Strategies For Stress Reduction
14 Jul 2335 min 40 sec

The stuff we’re doing in production Agriculture is leaps ahead of what we were doing just a decade ago. Products and practices to reduce stress were a primary emphasis of Kelly Garrett in crop year 2022. He joins Matt and Layne Miles to discuss how they lower the stress on their crops. From spoon feeding fertilizer to applications of biologicals derived from seaweed, you’re going to love this conversation with Ron Calhoun of Loveland Products.

Presented by Loveland Products.

00:00 Hey, it's July, which means your plants are under stress. So we're gonna talk about stress mitigation. 00:04 We're gonna talk about things that you can do before you even see those plants get stressed. 00:07 That's what we're talking about today with my friend Ron Calhoun from Loveland Products. 00:11 Welcome to Extreme Acts Cutting the Curve podcast, where we cut your learning curve with insights you can apply immediately to your farming operation. This episode is presented by Loveland products. 00:23 When it comes to crop inputs, you need products that are field proven to deliver both results and value. For more than 50 years, 00:30 Loveland products has been providing farmers with high performance value-driven products solutions designed to maximize productivity on every acre. 00:39 Visit loveland to see how their innovative products can help you farm more profitably. And now here's your host, Damien Mason. Hey there. 00:48 Welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme as Cutting the Curve. I got Ron Calhoun from Loveland products. I've got Kelly Garrett, 00:53 and I've got the Miles Brothers. They're really not brothers. It's father and son, but I always think it's cute to call them brothers. 00:58 That's Matt and Lane Miles out of McGee, Arkansas. We're talking about stress mitigation. Yes, we have talked about this subject before, 01:03 but one of the big keys we're gonna talk about today is detecting and preventing the stress before you see it in your plants. I mean, frankly, 01:10 it's one of those things. By the time your plants are showing signs of distress, they've probably already cost you yield. So that's what we got going here. Um, 01:19 Ron, you said something interesting before we hit the record button. You said, you know what? I don't know if we're gonna stay on this topic. 01:23 I just want it to be compelling and interesting and informative. Well, that's what you're here for. You're like a smart dude. 01:28 You're the plant nutrition manager for Loveland. I think you have a PhD. And then you also said that you're an East Lansing, Michigan, 01:34 which would implied that you went to Michigan State, which I think is kind of like Ivy Tech. But anyway, aside from that, now that I've bashed on you and your university, 01:41 are you actually a Michigan State guy? I actually am. Yeah. Yeah. Well, so I spent quite a bit of Smith, what, quite a bit of time in East Lansing. Yeah, 01:50 Well, you know, it's only about four and a half hours from West Lafayette. So if you can't get into Purdue, it's not a bad substitute. All right. 01:56 Give me the straight scoop here, my friend. Um, stress, heat, drought. We've talked about this a number of times in different webinars here. 02:05 Um, and you know, the big thing is, you know, we just talked about the weather. Kelly just got nice patch of storms on all that last year. We were in McGee, 02:13 Arkansas, where the miles are. And Matt said, you know what Damien, the problem is my plants are like an athlete that never gets to come out of the 02:21 field. I, you know, it's like 105 degrees during the day and it doesn't cool down at night. So when we think about stress, we always think about heat and dry, 02:28 but that's not the only stress is it? Mm-hmm. Well, in your open opening sebo here, you really offered a lot of things that could be, could be unpacked. You know, 02:35 one of the first things you said was, by the time you see it, it might be a little bit too late. 02:40 And I think a lot of us have this idea that we're gonna sort of plan for plan A. And even when you hear people talk about like the average weather patterns, 02:48 there's never an average year. There's never a nor. Well, there's only an average year. There's never a normal year. 02:53 It's just the middle of all the extreme years. Right? And so we kind of make a plan through the winter, go out, execute that plan. But I think it, 03:01 it would be important for all of us to try and always have a plan B or plan C. Like there's probably gonna be conditions where it's a little too dry or too 03:09 cold at planning. There's probably gonna be times where that moisture doesn't quite come at that right time after, uh, emergence or we get, uh, 03:17 an unexpected kind of dry spell where we a lot of times would expect the moisture to kind of take us through the beginning of summer. 03:23 Then things dry off. Well, what about when that doesn't happen? And so trying to manage that stress, 03:28 we're giving up bushels at all these times where it doesn't seem as showy as you think about maybe other times a year where you, where you'd maybe associated. 