Agronomy Expert Shares Update On Spring Season

As the weather continues to throw a wrench in planting, one important thing to remember is that farmers persevere and have been through tough times before. Brian Madigan, Country Visions Cooperative Vice President of Agronomy, has nearly three decades of experience that has equipped him with invaluable insights and expertise to help support farmers through these tough times.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes and challenges in my time here,” says Madigan. “From back-to-back winter kill years in the early ’90s to the wet seasons we’ve had recently, it’s always been about adapting and pushing through.”

This year, the cooperative is focused on ensuring timely spraying and side-dressing of crops despite unfavorable weather conditions. “Our primary concern is protecting the crops we have out there. Getting them sprayed timely and managing the wet areas are our biggest challenges right now,” explains Madigan. “In 2019, we planted up to the Fourth of July and still managed a decent crop. It’s about perseverance.”

Country Visions Cooperative serves a broad territory from Milwaukee to Upper Michigan. “The majority of our farmers have had a decent start, with about 75-80% of crops planted,” Madigan notes. “But we also have pockets where planting has barely started.”

Technology plays a crucial role in overcoming these challenges. “We’ve been leveraging drone applications and aerial spraying to manage fungicide applications and pest control. Ground rigs were just not an option this year due to the wet conditions,” Madigan shares. “While it’s not perfect, it’s an essential tool in our arsenal.”

Madigan offers some advice to farmers navigating these challenging times: “Protect the good crop that’s out there. Wet fields have always been troublesome, but if we focus on maintaining the healthier parts of our crops, we can ensure most of the income is preserved.”