our companies are family-owned businesses that work in the ag industry, we both already understand how important teamwork and a strong work ethic is to our company culture,” said Roth. “We’re very excited to have Ace be a part of the Reinke family and we look forward to growing together.”

CURTIS, Neb. — Grain sorghum producers are encouraged to attend the 2020 Sorghum Symposium hosted Thursday, January 30 at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center. The symposium is sponsored by the Nebraska Sorghum Producers Association, with the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board and Nebraska Extension.

NCTA students will be attending some of the sessions as part of their college coursework, said Dr. Brad Ramsdale, agronomy professor.  He also coaches the NCTA Crops Judging Team. Grain sorghum is one of the crops produced at the NCTA farm.

Symposium speakers and commercial vendors will present production and management information specific to Nebraska’s conditions for the 2020 crop year, said Lynn Belitz of Fullerton, NeSPA president. “Making decisions amid many uncontrollable variables is a real challenge,” Belitz says. “We’ve designed a program to help producers better understand their options.”

Speakers and topics include:

  • Dutcher UNL climatologist, weather outlook
  • Dr. Brent Bean, agronomy director for the National Checkoff, production and management
  • A D.C. /Farm Bill implementation update by Office of Congressman Adrian Smith
  • Strahinja Stepanovic, Stumpf Research Center at Grant, performance and row spacing
  • Nate Blum, executive director of NGSB and NeSPA, leveraging digital media
  • Zach Simon, regional marketer at the National Checkoff, markets update
  • Chuck Burr, West Central Research and Extension Center, Sorghum TAPS Program results for most profitable, most water efficient and highest yielding crops
  • NeSPA annual meeting, and NGSB annual report

“TAPS is designed to showcase best crop management and marketing practices from individuals or teams,” said Mike Baker of Trenton, chairman of the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board and producer in this year’s contest.  “The results are pretty remarkable and may actually challenge current management decisions by many growers.”

Send symposium registration to sorghum.board@nebraska.gov or at www.eventbrite.com, keyword: “2020 sorghum symposium”. Lunch is included in the free-of-charge conference.

The day begins at 9:00 am with coffee and rolls, commercial exhibits to showcase new products, and production/management information. Certified Crop Advisors may apply for CCA credits.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue talked over the weekend about his willingness to make changes in National Ag Statistics Service methods of crop data collection.

A Farm Journal article says during 2019 and it’s many challenges, many farmers were openly questioning the crop projections that were coming from NASS throughout the year. Perdue admits that he had some concerns about their crop reports and the survey methods NASS uses. “In fact, it was kind of paranoia in light of all the prevented planting and other kinds of things that were falling on us,” he recalled. “We got a little conspiratorial too, thinking NASS was also out to get us.” He thinks the NASS numbers that took the market by surprise last June might have been more correct than the market ultimately was in its reaction.

However, that doesn’t mean Perdue thinks the methodology for estimating crop size couldn’t be improved. “We’re going to get better,” Perdue says. “If you’ve got an idea about how we can better use electronics, or maybe an app for better surveys, we’d love to hear about it. We’re open to the kind of ideas of using modern technology to get you the best data that you can use to make plans for your farm.”