Are PGR’s Worth It?


Hello Everyone, Today we are sharing more research from Top End Farming on their farm in Northern Illinois.  2018 was a year full of changes and weather challenges but it was a great learning experience. They experienced heavy rains all year which challenged everything from emergence to making timely spray passes. Having wet feet all year certainly knocked a lot of the Top End yield potential out, but it also provided a great learning opportunity for us all.

Dan pulled soil tests in the fall of 2017 to see what was needed and at what rates. Everything we do is based off of specific soil tests, field by field.  So, we’re not throwing blind darts at the wall wasting ANY money. This is why we highly recommend everyone uses MidWest Labs from Omaha, NE to run independent soil tests.

Today we are talking about two growth regulators. One being X-cyto and the other being a brand product new product Intensify. X-cyto is a liquid formula and has a soil and foliar version available. Intensify is a granule product recommended for in-furrow and foliar applications.

Intensify yielded 262.04bpa at a cost of $4/acre (out yielding check by 11.28 bpa)

Foliar Xcyto yielded 263.73bpa at a cost of $12.65/acre (out yielding check by 12.97 bpa)

Check Strip yielded 250.76bpa

The test strips had over a 40bpa difference

We also had two 12 row strips planted with the intention to harvest for corn silage to measure tonnage and feed value differences. While we were able to get analysis on the strips we weren’t able to have them chopped due to extreme rains, tar spot killing the plants off early, and time constraints from our custom chopping crew.

We used Soil X-cyto in furrow along with everything the soil test called for on our treated strip and also on our own production acres. Our production acres yielded 6ton/acre over 2017. The test strips had over a 40bpa difference when harvested which we’re sure would have made for a significant tonnage difference also.

Silage check strip: 198.43bpa       Silage X-cyto strip: 240.50bpa

Are You Using a Nitrogen Stabilizer That Works?

N Stabilizer Cover

Hello Everyone and over the next few weeks we are going to be sharing research from Top End Farming from two years of research at their farm in Northern Illinois.  They studied tons of different products and had dozens and dozens of replications with a big emphasis on micro-nutrients. 2018 was a year full of changes and weather challenges but it was a great learning experience. Dan from Top End Farming used a 4 row plot planter. They experienced heavy rains all year which challenged everything from emergence to making timely spray passes. Having wet feet all year certainly knocked a lot of the Top End yield potential out, but it also provided a great learning opportunity for us all.  The studies on starter formulations were eye opening and so were the nitrogen studies. More N isn’t always the answer to yellow corn. 😉

Dan pulled soil tests in the fall of 2017 to see what was needed and at what rates. Nitrogen was sprayed on behind the planter at a rate of 60gal of 32% unless otherwise noted. Mid-season the entire plot was Y-dropped with 10gal. 32% and 5gal. of ATS.

While Dan strives to maintain this as an independent plot, we are indeed distributors with Conklin and we firmly believe you will not find a higher quality product anywhere. Conklin also provides top end knowledge sharing.

Everything we do is based off of specific soil tests, field by field.  So, we’re not throwing blind darts at the wall wasting ANY money. This is why we highly recommend everyone uses MidWest Labs from Omaha, NE to run independent soil tests. We look forward to sharing results with you over the next few weeks!

First up, the Nitrogen study.  It was conducted using three different rates of 32% and two different stabilizers. 40, 50, and 60 gallon rates were used stand alone and with Instinct and Guardian.

Instinct has an active ingredient of nitrapyrin.  It is a popular stabilizer but comes with a down side of causing corrosion and destroying soil bacteria.

Guardian has an active ingredient of dicyandiamide.  It is non-corrosive to your equipment and doesn’t kill valuable soil bacteria.


