Abengoa Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Grand Opening

Abengoa Cellulosic Ethanol Goes Into ProductionSpanish-based Abengoa celebrated its cellulosic ethanol achievement with a grand opening celebration on October 17, 2014. Thousands of people attended the event with dozens of high profile guests on hand ranging from former and current Senators to governors to the town mayor, to Interior Secretary and Energy Secretary Ernst Moniz who gave the keynote speech.

The bioenergy plant is based in Hugoton, Kansas and when at full scale will produce 25 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from biomass per year as well as 21 MW of electricity.

Abengoa Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Grand Opening photo album.

Abengoa Celebrates Ethanol Achievement: Javier Garoz Neira Remarks
Manuel Sanchez Ortega Remarks

DOE’s Moniz Congrats Abengoa on Cellulosic Plant: Energy Secretary Moniz Remarks

Ethanol Industry Applauds Abengoa: Interview with RFA's Robert White at Abengoa Opening

Allison Details Abengoa Cellulosic Plant: Danny Allison Remarks

Pacific Ag Bundles Bales of Energy: Interview with Bill Levy, Pacific Ag

Additional audio:
Jack Rowden, Mayor of Hugoton, Kansas: Jack Rowden Remarks

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Kansas: U.S. Sen Pat Robert Remarks

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback Remarks

USDA Announces New Farm Bill Program

usda-logoUSDA is making plans to launch new Farm Bill program to help provide relief to farmers impacted by severe weather, including drought.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, available nationwide for farmers of select crops starting next spring, allows eligible producers who have been hit with severe weather to receive a higher approved yield on their insurance policies through the federal crop insurance program.

Secretary Vilsack and USDA Risk Management Agency administrator Brandon Willis announced the details in a call with reporters: USDA APH announcement with Vilsack and Willis

COOL Reform Coalition Reacts to WTO Ruling

cool-reform-1The World Trade Organization (WTO) released the compliance panel report on the U.S. Country of Origin labeling (COOL) law finding that “the amended COOL measure violates Article 2.1 of the TBT Agreement because it accords to Canadian and Mexican livestock less favourable treatment than that accorded to like US livestock.”

The COOL Reform Coalition held a press call and webinar to respond to the announcement, offering reactions from a variety of groups including the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Corn Refiners Association, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

COOL Reform Coalition reaction


ag-catalyst “It’s all about the content” the theme of this year’s AgCatalyst event in Minneapolis.

2014 AgCatalyst Photo Album

Farmers as AgCatalysts
Dave Frederickson Remarks
The Sales Lion Prowls at AgCatalyst
Interview with Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan Presentation
Talk About Digital Food Fights
Interview with Susan Beebe
Become an AgCatalyst
Become an AgCatalyst

Ethanol Advocacy App

RFA-logo-13The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced a new mobile app called “RFA Advocacy.” The app is free of charge and available to download on all iPhones and Android-powered smartphones. The app offers easy access to RFA’s talking points, charts, videos, and infographics. It also features RFA’s newsfeed, maps of Capitol Hill, a one-stop social media sharing platform, and easy-to-use legislative tracking of key bills and votes.

In this interview, RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen talks about the new app, what it does, who should use it, and why they developed it. He also comments on when we might yet see a final rule on the 2014 volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard and how railway transportation issues continue to impact the industry.

Interview with RFA CEO Bob Dinneen on New Advocacy App

2014 CTIC Conservation in Action Tour

ctic-fl-tourThe Conservation Technology Information Center held its annual Conservation in Action Tour October 14-15 in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).

The tour provided an in-depth look at the unique story of the approximately 700,000-acre EAA, located south of Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Lettuce, sugar cane and owls were just a few of the crops and creatures seen on the tour which featured EAA’s specialized conservation practices, erosion control and nutrient management.

