Comfrey • Morgan • Morton • Springfield • Wabasso
Vol. 16 No. 1 • May 2014
Perhaps more than any other business, farming involves
the entire family. So, it just makes sense to us that our
communication should too. In order to do that more
effectively, we’ve been inspired to update this publica-
tion. In June, you will see a brand-new, magazine-style
publication entitled Harvest Land. Our goal for this
magazine is to provide you and your family with more
of the information you want to receive in a professional-
looking, quarterly package.
We will still feature each division at HLC including
grain, agronomy, petroleum, and seed. But we will
also have the ability to expand our coverage and include
stories that offer value to everyone. Our intent is to have
something for the whole family, including recipes, child-
friendly pages, and stories focused on our communities
in addition to the information that benefits your farming
You’re the editors
At Harvest Land, we realize that
a discussion is the most effective
way to communicate. That dialog
begins when we know what you
want to talk about. You will notice
a survey on the back page of this
publication. We ask that you help
us out by offering your feedback
as to what you would like to
see in the new publication. Once
you complete the survey, please
email, mail, or drop it at any of our locations. If you email the
survey, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org, or surveys
can be mailed to Harvest Land Cooperative, Attn: Fawn
Dauer, 711 Front St., PO Box 278, Morgan, MN 56266.
We look forward to the launch of our publication and
hearing from you. n
New Magazine to Offer Information and Inspiration
BY FAWN DAUER
MARKETING AND MEDIA
The Power of Patronage
In December of 2013 we
mailed equity retirement checks
of $865,293, and in April we
mailed out 2013 cash patronage
checks totaling $1,707,484.
That’s a total of $2,572,777
paid out to our Harvest Land
community of patrons. In fact,
over the last 11 years your coop-
erative paid out over $23 million
in cash patronage and equity
retirements. Congratulations on
a successful, collective effort to
building a very financially strong
From planning to action
The employees and board kept busy this past winter
planning for 2014 and beyond. As a result, we have
identified three major projects within the agronomy
division and allocated $5 million to complete the work
this year. Those projects include a chemical distribu-
tion center, seed warehouse expansion, and a new
shop at the terminal. See Scott’s article on page 5 for
more information. When we approve these projects,
our primary goal is to improve our customer service.
We consider risk management, internal efficiencies, the
quality of service we provide, the products we ship,
delivery safety, improved working conditions for our
employees and, of course, return on investment and
BY DENNIS SCHREIER
Continued on page 2
Time to Review Your Cattle Operation
Challenges we face today are
usually caused by something
that happened in the past.
For example, health status,
reproduction, and gain can be
affected by weather, forage
quality, or even disease events
that occurred as much as a year
previously. Now is the time to
review different programs and,
in some cases, products to see
if they are properly positioned to
benefit your operation. Take the
right steps now to avoid issues
down the road.
Forage inventory and quality
Currently, forage inventories are almost exhausted and
supplies in the market are limited in quality. This com-
bination reflects a strong demand for even marginal-
quality forages. Take a good look at your inventory and
needs for the next year and let me help develop a plan
to reduce the shrink and spoilage associated with forage
production. If inventory is a constant struggle, sorghum-
sudangrass is an economical way to increase dry matter
tons throughout the year.
Improving pastures, boosting cattle performance
Take an extra step and invest in your pastures by fer-
tilizing and spraying them to boost yield and stand
condition. You will be surprised by the response in those
treated areas. Be sure to have cattle on a strong mineral
program, like Wind and Rain®
mineral from Purina®
Quality mineral is the least
expensive input cost in any cow/
calf operation. Purina Wind and
Rain minerals are unique, as they
are weather resistant and do not
clump up or blow away like others.
It is highly palatable and very easily
absorbed by the cow, resulting in
consistent intake for your herd.
As values in cattle increase, so
does the value of a quality mineral
Lick tubs are another way to
provide needed minerals as well as
supplemental nutrition. Choosing
the right tub can get confusing.
Be sure to think about what your
needs are for the animal based on
forage quality and mineral require-
ments. Low-cost tubs are generally
high moisture and consumption is greater, which
pushes the actual price up. Our low-moisture, cooked
tubs keep consumption consistent. We have a full line
of tubs: protein, mineral, stress, and Altosid®
for all species.
