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


The Agronomy Avenue - March 2016

Dear Patrons,

Spring is around the corner; this winter was very mild and beautiful. With the little snow we got and the above average temperatures, we could be looking at an early spring. We have been surprised before though, and we still need to get through March.

If an early spring is in our forecast, we have the opportunity to have another great growing season for crops. This also means a great opportunity for the weeds to come in, so it is important to hit them with a 'pre' then come with a 'post' as soon as you see anything coming through after. There are not a lot of options for beans when certain weeds reach 4-6”. That is why it is important to hit them early and hit them hard so you aren’t trying to chase the weeds with rescue missions with the hard burners.

Corn has a few more options for weed control, but this doesn’t mean we can let them go until they are nice and tall. Those weeds are competing for the nutrients you placed there for the corn. With how tight the markets are we need to protect your nitrogen, so we can get your yields to where you are making money.

In closing, we will be doing the 2016 crop loyalty program with a .10 cent premium on corn if you spend $100 per acre and also .10 cents for beans if you spend $30 per acre. This is a great program to help the farmers with prices being low. If you have any questions about products or our services, please call or stop in.

From everyone on the agronomy team, we hope you have a safe and successful planting season. We look forward to seeing the soil getting turned over while we are out spreading and spraying.  Thanks again for your patronage!

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

Agronomy Team: Darian Horejsi, Jared Bakken, Stanley (Dennis Gackstetter) and Reed Raddatz


The Agronomy Avenue - December 2015

Dear Patrons,

I would like to start off by saying thank you for your business once again this past year! We had a good year with great weather and yielding crops to help us when the grain prices are down. Looking ahead to next year, there are a couple things I would like to touch on.

First off would be to look at your fertilizer as we are all hoping to see the inputs go down. I am confident that we will see the fertilizer market starting to soften. With that being said, if you are looking to make some cuts in your budgets, I would hope that it’s not with the amount of your inputs. This year we had the potential to hit our highest yields ever, but if you restrict your nutrients, the plants will only produce as much as what you have in the soil. For example if you had 60 bushel beans, they could have potentially taken 225 pounds of nitrogen, 50 pounds of phosphorous, and 85 pounds of potassium. Please consider this as you plan for the 2016 season. With low crop prices, you need to maximize your acres for the highest yields to make up for those prices, as well to protect your investments with stabilizers for your nutrients and manure.

This year we had the perfect growing conditions for our crops which also meant it was perfect growing conditions for the weeds. After talking to countless numbers of chemical reps as well as farmers, I have been hearing in the grain belt states a lot of guys have been stacking chemicals to keep the residual going. This seems to be helping with the growing problem of palmer amaranth. For example, on soybeans, use a good pre emerge product and follow up with an application of glyphosate with Flexstar and Dual. The second application should be done as soon as you see a single weed coming up. If there is one weed you can see there are 1000 more weeds you can’t see! For corn, stick with your pre emerge product, followed by a glyphosate product mixed with a Dicamba product. Then if need be, drop nozzle 2-4D after brown silk to kill the germ in your problem areas or your weed escapes. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to stick with your pre emerge herbicides like Surestart 2, Sonic or any others you would like to try.

In closing, I would like to remind you as patrons to take advantage of the Equity Loyalty Program for 2016. We will be out doing our best to visit people this winter talking about it. The 2015 program went over very well with everyone that signed up, so we are going to continue again with the program this upcoming year. Please give us a call and we will explain how it works and get you signed up or we can talk about it when you’re here doing prepays. I am always happy to go over anything you have questions about as YOUR business is what keeps Equity Elevator growing. 

Once again, I would like to thank everyone that supports us because you’re the reason we are in business for over 100 years! I am also glad that everyone had a safe and bountiful harvest. We hope to continue working with you for years to come.

Happy Holidays & Safe Travels!

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

Agronomy Team: Darian Horejsi, Jared Bakken, Stanley (Dennis Gackstetter) and Reed Raddatz