Changing of the Guard

In the last couple weeks, a single Harvest Land ag center has had two life-long farm couples pull their wagons across the scales for the last time. No illness has caused this finality, no financial defeat impedes, they’re simply ready to enjoy this later chapter of life doing other things.

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It was an honor, that they would choose to come in for a photo during their last load. 

 

What a realization of seeing these farewell photos on social media brought; there is a true changing of the guard amongst families in agriculture. Those in their late sixties, early seventies are choosing to put the combine away one last time and not worry about the spring.

They’re selling what’s in the bin and renting the storage to someone else.

They’re cleaning up equipment so it can go on to the next steward.

They’re closing the books on a record year.

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But…

They’ll still wake before dawn and check the markets while the coffee brews.

They’ll still talk about the weather at every opportunity.

They’ll still stand in awe of new machinery at a farm show or neighbor’s shop.

They’ll still prefer the smell of freshly cut hay or the inside of the milking parlor to any cologne in a bottle.

They’ll still think the next generation doesn’t know how good they have it.

They’ll still worry about safety and say a silent prayer when they hear the local volunteer fire department race through the township on an October day.

They’ll still drive around in the spring and summer scouting crops.

They’ll still wear their Harvest Land hats and jackets they’ve acquired over the years, and they’ll regularly check the rain gauge we gave them during the soggy spring of 2017.

They’ll still subscribe to Farm World, Progressive Farmer and other publications that clutter the station beside the recliner so they’re still in the know.

They’ll still proudly call themselves a life-long farmer.

We have no doubt there are others out there calling the 2018 harvest their last as they enjoy retirement, perhaps they did not post farewell photos taken at the ag center to Facebook.

And we’ll miss them.

Their insight.

Their years of experience.

Their optimism gained from years gone by.

Their tired hands that have known the struggle.

Their passion for the work and the appreciation of the industry.

But we wish them the best, and we thank them for their years of business and partnership with Harvest Land Co-op. There is always a spot for you to visit with us at the ag center counter.

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Benefits of Premium

As consumers we are bombarded by sexy marketing campaigns claiming bigger, better products and services that offer to simplify and improve our daily lives. Oftentimes, it is difficult to sift through the clutter as to what is factual and what is a half-truth marketing claim set out to confuse or convince us into purchasing products or services we may not necessarily need.

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The reality is that some products and services are indeed worth the additional cost if you consider value and not price. From a business perspective, if you calculate that the product or service will create long-term profit for your business then ultimately the higher-priced product may be worth the upfront investment. Or perhaps, if the premium product brings added-value including an extended warranty, a product guarantee, additional service or a network of proven experts, then the added cost may be warranted. Understandably, it is human nature to be skeptical of marketing claims especially when as customers we may have been deceived in the past.

