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A publication of the NY Corn & Soybean Growers Association Fall 2012, Vol. 2 No. 7

Aquaculture's Demand for Soy Meal Catching On Bill Jenkins Travels to North Dakota on REAP Tour Hudson Valley Growers Attending 2013 Just Food Conference

p. 5 p. 6 p. 4

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 1

The New York Crop Grower

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 2

New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association President, Steve Van Voorhis Henrietta, 585-746-1542

Vice President, Ron Robbins Sackets Harbor, 315-382-3883

Secretary/Treasurer, Ralph Lott Seneca Falls, 315-568-9501

Board Members Roger Arliss, Pit Farm Clyde, 315-521-0488 Adam L. Craft Williamson, 315-589-2386 Todd Du Mond, Du Mond Ag, LLC Union Springs, 315-252-9191 Loren Herod, Community Bank NA Geneva, 315-781-2138 Bill Jenkins, Jenkins Farm Wyoming, 585-786-5793 Seth Pritchard, Catalpa Farm Canandaigua, 585-748-3334 Mike Stanyard, Cornell Cooperative Extension Newark, 315-331-8415 Tom Sutter, Monroe Tractor Henrietta, 585-334-3857, 585-730-1853 Jason Swede, Gary Swede Farms Pavilion, 585-243-9739 Tim Taylor, SeedSource, LLC Skaneateles, 315-374-2611 Raymond Dean Auburn, 315-209-7183 Beth Chittenden, Dutch Hollow Farm Schodack Landing, 518-732-4633

Julia Robbins Executive Director Sackets Harbor, 315-778-1443 The New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association is a grassroots organization representing corn and soybean producers’ interests. The Association works to develop and expand markets, educate members, and enhance public policy for corn and soybean growers in the Empire State. The Association sponsors research on corn and soybean production, utilization and marketing and hosts educational programs.

President's Column

Looking Forward to a Productive Fall By Steve Van Voorhis


ow that summer has ended, I am sure everyone is very busy chopping and harvesting grains. I was glad to see that just when we thought crops were going to be a total loss, the rains came in the nick of time. From my conversations with growers from across the state, soybeans look to be in good shape, while corn is spotty in places. I'm hoping that when all is said and done, New York ends up with a decent 2012 crop. As far as the Association, you may be aware that our new fiscal year began on Oct. 1. And with the increase in soybean acres and the price per bushel, as well as potential increases in overall yield, we are planning for additional checkoff revenues in FY 2013. Therefore, the NYCSGA Board of Directors has budgeted $175,000 for research and education initiatives in 2013. Keep an eye out for the research and education RFP to be issued in January, 2013. Furthermore, if you have a consumer education program in mind before January, please do not hesitate to contact NYCSGA with your project idea. One Steve Van Voorhis, President of the goals of NYCSGA in FY 2013 is to focus more on consumer education and our right to farm. displays and presentations from two of the best farm business consultants in the country, Finally, we are already in the early planning Moe Russell and Dick Witman. The second stages for the 2013 Corn & Soybean Expo. morning will be smaller group workshops This year's meeting, which will focus on farm with our consultants. business transitions, will be again be held at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, and this year, I wish the best to all of the growers across we are planning a day and a half event, from New York state as you bring in your 2012 Jan. 24-25. The first day will include sponsors' harvest.

NYCSGA Partnering with ASA


he New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association is partnering with the American Soybean Association on several initiatives-putting your checkoff dollars to good use. The following programs are part of an NYCSGA/ASA partnership: ASA Action Partnership $5,000 ASAAP allows partners to help define and prioritize issues, assist in funding solutions and work plans, and assist in developing action strategies and allocation of resources. The ASAAP is for all ag industry sectors that have a stake in the growth of the soybean industry. ASAAP objectives include: addressing challenges facing the soybean industry; obtaining input and support within all sectors; increasing resources and providing for a strategic investment mechanism for the industry; achieving greater grassroots

involvement and development of future leaders. NYCSGA Executive Director, Julia Robbins, attended the ASA Action Partnership workshop in Milwaukee, WI from Sept. 10-12. Other state representatives, as well as staff from partners including Syngenta, Monsanto, ADM, Dupont and Agco joined Julia in Milwaukee. The topics of this year's ASAAP workshop included sustainability and the California Anti-GMO ballot initiative. Soy Stats $600 Bronze Sponsorship Soy Stats, in both the printed and electronic formats, provides a reliable source for immediate and accurate soybean-specific statistics and information. Soy Stats continues to be one of the most accessed information

NYCSGA next page

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 3

Executive Director's Report

I've Been Everywhere, Man By Julia Robbins


hew! What a busy summer! Sometimes I feel like I'm never home! My poor dog is going to desert me and move back to my parents' house!

