Archive | October 2012

Winter and Drought Conditions

Good morning!

In western Kansas this morning, there’s some white stuff swirling around in the air.

It’s snowing! Kind of, anyway, in places.

One of our summer interns posted on our Facebook page that Chadron, Neb. received a couple of inches of snow on Wednesday.

Unfortunately we did not get a photo of the light snow this morning, but we did capture this sunrise earlier this week.

And speaking of precipitation, here’s a story from Kansas Agland about the drought.

Drought conditions stay the same across Kansas

By Amy Bickel
The Hutchinson News

Drought conditions remain unchanged this week across Kansas, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Roughly 40 percent of the state remains in an exceptional drought, the agency’s highest ranking. The entire state is in some type of a drought, with nearly 100 percent of the state rated as severe to exceptional.

No rain is in the forecast through Thursday. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center reports it expects the drought to continue through at least January.

Find the story here, or go to

Servi-Tech in the News

Good morning!

Bryan Boroughs, one of our agronomists, was recently quoted on the front page of The Hutchinson News. Here’s a link to the story.

September Wrap Up

By Orvin Bontrager

September 17, 2012

Soybean harvest started in the past 7 days in central Nebraska.  Mid to later group II’s have pods and seeds that dried rapidly from the hot, windy 90’s degree temperatures.  Irrigated yields look very good so far in the mid 70’s bu/ac.  Non-irrigated are going to be less than 20 bu/ac in many areas.  Some varieties have leaves staying on the plants longer and stems staying greener than normal.  This results in a slower harvest.

Adequate and proper timing of irrigation water is going to be the main yield determinate.  According to water meter readings, many wells pumped 3 to 4 times the water as last year on both soybeans and corn.  Meeting soybean water use during pod elongation and pod filling is critical for high yields.

I have seldom, if ever, treated spider mites in soybeans.  But this year, many fields were treated locally during early to mid pod fill.  The treatments also controlled stink bugs.  On untreated fields, stink bugs caused minor injury to developing seeds.

Early irrigated corn harvest looks very encouraging.  Clear, sunny skies throughout the summer and some cooler nights later in August made an excellent grain fill environment.  There will be some irrigated fields averaging 250+ bu/ac.

Problems with irrigation systems are now showing up dramatically.  Nozzles that were plugged or that didn’t rotate properly left circular patterns in the field resulting in reduced yields.  Swing-arm spans on center pivots that weren’t properly calibrated had noticeable yield effects.

Many corn fields received a post tassel fungicide again this year.  But if spider mites and oat bird cherry aphids weren’t controlled at that time or later into August, significant damage may have occurred.  Combines will find areas in the fields with plants that died prematurely from mites or that have black residue as a result of aphid buildup in spots.  These two insects, if left uncontrolled, stressed plants and will affect over all yields.

Drilling Wheat in Kansas

Good morning!

Servi-Tech recently visited Circle C Farms in western Kansas. Here are some photos!

Food Producers Must Tell Consumers Their Story

Good afternoon and happy Friday!

Servi-Tech’s Director of Communications, Mark Vierthaler, recently had a column published in The Wichita Eagle.

Here’s a link to the story

And here’s part of the story:

As of Monday, the U.S. Census Bureau’s website estimated that 314,446,599 people live in the United States.

Of those 314 million, 1.8 percent are involved in production agriculture – roughly 6 million people.

Let’s put that in some sort of perspective. Consider that if you took every American involved in producing food, fiber and bio energy, all together they wouldn’t outnumber the population of New York City.

It’s no wonder then that if you were to grab a handful of random schoolchildren, they would tell you that milk comes from the store. Ask them where flour comes from and you should expect blank stares.

It is that fundamental disconnect between the producers and the consumers of food that has led to an increasingly dangerous disconnect between the consumer majority and the producer minority.

The agricultural world has done a lackluster job telling their story to those who consume their products. As a client once told me while discussing the increasing need for social media presence on the farm: “I guess I was so busy feeding the people I never really thought to tell them exactly what I do.”