Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday August 28 Ag News

Frogeye Leaf Spot in Northeast Nebraska
Tamra Jackson-Ziems, NE Extension Plant Pathologist

Moderate to severe frogeye leaf spot is being reported on soybean in northeast Nebraska and may be occurring in other areas of the state, especially on susceptible varieties. Scouting is advised to determine incidence and severity before making a treatment decision.

Although QoI (formerly called strobilurin) fungicides have historically been most effective in managing the disease, pathogen resistance to products in this class has been widely documented in other states, including four counties each in South Dakota and Iowa.

We suspect pathogen resistance to QoI in at least two Nebraska fields and are currently testing samples. When spraying for frogeye leaf spot, we recommend a product with two or more active ingredients from multiple fungicide classes.

If you believe a fungicide application did not slow the spread of this disease, please contact the author via email at or via Twitter at @tjcksn so a sample can be tested for resistance. Please collect a gallon food storage bag of symptomatic leaves prior to an additional fungicide application, refrigerate the sample, and contact Jackson-Ziems so it can be tested.

Samples also can be sent to the university's Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic in Lincoln. Sample forms, the clinic's mailing address, and collection instructions can be found on the site.

Frogeye leaf spot infection can occur at any stage of soybean development, but most often occurs after flowering and is typically in the upper canopy. Initial symptoms are small, dark spots on the leaves. Spots eventually enlarge to a diameter of about ¼ inch and the centers of the lesions become gray to brown and have a reddish-purple margin. Individual leaf spots can coalesce to create irregular patterns of blighting on the leaf.

Ag Sack Lunch Program For State’s Fourth-graders Kicks Off Tenth Year.

The popular Ag Sack Lunch program, designed to increase agricultural awareness among Nebraska young people and their families, returns for its tenth school year.

The program provides a free lunch and an ag-focused learning experience to fourth-graders who come to Lincoln each year to tour the State Capitol Building as part of their educational curriculum.  While they eat their lunches, students hear a presentation about the important role agriculture plays in Nebraska’s economy, as well as the crops and livestock species that are raised in the state.

The sack lunches consist of Nebraska-produced food items to help students appreciate where their food comes from.  They also receive card games called “Crazy Soybean” and “Old Corn Maid,” which include ag facts, to take home to play with their families and friends.

Since the first Ag Sack Lunch program during the 2010-2011 school year, over 45,000 students have participated in the event. Last year the program provided 5,250 lunches.

The program is sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB), the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA), the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB), Nebraska Beef Council (NBC), and Midwest Dairy. 

“Over the last nine years, the Ag Sack Lunch Program has been successful in helping our fourth-graders understand where their food comes from and how Nebraska’s farm production methods help protect the environment while ensuring food safety and promoting animal health,” says Victor Bohuslavsky, NSB executive director. “Participating teachers continue to tell us how their students learn so much from the presentations.”

Pam Schrader, teacher at Lincoln Christian School, says she appreciates that the sponsoring groups continue to offer the Ag Sack Lunch program. “It is a fun way for the kids to receive ag information and relate it to their lunch. It is a really good program and very well worth our time,” she said.

Dianne L’Heureux, teacher at High Plains Community School, agreed. “I am impressed with the way the student presenters control the audience and engage them while they are eating. The students are hungry and enjoy the lunch but they start appreciating where the lunch comes from. So many of the students are not connected to farms anymore they do not think where this food is produced.” 

Ag Sack Lunch invitations have been sent to fourth-grade teachers at 540 elementary schools in 44 eastern Nebraska counties. Reservations for the 2019-2020 school year are limited to 5,250 students on a first-come, first-served basis. These spots fill up quickly, so teachers are urged to sign up as soon as possible—even if their state capitol tour dates have not been finalized yet. Reservations can be placed online at

NE Ext at HHD to Highlight Strategies for Staying Strong

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and Nebraska Extension are pleased to invite farmers and their families to visit their exhibit at the 2019 Husker Harvest Days (HHD) Agriculture Show September 9-11 near Grand Island. The IANR Exhibit is in the Big Red Building, located on Eighth Street, just east of Central Avenue.