One part of the job of Executive Director of NYCSGA is travel. A lot of travel. I could be on the road every week if I accepted every meeting invitation that came my way. Because I need to actually be in the office doing the day-to-day work on behalf of New York's corn and soybean growers, I try to go to the meetings that I feel will educate me the most on what I need to know to do my job; and therefore, what information is passed on that will benefit our growers the most. In the summer issue of the Crop Grower, I reported on my week-long trip to Costa Rica earlier in the summer, where we learned about how US soy is being utilized in Central America. In August, I worked in the NYCSGA display tent during Empire Farm Days, as well as traveled down to Rhinebeck, NY for the Dutchess County Fair (which is described in another article in this issue). Julia Robbins, Exective Director

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Milwaukee for the American Soybean Association Action Partnership meeting. The first part of this two-day meeting focused on sustainability. The second day we heard from a representative from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) about the anti-GMO ballot initiative in California. This is a serious issue, as Californians', and really all of Americans', right to farm is being threatened. This ballot initiative is riddled with loopholes that would be make such a law essentially ineffective, yet significantly affect farmers' and processors' operations. GMA is spending upwards of $40 million to fight Proposition 37. I'm anxious to hear what happens with this initiative on Election Day. Passage of Prop. 37 could have a ripple effect on the entire nation in regard to anti-GMO legislation coming forth in 2013.

In October, I'll be heading out to St. Louis for the American Soybean Association state staff meeting. Such meetings provide a good opportunity for me to network with my counterparts from other associations and soybean boards and share our information, state issues and programs. Finally, I'd like to thank the sponsors and attendees of the 2013 Summer Crop Tour. This year's event was once again a success, and we couldn't have done it with out all of you!

NYCSGA from previous page resources provided by ASA. It is distributed to soybean and soy product customers in the United States and in more than 80 countries around the world. It is also available on the Soy Stats web site.

ASA Soybean Leadership College $1,500 for one registration The ASA Soybean Leadership College is an annual educational opportunity for soybean growers. The program's focus is to increase knowledge of current issues in the soybean grower organizations, to strengthen the individual and collective skill in leading, making decisions, managing and communicating, all to advance soybean markets and farmer profitability. The Soybean Leadership College is run in conjunction with the State Leaders Summit, which provides an opportunity for national and state soybean association, United Soybean Board, and state Qualified State Soybean Board (QSSB) leaders to facilitate greater interaction between organizations and develop a unified approach to addressing soybean grower issues. Objectives of the Soybean Leadership College include: to become better ambassadors and spokespersons to advance our industry; to build individual and collective capability to provide strong leadership within state organizations, national organizations and the overall soybean industry; to expand market opportunities and maximize profitability for U.S. soybean growers.

ASA Soybean Marketing & Production College $2,500 for two registrations The new ASA Soybean Marketing and Production College will be conducted in the summer of 2013 to provide educational training on the future of the soybean industry, crop marketing, presentation and negotiating skills, sustainability and farm management technology. Graduates of the ASA Soybean Marketing College will be more knowledgeable and better prepared to represent their industry. Modeled after the highly successful ASA Soybean Leadership College that is recognized by state and national soybean leaders as a signature training program provided by ASA. To expand on this leadership training, ASA is expanding the Soybean Leadership College to create the ASA Soybean Marketing College. While Soybean Leadership College is geared toward state and national soybean association and checkoff leaders and staff, the Soybean Marketing College will be open to all soybean growers. *If any growers are interested in participating in the Soybean Leadership College or Marketing & Production College, please contact Julia Robbins at

*ASA also offers a yearly Young Leaders program. Applications for this program will be available in Summer 2013. Please contact Julia if you are interested in participating in any national leadership training programs.

