Agronomy Articles



Planning Is Important

By Jeff Schaefer, Agronomist, Marion

As I write this newsletter it feels like early April instead of February.  Even though spring is still a few months away it is a good time to make sure you have a plan in place for spring.  Fertilizer has been on the move for the past few weeks so make sure you have your needs covered.  Seed is still mostly available except for a few hybrid and trait packages.  Chemicals are more cost effective and more available than they have been in recent years.  Talk to your agronomist to make sure you have a spring plan in place, and everyone is on the same page.  Spring will be here before you know it and it is very important to have a plan.




Agronomy Update 2024

By Jeff Schmiesing, Agronomy Department Manager

The fertilizer plant in Marion is finally about done. Hopefully in the first week in February we will be moving some wholesale and transfers out. This project will speed loading fertilizer out faster and double the blending speed with blenders in each tower. With more and more farmers having their own spreading equipment, we needed the speed to keep the traffic moving through them at a higher speed. We also added faster legs to load the two towers at higher speed. This was also added to help the trucks get through faster. This will be all computerized mixing to make sure the blends are all up to state guidelines. I’ll be glad when this is done. Thanks to the rest of the team for helping this fall. Scotland, Lyons, and Salem helped blend all the fertilizer that normally went through Marion, then on top of it we really had a big fall. Thanks again for all the help and working together as a team!

The next project is the plant in Salem. The plant will be done this winter yet. We have speeded up the receiving side for unloading fertilizer into the plant. It used to take 45 minutes to unload a fertilizer truck in Salem; now we should be able to unload in 10 minutes or so. We also added holding storage tanks so we can keep the blenders always mixing. So, if a truck is not back at the plant, we can keep mixing fertilizer.

Another update will be down in Viborg, we will be replacing two of the liquid tanks. Both tanks are old and need to be updated. The last project for the year will be adding three tanks and a dike to the Marion location for storage for thio-sul. They will be by the 28% tank and added to the automation system so we can load 24-7 and blend thio-sul and 28%. This project will also be ready by spring and will help get the trucks in and out of there faster and will help sell more product. We are already working on projects for next year, getting bids and different ideas to make sure the projects are getting put together right.




Plan A or B?

By Brian Nelson, Agronomist, Salem

With 2023 behind us and 2024 in our future, now more than ever you need a good plan.  Have a plan A and have a backup plan B.  We got through the cold temps and have a little moisture in the soil.  Things look good now and hopefully the start to a profitable spring.  With that, planning is always good to get done.

Fertilizer farm plans are a good start.  We want to make sure we have enough fertility for our yield goals.  Midwest Labs uses these values for removal: Corn takes .4 lbs phos and .29 lbs potash per bushel of corn while beans take .85 lbs phos and 1.45 lbs potash per bushel of beans.  Also figuring in around that 1 lb of nitrogen per bushel of corn is important. Whether you are applying it all up front or split applying your nitrogen, there are different methods.  Use Urea, 28% or our foliar nitrogen CORON; all will work very well.  Always remember to protect your investment with fertilizer stabilizers.  Your agronomist can help advise you with this. 

Seed needs are a must.  We do have a wide variety of genetics such as Dekalb, Asgrow, Croplan, Xitavo and Brevant in our lineup.  There are very attractive finance options with our Secure financing by Winfield United, John Deere and Rabo financing.  We can help with the selection of varieties and placement on your farm to maximize production and profit.  Seed prescriptions are a great way to maximize performance of the varieties.  Let us know what you have for equipment and we can get that set up for you.  We also have great alfalfas and connections to get different grass products such as orchard, brome, ryegrass and many more.  Alternative forage products such as oats, barley and wheat are also available.

Start thinking about chemical programs.  Be it corn, beans, or small grains, there are many different options.  Now is not the time to cheat on rates. Try to run multiple modes of action to maximize performance.   We do supply all chemistry from Bayer, FMC, BASF, Corteva and many more.  We have a very large and diverse inventory of products. Let us help you with a farm plan for 2024 to be successful.  Your agronomist can sit down with you and figure what program works best for you.


Agronomy Staff

Jeff Schmiesing
Agronomy Dept. Manager
Cell: 605-940-7665
Allen Johansen
Seed Lead
Cell: 605-661-4882

Andy Stapleton
Precision Ag Manager
Cell: 605-201-3130
Greg Bartmann
Marion Agronomist
Cell: 605-661-6993
Jeff Schaefer
Marion Agronomist
Cell: 605-661-3010
Leo Hoiten
Marion Agronomist
Cell: 605-771-9881
Clay Hespe
Tyndall Agronomist
Cell: 605-421-1636
Cody Plamp
Dimock Agronomist
Cell: 605-999-2281
Chris Rutledge
Irene Agronomist
Cell: 605-660-4146
Mathieu Pechholt
Lyons Agronomist
Cell: 605-350-1948
Brian Nelson
Salem Agronomist
Cell: 605-941-8852
Damien Fuerst
Scotland Agronomist
Cell: 605-660-6878