2014 Tangent CPS Grower Meeting

November 19, 2014
Linn County Fairgrounds

7:30 – 8:00 Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:50 David Shear – Eagle Imagery
An overview of 
products and services

8:50 – 9:50 Andrew Pokorny – CPS Agronomist
Will discuss old vs. new fungicide products – effectiveness and shortcomings. 

9:50 – 10:00         BREAK

10:00 – 11:00       Corey Burns - CPS Crop Consultant
                   OSHA & WPS

11:00 – 12:00       Scott Yowell – Prozap Representative
Will review labels for Prozap and Ramik Brown

12:00 – 12:15       Craig Simson – AgSource Laboratories
                   Discuss soil testing process

12:15          Lunch

Oregon Seed Growers League 2014

At the Oregon Seed League this year they are offering 2 CORE credits, sponsored by Tangent CPS. If you have a private applicators license you need 4 CORE credits in your re-certification period which is 5 years. The CORE credits are from 7-9am on Monday morning, and you must preregister in order to attend.

Seed Growers League 


HiWett Demonstration Video

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

Those of you who attended our Research Farm Tour a couple weeks ago will remember the demonstration we did using HiWett Super Spreader. Corey and I put this video together for those of you who couldn't make it to the tour or haven't seen HiWett in action.

Hiwett is a "new generation organosilicone blend specifically designed for deposition and coverage." The blended nature of HiWett means it retains excellent spreading capability while reducing the danger of stomatal flooding which has caused some of the tissue damage we have sometimes seen with the pure silicone super spreaders. HiWett Has an especially good fit with low spray volumes and target plants that particularly difficult to wet due to hairy leaves that don't allow water droplets to reach the leaf surface.

Check out the video below to see HiWett Super Spreader in action and note that we used the same spray bottle and the same five pumps for both the Water+Spray Tracer and the Water+HiWett+Spray Tracer treatments. The difference in coverage is significant!

Talk with your CPS Fieldman if you have any questions or want more information on where HiWett might fit best in your program.

Grain Market Commentary, Dan Steiner.

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

Here's some good weekend reading for you. A few weeks ago Dan Steiner from PGG posted a commentary on the grain markets giving us a broader outlook on the grain markets. Being that we don't operate in a major wheat producing region, we usually have to try a little harder to get plugged in to what the markets are doing. This is great timing with our local harvest just right around the corner. So a big thanks, again, to Dan for sending us another write-up!

Dan Steiner
Pendleton Grain Growers
US: Spring has given way to early summer though this week it feels like SPRING IS FINALLY HERE! Wet, drizzly, windy, cool temps seem more like what we SHOULD have had in April/ May…Now that it is harvest time, the Southern Plains are finally getting rain (about 3-6” so far this month already). Timing is TERRIBLE with harvest trying to move along. Yields are predictably low with LOTS of 5 bpa reports coming in. Those growers with 30 bpa are the outliers this year. Corn has, for the most part gotten planted. With the size of today’s drills and GPS it is possible for US farmers to plant up to 25% of the corn crop in 7-10 days! Weather has been nearly ideal until the last week or so. Now we are hearing of TOO much rain/ cool weather and the market is finally starting to get a little concerned. More on this in the marketing section.
WORLD: One reason for the sharp drop since the last report is the world growing conditions. We simply have NO place in the world that is experiencing any sort of large production concern. The weather has, for the most part, been very good! EU will boost production, Eastern Europe is up, Ukraine and Russia are leaning toward record cereal production and even China is thinking they are on the way to record production. Aussie has trimmed their production estimates a little for the upcoming harvest although the guesstimate is pretty meaningless since it is mid winter there today, and there is simply too much time before their crop will be known 
Marketing: Markets are off hard since we last talked. The fact that the specs have sold 600 myn bu of corn and 200 myn bu of Chicago in the last 6 weeks (now creating an oversold position) is the main reason. Since the last writing we have seen SWW values drop .79/ bu for harvest delivery. HRW is down .96/ bu and DNS is down .79/ bu. Granted when we left off last time we were stressing that the severely OVERBOUGHT condition of the futures and opportunity to make some sales…today we are on the other end of the spectrum. SWW production in the State will be down. Washington will also be down. SWW values will remain strong vs. futures unless for some odd reason (what I like to refer to as a ‘Black Swan’ event) start to rally exceedingly hard (back toward levels we saw in April/ May). Better marketing days are ahead! 
Odds-n-Ends:  As we mentioned earlier, corn for the most part got planted. Next big report comes out of the USDA on the 30th. Actual planted acres will be somewhat interesting. We saw that perhaps 95% of the corn was planted (according to USDA). That implies about 4.5 myn acres weren’t planted as of June 1. June 1 was the ‘witching hour’ when prevent plant kicked in, in North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Which means about 2 myn acres either did NOT get planted or planted after prevent date (not too likely) implies a change in production for ’14 of about 300 myn bu!

