Haggerty Creek Service Hours and Instructions

In light of the recent government announcements surrounding COVID-19, we at Haggerty Creek Ltd. feel that we also must take some action to do our part towards an orderly spring.

While we do not take any actions lightly, we feel that we would rather been seen doing our part to not be part of the problem – to prevent illness and ensure smooth spring deliveries of the products our customers need.  This will benefit both you, our customers, and our staff.

Attached is our position from this point forward.  We want to reiterate that we have good supply of all the products our customers will require this spring and that there is no reason to be concerned.

Haggerty 2020 COVID safety letter

USDA February 11th, 2020

Yesterday the USDA updated it’s crop report with ending stocks.

There were little surprises to the market.

From Mid-Co, here is a summary:

Corn Ending Stocks were 1.892 MMT which are unchanged from January but higher than the trade estimates.

I think for our marketing – we know that the US has had harvest challenges with some crop unharvested, and maybe questionable quality.  However based on these inventory levels, it doesn’t matter.  Spring is upon us and barring some unseen weather event the focus is going to be on planting, in my opinion.

For Ontario – the corn crop was overall decent but not great.  On top of that, there are large areas where the discussion was grade 4 or under test weight. The good areas were only just grade 2.  That means higher corn usage, more fines, and generally farmers will discover they have less in inventory here in Ontario than they thought.

This should generate some support to the basis but noone can predict it.

Soybean ending stocks were 0.425 MMT vs 0.475 MMT in January.  This number is also lower than the trade estimates.  While this should be positive news for soybeans, the world soybean carryover increased by a large 2 MMT, which puts a damper on things.

The continuing issues with China (Swine Flu, Coronavirus etc) is weakening soybean demand and until this changes I don’t expect much out of the soybean market.

That being said, everywhere I read, the US farmer (and to some degree the Ontario Farmer) is going to plant corn on every flat surface from here to California.  Soybeans are going to have to do something to maintain acreage, as we are seeing a market premium for corn.  For example the current spread is 2.3x the price of corn which I feel is too low.

Wheat ending stocks are more positive, with 0.94MMT vs. 0.965 in January, again surpassing trade estimates.  Also, world stocks are also flat.

The numbers are promising for wheat if March doesn’t kill it off first.

GLG We Know Markets Event

Bringing You What’s Next Tour 2020

Great Lakes Grain, along with your Haggerty Creek, AGRIS and FS PARTNERS teams, would like to cordially invite you to our Winter Information Meetings featuring Jeff Sherman, Commodity Risk Consultant of MIDCO Commodities from Des Moines, Iowa.
Many people are involved in your farm decision making process. Please feel free to bring your decision makers and influencers to listen to Jeff Sherman, who has been trading cash grain and futures for over 30 years. This is his 11th annual trip to Ontario, providing his entertaining perspective on the North American and world grain markets.

See the attached flyer for locations.

GLG We Know Markets Invite 2020

2019 Corn Plot

2019 Corn Test Plot Results.

Here are the results from the plot.

Overall the yields were respectable for the year we had.  All of the N was applied up front, and no fungicide or insecticide was applied at tassel.

The corn did have some livestock damage to a couple varieties.

Harvested Oct 25th.  Thanks to DeKalb and Pride for helping out.

2019 Corn Plot

Corn Harvest and Invisible Loss

A few customers have been asking about invisible loss this fall, and I have noticed the topic on some twitter feeds as of late.

Here is what I have learned.

What is Invisible Loss in corn?

Invisible loss can occur when grain dries down too long in the field.  Most corn is mature at 26-35% however optimum harvestability is typically closer to 25% moisture.  However, biological activity continues between 30-15% moisture.  What I read is, that as the kernel readies itself to become a seed ready to sprout, it undergoes a normal process of “respiration”, cannibalizing internal starches and energy, thereby losing test weight.  As an example, corn drying to 15% in the field can lose 10-15% of it’s kernel weight.

Therefore, if you want bragging rights – it is important to harvest early to maximize yield.  For the rest of us, you have to weigh drying cost vs. yield, and determine what the optimum breakeven point is.

Other sources of loss?

More obvious sources of yield loss are downed corn, header loss and ear drop, which increase the longer the mature corn stays in the field.

Other Comments

I found a study done by Perdue over the years of 1992 to 1994, where they confirmed a loss of, on average, 0.9% weight loss for every 1% drop in corn moisture in the field.

This doesn’t happen every year, but the range was 2.7 to 4.3 grams /hL per % moisture drop.  So, corn that started at 360 g/hL dropped on average 3.4 g/hL per point of moisture.

