Precious Commodity

Perhaps it was the location — warm weather Anaheim, CA, a pleasant departure from the snow-covered Eastern half of the U.S. Maybe it was the glamour — lots of big booths and flashy electronics on the exhibition floor. Or it could have been the fact that the agricultural marketplace was through with 2008 and 2009 — two of the most challenging production/profit years in memory. Whatever the case, attendees to the 15th annual Commodity Classic were in a positive mood, and they were rewarded with plenty of new and interesting products to see.

2010 Commodity Classic

Growers and ag retailers attending this year’s event had a much clearer view of the industry. During the 2009 Commodity Classic, virtually no growers had placed their fertilizer and seed orders with dealerships because of uncertainty in the general economy coupled with high input costs, despite the fact that the show was being held in early March.

This year, however, most of the retailers at the show reported grower-customers had already locked in fertilizer and seed orders for 2010 weeks beforehand. “I’ve even had some customers pre-order their fertilizer needs for 2011 and 2012,” said one retailer from Iowa.

This should continue to be the case, said John Ryan, president and CEO for Rabo AgriFinance Inc., because of the inherent frugalness on the part of the nation’s growers. “The financial trends are positive for 2010,” said Ryan, speaking at a show forum earlier this year. “Growers are positioned to weather the recent economic downturn because of their debt management practices over the past several years.”

Product Profiles

As evidence of this market confidence, several companies at the 2010 Commodity Classic took the opportunity to highlight new or improved product offerings to attendees. In particular, crop protection manufacturers were at the forefront of this trend.

BASF touted its newly released Kix­or herbicide technology as a way for growers to combat the growing problem of weed resistance. With the active ingredient pyrimidinedione, Kixor is designed to control more than 70 of the toughest-to-control weeds including those resistant to ALS inhibitors, triazines, and glyphosate, said Dr. Dan Westberg, technical marketing manager for the company. “Kixor offers fast, effective burndown of broadleaf weeds such as marestail, giant ragweed, and common lambsquarters without the hassle of preplant restrictions,” said Westberg. “Older products such as 2,4-D require a restriction of one to two weeks between its application and planting corn or soybeans.”

In addition to Kixor, BASF also added a new option to its popular Headline fungicide. Headline AMP, available for use in corn this season, combines the power of pyraclostrobin with a triazole, providing both preventive and curative activity. The target customer for Headline AMP is looking for protection from both foliar disease and the benefits of improved plant health.

According to Nick Fassler, technical market manager, three years of research with the new formulation on corn has revealed an average benefit of more than 11 bushels per acre vs. untreated corn, and about 8 bushels per acre vs. other fungicides tested. He added that the product has shown excellent activity on many foliar corn diseases, including anthrac­nose, grey leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight, Southern corn rust, and eyespot.

For retailers, BASF continues to offer incentives to growers who make the commitment to order Headline in advance. In addition to helping retailers lock in sales, BASF hopes that the program will improve the annual logistical challenge of meeting the product and application demands of growers during the relatively short “apply at tassle” window Headline requires for maximum effectiveness. “There is still a lot of opportunity out there for Headline,” said Nevin McDougall, group vice president of BASF North America crop protection. “Only about 25% to 30% of corn acres in the heart of the Corn Belt get a fungicide application.”

Meanwhile, DuPont announced new registered uses for its Coragen insecticide. Now registered for sweet, field, and seed corn, alfalfa, and many specialty crops, Coragen provides a new mode of action for managing insect resistance, and for seed corn delivers the unique combination of long residual activity — 22 days to 31 days — with short reentry (five hours) and preharvest (one day) intervals.

Biotech Wonders

New biotechnology releases also generated a lot of buzz at the Classic. Topping the list is the 2010 release of the much-anticipated SmartStax branded seed from both Dow AgroSciences/Mycogen and Monsanto. Mycogen announced during the show that the first SmartStax plantings were already underway in Texas as the two companies, who are cooperating on the marketing of SmartStax, made their pitches to growers in attendance.

One of the key benefits built into SmartStax is the employment of two distinct Bt (Bacillus thuringiensus) toxins with different modes of action to improve insect control and reduce the potential for insect resistance. As a result, EPA has reduced the refuge requirement from 20% to 5% in Midwestern corn growing regions. Early this year, Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto submitted to EPA for registration of a 5% interspersed refuge or “refuge in a bag,” notes Mycogen Seeds General Manager Doug Vail. If approved, each bag of seed would contain the necessary refuge seed for both above- and below-ground pest requirements.

Over the next decade, Dow AgroSci­ences and Monsanto development of seed under the SmartStax brand will become increasingly divergent. Dow AgroSciences is working on a 2,4-D-resistant trait that will be a pivot point for future development, and Monsanto is working on dicamba-resistant traits. Monsanto is also collaborating with BASF on corn research to improve plant water use efficiency and reduce fertilizer needs.

Syngenta announced progress on its Viptera 3220 trait stack, which is being reviewed for deregulation by USDA. The trait has received approval from EPA as a single trait and in a stack with the Agrisure CB/LL trait, and has been approved for a 20% refuge in cotton-growing areas. With the Agrisure Vip­tera 3220 stack, Syngenta is seeking a 5% refuge in the Corn Belt and a 20% refuge in cotton-growing areas.

Syngenta also shared progress on its water optimization technology, which Project Marketing Head Tracy Mader says it plans to introduce for the 2011 season in areas of the Plains and western Corn Belt.

In seed treatment, StollerUSA discussed its Bio-Forge product. Ac­cord­ing to Jeff Morgan, marketing director, Bio-Forge has been used as a foliar or in-furrow treatment for many years. “But growers experimented with Bio-Forge as a seed treatment and reported yield increases from 10% to 25%,” said Mor­gan.

Dow was also spreading the word about its nitrogen stabilizer, Instinct, another strong business builder for retailers. Christopher Berry, market developer for the product, says that supply this season will likely be tight for Instinct, which is designed to stabilize nitrogen at the root zone when tank mixed with UAN or liquid manure.

More High Tech

On the new technology front, Topcon Positioning Systems showed off its AES-25 Accurate Electric Steering to attendees. This unit offers users full terrain compensation, reverse operation, and up to 2 centimeters performance accuracy, according to the company. An optional wheel angle sensor can be added to the AES-25 for greater stability in challenging conditions.

Raven Industries generated buzz with its new Slingshot system. Fully implemented, the system will allow authorized Slingshot dealers to provide grower-subscribers wireless Internet and RTK GPS signal access using a Raven-manufactured radio modem and a compatible in-cab computer.

Going retro, John Deere highlighted its customized 4020. A version of the company’s tractor model from 1970, this six-cylinder unit was designed by automotive designer Chip Fosse and features an “Indy car racing” look, complete with turf tires in the back and three-ribbed tires in the front. The 4020 will tour the country during spring and be awarded to a lucky winner as part of the company’s Big Buck Promotions, which ends June 30.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market With Launch Of Haven Anti-Transpirant
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrients
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In The Midwest
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
Trending Articles
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Latest News
UncategorizedPrecision Ag, Iowa Water, and GM Corn Updates
March 24, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the state of precision agriculture, the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market Wit…
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teach…
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More