I have a great relationship with the company, obviously, being a dealer and a grower and working with their products on both sides. It's kind of a unique situation where I get to see the products in very different aspects than just my own farm. I get to see it in different crops that I don't raise and in different soil types that I don't have.
The majority of our growers are in a dry land situation, I'd say probably 95%. When I went to work at Flagler, the idea was that we would only sell Kugler specialty products. We feel like they are more in tune to the dryland situation than a lot of the other companies that have the low salt products.
I don't think you can find an extended release nitrogen product that's easier to handle, easier on the equipment. We spend quite a bit of money on equipment every year, and we don't want it to be rusted away or rotted away. That's the nice thing about the Kugler low salt products- they are very close to initial pH so we don't have to worry about them rusting and corroding. This past season we got hit with some rust in wheat; and it ended up that the application timing for fungicide coincides really niceiy with an application of XRN, so we kind of piggybacked those two products together through the plane with pretty good results.M
We use a variety of Kugler products- 924, 1515, XRN along with the micronutrients and the humic acids. We use these products as kind of a bumper to a good base fertilizer program. If a guy has some issues with some leaching of nitrogen, we like to pick it up with XRN, so we're tying all of those products in with a good base. Whether it's a KQ555 program or a 32 program or a 353 through the pivots, we tie them all together and make it one big program that works really well and doesn't ever short that crop of the nutrients it needs.
When we use the LS924 as a popup starter, we're seeing the crops get out of the ground just a little bit quicker. We're seeing an obvious color change up through about the B3 stage. It's kind of our jump-start to get the roots to get down to the fertilizer, the big fertilizer that we want to pick up. At the end of the year, we see a pretty nice yield bump the majority of the time.
I like to position the 1515 on wheat. Traditionally with wheat, you need both the phos and the nitrogen there to get the plant up, going, and get it ready to put itself through winter to have a nice healthy crop ready to go through the winter and dormancy.
Some of the soils in Eastern Colorado are high calcareous, white gopher dirt, we like to call it; and, in those situations, the phosphorus is tied up so quickly that growers always will see a difference in their field on those hilltops; and we're using the MicroMax and the humic acids to help combat those areas. It's not a one-year fix; it's kind of a work in progress, but some guys are on their third year, and they're starting to see some results and see some yield bumps on those hilltop areas.
This year, our office did a wheat test plot in which we foliar fed with XRN and a fungicide at the flag leaf. Over our check plot, we gained right at a 12 bushel bump. It was pretty surprising to me. I was expecting 4 to 5, but the 12 was a nice surprise.
I like to use the XRN on my own fields for the simple fact that I know that it's not going to have any damage; I'm not going to hurt that crop. I'm a firm believer, if you ever hurt the crop, you hurt your yield. So I'm using the XRN as part of my top dress program in the spring as a carrier for my herbicide.