Drying charges factor into this.  If your 200 bu corn is at 25% moisture, and the drying charge is $0.50, your drying charge is $100 per acre.

If that same corn dries naturally to 15%, the drying cost savings can theoretically offset your invisible loss of 20bu per acre, assuming you had no other losses from mechanical or other factors.

 

  • Sources:
  • 1.  No-Till Farmer, article Aug 9th, 2016, Gary Woodruff, GSI
          • 2.  Agronomy Department, Perdue University, R.L. (Bob) Nielsen, Professor of Agronomy and,
            G. Brown, Graduate research assistant, Agronomy
            K. Wuethrich, Graduate research assistant, Agronomy
            A. Halter, Graduate research assistant, Agronomy
          • https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/research/rpt94-01.htm

Climate Fieldview and Harvest Analysis

One of the things we have been trying with customer yield analysis is to get a decent handle on how varieties perform across fields.

An issue facing those of us around Bothwell is the large amount of wooded areas.  While we like trees, the bush lines can easily take 50-100 bu away from our corn yields, after the deer and raccoons take their share.

While this isn’t front page news, it creates an issue when trying to analyze hybrid performance.  For example, if you have Field “A”, a 50 acre farm, that has bush on 3 sides, you can easily have 5-7 acres of substandard yield.

If Field “B”, another 50 acre farm has bush only on 1 side, it has significantly less “headland” yield loss.

What does this mean?  Let’s say that Field A is planted with Pioneer 506 and Field B is planted with Dekalb 53-56; then if you look at your harvest summary report, by variety, the system will automatically show a reduced yield for 506 due to the field itself, not the varieties actual performance.

In order to alleviate this, at planting time, you can assign a “Headland” variety to each field, for the headland areas.  You can get fancy and specifiy the actual variety the headland is, if you wish, but you don’t have to.

Then, when the headlands are finished planting, you update your FieldView to the actual variety being planted in the field.

The benefit to doing this, is that at harvest time, the Cab app will automatically sort the harvest between the Headland and actual variety for you.  As such, your variety yield reports will then put each variety on a more equal footing.

Other examples could be “clay farm” vs “sand farm”, “notill” vs “conventional till” etc.

Here are some screenshots to illustrate:

Above – Complete Yield Map

Above: Variety Map

Above: Headland Yield

Above: Field Yield

Above: Note the 52-84 Difference in yield.

So the 52-84 in the field yields 187; while in the headlands down to 168, on similar acres harvested.

Hopefully this is helpful!

 

2019 Outdoor Farm Show: X-Steam-inator

Another interesting piece of technology I checked out at the 2019 COFS was the Saskatchewan built X-Steam-inator.  This device promises to clear away weeds using a PTO driven generator and, from what I recall, about 2 gallons of water per acre.

At this point I was uncertain about ground speeds.  But, the concept is interesting.  Can we use a mechanical device instead of chemicals to get some of the harder to control weeds, either early in the season or mid-season?

Time will tell. The machine is still a prototype at this point with product rollout expected in 2020.  For more information they have a limited website at  http://www.xsteaminator.com

X-Steam-inator Flyer

2019 Outdoor Farm Show – Autonomous Technology

Spent some time catching up with the folks at DOT.  Things have moved rapidly since the Precision Ag Conference in 2018.

At the show we saw several demonstations.  First, with a mockup of a 12 Row, 30″ corn planter.  The planter has no fertilizer attachments or seed boxes at the show, but the toolbar and frame could easily accomodate a central fill seed box, a liquid fertilizer tank, and perhaps a dry box.

We talked about capacity and seeing as the seedmaster attachment can hold up to 300 bu of seed, I would expect that a corn fertilizer capacity would be in the range of 6-8MT or 1000-1400 gallons of liquid.

Travel speeds in the field are typical 5-10 mph.

They also brought a 30′ Seedmaster drill, which the DOT unit handled with no problems.

I was suprised to see the size of New Leader spinner box – I didn’t measure it but it was at least a 13′ box which slipped neatly into the U-Frame.  The entire process to uncouple the corn planter and hook up the spreader took about 5-6 minutes.

The technology is very exciting to watch.  A different concept – power unit and tool that integrate.  It eliminates the challenges faced by trying to tow an implement straight.

They did not bring the 1600 gallon, 120′ sprayer attachment from Pattison, but they did have videos of it working.  I didn’t video this part, but I believe they have sprayed over 10,000 acres last year in autonomous mode which must be some sort of record.

Here are some videos.  Note that in the first video it had rained the night before, quite heavily.  The DOT unit is programmed to stop if it spins out – so it shouldn’t get stuck, unlike when I try to test how wet the fields are:

Getting your Precision Ag Equipment Ready for Spring

Now that spring is nearly here it’s a good idea to go over some technology reminders before we get rolling in the next couple of weeks.

