Harvest Elite & Strong Events Going Virtual

In an effort to protect the health and safety of our growers and employees, we’ve made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the in-person Harvest Strong and Harvest Elite Awards Dinners, which were to be held at Montgomery’s Steakhouse in December.

We always look forward to this night tremendously, and enjoy the excitement of the announcement of our yield contest winners. 

Go Outside

The days are getting noticeably shorter. “Quitting time” arrives and many are forced to drive home in the dark. Now more than ever, it is important to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Being outside has many health benefits and a view like the one below might give you the nudge to go outside, even as the sunlight is drifting away.

Looking south from our Pershing Ag Center

Why Go Outside?

1. Being outdoors boosts your energy. 

Craving another cup of coffee? Skip the caffeine and sit outside instead. One study suggests that spending 20 minutes in the open air gives your brain an energy boost comparable to one cup of coffee. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe energy.

2. The outdoors is good for your vision. 

Research shows that elementary school students who spend more time outdoors are less likely to develop nearsightedness. But down that iPad and go get some fresh air! Also, they’re bound to sleep better once their head hits the pillow if they’ve spent adequate time in the great outdoors.

3. The outdoors boosts your immune system. 

Scientists think that breathing in phytoncides—airborne chemicals produced by plants—increases our levels of white blood cells, helping us fight off infections and diseases.  That’s more important now than it has ever been.

4. The outdoors provides you with free aromatherapy. 

According to science, you really should stop and smell the flowers. Research shows that natural scents like roses, freshly cut grass, and pine make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Bath & Body works may have a soap called “Fresh Sparkling Snow” but getting outside in the actual white fluffy stuff is much better for your well-being!

5. The outdoors enhances creativity. 

Do you have a writing project, church assignment or community obligation that requires your creative ideas? Getting outside gets your mind flowing and you’re bound to find new views and interesting objects all around you. Change your perspective on a walk.

6. The outdoors helps with seasonal affective disorder.  

In the winter, shorter days and lower light levels can trigger seasonal affective disorder, or sad—a reoccurring condition that’s marked by symptoms of anxiety, exhaustion, and sadness. Doctors say spending time outside can lessen sad’s severity—even if the weather’s cold or overcast.

7. Being outdoors gives you your daily dose of vitamin d.

Vitamin d is essential for a well-functioning body. It helps us absorb calcium, it prevents osteoporosis, and it reduces inflammation, among other things. Although vitamin d is present in some foods we get more than 90-percent of our vitamin d from casual exposure to sunlight.

Interview one of our many employees about their role at Harvest Land and they will tell you that being outside is one of their favorite parts of their personal role within the cooperative. Operating equipment, visiting with farmers at the farm gate and delivering product are all ways our employees keep that fresh air flowing.

Now, quit reading this an go outside!

Be a Baker

We subscribe to a lot of digital communications.

Some communications come to us because of affiliate groups we’re a part of, commodity associations we belong to, partner communications we’re invested in or just plain industry commentary we need to read and understand in order to operate our farmer-owned business effectively.

Energy market updates.

Agronomic insights.

Futures and predictions.

Commentary and opinions.

There is often a lot to digest.

But recently, one column made us stop and reflect.

We found this to be insightful, perhaps in perfect time. So, this week we’re sharing it with you.

Be a “Baker”

I was once given a book written by business guru Guy Kawasaki called “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions“. In the book, Kawasaki talks extensively about transforming difficult situations into incredible relationships. He also talks about changing skeptics and cynics into believers and the undecided into the loyal. 

One of my favorite Kawasaki thoughts is to “Be a Baker and not an Eater”. In simple terms, this means contributing more to a relationship, business or community than you consume. A baker believes they can always make more pie and that the pie won’t run out. Their generous, giving spirit helps others bake their own pie and even shares their pie. If you can always make more, you have an endless supply of pie. No need to be selfish. 

Being a baker allows you to grow and enrich other’s lives as you share your ideas. Michael Hyatt calls this scarcity vs. abundance. “One leads to success, joy and fulfillment, while the other leads to failure, fear and discontent.” If you are an individual who can get the job done, take a project from start to finish, and not care about the reward or the money you receive to do it, then you are a “baker”. 

This is a skill that is very hard to come by; it’s the ability to execute, which is far more valuable than education, talent, or a great idea. An individual could have the greatest education in the world; or the most potential talent; or the greatest idea … but until those are acted upon that is all they will be, just an idea or talk. The ability to “execute” and contribute without knowing the reward is much more valuable because it is action, it is substantive. 

Moral of the story, don’t be an eater who is so completely consumed with getting their piece of the pie. Rather than learning to “take” go out and learn how to “make”. I love the simplicity, go do and the rest will take care of itself…

Thank you to The Van Trump Report for first sharing this message.

Trump Administration Invests more than $117,000 to Improve Biofuel Sales in Ohio, Indiana

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand was in western Ohio earlier this week to celebrate a recent $23,750 Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grant to Harvest Land.

“The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program supports American farmers and boosts rural economic development by expanding ethanol and biodiesel sales,” said Brand. “The investment we’re recognizing today is among $22 million awarded in the program nationwide, expected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually. 

