Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Liquid Christmas

Well here we are at the end of another year, and Christmas is almost here.  In fact this is the last day of business for the year here at AgroLiquid.  And as has been the tradition, here are the workers still at their work stations at 5 pm.  I will say that Nikole was still here, but on the phone.  Sorry but the blog waits for no one.  
Here is the lit up tree out front that is dedicated to our late founder Mr. Douglas Cook.  I took this a while ago before the onslaught of snow.  But it looks cool at night.
 And here is the state Christmas tree in front of the capital in Lansing.  And look at the extra decorative red lights they put up.  How festive.
Well that is that.  I hope everyone out in blogland has a blessed and happy Christmas.  And soon the blog will enter the 8th year of bringing you all that's news from the Land of Liquid. Now there's a gift that keeps on giving.  Merry Christmas!!  ! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Research Report Plus Something Special For You

So here it is now in late December, and Research has met the goal of having the Research Report posted and ready for viewing before Christmas.  Stephanie is the researcher responsible for organizing all of this and has been cracking the whip to get reports submitted.  But here it is.  Want to see?  Well go to the Agroliquid website and click on the Research tab.
 Here are the list of recent reports, so click on 2016 Research Report.....
 ...and here it is!
 Scroll down to this page and there are a variety of options.  Click where you want to go. There are reports from the NCRS as well as off-farm research in Contract Research and PFE Trials.  You can check the weather, irrigation records and the always entertaining Intern Posters.  You can also review Product Descriptions.  What else could you want?
 Well one thing that people have wanted for years is a way to search all of the research records we have on file.  We produce the Research Report every year, but the only way to search for data has been to review the Table of Contents each year.  Who wants to do that?

Well Stephanie worked with IT and a web support company called Soliant to develop a user interface program to enable a data search of the Research Reports.  To find it, go to the Website and click on Research and then Research Results on the drop down.
 You will then come to the new search page.  There are a variety of search options, like year (at this time only 2013-2016 are available, but it will grow), crop, state, nutrients, application, product and other.  So you will have to play with it, but it is pretty thorough and impressive.  It certainly enables someone to find specific reports about a topic of interest.  So give it a try.
 Like say for instance, you want to see what research was conducted in Virginia.  So select Virginia in the State drop down.  Several records show up. Click on the PDF on the right and it will download.
 And here is a report of an experiment conducted by Virginia Tech University in corn from 2013.  Good stuff, right?  So this will be a valuable tool for finding research reports on specific topics.  At last.  So a big thanks to Stephanie for seeing this through.  
 And after hours of reading research reports, take a nap so you can start strong again later.
So that is the Christmas present from Research and Agronomic Sciences.  Unwrap and enjoy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pulling Together

Following the tragic death of a farmer in Southern Clinton county, some area farmers got together to help that farm crew finish the corn harvest.  
This wasn't too far from where I live and my wife took this pic last Wednesday morning after they completed another field the previous evening.
I've heard of similar stories around the country.  Don't you hate the circumstances?  But don't you feel proud to be part of a lifestyle and vocation that would pull together like this in difficult times? Everyone who reads this would have done the same thing if they were able.  R.I.P.

Friday, December 9, 2016

NCRS Pruning School, Then Teacher is Gone

So a week ago Friday, I was a student in the NCRS Pruning School, taught by Research Horticulturist Jacob Emling.  Over the years I had watched the Horticulture staff do this, but had never been involved myself.  But maybe it's time.  I learned right away that pruning is kind of complicated.  Plus there is lot's of counting as in the grapes here.  You only want so many future fruiting buds per vine.  So you are not just pruning to make them look nicer, you are preparing for next year's production.  
Below we see students Renee, Jay and Tim B paying attention to Instructor Jake.  Tim has done this for years and is at the head of the class. I hope that Spartan Renee and Wolverine Tim don't let tensions flare while handling sharp instruments.
 Next it was on to the apple orchard.  Again, you don't just start snipping.  You want to build the future growth by controlling direction of limbs, and removing ones that are growing out into the middles.  Now that some of the trees are taller than the top wire, we learned that it will be necessary to bend them around towards the ground.  You don't really want to cut them off as that stimulates more high branching.  I think.
 Everyone took a turn under the teacher's watch.  So why are we having school and training of the NCRS staff on such a cold day?  Well it seems that this was Jake's last day.  He has gotten a research grant at MSU that will enable him to work on his Ph.D.  He will use what he started here as the research will focus on the Solid Set Canopy Delivery systems for pesticide application in orchards.  But he leaves on good terms and will stop by from time to time and be available for questions about pruning and other stuff.
 It seems like he just got here.  Well he did.  Here he is on August 19, 2014 talking about the orchard at the Research Field Days.  He had just recently started and was talking about the small trees in the background that have just this year gotten quite tall and come into good production.
So good luck.  Thanks for all the work and support and don't be a stranger.