Three Planting Tips for Spring 2015

Missy Bauer Michigan AgWebFrom the test plots in Cold Water, Michigan, Missy Bauer offers three tips for starting your seed off right.

(This is from a Pam Fretwell interview with Missy which recently appeared in the Farm Journal Ag-Web Online.)

In south central Michigan, Missy says, cold weather was the biggest factor in deciding when to put the seed in the ground. Michigan experienced the coldest February on record, this issue is compounded by a large percentage of ice coverage over the Great Lakes, which makes for a delayed, cooler spring.

Missy offers three pieces of advice to farmers waiting to get into the fields.

Wait for average soil temps to reach 50 degrees.

Missy says, “We really try to hold guys back, if they can, and wait for those soil temperatures reach 50 degrees.” She notes, some guys put the seed in the ground as soon as the temps hit 50 degrees only to have the temps drop back down to the 40s and even upper-30s for a few days. That’s a little scary, she admits.

If you can avoid cold and wet, do it!

The cold doesn’t bother Missy as much as cold and wet conditions. Cold and wet, she says, is a bad recipe and can negatively affect germination.  

Test seed quality.

Missy encourages farmers to send their seed in for quality testing, especially if you plan to put your seed in early while temperatures could still drop below that 50 degree mark. Specifically, she notes, you want to check for good saturated cold scores and cold germination scores.

Smells Like...Spring!

Finally that familiar smell of freshly turned soil is spreading across the Spring Dirtcountry. Our NTPDA farming and construction friends up north may have to wait a few weeks but here in Texas it's the sweet smell of the soil as the earth gives up on winter.

And, that's a very good thing.

For many of us in the tractor and construction parts business it's been a long winter.  But, if we used our time wisely we made the necessary plans, made new friends, created new marketing channels while we could.  Now it's back to the business of keeping farmers and construction professionals on the job and productive.

If you've got some cool spring photos from your place we'd love to share them with the world.  Just send them to Kim @ NTPDA dot com and we'll get them up.

Happy Spring and here is to a fantastic growing/construction season!

Those Customers!

For many of our members it's the start of the "busy season" as the winter Woman Steam Ears gives way to spring (maybe) and our customers start to rise from their cold weather slumber and demand that their replacement part gets to them...tomorrow.

And, we'll groan a little and might even say, "What do they expect? Miracles?!?"  

Careful because they have choices. No, not that the customer is ALWAYS right but they are our customer and how we treat them, how we respond to demands and how we show our gratitude that they have picked us to do business with...matters. 

Today our customers , be they farmers, ranchers or members of the NTPDA, know they have other choices.  They also know they have a voice. They can exercise that voice from person to person or by using social media from Twitter to Facebook.  It's in all of our best interests to maintain a positive working relationship and always treat our customers with respect.

Do that and...win.