As a part of the University of Nebraska’s 150th anniversary celebration, the exhibits will highlight agricultural innovations that are strengthening Nebraska’s agricultural economy. In addition, given current challenges in agriculture, exhibits will emphasize resiliency and strategies for staying strong. The exhibit building will spotlight nine topics in three areas: farm production, farm personal life, and developing personal skills.

These topics are more diverse than recent HHD shows and include more hands-on experiences. Farmers and their families are encouraged to come with their questions and bring crop and pest samples for identification.

Presentations, enhanced by a wall of video screens featuring further information, will be made every half hour in the university building. Each presentation will be complemented with information about preparing for and recovering from economic or weather-related challenges. The presentations will be followed by an opportunity for questions and more in-depth conversations with the presenter.

Topics include:

Cover Crops – Advantages of incorporating cover crops into farm systems, how to get started, and how to customize your cover crop strategy. Cover crops have been shown to improve farm efficiency and profits by suppressing weeds, increasing the health of soil organisms, reducing soil erosion, and providing forage for livestock.

Maximizing the Efficiency of Center Pivot Irrigation — Information on operating irrigation systems at the proper water pressure and how leakage in the system can affect pressure and uniformity. Repair of irrigation systems following weather-related damage also will be covered.

Keys to Calving Success — A life-size model cow will enhance conversations on cow condition and calving. Presentations will stress the importance of healthy cows, critical stages in the calving process, and timeliness in calf consumption of colostrum. The team will also review how livestock producers can help their herd recover from extreme weather events.

Understanding Risk Management Strategies — Important for farm success, these strategies include knowledge of government farm programs, use of crop insurance, use of farm budgets, and how best to market grain and animals. Presenters will stress the importance of gathering and using good data to make sound decisions and how to use available economic tools to improve profit.

Developing Weather Ready Farms — As many Nebraskans learned this spring, it is critical to be prepared for adverse weather. This program will highlight creation of emergency plans, use of technology in the planning process, and where to find relief after a disaster.

Staying Nebraska Strong — Living through a disaster can be stressful. Learn how to help your farm family stay resilient and mentally, physically, and emotionally strong. Learn about the many wellness resources available throughout the state and how to access them.  

Sustainable And Resilient Landscapes — Maintaining a comfortable living environment is one strategy to reduce stress. The climate of the Great Plains can make it difficult to grow trees, lawns, and gardens that enhance our homes. Learn about creating sustainable and resilient landscapes that reflect local needs. Presenters will also discuss how to respond when extreme weather damages landscape plants.

Lifelong Education and Career Opportunities in Agriculture and Natural Resources —Teams from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will provide information about their programs and today’s careers. The 4-H College Readiness Team will provide, via virtual reality technology, a look at energy-related careers for production agriculture and other agriculture careers. The director of the Nebraska LEAD program will provide information about CASNR’s adult agriculture leadership program that provides experiences to help farmers gain the skills necessary to respond to the challenges facing agriculture in Nebraska.

It is the sincere wish of Nebraska Extension and the IANR faculty that Nebraska farmers and their families are successful in their endeavors. It is through this wish that we hope to have great conversations about creating Strategies for Staying Strong with a large number of farmers who visit the HHD Show.

Nebraska to Receive $8.5 Million for Bridge Replacement

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the chairman of the Transportation and Safety Subcommittee, Tuesday announced that the Nebraska Department of Transportation will receive a Competitive Highway Bridge Program grant of $8.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) to replace seven bridges in northeast Nebraska:

"I am proud to announce that northeast Nebraska will benefit from this significant grant. Nebraskans rely on these bridges every day, but too many are in poor shape. Replacing these bridges is crucial to safely connecting our families, local economies, and communities."

