Federated Co-ops News

  • Seed Financing Offers Early Benefits

    "Now is the best time to take advantage of early purchase discounts on seed," said Keith Steiner, Federated's business relationship specialist. "Federated Co-ops has teamed up with CFA, an agriculture financing co-op out of Kansas City, MO, to offer very attractive interest rates on your seed purchases or a full crop input loan," he added.

    Take advantage of these benefits of seed financing.

    • Purchase all your seed varieties and brands on one loan.
    • Eliminate the worry of meeting minimum purchase requirements.
    • Experience a very easy application process with loan approvals in 1-2 days.
    • Use the crop input loan for seed, fertilizer, crop protection, and fuel purchases made through Federated Co-ops.

    Note this important deadline:  Nov. 18. The first window for the largest cash discounts ends then, "so getting started now will save you the most money," Steiner said.

    Contact Steiner for additional financing information, or contact your Federated Agronomist with other seed-related questions.

  • Seed Traits Take a Few Turns in '17

    With the arrival of the seed ordering season, John Swanson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location, offered valuable information about available traits in both corn and soybeans

    Corn Traits

    "In corn, very few things have changed from 2016," he said, but the following facts are worth noting as growers plan for 2017.

    • The Agrisure Viptera trait is now approved, but the Agrisure Duracade still needs to be used for local consumption, or channeled, and a Duracade Stewardship Agreement must be signed.
    • Federated offers corn with no traits (i.e., conventional corn) as well as:
      • Roundup Ready 2,
      • Double Pro,
      • Triple pro,
      • Smartstax,
      • Agrisure traits. 

    Swanson noted, "One key point for 2018 is the discontinuation of Triple Pro hybrids."  Growers should look to other options to replace the current Triple Pro hybrids in use this year and next; they will not be available in 2018.

    "Each trait has a time and place when and where they are needed," said Swanson, adding, "Please consult with your local Federated seed specialist and we can help place both the correct traits and genetics for your individual situations."

    Soybean Traits

    The Roundup Ready (RR) 2® Xtend™ trait has been approved for next season. "This trait allows the soybeans to be tolerant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides," said Swanson.  However, he added, "although the trait is approved, Monsanto is still waiting for the EPA to approve the in-crop use of dicamba."

    While the RR 2 Xtend trait will be in many products by 2018, limited quantities are available in 2017 for the maturities that fit Federated's service areas. Swanson recommended ordering as soon as possible to ensure supply if choosing to try this seed in 2017.

    "Another good option in soybeans that has not been used a lot in our area, but is a good option, is the Liberty link soybean system," said Swanson. This is another alternative for managing glyphosate resistance. Some very competitive varieties also available through Federated include  the Croplan and Legend lineups. Swanson again reminded growers that these supplies may go fast so order as soon as possible to lock in supply.

    And as always, talk to your local Federated Agronomist with any questions about corn or soybean seed traits as your 2017 plans get underway.

  • 2016 Soybean Discovery Plot Results Ready for Review

    Federated's soybean Discovery Plots results are in, and ready for review in the links below. Don't hesitate to contact your helpful Federated Agronomist with any questions about the plot details. Use this information as a tool for future crop plans.combine harvesting soybeans


  • Update on Dicamba Label for RR2 Xtend Soybeans in 2017

    The good news surrounding Roundup Ready (RR) 2 Xtend soybeans is, unfortunately, tempered by the lack of an approved label for the herbicides to control the problem weeds for which the soybeans were developed. The University of Minnesota Extension Service published the following article with the latest information on this concern for the upcoming growing season, as well as yield results from their 2016 trials with the dicamba-tolerant soybean varieties. 

    Please read the link below and then talk to your Federated Agronomist with any questions or concerns. And remember that RR 2 Xtend soybeans will be in limited supply in 2017, so place your orders soon.

