Welcome 2021 Field Scouts!

This week we welcomed 51 college students to our Field Scout team for the summer. These interns will effectively become the eyes on our customer fields this growing season, walking hundreds of miles to scout fields on a daily basis.

Our interns bring another level of depth to in-season monitoring. They monitor and note plant health and potential disease pressure, allowing the grower to fine-tune their nutrient program uniquely to address what may be affecting their operation. 

They’ll spend their summer in the sunshine with this hands-on internship, experiencing cool mornings, warm afternoons and some really great scenery. During weekly calls, we always enjoy hearing the many interesting things these students will see and experience when covering such a vast territory.

This group will scout throughout Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4.

This group of 18 will be working in Regions 5 and 6 in east central Indiana and west central Ohio.

Our field scouts are the front lines of our agronomy services, monitoring our customer’s and member-owner’s fields for crop growth stages, diseases, weeds, and insects. Field scouts, work with industry experts and receive daily guidance as they bring their crop development knowledge to life.

We look forward to keeping up with this group throughout the summer and updating you on their progress and wins.

What Mom Taught Me

Sunday is Mother’s Day, when American’s traditionally celebrate the matriarchs and chaos coordinators of the family.

On social media we asked friends to complete this sentence, “My mother taught me…” and this week we share those answers with you.

My Mother taught me…

To love God – and to fear him, to pray unceasingly, to take care of your man, and for heaven’s sake – don’t leave home without lipstick on! – Sara

My mother was a pioneer. She was tough and had high expectations. A devoted Christian. It wasn’t until I had my daughter, that I understood how much she really loved me. – Teresa

Everything ❤️ She taught me to love books and to read to my babies. She taught me the golden rule and to work hard with integrity. – Sarah

Everything! She was/ is my mom, and was my teacher from kindergarten till 12th grade. – Jaime

Love one another and to treat others as you would want to be treated. – Trena

The art of…doing chores, changing clothes, restyling your hair and making it to a town meeting, school event, etc. without anyone knowing you’d been in the barn just 45 earlier! – Lindsay

How to figure out difficult situations on my own. – Mike

Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you cry. – Tambrey

Never give up! – Courtney

To always be kind, show love, set limits, treat others the way you want to be treated, do not judge others and most important to love all  – Cindy

Everything!!! – Ashley

How to love unconditionally. – Miriam

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. – Keryn

Grace. And that when you spill glitter on the carpet, it’s a whole lot easier to use the vacuum to clean it up instead of a wet rag. (For the record I was 6 and had only ever seen her clean our carpet with a wet rag….looking back that might have been because my siblings and I were always spilling things/food on her carpet…) – Katie

My mother taught me if there’s something you don’t know, learn it. If there’s something you can do, do it. If there’s something you want, go for it. She was an inspiration for me. – Linda

So many things!Things I thought back then were useless but now I cherish❤️But most of all is to be kind! – Vickie

The value of doing it right, no matter what it costs! – Hayley

Never learn a job on the farm unless you want to do it the rest of your life. – Lindsay

To be a strong & servant leader. – Kari

Everything!! Cook, Bake, Sew, Drive!! – Teresa

Respect. – Glen

To always work hard. – Alex

Strength, the value of hard work & perseverance. Also patience & unconditional support! – Amy

How to win, lose, & be gracious at all times. – Jordan

Keep your head down and just keep working hard. It will pay off at the end. – Lauren

My mom taught me to work for the things I needed and to work longer and harder for the things I wanted. – Sandy

My mother taught me That my responsibility in life is to be a volunteer and to do so willingly. And I have done so. – Nancy

To travel, to love music, to love people, to study, to enjoy the moon and stars. My mother was/is a teacher. She was very sneaky at disguising learning with fun. – Barbara

We could go on and on, but then who would take Mom out to lunch?

Before you go….Check Out Our Co-Alliance Mother’s Day Cards!

