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Business Briefs - January 17, 2018
 

AgReliant’s new LG Seeds initiative, group director

WESTFIELD, Ind. — As AgReliant Genetics stays committed to unifying its regional brands, the LG Seeds brand plans to launch an enhanced dealer development initiative starting in July. This dealer development initiative will begin by creating a team of 10 dealer support professionals.

This team of dealer development managers will be responsible for supporting LG Seeds’ enhanced dealer strategy and will ensure that the brand recruits, trains and supports the highest-quality and skilled dealers.

In addition to strengthening LG Seeds’ dealer distribution strategy, the brand is excited to announce that starting in July this group of dealer development managers will be directed by Doug Little. Little is the current brand manager at Great Lakes Hybrids and brings more than 30 years of sales, marketing and dealer development leadership experience to the role.

As AgReliant Genetics continues to unify its regional brands – the current LG Seeds, Eureka Seeds, Golden Acres Genetics, Great Lakes Hybrids, Producers Hybrids and Wensman Seed – regular announcements in regard to new brand enhancements will continue as the organization moves toward its planned launch of the new LG Seeds brand in July.

Beck’s to expand Iowa seed processing and distribution facility

ATLANTA, Ind. — Beck’s Hybrids is pleased to announce an ongoing expansion project for its processing and distribution facility in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The expansion will begin with a new warehouse and dock space that is projected to be completed in November.

Future plans also include a new structure for bulk storage and installation of a new color sorter technology. Purchased in 2014, Beck’s Mt. Pleasant facility sits on 62 acres and currently features more than 105,000 square feet of warehouses, 500,000 bushels of bulk storage capacity, three double-pass dryers and machinery storage, as well as sales and agronomic support.

The expansion was approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority board as part of the HighQuality Jobs (HQJ) Program. The HQJ provides qualifying businesses assistance to offset costs incurred to locate, expand or modernize an Iowa facility. The project is expected to create 10 jobs.

$4.2M Lilly grant supporting AgriNovus Indiana’s programs

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — AgriNovus Indiana, a food and agriculture innovation initiative, will use a two-year, $4.2 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to support strategic programs to meet the education, talent and entrepreneurship needs of the growing agbiosciences sector in Indiana.

The grant was made to the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) Foundation, which supports the charitable, educational and scientific purposes of CICP. CICP is the nonprofit parent organization of six economic development initiatives, including AgriNovus. To encourage others interested in the agbioscience sector to support AgriNovus, $500,000 of the grant is subject to matching conditions.

AgriNovus has identified three key strategies that are crucial to enhancing Indiana’s efforts to make it a recognized agbiosciences industry leader in the development of new, innovative products and services. They are:

•Developing general and targeted public education initiatives to raise awareness about the agbiosciences sector and the opportunities it offers

•Supporting talent and workforce development efforts to create a pipeline of professionals trained for and excited by agbiosciences careers in Indiana

•Identifying best practices in entrepreneurial growth and investment to leverage Indiana’s agbiosciences resources

CME launches Black Sea corn and wheat futures

CHICAGO, Ill. — CME Group announced the launch of Black Sea Wheat FOB (Platts) and Black Sea Corn FOB (Platts) financially settled futures contracts, which began trading on Dec. 18. The financially settled contracts will each be offered with two settlement periods, providing greater customer flexibility, whereby 12 whole-month contracts and 24 half-month futures contracts are available to trade. The contracts will be denominated in U.S. dollars, 50 metric tons in size, and available to trade as blocks subject to a minimum of five contracts.

The two new futures contracts will be available for trading on CME Globex or for submission for clearing through CME ClearPort, and will be listed with and subject to the rules and regulation of CBOT.

Dow AgroSciences continues Power To Do More contest

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — After receiving an overwhelming response to the 2017 Power To Do More contest sponsored by Resicore corn herbicide, Dow AgroSciences is thrilled to launch season two of the contest.

Farmers can enter the contest by visiting www.PowerToDoMore.com and uploading a photo that represents the power of their farm now through Feb. 11, for a chance to win a trip for two to their dream sports field in the United States and $10,000 for a community field donation.

