Spring Stand Evaluations

Mar 15, 2023

Agronomy Equipment

Evaluate Potential Winter Damage

March is a great time to assess your alfalfa stand as the plant starts to break dormancy and green up.  Spring Stand Evaluation
1. Follow the Reading the Stand program to evaluate stand density and
crown health of each field. Minimum density: 5 plants/ft2 with 10 to
15 new shoots or buds on each crown.
2. Determine potential winter damage, may not be uniform across the
field (winter damage, winterkill, or heaving)
• Easiest way to check for winterkill is root damage.
• Winterkilled roots will have a gray, water-soaked appearance.
This will be noticeable just after soils thaws. Once water leaves
the root, the tissue will become brown, dehydrated and stringy.
If the root is soft and water can be easily squeezed from it, or is
brown, dry and stringy, it is most likely winter killed.
• Healthy crowns will have little to no discoloration; an unhealthy crown will have
significant discoloration and fewer buds/shoots which results in lower yield.
• Winter damage example: Ice ponding areas of the field
• Winterkill example: Soil temp <15oF without snow cover insulation.
• Heaving: The result of freeze and thaw periods, causing the root to be pushed
up out of the ground.
3. Rank winter injury fields on the farm; new seedings to older stands
4. As spring green up continues, revisit poor/damaged areas to determine action plan.
5. Discuss rotating poor stands to corn or forage sorghum
• Take advantage of nitrogen credits (100-140+ units)
• Seed new alfalfa on “fresh ground”. Keep in mind herbicide carryovers from
previous crop.
• When


                   Ken Jahnke
        Agronomy Sales Manager



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Mar 03,2023
With spring just around the corner, your cooperative is gearing up for another one of our seasonal rushes…spring planting season. Not only will we see our total employee count peak for the year, but nearly every asset in the company will be in use. While many businesses have equipment and buildings that are in use all year long, our grain and agronomy divisions have millions of dollars invested in some assets that only get used for a few months out of the year. It is critical that these assets are fully operational and ready to go when the season starts. Our agronomy operations team has spent the winter months going through all the equipment to make sure it's in good working order, unwrapping and greasing up the new sprayers, trucks and other equipment we’ve purchased this year, updating technology and precision tools on existing equipment, and conducting hours of training on its use and safety. 

In addition, the crop advisors and admin staff have been putting the finishing touches on crop plans and seed orders, wrapping up input financing and nutrient management plans, hiring and training new staff including college interns to help scout fields, and maybe taking a little time away to get rested for what is sure to be long days and short nights ahead. If you’re still looking to finalize plans for this planting season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our highly trained crop advisors.

Gearing up for spring is not only about the equipment, but also the additional staff needed to provide the products and services our members rely on to help feed the world. Each year we try to fill about 100 full and part time positions at our eleven agronomy locations. These positions can last from six weeks up to eight months. Most seasonal positions involve delivering product to our members or directly to fields to keep our custom application machines running smoothly. If you or someone you know is interested in seasonal or year-round employment, please contact Shayla at our Mt Horeb office or stop by one of the agronomy locations. The hours can be flexible and available up to seven days a week. If agronomy work isn’t for you, ask about openings at any of our other locations including retail associates, plant operations, truck drivers, administrative professionals and more. Premier is always looking to add quality people to our team.

Thank you for your continued support of Premier Cooperative and its staff. Have a great month and stay safe!
Mar 03,2023
Cattle nutrient requirements can vary by season and stage of production. Now is a great time to evaluate your cattle mineral programs and map out a plan to maximize impact.

While minerals are a relatively small portion of the diet, they control many vital functions in cattle and impact everything from cattle reproduction to feed efficiency and overall herd health. That's why it’s so important to make sure the mineral needs of your cattle are being met year-round.
Mar 03,2023
I know many of you have plans in place for a spring burndown herbicide application. If not, here are a few reasons for you to get in contact with your Premier agronomist to do so. Spring burndown applications typically target winter annuals and perennial grasses that overwinter and resume growing as soon as temperatures warm in the spring.  As they get going in the field they immediately begin stealing water and nutrients from the soil, and can create planting challenges. With the onset of resistant weeds like waterhemp, and standby challenges like giant ragweed, it is a best practice recommendation to add a strong residual herbicide to your preplant spring burndown application.  Doing so helps keep populations down and gets ahead of your first early post application. Here are some tips for establishing clean fields that give your crop a strong start.