Monday, September 3, 2012

Always a Good Time in Maryland

So how is your Labor Day so far?  Hopefully you are observing it as intended and able to take a day of rest and reflection of your tasks of labor.  For the blog post today I thought I would keep with the big picture format from last time.  After all, as we say at the NCRS: "Go Big or go home."  Well since I am already at home today, I will do both.

What was my fertilizer mission of last week?  Well I paid a visit to Maryland.  Not the whole state, just the important parts.  Like on Tuesday Sales Account Manger Benjy picked me up and that evening we went to a Twilght Plot Tour put on by a Liquid dealer, The Mill in Hampstead.  It's up in Northern Maryland.  Featured speaker was our friend Ron Mulford, who has been featured in the blog several times over the years for his research with Liquid fertilizers.  Ron is now retired from the University of Maryland, but continues to do plot work and work with growers due to their demand.  Here we see Ron addressing the crowd giving the details of the corn plot evaluating some different fertilizer inputs, including Liquid. (That's Benjy on his left in the Hop-A-Long Cassidy hat.)
Here is a Liquid sign showing the way to the plots.

There were around 60 growers following Ron down the path to see the plots.  Tall corn here.

Here we see Mill agronomist Chris talking about the soybean demonstration plots that he established.  Chris was recently at one of the NCRS Research Field Days and said he really enjoyed the tour.  Now it was my turn to observe and learn.
The next day we drove south along the Eastern Shore to the University of Maryland Poplar Hill Research and Extension Center in Quantico.  It is about 130 miles to the south of where we were yesterday.  I will say, I am so thankful that I don't have to drive in traffic like that around Baltimore in the morning.  We left before 6 am and it was still a lot of slowdown driving.  But we met Ron at the research farm to look at some of his fertilizer plots.  Even though retired, he has an agreement with the University to still do some research there.  They had a lot less rain than they had up in Northern Maryland. The corn especially looked stressed.  The soybeans looked pretty good though.  Fortunately we happened to  find a Liquid sign, and posed for a pic in the soybean foliar fertilizer experiment.  You could see where certain treatments were taller.  (And hopefully will yield better.)
Here Benjy is either stomping on a fungus thing or having the worst case of athlete's foot I have ever seen.
Plenty of chatter is generated here in the nitrogen source test as Benjy and Ron cover all the angles.
So it was a good visit to see how Liquid is doing in the East.  Early assesment: It's doing very well, thank you.  (Oh and you can be sure that I did have a meal of Maryland Crab Cakes.  That's the real reason I like to go there.)