From the Cab: What to Do When You Meet Farm Equipment on the Road

In the last of our spring safety series, we invite you in the cab with Chris Schakel, applicator from our Indian Trails location, to learn exactly what you should do when you meet farm equipment on the road. Chris shares with us a true view of the visibility challenges that come with operating large equipment and the importance of being aware at all times.

Thank you to all of those who are spending numerous hours in these machines to get a crop in the ground, and also those who safely share the road. We appreciate you!

Faces Behind the Machine

T-ball games.

The grocery for a gallon of milk.

Rehearsal for the approaching dance recital.

The bank before it closes.

The BMV to renew those plates, which time is ticking away on.

We all have places to be and a to-do list that looms in the back of minds long after we leave work for the day.

The Co-Alliance team that works beyond the 5:00 whistle has many things to do, too. During the brief window of time when they can prepare a field for planting and then assist the local farmers in getting #Plant21 completed, their priority isn’t milk or the bank: It Is Safety.

This week we share with you the many faces of the Co-Alliance team that operates the large machinery you see on the road and in the fields that dot our rural communities.

You won’t find a group of harder working people. So dedicated and driven by the purpose behind the protocol.

Sharing the Road: One Goal in Mind

We’ve been there before.

And if we’re being honest, just between us, we’re in this same situation more than we care to admit this time of year.

Running 5-10 minutes late and looking for every possible way to shave off a few minutes. So we throw our lunch into the passenger seat with no regard as to where the leftover lasagna lands, fail to grab a jacket because no one has time to be chilly this morning and pull out of the driveway with one hand on the wheel while throwing on sunglasses with your free hand.

A mile later you find yourself in a predicament that nearly everyone living in a rural midwestern community will this time of year: Going far under the speed limit because you’re stuck behind a piece of farm machinery. The machine acts an unintentional pace car for a row of vehicles patiently, or impatiently, trying to get to their destination.

Co-Alliance, your local farmer-owned cooperative, has dozens of employee applicators climbing up in these machines to prepare fields for spring planting. And while that preparation is on-going, your neighbor farmers are also grabbing a Mt. Dew and pulling their tractors, disks and planters onto public roads to get to the field to get seed in the ground.

This week we kick off a series of urgent reminders to safely share the road during this window of time when large farm machinery is moving from one field to another.

Late model vehicles zipping down the road may have alarms that alert the driver when someone is in their blind spot, but such technology isn’t in the cab of the Terragator, applicator or tractor.

View from the Cab:

So we need your help.

It takes one swift decision to pass at a time when you shouldn’t to cause a devastating accident that will include you, our employees and America’s farmers who are working to feed a population….much of whom they’ll never have the opportunity to meet.

Regardless of what our role is on the road each day, we all have one goal in mind: to get home to our family safely tonight.

Please be diligent in your awareness of large machinery and other vehicles around you and the speed at which they’re traveling.

We promise to do the same.

High Yield Soybeans

The High Yield Soybean system has a lot of working parts but it’s actually very simple – soybeans don’t respond like corn!

  • Early planting 
  • Variety selection
  • Seeding rates
  • Soil fertility 
  • And In-season nutrition all need to be discussed when you’re ready to take your soybeans to the next level.

Mineral nutrition is a key component to high yield soybeans. 

Let’s learn more:

Watch as Dave Vansickle, YieldPro Specialist, visits with Glenn Longabaugh, Winfield Regional Agronomist, about High Yield Soybeans.

Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc Names Directors To Represent Membership

This week on the blog we are excited to announce the 19 farmer directors who will represent our cooperative business, acting as the voice of the Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc. shareholders. These directors will represent 8 districts which service customers in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.

This set of progressive farmers will be responsible for evaluating sustainability of the business, providing ethical governance and sound financial order of the cooperative. Their unique perspectives will offer insight from all corners of our trade territory.

For introductions and more information, we invite you to visit our website at this link.

Food Brings Everyone to the Table

On March 27 we’ll wrap up National Ag Week, a week observed annually to recognize the impact of agriculture in our daily American lives. 

Those who work and live in agriculture have a fundamental understanding of the importance of such an industry, so one week out of 52 set aside to celebrate it seems undervalued.  

