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NH3 is one of the most stable and concentrated forms of nitrogen, and still probably the most

popular form of N to use across the corn belt. With how obvious it is that time will be an issue this spring, it will be tempting to take a few shortcuts when the application window opens. Please don’t. We’ve all heard the stories of close calls and disasters. Try not to become one of those stories in the name of saving a minute or two. Safety and maintenance ahead of time, with a little in-season common sense can go a long way. Let’s look at a couple ways to make sure we can have a safe spring. Bleeders, bleeders, bleeders. If you must work on a toolbar or do any maintenance in season, it always takes longer than what you think to bleed down a bar before you can work on it. If you have multiple bleeder valves in different locations, that can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes before you can do your work. Just don’t forget to shut them all! Another great idea is to come to Hills and pick up a few pass-through bleed valves. They operate just like normal but have a hose barb on the outlet where you can attach a hose and run it somewhere else on the bar, away from the operator.

Look over your dated and non-dated hose. Any hose that would be deemed


“pressurized” should be dated. If it isn’t, that should be changed, and if it is, check the hose to see if it is out of date. NH3 causes normal hose to become more prone to cracking due to the constant heating/cooling as well as wear


from the product itself. Any “non-pressurized” hose should also be visually checked for wear and brittleness. The white/clear row hose is especially prone to this. We have black EVA hose that is sun-wear and kink resistant that is a good economical replacement.


Finally, just use common sense. Try to park upwind when you are changing tanks, always drive defensively when going from farm to farm, and do any tests/procedures you can while the bar is not under pressure.

You may not be able to save the extra minute that the guy across the fence can, but that extra minute may save your life.

maximizing potential with seed placement BY:LUCAS GILLMORE, SEED MANAGER


s we inch closer to another planting season, you most likely have already purchased your seed. Odds are this decision was based on some criteria; whether that be price, performance, or the recommendation from a trusted agronomist. Although selection is important, now is the time for the most crucial seed decision; proper product placement. This decision is one you will live with for the rest of the year and will drive the opportunity to maximize the hybrid’s genetic potential and net income per acre. There is an old joke that the most important traits of any hybrid are yield, yield…and yield. But there is far more to placement than just putting seed in the ground to reach a hybrid’s yield potential. There are characteristics that can make the same hybrid yield extremely well in one field and very poorly in another. Let’s walk through some of the considerations that should be used to get proper seed placement.

SOILS & GROWING ENVIRONMENT Soil type and CSR are the first place to start with any hybrid, as these factors will have the biggest impact on yield potential. But which hybrid would you place in tight clay or sandy soils? Plot data alone can be unhelpful in deciding which hybrid is best for less-than-ideal soil conditions, as plots are usually placed on good, consistent soils. Some of the best hybrids on the market don’t do well in poorly drained soils. A hybrid may not excel in a plot, yet can handle sandy fields extremely well. This is where an experienced agronomist can supply the missing information that can take an average or subpar year from disappointing to promising. Understanding the best hybrid placement for your soils should be the first critical decision your seed specialist should help you consider. Their expertise can be the difference in a disappointing year for everyone else but an above-average year for you.

POPULATION Every hybrid responds to population differently; some flex, while others have a fixed ear. Population density can also affect agronomic traits like roots and stalks. A hybrid that statistically yields well at a higher population may also carry risks that are not illustrated by yield versus population alone. Our ProVantage precision service, combined with Winfield’s R7 data set and good old-fashioned boots on the ground is where we can make the difference in putting the right hybrid at the right rate, while still taking all other factors into consideration.

GROWER PRACTICE Every grower farms differently; no two people reading this article do everything exactly the same. Some farming practices, like forms of nitrogen or type of closing wheels may not greatly affect hybrid decisions or performance. But other decisions like no-till and continuous corn could greatly affect how a hybrid performs. No-till requires a hybrid with great early vigor, especially if it’s among the first planted. Continuous corn obviously needs a rootworm trait and/or insecticide treatment. But that alone may not be enough to maximize the hybrid or the farm’s potential. Managing for those differences not accounted for in plot data can greatly impact a hybrid’s effectiveness on your farm.

