Are Your Midseason Fertility Practices Making You Money?
5 Jul 2231 min 28 sec

A few years ago we didn’t do much in way of fertility applications during the middle part of the growing season. That all changed for Iowa farmer Kelly Garrett after he experienced a 9 bushel yield bump on soybeans after he foliar-applied nutrition products mid season. Now mid season nutrition applications are standard practice for Kelly who’s experienced a 3 fold return on his fertility investment. Tommy Roach of Nachurs joins Kelly to explain the agronomics of higher yields through mid season fertilization.

Presented by Advanced Drainage Systems

00:00 You know you get to a certain point and you know, maybe depending on where you are geographically and climatologically maybe 00:06 it's June. Maybe it's July. You're like hey, you know what things are pretty good. I'm not gonna spend any more money on this crop crop looks fine to me. I just drove by it. Well, that's where 00:15 you might be making a mistake because during this time you could be leaving bushels on the table and money on the table by not taking care of mid season fertility. Welcome 00:24 to extreme eggs cutting the curved podcast where you get a guaranteed return on investment of your time as we cut your 00:33 learning curve with the information, you can apply to your farming operation immediately extreme egg. 00:39 We've already made the mistakes so you don't have to managing your Farms Water Resources is a critical component to a successful and 00:48 sustainable farming operation Advanced Drainage Systems helps Farmers, just like you increase their yields up to 30% with their 00:57 technologically advanced Water Management. Products visit ads to see how they can keep your business flowing. 01:06 Now, here's your host Damien Mason well greetings and welcome to extreme acts cutting the curve. We got a great topic for you today, and it's very timely and in fact, it's 01:15 going to help you make money in your farming operation. We're talking about mid-season fertility Kelly here your Atlantic cattle 01:21 area in Iowa. One of the original Founders are extreme egg is joining us talk about his practices and we're joined by Tommy roach the VP of product development and 01:30 Technical Services for Natures when we talk about why we do this what sometimes is overlooked and 01:36 more importantly what you should be doing moving forward, Tommy. What do people get wrong when it comes to midseason fertility. 01:43 They don't take take advantage of the already. Passes that they're going across the field and the need to add fertility. 01:55 You're already you're already doing a basic task. of whether it's herbicide fungicide Insecticide on different crops or even side 02:07 dress and they don't take advantage of putting fertility in the tank mix. Okay, you know 02:13 you just said so you don't take advantage of it you said side dressing. So we're talking about that's what the exact purpose of side dressing is to be putting nitrogen in the soil. So how can you say you're 02:22 not putting nutrients in when you're out there side dressing it's exactly what you're doing. Right something other than nitrogen. Oh ways 02:28 to make nitrogen more efficient than just putting on more pounds of nitro. Okay. So in the old days cheap, we just do more pounds 02:37 at it. Now you're saying You need to put sulfur you need to put potassium you need to put humex. 02:45 boron Kelly Garrett, what do you do now? You maybe didn't do five years ago or 10 years ago. You think still some operators are 02:55 not doing and they should when it comes to mid-season fertility. There they're not doing any you know, 03:02 it gets to be I remember as a young farmer. This is a time of year where you thought so support time of year. Your line 03:08 of credit is getting full especially in today's inflation area economics that we're at, you know, 03:14 and you you really don't want to spend any more money. I really think that in in general the American farmers poor raising 03:23 soybeans when we started with extreme AG, I got to know Tommy trust him have a relationship. I Tommy was the first person I went to to put 03:32 a foliar application on my soybeans and now we don't go across the field without something in there, 03:41 but it isn't just a general practice. You know, we're gonna take a tissue sample see what we're lacking and then build the program around that 03:50 Okay. So you said you said a lot of stuff right there? You think the most Farm operations are not doing mid-season fertility. And again, you might be talking June 03:59 July depending on where you are, but roughly in that time frame. Because they can't afford it or because they don't think it's necessary. They 04:05 don't see the return. It's all I think it's about money. It is a financial decision, but it isn't that 04:11 they can't afford it. They I think a lot of times and this is the value of extreme egg. I think a lot of times a grower thinks that 04:20 somebody at