Production Journal

March 28, 2009 09:46 AM

Our Mantra: Do The Right Thing

Those four simple words—do the right thing—pack a powerful meaning at the Finck house and Farm Journal Media. We literally live by those words. Jonathan, my husband, and I have been drilling that phrase into our three kids before they could talk. Of course, that doesn't mean they always remember. Why? According to Elizabeth, our grade-schooler, it is because doing the wrong thing can feel so right! Besides, as she was quick to point out when in the doghouse one day: it's easier.

Sadly, it is often easier to do the wrong thing, especially if selfishness, greed or power get in the way. At nine years old, we hope Elizabeth is learning that easy isn't always best—and that right is always right, even when it feels wrong.

I'm lucky my family and profession are deeply rooted in ag, where a high value is placed on doing the right thing. But our mid-Missouri area just got a harsh wake-up call, and now you can't assume that to be so. It will be years before all the details are sorted out and the case resolved, but there's zero doubt that more than a hundred farmers are trapped in a grain fraud case with the drama of a made-for-TV movie. For many, the grain is gone, the money they should have been paid is gone and a scant paper trail means there's a slim chance of recovering the dollars.

These volatile times bring extraordinary risk and opportunity. Unfortunately, this experience proves how critical it is to not blindly trust and to make sure you—and those you do business with—do the right thing.

-- Charlene Finck, Editor
You can e-mail Charlene at

Premium Fertilizer Fits VRT

Precision agriculture specialist Dave Nerpel of farm supply distributor Wilbur-Ellis Company is trying to move more clients from flat-rate fertilizer applications to variable-rate technology (VRT) to improve yields.

He's been waiting a long time for a fertilizer product, such as Mosaic's MicroEssentials, to come along to make the transition to VRT easier.

"In variable-rate applications, we would typically put on four or five different products,” Nerpel says. "We like using MicroEssentials because its one-granule formulation helps cut back our application needs. It's something that has been lacking in the market for a while.”

MicroEssentials is a phosphorus-based fertilizer that incorporates the correct ratios of critical nutrients—phosphorus (P), nitrogen, sulfur and zinc—into one uniform granule. The one-granule formulation ensures all nutrients are distributed uniformly and consistently so every plant has a better shot at getting the nutrients it needs to produce the best results.

The MicroEssentials family of products includes three formulations, each appropriate for specific crop needs, says Mosaic marketing manager Kevin Poppel. It works well as a starter, a direct application fertilizer or bulk blend ingredient.

"As we move forward with new equipment technology, MicroEssentials is well suited for variable-rate applications,” Poppel says.

MicroEssentials has been shown to improve P uptake, he adds. P and zinc interaction helps plants take up more of the nutrients applied, and P uptake increases have been from 10% to 30%. The pH of the product also balances the soil pH around the granule to enhance P availability.

"We've been using MicroEssentials to build up low phosphorous levels,” adds Glen Franzluebbers, technical director for Central Valley Ag in Northeast Nebraska.
For more information, visit your Mosaic fertilizer dealer or log onto

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