The seven bridges are located on three rural state highways near Norfolk. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.

The FY 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act included $225 million to be awarded by the DoT for a competitive highway bridge program. Eligible applicants are states with a population density of fewer than 100 individuals per square mile, and the funds must be used for bridges on public roads. Nebraska will use this grant to benefit its infrastructure around Norfolk by bundling what would normally be four separate bridge replacement projects into a single and more efficient project.

Secretary Perdue Statement on Beef Processing Facility in Holcomb, Kansas

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement regarding the beef processing facility in Holcomb, Kan.:

“As part of our continued efforts to monitor the impact of the fire at the beef processing facility in Holcomb, Kan., I have directed USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to launch an investigation into recent beef pricing margins to determine if there is any evidence of price manipulation, collusion, restrictions of competition or other unfair practices. If any unfair practices are detected, we will take quick enforcement action. USDA remains in close communication with plant management and other stakeholders to understand the fire’s impact to industry.

I have spent this summer visiting with cattle ranchers across the country, and I know this is a difficult time for the industry as a whole. USDA is committed to ensuring support is available to ranchers who work hard to the feed the United States and the world.”

Nebraska Farm Bureau Thanks USDA for Continued Efforts to Examine Impact of Holcomb Beef Plant Fire

“Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) would like to thank United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue for his recent announcement of a Packers and Stockyards investigation to examine beef pricing margins following the fire and subsequent shutdown of the beef processing facility in Holcomb, Kansas. USDA’s efforts to fully investigate the situation is a positive development in this unfortunate situation,” NEFB president Steve Nelson said.

NEFB sent a letter Aug. 22 to USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach urging USDA to fully “investigate monitor and address concerns steaming from the fire.” NEFB asked the agency to shift additional USDA regulatory staff to other plants as needed and to utilize the Packers and Stockyards Division to monitor any unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice in the procurement of livestock

“We are grateful USDA is doing their due diligence in opening this investigation. NEFB would strongly encourage USDA to prosecute any anti-competitive activities if they are found.”

ICA supports Packers and Stockyards Investigation

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association applauds the decision by USDA to utilize its authority via the Packers and Stockyards Division to investigate price changes experienced on both the boxed beef and live cattle side of the cattle market in the weeks following the Tyson Holcomb, KS plant fire on August 9th. 

 As a grassroots organization, ICA takes the input of our members very seriously. Over the past two weeks, cattle producers have expressed concern that changes in the live cattle and boxed beef markets since the fire are unjustified. ICA has been working on behalf of members across the state to provide market certainty via monitoring and fully supports an investigation.

“We recognize that there are market fundamentals at play,” says David Trowbridge, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association President, “But given the extreme effect the current market conditions are having on Iowa’s cattle industry, we believe it is in our members’ best interests to eliminate any doubts regarding the market reaction.”

The Packers and Stockyards Act was signed by President Harding in 1921 to address concerns about anticompetitive activities among meat packers. The Act has been updated by Congress many times since then. Section 202 of the Act states that it is unlawful for packers to “Engage in or use any unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or device,” or “[E]ngage in any course of business or do any act for the purpose or with the effect of manipulating or controlling prices, or of creating a monopoly in the acquisition of, buying, selling, or dealing in, any article, or of restraining commerce”.

NCBA Statement on Secretary Sonny Perdue’s Call For Investigation Into Cattle Markets Following Kansas Fire

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston today issued the following statement regarding U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's call for an investigation into cattle markets following the recent fire at a Tyson beef processing facility in Kansas.

"Today’s announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue demonstrates the government’s understanding of the extreme strain placed on the cattle industry by the plant fire in Holcomb, Kansas.

"We encourage USDA to look at all aspects of the beef supply chain and to utilize internal and external expertise in this investigation. We believe it adds transparency that will help build confidence in the markets among cattlemen and women."    

