The Agronomy Avenue - April 2015

Spring is right around the corner again... Well, we hope anyways. This winter has been very mild with very little precipitation. Hopefully we can get some rain to get the rest of the frost out of the ground, as well as give us a little bit of moisture to plant into. I have been hearing some interesting old logics on being as dry as we are this spring. The two I liked the best were: “Plant in the dust and your bins will bust” or “Plant in the dust and you will busy”. If we don’t get any rain I am really hoping the first one holds true.

This winter we have been busy with construction, maintenance, and meetings. It has been a good winter for doing most of the stuff we had to accomplish. As you may have noticed our new chemical shed is near completion, with just a couple finishing touches left on it. We have all of the bulk tanks in and operational. We also have our 28% tanks in, and we are also thinking about bringing in a specialty starter fertilizer for the spring of 2016. This spring we are hoping we have the entire packaged chemical at the west store and the feed uptown. If something changes, call beforehand and I will let you know where you need to go to get your products. If you would like to, come see the shed... Swing into the office and I will give you a little tour. I am hoping to have as open house this summer so be on the lookout for more information.

The guys have been busy servicing and making repairs on all of our equipment. We have all been attending some educational meetings to help better service our patrons. One of the meetings was the Dow Enlist Release dates and informational meeting. There is no new news on this. They are still planning on a 2016 release date on their Dicamba beans, pending on several approvals. They will be releasing Enlist-duo which is their water based 24D premixed with Glyphosate, for use on corn, on very limited supply. We also went to listen to Dr. David Kohls, an economist who is amazing on predicting the future of agriculture and I highly recommend seeing him. A couple of the guys also went to service training for Nh3 tanks and equipment. With all the regulations on anhydrous, we are trying to stay ahead of the ball on following everything for the state and also for everyone’s safety.

In ending, I would like to remind everyone to get your Loyalty Program forms in to get your 10 cent premiums on your 2015 crops before spring gets in to full swing. If you have lost your sheet, give me a call or stop in and see me. It is not a contract, so if you find a better price, your crops are not locked into us. It is a program to help the farmers when the markets are low and to thank new customers and existing customers for your business. Also, if you are in need of any specialty grass mixes this spring/summer such as wild flowers, buffer strips, or cover crops, stop in for some prices.

Have a safe and good spring.

Brooks Torke
Agronomy Manager

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


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


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