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The Agronomy Avenue - April 2019

Dear Patrons,

It is hard to believe that spring is around the corner after experiencing multiple snow storms and reaching record low temps these past two months. One day spring is bound to make its arrival and bring with it warmer weather and sunshine! But along with warmer weather comes the real challenge of spring for us in the Agronomy department and that is all the wet fields this melting snow will leave behind. After all the challenges we had this previous year it is hard to keep a positive outlook on the upcoming year.  I have a couple tips to help you get ready for the 2019 crop season.

First, applying pre-emergence herbicide on your corn and beans. I know I say this year after year, but this past year was the perfect example of putting pre-down on your acres. Last spring, we had a lot of trouble getting into the fields when we needed to, if we could get into them at all. With beans it does not matter if you are planting Dicamba, Liberty or E3 the window is narrow on getting a post on any variety of beans, I like to think of it as more of an insurance. Especially if our weather pattern stays the same as last year, you are going to want something down to give you the residual. We have a couple different options for the bean pre-emergences, which I would be happy to explain to you. The same goes with corn, although you have more options for post-emergence herbicides, they do have restrictions and last spring we hit those restrictions due to weather. Some fields went into fall with no herbicide treatments. That led to some interesting combining conditions. If you are unsure of which route you are going to take on the herbicide aspect of your farm, swing in and we can look at some cost-effective options.

Secondly, high inputs low outputs, which is leading to a lot of stress across the agriculture sector.  With the crop prices low you may be wanting to make cuts in places where you should not be making cuts in your operation. I have heard of people cutting rates in other areas and mining the soil. This could work for a year or two but will end up hurting in the long run. You are better off trying to get better yields on your acreage, and fertilizing it for its potential. This does not mean over apply it, just means knowing what your ground can produce and plan around each field. A couple ways to help with that is soil samples or tissue samples to know what you are lacking or you have an abundance of. We can put plans together to suit your specific farm needs so it can reach its fullest yield potential.

Lastly, this past year was by far one of the worst years, from spring until winter, that I have experienced. I guess winter now starts in early November? Between the late snows in April, to the rainiest summer/fall I have ever seen. I appreciate all the patients everyone had. With the short fall we had I am hoping everyone can be patient with us as we try our hardest to keep everyone moving. If you can call a day or so in advance that will help us plan our days out to be more efficient. Thank you to everyone for your continued support, Have a safe 2019 spring planting season.

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

Agronomy Team: Reed Raddatz, Ryan Reishus