Triticale, Cotton, Sugar Beets and Wheat OH MY!

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Good afternoon guys, Rod here at A Better Way to Farm, happy Friday. Today’s blog post is for those of you who farm something other than Corn & Beans. We will focus specifically Triticale, Cotton, Sugar Beets and Wheat.  We talk a lot about corn and soybeans because that’s our fastball, that’s the thing we work in the most.  We also spend quite a bit of time doing hay, and also have good experience consulting on milo. A big shout out to my brother, Charles, who has won the state of Iowa in the sorghum growers contest the past 3 years.

We have systems that work really good with corn, beans, and milo. But, there’s about 150 crops that we can make specific recommendations for. If you grow Triticale, we can help. You want grow great cotton, our soil test system will make specific recommendations for that cotton. Regardless of it’s two bail on dry land or much higher on irrigated. We can help.  Our system also works really well in sugar beets. With high dollar crops it’s really important we get things working correctly.  We’ve also seen tremendous results in wheat.  Several years ago a friend and client of ours in Oklahoma accidentally forgot to turn the starter pump on in his wheat field for one pass.  He had a 17 bushel to the acre decrease where no starter was used.

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Regardless of where you are, whether you’re in the great northwest and growing wheat. Or you’re growing the sugar beets or barley or vegetables. We’ve got a system that can help you. It’s a system based on science. It’s a system based on pulling soil test. A system based on getting specific recommendations field by field. So many people are trying to figure out what to do after they pull their test because they get back the norms and they get their levels but they don’t know what to do with the result. Our system makes recommendations, tells us exactly what to do to get the highest possible yield for your plant.

If you’d like to schedule a time for us to talk and see if we could serve you don’t hesitate to reach out.

How To Pay Extra Attention To Every Dollar You’re Spending This Season

Copy of Do you want to..Increase yields, Make More Money Farming, Go faster_
Are you Facing Challenges? I want to talk to you a little bit candidly here about some things. One of those biggest things that we’re facing is where is the correctly place to spend our money? The most important money that you’re going to spend, is on a GOOD soil tests.
We are seeing more and more articles and videos talking about how people are moving away from grid sampling. Which we’re in favor of (unless you’re really managing Lime). So, what do we do? We go out and test in 20 or 40 acre blocks for exactly the way you’re going to plant it. What matters is what it takes us to get from one end of the field to the other and then back as many times as possible before we have to stop and reload. The best thing to do is run soil tests.
Spend the few dollars and we will either save you that in inputs or make you that on the other end. More than likely we’ll do it tenfold. When we’re trying to decide how to spend our money because of budget constraints, let’s make sure that we do exactly what that test says. If all we need is starter fertilizer and micronutrients + secondaries, then let’s do that. If we need those things plus dry then let’s do that too. If we need to do some strip till, do that.
n order to successfully overcome a challenge
It’s paramount that in order to successfully overcome a challenge, that we gather all of the information that we can get. So we have to make good decisions. If we are only soil testing to gather information and we don’t tweak things yearly (or as often as we pull our soil tests) then why are we doing it? We do not want to gather information for the next 10 years until we’re overwhelmed and drowning in it. We want to gather good information that’s relevant to this year. A good soil tests tells us what we need to do through side dress applications, fall application, or spring applications.
I want to encourage you that if the biggest challenge that you’re facing in the coming season is budget constraints, it’s more crucial than ever that we’re spending every dollar as intelligently and purposeful as we can. The only way to effectively do that is by spending our very first dollars on soil tests.
If you need some help getting your soil test done or want to know how to best pull those to get the most money back for you feel free to comment here or call 641-919-1206. We love working with you. We know that this years going to be tight and we specialize in helping farmers work through that every chance that we get by helping them reduce overall input cost buy as much as 50 cents a bushel. We look forward to talking to you soon.

