Federated Co-ops Ag News

  • Beware: Low Soil Temps Adversely Affect Germination

    Many growers in Minnesota and Wisconsin are trying to decide how soon they can or should plant corn, according to Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist. "When the 10-day forecast has above-average temperatures that are well into the 70s in many locations, it should be safer, "he said, adding, to remember that "though air temperatures are going to feel warm, the soil temperatures will require some time to warm up to levels that are safe for corn to germinate in."  corn seedling

    A kernel of corn will soak up 30-40% of its weight in water -- as part of the germination process -- within the first 24-36 hours after being planted. Carlson said, "Bob Nielson from Purdue University has a nice summary on the potential negative effects of 'cold shock' or 'cold water imbibitional chilling' in a publication he released in April of 2012." In that article, Nielson noted:

    "It is not clear how low soil temperatures need to be for imbibitional chilling or subsequent chilling injury to occur. Some sources simply implicate temperatures less than 50F (10C). Others suggest the threshold soil temperature is 41F."

    In other words, when corn is planted into soil with temperatures lower than 50 degrees, and certainly below 41 degrees, and consequently soak up water at the same temperature, there is a high potential to have reduced germination, poor vigor, and leafing out underground, among other adverse effects.

    Carlson reminded growers to use caution, and look at the 5- to 7-day forecast and use soil temps as a guide. And as always, contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions or concerns.

  • Ogilvie Expansion Ready for New Growing Season

    Ogilvie expansion

    Ogilvie seed bins

    Federated's Ogilvie Agronomy Center began its facility expansion last summer and the management team is pleased to see the fruits of their labor today as the new seed treatment shed and equipment are nearly ready for launch. It's been a process, keeping building operations moving forward, but "more equipment is becoming operational every day," said Carter Ash, assistant location manager at Ogilvie, adding, "I'm very excited to be able to work with this equipment this growing season."

    While Federated's Rush City facility will continue to provide the majority of the seed treatment work for this year, Ogilvie will get a chance to try out their new KSI seed treating equipment this spring.

    "We are also working to get the new bulk chemical and liquid fertilizer equipment ready for use [this year] as well. There is a lot of excitement with the new expansion at Ogilvie," said Ash.

    For additional information about highly recommended seed treatment options, contact your Federated Agronomist soon.

    Ogilvie KSI equipment

  • Commodity Classic Honors One of Federated's Own

    Federated Co-ops can't take credit for the win, but the co-op takes pride in the success of its customers. Lenneman Farms took first place in the Monsanto®-sponsored Asgrow® "Yield Chasers" Contest at this year's Commodity Classic.

    Three brothers comprise Lenneman Farms -- Wayne, Greg, and Eugene. Wayne and his wife Deanna earned an all-expense-paid trip to New Orleans, March 3-6, to recognize the yields they produced with Asgrow AG1435 soybeans: 78 bu./ac. Lenneman Farms was among five Asgrow winners, by region, in Minnesota. Their farm, located in St. Michael, is home to one of Federated's Discovery Plots.

    Congratulations to Lenneman Farms for their growing success! For additional information on Asgrow soybeans, contact your Federated Agronomist.

    Lennemans with Easton Corbin

    Wayne and his wife Deanna enjoyed a photo op with country music's Easton Corbin, who performed at the Commodity Classic.

  • Spring Soil Sampling Simplifies Fall Applications

    ATV for soil sampling"Soil sampling for fall fertilizer and lime information can start [soon]," said Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist. "You don't have to wait until fall, after the crop is removed."

    Federated has been recommending soil sampling in the spring or early summer. If it has been 3-4 years since the last soil sampling, consider doing it this spring or early summer -- even if the crop is already planted.

    Carlson added, "Using an ATV makes [soil sampling] very quick and easy, even if you are grid soil sampling with the mobility of handheld GPS technology."

    Contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions about spring soil sampling, or to set up soil sampling services by Federated.

  • Spring Reminders

    Agitate Stored Liquid FertilizerDon't forget sticky note

    For best results with liquid fertilizer (10-34-0, XLR 7-23-5, 7-21-7, etc.) that has been stored over winter, consider agitating the fertilizer before planting. Contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions and to learn the best methods for agitation.

    Always Safety First

    Spring heightens the need for farm safety awareness. Unfortunately, the number of farming accidents increases at this time of year -- but many of the accidents are avoidable. Federated Co-ops is committed to safety, and we hope our growers are as well. 

    Here are a few reminders for a safe spring planting season.Danger sign_yellow

    • Take time to ensure that all equipment is maintained and ready to go - and be sure the safety guards are in place. Always.
    • Read and follow directionsfor products and equipment. Don't assume you know -- or remember -- how something is applied or used.
    • Discuss safety hazards and emergency response procedures with everyone on your farm, no matter how young or experienced the workers are. Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst.
    • Slow down. Yes, the crops need to be planted and weather may be changing, but the cost of life-threatening mistakes is far greater than the need to "git 'er done."
    • Ask for help. Your Federated Agronomist is ready with advice and recommendations, and they will help you find what's needed to make this growing season the safest and best yet.
  • "Group 15" Herbicides Show No Known Glyphosate Resistance in Waterhemp

    During Federated's Soybean Grower Workshops, Senior Agronomist Kevin Carlson stressed the importance of keeping several herbicides in soybean weed control programs to fight glyphosate resistant weeds: Dual®, Warrant®, and Outlook®, the "Group 15" herbicides. 

