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Key innovations and products from the 2020 Commodity Classic

Get a quick view of key innovations and new products from the 2020 Commodity Classic.

From the release of the Case IH AFS Connect Steiger, to new herbicides and fungicides, an array of companies were eager to spotlight their new products and key innovations at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio.

Vive Crop Production

Vive Crop Protection is part of the first and only crop protection company making products with nano technology. “If you think of nano, it means very, very small, and that’s what we’re talking about with precision chemicals,” said Dan Bihlmeyer, vice president of sales and marketing. “One of the things we’re able to do with nano technology is make crop protection products do things they couldn’t do before.”

AZteroid FC 3.3 Fungicide provides systemic, broad-spectrum control of early-season diseases in a wide range of crops. It cleans up the soil and minimizes the change of later-season disease. The higher concentration saves time with fewer jugs to handle, triple rinse, and recycle.

Bifender FC is another product by Vive Crop Protection. This insecticide controls important below-ground insects like corn rootworm to get crops off to a strong start. When mixed with starter fertilizer, Bifender FC creates a larger “no chew” zone around the seed and roots.

Averland FC provides the most convenient in-furrow control of nematodes in corn and foliar pests in potatoes. “Averland is one we’re really excited about,” said Bihlmeyer. “This is our new corn nematicide product.”

“With all of these products, none of them need any additional equipment, no applicator unit. Just take your normal planting and spray tank and apply these products in the tank,” said Bihlmeyer. “Not a lot of complexity but the nano technology enables those things to be different.”


Perpetuo herbicide has recently been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a new postemergence residual herbicide from Valent USA.

“This is a new premix herbicide for weed control in soybeans,” said John Pawlak, product development manager for Valent USA Corporation. “The main reason this herbicide is important is because of the Amaranthus species that has become a major nuisance in soybean production for a number of reasons.”

Amaranthus species have developed resistance to over seven different modes of action. There are seven tools that used to be in control of these weeds that are no longer effective or have decreased effectiveness. Another problem is that this species is very competitive with soybeans; it can grow 2 to 3 inches a day in the right environmental conditions and produce up to .5 million seeds per plant. Therefore, it can take over the soybean field with just the density of the weed. The last problem is the weed’s long germination window. It can germinate early in the spring and continue germinating through late fall.

“This is where Perpetuo herbicide comes into play,” said Pawlak. The herbicide contains the active ingredient pyrozasulfone, a group 15 herbicide, and flumiclorac, a group 14 herbicide.

READ MORE: Valent U.S.A. announces EPA registration of Perpetuo herbicide for 2020

Protein First Initiative

The Protein First Initiative is a precompetitive partnership communication initiative on behalf of the United Soybean Board along with all of U.S. agriculture, said Keenan McRoberts, vice president of meal strategy for the United Soybean Board.

“We want to work together to ensure that we’re a preferred global supplier of protein based on the sustainability and quality attributes of U.S. protein to meet the global demand growth for protein,” said McRoberts. “Many parts of the world are substantially protein-deficient, and we’ll see substantial gains in protein consumption as emerging economics start to come online. So this opportunity in addition to the overall goal is to sustainably meet the future demand for protein from all sources of U.S. protein in this pretty competitive space.”

McRoberts also explained that by 2050, the world is going to be looking at a population of approximately 10 billion people who will need to consume multiple servings of protein per day from both plant and animal sources. He is optimistic that farmers will see a higher demand from these emerging markets. This competitive communication partnership initiative focuses on global demand growth, sustainability, and feeding a global population with nutrient-dense protein from all sources coming from U.S. agriculture.


In 2019, Syngenta registered Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology herbicide. Tavium contains built-in residual control to manage resistant weeds and maintain clean fields throughout the season. It can be used preplant, at planting, and early postemergence on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans and Bollagard II XtendFlex Cotton.

“The reason we’re excited about this product is that it’s a premix, and it’s the first and only premix of a residual dicamba herbicide,” said Pete Eure, the technical product lead on herbicides for Syngenta. “The premix is a combination of S-metolachlor and dicamba to control broadleaf weeds, so it helps to manage the weeds that you see and the weeds that you don’t.”

