Visitors to the town of Hoople, ND, can easily find their way to Hoople Farmers Grain Co. A long-time fixture in the town in general, the cooperative features a larger-than-life grain storage complex with the company’s name in big letters on the side facing Hoople.
“The company has been here a long, long time,” says Bennett Olson, Agronomist and Sales Representative for Hoople Farmers Grain. “I only joined the company five or six years ago, but the cooperative’s history dates back much, much further than that.”
Throughout the years, Hoople Farmers Grain has regularly catered to the needs of the many growers in this portion of North Dakota. In terms of crops, potatoes, wheat, and soybean take up the majority of the acres in any given growing year. “And protecting and increasing the profit margins on these crops is one of our major jobs here at the cooperative,” says Olson. “For our growers, land value is one of their key assets, and it’s very productive land at that. But that doesn’t mean our customers aren’t narrow minded about trying new things. In fact, they are very, very open to trying something new in their operations if it proves to help them increase their yields or profit margins.”
Using Seed Treatment
For several years, one of the ways Hoople Farmers Grain has helped its customers achieve higher yields is through the use of seed treatments, such as inoculants on soybean seeds. The company has also employed these kinds of methods on its wheat and potato seeds as well.
Recently, the retailer began applying Take Off from Verdesian Life Sciences in its seed treatment options. According to the supplier, Take Off works in crops to increase their nitrogen uptake and utilization. It can also be applied as a seed treatment or with foliar or soil application timed with post-emergence crop protection product applications. In these cases, says Verdesian, Take Off use has shown to increase root length by 19%, root development/nodulation in soybeans, and increase winter wheat yields between seven and 10 bushels per acre.
And Hoople Farmers Grain customers have noted the quicker seedling emergence that has happened when using Take Off in their fields, says Olson. But there is another benefit as well — crop uniformity.
“Everyone in our market is competing to get the best contract they can from potato producers and are looking for whatever kind of advantage they can find vs. everyone else,” he says. “Using Take Off has provided this extra edge, if you will, because the potatoes grown using it tend to be much more uniform, which is very important to the potato producers that buy these crops.”