Sunday, August 29, 2010

Here Come Busloads of Salesmen!!!

Last week a bunch of salesmen descended upon the NCRS. But these were not the types of salesmen you want to hide from or wish they would go away. These were our independent sales personnel, actually Area Managers (AM's) and their associates, of Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers who were in town for our annual Professional Liquid Fertilizer Program, or PLFP. They received important update information on sales and marketing programs, plus a day of training at the NCRS to better enable them to provide the latest information to customers. Now who can argue with that? Below we see wagon loads of AM's and company personnel heading onto Farm 7 after getting of of the busses from the hotel in East Lansing. There were over 200 visitors on this day, but we were prepared to show them a good thing or two.
The theme for this year's PLFP was Responsible Nutrient Management. We had six different tour stops on this day. Stops were manned (or womaned) by Research and Agronomy staff. These were Stephanie Zelinko, Doug Summer, Brian Levene, Cory Schurman, Phil Dush, Tim Brussel, Ron Davis and myself. There was also a special guest. We were also assisted by our summer help, who, unfortunately, made this their last day before heading back to school soon. The weather was very comfortable, in the 70's, but still painfully dry. Below we see some evaluations of dug up corn plants from different fertilizer programs. Digging corn out of the dry soil was tough.
Our special guest was Brian Hefty, of Ag Ph.D. who talked about Responsible Nutrient Management and other principles from their farm in South Dakota. It was a pleasure to have Brian visit the NCRS again.

Here a group counts kernals on an ear of corn to estimate corn yield from different nitrogen programs. They had to pace off 1/1000 of an acre to determine stand.

After three stops of the rotation, the group is ready for a break, and heads up the hill to the break tent for some refreshments.

Back in the field, one stop showed different planter fertilizer placement, plus had some dug up corn plants to see effects on root growth.

One interesting stop had fruit and vegetables from Liquid fertilizers and conventional fertilizers offered as a taste test. Additionally sugar was measured as brix. It showed that Liquid provided sweeter taste and better storability, especially in the sun.

Foliar fertilization is an important part of fertilization of some crops like soybeans. Different foliar programs are shown at this stop, along with plots of soybeans, corn and cucumbers featuring ferti-Rain.

After all of this, it was back to the farm headquarters for our banquet, plus a view of the line-up of our research equipment. So it was quite a day.
(btw: Happy Birthday Dana, last week, and Stephanie on Monday)