***Rules for Commodity traders: # 14 When the plate of cookies comes around, take a couple……#25..Bulls make money, Bears make money…pigs go broke!

Tangent Research Farm Tour Review

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

Last week the Tangent crew hosted our 5th annual tour of the research farm we have out on Hwy 34. The weather was fantastic, which has not always been the case. Here are a few pictures from the tour.

One of the trials we have this year is a wheat rotation study. 

Last year we had plots of peas, annual ryegrass, white clover, and a fallow area.

In the fall we planted wheat across these four areas to simulate cover crops or previous crops

We only applied spring fertilizer to half of the trial area in order to see what we can learn about the fertility following various crops.

All these plots will be taken to yield so check with your CPS Fieldman for the results of this study.

Grower Appreciation BBQ This Friday

YOU are invited to our annual Grower Appreciation BBQ this Friday evening, June 20th, from 6-8pm at Tangent Elementary School. We look forward to this event every year as a way to say thank you to our customers.

Please join us for some great barbecued meat, salads, pies, activities for the kids, door prizes, and give us the opportunity to serve you and say thanks.

We hope to see you there!

Tractor Safety Class for Youth

Tractor Safety Class
Two classes to choose from:
June 6th - 7th   OR   June 13th -14th  
9am to 3pm
Santiam Christian High School
Library and Science Building
7226 Arnold Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97330

Park in the Prince of Peace Church parking lot
Cost: $50
Bring a lunch and a pen or pencil
Tractor Safety Youth License provided upon completion

Email Mrs. Carson at carsonc@santiam.org
for more information – all students MUST pre-register

Space is limited to 20 students per class.  

Wireless Nitrate Soil Sensor

Jammie Wutzke
CPS Tangent

Yesterday I attended the Southern Willamette Valley Groundwater Management Area committee meeting for the first time with an interest in mind to learn more about a Wireless Nitrate Sensor developed by Calden Carroll Stimpson . Calden was working on his doctorate in supramolecular chemistry at U of O when he discovered he could detect Nitrate, which at the time he thought was an accident. He learned while giving his defense, the ability to detect nitrate was a big deal and has lead him to developing a business, Suprasensor Technologies. Calden is not to market with the product yet, he stressed the technology was still in alpha testing, but will be out doing field testing for real world applications. Just in agriculture alone there is a huge potential for this type of sensing to know enough nitrate in is the root zone and reduce wasted applications of fertilizer all from the convenience of a smart phone. 
Calden Carroll Stimpson with sample nitrate sensors

White Clover Plot Tour

Please join the CPS Tangent team for a quick look at row spraying established white clover.  The tour is Wednesday May 21st @ 4pm.   The plot in on the corner of Roberts rd and Boston Mill rd, just east of Shedd.  We are going to look at 5 different chemicals and 2 different row spray timings in the spring to create rows in established white clover.
Look forward to seeing you there

Jason Bennett
Tangent CPS

Septoria Leaf Blotch Flares Up in Winter Wheat

Septoria Leaf Blotch, Septoria tritici
Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

One thing is certain in farming: change.

Over the last week we have seen a dramatic flare-up of Septoria Leaf Blotch (Septoria tritici) that seems more severe in certain winter wheat varieties in the Willamette Valley with the weather conditions this spring. The rain over the weekend will favor the disease. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Stripe Rust, Puccinia striiformis

Typically Stripe Rust (Puccinia striiformis) has been our major concern in recent years. We've seen previously stripe rust resistant varieties like Foote, and more recently Goetze, suddenly break down in the face of newer races of stripe rust (See, How Goetze Stripe Resistance Works). It seems we may be seeing a similar development with Septoria tritici.

Surverying a grower's field
On Wednesday the Tangent field staff went out with Chris Mundt (OSU Plant Pathologist) and Mike Flowers (OSU Extension Cereals Specialist) looked at some infected fields as well as our variety trial at our research farm on Hwy 34. I asked Chris if he would mind writing up a synopsis of what we're seeing, here is his response.

