Posts Tagged With: Spring


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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3 Nutritious Snacks to get Through Planting

We’ve all been there. Work, work, work until you can barely keep your eyes open and then work some more. It’s at this point we tend to reach for that sugary drink or something sweet and salty to keep us awake. While it’s delicious going down and we feel the effects for the next 10 minutes, we typically tend to crash within 30 minutes.

Well, today, we’re going to let you in on a few secrets that could help maintain energy rather than crashing.

  • Kill Cliff Recovery Drinks – These drinks our loaded with electrolytes, vitamins,Kill Cliff Recovery Drinks and micronutrients for replenishment after a strenuous workout or a long day in the tractor. They come in four flavors: Berry Legit Blackberry Lemonade, Free Fall Camo Lemon-Lime, Tasty Blood Orange, and Double Awesomeness Pomegranate-Watermelon. Kill Cliff was started in 2011 by a US Navy SEAL because other things on the market didn’t help replenish micronutrients. Four years later, their team now consists of military veterans, business professionals, and food and beverage gurus. Our favorites are Free Fall Camo Lemon-Lime and Double Awesomeness Pomegranate-Watermelon. They’re so refreshing and really do leave you feeling replenished.
  • Raw Revolution Organic Live Food Bars – These bars are loaded with antioxidant-rich sprouted flax seeds, spirulina, chlorella, barley, oat, and wheat grass. Raw Revolution was founded in 2004 in the home kitchen of Alice Benedetto. A registered nurse and natural foods chef, Benedetto was looking for a healthy snack her kids would like. Over a decade later, we think she nailed it. These bars come in 13 delicious flavors: dark chocolate trail mix, chunky peanut butter chocolate, cranberry almond coconut, cherry chocolate chunk, spirulina dream, double chocolate brownie, chocolate coconut bliss, almond butter cup, chocolate raspberry truffle, chocolate crave, coconut delight, golden cashew, and heavenly hazelnut chocolate. Our favorites are the chunky peanut butter chocolate and the chocolate raspberry truffle. They’re so good, especially if you have a sweet tooth craving. They leave us feeling satisfied and re-energized.
  • NOW Snack Foods – These snacks are loaded with healthy fatty acids, protein, and fiber making them an ideal snack food for kids and adults. They come in a variety of raw nuts, roasted nuts, organic nuts, and dried fruits. Founded in 1948, NOW’s mission is to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives. A family-owned business near Chicago, they manufacture and distribute more than 1,400 dietary supplements, natural foods, sports nutrition, and personal care products. Our favorite snacks are their Crunchy Clusters Cran-Blueberry (dry roasted, slightly sweetened crunchy cashews, almonds, pistachios, cranberries, and blueberries), Honey Roasted Pecans (crunchy pecans fused with caramelized honey), and Tamari Almonds (savory Asian Tamari flavor). They are simply delicious. You can eat the whole bag and not feel bad!

All the snacks listed are made by individuals who have made a name for themselves in the natural food market. Most of them are non-gmo and gluten-free. They are sold in retail stores around the country, and locally at Optimal Health.

Oh and if these snacks are a favorite part of your spring, take a pic and submit it in our contest!

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Why Shop the Farmers’ Market?

Our local farmers’ market is expected to open in just over a month and there’s been a lot of buzz around the community about it. This year is a big year for our market as they have moved to a brand new location, and everyone seems to be getting excited about all the new possibilities this could have on our community. Anyway, we’ve enjoyed working with a few of the vendors, offering fertility recommendations, and we can’t wait to see how their season goes.

So why shop the farmers’ market this season? Because it’s where one has access to whole, fresh foods. We’ve noticed when we fuel our bodies with nutritious foods, we feel good. And what’s better than that?

Some items at last year's farmers' market. Our local market is growing with many of last year's vendors also returning.

Some items at last year’s farmers’ market. Our local market is growing with many of last year’s vendors also returning.

On a personal note, it’s where I discovered an apple cider slushy for the very first time. Let me tell you, for those of you who have never had an apple cider slushy, they are the best inventions ever. EVER. In fact, they’re so good, they will most likely be served at my upcoming wedding this fall. Like I said, fuel the body with nutritious foods, feel good. And who doesn’t need that on their wedding day? After one slush, I’m able to tackle the rest of the day!

