As we all know, spring weather in the Midwest can be really variable. Rain, snow, and cold soils are all things we deal with during the planting season. Getting the seed in the ground under the right conditions is the first step in fulfilling yield potential, but unfortunately, there isn’t always time to wait until those conditions occur. There’s not a crop grower out there who hasn’t had to plant under less than ideal circumstances; it’s just a call that has to be made sometimes.
You never want your crop to have a bad day, said Alan Kauffman, Ohio-based Midwestern BioAg sales consultant. “Marathon runners don’t skip breakfast the day of a big race. That’s why we put down starter fertilizer in the spring — to get those plants off to a strong start.”
Midwestern BioAg scientist Bill Petersen agrees. “Our 2015 studies with Dr. Fred Below of the University of Illinois looked at early-season advantages of starter application. In the study, we added L-CBF BOOST™ and 10-34-0 to corn.
Forty-year farmer and Marine veteran Gary Rademacher never stops improving. When he first started farming near Holdingford, Minnesota in the 1970s, 100-bushel corn yields and 40-bushel soybean yields were the status-quo. “Those were bar-stool yields,” said Rademacher, “yields you could go into town and be proud of.”
Rademacher’s farm has come a long way in the past 40 years. Today, he averages 200-bushel corn and 66-bushel soybeans in the short Minnesota growing season. “If you always do everything the same, you’ll get the same yields.
Twenty-five years ago, when Gary Manternach first began working with Midwestern BioAg, few would have predicted that topics like sulfur, calcium, micronutrients, and soil biology would be a vital part of mainstream agriculture today. “The whole industry is talking sulfur now,” notes Manternach as an example. “You can’t open up a magazine without reading about biology.”
Today, Manternach successfully farms his Iowa silt-loam acres by focusing on both soil health and profits. Working with soil health to build yields and profitability makes farming a pursuit he …