National Ag Week | 2019

National Ag Week : March 10th – 16th, 2019
National Ag Day : March 14thh, 2019

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National Ag Day falls in the middle of National Ag Week. It’s purpose is to celebrate, and recognize, the importance agriculture plays in everyone’s lives every single day. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.

In recent years agriculture has come under attack from activists groups challenging modern production farming and ranching practices, and it is important that those of us involved in agriculture do what we can in a non-confrontational way in order to educate the public.

Many people don’t realize just how much we rely on agriculture. From the clothes we wear, to the materials that our homes are made out of, and of course the food we eat. Not only does agriculture provide us all material items, but agriculture is a very essential role in our economy, as American producers export items worldwide.

Partaking in National Ag Day can help raise awareness in a positive way for agriculture! Participation varies from something as simple as posting an ag related picture on social media with a brief description or you may decide to start your own blog. No matter what, your contribution is valuable. What will you do to contribute to National Ag Day this year?

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One Size Does NOT Fit All …

I recently heard a good friend of mine say that, “One size does NOT fit all.” I can’t agree with this statement more. So often we see growers take a “shotgun” approach to their fertility needs with the mindset that if a particular practice works on the “Home 80” then it must also work equally well on “Dad’s 60”, and all too often this isn’t the case.

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Unfortunately enough, big ag retailers have taken notice of this mindset and have attempted to capitalize on it by offering things such as pre blended “micro-packs” where they tell you, the grower, to use the exact same micronutrient blend on every crop acre of your operation, without once consulting the soil tests. Not only do they expect a grower to use it on every field but they sell the exact same pack across the entirety of North America.

A little alarm should be going off in that brain of yours right about now…..

I’m willing to bet that in most operations it will be pretty uncommon for a grower to have the exact same nutrient needs across every one of their fields, let alone for every grower in the country to need the same thing!! What do you think?

This “one size does not fit all” applies to much more than just micronutrients, it is also relevant to various farming practices, so next time someone tells you that “this is what everyone does, or uses” remember that it’s ok to take a different approach.

Are you ready to determine specific needs for EVERY acre on your farming operation? For more information, Click the link below!
>> https://bit.ly/2GybZld

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Sugar Makes Farming Sweet

Cookies, pop, cakes, cupcakes, candy bars, bread, all have one thing in common : SUGAR. Did you know, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year??

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If you were unaware – Humans aren’t the only ones who consume sugar.

Plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to make glucose, which is a form of sugar that plants actually need to survive. If you paid any attention at all during your high school biology class, you know that his process is called photosynthesis.

Much like humans, plants then burn the sugar as a source of energy. The overall purpose of a plant’s leaf is to create and manufacture sugar, which then aids in the plant’s growth to collect sunlight. Thus starting the process over again.

Common sense then tells us that adding sugar to the water we put on our crops will help foster its growth. In today’s market there are a wide variety of sugar sources available for growers to use. Some examples include granulated cane sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup and molasses.

Well my dear friends, I’m here to tell you there is something amazing out there. Something better than all the rest.

It’s called : Syntose FA
FA stands for Folvic Acid

[More information on that in a later blog post.]

According to the label, Syntose FA is  “A unique blend of readily available sugars, molasses, and fulvic acid ideal for use on all soils and plants. Syntose FA easily incorporates into current operations, readily mixing with starter fertilizers and other key nutrients and chemistries.”

If that isn’t enough here at 10 more amazing facts about sugar, and Syntose FA :

  1. When choosing which sugar source to use on your farming operation, consider compatibility and mixing ease of the product.    
  2. A jumpstart in microbial activity will feed crop residue and lead to more nutrient availability for your crops.  
  3. In-furrow sugar applications can help jump start microbial activity in the soil.

  4. Sugars play an important role in the plant’s defense system and help with photosynthesis.  
  5. Sugars are easy to use and very cost effective, which can provide a positive return on investment.   
  6. The extra available nutrients then help establish faster early growth of corn, which leads to a higher yield potential.  
  7. According to Beck’s PFR, Syntose FA produced a $22.81 ROI when used in furrow! (Southern Illinois plot test site) 
  8. Syntose FA is the only sugar product that contains fulvic acid! Fulvic acids are some of the best biostimulant products in nature, and improve the uptake of nutrients. As stated earlier, we are going to  
  9. In three of the seven studies, Syntose FA provided the best ROI, as well as the best overall ROI when combining all locations.   
  10. You can increase your yields simply by using a pound of sugar per acre. At a test site in Northern Illinois 1 pint of Syntose FA increased yield by 8.55 BPA.

 

Who is ready to use sugar on their farming operation in 2019??
For more information, Click the link below and we will contact you!
>> https://bit.ly/2GybZld

Follow along with us on Facebook for scientific, research based information!
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Soil Sampling: Crucial for Success

All too often I am asked questions like, “How can you help me bump my avg yields on soybeans 5 bpa?” and, “I want to beat my county avg for ‘insert crop here’, what do I need to do?”.  My standard response to these questions is; “Let me see your soil tests”. About half the growers I talk to for the first time have soil tests for me to look at, the other half have soil tests but often times are old, incomplete or both. In order to take your operation to the next level, soil sampling is paramount.

Today’s seed genetics have the potential for greatness, but if we aren’t working on keeping soil health strong and feeding the plants all the seed technology in the world does you little good.

With current commodity markets being where they are, it is easy for growers to cut back on soil sampling to save a few dollars, however this is not in the grower’s best interest. Soil sampling, while seen by some as an added expense, is your number one resource on fertility decisions. Failing to take soil tests regularly results in wasted input dollars, lower profitability, and bushels left on the table.

