We hosted our annual Grower Meeting yesterday at the Linn County Fairgrounds and we had a great turnout. The speakers and presenters all did a great job and we gave away some great door prizes, including a Traeger Grill.
The meeting kicked off with Josh Nelson covering the soybean research trial he put together with Horning Farms and the help of Cameren Moran of CPS. The soybean trial consisted of nine different short-season varieties that were all taken to seed yield and a couple varieties were also taken for green chop. Josh and Cam had yield data, protein, and fat percentages for all the varieties. Of course we're still in the learning stages on this but at least a couple varieties showed some promise even in a wet year like we have had in 2010.
Pat Boren followed with a summary of our wheat research trial out on Highway 34. The trial was designed to compare five varieties of wheat for maximum yield. We included standard and high-rate fertilizer applications with and without growth regulators. Cameren and Pat put a lot of time and work into this trial and it cranked out some great data.
We have always worked very hard to pursue new ideas, alternatives, and methods. These two collaborative projects are great examples of this mindset in action.
The next presentation was a team effort by our fumigation and rodent control specialist, Corey Burns, and Ed Hosada of Cardinal Professional Products. Cardinal is a large fumigation and supply company we have worked closely with over the last year as we move ahead with ProFume as our primary fumigant for rodent control in seed warehouses. Ed has over 30 years experience in the fumigation industry and he has been an invaluable resource to us. Corey and Ed covered all the details of ProFume fumigations for rodent control in our "leaky" seed storage buildings. The take home message: sealing your building is paramount to achieving a solid and affordable fumigation.
Mike McPhee of NaChurs gave a good presentation on liquid fertilizers, the efficiencies and compatibilities inherent to different fertilizers forms, and how to maximize fertilizer efficiencies in a volatile fertilizer market. The main point in Mike's presentation is that we as growers and agronomists need to look at every option and decide the most efficient way of nutrient delivery for each situation we are presented with. With phosphorous and potassium specifically, foliar fertilizers could be the best option in many cases.
The infamous Dr. Glenn Fisher of OSU followed the break with a timely presentation covering Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus in perennial ryegrass, the significant cutworm outbreak we had this fall, and the ever-present cranefly larva. Glenn, et al, have done a tremendous amount of work on BYDV and aphid virus transmission in grass seed over the last several years. Cutworms were an unusual, surprising, and severe problem this fall. Glenn talked about the environmental factors that started that ball rolling including a cool wet summer with many alternate host plants available in addition to a massive migratory population from up to 200 miles away! Dr. Fisher also touched on the life-cycle of the European cranefly.
We wrapped up the meeting with an informal round-table type discussion lead by Dan Steiner from Morrow County Grain Growers, John Sperl of Pendleton Grain Growers, and Tyson Raymond of the Oregon Wheat Growers League. They covered many aspects of wheat marketing as well an in depth explanation of the wheat grading process. Dan also took a lot of questions from growers on topics like discounts, premiums, and how to use hedge-to-arrive contracts. Dan puts together a daily "blurb" about the wheat market and world influences on the PGG website. You can also sign up the get Dan's daily market report delivered to your email inbox.
All in all it was a great meeting. We have received some good feedback from you guys who attended and lunch was pretty good too. Thanks to all the speakers and the people behind the scenes who put this meeting together.