Insights and Lessons Learned From 25 Years of Using Plant Growth Regulators
30 Nov 2335 min 21 sec

Lee Lubbers and his brother Terry surveyed their wheat in 1998 and determined they needed stronger plants to prevent lodging. Their search for a solution took them to the specialty crop arena where they discovered plant growth regulators. At the time, PGR’s weren’t commonly used in broad acre Ag outside of cotton. Even today, applying plant hormones to crops isn’t a widespread practice. Lee and Stoller’s Dale Hanke discuss Lee’s quarter century journey with applied plant hormones. Lee shares what he’s learned, and how he’s making bigger yields via PGR’s, even after a hailstorm nearly annihilated his soybeans!

Presented by Advanced Drainage Systems

Listen Here:

00:00 What 25 years of plant growth regulator usage has taught Lee Luber. 00:05 That's what we're talking about in this episode of Extreme Ag Cutting the curve. Welcome to extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast, 00:15 where you get a guaranteed return on investment of your time as we cut your learning curve with the information you can apply to your farming operation 00:24 immediately. Extreme ag, we've already made the mistakes so you don't have to. Managing your farm's water resources is a critical component to a successful and 00:35 sustainable farming operation. Advanced drainage systems helps farmers just like you increase their yields up to 30% with their technologically advanced water management products. 00:47 Visit ad s to see how they can keep your business flowing. Now, here's your host, Damien Mason. Hey there. 00:56 Welcome to another fantastic episode of extreme Ag Cutting the Curve. I've got Lee Luber and I've got Dale Hanky, Lee Luber, uh, 01:02 of Extreme Ag Gregory South Dakota Fame, and Dale Hanky, who is with Stole, uh, 01:09 what we're talking about before hit record button was most people are still really new on this journey of using PGRs and it's a hormone, 01:18 and we're gonna explain what they are, and we're also gonna explain how to use 'em and how Lee has learned to use them. 25 years ago you had a problem and you said, 01:27 I think the answer might be like putting some hormones on my plants. It was a pretty out there idea. Hell kind of an out there idea now, 01:34 but it was very out there back then. Dale says, no, we've been using plant growth regulators and hormones and cotton for 50 years, but not in Gregory, South Dakota where there's no cotton and not on broad crop, 01:44 soybean, wheat, corn. So kind of take me back 25 years ago and tell me what went on in your head that made you decide to do this. 01:52 Uh, we were looking at ways we could try to push wheat yield and uh, I was doing a lot of reading. This is pre-internet days. 02:00 This goes way back and doing a lot of research and reading and again, yeah, seeing, you know, in cotton they were using growth regulators, 02:09 they helped manage growth. We're, we were trying to accomplish that too because we did not get, want our wheat to lodge as we're pushing for yield, you know, 02:18 as we're getting a healthier plant. So we started looking at that, reading a lot of articles. And then also in the horticultural world, 02:26 PGRs have been, that's common practice, but you were not seeing it much in regular grain production in corn, beans or wheat. And we were kind of mystified by that, my brother and I. 02:38 So we just started doing a lot of research and we got hooked up with a company outta California as they were getting into, uh, 02:47 more into grain crops, and they were big in fruits and vegetables and transitioning over into products for, uh, regular grain production. And, uh, we 02:59 Started working with them two years ago. I, uh, was at the, uh, farm Progress Show. Chad Henderson and I were doing some taping, and he said, 03:07 you know, if I want to do something that's cutting edge for corn, soybean wheat production, I look at what's happening in the specialty crops. 03:14 Is that kind of the deal here, Dale? That wasn't anything new to California, especially crop people where Lee or you know, where Lee went and found this stuff. 03:23 You said cotton people have been using this for a long time. I just learned what APGR was two and a half years ago when I joined forces with 03:29 extreme ag. So it may not be new to the cotton people, it may not be new to the especially crop people in California. It's pretty new to me still. So take me, gimme a little history, 03:37 a brief history if you'll, Yeah. So, um, there's, it's a wide ranging category of PGRs, plant growth promoters. 03:45 Bio biologicals still really works in that PGR space or plant growth promoter space, mainly off hormone balance in crops. 