  • Plot #34: 40 gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt Guardian yielded 217.34bpa
  • Plot #35: 40gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 212.65bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 4.69 BPA

  • Plot #36: 40 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 213bpa
  • Plot #37: 50 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 208.12bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 4.88 BPA

  • Plot #38: 50 Gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 235.01bpa
  • Plot #39: 50 Gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt Guardian yielded 279.72bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 44.71 BPA

  • Plot #40: 60 Gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt of Guardian yielded 276.28bpa
  • Plot #41: 60 Gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 265.43bpa
  • Plot #42: 60 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 250.27bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 10.85

Cost of both stabilizers is $9/acre

N Stabilizer

Please note: at the beginning of the 2018 season Dan approached several other local retailers in his area and offered his soil test and some strips in the plot to see how their products would compare they all admittedly refused to take part and therefore the few competitive products in the trials were obtained from their customers.

The Seed Treatment That Provided an ROI of of $33.13 per acre.

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Amplify-D (Dry Formula) and Amplify-L (Liquid Formula) are our world class award winning seed emergence aids. This product contain an additional amount of the adenosine monophosphate (AMP) that is found naturally in seeds.


By providing the seed with additional AMP and fertilizer, seedling vigor is enhanced and emergence is improved. The plant gets off to a quicker, more uniform start and performs better over the growing season. That translates into the potential for faster maturity, better yields and higher profits. Seeds treated with Amplify are better able to withstand stressful cold & wet conditions that are commonly experienced during planting.

Here is how Amplify performed in Shannon, IL in 2018

  • Amplify-D produced 249.51bpa 8.24bpa increase over the check $26.34 ROI
  • Amplify-L produced 249.60bpa 8.33bpa increase over the check $26.16 ROI
  • Check strip yielded 241.27bpa

ROI was figured using $3.50 corn and $2.50/ac cost for Amplify-D and $3/ac cost for Amplify-L

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2 year average on Amplify-D at research location in Northern IL is 10.18 bpa and $33.13 Return on Investment


Special thanks to Dan from Top End Farming for providing this research for more info send him a message on Facebook.

Got Baby Calves On The Way?

Got Baby Calves On The Way_

Happy Monday Farmers! Today we’re going to switch gears for a little bit and we’re going to talk to the cow/calf guys.  We’re going to share a little bit about how to make your life better. If you’re getting ready to calve this is perfect for you.  We all know spring calving can be stressful. Sometimes the weather is not conductive to we want. From freezing temps to cold damp rain it’s almost invariably something happens. So what can we do to improve overall calf health? On our farm, we feed every animal fast track fast track, a live powdered microbial product that we mix in their daily feed. It’s a maintenance dose of about an ounce per head per day.  We do that regularly, because anytime we can improve the health of the digestive tract, we do. It causes us to have less trouble and improved overall health.

For calves specifically, what we want to do is give it a good source of energy from the minute it’s up and moving. When that calf hits the ground, we give it a dose of jumpstart gel. Jumpstart is like jumper cables for the newborn calf’s digestive track. Getting their stomach on the right start from the beginning saves a lot of head aches down the road. Each calf is born with a sterile stomach and the question is do the good bacteria get in there and start reproducing or do the bad bacteria get a head start and create problems?

Getting a calf's stomach on the right start from the beginning saves a lot of problems & head aches down the road..png

For example if a new baby calf is in the mud and gets his tongue in the mud there’s a good chance he’ll get a little manure and all of a sudden he’s got a belly ache and we have a problem. Our goal is to make sure that the good bacteria wins the race. And so we give him a dose of the jump start gel. By doing that, the calf becomes more aggressive when eating and his appetite improves.  That makes rate of gain better. Want an added bonus? Less of a scours.  We hardly EVER have a scours problem in new born calves or bottle calves and that’s because our calves only have good bacteria in their stomachs.

So, here’s the deal, regardless of if you have 2 cows or 2,000 cows Fastrack is a way to make your life easier and make your farm better and more profitable. If you’d be open to trying Fastrack on your farm or in getting more information and seeing how it can help your calving comment here or text Karen at 641-919-5570.

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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.

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!