Discovery Plot Tours Feature Good Info, High Turnout

Sep 12, 2023


Discovery Plot tour 2023
If you missed the Discovery Plot tours in late August (and the tasty steaks that followed), you’re among the few because turnout was “the best ever,” according to Kevin Carlson, Federated’s agronomy sales manager.
 
Most importantly, the Federated agronomy team wants to thank the cooperators whose time and efforts make Discovery Plots possible: Bostrom Farm (Isanti), Wilhelm Farm (Ogilvie), KGL Farm (Harris/Rush City), Gustafson Farm (Osceola), and Praught Farms (Albertville).
 
This years’ tours featured “good content and a lot of good questions” along with informative walks through some good stands of corn and soybeans. Carlson said that even though there was “a lot of stress on the crops – due to weather, which is a variable we have to deal with – the plots demonstrated some good hybrids and varieties to consider for future growing seasons.
 
One aspect of higher-performing hybrids and varieties stood out in the plots: the importance of the right fertilizer. “We are seeing a need to closely monitor crops to ensure they are getting enough nutrients,” said Carlson. Stress tolerance is closely related to nutrition, too. And this year had plenty of stress with the heat and drought conditions.
 
The plots also revealed that pH levels are tied closely to nutrient levels, “to make the most out of fertilizer investments,” Carlson said. The need for ag lime is unavoidable, but it’s important to know how much is needed. “A little lime is great; too much lime is bad,” he said. (See related article on ag lime.)
 
Crop financing information was presented at the tours, too. “Financing is a bigger opportunity for growers in 2024,” said Carlson, “with interest rates doing what they are doing.” He noted that CFA has a “pretty nice – competitive – offering,” and their partnership with growers and Federated has “worked very well” for those who need gap financing or full crop financing.
 
Mike McMahon, Federated’s CEO, offered his perspectives at the events, too. Read on for a recap:
 
“Special thanks to the growers who joined us for the plot days. It was a great turnout at all five days. I was really impressed with the engagement, the willingness to learn and ask questions. This year we had one of the plot days in the evening and we had a record number of our growers join us. It was great to see everyone together. Like all plot days, we will not know which variety is a winner until harvest. We will be sure to post the results once we get them. 
 
“For the growers who could not attend, we discussed the impact of moisture on the crops. Everyone had challenges no matter the soil type or where you farm. We also discussed the importance of sulfur and the benefits of fall fertilizer for both the grower and the co-op. Please call to get pricing from your Agronomy representative so you are set for the fall. We also communicated our dryer gas pricing. This year we will deliver gas for $1.399 a gallon plus a rebate for gallons purchased.
 
“Thanks again to all who attended and for those that could not attend please let any of us know for any questions.
 
“Be safe during harvest season.”

 

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