Manager's Corner

January 7, 2014 06:54 PM
Manager's Corner

Convert Rural Roads to Farmland?

With a rural infrastructure that is ill-equipped to handle production increases, the Soy Transportation Coalition hired Informa Economics to examine the condition of America’s rural infrastructure and create potential proposals to address them.

While the coalition is not advising rural roads be converted to farmland, they are thinking outside the box. "When converting roads to farm ground, a liability becomes an asset," says Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. "A cost is converted into a resource."

In 2010, the U.S. had 4.1 million miles of road, which accommodated 3 trillion vehicle miles. Fuel taxes are the main method of funding transportation projects, and when the recession hit, Americans didn’t drive as much. This led to shortfalls in the baseline budget. Check out the full report, "Rural Infrastructure: A More Productive Path Forward," online at

Partnership Boosts Microbial Research Efforts

Monsanto Company and Novozymes recently announced a new partnership—BioAg Alliance—to discover, develop and sell microbial solutions for large-scale crops, fruits and vegetables.

Microbial solutions are part of the ag biologicals industry, which represents $2.3 billion in annual sales and posted mid-teens sales growth each of the last seven years. Derived from naturally occurring micro-organisms such as fungi, microbials protect against pests and diseases.

Novozymes CEO Peder Holk Nielsen says the alliance is game changing. "The combined capabilities of Novozymes and Monsanto create an innovation powerhouse with a unique opportunity and approach to unleash the transformational opportunity in naturally derived microbial solutions in agriculture," he says.

With faster development cycles than other ag innovations, microbial solutions provide tremendous potential to deliver sustainable, yet cost-effective, solutions that can increase yield, while using fewer inputs.

Products derived from plants and microorganisms can enhance a plant’s ability to uptake nutrients so it is more resilient and grows more effectively.Products derived from plants and microorganisms can enhance a plant’s ability to uptake nutrients so it is more resilient and grows more effectively.

One type of agricultural biological, microbials are derived from microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Microbials can
protect crops from pests and diseases while enhancing plant
productivity and fertility. There are three microbial categories: biocontrol, biofertility and bioyield enhancers.

Recommended: AgWeb App

Looking for a new app? Check out the AgWeb app store, where apps are chosen based on real farmer reviews and usage. Go to

76% of growers have changed their weed management program to address resistance, according to a recent survey by BASF.

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