Speaking of Altosid, research shows that horn flies suck
blood up to 30 times a day. Using Altosid to break the
horn fly life cycle reduces the number of flies and dis-
comfort. Altosid is also available in our loose mineral
and milk replacer products.
Plenty of feed options
More feedlots and cow herds are incorporating liquid
feeds into their program. Liquid feeds allow you to
utilize marginal-quality forages to condition the ration
and deliver low-inclusion ingredients more effectively
at an economical price. Quality Liquid Feeds (QLF) has
many options to choose from that can fit any program.
Providing creep feed to the young calf makes sense. The
benefit of weight gain and health status helps you take
advantage of high calf prices. Be sure to ask about the
different options available.
Finally, we also offer feeds that utilize IM technology.
Cattle on self-feeders, and even some TMRs, tend to gorge
themselves, causing acidosis and poor performance. IM
technology changes the eating pattern of cattle to make
them come to the bunk more often and take smaller
portions, resulting in fewer upset stomachs and better
feed efficiency. What is so unique about IM technology is
that you can feed little or no hay in the ration.
Let us help identify opportunities for your operation and
build a ration to increase gains and efficiencies. n
BY JEFF BERDAN, RUMINANT
In each newsletter, we’re
featuring a member of the
Harvest Land and AgQuest
board of directors. This month
the spotlight is on our most
tenured director, Dave Simonsen.
Harvest Land and AgQuest have
been fortunate to have such a
loyal and dedicated director.
Dave brings a lot of heart and fun to the boardroom.
You seldom see Dave without a smile, and he’s also
quick with an encouraging word. He has always been a
director who cares about the employees of our company
and clearly understands the value they bring. As you
read Dave’s comments, it is easy to see how proud he is
of all that Harvest Land has accomplished and to sense
his excitement about what the future will bring.
We all are thankful to Dave for all his years of service as
a director for Harvest Land and AgQuest! n
Director Personifies Commitment
BY DAVE STUK, CEO
A Long Look Back
When Harvest Land board member Dave Simonsen steps
down from his board position this coming January, he
will have 20 years of experience and memories to
take with him. We wanted to get his thoughts on two
decades of cooperative service and his perspective on
how the company he has served so faithfully is posi-
tioned for the next 20 years.
The first thing that strikes me is how fast 20 years has
gone by. My time on the board has been very education-
al and truly enjoyable. Through the years, Harvest Land
has been fortunate to have great and visionary lead-
ership, and that continues today. The board has also
been able to operate harmoniously, remaining open to
new ideas while still keeping an eye on the bottom line.
Probably the most important ingredient in our success,
however, has been our employees. They are the front
line—friendly, hard working, and dedicated. I can’t thank
As the senior director, I’ve seen so many changes and
improvements in my time on the board. Just this year
we are updating the chemical plant, adding to the seed
house, and refining our fertilizer handling processes.
Harvest Land continues to work hard to position
ourselves for the future. The Harvest Max program is a
perfect example. Technology is reshaping agriculture,
and also what we offer as a cooperative. It makes me
smile to think that when I started, a prescription was
something you got from the doctor. Now I need one
to apply my fertilizer and crop protection products and
another to set up my planter. That’s the future.
I’m proud to say that I believe Harvest Land is ready for
that future. We have so many young people with great
leadership potential and progressive thoughts both on
our staff and on the board and more in the wings.
We’re proud to be a full-service cooperative, with all
the traditional offerings—agronomy, grain, feed, and
energy—plus insurance and financing from AgQuest and
leasing from Northland Capital. What a great one-stop
center for our customers! Over the past 20 years, this
company has grown from $40 million in sales to $290
million because we’ve maintained a focus on giving our
patrons personal service. That won’t change.
I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to give something back to
our community through board service and to meet so
many great people. Looking ahead, our prospects are
bright. I hope I’ve contributed something over the years,
and I look forward to what Harvest Land will accomplish
in the coming years.
