With roots in Brookings, South Dakota, Millborn Seeds helps bring to life healthy vegetation across the midwestern landscape.
The Open Road
As he straps a bag of seed to his BMW R1150GS adventure bike, Clint Johnson says there's no better way to travel South Dakota than on his motorcycle.
"It's a great way to experience and stay in touch with what's going on outdoors. The regular distractions that I would have in the car are left behind. I can't use my cell phone until I stop. When I'm riding, I'm always on the lookout for wildlife and get to enjoy the scent of freshly cut hay," says Clint, who has been riding since his early teen years.
Working for area farmers in the summers during high school, he saved up enough money and bought his first bike, a Yamaha 535 Virago, the summer he graduated from high school.
Share your motorcycle stories with Clint at email@example.com.
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Soil Management Expert says Cover Crops Prevent Compaction
Standing water creates more than planting frustration for many South Dakota farmers says Jim Millar, co-owner of precision soil management. Millar says standing water creates soil compaction issues which can lead to severe yield loss after planting.
"Soil compaction prevents roots from penetrating the soil profile like they need to -limiting the amount of water and nutrients they are able to access," says Millar who helps farmers implement precision farming techniques. "The yield-robbing effect of soil compaction is especially challenging under stressful growing conditions."
The weight of standing water forms a crust on the soil's surface, preventing water or nutrient infiltration into the soil profile - even after the water is gone. Cover crops that form a deep tap root, like radishes, help repair areas impacted by soil compaction.
We refer to these tubular cover crops as bio-drillers. The bulb they form drills into the soil profile, breaking up 8 to 12 inches of soil. Once the bulb decomposes it leaves a 1- to 2-inch diameter hole - perfect for water and nutrient infiltration.
Millar adds that because cover crops efficiently utilize soil moisture, they are good to plant on prevented planting acres, or following small grain harvest.
"It's typical to have wet springs. However, the past few years, many South Dakota farmers have experienced wet falls too. Because cover crops utilize moisture, they help eliminate standing water in the spring and prevent soil compaction issues all together," Millar says.
Millar tests his theory by asking clients to leave a bare strip in the field when they plant cover crops in the late summer.
"They tell me what a pain it is to plant the strip with no cover crops the following spring because of excess moisture and compaction issues," Millar says.
To learn more about how cover crops can repair or eliminate soil compaction issues on your land, contact me at Millborn Seeds, 888-498-7333 or send me an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Reputation for Quality
Looking for a way to supplement their farming income, Cindy Loiseau heard through the grapevine that there was a need for an erosion control business in the Flandreau area. So with determination, a farming background and some help from a friend in the industry, she started Eastern Dakota Specialties, LLC with her husband, Mick, 13 years ago.
"The first couple years it was just me, Mick and a few other employees so I was out working with the crew every day. These days we're big enough that I only help out driving tractor if I want to," says Cindy, who credits the company's growth to their standard of excellence.
"We've worked with the same contractors for years because they know that if they hire us, we will do the job right," she says of the seeding, fencing and erosion projects they install along state and county road projects. "You put your reputation on the line every time you go out and complete a project. If the project isn't done right and weeds are growing along a new road project the contractor and our reputation is at stake."
Before a contractor begins a road project, Eastern Dakota Specialties, LLC goes in and installs erosion control products like silt fence. Once the road project is underway, Eastern Dakota Specialties begins working the ground, fertilizing, seeding, mulching and installing more erosion control products like erosion control blankets and straw wattles to slow down the flow of water in road ditches.
From the start Cindy and Mick worked with Millborn Seeds. The friend who mentored Cindy and Mick in their first years of business introduced them. She says the service has been as valuable as the quality products they provide.
"I rarely have issues with a seeding project, and if I ever do, I just call Matt and he handles it," Cindy says. When I need advice on seeding or a new erosion project, I call Matt. If I call him about a product, he does the research and tells me how to put it in and what to expect - he always calls me back."
Looking back, Cindy says the business that was supposed to supplement their farm income now replaces it. She and Mick still live on the family farm near Egan, S.D. and enjoy raising Quarter horses, but they let someone else do the farming these days.
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MILLBORN SEEDS | 1335 Western Avenue | Brookings, SD 57006 | P: 605-697-6306 | TF: 888-498-7333 | F: 888-471-1706 | Visit Uncle Millborn