Tavium targets weeds including Palmer amaranth, common and giant ragweed, morning glory, kochia, barnyardgrass, horseweed, and foxtail.

READ MORE: Syngenta announced EPA registration of Tavium Plus Vaporgrip Technology

Soil Health Partnership

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) promotes the adoption of soil health practices for economic and environmental benefit. The partnership works with farmers to explore the financial, economic, and environmental benefits and risks of soil health practices.

A recent project by the SHP in partnership with Bayer, Climate Smart Group, Viresco Solutions, Dagan Inc., Ag Solver, and CropGrowers funded by NRCS is the carbon insetting framework. The tool allows organizations to quantify emission reductions that result from sustainable practices by farmers. The project’s goal is to work with organizations to help them lower the environmental impact of their farms and produce sustainably-grown products that buyers are demanding.

“If you think about a future when farmers can be rewarded for sequestering carbon through carbon credits or carbon market of some kind, there will need to be a structure in place so buyers know what they’re paying for,” said John Mesko, senior director of the Soil Health Partnership. “With Bayer, we’ve developed this framework in which a farmer or entity can identify how the carbon has been sequestered."

Mesko also said there are other folks working on this whole concept of how we can help farmers be rewarded for these sustainable farming practices.

Trace Genomics

Genomics of microbes in the soil is Trace Genomics’ focus. It allows farmers to see how soil biology insights impact their management decisions by pulling the DNA out of the microbes in the soil and sequencing them to give you evidence of exactly what’s in the soil.

“What we’re doing at Trace is quantifying not only what microbes are in the soil but also how many are in the soil, both the pathogenic and nutrient cycling, with a high degree of accuracy,” said Pat Dumstorff, row crops business lead for Trace Genomics. “So, we’ve got fungicides, nematodes, and bacteria that we can see in a soil sample.”

Trace Genomics helps growers maximize the value of every acre. The company is building the largest, most actionable body of soil intelligence, making thousands of growers experts on what’s in their soils.

Raven Autonomy

Raven Industries is working toward commercializing the autonomous solutions in agriculture. Autocart is an innovative software system that allows you to monitor and operate a driverless grain cart tractor from the cab of the harvester.

“With the autocart system, we’re able to optimize the farm labor allocation operating at any time of the day, giving you greater visibility and control into your entire operation,” said Ryan Molitor, director of sales and marketing for Raven Industries. “We don’t typically develop new technologies or niche technologies. We look at challenges, whether it’s a grower, retailer, or enterprise farm, and come up with technologies that solve those challenges.”

Raven Industries believes implementing Autocart on an operation will not only add value but also offer an ROI. The compatible app can be used to set staging and unloading locations in a field, adjust speed, monitor location, and command the grain cart to sync.


Netafim, a global leader in precision irrigation, has developed an automated irrigation and fertigation cloud-based platform called NetBeat.

Known as the first irrigation system with a brain, NetBeat provides actionable recommendations to the grower about exactly how much water and nutrients are needed at each state of growth.

“NetBeat enables growers to increase yield, reduce input costs, manage efficiency, mitigate risk, and comply with regulations,” said Brent Wellington product manager for Netafim.


This year, FMC launched Xyway 3D Fungicide, a new corn fungicide. Xyway 3D provides systemic disease protection from the inside out for corn plants, from root to tassel and stalk to leaf. The early, residual disease control of Xyway 3D Fungicide protects the plant’s yield potential from day one, resulting in higher yields and outstanding stalk health and standability.

A good way to look at it is that it’s an inside-out protection,” said Eric Caster. “It will be continuously drawn up the plant in concentrations that are effective. In 33 trials in the last two years, we’ve shown a 9-bushel increase compared with the untreated.”

XyWay 3D is available in a 3RIVE 3D platform on limited basis for 2020.

Alongside Xyway 3D Fungicide, FMC launched a new preemergent weed control – Authority Edge herbicide. The EPA has granted the use of the herbicide for soybeans, sunflowers, and dry shelled peas.

Authority Edge herbicide provides two effective sites of action to combat resistant weeds and help preserve the effectiveness of postemergence herbicide technologies. The herbicide controls a wide spectrum of weeds including waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, pigweed, black nightshade, common lambsquarters, kochia, Russian thistle, morning glories, smartweed, foxtail, barnyardgrass, and fall panicum.

