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What is today’s news? | Thursday, March 3, 2022

The week is nearly over, but there’s plenty of news to catch up on. If you’ve missed the latest, read this roundup.


Editor Gil Gullickson writes about John Deere's See & Spray Ultimate technology. This builds upon last year’s debut of the See & Spray Select system that targets herbicide application solely on weeds on fallow ground. See & Spray Ultimate steps up precision spraying for corn, soybeans, and cotton planted in 30-inch rows and wider.

Through boom-mounted cameras teamed with an artificial intelligence form called machine learning, See & Spray Ultimate aims herbicides precisely at weeds. The system uses a sensitivity setting based on the weed size to be sprayed.

Editor Gil Gullickson writes, “Wading through crop fields searching for insects, diseases, weeds, nutrient deficiencies, uneven emergence, and other maladies consumes time and effort.”

“Even when the corn is just knee high, you can only see a couple hundred yards in each direction,” points out J.D. Bethel, an agronomist with Integrated Ag Services, Milford Center, Ohio.

This makes it almost impossible to see emerging weeds like giant ragweed. IAS aims to nix this scenario and others by pairing artificial intelligence developed by Taranis with flights of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during the growing season.


To get a clearer picture of Ukraine’s impact on global agriculture and the commodities markets, Al Kluis has gathered the key information and numbers.

Read about the country’s background, crop production, and ag businesses.


If the Biden administration wants to boost U.S. grain production in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it should open the 22-million-acre Conservation Reserve for crop production this year, said University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin on Wednesday.

“The only policy lever that I can think of in the hands of the US gov’t is to open up the Conservation Reserve Program for cropping on a one-year emergency basis,” Irwin wrote on social media. “I realize a chunk cannot be easily put back into production, especially in a month or two. Just change the rules on an emergency basis so it can be cropped if a farmer wants to risk it this year.”

Nutrient and weed control plans may end up looking different than usual this year due to supply challenges, notes Hans Kok of the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) in West Lafayette, Indiana.

This makes it especially important to keep soil health in mind.

Avian Influenza

The lethal poultry disease highly pathogenic avian influenza has been identified in a backyard flock in Iowa, the No. 1 egg-producing state, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.

It was the first case of “high path” bird flu west of the Mississippi River and the 17th found in domestic flocks this year.

As cases of avian influenza pop up across the country, now is the best time to take steps to protect your own flock.

In doing so, you’ll help mitigate spread to your neighbors and beyond.

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