Waste not, want not

The University of Missouri in Columbia has been awarded a grant of nearly $300,000 to expand anaerobic digester capacity in the state.

It’s part of an EPA-funded project to help reduce food loss and waste and divert it from land­fills. MU is among 12 universities and organizations nationwide to receive a total of $3 million in funding toward this effort.

Anaerobic digestion is a process in which micro-organisms break down organic materials, such as food scraps, manure and sewage sludge, all in the absence of oxygen. The process re­sults in the production of biogas, which can be captured and used for energy production, and “digestate,” a nutrient-rich product that can be used as fertilizer.

The MU project seeks to increase the use of anaerobic digestion and improve digestate man­agement by establishing partnership programs and trainings for farmers, schools, businesses and governments. The university team will be led by Dr. Zhiqiang Hu of the Civil and Environ­mental Engineering Department.

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30% and 40% of the food supply and is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills. According to the EPA, anaerobic digestion is preferable to incinerating or dumping food waste because the process reclaims valuable resources, such as fuel or fertilizer, and reduces environmental impacts.

For more information on anaerobic digestion, visit www.epa.gov/anaerobic-digestion.

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XtendFlex soybeans gain final regulatory approval

In late September, XtendFlex soybeans were approved by the European Union for food, feed, import and processing, a milestone represents the final key authorization for this new technology. 

With this approval in hand, Bayer expects a full launch of XtendFlex soybeans in the United States and Canada in 2021 and is positioned to supply 20 million U.S. soy acres when the selling season arrives. The soybean variety tolerates over-the-top applications of three herbicides—glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate (Liberty)—giving growers additional flexibility to manage tough-to-control and resistant weeds.  

“We’ve seen great demand for XtendFlex soybeans from our customers,” said Lisa Streck, Bayer soybean launch lead. “Based on that demand, we’ve developed a supply plan to meet the market demand in 2021, across all maturities, Bayer brands and licensees. We expect the launch of XtendFlex to match the launch scale of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, which were planted on 20 million acres in their first year of commercial availability.”

On Oct. 27, EPA approved new registrations for two “over-the-top” dicamba products—XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and Engenia Herbicide—and extended the registration for an additional dicamba product, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology. These registrations are only for use on dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025.

MFA’s MorSoy brand will have six varieties with XtendFlex technology available for the 2021 growing season. For more information on these and other seed options from MFA, visit seed.mfa-inc.com.

(This article has been updated since it was originally published in print on Oct. 19).

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Centennial celebrations for MFA cooperatives

October is Co-op Month, celebrated nationwide to spotlight the many ways coop­eratives create shared prosperity for their members and communities. MFA was organized as a cooperative in 1914 by a visionary group of farmers who recognized the benefit of working together to leverage buying power and their collective voices. MFA continues to operate un­der that business model today, with an extensive network of company-owned retail facilities and local affiliate co-ops serving some 45,000 farmer-owners in Missouri and surrounding states.

Co-op Month is the perfect time to congratulate MFA’s local cooperative affiliates for reach­ing milestone anniversaries. Six are celebrating 100 years of service in 2020:

  • Cooperative Association No. 86, Aurora, Mo., incorporated Oct. 15, 1920
  • Farmers Exchange, Bolivar, Mo., incorporated March 19, 1920
  • Dallas County Farmers Exchange No. 177, Buffalo, Mo., incorporated Dec. 21, 1920
  • Farmers Producers Exchange No. 139, Lebanon, Mo., incorporated July 24, 1920
  • Producer Exchange No. 84, Lincoln, Mo., incorporated May 15, 1920
  • Lohman Producers Exchange, Lohman, Mo., incorporated Sept. 14, 1920
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