Photo entries may include fields, family, friends, pets, livestock, equipment or whatever represents the power of their farm operation. More than 130 farmers entered the contest in its first year, and Dow AgroSciences awarded $10,000 to three winning community organizations in Iowa, Illinois and Ohio, plus $1,000 each to the other top 10 finalists’ communities.

After the entry phase closes, up to 10 finalists will be selected for daily voting, which will begin March 26. The three finalists with the most votes by April 22 will win. To enter the contest and watch a 30-second video trailer featuring winners from 2017, visit the website.

Apple Farm garners three Case IH Pinnacle Awards

COVINGTON, Ohio — Apple Farm Service has been awarded Case IH’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, in three categories for 2016. Last year Apple Farm Service was awarded this distinguished award for operations, service and Advanced Farming Systems.

 

The Pinnacle Award is given to dealerships that show top level performance in key categories. Apple Farm Service earned its operations award through excellent management of daily operations, its service award was earned through first-rate customer service and tech efficiency and its Advanced Farming Systems award was earned through exemplary education, training, sales and customer service with AFS technology.

Apple Farm Service has always strived for top-notch customer service with Case IH, receiving the Pinnacle Award in multiple categories for more than five years in a row.

CME Group declares dividend for shareholders

CHICAGO, Ill. — CME Group declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 66 cents per share, payable Dec. 27 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 8, 2017.

CME also announced it declared its annual variable dividend, amounting to $3.50 per share.  The dividend was payable Jan. 16 to shareholders of record on Dec. 28. When CME Group adopted its annual variable dividend structure in February 2012, the intention was to determine the excess cash available at the end of each year, with the level to increase or decrease from year to year based on operating results, potential investment activity and other forms of capital return.

The annual variable dividend of $3.50 per share totals approximately $1.2 billion.  Including this variable dividend and the fourth-quarter dividend of 66 cents, the total dividend yield for dividends announced during 2017 is 4.9 percent based on the average closing stock price in 2017 to date.

The company stated it will have paid a total of nearly $10 billion in quarterly and variable dividends since adopting the annual variable dividend structure in the beginning of 2012.

First Farmers Financial Corp. declares record dividend

CONVERSE, Ind. — First Farmers Financial Corp., the parent company of First Farmers Bank & Trust Co., announced that on Dec. 12 the board of directors approved a record quarterly cash dividend for the fourth quarter of 2017 of 36 cents per share, payable on Jan. 12 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 29.

This quarterly dividend represents a 9.1 percent increase over the quarterly dividend declared in December 2016.

First Farmers Financial Corp is a $1.69 billion financial holding company headquartered in Converse. First Farmers Bank & Trust has 27 offices throughout Carroll, Cass, Clay, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Huntington, Madison, Marshall, Miami, Starke, Sullivan, Tipton, Vigo and Wabash counties in Indiana, and seven offices in Coles, Edgar and Vermilion counties in Illinois.

USDA funding for underserved groups and beginning farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA’s Farm Service Agency reminds producers that FSA offers specially targeted farm ownership and farm operating loans to underserved applicants as well as beginning farmers.

USDA defines underserved applicants as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group without regard to their individual qualities. For farm loan program purposes, underserved groups are women, African-Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders.

In order to qualify as a beginning farmer, the individual or entity must meet the eligibility requirements outlined for direct or guaranteed loans. Additionally, individuals and all entity members must have operated a farm for fewer than 10 years. Applicants must materially or substantially participate in the operation.

For more guidelines and application information, contact your local FSA office.

AGCO reports third-quarter results, with $2B in net sales

DULUTH, Ga. — AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, reported net sales of approximately $2 billion for the third quarter of 2017, an increase of approximately 12.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2016.

Reported net income was 76 cents per share for the third quarter of 2017, and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses, was 79 cents per share. These results compare to reported net income of 50 cents per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses, of 51 cents per share for the third quarter of 2016.

