LESSONS LEARNED AND LINES DRAWN

For most of us, harvest is underway in some form or fashion. It’s been a hard year for just about every farmer I talk to. Between hail, drought, wind, rain…it seems like everyone has gotten some disaster that’s struck on the home front this year. Add on falling grain prices and rising fuel prices; it’s harder now to see the positives than it was last year. 

Returning Input Prices

We do have a few things to be thankful for however, and that includes input prices coming back to a level that pencils out. Five dollar corn for 2024 and nitrogen in the thirty to forty cent range works. This is especially so given what we’re seeing with being able to lower nitrogen use with Humics and some other products that make biology work for us, and still being able to raise the same bushels we were before while using more nitrogen. 

5 Dollar Corn

It’s hard to pull the trigger on locking in some five dollar corn for 2024 after selling corn for six to seven dollars last year. If we take a step back and look at history. How many times would we have given an arm and leg for corn at five dollars, and to have nitrogen at thirty-five cents? As I ponder the “if”, “when”, and “how much” I think about what Ben talks about often. That’s making sure that what you do is profitable. Don’t start out hoping to make money; draw a line, and start there.

Go into next year having a plan, and knowing that it will be profitable whether it’s a successful crop, or in worse case scenario it’s looking at insurance guarantee. Then working from that point up. Ensuring the future of our farms is something to be at the forefront of our thoughts. Being able to adapt and to change on the fly to maintain that goal is also extremely valuable. If we can put emotion and pride aside and make these decisions based on what we know works, it would put us farmers ahead of the 8-Ball. 

I think 2023 will be a year chalked up as one that came with more lessons learned than most years in agriculture; I find this encouraging. We proceed into next year with more knowledge on the agronomy side, the business side, and in everyday life. I encourage you to shut the combine down and have dinner with the family one evening this harvest. It will still be there tomorrow. It’s amazing how it can help to re-center one’s mindset on the true priorities in life. After all, aren’t they who we are doing all this for…?

– Joshua Pretzer

  CXO / Head of Prod Dev

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Designed primarily as a plant starter, and for foliar application.  Young plants require high Phosphorus for proper growth; MASTERBLEND’s 9-45-15 low Nitrogen and high Phosphorus fit ehe needs of young plants very well.  This formula can also be used whenever soils indicate the need for elevated Phosphate levels

Specifically designed for use as a blossom booster for Orchids, but it should not be limited to just one plant species.  This works very well on all types of flowering material, especially when the grower requires improved bud set, bud count, and also better color and size of flowers.  Use MASTERBLEND 10-30-20 throughout the flowering stage, then switch back to the regular analysis when flowering is finished.  Fertilizer amounts need not be varied.

General Purpose formula that is designed for application with any sprayer, injector or proportioner.  This is an all-purpose formula, safe for all growing plants.  No sodium, sulfate or chloride is used in formulation.  The result is a balanced solution which will not “fall out” to clog equipment or soils.

Bio-Builder H is a Humic based formulation designed to fit the standard operation with a modest level of Catalyst and nutrients present to support most operations and scenarios.  Will blend with other nutrients and products as long as a PH level of 6.5 or greater is maintained.  Bio-Builder H can be a stand-alone product or an addition to your current starter program.  Bio-Builder H excels in most soils, however will really stand out in high PH environments.  This formulation is an excellent option for legumes.

Bio-Builder H+ is a stand-alone product.  As the workhorse of the class, it has been formulated with high PH soils, or higher salt environments in mind.  Bio-Builder H+ has also been designed with a higher level of Catalyst and salt-safeguarding components.  This formulation has shown great response in less than ideal conditions, or unhealthy soils.  However, it is not recommended to be combined with other products, as the higher concentrations of ingredients could cause blending or fall out issues.

Bio-Builder F is a companion product, designed with tank compatibility in mind.  This formulation blends very well with most products by utilizing the high water-soluble components of the Bio-Builder class.  All this is done while maintaining a high level of various catalysts to support a diverse soil biome.  Bio-Builder F tends to perform very well in high yield environments.

Seaweed extract is a natural fertilizer that can boost crop yields by providing essential micronutrients and growth hormones. Kelp can be applied through foliar spray, root drench or soil application, and has been shown to improve seed germination, growth, flowering and fruit yields.  Additionally, it promotes stress tolerance, pest and disease resistance, enhances soil structure and increases nutrient uptake.

Yucca acts as a natural surfactant, wetting agent, and plant bio-stimulant and is derived from a flowering desert plant.  Yucca has been shown to reduce plant stress from drought, heat and salinity.  It increases plant cell wall gas, and liquid exchange.  Applications to soil will assist in the infiltration and absorption of water and nutrients.  Yucca mixes well with most products. As always, jar testing is recommended before application.

Sugar’s general purpose is to supply a food source for soil microorganisms and support plant growth.  Active microbes will help to make soil nutrients more plant available.  Sugars also work in residue decomposition.  It is compatible with most products and can be used with a starter, foliar application or soil application.  As always, jar testing to ensure compatibility is recommended.

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