We all know that each year brings its own unique challenges, and 2018 has been no different. Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael devastated the Southeast while parts of Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin and several other states received unusually high rainfall. We were fortunate in southeast Missouri to have several dry stretches early in the year. That allowed planting to progress relatively smoothly. It was a little hot and dry this summer and into fall, but that allowed for harvest to begin quickly and, like planting, progress smoothly. As harvest’s completion draws near, commodity prices are dismal, and the reported corn and soybean yields in our area are off slightly from those in the past couple of years. However, most in our area have reported above average rice and cotton yields. Hopefully, the decent yields will offset the low prices and help keep our growers in the black.
In late October, the labels for XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan were extended for two years with more restrictions. Some details still must be determined, so it may be some time until all becomes clear. Depending on who and where you are, this could be good news or bad news. Most would agree we need more weed control tools. However, the current formulations seem to have issues that need to be resolved. Our universities continue to research solutions to minimize opportunity for off-target movement. There has also been mention of lower volatility dicamba formulations currently being tested. Dicamba has changed the public perception of how we apply pesticides and put agricultural applicators on the public radar. The two-year label extension ensures dicamba will remain in the public spotlight.
As I near the end of my term as NAICC president, I am surprised at how quickly it has passed and feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity. Writing these articles has been a wonderful yet challenging opportunity for me to share things I feel are important to our industry—specifically, the article about agricultural advocacy and the series concerning food safety and GMOs. I am particularly passionate about these topics and am very happy I was able to share my thoughts. I want to thank Joy Whitsel and Bree Goldschmidt for their contributions to these articles.
Matt Eich, a crop consultant from South Dakota, is incoming president, and I look forward to serving on the executive board under his leadership.
In September, I was privileged to host an NAICC Leadership Program participant, Nathan Casper, who is a crop consultant from Wisconsin. We spent two days together here in southeast Missouri, looked at cotton and rice fields, learned from each other and discussed agriculture’s differences and similarities in our respective parts of the country. It was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for both of us, and it has been an honor to be part of the leadership program as a host. If you would like more information about hosting or applying for the NAICC Leadership Program, then go to www.NAICC.org.
The best part about 2018? It’s almost over. Soon, crops will be out of the fields, and it will be meeting season. The one you won’t want to miss is the NAICC Annual Meeting, Jan. 16 to Jan. 19, 2019, at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center in Savannah, Ga. The program is filled with informational sessions for crop consultants, researchers and quality assurance professionals. Find more information on our new website at www.NAICC.org. Mark your calendars, and we hope to see you there!