No Instruction Manual

early emergence beans

The fact that you can drive around any country block today and see some sort of plant emergence represents the promise of better days.

Between COVID-19 changing how American’s live day-to-day and a cold, damp spring (rain is pounding the window as I write this), this place could use some fresh air and sunshine.

Farming is a profession of hope.

You put millions of tiny, unassuming seeds in the ground, cover them up, then hope for sunshine and timely rain. You drive around weekly (or, daily) scouting fields for the first sign of emergence indicating that a tiny sprout was so mighty that it broke through million-year-old dirt with a story. All of this, while you continue to hope for sunshine and timely rain.

Dirt

Life’s most valuable skills don’t come with an instruction manual and it seems we’ve learned so many of them in this profession.

 

Patience

pa·tience

/ˈpāSHəns/

noun

the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

In farming, patience can be found when growing degree days are minimal and you have an expectation of emergence that simply isn’t happening. Patience is best learned and utilized when an implement breaks down or a spotty shower shows up and lingers on your last 50 acres to get in the ground.

 

Optimism

op·ti·mism

/ˈäptəˌmizəm/

noun

hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

In farming, optimism can be found when opening up a field to harvest in October and or pulling onto the co-op scales to sample and weigh your product.  Optimism is best learned and utilized when you’re staring in the face of low commodity prices but you remember that all things are cyclical.

 

Faith

/fāTH/

noun

complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

In farming, faith can be found everywhere, including when you’re actually in the act of planting the seed, or climbing in the bin for maintenance or driving the semi through a busy intersection. Faith is best learned and utilized daily, when your feet hit the floor and you begin another day to produce food to feed people who you’ll never have the opportunity to meet.

With greased, calloused hands we’ve leafed through hundreds of instruction manuals with loose covers and marked pages in our lifetime.

But perhaps the greatest guidance we require to get this farming job done comes from within.

 

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How Long Can Corn Hold It’s Breath?

Days of rain dumped 4 – 6 inches of rain in our part of the world earlier this week.

So what’s that mean for the crop?

We wanted to share this insight from Bushel Billy, our pal Bill Bowers, with Bayer. He has a lot of great information straight from the truck cab!

Take a look –

 

As always, your YieldPro Specialist is ready to talk through the early season decisions on your farm!

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A Photographic Lesson in Perspective

It was a day full of media creation:

  • Interview an agronomist on-camera about current disease pressures.
  • Interview an energy manager on-camera about propane safety.
  • Film a propane sales specialist conducting an in-home safety check.
  • Take various photos during each of these video shoots to have stored in our photo library for use down the road.

We arrived at the homestead where we were going to shoot the in-home propane safety check and I was impressed. A beautiful home which sat off the road, a well-manicured yard, and flawless landscaping that seemed to put a bow on the entire package.

I took many photos that day and have since used them extensively over the last two years.

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. I asked our CEO to give a promotional piece a final review before sending it to print.

“The detailer looks good. Accurate. But that photo needs replaced. It is terrible,” said our CEO.

“What photo?!” I responded. I work to ensure every print piece that comes out of our office is professionally done and pleasing to the eye.

“The propane one. What do you see when you look at that photo?” he asked.

I studied it.

Propane Fill

“A man delivering propane on a sunny day. A clean truck,” I was quick to remark.

“Weeds! Two weeds. Big weeds. They really stand out,” he responded.
I laughed. “Those aren’t weeds! Those are flowers. That’s part of the landscaping around  the tank. Black eyed Susan’s. They’re just not in bloom,” I defended my use (extensive use over the last two years) of the photo. It had been on every social media channel and used in several print pieces.

black-eyed-susan-rudbeckia-pixabay_12719
Black eyed Susan

He studied the photo. “Those are weeds. Goldenrod. They need pulled or sprayed.” He was steadfast in his conviction of weed identification and treatment.

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Goldenrod

I asked why, if the photo bothered him and it was used so many times, had he not mentioned it before now? He revealed that he had confidence that I would notice the weeds, remove the picture from things and the problem would be solved. Boy was he wrong!

I was taken back by the misunderstanding, so I tried explaining that the very reason we shot at that particular customer’s home was because it was so well tended.

Well groomed.

Landscaped with colorful details waiting to emerge.

No weeds.

Immaculate.

Our CEO then explained that anyone who sees this photo won’t know that. They only see a guy delivering propane with two big weeds in the way. Our audience didn’t drive up the driveway and see the house, the yard, the barn. They only see the goldenrod (black eyed Susans).

He was right. Unless you know your flowers pre-bloom, these plants looked like weeds.

I appreciated that particular photo because of the natural lighting that day. The clean and well-maintained propane truck. The faceless driver, intentional so no one associated the image with a particular person. The spotless propane tank. And finally, the two flowers awaiting their time to shine.

But unless you were in my shoes – or, the shoes of the homeowner who planted them with intention – you wouldn’t know those were flowers. You may think those were weeds.

It was a classic lesson in perspective: What one person sees, another may not.

That is why it is critically important to value perspectives as we move through life experiences, careers and relationships.

In fact, the key to successful relationships lies solely in our ability to value the perspective of another and find the ability to look at things from a point of view other than our own.

It can be tough, but it can be done.

Is there an area in your personal life, career or relationships that might benefit from a change in perspective?

To step out of your shoes and into another’s?

To ask questions in order to learn, rather than assume? Especially during this time of uncertainty and unpredictability.

Perhaps now is the time. I know that a brief conversation in the corner office earlier this week sure changed the way I’ve thought in the last couple days, and it will continue to do so. I’ll certainly remember this lesson when I am tasked with the job of taking photos or video on behalf of our cooperative.

Now, I’d love to visit more with you about perspective, but I’m spending the rest of the morning replacing the goldenrod (black eyed Susans) photo on every piece of promotional material on which it has appeared.

Spring farm fill

By Lindsay, Communications Manager

 

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Early Season Pest Alert

There are two pests that we’re on high alert for in Indiana and Ohio.

Now is the time to act. 

  • There are numerous fields containing heavy, winter annual weed pressure because they did not get sprayed or tilled last fall, or cover crops have yet to receive a burndown application to kill off prior to planting. These type of field scenarios are a primary target for egg laying moths.
  • Black cutworm will migrate in and feed on anything they can, but they’re easily controlled by synthetic pyrethroids.
  • Wireworms are much tougher to kill and currently they’re attacking seedlings because they’re staying much closer to the surface due to cooler soil temperatures.
  • Synthetic pyrethroids are less effective on wireworms.
  • What must you do now to protect your yield? Watch the video and see –
Join us as seed manager Brandon Lovett visits with Glenn Longabaugh CCA, Winfield United Regional Agronomist, about the damage these two pests can do and how to defend against them.

 

 

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Expectations of Emergence

early corn

In these less than optimal temperatures, what can you expect as far as emergence?
  • Even though temperatures were low at planting time, we will see emergence, though it could take up to three weeks.
  • Calculating growing degree days will help growers understand when they should see growth.
  • What are the early signs of trouble? Watch the video and see –
Join us as seed manager Brandon Lovett visits with Glenn Longabaugh CCA, Winfield United Regional Agronomist, about emergence expectations during these colder temperatures, how to calculate growing degree days and why patience will pay off.

 

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