Christy Birdsong Joins NCC As General Counsel
Christy Birdsong, who has served as counsel for the House Committee on Agriculture since 2005, joins the Memphis-based National Cotton Council of America as general counsel.
Birdsong provided the Agriculture Committee with legal counsel on issues ranging from conservation to climate change. She also worked extensively with policy staff and interest groups in drafting the research, conservation and horticultures titles of the current Farm Bill.
Prior to her House Agriculture Committee tenure, Birdsong served as federal government affairs leader for CropLife America in Washington, D.C. While there, she developed, implemented and managed legislative and political strategies in support of pesticides and crop biotechnology products. She also monitored, reviewed and analyzed all pesticide initiatives that emanated from Congress.
Bayer Signs Agreement With N.Y. Apparel Company
Bayer CropScience and New York-based textile and apparel company Olah Inc. have signed a licensing agreement to use the Bayer Crop-Science cotton brand names FiberMax and Stoneville.
Under this 10-year agreement, Olah has been granted an exclusive license to develop and market the two brands for apparel and home furnishings. The agreement initially covers North America, Mexico and Japan and can be extended to more countries.
It also includes the right to sublicense the brand names to other manufacturers. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Both FiberMax and Stoneville cotton brands are well-known in the cotton and apparel industries, and each offers a profile that is appealing to different segments of the textile industry. FiberMax is a long-staple upland cotton mainly grown in the United States that is suited for finished goods that require finer yarns for manufacturing.
Smartfield Names Hawkins As Chief Executive Officer
Steve M. Hawkins has been chosen as chief executive officer of Smartfield, an innovator in plant information technology. Hawkins was partner in The Context Network, a business management consulting firm specializing in agriculture.
Hawkins is a 40-year veteran in the agricultural industry whose previous post included president and COO of Delta and Pine Land.
He also held leadership positions at Asgrow Seed Company.
In addition to overseeing the launch of industry innovations, such as genetically modified soybean and cotton seed, Hawkins has been active in helping startup companies find partners and commercialize new technologies.
Smartfield develops plant monitoring technology to optimize crop production practices, such as irrigation, and provides selection tools for providers of goods and services to these producers.
Visit www.smartfield.com for more information.
Harvest-Aid System Available On Cotton Inc.’s Web Site
A cotton harvest equipment investment decision-aid has just been made available on Cotton Incorporated’s Web site. It is designed to allow the user to compare two different investments in cotton harvest machinery using capital budgeting techniques. This Microsoft Excel program may be downloaded and used to create several different harvest equipment evaluation scenarios.
“The most immediate application will probably be by producers who are considering purchasing one of the new on-board module building (OMB) pickers,” says Dr. Jeanne Reeves, Director, Agricultural Research and staff Ag Economist, Cotton Incorporated.
Additionally, the aid will let producers compare their existing harvest system to the new OMBs.
Various sample scenarios have been developed and include the following: A six-row basket picker versus John Deere’s round OMB picker; a basket picker versus Case IH’s rectangular (1/2 size module) OMB picker; a basket picker versus two cotton strippers and also the new OMB pickers versus two cotton strippers.
A user-defined version of the spreadsheet is also provided for people who want to create their own unique comparisons specific to their operation. The default scenarios were based on data collected from on-farm evaluations over the last three years.
More details can be found at www.cottoninc.com/cotton-harvest-systems.
BASF Continues Support Of Safe Aerial Applications
BASF will continue support of Operation S.A.F.E. (Self-Regulating Application and Flight Efficiency) fly-ins in 2011 through its collaboration with the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA).
Through the partnership, BASF provides financial support for participating aerial applicators, which can be used towards membership in NAAA or for new spray equipment.
“More than 800 aerial applicators participated in 99 Operation S.A.F.E. fly-ins over the last two years,” says Tony Goede, BASF Plant Health Coordinator. “This important program helps ensure efficiency for the entire aerial application industry.”
In order to take advantage of the BASF Equipment and NAAA Membership Rebate Program, an operator or pilot must be an NAAA member. Although it is not necessary to be a member to participate in an Operation S.A.F.E. fly-in, that person must become an NAAA member before applying for and being granted approval for the rebate application. Then the operator or pilot can apply to be reimbursed for some or all of his 2011 membership dues or submit receipts to receive a rebate for nozzles and/or tips purchased for the aircraft.
For more information about Operation S.A.F.E., visit the Web site at www.agaviation.org/content/operation-safe.
Belay Insecticide Registered For Use in California
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has received California registration for Belay insecticide. Belay is a third-generation neonicotinoid insecticide known for its control of plant bugs (including lygus species), stink bugs, beetles, aphids and a broad spectrum of other chewing and sucking pests.
New registrations for Belay include cotton, almonds and other tree nuts, cranberry, fig, peach, pomegranate and low bush blueberry.
Belay also is now registered in many vegetables such as leafy brassica, cucurbits, fruiting vegetables, leafy vegetables and tuberous and corm vegetables, including sweet potato.
First introduced for use in potatoes in California, Belay provides control of a broad spectrum of pests, is softer on insect predators than older chemistries and has a fit in IPM programs.
The new crop registrations bring the benefits of Belay to California farmers and consultants battling a variety of challenging and yield-robbing pests.
For more information, visit the company Web site at www.valent.com.
Deltapine Now Sending Ag Data To Mobile Phones
Cotton producers can now access yield data, agronomic alerts, variety information and contact information for Deltapine representatives and seed dealers from their mobile phone, thanks to Deltapine-Mobile.com.
Mobile Web users can access a yield calculator to compare Deltapine products’ yield potential to competitor varieties. A planting rate calculator is available for proper seeding rates.
The new mobile Web site also allows users to stay updated on the latest USDA news and commodity prices.
“The Deltapine mobile Web site will be an important tool for all farmers planting Deltapine seed,” says Dave Rhylander, Deltapine Marketing Lead. “Just launch the browser on your mobile device and visit Deltapine-Mobile.com to start experiencing the fastest and most convenient way to stay informed.”
For more information on the new system, go to www.deltapine.com.
John Deere Sponsoring ‘Drive Green’ Events
For the third consecutive year, John Deere is hosting Drive Green events at dealerships across the country for consumers to see and test drive the latest utility tractors and other equipment available from John Deere.
Scheduled from February through July, this year’s Drive Green Challenge events will be held at more than 60 locations across the South, East Coast and Midwest and will feature a customized “Tail Gator” XUV.
The dealer-sponsored Drive Green Challenge events, which kicked off in California after the World Ag Expo, are designed to give rural property owners, agricultural producers, commercial lawn and landscape operators and interested consumers a chance to test drive John Deere and competitive tractors.
They also provide an opportunity to compare features of different equipment and ask questions about the latest models of utility tractors and other equipment available from John Deere.