Author Archives: CFS

About CFS

Crop Fertility Specialists, (CFS) is a Northern Indiana crop input retailer originating more than 50 years ago. The company is committed to providing leading technology, products, and services in their corn and soybean markets to maximize returns for their customers.

Local Retailers Improve Nutrient Management and Efficiency

Local conservation district manager Dan Harwood (right) and grower Ross Jordan (left) looking at his fall planted winter wheat that was seeded into cover crop ( USDA-NRCS ) According to a new case study, consulting with a local ag retailer … Continue reading

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Beyond No-Till And Covers: Many Practices Improve Soil Health

Balanced fertility and optimum soil pH are basic requirements to improve soil health. Without this foundation, the benefits of no-till will not be achieved. ( Lindsey Benne ) Farmer interest in no-till and cover crops has probably never been higher. … Continue reading

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AGRI Business Council of Indiana

Roundtable of Indiana Ag Leaders Discusses NAFTA Concerns ACI President Amy Cornell joined several Indiana agriculture leaders in a roundtable discussion with Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and ISDA Director Bruce Kettler. Read Hoosier Ag Today‘s coverage of the roundtable here. … Continue reading

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SCN Robs Yield from Every Field

With resistance on the rise, farmers need to employ new control methods ( Penn State University ) After stealing $1.6 billion each year from farmers, soybean cyst nematode’s (SCN) reign is coming to an end. The SCN Coalition is working … Continue reading

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Potash supply to exceed demand by 2020: report

There are two sides to this story, since MOP (The common form of potash that is currently over supplied and underperforming), SOP (the non-chloride form of potash) commands a hefty premium and is now in high demand. We reviewed the … Continue reading

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Warning Signs In Farmer Debt to Income Ratio

Data from USDA might have some thinking the worst is over for the correction in farmland prices. But it’s too soon for farmers, landowners and lenders to relax the debt discipline they’ve been exercising. A key indicator shows debt levels … Continue reading

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Final Report of Dicamba Injured Soybeans Exceeds 3.5 Million Acres

As harvest nears completion farmers, retail and state Extension agents have gotten a better idea of how many acres of soybeans were allegedly damaged by dicamba. Kevin Bradley, with the University of Missouri, compiled the number of reported complaints and estimated … Continue reading

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Implications of BASF Purchasing Bayer’s Seed Assets

Last week, BASF announced it will purchase Bayer’s seed assets for $7 billion. The deal includes Bayer’s LibertyLink businesses and the canola, cotton, and soybean seed operations. Since Bayer is divesting the seed technology, it will allow Bayer and Monsanto … Continue reading

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5 Factors to Consider in Weed Management

Weed control isn’t a one year plan—it spans over multiple seasons and involves strategy to make sure you and farmers stay ahead of resistant weeds. This time of the year you might find yourself considering herbicides and other inputs for next … Continue reading

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Agronomy Update July 2017

Scouting By Brian Banks, Senior Agronomist Overall, this season has not seen any major concerns with disease or insect infestations across the Corn Belt as a whole. It is, however, that time of year to be scouting for the following issues … Continue reading

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Hula hoops?

Hula hoops provide an additional technique for calculating soybean populations. Photo by Sonja Begemann While you might think of hula hoops as a game for children they’ve found a new use—helping farmers calculate soybean populations. With no need for a … Continue reading

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    As soils have begun to dry enough in a few areas of Indiana, field work has started to resume. After a series of many pounding rains and downright cold overnight temperatures, the question begs to be asked: Will … Continue reading

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Don’t Give Weeds a Chance in Corn

Given the weather conditions many parts of the country are experiencing, farmers are likely more concerned about getting their corn and soybeans planted at this point than implementing their weed-control program. But wherever possible, don’t let weeds get a foothold … Continue reading

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Climate, Precision Planting Deal Dies on DOJ Delays

“Even though we’re terminating the deal, from a customer perspective, nothing is going to change…” Photo by Ben Potter Opposition from the U.S. Justice Department convinced Monsanto to cancel a 19-month-old deal for its subsidiary Climate Corporation to sell Precision Planting to Deere … Continue reading

