1 – Agrinos + Van Diest Supply Company – Drive Biological Crop Solutions | AgroNews

"Agrinos, a leading biological crop input provider committed to improving the productivity and sustainability of agriculture worldwide, is pleased to announce a new distribution partnership with Van Diest Supply Company based in Webster City, Iowa.


This partnership offers growers and retailers throughout the Midwest and Plains states increased access to Agrinos’ microbial and biostimulant nutrition product lines for plant and soil health, along with the expertise of the Van Diest Supply Agribusiness Teams.

‘Agrinos is pleased to be working with an innovative partner such as Van Diest Supply Company and its team of professionals delivering leading-edge customized solutions to growers throughout the Midwest,’ said Bruce Odens, vice president for North America. ‘The partnership with Van Diest Supply Company reflects the growing interest in and rapid adoption of our microbial and foliar nutrition products to increase crop quality and yield—and help deliver greater prosperity to growers.’
‘The Van Diest Supply team is excited to offer Agrinos’ iNvigorate® and B Sure® (HYT® B) brands as vital components of our crop nutrition product portfolio,’ said John Van Diest, vice president. ‘The integration of these products promises to offer unique tools to support and enhance crop health and mitigate crop stress, while providing increased yields in both ideal and adverse growing conditions. We look forward to working with the Agrinos team to help deliver the benefit of these unique biological crop solutions to our customers.’
iNvigorate and B Sure (HYT B) from Agrinos have been shown to provide critically important benefits to key commodity and specialty crops including corn, soybeans, wheat, vegetables and fruits. Both products, developed through Agrinos’ High Yield Technology (HYT) platform, are Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed in the United States and can be used seamlessly with both organic and conventional grower programs."

Source: AAgrinos + Van Diest Supply Company – Drive Biological Crop Solutions | AgroNews

2 – Canada Approves Imidacloprid and Beta-Cyfluthrin Insecticides | AgroNews

"The Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has proposed to grant full registration for the sale and use of Bay NTN 33893 Technical Insecticide and its end-use products, Temprid SC Insecticide and Temprid ReadySpray Insecticide, containing the technical grade active ingredient imidacloprid. The end-use products are coformulated with beta-cyfluthrin to kill several arthropod pests including bed bugs.

The agency is also granting full registration for the sale and use of Beta-cyfluthrin Technical Insecticide and its end-use products, Temprid SC Insecticide and Temprid ReadySpray Insecticide containing the technical grade active ingredient beta-cyfluthrin. The end-use products are coformulated with the active ingredient, imidacloprid, to kill certain crawling and flying insects found indoors (including on mattresses) and outdoors on the exterior surfaces of structures."

Source: Canada Approves Imidacloprid and Beta-Cyfluthrin Insecticides | AgroNews

3 – Canola Rallies Again on Argentina Worries | WP

"Canola was one of the market leaders on Wednesday, climbing more than one percent, catching up with soybeans, which rallied again on worries about Argentina’s crop.

March canola closed up $6.30 or 1.24 percent at $515.30 per tonne.

Canola also benefited from the weaker loonie today, which dropped almost USone cent.

March soybeans climbed 0.5 percent on concerns about excess rain in Argentina and the potential to cut production there.


While soybeans and soy meal have been rising, soy oil has been mostly static.

The vegetable oil market will feel the effects of an expected decline in palm oil prices this year as production recovers from El Nino dryness and the price backs down current levels, that are the highest since the summer of 2014.

Corn futures consolidated after a modest rally on Tuesday.

Minneapolis spring wheat gained back some of the ground lost on Tuesday but Kansas and Chicago were little changed.


Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Wednesday he would honor the intent of the U.S. biofuels program, but remained open to tweaking it, Reuters reported.

Renewable Fuels Association chief executive officer and President Bob Dinneen described Pruitt’s comments as ‘heartening’ in a statement.

While generally supportive of program, Pruitt said it was too soon to say whether it needed to be altered.


