First NCRS Employee Retires (LAND OF LIQUID Blog)

So there was an employee retirement today, and we had a recognition lunch for him.  It was Dave Hines.  Dave is the Inventory Systems Manager, which has something to do with raw materials and product inventory.  That’s him against the backrest enjoying his lunch today.

Dave has another important role for AgroLiquid.  Surely you have seen the AgroLiquid ads featuring a grower who has discovered the many virtues of using AgroLiquid.  Well that is Farmer Dave, who moonlights here at AgroLiquid.  In the commercials, he is interviewed by ace reporter Jenny.  Well Jenny stopped by for a final interview.  It appears that Farmer Dave had quite a humorous answer.

Of course there was a cake.

Eustaquia, who works with Dave, is too shy to cut the beautiful cake.  Especially with Dave watching.  But Dave was hungry and gave her the go ahead.  So she did and we all enjoyed some.

But probably not everyone knows that Farmer Dave really was a farmer back in 1994, the first year of the NCRS.  He and I worked hard to put in the first plots in the first research efforts there.  Now this was a much simpler time as far as equipment went.  We had two tractors, a JD 4230 for tillage and one seen here…a John Deere 750 which we used to pull our 3-row tool bar planter.  Now unlike today where you just punch your fertilizer rate into a monitor and it magically comes out right, we had to use speed and pressure.  So that meant hours calibrating with graduated cylinders and a stop watch to get all of the rates set for our test plots.  Here Dave is running the planter.

And no flow-controls on the sprayer either.  Hand calibration and use speed and pressure.  But we didn’t know what was to come a few years later, and did a great job.  G,P and S were just letters of the alphabet.

That first year we did not have a plot combine, so I borrowed a stationary thrasher from MSU to harvest the bean crops. Here Dave runs some Navy Beans through the thrasher where they would fall into a drawer on the bottom and we would dump them out and weigh them.  For corn, we hand picked and weighed ears.  Yes it was a simpler time, but the results were no less accurate and meaningful.  You know, I think we will go back to all of these methods at the NCRS.  No! Of course not.  I’ll never give up flow control and GPS guidance now.  But it gave us some great results right from the start.

Like in this graph from 1994 NCRS research showing how 5 gallons of Sure-K through the planter out-yielded 100 lb of broadcast potash in soybeans.  And after that Sure-K sales sky rocketed.  Well that’s how I remember it anyway.  (And graphics have improved since putting a yellow filter on the camera and taking a picture of a graph for a slide.)

So thanks Dave, for your help those first two years of the NCRS and all that you did to support our fertilizers.  Researchers today have it easy.  It was fun to be a pioneer, wasn’t it?  Although you did move into the plant soon after that.  Hmm.  But I’m sure the NCRS experience made you a better person and employee.  Well that’s how I remember it anyway.