November 23, 2017

Trade Talk 2017: Koch Agronomic Services – Keeping Nitrogen in the Soil

As a global leader in enhanced efficiency fertilizer technologies, Koch focuses on finding solutions that maximize plant performance and minimize environmental impact.

During Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention, we visited with Dr. Greg Schwab, Director of Agronomy for Koch Agronomic Services.  This segment focuses on nitrogen loss – the various processes by which nitrogen moves away from a plant’s root zone – and solutions, including a Koch-developed nitrification inhibitor currently being reviewed by the EPA – Centuro.

About Koch Agronomic Services:

Koch Agronomic Services, LLC and its affiliates produce and market a proven and expanding global portfolio of plant performance technologies for agriculture producers and turf and ornamental professionals. With a commitment to creating real, sustainable, long-term value for customers and society, Koch Agronomic Services focuses on developing customer-driven solutions to improve plant performance and minimize environmental impact. Koch Agronomic Services, LLC is a subsidiary of Koch Ag & Energy Solutions, LLC. For more information visit: here.


Trade Talk 2017: Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuel Standard

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the U.S. EPA’s final rule to set 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard renewable volume requirements (RVOs), along with the 2019 RVO for biomass-based diesel.

The OMB review marks a final step before the final rule is released to the public.

Growth Energy recently applauded Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), and 16 of their House colleagues for calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase the blending targets for cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel in the final 2018 RVOs.

During Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention in Kansas City, we visited with Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor about RVOs and the upcoming deadline for their anticipated release at the end of November.

Growth Energy is the leading biofuel trade association in the country. We represent producers and supporters of ethanol who are working to bring consumers better choices at the fuel pump, grow America’s economy, and improve the environment for future generations.

Our growing membership base now represents nearly half of all American ethanol plants along with many of the largest and most prominent fuel retailers in the country and the industry’s top associate members whose businesses support the ethanol industry.


Over The Top Dicamba – 2018 Will Be A Turning Point AUDIO

Dicamba drift has been one of the hot agricultural topics of 2017.  The EPA has approved an updated label with further restrictions for use in 2018, but not everyone’s convinced the problem has been solved. The turning point is likely to occur during the 2018 growing season. University of Missouri weed scientist, Dr. Kevin Bradley says the damage done in 2017 was significant:

Bradley on Dicamba

Bradley says there’s never been a problem like this in U.S. agriculture before. As proof of that, he cites research from Bob Hartzler at Iowa State University:
Bradley Cites Hartzler

While physical drift  of the product itself has been a problem, improper tank cleaning has also been an issue. Experts like Bradley say it doesn’t take much  residual in the tank to do crop damage.  He also says temperature inversions with a volatile product can cause drift, and suggests there shouldn’t be any more night time spraying of dicamba, which has been addressed by the recent EPA updates.

Jean Payne is the president of the Illinois Chemical and Fertilizer Association. Going into 2018, she says it’s important for commercial applicators to remember that even if dicamba drift doesn’t necessarily put a huge dent in someone’s harvest results, it’s still a violation of law:

Payne on Dicamba

Jay Magnussen is a farmer and full-time agronomist in northwest Iowa. He says dicamba is not an easy product to use correctly. As an agronomist, he doesn’t want to spend time next summer walking through damaged fields. One way to move forward in the dicamba debate is communication between farmers:


As for those new EPA label updates, farmers are reminded that Dicamba in all its various formulations is now a restricted use chemical, meaning anyone applying the product must go through special training.  That training is also now required to address dicamba specific topics.  Applicators must limit spraying to when wind speeds are below 10 miles per hour and to daylight hours.  Farmers must also keep very specific application records.

The Environmental Protection agency has said that they will review over the top use of Dicamba again at the end of 2018 to determine if further updates are necessary, including the possibility of discontinuing post emergence use.