The Bank of Canada today kept interest rates steady and nudged up its financial forecast but said an interest rate cut was still in its arsenal if potential negative developments, such as a trade spat with the United States, drag down economic growth.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed down 43.51 points, or 0.28 percent, at 15,397.85.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 22.05 points, or 0.11 percent, to 19,804.72, the S&P 500 gained 4 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,271.89 and the Nasdaq Composite added 16.93 points, or 0.31 percent, to 5,555.65.

Light crude oil nearby futures in New York were down $1.40 to US$51.08 per barrel.

The Canadian dollar at noon was US75.89 cents, down from 76.57 cents the previous trading day. The U.S. dollar at noon was C$1.3177."

Markets, Quotes and Charts Link | WP 20170119

Source: Canola Rallies Again on Argentina Worries | WP

4 – France’s Roquette Bets on Pea Protein With Manitoba Factory | WP

"PARIS (Reuters) – French plant-based ingredient maker Roquette will build the world’s largest pea protein facility in Portage la Prairie, Man., to meet fast-growing demand for vegetable protein in food and pharmaceutical products in North America, the group said on Wednesday.

The new factory, representing an investment of more than $400 million, is planned for central Manitoba. Canada is the world’s largest producer of peas with 30 percent of global output.

The facility is due to start production in 2019. Once open, the facility is expected to create about 150 jobs with an estimated annual payroll of around $9 million. About 350 will be involved in the design and construction.

It will be the second major pea processing plant announced recently. In November German owned Canadian Protein Innovation announced it would build a pea processing plant in Moose Jaw, Sask., with the first phase costing about $60 million and a second phase another $40 million.

Hospitals have also turned to vegetable protein as it helps rebuild muscle mass and for elderly people who have difficulty digesting animal protein.

The launch of its Canadian unit will make Roquette the word’s top producer of pea protein for human nutrition, Gilson said.

Manitoba grew 165,000 ares of peas this year, compared to 2.2 million in Saskatchewan.

Family-owned Roquette has been extracting protein from peas since 2005 in France, where it has been expanding output to meet growing European demand for the product.

Roquette, which has sales of around 3.3 billion euros (US$3.5 billion), expects to process up to 250,000 tonnes of locally-sourced peas by 2019, a volume split equally between the French and Canadian factories, Gilson said."

Source: France’s Roquette bets on pea protein with Manitoba factory – The Western Producer

5 – Fusarium Head Blight Resistance Levels of Spring Wheat Varieties | Farms.com

"Today, CANTERRA SEEDS brought attention to a new research study from Manitoba Agriculture that shows the Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) resistance levels in spring wheat, may be different than the official ratings.

The researchers, which includes Holly Derksen, Pam de Rocquigny and Craig Linde, set out to evaluate how spring wheat varieties tested post-registration in the Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Trials (MCVET) responded to natural infections of FHB. They measured DON and FDK from harvest samples of 72 different spring wheat varieties, at 14 MCVET sites, over six years (2009–2015).

Full results of the study can be found here. http://canterra.com/images/uploads/general/CWFHB-P39-Derksen_shrunk.pdf

The study points to the importance of comparing pre and post-registration data for disease ratings. Currently, varieties with improved resistance to FHB are available in Manitoba, but the three-year testing presented in SEED MANITOBA provides only a limited comparison to other varieties, and over a limited number of locations.

AAC Cameron VB, marketed by CANTERRA SEEDS, was assigned an ‘Intermediate’ rating to FHB at registration. However, the study shows this variety has the lowest mean FDK and DON when compared to all other CWRS wheat varieties tested. As the researchers say ‘It is important to evaluate disease resistance of varieties pre- and post-registration. Multi-year multi-site data will increase accuracy in predicting variety reaction to FHB.’

‘We are encouraged by these research results,’ said Rick Love, Pedigreed Seed Business Manager for CANTERRA SEEDS. ‘It shows the importance of comparing multiple years of data when making a variety selection for your farm. AAC Cameron VB is an excellent CWRS variety, and we’re excited by these new FHB findings.’

AAC Cameron VB is a midge-tolerant CWRS variety, and is one of the top yielding in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan seed guides in 2017. More information on AAC Cameron VB, including performance and seed availability can be found by visiting www.canterra.com.