    U of M Extension Article

  • 2016 Discovery Plot Soybean Yield Results

    Federated 2016 Discovery Plot Soybean Yield Results are here. Federated has eight Discovery Plots located from Albertville, MN to Osceola, WI . This is probably one of the most outstanding years for soybean yields throughout the Federated area. Each Discovery Plot Results has details such as: soil type, tillage program, and planting date. Find a plot or two which maybe similar to your farming operation. At Federated, we take pride in the information we gather from our Discovery Plots, because it is local data, educates our agronomy team on making the right decisions for Federated customers, and will help Federated customers make sound seed purchasing decisions for 2017. As always this information would not be possible if were not for our plot cooperators. Thank you plot cooperators for your time and resources which enables us to share this information with our growers at Federated. For further information on Discovery Plot Results, please contact your nearest Federated Coops Agronomy location and let our agronomy team help you make wise seed purchasing decisions for 2107.

    2016 Soybean Plot Results

  • Spray Weeds This Fall, While They're Still Growing

    "Fall is an excellent time to control weeds," said Craig Peterson, Federated agronomist at the Ogilvie location. "It's no secret that biennial and perennial weeds are much easier to control in the fall," he added. Even after a light frost,  quack grass, dandelion,  and Canadian thistle can be effectively controlled because the weeds are "trying to store up for winter," he said, and the chemicals can more easily move into the roots.

    For most any situation, fall weed control "will put you a step ahead next spring," Peterson added, and you will "have a much nicer seed bed for the following crop." Sod fields coming out of production are well-suited for fall weed control, as are no-till fields where the weed pressure can be extra strong in the spring.

    One key to successful fall weed control is to make sure the weeds are healthy at the time of herbicide application. If weeds were cut off during harvest, Peterson recommended, let some leaf surface grow back before spraying for the best results.

    Federated recommends glyphosate or Buccaneer Plus® for fall application," said Peterson. For tough broadleaf plants, adding some 2,4D or Dicamba (such as Detonate®), or both, along with the Buccaneer Plus "will do an excellent job in most cases." (See Buccaneer and Detonate labels.)

    Range Star®, a 2,4D and Dicamba blend (see label) is also recommended for a stronger punch on tough-to-kill broadleaf weeds.

    As harvest proceeds, Peterson offered this reminder: "Pay special attention to problem weed areas and talk to your Federated Agronomist. You may save yourself a few headaches in the next crop."

  • Ogilvie Expansion Boosts Federated's Service Line

    Weather permitting, the fertilizer plant expansion at Federated's Ogilvie location will be completed by mid October, just in time to assist growers with their fall fertilizer needs. The expansion got a bit behind schedule, according to Brian DeVries, Federated's Ogilvie location manager overseeing the expansion, "but we have had lots of action this week."

    Electricians are wiring the new tower and blending office area, millwrights are putting the final parts in place on the tower, and the fertilizer leg is nearly complete. "They have a large crew" at work on the fertilizer plant expansion project, said DeVries. "It's a little overwhelming," he said, "lots of things happening at one time" -- a sign of work nearing  completion.

    The new building and equipment will streamline seed deliveries and liquid fertilizer loading. Overall, the "pretty impressive" expansion at the Ogilvie Ag Center "should make [Federated] more productive when things get really busy," DeVries ventured.

    Federated's Cody Lezer will be heading up the seed warehouse and liquid fertilizer site, and "he is excited for the new challenge," said DeVries.

    Talk to your Federated Agronomist with questions on how these expanded services can benefit your seed and fertilizer needs.

    Ogilvie expansion                              Ogilvie expansion

  • Reminder, Once Again: Soil Sample in the Fall

    It's the same song, second verse: Do soil sampling in the fall to be ready for the next spring.  Don't wait until there's no time to take samples in the spring and thereby miss the opportunity to make informed decisions on crop nutrients and other inputs.Soil sampling bag

    As has been said before, Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist, recommends soil sampling any fall when field fertility information is more than three or four years old. He would even soil sample every couple of years -- because better and more current information is "invaluable" when making fertilizer recommendations. "It's really the foundation," he said.