Sugar Makes Farming Sweet

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Hello Friends,
Wanted to talk to you guys today about one of our newer products that we’re super stoked about. You guys have heard me talk about sugar for 25 years. We’ve been doing research for over 25 growing seasons. You can increase your yields simply by using a pound of sugar per acre. At a test site in Northern Illinois 1 pt of Syntose FA increased yield by 8.55 BPA.
Syntose FA provides energy to stimulate microbial life in your soil & promotes healthy soil ecology. If you’re looking for a superior sugar product look no further than Syntose FA. It’s an all liquid product, which makes it easy to use. It’s very affordable, it’s about a $1 per acre. It’s low volume, you’ll use a pint of the product per application. After a fabulous year of field testing across the country, and being Beck’s PFR proven, we believe in this product more than ever. Want to know the coolest part? Not only is it a sugar, not only is it a liquid, not there’s an added bonus, it has fulvic acid in it! Fulvic acid is a natural chelating agent. It’s easily able to penetrate plant cells aiding nutrient uptake.
Jerry Quote
“I have used sugar for several years, both in-furrow and foliar applications. I believe it hypes up the soil microbes to make everything work faster.” – Jerry Cox 25-time National NCGA Yield Contest Winner, Missouri
So if you’re interested in getting to the front of the line on getting this product ordered, give us a call at 641-919-1206. You can also hit us up with a comment here or on Facebook. We would love to assist you in getting ready as we launch off into 2019. It’s going to be a great year. We know that we’re going to be able to help you figure out how to make a few more bucks of profit per acre
Join us at Pro Ag


  • South Bend, IN January 17th & 18th
  • Ankeny, Iowa February 11th & 12th
  • Lincoln, NE February 18th & 19th
  • Memphis, TN February 21th & 22nd
We appreciate you guys reading this! If it provided you value it would be an honor if you would share it with your friends & family.

Do you want to..Increase yields, Make More Money Farming, Go faster?

Do you want to..Increase yields, Make More Money Farming, Go faster_

Good afternoon,  One of our favorite things about agriculture is we get to do what we love and every day is just another day to serve the good Lord the way we choose.

The other day I was listening to Ed Mylett’s podcast.  One of the things I like the most about him is his intensity.  I love what he had to say is his episode Dean Graziosi. And basically what he said was this, “Cut the Check.” If we want to go faster, why do we do things slow? Why do we do things that make it go slow?  If we want to improve our farming operation or expand our farming operation, or make more money so we can buy another farm, or maybe even bring our kids into the operation, why do we want to go slow?

_If we want to go faster, why do we do things slow__

Let me ask you a question. If you hit your hand with a hammer and it hurts really bad, are you going to go ahead and hit it again? Sometimes we think, “Well, we hit our hand with the hammer but if we hit it a whole bunch of times really fast, it won’t hurt so much.” That’s not true.  It just hurts quicker and more painfully. We go out and we do a certain thing in farming and it doesn’t work and we think if we get a few more acres and we do a little more of it, of what’s not working, somehow it’ll give us a different result. Guys, that doesn’t work!

Sometimes we go walk through the wilderness in the dark with a blindfold on trying to figure out how to find our way, why? Why do we want to stumble through the dark? Why do we want to trip over tree roots?  Dean said in the podcast interview, he figured out that the best thing he ever did was cut the check for a GOOD training program.  He has paid thousands of dollars for training and it took years off of his arrival time to get to his destination of being more successful.


Here’s the deal guys, our two-day agronomy conferences are going to speed you up in getting where you want to go!  We personally provide you a 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE there are idea at our agronomy conference that is going to make you more money.

  • South Bend, IN January 17th & 18th
  • Ankeny, Iowa February 11th & 12th
  • Lincoln, NE February 18th & 19th
  • Memphis, TN February 21th & 22nd

If you would benefit from making an extra $15 an acre on EVERY acre of your farm just for going for two days, then let’s cut the check.  You can call me at 641-9191-206. Here’s what I know. Hitting our hand with a hammer is only going to make our hand hurt. And if we hit it again in 2019 it’s going to hurt some more. And if we hit it harder and hit it more times in 2020 it’s just going to hurt. But we can stop it. We don’t have to keep smacking our own hand. We don’t have to keep roaming through the jungle blind. We can help you do this.  Cut the check, spend the money, go to the training. All with a money back guarantee. No questions asked, guys.