As a western Canadian seed company, CANTERRA SEEDS is committed to sourcing genetically superior seed products that deliver agronomic and economic benefits for producers, while meeting end-user needs. With a versatile portfolio of cereals, pulses and oilseeds, CANTERRA SEEDS seeks opportunities that allow for mutual success in the agriculture industry."

SOURCE Canterra Seeds

Source: Fusarium Head Blight Resistance Levels of Spring Wheat Varieties | Farms.com

6 – Global Dicamba Market to Reach $457M by 2020 | AgroNews

"According to a newly published report, the global dicamba market is anticipated to exhibit robust growth over the next few years. During a four-year forecast period 2016–2020, the market is likely to expand at a CAGR of 15.4%, attaining a value of over US$ 457 Mn by 2020 end.

Dicamba is widely used as an herbicide that regulates broadleaf weed in various domestic, commercial, and non-commercial applications, including farmland maintenance. Widespread availability of dicamba and easy usage primarily support the market for decamba across developed regions. Increasing awareness about efficient crop protection will provide an impetus to the dicamba market in developing countries.

Swelling Awareness about Crop Protection Remains Primary to Drive Demand

Increasing need for food security and safety, coupled with growing awareness about crop protection will benefit the market for dicamba globally. With burgeoning population across the world, the demand for food is constantly on the rise and the need for minimal food wastage is repeatedly highlighted. As dicamba supports maximum crop yield with minimised crop loss, this will continue to be the key driver to dicamba herbicide market. In addition, attributed to higher tax rebates, exports from China are consistently increasing, which will continue to favour the market growth in near future.

Growing Adoption to Replace or Complement Glyphosate Continues to Drive Market

Dicamba herbicide is rapidly replacing glyphosate . In some regions, agricultural practices involve the usage of dicamba and glyphosate in combination. This will remain a major factor bolstering the demand for dicamba herbicide over the forecast period. Moreover, rapid adoption of IMP (integrated pest management) will spur the demand for dicamba-based herbicides during the forecast period.

EPA Approval for Non-volatile Dicamba Will Spur the Demand and Application

Recently, in November 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Act (EPA) approved over-the-top usage of Monsanto’s non-volatile dicamba-based herbicide. This will certainly create a wide range of growth opportunities for established as well as newly entering players in the global dicamba market. Manufacturers can capitalise on an opportunity to formulate several types and forms of dicamba to deal with different types of crops and weeds. Emerging applications of dicamba in the destruction of multiple weed types to address the growth of a plethora of crops, will fuel the market over the forecast period.

Challenges May Persist despite EPA’s Approval to Dicamba-based Herbicide

Volatility of dicamba has been found to be the key cause for drift damage, which may continue to be a key restraint to mass adoption of dicamba over the next few years. Stringent regulatory approvals will also remain a major factor hampering the growth of dicamba market over the forecast period. Moreover, dicamba can reportedly cause a variety of illnesses and allergic reactions in humans if injested, inhaled, or adsorbed. This may remain a major limiting factor detaining the penetration of dicamba herbicide in emerging economies.

Agriculture Remains the Largest Application Segment with over 85% Market Share

Based on application, the global dicamba market is categorised into three key segments viz. agriculture, lawn and turf, and others, including forests, gardens and plants, and other non-commercial applications. Among the three, agriculture segment is anticipated to continue dominance in terms of consumption, reaching a value of over US$ 391 Mn in 2020. This growth is primarily attributed to growing preference for dicamba over conventional herbicides. Agriculture segment is predicted to account for over 85% by 2020, expanding at a CAGR of 8.1%. Whereas, lawn and turf segment will also witness a promising CAGR of 7.0% over 2016–2020.

North America Outpaces Europe by 2020 due to Higher Market Penetration by Leading Herbicide Manufacturers

The global market for dicamba is regionally classified as North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East and Africa. Europe is anticipated to continue the leading market position globally, reaching the revenues worth US$ 120.6 Mn by the end of the forecast period. North America, owing to rising investments in dicamba R&D and rapidly advancing agricultural practices, will remain the second largest market. However, this region is expected to witness a the highest CAGR of 8.5%, accounting for over 23% market share by 2020 end, in terms of revenues. Europe’s Y-o-Y growth in 2017 over 2016 is estimated at 7.7%, whereas that of North America in 2017 over 2016 is projected to be of 9.2%.