the co-op, you know, a guy in Tommy's position says Nature's on his shirt. They're just trying to sell them something is it really gonna work at extreme 04:29 egg? We're trying those products and Reporting what works and does it doesn't work and we're doing those practices on our own 04:35 Farm first year with with extreme AG 2020. It was the year of the soybean foliar to me and Tommy made us a 04:44 program and it it added nine bushel, and that was in nine dollar and 60 Cent beans. And it was like it was about a $60 04:57 Roi because I think about a $25 cost. You know, I can't remember back numbers right now. But we added we added 05:06 nine bushel with our foliar and we added $60 an acre. You know how many times I've hoped to make a hundred dollars an acre and the mid season fertility made US 60. Yeah. So you 05:15 do you did something. You had not done previous to that and you went out there and put a fuller treatment of 05:25 Very fertilizer and yes it cost you about 25 bucks made jail pushing almost 90 over 85 dollars or so you made 60 bucks 05:34 on that. What was the potion? What do they do Tommy? Well at the time when when we did his first all your being application. 05:45 You when you get to our stage on beans. You still got a long way to go as far as nutrient uptake like it roughly 70% to 05:54 go and that's across the board mpk. as micros So you're fixed at that time. You're fixing to hit a sharp incline 06:07 on potassium. phosphorus sulfur and then about R3 if you're growing more than 70 bushel beans. 06:20 That plant is not going to be able to keep up nitrogen. Even though it's a legume. It's supposed to be producing its own nitrogen. It can't keep up. 06:29 So you're gonna have to add. More nitrogen to the system if you if you want to hope to get you know, 80 or 06:37 something above that did anybody ever think you need to put nitrogen on soybeans five years ago 10 years ago? No, they didn't they didn't think you needed 06:46 anything but the leftover fertilizer from last year's corn crop. Right, right. Okay. So, how are we putting this on? We're always we're spraying 06:55 over the top when it comes to soybeans. That's it. Right, correct. Generally speaking you get you get another Parts they 07:01 could be You could why drop and some environments down 30 inch beans you could wide drop before they start covering 07:11 rows but in general, yeah, it's it's Folger apply. What do you what's what's your what's your midseason practice? You know, we talk a lot Kelly about 07:21 I experimented. I did the trial and now it's standard practice what standard practice look like for you for mid-season for soybean fertility 07:30 and soybeans. So, you know, we're going out the chemical right now. Going to be a stress mitigation product in there. There's going to be a pgr in 07:39 there. There's probably going to be some potassium acetate in there this time of the year last year, we built these great beans and then 07:48 we went to podfill and we couldn't support the branch has been support the fruit. They broke off some you know, we feel that that's a calcium shortage. 07:57 There's calcium in there this year to try to to try to fix that problem. You know, when you you kind of shore up one area and you're making more beans 08:06 making more yield within the plant can't support itself. So then you got to support the plant and it's a learning process we have 08:13 we've changed a lot this year, you know, the we're talking midseason. I mean last year Kevin showed a 08:19 very late application. Okay gave him a big return and we're gonna say some of our our potassium acetate and put on 08:28 very late in the year. And you know, the I'm I'm quite excited about this year. You know this year. I've got a soybean after soybean. 08:36 Field that Tommy made a concoction for us and it's in the two by two, you know, we'll be springing those beans calcium will be going on them. They look terrific when Tom 08:45 is here tomorrow. We'll look at them. But we're learning and changing all the time because this is evolving. There's we've 08:51 only scratched the surface on what's possible. Got it. Is that true? Tommy? We've only scratched the servers almost possible. But Kelly is said there's repeatedly 09:00 in different recordings that we aren't really very good at soybean production and every year we grow a couple bushels more than 09:06 we did the year prior. What how is it that we're not good at it? Another thing people's paid any attention to it 09:14 again. It's it was a crop to get to next year's corn. Mm-hmm. That's that's the way I see it. But I think people 09:23 are finally realizing that geesh we make more money. If you take care of a bean crop and you can't corn crop. Mm-hmm. It's a little bit more challenging because I 09:32 have been being plants kind of like a cat. It has its own mind and it it's gonna do what it wants to do. You just got to kind of keep out 09:41 in front of it talk about what stuff we're putting out there you get cool names stuff because you're a Texas A&M fan 09:50 or in Texas Tech. It's one of them right? It's must be Texas Tech. Thank you. Always Texas Tech early. 