September 27, 2016
Fall Fertilization Saves Time
"Fall is a good time to get P and K down," said Rod Gustafson, Federated agronomist at the Albertville location. "It's one less thing to do in the spring," he said, noting that it's good to get DAP, potash, and sulfur (especially the elemental form) applied in the fall.
 
Ogilvie fertilizer tower
The new fertilizer tower is set at the Ogilvie location, expanding Federated's capacity for automated fertilizer blending and loading, just in time for fall fertilization.
"Farmers will probably deal with less compaction issues in the fall than in the spring," he said, since the wet fields in springtime offer prime conditions for compaction, but fall applications have the "freezing and thawing over winter that helps break up any compaction issues," Gustafson said.
 
For growers who are using Variable Rate Technology (VRT) fall is the best time to leverage the power of their soil sample test results and apply the necessary nutrients before the rush of spring.
 
Without in-crop soil samples from earlier in the season (for growers just starting VRT, or those who do not use VRT), it can be a challenge to finish harvest, get soil samples, await test results, and then follow up with fertilizer applications in the fall, but it is possible (dependent upon when the ground freezes).
 
Fall fertilization is always beneficial, "whether variable rate or flat spread," said Gustafson. It's also faster to apply fertilizer on fields that haven't yet been worked up.
 
Of course, Federated appreciates the opportunity to do custom fertilizer application in the fall because "it helps spread the workload between seasons," said Gustafson. Fertilizer prices are down from where they were at this time last year. "It's a good value for nutrients now."
 
Contact your Federated Agronomist with fertilizer questions or to get on the custom application schedule.
Harvest Safety is Critical
Caution sign
"Many factors go into a successful growing season, and now it's time to keep a great crop year going with a safe harvest," said Tom Rausch, Federated's safety director. As summer wraps up and harvest begins, heeding the following reminders will help keep everyone safe.
  • Keep harvest equipment -- including combines, trucks, augers, bins, dryers, and legs -- in top condition.
    • The owner's manuals are a good guide for identifying the crucial areas for attention.
    • An untimely breakdown puts things behind schedule, and in the rush that ensues, serious injuries can result. Resist the urge to rush through repairs.
    • Use and replace all guards/shields once any repair or check is completed.
    • Check electrical and gas service for tight, water-free boxes and leak-free connections.
  • Ensure that all equipment operators are trained and/or familiar with the equipment they will be running.
    • Don't assume workers remember how the equipment works. "Always refresh their memories," said Rausch. Every minute of training can be priceless when it comes to saving a life or preventing serious injury. "It only takes a second to change a life if the worker isn't up to speed using equipment," Rausch added.
  • Keep a close eye on children on or around the farm.
    • "Talk to the children about all of the activity that will be taking place [during harvest] and make it clear they are to be aware and stay a safe distance from all of the action unless accompanied by a trustworthy adult," said Rausch.
  • Keep a keen eye on field conditions. Be prepared for the unexpected.
    • The heavy rains in several areas Federated serves have created washouts and unexpected erosion. Navigate fields with care.
  • Beware of fire potential.
    • Fuel the combine when the engine is cool "because fuel vapors can easily ignite on hot engines," Rausch reminded.
    • Keep a suitable fire extinguisher on the combine, accessible from the ground.
    • Frequently blow dirt, chaff, leaves, and all other flammable debris off the machine.
    • Check bearings, shafts, belts, and any moving parts for wrapped plant material. Remove this material only when the machine is turned off and after any possible stored energy is released.
  • Always practice safe bin entry procedures. Always. 
"It's a lot to think about, but with a little planning and preparation, a safe and successful harvest will indeed put an exclamation point on a great crop year," said Rausch.
 
Contact Rausch or your Federated Agronomist with safety questions, and be safe out there.   
In This Issue
Quick Links
corn before harvest
Seed Ordering: Ready, Set, Go!
The 2016 harvest is here and it's also time to get going on 2017 seed orders. Planning ahead ensures that the seed that's wanted is the seed that's available. As the yield monitors prove what worked well this year, it's time to decide what to plant next year.
 
Duane Droogsma, Federated agronomist at the Rush City location, noted that budgeting is easier when seed decisions are made early. Costs and commodity pricing are always a challenge to gauge, but budgeting is simplified when seed costs are determined up front.
 
"Pick out the [hybrids and] varieties that fit your farm," said Droogsma. Seed choice should be based on good field assessments and solid crop information. Talk to your Federated Agronomist to help determine what seed will fit your fields and your crop management practices.
 
Early ordering safeguards the right seed availability come spring. Droogsma noted this important early seed order fact: The new Roundup Ready (RR) 2 Xtend® Soybeans will be in limited supply.
 
Kevin Carlson, Federated's senior agronomist, expanded on that fact: "We are already receiving our allocations for the RR 2 Xtend soybeans; the overall quantities of these varieties will be limited, so talk to your Federated Agronomist sooner rather than later." 
 
Carlson also noted that the same applies to the Liberty Link® soybeans: "That system works pretty well for weed control as well, so the demand is high." He added that growers should "speak up for those traited varieties . . . they will sell out fairly quickly."
 
Both the Liberty and the RR 2 Xtend systems are good for helping control glyphosate-resistant weeds such as giant 
ragweed, waterhemp, and lambsquarters.
 
Talk to your Federated Agronomist to determine what seed is right for your farm. And then get it ordered.
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502 S 2nd St
Princeton, MN 55371-1941