PLANT CHARACTERISTICS Each hybrid has a set of elements that make it very different from the rest; characteristics like drought and disease tolerance, plant/ear height, stalk strength, and GDUs to silk. Another way to use characteristic scores to help with planting strategy is to look at early vigor in relation to planting plans. Are you planning on planting a hybrid that prefers warmer soils as your first field?

FIELD LOCATION We normally don’t think too much about field location when planning hybrid placement. Please consider field location if you are planting a hybrid that you know is weak on a specific disease or needs late-season nitrogen. How often are you going to be checking on that field if it is off the beaten path? Every grower seems to have at least one field that’s harder to get to. Place one of those go anywhere, low maintenance-type hybrids there, and keep the numbers you want to watch more closely where you are more likely to have eyes on them.

HARVEST TIMING This ties in to all of the other factors mentioned above. As you finish your planting strategy, you should have a good head start on your harvest plans. It sounds crazy, but we know there are hybrids you need to harvest early while others have amazing late-season standability and can wait until the beans are out. Where you plant each of these hybrids can greatly affect their yield, especially if that yield is on the ground instead of in the bin.

Spring reminds me of Mike Tyson’s most famous quote.

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. If you have farmed for even a single season, you have been punched in the mouth. We have all grabbed the first bag we could find and thrown it into the planter, then regretted it all year. Take the time to get the right product planned for each field. Your wallet will thank you at harvest.










MAKING A STIR IN CHEMICAL MIXING By: Al Kessler, VP of Application & Precision Equipment

Growers spend a good chunk of time

and money striving for clean fields and healthy, responsive plants. To get adequate coverage, all inputs need to be mixed well, which doesn’t always happen when they are just added to the top of the sprayer tank. While it used to be a challenge to get an evenly mixed product, that’s no longer the case with the Chembine. The Chembine by Free Form Plastics offers an innovative way to mix chemicals, saving time and streamlining the mixing process. This advanced, durable mixer has the capacity to fully mix and agitate product. The Chembine really sets itself apart from similar chemical mixers with these qualities: »KNIFE BLOCK DESIGN: Contributes to faster and more thorough draining and rinsing while also making jug removal easier.

The Chembine has the ability to premix all the hand adds and slurry dry products. With the expansion pack, adding 3 mini bulks takes only a third of the time to fill compared to our old system. It saves us enough time to spray an additional 60-100 acres per day. The system cleans out well for switching between crops. Having the blade in the eductor speeds up hand adds and allows completely re-used containers to be disposed.

»HIGHER AGITATION: 4 vertically molded ribs in the tank and vortex cycling water jet eductor system creates more motion. »BOTTOM DRAIN VALVE: Makes rinsing and draining easier. »INCREASED STABILITY: Durable stand and large feet with mounting holes keep the Chembine secure. »CLEAR SIDEWALLS: Increased visibility. »CAPACITY: 75 gallons in the single unit, 150 gallons on the dual unit. Although the Chembine is relatively new to the Stutsman line, we have been very happy with customer results. See what the stir is all about (pun intended).

Mark Dobson

I have been doing my own spraying for almost 30 years. During this time, all chemicals/additives were loaded into the top of the sprayer tank. Last year I decided it was time for a chemical inductor. Now that I have used the Chembine for a season, I can truthfully say that was money well spent! With the Chembine, you can easily load chemicals from bulk containers, individual jugs, and even bags of dry AMS. I am very happy with my purchase from Stutsmans and their sales rep Derek Shalla.

Dave Erwin


018 fall season was trying with bouts of cold weather and precipitation during a time that is typically favorable for manure application. Although we can’t control mother nature and the application window she gives us, we can ensure equipment is ready to roll when we start back up in the spring.

By: John Yoder, VP of Waste Handling

With this fall’s tough conditions, there is a lot of items on your drag hose system that need to be inspected and serviced.

