Renewable Farming

AgriEnergy opens a new chapter at two seminars, Jan. 14 and 28

Biological farming will get another boost Jan. 14 and 28, with AgriEnergy seminars at Ft. Wayne, IN and Cedar Falls, IA. Manager Dean Craine will describe a “new chapter” in AgriEnergy’s life since the venture’s first seminar — held in a machine shed on the farm at Princeton, IL in 1987.

December 23, 2020. By Jerry Carlson — I’ve attended most of AgriEnergy’s seminars for more than 30 years. I’ve made PowerPoint presentations about WakeUP at several of these farmer meetings. At this January’s seminars, you’ll see some familiar AgriEnergy agronomists: Dean Craine, Ken Musselman, Gary Campbell.

But the meeting context will be new: AgriEnergy has a new corporate name, AgriEnergy Solutions.

The new corporate entity’s leaders will soon make an official press release on the change, but here’s a bit of background. Two years ago, a major “bio” firm, Douglas Plant Health, approached the family owners of AgriEnergy Resources and proposed a merger. Purpose: Give AgriEnergy’s proven products a wider market and a much, much bigger corporate base. Douglas acquired rights to AgriEnergy’s proven products, such as SP-1 and Residuce, which AgriEnergy Resources has long manufactured at their production plant north of Princeton, Illinois.

For these two interim years, AgriEnergy’s dealers and distributors, many with a legacy relationship of nearly 30 years — continued retailing AgriEnergy’s biologicals and nutrients.

Recently, Douglas Plant Health managers (DPH) made a corporate decision to focus on manufacturing. DPH now markets its products through independent retail sellers who serve as representatives of Douglas products. Today, DPH released its online product catalog (see it at this link), which includes former AgriEnergy Resources products. 

Meanwhile the core staff of AgriEnergy Resources and its loyal dealers — many of them farmers — created a new corporation. They’ve named it AgriEnergy Solutions, a limited liability corporation registered in Delaware.

AgriEnergy’s relationships with loyal clients goes back decades, and three independent people offered extensive help in organizing the new entity:  Edwin Blosser, founder of Midwest Bio-Systems at Tampico, IL, Gaylen Nissley of Indiana and Kevin Fowler of Illinois.

The upcoming seminars originate from AgriEnergy Solutions. You’ll hear details at the seminars of how the new marketing organization, with its loyal long-experienced retail dealers, can serve you. 

If this background I’m describing sounds personal, it is. AgriEnergy Resources’ founder, Dave Larson, was one of my closest friends from the late 1980s until his sudden, unexpected death at home Feb. 8, 1996. (Doctors attributed the heart attack to “arteritis,” a hidden inflammation.)

Here’s one of my connections with Dave and his wife Carolyn: For many years in the 1980s, I created a newsletter called Renewable Farming, which AgriEnergy Resources mailed to clients and prospective clients. When Dave went to be with Jesus, Carolyn asked me, “Jerry, will you keep helping AgriEnergy with your writing?”  I did, until well past my “retirement” age. The name I originated, Renewable Farming, became the title of this website.

Dave also was a leading speaker at many Renewable Farming seminars I led as an editor of Professional Farmers of America.

At Renewable Farming, we anticipate being able to offer you the same AgriEnergy product line as before. And we’re also anticipating that AgriEnergy Solutions will continue retailing our WakeUP, which amplifies the yield benefits of foliar and in-furrow nutrients.

Another connection: In 1997 when I couldn’t attend an AgriEnergy seminar, I asked our journalist daughter Stephanie to cover it. There she met Dave Larson’s nephew, Mark Larson. They married in 1998, now have a daughter and son, and live on a small farm west of Minneapolis. Longtime AgriEnergy office manager Mardel Robinson (now retired) for years would quip about Mark and Stephanie: “I was there when they met — and just knew something would happen.”

AgriEnergy pioneered many of the principles of biological agriculture. Today a wide array of large and small firms are marketing “biologicals.” The universe of microbes is so vast and versatile we’ve only seen the early stages of “bio” benefits.

To register for either the Jan. 14 or Jan. 28 AgriEnergy Solutions seminars, phone 815-872-1190.

Other than the AgriEnergy staff agronomists, two featured speakers are:

Dr. Stuart Grandy, Professor of Soil Fertility at the University of New Hampshire. He will address “Soil microbial community characteristics regulate how much crop residue becomes soil organic matter.”

Dr. James F. White, Professor of Plant Biology at Rutgers University. His presentation title:  “How plants cultivate soil microbes in the rhizophagy cycle in roots.”


Update: Two additional speakers will address the seminar virtually. They are: 

Dr. Ron Heiniger
Title: Improving Soil Ecosystems Through Biology
Presentation Summary:
Forensic examination of fields where growers have been successful in producing corn yields in excess of 400 bushels per acre indicates that the most important factor in producing high yield is the soil ecosystem. 
Unfortunately, most of our soil ecosystems are in a state of decline caused by excessive tillage resulting in a decrease in soil carbon, excessive use of chemicals that has resulted in declining numbers of beneficial bacteria and fungi, and increasing levels of soil compaction causing reduced soil porosity, water infiltration rates, and poor internal drainage. 
To stop this decline in our soil ecosystems growers must look at finding new methods that will reverse the loss of soil carbon and increase the activity of beneficial soil organisms. The best way to do this is the use of biology – inoculating or stimulating the biological organisms in our soil by adding bacteria and endomycorrhiza and increasing soil carbon. 
Dr. Ron W. Heiniger is a professor in the Crop and Soil Science Department at North Carolina State University and has worked the past 25 years as a research and extension specialist at the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center in Plymouth, NC
Dan Denman
Title: “Satellite Imagery, Management Zones and the Future of Agriculture.”
Presentation Summary:  As a Precision Ag Specialist and owner of T.A. Precision, Dan champions the value of technology in giving farmers the factual knowledge needed to proactively manage their crops for maximum performance. Dan clearly demonstrates how satellite imagery data allows farmers to, with confidence, do variable rate planting/fertilizer applications, make in season adjustments, and estimate crop yields.
Dan understands that technology works best when it interfaces with the many variables that are the norm in any farming operation. “We’re now able to make unproductive fields productive”, is typical feedback from his clients, Dan says. 
As the fifth generation, Dan has brought cutting edge technology back to the Denmandale Farm. These innovative processes include variable seed, fertilizer, and chemical prescriptions as well as using satellite imagery to analyze the health of crops in the fields.
A graduate of Kansas State University in Agronomy and Satellite Imagery, Dan grew up on a 1,500 acre, 200 cow farm in Northeastern OH. Dan is still active on the robotic milking dairy farm, that is now processing its own milk. 
Here’s the agenda for the Ft. Wayne, IN and Cedar Falls, IA seminars: