Fun in the Field

OGRAIN Field Events

It seems as though we went straight from winter to summer here in Illinois! As soon as the last of the April snows melted, it warmed up in a hurry. Never thought I’d be typing “April” and “snow” in the same sentence, but stranger things have happened I guess.

As we wrap up with plant ’18, we’re full speed ahead. Looking forward to seeing how this year’s crop is shaping up and of course we’re excited for summer field days. Speaking of field days, here are some hosted by OGRAIN:

  • July 12Small Grains, Modest Grains: A Pragmatic Approach to Profitability and Sustainability
    • Hughes Farms, 4031 S. US Why 51, Janesville, WI. 53546
    • 8:30am-3:30pm

This field day will highlight the diversity and innovations at the Hughes Farm in Janesville. Farming over 5000 acres in a parallel operation consisting of both conventional and organic practices, the Hughes have succeeded in developing diverse rotations and markets. This field day, in partnership with Practical Farms of Iowa, MOSES, and the Organic Seed Alliance will discuss and showcase cover crops for green manures, weed control, soil erosion reduction, and water quality improvements; tips for trailing varieties for performance under organic management; and basics of transition to organic certification.  If you’re in the business of oats, barley, wheat, rye, and triticale, you may benefit from the buyers and sellers lunch. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss contracting, grain quality specifications, pricing and other important small grain information. RSVP to Debra Boekholder debra@practicalfarmers.org by June 18.

  • July 16Mechanical Weed Management Field Clinic
    • University of Wisconsin Arlington Agricultural Research Station, N695 Hopkins Rd., Arlington, WI. 53911
    • 10:00am-3:00pm

This field-based summer clinic, hosted by the UW Arlington Research Station, will demonstrate several weed management tools, including tine-weeders, rotary hoes, row cultivators, and roller/crimping equipment. They will be late-planting corn and soybeans, allowing them to take the equipment in the field and demonstrate set-up and field operations. Experts will be on-hand to discuss best weed management strategies for different crop stages and field conditions. To register of a meal, please RSVP to Jody Padgham padgham@wisc.edu by July 11.

  • July 31 – Integrating Cereal Grains into an Organic Dairy Rotation
    • Wilson Family Dairy Farm, Cuba City, WI. 53807
    • 9:00am-2:30pm

This field day will be hosted by the Wilson Family Farm, who milk 400 cows on 2,900 organic acres. Farming organically since 1996, the Wilson’s emphasize soil health, and the connection between soil health, plant health, and healthy people and animals. This field day will discuss and demonstrate the integration of rolled-crimped rye into their soybean crop (which the Wilson’s have done for almost a decade), soil health gains on the farm, and the integration of cereal grains into a dairy rotation as both quality feed for the herd and off-farm sales. This field day is co-hosted with MOSES and Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative.

  • August 23UW Organic Agriculture Research Field Day
    • N695 Hopkins Rd, Arlington, WI. 53911
    • 1:00pm-4:00pm

This field day will highlight research conducted on the certified organic land at the UW Arlington Research Station. Research highlighted will include equipment modifications for rolling/crimping rye, interseeding cover crops into corn, interseeding soybeans into spring seeded cereal rye, and cover crop strategies to reduce tillage in organic corn production.

  • August 29Diversifying Organic Grain Rotations with Alternative Crops
    • Lily Lake Organic Farm, 4N852 Wooley Rd., Maple Park, IL. 60151
    • 1:00pm-5:00pm

The focus of this field day, hosted by Lily Lake Organic Farm, will be on growing dual-purpose buckwheat as a cash crop and as a cover crop. Buckwheat increases soil health and reduced the need for tillage, and can be profitable as a cash crop. In addition, learn about another cover crop superstar: sorghum sudangrass. This cover crop is invaluable in controlling Canada thistle and a great soil builder as well. Various pieces of equipment for controlling weeds in grain crops will be on display. We will discuss the use and effectiveness of each tool. This field day is co-sponsored with MOSES and the IDEA Network.

For more information on any of these events, contact Erin Silva, emsilva@wisc.edu or 608-890-1503.