03:37 Cuz the plant's a lot more developed. So if we can do things to get, you know, uh, better emergence, get that canopy closed up, 03:45 try to overcome some of those stresses. Um, the athlete, was it Kelly that made the athlete comment about not coming off the field? 03:53 She was mad that did that. I mean, when you look at him, when you look at him, look, Kelly looks like he could be an athlete, but the real athlete here is mad. 04:00 Gotcha. I see it right away. But anyway, that's super insightful, right? Because, um, one of the ways that plants overcome stress is by changing what they do. 04:10 So if you think about like a pie of energy, you only have a hundred percent of that energy available instead of using a certain amount of that pie for performance. The reallocating part of that, 04:21 part of that pie for plant defense or stress mitigation, and a younger plant has a lot less ability to do that because the sorts of 04:29 compounds that a plant makes to overcome some of that, they're very expensive from like a metabolic standpoint. And so the more energy they're putting into surviving, uh, 04:39 the less energy that they're putting into preparing to be successful for things as we drive towards yield and that kind of thing. 04:46 So it's certainly a lot more showy later in the season, but early in the season, managing it can be, can be pretty important. And, and, uh, so overcoming things, 04:55 like I said, when our, uh, diminished root system, small plant doesn't have a lot of, uh, of ability to, to do that and, uh, to overcome those stresses. 05:04 And it's really gonna put a drain on the system. You said that I opened up with an opening salvo with, with a lot of things to unpack, 05:12 and then you just took this topic clear over here. I think you should be the host of this show, frankly, Ron. I'm telling you what. All right. So, uh, Matt's nodding his head. 05:21 I've probably learned more about stress mitigation in the two years I've worked with extreme ag than I learned in the entire 50 some years prior to that. Uh, 05:27 Matt said once in a webinar, really when you think about being a farmer, everything we do is about reducing stress because obviously it, it, 05:36 it's not, it's not the the lack of technology, it's not the lack of genetics. It's usually stress and, and that causes us to lose yield, right? Mm-hmm. So, 05:45 Matt, go ahead. Take off from what, uh, Ron was saying there on, uh, the is issue about detect hint before it's starting to cause you problems. And, 05:52 uh, the showy aspect of it. Well, Ryan kind of made me Tingly inside because I've never really heard it explained exactly like he did that that was pretty freaking awesome. 06:02 And I know Kelly was sitting there thinking the same thing. Uh, you know, prior to, I will say prior to x a, you know, we, we, we were relieving stress. 06:12 We've been doing this for years, but it was through irrigation, you know, timing of planning, all these different things. 06:18 After I met Kelly and I met the guys from extreme Ag and Kelly's done extensive research on, on stress mitigation products. And, you know, 06:27 there's a whole nother drawer full of toys that we can play with besides just normal, uh, basic agronomy, you know, to relieve stress. So, 06:37 uh, when Damon, I, I, I tend to relate everything to sports and, and so what you, 06:41 you have to condition this plant from day one when you put it in the soil to try to relieve stress and be as healthy as it as it can be. 06:49 We all get up and take vitamins. We get up when we're sick, we take aspirin. You know, there's different things that we do to keep our body in check. 06:56 If we're a parent, we're sending our kids to school with the right clothes on, whether it's hot, whether it's cold, it's cold, 07:03 they're gonna have a coat with them. If it's hot, they're gonna not have, you know, 07:06 you're not gonna have all that on them to make 'em feel better and to be more healthy. So we start from day one, we put that seed in the ground with, uh, 07:14 you know, like Ron brought up, uh, radiate, you know, radiates gonna go in, radiates gonna go in on our next pass, uh, 07:21 all through the year we're adding these stress mitigators. Uh, it may be the stress mitigator may be a, an irrigation timing. You know, 07:29 it might not necessarily be a product or a product, you know, that, that you buy over the counter. There's, there's organic ways to relieve stress, 07:37 and then there's ways that we can input things into the plant to do the same thing. 07:41 And it's a combination of both of them and just keeping that plant happy and healthy. You know, if a plant's got it, has a unhappy day, 07:48 he's gonna lose a bushel. You know, you take a corn plant every day, he's unhappy. There's yield loss. You know what, 07:54 I think the number for corn's north of 600 when you open the bag and we make, you know, 2 40, 2 30, 2 20, you know, some of the guys make more than that. 08:04 So you can see how much we screw that up ourselves. And also how the environment screws it up too. So, uh, having those different tools in the toolbox, 08:14 the number one goal is to keep the plant healthy. I know I'm getting long. No, you're not getting that long, by the way. Uh, 08:19 if you're listening to this and you're saying, what was Matt just talking about? What he means is the yield potential based on the genetics. 