Excluding favorable currency translation impacts of approximately 2.7 percent, net sales in the third quarter of 2017 increased approximately 10.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2016. Net sales for the first nine months of 2017 were approximately $5.8 billion, an increase of approximately 8.7 percent compared to the same period in 2016.

Long-term growth continues to be a key focus, and the company is working to expand product offerings through internal product development efforts and bolt-on acquisitions. It recently completed two acquisitions – in September, Precision Planting, a leader in innovative planting technology, and in October, the forage division of the Lely Group, which significantly enhances AGCO’s hay and forage product line in Europe.

Clean Water Indiana grants awarded to 25 counties

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the State Soil Conservation Board (SSCB) awarded nearly $900,000 in Clean Water Indiana (CWI) grants to 25 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). These grants will help fund conservation projects designed to improve water quality across the state.

“We’re starting to see a significant reduction in the amount of sediment and nutrients prevented from entering Indiana’s waterways, as a result of Clean Water Indiana,” said Melissa Rekeweg, ISDA interim director. "There is still much work to be done to improve our water quality, and these grants are critical to that effort."

The CWI program is administered by ISDA’s Division of Soil Conservation, under the direction of the SSCB, and funded, in part, by the state’s cigarette tax revenue. It was established to provide financial assistance to landowners and conservation districts, as an effort to reduce non-point sources of water pollution.

The following includes the CWI grants for 2018. The lead SWCD on the project is listed first, followed by the partnering district(s), if applicable, and the award amount. The total funding was $897,034.50.

•Allen County: $24,300

•Blackford County (Adams, Jays, Wells counties): $154,500

•Dearborn County (Ohio County): $107,000

•Dubois County (Daviess, Martin counties): $95,250

•Fulton County: $55,500

•Jefferson County (Clark County): $66,990

•Knox County (Pike, Sullivan, Dubois, Daviess, Warrick counties): $52,500

•Marion County: $60,000

•Pike County (Gibson County): $84,000

•Rush County (Shelby County): $4,912.50

•Steuben County: $25,750

•Vanderburgh County (Gibson, Pike, Posey, Warrick counties): $95,000

•Wabash County: $22,300

•Warrick County (Posey, Vanderburgh counties): $49,032

Agency launches with a strategic, creative focus for agriculture

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A new agriculture-focused agency, Blank Page Marketing, LLC announced its launch with a dedicated team driven to generate client results with a fresh perspective. Led by Tiffany Obrecht-Johnson, BLNKPG offers marketing and communications services ranging from strategy to experience management.

Project Manager Lindsey Lawyer will provide client satisfaction with a client-first focus. She brings not only an agriculture education from Purdue University, but past agency experience and a boots-in-the-mud farm background. Raised on a family swine and crop operation, she farms with her husband in rural Hancock County.

A niche-agency model, BLNKPG concentrates on starting from scratch for each client objective without a templated approach. The BLNKPG team brings years of agriculture and agency experience to the table, with a continued focus in the agriculture industry.

To learn more about BLNKPG and its offerings, visit blnkpg.com

Land O'Lakes announces increased third-quarter 2017 results

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Land O'Lakes, Inc. announced increased third-quarter 2017 financial results with quarterly net earnings of $47.5 million, up from third-quarter net earnings in 2016 of $8.1 million.

Similarly, year-to-date net earnings were also higher, at $270.4 million on sales of $10.2 billion versus net earnings of $246.4 million on sales of just under $10 billion for the same time period in 2016, reflecting an overall increase of approximately 9.8 percent. Third-quarter sales remained constant at $2.8 billion for both 2017 and 2016.

Third-quarter earnings benefitted from strong performance in crop inputs and animal feed, which were partly offset by lower earnings in dairy foods and investments in Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN. Earnings in crop inputs were driven by higher volumes in alfalfa and improved margins in crop protection products.

Animal feed volumes were lower than 2016 levels but margins and product mix improved across the portfolio. Dairy foods benefited from strong volumes in foodservice but overall margins were lower due to declines in global milk powder markets, which impacted pricing.

