Saturday, February 19, 2011

Road Work

So I was in Fargo, ND last week and spoke at a grower meeting hosted by Area Manager Kevin Abentroth. Two words: tough crowd. Things started out pretty rough as they proceded to eat me alive as they didn't believe that LIQUID could be all that we promote it as being the only fertilizer needed for growing crops. But after showing product proof with research results and differentiating the concepts of "usable" and "available", they came to see how LIQUID can grow crops with less pounds and is easier to apply. Especially with planting coming up soon, row application of LIQUID makes so much more sense than broadcasting dry or using other liquids that lack efficiency and can hurt growth. Also this week I was with Area Manager Chad Schlecter in South Dakota lining up some contract research and stopping by Hefty Seed in Baltic to visit with Darren Hefty and Rob Fritz about plots on the Blank Slate field again this year. Then Kevin and I, along with Mitch Abentroth, visited some more researchers in ND for additional plotwork this year.

Then I went to Great Falls, MT and met up with Regional Sales Manager Stuart Schilling for another plot research meeting followed by the long but scenic drive to Billings for another grower meeting and to visit the Montana Agri-Trade Exposition, where LIQUID had a booth. Below we see Area Manager Ed Schilling and AM Mike Kilzer visit with a LIQUID user.

So this was a busy week of work preparing for the upcoming growing season. Brian was busy too attending the Michigan Potato Growers meeting plus participating on a panel for donors to the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Recall that the NCRS donated some 30,000 pounds of vegetables to the Food Bank last year.
I knew that they were putting up the new communications tower at the NCRS last week and drove out to see it today. Yes it was there, and evidently they didn't need my help. There are also towers at the office and at the new plant in Ashley. This is supposed to enable better communication ability and faster internet. (Now that I can understand.) For some cool pictures of the antenna projects at all three of the sites, you should visit Nick Bancrofts blog

So last week is over and this week I am off on another fertilizer mission. Brian and I will attend the annual meeting of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation, although I'm not going to say where it is. As always, should anything of interest come up, you will learn of it here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Drive

So it was a Sunday afternoon, and like most people would do, I took a drive out to the farm. One thing we had today was a warm-up. It was sunny and in the mid-40's when I got out there, which felt nice after such a long time of cold weather. But I also dread it because of the mud.

I walked over to the equipment barn to see what the new Hagie looked like after some surgery Friday. And there she is with the boom shrunk down to plot size. It will need a little extension to cover the 15 feet that we spray, but quite a change.

Uh-oh. Over in the corner is the old plot Hagie. I think she has figured out that she is being replaced, as there were a few tear drops on the floor. Either that or some hydraulic fluid leaks.

Here are the boom sections that were removed. They will be stored in the yet to be built second equipment building which will be next to the red fertilizer/chemical building you can see (with some close looking) in the distance. It is the same one that I showed being built a few weeks ago.

So I posted this today as I am off on a fertlizer mission this week. If anything of note happens, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Long, Cold Winter Showing Effects on NCRS Staff

So the cold winter continues here in the North, but the time is being used for a variety of projects. One is prepping the new Hagie sprayer for plot work. Below we see Doug and Phil (who is now a Supervisor) installing the new tanks where the old one was. Two tanks are always better than one. Here they admire their work. Can't wait to get it out in the field to do some sprayin'.
We also got a new (well new for us) mulch tiller today. Here we see Doug unhitching it after moving it to the parking lot.

Well, back to work. There are many more important tasks waiting, but I just wanted to let all of our followers, as well as our bosses, know that we are keeping busy out here. (First we ought to check the heater for carbon monoxide emission.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

So as I wrote that Title above, it occurred to me that possibly not a lot of people get the reference. Not that I have personally witnessed such a thing outside of old movies and TV. If you don't get it, look it up. But I digress. I guess I could talk about all of the snow and cold we had this past week, but so did most of the rest of America. Not sure of the official snowfall total, but it had to be over a foot. Unfortunately it slowed down the building progress mentioned last week. It pretty much looks the same as it did the previous Friday, but they will get going again.Snow pushing was a big job here at the farm and at all of the other ACLF property.

But the big news of the Blog is to announce the completion of the 2010 Research Report and its posting on the ACLF website. To read it simply go to, and click on the Research tab, and there it is. It is in pdf format for fast access. (Thanks to Stephanie and Lonny for getting it posted to the website.) It has pictures, commentary plus product descriptions. And of course, you'll find the results of all of the experiments so thoroughly covered last year on the blog. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it much as Stephanie, Brian and I did writing it.

By the way, the Research Supports Future Growth will start rolling out again next week. It too will be available on the Research part of the web. Have a great week.