“Moreover, both Harvest Land and CountryMark are member-owned cooperatives, and, as October is National Cooperative Month, it’s fitting to highlight the dynamic partnership between USDA Rural Development and the co-ops that serve our rural communities. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

David Hall, Ohio State Director of Rural Development, Matt Smorch, President and CEO of CountryMark, U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand, Michael Dora, Indiana State Director of Rural Development, Scott Logue, President and CEO of Harvest Land Co-op and Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson.

The Greenville award will be used to offset the cost of replacing one dispenser which dispenses product on two sides at Harvest Land’s Greenville fueling station, and is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by an estimated 238,954 gallons annually.

“Harvest Land has never forgotten the cooperative spirit from which we were founded, one which encourages working together to achieve a common goal, and we are proud to partner with CountryMark and the USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to cross state lines and offer Indiana and Ohio farmers more opportunity to market their commodities,” said Scott Logue, Harvest Land President and CEO.

“Continued investments in energy security, rural economies and consumer choice will allow our farmer-members to continue to operate and raise up the next generation of growers. Harvest Land understands the volatility in agriculture and the challenges our growers face as they continue to find innovative ways to feed America and those lands beyond. We stand behind this commitment to America’s farmers and consumers,” Logue finished.  

Two additional HBIIP grants were awarded in Ohio and Indiana: 

  • Columbus, Ohio-based Benchmark Biodiesel will use its $38,000 grant to replace two dispensers at its fuel terminal west of the city. The project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 740,204 gallons annually.
  • Crawfordsville, Indiana-based Ceres Solutions Cooperative will use its $55,562 grant to replace four dispensers at one fueling station. The project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 256,554 gallons annually. 

In addition to Ohio and Indiana, 12 other states received HBIIP grants: California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin. 

The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program helps transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps, related equipment and infrastructure.

Eligible applicants include vehicle fueling facilities such as local fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and distribution facilities. Higher biofuel blends contain greater than 10 percent ethanol or five percent biodiesel by volume.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Harvest Land employees and Directors gather to celebrate the accomplishment on behalf of farmer-members.

Salute to Service: A Call for Nominations

We believe in the power of positivity and as we wrap up 2020, we invite you to share a good story with us.

We invite you to participate in our Salute to Service program, which recognizes employees for a job well done. The Salute to Service program has been incredibly successful in the last three years, as annually we hear from many customers about their experience with the people of Harvest Land. You can participate by sending us stories of the positive encounters or experiences you have with Harvest Land employees.

Share with us the instance of an employee going above and beyond, someone handling a difficult assignment with professionalism or an employee representing Harvest Land in an outstanding way. 

We invite you to tell us why an employee deserves to be commended on a job well done.

In late fall, we’ll present the Salute to Service entries to our employee base and ask them to vote for the best example of a Harvest Land employee exceeding expectations. The winner – as chosen by their peers – will be rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize and 2 vacation days. For the person that submits the winning entry? Well, they’ll walk away with $250.

Keep a watchful eye, or think back to previous months, and don’t hesitate to contact us with your story/stories for Salute to Service.

You can submit entries by emailing nominations@harvestlandcoop.com or contact our President/CEO, Scott Logue at 765.962.1527. Deadline to submit entries is Friday, November 13, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

We look forward to hearing about the great things our hard-working employees do to cultivate positivity in communities and keep our cooperative business strong for the next generation. 

Check out the winning nominations from the previous 3 years:

READ THE 2017 WINNING NOMINATION HERE

READ THE 2018 WINNING NOMINATION HERE

READ THE 2019 WINNING NOMINATION HERE

National Co-op Month

Celebrated by cooperatives nationwide during the month of October, National Co-op Month is an annual opportunity to raise awareness of a trusted, proven way to do business and cultivate communities.

Co-op Month has been a nationally recognized celebration since 1964, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, a former Minnesota governor, proclaimed October Co-op Month.

Unlike other ag retailers who have decision makers in corporate offices states away, our business is operated by our farmer-members who own shares in the company.

Originally organized as a resource for seed potatoes in the 1920, we’ve seen a lot of change. What has reminded constant are the seven cooperative principles we follow:

Today we’re proud to work with multiple generations on the farm and in commercial businesses that continue to find tremendous value in the cooperative spirit.

It is because of our farmer-members that we celebrate 90 years in 2020 and the fabric of cooperative businesses during the month of October, and all year around.

2021 Winter Innovation Forum 360

We understand running your business and maintaining the many working parts of a homestead keeps you busy.

That’s why Harvest Land created the Winter Innovation Forum 360, a one-day event that brings nationally acclaimed speakers to our trade territory to provide a full day of information and education.

On February 17, 2021 we invite you to the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond, Indiana for a full day of visiting with industry partners, business presentations designed to improve success on your farm and a walk-through trade show.

When: February 17, 2021

Where: 861 Salisbury Rd. Richmond, IN

Why: To learn key insight from national experts during a single day event. Also, PARP credits will be offered at 8:00 AM!

How: Registration for this FREE even opens in January

We encourage you to watch this brief video to learn more!:

SAVE THE DATE AND STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS ON THIS EVENT!