Top dairy co-op rebrands to give dairy farmers an Edge

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Milk is getting a new voice in America’s Heartland. Meet Edge, the dairy farmer cooperative taking a fresh approach to representing its members.

Edge, formerly known as the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, has been a game-changer for dairy farmers since its inception in 2010. Tim Trotter, Edge’s executive director, describes the cooperative as an energetic and progressive organization representing all dairy farmers equally.

As Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, the organization led a cost reduction for farmers in verification co-ops throughout the market and broke away from traditional bloc voting by giving each member a vote. The cooperative also elevated the voice of farmers in federal policy discussions about global markets, supply management, immigration reform and other issues.

Now with nearly 800 members from farms of all sizes in nine states, the co-op is one of the top in the country for milk volume, sitting at No. 5 on the Hoard’s Dairyman Top 50 list. During the past two years, the cooperative accelerated its progressive development and increased its value for members.

Over the next several months, the former company and name will be phased out. Farmers who are not currently members have a fresh opportunity to join the cooperative. In addition to further strengthening its members’ influence on Capitol Hill, Edge will continue to fulfill requirements of Federal Milk Marketing Orders as a verification cooperative and provide market information. For more information, visit www.voiceofmilk.com

Pilgrim’s Pride reports 3Q operating income of $372M

GREELEY, Colo. — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. reported its third quarter 2017 financial results. Consolidated numbers reflect Moy Park for the entire quarter, including historical data in accordance to U.S. GAAP.

Net sales were $2.79 billion, 37.4 percent higher than the same quarter the previous year of $2.03 billion, excluding Moy Park. Net income was $232.7 million.

The company reported adjusted operating income margins of 16.6 percent in the United States, 13.4 percent in Mexico and 4.1 percent in Europe operations, and an adjusted EBITDA of $463.6 million (or a 16.6 percent margin) and adjusted EPS of 98 cents.

Excluding Moy Park, net sales were $2.28 billion, adjusted operating income was $367.7 million and adjusted EBITDA was $427.6 million, or an 18.8 percent margin. The acquisition of Moy Park positions Pilgrim’s Pride as the global leader in chicken and prepared foods, and aligns with its strategic priorities while providing a strong platform for future growth, the company stated.

According to the company, during Q3, its U.S. operations were robust across all business units and Mexico performed even better than expectations. “Despite greater availability of alternative protein, we saw strong demand for chicken during grilling season and we expect a continuation of chicken as a choice protein in domestic and international markets,” said Bill Lovette, CEO.

“We closed the acquisition of Moy Park last September and are very excited about the potential opportunities in Europe because it creates a stronger, more diverse and more stable global chicken and prepared foods leader in Pilgrim’s.”

RFD-TV’s ‘Rural Tractor Brigade’ wins a Cablefax Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — RFD-TV News announced that its “Rural Tractor Brigade” was awarded a 2017 Cablefax Award for Best Branded Content. RFD-TV organized the “Rural Tractor Brigade” as part of its continuing effort to “reconnect city with country.”

RFD-TV brought eight different tractor brands together to unite under the American flag to showcase hardworking rural American farmers and highlight modern agriculture production. All tractor brands were invited. In addition, members of the National FFA carried the “Rural Tractor Brigade” banner in front of a colorful tractor display.

The RFD-TV and RURAL RADIO news teams covered the “Rural Tractor Brigade” on “Market Day Report” and “Rural Evening News” leading up to the inauguration and day of with live hits and online. In addition, the coverage was simulcast on RURAL RADIO Channel 147 on SiriusXM.

Several leaders of agriculture associations represented their organizations by driving a tractor in the parade: Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation; Ron Moore, president of the American Soybean Assoc., and his wife, Deb; Randy Krotz, CEO of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance; John Weber, president of National Pork Producers Council; and Jim Odle, co-founder of Superior Livestock Auction. Past and current presidents of the National Assoc. of Farm Broadcasting, Mark Oppold and Max Armstrong, also served as drivers to represent rural media.