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More than BBQ

As we were brainstorming ideas centered around Memorial Day, it was hard. I mean, there’s really no words to portray how thankful we are for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. If you find yourself missing a loved one this weekend, please know our hearts are with you. As we approach the holiday weekend, let’s hit pause and remember.

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In observance of Memorial Day, our main office will be closed. We will re-open for regular business hours on Tuesday, May 29.

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Fall fertility meeting in Ohio

Here’s another opportunity to learn about fall fertility if you missed us at any of our summer events. We’ll be speaking on ways to increase biological life in the soil and the many successes we’ve seen in crops this year at an informational meeting hosted by Tom Besecker of Advanced Biological Solutions on Thursday, November 9 from 9:30am-3:30pm in Cynthiana, Ohio.

We will be joining speakers Reggie Destree and Tom Besecker to bring you a day jam-packed with useful information. Reggie will be sharing about soil health, pest & disease control, weed control, and vegetable production. Tom will be sharing about cover crops and tips to improve pastures. We are so excited to be a part of this event and sincerely hope you can make it too!

A complimentary lunch will be provided for those with advance registration. Please RSVP to Tom Besecker at 937-459-5104 or Michael Auker 937-365-1329 by November 3. The meeting will be held at the Town Hall in downtown Cynthiana.

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Cilantro, Carrots, Melons & More

This is has been quite an exciting week in the Sanden Garden. We’re starting to see everything pop through except the cucumbers. I’m starting to fear those little things won’t be coming up this year. Anyways, check out what we’ve got growing this week!

Next week, I’ll share what we’re seeing in our radishes, beets, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and zucchini. Tune in!

P.S. I ended up applying SP-1™ to that one rose bush last week. We’ll see what happens!

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Sanden Garden Update

Hope everyone had a good week! Just thought I’d give a brief update on our garden project!

The lettuce, beets, and radishes continue to grow. Not much different than last week. We have a few butternut squash and spaghetti squash plants emerging, as well as some cilantro. I’ll share another video as things continue to grow.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a side-by-side comparison of my pink knock-out rose bushes. I got these last year and they were absolutely stunning, and then we had this weird spring weather, which I think set them back bit, a lot.

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When I treated these with SP-1™ about a month ago, they both looked like the untreated plant on the left. Therefore, I wanted to share the differences between the 2 so I can go back and treat the other one. I really want to start seeing some color! Maybe they just need a little kick-start this year!

Anyone else experiencing this? If so, what are you doing to pull them out of it? Maybe some SP-1™ can help!

Until then, I’ll be over here figuring out how to prune these bad boys.

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Sanden Garden: A Product of AgriEnergy Resources

Can anyone else believe we’re nearing the end of planting? The season flew by, and as with any year, we have faced our fair share of setbacks, but our little seedlings are tough and will persevere!

Speaking of tough, we have lots of exciting things happening this summer. Some of you may remember my garden from last year where I threw a bunch of seeds in the ground and hoped for the best? Well, we’re STILL eating on those butternut squash, beets, and jalapeño peppers!

This year, I decided to use some of our SP-1™, Pillar, and Myco Seed Treat® (MST), and of course some compost from one of our very own salesman, Alan Dale. His site, Rare Earth, is actually within walking distance from our house, and you’d never know he’s making compost. Rare Earth is the only compost site in the state of Illinois that hasn’t had an odor complaint filed against it. This man knows his stuff!

Anyway, I planted cilantro, carrots, lettuce, watermelon, peppers, radishes, beets, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and zucchini. Check it out!

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate the week following planting (very cold and lots of rain), but I’m pretty happy with the differences we’re seeing so far.

Notice Molly (our dog), photobombing at .17! She always has to sneak her way into photos in a not so stealthy way, but hey at least she loves to be in the garden with me! And my husband, he makes the best taste tester. Who knows you may even see more of them around these parts as the garden takes off!

Hopefully we’ll have more differences to report next week, but until then if you’re seeing any success with our products, I’d love to hear about it!

P.S. We also have research plots going in PA, OH, NY, NE, ND, MI, WI, IN, NE, IA, AZ, CO, AL, GA, MN. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some exciting results! Stay tuned!

