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BASF releases Sphaerex fungicide to help wheat growers with DON

Both quantity and quality of grain can impact wheat growers’ bottom line, and the fungus that creates head scab and deoxynivalenol (DON) puts both at risk. BASF has combined two active ingredients and introduced the new Sphaerex fungicide to help growers control head scab and reduce the impacts of DON better than any other wheat fungicide on the market.

Recently registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sphaerex is available for the 2022 growing season.

Dangers of DON

Fusarium head blight, also known as head scab, is the most destructive wheat disease growers face, significantly reducing yield potential.

The fungus that causes head scab also produces vomitoxin, specifically DON. During infection, DON can accumulate at high levels in the harvested grain. Its presence may result in a significant price reduction, even rejection, at the grain elevator and could impact the health of livestock if consumed.

Sphaerex Fungicide

Sphaerex fungicide brings together two active ingredients, metconazole and prothioconazole, to defeat head scab and reduce DON.

“Growers work too hard to let DON get the best of their wheat,” said Logan Grier, Marketing Manager, Wheat Crop Protection for BASF Agricultural Solutions. “Sphaerex fungicide can give growers peace of mind that they’re getting the best head scab control and DON reduction to preserve the yield potential and quality of their wheat.”

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FFA chapters connect with elementary schools to share ag

A central part of being in the National FFA Organization is connecting with others and helping to educate them about food and farming. FFA chapters across the country have been working hard to share the story of agriculture with elementary students.

FFA teamed up with Zoetis, the Indiana State Fair, and the LEAP Foundation for an agricultural literacy project that introduced swine production to students.

“As a long-time supporter of the National FFA Organization, Zoetis is a proud sponsor of There’s a Pig in My Classroom,” said Shari Westerfeld, Vice President, U.S. Pork. “This program provides FFA members with a great opportunity to interact with young students, exposing them to FFA and educating them on how pigs are cared for and where pork products come from. U.S. pork producers take great pride in providing a sustainable, healthy food supply for a global population and it is exciting to be a part of this collaboration.”

Lining up with advocacy programming for FFA chapters, the project allowed students to share information on swine production with others and culminate with a virtual field trip to Fair Oaks Farm Pig Adventure.

“This partnership is an opportunity for our members to introduce agriculture to a younger generation,” said Celya Glowacki, advocacy and literacy officer for the National FFA Organization. “Our hope is that we can engage our students in telling the agriculture story to others and inspire a future generation of leaders.”

Those FFA chapters who were chosen to participate were:

Clarksville FFA Chapter

O’Neals-Minarets FFA Chapter
Madera FFA Chapter

LaBelle FFA Chapter

Monroe County Middle FFA Chapter

Connersville FFA Chapter
Franklin County FFA Chapter

Wayne FFA Chapter
Mid-Prairie FFA Chapter

Skyline FFA Chapter

Hopkinsville High School FFA Chapter
Calloway County FFA Chapter

South Lafourche FFA chapter

Boonsboro Middle School FFA Chapter

Ithaca FFA Chapter
Charlotte FFA Chapter

Houston FFA Chapter
Concordia FFA Chapter
Silex FFA Chapter

Newburg FFA Chapter
St. James FFA Chapter
Ashland FFA Chapter

Overton FFA Chapter

North Carolina
North Iredell High School FFA Chapter

North Dakota
Larimore FFA Chapter
Wahpeton FFA Chapter

Mill Creek FFA Chapter

Heppner FFA Chapter

Grand Canyon FFA Chapter
Cumberland Valley FFA Chapter
Tyrone Area FFA Chapter

West Virginia
Tyler FFA Chapter

As part of the program, chapters will teach two pre-lessons, assist with the virtual field trip and teach one post-lesson. They are tasked with providing content to approximately 100 students in grades 3-5.

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100 youth leaders chosen for 2021 Youth Ag Summit

One hundred delegates from more than 40 different countries have been selected to make up Bayer’s 2021 Youth Ag Summit cohort this November. The global forum and biennially organized conference selected young leaders between the ages of 18 and 25 with a passion for sustainable global agriculture for the opportunity to learn and collaborate with others on solutions to issues challenging food security.

This year’s delegates come from more than 2,000 applicants representing nearly 100 countries. To be selected, this year’s delegates presented project ideas and examples of previous advocacy work based on the summit’s overall theme “Feeding a Hungry Planet.” Monserrath Martinez from Mexico, for example, told of her work with a biodegradable device made from food waste which allows food production in urban areas. She hopes her experience inspires fellow delegates while working during the summit on other sustainability solutions.

“I’m convinced it is time for our generation to get into action and change how these systems work, using our skills and knowledge to make agriculture more efficient and sustainable,” Martinez said. “I want to be part of a passionate network of people willing to change the way agriculture works and find new paths for everyone’s well-being.”

This year’s 5th biennial Youth Ag Summit will be the company’s first virtual YAS event and its first with a virtual idea incubator called YAS University. Within the YAS University program, delegates will continue to develop their business and communications skills, receive coaching from mentors, and complete weekly assignments that help them hone their own project concepts for 10 weeks following the summit, beginning in January 2022. At the end of YAS University, the delegates will have the opportunity to pitch their project ideas to a panel of experts to compete for prizes. Bayer’s partnerships for this year’s forum with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the tech company Babele make the unique experience of YAS University possible.

“This is an opportunity to empower the next generation of agricultural change-makers,” said conservation student and grower Ndavisabye Rukundo Christian from Rwanda. “I am a farmer in the village where I live, and agriculture is my passion. This summit fits completely with my goal of doing sustainable agriculture by conserving the environment as well.”

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