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 4

Another Successful NYCSGA Summer Crop Tour


n Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, NYCSGA held its 6th annual Summer Crop Tour at DuMond Farms in Union Springs. Approximately 270 growers and 30 industry exhibitors from across New York state attended the event, which once again featured Ken Ferrie, Crop Tech Consulting, as the key note speaker. As is tradition, NYCSGA's summer meeting focuses on production management technologies and techniques, and the theme of this year's crop tour was "Implementing Variable Rate Applications." Ken Ferrie spoke to the crowd in the morning about the "3 R's of Nitrogen" as well as improving water management in your fields to obtain higher yields. Back by popular demand, lunch featured pulled pork and all the fixings from Dinosaur Barbeque. Congressowman Ann Marie Buerkle, R-NY 25, also stopped by during lunch to take questions about current policy and debates in Washington. In the afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to choose between two of four breakout sessions: a soybean population trial by Dr. Bill Cox of Cornell University; a nitrogen stabilizer trial presented by Ken Ferrie; "Making Variable Rates Work" by Issac Ferrie; and "Adapt-N" nitrogen management model, presented by Cornell University and Cooperative Extension staff.

The rain held off for duration of the meeting, and attendees and sponsors remarked they are looking forward to next year's meeting, which will again be held at the Du Mond Farm on Aug. 13.

Join NYCSGA Today! New Joint Membership! $85/year for ASA and NCGA benefits Includes NYCSGA moisture wicking polo shirt

Just fill out the membership form below... MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION Name __________________________________________________________________________________ Farm/ Organization ______________________________________________________________________ Address (Street, City, State, Zip)____________________________________________________________ Phone __________________________________________________________________________________ Email __________________________________________________________________________________ Shirt Size ______________________________________________________________________________ Method of Payment: X Check (make payable to New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association) X Credit Card (Visa, MC, AMEX, Discover) CC # __________________________________________________________________________________ Expiration ____________________________________ Security Code __________________________ Address ________________________________________________________________________________ ______ New Member ______ Renewal

_______1 year joint membership in NYCSGA (includes all benefits of National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association and a free NYCSGA polo) $85 _______3 year joint membership (includes all of the above) $230

Please complete form and return with payment to:

NYCSGA PO Box 605 Sackets Harbor, NY 13685

Hudson Valley Growers Attending 2013 Just Food Conference


hree Hudson Valley Farmers will be visiting New York City in February to "Tell their everyday story of life on a farm" at the Just Food Conference. Lloyd Vaill, Jr., PJ Trowbridge and Beth Chittenden are hoping to host a panel discussion about their farms and answer questions about the food they produce. Support from New York producers at the conference would be welcomed and encouraged. Each of these farmers spends time assuring consumers on a regular basis that the food they produce is safe and healthy. Lloyd Vaill is a fourth generation farmer from Pine Plains, New York operating Lonan Farm, both a dairy and large-scale grain operation. He farms over 5,000 acres growing corn, soybeans and small grains as well as milking 580 cows. PJ Trowbridge is a fourth generation farmer at Trowbridge Angus cow calf operation in Ghent, New York. He also grows corn and hay as well as hosting multiple sales a year selling breeding stock across the nation. Beth Chittenden is a fourth generation farmer at Dutch Hollow Farm milking 600 registered Jersey cows. She also has an education center at the farm to give consumers lessons about agriculture

Hudson next page


quaculture is the fastest-growing animal-production sector globally. Even with aquaculture production increasing at an annual rate of 7 percent, more farm-raised fish will be needed fulfill the growing demand for seafood around the world in a sustainable manner. Fortunately, this growing popularity and demand is a good thing for U.S. soybean farmers.

"Fish are a big part of the Chinese diet, so the aquaculture industry is a major player in their economy," said USB Chair Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D. "The checkoff has helped these fish farmers achieve the right rations and populations, which lessens negative effects."

Aquaculture represents a somewhat new market opportunity for U.S. soy meal. A sustainable feed ingredient, soy meal can fulfill the same protein needs in many species of fish. Thanks in part to soy checkoff-funded research, many fish farms have been feeding more soy meal in place of fish meal. Feeding demonstrations, tech support and workshops, all with the end goal of increasing the use of U.S. soy in fish feed here at home and abroad, are examples of areas supported by the United Soybean Board (USB), the soy checkoff and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. According to the most recent data, the domestic aquaculture sector uses 251,000 metric tons of U.S. soy meal, while international fish production uses 3.45 million metric tons. China is the largest importer of U.S. soy for use in the aquaculture sector. The country, currently a net exporter of fish, will soon consume all of the fish it produces and even import some to meet its people's demand for seafood.

Hudson from previous page and farm life. The farm works 2,000 acres growing corn, soybeans, small grains, alfalfa & hay. Together Lloyd, PJ and Beth make a very diverse and educated team to discuss modern agriculture with consumers.