Benefits of Adding CRP Acres to Grazing Rotation is Pasture Walk Focus

Iowa cattlemen often face limited forage availability when it comes to extending the grazing season. Now, producers may have the option to add grazing Conservation Reserve Program acres to their grazing rotation in the spring and again in late summer.

cow eating CRP grasses.Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Crawford County Natural Resources Conservation Service, Crawford County Cattlemen and Iowa Beef Center are organizing a Crawford County pasture walk to help increase awareness of the CRP Routine Grazing program and the benefits it can have for cattle, the land and wildlife. 

The pasture walk Sept. 11 will be hosted by Joe White, Lyle Rossiter and Clint Von Glan who are partnering to graze CRP acres enrolled in the program. They have seen benefits from the partnership and will share their experiences during the event. Location is 1444 390th St., Westside.

The CRP Routine Grazing Program allows for haying or grazing eligible acres every other year in Iowa at a 25% reduction in payment. Pat Corey with Crawford County NRCS office will share program requirements and offer some best management practices for such land.

Responsibly managing grazing has been shown to diversify plant species, help control weed pressure and provide benefits to wildlife habitat in the CRP acres. In addition, it supplies an alternative forage for the cow herd.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists presenting at the event include extension wildlife specialist Adam Janke who will lead discussions on how successful grazing can positively impact wildlife habitat, and Erika Lundy, extension beef specialist. Lundy said other topics include a temporary fencing demonstration and incorporations of cover crops for food plots and livestock grazing. 

A meal at 6 p.m. will be followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. The meeting and meal are provided at no cost thanks to sponsors, but those interested are asked to RSVP to either the Crawford County Extension office at 712-263-4697 or by emailing Lundy at

Weekly Ethanol Production for 8/23/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Aug. 23, ethanol production averaged 1.038 million barrels per day (b/d)— equivalent to 43.60 million gallons daily. Output expanded by 15,000 b/d (1.4%) from the previous week. The four-week average ethanol production rate increased 0.2% to 1.037 million b/d after seven weeks of consecutive declines. This is equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.90 billion gallons.

In contrast, ethanol stocks shrank 1.6% to an eight-week low of 23.0 million barrels. Stocks declined sharply in the East Coast (PADD 1) and West Coast (PADD 5) but increased across all other regions.

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 9,000 b/d, or 2.65 million gallons for the week. This is the second time this month that imports were logged and the fifth for the year. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of June 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied vaulted 2.8% to 9.900 million b/d (415.8 million gallons per day, or 151.77 bg annualized), the second-largest volume on record. Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol eased 0.6% to 955,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.64 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to a 16-week low of 10.48%.

Prices for All Fertilizers Move Lower for Second Time in Two Weeks

Large decreases in average retail fertilizer prices were seen during the third week of August 2019, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This marks the second time in a couple of years that prices have declined in unison, this time in back-to-back updates.

Prices for all eight of the major fertilizer were lower from the prior month, including six fertilizer prices that dropped by double-digit amounts.

Leading the way lower were anhydrous and MAP, down 9% and 7% from last month, respectively. Anhydrous had an average price of $530 per ton while MAP had a price of $495 per ton.

Prices for UAN32 and urea both were down significantly, by 9% and 4%, respectively from one month ago. UAN32 came in at $291 per ton and urea at $413 a ton. UAN28 reported a 6% price drop to $257. The price of 10-34-0 fell by 2% to $475 per ton.

Smaller price drops were reported in potash and DAP. The average price of potash fell from $394 to $387 per ton from last month, while DAP showed the smallest increase of all eight fertilizers dropping from $495 to $491 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.45/lb.N, anhydrous $0.32/lb.N, UAN28 $0.46/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

USDA releases major study on strategic value of inland waterways to U.S. agriculture and U.S. economy

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.

The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture, addresses the critical connection between the inland waterways and the competitiveness of American agriculture in global markets.  U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the overall U.S. economy and balance of trade, depend upon and benefit from the inland waterways and its infrastructure, which provide the safest, lowest-cost and most environmentally sustainable and fuel-efficient way to move grain and other agricultural products. 

