Conservation Legacy Award Winners.

Because of their more than 50 years of commitment to conservation, SanMarBo farms, Tracy, MN, wins this year’s American Soybean Association’s Conservation Legacy Award. In addition to winning an all-expense paid trip to the recent Commodity Classic in Nashville, TN, the Ludemans also received a plaque and a yard sign.

Regional winners are: Bobbie and Jerry Newsham, Cedar Ridge Farms, Ashland, NE, (Western Region); Mark Watkins, Watkins Farms, Kenton, OH, (Northeastern Region); and, Marc Curtis, Heads Planting Co., Leland, MS, (Southern Region).

The Conservation Legacy Award is sponsored by the American Soybean Association, Monsanto and Soybean Digest. It recognizes outstanding environmental and conservation achievements of U.S. soybean farmers.

Philip Morris Grants $50,000 To NCGA And ASA.

The Philip Morris family of companies has extended a helping hand totaling $50,000 to the National Corn Growers Association Foundation and the W.J. Morse Foundation of the American Soybean Association.

Each foundation has been chosen as a winner of a $25,000 Philip Morris Agricultural Contributions grant. NCGA’s grant falls into the "Risk Management Education" category. ASA’s grant will be used in the foundation’s "Trade Liberalization Education Program."

The two groups are among 14 winners of 2002 Agricultural Contributions grants, issued through the Shared Solutions program. The grants, which range from $5,000 to $25,000, are part of an ongoing Philip Morris commitment to work with organizations throughout the agricultural production chain to address shared issues.

Report Outlines Ag’s Future.

Where is agriculture headed for the 21st Century? A recent report from a National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) task force hopes to provide answers.

The Future Structure of Ag Task Force released their study findings in 20-page report. The task force, organized in 2000, was asked to look at how business consolidation, technology economic conditions and politics affect U.S. agriculture and rural America.

The report reviews their findings and addresses ways to energize the farm population with different alternatives and solutions.

To read the complete report, "Choices in the Evolution of Corn Belt Agriculture: A Look at the Economic Forces Changing Agriculture and Rural Communities," visit NCGA’s Web site at www.ncga.com

Monsanto Doubles Order For E85 Trucks.

Monsanto Company announces that it has increased its original order for General Motors’ new E85 Chevrolet Silverado from 50 to 100 pick-ups, doubling the number of vehicles it will receive later this quarter.

The increased use of ethanol to fuel its fleet is part of Monsanto’s bioenergy initiative, a commitment to researching ways to improve the quantity and quality of renewable energy, including biofuels.

"In addition to the economic and environmental benefits biofuels bring consumers, this renewable energy expands markets for U.S. growers and helps reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil sources, says Ross Bushnell, Monsanto’s director of U.S. marketing.

In November 2001, Monsanto’s bioenergy team placed the first U.S. corporate order with GM for the industry’s first full-size pick-up trucks that run on E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. The vehicles will eventually account for the majority of Monsanto’s fleet.

Monsanto also announces that as part of its bioenergy initiative, it has established a research team to identify high-yielding commercial corn hybrids for the ethanol industry that will improve both ethanol yields per bushel of corn processed and plant processing efficiencies.

E Diesel Research Announced.

Efforts to help mainstream ethanol blended diesel fuel – otherwise known as E diesel – received a boost with the recent announcement of a research partnership between biofuels proponents and private industry.

The two-year research project will evaluate and field test three John Deere engine families for engine durability, emissions, fuel compatibility with engines and component parts and safety.

Those participating in the study, and supplying researching funding, include: Renewable Fuels Association, John Deere, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, and corn grower associations from six states (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and Kansas).

E diesel is a blend of up to 15% anhydrous ethanol, up to 5% special blending additive and at least 80% #2 diesel. E diesel can be "splash blended" similar to 10% ethanol in gasoline and has other proven research benefits, including: 20-30 percent emission reduction, reduced sulfur content, and better performance of #2 diesel in winter conditions.

New Soybean Fungicide Released.

Gustafson, Plano, TX, announces the introduction of a new soybean fungicide to control primary and secondary diseases, including rhizoctonia.

SoyGard, with Protégé, is the only seed-applied fungicide offering two systemic active ingredients for broad-spectrum control in soybeans. In addition to rhizoctonia, the product provides protection against diseases such as pythium, phytophthora and fusarium.

According to company officials, treated soybean seed helps the plant with a successful start during emergence, producing added dividends in both the quality of stand and harvestable yields.

Crop Resume Program Launched.

A new tool to help producers capture the value of value-added agriculture is now available.

CropVerifeye’s "Heritage Program, offered in conjunction with Settler AgExpert Software, allows growers to document their production practices and processes on a fully secured, Web enabled database.

According to company officials, producers can gather and collect data over a period of years to build a resume of cropping practices. For more information, contact CropVerifeye at 866-639-2767 or by email at info@cropverifeye.com.

Limit Your Risk

If you want to look at ways to limit your crop risk, a new computer program called Strategizer can help. It evaluates marketing and risk management options for various crop yields and price combinations, and presents the results in an easy-to-read chart.

Offered by Diversified Services, Strategizer adjusts levels of crop and income insurance against solid marketing options. It then customizes a plan which covers all costs to insure a strong return.

According to Steven Vanzant, Ohio farmer and company specialist, "It lets a farmer see which insurance policy and grain marketing program will make him the most money."

For more information on Strategizer, contact Rodney Clark at 812-833-3074.