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Best Management Practices to Control PPO-Resistant Weeds

Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed scientists expected. According to the 2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic Herbicide Resistance Report issued in January, PPO-resistant waterhemp, first … Continue reading

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Plan For Early-Season Soybean Pests

Farmers aren’t the only ones who like early-planted soybeans. Bugs like them, too. The relatively mild winter much of the Midwest just experienced could result in above-average populations of pests in farmers’ fields this spring—just as soybeans start to emerge. … Continue reading

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EPA Denies Activists’ Petition to Cancel Chlorpyrifos

Following a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review, chlorpyrifos will stay on the market. The insecticide has been on the market for more than 50 years and is used in close to 100 countries on 50 crops. In 2007 Dow … Continue reading

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FMC Acquires Portion of DuPont Crop Protection Business

Today FMC corporation and DuPont signed an agreement to sell FMC the portion of DuPont’s crop protection business European Commission required DuPont to divest to merge with Dow Chemical Company. FMC will pay DuPont $1.2 billion for the business and … Continue reading

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Evaluate Soil-Applied Herbicide Options for Soybeans

Marestail control in soybeans should begin in early spring by controlling fall-germinated seedlings and rosettes before they start to bolt.                              Photo by Purdue Extension With the … Continue reading

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Reasons Why Purple Corn Syndrome Shows Up

This cross section of corn leaf tissue illustrates the accumulation of anthocyanin pigments. Notice the purple pigmentation is produced in the top layer of cells and does not affect the chlorophyll content in the plant. Photo by DuPont Pioneer Purple … Continue reading

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Drought Creeps Into Key Grain Production Areas

Photo by AgWeb Droughts come, and droughts go. The past two months have provided a very clear object lesson in this, as the western drought continues to be slowly erased, while key grain production areas in the Plains and Midwest … Continue reading

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Allendale Estimates 90M Corn Acres, 88.8M Soybean Acres

The 2017 planting season is just around the corner. Photo by Sonja Begemann The much-anticipated Prospective Plantings report from the USDA comes out March 31, but it’s not the only game in town. Other entities are making their own acreage … Continue reading

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Oh the winter blues!

We started march with unpresidented warmth quickly turning to bone chilling cold by mid month. As spring approaches we should be finalizing our cropping plans to be ready to go. Fertilizer dealers are going to be hard pressed to get … Continue reading

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Caution Lights Ahead For Dicamba Use

Dennis Riley, left, and Mark Wilson of Hutson Inc., worked together to install a new direct-injection sprayer systems for Security Seed. Photo by Brad Rankin It’s early March, and Security Seed and Chemical applicators are busy prepping equipment for the upcoming … Continue reading

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Many Ways for Palmer to Get Into Fields

Your farmer customers could be unknowingly planting Palmer amaranth anywhere Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) mixes are grown or pollinator mixes are established. To date, Palmer amaranth seed in CRP planting mixes has been identified in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and … Continue reading

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Nitrogen Applications

The unseasonably warm and dry weather this February has prompted some corn growers to begin applying ammonia, according to University of Illinois crop sciences professor Emerson Nafziger. “While we don’t often have the option to apply this early due to … Continue reading

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Tips for Conventional and No-till Seedbed Establishment

You only get one chance to give a crop the right start, so it’s important to understand how previous tillage and crops impact seed’s access to soil. While crop residue breaks down to provide additional nutrients, it can also impede … Continue reading

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What does this mean to retailers?

Wall Street-type investment firms have found out what most farmers have believed for years–farmland is a good long-term investment. More institutional-type investors will likely enter the picture and buy land this year as farmers, who might have vied for the … Continue reading

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Who Should Pay for Water Quality and Soil Conservation Improvements?

The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgPro or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author’s own. Last month, I had one of those aha moments.  A reporter was asking me about my thoughts on … Continue reading

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Which weather forecasters are best at predicting precipitation and accurate temperatures?

Photo by Free Images Weather forecasting is a competitive business, with many local, national and global options vying for your attention. There must be differences among them all, which begs the question – who gives the most accurate weather forecasts? … Continue reading

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