Press conferences are a staple to the life of an agricultural journalist. They are a necessary function that allows us to gather news and information of critical importance to our readers.
But they are also critical to companies as well. These meetings allow the company to disseminate relevant information to its audience. And depending on the company, the media attending a press conference can be from the surrounding states, or worldwide. The news generated from these events can help tell a story of a new product, provide updated market information to shareholders, and even provide a glimpse of the company’s overall marketing strategy. It’s truly a goldmine of information for journalists.
Often, however, we only report what goes on behind the microphone. To be fair, it’s often what is said at these events that is the news story. But these events also sometimes give us a glimpse of the company that goes beyond the media packet or press release. And through these photos, we’d like to share a glimpse of a media event.
I had the opportunity to attend the worldwide annual press conference for Bayer CropScience in Monheim, Germany. Journalists from around the world assembled in Monheim to listen to company updates from top management, and to ask questions.
As U.S. corn producers continue the push toward more and more corn acres — surpassing 96 million acres in 2012 — the pressure on the entire production system has mounted exponentially. Nowhere is that pressure felt more than at the beginning of the corn cycle — growing hybrid corn seed.
The DLG Field Days is a three-day open-air agricultural show that is held every other year, organized by the DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts- Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society). This year’s show was held in Bernburg-Strenzfeld, Germany, at the site of DLG’s International Crop Production Center. The region, which was located in the former East Germany, has some of the most highly productive farmland in all of Europe.
Farm Industry News sat down with Jordi Tormo, BASF vice president, at the agricultural division’s headquarters in Limburgerhof, Germany, to learn how the company is positioning itself to meet the needs of U.S. producers.
It’s easy to feel dwarfed by the sheer size of BASF. Driving past BASF’s enormous chemical facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany, one can truly appreciate the immense size of the company. Here, BASF employs more than 33,000 of its overall workforce of more than 110,000.
BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world. The company develops and markets products that reach into just about every aspect of consumer life. On the company’s website, it lists 25 industries in which it provides products.
While most corn growers are thinking about the 2012 crop, seed companies are now determining just how much corn seed to produce for the 2013 season, and beyond.
It’s a complicated balancing act that uses current sales, product demand, trait choice, customer feedback and sales force projections, among other factors, to determine which corn hybrids to plant, and in what quantities, to meet demand that at the time is probably the farthest thing from their customers’ minds.
It’s not often the topic of air fresheners comes up at an ag conference, so imagine my surprise when this flashed on a screen during a seminar at Crop World Global 2011: Every year, 2,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized with injuries due to air fresheners.
Although it’s still too early to put a cap on the winter of 2011–12, for most parts of the Midwest, this year’s winter weather has been anything but wintery. And that has weed watchers putting out a word of caution: Early-season weed populations could be above normal, and weeds could reach advanced growth stages much earlier than usual. Farmers may need to purchase more weed control products and purchase them earlier this year.
Predicting insect populations from year to year is difficult, if not impossible, so farmers need to be vigilant and scout. Here are five of the most common problematic insects, listed in no particular order.
You have to marvel at the weeds on this list. Despite all the efforts to eradicate these pests, they continue to come back, year after year. To make matters worse, they’ve adapted to modern farming practices and in some cases have developed resistance to modern crop protection products. Most growers have firsthand experience with most of these weeds, listed in no particular order.
Name brands may come and go, some herbicide products have evolutionized the way we farm. Micheal Owen, professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, lets us stroll down memory lane to review 10 “classic” herbicides, listed in no particular order.
Glyphosate revolutionized weed control when this nonselective herbicide was teamed up with the Roundup Ready trait.
Industry sources have told Farm Industry News that this year’s seed corn supply is much tighter than previously thought, and could lead to some significant shortages of top-end hybrids this growing season.
With total sales of $9.22 billion, Bayer CropScience is one of the global leaders in agribusiness. Its seed treatment, herbicide, insecticide and fungicide business accounts for 80% of the company’s sales. Now the company is expanding its role in the biotech arena. In a recent announcement at its world headquarters in Monheim, Germany, Bayer CropScience unveiled plans to double its annual investment in research and development at its BioScience unit by 2015 and to increase overall research and development budgets at Bayer CropScience to more than $1.14 billion by 2015.
In 2012, growers will have new fungicide and seed treatment options, as well as an array of weed control products for preseason and in-season control of broadleaves and grasses. Several products are still awaiting EPA approval, but their registration is expected in time for the 2012 planting season.