Texas fertilizer company didn't heed disclosure rules
The fertilizer plant that exploded on Wednesday, obliterating part of a small Texas town and killing at least 14 people, had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Full story.
Endangered Species Act lawsuit dismissed
The U.S. District Court of Northern California granted motions brought by both CropLife America (CLA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dismiss the lawsuit Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Full story.
Calendar pages move, but planters don’t
USDA’s weekly crop progress and condition report was almost a re-run of the prior week, with corn planting progress increasing only from 2 percent last week to 4 percent for the latest report. Full story.
New fertilizer company Ostara secures funding
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., a clean water company that recovers phosphorus and nitrogen from waste and process water streams and transforms them into a premium, slow-release fertilizer, announced that it has secured $13 million in equity financing. Full story.
Syngenta insecticide offers dual-action insect control
Besiege insecticide from Syngenta recently received registration approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on soybeans, sunflowers and canola. Full story.
Monsanto announces $400 million expansion plan
Monsanto Company announced plans to bring together its St. Louis-based industry-leading research and development team on one campus when it completes a more than $400 million expansion at its Chesterfield Village Research Center. Full story.
Bayer CropScience and KeyGene sign agreement
Bayer CropScience and KeyGene (Wageningen, the Netherlands) announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement to improve traits in a number of major agricultural crops. Full story.
EDITORIAL: The aftermath of the West Fertilizer tragedy
|By Colleen Scherer, Managing Editor, Ag Professional
In the days, weeks and months ahead, many issues surrounding the explosion that took place at the West Fertilizer Company’s facility last week, will be discussed. Agriculture, fertilizer, safety precautions, town development, government regulations and security will all be up for review as a result of the massive tragedy in West, Texas. Full story.
Spring rain: The good and the ugly
The current wet conditions in Iowa are a mixed bag providing moisture to recharge the soil profile and potentially mitigating the residual effect of last season’s drought. Full story.
Deciding on fungicide seed treatment
Fungicide seed treatments protect seedlings from both seed-borne pathogens as well as soil-borne pathogens, explains Emmanuel Byamukama, SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist. Full story.
Nitrogen carryover unlikely for most of Indiana
Last year’s drought and reduced corn yield in Indiana resulted in considerably more nitrogen (N) being left in the soil at the end of the growing season than normally occurs. But large areas of Indiana have received precipitation as much as 4 to 8 inches of above normal. Full story. (Visit the Crop Fertility Resource Center for more fertilizer news and information.)
Nine species of pythium associated with corn seedling blight
Researchers at Iowa State University studied thousands of acres of corn in southern Iowa in 2012 after reports of seedling diseases causing poor stands and requiring many to replant. Full story. (Visit the Corn Resource Center for more corn news and information.)
Evaluation of seed treatments on soybean
With funding from check-off dollars from the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa State University researchers evaluated the effect of commercially available fungicide and insecticide seed treatments for soybeans. Full story. (Visit the Soybean Resource Center for more soybean news and information.)
Jack Frost continues to take bites out of Texas wheat
The damage to the wheat crop in the Panhandle, Southern Plains and Rolling Plains regions from the last bout of freezing weather was not uniform, but losses were “significant,” according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist. Full story. (Visit the Wheat Resource Center for more wheat news and information.)
Has the West Fertilizer Co. explosion caused a reaction in your community? Which answer best explains the local reaction?
A) Neighbors to fertilizer facilities have raised questions
B) Farmer customers have asked about fertilizer dangers
C) Lots of general discussion without local fear
D) Not really been a topic of discussion