AEM announces its ‘I Make America’ award winners

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A record number of equipment manufacturing industry companies were recognized for their outstanding commitment to advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry at the Assoc. of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) recent Annual Conference.

Thirty companies received AEM’s highest honor for their participation in “I Make America,” its national grassroots campaign that advances the equipment manufacturing industry’s policy priorities. Twenty-two companies were recognized as Gold level supporters of I Make America, while an additional eight were honored as Legacy Award winners for reaching Gold level for five consecutive years.

Legacy Award Winners: Blount International, Carlson Paving Products, Deere & Co., InQuest Marketing, Ken Cook Co., Stellar Industries, Terex Corp. and Vermeer Corp.

Gold Award Winners: AGCO Corp., Astec Mobile Screens, Calder Brothers, Caterpillar Inc., CLAAS of America Inc., CNH Industrial, Cummins Inc., Custom Products of Litchfield Inc., Doosan Bobcat, General Kinematics, Gradall Industries, Hardi North America Inc., JCB Inc., JLG Industries, Johnson Crushers International, KOBELCO Construction Machinery USA Inc., Kolberg Pioneer, Kondex Corp., Manitou Americas Inc., Sioux Corp., Volvo Construction Equipment and Weiler.

New Holland wins six ASABE, Agritechnica awards for 2018

NEW HOLLAND, Pa. — The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has named five of New Holland Agriculture’s most recent technological advancements as recipients of 2018 AE50 awards.

These awards honor the year’s most innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries. The Dynamic Command transmission for T6 series tractors, the CustomSteer feature for select T6 and T7 tractors, the IntelliTurn end of row turning automation feature, the Optispread Plus residue management system for CR combines and the Guardian SP310F high clearance self-propelled front boom sprayer were last year’s winners.

Companies from around the world submit entries and up to 50 of the best products are chosen by a panel of international engineering experts. The judges select innovative products that will best advance engineering for the food and agriculture industries.

In addition, the New Holland T6.175 Dynamic Command tractor was crowned Machine of the Year for 2018 in the Mid Class Tractor category at the Agritechnica trade show in Hanover, Germany, in November. The machine received the coveted award for its technical innovation and the benefits it brings to customers, with selection criteria focusing on innovative features, performance, productivity, cost of operation, ease of use and operator comfort.

AGCO rewarded with prestige at Agritechnica for 2018

DULUTH, Ga. — AGCO achieved remarkable success with 17 major awards at the prestigious Agritechnica 2017 event in Hannover, Germany. As a result of the votes cast by an independent expert committee, AGCO stated it was once again one of the most successful manufacturers at Agritechnica 2017 by way of the number of innovation awards received.

The new Fendt Track Tractor 943 Vario MT won the treasured award Machine of the Year 2018 in the Category XXL Tractors. AGCO also received the following other awards:

•Tractor of the Year 2018: Valtra Versu T254 SmartTouch

•Tractor of the Year 2018 Best Design: Valtra Versu T254 SmartTouch

•Tractor of the Year 2018 Best of Specialised – Fendt 211 V Vario

•Tractor of the Year 2018 Finalist: Massey Ferguson 5709 Dyna 4

•Tractor of the Year 2018 Finalist: Massey Ferguson 3710

•Tractor of the Year 2018 Finalist: Valtra A114

•Machine of the Year Combine Harvester: Fendt & Massey Ferguson IDEAL

•Machine of the Year Audience Choice Award: Fendt & Massey Ferguson IDEAL

•Machine of the Year Tractor Upper Class Tractor: Valtra T Series

•Machine of the Year Tractor XXL: Fendt 900 Vario MT

•DLG Agritechnica Silver Innovation Awards: Fendt & Massey Ferguson IDEAL Combine Harvester, Fendt VarioPull System, Fendt e100 Vario, Fendt MARS/Xaver Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms, AGCO agrirouter, GSI FlexWave Grain Silo Unloading System

•Agrarmarketing Prize 2017, Finalist: Fendt IDEAL advertising campaign

Rodale receives $150,000 grant supporting veterans, families

KUTZTOWN, Pa. — Rodale Institute has been awarded a $150,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman.