Editor’s note: Dave and his wife (and best friend),
Joanne, will be married 43 years
in August. They have two
sons, Chris, a consultant
with Boyer & Associates,
and Aaron, an indepen-
dent insurance agent
who also farms with
Dave. One of their
primary interests are
their five grandchil-
dren, “the cutest and
smartest on earth, of
course.” The couple
spends summer days
maintaining two large
farmyards and Joanne’s
garden. Dave also enjoys
his 2009 Challenger. n
Harvest Max Moves Online
New for 2014 is Harvest Max Online, a service available
exclusively to Harvest Max growers. Harvest Max
Online allows growers to have all of their data at their
fingertips. Some of these data items include as-applied
planting maps, soil test data, yield maps, multiple year
reports, management zones, and any treatments or
trials that were applied to your fields.
Harvest Max Online also allows growers to access
weather conditions as they relate to each individual
field. Hourly forecasts, current radar, and rainfall maps
for the past hour and the past 24 hours are just some
of the features available. Along with past rainfall maps,
growers can query rainfall amounts for each of their
fields, whether it’s rainfall totals from the last seven
days, one month, six months, one year, or custom dates
that you set up yourself.
Answering the “why”
These reports can give us insight on “why” the
crop is reacting the way it is or “why” a particular
poorly in one field
and strongly in
the next. These
reports can also
give us insight on
whether or not
we should make
as a side-dress N
application or a
fungicide. In the past we have
just gone out and made appli-
cations, hoping that they work,
but with corn back at $4, it
makes sense for us to have solid
data backing the decisions that
we’re making for your crop.
An example of this was in 2009,
when we received over 20” of
rainfall from April through July.
That year a VT fungicide application delivered a 15+-
bushel advantage over untreated corn, where in the
last few years our applications have seen hit-and-miss
results, as we’ve received only 13” of rainfall over the
entire growing season. Products like fungicides and
side-dress applications are not poor practices—they just
have to make sense agronomically to warrant being
We feel that Harvest Max Online is a great addition to
the many services Harvest Max offers growers.
One last item I’d like to touch on is contacting your
account manager to see which fields need to be grid
sampled. Many of your fields are due to be resampled
after four years. Updating your grid sampling regularly is
critical to a successful intensive soil sampling program.
Resampling allows us to return to the original geo-
referenced points to retest and evaluate your fertility
program. Your account manager will have a list of your
fields that need to be sampled. n
BY MATT PIETIG
HARVEST MAX MANAGER
Springfield to See Building Boom
In the next few months,
those of you who visit our
Springfield terminal will notice
more activity than usual. We’ll
have three major construc-
tion projects underway. These
projects will include:
Seed: The first project will be
doubling the size of the seed
warehouse. Dimensions for this
addition are approximately 60’ x
350’. This will allow us to double
our storage capacity.
Agronomy shop: The second project is the construction
of a new agronomy shop, which will be located to the
east of the seed shed. The shop will service all of our
truck fleet and agronomy equipment.
Chemical distribution warehouse: Our final project will
be building a 100’ x 200’ chemical warehouse. This
will be located south of the liquid fertilizer storage. It
will have 200,000-plus-gallon bulk capacity and will be
Compact season calls for planning
With our late start to spring, we are anticipating another
jam-packed spring application season, and a strong
demand for preplant application due to more soybean
acres. With this, preplanning and good communication
with the HLC account managers will be very important
We would appreciate 2-3 days notice for any spreading
and liquid deliveries, so we can get our equipment and
personnel scheduled. Advanced planning is critical in
order to place our people and equipment most efficiently
to get your fields and everyone else’s covered in the
small spring window we have. Knowing when you’re
going to need product allows us to anticipate your
needs, and that keeps everything moving smoothly.
We’re looking forward to working with you, and as
always, stay safe this planting season. n
BY SCOTT ARNSDORF
Our markets have shown some
surprising strength this early
spring. Unrest in Ukraine has
settled down, but is not over yet.
Exports from Ukraine will continue
to struggle to meet expectations
of 500 to 600 million bushels. We
see this as an opportunity, as the
United States may pick up nearly
half of those exports. Corn ending
stocks, as seen on the last USDA
report, continue to tighten, and
we feel that they will continue in
this direction, approaching the one-
billion-bushel mark for this marketing year.
