Dave Eckhoff-Southeastern Minnesota
Spring 2022 can be summed up in one word. Variable. From the rains to the temperatures, a person can’t put even a single county in the same boat. Spring rains have had everyone starting, stopping again, and changing plans continually, but just drive 5 miles and most likely it is very different. The speed at which spring happens can stagger, but just two or three days in an area can produce huge results. Because our Patriots and Tridents have 120, 132, or 135-foot booms all with 1600-gallon tanks, pre-emerge/pre-plant acres can quickly and accurately be applied. And with 90-foot Salfords and G5s, fertilizer season keeps becoming shorter and more efficient, even in between rain showers.
This year’s call center has helped greatly in keeping the customers up and running. Answering questions, getting situations fixed on the phone, and getting the call to the right person to get the equipment running has kept the machines in the field instead of waiting for a service call. Corn acres are over 90% complete and with good weather, soybean planting could be mostly completed by the end of the week.
Going forward, we will have many different stages of the same crop in our area and working around the wet spots will be a reality again this year. Post spraying and side dress/top dress acres will be spaced out more than the past few years. Despite the wet season, the dust did fly, at least for a couple of days!
Todd Roland-Western Iowa
We have been busy as the GPS satellite went out during a crucial week of the season. Our team was all hands on deck as we got a plan together, figured out who was down, and resolved the issue very quickly to keep the customer happy and their downtime to a minimal.
Ed Zahn-Southeast Kansas
The winter weather was dry, which allowed for an open window to apply NH3. With the high fertilizer prices, many producers waited on fertilizer until a rain was expected, which was infrequent until the end of April or beginning of May. Lately, we have had some much-appreciated rains.
Wheat fungicide was a big run, and with close to record wheat prices there was a lot of fungicide to be done. Most of the corn in the area is in the ground, with the beans soon to follow. Wheat harvest is right around the corner, and that will be the beginning of planting double crop soybeans. Our Service technicians are traveling all over, keeping customers up and running in this busy time, and they have really done an excellent job. When the technicians are busy, the parts guys become busy which makes things difficult due to supply chain issues. Personally, I can’t say enough about how the team in Kansas works: they have been great all year!
Buddy Wallen-Southwest Missouri
In Southeast Missouri, it has been wet all spring, but a lot gets done in a hurry when we get a dry spell. Unfortunately, some ground did not get done at all, but more top dressing will be done in other areas. Due to the weather and high prices, customers did not want to pre-pay for NH3 or dry fertilizer, so the number of tons used is lower this spring.
Mark Hays-Southeast Nebraska and Northeast Kansa
There have been several challenges this spring in Southeast Nebraska and Northeast Kansas. Customers have been at a stand-still on spraying due to above average high wind conditions. The moisture is also below average with only one rain event so far this spring. Despite these challenges, corn is pretty much all in the ground, beans are close behind, and post corn spraying will begin in a week or so.
Mike Woessner-Central Minnesota
In Central Minnesota, less than 10% of heavy soils and about 50% of sandy soils are dry enough for spring application due to the moisture. Unfortunately, the amount of planting being done is even less than dry application. April/May storms left a wide range of rain; anywhere from a half inch to more than seven inches. In some areas, there are large enough pockets of rain to leave growers at a complete stand-still and to start thinking about prevent plant.
Due to the GPS satellite 138 being decommissioned, extra time has been taken to get everyone’s GPS changed to the proper channels and back on track. Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of stuck machines, even in unusual places like side hills and hill tops but are trying to get out as fast as possible. Due to the intense amount of moisture this spring, we are working around countless wet spots.
So far everyone is staying on course for row crops and those with small grains in the territory have switched to soybeans.
Jeff Hodge-Northern Wisconsin
Northern Wisconsin got off to a very late start. It was cold and wet with rain and snow through most of April. It dried out and warmed up in early and mid-May with record high temperatures. With these temperatures, the dry and pre-liquid season began later than usual, but because of the nice weather through the first 3 weeks of May, most places were able to catch up. Our staff has been stretched very thin and working long hours to not only prep new machines, but service units operating in the field. Despite supply chain issues and battling a late start to the season, retailers are generally upbeat about the remaining season as the agricultural economy is strong with high commodity prices.
Jamie Bos-Southeast Iowa
It was a cold, wet start to spring in Southeast Iowa. Most of the dry fertilizer and NH3 was put on last fall. The pace started picking up with corn and bean chemicals going down the last week of April, and it has been a whirlwind since then. Pre-chemicals are finishing up and most of the corn and beans are now planted. With some more heat, we are hopeful that some post chemical applications will start soon.
Casey Lilly-North Central Montana
North Central Montana is bone dry from the Rocky Mountain front to Glasgow, Montana. This is the second year in a row for dry conditions, leaving most discouraged on the outcome of this year. Other areas like central, south central, and eastern Montana have had some rain and snow which give growers some optimism.
Prices on input costs and equipment have everyone puckered throughout the state. Most everyone is behind on spraying and dry fertilizer applications due to the dry and cool conditions. Although this has been an obstacle, things are picking up where there has been recent moisture.
Jon Ullrich-Southern North Dakota
Southern North Dakota has been extremely wet, especially in the east, which has kept us from getting much done. The eastern side of the state is 20-30% done with the west at about 50-60%. Customers are fighting muddy conditions and trying to keep machines moving when they can. Ultimately, the spread is key. Spraying has started on the western side of the state and will start on the east once crops are in the ground.