When I was a first-time mom shopping at the grocery store for infant formula, I recall wanting nothing but the best for my daughter. I quickly noticed some name brands were nearly 20 to 40 percent more expensive than the generic brands. That is a significant cost difference especially when you consider an infant drinks 24 to 30 ounces a day for most 150327114044-05-baby-formula-stock-super-169of their first year. After additional research, I determined that nearly all infant formula is the same nutritional formulation aside from a few exceptions and relative to taste preference. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all formula marketed in the U.S. must meet the same federal nutrient requirements, which are set at levels to fulfill the needs of infants. Although infant formula manufacturers may have their own proprietary formulations, brand name and generic formula must contain at least the minimum levels of all nutrients specified in FDA regulations.
Ultimately, the choice and the responsibility to delineate value and determine preference is the customers. The buying decision is simple when the product or service demonstrates proven value and improves the bottom line. A farmer-owned cooperative in Indiana known as CountryMark refines and markets premium, high-quality gasoline, diesel fuel and lubricants. A general consumer may not be able to comprehend the difference between diesel fuel products in the marketplace. But there is a distinct semi waiting on combinedifference particularly between a standard No. 2 diesel product and a premium diesel fuel. CountryMarkrefines a unique, premium diesel fuel called Premium Dieselex-4 (PDX-4) proven to bring added-value to the marketplace for several reasons. First, the refining process begins with local, light, sweet crude oil, refined to the highest specifications at the CountryMark refinery in Mt. Vernon, Ind. Fuel quality is protected as the product travels north along a 238-mile private pipeline to one of three CountryMark-owned terminals. Meanwhile, fuel quality and cleanliness Richmond stationis comprised with other brands because their fuel is intermingled with others across the country. In addition, the term premium is quantified because of the substantial additive package in PDX-4. The number “4” in the product name stands for lubricity, detergency, cetane and stability. Added lubricity in PDX-4 minimizes the wear and tear on fuel injectors and injector pumps, which leads to less downtime and extends the life of the engine. Added detergency helps maximize combustion efficiency, minimizes maintenance costs and also eliminates downtime. Added cetane improves engine performance, improves combustion and lowers emissions. Added stability reduces the fuel deterioration process, which leads to longer fuel life and assured performance. In addition, PDX-4 winter fuel is designed to withstand the coldest winter weather conditions to prevent fuel gelling and keep diesel engines running smoothly day and night.

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But if you don’t believe me, take it straight from a loyal CountryMark customer. A home-based fleet owner/operator in Bluffton, Ind., said, “In this business, I have learned that it doesn’t pay to run cheap fuel. With CountryMark’s PDX-4, we have seen a one-half to three-quarter percent increase in fuel mileage which equates to a 3 to 5.5 cent savings per mile or $4,500 to $5,000 savings every month and up to $50,000 to $60,000 a year. Premium quality fuel really makes a difference to our bottom line.”

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So there you have it, there are proven benefits to a premium diesel fuel product such as CountryMark PDX-4. Still skeptical? As an educated customer, be sure to research the options, weigh the benefits and determine what works best and what creates the most value for you and your business. Your Harvest Land EnergyPro team is ready to discuss your options for maximum performance.

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Fall Tips for Hard to Control Weeds

With several days of cool, dry weather, harvest is wrapping up at lightning speed. But the work isn’t over, yet.

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Let’s talk weeds.

Certain species of weeds are getting more aggressive – which means your crop protection plan needs to, also. Act now and knock out Marestail at seedling stage to prevent future issues. Fall burn down is efficient, effective and timely.

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When the crop comes off the field is the ideal time to take care of this predictable problem. Watch the video below to learn more about aggressive weed control from our agronomist Steve Dlugosz.

 

Contact your YieldPro Specialist today to get rolling on prevention.

 

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Photo Friday: Propane Safety in Hancock County

We do crop protection.

We do premium diesel fuel.

We do grain marketing.

We do soil sampling.

We do lubricants.

We also do education.

Four different  Hancock County fire departments recently practiced fire fighting techniques that could be used in residential or propane transport leaks or fires. Harvest Land applauds the efforts of these departments for being prepared for any emergency.  Propane for the training was donated by Harvest Land.

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Twelve days ago we were experiencing a summer that didn’t want to go to bed and 80 degree temperatures. Today, fall temperatures have moved in and propane is in demand as folks begin to heat their homes for the cold winter that lies ahead.

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Harvest Land  makes safety a top priority to give you peace of mind for your family or business. All propane employees attend a monthly safety meeting to receive education and refresher training on safety topics.

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Propane is a safe fuel source if precautions are taken and safety devices are in place. Harvest Land makes safety a top priority to give you peace of mind for your family or business.

Here is a quick refresher from our website on propane safety:

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We’re proud to supply propane to training events such as this, if it means that safety awaits on the opposite end.

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The Farmer

Today, October 12, is National Farmers Day. While we prefer to celebrate agriculture and the farmers who feed us daily (actually, three times a day – sometimes more if we need a snack), a single fall day in the middle of harvest is alright for celebrating them, too.