Two of the Market Leaders Sign the Dicamba Supply Agreement for North America

Some of the key players operating in the global dicamba market are BASF SE, Monsanto Co., E I du Pont de Nemours & Company, Bayer AG, The Dow Chemical Company, Syngenta AG, and Nufarm Limited. Two of the leading U.S.-based companies manufacturing agrochemicals and supplying seeds – Monsanto Co. and DuPont, recently announced a supply agreement that will continue for the next few years, especially for dicamba sales across the U.S. and Canada."

Source: Global Dicamba Market to Reach $457M by 2020 | AgroNews

7 – Sonny Shines on Cotton Market. But Soybeans Dip | Agrimoney

"Bull markets in grains need feeding, they say.

That is, escalating futures need a daily dose of price-supportive news to keep them on an upward path.

And the apparent lack of much fresh on Argentina’s weather woes, the catalyst to the rally over the past week in prices of soybeans and of soymeal (of which the country is the world’s top exporter), allowed a touch of profit-taking in early deals on Thursday.

‘Floods to recede’

In fact, Argentina’s weather outlook is better, in terms of lacking the extreme rains which have been the bane of the country’s central soybean belt, causing flooding, crop losses and hampering replanting.

While the US Department of Agriculture has forecast the Argentine soybean crop at 57m tonnes, many investors are thinking of numbers closers to 50m tonnes.

Crop analyst Michael Cordonnier, for instance, has pegged the harvest at 51m tonnes, while broker Benson Quinn Commodities said that ‘there have been enough issues that a 54m–55m-tonne crop is off the table,’ although adding that ‘a 52m–53m tonnes is still possible with the right conditions’.

And, as Tobin Gorey at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said, ‘forecasters say dry weather over the next 10 days will allow floods to recede and farmers to assess the level of damage’.

‘Continue to see stress’

That said, the outlook is not all good.

‘The long-range forecast has more rain coming back in,’ said Joe Lardy at CHS Hedging, adding that ‘this weather uncertainty, along with more time needed to assess flooding damage, should keep the soybean market volatile.’

And even the dry spell may not be all good.

‘Southern Buenos Aires will continue to see stress due to dry conditions,’ said Benson Quinn Commodities.

Thinking more of corn, Terry Reilly at Futures International said that while Argentina’s weather was expected to improve this week ‘some wonder if the hot and dry temperatures following the heavy rainfall will add stress to the recently planted crop’.

China, US considerations

Still, what the apparent, if temporary, ceasefire by Argentina’s weather Gods does allow is a focus on some of the other factors in the soybean market.

China, the top soybean importer, ‘thus far, is showing no interest in chasing the rally,’ said Richard Feltes at Chicago broker RJ O’Brien, if adding that this dearth of interest ‘may change after crushers return from Chinese new year’.

And then there is the enhanced potential for huge US spring sowings of soybeans being encouraged by the elevated prices.

The ratio of November soybean futures: December corn futures, at 2.63, is well into territory incentivising plantings of the oilseed over the grain.

This ‘historically high’ ratio is ‘providing a strong incentive for US farmers to increase 2017 US soy acreage, with private sector analysts looking for a 5m–7m acre gain’ in the country’s soybean area.

Trading opportunity?

Not, it has to be said, that all comparisons between corn and soybean prices raise concerns over high prices of the oilseed.

In fact, May soybean futures have a strong seasonal tendency to gain again corn futures between late January into May.

‘The seasonal tendency for new crop soybeans to gain on new crop corn is quite strong from late January through late February, before consolidating from early March through mid-April, and then surging higher into late June seasonal high,’ Mr Feltes said.

The ‘bottom line here is that corrections in the premium of March soybean futures to March corn below $7.00 a bushel are buying opportunities,’ he said.

‘Look for an upside objective of $7.50 a bushel.’