03:53 So we're seeing more and more row crop folks at corn and soybeans, especially looking and, and we looking at what options they have in this, 04:02 this area with, with bioTE that's, and pgs even looking at making additional applications throughout the season, you know, typically you get, 04:09 you got an opportunity to get something in at planting, maybe something with your early herbicide pass than later in the season with the fungicide pass. But we're seeing more and more growers this year, 04:18 especially looking at, hey, we're, we're looking at making more applications throughout the season because they see that the, there's yield out there, 04:25 there's yield potential out there in the crop that they're missing out on. So I, I get it that solar's been around and doing this for a while, 04:32 and you said that there's bio stimulant, biologicals, plant growth, regular plant growth, promotants, et cetera, et cetera. But you said, okay, 04:40 we're using this 50 years ago. It's still not, it's still not like they're being used on every acre of corn, soy, or wheat right now. 04:48 No. It's still something that, I mean, really the untreated acre is, is what we look at. 04:53 There's a lot of growers that haven't really adopted this because they, you know, everybody knows you have to manage nutrition, 04:59 you have to manage any sort of weeded insect or disease pests. But there's another pest out there that, 05:04 that growers are really having to look at, especially over the last couple years here. And that's weather related stress. Anything that stresses that crop is gonna reduce yield, 05:13 just like weed competition, disease competition's going to. So there's some more solutions out there for growers to look at. The, 05:19 the challenge is there are thousands of solutions out there. So, um, so we all have to break it down and, 05:24 and Lee's done a great job over the years of really studying what a crop needs and, and basically looking at the hormone balance in a plant and, 05:32 and understanding what needs to be used at the right time. Lee, 05:36 you said that you and your brother looked around 25 years ago and it was about wheat lodging, wheat falling down, and that was the reason that, I mean, the, 05:44 the impetus that made you, like you said, pre-internet, you picked up some magazine articles, went to the library, whatever you had to do, phone a friend, 05:52 the number one issue was because the wheat was falling down. Is that the, the reason? 05:57 Yeah, we were trying to regulate growth and then that's when we started realizing, you know, you know, we'd heard the term PGR, so we go, well, 06:06 that's just gonna make things grow faster. Well, there's growth regulators, there's promoters, uh, like Dale said, there's, uh, uh, 06:16 it all comes down to hormonal balances is what you're striving for. And the more we got into it, 06:23 the more we were fascinated by it and our initial steps, uh, were successful. 06:28 And then we started to realize that we could actually use PG with our herbicide pass and really help set the stage for what we're trying to achieve 06:38 in the plant. And that's, that's been a big impact on us, is getting that mindset of what we're trying to accomplish with them. 06:48 So what you were trying to accomplish there was truly regulating the growth, but it, it was to keep it short. I mean, you still, you still need a big head. 06:55 You still need a big yield. So what thing did it do? I mean, the first year you, you obviously were hooked, you stayed with it. 07:02 What did it do that you were, that after that first year you said, holy crap, we're onto something. 07:08 Uh, we had, uh, thicker stems and our nodes were thick, were thicker, larger around, so we stood better so we could push more fertility to it. 07:18 And that was, that was a big plus for us. Okay. Dale, does that sound like a standard, um, a standard response? Uh, my first couple years, here's where I discovered thicker stem, uh, 07:30 push more fertility to it. Great yield. I mean, what's, what's the usual response when you say, man, I didn't even know about these sort of hormones and the hormone balance and now 07:39 I'm sold on it. What's the usual response? Yeah, hormone balance drives everything, but I think a lot of people understand that, hey, if I build a stronger plant, 07:45 better root system, stronger stem, stronger stock, I'm gonna be able to get higher yields at the end of the season. That's the su that's the surface level. And we dive into the, 07:54 the hormone balance, because that's what drives everything in a plant. Just like in humans, when you get stressed, the blood pressure goes up, 08:01 your cortisol levels go up in your body in plants, there's a hormonal way