2014 CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Photo Album

Florida Farm Bureau Welcomes Conservation Tour
Interview with John Hoblick, Florida Farm Bureau President

Controlling Phosphorus in the Everglades

Terrie Bates, SWFMC Water Resources Division Director
Delia Ivanhoff, SWFMC environmental scientist
Bubba Wade, US Sugar Corp.
Video – Lawrence Gerry, SFWMD
Growing Leaf Crops in the EvergladesVideo interview with grower Paul Orsenigo

Barn Owls are Sustainable Rodent Control

Water in the Sunshine State
Presentation by FDACS water policy director Rich Budell on CTIC tour
Interview with Rich Budell, Florida Department of Agriculture
NCGA Staffer on CTIC TourInterview with Nick Goeser, NCGA
Precision Sugarcane PlantingSteve Stiles and Scott Berden with U.S. Sugar

2014 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo

nabce-14 The National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo opened with a conversation about the current state of important federal biofuels policies, including the status of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

2014 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo Photo Album

State of the Advanced Biofuels Industry
Interview with Mike McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association
Remarks from Mike McAdams, Advanced Biofuels Association
Preview of Advanced Biofuels Conference
Interview with Tim Portz
Algal Industry Questions Focus on Biofuels, America
Interview with Matt Carr, Algae Biomass Organization
Remarks from Matt Carr, Algae Biomass Organization
Tips for Biofuel Investment In Turbulent Times
Interview with Randall Doyal, AL-Corn Clean Fuel
Remarks from Mike Jerke, Guardian Energy Management
Remarks from Brian Kletscher, Highwater Ethanol
Remarks from Randall Doyal, AL-Corn Clean Fuel
NBB Cautiously Optimistic About RFS –
Interview with Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board
Remarks from Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board
Advanced Biofuels Conf. – Expo Ribbon Cutting -

Interview with AEM Ag Sector Lead

aemFarm equipment sales are down significantly this year, but the head of the Association of Equipment Manufacturer‘s Ag Sector remains optimistic about the industry. According to AEM, sales of 4 wheel drive farm tractors and combines are down 15 and 17 percent respectively so far this year. In this interview, AEM Senior Vice President and Ag Sector Lead Charlie O’Brien explains why there’s no reason to panic. Interview with Charlie O'Brien, Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Plant Sap Analysis Seminar

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 1.31.05 PMAvailable for the first time in North America, Plant Sap Analysis is transforming the landscape of American agriculture. With proven success in Europe for over 10 years, this technology reveals nutrient deficiency four to six weeks before standard tissue analysis.

Crop Health Laboratories is hosting a Power Growers Seminar, November 7-8, 2014 in Santa Clara, inviting growers, researchers, and consultants to weigh in on the benefits of this new technology. Feature presenters include Sjoerd Smits and Maikel van de Ven of NovaCropControl, creators of the technology. The expedited technology provides lead time, allowing growers to proactively and quickly adjust fertilization strategies quickly.

Crop Health Laboratories is the exclusive distributor of Plant Sap Analysis in the United States, which represents a significant advance over current industry standards.

“Sap analysis carries the same diagnostic value of a blood sample,” explained Program Director Michelle Gregg. “The test provides a screenshot of nutrient content in the sap prior to metabolism by plant cells. Producers can anticipate crop needs and counter imbalance with fertility inputs before the plant expresses symptoms of deficiency.”

Smits and van de Ven of the Netherlands-based NovaCropControl, will discuss their team’s experience in pioneering the Plant Sap Analysis system and why this approach produces much more valuable results than tissue or soil tests alone. Growers will leave equipped with the science and data management knowledge that ensures success.

The seminar will include presentations from Smits and van de Ven, exclusive Q &A with consultants from Crop Health Laboratories, and evening networking opportunities with users of Plant Sap Analysis. The event will be held at The Biltmore in Santa Clara, CA. Tickets for the event in California are $325 through Oct. 15 and $350 thereafter. Registration is available online at www.crophealthlabs.com, by email info@crophealthlabs or call 800-495-7938.

Interview with Grains Council CEO

usgcWith a record corn crop being harvested, exports are more important than ever. The United States exported more than 11 percent of the U.S. corn supply to over 100 countries in the 2013/2014 marketing year, which U.S. Grains Council president and CEO Tom Sleight says is a nice recovery from lost market share after the drought of 2012.

In this interview, Sleight also talks about the upcoming Export Exchange, global biotechnology education challenges, the situation in China, and the potential for current trade negotiations to boost grain exports. Interview with Tom Sleight, US Grains Council

New Holland Blogger Days

15223152138_01b504c8b1_mThe New Holland Bloggers. Sounds like it could be anything from a band to a social media team. New Holland does have a social media team but this group I’m talking about is made up of independent bloggers who were invited to Turin, Italy to learn about New Holland’s participation in Expo Milano 2015.

