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!

Recap of the 99th Annual Nut Growers Society Meeting

Tanner Sheahan
CPS Tangent

For those of you who couldn't make it to the Hazelnut meeting at the Portland Ag Expo this year here is a brief photo recap. (Click to enlarge)

Great attendance!

Grower/processor panel on the Chinese market.
With about 80% of Oregon Hazelnut production going overseas to China growers have been increasingly concerned about the health of that market. Four grower/processors who have been involved with the emerging market gave their perspective on Chinese consumption. The market has grown both in scope and sophistication in short time. One panelist had an encouraging final word when he told the audience, "World nut consumption is growing by about 4% per year and Oregon produces about 4% of the world's hazelnut supply. So that means the global demand grows by an entire Oregon crop every year." Oregon production remains the pinnacle of quality so these numbers are encouraging locally.

Update on the spread of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. 
OSU Extension Entomologist Vaughn Walton has been following the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), a new invasive pest that has been slowly expanding geographically, for the last couple years. The early season feeding habits cause damage to newly developing nuts that can result in loss of that nut or an ugly, damaged, unmarketable kernel. According to reports we do not have this pest in the South Willamette Valley...yet. Given BMSB mobility the Tangent crew has decided to place traps out this year in orchards throughout the southern Valley hoping to spot this pest before it becomes an economic concern for us down here.

 Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB) in the Jefferson variety?
 The EFB cases in Jeffersons that OSU Extension Pathologist Jay Pscheidt has monitored are interesting. EFB cankers can show up in Jeffersons under SEVERE disease pressure during orchard establishment but the disease does not appear to run rampant in the tree. From Jay's observations the spray programs combined with the genetics in the Jefferson variety squelch the disease after a year or two. Long term observation and updates will be coming as these young orchards age.
Grower panel discussing yields in young Jefferson orchards.
This grower panel discussed yields on 4th, 5th, and 6th leaf Jefferson orchards. Among panelists was South Valley grower Barney Kropf from Harrisburg.

Objectives of the Hazelnut Breeding Program at Oregon State. 
OSU Hazelnut Breeder Shawn Mehlenbacher leads one of the world's top hazelnut breeding programs right here in our own backyard. Disease resistance, yield, quality, and growth habit are among the top objectives of the overall program.

 The variety officially released in 2014 is named McDonald.
This is a moment growers look forward to every year, the official release of the new variety from Mehlenbacher and crew at Oregon State. The McDonald name has a long history in the Oregon hazelnut industry. Follow this link to read the Capital Press write-up on the new McDonald variety.

Snow and more Snow

Joe Moade
CPS Tangent

As the snow is still falling here in the greater Corvallis, Tangent, and Albany areas, I thought it would be fun to recap the last few days snow events with some pictures.

Wednesday evening.  Looks like we might get snow?
I wonder how much?

Thursday starting to get white out.

Thursday afternoon getting deeper.
Jed's official measurement.

Tanners official Thursday measurement.

Tanners official Friday measurement.

Snow Fun!

Josh's measurement Thursday.

Joe's Thursday measurement.
Moade's Friday measurement.
The ruler is under his hand.

Yes the I did share the sled with the kids!

Snow Angle Burns!
Snow Slide!

Snow Man?

Mary's Peak is out there somewhere in the distance. 

Little bit more snow.

Thank you and keep warm.