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Fluid Journal : Late Spring 2012
Late Spring 2012 The Fluid Journal 12 35 bushels per acre and ending up pushing near 400 bushels per acre in yield contest trials. • Easier, Faster, Better (1967). Explained the different methods of applying liquid fertilizer: starter fertilizer, fertigation, uniformity, deep placement, and banding • The Better Way (1969). How to make the most of rainfall, new tillage methods, fertilizing wheat, soybeans, and pastures. • The Liquid Revolution (1971). A walk through the first two decades of the liquid fertilizer business • The Lesson of the Teotihauacans (1971), who grew continuous corn in Mexico, exhausting their soil after several hundred years. Our civilization is the only one in history that learned the secret to replacing nutrients removed by crops. • Good Programs Raise Bigger Yields in Any Weather (1973). Water Use Efficiency (WUE) is a measure of the bushels of corn vs. inches of rain and one of the farmer’s biggest problems or greatest benefits. • The Promised Land (1974), a three-screen production relating the history of how pioneers conquered the land and developed other implements to improve farming efficiency. • The Kernel of Gold (1974), single- screen production telling non- farmers how local farmers used fertilizer and why it is necessary for food production. • Zinc the Miracle Worker (1975), a three-screen production that covered the zinc fertilizer program from beginning to end: how to test for deficiency, mixing directions, how zinc reacts in various soils, the equipment needed, and the costs involved. • A Generation of Progress (1975), a three-screen, 273-slide production presented at the Annual National Meeting of the NFSA with approximately 2,500 in attendance. It was also presented to farmers in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. Looking back at the time, we didn’t imagine that in another generation (by 2005) farmers would be growing 180 bushels of corn an acre (Figure 1), with some field tests approaching 400! 2. Testing your soil so you don’t waste precious fertilizer. You might find a zinc (Zn) deficiency and get an extra 25 bushels by adding it to your fertilizer 3. Increasing your yield--after all, we’ve broken yield records 16 out of the last 20 years. Average yield back then was 100 bushels of corn per acre. Today, we’re on the way to 180 to 200 bushels per acre 4. Balancing your plant population, fertilizer rate, hybrid, and weed control 5. Using a starter sidedressing weed and feed, and deep placement to build healthy roots 6. Lowering energy costs. Reduced-till saves diesel fuel and leaves residue on the surface of the soil, which acts as a blanket to catch water and increase infiltration rate. • Programs that save (1986), 84 slides, 50 minutes. • Herman Warsaw video (1986), 85 slides, 45 minutes. How Herman Warsaw produced 370 bushels per acre. • Treasures for the Taking (1986), 3-screen, stereo. It was a story of two pirates, names Barnacle Barney and Salty Sam, who found a map and discovered big treasures at the Nutra-Flo fertilizer plant. They had to do a little farming to get the treasure. All of the newest ideas for growing profitable crops were presented. The slide programs showed pictures of new, modern equipment. Big sprayers with giant booms could fertilize 80 acres in a single hour without compaction. New modern planter attachments using squeeze pumps could accurately inject fertilizer next to the seed row at planting time. Liquid was delivered by stainless steel transport trucks. Big pumps could unload the fluid fertilizer in a matter of minutes. All the farmer had to lift was the end of a hose. Evolvement The late ‘80s brought about an evolvement that began to impact on the slide presentation meetings, signaled by a change that was taking place in farming. When my dad originally started showing presentations at farmer meetings, they were able to • Selling the Advantages of Fluid Fertilizers (1977), a three-screen production presented to 100 fertilizer dealers in Baltimore, Maryland, wanting to know how to handle and sell fluid fertilizers and who now use these products. • Water Management for High Yields (1977). This three-screen production followed the dry year of 1976. We explored climate, which has so much effect on yield. Given was the example of how one university determined that fertilized corn requires 5,600 gallons of water per bushel, whereas unfertilized corn requires 21,000 gallons of water per bushel. What music to the ear! • Starter Fertilizer (1977), 78 slides. This program discussed various formulations and equipment used to apply starter fertilizer (now in wide use in the Corn Belt). Basically a stream of water-soluble fertilizer containing a mixture of N, P, K , S, Zn is applied below and to the sides of seed corn when it is planted. • New Concepts for Maximizing Yields (1978). This hour-long program showed interviews we’d taken of a large number of successful farmers and their programs. It is almost breathtaking when we look up and see now how we’d accumulated and passed on new ideas from farmers and university researchers, all developed in order to help other farmers increase yields and profits. • What High Yields Have to Tell Us (1979), a 45-minute slide presentation. For the first time Herman Warsaw was mentioned, describing how he produced 338 bushels of corn per acre on land the government had placed a potential yield of 38 bushels an acre! Also discussed was how he later produced 377 bushels per acre, a record for dryland corn. We also discussed how no other local farmers fertilized, tested their soil, changed their tillage, etc. • Six Ways to Increase Your Profits (1980), 80-minute slide program with six big new ideas: 1. Improving your WUE by tillage, narrow rows, and fertilizing properly
Early Spring 2012