10:01 I see I was I always get confused. I always get confused because now I should remember because you name your products you give them cool sporting names oftentimes related 10:10 to football. You've got Finish Line. You've got triple option you get all that stuff. And then since you are Texas Tech Raider, you don't have a product yet 10:19 named no not going to a bowl game or from but I think that those are coming anyway. What what is triple option? What is that? What is that 10:30 product? So you stumped me here second. So triple option balance nutrition. for 13 17 one sulfur 10:43 if you go back to the Old 3 18 days. Oh, it was one of the first low salt Ortho phosphates made it along with 9189. Those 10:55 were two of the first that was ever made back in the 50s. so triple option is an off-take of 11:03 three to eighteen except it has sulfur and it has potassium masks. All right by killing mentioned and and we're using something like this over the 11:12 top and we can use it for soybeans and you've talked a lot about the sulfur and all that thing. What does it do for corn? 11:21 It's still a balanced nutrition package needs to go in the tank mix especially early. 11:27 Of you know when you're doing when you deal with corn you have a much greater nutrient 11:33 demand early versus later soybeans just the opposite. You have a much greater nutrient demand later. 11:41 versus earlier so it can the good thing about triple option. It's balanced nutrition. Now. It can't 11:50 it cannot go in the 240 tank tank mix on soybeans early because it is not approved. because the ammonium component 12:05 but as far as any other chemistry anything else that makes us fine. Kelly gear experimental stuff you're trying 12:14 something new every year every season. What are you doing with mid-season fertility on any of your crops this year? That's new or different 12:23 as a trial or as an experiment. The calcium the amount of calcium we're putting on is new the amount of zinc we're putting on is new moving the 12:32 potassium acetate later, which you know that I don't know that that's mid-season but moving it out of mid-season to later like Tommy talks 12:42 about the soybeans have a good a big draw later. Those were the timing is key. And 12:48 one thing I think that is of no Some Growers when I hear them talk they're staying well when you're only putting on. 12:56 A gallon of potassium acetate, you know potassium acetate is an 0024. So Tommy correct 13:02 me if I'm wrong, but 10 gallons of potassium acetates 24 pounds of kick, right? 13:08 2.56 times 10 so that 25? Yeah, exactly. So so 10 gallons of potassium acetate is 25 pounds of case so only putting on a gallon 13:20 It's only two and a half pounds of K. I've heard some people say that's you know, you're not really accomplishing 13:26 anything. But you're putting that on the plant. It makes the plant healthy and hungry it triggers the 13:32 plant with photosynthesis and exudates going into the soil and it brings more. It isn't just about what you're putting on the plant. It's what you're signaling the 13:41 plant to do that is a huge gain as well. Probably a bigger game than just a product you're putting on and it it's a 13:50 tremendous tremendous fertility program it you you don't want to change your pre. You don't want to totally exit your preseason program, 13:59 but adding amid season program not even increasing your budget but kind of splitting it up. I believe you'll see a bigger Roi at 14:08 the end. I know we have How many times you going over this crop? Let's go back to soybeans. So we planted we planted them and 14:16 we did our thing there and and then is there something that happens in the first two to three weeks or is this really just is mid-season really where all the stuff has to 14:25 happen? So last year trying different things some of them we went over four and five times this year. We're trying quality that 14:33 and we we didn't plan to continue to necessarily do that. But we were seeing so, you know this year obviously you've planted them and you've got your pre chemical 14:42 out so you planted them and now we've started our post chemical application of some and we're doing a little bit amid season fertility at our one 14:51 will come back with a pgr and our Fungicide and there will be some fertility in there. Just depending on what the tissue 15:00 show and then we probably won't come back until very late our 4.5. even into R5 with this potassium acetate as 15:11 Kevin did last year to see if we can make that gain and you know, just show, you know, you know Kevin's idea is 15:19 There's only two times in a soybeans life when he really feels that he can manipulate yield. How many paws are gonna put on how big are the soybeans going 15:28 to be in the pot? And that late season potassium acetate application. He feel that he 15:34 really manipulated and and really filled out the pods to Great degree. I saw the beans were there for Daniel's wedding. There is the biggest soybeans I've ever seen. I mean from the 15:43 size of a seed perspective. And that treatment was done and we'll talk about midseason. That's really more. But you ask how many times I'm gonna 15:51 go across them. Yeah, three three you're over three times and and they roughly are. 15:58 Four weeks into the after planning and eight weeks and 12 weeks really, right. Yeah. 16:04 So that would be that would be fairly accurate. Yeah, so all right by the four by the 16:10 second treatment Are you even putting herbicide in there because the beans are already located. So it's only fertility. 