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Just Food is a non-profit organization that connects consumers with farmers so they can make wise decisions about locally grown food and provide them with resources plus support to establish and experience healthy food systems. Just Food will be hosting a conference on Feb. 22 and 23 which is estimated to attract 2,000 plus participants. The conference focuses on cooking and food preservation techniques, CSA trends, and the food justice movement in NYC and beyond, as well as ways to create and support good food projects in local communities. The New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association has submitted an application for a workshop and will also be hosting a table at the trade show. NYCSGA will be participating in the Just Food Conference in conjunction with the Common Ground initiative, which is a program supported by the United Soybean Board to educate consumers and find common talking points about food production. Common Ground will also be helping to prepare and assist the group at the conference. We invite members and growers to attend this workshop to get a better understanding of consumer perceptions of agriculture as well as supporting the three farmers attending. Please contact Julia Robbins at or 315-778-1443 if you are interested in attending the Just Food conference on Feb. 22 & 23, 2013.

The New & Improved

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 5

Aquaculture's Demand for Soy Meal Catching On

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 6

Bill Jenkins Travels to North Dakota on REAP Tour


ill Jenkins, a member of the board of directors of the New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association, traveled in July to North Dakota as part of the American Soybean Association's REAP tour. Below is Bill's account of the trip: On Monday, July 23rd, we landed in Bismarck, ND, the capitol. After meeting some of the other state representatives at the airport, we went to our hotel. In the evening, all of us went to dinner with the North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, Doug Goehring. Ag commissioner is an elected position, and Mr. Goehring is also an active farmer. The North Dakota Governor,

An oil field in North Dakota Jack Dalrymple, who is also an active farmer, was invited but could not make the dinner. During dinner, the commissioner and North Dakota representatives, gave us statistics about the state, such as: unemployment is at 3%-- the lowest in the US; and 75% of the economy is ag-generated. We also talked about open pit coal mining and the oil fields in the west. Oil is produced from shale formations there. The next day, we went by chartered bus and visited a coal generation plant and a gasification plant. The byproducts from these processes are fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia. The coal that feeds these two plants is mined by open strip mining. They remove Bill Jenkins and an employee the Tharaldson ethanol plant.

Bill 8

Thank you to our directors and student volunteers for your help in the NYCSGA Empire Farm Days food booth!


n August, members of the NYCSGA board of directors, along with farmer volunteers, hosted a display at the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, NY . The Dutchess Fair is the second largest county fair in the state, averaging over 500,000 attendees from the Hudson Valley and New York City area. It was the first time NYCSGA had ever exhibited at the fair.

animal agriculture, as well as a put-put golf game made of soy based materials.

And what a popular display it was. People came in droves to check out the 25 foot wide Case IH combine, on loan from Lo Nan Farms in Rhinebeck, NY. Once people got a close-up look at the combine, they started asking questions; from how much does the combine cost, to "are there GMOs in your soybeans?" Thanks to the expertise of our volunteers, we were able to answer everyone's questions effectively and honestly.

The Dutchess County Fair also received funding this year from the United Soybean Board, through the Green Ribbon Fair program, to use biodiesel to run the carnival rides.

Director Beth Chittenden also put together numerous educational materials, including information about fertilizers and the soy products that you might find in your home.

In addition to the combine, the display also included a tent with a diorama of soybean production-- from the field to the end use in

The display at the Dutchess County Fair proved to be a worthwhile exercise in consumer education and the NYCSGA board is looking forward to participating in the fair again next year. Thank you to Beth Chittenden and Tom Sutter for organizing the booth, securing the combine and getting volunteers!

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 7

Consumer Education at the Dutchess County Fair

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 8

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No Singing the Blues, Soybean Leadership College Offers Great Lineup of Speakers


emphis may be famous for its blues sound and barbecue but when the ASA Soybean Leadership College takes place Jan. 8-10, 2013, in Memphis, the only blues playing will be in the lounges. The 2013 Soybean Leadership College is offering up a great lineup of speakers for the program. The Soybean Leadership College will kick-off with a welcome general session on Tuesday, Jan. 8, with noted "Voice of Rural America" Trent Loos, who will bring his positive message of connecting rural and urban American by sharing the positive story of production agriculture. The Wednesday morning general session will feature a presentation from Bruce Scherr, Chairman and CEO of Informa Economics. Bruce will discuss "The Economic Climate for Agriculture and Issues Affecting Producers." The afternoon general session will feature author Larry Johnson on "Mastering the Storm - How to Stay Up, Stay Positive and Thrive When Times are Turbulent."