“It fits a lot of soil types,” said Gail Stratman, regional technical service manager for FMC. “One thing that is unique about this product is that we’ve optimized the active ingredient rate in this formulation designed for that soybean grower.”

Dragotec USA

Corn stalk variability and its impact on yield loss at harvest was Dragotec USA’s focus by creating automatic deck plates to keep each row on the crop.

“About 60% of harvest loss occurs on the corn header. If a corn header is off a corn row by ⅛ inch, you can potentially lose up to 4 bushels an acre,” said Dustin Bolling, marketing director for Dragotec. “The number one reason for shelling loss, by a survey or farmers, is misadjusted deck weight.”

Bolling shared a study Dragotec completed in the fall of 2018 showing their success in highly variable and normal harvesting conditions by taking the guesswork out of managing deck plates. He shared that with hydraulic deck plates, farmers are able to set for one row. However, this sets it for all the rows. With Dragotec’s automatic deck plates, operators are automatically able to set for each row.

“I challenge you all that farm to really think about what another 2 to 3 bushels per acre over five years looks like,” said Bolling. “It can be anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 or more bushels.”

Compass Minerals

Launched this year, Rocket Seeds Moly Shine seed finisher is ideally suited for soybeans and legumes and has the added benefit of micronutrients. It acts as a seed-drying source and also improves lubrication and flowability.

“Molybdenum is a nutrient that doesn’t get enough attention but is essential in low amounts and is a catalyst for nitrogen fixation,” said Kyle Lilly the senior product manager certified professional soil scientist for Compass Minerals. “Moly Shine has tested to not only improve molybdenum update but also improve nitrogen uptake, which we know ultimately turns into amino acids and proteins as a very important component of building yield.”

Moly Shine can be applied at the retailer, adding convenience and value for growers. For nearly the same price as a traditional seed finisher, growers receive the added value of micronutrients delivered directly on the seed before it gets to the farm.


Case IH released the AFS Connect technology on the Steiger series – the company’s largest line at the 2020 Commodity Classic.

Three configurations are available are the new machine including Quadtrac, Rowtrac, and wheeled-in models ranging from 370 hp to 620 hp as well as redesigned with new controls, a configurable 12-inch display and automotive-grade design elements.

READ MORE: A peek at the new Case IH AFS Connect Steiger

The AFS Connect Magnum series tractor was released last year at the National Farm Machinery Show but was

Our AFS connect platform is meant to be your day-to-day, season-to-season, remote monitoring and management,” said Chris Dempsey, marketing manager for Case IH. “These tractors maintain our proven reliable horsepower offering with a more precise guidance display.”


“Wireworms on wheat acres are growing,” said Dr. Ruhiyyih Dyrdahl-Young, regional technical representative for BASF. “Wireworms are the larval stage of click beetles, and in the larval stage they can live in the ground from five to seven years and in some cases in the Pacific Northwest have a 10-year life cycle in the soil.”

Teraxxa was recently launched to combat wireworms in small grain fields. The insecticide features a new mode of action through the active ingredient, Broflanilide, and is expected to be available in 2021.

“Teraxxa is game changer. When you put a Teraxxa-treated seed in a wheat field and the larval population comes up in the springtime and comes in to contact with Teraxxa, its quickly killed.”

3Bar Biologics

“At 3Bar Biologics we’re bringing a fresh approach to the way biologics are delivered in agriculture. We’re doing this through innovation and packaging in how the microbes are being grown onsite so the freshest, most viable product is what is being delivered to the field,” said Jane Fife, chief science officer for 3Bar Biologics.

Fife said this matters because by the time a biological product makes its way through the supply chain to the farm, many of the microbes are dead or disturbed.

Using their live approach, 3Bar Biologics was able to bring its first product to market called Bio-Yield®. The product contains beneficial bacteria that will grow rapidly after the product is activated. Bio-Yield uses microbes isolated from local Ohio fields to enrich the plant rhizosphere, ultimately producing faster emergence, healthier plants, and higher yields.

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