08:24 And Kelly said this just two weeks ago when I was up in Iowa. Uh, he said, we give seed too much credit. When it's a good year, we give seed too much. Uh, 08:32 uh, blame when it's a bad year. The reality is the bag of seed can make 600 bushels. It's every other limiting factor. The seed, the genetics are not the limiting. 08:39 And I don't care which brand you're talking about. Yes, we have a company that we work with or two, but the point is the genetics were there. So anyway, Kelly, expand on that. 08:47 What, just in the last two years, what you've learned, because you made a stress, stress-free crop was one of your big goals in 2022. Uh, of course then you have de ratios and various things like that. It's kinda, 08:59 it's kinda like, uh, you know, no matter what you're doing, sometimes, uh, mother nature still puts the hammer down on you. 09:05 The weather's definitely out of our control when it comes to stress. I, I like to say that we don't know what a stress-free crop looks like because 09:13 we've never seen one. And we as farmers, or we as humans, a lot of times, uh, we take the visual aspect too far. 09:22 And if we can't see it, we don't believe that it's happening. You know, whether that's the root system or the way, you know, the plant is exuding, 09:29 ethylene or whatever it is to, to say that it's under stress. And there's different products that we'll put in furrow, 09:36 like radiate or accomplish Maxs. There's different things that we'll spray foliar, but Matt is right. And I, my perspective changed a little bit away from just a pure stress mitigation 09:45 product to, like Matt said, that the irrigation pass or the fungicide pass. Now, uh, here we believe that, uh, that our crops are out of balance. 09:55 We've got too much nitrogen, we don't have enough of everything else. So anytime I can bring that crop into balance and make it healthier, 10:03 I'm making it less stressful. It's more s stress free, it's a better crop. So everything we're doing to in increase efficiency in the crop, 10:12 increase balance in the crop, never to have a bad day, just like Matt said. Mm-hmm. That, that's taking away the stress. 10:18 And I really don't feel that we have added to our budget, because that's immediately the concern of some growers is do I have to spend 10:25 more money? I, I say that I think we're probably spending about 25% too much on fertilizer and specifically NP and K, 10:34 and we need to pay more attention to micronutrients and stress mitigation products, 10:38 including PGRs to really come full circle and have a balanced approach. You guys, 10:44 this is probably the easiest job of hosting I've ever had to do because Ron's such a good guest and you guys are good, uh, on this subject lane, 10:51 you haven't said anything yet, so just to prove to everybody you exist, can you say something about stress mitigation? 10:57 Uh, you know, I like stress mitigation, Damien. It makes us make better yields. All right? So talk to me about the, uh, the thing here, Ron, on these, uh, 11:07 these products. Kelly said this a number of times, and by the way, it absolutely, 11:11 it makes the people from the ag retail business go bananas when he says, we probably are overspending on fertility because they like selling fertilizer, 11:18 right? They like selling stuff. It's really not a lack of fertility that's holding us back. It's stress, right? Is that, is the, is the reason we don't have bigger yields a stressed crop? 11:29 Well, I think the, uh, the, the illustration you guys use of, of losing yield every step of the way, right? So there's 600, 11:36 that 600 bushels of potential, right? How did we store it? A little hole poked in that bag. When did we plant it? 11:42 Little hole poked in that bag. How was it at? I mean, every little thing is poking that hole in that bag all the way through. I I love that. I love that illustration you guys gave of, of kind of using that. 11:53 Everything's fighting against us. Um, so wh when I think about stress, so how do plants get their nutrients? They drink their nutrients, and how do they do that through the roots? So, uh, 12:04 a couple mentions there. We're talking about using radiate in furrow, but what we have in there is, uh, 12:09 a ratio of I b A and Kindin that is similar to what you would see in the plant. And when a plant has solar panels, has that apical mari stem, 12:17 that's where the oxen gets produced. And when that oxen gets to the root system, the root system says, Hey, there's solar panels that I need to support. 