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APRIL / MAY 2016

Upcoming Events

By Glen Davis, President, Legend Seeds

I hope you and your family had an enjoyable Easter! It is important to enjoy time with our loved ones and to celebrate the great gift God has given us. When I think of planting season it is another one of the miracles of the spring season. If you need some last minute seed, we are here. You have run your budgets, selected varieties for each field, done most of the planning for this season and maybe even started some marketing. Planting is the most important factor each year in determining your success for the entire 2016 growing season.

WI Tech Days July 19-21, 2016 Walworth County, WI

MN Farmfest August 2-4, 2016 Redwood County, MN Dakotafest August 16-18, 2016 Mitchell, SD

I hope you utilized our cloud-based Farmacology™ program Legend Edge as you selected your varieties for each field. This program can also help with grid sampling results and determining a customized variable rate fertility prescription for this spring in each field. As we move toward managing each acre for maximum production, the Legend Edge can be extremely helpful. This tool can help streamline all of your management operations. Our staff is well-trained in helping growers begin using the technology, contact us to help you get started. As you begin planting, I encourage you to keep our Legend Advantage Yield Club in mind. This club recognizes an elite group of producers who not only select the best seed for their land, but manage for the highest performance. Last year we recognized over 96 fields that met the requirements. This spring, consider selecting one or two fields to specially manage for the highest possible yields. After harvest season, we will invite you to submit hybrid and yield information with the opportunity of becoming a member of the Legend Advantage Yield Club for 2016. Finally, the pace of planting season is often hectic. One day, none of the fields are ready and by the end of the next there are more than enough acres ready to be planted. It can be extremely stressful for the whole family. We have to remember not to get in a hurry, not to try and take shortcuts. Most of all, we want you to be safe during this busy time. We have just one chance to plant the crops each year, let’s do the best job we can. I wish you the very best planting season with high-yielding Legend Seeds. I hope everyone enjoys cooperative weather and no breakdowns! ADVANTAGE

What’s Inside: PG 2: Winter Kill & Making the Decision to Rotate Out of Alfalfa PG 3: Back to the Basics - Making the Most of Your Investment PG 4: Legend Seeds Partners with Farm Nutrients in Iowa



The alfalfa fields will be turning green soon and it is time to pay attention to these fields and inspect them for signs of “winter kill”. Winter kill is a generic term used to describe the death of a portion of an alfalfa field. Winter kill can happen any time from fall to spring, but most of the stand death traditionally happens in the spring. This particular year has given us many reasons to be concerned about winter kill:

▶ Last fall, we had saturated soils in many areas for a long time. This puts the alfalfa roots in an oxygen deficient state. Then, the soils froze in December after a brief warm up. This warm up added more water and caused ponding in lower areas that froze again. If the water was deep enough to cover the crowns of the alfalfa plants, then there is a good chance that some of those plants were killed at that time.

▶ In the second half of February, the weather warmed up and melted much of the snow cover that some areas had. This added more puddles to fields which will refreeze and add additional stress to the plants.

▶ Additionally, losing the snow cover so early in the spring causes the plants to be exposed to warming temperatures in early Spring. For example, if we have just a few days in the upper 50s or low 60s, the plants that don’t have any snow cover will react quickly and may break dormancy and start growing. The plants with a Fall Dormancy rating of 4 or higher are especially susceptible to breaking dormancy too early in the year. This is a big risk, because these plants will be severely injured or killed when the freezing temperatures return.

Examples of severe winter kill.

number can be difficult to measure because some areas of the field will experience more kill than others. I recommend using a larger size hoop than just the simple one foot square circles that are commonly used. The larger circle will give you a better representation of the field. Continue to do stand counts until you feel comfortable with the numbers you are getting. If the average number falls below 40 stems, then the best choice is to rotate the field to another crop. Keep in mind, based on the soil type and the amount of stubble that was left in the fall, you will have a nitrogen credit of 80-160 pounds available in the soil for the next crop. This makes growing a corn crop or other small grain very economical. Some farmers wonder if interseeding forage grasses or sorghum sudan grass will help promote gains in a lowerproducing alfalfa stand. (Remember, due to auto toxicity problems, it does not work to interseed new alfalfa into an old stand.) This solution never seems to work well and I do not recommend it. There is generally too much alfalfa left for the new grasses to get a good start and they do not do well. It winds up being a frustrating waste of seed and fuel for the farmer.

▶ One risk factor that we do not have to worry about is the 15°F soil temperature at three inches deep. This can kill alfalfa, but since many places had sufficient snow cover during the coldest part of the winter we do not have to worry about this.