The study was unveiled this afternoon at a Town Hall Meeting conducted at Mel Price Locks and Dam (St. Louis) by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, accompanied by Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) R.D. James.  The study was produced for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service by Informa Economics.

Highlights of the study include:
•    U.S. farmers enjoy a competitive advantage in global export markets in large part because of the nation’s robust, resilient transportation and infrastructure network that moves corn and soybeans, the nation’s highest yielding crops.

•    Because of its efficiencies and lower costs, the inland waterways system saves between $7 billion to $9 billion annually over the cost of shipping by other modes. These values are based on all goods currently being moved on the water compared to the same volume transported by rail. 

•    Every dollar of waterways activity output results in $1.89 in additional U.S. economic activity directly related to the waterways.  

•    Compared to the status quo, increasing investment in the inland waterways system by $6.3 billion over a 10-year period (through 2029) and $400 million per year thereafter through 2045 cumulatively would grow the waterways' contribution to U.S. gross domestic product by 20 percent (to $64 billion) and increase waterways-related employment by 19 percent - to 472,000 jobs. The study says this option would more than offset the cost of completing all the proposed projects, and would increase the market value of U.S. corn and soybeans by $39 billion. Conversely, reduced investment would decrease the market value of those commodities by $58 billion, the study says.

•    The inland waterways’ infrastructure is aging and needs major rehabilitation and construction to restore its full capability, forestall major disruptions and provide opportunities for growth.  Most locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River System have far exceeded their projected 50-year lifespan. Delays can cost operators and shippers more than $44 million annually.  For corn, delays on the Mississippi River could have up to a $0.24 per bushel negative impact.

•    While the United States currently has a $5.35 per metric ton advantage over Brazil when shipping soybeans on the inland waterways system (from Davenport, Iowa, to Shanghai, China), aging U.S. waterways infrastructure will increase the price to the end-user, lower the demand for U.S. grains and soybeans, and make them less competitive in global markets.

“USDA’s study underscores the inland waterways as a conduit to our nation’s agriculture competitiveness, as well as to overall U.S. economic prosperity. We believe the study makes the case to expedite the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) that would modernize five locks on the Upper Mississippi River and two on the Illinois Waterway to be ready to capitalize on predicted grain shipments, while at the same time improving the health of our marine ecosystems and habitats,” said WCI President and CEO Mike Toohey. “NESP is awaiting Pre-Construction Engineering and Design (PED) funds to be ‘shovel-ready’ for these vital locks,” he continued. 

“We appreciate the leadership of Secretary Perdue and USDA in once again spotlighting the importance of the U.S. inland waterways transportation system to U.S. agriculture’s global  competitiveness and farmers’ bottom lines,” said NGFA President and CEO Randy Gordon. “Very importantly, this study quantifies the significant cost of further delays in rebuilding America’s inland waterway infrastructure, and it’s not a pretty picture. Foreign competition from countries like Brazil is only increasing given current trade disruptions, and China is investing aggressively in South America’s transportation infrastructure to the United States’ detriment. 

“The United States simply can’t afford to lag behind any longer,” Gordon continued. “This study is a wake-up call to the White House Office of Management and Budget and Congress to make the PED funding for NESP available this year, and to ensure growing investments are continued and expedited in the tremendous natural resource that America’s inland waterways represent.”

American Dairy Coalition Asks EPA Director Wheeler for Science Review of EPA’s Nitrate Study

The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) sent a letter to EPA Director Andrew Wheeler requesting he submit a flawed and damaging 2013 EPA nitrate report to attain the science review it never received. The ADC is concerned for the farmers that have already been severely affected by this so called scientific research study report and believes EPA must stop a dangerous precedence from being set which could impact other farmers throughout the U.S. Director Wheeler was also urged to remove the study from further enforcement action and litigation pending the review.

