Craig Peterson has offered friendly service at Federated’s Ogilvie location for over two decades, and for the past 10 years he’s been serving area growers with sound agronomic advice.
His first piece of advice this fall: Get soil samples. He and the other Federated Agronomists often sound like broken records with their regular reminders to take soil samples, but “you get the most for your money by knowing what’s in the soil,” said Peterson.
And then, with soil test results in hand, Peterson offers another recommendation for fall: Apply phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) now.“If we get P and K on in the fall, all we need in the spring is urea and AMS. Each load of fertilizer will cover more acres,” he said.
With unpredictable Minnesota and Wisconsin springs – recalling the 18-inch snowfall in April 2018 – it can make a big difference in how spring plays out, and Peterson’s 25 years of ag experience (coinciding with his 25 years of marriage) are enough to back his claim.
“We have the ability to move product out of the fertilizer plant extremely fast compared to when I first started at Federated,” he said, but there are still only so many hours in a day. Every load of fertilizer applied in the fall when the pressure is off is one less load that will need to be applied in the spring when time is of the essence.
In both fall and spring, growers can have peace of mind that Federated will have the products they need. Peterson said, “We are able to get products out in a timely fashion,” and fall applications of P and K, along with other products such as Gypsoil®, help widen the window for planting in the spring. Plus, there are product price breaks and discounted application fees in the fall.
Peterson spends a good deal of his time working with precision ag – grid sampling, VRT fertilizer, etc. – and he encourages growers to consider incorporating precision ag technologies into their operations. “It’s good to see the different things on the farm; it’s an interesting piece,” he said, and the economic returns with precision ag are worth exploring.