Chris Mundt,  
OSU Plant Pathologist

Discussing the disease cycle
Many current wheat disease issues in the Willamette Valley trace back to the arrival of a new population of stripe rust races in the mid-2000s.  These races are both more aggressive and also overwinter better than old races and thus caused significant epidemics.  Serious rust outbreaks caused by these races resulted in a substantial increase in the number of fungicide applications. Though this increased fungicide use was targeted more towards stripe rust, they also impacted Septoria, a pathogen that is particularly vulnerable to development of fungicide resistance.  Stripe rust problems also caused a shift away from rust-susceptible varieties such as Tubbs 06 and Goetze.

Looking at our variety trial
Septoria isolates were sampled from fungicide timing trials in 2012 to determine if increased fungicide use had resulted in selection for fungicide resistance.  For early-season collections (prior to fungicide application), approximately 8% of Septoria isolates collected from the Hyslop Farm and approximately 60% of isolates collected from a trial near Cornelius were found to be resistant to the strobilurin fungicide azoxystrobin.  After two applications of an azoxystrobin-containing fungicide, the frequency of resistance increased to about 25% at Hyslop and 98% in Cornelius. Experience in Europe has shown that strobilurin resistance is caused by a single mutation and conditions resistance to all strobilurin fungicides.  Preliminary evaluation of isolates collected this year suggest that strobilurin resistance has increased considerably since 2012. Based on these results and experience in Europe, it is unlikely that strobilurin fungicides will provide protection from Septoria for much longer. Strobilurins still provide very good control of stripe rust, however.

Septoria across an entire field.
We also evaluated Septoria isolates for sensitivity to propiconazole, the active ingredient in “Tilt” and its generics.  High levels of resistance to triazole fungicides require multiple mutations in the fungus. Evaluation of 2012 isolates showed that two applications of propiconazole significantly reduced the sensitivity of Septoria to propiconazole, though the impact of this on disease control is difficult to evaluate.  On a more positive note, strong cross resistance does not occur among all triazole fungicides. In fact, we recently found that there is not strong cross resistance among the triazole fungicides propiconazole, tebuconazole, and prothioconazole.   In addition, fungicides with a new mode of action, the succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs), have recently become available for Septoria control.

Notice severity in lower leaves
Weather conditions this cropping season have influenced disease patterns on different wheat varieties. Cold winter temperatures delayed the onset of stripe rust, and rust has been much lower than in recent years.  Septoria levels were generally low earlier in the year (with some notable exceptions in specific fields), but has come on very strongly in the last few weeks.  Fields of Goetze have often looked very good because of low rust pressure.  In addition, susceptibility of wheat varieties to Septoria is greatly increased by the stress associated with previous infection by stripe rust.  Thus, the resistance of Goetze to Septoria has been expressed in 2014 due to the low levels of stripe rust.  In contrast, large amounts of Septoria have been seen in some fields of SY Ovation. Ovation is a variety with high yield potential and good stripe rust resistance, providing positive performance in years when rust is the
Worked ground right, no-till left
main disease issue. However, data from elite nurseries in 2012 and 2013 indicate that Ovation is susceptible to Septoria. Performance of Kaseberg in 2014 has generally been consistent with previous observations suggesting intermediate levels of resistance to stripe rust and Septoria. There are other observations from 2014 that are yet to be explained, for example, the unusually large variation in Septoria levels among fields and large amounts of Septoria in some fields even though they were sprayed with a non-strobilurin fungicide.

Plenty of Septoria to be found

Multiple collaborative projects among the Wheat Breeding, Cereal Pathology, and Cereal Extension programs at OSU are underway to identify improved genetic strategies to attain high levels of durable resistance to major wheat diseases, with stripe rust and Septoria receiving significant emphasis.

A big thanks to Chris Mundt and Mike Flowers for being willing to respond quickly and spend some time with us in the field. If you have questions or concerns please talk with your CPS Fieldman.