TOOLBARS | COULTER, TITAN & DIETRICH Check all coulters for wear and replace if less than 20.5 inches. This will greatly increase bearing life and manure coverage. If you have a Dietrich tool bar, look for breakage and extra wear on sweeps; replace as needed. Remove dust caps on coulters and sealers. Inspect for dirty grease and looseness. Spend extra time on these and save yourself downtime in the upcoming season. Replace as needed and fill with fresh grease. Check main wheel bearings. These are often neglected until its too late then it becomes a huge issue. Inspect manifold. Is the overhung bearing still good and tight or does it need rebuilt? Is the aluminum gasket ring ok or is it showing fatigue? Test all valve functions. Are flowmeter cables and connections marked or rough? If so, replace them. Look at your hose connection on the pivot and make sure it is functioning properly. Inspect hinges and 3-point hitch pins for wear. Also look for stress cracks in paint and get repaired prior to going out. Fall 2018 was brutal!

PUMP UNITS If your pump was leaking oil last fall, now is the time to fix that. Your pump needs a new seal. Take the suction plate off and inspect the wear ring. Check the pump housing /gate valves and drive mechanism for excessive play or misalignment. Maintenance now can prevent drive shaft and coupler failure this spring. Replace oil and filters in the engine. Change your air filter; it can really get dirty in the fall season. Check wheel bearings on your trailers, tires and brakes. Inspect all bolts, wires, and switches to make sure they haven’t worked loose.

HOSE HUSTLER Does the hub have grease and is the castle nut secured? Make sure the frame and wheel are free of stress cracks.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT If you own an air compressor, now is a good time to get it serviced and ready. Do you have the right tools and spare parts on your truck to get the job done? Have you replaced spare parts used from this past fall?

A little maintenance time now will pay huge dividends later from a safety, productivity, and financial standpoint.

because your day is measured in acres not hours

seed hotline: 319.325.4186

don’t forget about BULK SEED TREATMENT




As planting is underway and fields

are checked off the to-do list, our minds often start thinking ahead to a successful growing season with maximized yields and profits. We picture the full wagons and semis leaving the field, the fall weather and a hiccup free harvest. Seldom as we imagine our upcoming fall, do we remember the hassle of setting up the dryer. That is, of course, until the time actually comes to fire it back up again. Amidst the busyness and anticipation that comes with harvest the last thing you want to do is spend hours setting up your portable dryer. Thanks to GSI’s Auto-Start, what used to take 2-4 hours can now be done in minutes. Auto-Start is a program that does the initial dryer setup for you, saving you the time and headache of remembering prior dryer settings. It comes standard on all dryers model year 2016 and later, and can be installed on your current Vision Control as well. If your dryer model is older than 2016, Auto-Start can be added to existing Vision Controls with just a simple download from a flash drive. It’s great at the beginning of harvest or even when the dryer has had a few days off. The dryer correctly cycles the fans and heaters to dry the grain currently in the dryer, then releases the grain at the proper speed. As the dried grain passes through, the dryer will be stabilized and ready for automatic operation. It works best when reducing grain moisture of 5% or more. No more searching through charts or babysitting your dryer during start-up! While the worries of remembering your dryer settings are most likely a distant concern, it’s never too early to have us out to get Auto-Start set up and ready to roll come fall. Until then, happy planting!


Select Auto-Start from the main menu


Select grain type


Select incoming and outgoing moisture


By: Bill Parchert, Agronomy Resource Manager

All of us engaged in agriculture spend a fair amount of time dealing in hope. We all hope that we have the perfect spring that allows us to complete our fieldwork that didn’t get done last fall. We all hope that we have perfect spring weather so we can apply our nitrogen well before planting season and then hope for great yields. While hope may spring eternal, developing a plan may be more important this spring than ever before.

With the lack of fieldwork allowed last fall, there will be extra emphasis on utilizing trips across the field this spring. Looking for options to improve efficiency will be key, particularly with nitrogen product selection and application. Using nitrogen stabilizers is the best way to manage whatever form of nitrogen is applied. Once we accomplish our spring nitrogen applications, we want to keep it in its ammonium form for as long as possible since this is its most efficient form for corn utilization. Nitrogen stabilizers help promote this. Whether you utilize anhydrous, liquid, or urea, we have the products to provide protection from nitrogen loss. Utilizing our in-house technology tools, we can also utilize satellite imagery and tissue sampling to measure nutrient utilization. We no longer have to hope that we have enough nutrients to provide optimum yield. More growers are using urea in sidedress application to better match product availability to crop utilization. Any nitrogen product that is being laid on top of the ground must have a stabilizer or we risk denitrification. Urea stabilizers are used to keep the product less vulnerable to volatilization. As we move closer to spring fieldwork, our agronomy sales and operations team will continue to monitor conditions and assist you in your nitrogen management program. We might sneak a little hope in there as well!

