• 15 Apr 2014 8:57 AM | Anonymous

    The USDA released its highly anticipated Prospective Plantings report Monday, and the report showed a cut in corn acreage and uptick for soybeans.

    According to the report, the USDA estimates 2014 corn planted area for all purposes at 91.7 million acres, down 4 percent from 2013. If realized, this crop will be the lowest planted acreage since 2010 but the fifth largest since 1944.

    Iowa, the nation’s top corn-producing state, expects to see a slight increase in corn acreage. The USDA anticipates Iowa to plan 400,000 more acres of corn in 2014 than in 2013.

    The USDA estimates soybean planted acreage at a record high of 81.5 million acres, up 6 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged across all States with the exception of Missouri and Oklahoma.

    Read the report here.

    The report shouldn’t come as a surprise to most traders, who already anticipated a drop in corn acreage. In a Reuters survey, analysts expected high prices for soybeans to encourage more U.S. farmers to pull back on corn. However, while corn acreage was expected to shrink, it was still expected to be higher than announced at the USDA’s annual outlook forum.

    “I think the big unanswered question is, ‘what happened to the prevented planting acres when USDA did their ag outlook?'” said Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics in Atchison, Kansas.

    Uncertainty surrounding the acreage numbers kept the market on edge ahead of big report.  The plantings report is based on a survey of more than 80,000 U.S. farmers.

    “Why would we not plant 4 or 5 million acres that we tried to plant last year? That makes no sense to me. The USDA forum numbers are wild guesses, and I just think they are all too low,” said Terry Roggensack, analyst with the Hightower Report in Chicago.

    Read, “U.S. farmers to sow record soy acres, scale back on corn.”

    Reposted from Ag Professional.

  • 11 Apr 2014 9:03 AM | Anonymous

    Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. Farmland will take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ’20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming business.

    Through this film from award-winning director, James Moll, you’ll step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. Learn about their high-risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve.

    Director James Moll traveled across the country meeting young farmers and ranchers. Watch the trailer below or visit the movie’s website to catch a glimpse of stories shared during his interviews.

    The film will have a limited release across the US beginning May 1, 2014. Visit the website to find a theater near you.

    This film was made with the generous support of the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

  • 04 Apr 2014 9:07 AM | Anonymous
    If there was ever a time to turn your trip to NAMA’s Agri-Marketing Conference into a vacation, this is it.

    Gain a Fresh Perspective…then hit the beach!

    Here are some quick ideas for making the most of your time in Jacksonville:

    • Check out the shops, restaurants and vendors along The Landing.
    • Claim your spot in the sand – Jacksonville has over 20 miles of beaches.
    • Hike, bike, run. This city has the largest urban park system in the country.
    • Grab a drink at a local haunt then dine at one of the many restaurants to choose from – The Core in downtown Jacksonville has over 23 bars.

    There are more great suggestions here.

    Here is some other helpful info for those making the trip:

    The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is located at 225 East Coastline Drive, Jacksonville, Florida32202. The hotel is approximately 15 miles (20 minutes) from the Jacksonville Airport.Below is a list of services for planning your travel from the airport to your hotel:

    Gator City Taxi & GO Shuttle
    5320 Springfield Boulevard
    Jacksonville, Florida 32208
    904 493 5240

    Gator City Taxis
    $37.00 for 1-2 passengers and $8 for each additional passenger in the party.  For groups of 4 or more, request a van.  There is no additional charge for the vehicle upgrade. 

    GO Airport Shuttle (a shared ride transportation service)
    $20.00 for one passenger and $8 for each additional passenger in the party.

    GO Towncar
    $50.00 for one way transportation between the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront and the Jacksonville International Airport.

    Hyatt Parking – Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront offers a parking deck managed and operated by ProPark that provides direct access into the hotel.

    Overnight self parking: $15
    Overnight valet parking: $20

    Garage clearance:  6’ 7”

    Once you arrive at the hotel, please register as soon as possible. The conference registration desk will be located in the Grand Foyer on the 2nd level of the Hyatt.

    The dress for the conference is business casual, except for the Best of NAMA Awards Ceremony where we encourage business attire.

    Take a look at the conference schedule-at-a-glance to help you plan your time more effectively.

    A Couple of Notes:

    The Best of NAMA Finalists’ Reception will take place from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sponsored by Penton Farm Progress

    USFRA will be screening Farmland on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:45 p.m.

    A partial registration list can be downloaded. It includes attendees who registered on or prior to noon on April 2, 2014. A complete registration list with addresses will be available at the registration desk throughout the conference.

    The ABEF is once again conducting an auction of media packages, Web related donations, and other services as part of its annual Silent Auction.