12:25 I better increase the root system. That root system then flushes back through the kindin. It tells 'em to make more solar panels. Well, 12:32 in those root hairs is where you're getting those nutrients in, right? So if we can have a plant not be stressed, 12:38 it's gonna be able to access more of that nutrition. So, you know, Kelly, it may be that we're, we're, uh, putting on too much, 12:46 but because of the inefficiencies we have at getting to that nutrition, that's sort of that, that that cost that we're having to do right now, uh, to, 12:55 to get that what we need into, into the plant. So certainly I think we can do more with what we're applying. And you'll see that idea of nutrient use efficiency. Um, you know, 13:04 that that is a thread that goes through the products that I'm trying to manage for, for Loveland, is how can we get more out of those, out of those inputs? 13:13 And absolutely when a plant is shutting down productivity to go into defense mode, it's not gonna be able to use those nutrients because it's trying to, 13:22 it's trying to use those for other things. And you're not gonna, you might still be using some of those nutrients, 13:27 but it's not gonna end up in yield. And so then Kelly also mentioned about using something like accomplished max. You know, 13:33 half of the half of the components of accomplished max is an extract from a cold water seaweed. So here you have a tidal plant that for, uh, 13:43 half of the day is flooded and half of the day is laying on a rock baking in the sun. That plant has chemistry in it that allows it to ex uh, 13:52 to survive and thrive in a very extreme condition, right? Saltwater, flooded, saltwater, no saltwater baking on the side of a rock. 14:02 We can extract the chemistry from that plant, put it in there. And now you have this young plant that maybe it's, 14:08 maybe you have some salt tolerance issues. You're putting it on in a, in a furrow where you have maybe some nutrition in there. 14:14 You have things that get a little bit cold. Uh, you have other sorts of stresses that happening. Well, we're exogenously, which means from the outside, I don't know why I use that word. 14:22 My kids always roll their eyes, I apologize for that. But we're applying, uh, those products to the plant and getting that plant to respond as if it 14:32 created that chemistry for itself. And it gives us that same sort of response where can now tolerate a situation that it would not normally tolerate. 14:40 And so we're getting a little bit more out of each of those early days with something that we put in furrow, 14:44 like the two products that those guys mentioned. Well, now we get a little bit further on here. We have other things that we can do to try to manage that. 14:51 We don't wanna slow that plan up when it goes from being a juvenile to now going into more of a vegetative, 14:57 we're creating all those solar panels to kind of push us towards reproduction. We wanna kind of keep that wheel spinning, the spinning the whole time. 15:05 And so we, I totally agree. I think it was Matt that said it. You know, we talked about aspirin or working out and health, these stress products, 15:13 these are things that we do as part of a program. This is not a silver bullet or a brass ring that somehow you can now abandon good agronomy. Alright? You need a great plan, a great base. 15:24 You better be working out. You better be eating well, you better be drinking plenty of water. And then, oh, by the way, if you need to take that nutritional supplement or take that, uh, that the, 15:33 you know, Flintstone's vitamin, that's great, uh, to add on to that. But don't rely everything on this, on this last thing that you're doing. 15:41 This should be part of a, of an overall program. Uh, honestly, uh, you, you're the best guest I've had on in two years. Uh, all right. Even the Flintstone vitamins, you 15:54 Need a, you need a bigger, you need a bigger pool to pick from. Hey, I wanna ask you this question, though, in all seriousness. So, you know, 16:01 you're a student what, say 30 years ago or so, um, at Michigan State, they didn't come into botany 3 0 5 or whatever classes you took and talk about 16:11 using extracts from seaweed to spray on crops. I mean, this is a, so, so it was some pretty far out stuff 30 years ago. And now it's like, yes, of course this makes sense. 16:22 You've got a plant that can somehow live in this extreme environment. Why not learn from it? 16:29 Isn't it kind of interesting how far things have come just in the last few decades in that regard? 16:33 Well, we might need a, we might need a longer podcast, if you're gonna poke me on that. I remember everybody making fun of this guy at Virginia Tech that was convinced 16:41 that Seaweeds had these benefits that they could, that they could apply. And, uh, I've often thought about giving him a call some 25 years later. 