Get more from your phosphorus investment. AVAILÂŽ T5 Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer increases phosphorus availability from 25-60% in year one. Talk to your nutrient use efficiency expert to learn more about AVAIL T5.

As a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Partner, Verdesian is committed to researching and developing environmentally sustainable products. Important: Always read and follow label use directions. All trademarks and registered trademarks Š 2019 Verdesian Life Sciences. All rights reserved. VLS 19.0083



Although the agriculture industry and our

products/services may change over the years, one consistent factor remains; our employees are one of the most important ingredients in our recipe for success. Through our employee spotlight series, learn about the people who make up the Stutsman team. Meet Nate Sutton, a team member since 2010! Nate, a Hawkeye and Cubs enthusiast, provides equipment and precision solutions to customers in Eastern Iowa, Southern Wisconsin, and Illinois. The Storm Lake native is certainly no stranger to the ag industry. Growing up, Nate spent time helping his uncle raise hogs and row crops. After getting his agricultural business degree from Western Iowa Tech, he spent some time at John Deere as a parts clerk and application equipment service manager. When not sharing the latest in equipment technology with customers, Nate can be found at the shooting range, on a body of water fishing or keeping up with his daughters’ activities. Laura (13) and Emily (11) are in dance, play musical instruments and according to Nate, are too smart for their own good.

What would be the title of your autobiography? Just Shut Up Already!

I must thank all the customers that continue to call on me to help them. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What is your favorite thing about the ag industry?


What is something random that most people don’t know about you?

Ag is very challenging and always changing so it’s hard to get bored. Changing weather, new practices and new electronics keep me learning all the time.

I love playing foosball and euchre.

If you had to be a product that you work with, what would it be and why? The Raven RCM (Rate Control Module). The RCM is so easy to work with, it works across numerous application platforms and almost every brand of tractor or ISO monitor.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I really enjoy helping customers solve their problems. Even if its not in my wheelhouse, it’s rewarding to recommend another employee that can help. It makes me feel good that my customers trust me enough that I am their first call when they need something.

If you had to eat the same food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Steak, how can you ever get enough steak?

What excites you most about the future of agriculture?

Precision agriculture hasn’t even scratched the surface of what it can do to make farmers more efficient and profitable. Products like Crop Spec, on the go VRA nitrogen application from TopCon, and Raven’s Hawkeye pulsing nozzle system are just the beginning.

If you were stuck on an island, what 3 items would you bring? Pocket knife, fishing gear and a smoker.

What is on your bucket list?

I have distant relatives that farm in Australia. I would like to meet them and see their operation.

What has been the biggest change in the industry during your time with Stutsman’s?

People buy from people. As other retailers continue to cut back on help, Stutsman’s continues to grow and add people.

What is your favorite season to work in?

I like fall because of the cooler weather and no bugs. I really like the late nights combining and doing tillage in the dark.

Which Stutsman Core Value means the most to you?

It’s tough for me to pick just one, because in my position if you don’t use a little of each of the core values each day it means you aren’t taking the best interests of the company or customer to heart. If I have to pick one it would be instill authenticity, because if you aren’t honest with your customers neither you or your customers will be happy in the end.

Nate is one of those guys that likes to know all the details about the equipment he is selling. This allows him to make sure he can take better care of his customers. Nate certainly sets the bar higher, takes the lead, and exceeds expectations.

Al Kessler VP of Precision & Application Equipment

’s & r e t h g Slau r e g o gR

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a Celebr

TheTonly constant in life is change, andand we’ve seen quite a bit of itofinitour 85 years of business. he only constant in life is change, we’ve seen quite a bit in our 85 years of business. From services/products offered to our customers’ agricultural practices, our our company andand the From services/ products offered to our customers’ agricultural practices, company ag industry have certainly grown. grown. The newest changechange at Stutsmans comes in the form ofform of the ag industry have certainly The newest at Stutsmans comes in the leadership. leadership.