One year ago, the global pandemic was beginning to affect nearly every aspect of our lives. 

We couldn’t attend Easter services in church because they were shut down. 

Parents were finding creative ways to work at home and become school teachers simultaneously.

Hand sanitizer, toilet paper and disposable masks were on the short list of things everyone was seeking. 

Also on that list, last year, this year, today and forever: Food. 

“Food Brings Everyone to the Table” is the 2021 National Ag Week theme and it couldn’t be fitting as we reflect on the last year and our lives today. 

The past year has offered us a whole new perspective on food and our daily living. 

We’ve seen empty grocery store shelves and refrigerated cases sit bare for extended periods of time in our local markets. This was unprecedented as the United States is among the top for having the safest, most abundant food supply in the world thanks to our efficient and resourceful farmers and ranchers. 

We’ve come to understand the importance of staying ahead of provisions and being prepared for such an event. The wait time on new refrigerators and chest freezers is months out due to lack of production and high demand. Local meat processing facilities are booking dates a year in advance due to the demand of such a service.

Restaurants shut down and we’ve learned how to cook at home again. With that came the realization that home economics courses, now cut from most curriculums, were something that provided great value no matter the school district demographics.

Sales of meal and fast-food delivery services, home gardening supplies and plants and grills soared in 2020 due to the need for, and enjoyment of, food.  

Events were cancelled, travel banned, schools shut down, offices closed, and families were allowed the opportunity to sit around the table for a meal again. 

2020 wasn’t all bad. 

Food does bring everyone to the table. It is a basic need for survival that our population has worked to modify, complicate and alternate. But the work of those in agriculture – who understand the simple but immense value of warm soil, growing degree days, rain, crop nutrition and soil fertility – remains steadfast and unwavering. 

Our job is to provide the American Farmer with the resources and knowledge to continue to produce a safe and abundant food supply so everyone – regardless of age, gender, social class or location – can come to the table. 

In 2020 we supported food banks and pantries so students and families could still eat when schools shut down. One example is our support of Bulldogs Helping Bulldogs, which is a program in Wayne County which worked to provide daily meals to students once school cafeterias were no longer serving kids. 

We also supported the Salvation Army of Clinton County Food Pantry last summer to ensure families were supported with food on the table when jobs were at great risk due to businesses and production lines closing. Those are just two of several ways Co-Alliance supports hunger-ending initiatives.  

Because Food Brings Everyone to the Table, even if that table looks a little different these days.

Most farmers worked through National Ag Week because the 2021 planting season is rapidly approaching. We have beans to move and planters to calibrate and soil fertility maps to go over and in-season plans to finalize. We’re wrapping up tiling projects and investing in fuels and lubricants to keep machines rolling when the spring sun shines. 

This week, and for the other 51, we’ll celebrate agriculture when we put our cotton tablecloth on the Easter table, enjoy corn tortillas on taco Tuesday or fire up the grill for some well-marbled steaks. 

Because food – and agriculture – brings everyone to the table.

Variable Rate CN Discussion: What and Why?

  • A variable rate crop nutrient program allows you to put crop nutrients only where there is a need, saving you money and time.
  • Soil test levels only tell us half the story…Farm history? Row starter? Budget? These are all considerations that must be made when discussing variable rate crop nutrient plans. 
  • Contact your YieldPro Specialist today to discuss what options are available for your operation.

We invite you to tune in as Seed Manager Brandon Lovett and Winfield United Regional Agronomist Glenn Longabaugh visit regarding the value of variable rate crop nutrients on your farm.

Crop Nutrient Rates and Yield Trends

Aside from the weather, your biggest limiting factor could be crop nutrient levels

• What concerns are growers discussing after one of the bigger crop years we’ve seen?
• How can you still take care of your soil when removing more yield than you expected?
• Soil fertility still matters, especially in good years such as this
• High yield corn not only removes more nutrients from the soil, but requires more input to grow
We invite you to tune in as Kyle Pulley and Roger Boyd, YieldPro Specialists visit regarding crop nutrient rates and yield trends.