For example if you are baking a cake but you don’t have enough of any one ingredient you won’t be happy with your results, and the same goes for your soil. If you don’t have enough of any one nutrient, yield will suffer.

On the flip side I’ve seen soil tests with certain nutrient levels so high that applying any more is not helpful or economical. For example one grower had a field with calcium levels that were extremely high.  Because of soil testing, we found that he could cut out calcium from his fertility program and help his bottom line, and save money! 

Not all soil tests are created equal. I can not stress this enough. There are many different labs around the country that perform soil tests, but not all use the same extraction methods, which could vary results. Please stay consistent on the lab of your choice and not bounce back and forth among various labs. We prefer, and are partnered with Midwest Labs in Omaha NE. When you submit soil to be tested make sure you are getting a full analysis. The basic test is cheaper but less useful. You want a test that not only gives you N, P,  K, and Ph but all the micro and secondary nutrients in order to make the best fertility decisions on your farm. 

I ask every grower that we work with to soil sample regularly. What I recommend growers to do is; on every field that you have no or incomplete data on, to have them sampled every year for 4 consecutive years. After 4 years we are able to see trends on how nutrient levels may be rising, falling, or staying consistent. At that point all fields that you have good data on for at least 4 consecutive years we can cut back to sampling once every 3 – 4 years.

If you have any questions regarding soil sampling do not hesitate to contact us, we would happy to help!     

Agvocate or Aggravate?

If you are reading this, it is likely you read other agricultural and farming blogs as well so you may have noticed this “trend” that I will be discussing. There are more and more people writing blogs, social media posts, etc advocating for agriculture (agvocate). While having additional people working to bring awareness to agriculture and farming we need to be careful how we are going about it. I’ve recently noticed a spike in the amount of anger displayed in Blogs, Facebook postings, Tweets, etc. Remember we are trying to Agvocate not Aggravate our audience.

I 100% understand that many times these postings are written in response to something and you are angry, but to the non-farming community you can easily seem like a mean, cruel person with anger issues. This is not how we should be promoting a cause we feel so strongly about. It is due to these strong feelings about our way of life that we allow these emotions to take over our work, but at what cost? I also get fired up when a company/corporation condemns GMO’s or herbicide use, when a politician proposes legislation without understanding the entire impact, when the major news media mostly ignores the wildfires that destroyed so much, but anger isn’t always the best delivery method of your message.

Of course that angry blog post reaches a lot of readers and that video rant posted on Facebook gets a couple thousand views and a few hundred shares, but it is usually the farming community reading and watching these posts, sharing with their friends and families, people that already understand where you are coming from. We as whole, need to do a better job taking a step back and a deep breath before trying to agvocate. As we strive to educate the public about all things ag. related, lets make sure we carry ourselves as professionally as possible so our audience is more likely to listen and understand without believing we are all angry, crazy people.

Raising Kids on the Farm

I recently saw a Facebook Post written by one of the popular Agvocates (I’m sorry, I can’t remember who it was that wrote it) talking about raising kids on the farm, chores, responsibilities, and allowances.

One of the questions asked was, “Should farm kids get paid to do chores?”. The comments section was exploding with opinions on this topic, answers were landing all over the board. Whether you think they should get paid monetarily or not doesn’t matter to me and each family is different. What I think we can all agree on however, is the lessons learned on the farm will take those kids further in life than some chore money ever will.

I make it no secret that I did not grow up on a farming operation. My father was a police officer, my mother was a paramedic and now a rural route mail carrier. Both were farm kids growing up, we lived on an acreage and I was raised in a manner similar to their own upbringing. We had rocks to pick and weeds to pull, buildings to maintain and construct, groves to clean up, trees to trim, the list goes on for miles and I was expected to pull my own weight. In addition to that some of my closest friends were farm kids were I was always willing to help out when visiting and I spent a considerable amount of time with my Grandparents in the summer on the farm. I learned a lot over the years about what it means to put in a hard days work, taking pride in a job well done, and always finishing a project that gets started.

I am of the opinion that there is no better up bringing for a kid than on a farm. Children learn early on that everyone has responsibilities and a job to do before fun time begins, how to troubleshoot and fix a problem, working on a budget,how to help each other, and so much more. These traits are not only learned but become engrained in them, traits that shape who they are as a person. Life on the farm teaches so many life skills that it would be impossible to list them all.

These skills and traits stay with a person their whole lives, whether they stay on the farm or not. I spoke to an employer once about the perfect type of employee, he told me that when he is looking over resumes if he spots a candidate that was a member of 4-H or FFA or mentioned growing up on a farm, the resume goes towards the top of the stack. He said in his experiences employees that were raised on a farm have a better work ethic, better problem solving skills, more eager to do a job and do it well, and were almost always great team players.

I think we can all agree we want what is best for our kids and it is this sort of upbringing that can fix part of the troubles in society today. If you are raising a family on the farm I give you a pat on the back. It may not be easy, but in the long haul it will all be worth it in the end.

Mud Slinging

Yesterday I received an email in response to an online advertisement we’ve been running. This individual wanted a little more information, which I gave him. Shortly thereafter I receive a simple one sentence reply, “My fertilizer rep with XYZ (I’ll leave out the company) says your stuff is junk”.

Now while I, multiple growers across all 50 states, and several yield champions would disagree with that statement I knew there was really nothing more to say to this individual as his mind was made. What annoyed me most about the situation is the blantant disrespect from a fellow salesman in the industry. It is unfortunate that this sort of thing happens, and seems to be happening more often, not just to me but industry wide.

I don’t speak for XYZ fertilizer company and I wish they wouldn’t speak for me. The same goes for seed dealers, soil sampling companies, etc. I make it a rule to never bad mouth or sling mud at the competition. However I’m not afraid to tell you that Green tractors are better than red. 😜