Federated Co-ops Ag News

  • Acuron ® Fights Tough Weeds

    As glyphosate-resistant weeds expand (see article above), many weed control options -- especially for tough broadleaf weeds -- have become less effective. One strong option for controlling giant ragweed, waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth is Acuron®, from Syngenta®. In 2015, the National Agri-Marketing Association named Acuron as product of the year.

    The problem of glyphosate resistance is pushing growers to use more pre-emerge residual herbicides at higher use rates and with more than one mode of action and active ingredient.

    Acuron offers three modes of action and contains four active ingredients: bicyclopyrone, mesotrione, S-metolachlor, and atrazine. It has shown itself to provide broad-spectrum control of 70+ broadleaf weeds and grasses, including the following, in corn.

    • Giant ragweed
    • Common ragweed
    • Palmer amaranth
    • Waterhemp
    • Marestail
    • Cocklebur
    • Morning glory
    • Russian thistle

    Acuron can be applied in a one-pass program at a rate of 2.5-3.0 qt./ac. (actual rate dependent on soil organic matter), from 28 days pre-plant to 12-inch corn. A two-pass option is also effective in combination with other herbicides. For those who cannot use atrazine, Acuron Flexi offers a combination of S-Metolachlor, mesotrione, and bicyclopyrone without the atrazine. This can be applied from 28 days pre-plant to 30-inch corn at a rate of 2-2.25 qt./ac.  View Acuron label.

    Talk to your Federated Agronomist to discuss your particular weed control challenges and how Acuron may fit your needs.

  • It's 2017: Time to Renew PSP

    Federated Co-ops, Inc., requires growers to annually update or renew their Product Service Policy (PSP) before crop protection can be purchased or applied each spring. Craig Gustafson, Federated's eastern division agronomy manager, explained the key reasons why this is required.

    First, change is continuous and the demands of agri-business are increasingly complex. Federated understands these changes and is here to help you -- our growers -- navigate the challenges the changes create.

    Secondly, the Product Service Policy is a communication tool. The PSP allows growers to clearly convey their plans to Federated, which in turn enables the Federated team of agronomists, applicators, and suppliers to provide their best level of performance and service.

    Thirdly, understanding crop protection products and their proper use is extremely important. Knowing more about the product prior to application is the first defense against misapplication.

    The product labels include valuable information, including but not limited to:

    • which weeds are controlled by the product,
    • application rates and timing,
    • soil types and textures in which the product performs best,
    • crop rotation considerations,
    • groundwater and grazing restrictions,
    • required setbacks, and
    • re-entry intervals.

    Additional crop protection product information is available online at this link.  Go to product search and enter the brand name of the product; from the list provided, you can download or view any label, according to Gustafson.

    Fortunately, the PSP has not changed this year (as compared to 2016). "However," said Gustafson, "there are new crop protection products available for 2017 with new label requirements."

    Gustafson added this reminder: Always refer to the product label for all directions. "The label is the law," he said.

    View (and/or download) Federated's 2017 Product Service Policy.

    Members of the Federated agronomy team will be contacting growers throughout January and February to update PSP forms. Your Federated Agronomists are always ready to discuss crop protection options for your farm in 2017.

  • Learning & Success in 2016, Partnering Together in 2017

    It is hard to believe 2016 is coming to a close. I have now been in my role for just over a year and it has been a year of learning. I have met many growers this past year at various events, such as Discovery Plot Days, Customer Appreciation Days, and out on your farms.

    I can't thank everyone enough for your time and patience as I learn your business. I am proud of the progress we have made as partners, and I am confident the partnership can continue to grow together.

    The end of 2016 finds your co-op having a successful year in all three aspects of our operation: agronomy, energy, and retail. On the agronomy side, our spring business was very solid, and our focus on fall fertilizer really helped us finish the year strong; about 40% of our growers took advantage of this fall opportunity. We had very competitive prices, and the feedback I received indicated our service was very good.

    As we move into 2017, we are laser focused on cost, service, and growing our business. We will continue working very hard to earn your trust across all of the co-op's service areas. The more business we have, the more leverage we have with our suppliers. So, if we haven't yet earned all your business and you need a bid on any parts of your business -- from agronomy, to energy, to your retail needs on items such as power equipment, feed, auto repair, or parts -- we are here to serve.

    On behalf of all the Federated associates, thank you for your patronage in 2016. We look forward to our partnership and I look forward to seeing you in 2017.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Mike McMahon  

    CEO, Federated Co-ops, Inc.

  • Crop Input Loans & Federated: Teaming Up to Help Growers

    It's nearly mid-December, and it's time to decide on crop input loans. Keith Steiner, Federated's business relationship specialist, pointed out that loans through CFA, the agriculture financing co-op with which Federated partners, keeps the process close to home.

    When working with CFA, as opposed to a bank or other lending company, said Steiner, "the growers are working with me, a Federated Co-ops employee." There is no third party involved.  Steiner knows Federated's customers and can make the loan process easier. "I process all their loan payments and I can customize how they want their loan used," he said. Plus, everything is done in one place.

    Federated has teamed up with CFA (based in Kansas City, MO) to offer very attractive interest rates on crop input loans for the 2017 growing season. Avoid hassles, save time and money with these benefits of a CFA loan.