that the, the plant responds to that. And then once you learn how to help the plant manage that, 08:10 that's where you get wheat. That doesn't lodge as easily. You get soybeans with the right branching and internode spacing, 08:17 you get corn that doesn't have as much tip back on the ear of corn. All those things are a result of a hormonal balance or imbalance in 08:25 the plant. And so all we're doing is helping the plant manage that. How do you use bring wheat to today, Lee? 08:34 It's not just with your wheat. What are you doing now? Uh, our initial success with wheat, we were, uh, uh, looking at, Hey, let's start bringing it into other crops. So we did, uh, 08:47 20 years ago we were doing trials on corn where we kept cutting the corn plants off when they were about three to four foot tall. 08:54 One thing we noticed is the xylem, that's the what, through the center of the plant that feeds the plant. Water, nutrition, everything is going up through the plant. 09:04 They would be untreated the size of my small finger where we treated it size of my thumb. We increased the xylem feeding up into the plant, uh, 09:15 astronomically huge, uh, impact there. We had, uh, again, a little bit thicker rind on the corn plant. We had better standability. Uh, 09:25 one thing that took us gears to figure out is, uh, ear drop is something that farmers can complain about at times, and there is where hybrids are a factor, 09:37 certain hybrids are more prone to that. There is one common denominator, and this took us years that we figured out and backed it up with research that 09:45 we read. One common denominator with airdrop on corn cytokine and deficiency. A hormone deficiency. Correct. Common denominator a hundred percent of the time. 09:57 Okay. I met Dale in Alabama at Chad Henderson's place, and they, you know, takes me out. It wasn't blazing hot, it was May, 10:05 so it was only hot enough to be a pretty uncomfortable, and then he starts telling me about Cytokinin a little over my head. So by the way, also Xylem took me right back to biology there, 10:17 xylem and flow. And, uh, I'm, I'm all about it. I I appreciate that, Lee. I think in all my recordings with, uh, extreme ag, 10:24 that's a first reference to Xylem increasing the xylem size in a corn plant. I love it. Cytokines, you talked to me about this first time, 10:33 first day I ever met you, Dale, what do, what do I need to know about cytokines? Yeah, so cytokine is one of the five major hormones in plants. And 10:40 I also remember that I also remember you told me there's five major hormones and cytokine. One of is the, is that the most important one? 10:47 Uh, man, it's hard to say which one's the most important. Everybody's gonna argue that one, but it, it, 10:52 some of it's at the time of the season, certain hormones have more importance during different stages of the season. Like relic acid's very important to induce germination, 11:01 but we don't want as much ga later into the season. We want more cytokine in because, um, cytokine is made in root tips. It moves upward. If you don't have a real happy, healthy, active root system, 11:11 you're not gonna get a soybean plant that's gonna branch. You're not gonna get the tillering on the wheat plant that you want. 11:17 But then as we go into the later stages of the season, we talked about there, that's, that's very critical to have cytokine in later into the season. 11:26 And, and like we talked about in Alabama, if the plant is stressed and you don't have a good healthy root system, you're not gonna be making enough cytokine in to help the, 11:36 the reproductive development of that plant. And a lot of times what all, you know, what compounds that you get hot dry weather, 11:42 you're not gonna get moisture pulling up into that plant at like you usually would if you're not on irrigation. So any sine in that, 11:49 that really nice healthy root system is making, or was making is not gonna be, be pulled up in the plant as easily. So it's, it's a step-by-step process. 11:57 You know, that, that larger xylem, it's a thicker pipeline for a wider pipeline for that plant to pull in nutrients and moisture. You've gotta create that early and, and then later in the season, 12:06 keep managing it because if the plant isn't creating enough cytokine on its own, we can supplement for the, for the plant really easily. 12:13 But those physiological things you see in a, in a plant quite often and almost every time, it's usually a result of something that's going on in the hormones in a plant. 