Let’s do it! As always if this brought value to you we’d appreciate it if you’d share with your friends and family. Feel free drop your farming questions below.

5 Reason Why Your Starter Fertilizer Didn’t Work

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Happy Snowy Sunday from Iowa.  This afternoon we want to talk about starter fertilizer.  Specifically, those of you who tried it once and weren’t satisfied.  Today we’re going talk about 5 reasons why “it didn’t work”.

Option 1) You actually used a really good starter fertilizer (it was orthophosphate) and it worked exactly like it was supposed to.  It got a lot of Phosphorous in the plant. So, what could the problem be?  You already had high Phosphorus levels and maybe you already were a little bit low on zinc. This created a problem.  When you shoved that extra Phosphorus into the plant, it created an imbalance and cut your yields. If you’re wondering if that’s possible the answer is without a doubt YES! We have seen it happen. That’s why we recommend a full system and based off of a soil test. We can’t just throw darts at a board.

Option 2) Low quality fertilizer. Once upon a time there used to be a tractor called an Allis Chalmers XT 190. And the XT 190 was actually not a really great tractor because the rear end on it was fundamentally about the same rear end they used in a WD. Therefore, if you bought an Allis Chalmers XT 190, and it blew up, it gave you a lot of trouble. Did that mean that all tractors were terrible? Did that mean that tractors don’t work? No. It meant that we bought the wrong tractor. If we buy starter fertilizer and it doesn’t work, does that mean that all starter fertilizer doesn’t work? Absolutely not. It meant we bought the wrong starter fertilizer.

Option 3) A polyphosphate starter. This starter fertilizer takes a really long time to break down.  Therefore, we don’t get the Phosphorous in the plant like we need. (Even if we apply the right amount of Zinc.)

Option 4) The cost cutter.  Maybe you were told you could save a little money by using some potassium chloride instead of using potassium hydroxide.  Why does this cut yields and profit?  The salt index goes up, the germination goes down, and the bottom line is we are probably losing between  4-000 – 8,000 plants per acre when we do that.  Which makes us lose yield.  On the surface it looks like starter fertilizer didn’t work but in reality we just made a costly choice in an effort to save money.

Option 5) The starter fertilizer wasn’t pure.  Maybe it had phosacid with things like cadmium (a known carcinogen)  Other things that are common in impure starter is mercury and lead. Cadmium (and other heavy metals) in our fertilizer should be non-detectable. If you run a fertilizer analysis that shows any cadmium at all then you’re hurting seed germination bad!  The range in severity runs from destroying the germ (& possibly killing the plants,) to at the very least delaying the germination by several days.  In addition it disrupts cell division, making cell walls implode and they’re not dividing and dividing and growing, slowing down early plant growth. This puts the plant at a HUGE disadvantage from the very beginning and puts the plant way behind.


Here are just 5 of the reason starter might not of preformed like it should have.  If you’d like to learn more about what starter provides a positive yield increase as well as return on investment then let’s chat.   If you have a question about starter fertilizer, something you’re not sure of, if you’re thinking “Hey, what happened here?” Or “What do you think about this?” We’re happy to provide you much needed answers to the best of our abilities. Simply comment here and we will be happy to help!

We appreciate you guys reading this and if it provided you value it would be an honor if you would share it with your friends & family.

