Posts Tagged With: Spring

Technology to make planting a breeze

With planting season off to a flying start, there’s a lot to keep track of, a lot to do, and a lot on our minds. Technology continues to enhance productivity on our farms and we continue to look for apps to help make your jobs easier.

Over the last 2 years, we’ve compiled several lists here, here, and here. But today, we want to add a few more that have been found to be very effective:

Ag PhD Planting Population: Available for both Apple and Android devices, Ag PhD Planting Population has 2 functions. First, during planting season, the app can determine optimum in-row spacing between seeds based upon row width and the desired planting population per acre. Second, after crop emergence, the app allows farmers to determine a stand count by helping them count the number of plants that have emerged in a specific row.

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Ag PhD Soil Test: Available for both Apple and Android devices, Ag PhD Soil Test is a complete system for nutrient management. It maps soil-testing results and gives fertilizer recommendations. Ag PhD works exclusively with Midwest Laboratories, who we work with, to provide you with one of the most comprehensive test packages available at a competitive price.

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If you do download these apps, keep in mind, we’d love to go over any soil-testing or fertility questions you may have. If you already have these apps, how would you rate them? What other apps would you recommend?

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Field meals – farmer approved

Have I mentioned how awesome Pinterest is? Seriously, when I have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner, Pinterest for the win!

Why am I sharing this? Because out of the two recipes I’ve made so far, my farmer’s requested the one and said he’d tolerate the other (even though I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone). Regardless, I thought they both turned out great and thought if you’re anything like me, you need all the recipe ideas you can get!

Up first, Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini. Takes 15 minutes to cook and is SO good. Disclaimer, my farmer doesn’t care for tomatoes or anything that comes close to resembling alfredo sauce, but he LOVED this. And actually requested it a second time. Get the recipe here. Side note, I used Rotel tomatoes for an extra kick, but if you don’t like spice, stick with the regular diced tomatoes.


Photo credit:

Up next, for a healthier, low-carb, meal Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Stuffed Zucchini Boats. I added chopped tomato and celery to the veggie mix and it was delightful. However I only put peppers, sausage and cheese in the farmers and he tolerated it. He said he wouldn’t necessarily order this dish in a restaurant, but I LOVED it. But then again, I’m a sucker for veggies and anything zucchini-related. I will note, these boats were the perfect size to pick up and eat with your hands (like a hot dog) making it easy to eat on the go. Get the recipe here.


Photo credit:

Next, we’re going to try these homemade hot Ham and Cheese Pockets because who doesn’t like a hot ham and cheese in the tractor?!

What’s your go-to field meal?

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Would ya look at that?

As we’re still waiting for everything to green up here in north central Illinois, we got this pic from an ecstatic customer in North Carolina.


He operates a turf company and has applied SP-1, calcium-boron, and fulvic acid.


Notice the difference between the treated lawn (right) compared to the neighbor’s untreated lawn (left). This is with only one application. He plans on doing 2 more applications through the summer and fall. Can you imagine how green and luscious it’ll look then? He’s been at this for 12 years and works on both residential and commercial properties.

Until then, we’ll be daydreaming of barbecuing on that beautiful, luscious, green grass until our grass greens up here in Illinois.

In the meantime, we can help you achieve your best turf yet. Give us a call at 815-872-1190. We’d love to set up a fertility program based on your specific needs!


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A glimpse into our spring

Every year, it seems spring has a way of sneaking in. One day we’re snuggled up around the fire listening to the snow blow and then bam the snow’s gone. The grass is getting greener. Cows are having calves. Tractors are rolling. It’s spring time.

Amidst our hectic, spring schedules, it can be easy to lose our focus. Then you see this sweet face.


All is right with the world, even for a split second. You trudge on.

Then you see new life popping out of the ground. You get a second wind.


And wiping the dirt from your brow, you look out at this beautiful sunset knowing you did everything you possibly could to reap a bountiful harvest in a few months.


You thank God for the opportunity to be stewards of the land and the ability to overcome any obstacles nature throws our way this spring.

So, on this National Agriculture Day, we’re going to celebrate the start to another season. Embracing the challenges. Hoping for the best.

Happy National Ag Day, friends!


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#Plant16 has started

Twitter and Facebook reports are indicating 2016 corn planting has started in western Illinois in Pike County.

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While many of us are still waiting on temperatures to warm up, here are a few important tips to remember for early corn plantings :

  • Wait until soil temperature reaches 50° F. Keep your eye on the 7-day forecast and fight the urge to jump the gun!
  • If that forecast includes moisture, be wary. Planting within 24 hours of a cold rain will likely lead to imbibitional chilling, a condition that will harm germination when the seed absorbs cool water.
  • For optimum yields, remember to plant your corn at the correct depth for proper root development and consider a dry seed treatment (Myco Seed Treat®) containing beneficial fungi and bacteria.
  • If you’re tilling under corn stalks, cover crops, or alfalfa, use Residuce to turn yield-robbing residue into a yield-enhancing asset with accelerated nutrient cycling.
  • If some of your fields are marginal in calcium, or the calcium isn’t very soluble, consider a quick broadcast trip with Practi-Cal and SP-1™.