Continued strong exports at a time of the year when we
usually see cancellations have kept soybeans bullish as
well. Good meal and ethanol margins have also helped
boost domestic demand. Transportation issues are the
negative factor on the ethanol side, as finished product
shipments have been slowed. However, we are starting
to see that situation ease somewhat and grind begin to
The prospective plantings report had a brief cooling
effect on beans, but now the markets have returned to
a wait-and-see posture as we are seeing a switching of
acres from wheat to corn and beans. Soybean stocks
are a touch lower than this time last year, and continue
to tighten on the old crop as exports are up a couple
hundred million bushels from last year and domestic
usage is a shade higher also. The funds have once
again found commodities attractive and are back in the
markets, which is one reason for their stronger-than-
expected performance. We’ll soon be trading weather
and news of planting delays.
We haven’t sold too many shuttles due to the high cost
of cars—another consequence of the same shortage
of railcars and crews that is impacting the ethanol
industry. Winter weather, record grain harvests, and
the demands of North Dakota’s oil boom have created
a capacity crunch that the railroads are addressing, but
won’t be able to quickly remedy. The West Coast bid is
good, but getting the grain there is challenging.
We, as well as the producer, can often take some
moisture off stored grain inventories with aeration, but
it seems that this past fall and winter, for whatever
reason, that approach wasn’t as effective as it has been
in other years. As a result, we have been drying to make
grade on corn delivered to end users and also to protect
our inventories going into the warmer months ahead. n
Markets Provide a Pleasant Surprise
BY KURT SOUPIR
The 2013 corn drying demand
and a long, cold winter has
reduced propane inventories to
record lows. We have seen
extreme price volatility due to
very high propane demand and
The need for more
is very evident
to help minimize
supply and price
risk. Talk to us if
you are interested
in adding storage capacity.
Summer is the best time for us to take
care of any propane system maintenance.
If you’re renting a tank from us that needs
painting, give us a call so we can get it
on the schedule. We’ll also be taking care
of regulators that are due for replacement
and notifying you if you are on the list.
If you’re adding on, putting in new appli-
ances that utilize propane, or modifying
your system in any way, we need to
know. For safety reasons, we have to leak check your
system after any additions or modifications to make
certain everything is safe and up to code.
Thank you for your business, and have a safe spring. n
Capacity Best Hedge Against Volatility
BY PAT MACHT
ENERGY DIVISION MANAGER
Swine Spring Training
I was fortunate to attend the
spring swine training session
presented by Purina®
Nutrition in Des Moines, IA.
Everyone in the swine industry
has heard plenty about PEDv,
and it was discussed at great
length in Des Moines, but new
information on how to deal with
PEDv was also made available.
The disease has been around
long enough now that the vet-
erinary community has some
coping guidelines they gener-
ously shared with us.
We heard from the Iowa Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
on what they have seen from the samples sent in for
testing. They have been able to gain some insight on
the likelihood of different means of transmission based
on real numbers instead of exaggerated speculation.
Tom Burkgren, executive director with the American
Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), shared
some insight into what the AASV is doing to coordinate
the efforts of swine veterinarians as they search for
answers on how to cope with this disease.
There was a lot of discussion by the Purina Animal
Nutrition staff veterinarians and nutritionists about
feeding pigs stressed by disease. This was especially
valuable because most research is done on healthy pigs,
so there is not a lot of data out there to access. Many
times, trial results are discarded if the pigs become
stressed or ill during the trial. The approach taken by
Purina Animal Nutrition was to realize that pigs get sick
and then address the changes in nutritional demand
brought on by the disease or stress. They concluded
that the required amino acid profile shifted when the pig
is under stress, making it beneficial to balance according
to a new amino acid profile.
Along with nutrition information, we discussed different
methods of managing the health-challenged pig. It was
interesting to hear what other people have tried and the
success they have had with those practices. Some of
the topics discussed were:
• Rehydration is key.
• It can take up to 21 days to replace lost villi.
• Providing a diet that is two-thirds water and one-third
solid is like chicken soup for pigs.
• Not all milk products are highly digestible, so formulate
diets with very digestible milk products.