The Thursday closing presentation will feature fifth generation ranchers and noted agriculture advocates Troy and Stacy Hadrick. Troy and Stacy will share with attendees their passion and tips for telling the positive story of agriculture. The State Leaders Summit, prior to the start of the Soybean Leadership College, features globally-recognized consulting futurist Bob Treadway. Bob will present an outlook of agriculture to ASA, United Soybean Board and state organization leaders, and will facilitate a strategic thinking discussion on how the organizations can work together to address key soybean issues. Treadway's appearance is sponsored by Syngenta. The 2013 Soybean Leadership College is sponsored in part by the New York Corn & Soybean Association. New York is eligible to send one participant to the Leadership College. Anyone interested in attending should contact Julia at

Bill from 6 50-100% of topsoil and that exposes 25 feet of coal. After coal is removed, all dirt and top soil is restored, so that can land can be worked again. After viewing the coal mining, we were driven by bus to the western part of the state to tour some oil and gas fields. There are 250 oil rigs working in the state. After a well is drilled, it takes 150 truckloads of water, some chemicals and sand to frack these wells. A well produces about 3 to 4 tractor-trailer loads a day. These loads are then taken to a railhead. We then drove further west to Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt State Park where we enjoyed a pitchfork fondue (steaks on a pitchfork, cooked in fondue), and a Medora musical show. On Wednesday, July 25, we left Medora for Mandaw, and

visited the North Great Plains Research Center, where much of the research is done on wheat. Farmers had been combining spring wheat as we crossed the state. We then visited Cavendish Farms. Here French fries are made for large companies such as Burger King. We also visited Paul and Vanessa Kummer's farm. Vanessa is chairwoman of the United Soybean Board. On Thursday, we visited Sinner Brothers in Bresnehan. They are soybean processors and a cattle farm. They process about 900 containers of cleaned and bagged edible soybeans that are sent to China. The company also has a large feed lot where cattle are loaded and shipped.

From there we toured the Tharaldson ethanol plant, which has a capacity of 150 million gallons. Later that afternnon, we visited the North Dakota State University green house and the North Crops Institute, where continuing research is being done on crops.

include: soybeans, potatoes, sugar beets, corn, buckwheat, beef, dairy, sheep, bison, and turkey and poultry.

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Thursday evening, we enjoyed a farewell dinner with the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. We flew home on Friday. North Dakota is #1 in the production of the following ag products: barley, beans (dry, edible), pinto beans, canola, flaxseed, honey, peas, sunflower oil, durum wheat and spring wheat. Other commodities important to North Dakota agriculture

The economy is so good in North Dakota, that when we visited a McDonalds, the sign on the door said they paying $14 an

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escribe your job position. Since August 1, I am the Executive Director for the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition. This group is born from the industry and makes advocating for modern animal agriculture a daily priority. We all have a role in being advocates, but all too often, we end up fighting fires rather than building bridges. My job is to build bridges from the farmer to the consumer so that open and honest dialog can take place and consumers can better understand, appreciate and value the food our farmers produce. What is your background? I grew up on an 85-cow dairy farm in Rensselaer County and knew from an early age that agriculture would always be a part of my life. I studied ag business and ag communications in college and worked for various ag-related organizations, including Cargill, Farm Bureau and most recently the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, where I spent the past 12 years as its spokesperson. Today, I live on my husband's family farm in Washington County where they milk 600 cows and crop over 1,200 acres. What is your secret to success? It's no secret really - you have to love what you do. Agriculture is in my blood; it's my life; and I couldn't be more thrilled to be put in a position where I can help my fellow farmers, including my family and my friends that work sun up to sun down in order to put a healthy and safe product on our dinner plates. Activities/memberships/other boards that you participate in/serve on? Currently, I serve on the New York State Agricultural Society's board of directors, which is a wonderful group that focuses its efforts on the positives in the industry by recognizing good work and providing an annual forum for those in the industry to learn from and network at. I am also actively involved with the Northeast Regional Food Bank, serving as the president of the board, but also dedicating time to several committees that are responsible for organizing fundraising events in the Capital District. The Food Bank helps serve over 1,000 member agencies such as food pantries and soup kitchens, and distributes more than 25 million pounds of food annually. How do you stay on top of all of agriculture's "current events"? I am constantly scanning the news media and farm publications to see what is new. But more importantly, I am involved in ag organizations, such as the Ag Society and Farm Bureau. I also volunteer with our local land conservancy, Cooperative Extension, the dairy princess program and more. Just getting out and talking to farmers and attending events helps me stay connected and up to speed on the current issues. What are some of the challenges and opportunities you're finding with NYAAC? There are an abundance of opportunities for NYAAC with the main challenge being how to prioritize all that needs or could be done. Therefore, as a board, we are in the process of researching potential projects and the various methods of promoting positive messages about modern animal agriculture. We hope to soon have an agenda for the next year on how we will work to improve the image of agriculture in New York State. Stay tuned! What is the biggest challenge that you think modern agriculture is facing right now? There are many challenges facing this industry right now, however the one I believe I may have the greatest influence over is the public's perception of agriculture. As an industry, we have not done a good