Meal deals

In fact, the premium stood a touch above $7.00 a bushel in early deals, with March soybean futures easing 0.3% to $10.72 a bushel as of 10:00 UK time (04:00 Chicago time) under weight of a little profit-taking and producer selling which has been encouraged by higher prices.

Soymeal, after an 11.5% surge in four sessions on the Argentine worries, was of little help in falling back 0.7% to $348.50 a short ton.

Futures in corn, meanwhile, for March eased 0.2% to $3.64 ½ a bushel.

The grain, for agricultural and geographical reasons, is seen as less vulnerable to Argentine rains than soybeans, and its futures have gained less – meaning fewer profits to take.

‘Strong resistance’

Furthermore, from a chart perspective, ‘March corn faces strong resistance [to further upward moves] with $3.69 a bushel being the six-month high and $3.70 being the 200-day moving average’ said Benson Quinn Commodities.

’Continued supportive news will be needed for corn to break through current resistance levels. 

‘I would look at better-than-expected exports, ethanol grind and a continued rally in soybeans all key factors in testing higher values.’

(The US will later on Thursday unveil data on ethanol production for last week.)

Not cold enough

Corn also gained ground on wheat, which has been little affected by the Argentine rains story, given the wheat harvest there is in its last throes.

Nor have weather worries elsewhere chilled grain bears too much, with the freezing temperatures and high winds which caused Romania to close its Black Sea ports not seen as too much of a threat to winter grain seedlings.

In Russia and Ukraine, ‘snow cover should still be sufficient to protect crops’ against temperatures which have fallen to minus 15 degrees Celsius, said consultancy Agritel, flagging decent crop health going into winter too.

‘Only 3% of the fields were judged not to be in a good condition before winter while it was 9% in 2015.’

‘A little toppy’

Benson Quinn Commodities said that ‘the price action in all three wheat markets,’ that is Chicago soft red winter wheat, Kansas City hard red winter wheat and Minneapolis-traded hard red spring wheat, ‘feels a little toppy’.

‘I would lean towards the funds having bought enough in the hard wheat markets at this point,’ and the potential for a ‘better correction in the wheat markets between now and weekend’.

Certainly, Chicago wheat for March stood 0.5% lower at $4.29 a bushel, while its Kansas City peer dropped 0.3% to $4.50 ¾ a bushel.

But Minneapolis spring wheat fared better, in adding 0.4% to $5.75 ¾ a bushel, regaining premium over Chicago lost in the last session.

‘Relatively tight carryout’

For real gains, however, it was necessary to travel to New York, and cotton, which gained 1.1% to 73.05 cents a pound for March, regaining its 10-day moving average.

It was not immediately clear that there was much in supply and demand news to send prices higher, although Louis Rose at the Rose Report did not that ’spot quotes in Brazil continue to move higher.

On the negative side for values, Ecom flagged that ’certificated cotton stocks continue to build in the US and were last reported at 112,556 bales with a further 4,491 bales waiting to be reviewed.

‘If the cert stock continues to build it may add carry in the market which would negatively impact long speculative positions and may result in some speculative liquidation of long positions.’

Perdue effect?

Still, what could be cheering up US cotton bulls is the rash of fresh reports that Sonny Perdue, a former governor of George, a cotton-growing state, is to be named US agriculture secretary.

‘As a veterinarian, agribusiness owner and a governor who established an agricultural advisory committee in Georgia, he understands and appreciates the importance of American agriculture both here and abroad,’ said the National Chicken Council.

Source: Sonny Shines on Cotton Market. But Soybeans Dip | Agrimoney

8 – Syngenta – Six Tips to Manage Herbicide Resistant Weeds in Soybeans | AgroNews

"A herbicide resistance problem doesn’t develop overnight. Usually, it’s the result of high selection pressure put on a weed population over the course of several years. By repeatedly applying the same herbicide or several herbicides that use only a single effective mode of action (MOA), or applying a herbicide at less than a labeled rate, growers can accidentally create that pressure.