12:22 It's not, it, it can be very complex and very deep, but once you understand the five hormones in plants, kind of how they interrelate with each other, 12:30 inter you'll know when you go out to the field, what, what you need to use to fix that. Uh, all right. I want to go then, Lee, 12:39 you have a pretty substantial farming operation. You started out with your first usage of hormones on wheat, and you just told 'em about increasing the xylem size in corn. 12:52 Does a plant growth regulator or a, or a hormone, a plant hormone, does it get put on every acre you farm now 25 years into your journey? 13:02 Uh, yeah, we're putting it on in, in various modes. Uh, it could be seed treatment, it could be, uh, early post herbicide, it could be reproductive. Uh, we're looking at, uh, 13:14 where we can get the most bang for the buck. Again, we're setting the stage throughout the life of the plant to maximize yield, mitigate stress. That's, that's our goal. That's our focus. So we actually, 13:26 that's the great thing about it. You have numerous times you can take a whack at it. Mm-Hmm. The life of a plant. Well, okay, so it goes on every acre in some form or another. 13:37 Some of it's a seed treatment. Some of it's that time of planting. Some of it's during the season. When's the last time, 13:43 since you're the round the basis guy, when's the last time you'll put on a plant hormone? Uh, round, uh, into the home stretch, 13:53 Fungicide pass, Uh, uh, like on, uh, wheat, uh, even we'll go as late. Uh, we've done some experimentation into, uh, early dough, uh, doing some experimenting there. 14:08 Uh, flowering time is common, uh, soybeans, uh, R three, R five, uh, 14:15 when you're really dictating the seed size and the the final stretch, you know, what's gonna give you the big heavy soybeans, those big beans, uh, 14:25 corn, uh, we're dryland West River, South Dakota. We're not in CGA country, but we're getting into tasseling time and, uh, 14:34 and at brown silk now, uh, doing experimenting. The, the more, the longer we go and the more we round the bases, 14:42 the bigger the impact we're seeing. But it wasn't doing that just the late pass. It was setting the stage along the way so we could get to that point. 14:52 By the way, uh, Dale, I don't know if you've been to Lee's, you've never been to Lee's farm. Um, 14:58 the brochures that the speculators used to lure people, like his ancestors out there, uh, he showed it to me, he said, just like Iowa, but cheaper, I think was the, it was like, 15:11 just like Iowa, but cheaper. I'm like, and it kind of is in that it's rural, but then Iowa gets something that they don't get. It's called precipitation, 15:20 and also Iowa's closer to Civiliz. So it's the precipitation and civilization, uh, differentials. But he likes to talk about being West River. 15:29 Until you've been there, you may not fully understand. Am I right, Lee? Until you've been there. It, it's, it's, it's still not quite graspable. 15:38 Yeah. Huge weather swings, temperature, uh, precipitation. That's just the norm. Uh, so we that, 15:45 but that's the one thing we figured out years ago by using PGRs, getting into the plant hormone spectrum, uh, 15:52 we're able to handle those stresses so much better. We're, we're taking it the big this and we're smoothing it out, 16:00 but we're keeping the upward trend. That's the goal. So that's one of the things isn't a plant hor, you know, I guess before we hit record, Dale, you kind of corrected me, which is fine. 16:10 You're the, you're the guy that's the, the scientific guy around here. Um, certainly didn't offend me that to call everything 16:20 a plant growth regulator. We, we lump them in there, but there's a stress mitigation component to a lot of these plant hormones. Like Lee's talking about. He's going from, 16:31 he's going from the ground is just barely unfrozen to when they're planting to where it might be 104 degrees in July. There's a hell of a lot of stress. 16:40 The PGRs he's using have a stress reduction component to 'em. Yes. Yeah. So they off, so it's all about balancing the plant. 16:48 So there are hormones that will kick in when the plant gets stressed. And so some of these products, 16:53 these solutions help to offset that production of those stress hormones. And we can dive in deeper and go into that if you want, but 17:01 I think we should dive in deeper and go into that, uh, we keep it at the, uh, above eighth grade, but below PhD level. 17:09 Okay. Yeah, I can do that. So, so when the plant gets stressed, uh, the mechanism that plant uses to, to deal with that stress is it'll produce, 17:17 uh, what we call stress at levels of ethylene. So ethylene is a plant hormone. It's needed for proper flowering and proper seed development, 17:25 but when you get too high levels of ethylene, it basically makes that that plant, uh, ripen quicker than what we want. And so a lot of times, example, I'll use, 17:35 if you have corn that's in flooded conditions, you'll see it to, to put a tassel on and, and start to try to put an ear on. 17:42 Even that corn plant's only three or four feet tall, same exact thing happens in drought conditions. You'll see that corn plant do the same exact thing. 