Aerial Imagery

Jammie Wutzke
CPS Tangent

Drones have been in the media a lot these days, pickup any agriculture magazine or on occasion see a clip on a major television network and UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-“Drones”) are being touted for their uses in capturing imagery on crops and used in precision farming application. The legality of flying UAV’s is questionable at best, and we expect at some time in the future FAA will establish policy in the operation of UAV’s for commercial purposes. Aerial Imagery is not a new technology there are several ways to collect imagery either by satellite which is typically about 5 to 10 meter resolution or from a fix wing aircraft with resolution of 1 meter down to inches.   CPS has been working with Eagle Digital Imaging, a family business based out of Corvallis, since 2006. CPS first looked at vineyard imagery in the North Willamette Valley to identify vigor variability across the wine grape blocks. Later followed with spring imagery timing on Grass Seed with in the intentions to make variable rate applications of Plant Growth Regulators. This was a great tool for us to create zone maps and establish rates according to crop health, vigor and crop density. Eagle Digital Imaging President David Shear, his wife Cheryl and son Colin, Director of Operations, along with a team of 9 employees are working on providing imagery on a new mobile platform to be used by fieldmen, growers and all interested parties. This new delivery method would enable users to evaluate images at the speed of business.  Eagle Digital Imaging has the ability to act quickly with a fleet of 3 efficient Mooney aircraft and delivers a quick turn around on high quality images, but the ability to quickly view images on a mobile device out in the field or at the office gives users an edge in getting the maximum benefit from the data captured and a means of analysis of multiple imagery shots throughout the growing season. Also, considerations are being made to include imagery from historic sources outside of Eagle Digital Imagery and from UAV’s (drones) collections.  Please contact your fieldmen if you would like to know more about imagery applications or would like to capture imagery on your fields.
Eagle Digital Imaging Staff
Example of Aerial Imagery from Eagle Digital Imaging

Seed Council Fills Research Position

Tangent CPS would like to welcome Steve in his new venture as the head of the Research Program for the Seed Council. Salisbury to Head Seed Council Research Program

Grain Market Commentary from Dan Steiner of PGG

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

Last week I contacted Dan Steiner from Pendleton Grain Growers to ask him if he would mind writing up a broad outlook commentary on our grain markets. I am subscribed to Dan's daily market analysis emails which contain similar commentary on very current market conditions and a nice summary table of current grain prices at major ports. Send him an email if you would like to subscribe as well. Dan has a pulse on the grain markets and his daily commentaries are a great way to keep up on the trends and how they might play out at the local, Pacific Northwest, level.

Dan Steiner
Pendleton Grain Growers 
US: Spring is finally showing up across the country. Lets start by focusing a bit just on US production….

Here is what we KNOW: In the last week the Southern plains have been as cold as low 30’s as hot as upper 90’s. HRW production looks like it will be similar to last years production. Throw out last falls condition reports…they were meaningless other than as a comparative guide when they came out. Dry fall, COLD spring, freezing temperatures mean a HRW crop around 750 myn bu and it won’t get BIGGER…but could still get smaller! Disease isn’t an issue because its been too dry. SRW crop will be about 110 myn bu smaller than last years crop. Because the corn was planted so late, meant a late harvest. Late harvest meant fewer SRW acres. The SRW crop is looking DANDY…but just a lot fewer acres. Too early to tell at this time about the DNS in the northern plains. SWW? Well lets just say this…the crop condition reports we mentioned earlier that were meaningless for HRW? Ditto for SWW. COLD / DRY / OPEN winter took its toll. I have seen reports that many parts of Washington look worse than they have the last 10 years. In Oregon we have small regions that look really good…but not good enough to offset the areas that will be below average. The SWW carryouts are tighter than the USDA is counting them, and this years production will be underwhelming. Corn acres will get planted, but there are questions regarding the size/ number of acres. Right now the estimate most commonly used is 91.7 myn acres. Spec position in Chicago Corn, wheat are VERY large. Today the market looks overbought. SRW today is about +$35/ mt (.90/ bu) vs. world markets. HRW is about +$85/ mt. ($2.30/ bu). At least to compete with Russia/ France and Ukraine.

Here is what we DON’T KNOW: Final production numbers on wheats/ corn are still very much a guess. The markets will react (sometimes violently) to the whims of politicians. A stroke of the political pen can make or wipe out fortunes. Long term ‘Summer weather’. When will rail logistics get straightened out? Long term impact of Ukrainian situation. Today, its more or less business as usual, but tighter credit, unsettled political issues etc are NOT conducive to big production. Look for Ukraine, even with good weather to be less competition than last year. Aussie has benefitted from nice late rains, but they are in winter now, and LOOONNG way from harvest.

