The Importance of Drift Reduction Agents

New Application Requirements

There have been changes in the applicator requirements if you are applying any of the new formulations of dicamba to RR2 Xtend soybeans.  These products currently include Xtendimax, FeXapan, and Engenia.  You must hold a restrictive use applicator license to purchase and apply these products.  In addition all applicators must attend an annual group 4 herbicide specific training prior to using these products.  We will be keep you informed of training opportunities, so please contact us if you require additional information.

By Mike Weiss, CHS Technical Agronomist 

Advantages to Fall Fertilizer

Many ask what are the advantages of fertilizing in the fall over spring? Usually in the fall there is less moisture to deal with then in the spring, which means less compaction from machinery. You also have less of a chance of runoff due to less rain fall compared to spring.

Fall Fertilizing is also more manageable. Your cooperative is more available with having more time, people and machinery to use and run in the fall. One of the greatest advantages as the Farmer is you don’t have to hold up spring planting while waiting for your fertilizer application.

In addition, fall tillage ensures that the fertilizer is incorporated into the root zones. All in all, fall tillage can save you time, money and the stress of getting your fields prepared and planted.

Lastly, you have a great opportunity to save money with our Fall Fertilizer financing programs. Contact your Agronomist today to ask about our Fall Fertilizer programs or to schedule your application.

By Matt McKown, Agronomy Sales Manager


K is for Potassium, Why soil K levels need monitoring.


Soil sampling for pH has become a staple in decision making on farms across the state that grow alfalfa. The second soil test nutrient that is monitored heavily is phosphorus, this is due to the need to maintain soil P levels for compliance and soil conservation. The forgotten tool in a routine soil sample is the soil K level. Potassium is the key nutrient that drives yields in corn silage, alfalfa, soybeans and grain corn.

The majority of potassium stays in the cells of plant tissue in the fall, meaning that any removal of Stover yields a large export of soil K from fields. Rock River Labs out of Watertown have followed trends in soil K levels. Their research has shown the levels of soil K have been increasing in the low and very low categories over the last 5 years for a total of an 8% increase in these categories. This paired with the research by UW Madison has shown a decrease level of 1.5ppm / year. This is problematic to crop production as the remedial process for soil K can be a 5-8 year adventure.

So my advice for you is to monitor your soil K levels before they become low or very low, and affect your yields for 5-8 years. Soil K removal for 60 bushel beans is 70lbs K , alfalfa at 5 ton is 245 lbs K, and corn silage at 20 ton is 145lbs K . Converted to Potash this is 115, 395, and 230 lbs respectively. This can become a huge amount of K removal from a field in a 4/5/or 8 year rotation. Ask yourself if your current rotation and fertility programs are able to address the yields that you have removed from the fields. If you feel that you have not replaced the soil K levels that have been removed, contact myself, or your CHS Larsen agronomist to talk about monitoring your soil K levels with soil testing and proper fertilization.

By Alex Yost, CHS Larsen Co-op YieldPoint Specialist 

Justifying Variable Rate Cost

Variable Rate


On my drive to work this morning the temperature was 47 degrees, and I noticed more and more of the leaves on beans and of corn are beginning to mature, fall is coming fast. And as fall comes fast, so too does fall spreading of fertilizer and soil sampling. Variable rate spreading of fertilizer is one of the biggest misconceptions that I find growers have.

Many people believe that Variable rate spreading is way more expensive, calls for a lot more fertilizer, and has to be done forever once started. All of these misconception can be true, but all of them usually deem false to most growers. In an example today I will walk you through a 40 acre piece of land. Soil type is a loamy sand, and rotation is two years of corn followed by one year of soybeans. Tillage is done after the first year of corn. Otherwise it is run as no till. After sampling on 2.5 acre grids (to produce good data for variable rate spreading) we found potassium levels to vary from 38 – 118 ppm, with an average of 63 ppm. This large variance in levels is not uncommon in Wisconsin fields. For this particular field the grower shoots for 200 bushel on the first year of corn. This being said a flat rate recommendation would be for 200 lbs of Potash. Using flat rate spreading, the field would cost the grower $1,310. With the increase in cost for variable rate application and a 200 bushel yield goal, the cost for the field is $1,271, this decrease in cost can help justify the cost of sampling the field and still provides the needed fertilizer for all the plants in the field. The application prescription varies from 121 lbs- 219 lbs of product with an average amount of 177 lbs. This use of variable rate spreading will be utilized until the levels of potassium in the field reach an equilibrium allowing us to return to flat rate spreading.

As we move closer to fall harvest keep this bit of information in mind, and if you may be interested in variable rate spreading and soil sampling feel free to contact your local agronomist or YieldPoint Specialist. If you would like to receive more information on this price comparison and the data behind it, feel free to contact me.

By: Alex Yost, YieldPoint Program Specialist

Improving Plant Nutrition: Understanding Nutrient Effectiveness

Center Valley Facility ResponsibleAg Certified

ResponsibleAg Certification Group

CHS Larsen Cooperative’s Center Valley location was honored to receive their ResponsibleAg Certification. This certification recognizes the commitment this facility has made to the safety and security of employees, customers and community.