It is usually best to simply utilize the 40 stems per square foot rule. If your field falls below this number, it is time to rotate it into another crop for this growing season. If your field is above this number, you will not see significantly reduced yields and the winter kill level is not significant enough to warrant any changes. If you have any questions or would like some assistance making your stand counts, please contact your local Legend representative for guidance. ADVANTAGE

As you view your field this spring, I want to focus on your possible decision to rotate the field out of alfalfa based on severe winter kill. The rule of thumb is to rotate a field if the stand falls below an average of 40 stems per square foot. At this point, you will see significantly reduced yields. This



MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR INVESTMENT On March 10th, Legend Seeds partnered with Matt Hubsch of Hubsch Agronomy as the keynote speaker for their first live agronomy webinar. Matt is a well-respected crop consultant and he answered over 20 questions during the live, 90-minute webinar that was watched by over 200 viewers. Matt provided insight for the 2016 growing season in seven short sections with over 70 information-packed slides, his presentation was titled, “Back to Basics: Making the Most of Your Investment”. Legend Seeds President, Glen Davis said, “Legend Seeds is very focused on product research and providing our farmers with top quality genetics, but we also wanted to share valuable agronomic insights from a reliable, common sense source. This information was a back to basics approach to farming with a very positive attitude in a time when some are only focused on negatives.”

Matt and Taylor Sinkie have a father-daughter Legend Seeds dealership in Gann Valley, South Dakota. Ramie Coughlin, Legend Account Manager, and the Sinkie’s hosted 16 growers to watch the webinar at the fire hall in Gann Valley. Photo by Ramie Coughlin.

Below are highlights from each section, the entire webinar recording is also available online.

effects of soil pH on nutrient availability, “pop-up” fertilizer benefits, nitrogen needs and how to calculate them, nitrogen stabilizers and their use, and much more.

Planting Dates:

▶ Iowa State University research indicates that the optimum planting dates are April 20 to May 20 and similar research from University of Wisconsin also found that the economic optimum planting dates were from April 15 to May 4. Within these dates, there was no yield loss seen on corn yields.

▶ Keep in mind that planting conditions are more important than planting dates. If the conditions are poor, you will see greater yield loss within these dates than waiting and planting in the best conditions.

▶ Nitrogen “rule of thumb”: At tassel (VT) time, walk through the corn field and identify leaves showing a nitrogen deficiency. Gather an average of how many leaves per plant are showing these symptoms. For every leaf that is showing symptoms, the field is 10 pounds per acre deficient. (Slide 41 shows a photo of a deficiency appearing as mid-rib chlorosis and chlorotic “V” in leaf.)

▶ Matt said, “Make sure you tissue sample at least 1-2 times per season to get a report card of your fertilizer program.”

Machinery Tips:


▶ Matt explained that many times farmers ask him, “What is the perfect population for my area?” Matt’s response is always, “Population shouldn’t be determined by area, but by each and every field’s yield potential.” Matt then provided farmers with a population number for corn that correlated with the yield environment for the specific field. (See slide eight online.)

▶ Calibrate corn meters, this can add up to six bushels per acre.

▶ Focus on consistent plant to plant spacing by minimizing the standard deviation. The goal is to be within a 2’’ range.

▶ Don’t let the double disc openers get overly worn down. Change them if they are below these ranges: John Deere 14.5’’; Case IH, 13.5’’, White planter, 14.5’’. This can have a big impact.

▶ Make sure the sweeps are not constant when doing spring tillage with a field cultivator. The goal is for the sweeps to “dance” along, which can be accomplished by 8 mph speed or greater.

Seeding Depth:

▶ In Legend Seeds’ 2011 planting depth trials there was a 19.4 bushel loss when seed was planted at 1.5’’ instead of 2’’ inches.

▶ Maintaining optimum seeding depth across the field will assure the greatest yield potential.



▶ Fertility was a favorite topic of Matt’s and he spent a good deal of time going in-depth on this subject. He discussed


▶ The best weed is one that never grows, so farmers will see positive results from the utilization of a pre-emergence herbicide within their corn and bean cropping rotation.


▶ Ohio State University data showed that when weeds were sprayed between 2’’ and 9’’ inches tall it resulted in a 6-9% overall yield loss compared to a weed free control field. Based on a 180-bushel goal, this resulted in a loss of 10.8 to 16.2 bushels from weed competition early in the growing season.

Glen Davis reflected on the webinar, “We were thrilled with the results and the positive feedback we received showed us that our growers and dealers are interested in more information that is delivered electronically in an on-demand format. We look forward to providing more programs like this one in the future.” ADVANTAGE


▶ Matt shared some data on fungicides and summarized it with this thought, “The higher the yield potential, the more important it is to apply a foliar fungicide at VT-R1.”

