Wednesday
Oct152014

The Agronomy Avenue - October 2014

Dear Patrons,

This summer has been very interesting to say the least, from the extremely wet June, to the abnormally cool July and August that set the crops back. It also made things interesting for the applicators to get through wet fields; they did a great job again this summer. We also experienced the crazy drop in crop prices coming into fall.

This summer we purchased a nitrogen tool bar to side dress liquid fertilizer. This will allow the crops to get nutrients when they need them, from V8 to tasseling. We had a lot of luck testing it on 30”, 22”, and 20” rows. We didn’t do as many acres this year as we were hoping to do, due to the wet weather and crop prices. I have a good feeling this will change, with regulations coming down the pipeline on when, where and how much nitrogen you are allowed to put down on your acres. This will be broke down by regions and bodies of water. The details are still fuzzy on this subject, as the MCPR (Minnesota Crop Production Retailers) is trying to make it fair to both sides instead of the state reaping the benefits. There are some meetings they are planning on having this winter when it is all set in stone. They also mentioned that they are cracking down on nitrogen use now and the phosphorus regulations will be next.

A few of you may have noticed we are building a new chemical warehouse. This is due to the fact that our current warehouse was not sufficient to hold mini bulk chemicals as well as the dikes getting old and out of date. In the new warehouse we will have a totally diked building to make loading/unloading easier for everybody. This also means that all of the bulk chemicals will be in this shed and the packaged chemicals will be behind the office. All the feed will be moved to the elevator when everything is done. We will also be handling our own liquid fertilizer starters.

With that being said, we are getting equipment ready for the fall to start. We are hoping that winter stays away long enough so we can get everything done like we have the past few years, although with the way this year is going nothing would really surprise me. We would like to also wish you a safe and easy harvest. We are looking forward to servicing all your agronomy needs.

Thank you for your continued support.

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

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

Thursday
Apr032014

The Agronomy Avenue - April 2014

With spring right around the corner, everyone is itching for warm weather to get in the fields. A couple of things I wanted to touch on are: spring nitrogen stabilizers, the new sprayer/ nitrogen toolbar, and pre-emerge products.

Spring applied nitrogen stabilizers have been getting more and more spotlight with the costs of inputs going up and commodity prices going down. The two products we are carrying this year are 'Instinct' by Dow and 'Nutrisphere N' by SPF. Both are very good product that we have used in the past. They get put directly on the urea in our blending system. If you have any questions on either product or pricing, stop in and see me or give me a call. It’s just one way to stop the effects of the denitrification process and stabilizes the nitrogen in the soil so it’s more readily available when the plant needs the nitrogen.

The new sprayer is due to be in the end of March and you are welcome to come and check it out. This sprayer is a taller sprayer that opens us up to do more than just spray with it. We have a nitrogen tool bar that we can go into 20”, 22”, and 30” rows. With that being said, the units can be a little bit of a chore to move around and with us never doing it before, it could take some time getting used to. If you are thinking about side dressing, I would ask that you could give us a week to week and a half just to plan out where we can go, so that we don’t have to switch the coulters every other day. That way we can make this machine more efficient. We are still trying to put together what the application rate will be since we will be doing considerably less acres in a day.

Pre-emerge products are getting to be very popular, with the glyphosate resistant weeds becoming nearly impossible to kill. The pre-emerge products will be the same as last year: 'Sonic' and 'Surestart', both Dow products. With the 'Surestart', we have a good time frame to get that down, it can be applied on the corn up to 12” tall and tank mixed with glyphosate if you have weed pressure. 'Sonic' is more of a short window product which only allows us roughly 3 days after planting to get it down. However, both of these products can be put down in front of the planter as long as you do not have aggressive trash whips on the front of your planter. We tried that last year to beat a rain storm and it worked very well. So please plan accordingly to give us a heads up and we will do our best to keep up with all the planters.

We will be adding a new member to our team; Reed Raddatz will be graduating from Ridgewater College. He will be joining us mid-April as an applicator. He is from Wood Lake and we are looking forward to having him on the team. I’m sure I will likely be talking to all of you this upcoming spring, but if I don’t see you, have a safe and easy planting season... Hopefully it’s before May this year.

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

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

Sunday
Jan192014

The Agronomy Avenue - January 2014

Dear Patrons,

We made it through this long, crazy harvest with some twists, turns and some curve balls that Mother Nature threw at us. The season went very well, with just a couple minor breakdowns and some long hours.

First, I would like to encourage you to think about prepays for the 2014 growing season. With corn dropping to below $4.00, make sure to plan out all your moves to make it as profitable as possible. We are taking prepays on fertilizer, paid by January 31, 2014, of 5% and the same on most chemicals. Feel free to stop in and talk to me whenever is convenient for you. Another good reason to prepay is to get some of the chemicals that are going to be tight coming into this next growing season. This includes the dicambas and some of the insecticides... Counter and Aztec, just to name a couple.

With that said, pre-emerge chemicals have had good luck for both corn and beans. This summer I did notice a couple escapes in places - mostly high manure ground - but as a precaution, I recommend bumping the rates. For Surestart, it will be going from 1.75pts to 2pts, and for Sonic we will be pushing from 3 oz. to 4 oz. These two products work great but are not bulletproof against waterhemp, so I would recommend checking your fields often. If you find any waterhemp, possibly come back with Roundup with a Flexstar for beans or Callisto for corn. Otherwise, speaking from past experience, if those weeds get taller than 4", we will not be able to kill them.

Finally, the last topic I would like to touch on is that corn rootworm issues are getting worse. I am hopefully going to be attending a seminar in January to get some more information from the U of M Extension Office. A few ways I have heard that are potentially slowing them down are crop rotation between corn and beans. Along with that, spraying volunteer corn that comes up in your beans, so the rootworms don’t have anything to keep them out there. Insecticides are also an option, especially for those of you that are doing corn on corn.

Thank you for your continued support... We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your loyal patronage. Have great and safe holidays.

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

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