Agronomy-focused program links ag, baseball

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BASEBALL HISTORY: The Field of Dreams movie site is a popular stop in Eastern Iowa, but one lucky farmer could spend quality time at the site – even staying in that house – as part of a promotion supporting Dekalb’s Agronomy Week.
In its sixth year, Dekalb’s Agronomy Week honors the role of agronomists in working with farmers.

What a year. Late planting, drought, replanting, the potential future challenges of disease and resistant weeds. These days farmers need help just nurturing the crop from seed to bin and many turn to their local agronomist, seed dealer and other crop professional.

For six years, Dekalb has recognized that relationship and while it is brand focused, Dipal Chaudhari, Dekalb, Asgrow and Deltapine lead points to the value of the expertise and information farmers have. “Quite frankly [these experts] support our brands and our seeds out there, but it’s not just our brand we’re promoting this expertise in agriculture,” he notes.

“This is a time of the year when farmers usually pause and think about their plan,” Chaudhari says. “They have a plan in place, they can look at what has happened so far and prepare what to do for the rest of the growing season.”

For those decisions, farmers often turn to those trusted advisers. The Agronomy Week program aims to keep this expertise top of mind for producers, Chaudhari says. “They can turn to their agronomist and ask at what point do they need to be prepared with additional options,” he says.

This year, which is challenging most across the country, your trusted adviser can help. “In this day and age, we have a lot of tools in the toolbox,” Chaudhari says. “Whether you want to follow-up with an additional nitrogen application or decide about using fungicide that partnership with a Dekalb-Asgrow-Deltapine agronomist can help you evaluate and assess and keep executing.”

A baseball-themed prize

And for 2022, Agronomy Week is adding a baseball component. There’s a sweepstakes enabling one farmer to win a weekend getaway to the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa. The site has a century old family farm where Dekalb corn is planted. The winner and up to three guests would receive a 3 day/2-night trip to the movie site where they would have exclusive access to the original field to play catch or a game, and stay in the Field of Dreams Farm Home sometime between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023.

“We have a partnership with the family that farms the Field of Dreams site,” Chaudhari points out. “The site is planted to Dekalb corn, and we saw an opportunity to host Agronomy Week and the content and messaging from Field of Dreams to connect those two opportunities for the farmer.”

The hard work of succeeding in agriculture is not unlike the work of a professional baseball player, he adds. But Agronomy Week is about reinforcing the message of the value of that local agronomy expert.

As part of the program, Chaudhari offers these tips for working with your trusted adviser:

  • Don’t be reluctant to ask your agronomist questions. The more they understand your operation and your goals, the better the advice offered.
  • Maintain a year-round relationship. If you only seek advice occasionally or to address issues that arise, you’re not accessing the full value of their expertise.
  • Think of the relationship as a continual improvement process. The more your agronomist understands your goals, the more likely they can help you achieve yield improvement and higher profitability.
  • Be willing to share yield, application and planting data with that trusted adviser. This can help in scouting all season as well as the decision-making process.

“It’s all about building a strategic plan with strong teamwork,” he says. “Baseball has more statistical analysis than any other sport, but what we do in farming is similiar – we collect data, analyze it and derive insights. You partner with agronomic experts to help you with that analysis and make smart decisions from it.”

Agronomy Week runs May 23 through May 27. You can learn more about the program and enter for that three-day stay at the Field of Dreams at agronomyweek.com.

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