Every grain company, market analyst, broker, trading house etc. has an opinion on what production might be, and what that would likely mean to price. USDA reports will sway those opinions to a certain degree, but at the end of the day ‘listening to what the market has to say’ is invaluable. Each year at grower meetings we poll growers to see what they ‘think’ the Average Aug Price of SWW might be…This year we had well over 60 guesses. Only 2 were higher than today’s prices. What is interesting to me…is 2015. You can sell Chic Sept 15 futures today at $7.50 and the Dec at near $7.60, which means with just an average basis, you can get better than $8 PORTLAND for next years SWW.
***Traders Rule of Thumb***When the market quits going up on positive news, the market is probably due for a correction…

Wheat Leaf Diseases

Bob Schroeder
CPS Tangent

Pycnidia of Septoria tritici
Lesions of Stagonospora nodorum

Many of you may have read the article last year on the blog that described the identity of Stagonospora nodorum.  On the head of the wheat plant it is commonly referred to as glume blotch.  With the conditions we have experienced so far this season, we again are seeing and will continue to see large amounts of nodurum as well as Septoria tritici.  Septoria tritici is primarily a leaf pathogen, but it too can affect wheat heads.  The Stagonospora nodurum commonly affects both foliage and heads.  Both fungi can occur within the same field and on the same plants.  Yield reductions can be greater than 10-30% where fungicides are not used.  Pycnidia are the spore producing structures of the fungus which in the case of S triciti are visible to the naked eye.  They are most noticeable following periods of rain and dew and are spread in these wet and windy conditions.  S. nodurum infections start as small dark brown flecks that expand into lens shaped lesions.  Lesions are usually surrounded by a distinct yellow halo.  The lesions have pycnidia also but are difficult to see without the use of a hands lens.  Lesions of both Septoria tritici and Stagonospora nodurum can rapidly expand and kill portions of leaves or entire leaves.
When one or both fungi invade the heads of wheat, the disease is referred to as glume blotch.  Infection by tritici is highly dependent on temperature and cool wet conditions of which we have had a lot this year so far. Some of the heavier seeded fields, with thick canopies of vegetation and high fertility have provided the disease with ideal conditions to be a problem.  Infections start in the lower leaves of the plant and move up until high temperatures become limiting.  The Nodorum occurs over a wide temperature range but is highly dependent on the plant state of development.  Infections increase about the time that plants are in the "boot stage" of development.

Foliar infections serve as a launching point to head infection which makes protecting the flag leaf especially important as well as the F1 and F2 leaves that precede the flag leaf.  The wet and windy weather contributes to the spreading of the diseases whereas the dry weather tends to slow it or completely halt it.
Timing of fungicide application plays an important role in determining the level of disease control.  For the best results, scout your fields early and often to monitor the amount of Septoria tritici and Stagonospora present while at the same time paying attention to the weather trends and stage of plant growth for all varieties of wheat in the Willamette Valley.

ODA Approves SLNs for ZP Baits

Pat Boren
CPS Tangent

We received an email today from ODA regarding the approval of broadcast applications of various ZP Baits for vole control. Here is a PDF copy of the Grass Seed Advisory for ZP baits issued by ODA. The approved SLNs are linked below.

Here are the labels for the products approved by ODA:

ZP Ag Pellets Broadcast Application SLN (Bell) Motomco label here.
Prozap Pellets Broadcast Application SLN (Hacco)
Prozap Oat Bait Broadcast Application SLN (Hacco)

Since voles can be a very serious problem in our seed and grain production fields, it is very important that we continue to steward these products well. Please talk with your CPS Fieldman for more information on broadcast applications of ZP bait.

ZP Bait, Oregon SLN 2014

Pat Boren
CPS Tangent

As a reminder to our customers who may be doing some below-ground baiting for vole control in fields right now: you must have the Special Local Needs (SLN) for ZP Rodent Bait Ag in hand during the baiting process.

Below is the actual application restrictions according to the label.

  • Do not allow bait to be exposed on bare ground. 
  • Do not allow ANY pellets to be placed above-ground during the application. 
  • Applications must be made in a manner that does not allow access to ANY zinc phosphide pellets by non-target animals (geese, dogs, etc.). 
  • Applicators must wear chemically resistant gloves when hand baiting. 
  • Do not apply if rain is forecast within the next 24 hours. 

Please click the link above to print a PDF copy of the Oregon SLN for ZP bait for below-ground vole baiting in grasses grown for seed.

Talk with your CPS Fieldman for more information.

Hazelnuts - Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)

Jed Capelazzi
CPS Agronomy
New 2013 BMSB Distribution in Oregon and Washington
Get Prepared and Learn How to ID the BMSB
I wanted to take a minute to offer our growers information on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in Oregon as this pest may become more of a problem in the near future.  I will focus on hazelnuts here, but don't think this is the only crop of concern.  In fact there are over 170 BMSB host plants in the US and there are certainly established BMSB populations in Oregons major crop growing regions.  