17:50 So why do you have the same exact response in two totally different situations? 17:56 It's showing you what's going on with the hormone balance in a plant. It's that stress reaction. So a lot of what growers are doing and using these, 18:03 these PGR or P or plant growth promoter type products, they may not realize what they're doing with that, but they're really helping that plant to deal with that production of, 18:13 of ethylene in the plant. Um, ethylene is not always necessarily a bad thing, like in specialty crops, a lot of times they'll use it to, 18:20 to make that plant ripen a lot faster. But, um, but that's the hormone we have to really manage as much as we can, uh, to help that plant get, get through everything it's dealing with. 18:33 Lee, you wanna add anything to the, the farmer perspective? Well, from this farmer's perspective, yes, it's, 18:40 it's about preventing that second and major ethylene spike. Uh, once you're, you go through stressful conditions in your plant internally, uh, 18:50 a a plant needs ethylene. It's, it's part of one of the components. It's needed, but not too much. And, uh, 18:57 it can be from weather stresses and only, and it can be compounded by malnutrition, poor fertility, et cetera, being waterlogged, you name it, various factors, you get an ethylene spike, 19:08 and if it gets to a certain trigger, then what it does, that sets a stage where the plant is gonna do a second spike in a matter of time, uh, that's set after that, 19:19 and that's the one that truly does damage you can't come back from. And that's when, uh, you're gonna get a lot of cell damage, uh, tissue damage, 19:28 uh, that's when you're gonna see major burning on leaves. Uh, a lot of things like that yellowing. 19:34 And your goal is to prevent that really bad second ethylene spike that's gonna happen inside the plant. So if we can mitigate stress and alleviate that, 19:47 we can keep that from happening. We can keep those ethylene levels from getting to dangerous levels because you can't, you can't fix that. It's strictly a preventative mindset. 19:59 Uh, like I said, that's, that's the big hurdle that a lot of people need to, uh, think about in the use of pgs. It's like, uh, 20:09 you're setting the stage for what the plant needs next, uh, the potential threats and potential, uh, boost for yield. 20:17 You're setting the stage, that's what you're trying to do. Uh, you're not spraying it on to kill a weeded, 20:22 you're not spraying it on to prevent a disease. You're trying to set the stage to alleviate the stress. All right. I have a question that either of you can answer, maybe Dale first, 20:34 uh, fungicide. Uh, you know, you guys have taught me if you wait until you see evidence of a fungus problem, um, or, or you know, rust, whatever, 20:46 you've already lost yield so you, it's preventive, right? And then obviously we all know that if you wait until the weeds have already, 20:54 you know, are waste tile, you've already lost yield, they've already taken nutrients. What about PGR usage? In other words, is there a time sensitive or even time critical issue 21:06 with them? Because Lee just described you're preventing this bad day when this plant is at flag stage or flower. You know, he went through all those different things. 21:15 Or can I just put 'em out there and they st they stick around and it tell me about the time sensitivity or even time critical nature of usage of them, Dale. 21:24 Yeah, it's really important to be proactive. You can't really go backwards. I mean, a lot of times we're doing field days and people come out and see these 21:30 wonderful looking beans and say, Hey, what can I do? Well, we can't really go backwards and, and reframe the structure of that plant, 21:36 so we wanna be ahead of the game as far as, as being proactive with, and it doesn't have to be real complex. You can put it in like, like Lee said, 21:44 in furrow or seed treatment. Early foliar pass to herbicide goes right along with what the, the grower is doing now, activity in the plant, typically, 21:52 depending on weather conditions and how much stress there's out there, we're looking at maybe 10 to 14 days of activity in the plant. 21:58 So are there opportunities to spread that out? Yeah, maybe take the full rate of the product and, and you can split it through multiple times throughout the season. 22:07 They do that a lot in the fruit and vegetable crops because they're in drip irrigation. 