Sunday, July 25, 2010

LIQUID Shows At Hefty's Field Day

So last Friday I had the pleasure of attending the Hefty Seed Company's annual Field Day in Baltic, SD. It was a great demonstration of some of the latest technologies available to growers today, with an eye on tomorrow. You can bet that Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers was there to talk to growers both who already are using Liquid nutrition, and those who are interested in doing so. There were growers from all over the Midwest and Upper Plains, and probably farther. Below is the Liquid show booth where you could visit with Area Manager Kevin Abentroth from North Dakota, in red shirt on left, or Chad Schlechter, from South Dakota, under tent in blue shirt. Corn plots fertilized with Liquid fertilizer were on display at the show grounds. With ample rain and good heat units this year, look for a great harvest, especially where ACLF was used.
There were tour stops on a variety of topics available. Below, Darren Hefty discusses plots showing planter fertilizers, Rootworm Resistance, and Twin-Row corn comparisons.

The guy below in blue was concerned about what happened when he spilled some Liquid fertilizer on his legs during planting. We told him things should be back to normal by around 90 days after planting, as that is the duration of the effectiveness of Pro-Germinator. He said he grew like a smoke cloud, but I told him he would stop smoking soon.
Below, one of the Hefty company's Senior Agronomists, Sham Moteelall discusses what is referred to as a "footprint garden." This is where a number of plots that are one-foot square are planted with a variety of vegetables, to prove that bountiful production is possible even on a small area. They got the idea from Mr. Douglas Cook, founder of Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers, who demonstrated such at last year's PLFP in St. Johns. Of course a key to making it work is having the correct crop nutrition, and in this case, it was ferti-Rain. He has a small sample bottle in his hand. Actually, Senior Agronomist Rob Fritz set up and maintained these plots, and was impressed with the outcome. He just used some ferti-Rain diluted in water in a squirt bottle, and made weekly foliar applications. Well I did not learn until later that evening when Brian and Darren Hefty said that one reason they did this is because they are working with an orphanage and church in Haiti, and they want to show them that they can produce a lot of food in a small area. So this was their trial run. They hope to send down some fertilizer to help as well. As they said, it is one thing to give aid, but they want to teach the poor survivors down there to help themselves. A noble objective. Darren is actually going down next week with one of their film operators, so look for updates on Ag PhD. Brian will make a follow-up visit this fall.

Meanwhile back at the Liquid tent, Chad obtained some corn plants from the famous "Blank Slate Plots". This is a field totally devoid of all soil nutrients (according to soil test) where some different ACLF programs are being compared. Refer to Darren Hefty's blog, or my post dated June 10 when I made an earlier visit and gave more information. The plant below had an if-furrow application of 5 gal/A of Sure-K + 5 gal/A of Pro-Germinator and 2 qt/A of Micro 500. Look at the tremendous root growth.

So I wanted to see the Blank Slate myself, and made the some 5 mile drive further down the road to have a look. A field picture appears below. The corn looks great. The different treatments begin about a third of the way into the picture, and are all replicated. So I am looking forward to getting the results. I confess that I never would have thought that the corn would look this good when every soil nutrient tested "VL" or very low on the soil test, with high pH, and minimal organic matter. And all it has on it is Liquid fertilizer and UAN with eNhance.

I did walk in a few rows and did not see any signs of nutrient deficiency. Here this corn only had the 10 gallons/A applied at planting as described in the corn picture above at the tent.

So it was a very good and interesting day there in Baltic. I sure hope we have their good luck with the weather, as it was sunny (and hot) all day, but later in the evening a monsoon hit. Almost on schedule in Brian's weather prayer that he shared.