• Mat feed and keep the mat dry.
Initiate water intake:
• Provide clean, fresh water.
• Purina UltraCare®
Swine Electrolyte is specially for-
mulated to rescue young pigs from dehydration and
stress. This product also:
o Features MpD®
-class palatants for excellent intake.
o Promotes optimal capacity of glucose absorption
through the intestines.
o Supports prevention of weaning-related malabsorption.
o Contains vitamin D to boost performance.
Transition to dry feed:
• Transitioning to dry feed is important, as dry feed
usually stays fresher longer than most gruel mixes.
Gel products are often easier to manage than gruel
• Transitional product of choice: Purina UltraCare®
o Formulated with high-moisture content and natural-
intake enhancers to encourage consumption of feed.
o Helps to prevent dehydration and enhance the tran-
sition to dry feed.
o Formulated to improve intestinal health.
• Managing minimum ventilation is often different for
sick pigs compared to healthy animals.
• Temperature curve and controller settings will likely
need to be adjusted.
• Sizing pigs on arrival.
• Sick pen stocking density.
• Stocking to feed delivery system.
I was not able to cover everything presented in the
space provided here. A key point to remember is that
feeding a stressed pig is often different than feeding a
healthy pig. Another key is that mistakes or poor perfor-
mance are magnified on health-challenged pigs.
Harvest Land can help you discover possible lost oppor-
tunities with a solid assortment of management tools
and strategies to help analyze your operation. If this
analysis is done when the pigs are healthy, it is that
much easier to adjust to the challenges of stressed pigs.
If you suspect your pigs are already stressed, Harvest
Land can access the nutritional expertise of Purina
Animal Nutrition to feed stressed pigs and the healthy
pigs too. If you have further questions on any of these
topics, please give me a call, and I will be glad to review
the full discussion with you. n
BY KEVIN LANGEMO
Bugs Tougher Than We Think
Looking back on our cold winter, one would suspect
that we might have had enough frost to kill a majority
of the corn rootworm eggs in our soil. In fact, a study
was performed and the data showed that rootworm egg
hatch dropped 43-50% after one week at 14 degrees.
Zero hatch occurred after one week at five degrees. After
reading this, I went to the USDA’s website and looked at
the Lamberton location to see what our soil temperatures
were doing during January (the coldest time of the winter)
and found the illustration below for six-inch soil depths.
As you can see, we never fell below 29 degrees in the
six-inch soil profile. The conclu-
sion of the study: “Do not expect
a lot of corn rootworm eggs
to winterkill.” I will also note
that in 2013, there was a 6.6-
bushel advantage on traited seed
with an insecticide versus traited
seed without insecticide in Win-
Field’s™ Answer Plots®
We have been stressing that
proper placement and popula-
tions are playing a big part in the per-
formance of new hybrids today. Fixed
ear versus flex ear, root system, and
stalk strength are all things to consider
when placing these hybrids. Take a look
at the data below from our Harvest Max
platform that stands behind our recom-
mendations on placement and popula-
We will continue to test these hybrids
every year to bring you the best placement
recommendations for your farm. If you’d
like to know more about our Harvest Max
precision platform, contact your account
BY BRETT BRAULICK
SEED DIVISION MANAGER
Nitrogen Stabilizers – What They Do and What They Don’t
Interest in the use of nitrogen
inhibitors like NutriSphere-N®
and similar products has grown
in recent years for several
reasons. First, nitrogen costs
have risen drastically over the
past six or seven years—making
it much more cost effective to use
nitrogen inhibitors versus simply
applying additional nitrogen as
compensation for potential loss.
Second, there is a greater
awareness of potentially harmful environmental effects
from loss of nitrogen through:
• Volatilization or surface loss due to exposure to high
temperatures, sunlight, and humidity,
• De-nitrification from oversaturated soils in spring,
• Leaching through soil profile due to excessive rainfall.
I have had quite a few inquiries over the last few weeks
about nitrogen-stabilizing products, and want to make
sure our patrons are aware of product differences and
what they protect against. So, here is some information
on several of the products available and the best time
to use each.