    • Experience a very easy application process with loan approvals in 1-2 days.
    • Use the loan for seed, fertilizer, crop protection, and fuel purchases made through Federated Co-ops.
    • Purchase all your seed varieties and brands on one loan.
    • Take advantage of early purchase discounts on seed, fertilizer, crop protection, and fuel.
    • Purchase 2017 crop inputs at a low interest rate with a loan repayment due date of February 2018.
    • Save time with the convenience of a one-stop source - Federated Co-ops, Inc. - for all your input needs. 

    A CFA crop input loan is part of a comprehensive agronomic relationship with Federated that complements a growers' entire operation. "You work with a Federated Co-ops employee on your loan," said Steiner, and Federated works with you in season and out.

    It's time to start thinking about 2017 financing. Get plans in place early this winter. Be ready for spring. Contact Steiner with any crop input loan questions, and discuss your crop input needs with your Federated Agronomist.

  • A Great Year, Thanks to Great Customers and Hardworking Employees

    Another great year as far as yields go! Once again, our growers reported exceptional yields, and while the crop prices are never what we hope for, the extra yield definitely helps close the gap when it comes to profit per acre. 

    I would like to additionally thank all of our customers who took advantage of our Switch to Fallpromotion. Because of the ongoing support of our growers, we were able to reward them with some exceptional pricing. Thanks to all of you for making it a huge success!  We believe this will help take some of the pressure off [Federated] and our customers next spring. Growers will not have to wait to get out and hit the field. When the conditions are right, growers can plant.

    We understand that you, our customers, have choices when it comes to purchasing inputs for your operation and we appreciate the trust you give us. We hope the services we provide are of great value; we strive to live up to our customers' expectations. If you ever feel we are not delivering the service you need, I hope you will contact your nearest Federated location, or me  ( Mike Meelberg) directly. We always want to deliver the highest level of service. We are deeply committed to providing the best customer service and products available.  

    Everyone at Federated Co-ops thanks you for your continued patronage and we hope to keep you as valued customers for years to come.

    I would also take this time to thank our employees for the job they do throughout the year, and especially for the extra effort they put in this fall to make our promotion a success. Employees across the entire company truly make a difference for our customers. Thank you for all that you do, and we hope to continue to build strong relationships with our customers well into the future.

    To all of our customers and employees:

    Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

    Mike Meelberg

    Operations Manager

    Federated Co-ops, Inc.

  • Breaking News: RR 2 Xtend ® Herbicide Label Approved

    The wait is over. The Roundup Ready® (RR) 2 Xtend® soybean system is now ready to go with the recent approval of the XtendiMax™ herbicide label. "We have a federal EPA label now," said Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist, adding that Minnesota's approval was just granted, and Wisconsin's should be soon to follow.

    A news release from Monsanto™ said, "[The] U.S. EPA registered XtendiMax™ herbicide with VaporGrip™ Technology for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans."  Monsanto further stated:

    "Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba . . . XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology will provide a new tool in the fight against weeds. The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System enables the in-crop use of approved dicamba and glyphosate formulations; the chemistries have different modes of action providing a broad spectrum of weed control.

    "XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology introduces a step-change reduction in volatility potential compared to dicamba formulations currently on the market today, that will help control glyphosate resistant and tough to control weeds in your Roundup  Ready 2 Xtend soybeans."

    Carlson said, "The new label answers the unsettled questions about the Xtend2 soybeans," adding, "If you are interested in trying [RR 2 Xtend soybeans], get your orders in, especially if you have challenging weed control issues." While supplies of the new soybeans appear to be good, "never say never," Carlson stressed.

    RR 2 Xtend soybeans are recommended for fields with glyphosate-resistant waterhemp and giant ragweed, or in reduced till situations, according to Carlson.

    Additional information will soon be available on pricing, parameters, setbacks, buffers, etc. for the new herbicide. "There will be buffers," said Carlson, "tentatively a 110 ft. buffer downwind to a sensitive crop or feature." Stay tuned.

    Be sure to talk to your Federated Agronomist with any questions about the RR 2 Xtend soybean system. And place your orders soon.

  • There's No Harvest Without You

    In the rush of the growing season we often fail to appreciate the many people who contribute to the bountiful harvest each fall. And so, in this season of Thanksgiving, we stop to say "thank you" to you, our growers, and to all of those who work at your side. Thank you for the major role you play in helping to feed the world. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

    We -- all of the Federated team members -- appreciate the opportunity to serve you, in season and out, and we are grateful for the trust you place in us to provide quality crop inputs and to help you with crop management.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families, from all of us at Federated Co-ops, Inc.

  • Corn Discovery Plot Results Ready to View

    The 2016 Federated Corn Discovery Plot results are now available to view (follow the links below). Federated uses the Discovery Plot system to provide reliable local data to growers. The plots provide "seed performance knowledge to both our customers, and our [agronomists]," said Craig Gustafson, Federated's eastern division agronomy manager.

    Gustafson highlighted the important role of the Discovery Plot Cooperators, and offered them a "special thanks . . . for providing their resources, time, and management" over the course of the growing season and through harvest. Their contributions to this valuable service are greatly appreciated.

    For further information on the Discovery Plot Results, be sure to contact your local Federated Agronomist as you develop your 2017 crop management plans. The agronomy team is here to help.

    Lenneman Plot Results (St. Michael)

    Gustafson Plot Results (Osceola)

    Bostrom Plot Results (Isanti)

    Wilhelm Plot Results (Princeton)

    Lezer Plot Results (Sauk Rapids)

    Cramaur Plot Results (Rush City)

    Nelson Plot Results (Hinckley)

  • 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.