16:49 He's gotta feel absolutely vindicated as he did some of this early work. And we all rolled our eyes as he made presentations about what he was seeing 16:57 from applying the seaweed extracts back in the, well, this had to be probably the mid to late nineties where he was doing some of this, some of this work, um, you know, you talked about plant survive, 17:08 there's all sorts of plants, and they're, and they actually call them extremophiles, right? So plants that exist in situations where you don't think plants should be able 17:16 to su exist. And so we look at, uh, some citrus plants, plants growing, uh, out in the desert, this sort of thing. And there's a whole, uh, 17:26 whole bunch of people that are looking into what are the compounds that these extremophile plants, uh, create, 17:33 and how can those compounds help other plants survive similar sorts of stresses without having to go through that, 17:40 that cost of using all that energy to create these very complex, expensive defense compounds for themselves. 17:48 Matt, do you think your game has gotten better just in the last few years because of stuff like this that honestly, uh, like you, you would've, 17:56 this would've been some pretty far out stuff even five years ago, Right? Totally far out. Like I said, we all, we all made fun of him. 18:02 And I often think, well, he's gotta feel pretty vindicated that now it's just sort of generally accepted. You find tons of examples in the literature, and not only that, 18:11 but now going into those specific compounds within something like seaweed, and there's, there's cold water, seaweed, there's warm seaweed, 18:18 there's seaweed from Nova Scotia, seaweed from, uh, Australia, I meaning, and they have different combinations in ratios of these chemistries. 18:26 And going into each of those compounds and actually then trying to identify what are those bringing, 18:32 so that then we could go and we could actually manufacture a product that has the right ratios of specific compounds to try to drive certain 18:42 sorts of plant behavior. Now we're just on the, you know, we're on the cusp of some of that, but that, I mean, 18:47 makes the arm my arm stand up when I start thinking about some of the things that we could potentially, uh, be able to pull off. 18:56 Hey, Matt, uh, you know, you oftentimes talk about, you know, lessons from your old man and everything about, you know, 19:02 cotton's a plant that looks to die every day. You imagine when you were starting out, if you told your old man you're gonna take open up a jug that's, uh, 19:10 derived from seaweed and put it on your crops, he laughed at you. Oh, 19:14 that's exactly what I was thinking when you went back and did the analogy of 30 years ago. You know, basically in my mind, 19:21 we went from snake snakes to stuff that now we're gonna pay attention. These are not snakes. These are products that people way smarter than us years ago was already 19:32 researching and figuring out how to bring them into our plants. It's, it is very amusing to go from, yeah, if I'd have traveled my dad that he would, 19:40 he, he might have, I might have had a dent in the back of my head, you know, cause of, you know, his extra costs and wouldn't do anything. 19:47 But Ron's exactly right. When the seaweed thing come out, I'm like, why in the world would I want to worry about a seaweed? And then, you know, 19:56 30 years later, we're looking at this like, we want all those properties and qualities we can. Uh, by the way, uh, Kelly, uh, I, I've always said to my ag people, 20:07 I think that we're gonna look back at all the tillage, and it is gonna be like, looking back at the way, uh, 400 years ago, we used leeches for health, 20:15 you know, for medicine. I think we're gonna look back, you know, and say, why did we do all that tillage? We know that just, you know, 20:21 beats the hell outta your soil structure. There's a lot of really negative things about, uh, excess tillage. Are we gonna be there on for fertilizer? 20:28 Are we gonna look back a century from now and say, oh yeah, back then, they didn't know any better. 20:32 So they just went and just dumped and just literally poured fertilizer to it and it wasn't their limiting factor. 20:38 Is that where we're gonna be a hundred years from now? 20 years from now? Yes. Well, I, I believe that will be there in my soils. Uh, 20:45 what we're mineralizing here organically, uh, nitrogen especially a lot of potassium, things like that. And I think the mistake that is made is that we know what it takes to 20:57 produce a crop, and we feel like we've gotta supply every bit of it. And then when we do that, we get out of tune with Mother Nature, 21:04 out of balance with Mother Nature. And that's, that's the, that's the whole problem. Uh, it when we don't, 21:12 when we don't work in conjunction with Mother Nature and you're, it, that's a lot of the reason we're not reaching our potential. 21:19 I'm having trouble verbalizing it because it's such a new and big topic for me, but that, that really is, it doesn't mean, you know, it, it takes one bushel, 21:28 or pardon me, it takes one pound or 1.1 pound of nitrogen to produce a bushel of corn. That's exactly true. But we think we've gotta supply all of it. Mm-hmm. And, 21:37 and we don't. I I, I don't hear Matt and Lane, their soil is different than mine. They're gonna gimme a hard time for being an ice cream farmer. 