A Canadian grower asked, What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of adding extra biologicals to seed treatments?

“I’m a firm believer in some of the new biological seed treatments on the market today,” Cullers said.

“For example, we routinely use BioForge, a product that  up-regulates specific genes associated with root development and ethylene reduction,” Culler said.

“We know we are going to get a 3-4 bushel per acre yield bump and the cost of the material to add to our seed is minimal,” the Missouri grower added.

“We have a commercial seed treatment facility on our farm, and we treat all our seed with standard seed treatments, plus whatever biological materials we feel will help us produce higher yields and improve quality of our crops,” Hula said.

“Sometimes it looks like we are producing a golf ball-size seed, but in the long-run, we feel like adding additional fungicides and insecticides and biological treatments to our seed is a benefit,” the Virginia grower added.

A North Carolina grain grower asked, What is one thing you can tell us that has helped you be a better farmer and that has helped you win national yield contests?

“Promote agriculture, every day, everywhere to everybody,” Cullers said. “We as farmers have to understand that Brazilian grain growers, nor any farmer anywhere, are not our enemy.

“Our real enemy is the people in influential places who don’t understand how we farm, why we farm, nor care about the challenges we face every day, as we try to feed the world, he added.

Cullers related a story about being interviewed for a story in Time Magazine.

“The writer was a political reporter, who had covered Bush and Clinton and was a frequent flyer on Air Force One. I answered every question she had, calling on all the media training I had undergone from the best trainers in the world. The story turned out fine, but it was about me, not about farming.

“The most disappointing part of being in Time Magazine, was that the vast majority of people who read and provided feedback, were critical of farming,” Cullers said.

“The one thing I think we have to do to be better farmers is to do the best job we can of explaining to mainstream America what we do and why we do it,” he added.

“There are two things, which are related, that I would suggest,” Hula said.

“First, attend meetings, like this one, and learn all you can learn about growing crops and add to that base of information by talking to everyone you can find, who you believe does a good job growing crops.

“Second, never drive by a corn field at 55 mph, with the windows up, the air conditioning on, and say, ‘Yea, that corn looks good.’ You need to be in your field and you need to know what your plants needs, and you need to use the information you have to help every plant in every field get what it needs and when it needs it to reach its maximum yield potential,” Hula added.

All three growers agreed weather is the trump card, but as long as the farmer does all he or she can do to provide the crop with what it needs in a timely manner, yield usually takes care of itself.



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