“It is vital that the administration demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the integrity and transparency of science. The current status of this report sets a very unfortunate precedence for the value of science-based actions and represents a profound opportunity to preserve fundamental principles and standards,” said Laurie Fischer, CEO of the American Dairy Coalition. “Support for this administration has been strong from the farm community because of positive changes in the EPA. However, the lack of action in carrying out this scientific peer review may cause that support to wane.”

The letter submitted to EPA Director Andrew Wheeler states, “This report, proven false by fifteen national agricultural science experts, was developed without the peer-review required on “influential science information” as the study was categorized. When approached about the error, staff attempted to conceal the failing by falsely claiming the report was not categorized as ‘influential’, but ‘other’, allowing for full discretion in peer reviews.”

The EPA Yakima Nitrate Report began in 2010 and was published in 2012 and 2013. Despite some of nation’s top scientists and agronomists finding the study to be deeply flawed and other government agencies cautioning its use, EPA Region 10 staff still used the study. This led to highly disciplinary enforcement and threats of federal litigation, which has devastated four large dairy farms. Specifically, these four dairies were pressured into signing a very punitive Administrative Order on Consent, resulting in the loss of one dairy and requiring the remaining to spend upwards of $15 million to comply. Further, the report has been used by an Oregon environmental attorney to force extremely costly settlements with a number of Washington dairy farms, resulting in the loss of farms and creating extreme distress within the entire Washington dairy community.

Deepening the concern, the same Region 10 leadership supported the use of $550,000 of tax payer money on public relations and lobbying campaigns against farmers. With this finding in 2016, over one third of the members of Congress were compelled to write EPA Director McCarthy complaining of this action, which prompted an Office of Inspector General investigation that found the campaign did involve state lobbying.

Also, a former senior agronomist with the USDA provided a detailed analyst of the study, finding it to be fraudulent. The documentation may be viewed at . This has been further supported by the conclusions of fifteen prominent agricultural scientists who also deemed the study fraudulent.

REMINDER: ASA Accepting Applications for the Conservation Legacy Awards

Share the story of how conservation is part of your farm operation and you could be recognized with a Conservation Legacy Award. The awards recognize farm management practices of U.S. soybean farmers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable.

Are you using a reduced tillage practice on your farm? Do you grow cover crops? Have you taken steps to improve energy efficiency or water quality? These are just a few conservation practices used on some farms today that can help produce sustainable U.S. soybeans. Different regions of the country have their own unique challenges and ways to approach conservation and sustainability. We want to hear your farm’s conservation story!

All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible to enter to win a Conservation Legacy Award. Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, conservation, environmental management and sustainability.

The selection process for these awards is divided into four regions – the Midwest, Upper Midwest, the Northeast and the South. One farmer from each of these regions will be recognized at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, and one of these farmers will be named the National Conservation Legacy Award recipient.

Award Winners Receive:
-    An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, Feb. 27-29, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.
-    A feature story and video featuring the award winner’s farm and conservation practices.
-    Potential opportunity for the national winner to join other farmer-leaders on an international trip to visit U.S. soy customers overseas.

The Conservation Legacy Awards are sponsored by the American Soybean Association (ASA), BASF, Bayer, the United Soybean Board/soybean checkoff and Valent U.S.A.

More information on past winners of the award and how to submit your application is available in the “About” section under “Awards” on the ASA website All applications must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 13, 2019.

Artificial intelligence powers new NK® seed selection tool from Syngenta

Syngenta Seeds today announced the launch of a new digital platform to help farmers maximize profit potential through data-driven seed recommendations. The NK® Seed Analyzer combines artificial intelligence, two decades of agronomic information and a simple user interface, extending the NK brand's focus on innovation by adding value beyond seed.

The adaptability of the platform allows retailers and farmers to proactively plan for weather volatility, soil variability and planting specifications by seeing actual results from numerous sources. The tool complements retailers and agronomists' expertise with 18 years of data at no cost to the user.