As we celebrate year 85, 85, we we areare marking thethe endend of one presidency andand thethe start of of As we celebrate year marking of one presidency start another. After serving as President for the past 7 years, Roger Slaughter is stepping another. After serving as President for the past 7 years, Roger Slaughter is stepping down. Although he’she’s transitioning outout of this role, Roger is still going to be ourour down. Although transitioning of this role, Roger is still going to serving be serving grain handling equipment customers as well as taking the lead on special projects. grain handling equipment customers as well as taking the lead on special projects. Roger began working for for thethe company in college driving trucks. After college, he he Roger began working company in college driving trucks. After college, came back to Stutsmans full-time where he worked with livestock equipment andand came back to Stutsmans full-time where he worked with livestock equipment grain bins. Flash forward to today, andand Roger hashas continued his his work in the Grain grain bins. Flash forward to today, Roger continued work in the Grain Handling Division through his presidency and will continue this service on a a Handling division through his presidency and will continue this service on part-time basis. He Roger is excited to helptoout with well. “I’ll “I’ll drive a a part-time basis. is excited help outother with tasks other as tasks also. drive nurse truck thisthis spring if we need it,” it,” stated Roger. When asked what his his nurse truck spring if we need stated Roger. When asked what favorite part about serving as president was, he said, “I really enjoyed favorite part about serving as president of Stutsmans, he said, “I really working withworking my fellow Everyone has a great work enjoyed withemployees. my fellow employees. Everyone has aethic greatand work really cares about doing a good job. I’m thankful to have had such a had ethic and really cares about doing a good job. I’m thankful to have rewarding career withcareer Stutsmans.” such a rewarding with Stutsmans.”

We’re extremely grateful for Roger’s service to the company.

Roger is a very fair man and we appreciate the way he treats people. His level-headed personality made him a great sounding board as we considered new ideas, and he really helped us make the right decisions over the years. -COO Mark Stutsman As we celebrate the leadership Roger brought to the company, we look forward to the direction Scott Szymanek will bring as our new President.

Scott Szymanek has many of the same character traits as Roger and we’re excited to see him in this new role. With his accounting background, Scott does a great job communicating financials to our division heads, which will aid in our decision-making process. Additionally, he will take the lead in maintaining our family culture in the expanding business environment. -COO Mark Stutsman Scott joined the Stutsman team in 2012 as CFO of Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc. and President of Stutsman Logistics. Prior to this, he held executive positions with United Title Services and transportation companies, CRST and Florilli Corporation. Scott also has experience in animal nutrition from his time with PM Ag Products. He holds degrees in Accounting and Economics, has a CPA and MBA, and brings thirty plus years of accounting experience in the transportation and agriculture industries to the table. Outside of work, Scott serves on the Iowa Motor Truck Association Board of Directors and the Cedar Rapids Community School District Audit Committee. We are thankful for Roger Slaughter’s service as President and look forward to the new leadership of Scott Szymanek.

THIS SEASON IN HISTORY The history and development of Hills would probably be much different without the railroad. The

same could be said for our business. The railroad connection greatly encouraged the growth of our business, specifically our fertilizer division. Our dealings in fertilizer date back to the late 50’s – early 60’s. At that time we sold a small amount of product from Virginia Carolina Fertilizer. They supplied us with 80 pound bags of 3-6-12 via rail. Interestingly, this product had tobacco stems in it which soaked up the moisture and kept the fertilizer from hardening. Additionally, we had bagged ammonium nitrate with analysis of 33.5-0-0 from Spencer Chemical Company; also received by rail. When the Rock Island Railroad discontinued their coal business around 1965, Eldon purchased the buildings. After converting the concrete bins, we now had the capacity to store 400-500 ton of bulk fertilizer. As luck would have it, WR Grace had overpurchased 41% nitrogen from Marseilles, IL and needed to find a home for it. Luckily, WR Grace had a flat freight rate on the Rock Island Railroad. While analyzing the rail system, their sales rep, Ted Cowens, came across Hills and approached us with an opportunity. This relationship kickstarted our dry and liquid business. “We are always grateful for WR Grace and the opportunities they provided us in the fertilizer business,” said Ron Stutsman. At that time, they were the oldest and one of the largest fertilizer companies in the US. In fact, when they started in the 1800s, they sold guano (bat manure) from the caves of Chile as fertilizer.