job of explaining all the advancements and changes in the industry. All too often, anti-agriculture groups are telling our story for us. That needs to change. We need to have a louder and more frequent voice in these conversations, a voice that provides the consumer with the facts they want and deserve. What are you looking forward to most in your new NYAAC role? Coming from state government where information is printed in black and white, I look forward to letting my creative spirit soar. While the messages may be similar, the methods we will utilize at NYAAC to reach the consumer will be more colorful in both presentation and technique. Hometown: Buskirk, NY (Washington County) Education: Associates Degree in Ag Business from SUNY Cobleskill and Bachelors Degree in Ag Communications from Virginia Tech Family: My husband Stuart; our 2-year old son Franklin, and another baby on the way, due at the end of October. And I can't forget our yellow lab, Oliver. Hobbies: Gardening, playing tennis, taking Sunday drives in our 1956 International pickup truck, antiquing, and just staying home to enjoy the company of family and friends at our restored 1850s farmhouse.

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 9

Q & A with Jessica Ziehm, NYAAC Executive Director

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 10

Answering Your Questions about Vertical Tillage By Tom Sutter


he concept of Vertical Tillage (VT) has been around for many years. Many manufacturers have jumped into the race to provide growers just about every possible twist imaginable on the concept. How do you figure out which tool is the right tool for you? VT originated as a concept to help no-till farmers reduce compaction in the planting zone and size residue in the mid-90s. A true no-till farmer has a planter, sprayer and combine and does not perform any tillage. These farmers were having problems in continuous corn situations with poor root development and residue build-up. The goal was to come up with a tool that would size residue and disturb as little of the soil profile as possible. VT was born. As more stout hybrids were introduced in the 2000s, more and more farms ran into problems with residue management. Stronger stalks were needed to support higher yielding corn. These stout stalks would not break down over the winter as they once did causing problems in producing a good seed bed. Many minimal tillage and conventional tillage growers discovered that utilizing a VT tool in the fall and/or spring really helped improve their residue problem.

The adoption of additional growers utilizing these tools has resulted in an explosion of models offered by manufacturers. Some tools work better than others, depending on your soil types and goals of operation. Most tools consist of a group of shallow concaved/fluted blades either gang or individually mounted, followed by some type of finishing tool to size clods and level the seed bed. To help select the right tool for your operation, jot down your goals. Do you

Answering 11

Vertical Tillage Tools* Manufacturer


Case Great Plains John Deere Kuhn/Krause Landoll McFarlan Pottinger Salford

330 Turbo Turbo Till Series II 2623VT Excelerator 7400 Series Reel Disc Terra Disc RTS

*This by no means is an all-inclusive list!

want excellent residue sizing and little soil disturbance? Consider a tool with little angle or an adjustable gang angle. If you are looking for residue

sizing and leveling, you will need a tool that moves more soil. A tool with a higher gang angle will likely work better in that type of situation. There are a couple of key factors to get the best out of VT no matter which tool you choose: operating depth and operating speed. In regards to operating depth, the key is to keep it shallow. Running a VT tool too deep will just turn it into an expensive disc! A good rule of thumb is to run the tool at or just below your average planting depth. If you plant at 2.5", you should run your VT tool at 2.5" and no more than 3". As far as speed, fast is your only answer. These tools require speed for the tools to work correctly so plan on operating between 7 and 10 mph in the field. Speed is critical to get the impact on cutting the stalk, in addition to tilling the 2" to 3" of soil around the blade. In the end, a VT tool is a great way to handle heavy residue and help prepare a great seed bed, while maintaining good residue coverage to reduce erosion. Contact your local dealer, tell them your goals and soil type and they can help you choose the right tool to best achieve your needs.

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 11

Answering from 10

New York Corn and Soybean Association • Fall 2012 • Page 12

New York Crop Grower 10.8.12  

New York Crop Grower October 8, 2012

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