22:11 They're out there going across the field every week anyways with some sort of a, a pesticide. Um, and corn and soybeans, growers don't wanna do that as much. 22:19 And so, uh, but there are opportunities you can spread your applications out throughout the season to help manage it better. If, if a willing, 22:26 a grower's willing to do that, it takes a little more management, but then it'll pay off in higher yields at the end of the season. 22:33 So, Lee, you can't just do all this. You said you start with that time of planning. There's a, there's a practicality issue. You have a lot of acres to get over. 22:43 You've talked about it's you and very limited amount of, uh, workforce. Um, how do you do it so that you hit your time? Critical, uh, 22:54 dates, or shall I say phase of plant growth without being out there every day? Uh, most things we do, uh, the products, uh, 23:06 they play well with what we're doing. They go right in the tank. And, uh, that's the biggest mistake I have seen over the years, uh, 23:14 with people trying pgs is, uh, they, they put 'em on too late. They, uh, they should have been on sooner. Uh, they, they, uh, they bought 'em and then they, and then they debated about using them, 23:27 and they should have already had it in the, on the field in the plant doing its thing, and then they go put it on late and then wonder why they don't get the results. 23:37 I've seen that as a common theme over and over throughout the years. Yeah. And then they, they do that once or twice and say, ah, 23:44 those people are all full of it. This doesn't, doesn't work. And it's like, no, it would work just fine, but you can't put it out there after the, 23:50 to Dale's point, the, the hormones have to be I balance here, not there. Right. And, and it's, what, what are the mistakes, Dale? 23:58 What other mistakes when it comes to using plant hormones, uh, what do they do wrong? 24:03 I think one of the things too, the one caveat there where you can't be proactive, what if you get a hailstorm? You don't know that that's coming, so you really can't always plan for that. 24:11 But, so we've got some solutions to help. When you get drastic conditions like that that come up. We've had issues with herbicide damage come up more and more lately. 24:19 There's things we can do because basically what's happening in a, in a, any sort of a damaged situation like that, that definitely's spiking. 24:27 So we've got some solutions to help with, with what's going on there. But, um, I think it's, it's a planned approach as, as growers come to the end of harvest, 24:35 start thinking about next year, let's look at our plan, our game plan, when you, you know, rather than just going out across the field, okay, 24:41 what am I gonna do for my nutritional plan? What am I gonna do for my pest management plan? Then the third part of that is, what can I do to, to manage stress for that crop? Because we have to remember, 24:51 if we get thirsty, we can get a glass of water, we get cold, we can turn on the heat hot, we can turn on the air conditioning. 24:56 The plant has to stand there from April to September and deal with every single thing that it's dealing with, right? And, 25:02 and sometimes it's not the drastic things that happen. I mean, a temperature, uh, that's five degrees above. What, 25:08 what's optimal for that plant is gonna cost bushels at the end of the, at the end of the day, you know, at the end of harvest. So 25:14 I wanna talk about bushels, Lee. Uh, you know, we always talk about this as a business. Obviously you're, you're, you're trying to make a living. 25:22 If I did a plot and I used fertilizer and I did another plot and I didn't use fertilizer, I mean, there's all these things. 25:27 If I use herbicide and I use herbicide, can I put two fields across from each other and see a market difference between the one where I used different forms of plant growth 25:39 regulation and one that I did not? I mean, is it, is it night and day? Would I just, 25:43 would I come out there and ride in a combine with you and say like, holy crap, this is done deal, sign me up. 25:49 Well, we've seen, we've seen good results, but again, it's part of our program. It's, uh, this is a tool in our toolbox. 25:58 That's how we utilize pgs. They're a tool in our toolbox. We incorporate 'em in with the other things we're doing to maximize yield. 