Newman’s Own made the award to Rodale Institute’s Veteran Farmer Training Program as part of a broader commitment to support military personnel, veterans and their families. This funding will help Rodale continue its Veteran Farmer Training Program, which helps train returning military veterans for new careers in organic agriculture.

The program offers hands-on training to military veterans on an organic farm, which could include vegetable production, raising livestock, beekeeping and greenhouse production.

Newman’s Own recently provided grants to 26 nonprofit organizations that assist veterans and their families as part of a $6.7 million commitment to honor those who serve. These organizations provide a wide variety of support, including education, career development, mentoring, guide dogs, adaptive vehicles and other services.

The Foundation continues Newman’s commitment to give all profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products to charity. Since 1982, more than $495 million has been donated to thousands of charities around the world.

FarmLead adds price discovery to online grain marketplace

CHICAGO, Ill. — FarmLead, North America’s largest and fastest growing online grain marketplace announced the launch of its newest feature, Price Discovery. Price Discovery provides an accurate, comprehensive view of historical and future grain price trends specific to the user’s geography, empowering farmers to make the smartest decision possible when selling their grain.

It is difficult for North American farmers to properly access cash grain data that gives them an understanding of where local prices have been and where they are going. Access to such data is either expensive and cumbersome or extremely time-consuming, preventing farmers from improving their ability to manage the cash (basis) price they receive for their grain.

FarmLead’s Price Discovery feature saves farmers time and money by providing the data in an appealing and easy-to-use format, with no upfront or subscription costs. When coupled with access to thousands of verified buyers on the FarmLead Marketplace, Price Discovery allows grain farmers to close deals faster.

On average, FarmLead says the total process adds 6 percent more value to the final selling price of a farmer’s grain.

For more information, or to register for your free account, go to www.FarmLead.com

AGRON sells California biodiesel plant to Western Iowa Energy

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — AGRON Bioenergy, LLC closed the sale of its biodiesel plant located in Watsonville to Western Iowa Energy, LLC. Ocean Park acted as exclusive advisor to the seller.

WIE President and General Manager Brad Wilson said, “We are excited to begin biodiesel production in California. We have been very successful in Iowa and plan to increase the value of our members’ investment with this acquisition.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The assets include a biodiesel refinery designed to produce 15 million gallons of biodiesel per year and patents encompassing AGRON’s centrifuge system and distillation steps to eliminate water washing in the production of biodiesel.

ASABE names Praxidyn Mixmate a 2018 AE50 award winner

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has named The Praxidyn Mixmate portable ag chemical blending and recordkeeping system as a winner of a 2018 AE50 award.

Mixmate, Praxidyn’s first product, is a fully automated chemical blending and recordkeeping system with modular options for portable or stationary installations and to measure by weight and flow. The patent-pending jug process drains, weighs, rinses, records and reconciles the data from a jug in about 12 seconds.

The Android app controls the system and captures the records automatically. The app synchronizes with the Intersect cloud service to back up data and provides access from the office. Intersect has CSV and API data connections for easy data transfer with other recordkeeping systems.

New swine research facility promises valuable insights

SLEEPY EYE, Minn. — The strategically developed Leavenworth Livestock Research Center has been two years in the making. Although the heavily anticipated facility opened its doors only weeks ago, the 2,500-head, wean-to-finish center is already expected to make big advancements in the research sector of the swine industry.

Located near Sleepy Eye, the research site boasts two 1,250-head rooms and is fully equipped with 96 pens (48 per room) and innovative technologies like the Big Dutchman DryExact feeding system. And, while it may look similar to a commercial barn, the facility is fully filtered. The system removes dust and pathogens before they get into the barn, thereby alleviating many biosecurity concerns.

The team can gather large amounts of statistical data with the number of pigs on-site and connect those results to similar situations for swine producers. This will better help customers achieve their production goals, increase profitability, reduce risk and improve their overall competitive advantage.

