Monday, October 26, 2015

Last Stop: Southern Illinois...

 So last Friday was the last day of our road, I mean air trip.  On the way home from Kansas we stopped to see a new Retail Partner, Southern Illinois Ag Service of Cobden, IL.  Good luck finding Cobden.  But it is North of Cape Girardeau, Missouri across the river in Illinois. It is run by Josh Lofton and his wife Christy.  As you can see from the sign, they provide pretty much all you need to grow crops here.  I had not met Josh before, but he is really service oriented putting the needs of the farmer first.  He just got started this past summer taking several tanker loads of Sure-K for foliar apps to soybeans.  But he is getting all set for 2016.  Here is Josh giving us the tour of his office and chemical storage.  That's Sales Account Manager Rick Knifley to the right of Galynn, then Josh and Craig.  Rick picked us up at the Cape Girardeau airport the night before and is hauling us around.
 Now I was most impressed with his new plot planter here.  It can plant both 30" and 15" rows, and is set up with Ag Xcel pump and flow control equipment.  We use Ag Xcel for our fertilizer application equipment at the NCRS, and it is second to none.  Josh had long planted corn and bean plots for his seed business, but liquid fertilizer is a new option.
Down the road in Jonesboro is where the Liquid fertilizer tanks will go.  They have this property set for new large tanks that will replace these.  It is right off the highway, so it will be easy for truck traffic.
 Here is where the seed and fertilizer plots will be next year.  The best farmland is bottom land down near the Mississippi River.  They use flood irrigation here and expect good yields.  There are also plans for a field day next July, so stay tuned.  And you can't have a field day without food and a place to congregate.
Well here we go.  The farmer is also the owner of the Grassy Lake hunting club.  Craig is an avid waterfowl hunter, and this made his trip.  This area of Southern Illinois is a top hunting area for ducks and maybe some geese.  He said geese aren't as prevalent down here as they were since they are staying up North as the lakes don't freeze as before.  Also the increase in no-till has allowed for more food (corn cobs on the ground) so that the geese are happy to stay up North.  Anyway, we are optimistic about our plans for the field day.
 After that we went back to Cape Girardeau for lunch prior to take off.  It is a nice old town that has kept it's charm in the downtown area.
 Here is a wall that serves as a levee to keep out Mississippi River floodwater should it be needed.  They have painted historic scenes of the area along it.  Very nice. 
 Here is the river view on the other side of the wall.  That is the bridge we crossed going to and from Illinois.
After a delicious lunch, we were ready to head back to Michigan.  Craig was especially ready having been gone seven days now.  However, his fans weren't at all ready to see him go.  Calm down and get away from the plane.  He'll be back.
After taking off, we flew over that same bridge.
 The whole trip we saw numerous combines running to get harvest completed.
 We had just crossed the border to be back in Michigan when I took this pic.  You could see the colorful leaves on the trees below.
And here is Michigan State University.  Even though the plane engine is loud, you could still hear the cheers coming up from the happy students after beating University of Michigan in the most exciting finish to a football game ever.
Well that was a good time.  What's next?