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Growers Considering Options at Commodity Classic

04 March 2011

US - Growers perused the Commodity Classic tradeshow floor in Tampa, Fl., on Thursday asking agri-businesses about the latest technology as they consider their options for the 2011 growing season, reports Sarah Mikesell, TheCropSite.com senior editor, from the show.

Exhibitors said given commodity prices, a key decision for growers this year is crop mix - how many acres to plant in corn versus beans.

"Another topic was idle land that they want to bring back into production," said Jeff Springsteen, corn and soybean herbicide brand manager with Bayer CropScience. "Growers are considering how productive their CRP land is. With current prices, they want to bring more land into play and figure out how to maximize their yields on some of the acres that may not be their best land."

Springsteen also heard consistently that growers are planning to use a fungicide. He said last year hardly anyone applied a fungicide with $3 corn, but it's a much easier decision for growers this year.

Jerry DeVore, Asgrow marketing lead for the Monsanto Crop Business, said he is seeing progressive farmers aggressively seeking out information.

"In fact, we have growers consistently telling us that they want and expect information and not just the marketing information, but they want us to share the info we accumulate throughout the year and from the multitude of field tests that we do," DeVore said.

DeVore said the top growers know that all the money is made in the first few years of adopting new technology and then after that you've got to have it just to stay on pace.

"Things are changing very fast and it's not unusual to see a new hybrid or variety come into the market and then be gone three years later," he said. "Farmers recognize that they are looking for a partner that can help them understand the new products and get them on their farm very quickly. And then in two to three years, it's on to the next product."

Coming up on Friday, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and US House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas will deliver keynote addresses to an expected crowd of more than 4,500 farmers during the General Session from 9 - 11 am Eastern Time.

Commodity Classic is the convention and trade show of the US corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum industries. This year's trade show hosts nearly 900 booths showcasing the latest agricultural equipment, technology, products and services. In addition to walking the trade show floor, participants also have opportunities to take part in policy discussions, view demonstrations and attend learning sessions.

TheCropSite News Desk



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