    The Media portion of the auction is NOW available through the NAMA App. All bidding will be through the NAMA App for the Media and Silent Auctions. If you would like to bid on items please download the App or make sure you have updated your current NAMA App.  Note:  The rest of the auction will open on-site in Jacksonville.

    Download the NAMA App for iPhone or iPad.

    Download the NAMA App for Android or Android Tablet.

    Follow the Conference on Twitter. Simply use #NAMA14 to see what people are saying about the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference.

    Get NAMA Info You Want Delivered Right to Your Phone.  Sign Up for NAMA Mobile Updates Today!  Just text NAMA to 283342. NAMA Mobile Updates is powered by Farm Journal Mobile.

    If you have other questions about the conference, call the NAMA national at (913) 491-6500.

  • 03 Apr 2014 9:10 AM | Anonymous

    The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is now accepting nominations for the Agricultural Retailer of the Year Award. The award, sponsored by Monsanto, ARA and AgProfessional magazine, honors retailers who consistently exceed their customer’s expectations and serve as a positive example for other retailers through their outstanding, sustainable and innovative business practices.

    The winner of the ARA Retailer of the Year Award receives two round-trip airline tickets and two nights of accommodations at the Sheraton New Orleans on Canal Street during the ARA Conference & Exposition, Dec. 4-6, 2014; round-trip flight to meet with Monsanto representatives and ARA officers for a VIP dinner and tour of Monsanto’s state of the art research facilities in St. Louis, Mo.; special award presentation at the ARA Conference; and a crystal award to display at the retail facility. In addition, Monsanto and ARA will produce a professional video about your operation and AgProfessional magazine will include a two-page article featuring the winning agricultural retailer in their magazine and on the ARA Retailer of the Year Award website at

    The process for nominating a company to receive the ARA Retailer of the Year Award is simple. Click here and complete the online entry form by Friday, July 11, 2014. Retailers welcome to nominate their own operation for the award. A panel of judges will select finalists and determine a winner later this summer. Retailers will be evaluated on criteria including employee relations, environmental stewardship, reliability, community and industry involvement, relationship-building, technology utilization and innovation.

    Find out more about ARA.

  • 27 Mar 2014 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    Soak up the rays as well as the latest trends in ag communications, social media, and industry news.

    No need to worry…there may not be a MidSouth Chapter meeting in April but you can still get your agri-marketing fix with the NAMA Annual Conference April 9-11 in Jacksonville, FL.

    There are a fair number of people attending from our chapter so let us know if you would be interested in getting together. Maybe a MidSouth NAMA breakfast or happy hour before dinner? Contact us if you are interested.

    Good luck to all MidSouth Best of NAMA entries and don’t forget to support our student chapters as they participate in the marketing competition!

    Find out more about the conference.
    Register for the conference.
    See who’s coming.

    The next Chapter Meeting is scheduled for May 8th. More info to follow as the date nears.
  • 20 Mar 2014 9:15 AM | Anonymous
    UAV Technology Symposium to Demonstrate Potential Uses of Unmanned Aircraft in Agriculture

    Entira, Inc., an agricultural marketing and management firm, with support from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), is pleased to announce a conference that will showcase the on-farm uses of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Applications and opportunities for this technology will be the focus at the “Delta AgTech Symposium: Advancing UAVs in Agriculture,” which will be held July 7-8, 2014, at Agricenter International in Memphis, Tenn.

    The Delta AgTech Symposium will bring together crop consultants, agronomists, farmers, and the businesses who serve them, along with UAV manufacturers and researchers, to collectively explore how this technology can be integrated into farming practices. The two-day event will include demonstrations of the aircraft, speakers, and a trade show for organizations to share their knowledge and solutions.

    “Agriculture is expected to be the predominant user of these specialized aircraft when the FAA finalizes regulations for commercial use. Now is the time for agribusinesses and farmers to learn more and consider the important role this technology will play on farms in the near future,” says Mike Karst, Entira senior partner.

    According to a report from AUVSI, it is estimated that agriculture will account for 80 percent of all UAV commercial usage, with public safety use coming in at a distant second. More of UAVs’ potential role in agriculture is discussed on Entira’s news page.

    AUVSI Executive Vice President Gretchen West explains, “Our mission is to help create efficiencies for a variety of industries using unmanned and robotic technologies. Unmanned aircraft are a well-suited technology to allow the farming community to collect reliable information in a safe and efficient manner and can help the future of farming.”

    “Our Entira team is committed to helping agribusiness companies integrate this technology into their business plans and educate farmers on incorporating these cutting-edge tools into their farm management strategies,” Karst says. “We are excited to host this event and to help initiate productive partnerships between ag businesses and UAV technology providers, which will advance this emerging opportunity for agriculture.”