Ever since I was a young girl, I was involved with the farmers’ market in one aspect or another. Whether it was marketing our family’s snack food business, sampling our snacks in the Illinois State Fair farmers’ market tent, broadcasting live for a local radio station, reporting for a local newspaper, and now in my current role in advertising, I’ve seen it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I’ve seen how much work goes into preparing produce/products for the market, I’ve seen vendors go round and round, I’ve seen young children learn valuable business skills, but more importantly I’ve seen the passion each and every vendor has for their product(s).

They pour their heart and souls into what they do. For most of them, the farmers’ market is more than a livelihood; it’s a passion. A way of life.

It is for these reasons, we’d recommend shopping the farmers’ market.

Will you be supporting your local farmers’ market this season? If so, what are your go-to items?

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#Plant15 Mystery Giveaway

Did someone say GIVEAWAY??

Our first submission came to us from a customer in Illinois captioned, "The sunsets are spectacular this time of year!"

Our first submission came to us from a customer in Illinois captioned, “The sunsets are spectacular this time of year!”

That’s right. Starting today until the very last seed is planted this spring, we are collecting photos of “Spring on the Farm” for a chance to win our MYSTERY GIVEAWAY. Trust me, this is going to be a very useful giveaway that could be put to very good use on the farm, but first we want to see what spring is like on your operation.

Whether you’re in the tractor or tending to baby calves, we want to see. The guidelines are simple:

1) Snap a picture of your favorite aspect of spring.
2) Send it to our communication strategist, Katlyn at Please include your name, address, phone number, and a caption.
3) All photos will be added to our #Plant15 Mystery Giveaway album on Facebook so be sure to like our page. This is very important. If you don’t like our page, your entry WILL NOT count.
4) Like, share, and comment on your favorite photo.

The photo with the most likes, comments, and shares will win.

Good luck!

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Safety is on the Mind

Spring has officially sprung. While it is an exciting time filled with activity, it also is a time when tensions run high and we often unleash our fury on the ones who least deserve it. But once we find our planting rhythm, all is well again.

However, it’s often in these moments between tension and fury that stupid, sometimes fatal, accidents happen. Aside from the typical farm safety messages we hear every spring and fall, here are a few more that could make all the difference.

    The same is also true for the good 'ol trusty farm dog. As much as we enjoy their company in the tractor, it is important to be cautious.

    The same is also true for the good ‘ol trusty farm dog. As much as we enjoy their company in the tractor, it is important to be cautious.

  • Children – Children are a wonderful gift, but let’s be honest. They can get into anything, anywhere in 0.23 seconds. Maybe less. But who doesn’t enjoy having a little co-pilot along for the ride? Remember to be extra cautious when moving equipment and/or using chemicals around the little tykes because they are our future. Our fate is in their small hands.
  • Technology – Technology has transformed the way we farm. It’s made it so much easier to communicate with your team, share ideas, glean information, and essentially, farm. It’s also one text message, ring, snap, click away from a fatal accident, also called distracted farming. With today’s automated equipment, it can be human nature to get one more text message sent before looking up. In the time, it takes to hit the send button, things could go dangerously wrong. Be sure to take the time to listen for potential mechanical problems and watch for traffic while moving fields. Also, remember to keep your devices fully charged.
  • Extra Caution – This is especially important if working alone. Don’t over do it. Always have a way to call for help if you feel yourself not totally with it. Also, it’s okay to adjust bits and pieces of the day-to-day operations. As farmers age, the step in and out of the tractor may feel a little higher and may need to be approached differently, they may need assistance in lifting, moving, tightening/loosening something they’ve been able to handle by themselves, as to not pull a muscle or strain a joint.

On a brighter note, it’s quite the feeling getting out there and planting next year’s crops and we want to be there every step of the way. Starting now until the very last seed is planted for 2015, we want to see your progress. Send us pictures of your favorite part of the season and you will be entered into our #Plant15 mystery giveaway. Pictures can be sent to Katlyn at

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Plant 2015

Plant 2015 is upon us.

Plant 2015

As the ground starts to warm and the soil dries, we can’t help but feel a sense of excitement as we enter a new season. Many area farmers around our home office have been busy getting their planters ready, scurrying around making sure everything is in working order.