16:17 Yes, the final hopefully the final herbicide passes going on right now. I don't know he's worked that way but that's the idea. The next two passes will 16:26 be fertility fertility fungicide things like that. stress mitigation Yeah, so that's the thing. So what we're talking about. 16:35 Is that your your second two passes are only fertility. That's it fertility fungicide stress mitigation. Yeah, right, 16:44 right. Okay and okay. Okay. My favorite question for compatibility Tommy. You can take this one. Yeah, we always like to make sure that the people are listening 16:53 to this say almost aren't doing that. Is there any compatibility issues you said? There's one thing you can't do you can't use triple option in a mix 17:02 with two four D. And you said about doing that means but I thought 240 killed broadly. So we're not using two four derivatives on soybeans. Anyway, are we 17:10 Well, you've got you've got all the whether it's in list beans or extend beans now, right? So you have different trait beans. 17:19 And so and those would only be really come into play right? We're depending on what state you're in. 17:29 The time the times already passed that you can actually use two four D or dicamba on on traded crops, 17:38 right good after a certain point we get to where they have volatility issue and it picks up and blows into the neighbor's woods and 17:44 kills the trees that we're talking about. That's correct. All right midseason fertility. 17:50 Corn we talked about soybeans. Let's move on. I think we've done enough Justice for soybeans corn. What do I need to know? What am I not doing? What is what 17:59 is the guy down the road not doing they should be doing to get more bushels of corn midseason a lot of the same. 18:05 a lot of the same practices, you know you're Building a bigger better stock setting that stage, you know signaling that 18:15 plant to become I like to call it healthy and hungry all of that all of the same stuff. We just talked about in soybeans really. Mm-hmm. What's what's what's not being 18:25 done in the countryside on midseason corn fertility practices, Tommy. 18:31 Well, I run into a lot of people that would still equate. foliar nutrition to snake oil 18:39 and that's that that's kind of unfair. Yeah, there's people out there that 18:47 if they misrepresent what something and can do or is intended to do. 18:54 then I'll get slumped into snakehold, but you know things like things like Finish Line 19:02 that's that should be and we've always said that should be in every tank mix 19:09 herbicide tank mix it doesn't matter what crop and he's going ever herbicide tank because if you're if you're using Insecticide Fungicide herbicide plants 19:18 got to be able to metabolize. That chemistry and plants gonna shut down, you know anywhere from two to three days 19:27 trying to figure out what just hit me. well by you adding in herbicide and adding in nutrition into the tank mix especially potassium 19:37 acetate nutrition. And that's a whole nother topic. The plant is able to 19:46 metabolize it quicker and get back to running sooner rather than later. and what potassium I state is that what's it is Ella 19:55 Finish Line is mostly okay. All right. So Finish Line eight four six, some of that six is potassium. So what we're talking about 20:06 here is that you say that we're going over a crop midseason and we've got we're worried about weeds 20:12 and we're doing other stuff, but we're not putting enough nutrition in there and by not putting the nutrition in there. The plant actually is not able to 20:18 benefit off of other stuff. That's in that tank. Correct. Okay. 20:24 what's what's a midseason practice that you do now for corn that you did not do 10 years ago Kelly putting any 20:30 nutrition in you know, that was 10 years ago, it was unheard of that you would do something like that you put in starter. I put in starter for fertilizer that you 20:39 went out at certain point and put nitrogen side dress next year ago. We didn't even starter for life. 20:45 Really, you know we yeah 10 years ago. We didn't put in starter fertilizer. There was no two by two there was no foliar. You're putting on your dry blend 20:54 and putting on your end. Hi Chris and here we go. You know and and