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Organic Kitchen

It comes as no surprise that organic food sales continue to rise. It all boils down to what the market wants, and right now the market is demanding clean, fresh foods. Now, more than ever, the majority of consumers pay close attention to what they’re putting in, not only their bellies, but their children’s as well. Farmers have taken note, and are working diligently to fill that void. Along with several other grain buyers, we help farmers achieve their goals of producing certified organic food for the masses.

According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2016 U.S. Organic Industry Survey, total organic food sales in 2015 were $39.7 billion, up 11 percent from the previous year. Take a look at where your state stacks up.

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This spring, the OTA will be releasing its’ 2017 industry survey which will look at the U.S. organic market in 2016.

Organic foods can now be found in the kitchens of 82.3 percent of American households. What’s interesting though, is how clean eating and organics are becoming the norm, even when eating out. While vacationing with my husband in Arizona, we were pleasantly surprised to find a lot of the local eating establishments catered around the organic lifestyle. Restaurants such as Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen, True Food Kitchen, Grabbagreen, and our personal favorite, Prep & Pastry.

While not all their menu selections are certified organic, they only serve locally sourced food and seasonal fruits and vegetables. The hubs had The Dip (italian beef), I had the Cubano (honey roasted ham, duck confit, house pickles, swiss cheese, stone ground mustard), and our sweet, great aunt had the Grilled Cheese (tea smoked tomato, white cheddar, brie, parmesan rubbed asiago bread, arugula pesto) with Tomato Bisque. That grilled cheese was on point!

Anyway, we are very excited to be a part of this movement and look forward to working with both transitional and organic growers in the future!

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SP-1™ … Our SPec1al Product

SP-1™ is one of the most versatile products in our Biological Farming arsenal.
  • SP-1 can be applied almost every way imaginable – liquid in-furrow starter, 2×2 row support starter, transplant solution, liquid sidedress mix, foliar fertigation, aerial…
  • SP-1 is loaded with multiple strains of bacteria and fungi, plus other microbes known to benefit both the soil and growing plants.
  • SP-1 also includes carbon substrates, vitamins, and minerals to keep all the microbes fed, growing, and working hard at their jobs.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words … here’s a 7,000-word essay about SP-1™!!

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Now is a great time to start thinking about your spring SP-1 applications. Call your AgriEnergy Rep today to learn more 815.872.1190!
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USDA Offers Grants for Organic Agriculture

At AgriEnergy Resources we pride ourselves in being a leader within the biological/organic farming community. With great leadership, comes great mentorship. We’re always looking for opportunities where our customers can benefit. Whether it’s a list of transitional buyers here, organic buyers there, or product giveaways/discounts at our seminars, we always have your best interest at heart.

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We test a variety of product combinations, new products, and more on our summer research plots. Here, a few of our agronomists are comparing soybean roots this past summer.

In fact, we came across this exciting funding opportunity from the USDA. With the continued demand for organics, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is offering up to $3.8M in funding to support research, education, and extension for both new and existing organic farmers and ranchers.

Research areas include documenting and understanding the effects of organic practices such as crop rotation, livestock-crop integration, organic manure, mulch/compost additions, cover crops, and reduced or conservation tillage on ecosystem services, greenhouse gas mitigation, and biodiversity.

If this is something that interests you, click here for more information. Applications are due March 9.

If you do end up receiving a grant, keep us in mind. Every year, we conduct a variety of research trials.

Good luck!

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Turning White Sand Black

I can’t believe we’re through our 2017 Winter “Plot” Tour! Seven seminars in seven states makes for one crazy, but fun winter. I think it’s safe to say we’ve heard from so many astounding speakers and farmers.

josh-boanWhen one speaker starts out saying, “We could fertilize our fields with y’alls soil. The ground I farm starts out as pretty much white beach sand.” You know it’s going to be a good presentation. Especially when that white beach sand turns black due to a program that includes our Residuce® and SP-1™.

If you were at our Princeton seminar then you heard how Josh Boan (pictured) used a strong biological nutrient package to improve soil health in his perennial peanut operation in north Florida.

If not, our friend Jerry Carlson, of Renewable Farming LLC, has the whole story here. Or you can listen to Josh, or any of the other Princeton speakers, on our podcast here.

Check it out!

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