Spanish-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
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 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
The 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
The 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
The 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 Everglades – Video 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 Tour – Interview with Nick Goeser, NCGA
Precision Sugarcane Planting – Steve Stiles and Scott Berden with U.S. Sugar
Farm 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
Available 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.
With 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
Verdesian 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
Research demonstration of High-Throughput Genotyping Technology by Alina Deshpande and Murray Wolinsky, LANL: Genotyping Research Demonstration
Analysis of Soil Samples Using LIBS:
Agriculture 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
Over 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 Swing – Interview 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