Chilton Agronomy Recap

Dec 01, 2021

Chilton Agronomy Recap
Facility Updates

The Chilton agronomy location has completed some updates prior to the start of the 2021 growing season.  A new fertilizer tower was put in to service in March, 2021.  The new tower includes automation installed by Kahler Automation out of Fairmont, MN.  The tower includes 10 holding bins for different fertilizers, two weigh hoppers, and a high speed six ton blender.  All blending and measuring is done automatically using software that is controlled from an operator station inside the agronomy office.  The addition of the new tower has decreased waiting times between loads and increased the efficiency of our dry fertilizer department.  In addition a new intake system was installed to increase the speed of rail car unloading.  This new system replaces a tower and intake system that was built in 2001.

Crop Update-Chilton/Brillion Area

2021 was certainly an exceptional year for crop production in Northeast Wisconsin.  Following one of the driest springs on record and great conditions for early planting, the rains and heat came.   Crop conditions throughout the year remained good in the area and an early harvest was underway under excellent conditions until rain sidelined the harvest for a few weeks.  Fortunately, most of corn silage harvest was complete by the time the rain came.  Yields overall were good to excellent, with many reports of 200+ bushel corn being harvested around 20% moisture, 25+ ton corn silage, and soybean yields being reported upwards of 65 bushels per acre.  Areas of white mold in soybeans were noted in pockets around Calumet County.  The biggest challenge to soybean harvest was green stems and dry soybeans which was reported across most of the area.  A late onset of tar spot was also noted in corn this year.  Wheat and alfalfa yields in general were very good across the area.  Very few instances of vomitoxin were noted in wheat.  Alfalfa yields were good to excellent, ensuring an adequate forage supply. 
Considerations for 2022

Fertilizer-Consider layering your fertilizer purchases.  As all of you are aware, pricing has gone up significantly due to supply and transportation issues.  Prepaying on your fertilizer and signing a contract will lock in the fertilizer price for the upcoming years.  This market is very volatile and has been steadily climbing in the last 2 months, often making large jumps in a single week.

Chemical- If you are not currently using a preplant/preemerge herbicide on your soybeans, your weed control will likely not be satisfactory.  Relying only on post emerge applications rarely leads to clean fields, as waterhemp and other difficult to control weeds will challenge the best post-emerge program.  Consult your agronomist regarding the latest technology in both pre and post soybean herbicides, and how we can do a better job at controlling weeds in your fields.

Along with the fertilizer market, the chemical market has been very volatile.  Problems with production due to weather events, foreign markets, transportation, and supply will likely lead to price increases in 2022.  Consider prepaying for chemicals to ensure supply.
Thank you to all the growers who have allowed us to be a part of your farming operation in 2021!  Our success depends upon your success.  We look forward to meeting with you in the coming weeks and months to plan a successful 2022 growing season!

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