Pfister Hunt Club

Congratulations to our two winners, and thank you to everyone who participated in the inaugural Pfister Hunt Club photo contest. We had over 175,000 votes and 12,000 visitors who viewed the site. We are looking forward to running the contest again next season.

Brad

A year that we won’t soon forget. Very early planting, a historic drought, and $8 corn. 2012 has been emotional. In my visits with some of you who have seen your “40 crops,” it brought back memories of 1954 or 1988. With the production tools and methods we have today, a crop failure was thought to be nearly impossible. Nonetheless, it happened to a lot of our friends. Thanksgiving is family time. Use it to share with the next generation or learn from the one before about what happened next. Production agriculture tends to be cyclical. It is always “different” this time, and yet the cycle continues.

Brad

Building any company is a process. You start with a dream, create a philosophy that identifies what you stand for, and surround yourself with good people. At Pfister, we are well down this path. With the help of a lot of friends and supporters who are growing with us, we are off to a tremendous start. Using our strong product portfolio as an example of our progress, take a look at the F.I.R.S.T. Trials this fall. Our stable products are consistently placing in the top of test after test. In fact, in our core geography, we are a performance leader. Good people who enjoy what they do, outstanding products, and the seed you need – grow with us.

Brad

Has the dynamics of planting corn-on-corn changed, or have environmental factors played a big role the past two seasons? This has become one of the most asked questions by our friends as the combines start to be put away for the year. There is not a “one size fits all” answer to this question, and the economics of the situation should be the number one factor in making a decision for your business. We have made huge strides in corn-on-corn production. The ability to manage residue, multiple nitrogen applications and fungicides have greatly enhanced our yield potential. Challenges with single mode of action rootworm traits and stressful growing seasons have resulted in greater yield variation with this production method, not unlike what we experienced 10 years ago. Our team believes that more corn acres will lead to higher net profits on the farm. Our plan: start with a SmartStax® hybrid, get the plant off to a good start, feed it early and often, and protect plant health with a fungicide. Will you raise more corn-on-corn in 2013?

The term “component company” gets tossed around quite a bit right now. Where did it come from, and what does it mean? There have been component companies as long as there have been specialty manufacturing  groups, but the term really came into play with the advent of the personal computer (PC) business. Dell is perhaps one of the best known technology component companies, using a processor from Intel or AMD, operating software from Microsoft, and so on to build their version of the PC. As a component seed company, we follow a similar model. Pfister utilizes germplasm and traits from multiple sources to build the best, customized products for your farm. This is a very successful business model in the industry right now. 

How much nitrogen is left in the soil with the short crop? This has been a topic of discussion for the past few weeks with opinions being shared from everywhere. Would you consider applying less nitrogen this fall or next spring because of the short crop? I am sure there are people far better qualified than me to answer this question, but it is a long time between now and next summer when we need optimum nitrogen uptake to grow corn. Every penny counts. There are many good options for applying nitrogen to a growing crop, but the best crop is usually the corn that does not have a few “bad days.” If you choose to cut nitrogen rates based on a short crop, be ready to move quickly.

Brad

Are your soybeans ready to cut and still green? This could be a big issue for the driest areas of the Corn Belt this fall. Plants are holding onto a lot of green leaves and will most likely remain that way until there is a killing frost. Beans that have experienced a stressful growing season also have a tendency to shatter. Make sure you take a few minutes to check out your crop—in a lot of cases you will need to try and push up the harvest date on those “green” beans. Calls have been coming in about bean yields being a little better than expected. What’s your story?

Brad

Based on the past two growing seasons, variation is the new normal. Our friends are calling with 200 bushel stories and 40 bushel stories, and some have acre after acre of corn to mow. The growing season of 2012 will not soon be forgotten. One of the most common questions that I am getting this fall is “should we continue with our corn-on-corn strategy?” It has been challenging in parts of the corn belt the past two seasons. What are your plans? Will you continue to grow as much corn-on-corn?

Brad

A small town in the Midwest is a special place during harvest season. It really opens your eyes to what a family business American agriculture is. If the kids are in college, they rush home as fast as they can. You can’t miss harvest! The younger ones tend to let homework take a back seat to spend time in the combine with mom or dad. As the trucks roll in to the elevator, most have an extra passenger. A grandfather who tells the stories of harvest past. The little ones who “have it in their blood.” Everyone is busy, and everyone is loving every minute of it. Harvest time in middle America. If you have ever been a part of it, home is calling this time of year.

Brad

An eternal optimist – I guess that is the grain producer in me. For the past twenty years, I have been traveling the Midwest visiting with customers and friends, generally sharing stories about crop conditions. Most of the time, I found myself trying to make sure they understood just how good the crops looked. Improved genetics, traits and fungicides were going to help us make trend-line yield. This year may be the exception. One of the driest past 60 days in history has a big part of the Midwest under stress. Parts of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri have already suffered significant loss. Other areas are getting by, but are hand to mouth on moisture, and are a few hot days away from additional challenges. Tens of thousands of soybean acres with 50-70% stands, planted in late April or early May, have still not had enough moisture to emerge. Genetics have made huge strides, but historical droughts still win.

Brad

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