then I look at you know, when I started farming in 1998, if one 21:04 field made 150 you're pretty excited. And now if my whole on-farm average isn't 2:30. I'm kind of disappointed and it's advancements and 21:13 practices like these that we have added that have driven that you know, probably 100 bushel gain in this 21:19 my 25th crop and we've gained well for bushel year. Right 130, you know 130 25 years ago was probably an on-farm average, you know, if you're 21:30 excited about one field at 150 and now you expect 230, right so and and obviously the the ground you're doing 21:39 certain stuff to make the ground better. But really you're talking about your your spoon feeding the the crop 21:45 because of one big dose, you know with some sort of spring. Yes treatment. It's all how many times you go over corn. 21:55 We you know that the post corn application should get done tomorrow and then in our Hills 22:01 so for listener right now, we are recording this on June 20th. Just so you know when he says the corn is going to go over tomorrow. This 22:07 will be the second fast. Yes, this will be the second pass on Corner. Oh, we and we won't we will why 22:15 drop some corn but in our Hills there's too much iron blight. So the what happens in most of our corn will be the airplane will 22:24 fly on the fungicide in nutrition at VT. Okay, you know what ironblite is Damien means that you drove over the you drove over the crop with a piece of Machinery there? 22:34 Thank you. I want to know which I like it. I like it when people think that I don't know anything about agriculture, you know, the only thing I've gotten wrong so far in this episode is that I 22:44 mistakenly called Tommy and Texas A&M alumni and I mistakenly insult him. When I did that even though I actually knew that he's a Texas Tech 22:53 through and through kind of a guy and that's why I did that those kind of only you live in Indiana where it's flat and the land of milk and honey, and I didn't know there's no iron white there because 23:02 there's no Hills. That's all I was asking. Yeah, Tommy other crops, you know, we got people listen to this 23:09 that obviously we grow 90 million acres of corn and 90 million Acres of soybeans whatever but we got people another other stuff. You got extreme AG people like miles. It 23:18 uses your stuff and he's got rice. He's got cotton. He's got you know, we do other stuff. We're we're 23:24 doing mid season fertility on not corn on soybeans. What do we need to know about that? Well, you look at that cotton in 23:33 particular and just like just like corn is you can't feed give enough potassium the cotton plant and 23:42 once it starts, once you start squaring you ought to be putting say a gallon of potassium acetate every 23:51 five to seven days for three or four times. Once you get into into flowering full bloom Matt miles told me that cotton is a plant that looks for a 24:03 way to die every day of its existence. So is that true? That is true. Once you open the bag that time is the clock is ticking. 24:12 And that's not good. All right. Hey, let's talk about dollars and cents. I would like to bring it back to money. Kelly likes to make money. I like to make money Tommy you like to make money. 24:21 How much are my spending if I do everything right by you with my mid season fertility and maybe I'm using Nature's products. Maybe I've using 24:30 somebody else's products. The main thing is no matter who's I'm using how much am I spending on midseason fertility treatment? So historically 24:38 We would always use. Five dollar an acre as as a Target guy wasn't going to use it if it costs more five dollars an acre. 24:48 Course was inflation. Maybe that's you know, six seven eight dollars today, right? But still you can you can use a 24:57 you know, Finish Line that way under you know, what about six bucks an acre? Is that what we're talking and and then like a gallon 25:06 of K fuel, which is oh 24 potassium acetate. It's like six seven dollars. So if you look at the cost of liquid. 25:17 Ortho phosphates today were potassium acetate today Compare that to what map KCl some of your other fertilizers have 25:28 done in the last, you know, six months liquid has not gone up near as much as what dry. 25:36 Commodity type fertilizers have so it's still very economical. All right. So you used a comparison before Kelly. You told me that the first time 25:45 you did something and you said I think it was five years ago when you said you got nine bushel of you know, those two years 25:51 ago was 2020. You got a nine bushel bonus and they were nine dollars 50 Cent beans back. Then. I'm sure worth a lot more than that today. And you said your cost 26:01 of the practice was about 25 dollars. That was on soybean crop. So this year on midseason fertility talk about 26:10 these products were here, you know any others how much are you gonna spend in months of June and July or even 26:16 early August on your soybean fertility mid-season? It will probably get up towards forty dollars with everything. That's the product is 26:27 that also advertising the equipment and time? No, that would be facility plant growth Regulators stress mitigation. 