ResponsibleAg is the only program in the nation that provides a comprehensive assessment of retailers and wholesalers to achieve and maintain federal regulatory compliance. Certification requires a facility to meet stringent regulatory-based criteria, to implement industry leading safety and security measures, and to resolve the facility safety as their highest priority.

All of the Center Valley employees participated in the corrective actions necessary to meet the requirements for this certification. Most actions were safety related items, as well as, proper identification with labels, proper waste management and communication.

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to be a part of this voluntary program that is a proactive commitment to providing a safe, secure and complaint workplace for their employees, customers and neighbors.

“Having the ResponsibleAg Certification will help us show the community around us that this is a safe place for the neighborhood and employees,” said Andy VanDyck, CHS Larsen Co-op Operations Manager. “We want to ensure those living in our community feel safe knowing that our business is compliant.”

To learn more about the ResponsbileAg program check out their website

Pictured above are the Center Valley employees that helped make this certification possible. Left to Right: Jeremy Hunt, Taylor Coy, Jeff Beresford, Dave Barth, Paul Tank, Andy “Dutch” VanDyck, John Andraschko, Clay Alexander, and Tom Rose. Not Pictured: Hailey Sorenson and Mary Kay Cleven.


Hagie: Fungicide & Fertilizer in One Pass!

CHS Larsen Cooperative is very excited about our new Hagie STS 16. This new sprayer gives us the opportunity to apply both fungicide and fertilizer with our 360 Y-Drop system in the same pass. This machine has two separate tanks. This allows us to have both products loaded and spraying at once. This not only saves you time and money. You are also adding your nitrogen at the V8-V10 range as well as your fungicide protection with the undercover all in one pass. This also allows us to cover more acres with this new dual tank set-up.

We are excited to bring this Hagie into Wisconsin, as it is the only machine with these capabilities. CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to offer our patrons this unique service of applying fungicide and fertilizer in one pass. This machine will have 360 Y-drops mounted on the first 70-72 feet of the 120 foot boom to be able to apply late season nitrogen and undercover.

More about the Hagie STS 16

The 1,600 gallon solution capacity sprayer features 76 inches of under-frame clearance in a lightweight and balanced design. This widens the application window to perform timely and precise full season applications. Application equipment users maximize efficiencies with front mounted boom visibility from the spacious application-specific cab. This is designed specifically with operator safety and ergonomics in mind. Experience minimal crop damage with the narrow leg design and crop package, while enhanced capability for various tire options and attachment capability makes the STS a one machine solution for every application need.

This sprayer features a 9.0 liter John Deere PowerTech™ PSS engine rated at 375 horsepower, with a 413 horsepower bulge. This is the newest Final Tier 4 compliant sprayer model.

Hagie Front View

2017 Alfalfa Considerations

Standing AlfalfaThe fall and winter of 2016, along with the spring of 2017, has surely wreaked havoc throughout our trade territory in regards to the alfalfa crop.  As agronomists, we are noticing some areas nearly untouched from winter-kill. While other fields are virtually a total loss.  Some older stands are weakened to the point that they will not provide ample feed for this year. They likely would be better off to rotated to corn.  CHS Larsen Cooperative still has an ample supply of alfalfa seed, both conventional and Roundup Ready®, along with oats for cover crop.  As the calendar pushed later, alternatives such as sorghum and sudan mixes may come into consideration.  Please talk to your agronomist about seed supply today.

If this spring doesn’t allow us time for seeding alfalfa, keep in mind that fall (August 1-15th) is another great time to get alfalfa established for the following year.  Remember to have your field soil tested. You will need to have an adequate pH before trying to establish alfalfa.

Healthy Crop

Those that have alfalfa, I still urge you to keep up your fertility program with Aspire® (Potash + Boron) and a sulfur source.  Recent years have offered us ample supplies of alfalfa. However, some may be looking to buy alfalfa due to the winter-kill.

Click here to read about some pricing considerations for standing crop from Greg Blonde, UW-Extension.

by Lisa Busse, CCA, Sales Agronomist

Case Trident has Arrived

Case Trident
 In mid-April, we received our brand new Case Trident Patriot® Spreader.

This is one of six Case Trident’s made this year as test run for Case. They are using our machine to pull data to fine tune this model for final production. We are one of two cooperatives in Wisconsin with this machine. The technology on this machine is a brand new design.

This will allow us the opportunity to apply two dry products at one time. It has technology on the box that will slow down the spinner on the edge of the field, so this will allow us to keep more product in the field, giving us more precise control of application. This also has a unique air suspension shock system which gives better control in the field and better precision in applying. It also has true 4-wheel drive.

CHS Larsen Co-op Employee Randy Weyland is the designated operator of this new machine. Ed Danke, Jeff Buttles, and Andy Colrue will be potentially also run this machine when needed.

By Scott Jones, Agronomy Department Manager


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