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
(by: Christopher Hedstrom)

So, what is the BMSB (Halyomorpha halys)?  Unintentionally introduced to PA in 1996, BMSB has quickly moved across the US.  It is a piercing/sucking insect that uses a proboscis to enter plant tissue, exude digestive enzymes and consume the resulting "juice."  Should it only feed there wouldn't be much of a problem.  However, feeding results in necrotic tissue (typically on fruit or other marketable parts of the plant) and disease.  You can find more information here and here.  Stories on the harm BMSB poses to PNW crops are becoming more common and hazelnuts are of major concern.  Elsewhere in the U.S. the "polar vortex" has done a good job of reducing numbers this year, but the PNW may not be lucky enough to slow the invasion.  We know these pests cause significant damage to apples and other valuable crops (peaches/grapes), but one might reason the hazelnut shell can protect the crop from major attacks seen on succulent fruit.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  

Yesterday at OSU, Christopher Hedstrom defended his masters thesis on "The Effects of Kernel Feeding by Brown Marmorated Stink Bug on Commercial Hazelnuts."  His thesis will be published soon, so check the OSU thesis website if you are interested in the specifics.  As Hedstrom presented, hazelnut developmental stage is a good predictor of damage type.  Below is a graph of feeding damage taken from Hedstrom's research.  As you can see, the three types of damage (blanks, shrivelling and corking) occur at different times.  Blanks occur at a higher rate early in the season (pre-expansion and early shell expansion) when BMSB exudate may either degrade the small kernel or introduce disease that prevents development.  Shrivelling is more consistent throughout development and is likely the result of moisture loss.  Corking is more significant later in the season when the kernel fills the shell.  Corking is reminiscent of damage seen in other fleshy fruits like apples.  Interestingly, Hedstrom also found increased shell thickness did not reduce damage.  Also, shell brown stain and early cluster drop appear unrelated to BMSB.

Research by Christopher Hedstrom

As the 2014 season gets under-way, it is important to think about the BMSB as an emerging issue in Oregon.  Tracking population spread is a great place to start.  The more eyes we have the better! OSU has a website where you can report sightings (remember there are a lot of other confusing stinkbugs out there).  Crop Production Services will be vigilant as well.  Although pheromone traps for BMSB are still in developmental stages, we will be placing and checking a variety of traps throughout the year.  The best way to find BMSB remains the "beat sheet," where you lay a sheet on the ground under a tree (canvas) and literally beat the tree with a broomstick.  If present, BMSB will fall onto the sheet.  

For some peace of mind before I go, research on a parasitoid of BMSB eggs is ongoing and the future may hold a biological control option (story).  

You can find out all the BMSB information you would ever want to know here and here.  

Meadowfoam 2014

Bob Schroeder
CPS Tangent

With the unusual weather the past two months, timing and conditions have changed for our normal treatment of the meadowfoam crop.  As the snow has melted and the rains have returned, it is time to try and get your fields treated as the water recedes and the surfaces firm enough to drive on.  The cooler temperatures and moisture has slowed down the crop somewhat, but don't wait too long to get across the meadowfoam.

We have had the bright sticky traps in many of the meadowfoam fields around the valley and have been picking up a few of the Meadowfoam fruitfly in the traps.  Numbers have been low so far, but treatment is still recommended especially if you are already going across the fields with a grass herbicide and fertilizer treatment.   Insecticide options include Brigade 2EC and Loveland Dimethoate 400.  See the labels or talk to your CPS fieldman if you have questions.  

Seed Treatment with Neonicotinoids

Jed Cappellazzi
CPS Agronomy

Bee Covered in Pollen (by: Forest Wander)
There has been a tremendous amount of "buzz" about Neonicotinoids, or "Neo-nics" as they are called.  These neurotoxins share a chemical resemblance to nicotine and are much less toxic to mammals than traditional insecticides.  Neo-nics include those implicated in Oregon's bee kills over the summer of 2013, imidacloprid and dinotefuran, which may face future use restrictions.  There was even a recent protest in Corvallis.  As part of the Agricultural family in the Willamette Valley, CPS is dedicated to providing growers with safe and effective methods of controlling pests, supporting beneficial insect populations and the latest information on important topics.

As such, we wanted to bring recent research to your attention.  The Tangent CPS blog has previously posted about Neo-nics and bees before, but as we embark on a new growing season we thought this would peak the interest of some.  You can also view the new EPA "Bee Label" which highlights safe insecticide use.  