America’s farmers are the backbone of our economy and essential to global food security.

Today we share with you The Farmer, by Amelia Barr (1831-1919).

 

 

The Farmer

The king may rule o’er land and sea,

The lord may live right royally,

The soldier ride in pomp and pride,

The sailor roam o’er ocean wide;

But this or that, whate’er befall,

The farmer he must feed them all.

The writer thinks, the poet sings,

The craftsmen fashion wondrous things,

The doctor heals, the lawyer pleads,

The miner follows the precious leads;

But this or that, whate’er befall,

The farmer he must feed them all.

The merchant he may buy and sell,

The teacher do his duty well;

But men may toil through busy days,

Or men may stroll through pleasant ways;

From king to beggar, whate’er befall,

The farmer he must feed them all.

The farmer’s trade is one of worth;

He’s partner with the sky and earth,

He’s partner with the sun and rain,

And no man loses for his gain;

And men may rise, or men may fall,

But the farmer he must feed them all.

God bless the man who sows the wheat,

Who finds us milk and fruit and meat;

May his purse be heavy, his heart be light,

His cattle and corn and all go right;

God bless the seeds his hands let fall,

For the farmer he must feed us all.

 

 

Thank you, Farmers

 

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A Salute to the Unsung Harvest Heroes

Harvest is running on all cylinders across the United States. It’s easy for us to highlight the  tremendously important work the farmer does to harvest another crop to feed the general public, but what about those unsung heroes who work behind the scenes (or, wheel) to ensure harvest work goes as it should?

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Today we salute the harvest unsung heroes:

The unsung harvest heroes are the ones blowing out filters, checking oil and greasing every piece of equipment before the race gets started.

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The unsung harvest heroes spend time thinking up meals that can be eaten with one hand, transported effortlessly or used to feed the masses on the tailgate of a farm truck. They’re the ones who prepare meals with hurried love, deliver meals on time and don’t think about feeding themselves until 10:30 PM.

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The unsung harvest heroes take different route home from school every day so the future farmers can see where Grandpa or Dad are working.

The unsung harvest heroes are the fuel truck drivers who work tirelessly to fuel all of the combines, tractors, and semi trucks running the products up and down the road. They still answer their phone when a customer calls from the field at 9:00 PM, and takes off to deliver a load in the middle of a field so not to slow progress.

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The unsung harvest heroes act as a morning motivator when the future farmer presents his best argument for skipping school and riding in the combine all day.

The unsung harvest hero doesn’t understand what all the hype is over a pumpkin spiced latte. And until her town of 2,000 puts a Starbucks next to the parts store or grain elevator, she probably never will.

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The unsung harvest heroes are the ones hauling the grain to the elevator, spending their day wearing a path on the rural route roads, waiting in line, and eating their weight in co-op popcorn.

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The unsung harvest heroes are the people in charge of logistics, making sure that pick-up trucks get from field to field in order to get the farmers home each night if equipment is being left in the field over night.

The unsung harvest heroes are the ones driving the auger cart, positioning it perfectly for the effortless unload so the big wheels can keep on turning.

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The unsung harvest heroes are the “runners” who log 200 miles on their vehicle in a single October day and never leave the county.

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And finally, the unsung harvest heroes are the ones who spend a large amount of time traveling 15 mph with their flashers on, following equipment at night and ensuring everyone – and every piece of equipment – makes it home safely.
We salute you, harvest’s unsung heroes, for working the odd jobs that no one sees but everyone needs.
Keep trucking towards a safe and bountiful harvest 2018.
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Unique Training Tool

Harvest Land’s Risk Management Department has a new training tool for employee training, as well as first responders and emergency agencies within our trade territory.

It was built from an anhydrous ammonia nurse wagon tank that was taken out of service due to a defect. We had two inspection windows cut into the side of the tank so trainees can see and understand the mechanics of an anhydrous ammonia nurse wagon.