I will break the products into two classes—those that
help on the soil surface and those that work below the
On the surface – urease inhibitors
Agrotain Ultra (similar products include Factor®
). The use rate is three-fourths a gallon per ton
of urea. The cost will depend on the rate of N, but it
is approximately 70¢ per 10 lbs of actual N as urea.
This product is used to stop volatilization, which is the
process of urea turning into a vapor while laying on top
of soil in warm weather. So, Agrotain is best suited for
late spring and summer top-dress applications. It’s kind
of like putting a sunscreen on your nitrogen.
Basically, there is no below-ground activity. As soon as
rainfall dissolves the urea granule and takes it into the
soil, Agrotain’s job is done. The dissolved nitrogen is
converted rapidly (because of microbial activity) from the
ammonium form to nitrate and can then be taken up by
Can this product be used in fall or spring preplant appli-
cations? The answer is yes, but the benefit at these
two times is minimal for two reasons. First, because air
and surface soil temperatures are cooler, which greatly
diminishes the chance of volatility and, second, because
the urea is usually incorporated shortly after application
by tillage. The two products that follow are better suited
for fall or spring preplant applications.
Below the soil surface – microbial inhibitors
Instinct (Dow Agro). The use rate is always 35 ounces/
acre no matter what rate of N is applied.
Most of you have heard of N-Serve, which is used with
anhydrous ammonia. Instinct is similar to N-Serve,
but this formulation is safe to use on urea. The cost is
Instinct works on the soil itself to slow down microbial
activity around the urea granule. It basically creates a
barrier until the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees
versus 50 degrees without Instinct. As the soil warms
further, the microbes eventually increase in number
and become more active, breaking down Instinct’s
coating and beginning the conversion of nitrogen from
ammonium form to nitrate form. Instinct offers no pro-
tection from surface volatilization.
The best use for Instinct is in fall or spring preplant-
incorporated applications. The biggest obstacle with
Instinct is its high-use rate, which causes urea to
become saturated and sticky. This can cause problems
with airflow application equipment. In a conventional
application, Instinct generally does not cause applica-
tion problems because total pounds per acre applied are
enough to keep fertilizer dry enough. Since the products
are kept separate in VRT applications, the high-use
rate of Instinct unfortunately makes the individual urea
basically unspreadable because of wetness.
Nutrisphere for Urea. The use rate is half a gallon per
ton of urea. Cost will depend on the rate of N but will be
approximately 85¢ per 10 pounds of actual N as urea.
Nutrisphere also coats the urea granule to inhibit microbial
activity, slowing the conversion from ammonium to
nitrate by attaching to the three elements—nickel, copper,
and iron—that the soil microbes use to convert nitrogen
forms. For you scientific types, this is where ions and
cations come into play. As with Instinct, the microbes’
increasing numbers eventually overpower the product.
Nutrisphere accomplishes the same thing as Instinct,
just in a different manner. It is a good choice for fall and
spring preplant applications, and because the use rate is
much lower, it can be used in VRT applications without
causing application problems. Nutrisphere is also classi-
fied as a urease inhibitor to slow volatility on the surface,
which also allows it to be used as a summer top-dress
product. It is, however, slightly more expensive than
other surface protection products.
All three of the products above do an excellent job of
protecting your valuable nitrogen applications. The
biggest question you need to answer is what type
of loss you want to protect your nitrogen from. Our
agronomy staff will then be able to help guide you in
selecting the correct product. n
BY TIM WOELFEL
CROP PROTECTION MANAGER
PO Box 278
Morgan, MN 56266-0278
LICENSED AGQUEST CROP INSURANCE AGENTS
MORGAN 877-626-7453 Lynn Button, Kathy Mainer, Mark Kubesh, Cheryl Manderfeld
507-249-3196 Pat Macht, Mark Vogel, Matt Pietig
COMFREY 507-877-2441 Rick Kastner
MORTON 507-697-6113 Todd Beran, Keegan Mammen
OLIVIA 800-463-3616 Sheri Bakker, Amber Weber
SPRINGFIELD 507-723-7350 Jim Boyle, Joel Heiling, Tim Woelfel
AgQuest Insurance Agency is an Equal Opportunity Provider.
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