To view the webinar online:

Focusing on these tips from Matt and using a back to basics approach can help you make the most of your opportunities and investments for the 2016 planting season.

• http://bit.ly/LegendWebinarRecording • http://bit.ly/LegendWebinarSlides

LEGEND SEEDS PARTNERS WITH FARM NUTRIENTS IN IOWA Legend Seeds is the largest independent seed company in the Upper Midwest. They have partnered with Farm Nutrients to be the exclusive distributor of Legend’s product line, including corn hybrids and soybean varieties, for the state of Iowa.

“Legend Seeds’ commitment to quality and service align well with our objectives.” According to Legend Seeds President Glen Davis, the partnership brings benefits to both organizations. “This is an opportunity for our existing dealers and customers to enhance efficiency and access additional agronomic tools while allowing for new growth for both Farm Nutrients and Legend Seeds,” said Davis. “Our companies are thrilled about this longterm partnership and the potential for business development that comes along with it.” Farm Nutrients manages, markets, and land applies chicken litter fertilizer/soil conditioner on more than 300,000 acres in the Midwestern states of Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado. Legend Seeds is an independent, family-owned seed company based in De Smet, S.D., focusing on corn, soybean, alfalfa, sunflower and other seed products. A subsidiary of Rembrandt Enterprises, Farm Nutrients has grown to become the leader in natural poultry litter fertilizer and offers a complete line of high quality agronomic products and services. This partnership will be of great benefit to all Legend Seeds customers in Iowa. ADVANTAGE

The partnership is the latest in a series of expansions for Rembrandt, Iowa-based Farm Nutrients. The company got its start in 2003 managing and marketing chicken litter for fertilizer. With the opening of a new full service Agronomy Center last summer, Farm Nutrients now offers products and services such as crop seed, aerial scouting, precision application, soil sampling, nitrogen modeling, commercial fertilizer, crop protection chemicals and custom application. “The addition of Legend Seeds corn and soybean products to Farm Nutrients’ portfolio further positions us as a fullservice supplier for the growers in our Midwestern area,” said Scott Wicks, Vice President of Operations for Farm Nutrients.



Jeff Hamre, Legend Seeds Regional Manager said, “The Andersons are a very well-respected family in North Dakota and so humble, too! Last year at the NDSU Football Harvest Bowl game they received the Outstanding Agriculturalists award for Wells County. This is a very prestigious award in North Dakota. I really appreciate how dedicated they are to the future of agriculture and to their family. They always have their kids involved in their business. For example, they have them attending and helping at seed meetings and learning how to work well with people from a young age.”

In 1999, Paul and Vanessa Anderson started their Legend Seeds dealership Freedom Ag. They have been a progressive family business ever since. The Andersons have five children – Brian, Claire, Bethany, Grant and Malachi – ranging in ages from 22 to four. Vanessa said of their long-time partnership with Legend Seeds, “I appreciate that they are always willing to work with us. If we have issues, they always help us work things out.” Today, the Andersons have one of the top ten dealerships in Legend Seeds’ entire seven state territory. They live in Harvey, North Dakota and service customers in central North Dakota.

In addition to their dealership, the Andersons have a row crop farming operation where they raise corn, soybeans, wheat and dry edible beans. The two oldest children, Brian and Claire, are currently attending North Dakota State University. Brian, 22, is studying History Education and is a member of the ROTC program and the Army National Guard. He is also engaged to Mattie McGee, a junior in Nursing at NDSU. Claire, 19, is studying Agriculture and has plans to come back to the family business after graduation. Vanessa explained that this summer Claire will be managing more of the seed side of Freedom Ag while the remaining summer employees, a few college students and a nephew, will help with the farming operation. Vanessa said, “We do our best to supply the farmers with the products that they want and need – including seed, seed treatments, seed delivery and any product information they might request.” ADVANTAGE


Legend Seeds’ Knowledge Plots serve as a learning academy for growers. They provide insight on various production practices and new technologies. Dates for the 2016 plots will be announced soon!



We hope you love Legend Seeds as much as we do. Tell others about your experience with Legend and we’ll mail you a pair of leather work gloves! It’s easy: 1. Visit the Legend Seeds Facebook page and “like” our page. 2. Write a review and add your rating of Legend Seeds. 3. We’ll mail the first 10 people who add a review a pair of work gloves as our thanks!

By liking our Facebook page, you’ll enjoy insider access to agronomy information in your area, ag industry articles and delicious recipes for your “meat and potatoes” family.

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April/May 2016 Advantage Newsletter  

April/May 2016 Advantage Newsletter