21:45 I know that it's okay. It's an advantage that we have here, but the disadvantage advantage that we have here is we don't understand it 21:52 enough yet. There's so much k in the soil, there's so much nitrogen being produced in this soil, but yet we have to feel, we dump a hundred percent on, on what the crop uses. We're out of balance. And, 22:03 and that's where we need to get to. And I, that's, that's the focus we have now. You know, I, 22:08 I had the stress mitigation focus now that's become grower standard practice, and now we're trying to get in balance, 22:14 and I believe that we will get closer to the 600, not at the 600, but I believe we'll get closer to the 600 in the next. 22:23 All right. He's having years. So when we figure it out, learn at least learn more about it. Yeah. Have a little bit of internet problems. So if you're listening to this, 22:30 uh, Kelly just had a storm last night, and so, uh, he had to send, he had to send, clean us up the telephone pole and uh, 22:35 and turn the dish again this morning. Hey, uh, Ron, is that true? Is it, is it true that, uh, we're just on the cusp of this thing now? 22:45 It's about balance because stress mitigation is something we've talked about a lot here, and it seems like now, when I was out in Iowa two weeks ago, 22:52 it was dry, terrible, dry. Mm-hmm. And things didn't look nearly as bad as you would think that they should have. And I think it's because of some of the practices that they're doing. 22:59 So I think maybe the extreme ag guys are at the very front end of this, and now it's getting to where like, it doesn't even seem new or novel, you know? 23:07 But it is for most farmers, and, and I'm not putting anybody down, it's just that most people still focus on fertilizer and not stress. 23:15 Am I right? Yeah. I think, um, I mean, you're talking to some pretty progressive folks that are, that are willing to think about new things, right? Some of us can, uh, be, 23:26 uh, a little bit confident in our own understanding of everything and not always wanting to embrace new ideas. Um, 23:32 that would certainly not be the case with the folks on in this discussion, right? And so maybe they're out a little bit ahead and it feels like, um, 23:40 I would say Kelly probably, uh, sometimes you get bored with the message before the message message has actually been delivered and that there's probably a lot of folks out there that, uh, 23:49 still have not considered how that plant stress is keeping them from getting to what they can get at. Um, but I do not think that you are o off base at all. 23:58 When we look at the efficiencies of the fertilizers that we're applying and, and the, the meat that's left on the bone there to get better at that, uh, 24:07 somebody's gonna figure it out and it's gonna be amazing, right? So when we can get, uh, 24:11 something that's 15 to 30% efficient up to 80 or 85% efficient, it's gonna be amazing when we can get something that's 40 to 50% efficient, 24:20 up to 95% efficient, it's gonna be amazing. Um, and I think that, uh, I mean, I just was, uh, 24:26 looking at a slide the other day of all the different companies that are, that are putting their brain power towards this, and, and we're gonna get there. 24:34 And it's gonna be, it's gonna be, it's certainly in our lifetimes, it's gonna look very, very different on how we're able to produce a crop. 24:41 Hey, lane, I want to ask you this question. So I did it two weeks ago with, uh, with Kelly's kid, Vern, uh, 24:47 since you're the young one here that's nearer to your, uh, uh, education. I asked Vern, I said, 24:54 how many times and Iowa State to get your degree in agronomy, did they talk about reducing stress on your crops? And of course you said, 25:02 never. I've, I've talked more and learned more about stress mitigation because of what we're doing here versus, cuz they still, they still don't. I mean, in, in college, 25:10 did you ever hear anybody talk about stress reduction on your crops? I'm gonna be honest with you, Damian. I, I, I liked my professors. 25:16 I I went to a good school, but no, uh, not even a little bit. I've learned more e even just sitting here in this conversation now. I mean, it, 25:25 it's listening to y'all talk. I mean, it, it's, you learn, you learn more and more every day. It, 25:31 it by far have learned 10 times more in this group than I have in college ever. 25:37 Well, no offense, but seriously, Ron, I it's still, it's, it's the agronomics are sound and all the, you know, 25:44 I'm sure at the, at the Michigan States and the Purdues and the Iowa States, all this kind of stuff, it's, 25:49 but they're not still out here on the front end of this where yield is really being lost. I mean, there's still kind of, there's, I, 25:57 it seems to me that there's, there still is this almost old fashioned academia when it comes to maximizing your, uh, outputs. 26:05 Makes sense. The speed of innovation that happens at the, at the grower level is, is staggering to me. 26:12 I spent 17 years in the crop and soil science department at Michigan State, and uh, 26:17 I had an extension appointment and I thought I understood how the world worked. Okay. When I moved over into the retail space, um, 26:25 the urgency at the grower level to get an answer, to get something done, uh, I just couldn't conceive, I couldn't conceive of that, right? 