26:37 Fungicide maybe not fungicide fungicide probably add some more to that fertility stress mitigation and plant growth. Regulators will be 35 40 dollars. 26:46 Okay, and then through another almost up to 10 for fungicide. Or yeah, 10 or 13 probably. Okay. All 26:54 right. So 40 bucks. We have 15 Dollar soybeans. So if you don't do all this you don't spend the 40 bucks. If you do it all 27:03 and you get three more bushels, you you pay for the play with regular this dress mitigation and the mid season fertility. 27:11 Yeah, three bushel will pay for everything we're doing and I expect more like 15 or 20 to be 27:17 honest with you. Okay, so it's you know, 20 bushels just 15 bucks $300 and it costs you about 30 or so. You said maybe up to 40 to do it corn? 27:27 Money, it will be right in that neighborhood. It'll be the same money. Okay, roughly 40 bucks a standard. Yeah, you know 27:35 40, you know the fungicide on the corner. We've got to fly that you got a yeah, I would say 40, you know 40 when you add the fungicide in 27:43 you're talking 45 50 dollars, you know, that's gonna be you know, seven dollar corn you're talking seven bushel, and I would expect it to return more 27:53 like 25 or 30 bushel of corner when it comes in mid season fertility. You didn't even do it didn't even do it 10 years ago, you know you you went out and all 28:02 you spray it you want to cross the crop with your sprayer, but it was just to put out spray herbicide, right or maybe 28:08 fungicide. Yeah. Yes it is. We did nothing like this 10 years ago. This has been one of the educational things biggest educational thing that extreme egg 28:17 has brought me. Yeah, you know, we returning to Tommy snake oil comment. There are some companies out there that will tell you to totally do 28:26 away with your dry program or your preseason program and they're their product will redo replace 28:32 it all for 60% of the cost and that's simply not true. And and that's what gives companies like Tommy's. 28:40 A bad name, you know Tom Natures doesn't promote that Nature's talks about that their practices their applications their products are 28:49 a great supplement and there's a great Roi that can be put on top of that. I would tell you that the money I spend I considered a 28:58 success that there's a three to one return if there's not a three to one return then we need to be I think you're the margin has to be that otherwise it's 29:07 not successful and why and what we just said there, you know, you you call it 40 dollars a per acre of treatment and that's not even just the 29:16 mid season fertility. That's also playing with very stress mitigation. That's only that's all in money. Yeah. So I mean just on 29:22 there for fertility, it might be 25 bucks. And so you need to make 75 dollars. Well, you know, that's 10 more bushes of corn and you say there's no question. It is responsible for 29:31 giving you that 10 bushels of corn. I I feel that way. Yes with the trials and the research we've done that's good. We'll 29:39 talk about mid season fertility. If you want to learn more about this, where do we find more information about your products Natures 29:45 right? Thank you. In ACH Yes, it is. Not in a in a t u r e s it is don't ask 29:56 me how it came about Nach. I think they had a person from Texas Tech English Department. Probably did dispelling is all I could come up with, you know, really 30:05 go to If you want to learn more about what we're doing here, you know, there's over a hundred of these podcasts that we've done. There's also videos that 30:14 these guys are shooting. There's our trials there are trial results all that can be found extreme AG dot Farm 30:20 you please go and look at all the stuff it's free and more importantly share this with your farming friends, you know cutting the curve was recently named one 30:29 of the 10 best farming podcast. So you're listening to something that I was yes value for you and we strive to do that and make that happen. If you 30:38 want us to cover a topic go ahead and send us a line. You can find our contact information at the extreme AG dot Farm website, and we will keep covering topics that 30:47 are relevant to You and more importantly help you thrive in your business until next time. That's Kelly Garrett from area in Iowa. That's Tommy 30:53 roach from Nature's. I'm Damian Mason. Thank you for being here on cutting the curb. That's a wrap for this episode of cutting the curve, but there's plenty more check out 31:02 extremead dot Farm where you can find past episodes instructional videos and articles to help you squeeze more profit out of your 31:11 farm cutting. The curve is brought to you by Advanced Drainage Systems the leader in agriculture Water Management Solutions.

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