By Sonja Begemann and Ben Potter
New Technologies to Reduce Seed Dust
As the industry becomes more contentious about seed treatment dust, companies look to offer solutions. Kalo Inc., and Incotec have new products they claim will reduce dust in eligible seed products.
Kalo’s Impress is a non-pesticide seed treatment additive designed to improve coverage and retention of seed treatments by 85.8% or more as well as improve flowability and plantability across all usable crops and treatments. The product can be used on wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye and triticale. The company says they will expand the technology to more crops in the next two years.
Incotec is adding a new film coat (a method of applying plant protection products and additives such as seed treatments to seed) for soybeans to their Disco lineup. Incotec claims the formulation reduces dust and minimizes seeds sticking together to enhance flow through equipment.
Monsanto Makes a Deal With Argentina
After years of battling over seed royalties, Monsanto and Argentina have struck a deal for this harvest season. Argentina is one of the world’s largest soybean exporters, and without this agreement the country wouldn’t have access to the latest biotech soybeans.
In the agreement, Monsanto will receive royalties for seed products for the 2015/2016 season. In years past, Argentine farmers used saved seed or bought from non-registered suppliers. Argentina will have control of seed commercialization. The Argentina Seed Institute will be in charge of overseeing the detection of crops from Intacta GMO soybeans, which can survive worm attacks and contain glyphosate tolerance. Discussions about long-term solutions will continue.
Bayer Partners to Provide Data Maps to Farmers
Bayer is collaborating with aerospace technology company Planetary Resources to purchase data to create new ag products and improve existing ones. Planetary Resources will provide information from satellite images. The collaboration is part of Bayer’s Digital Farming Initiative.
Bayer says the combined technologies will allow farmers to time irrigation, gain planting date and replant recommendations, and assess soil water-holding capacity. A canopy temperature scout provides weekly insights by identifying problem areas in the field.
Jury Awards Missouri Soybean Group $602,945
A Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court jury awarded Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) and Mid-America Research and Development Foundation a total of $602,945 in its case against AgBorn Genetics for “undisclosed and unreported sales” of MSMC’s soybean seed technologies. The group had also sued for unpaid and bounced royalty checks issued by AgBorn Genetics.
MSMC is a farmer-run organization supported by the soybean checkoff paid by Missouri soybean farmers. It is tasked with improving farmer profits through a combination of marketing, research and commercialization.
In 2014, MSMC filed the lawsuit, alleging AgBorn Genetics struck unenforceable contracts with them. The court ruled these contracts void and confirmed AgBorn Genetics did not have rights to MSMC’s soybean seed technologies. The court additionally sanctioned AgBorn Genetics another $59,167.61 for “abuse of the discovery process and its violation of the Court’s Orders.” The unanimous jury decision does not include court costs or interest.
MSMC chairman and Lafayette County, Mo., soybean farmer David Lueck says the case was an important one for soybean farmers everywhere, not just those in the Show-Me State.
“We take our responsibility to manage growers’ soybean checkoff dollars very seriously and will continue to take any necessary steps to ensure farmers receive the benefit of their investments in the checkoff,” he says. “There’s no excuse for anything less.”