Let’s Take A Different Look at N Before Spring

Humble honey
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about everything that came with 2018. Drought, flooding, wind. You name it, somewhere had it last year. Harvest 2018 is not over in a lot of areas, and God bless the people who are still out trying to get done.
We’ve had incredible temperature swings this winter. Monday it was 51 degrees here in Southeast Iowa and today there’s 5 inches of snow on the ground, on top of MUD. Needless to say it’s a mess. Guys are trying to finish up “fall” work which is just crazy. This has got me thinking… What does spring look like? By now, if you have watched our LIVES, you know that I am not a fan of anhydrous. But today I want to take a more realistic approach and talk about what spring looks like.
Lots of farmers did a lot of tearing up during harvest. There are ruts everywhere that didn’t get worked in. Lots of farmers have nothing fall applied. (Which is not necessarily a bad thing) and that’s very unusual. There are a lot of people feeling a whole lot of urgency around how to get everything done.
One of the local dealerships around here is calling up ex-employees and making serious offers to try and get them to come back. Why? Because they’re trying to build staff to a point that they can get a lot done when it’s time to go this spring. They know that the work that should’ve been done last fall didn’t happen, and now they’re trying to make up for it.  To add to that we all have to deal with electronic logs and the trucks aren’t getting the stuff where it needs to be. So, here’s my question to you. How do you think that they’re going to get all that NH3 from the pickup point to the dealer, and then how’s the dealer going to get it to the dirt? I don’t see enough hours in the day. How are they going to get that 18-46-0 or that 11-52-0 and 0-0-60, another thing I’m not a fan of, or that potassium sulfate (much bigger fan.) Regardless of what you’re using, how will you get it from the terminal to the dirt? Because we’re way behind.
So, let’s take a different look. I had a guy call this week and opened his account for one reason. He said, “Rod, I’ve used anhydrous my whole life, but it’s time to make a change.” Adam wants to take a different look. He is joining us at Pro Ag in Kearney on Monday and Tuesday to learn how he can get away from it, because he don’t see any way to get it on this spring.
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We are going to help Adam use his current budget for Nitrogen and spend it smarter. We’ll start with buying $9 worth of dicyandiamide in the form of Guardian-L, which has an average ROI of $3 for every $1 invested. Then we’re going to take the dollars that are left for our Nitrogen budget, and we’re going to apply 32 with Ammonium thiosulfate. If you’d like to know the ratio we mix the 32 and ammonium thiosulfate let us know.
You can broadcast it with chemicals and incorporate it. You can strip it on and roll it in with a cultivator. There’s a host of other options we’ll work through with you. We are happy to help nail down the specifics down the road. Today, I just want you to take a different look. You don’t have to do it the same way you’ve been doing it for 5 years, 20 years, shoot maybe even 50 years.
I’ve been told in Chinese the word that means crisis also can be translated into opportunity. So if you’re on the verge of crisis, not knowing how you’re going to get N applied. Maybe THIS is YOUR opportunity to figure out how to do it differently and find a better way. If you’re open to new ideas and wanting to figure out a better way drop us a comment or call 641-919-1206.
PS: Kearney, Nebraska Pro Ag has 1 or two seats left for Monday and Tuesday Conference
South Bend, Indiana on Thursday and Friday has only a handful of seats left as well.
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Why The Right K Matters (+A Free Gift for YOU)

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Hey, guys, today we are focusing on “Why the right K matters” and we have a FREE gift for you. There is lots of new data coming out that’s being done at the university level talking about the importance of Potassium.  The studies are showing how much more K new hybrids need.  How important it is to get K into the plant early. The one that stood out to me most focuses on the relationship between using Potassium Chloride and ability to uptake of Phosphorous.

As we know, each and every nutrient impacts lots of other nutrients.  There’s lots of University research conducted studying different kinds of potassium and how using those in different ways impact how much Phosphorus would go into the corn plant. The amount of reduction from using Potassium Chloride was VERY significant, feel free to text me (641-919-1206) if you’d like to know the exact amount.

Why would we want to use a product that’s in a form that will reduce the amount of Phosphorous we can get into the plant?  The more we use…the more we need. The more 0-0-60 we put on, the more 18-46-0, and the more N it takes to get the job done. And the problem just snow balls the next year, and the next year, and so on! We just keep needing more, and more, and more. When we use the wrong form of Potassium, we reduce the amount of Phosphorous we can shove into the plant. Why do we want to do that?

