Sunday, July 10, 2016

Out in Nor'Dakoda, You Betcha!

So last week I made my way to North Dakota on a fertilizer mission.  Coming in to land at Bismarck, the state capitol, you could see the Missouri River.  I just saw it recently in Montana too.  So you know what comes next...just think, Lewis and Clark paddled by here late in 1804.  Still an amazing feat. Anyway, Sales Account Manger Brad drove all the way up from Nebraska to meet me.  I was pleased.
The first order of business was to visit a contract research plot for spring wheat.  It is testing different P and N fertilizers, methods and timing of applications, etc.  It looks good, but it is very dry. You can tell it's research because there are flags.
 Brad and researcher Tanner discuss what's what.
The evening found us in Jamestown.  So how many times have you been asked the location of the World's Largest Buffalo, and had to hand your head in shame because you didn't know.  Well now you can reply: "It's in Jamestown, ND". The sign here says so.  No argument from me.
 They offer buffalo rides, so I can't say no to that.  I like the black hair on top.  Ride 'em Cowboys.
One of the things for the next day was a visit to our new storage site under development in Carrington.  I had never been here, but it looks impressive so far.  That is a half million gallon tank that had been full of Pro-Germinator this year.  But it is down to around 5 inches depth, according to the gauge. But that is still more than 5000 gallons.  See those tanks on their sides in the background? Well those are going into this hole once the lining is put in.  Well just like you, I see the stairs going up the tank, and of course want to go up on top.
Here are site manager Jared and Brad up on top, around 35 feet or so above the ground.
Jared says we can go inside the tank.  Well I didn't want to get wet, but he said we could go down the stairs between the double walls.  Now there's excitement!
Now I knew this was a double walled tank for prevention of a spill should something happen to the inside wall.  But I had no idea that there was this much space in between the walls.  Learn something new every day.
So of course Brad and I wanted to go down.  There was a little delay as no one wanted to go first or second in case the last guy decided to play a joke and padlock the door.  So as the most mature member of the group, I went last.  No incidents were reported.
Down at the bottom, Jared closes one of the valves.  I learned that there are three  lines in this tank: one for filling, one for emptying, and one for sparging, or for enabling circulation I guess. There are no lights down here, this is light from the door (with some brightness editing on the picture.)  Jared said that during filling of the tank he was up and down those stairs quite a few times a day.
 Later that day we went over to one of AgroLiquid retail partners in Hurdsfield, which was a Hefty Seed location owned by Chad Weckerly.  Here we are with Chad and two of his agronomists, Melissa and Emily looking at some corn planted with Pro-Germinator + Micro 500 + Liberate Calcium. 
 One thing you see almost throughout North Dakota is the abundance of water holes in fields, along with numerous lakes and ponds.  It is difficult to manage since to any plans to install drainage tile or work to drain them requires permission from the state wildlife agency (or whatever it is there) as it is considered wildlife habitat.  Well there is plenty of room for them outside of these small sites in a field.  I like ducks, but you shouldn't have to watch these water holes get bigger every year.
 Here is a large field of soybeans that will find their way into bags of Hefty brand soybeans.  A little rain would sure help.
 Well that was a fun trip, as most fertilizer missions are.  
Especially ones to North Dakota.  The Peace Garden State, right?  That's what it says on the license plates.  I reported on my visit to the actual Peace Garden several years ago.  It is on the border with Canada.  It must work as North Dakota is at peace with Canada, as far as I know.