The famous “it worked when I put it away” line gets quoted far too often.

Here are a few tips:

Displays:

It’s always a good idea to clean up your display before you begin.  An often overlooked item is physically.  Carefully use a damp cloth and clean up any dust and grime from the outer case.  Use compressed air sparingly preferably not at all.  A common place for concern is the screen.  Use a microfibre cloth (same as eyeglasses) to clean the screen.  Sometimes dust can build up on the bottom edges and corners of the touch screen bezels – carefully use a business card to clean out this dust, ensuring that you do not force the card in too deep.

In the screen – it’s a good idea to dump out any data that you don’t need.  Rename fields with proper spelling or delete duplicates.  Before you delete anything, talk to us first about how the data might be used.  After you make this consideration, then delete old coverage maps that you don’t require.  Delete saved A-B lines that are duplicates or made in error, that kind of stuff.  Move A-B lines between displays as needed.  While it might be nice to have 5 years of history on your monitor, it does bog them down and slow up their reaction times.

Firmware updates on Displays.  Generally, it is best practice to upgrade to the latest firmware on your monitors.  They often include important updates and bug fixes.  That said, sometimes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” also applies.  With each firmware update, release notes are included.  Prior to updating, read these release notes as they will tell you what is being changed.  Sometimes you can skip and update or two and get along just fine.  And sometimes, some screens won’t work until the software update is done.  The only rule is:  Do not do software updates on the day you intend to head to the field!

Lastly, keep your cab clean and tidy.  Get rid of the dirt and dust as this enables dampness in the cab which destroys electronics.  When tidying up cables, ensure that you are not kinking coaxial antenna or RTK cables as you will destroy them.  A nice, small loop is the best.  Other cabling can be tied up tighter, just watch that you are not putting 90 degree bends near the plugs which stretches the connectors.

Autosteer Systems

Ensure that your autosteer systems are functioning.  Do some tests in your yard.  Do the foam wheels on your EZ steer need to be replaced?  EZ Pilot’s have rubber grommets on the antirotation pins that can get worn and sloppy.  Check the tightness of your mounting brackets, especially on any wheel angle sensors.  Firmware updates on steering systems often contain great improvements in performance and are recommended to be installed, keeping in mind that the system will have to be completely recalibrated when you do this.  Again, do not do any firmware updates on the day you need to use the system.

Product Controllers

Ensure that your attached implements show up on your display or controller.  Test out the boom valves and control valves to ensure they open and close.  Flowmeters can only be tested with flowing water, but granular encoders can be tested without any product.  Generally I don’t see a huge need to update firmware on product controllers unless a specific issue has been found.

The most important thing is to ensure proper flow control:  Boom – Speed – Flow.  If you checked your flowmeter, ensure that your boom widths are correct, and that the system sees that your boom sections are turning on and off.

Then, double check your speed calibration.  If possible, use GPS speed as this stays the most consistent.  There is nothing wrong with radars and wheel magnets, but they must be double checked for accuracy.

Cabling

The most common issue with precision equipment is the cabling.  Bad connections and specifically grounding.

Follow the cabling out of the cab and look for pinch or wear points.  Then, check the plugs for corrosion.  Do not overoil or grease connections.  There is special lube for connections if you think you need them.  You do not want contact between the pins from grease oozing over the face of the plug.

Ensure that your aerials and RTK antennas are secure on the roof.

What’s new:

Climate FieldView is now compatible with more GPS receivers, albeit not with some product controllers.  That said, you can at least map out planting maps with some Trimble displays where you could not before.  Ensure your products are up to date and contact us with any questions about cabling needs for Climate.

Raven Displays:

Viper 4 (4+): Raven Branded: Viper 4 3.2.1.2 Software            

AgCo Branded:  Viper 4 3.1.0.71 Agco Software

CaseIH Branded: Viper 4 3.1.0.71 Case IH Software                      

Viper Pro:  As this is now a discontinued product there have been no updates since 3.10.4.25

Envizio Pro II:  There have been no updates since Envizio Pro Series 3.10 Software                      

Cruizer II:  There have been no updates since Cruizer II 3.5 Software Update                      

CR7: CR7 2.2.8.5 Software                      

Trimble Displays:

TMx-2050 most current update is 5.61

FMx (FM 1000) most current update is 10.13  (Needed for Climate FieldView to work)

Cfx 750most current update is 7.79

EZ Guide 250 – most current update is 3.12

EZ Guide 500 and EZ Guide Plus:  There are discontinued products, no updates since 5.12 and 4.11, respectively.