Too many people want to argue the laws of nature, and the laws of chemistry, and they want to say that any Potassium is okay. And quite simply it’s not. Every choice we make matters and it is very important that we get the right form of Potassium in the field, and especially if we’re using a starter fertilizer.  Your corn plant needs Phosphorous early. But it needs more Potassium in the first 50 days. Let’s make sure we’re providing each plant with what it needs when it needs it. Let’s make sure it’s in the form that helps the plant. Let’s make sure that it’s in the form that doesn’t suppress the amount of Phosphorous we can get into it. Let’s make sure our Potassium is helping us use our Phosphorous, helping us use our Nitrogen, not hindering us.

Need Potassium Early

Now, we have a free gift for you our friend Brad sent us an article that was written by a third-party fertilizer broker, (so he’d sell anything under the sun).  He talks more about why a certain form of Potassium is better than other forms. It is great information on what form will be most PROFITABLE for you.  So if you’d like to claim your FREE gift from us & receive this article comment here with your email and we will email it to you ASAP because we really appreciate you guys.

That being said, I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Talk soon!

How To Build Your Soil Levels for FREE

How To Build Your Soil Levels

Have you ever wondered how you could build your soil profile? How are you gonna build your levels? Or how to do it without breaking the bank? I’ll let you in on a little secret… the best way to build soil test levels is to leave behind the best possible residue. If we can force feed the nutrients into our plants & apply the nutrients that we’re most deficient in our levels will go up. If for instance you’re K deficient, what should we do? I highly recommend six gallon 2-15-19-3. And then go over 2×2 and a liquid potassium sulfate.  That’s how we force feed the plant.  Doing this leaves behind better residue that’s  has the nutrients that YOU need!  (In this instance higher in K levels) Doing things right helps your nutrients recycle quickly and become available for the crop much faster than in a broadcast application.

If we’re deficient in any nutrient than we need to fix it quickly. Let’s make sure every dollar we spend on nutrients gets into the plant. And then, what isn’t removed in the grain is left in the stover and helps in building our soils, year after year after year.

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Guys, you’ve heard me say it for years.  Life is not that difficult, figure out how things work and get on the right side of them.  Increasing your soil profiles will help your farm & it would be our honor to help you do just that.  Meet us at an upcoming Pro Ag and learn as much as we can so that we can figure out how it works, so that we can get on the right side of it, and make more money in 2019 and years to come.  Plain and simple.

We would love to have you join us in

  • Kearney, NE January 14th & 15th
  • South Bend, IN January 17th & 18th
  • Ankeny, Iowa February 11th & 12th

If there’s a question or something we can do, feel free to texting or call (641)-919-1206.

What micro-nutrient affects photosynthesis, chlorophyll, Nitrogen utilization, plant health, standability & more?

Get a Fresh Start

Today we want to talk about Copper.  It’s a very necessary element and levels generally increase with the clay content in soils. Available Copper is associated with organic matter in mineral type soils.  Copper is contained in several important enzymes in plants. It is involved in not only photosynthesis but also chlorophyll. Therefore, it’s a part of the enzyme system. Copper is very important because if we shut those things down we end up with a plant not performing at optimum production.  It also helps increase the sugar content in the fruits and vegetables. (Which is an indicator of plant health) Want an added bonus? It will also help keep pests away, healthier plant will be less attacked by bugs, fungus, and bacteria.

Copper is the perfect example of how every nutrient impacts other nutrients; the idea of one nutrient being the key to success is simply not true.  Like I have said before, if our pickup has rust on it, we do not have a paint deficiency. Applying a lot of paint may cover the rust, but it doesn’t fix the problem.