    Whether it's composite sampling, or grid sampling for precision ag, Federated agronomists across the board say, "Just do it." It's a minimal investment in time and money for a major return on crop benefit.

    Contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions about soil sampling, or to schedule them to take samples for you.

  • Fall Fertilization Saves Time

    "Fall is a good time to get P and K down," said Rod Gustafson, Federated agronomist at the Albertville location. "It's one less thing to do in the spring," he said, noting that it's good to get DAP, potash, and sulfur (especially the elemental form) applied in the fall.

    Ogilvie fertilizer tower"Farmers will probably deal with less compaction issues in the fall than in the spring," he said, since the wet fields in springtime offer prime conditions for compaction, but fall applications have the "freezing and thawing over winter that helps break up any compaction issues," Gustafson said.

    For growers who are using Variable Rate Technology (VRT) fall is the best time to leverage the power of their soil sample test results and apply the necessary nutrients before the rush of spring.

    Without in-crop soil samples from earlier in the season (for growers just starting VRT, or those who do not use VRT), it can be a challenge to finish harvest, get soil samples, await test results, and then follow up with fertilizer applications in the fall, but it is possible (dependent upon when the ground freezes).

    Fall fertilization is always beneficial, "whether variable rate or flat spread," said Gustafson. It's also faster to apply fertilizer on fields that haven't yet been worked up.

    Of course, Federated appreciates the opportunity to do custom fertilizer application in the fall because "it helps spread the workload between seasons," said Gustafson. Fertilizer prices are down from where they were at this time last year. "It's a good value for nutrients now."

    Contact your Federated Agronomist with fertilizer questions or to get on the custom application schedule.

  • Harvest Safety is Critical

    "Many factors go into a successful growing season, and now it's time to keep a great crop year going with a safe harvest," said Tom Rausch, Federated's safety director. As summer wraps up and harvest begins, heeding the following reminders will help keep everyone safe.Caution sign

    • Keep harvest equipment -- including combines, trucks, augers, bins, dryers, and legs -- in top condition.
      • The owner's manuals are a good guide for identifying the crucial areas for attention.
      • An untimely breakdown puts things behind schedule, and in the rush that ensues, serious injuries can result. Resist the urge to rush through repairs.
      • Use and replace all guards/shields once any repair or check is completed.
      • Check electrical and gas service for tight, water-free boxes and leak-free connections.
    • Ensure that all equipment operators are trained and/or familiar with the equipment they will be running.
      • Don't assume workers remember how the equipment works. "Always refresh their memories," said Rausch. Every minute of training can be priceless when it comes to saving a life or preventing serious injury. "It only takes a second to change a life if the worker isn't up to speed using equipment," Rausch added.
    • Keep a close eye on children on or around the farm.
      • "Talk to the children about all of the activity that will be taking place [during harvest] and make it clear they are to be aware and stay a safe distance from all of the action unless accompanied by a trustworthy adult," said Rausch.
    • Keep a keen eye on field conditions. Be prepared for the unexpected.
      • The heavy rains in several areas Federated serves have created washouts and unexpected erosion. Navigate fields with care.
    • Beware of fire potential.
      • Fuel the combine when the engine is cool "because fuel vapors can easily ignite on hot engines," Rausch reminded.
      • Keep a suitable fire extinguisher on the combine, accessible from the ground.
      • Frequently blow dirt, chaff, leaves, and all other flammable debris off the machine.
      • Check bearings, shafts, belts, and any moving parts for wrapped plant material. Remove this material only when the machine is turned off and after any possible stored energy is released.
    • Always practice safe bin entry procedures. Always. 

    "It's a lot to think about, but with a little planning and preparation, a safe and successful harvest will indeed put an exclamation point on a great crop year," said Rausch.

    Contact Rausch or your Federated Agronomist with safety questions, and be safe out there.