Thursday, September 12, 2013

Top Five

A young fellow asked on Crop Talk what the Top Five things that we have brought to the farm since 1995.  That must be the year he graduated or something, I don't know why you would choose that year.

1994 I remember, Leon Bird came to me with this new inoculant called America's Best.  Everything I put it on increased yield about 3 bushels.  That is pretty significant for a biological product to have that much impact.  I can't imagine the amount of money that one little finding has done for agriculture.  Dr. David Kuykendall should be proud and I hope he is.

A whole new company was born from those findings and a whole new way of life for me and many of my friends.  I would never plant soybeans without an ABM Inoculant on it it.  It was not very long after that, I read of a new fungi discovered by another scientist that also improves plant roots.  It is a fungi that is found in healthy soil called trichoderma.  I told Leon about that discovery and that product was added to the company inventory.  I would never plant a seed without an ABM trichoderma on it now, either.

Another fellow posted a picture of his radish root he planted in August.  No wonder he is impressed with its growth.  Radish came to our farm about ten years after the inoculants.  I even plant it with my wheat seed now because "something magical happens when a radish sprouts."  It's about healthy soil fungi,too like I get with SabrEx on the seed.

I would have to agree with 9670guy on his post.
"Managing compaction.
scale. you have to be able to measure differences, you can't always see them.
changing the way you fertilize."

Some people have used four of those practices all their life but it's amazing when you realize the value of them for yourself.  The other one is brand new technology that has changed every one's life whether they realize it or not.  That is the Internet.

My blog and my whole post today came about after the invention of the Internet.  I use it almost every day of my life and did find it when I bought my first computer and modem in the year the original poster cited, 1995.

I wonder what the next big thing will be "down on the farm?"

Ed Winkle


  1. 1. No-till - our soil is in much better condition
    2. Bt corn - Has decimated corn borer populations to the extent non-bt corn can work
    3. RR crops - We didn't use to have clean fields. Doesn't work as well now with resistance but we have grown some fantastic rr crops. The crop saftey of roundup is second to none.
    4. Precision technology - The cost savings from swath control and gps guidance have resulted in enormous reduction in overlap. Yield mapping has taught us how to grow better crops.
    5. Information acess. (Internet, cell phones) if you don't know what is wrong it is so easy to get answers. Success stories and failures are well documented. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    Farmers seem to have more of a "lets do it better this year" demeanor. I can remember when the "we'll do it like last year" mentality was prevalent.

    David Seck

  2. That is a good reply, David. What do you see in the next five years? I am assuming you are a young man and have your whole life ahead of you, hopefully.

    Yes, farmers have advanced their practices in my neighborhood, also, in true American Spirit style.

    I keep thinking I just have to practice what I already know to do on more acres!

    Ed Winkle

  3. The thing I see coming down the road that is going to have the most immediate impact is dicamba and 24d resistant soybeans. Im not sure how the will coexist with non gmo beans but they are going to make farmers good at weed control again.

    Monsanto's prescription planting has a lot of promise as well. Paired with prescription fertility, tissue testing, grid sampling, variable irritation and drone aquired crop information (nvdi images etc.) Farmers will start addressing issues on a microscale.

    Biological additives to make the soil plant relationship better could come into there own. You have had success with saberx. A local company in Wichita is making terra one and it has been applied to some crops locally that preformed better than ever. Seem the products keep improving.
    I've always been fascinated by how weel crops preform when planted into an old pasture. I believe some of the benefits occur because of biological reasons. Not just fertility and soil structure.

    I am a young man, 32, and thank you for the kind words

    David Seck