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Evening Edition | Thursday, July 21, 2022

In this Evening Edition, read about crop conditions and soybean cyst nematode management, ag technology for tractors and business management, and crop insurance in the 2023 farm bill.

Crop Conditions and Management

Editor Natalina Sents Bausch reports on the drought conditions throughout the top 18 corn growing states, which all indicate moisture stress.

There are expanding and intensifying drought conditions in many areas as a record-setting heat wave sweeps the country.

In Nebraska, for example, D3 extreme drought covers parts of 18 counties, or about 10% of the state. At this point in the growing season last year, there was no extreme drought in the state.

Editor Chelsea Dinterman reports on soybean cyst nematode (SCN).

With a rapid life cycle and estimated annual $1.5 billion yield loss potential, soybean cyst nematode has consistently been rated the most damaging soybean pathogen in North America.

A proactive approach in choosing soybean varieties can pay off, Dinterman writes. The first step in combatting the pest is to take soil samples.

Agriculture Technology

ADM, a leader in sustainable nutrition and agriculture, and Farmers Business Network (FBN) have signed an agreement to expand availability of FBN’s digital farm business management platform, Gradable, to ADM’s network of farmers across North America.

The platform will be accessible to 55,000 growers, enabling them to identify areas where they can increase profitability of their operation.

That includes measuring, reporting, and verification capabilities for participation in regenerative agriculture programs and new markets for low-carbon grain.

Monarch Tractors, maker of a fully-electric, driver-optional, smart tractor, has entered a partnership with Einsite, an India-based start-up specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine vision analytics.

Editor Alex Gray reports that Einsite uses machine-mounted and camera sensors to capture site activity, and in-cab edge computers to form insights to help managers make better decisions.

For Monarch, the tractor will be able to filter, analyze, and make decisions locally, instead of sending the sensory data over the cloud for processing.

Crop Insurance in the Farm Bill

Representatives of several lobbying groups testified Wednesday at a House hearing on crop insurance ahead of the 2023 farm bill, describing the program as one of the best tools available to protect farmers from crop losses, regardless of farm size.

Tom Haag of the National Corn Growers Association noted in his remarks that during the run-up to the 2018 farm bill, his group’s priority was to “maintain support for a robust crop insurance program.” That priority continues with this farm bill, he said.

The remarks were in contrast to those from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which in a recent study said that a cap on crop insurance subsidies could save billions of dollars.

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