Chemical Safety One Year After Explosion in West, TX

From: US GAO Watchblog

Last year, a fire set off a tragic explosion at a fertilizer storage and distribution facility in West, Texas. The explosion killed and injured many people and severely damaged nearby houses and other buildings, including schools. While the investigation that followed was unable to identify the cause of the initial fire, it determined that the explosion involved the chemical ammonium nitrate. We recently recommended steps certain federal agencies should take to more safely manage this chemical. chemical1

Excerpted from GAO-14-274

Uses and Risks of Ammonium Nitrate

Ammonium nitrate has many uses, including:

Making the connection between technology lab and farm

From: The Californian

Robert Walch

As Silicone Valley tech companies and venture capitalists seek ways of bringing cutting edge technology to the ag sector, it has become glaringly obviousl that there’s a need for someone to assist in integrating the needs of the growers and packers with the ideas flowing from the laboratories.

Without knowing and understanding the needs of the people out in the field or understanding the demands of harvesting and packaging fresh produce, the innovations that flow from the tech sector may not be applicable or practical. If new technologies don’t actually improve the growing or harvesting process is there any justification for investing millions of dollars in their development?

AGCO wants nominations for 2014 Operator of the Year

Fr0m: AgProfessional

For the ninth consecutive year, AGCO Application Equipment will once again recognize North America’s top custom applicators who consistently bring outstanding skill, dedication and passion to their jobs. Nominations are now open for AGCO’s 2014 Operator of the Year program, which recognizes the invaluable role of these professionals in supporting the agricultural industry.

Ag retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to nominate their best applicators based not only on their application knowledge, customer service and performance applying fertilizer and crop protection products in the field, but also service to their local communities. In addition, this year, AGCO is encouraging growers who would like to see their custom applicator nominated to contact their ag retailer to make that request.

Pilot farm project tackles conservation

From: Sioux City Journal

DONNELLE ELLER The Des Moines Register

DES MOINES, Iowa | Farmers in Iowa and the Midwest will soon be able to get advice about conservation at local elevators, along with their seed, fertilizers and herbicides.

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Agren is teaming up with Ames-based United Suppliers, a member-owned wholesaler that provides agricultural products to about 700 elevator groups and other retailers, with thousands of locations, in 20 states and two Canadian provinces.