26:05 So no one thing is the silver bullet for yield, but for us, they work well because we're also setting the stage with a good fertility 26:14 program, disease management, all that's coming into play. Uh, Dale mentioned about, uh, hail damage and soybeans. Uh, 26:22 we had one area this year actually, uh, with about 700 acres of hail damage when they were about B four. And, uh, I recently did a video for XA that will, is editing now, 26:34 and I titled it from, uh, uh, turning Lemons into Lemonade. And I'm standing in the field about a week ago. And this field, 26:43 they looked bad. Uh, they were all chopped up. A couple of the neighbors around us even went and tore theirs out replanted, but nobody else went in with a sprayer. 26:54 We went in with a sprayer with PGS fungicide and foli liter nutrition. And, uh, we're in a drought this year and in that area, uh, uh, we, 27:07 we got about half of 'em cut yesterday before the rain hit, and we're pushing over a 60 bushel average. 27:14 And I can guarantee the guys around us are not coming close to that. Uh, again, it was a, it was being flexible, but yet proactive. 27:22 'cause we knew what they could do for us. So we took lemons and turned it into lemonade, and we gained a lot of bushels by doing that. Uh, we took, uh, 27:32 soybeans with split stems, broken nodes where they actually, they have, they went out and made two main stems and we pushed them and, 27:40 and we actually have a very good bean job, By the way, Dale. I mean, if you're in Gregory, South Dakota, soybeans are as close to lemons as you're gonna get. I mean, let's face it, 27:51 he's, he's talking about lemons, but you don't see such things up there. It's ci Hey, here's a question I got for you. When I was at your farm, 27:59 you talked a lot about every single thing you can do to conserve moisture, because generally you're, after you get past the snow melt, 28:07 it's dry. The neighbors that decided, oh, we're gonna tear out these soybeans and, and replant. Well, already you got time working against you, 28:15 but also you depleted what moisture was already there that, I mean, you, you, 28:21 you salvaged a crop that they thought the best answer was to tear 'em up and replant. 28:25 There's a number of reasons why that was probably a bad idea and moisture being one of them. And length, length of season, right? 28:33 Yeah. On the one field, I was actually spraying, uh, looking across the fence as the neighbors replanting. And, uh, he was probably looking at me a lot funnier than I was looking at him because I 28:46 knew what was in our sprayer and why we were doing it. Yeah, Yeah. Is that, where, is that, where there, I mean, 28:54 granted every acre doesn't get hailed. Is that where there's an opportunity for someone to see the first benefit of it? I mean, it seems like that's, that's kind of a, a pretty glaring one, Dale. 29:04 Yeah, that's a drastic example of it. I, I think, um, Lee touched on something really important there. It's knowing the why, you know, and, and what we like to do, 29:13 ATTO is teach dealers and growers the why behind you use these products. So when you, when you're dealing with something, 29:19 you know why you're putting it out there. There's a lot of claims made by a lot of products out there. And if you know the why, then then you're in control as a grower, 29:27 and you can make those decisions on what that, what that plant needs. And so the why, the, 29:34 the why after the hailstorm is to try and salvage something. What's the other why? Yeah, the person that's listening to this, 29:40 the person that's listening to this that says, all right, I'm gonna do this. You know, 29:44 Lee has taught me from his 25 years of experience why I should do this. How should someone get started? Because I'm, I'm convinced maybe I'm wrong, 29:51 I'm convinced there's a lot of farmers that are not using any plant hormones in their mix. 29:55 Yeah, I think the first thing is really to consider some of these challenges, how much they hurt yield, and the, 30:01 the fact that you actually can do something about it. You know, I mean, we're not gonna be able to save something from an absolute drought or flood or 30:06 that sort of thing. It's not magic dust, but look at what's, what is the challenge that you're trying to, 30:12 to manage before the crop has to deal with it? You know, if you can, if you can prepare the crop before it has to deal with a stress event, 30:19 it's gonna get through it a lot easier. So you, at the beginning of the season, you can look at what you can do. If you've got in furrow on your planter, 30:27 then you can definitely do some things that way. If you don't, there's some things you can do as a seed treatment, 30:32 but it's all about building the architecture and that plant. So yeah, we all know the plant's gonna have stress, 30:38 especially in South Dakota later in the season, the, the faucet's gonna turn off, it's gonna get hot. What can you do to build that plant from the very start? Well, 30:45 let's get a strong, well established root system that's gonna definitely help you with more moisture uptake and nutrient uptake. Everybody knows that, 30:52 but the root system is very critical for hormone production in the plant. These plants do these things naturally. 