TRIMBLE ADDS TO ITS VANTAGE DISTRIBUTION NETWORK Trimble has added four new partners in North America and Europe to its Vantage distribution network – a global network of independent partners that provide growers, advisors, retailers, co-ops and local original equipment manufacturer dealers with precision agriculture expertise. The new partners in the Vantage network include: • Vantage South Atlantic, a new authorized reseller based in Warsaw, NC. Vantage South Atlantic will provide Trimble total farm solutions throughout Virginia, North Carolina and the eastern part of Tennessee. • Vantage Manitoba, established from Trimble’s authorized reseller in Canada, AgWest Ltd. Located outside of Winnipeg, MB, Vantage Manitoba will provide Trimble total farm solutions throughout the province. • Vantage ES, established from Trimble’s authorized reseller in Germany and Austria, geo-konzept GmbH. Vantage ES’s central office is located in Adelschlag, Germany, and will offer Trimble total farm solutions throughout the eastern and southern states of Germany and the whole of Austria. • Vantage Northwest Germany, established from Agrometius BV, Trimble’s authorized reseller in the Benelux region. Based in Lippetal- Herzfeld, Vantage Northwest Germany focuses on Trimble total farm solutions for growers, contractors and crop advisors throughout the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig- Holstein, Lower Saxony, Bremen and Hamburg. Vantage partners complete extensive training to install, set up and support the entire Trimble precision agriculture portfolio from planning through reporting. The Trimble agriculture portfolio has evolved from guidance and flow and application control systems to now include advanced solutions for irrigation and water management, agronomy coaching, plant health monitoring, soil analysis, variable rate application, and desktop and cloud based management. For additional information about Vantage, visit vantage-ag.com. AGPS IS NOW POWERED BY XMC XMC Machine Control is a partnership of Mike Cook’s Soil and Water Management Systems, Pulsar Mechatronics and other machine control dealers to bring contractors a combined 100 years of machine control expertise. XMC will continue to operate in the agriculture and construction markets. The XMC partnership's combined expertise allows the company to custom-build solutions for niche markets, listen to customers and create specific targeted solutions. There will be no more general use construction or adapted ag systems that are not specifically built to fit a job. Product interfaces will be modernized to make systems more efficient for the operator. XMC will support AMW customers and AGPS customers. XMC prompts customers looking for expert support to team up with experts so they are the first to know of product updates. For more information, use the contact page found at agpsinc.com. RESEARCH SHOWS BENEFITS TO ON-FARM WATER STORAGE Mississippi State University researchers Juan Pérez- Gutiérrez, Joel Paz and Mary Love Tagert examined the seasonal water quality changes in an on-farm water storage (OFWS) system implemented on a farm within the head water region of the Porter Bayou watershed north of Indianola, MS. According to their research, published recently in the journal Agricultural Water Management, the soils surrounding the monitored system were comprised of several soil types, namely types of silty clay loam, silt loam and clay. The soils were exposed during the dormant season and a soybean-corn crop rotation was managed with conventional and non-tillage practices during the growing season for the monitoring/sampling period (February/March 2012 to December 2014). Typically, nitrogen was applied during early spring, while phosphorus was applied during the fall. Water sampling occurred at four different points: at the inlet, at the tailwater recovery ditch, at the outlet and at the pond. The collected data were grouped into four seasons and then analyzed. Significant water quality changes were observed in the OFWS system by season and nutrient species. The results give evidence of significant seasonal water quality changes among the different points monitored throughout the OFWS, and more importantly, highlight downstream nutrient reduction. The study showed a 54 percent and 50 percent reduction in nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration in the tail water recovery (TWR) ditch during winter and spring, respectively. When comparing median concentrations over seasons, the results showed the pond’s removal efficiency for NO3-N was more than 77 percent during summer. A 60 percent reduction in nitrogen-ammonia (NH3-N) concentration was measured in the TWR ditch during spring, whereas NH3-N removal percentages of 53 percent were observed from winter to spring and 58 percent from spring to summer in the pond. Orthophosphate (ortho-P) concentrations in the ditch were reduced by 49 percent at the TWR ditch and 26 percent at the outlet during autumn, as measured from the inlet. During winter, the ortho-P concentration was reduced by 65 percent from the TWR ditch to the outlet. The in-pond ortho-P concentration removal efficiency was observed to be approximately 70 percent from winter to spring and remained stable through the other seasons. Total phosphorus (P) in the ditch, as measured from the TWR ditch to the outlet, was reduced by 31 percent and 10 percent during winter and spring, respectively. From winter to spring, the in-pond total P concentration was reduced by 28 percent and from spring to summer by 55 percent. The results of this study indicate downstream nutrient reduction can vary with season, with significant reductions possible during spring. This variation is of special interest when targeting the effect of nutrient runoff from agricultural fields into the Gulf of Mexico, as the dead zone is mainly observed during spring. DMWW LAWSUIT DISMISSED by Kristine A. Tidgren A federal court has dismissed the lawsuit filed against the drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties by the Board of Water Works Trustees for the City of Des Moines (DMWW). The court was required to dismiss the lawsuit after finding that, even if DMWW proved an injury, the drainage districts would have no ability to remedy it. In other words, they were not the proper defendants for this lawsuit. Iowa law was clear from the beginning. The Supreme Court had long held that a drainage district is “merely an area of land, not an entity subject to a judgment for tort damages.” As we explained when the lawsuit was filed: “[This law] recogni[zes] that the sole purpose and function of the drainage district is to facilitate the construction and maintenance of a unified drainage tile system. The trustees have no authority to act outside of their narrow responsibilities of creating and maintaining what is in most places a 100-year-old system.” DMWW acknowledged the law, but argued it was outdated. DMWW asserted this was a “new day” and the court should apply a “new rule of liability and responsibility for drainage districts concerning pollution.” DMWW argued “implied immunity has survived through repetition rather than critical analysis.” The Iowa Supreme Court disagreed, ruling in January that Iowa drainage districts are immune from claims for damages or injunctive relief. The Iowa Supreme Court was answering certified questions related to the tort claims DMWW filed against the districts, but the federal court found this ruling also applied to the Clean Water Act claims – even if DMWW were to prevail in its Clean Water Act claims, the districts would have no legal ability to remedy the alleged injuries. If the party against whom a suit is brought cannot provide a remedy, a federal court has no jurisdiction to hear it, so the federal court dismissed the tort and the Clean Water Act claims. The federal court also found no merit to DMWW’s claims that its constitutional rights were violated. The court ruled the immunity Iowa law affords to drainage districts does not violate the equal protection clause or the due process clause of the United States constitution. Finally, the court agreed with the Iowa Supreme Court’s analysis of DMWW’s takings claim, noting “a public entity such as DMWW cannot assert a fifth amendment takings claim against another political subdivision of the state.” the entire action was dismissed on March 17. Kristine A. Tidgren is the staff attorney at Iowa State University's Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation.
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