Farmers gain ground at meetings

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Northwest Missouri producers learn how to better manage their soils, crops

Joel McGinness and Andy Hull sit with Gary Brumm at the conference learning about nutrient use efficiency. 

As profit from commodity markets continue to dwindle, some farmers are fighting back to maintain a financial advantage and create more bushels

A handful of farmers from northwest Missouri took a big step in that direction by attending the Maximum Farming System seminar conducted by Ag Spectrum. Local producers met with other farmers and professionals from across the Midwest during the Feb. 20-21 meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

“We spent these days with clients refining our skills and knowledge with MFS, which takes a systems approach to nutrient management for any crop,” said Erin Marlow, agronomist at Milne Dinsdale Seed LLC.  “Of course, we are clearly focused on corn and soybeans, and it allows us a chance to better understand what we’re working with and how we can best serve producers.”

Erin Marlow, second from right, an agronomist with Milne Dinsdale Seed LLC, explains how the nitrogen uptake with anhydrous ammonia works while visiting with northwest Missouri agriculture professionals. From left are Joe Jasinski, Andy Adwell, Andy Hull, Marlow and Travis Milne.

The system focuses on air and water management, pH, soil-crop balance and the “Five R’s” of nutrient management: right source, right rate, right time, right place and right form, said Travis Milne, Marlow’s partner.

“It was good for us to be in the middle of this and to have other farmers with us there, too,” Milne said.

One of those was Andy Hull of A&S Hull Farms near Burlington Junction.

“It can be information overload, but I learned a lot about crop removal rates,” Hull said. “I understand better what a 200-bushel corn crop actually removes compared to what my fertilizer (recommendations) are. I’m interested in what the crop actually uses and removes.”

Even with the abundance of information available and the value of supportive business partners in the Des Moines meetings, he recognized the importance of the messages available.

“I’ve been moving in this direction since 2019,” Hull said. “Adding nitrogen on the planter is the final step to jumping completely overboard.

Burlington Junction farmer Andy Hull and his sons, Cash, Carter, and Caleb, pose on their new pull-behind cart for nitrogen to finish implementing the final step of the Maximum Farming System. 

“What excites me most is the bigger yields and better soil health.”

Hull had another producer with him in Des Moines to help provide the information necessary about what Hull has been doing and why he has joined the operation on some of the ground farmed. Hull wants to make sure those on his team are on the same page.

“I attended this year because I wanted to bring my landlord to the meeting,” Hull said. “It is always a great learning opportunity, and I can always use the refresher. I always pick up something new.”

Continuing education is vital in many facets of life. For men and women who devoted their lives to agriculture and running a family farm, it’s another big step in the growth and profitability of their operations.

“The system also gives the power of nutrient management and crop growth back to the farmer by digging into the details of soil tests, using on-planter nutrition and foliar applications,” Milne said. “These are things farmers can use year in and year out and see a difference in what they produce.”


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