An agronomist plays an important role in the farming community, working cooperatively to develop an agronomic plan that is tailored to their individual needs and providing services such as crop consulting, product recommendations, soil sampling and custom applications.
As Marissa Dillon, CCA, one of several agronomy consultants at Deerfield Ag Services, explained, “We see ourselves as partners with our farmers,” Marissa said, “keeping their goals in mind and helping them make the right decisions to achieve a profitable and productive growing season.”
In this interview, Marissa shares some of the strategies she and the other agronomists have had success with in the past.
What should farmers do now to prepare for the 2018 growing season?
“Start by evaluating how this past cropping year went and if you identify any problems in the field, reach out to us to conduct specific diagnostic tests. For example, we can do soil sampling to determine what additional nutrients are needed and make recommendations to correct deficiencies.
In addition to standard soil sampling, we do GPS grid soil sampling, taking samples in 2.5-acre sections to determine the specific needs for each area. With grid sampling, farmers spend their money properly on fertilizer, knowing the nutrients are getting to right place in the field.
This is also the time to plant cover crops to achieve specific outcomes such as increasing soil health, improving aeration or preventing erosion. Once the purpose for the cover crop is determined, our agronomists can suggest the right one to match that goal.
Finally, take steps to control resistant weeds such as marestail—an ongoing problem here in the northeast. We recommend applying burndown herbicides in the fall followed by residual herbicides in the spring. Killing those resistant weeds before winter is critical, because those that over-winter are the hardest to kill in the spring.”
What other services do Deerfield Ag agronomists provide?
“During winter, we meet with farmers to review their cropping plans for the next year, offer specific suggestions and formulate a schedule of services we will provide in the spring. Deerfield’s Field Days feature presentations from industry professionals and chemical representatives discussing new developments and updates in agriculture.
We want to offer our customers the benefit of our knowledge and to do that, it’s important that we have ongoing communication with them. There’s not ever really a downtime—we don’t ever stop talking with our customers.”
To learn more about the agronomy services Deerfield provides, take a look at our agronomy page or give us a call to speak to one of our experienced and knowledgeable agronomists.