The results of herbicide resistance can be extremely costly. In the long run, taking a proactive approach to weed management is the most effective and economical way to tackle this challenge. To help manage herbicide resistant weeds, Syngenta recommends the following best management practices:

  1. Plant in a seedbed free of problem weeds, especially where Palmer amaranth is the major issue. In this case, use tillage or chemical burndown with products like Gramoxone SL 2.0 herbicide (Geography: 100 mile radius (AR, West TN, Bootheel MO).

  2. Use full rates of herbicides with different mechanisms or effective MOA prior to planting and throughout the growing season.

  3. Optimize soybean growth environment with a combination of cultural and management practices that promote healthy vigorous plant growth such

  4. Overlap residual herbicides from burndown to canopy-closure applications to ensure minimum escapes during the growing season. Boundary 6.5 EC herbicide pre-emergence provides residual activity with 2 MOA and excellent activity on most problem grass and broadleaf weeds.

  5. Use overlapping residuals by combining glyphosate post-emerge together with a product like Prefix herbicide that has 2 MOA and is effective on most problem grass and broadleaf weeds.

  6. Use registered formulations of Dicamba, if necessary, at the recommended rate to clean up escapes of weeds like Palmer amaranth before they exceed 2’ in height.

Well-developed resistance management plans help growers protect yield potential and maximize profit, protecting the grower’s bottom line."

Source: Syngenta – Six Tips to Manage Herbicide Resistant Weeds in Soybeans | AgroNews

9 – Trump EPA Pick Says Backs Biofuels Program – Open to Tweaks | WP

"WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Wednesday he would honour the intent of the U.S. biofuels program, but remained open to tweaking it.

The Renewable Fuel Standard requires the EPA set annual quotas for the use of ethanol and biodiesel in transportation fuels. More than a decade old, the standard is fiercely defended by the U.S. corn industry that provides most of the ethanol, but it has been a source of frustration for oil refiners.

They say the goals are unrealistic without an overhaul in automobiles and infrastructure, and are calling for changes.

Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he was committed to Congress’ plan, laid out in 2007, to annually increase the amount of ethanol and other renewables blended with petroleum fuels. He said the waivers that EPA has already used to set requirements below those targets to accommodate market conditions should be used ‘judiciously’.

He explained his view that the EPA should not use those waivers to ‘undermine commitments’ from Congress but that they are needed in some cases, including when there is lower-than-expected fuel demand.

The comments quelled some concerns from within the industry over the nominee, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general had described the program as ‘flawed’ and ‘unworkable.’

Renewable Fuels Association chief executive officer and president Bob Dinneen described Pruitt’s comments as ‘heartening’ in a statement.

The EPA moved to deny the request, but is seeking public comment on the decision.

Pruitt is one of several of Trump’s senior Cabinet picks to face Senate hearings since last week"

Source: Trump EPA Pick Says Backs Biofuels Program – Open to Tweaks | WP

10 – U of Wisconsin – Five Top Trends Driving Changes in Agriculture | AgroNews

"Tools, technology and a changing workforce are driving changes in the agriculture landscape – changes that can to have a positive impact on the agriculture industry both in Wisconsin and across the world, according to John Shutske, University of Wisconsin-Extension biological systems specialist at UW-Madison.

‘The rapid increase in technology changes that has expanded our computing capability has also caused decreases in the costs to do business,’ Shutske said. ‘Through exponential growth, we’ve engaged in warp drive and are rapidly approaching light speed when it comes to changes in technology.’

Computer capability

‘We have a lot of computer capability to harness and leverage to our advantage,’ Shutske told attendees at the recent Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic conference.

The increasing computer capability plays a role in four of the five top trends Shutske sees having an impact on Wisconsin agriculture: Big Data, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, a sharing/collaborative economy, and the role of women in agriculture.

In reference to Big Data, he noted there is a virtual tsunami of data at our disposal. New data collection devices are constantly being developed, adding to the growing science and business developing around big data, data science and data mining. Often referred to as the Internet of Things, ubiquitous sensor systems collect data from a variety of sources – a tractor that is fully connect to the Internet; an air filter with an IP address that can send an email to the manufacturer to order a new one without the needing to worry about it; and devices and sensors in crops to measure sunlight, heat units and pest pressures.

