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Biotech
Corn tops as cellulosic biofuel

When deciding which crops to grow for cellulosic biofuels, return on investment is one variable farmers must consider. Cornstalks and leaves offer the most profit, according to new research by Michigan State University scientists.

Barley teamwork

A Virginia company plans to change the agricultural economy in the state for barley growers, who will now have another outlet for their barley crop. The outcome will be fuel and other products for consumers.

Awaiting RR alfalfa’s fate

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide this spring whether a lower court acted hastily and incorrectly by banning the growing of biotech alfalfa despite extensive scientific evidence documenting the safety of the crop.

Promising corn varieties from Texas AgriLife fight aflatoxin

The war against aflatoxin is tough. But Texas AgriLife Research scientists showcased promising hybrid corn varieties to a group of producers and industry representatives recently at field trials just outside College Station.

Biotech helps grow big crop

Farmers smashed corn production records in 2009, despite growing the crop on fewer acres. And despite poor planting conditions, a cool and wet growing season, and an abysmal harvest that still has some corn standing in fields, American farmers set records for both yield per acre and total production of corn.

New rules for Bt compliance

In an effort to improve Bt corn refuge compliance by farmers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated new requirements as part of the Bt corn re-registration process this past fall.

Groups want biotech food labels

The Obama administration shows no signs of changing the government’s position on labeling of biotech foods, despite a renewed effort by consumer advocacy groups and environmental organizations to require food manufacturers to disclose the use of genetically engineered ingredients.

Bayer ag investment

Ask any farmer and he’ll quickly list for you two universal American traits that have kept farmers in this country in the forefront of farming worldwide. Americans have an innate work ethic, he’ll say, and this country’s farmers and business people have a spirit of ingenuity and innovation that urges them to continually develop necessary new technology.

New potato varieties coming

Americans love potatoes, consuming about 130 pounds per person annually. But it’s a wonder the spuds even make it to the dinner table, given the many fungal diseases that attack the tuber crop — powdery scab and black dot among them. 

Impede weeds

Growers across the Southeast wondered what would replace Deltapine’s 555 in their cotton fields.

Killer weeds

When one door closes, another one opens.

Corn variety controls earworm

Trial plots of Monsanto’s new Genuity VT Triple PRO corn showed improved insect control and higher yields in 2009 in Texas.

Companies developing drought-tolerant crops

Advanta and Bioceres aim to develop drought-tolerant sorghum, rice, cotton and brassica crops.

Sorghum for energy pursued

After working to secure the research dollars, NSP collaborated with NREL to provide almost 100 different sorghum samples for testing, eventually choosing two for pilot testing.

Cotton plants that take a blast coming

Someday breeders will be able to choose cotton plants that can better withstand wind sandblasting, according to an Agricultural Research Service scientist.

Watch these weeds

Wintry months of historically high and frequent rain, sleet and snow have provided some of the best prospects in years for crops in Texas and the Southwest this spring. But it also gave some mighty good prospects for weeds to run rampant.

Herbicide-resistant sorghum nears

The United Sorghum Checkoff Program has been funding research to showcase new over-the-top solutions for controlling grass to allow sorghum growers better management opportunities and flexibility in crop rotations.

GMO wheat likely 8 years away, KSU breeder says

Transgenic varieties are commonplace now for cotton and corn. But GMO commercial wheat may still be about eight years away for U.S. producers.

UNL program sprouts wheats

A new wheat variety coming out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s breeding program stands to heighten interest in irrigated wheat.

Nebraska biotech firm serves clients worldwide

GeneSeek Inc., a Nebraska agricultural biotechnology service provider, has grown into one of the largest companies of its kind in the world since it began in Lincoln in 1998.

Cotton growers hear about new work at Monsanto Megasite

On the first cool and rainy morning many could remember, cotton growers got to go inside one of the world’s state-of-the-art facilities in Lubbock, Texas, to see the latest advances in cotton, as well as get a glimpse into the future.

Study aims to cut wheat losses due to drought stress

Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to make the best of an “extreme” situation.

Stacked cottons only way to grow for Plains farmer

Plains, Texas, cotton grower Rickey Bearden hopes the upcoming 2012 growing season will be far kinder than the drought-stricken and super-hot 2011 crop year.

Geneticist seeks a better corn

Pork and poultry producers could one day be the beneficiaries of corn genetic research being conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The research is being led by David Holding, a plant molecular geneticist who came to UNL in 2009 from the University of Arizona.

Weed resistance marches on

Herbicide-resistant weeds continue to gain ground in Nebraska in 2011, prompting University of Nebraska specialists to call for more integrated weed management programs that include rotating products with different modes of action.

America’s Farmers Mobile Experience spreads ag’s story

The Monsanto “America’s Farmers Mobile Experience” hit a homerun at the 20th Annual Texas Farm, Ranch and Wildlife Expo in Abilene.

Link up with new soybean system

At the time I penned this article in November, July 2010 soybeans were trading for $9.72 per bushel. Thus, interest in soybean production remains strong. One of the newest weed management tools to hit the market is the LibertyLink soybean system. Many growers are counting on this system to help them control glyphosate- and ALS-resistant weeds. This system can work, but it’s not foolproof. Here are some useful tips based on my experiences.

Agrisure Viptera trait represents new technology for corn growers

Take advantage of opportunities to view Syngenta hybrids with the new Agrisure Viptera trait in test plots. Contact a Syngenta seed representative if you want to see the trait in action. Next year, pending final necessary approvals, David O’Reilly hopes you’ll get a firsthand look at Agrisure Viptera on your farm.

Drought-optimized corn hybrids coming

Drought is an unwelcome but regular visitor to the western Corn Belt, knocking on the door somewhere every year and adversely affecting both dryland farmers and those who are limited on their irrigation water.

He wants a better bean

Carlos Urrea wants to keep Nebraska at the top in United States production of dry edible beans such as great northern, pinto and light red kidney.

Researcher studies where glyphosate goes

It’s easy to see what happens when you spray glyphosate on a field of Roundup Ready soybeans — the weeds curl up and die. Still, there’s more going on in that field than meets the eye, says Robert J. Kremer, USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist, Columbia.

Bayer plans to make major investment in Nebraska wheat

Bayer CropScience’s emergence in the wheat breeding arena is big news for Nebraska. The German-based company recently announced it will establish its first North American wheat breeding station near Lincoln, on a 300-acre site yet to be determined.

Grain yields need boost to overcome global food deficit

Ken Cassman believes Nebraska farmers are in a strategic position to help meet global food needs of the future, but not by themselves.

Bayer cotton varieties, tools ready for ’12

It’s not long until the New Year, and cotton growers are ready.

Get a handle on new seed traits

It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed the traits that are currently being sold in the market. At that time most of the available traits were only stacked with one other trait, making a “double-stack” product.

Decide what you need in seed

With so many choices available, it’s tough to imagine not being able to find the hybrid you want with the trait package you need.

EPA gives approval for TwinLink technology

Bayer CropScience has the OK from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its TwinLink technology in the U.S. and anticipates having it in FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties in 2013, pending regulatory approvals in key import countries.