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Wheat growers to share success at 2009 Profit Maximizer Summit

WICHITA, KAN.--As part of the 2009 Profit Maximizer Summit, August 25, at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, six well-recognized wheat producers will serve on a grower panel to discuss intensive wheat management techniques and how their practices continue to improve their farming efficiencies and profitability.

Richard Cott

Clay Center, Kan.

Richard Cott farms in north central Kansas with his wife Jody, son Kyle and brother Robert. Richard began farming in 1976 after graduating from Kansas State University with a degree in animal science. Today's Cott family operation is about one-third irrigated in a corn-soybean rotation with some wheat acreage mixed in. The other two-thirds are dryland acres with a rotation of wheat, milo and soybeans.

An early adopter of no-till practices, Richard has been planting no-till milo since his first years farming. For the past 14 years, the operation has been almost entirely no-till. The Cotts have been experimenting with fertilizer application in a no-till system, and since 2003, they have been yield mapping to build a history for fertilizer and seed prescriptions.

The Cott family also has a wean-to-finish hog operation, along with a cow-calf enterprise.

In addition to their son Kyle, who recently joined the farming operation, Richard and Jody have two daughters, Stephanie and Kara.

Jesse Doll

Garden City, Kan.

Jesse Doll, his wife Mary and brother Matt farm about 11,000 dryland acres in northeast Finney County, Kansas. The usual breakout of acres is one-third each of wheat and milo, a few acres of corn and alfalfa and the rest fallow.

Jesse and Mary graduated from Kansas State University in 1991, the same year they got married and began farming together. Jesse's degree is in agricultural mechanization.

After several years of using GPS strip-tilling on milo acres, the Dolls are starting to experiment with RTK guidance systems. In 2009, they sprayed every wheat acre with fungicide for rust in an area where typically less than half of all wheat acreage receives a fungicidal application.

Jesse and Mary have three children: Allison 13, Rebecca 10 and Kyle 7.

John R. Evans

Hutchinson, Kan.

John R. Evans has been farming for 42 years. Of his 4,500 acres in Reno County, Kansas, about half are corn, with 800 acres of soybeans and 1,400 of wheat. Since 2001, his entire operation has been no-till. Today his acreage is split evenly between dryland and irrigated.

John has been a certified seed wheat grower since the 1970s. To help provide high-quality wheat, he plants treated seed and applies fungicide. He was an early adopter of GPS and RTK auto-steer, and today he uses field mapping to help with variety selection decisions from year to year.

John graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in animal husbandry. John and his wife Gloria have two children, Mark and Laurie.

Adam Froetschner

Kinsley, Kan.

A farmer of 14 years, Adam Froetschner operates as a separate proprietorship from his parents, Richard and Christy, but they compliment each other in cropping rotations and machinery. The Froetschners farm on 5,350 tillable acres and have 150 cows on 1,850 pasture acres across four counties in Central Kansas. Of the tillable acres, 2,100 are wheat, 2,100 are grain sorghum, 1,100 are corn and another 50 are alfalfa grown for the cow-calf operation.

Their success can be contributed to a combination of intensive-management growing practices and utilizing hedges in their grain marketing approach. For the past five years, 95 percent of the Froetschners' planted acres have been no-till, with some fields in continuous no-till since 1996. Believers in intensive cropping, the rotation is 93 percent continuous cropped. This technique has produced yield increases resulting in positive net returns.

Two years ago, they added micronutrients to their soil fertility regimen and have seen immense improvements in plant health. And now, they are exploring foliar fungicide applications on wheat in addition to a fungicidal seed treatment.

Adam is vice president of the board of directors for Offerle Cooperative Grain and Supply Company. He and his wife Elisha have two children, Addyson 3 and Porter 1.

Josh Lloyd

Clay Center, Kan.

Josh Lloyd has been farming for 10 years in Clay County, Kansas. His rotation consists mainly of wheat, milo and soybeans, with corn and sunflowers slowly being introduced to the mix. He plants double crops and cover crops on a large percentage of his wheat stubble acres. All the acres are dryland and continuous no-till.

In 1999, Josh began on-farm research to evaluate growing practices and input options. That same year he began using guidance and yield mapping. The on-farm research for wheat this year included different foliar feeding products and fungicides.

Josh holds a business degree from Kansas State University and has completed the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) program. He is past president of No-Till on the Plains and sits on the Clay County Farm Bureau board of directors.

Carl Schroeder

Okarche, Okla.

Carl Schroeder is a third generation farmer. He has been involved in farming for 38 years and is a full-time rural mail carrier. His wife Katie is a full-time accountant and is responsible for all accounting and recordkeeping for the farm operation.

Until 2005, Carl managed his tillage wheat, cattle and grass operation with part-time help. After one year of researching farm equipment and attending seminars, he made the switch to no-till. Over the last 3 years, his crop rotation has included canola, milo, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat. All his share-crop acres are in Canadian County, Oklahoma. Carl is a pioneer in this central Oklahoma farming community and saw several others plant alternative crops for the first time in 2008-09.

Carl also owns a cow-calf herd and custom farms.

Carl and Katie have two children, James and Rachel. Today James is a full-time firefighter, but when he worked on the farm, he was the inspiration for the switch to no-till. He needed an off-farm job and convinced his father that with their full-time jobs, no-till was a more efficient time-saver.

Sponsored by High Plains Journal, KFRM and Bayer CropScience, this one-day event will educate attendees in intensive wheat management techniques to support improved profits for Kansas and Oklahoma farming operations.

Participation is open to the farming public, but reservations are required. Only 200 seats will be available at the event, which includes a continental breakfast, luncheon and promotional drawings. Attendees must register before August 14 by calling 1-877-365-4287 or signing-up on the web at http://events.SignUp4.com/bayerwheatmax09.

2009 Profit Maximizer Summit speakers include Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University Extension specialists discussing agronomic topics. Industry experts will focus on grain marketing strategies, intensive wheat management practices and agricultural trends.



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