Sunday, December 2, 2012

Way Out West

So last week I flew to Montana, got picked up by Regional Sales Mgr. (RSM) Stuart, and headed South to Wyoming for a couple of grower meetings.  Sounds like a reasonable thing to do.  One thing common to the whole area is how dry it is going into winter.  The reservoirs and rivers are all low, and irrigation is key to growing crops on much of the land.  And they can grow high-yielding crops too.  But water is so important.  There is a pivot in the picture below in an area that doesn't look like it should be able to grow much, but they do. 
We spent a lot of windshield time going to our meetings in Riverton and Torrington.  I always enjoy driving through the Wind River Canyon on the way to Riverton.
After our meeting in Torrington, we went to see a new planter equipment arrangement by one of our long-time Liquid users.  Wouldn't you like for a flock of fertilizer salesmen to decend on your farm? (Not sure what the official term is for a group of salesmen.  How about a "coercion" of salesman?) Below we see new Sales Account Manager Jeff and a nosey dog, Area Manager Alan, customer Larry, RSM Stuart, and another new Sales Account Manager Bruce.
Here is what we came to see.  At the front is an eight row Schlagel strip till machine.  Schlagel is a well known manufacturer headquartered in Torrington, not too far from where we were.  The big tank is mainly for applying UAN, or in this case High NRG-N through the shanks at two depths behind the cutting disks.
And attached behind the strip till unit is a Kinze planter.  Notice it has ditching units on it for making furrows for irrigation.  Larry says he likes to use ditchers for 22" row spacing on this 30" row planter because it doesn't throw so much dirt, I mean soil, in front of the planted row units.  So what's missing?  Row placed fertilizer applicators of course.  Larry says that is next in the plan.  So just think.  In one pass you can do strip tillage, apply your nitrogen, plant your corn, dig your furrows and apply your row fertilizer as well.  That is a lot of monitors to watch.  Plus with auto steer, watch out for the end of the field.  You may not get much texting done with that operation.  Stuart is impressed, and that dog is still nosing Jeff.  (I hope he's not looking to mark his territory.)
To make it to our meetings on time, we even had to leave before sunrise one day.  A new concept for me, but it was pretty.  That is an oil well there.  Oil and gas drilling are big businesses in Wyoming.
You could go a long time and not see any other people if you wanted to.
This is back in Montana north of Livingston, and there is snow in the mountains.  But it will take a lot more than that to get out of the moisture deficit.  Around here there is a fair amount of wheat, barley and pasture all fertilized with Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers.  Pretty scenery and well fed crops (in the summer that is.)
So it was a nice week.  I look forward to getting back out here next summer.