From the Desk of Gary Zimmer

Dear farmers and agriculturalists,
 
I have been at a few events this fall and there sure is a lot of interest in carbon, quality feed/food, and soil regeneration. High fertilizer, especially nitrogen, and chemical prices have also been farmers’ concerns. No-till constantly comes up – it is a practice, not a farming system, that may help or may not lead to improved soil health and sequester carbon. Having said that, why would you till if you don’t have to?

Practicing Regenerative Agriculture

As more consumers care about clean air, clean water and clean food and want to buy organic foods more land is being transitioned to organic. Many organic farmers also talk about “regenerative farming”, but what does this mean? Regenerative farming is a system of farming that focuses on healthy, mineral-rich, biologically-diverse soils that grow healthy, mineral-rich food while also improving soils, crops, and the livelihoods of the farmers. A farm can be certified organic just by avoiding prohibited chemical substances, but regenerative organic farmers also do …

Tillage Considerations for Fall & Spring

Depending on where and when tillage is applied, it can both help and hinder soil structure and soil biology. Tillage systems are not one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to have a specific goal in mind before tilling in the fall or spring.
Illinois-based sales consultant and Certified Crop Adviser Ben Adolph offers the following advice when selecting tillage strategies for your farm.
How can tillage impact soil structure and life?
Adolph:  Over tilling can damage soil structure, which decreases pore size …

Cover Crop Basics: A Q&A with Gary Zimmer

Midwestern BioAg President Gary Zimmer has planted cover crops on his farm for years. In this Q&A, we sit down with him to learn the basics of cover crop management and the resulting benefits they bring to the farm.
How do I select a cover crop for my farm?
Zimmer: First, identify the purpose for your cover crop. Will it provide nitrogen or scavenge it? Do you want to use it for grazing? How about to build organic matter?

From the Desk of Tony Michaels, CEO

There is a lot of buzz these days about sustainability in agriculture, a term that means different things to different people. As author Rob Gray might say, sustainable agriculture is about “treating the world as if we intended to stay.”
As a Midwestern BioAg customer, you practice this concept on your farm year after year. With an eye on building future farm productivity, you manage your soils for long-term health by putting down the best fertilizer possible in the most efficient ways.

Building Yields, Soil Health

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 …

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,

What a beautiful fall, not only is the weather wonderful but these fall colors are incredible. It’s harvest time of a year I’d call ‘not bad’: it sure had its challenges. There was plenty of water, just delivered at the wrong time in the wrong amount.
My son says we need more “good” land. I say we need to do better with every acre we already have. When our range on alfalfa grass blend hay runs from 4 to over 8 tons/acre …

Profitable Practices are the Bottom Line

What’s profitable?
That’s the question that drives decision making for Bill Ehrlinger, a southern Wisconsin farmer with 1200 acres of corn and soybeans. He considers the price of purchased inputs not just what he pays today, but also the long term costs  of products and practices, understanding that what he does this year can keep his land profitable and productive in the long term.
That’s important to Bill because this land has been in his family since his grandparents purchased the home farm over a century …

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
Spring is here again. Thanks to everyone who attended our winter meetings and visited with us at all the farm shows. We are certainly looking at a large growth in our business.
Now that land costs are so expensive, inputs are really high and prices, too, we as farmers get paid well (unless you’re buying). You can’t afford to let soil fertility be your limiting factor. I heard that over and over again: farmers all over the country are recognizing the situation and …

Be Prepared for 2013

“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” Anyone who has served in the military or emergency services (police, fire, EMS) understands the importance of this statement and how it influences their training and preparation. This philosophy breeds traits like resiliency, adaptability, and perseverance. The drought of 2012 taught us that our soil must be prepared for challenges, stress, and less than ideal growing conditions. A healthy, resilient soil can adapt to those stresses and help crops persevere until conditions improve.