With the growth of data collection and computing capabilities, Shutske said Wisconsin has to find faster, more affordable and more reliable solutions to broadband, high speed Internet and mobile coverage.

Artificial Intelligence

The second trend – artificial intelligence is driven by the massive amounts of data collected and continued to be collected. This information can be processed and used for critical decisions; some early agricultural applications might include pest management, scheduling operations or optimizing animal health or crop health treatments and regimes.

‘We’re seeing examples emerging in the health care industry of how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing health care,’ Shutske said.

In the medical sector, IBM is using its computer system, Watson, to partner with several hospitals and research centers – cancer is one target. Medical researchers publish more than 700,000 cancer treatment articles every year in science journals. While the average oncology or cancer specialist in these clinics, university centers and hospitals might read 180 or 200 articles a year, there is no way for one person to read, assimilate, and put all this new information to use.

Watson can read, process, sort, and develop patterns and relationships in those 700,000 articles in 15 minutes. Give Watson a day, and a unit that’s the size of five pizza boxes has in it more knowledge and wisdom on treating cancer than existed on this planet ever before. Several examples are now emerging of artificial intelligence suggesting treatment protocols or combinations of medication, precision surgery, pinpointed radiation and other cellular and molecular treatments with great success.

Development and Marketing

Shutske said development and marketing will continue for autonomous vehicles, including cars, trucks, tractors, robots and UAVs – the third trend. He said the biggest delay will not be the capabilities of the technology, but rather government regulation and proving the benefits to insurers.

‘All the major car manufacturers are running large-scale highway trials,’ he said. ‘Right now everyone is concerned about safety; at some point, things will shift and safety will become the main selling point and reason to move ahead.’

Sharing/collaborative economy

The rapid emergence of the sharing/collaborative economy is the fourth trend that will influence the future of agriculture.

‘In agriculture, we already have done some of this,’ he said. ‘In fact, we’ve done some if it for 100 years. Agriculture has been a leader in the cooperative business model.’

For example, with ag machinery, how can purchasing a $500,000 combine that only gets used 5 or 6 percent of the time in a given year be justified? Software platforms to enable and facilitate sharing transactions while maintaining data about trust and relationships can be used to offset the cost of equipment.

Using the AirBNB model, Shutske noted that similar types of business opportunities with portable or otherwise flexible ag assets will become available.

‘If I rent a room from AirBNB and it’s a dump, that provider will get booted from the platform quickly,’ he said. ‘We will be able to use similar apps and relationship data managing software to allow sharing and collaborative transactions for things like expensive automated ag machines, or even processing equipment and storage facilities.’

Agricultural workforce

Shutske’s fifth trend shaping the future of agriculture is not connected to technology, but rather major changes and shifts in the agriculture workforce; specifically the role of women and new ways of thinking about the world of agriculture.

In the U.S., the USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture showed that women as principal farm operators are making up a larger and larger fraction of the industry. They account for almost $13 billion in annual sales of ag products that year.

Globally by the year 2045 or 2050, agriculture will need to feed 9 billion people on the planet. A huge fraction of that population growth will be in areas that currently face hunger and food supply instability, but they are also places underperforming in terms of food production potential. One big priority is to recognize and purposely support the role women play. Several studies point to the fact that women are doing nearly half of the agricultural work globally, yet, in many areas lack equal access to capital, machines, and other technologies.

‘If you provide a man and a woman with equal access to resources in a developing country in Africa, or Central America, or parts of Asia – women will generate up to a 30 percent increase with the same resources, meaning a 30 percent greater return on investment,’ Shutske said.

‘Several business studies here in the U.S. point to this same phenomenon! Fortune 500 companies in the upper 25 percent or upper quartile with participation by women on corporate Boards of Directors generate 42 percent greater return on sales and 53 percent greater return on equity.’

Shutske noted, ‘Agriculture is increasingly a people a relationship business, we need to learn from each other and we need to work together to create opportunities.’"

Source: U of Wisconsin – Five Top Trends Driving Changes in Agriculture | AgroNews