Industry News for Feb. 2015

New Clearfield Variety Offers Improved Quality

CL163Horizon Ag announces the launch of a new, high-yielding semi-dwarf Clearfield variety with significant improvements to cooking quality. Developed by Mississippi State University, the new CL163 is an example of the efforts made by Horizon Ag and its university partners to improve not only yield potential and production practices, but also the quality of rice being grown in the United States. According to a major domestic food company that has tested this variety extensively, CL163 has cooking and processing properties that represent significant improvements over most lines planted in the United States today. “Horizon Ag and its rice breeding partners are focused on improving the overall quality of U.S-grown rice to meet the needs of our export partners,” says Dr. Tim Walker, general manager of Horizon Ag. “Our industry was once the unmatched leader in producing high-quality rice grain, but today, there is more competition for that title,” he adds. “We can separate ourselves again by focusing breeding and development on varieties like CL163 that bring value at the buyer level and improved production at the farm level. The result is better potential for farm profitability.” Well-adapted to Southern rice-growing environments, CL163 has shown to offer yield potential that is between CL111 and CL151 in over 50 testing locations. It has high amylose content (26 percent) compared to other current long-grain varieties on the market and is an ideal candidate for the parboil industry. Because of its desirable cooking properties and grain quality, CL163 offers the potential for the identity preservation and contracting market. For more information about Horizon Ag and Clearfield rice varieties, please visit www.horizonseed.com.

John Deere App Center Available For iPhone Users

John Deere announces the new John Deere App Center, which is a convenient mobile app designed specifically for John Deere equipment users. “This new tool offers applications that will help users increase the performance and productivity of their equipment,” says Pat Pinkston, vice president, technology and information solutions, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. “Other apps will be available to help manage many jobs within their operation while helping to improve overall efficiency for their work or farm site.” The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. They will also be able to share the apps on social media and provide feedback to improve the applications and develop additional apps for the future. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Pinkston. “In this age of wireless data transfer, data-enabled agriculture and new data technologies in machinery, we will be offering many more apps in the future with additional features to help our customers.” For more information, you can download the John Deere App Center on your iPhone or contact your local John Deere dealer.

2015 Rice Leadership Development Program Class

Click on image for a larger view

From left: Chris Crutchfield (American Commodity Co.), Todd Burich (The Rice Foundation), Greg Van Dyke, Dustin Harrell, Paul Johnson, Hudgens Jeter, Collin Holzhauer, Nat McKnight, Nicole Creason and Chuck Wilson (USA Rice).

Members of the 2015 Rice Leadership Development Program class were announced during the annual Rice Awards Luncheon at the 2014 USA Rice Outlook Conference. The class is comprised of five rice producers and two industry-related professionals selected by a committee of agribusiness leaders. “The rice industry enjoys strong leadership and has a bright future. This program plays a critical role thanks to the intensive training and the high caliber participants,” said Rice Foundation Chairman Todd Burich. The new rice-producer class members are Nicole Creason, Jonesboro, Ark.; Hudgens Jeter, Stuttgart, Ark.; Paul Johnson, Welsh, La.; Nat McKnight, Cleveland, Miss.; and Greg Van Dyke, Pleasant Grove, Calif. The new industry-related members are Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter, and Collin Holzhauer with Southern Rice & Cotton. The Rice Leadership Development Program gives young men and women a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. rice industry, with an emphasis on personal development and communication training. During a two-year period, class members attend four one-week sessions that are designed to strengthen their leadership skills. John Deere Company, RiceTec, Inc. and American Commodity Company are sponsors of the Rice Leadership Development Program through a grant to The Rice Foundation. The USA Rice Federation manages the program.

New Line Of Radios Offered

Digi International has unveiled the Digi XLR PRO line of radios for ultra-reliable, long-range wireless data transmission for Ethernet and serial devices. With its patent-pending Punch2 Technology to overcome noisy radio frequency (RF) environments, Digi XLR PRO radio is ideally suited for industries with remote assets such as oil and gas exploration/production, utilities and precision agriculture. With a line of sight range of more than 100 miles, the 1-Watt, unlicensed, 900 MHz, wide-band radio supports data rates of beyond 3 Mbps, giving the Digi XLR PRO a unique combination of best-in-class performance, extreme reliability and excellent speed at a great value. “Wired Ethernet and serial connectivity aren’t always practical at many of our customers’ remote sites,” said Sam Utley, communication products manager from Campbell Scientific. “We’re excited to have the Digi XLR PRO to offer customers who have to deal with tough radio environments. We’ve never been able to provide a radio that can gather and reliably transmit data this fast at these distances.” Digi XLR PRO’s patent-pending Punch2 Technology is optimized for reliable, longrange data communication in challenging RF environments. Punch2 Technology leverages Chirp Spread Spectrum modulation, which uses its entire allocated bandwidth to broadcast a signal, allowing it to break through noisy RF environments. “Digi XLR PRO is a game-changer because it allows companies to reliably send large amounts of field data over long distances in challenging environments,” said Joel Young, chief technical officer for Digi. “In ultra-noisy, RF environments, companies now have the option to use the Digi XLR PRO with its Punch2 Technology.” Digi XLR PRO is simple to use and requires no programming. It can be easily configured using Digi’s XCTU configuration platform and can be managed and maintained with the Device Cloud Manager. For more information, please visit: www.digi.com/digi-xlr-pro.

MFBF And NECAS Host Grain Bin Safety Workshops

The MFBF Safety Department in conjunction with Dan Neenan, Director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) at Northeast Iowa Community College will be hosting two Grain Bin Safety and Rescue Training Workshops in 2015. There will be a workshop for farmers and farm labor and a separate workshop for emergency responders. These workshops are scheduled for Feb. 25 in Marshall County at the Marshall County Fairgrounds and Feb. 26 in Tunica County at Parker Tractor. The Grain Bin Workshop for Farmers and Farm Labor will begin at noon with a light lunch. This workshop is designed to teach farmers and their employees the preliminary steps to take if someone is trapped in a grain bin until emergency personnel arrive. The Workshop for Emergency Responders begins at 5 p.m. with a light dinner. This workshop is designed to teach firefighters and emergency personnel how to extricate people trapped inside a grain bin. Space is limited for this session, and turn out gear is required. All participants need to register for the location and workshop they plan to attend. To register, contact Angela Thompson at athompson@msfb.org, (601) 977-4242 or (800) 227-8244, ext. 4242.