September 24, 2017

Dow and Purdue Make Breakthrough In Preventing Phytophthera Root Rot In Soybeans

A research breakthrough by Purdue University and Dow Agrosciences could add millions to the bottom line of North and South Dakota farmers.  A collaborative effort between the two has unearthed a novel soybean gene that provides resistance to Phytophthera Root Rot, one of the most devastating and costly diseases affecting soybean producers.  The disease has become especially common in the southern parts of the Red River Valley, preferring to habitate in heavy, compacted clay soils.  The fungus further thrives in wet years with flooding conditions, something that’s not uncommon in the major soybean growing areas of the Northern Plains.

The research team screened a wide variety of soybean genetic material using a number of approaches. The research team pinpointed a gene called Rps11 that confers strong resistance to multiple types of Phytophthora sojae, a soil-borne pathogen that causes both soybean stem and root rot.

With this discovery, molecular markers can be developed to rapidly incorporate the resistance gene through traditional breeding techniques into elite soybean varieties to help protect farmers’ soybean yields against stem and root rot. Dow AgroSciences intends to make the technology broadly available to soybean farmers.

The findings were to be highlighted at the World Soybean Research Conference in Savannah, Ga., but the meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Research papers and talks are expected to be released soon.

Purdue’s Jianxin Ma, professor of agronomy, said that as more Rps resistance genes are identified, they might be stacked to enhance the strength and endurance of soybean resistance to the pathogen.

“Discovering technology to help soybean farmers tackle tough problems is at the core of this project, and our success in collaborating with Purdue on this project illustrates the power of public/private efforts to advance agriculture,” says Oswald Crasta, Global Genomic Breeding Lead, Dow AgroSciences.

The joint research has allowed Purdue to touch on strategic goals that include addressing major national and global agricultural challenges and offering cutting-edge research experience to students.

“The collaboration between Purdue and Dow AgroSciences through projects like this has created a win-win situation that enhances our capabilities to address the grand challenges that face the real world,” Ma said. “This project not only provides funding to support our graduate students, but also offers them unique opportunities to interact directly with our industrial collaborators. Such an experience would strengthen their research and social skills to solve significant global problems.”

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NCGA Supports Funding Increase for MAP, FMD Programs

The National Corn Growers Association praised the introduction of the CREAATE Act, a bill to increase investment in two federal programs with a proven track record of building global demand for U.S. agricultural products.The bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), and Susan Collins (R-Maine), would increase investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development program (FMD). A companion bill was introduced in the House earlier this year.

MAP and FMD are public-private partnerships that promote U.S. agriculture. Together, they are responsible for 15 percent of U.S. agricultural export revenue—$309 billion since 1977.

“MAP and FMD are critical programs for building and expanding global markets for American agricultural exports. We must increase investment in these programs,” said Wesley Spurlock, a Texas farmer and president of NCGA.

“These programs deliver a strong return on investment. Every $1 invested in MAP and FMD generates $28 in exports—that means more American jobs, and more money coming into our communities. Now more than ever, we need to invest in export and market development programs like these to build global demand and help farmers’ bottom lines,” said Spurlock.

Funding for MAP and FMD has not kept pace with inflation, administrative costs, the growth of the global marketplace, or the investments other countries have made in their own export promotion. The FMD program is also under threat to lose its baseline funding when the farm bill expires in 2018.

The CREAATE Act would gradually increase MAP funding from $200 million to $400 million per year and FMD funding from $34.5 million to $69 million per year, over the next five years.

“Thank you to Senator King, Senator Ernst, Senator Donnelly, and Senator Collins for leading the effort to strengthen the MAP and FMD programs. These programs have already been successful, but with increased investment, they can help even more American farmers and ranchers compete around the world,” said Spurlock.

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World’s Largest Brewer and User of Malt Barley, Partners with Agriculture Technology Firm

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Agrible, Inc. today announce a global partnership to improve barley production while minimizing environmental impact. The two companies are joining forces to help farmers around the world access better data and predictive analytics on crop management and climate effects. AB InBev is the largest brewer and user of malt barley in the world.

In 2013, AB InBev created SmartBarley – an innovative platform and incubator which leverages data, technology, and insights to help farmers solve challenges and improve their productivity and environmental performance. Today, SmartBarley is present in 13 countries across 5 continents. To enhance AB InBev’s SmartBarley program, Agrible will provide farmers with access to their proprietary software, Morning Farm Report®.  This software helps growers detect disease threats earlier, improve logistics planning, monitor crops on all fields, and improve quality.

Agrible and AB InBev began their work together in 2016 on a project to forecast barley yield (or production) and quality factors through better crop modeling and predictive analytics for American farmers. The relationship has developed beyond the United States into a major international expansion. AB InBev farmers will soon have access to Agrible’s technology across multiple countries on a variety of crops, beginning with South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

Agrible and AB InBev will also work together to develop sustainability insights and metrics in areas such as water use, land efficiency, and the carbon footprint from growing and sourcing ingredients.

“We are very excited to form this relationship with AB InBev to continue bringing world class software, predictive analytics, and expertise to farmers everywhere,” says Chris Harbourt, CEO of Agrible. “Our insights can truly change the face of agriculture across the globe and help companies of all sizes capture efficiencies and make their operations more sustainable.”

“Quality ingredients are the key to brewing our world class beers. Morning Farm Report from Agrible is an exciting addition to our ongoing work in agricultural development to help our farmers around the world produce the best barley possible while also ensuring we are living up to our promise of creating a better world,” says Katie Hoard, Global Director of Agricultural Innovation at AB InBev.

With this international partnership, Agrible and AB InBev are leading the market in connecting farmers with real-time, actionable insights at the field level.

About Agrible
At Agrible, we are working to assure the global supply chain is sustainably sourced, one field at a time. Our easy-to-use agriculture software is backed with world-class science. We forecast how weather will impact a range of crops, agricultural operations, and economic decisions. It helps growers produce premium ingredients that are better for consumers and better for the world. Then, we help growers find the best value for their practices and data by connecting them with partners and companies who want responsibly produced goods for their consumers and a better world for all. Agrible also created and supports mobile apps such as Pocket Rain Gauge, Pocket Spray Smart, and Pocket Drone Control. These iOS and Android apps provide real-time and future insights for a farmer’s fields, as well as their current location. Learn more at www.agrible.com.

About Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with secondary listings on the Mexico (MEXBOL: ANB) and South Africa (JSE: ANH) stock exchanges and with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). Our Dream is to bring people together for a better world. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years. We are committed to building great brands that stand the test of time and to brewing the best beers using the finest natural ingredients. Our diverse portfolio of well over 500 beer brands includes global brands Budweiser®, Corona® and Stella Artois®; multi- country brands Beck’s®, Castle®, Castle Lite®, Hoegaarden® and Leffe®; and local champions such as Aguila®, Antarctica®, Bud Light®, Brahma®, Cass®, Chernigivske®, Cristal®, Harbin®, Jupiler®, Klinskoye®, Michelob Ultra®, Modelo Especial®, Quilmes®, Victoria®, Sedrin®, Sibirskaya Korona® and Skol®. Our brewing heritage dates back more than 600 years, spanning continents and generations. From our European roots at the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium. To the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery in St. Louis, US. To the creation of the Castle Brewery in South Africa during the Johannesburg gold rush. To Bohemia, the first brewery in Brazil. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, we leverage the collective strengths of approximately 200,000 employees based in more than 50 countries worldwide. For 2016, AB InBev’s reported revenue was 45.5 billion USD (excluding JVs and associates).

via AgPR

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