26:34 Because as much as I wanted to empathize with the folks I was working with, my livelihood was not on the line the way your livelihood is on the line. 26:42 And so that push for answers and that sort of thing, there's just a, there's just a different intensity about it at the actual grower level. 26:50 People who are doing it every day, that that can't be simulated even with the best, uh, uh, the best intentions. You can't, 26:58 you can't replicate that at the university level. But, but still in today's world, and y'all may agree, agree or disagree, a higher percentage of the farmers, they're still tunnel vision in P and k. 27:12 Mm-hmm. They're not even there. There's a low percentage of them that are concerned about boron or copper or zinc or all these micros. As said, 27:21 it's not about the big three as much now it's a systems approach. Mm-hmm. And even the third level is the stress mitigation or extra foliar 27:31 products or infer products that add to that, you know, and the farmer's like, I got my MP and K I'm good. But if you take some of Kelly's perspective and reallocate those resources, 27:44 the money's gonna be relatively the same and the yield's gonna go up. We talked about that just two weeks ago when, when we were all up in Iowa. 27:51 It's not new spend, it's reallocated spend. I mean that's, that's cuz Kelly will tell you, you don't spend any more, you don't, 27:58 you're not spending any more on inputs. Okay, maybe they went up because of inflation, but the point is, you're not spending any more now than you did in nor in real adjusted dollars 28:06 than you did five years ago. You just reallocated. Right? Exactly. The goal is reallocation not to spend more. Really, 28:13 we're reducing our spend on nitrogen. We've greatly reduced our, our spend on K and we've added in the carbon, the sulfur, the micronutrients, 28:21 the pgs, the stress mitigation products, all of those. And it's, the return on investment is great. 28:29 But as Kelly said, as Kelly said, Damon, you've gotta be careful. Cause my polls are so low CCCs, 28:37 I can't begin to do the exact same thing he does because of leaching. You know, and those nutrients are steadily leaving and we actually have to spoon feeded, 28:46 we'll apply nitrogen three to four, probably four times on our corn crop. Mm. Where Kelly don't may do it once if, if, you know, maybe twice. 28:55 So take into consideration the soil type you're in, not knocking Kelly's in great soils, but there's so many different soil types. You have to manage each soil type differently. 29:06 Yeah. You, you do have to, and you know, the thing here, the big thing is, uh, we get a spoon feed nitrogen. We know what we've decided now, and this is, 29:14 this will, people will call me crazy. Mother nature is spoonfeeding the nitrogen here. We need to be spoonfeeding the micronutrients, distress mitigation products, 29:23 things like that to try to stay in balance and, and stay in step with mother nature. Spoonfeeding nitrogen is the exact opposite thing I need to do in my opinion. 29:32 Now, Matt, Chad and Kevin, they probably need to do that in their soils here. I don't, 29:36 and actually it's a yield limiting factor because there's too much nitrogen there 29:42 And that causes stress. Ron, what do you think about that? The guy's telling you he's got too much nitrogen? Is he bragging? Is he kinda, 29:48 is he kind of bragging on? Is that what he's doing over there? By the way, I got another question for you Ron. I I, I got two questions I'll throw at you. 29:55 17 years of a cake cakewalk government job and now you're out here in the real world. What the hell are you thinking? 30:01 You and my wife ask the same question. All right, let's get outta here. Let's wrap this up. Ron, uh, plant nutrition manager, uh, with our good friends over at Loveland, 30:13 get me outta here. Plant. I would just say I think it's awesome that this conversation is being had and that's what I would encourage people to do. If this is, uh, 30:22 if this is something that you've not yet incorporated at your farm, um, have start having that conversation with, uh, some other people that you trust. 30:30 Call your crop consultant. Um, be thinking about how this unlocking this bit of stress mitigation. We're not looking, again, it's not a silver bullet. 30:39 How can we help that plant overcome these periodic times where the plant can't do for itself? And maybe that's a couple days, 30:47 maybe that's a week. Again, I'm not saying we're making it into some sort of invulnerable thing that can go on forever, but we know that those times are gonna be there. 