Monday, August 22, 2016

2016 AgroExpo recap

So the first AgroExpo has already come and gone.  Those of you who were there know that it was a little wet...but the hard-working NCRS staff plus folks from sales, agronomy and the office got the best of the water and had the grounds ready to go.
The horticulture staff had a unique take on a vegetable garden with vegetables from A to Z.
 There were also vendors and a program stage for speakers inside the large Agri-Business tent.
Everyone liked the self propelled forage harvester demonstrations over in Silage Town.  Four new harvesters were shown.
 After a sunny start on Wednesday morning, it looked like a storm was coming in for the afternoon.  Well, it did.
There were a couple of guest speakers at the breakfast and dinners back at the AgroLiquid office. Brian Hefty gave his thoughts on key aspects of soil and crop growth.  He also discussed his strategy in the Yield Challenge Corn and Soybean plots. 
Later in the week Darren Hefty talked about agronomic influences for crop growth, plus his own Yield Challenge plots.  Additionally he and I gave a presentation on nitrogen management trials in corn from tests conducted at the Ag Ph.D farm and the NCRS.  (This was in a blog post on August 10).  Darren even went out on the Research Field Day research plot tours to see what's happening out at the NCRS.
We had a nice crowd of attendees on the daily Research Field Day plot tours on Farm 7.  Stephanie, Tim and I gave test overviews and showed key past results on a number of experiments that support product recommendations.  Here Stephanie talks about one of the corn experiments.
 One popular demonstration was that of the aerial cover crop application by Al's Aerial Spraying of nearby Ovid, Michign.  A tarp was spread to catch the ryegrass seed that was being applied.  I thought it would bounce around, but it landed and stayed where it fell.  FYI: this is to demonstrate application of a cover crop in a standing crop prior to harvest.  This enables it to start growing and get established before harvest, such that after crop removal, it will grow and provide cover and nutrient recovery. There isn't enough time for cover crops to get established after corn and soybean harvest in the North.  So this is an option.
 Everyone has a look.  It was pretty cool.  I have not seen such a thing before.  Hopefully it gave some of these folks some ideas about trying it.  I mean the plane did put on a nice show and all.
 People flocked around Dr. Massri who explains the results of his research on losses of nitrogen (through volatility) and phosphorus (through tie-up and flux or movement from site of application.) He will be sharing much more about this in upcoming months after results are summarized and interpreted.  It really is favorable for AgroLiquid's novel fertilizers.
 And over in the orchard, Jacob Emling and the horticulture staff showed numerous visitors the workings of the high density research trials there.
He also demonstrated how apple growers know when it is time to harvest: the iodine starch test, pressure (below) and refractometer for measurement of sugars in the sap.  You couldn't help but learn about the complexity of growing apples.  But it all pays off in the end with a delicious crop.  
So while the rain did pose a few snags, vendors and attendees said that they would be back next August for the Second  AgroExpo! 
Now that we've literally gotten our feet wet on the first one, the next one will, of course, be bigger and better.  And hopefully drier.