Syngenta Renews Disease Hotline Sponsorships

Syngenta Crop Protection has partnered with five universities to bring blight hotlines to potato growers in 2008. The annual potato blight hotlines provide growers with access to disease information. Growers can call the toll-free hotline and receive up-to-date information regarding current weather patterns, recommended control measures and disease infection confirmations. The hotlines, sponsored by Syngenta, are managed by researchers in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota and Michigan and will be accessible around the clock.

The potato blight hotlines are available by calling Idaho, 800-791-7195; Michigan, 888-379-9012; North Dakota, 888-482-7286; Oregon, 800-705-3377; and Washington, 800-984-7400.

MacNear Presented Leadership Award

Randii MacNear, manager of the Davis Farmers’ Market in Davis, Calif., received the 2008 Outstanding Leadership Award from the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA). The award was presented during NAFDMA’s annual conference held in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

MacNear has been a board member of NAFDMA for more than six years. She has been market manager of the Davis Farmers’ Market for more than 25 years and, in 2002, she was named Farmers’ Market Manager of the Year by NAFDMA. She is currently a board member of the California Farm Conference, the Small Farm Center Agricultural Tourism Workgroup and the Davis Farm to School Project. She has served as statewide coordinator of the certified farmers’ market component of the California Department of Health Services’ Children’s 5-A-Day campaign and the statewide coordinator and co-founder of the California Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets. Through her consulting work, she has helped with farmers’ market projects in Japan and Hawaii.

Director Loveland Retires

Valoria Loveland, director of the Washington state Department of Agriculture (WSDA), retired on May 5, 2008.  Robert Gore, the agency’s deputy director, will serve as the interim director until a permanent director is hired. Gore has over 30 years’ experience working in the agriculture community as a grain inspector and commodities inspection manager.

Farmer Input Sought in Washington State

Everyone with an interest in Washington agriculture is invited to provide input for the Future of Farming planning process. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to guide the future of Washington agriculture. Every response to the survey will count. The survey is online at Future of Farming staff will be traveling around the state and conducting meetings every week through June. To find out when and where meetings will take place, visit or e-mail Carrie Coineandubh, project specialist, at

Saf-T-Side Achieves OMRI Listing

Brandt Specialty Formulations’ EPA-registered spray oil, Saf-T-Side, has achieved OMRI listing. The pre-emulsified smothering oil is labeled for a broad range of crops and ornamentals. The company’s manufacturing process breaks down the oil, reducing droplet size from 700 to approximately 50 microns. When applied, the smaller oil droplets leave a thin coating of oil on the plant that is believed to be more effective in insect and disease control as well as being safer for the plant.

Kubota Promotes Safety

To bring attention to tractor and equipment safety, Kubota Tractor Corporation is tapping into the National Safety Council’s (NSC) 12th annual celebration of National Safety Month in June. Though safety should be practiced year–round, Kubota’s call to action is advising families and businesses to take time this month to review safety information for tractor, mower and utility vehicle safety. Older tractors and equipment should have a rollover protection structure (ROPS) and seat belt. Kubota has provided ROPS as standard equipment since 1985; owners of earlier models can have a ROPS and safety belt retrofit to their tractors by contacting their local dealers. According to the NSC, if all tractors were equipped with a ROPS and a seat belt, about 350 lives would be saved each year.

Additional safety information, including a tractor safety coloring book, can be found at Owners of older-model tractors can also submit their model and serial number to attain retrofit pricing from their local dealer.

OmniLytics Collaborates with Elanco

OmniLytics, Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah has entered into a collaborative research and license agreement with Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. The agreement will combine OmniLytics’ bacteriophage technology with Elanco’s experience in product development, marketing, sales and branding. The phage-based products will assist the animal health and food production industries in the control of E. coli, salmonella and listeria outbreaks. OmniLytics has been treating crops in the United States with their AgriPhage product line for more than a decade. Phages are an alternative to broad-spectrum antibiotics and other chemicals in the fight against bacterial disease and contamination.

Yaklich Joins Nunhems

Hybrid seed company Nunhems U.S.A. announced the addition of Bob Yaklich as business development manager, seed technology. In this newly created position, Yaklich will work with the company’s internal research and development team. He will also work with external providers to source and implement seed technology solutions. Yaklich is a seed industry veteran who has held positions at Monsanto and Becker Underwood. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in seed technology and business.

FBS Expands Distribution to Australia

Floratine Biosciences (FBS), a developer of plant-strength technologies with headquarters in Collierville, Tenn. and manufacturing facilities in Visalia, Calif., has contracted with Superior Agronomic Solutions to manage the company’s Australian business operations and sales. Superior Agronomic Solutions, led by managing partner Ian Leonard, will be responsible for establishing field trials and research opportunities for FBS, as well as fostering new sales relationships.

Barchart Partners with, Inc., a provider of commodity market data, has partnered with, a provider of information products and services for the global agriculture and food industries. Through their partnership, will provide custom Web site content including commodity quotes, advanced charts and other market information and tools.