    A schedule of demonstrations and presentations, as well as registration information will be available soon on the Delta AgTech Symposium web site. Companies interested in sponsorship or exhibit details should contact Kelli Polatty at

    About Entira
    Entira is a marketing and management consulting firm for food and agribusiness. More information is available at

    About AUVSI
    The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotic technologies. More information is available at

  • 11 Mar 2014 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    The Agri-Business Educational Foundation (ABEF) is calling on leaders in ag like you and your company to make an investment in the future of the industry at the NAMA 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference. You’ll be extending a hand of welcome to the next generation … and gaining some high-profile exposure for your organization.

    Support ABEF at the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference:

    There are more easy ways to support ABEF throughout the year. Get in touch with Jenny Pickett to get started.

  • 11 Mar 2014 9:16 AM | Anonymous
    Remote-controlled robotic crop scouts in the sky? Tiny helicopters with HD aerial video capabilities for recording weed infestations in a field? Yes, it’s happening.

    According to a March 2013 report from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (UAVSI), UAVs have the potential to generate $82 billion in economic activity between 2015 and 2025. It’s predicted that agriculture will be the biggest user of UAVs in the near futureundefinedaccounting for 80 percent of all UAV commercial usage.

    As the commercial regulations for these specialty aircraft start to loosen up over the next couple of years, agribusinesses need to be thinking about how to help farmers integrate the technology once they’re cleared for takeoff. The same technology used by the military for reconnaissance missions can be used to scout diseased crops or irrigation issues, help farmers more strategically and efficiently plan when they plant, fertilize, water, and even harvest their crops.

    Join us for lunch at The Grove Grill where our own Kelli Polatty, Associate with Entira, Inc. will give us an overview of this exciting new technology and its possible uses and benefits for agriculture.

    When: March 20, 2014, 11:30am
    Where: The Grove Grill, 4550 Poplar Ave, Memphis
    Cost: $25
    Pay Online in Advance

  • 04 Mar 2014 9:20 AM | Anonymous
    We’re amping up some tried and true favorites … and throwing in some new sessions to mix things up. Here’s what you can expect to learn in Jacksonville this April
    • The Power of Persuasion. Learn to influence people and build more trust, respect and cooperation with your team, mentors and colleagues.
    • Branding From the Inside Out. Hear bold ideas about how to get your team to believe passionately in your brand, live the values in their daily interactions and create a brand that customers will connect to emotionally.
    • Marketing to Multiple Generations. Find out how to talk to different generations of customers when you have limited dollars, channels and resources to meet your marketing objectives.

    And don’t miss new content on measuring the ROI of social media, the PR revolution, developing compelling creative and consumer influence on business model development.

    You can find all the details and register for the conference at

  • 27 Feb 2014 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    NAMA is pleased to announce  Sonny Beck, president, Beck’s Hybrids, as the 2014 Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the Opening General Session of the 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference, “A Fresh Perspective,” April 10, 2014, in Jacksonville, Florida. The award honors outstanding leaders in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness related areas who exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

    Sonny Beck, president of Beck’s Hybrids, has led the company to unprecedented growth. As the largest family-owned seed company in the United States, Beck’s Hybrids is now the sixth largest seed company in the U.S. Under Sonny’s leadership, Beck’s Hybrids has experienced a 20 percent increase in sales each year for the last 20 years, doubling in size every four years.

    As soon as Beck joined the family operation in 1964, after graduating from Purdue University, he never let grass grow under his feet. Always aiming at building closer, stronger relationships with customers, Beck immediately launched a couple of customer events that are now long-standing traditions.

    It was in that same year, Beck started what is now called the Practical Farm Research (PFR)® program. Still today, the PFR program is unlike any other in the seed industry. Focused on farmer’s needs, hundreds of studies are completed at five Beck’s locations in an effort to look at how different management practices perform in different environments. The information is delivered to farmers across the Midwest in a 280-page summary book, website and field shows.

    Beck has frequently stated that before 1992 Beck’s Hybrids was a seed producer who happened to do some marketing, but with the arrival of traits, Beck’s became a marketing company who happened to produce most of their own seed.

    But it was not just traits that Beck and the Beck’s Hybrids team pursued. In 2001, Beck’s Hybrids was the first to market 100 percent of its seed corn with a seed-applied insect control system called FaSTart®. Over time the seed treatment evolved and in 2009 Beck’s Hybrids became the first seed company to put together a unique set of yield-enhancing products called Escalate® yield enhancement system. Escalate comes standard on all Beck’s corn, soybean, wheat and alfalfa products.

    Beck’s dedication and passion for agriculture extends far beyond Beck’s Hybrids. He has played an integral role in leading several agricultural organizations, providing each with a unique leadership approach, ultimately guiding them to newer heights.

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