30:59 We're not doing anything necessarily different that that plant can't do on its own in perfect conditions. But when conditions aren't perfect, 31:06 you're not gonna get the perfect yields that you're looking for. So, so we start early, but if you've got a real healthy established root system, 31:13 it's going to be a better anchor for that plant. But you're also going to have a thicker stem and a thicker stalk. So if you have a thicker stem and stock later in the season, 31:21 that plant isn't gonna have to work as hard to bring up nutrients and moisture from the roots. And so it's a, it's a stage by stage process. And like Lee said, 31:29 it, it can be, we can dive into the science as much as anybody wants so people really understand it. But it can be as simple as, Hey, 31:37 what's the solution I put in at planting? I'm gonna go across with a herbicide pass. What can I put in there at that pass? I'm gonna go across my fungicide. What can I do during that application to, 31:46 to help maintain that hormone balance? Lee, we talk about money because, uh, we need to, although most farmers don't wanna talk about money on a, 31:58 on an average basis across all three crops that you produce, how many dollars per acre going to a plant hormone type of product in the year 32:07 2023? Uh, it will vary on the crop. It could be as low as four, it could run as high as 15. Just depends. 32:23 Uh, actually going back to those beans that got healed on this, hopefully we'll get people's attention. You know, what our goal was that day? 32:32 Minimize our loss, lose less money than our neighbors. We thought if we can do this and get 30 and they get 20, we win. And we actually got, 32:41 we got lucky and they really took off and we got a great crop. So really that was our goal. It was about minimizing our loss from the hail. 32:51 Yeah, that was goal that day. Yeah, that's, that's, by the way, it's a great story because you're sitting there thinking, my God, 32:57 what if we can still somehow salvage 30 bushel beans, you know? Uh, and there you double that and you doubled it. 33:05 So four to $15, presumably the 15 is on the corn because you're going over it more times. Yeah. And soybeans. Yeah. Mm-Hmm, 33:13 Four. It might, it might only be $4 per. All right, what else? Uh, get me outta here, Dale. What do I need to know? You already told me. Start, 33:21 start, start realize I gotta use it season long. It's a season long approach. That's what we heard. 33:25 It's a season long approach and, and the mindset is a little bit different. Everybody wants to know, what do I do to increase yield? Well, 33:31 I'm sure everybody in extreme mag, you've been following the podcast and following videos, knows how to optimize their nutrition. 33:39 But once you've done everything you can to increase yield in your mind, it's what do you do to prevent loss of yield? 33:45 That's the message today and what farmers are dealing with every season is, what do I need to do to prevent loss of yield? 33:51 We know from all the yield records out there that the, the yield potentials in that seed, it's what can you do on a daily basis to prevent loss of that yield so that at 34:00 the end of the season you've got the yield results that you're really looking for. 34:04 I'm leaving it right there. His name's Dale Han. He's with Stoller. And then we got our man Lee Lubert from Gregory, South Dakota, Hale 34:12 Lizards, uh, locusts, uh, drought, you name it. He battles it out there. Anyway, uh, thanks for being here. Talking about plant growth hormones, talking about plant growth regulators, 34:23 talking about plant hormones in general and lessons from 25 years of using them. Uh, that's Lee Luber. So anyway, if someone can benefit from this that's, uh, 34:31 starting their journey with using such products, please share this with them. Also, remember, 34:35 there are literally hundreds and hundreds of videos from the field and from episodes just like website. 34:42 Share them with somebody that can benefit from them. It's all free. It's like a catalog of information to up your farming game. So next time, 34:48 I'm David Mason. Thanks for being here. That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve, but there's plenty more. Check out Extreme Ag Farm where you can find past episodes, 34:58 instructional videos and articles to help you squeeze more profit outta your farm. Cutting the curve is brought to you by Advanced Drainage Systems, 35:09 the leader in agriculture, water management solutions.

Growers In This Video

See All Growers