Last but not least, consider putting biology in your planter – Myco Seed Treat®, SP-1™, or Bio Aid WS. These products at planting can help get your crops off to the right start by cycling essential nutrients around the seed as it germinates, sprouts, and develops a root system.

We’d love to help you get all of your crops off to the right start. Give us a call today! 

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Spring on the farm

This will be my very first spring on the farm as an official farm wife. And I must say, I’m looking forward to it. My days have been spent dreaming about warmer weather, and the garden we’re going to plant this year. Our very first garden together! I’m so excited!

Anyway, I can’t wait to turn this:


Into this:


Shoutout to my husband for growing the best sweetcorn this side of the Mississippi! I can’t take credit for all that deliciousness 😉

Aside from his famous sweetcorn, we’re going to plant green beans, beets, zucchini, green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapeños, radishes, lettuce, squash, carrots, and watermelon. We just love ourselves a farm-fresh meal. There’s nothing better!

Anway, are you planting a garden this year, or a field, or a whole farm? If so, what are you planting? It’s not too late to get your fertilizer orders in!  Give us a call today at 815-872-1190.

We look forward to helping you get your crops off to a bumper start!


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#Plant15 Mystery Giveaway Winner Announced

And the winner is…

Robert and Nicole Wheeler of Tiskilwa, Illinois with this picture.

Wheeler Tractor

Here, Robert is finishing up with corn planting on the family farm. The duo got the most likes, shares, and comments. They won some sweet AER gear, including travel mugs for the whole family and a baseball cap.

Robert & Nicole Wheeler

A huge thanks to everyone who sent photos for this contest! We had so much fun collecting them as they came in!

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A note from our editor…

Katlyn Rumbold We’re more than half way through planting season here in north-central Illinois and the corn is finally starting to pop up. Watching the little seedlings emerge ignites a certain level of excitement within me signifying a brand new beginning. A new season. With that said, most of the farmers around here are finishing up with corn and starting beans. So far, it’s been a pretty smooth season, despite some heavy rains and cool temperatures.



Not from north-central Illinois? Here’s a peek at what’s going on to the north and south of us:

Marlow NashReporting from Southeast North Dakota, Marlow Nash says it’s been many years since they’ve seen this much early season planting progress. He said some guys even had some soybeans planted by May 1. There’s an old saying in his parts that goes “plant in the dust and the bins will bust.” While he doesn’t want any busted bins, Nash has been blessed with good rains and is praying for good crops.



Josh BoanReporting from Florida, Josh Boan says the corn is up and out of the ground in north Florida and Georgia. He said peanut and cotton planting is well underway and early beans are also being planted. The weather is warming and the southeast is drying out.




How’s your planting season going? Is the weather cooperating in your neck of the woods? Send your updates to Katlyn at so we can share right here!

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Control the Controllable

The weather extremes we’ve been experiencing locally in north-central Illinois got us thinking that we’re all bound to experience some poor growing conditions during the year.

Here are a few tips to help protect and enhance germinating/emerging seedlings in the weeks to come:

The corn in our area is starting to pop out of the ground.

The corn in our area is starting to pop out of the ground.

Seed Treatment – The organisms in our Myco Seed Treat® create a biologically friendly environment around the seed, increasing the odds of early germination. Made with beneficial bacteria, this dry seed treatment can be used on all seeds. It is a planter box treatment, so at this point in the season, could be helpful in re-plant situations.

Early Foliars – Early foliars can play a role in crop health by providing nutrients to keep plants healthy. Sprayed during the two-leaf stage, WakeUP Spring accelerates leaf sugar flow to young roots, stimulating early root growth. It contains tiny colloids which increase the mobility of natural sugars and foliar-applied solutions.

Pests/Diseases – To stimulate plants’ immune response systems and help them fight off pests and diseases, use Regalia or Procidic. Then come back at row closure with EF400 and use Ecotec and Neem to keep aphids and ear worms under control. Where army worms have caused problems, stock up on Javelin and DiPel.

Remember cool, saturated, anaerobic soil conditions can lead to disease and pest damage to the germinating/emerging seedling, and while the products listed don’t protect against all diseases and pests, it is certainly good to be proactive – control the controllable!

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Some Useful Farm Apps

Want to be more efficient this spring? We’ve found the following apps to be extremely helpful and real time-savers.

  • Calibrate My Sprayer – This app was created to aid in the proper calibration of spraying equipment. Improperly calibrated spraying equipment may cause Calibrate My Sprayereither too little or too much fertilizer or pesticide to be applied. With this free app, simply select the type of spray you want to calibrate (broadcast or banded), insert values in each input box, select what you want the app to calculate (volume/area or catch/nozzle), and tap ‘Calculate’. Each input’s units can be customized by tapping the units. Sprayers can be saved with user-defined names. It can be downloaded on the iPhone here and Android here.
  • TeeJet Technologies (Spray Select) – This free app allows you to TeeJet Technologies (Spray Select)quickly and easily choose the proper tip or nozzle for your application. Just enter speed, spacing and your target rate, select your drop size category, and you have a list of tips that will work for your application. It can be downloaded on the iPhone here and Android here.


What about you? Do you already use these apps? We hope you find these as beneficial as we have.

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