- RT.com reports that USDA has granted non-regulated status to Monsanto’s new Xtend soybean and cotton varieties, engineered to be tolerant to both glyphosate and dicambia herbicides. Monsanto now only needs approval from the EPA for its Xtend herbicide to complete the Roundup Ready Xtend weed management system. Environmental groups and others are concerned about increased usage of dicambia herbicide and the potential damage to the environment, other crops, and farm workers’ health. The variety has not yet received approval for import in China, but Monsanto has stated “that Chinese approval is expected in time for Xtend’s commercial launch in 2016. “
- Andy Eubank reports for Hoosier Ag Today that northern corn leaf blight hit Indiana much harder than usual in 2014, damaging crops and diminishing overall yield for the state’s growers. Some of the area’s high yielding hybrid varieties are particularly susceptible to the disease, and growers are warned to take disease susceptibility into account when purchasing seed for the upcoming 2015 season.
- Dale Hildebrant reports for the Farm & Ranch Guide that John Deere and Hillco Technologies have teamed up to provide corn growers with the ability to harvest corn grain while simultaneously baling the stover in one automated process combining the John Deere S-Series ProDrive combine and the John Deere model 569 round baler. The system “offers continuous round baling with no stopping necessary. Harvesting and baling are accomplished in one pass, thus requiring less equipment, manpower and time.”
- Tom Doran reports for AgriNews.com that the development of Bt resistance in western corn rootworms in Iowa, Illinois, Minessota, Nebraska, and South Dakota highlights the need for integrated management practices in pest control. Most importantly, management strategies should be rotated across seasons rather than all stacked within a single season, and that the performance of management practices be monitored to ensure their effectiveness.
- The American Soybean Association reports on AgProfessional.com that Louisiana lead the nation in soybean yields in 2014 with an average state yield of 57 bushels per acre, followed closely behind by Illinois with 56 bushels per acre. This is the first year Louisiana has had the highest state average yield.
- Christopher Doering reports for The Des Moines Register that 2 senators have proposed an amendment to the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Bill that would abolish the ethanol mandate portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The bills presenters claim the ethanol mandate is “the government using corporate welfare to shower money on a favored industry and then send the bill to the general public,” while ethanol groups maintain the amendment is founded upon a false premise and would harm nation’s economy, energy production, and environmental protection efforts. The Senate is expected to begin looking at amendments for the Keystone Bill this week.