Conceptually, rates of Neo-nics are higher when applied as foliar sprays or soil drenches than when treating seed.  Seed treatments also result in less drift, environmental contamination and non-target action provided dust release is minimized during planting.  Some research has suggested, however, that as Neo-nics are incorporated into the germinating seed and go systemic throughout the plant they may concentrate in guttation fluid or other tissues.  Little is known about Neo-nic accumulation in pollen which, if  substantial, could lead to colony collapse through queen exposure to concentrated, contaminated pollen brought back to the hive by workers.

Very recently, research by the Entomology Society of America (Dr. Gus Lorenz) suggests barely detectable levels of Neo-nics, if any, were found in pollen.  This would mean that expression of harmful chemicals does not occur in reproductive plant parts.  This research is still pending publication and peer-review, but the results could indicate the safety of seed treatments that provide similar effectiveness and reduced levels in the environment.  Here is some further commentary on the research written in Forbes Magazine.

I hope this information was helpful as we continue to elucidate better ways to use chemical tools against pests while supporting beneficials.  Bees are, perhaps, the most beneficial of all.

Sprayer & Spreader Rate Controller Maintenance

Jammie Wutzke
CPS Tangent

While you are waiting for the fields to dry out, take the opportunity to do some rate controller maintenance while you have the time and to avoid down time when we get that window of opportunity to be in the field.  As always be sure you have profiles backed up and/or spreader constants and set up information wrote down. You may also want to clean up old applications maps and old VRT files if you don't plan on using them in the current crop year. Feel free to let me know if I can help in any way.

Agronomic Effectiveness of Avail and Nutrisphere as Fertilizer Additives

Josh Nelson
CPS Tangent

There have been many products developed to increase the efficiency of dry fertilizer programs. Two of these, well advertised, products make claims to reduce the volatilization of Nitrogen (Nutrisphere) and to increase availability of Phosphorus (Avail). Recently the Agronomy Journal published a technical paper summarizing research done by S. H. Chien and others. As a teaser here is the conclusion.

It is concluded from a meta-analysis of research that neither Avail nor Nutrisphere performs as claimed. They have little practical effect on crop production, which is inconsistent with claims made for these products. This conclusion is supported by a consideration of soil chemistry and the chemistry of the maleic-itaconic acid copolymer using coating on P or N. Importantly, these two lines of enquiry are independent and mutually reinforcing. These products should not be recommended to farms if their intention is to increase N or P use efficiency and/or increase crop production.

Click on the link above to read the entire article.

As always contact your CPS fieldman for more information on these and other nutritional products.

Local Blog, Global Audience

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

We have a great team at Tangent and, among many things, it has been fun to work on this blog over the last four years. One part that I enjoy is watching the readership grow. Blogger has some great statistic and analytic features that tell us where our readers are coming from. With the Winter Olympics going on right now it easy to think about international interactions so I thought it might interest many of our local Willamette Valley growers and readers to see a graphic of traffic sources for the blog. It's interesting to see that we consistently get visits from around the world.

Total traffic sources since we launched the blog in January 2010.
So, here's an official "hello and thank you" from the Tangent crew to our readers in Ukraine, China, Canada, Russia, Germany, and the rest of the countries who view this blog as a resource.

We started out seeking a way to connect with our local growers and create a medium to get information out for you, to build on the Tangent mission statement of customer service and excellence, and to build our reputation as a market leader in our region. But it's also pretty cool to see the internet give us a reach far beyond our part of the Valley.

Thank you to all our customers for your continued loyalty and support both in business and as family.

Fertilizer 2014

The Policies and Economics of Fertilizer

Bob Schroeder
CPS Tangent

World markets, risk management, and volatility are now the predominant drivers of fertilizer price and availability.  Everyone seems to have a lot of questions about fertilizer, investors, distributors, dealers and end users.  To some, fertilizer is the most volatile commodity out there, especially nitrogen based fertilizer.  What is the fertilizer market going to do in 2014?  Or what has it already started to do? 

Over the past decade, one characteristic of the fertilizer business is that is has gone from a domestic business to and international one.  Meaning, the supply chains are longer which adds to price volatility.  This is seen when we get into the season and the market suddenly realizes that there is not enough supply to meet demand.  Another big characteristic of the fertilizer business is that it is seasonal.  Even though fertilizer usage, “buying and selling” happen more often than they used to, even here locally in the Willamette Valley, there are still long periods of deferring buying decisions for dealers trying to decide when the best time and price to fill should occur.  With this kind of volatility in the fertilizer market, it has created an environment with a lot of risk. 

