Sunday, January 2, 2011


1-1-11 was weird to write on my checks yesterday. I think 1 January or January 1 works a lot better. So much for digits.

The Big Ten didn't do so well yesterday in the bowl games. Some of them got slaughtered. Good thing it is only a game. Their graduates are a lot better, let me assure you. At least Illinois and Iowa one their games earlier.

It was a good day to read and work on other things because no game interested me. It was just a nice quiet day to rest. LuAnn made the best ham loaf you ever tasted out of the left over ham and everything tastes good again. We are almost recovered from a week of illness.

I woke up early with the greatest feeling of gratitude this morning. I am so blessed. I have had so many good things happen to me it doesn't seem fair to hog them all so I give till it hurts. That doesn't take much for an old German Dutchman ha ha.

Today I want to polish off my seed treatment presentation. How can I convince farmers to treat all their seed and add inoculants to it? I usually won't plant soybean seed that is untreated unless it is late like double crops but I find it even pays to treat them.

The new fungicides keep enough seed alive and healthy long enough to establish a better plant. A good insecticide and stave off the incoming insects on the baby plant up until about 4 leaves or 21 days after planting. I have had to spray for bean leaf beetles several times.

You can't hardly buy corn or wheat seed untreated unless you are organic. Thank goodness. That seed is too costly and the yield potential too high to go untreated. Now the problem is which one do you use

They are coming out with new treatments faster than salesmen can explain them to farmers. It's a great thing but it is also confusing.

Here is where trust comes in. The people I buy from are really on top of their game. When they say Ed we are using this product this year or you should consider this product or you can choose from these new products that we have, I listen. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and I expect good products and good advice. I pretty much get that.

So I think any farmer can. One product may make more money on your farm but look at the chemistry. The old pine cone story I wrote about a long time ago refers to the evolution of the new asoxystrobins that EVERY company offers now in one form or another. Boy do they work good on my farm and I know they will on yours.

So pick one, any one and make sure it is done right. Once in awhile a batch of seed won't get treated right but passes the test and gets bagged. That one might make 5 less bushels for me.

I demand pristine seed and pristine treatment or a good reason why not and it better be almost free. $150 for a bag of corn seed(some are paying double for GMO), $40 for soybean seed and $17 for wheat seed, it better get up and walk to market!

Seed treatment is an easy bushel an acre on soybeans and inoculation is just as easy. But not as many farmers use it as they do chemically treated seed.

It was one of my best lessons in science class, backed up by grandpa(in yesterday's picture). The symbiotic relationship, where the life of one organism depends on the life of another. That is what happens when you inoculate a legume plant. You increase the efficiency of that plant because the bacteria on the nodules depends on the plant being there and the plant gains nitrogen and other good chemicals which make it healthier.

I don't see why farmers and gardeners don't get that, it is basic science. I know most farmers think you have to mix it in with a big stick in the seed box like we did 20 years ago but now they can get it applied right to their seed. It is an easy bushel and has made about 3 extra bushels for me the last 7 years and 10 soybean crops.

I wonder what photograph I will scan for today's blog? Something January 1 about 25 years ago I bet.



  1. Have to admit I don't bother with seed treatments on cereals like wheat and oats. All canola seed is purchased pre-treated though. Something to fend off the flea beatles I believe. I recall treating wheat seed using the old pink liquid and stirring it in the drill bocxes. Time consuming and messy and I could not see any difference between years I used the treatment and those I didn't. Now if we had something to pre=treat the wheat seed against fusarium, wheat midge I might go for that. I generally haul my wheat to a local cleaning plant and get enough cleaned for myself every year. Every few years buy new certified seed and start all over again. I'm not looking forward to the day when we can not even save wheat seed to use on our own farms but I can see it coming.

  2. You would have to have bin run seed to not get a treatment around here, Ralph! Has to be on the seed, farmers aren't going to mess with it.