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 …
Kristen Kordet was working as a restaurant server when she founded a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in 2004. Since then, Kordet’s Blue Moon Community Farm has supplied that restaurant, L’Etoile, with the seasonal vegetables left over after filling CSA members’ share boxes.
L’Etoile, established in Madison, Wisconsin in 1976, is a fine-dining meets farm-to-table establishment, among the first in the Midwest to consciously build its menu around local, seasonal food. French for star, L’Etoile remains a beacon for sustainably oriented restaurants.
With farmers searching for new ways to increase yields, they’re looking more closely at nutrients and minerals. Gone are the days when it was all about N-P-K. Today, growers are learning how to enhance fertilizer performance, soil health, and plant nutrition.
Ag scientists are providing new information on the benefits of applying natural inputs like calcium to get better results.
“Calcium kicks soil into high gear,” says Leroy Stuecker, a Midwestern BioAg customer who farms in Lee County, Iowa.
Farmers all over the Midwest are looking to farm cover crops to fill several niches — soil conservation, soil nutrient management, and production of an extra forage crop. Whether planted in late summer or after fall harvest, now is an excellent time to start researching cover crop applications and seed varieties.
Kevin Shelley, outreach manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW Extension’s Nutrient and Pest Management program, says farmers are increasingly using cover crops after relatively short-season crops like wheat or small grains.
Todd Schroeder set a goal to win the World Dairy Expo’s Forage Analysis Superbowl contest in 10 years. With the help of the Midwestern BioAg soil fertility program and his sales consultant Travis Klinkner, Schroeder achieved that goal last fall. It took the Cashton, Wisconsin, farmer only a few years.
In last year’s contest, the cash crop and beef farmer won the Grand Champion prize for first-time entrants and a cash award of $1,500.
Each year at the Forage Analysis Superbowl, more than $22,000 in cash …
Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
My first book, “The Biological Farmer,” came out 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve met hundreds of farmers as I traveled the world in search of innovative biological farming practices and ideas. I’ve spoken with farmers of many different agricultural backgrounds about a variety of topics, including soils, crops, livestock, land, management, and natural resources.
What makes biological farming work? Essentially, support of biological system basics: plant diversity; creating an ideal home for soil life and feeding it well; managing soil, air, and …
Forages play many important roles on the farm — as cash crops, livestock feeds, and pastures, and in healthy soil rotations. Midwestern BioAg’s Forage Program can help farmers unlock the full potential of their forage crop and maximize farm profitability.
Forages as Cash Crops
Twenty-year Midwestern BioAg customer Lauren Enzinger raises a large crop of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mix hay each year. Supplying quality forages to his customer base is a major part of his operation.
What’s coming down the pipeline to help farmers increase profitability? Biological farming has been getting a lot of attention lately — and for good reasons. Genetic technology and equipment innovations have made dramatic changes in farm management and profitability within a generation. Yet most farmers are still using the same fertilizers their fathers used. That’s where looking at soil nutrients comes in, says Bob Yanda, a 25-year biological farming industry veteran and Vice President of Development for Midwestern BioAg.
As we move forward into fall, it’s important to remember a valuable piece of information—all part of how we got to where we are…
Manage the agronomics
The term “Agronomics” can be misused in many ways, but it all comes down to maximizing the crop yield while maintaining the soil ecosystem.
BioCal® has been an integral part of many successes we have had at MBA, and you have had as a farmer.
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 …