The Mid-Year Review

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It seems like only yesterday, I was throwing away my 2010 calendar and replacing it with the 2011 model. Now, in what seems like a single heartbeat, we are officially half-way through the year.

For agriculture, 2011 has been something of a mixed bag. On the plus side, crop prices have never been healthier and all the projections say that everyone involved in the production of food, fuel, fiber and feed will have a financially successful year because of it. Then again, because of the almost continual rain in parts of the Midwest, growers in states such as Indiana and Ohio have reportedly already given up on planting their crops for 2011 and taken their government insurance payments instead.

Naturally, we are CropLife have been following these developments and several others, reporting on them in the pages of our magazine or through electronic means with enewsletters and on our Website. As always, some of these stories have captured our readers’ attention more than others. In brief, here are snapshots of the six most popular items from the first half of 2011.

  1. Syngenta To Merge Seed, Crop Protection. As the lines between crop protection and seed continue to blur, merging these like entities makes perfect sense.
  2. Monsanto’s GM Alfalfa Headed Back To Court. The battle to bring new biotech crops to market has never been more difficult, thanks to the clout some special interest groups now have with public opinion, whether it’s justified or not.
  3. Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Agri-Services. Consolidation among ag retailers continues . . .
  4. Bayer CropScience Names New President. Industry veteran Jim Blome has been tapped to replace retiring Bill Buckner.
  5. Top 10 Precision Trends. Highlights from the 15th CropLife/Purdue University adoption survey still draw a crowd.
  6. Deere: LightSquared Causing Massive GPS Interference. A threat to the lifeblood signals that help run precision ag have many in agriculture worried their businesses will suffer as a result. Since this story ran, LightSquared has reportedly altered its plans to be less of a threat to GPS signals.

Given these developments, it will be interesting to see what the next six months brings our way . . .

Sfiligoj is the Editor for both CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines. He travels regularly to cover industry events and has been dedicated to the ag retail industry since he joined the staff in 2000.

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