30:56 How can we identify that, get the right products in place so we can help our plants overcome those little dips. Even if it's something like what Kelly was talking about, 31:04 there's gonna be some days where that soil just can't give up enough potassium because the demand in that plant's too much for a certain amount of time. 31:13 Maybe we need to supplement for that. Okay. But supplementing by just putting out too much all the time isn't gonna be the answer long term. We wanna know when those periods are. 31:23 And stress mitigation is one of those things to make our nutrition go farther. Matt and Lane, you know what's interesting? So MAs been, uh, 31:30 I here in the farming game for almost 30 years. Your yields are, they double, they probably doubled in 30 years, haven't they? 31:37 And it's not because of the genetics. I mean, is is close to a double 70% more than it was 30 years ago probably. Uh, yeah, probably on, yeah, on on soybeans for sure. You know, 31:48 I'm relatively new. We're relatively new at growing corn, right? So, you know, it, that's not so much. Um, 31:55 cotton's kind of stayed a little bit lower than, you know, as far as that much double, but yes, in soybeans we've, we've, 32:02 we've over doubled our, our average five year yield. Well, and again, is is it, is it because the seed just got so much better? It's all this other stuff like this? I mean, when you, 32:11 when I was down there last year and it was like 104 or whatever you said, it's, it's not because of the seed that the seed didn't get double better. 32:18 No, it's a combination. The genetics are better, you know, most everything's better now, but all these things, like Mr. 32:25 Ron was talking about unlocking these potentials in the planet. Yeah. You know, that's where we're seeing a lot of, and just, you know, I, 32:33 I've heard this several times being a shadow in the field, you know, not windshield and everything, you know, 32:37 be out there and see what your plant's doing or have someone hired to do that. Um, you know, it's a combination. It's back to a systems approach. 32:45 I think we're doing, I think Kelly's doing a better job. Laney is an I and the rest of the guys at, at being better farmers in general. 32:53 I mean, you know, paying attention to more things than we did, you know, when we were, you know, 30 years ago, 32:58 which has probably been more than 30 Damon. I know I'm telling my age, but it's been a minute. Damien 33:03 Told his earlier, he said something about 50. Yeah. Uh, alright, Kelly. Uh, I think it's neat that you just said that now a lot of this stuff's become 33:11 standard grower practice. So, uh, you, you were the one that said it is an absolute focus. It was your primary objective in 2022 about reducing stress on the crops. 33:21 I don't think it's, I don't think it's, uh, I don't think it's left you, in other words, you said it's become greater or pro practice, but it's still, 33:27 it's kind of still your number one objective. It Is a number one objective because we don't have it all figured out. But we have identified, you know, 33:35 well three products that Ron would be ac accomplish, max Radiate twice, and, 33:40 and now Terramar or the products that we have identified that have become grower standard practice for us. And like right now we've even added, 33:48 because talking about spoonfeeding, these micronutrients, we've added a V 10 pass in corn. Nobody else here has a plane flying. 33:54 But we do a helicopter I guess really we're putting on, uh, micronutrients, we're putting on carbon, we're putting on Tarol to, uh, to add to that, 34:01 we've added a pass because, and we're spending about, uh, we're spending $37 an acre, which is, you know, six, seven bushel. 34:09 And we believe that that'll be paid off three times. I'm, I'm excited about what we're doing. It's, we're, we're making a, 34:16 it's a big research project. We're doing this on about 4,000 acres, but I, I have a lot of com 34:22 4,000, a 4,000 acre experiment. What do you think about that? Hey, Ron, Confidence, very optimistic. 34:27 Hey, by the way, Ron, which one's the one that's made outta seaweeds at terr or accomplish Max? So, uh, it's, it's actually a component of both of those. 34:35 It's about 50% of both of those products. Got it. All right. If you wanna learn more about this, where do they go? Loveland, 34:42 Loveland, Loveland You can learn more about it. And you know what, you can share this with somebody that can benefit from. It's a great discussion. 34:50 Obviously Lane and I are just sitting here like sponges soaking up this whole, uh, wisdom, uh, all about stress reduction. It's a big topic. We covered a lot. 34:57 You know why? Because we think it's probably the limiting factor for you and your crops. Anyway. Ron Calhoun, plant nutrition manager for Loveland, 35:05 go to loveland I'm Damien Mason with Kelly Garrett. Lane Miles, Matt Miles. Till next time, this is extreme ag cutting the curve. 35:11 That's a wrap for this episode of extreme Ag cutting the curve. But there is plenty more available by visiting Extreme 35:19 For over 50 years, farmers have turned to the proven lineup of crop inputs offered by Loveland products, from seed treatments, plant nutrition, adjuvant, 35:28 and crop protection products. Loveland has the complete lineup to keep your farming operation productive and most importantly, profitable. Check out loveland to learn more.

Growers In This Video

See All Growers