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The Lynn Ag Center Shop Crew, headed by Mike Whitney, sand blasted, painted, plumbed and mounted the tank for demonstrations. In the first week the tank was used at a County Emergency Management training function in Greenfield, IN.

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We’d like to thank employees Bill Davenport, Adam Culy, Mike Kress and the other employees who spent many hours making this training equipment look professional.

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Pictured from left to right: Mike Kress, Jake Bottoms, Mike Whitney, Brian Stump and Chandler Grogan

You can check out this educational display at our 2019 Winter Innovation Forum to be held in Richmond on Wednesday, February 20!

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The Big Reveal: Fall Application

Harvest 2018 is rapidly approaching and it’s almost time to reveal the results of what we’ve been working toward all season long.

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The season is coming to an end, so now is the time to prepare for next years crop.  With great success comes great stress.  In high yielding fields, make sure you return those nutrients removed back to the soil.

Fall is the time to replace what was lost with a strong fertility plan by taking advantage weather and time restraints.  Not to mention less risk for compaction!

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Talk to your local ag center or YieldPro Specialist to get ahead this harvest season.

 

 

Find the Helpers: Lynn, Indiana

As this entry is being written, the country awaits news on the arrival of Hurricane Florence entering the United States and pounding the east coast in unprecedented ways. From states away, we watch the news coverage to see residents evacuating the area and others staying in their homes, preparing for the unimaginable.

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Coverage has included communities coming together to help one another before the worse even arrives. We’ve seen families, teams, and towns boarding windows and doors, delivering supplies, filling sand bags and beyond.

That is the positive side of disaster or hard times: Finding the helpers:

Harvest Land recently acted as helpers, in our own back yard:

On Friday, September 7,  Lynn, Indiana received heavy rains dumping a couple inches on the rural community in less then an hour. This was followed by a lighter, steady rain that lasted several hours.

At 5:07 PM, an alert went out to Lynn residents asking for help filling sandbags. That call was answered by Randolph Ag Center in Lynn who provided a front end loader and an operator to assist in the efforts.

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Finally, at approximately 9:00 PM Friday night, two dump truck loads of sand – 1,000 bags – had been bagged, stacked and positioned for residents’ use.

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Our hope is certainly that we never need disaster preparation or relief, but if we do, we’ll continue to be a part of taking care of the communities in which we live and work however we’re able as your local, farmer-owned cooperative.

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Dave Naylor helped employees of Randolph Ag .   Derek is a volunteer fireman so he was there automatically and Dave Naylor took the Kubota down to help load sand and move skids loaded with the sandbags.  It initially started on Friday Sept 7 with 40 tons of sand bagged  and with over 10 + inches of rain that fell within Randolph county they bagged another 40 tons of sand and over 1000 sandbags available.  Area businesses including Lynn Lions Club, Diamond K Pizza and Hometown Coffee supplied food to the volunteers.

Winter Warmth: Now Is the Time

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you changed your calendar seven days ago, you should already know: Winter is coming.

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While we’re still hitting the 90-degree mark in Indiana and Ohio, it won’t be long until the autumn chill sets in and harvest is running full speed ahead. Before we get to that point, we want to remind you that now is the perfect time to plan ahead, be prepared and consider a budget payment plan for heating your home, shop and business this winter.

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We take pride in providing propane and fuel oil to heat homes and businesses throughout eastern Indiana and western Ohio. Safety for our customers is our top priority. This is why each of our propane professionals are CETP trained and certified.

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Programs

Automatic Fill – This program takes the worry of running out of product off of your mind. Harvest Land will keep track of the product level in your tank for you.

Budget – This program allows you to make monthly payments on the product you use.
Guaranteed Price, Prepay and Budget Programs available to suit your needs. Contact us to learn more!

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They say when you’re dying of thirst it is far too late to think about digging a well – the same can be said for heating your home!

Contact Harvest Land today to get your family taken care of before Old Man Winter shows up at your doorstep.

 

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