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The Agronomy Avenue - June 2016

Dear Patrons,

Spring is wrapping up for the most part in our area; the crops are coming up, and the pre-emerge chemicals are down. This spring was a relatively long one with a week of planting followed by a week of rain, but it worked nice to get the moisture back in our soils with the little snow we got this past winter. With summer coming in hot or cold like we experienced a couple weeks ago, there are a few things to think about for the summer.

The first is nitrogen side dressing on your corn; with our side dresser we have the capability to side dress 20”, 22” and 30” rows. Along with doing various row widths, we can go through corn up to 7 feet tall, with upwards of 100# of nitrogen. So, we can feed the corn when it is needs it and produce more bushels to make up for these lower crop prices. If you are interested in trying side dressing by doing some test strips or a whole field, give me a call so I can get you on our list. Switching the bar between row widths is tedious and can take upwards of a full day.

This summer one thing to look out for is hitting the weeds in your fields when they are small. For the people with alfalfa fields, be on the lookout for alfalfa weevils, as they are starting to hatch. If you would like your alfalfa scouted, we can come out and check them for you. Getting the insects out of your alfalfa is usually pretty cheap and as long as we are in there we have a couple foliar products to help out your tonnage. On the topic of insects, there have been reports of black cutworm damage around Southern Minnesota. Some of the factors that increase cut worms in areas would be early weeds in the fields for the moths to lay the eggs as well as higher soybean residue in no till or ridge tillage. The damage may be spotty but keep an eye out for these.

Regarding our 2016 Agronomy/Grain Loyalty Program, we will be getting everyone that qualified signed up this summer or if you’re in the office, contact Jory or I and we will get you the paper to fill out. For those of you that are feeding, this applies to most of your corn as well. Grain that is brought in and put on Grain Bank is currently changed $0.02/bushel to deposit into Grain Bank, and $0.02/month/bushel storage on the balance remaining at the end of each month. If producers qualify for Agronomy/Grain Loyalty Program, they can be reimbursed the $0.02/month/bushel storage each month as long as the producer has not exceeded their total dollars possible to be paid out. The $0.02 upfront is not reimbursable by this Agronomy/Grain Loyalty Program.

In ending, we had a little bit of a surprise a couple weeks ago. I had received a phone call from a number from the United Kingdom. After seeing it I figured it was a telemarketer or some sort of scam. The gentlemen stated in his voicemail that he was an editor for a magazine in the United Kingdom called Farmers Weekly and was traveling to the United States to write an article about our Miller Nitro and side dressing toolbar. When he showed up, I got to talk to him about some of their farming practices along with some of ours. He also got to take a ride in the Miller while spraying some soybeans and check out a local farmer’s planter or ‘drill’ as he called it. He will be sending me a copy of the article which I will try to put in the next newsletter as well as a copy of the magazine to have on display in the office. It was a fun day and to visit with a guy from 4,000 miles away about our little local elevator made it even better.

Hoping everyone has a safe fun summer as we continue with this beautiful weather!

Brooks Torke, Agronomy Manager

Agronomy Team:  Jared Bakken, Dennis Gacksetter (Stanley) and Reed Raddatz