    These herbicides have shown no known resistance development in the waterhemp species. For additional information, visit this U of M Extension link. And contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions.

  • Soybean Grower Workshops Today thru Friday

    Federated's Soybean Grower Workshops continue through this week. Hot topics on the agenda include:

    • Xtend® 2 Soybean Weed Control System, and Related Genetics
    • Enlist® Soybean Weed Control System, and Related Genetics
    • Winning the Fight Against Weed Resistance
    • Using Biologicals and Growth Promoters in Soybeans
      • Today, March 22 (It's not too late to attend!)
        • Rush City - Rock Creek Town Hall
      • Wed., March 23
        • Isanti  - Captain's on Long Lake
      • Thurs., March 24
        • Ogilvie - Northern Lights, Pease
      • Fri., March 25
        • Osceola - American Legion, St Croix Falls

    RSVP to your Federated Agronomist to reserve your space at one of the free workshops listed below. Meetings start at 10 a.m. with lunch to follow at noon.

  • Nitrogen Stabilizer Protects Investment, and Environment

    Super U® granular fertilizer includes a nitrogen (N) stabilizer that provides protection from three forms of nitrogen loss: "volatilization, denitrification, and leaching," according to Rod Gustafson, manager of Federated's Albertville agronomy center.

    Wet soils in the spring -- especially in an earlier spring, such as this year -- are ripe for denitrification; Super U performs really well in those soils, according to Gustafson, adding that "it protects your investment in nitrogen."

    super u logoBetter than applying urea alone, Super U supplies nitrogen protection in one 46% N product. "It's a ready-to-use product," he said, and it is especially good for pre-plant application (see Super U fact sheet).

    Super U is an "agronomically and environmentally sound fertilizer choice," according to Gustafson, because it helps reduce the level of nitrates that get into groundwater. In Minnesota, a Clean Water Act is under legislative consideration and may require growers to pay even closer attention to nitrate levels (in keeping with ongoing efforts towards sustainable agriculture -- see article above).

    Good nutrient management programs include nitrogen stabilizers, and Super U is a good fit. Talk to your Federated Agronomist about using Super U in your crop nutrition plans this year.

  • Proof of Restricted Use Pesticide Certification Required at Point of Sale

    The Department of Agriculture now requires growers and/or applicators to present their certification card at the point of sale for every restricted use pesticide transaction. Retailers are no longer allowed to verify certification online; they must see the grower/applicator's actual card at the time of purchase.certification graphic

    This link has additional information relating to this change. 

    The site states [emphasis added]:

    "To purchase Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) you must present your certification card. To be qualified as a Private Pesticide Applicators you must be performing pesticide applications

    • to farmed agricultural commodity land that is owned, rented or managed by you or your family or
    • if you are one of two or fewer employees working that land
    • pass application and certification requirements provided by the University of Minnesota Extension
    • hold a certification card from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)"

    Federated Co-ops, Inc. is committed to upholding these regulations, according to Mike Meelberg, Federated's operations manager. Growers/applicators who keep their certification cards readily available will avoid delays in purchasing restricted use pesticides. Contact your Federated Agronomist with any questions.

  • Sustainable Agriculture: More than a Buzz Word for Federated

    "Sustainable agriculture" is regularly in the news headlines, and for good cause. The facts are real: 

    • By the year 2050, theSustainable ag intertwined gears earth's population is estimated to increase by two billion people. That translates into needing two times more food than is produced today to feed the world.
    • Consumers increasingly demand to know more about their food, how its grown, and what is used to grow it, in addition to caring about the effect food production has on the environment.

    Sustainable agriculture is defined by three factors:

    • increasing productivity to meet future food and fiber demands;
    • improving human health; and
    • protecting the environment.

    Craig Gustafson, Federated's eastern division agronomy manager, reported that during a recent agronomic workshop for the Federated agronomy staff, the question was asked, "What is Federated doing to support sustainable agriculture?"

    After good discussion, the staff compiled a list of activities and objectives that reflect Federated's commitment to sustainability. The list included, but is not limited to, the following:

    • nutrient management planning;
    • grid soil sampling;
    • using variable rate application of crop nutrients;
    • using nitrogen stabilizers;
    • protecting phosphorus availability;
    • promoting conservation and no-till practices;
    • promoting cover crops to capture carbon and protect the soil from erosion.
    • recommending seed and seeding practices to maximize yield.

    Reviewing this list, said Gustafson, it's fair to conclude that "Federated is actively engaged in supporting sustainable agriculture with our customers." Maximizing production, increasing quality, protecting the environment, and being willing to change is part of Federated's commitment to sustainable agriculture.

    Contact your Federated Agronomist with questions or concerns about sustainable agriculture as it relates to your crop production plans.