The 41% nitrogen arrived in 100-ton rail cars. It had 15-20 pounds of pressure, which required us to use pressure equipment. WR Grace also provided us with our first bulk fertilizer; 10-10-10, 15-10-10, and 20-10-10. The addition of a blender a few years later allowed us to blend mixes of 0-46-0, 0-0-60, and 33.5-0-0. In our first year of side dressing, we had two car loads of nitrogen and just one applicator. Growers allowed us to test 40 rows of their fields; they were thrilled with the increase in yield. In the second year, we were side dressing entire fields and used a total of 10 car loads for the season. During this time, all side dressing was custom applied with 5 row machines featuring a 400-gallon tank. As our fertilizer business continued to grow, we started construction for the scale house and initial fertilizer plant in the mid 1970’s. The contractor for this project was John Mast’s father, our current VP of Transportation. This fertilizer shed held approximately 3,000 ton of dry fertilizer. We also added another track of rail so we could still unload fertilizer rail cars. Around 1990 the wholesale and retail mix plants went up. Prior to these additions, mixing was done outside with the controls located in a small yard shed. Moving this process under roof certainly increased efficiency as well as made it more comfortable for employees. Although these facilities allowed us to serve our customers, we experienced dramatic growth in 2010; we received fertilizer deliveries daily to remain stocked! To capitalize on larger quantities at lower off-season prices to benefit our customers, we built on to the South side of the dry fertilizer shed. This new addition gave us an additional 10,000 ton of storage. We’ve come a long way from our early days in the fertilizer business from using very low analysis products to more complex mixes and of course new technologies like soil sampling and variable rate application. It’s exciting to see how the industry and our own operation has advanced over the past 60 years. We can only imagine what the next 60 will bring!

used equipment

Calumet 3750 $15,000

2017 GEA Houle 6000 $43,750

2004 GEA Houle 7300 $46,875

Puck Hose Reel $24,000

25’ Aerway $32,000

New Bazooka Farmstar 10”x35’ Load Stand $3,150

2018 Salford BBI Javelin $67,500

1994 1800 gallon Mid-State Tank $3,900

2017 Salford I-1200 2017 Travis HSC4000 Seed Tender $62,000 $14,900

2009 Top Air TA1600 $22,900

Blu-Jet SD 500 $3,900


It’s always frustrating when you are ready to roll but your technology is not. The most common

issues with flow control systems seem to be incorrect rates on the Raven 660 and issues with the hydraulic cylinder moving correctly. Often times, these can be corrected with basic setting changes and fuse replacement.


The Raven console provides an actual rate by taking width, speed and volume flow and computing it into volume per acre. Any time you lose one of these inputs you will lose your rate. Check to make sure the speed is reading correctly on the Raven by comparing it to the speed on the tractor. Volume flow (volume/minute) can be a common factor of the rate reading wrong. Check and make sure the volume/minute is a realistic number. If this isn’t realistic, there is most likely a wrong setting that needs fixed.


Check to see if the cylinder will move by placing it in manual with constant flow to the hydraulics and toggling between increase and decrease. When testing it in manual, visually look and see if the cylinder is extending (increasing) or retracting (decreasing). If nothing appears to happen check the 2 fuses in the cylinder system located on the large red wire in the cab as well as the grey boost box on the front of the tank. The majority of problems with flow control systems stem from dirty connections on the wiring harnesses. Before the season hits, clean connections with electronic cleaner and use di-electric grease to ensure a good connection. Also, be sure the locking collar is completely locked; this will cause a problem if the connection does not stay tight.

If problems continue after these steps, call Mark Rohret | 319.325.4369, Ryan Miller | 319.325.4379, or Jake Delay | 319.325.0913

PRST STD US Postage Paid Iowa City, IA Permit No. 200

po box 250 Hills, IA 52235

SPRING 2018 | 319.679.2281

Profile for Stutsmans

Roots | Spring 2019  

From manure drag system preparation to the Chembine chemical mixer and seed placement to having a plan on Spring Nitrogen, check out what th...

Roots | Spring 2019  

From manure drag system preparation to the Chembine chemical mixer and seed placement to having a plan on Spring Nitrogen, check out what th...

Profile for stutsmans