And we are no different. Each year, we look forward to planting season along with our growers. We live to guide our customers along with fertility recommendations made by our experienced agronomists. If you are looking for that one thing to go from a GOOD planting season to a FANTASTIC one, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (815) 872-1190. It isn’t too late to get your Myco Seed Treat (MST), SP-1, a variety of starters, Pillar, calcium & carbon products, and/or specialized organic blends.

If you’re already set for spring, we hope you all have a safe and successful planting season!

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Spring is Right Around the Corner…We Hope

The snow here around our home office in Princeton, Illinois is slowly beginning to melt. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit when I say melt because we still have more snow than grass. But, anyway, moving on. If you’re chomping at the bit to get back in the fields, or just chomping at the bit for warmer weather, this post may be beneficial to you.

Here is what some of our dealers have to say about this bizarre winter weather in March:

Tom Adams“The weather for February was one of the coldest on record. We had several days of -25 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow fall has been tremendous as well; more snow this year than we had in the last 10 years. We have 2-4 feet of snow in the fields currently. Frost line is down at least 2 feet. There are concerns about seeding. When snow melts and frost comes out, it could be pretty tough on seedings. This week is supposed to be in the 30’s. If that’s the case, we’ll see a lot of snow melt. It’ll be April before we can possibly do anything. Our weather comes from the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes. They’re both frozen indicating we are going to have a cooler, wetter spring than normal. The cold air coming off the ice takes longer to warm up the ground. We’re looking forward to warmer temps and getting in the fields. Everybody’s antsy because you can’t do anything here unless you ski or snow mobile.”  – Tom Adams, New York

Marlow Nash “It was up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday and it will be 50 again for quite a few days this week, which isn’t normal for us. We had 18 inches of snow for the winter and it’s 90% gone now. When the snow is melted, soil temperatures warm up much faster. We’ll see how long this warm weather will hold. Our crop insurance day for corn is April 10 so if you’re out there planting before that, you’re risking no insurance or no replant insurance. Most farmers will stick close to that. The National Weather Service has been dropping the word drought a little bit because of a lack of snow this winter, but it’s way too early to say that. We’ll leave that to the good Lord to decide what to do with the weather.”  – Marlow Nash, Southeast North Dakota

Dean Craine

“As of Friday morning the temperature was just hovering over 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but judging by the forecast for this week, we will trade our snow cover for mud. But we’ll take it. If the forecast continues to warm, I can see farmers getting out in the fields first part of April after everything starts to dry up a bit.”  – Dean Craine, Illinois



“The temJosh Boanperature has been in the twenties for lows the first of the month. It’s wet but it should warm up quickly now. Corn is started to be planted in north Florida and south Georgia. A little delayed due to cold and wet weather. Middle Georgia planting will begin in the next week for the same reasons.”   – Josh Boan, Florida



“SoutheMark Eganast Texas just got up to 4 inches of rain yesterday which is vital because it’s been dry for 6 weeks. It will take at least 10 days until farmers can start field work. This is a dry land scenario. Getting this moisture now will last a couple days and is critical to replenish soil moisture. Planting will probably start as soon as folks can get out without muddying everything up. Temperatures during these rains were in the 50’s and we had cold fronts before that. It’s supposed to climb back into the 70’s and it’ll start hitting 80 degrees Fahrenheit pretty soon. As always, corn growers down here will be dependent on timely in-season rains.”  – Mark Egan, Texas

“We were sitting under a foot of snow on Friday. It’s a bit unusual for this time of year, but that’s what we’ve got. We’re not doing anything in the field. If we had a little window, we’d like to get sprayed here as soon as possible. We’re set up to do gypsum soon. We’re waiting for things to warm up to do some seeding. According to forecast we’ll be melting off by the first of the week. We don’t have any frozen ground so it will be a sloppy mess. If the ground is frozen underneath the snow we can deal with it, but not when it’s mud. Maybe end of next week or the following week we can do a little field work – new seedings, manure hauling, things like that.”  – Ben Peachey, Kentucky (picture N/A)

Not from any of these areas, but still want an update? The National Corn Growers Association updates a national map with current soil temperatures every day. Here’s the day’s soil temps if you’re interested. Many of the southern states have hit or are getting close to the ideal temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Soil Temperature Map

What’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Have you officially hit “mud season” yet?

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