Information that is easier to find is another characteristic in today’s world.  You can check your computer, Smartphone, mobile device, etc., to see what crude oil or natural gas are doing at the moment, but you still cannot do it with fertilizer.  You can talk to your supplier or local field representative, but there is no central information point where fertilizer price is at because of the lack of risk management in fertilizer. 

Nitrogen based fertilizer prices in the mid 2000’s were tied to natural gas.  Since about 2006, the price of ammonia and urea has been driven by the profitability of agriculture and the acres of crops planted both here in the United States and worldwide.   Demand around the world in places like Brazil and China for nitrogen fertilizers has surpassed the supply, so the prices are now set by the strength of demand.  The U.S. also imports much more nitrogen fertilizer than we ever did in the past.  The bright light in all this for the nitrogen user is that the supply may change somewhat over the next few years as more modern nitrogen production facilities come on line both in the U.S. and worldwide.  
Likewise, the use and availability of the other major nutrients, Phosphorus and Potassium, have been tied to world demand as well as the control of supply.  See the following charts that show the trends in fertilizer the past several years.

Chem Room Direct Line

Bryce Thorpe
CPS Tangent

I would like to let everyone know about our new Customer Service number that will reach the chem room directly. All orders of Liquid & Dry Fertilizer and Chemical can be placed with this direct number. On your next visit to the Chem Room grab a couple a key chains.
 Please program your phones with 541-928-1274.

Oregon Seed Update

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

I just found that the Oregon Seed Council has a great resource for the grass seed industry. Each month they publish seed reports on the Oregon Seed UPDATE page. On the same page you can subscribe to their email list to get the report for each month.

They also have a great list of links for the various seed commissions for our region and crops. Sign up if you're not already receiving these updates.

A Word from the CPS West Region Recruiter

Rae Westersund
CPS West Region - Recruiter
As spring draws closer students are finding themselves closer to summer break, which has quite a few thinking, “What am I going to do for a summer job?” This is where they now panic and start hitting up the collegiate career centers, and career fairs all in hopes of securing something that will look good on their resume, or bring them some needed income (or hopefully both).

As a recruiter I see these things happen and I can’t help but offer some advice for Ag students wishing to work at CPS.

  1. Start looking for your summer job early! And by early I mean fall/winter of the preceding year. A lot of CPS branches will have summer openings comes available at the end of the summer, and these are usually filled by the end of the calendar year. If you want to work at a branch, communicate these interests with them almost a year in advance, so that if/when a position is available they use you to fill it. Besides being proactive, searching for your summer job early shows bosses that you are organized, attentive, and passionate.
  2. Apply for positions in person (when you are able). It says a lot about a candidate when they take initiative to apply for a position in person. In the generation of internet, Agriculture is still based on traditional values including face to face interactions. When you apply for a position in person, the branch manager is able to judge your character, and you may end up getting an interview on the spot!
  3. Be persistent! If a CPS location doesn't have an immediate opening, be sure to keep contact with the branch, and do not settle for no-reply. At CPS we are always hiring the “right candidate”, so even if there isn't a need at that location, your persistence could pay off.
  4. Understand what CPS is about, and know the crops and technologies used in the area. If you want the quick version –“CPS is the world’s largest Ag input supplier; we pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers with quality fertilizers, seed, and pesticides, and employing the most knowledgeable crop consultants in the industry. Utilizing our in-house Dyna Gro Seed, and Loveland Nutritional and Crop Protection, CPS is sure that you will profit from our experience”. Besides understanding CPS- What is Loveland? What is Dyna-Gro? What is Crop Connect? Learn the crops and concerns of the area you wish to be working in.
  5. When you get an internship or entry level job, be thankful for it! There is no entitlement in Agriculture; goals are achieved by hard work and dedication. No matter what job your branch asks you to do, do it! It doesn't matter if you have already walked three fields that morning and want to go back to bed, it doesn't matter if you would rather be at a BBQ then checking bug traps, it doesn't matter if you think your degree puts you above doing chemical deliveries…. When you do every job asked of you willingly and welcoming, your peers warm to you, and you advance further and faster in your career.
For any Ag Students looking for a summer internship, CPS Tangent, and CPS Cornelius have openings. To apply for these positions, you can submit your resume online at the CPS Careers Page or apply in person at the respective branch.

CPS is one of the best Ag retailers in which to build a career. Not only do we have great incentives and benefits, but we respect and value our employees. Stay tuned for our next post about what makes CPS so good to work for!