Hubbard Feeds is proud to partner with parent company Alltech on this endeavor. Hubbard Feeds is also proud to source high-quality pigs for their Leavenworth Livestock Research Center from premier pork producers Schwartz Farms, Inc. of Sleepy Eye.

For more information on this exciting new facility and how it might benefit your operation, email Ernie Hansen, Hubbard Feeds’ manager of swine nutrition and technical services, at Ernie.Hansen@hubbardfeeds.com

Growmark reports 2017 year-end financial results

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Growmark announced its audited financial results for fiscal year 2017, which ended August 31. Growmark reported $7.3 billion in sales, up from $7.0 billion in 2016. Pre-tax income of $91 million is down from $116 million in 2016.

Collective efforts resulted in estimated patronage refunds of $59 million, distributed in a combination of cash and stock, followed by stock redemption. Operational highlights for the company’s business units include:

•The Crop Protection Division recorded record chemical sales. Nitrogen stabilizer and adjuvant sales were up substantially compared to 2016.

•The Crop Nutrients Division had record sales volumes led by best-in-history shipments of phosphate and potash. This represented record sales volume in six of the last seven years.

•Overall System seed acres remained relatively flat with an uptick in soybean sales, while corn sales were down slightly compared to 2016.

•The Energy Division’s sales volumes were up compared to 2016 and the third highest on record, led by increases in distillates and propane.

•Retail Grain Units reported record-high bushel volume and improved earnings compared to 2016.

USRSB unveils sustainability tools for the beef community

DENVER, Colo. — The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) announced the release of its Sustainability Metrics, the latest tool helping those who raise, buy and sell beef understand ways to balance and improve their environmental impact, social responsibility and financial bottom line.

In 2016 the USRSB released High Priority Indicators to address areas of sustainability most important to the beef industry. USRSB Sustainability Metrics accompany High Priority Indicators and will serve as a self-assessment tool to aid the beef community as producers examine their sustainability footprint and share their personal stories.

The USRSB hopes this tool will move the curve for beef sustainability ensuring the industry continues to be a global leader in beef sustainability. To learn more about the USRSB and explore the USRSB Indicator and Metric Summary, visit www.USRSB.org

DuPont, Sumitomo announce seed-applied tech agreement

DES MOINES, Iowa — DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. announced a global agreement to collaborate on the development, registration and commercialization of seed-applied technologies for use in key crops around the world.

DuPont and Sumitomo formed this collaboration out of a shared objective to accelerate development and commercialization of novel seed-applied technologies to improve early plant growth and yields. The global agreement leverages the strengths of both companies, combining the conventional chemical and biological pipeline from Sumitomo with the advanced seed technology and development and commercialization capability of DuPont Crop Protection, a business unit of DowDuPont Agriculture Division.

By combining the pipeline from Sumitomo Chemical with DuPont’s technology and capability, there is an opportunity to evaluate these technologies together, at much earlier stages, to understand the complementary characteristics of various product combinations. This early-stage collaboration will enhance current and future commercial products for seed-applied technologies.

Collaborations between DuPont and Sumitomo’s regional affiliate, Valent U.S.A. LLC., will focus on the North American region with potential expansion opportunities to multiple crop markets globally.

Indiana business joins Massey Ferguson dealer network

DULUTH, Ga. — An Indiana business recently became a dealer for Massey Ferguson, a global brand of AGCO Corp., and will be marketing compact and utility equipment. Diversifying for business growth and the Massey Ferguson brand reputation were two of the reasons it joined the dealer network.

Chris Wooldridge, general manager at Tom Wood Outdoor Equipment in Martinsville, Ind., said the parent company, Tom Wood Automotive Group, made the move into power sports and agricultural equipment in 2014, seeking business opportunities with greater growth potential.

The business continued to diversify by adding Massey Ferguson brand compact and utility tractors and Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay equipment. Wooldridge stands behind the new line of Massey Ferguson compact and utility products, as he was the first customer at the dealership to purchase one.

1/19/2018