Canadian studies have shown an interdependency between Copper and Manganese. Crops frequently do respond to Copper applications, especially in high organic matter soils. We want to make sure that our crops have Copper to get the enzyme systems going, it’s also important to remember that heavy Copper applications may result in a Manganese deficiency.  The addition of Manganese can actually release Copper helping the plant roots to absorb it. (So, in other words, if we have a Copper deficiency, it might be improved by the application of adequate Manganese.) This is why we have to do the soil tests and then do everything they call for. Since they impact each other, it’s crucial that when a test calls for a half a pint of copper and two pints of manganese, that we do both.
If we listen to Dr. Anderson as he talks out of The Anatomy of Life and Energy and Agriculture, he says that “Copper is the key to elasticity in a plant as well as mold control.” How do we improve standability? Well, anything that hurts plant health decreases standability. Two of the nutrients that would be heavily involved in plant health would be Potassium and Copper. We want a plant that will bend but not break and elasticity is key to that.  If we listen to Neal Kinsey, in Hands On Agronomy, he states how Nitrogen affects Copper. Excessive amounts of N will tie up Copper. Copper is what confers stock strength to the plant. That’s why a field that gets Nitrogen in the proper amount will look very different from one that gets too much N. Combined with that, a lack of copper, and a deficiency of K makes stocks unhealthy. Pay attention to that. There’s a relationship between the over use of N and the availability of getting Copper into that plant. Everything works together.
From the Soil Up, Don Schriefer mentions how we have set the soil level standards for Copper between 2 and 3 parts per million. Soil test levels throughout the Midwest are generally showing less than 2 parts per million. Tissue tests are often reflecting the lower soil values and the trend is the same in the corn and small grains.

Often times in agriculture, we get told a pound is a pound the world around, which quite frankly isn’t true. If a pound is a pound the world around, why would we not just take pennies and sling them in our corn field? Because, it would take years and years for them to break down to even think about getting in a form the corn plant can use.  This is why I’m not a fan of dry copper sulfate…there are six million, two hundred and some thousand square inches in an acre of ground. If we go out and spread four pounds of anything, what are the odds of that corn plant finding it? Slim.  So what the better alternative? Chelated Copper in the seed trench in the proper amount that because your corn plant is going to find it because it’s right where it needs it.

So to wrap things up, If you’re Copper deficient..

  • Photosynthesis and chlorophyll are being slowed
  • You’re more likely to be attacked by bugs, fungus, and bacteria
  • It might be improved by the application of adequate Manganese
  • Your Nitrogen utilization could be negatively impacted
  • Your plant health and standability is being decreased

Copy of Copper

Let’s fix your Copper deficiency in 2019 because it will be a big bang for your buck is. We would be honored to help you do that. Feel free to comment here or text/call 641-919-1206.

The Wrap Up 🎁

Happy New Year

Good Afternoon,  Saturday we finished the 12 Nutrients of Christmas with our wrap up. If you haven’t caught it yet you can watch it here!  This year we dove deep into the macro, secondary, & micronutrients and learned a ton!  One of the most important things we covered is how each nutrients reacts and effects with every other nutrients.

The quick overview of our last video is this..When we use the right products at the right, at the right rate, at the right time, and the right place magic happens.  It allows us to have tremendous soil health which in turns positively impacts not only our yields but also our profits. Just because “We have always done it that way” or our neighbor does it that way or the industry says we should do it that way doesn’t necessarily make it what is best for you and we hope that you will take the time to do the research and see how you can have the most profitable year farming that you possibly can in 2019.  If you would like to attend one of our upcoming 2 day agronomy conference to discover just this, feel free to respond here our call 641-919-1206.

We would love to have you join us in

  • Sioux Falls, SD January 3rd & 4th (only a few seats left)
  • Dublin, Ohio January 7th & 8th
  • Kearney, NE January 14th & 15th
  • South Bend, IN January 17th & 18th


PS: Several of you have asked for direct affiliate links to the books we used for this years videos.
From The Soil Up (Only 9 left in stock)
The Anatomy of Life and Energy in Agriculture (You guys sold these out but they’re back in stock on 1/6)
Hands On Agronomy (There is only 1 of these left in stock so snatch it before its gone)
Midwest Labs Agronomy Handbook can be downloaded for free at