Early Harvest Agronomic Update

We asked Glenn Longabaugh, Regional Agronomist for Winfield United, to give us an agronomic update as we move right into Harvest 2020.

Corn has progressed very quickly and the April plantings have reached physiological maturity. May and June planting should have reached physiological maturity this week, the first week of October.

How could corn planted so different temporally mature so near the same time, you might ask? Remember that April plantings experienced very sub-optimal temperatures this spring and accumulated GDD’s (Growing Degree Days) very slowly. This slow accumulation hindered emergence and early development which allowed the later plantings to keep pace, effectively compressing maturation into a much shorter window than what you might expect. 

Corn yields look good to excellent and late season foliar health is considerably better than what you might expect. Why is the corn as free of pathogens as it is? First, the diseases that normally impact our yields most, like Grey Leaf Spot were impeded because of dry conditions earlier in grand growth, discouraging their jump from residue to the lower leaves of the plant. Second, when corn did get flowering and the plant was more susceptible, we also started getting timely rainfall. That would normally lead you to expect disease to go rampant. Why didn’t it? Those tropical depressions that brought us rainfall a month or better ago didn’t come as a single event, rather it was several rainfall events and cooler temps. Those rainfall events that deposited a few spores and created enough moisture for them to germinate came in such a sequential manner that it also washed off the largest portion of the inoculum. Just an example that we are not always so clever at prognosticating epidemics! Lastly, I would like to think that the increased use of early fungicides has had some impact on overall plant health and inoculum levels.

Soybeans are also progressing well and with the timely August rainfall it could be one of our best soybean years ever. It’s important to remember that even with intensive management the story of soybean yield is most often written in August and we had excellent soil moisture in the 8th month. Early maturing soybean fields that are being harvested are bearing that out.

With the abundant rainfall comes some issues in soybeans that are concerning. First many fields suffered from anaerobic conditions long enough that it actually smothered the plants and symptomology ranges from chlorosis, (yellowing) to full necrosis (brown/dead tissue). Those fields that are chlorotic are showing this symptomology from various reasons yet unfortunately most have not immediate solution. 

Why did soybeans turn yellow early? 1) Oxygen, soybean roots do not photosynthesize but, they do respire, and saturated conditions lead to an anaerobic environment. 2) Nitrogen, soybeans are intensive users of nitrogen and the estimates are somewhere between 4-5 lbs are necessary per bushel of soybeans. We don’t supplement soybeans with nitrogen because we expect Brady Rhizobium to live in symbiosis with the soybean roots and produce enough ureides (organic nitrogen compounds) to fulfill the soybeans needs. By R4 ureide production is already waning and anaerobic conditions only exacerbate the problem. 3) Sulfur and manganese are also limiting mineral nutrients that are causing chlorosis in fields exposed to too much rainfall. 4) Disease: Stem Canker, Charcoal rot, Brown stem rot, Phomopsis, Sclerentinia white mold, Phytophthora root rot and of course Sudden death syndrome (SDS) all have culpability in predisposing crops. 

With the yield advantages of early planting comes the caveat of increased soil borne pathogens, but SDS is probably the most common and thus the most yield-reducing of the group. SDS is the common name for Fusarium Vurguliforme a soil borne pathogen that cannot be treated in season and typically causes premature death by plugging the vascular system and causing premature senescence. Even tolerant varieties often have SDS but can finish seed production before succumbing to the symptoms. Variety selection and seed treatments are the best line of defense against SDS.

Lastly, Soybean insect pressure in August and September really ballooned, especially stinkbugs. (I guess they finally found their way out of our laundry room.) For future reference, we do not often think about amendments in August but, depending on planting date and maturity, R4 soybeans that are still 30-45 days from physiological maturity, so pod sucking is not acceptable!

Our Harvest Land team wishes you a safe and bountiful harvest.

Fall Herbicide Application II

TEMPERATURE, TIMING AND EFFICACY

  • For effective application, air temperature must be adequate for post-harvest burn down. Do you know what that ideal temperature is?
  • Fall application with Harvest Land helps you maximize manpower so you’re ready to roll in spring 2021. 
  • Earlier in the fall is where your residual is going to provide the best control. 

Kyle Pulley, YieldPro Specialist, and Drake Copeland, Technical Support Manager for FMC, have a terrific discussion regarding temperature, timing and efficacy of fall herbicide application. 

Take 4 minutes to learn more:

Fall Herbicide: Part 1

We often get this question:
Does fall burndown replace a spring herbicide application?
  • Take care of winter annuals in the fall, when they’re at their most susceptible time in the life cycle. This eliminates residue in the field, allowing your fields to dry out quicker, getting you in the field sooner in spring 2021.
  • Do you know what pests lay eggs in winter annual foliage? These larvae go on to chew on emerging crop as it grows.
  • It is so important to kill driver weeds, such as marestail, in the fall while they’re in the rosette stage so you don’t have to double spray them to achieve control in the spring.

Watch as Mike Shrack, YieldPro Specialist, visits with Drake Copeland, FMC Technical Service Manager, about the agronomic and efficiency benefits of a fall burndown.