"The NK Seed Analyzer represents the best that NK has to offer," said Todd McRoberts, NK agronomy manager. "Using cutting-edge technology, the platform helps to provide clear, unbiased product recommendations that streamline decision-making and deliver customized solutions for any farm."

Historical agronomic information allows users to tailor their seed portfolio based on geographic location, soil productivity, precipitation levels, historic crop stress and performance of products by year and region. Users are able to adjust these factors to understand how a specific corn hybrid or soybean variety would perform under a variety of conditions – information critical to making confident seed selections.

"While you can never control all the factors that affect a growing season, you can set yourself up for the best chance of success by choosing hybrids that perform well in fields like yours, regardless of the weather," said Joe Bollman, NK corn product manager. "The NK Seed Analyzer injects some much-needed predictability into a process that otherwise is anything but predictable."

Although a new addition to the NK toolbox, the NK Seed Analyzer continues a long tradition of innovation for the brand, which this year marks its 135th anniversary. What started as a mail-order seed business became one of the first to create a formal seed research program, the first private company to develop a soybean variety and the first to market Bt seed corn.

Today, backed by award-winning Syngenta research and development, NK breeders tap into the latest tools and data analytics to directly tackle farmers' top priorities. In addition to developing the NK Seed Analyzer, these advancements produced 17 new corn hybrids and 68 new soybean varieties for the 2020 growing season.

"Innovations like our new hybrids, varieties and NK Seed Analyzer reflect our ongoing commitment to delivering technology, genetics and value," Bollman said. "We know it's tough out there right now, so we're going to keep looking for ways to help maximize farmers' and retailers' return on investment."

The NK Seed Analyzer is also another example of how Syngenta is accelerating innovation to address the increasing challenges for farmers and the environment. Supported by Syngenta, NK is investing in technologies that matter to bring about positive, lasting change for more sustainable agriculture.

Initially available through select NK retailers, access to the NK Seed Analyzer will expand in the coming months.

$10 million investment will allow Vive Crop Protection to produce high value products for sustainable agriculture

Vive Crop Protection is pleased to announce the closing of its $10 million financing from existing and new investors, including Middleland Capital and the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (“BDC”) Cleantech Practice. This capital will support commercialization of three new crop protection products and continued field development of Vive’s deep pipeline.

Darren Anderson, CEO of Vive Crop Protection says, “Thanks to the leadership of Vive Executive Chairman Keith Thomas, we were able to close this financing round led by investors who understand the value of Vive’s technology.”

Vive’s patented Allosperse® Delivery System has unlimited potential in the North American and global crop protection markets because it allows agricultural chemicals that were previously incompatible to now be mixed with liquid fertilizer and applied at the right time for maximum benefit to the crop. It also saves farmers time and money by limiting the number of times they need to drive equipment over the field to manage their crop.

In the 2020 crop season, the Allosperse Delivery System will be included in five Vive-branded products and a number of products available through other manufacturers.

“We are delighted to be working with this group of investors because it puts Vive in a strong position for rapid growth in this exciting industry,” says Anderson.

This investment is part of BDC's $700-million, five-year commitment announced in 2018 to help high-potential Canadian cleantech firms with market-ready technology or products meet the capital-intensive needs of scaling and achieving timely growth.

“Vive’s impressive growth and market traction speak to its management’s ability to bring this innovative technology to a market with a challenging sales cycle” said Susan Rohac, Vice President, Cleantech Practice at BDC. “This investment will accelerate Vive’s mission of increasing farm efficiency and productivity while reducing the farmer’s environmental impact.”

Jahangir Bhatti, Director, Cleantech Practice, who led the investment for BDC’s Cleantech Practice, added “Vive’s proprietary Allosperse technology creates a compelling ROI for the farmer by simplifying the pesticide application process. With multiple product launches in the near future, Vive is poised for rapid scale-up as their products have potential to become a critical component of a farmer's operation.”

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