2014 New Holland Blogger Days Photo Album

Meet the New Holland Bloggers
Interview with Cristiano Spadoni
Interview with Emma Penny
Interview with Richard Jakubaszko
Interview with Lorena Valenti
Ready to Promote New Holland Sustainable Farm Pavilion
Interview with Annemie Lievens
University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo
Michele Fino Presentation
New Holland Clean Energy Leader at Expo Milano 2015
Interview with Carlo Lambro

Verdesian Los Alamos Media Day

verdesian-groupVerdesian Life Sciences is a company focused on science and technology. They are also focused on education – education of journalists, employees, sales representatives and ultimately growers. Verdesian is, as founder and CEO JJ Grow explains, a plant health nutrition company filling in the micronutrient and macronutrient gaps in agriculture. Or, in simpler terms, “Things that fix nitrogen”.

The company hosted about half a dozen journalists at Los Alamos National Laboratory on October 1, 2014. The media heard from several researchers working on technologies applicable to agriculture, learned about the lab’s mission, met with researchers from the Bioscience Center and learned about the successful relationship between the lab and Verdesian. It is this partnership that has brought some great nitrogen technologies to farmers around the world including Take-Off.

View the 2014 Verdesian Los Alamos Media Tour photo album.


Get to Know Verdesian: Interview with JJ Grow, Verdesian

Verdesian: From the Lab to the Field: Interview with Nigel Grech, Verdesian

Los Alamos National Laboratory Ag Innovations: Interview with John Mott, LANL

Verdesian Mission: Education: Interview with Michael Berry, Verdesian

LANL’s Four Scientific Pillars: Remarks from Duncan McBranch, LANL

Innovation Will Meet the Needs for America: Remarks from Dave Perisi, Feynman Center for Innovation

Additional audio:
Research demonstration of High-Throughput Genotyping Technology by Alina Deshpande and Murray Wolinsky, LANL: Genotyping Research Demonstration

Analysis of Soil Samples Using LIBS:

2014 Canadian Farm Writers Federation Conference

cfwf-14The Canadian Farm Writers Federation Annual Conference was hosted by the Atlantic Canada Farm Writers Association at Prince Edward Island, October 2-5. With the theme “Dig Deep” the agenda included learning more about the island’s biggest crop, potatoes, as well as interesting farming ventures such as mussel production.

2014 Canadian Farm Writers Federation conference photo album

CFWF Digs Deep into Video Journalism
Interview with Ian Petrie, video instructor
CFWF 2014 Award Winners
Interview with Lisa Guenther, CFWF president
CFWF Discovers PEI Products
Interview with Bruce MacNaughton, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company
Interview with Wayne Riley, CFWF
CASE IH Connects at CFWF 2014 Conference
Interview with Dan Danford, CASE IH
Canadian Farm Writers Conference Preview -
Canadian Farm Writers Federation conference preview

NCBA Concerns About Beef Checkoff

ncbaAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met earlier this week with the Beef Checkoff working group and reportedly told them he’s planning on implementing a new checkoff program for the industry by January, 2016.

Speaking were NCBA president Bob McCan, NCBA immediate past president Scott George, and NCBA CEO Forrest Roberts. NCBA press call on Beef Checkoff

2014 Word Dairy Expo

15218707320_5f2bdb20f7_mOver 3,000 head of dairy cattle were pre-entered for this year’s World Dairy Expo. No official count on the total of head actually exhibited, but the New Holland Pavilions are packed full of dairy cattle of all ages. The dairy cattle exhibitors were loving them and they were definitely the story for this year’s expo.

Find all photos from the event here: 2014 World Dairy Expo Photo Album

Forage Aid From Latham Seed
Interview with Corey Catt, Latham Hi-Tech Seed
Digi-Star’s Rich History of Weight Sensors
Interview with Mac Moore, Digi-Star
Cheese, Cheese & More Cheese
Interview with Chef John Esser
Congrats to Dairyman & Dairy Woman of the Year
Interview with Pam Bolin, Dairy Woman of the Year
Interview with Jim Huffard, Dairyman of the Year
Dairy Leaders Recognized at World Dairy Expo
Interview with Lowell Lindsay, International Person of the Year
Interview with Dr. Curt Van Tassell, Industry Person of the Year
World Dairy Expo in Full SwingInterview with Scott Bentley, GM World Dairy Expo
More Than A Competition
Interview with Steven Nelson, Champion Youth Fitter
Why Not Add Beets to Your Cow Ration
Interview with Lisa Butzer, Feed Beets