Compost and Manure
Adding Natural Value
Utilizing deep bedding pack cattle manure from the feedlot gives the soil ample biology and natural fertility. Soil test values can be significantly raised with low cost applications. Bedding pack manure can be treated with composting bacteria and windrowed to start the composting process. The compost has no odor and can be economically trucked to farther away farms. Compost can be blended with additional fertilizer, lime, or biochar to make a complete soil amendment.
Utilizing all available soil and sunlight with 20" rows
Although narrow rows may be challenging, we have made the switch with proven yield gains. With only 20" between rows, roots are allowed to explore more soil while capturing increased sunlight during the early growth stages. We utilize tram lines in the corn to be able to access the fields at tassel for fungicide application. Populations are increased 50% on the bordering rows to the tram lines, effectively planting the same amount of seeds with no yield loss.
Second Most Valuable Commodity
This technique of only baling the cobs and husks removes only the highest value feed source while leaving the stalk, the most nutrient and lignin dense part of the plant for soil coverage.
An essential part to healthy soil
A great compliment to manure and residue removal is a living cover crop. Cereal rye grain is most commonly used due to its winter hardiness and being able to survive Iowa winters. Cover crops are useful on highly soils and water courses. For best establishment, seeding is typically done with a drill.
Chemistry at Work
Custom spraying encompasses using multiple chemistries for complete weed control while being timely for effective residual. Sidedressing with nitrogen can be applied with Y-drops in season with the same equipment. Tassel application of fungicide on corn and V3 application on soybeans is a common practice. We utilize ground sprayers for better coverage and efficacy.
Utilize Sunlight, Create Yield
When old things become new again: Although strip intercropping goes back generations, current technology is bringing this cultural practice to light again. Now in our 5th year of production, we can confidently say we have the system down. The theory is simple: give the corn more edge rows to capture more sunlight, while shading the beans from the hot afternoon sun. Sunlight is one of the best preventions of disease while corn's number one yield limiting factor. Do this all while giving the corn more population! GMO herbicide resistant hybrids and varieties have made this possible. We are having a lot of fun and great success with this uncommon practice!
Single Pass Stover Harvest
Unique Solution For A Simple Idea
It seems wasteful to let the highly processed cob and husk hit the ground when it could be used as premium cattle feed. With help from the engineers at Hillco Technologies we were able to help instrument the first model of the John Deere/Hillco single pass round baler. The lowest ash, lowest nutrient removal, highest starch and digestible fiber content round bale on the market is truly a cattle feeders delight.
Weather and nitrogen are the two most critical influencers to yield. Third on the list of importance is corn hybrid and soybean variety selection. Each year we place a test plot with running control to verify that we are not selecting numbers with too much risk or too little yield potential. Let each seed company stand out with their proprietary genetics.
Comparing to Find Results
Using GPS mapping and yield monitors, we are able to compare treatments with side by side trials. This technology allows us to see results from agronomic inputs and find the maximum economic yield (MEY) for each input.
Low cost and temporary, grain bag storage allows timely harvest. Plastic bags, 300 feet in length, keep the grain anaerobic and prevents spoilage until unloaded. This keeps harvest progressing during late night hours and prevents bottlenecks at delivery.
Sharing The Message Of Agriculture
We love to share the message of agriculture! We have hosted tours ranging from 1st grade field trips to the National Secretary of Agriculture. Pictured here is a group of Argentinian farmers who absolutely enjoyed learning about American agriculture.