Thursday, June 9, 2016

First Field Day of the Year Was In Kentucky

So sorry for the time lapse, but I've been busy.  But certainly want to report on the trip last week to the first field day of the year in Hopkinsville, KY for Retail Partner Security Seed and Chemical. They have a research department and several research farm locations, one of which is Hopkinsville. 

Field Agronomist John Leif and Program Specialist Dale Ruff accompanied me on this trip, and we showed up the day before the Field Day to assist in preparation and to get an early look at the plots. Here are John and Dale talking about wheat with Security Seed agronomist Lang French and researcher Dustin.
Research Director Patrick Hurt is the one behind all of the plot installation and is commended for the usual excellent job.  (What a great picture.  Looks like it should be on the back cover of his autobiography or something.)
Plot signs have to be put in place.
Here is a sneak peak.  Lang came up with the following comparisons.  The plot below has a broadcast application of 100 lb/A of K-Mag, and then 6 gal/A of Pro-Germinator + 1 gal/A of Kalibrate + 1 pt/A of Iron and 1/2 pt/A of Boron in-furrow with the planter.  The K-Mag was applied to give an extra balance of nutrients as recommended by the soil test.
This plot had a preplant broadcast application of 300 lb/A of 9-23-30, which is a common farmer practice in the area.
Of course cost is a consideration, especially these days.  The next plot had a combination of Pro-Germinator + Kalibrate + Iron + Boron at the same rates as above, but no K-Mag.  Well this combination had the same cost as the dry program. But has yielded better in previous testing.  All of these tratments had the same total rate of N, made up from sidedress of 32% UAN.  So planter placement and AgroLiquid had the best looking plots, but time will tell.  Again.
On tour day, there were several stops for the attendees.  Like this one about precision farming and utilization of a drone for in-season measurement of crop uniformity plus poor spots that can be identified and corrected.  (Wow that was a long sentence.)  Anyway that is part of the drone in the lower left. It is a rear propeller drone that flies back and forth over the field at an altitude of 400 feet taking pictures.  Then the pictures are "stitched" together by a computer program and then can be viewed using different filters, like Infra Red, NDVI and others.  They said it would work best at a 600 foot altitude, but 400 feet is the highest currently allowed by the FAA.  Darn government.
Here is Lang talking to one of the tour groups about in-furrow corn fertility.  The plot shown above were only part of what was presented. There were some experimentals from AgroLiquid, and other manufacturers.  There were also some other competitive company products, so it was a good comparison to view.  My unbiased eye saw that AgroLiquid reigned supreme.  In the background you can see another group at the wheat plot stop.  So plenty to see.
So that was worth the long drive down, as I learned plenty about growing top crops in Kentucky and saw other products in the field.  Plus we all enjoyed visiting with many of our friends there from Security Seed and Chemical.  Hope to make it back for other field days later in the summer.

(FYI.  Today is June 8 which marks 24 years since my first day at Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers. How can 24 years have gone by so fast?  Hope the next 24 will slow down a little so I can catch up. But it has been a great job with a great company, a great family in the Bancrofts, and many great friends, co-workers, retailers and customers, plus assorted odd-balls like myself.  If you think this mention of such a monumental event is too low-key, well wait till next year's Silver Anniversary gala.)