Industry News | 3-16-2020
BASF to launch 30+ Sustainable Ag R&D Projects Worth $9bn by 2030
BASF has committed itself to launching at least 30 R&D projects by 2030, which will focus on sustainable agriculture innovations that complement its offerings in seeds, seed treatments, biological and chemical solutions, and digital services. The German biochemicals giant said the commitment brings its innovation pipeline to an “estimated peak sales potential” of over €7.5 billion ($8.97 billion). “Sustainability is ingrained in our entire R&D process. It leads the way in how we develop our innovations which help farmers produce more crops and increase efficiency while preserving natural resources,” Paul Rea, senior vice president at BASF Agricultural Solutions North America, said in a statement.
Research: Manure Improving Soil and Microbe Community
In the dry air and soil of Texas’ Southern High Plains, improving soil health can be tough. We usually think of healthy soil as moist and loose with lots of organic matter. But this can be hard to achieve in the arid area of Texas. Lindsey Slaughter, a member of the Soil Science Society of America, set out with her fellow researchers to test a solution that kills two birds with one stone. They put excess cow manure on these soils to see if they could make them healthier. The team recently published their research in the Soil Science Society of America Journal.
Hoop Buildings Expand Storage, Shelter Options Hoop buildings have been used for a variety of purposes by farmers in recent years, from livestock production to storage. Brent Bryant, owner and managing director for Hoop Beef System based in Aurelia, Iowa, says producers are using the hoop buildings in different ways. “We’ve got producers in Missouri that are backgrounding,” he says. “We’ve got producers in Missouri that are running cow-calf operations in the buildings. We’ve got producers in Missouri that are finishing cattle.” The cow-calf producers also have some variety, with some moving the cattle into the buildings for the winter months and others taking a more year-round approach. “It is fairly flexible on what you can do,” Bryant says.
USDA Launches New Soil Moisture Portal
A new tool from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other groups is designed to provide farmers, researchers and other industry stakeholders with thorough soil moisture data from across the country. Staff from the USDA, NASA and George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., have created the Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics (Crop-CASMA) tool. This online map provides a detailed look at soil moisture across the United States. Users can perform different functions including downloading customized maps, zooming in on specific counties within states and animating the map to show soil moisture changes over time.
In The Shop: Prepping High-Tech Planters
Our grandfathers backed up to their planter, dropped a drawbar pin, hooked up a single hydraulic hose and were ready to plant. Modern planters with high-speed seed meters, hydraulic downforce systems and other high-tech options require a little more effort. Depending on the brand and model of planter it may be necessary to take several steps to get planting season off on the right foot!