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Hillcrest Sales Newsletter

February 2021

Welcome to Anchorage! I hope this round of brutal weather has given you all some time to catch up on your rainy-day tasks, family time, and naps. I have likely focused more time on these tasks than normal, but unfortunately, I don’t feel like I have mastered any of them yet. As I looked at my calendar today it finally occurred to me that in an ideal world there will be planters rolling in less than 60 days! With that being said, I guess its prime time to finalize planting plans and start making preparations for planting. Before things straighten up outside, here are a few more indoor projects you can work on if you are interested…

High Yield Corn & Soybeans I have attached a couple nice publications that our Pioneer Agronomist Chris Doud put together concerning high yield corn and soybeans. Chris discusses some of the key practices used by yield champions across the Corn Belt that have helped get their crops to that next level. With the upswing of grain prices in recent months, this may be the perfect year to invest in a few extra “groceries” to help your crops maximize their potential!

Crop Inputs As of today, fertilizer and chemical pricing is very unstable. In my opinion, this volatility is likely a component of higher grain prices and potentially some politics. From what I am being told in recent weeks, trade tariffs are playing into a part of this, causing imports to be delayed and creating a spike in shipping costs to as much as 50%. In today’s environment, there is likely a very long list of components that could be a part of this instability. Whatever the cause, having a plan is more important than ever. Phosphates and urea pricing is currently so crazy many suppliers will not even quote prices. If you know you need either of those products I would let your supplier know so if the price softens they can get you covered. I would say the same thing about Crop Protection products (including fungicide). Make sure your supplier knows your plan. With the volatility right now, it may be very valuable to have a price locked down on any chemistry you may need.

Phone Apps For those of you that like having your information on your phone or Ipad, there are two Pioneer apps that are a must. You can find these on your APP STORE icon on your phone.

1) Pioneer Seeds App- This app will show any of your fields that we have in our system. If there is a planting plan in place it will show you what crop is planned and what hybrid or variety is planned. After we download planting data, it will show what was planted, and planting date. This app also shows cumulative rainfall for the season and GDU’s. Pioneer Seeds app also has a scanner for seed labels to help you find the best planter setting for the seed size and your planter. Here is a link for additional information: https://www.pioneer.com/us/too...;

2) Granular Insights App- This app is where all your yield data that we have been collecting has finally landed. For some of you, this app has over 10 years of your yield history and you can use the app to run profitability maps and hybrid comparison maps if you have multiple hybrids on a farm. This app has some very powerful analytical tools at your disposal. I would highly recommend you sit down on your ipad or computer and see what it can do. This app is also the one that has weekly satellite imagery of your farms and the predictive scouting tool that will alert you of fields that have decreased plant health or ones that have improved over the previous week so you can prioritize scouting. This is another very helpful free tool in your toolbox. Here is a link to some additional details regarding Granular Insights: https://granular.ag/insights&n...;

Both of these tools are very simple to run and will be very helpful in managing stress, managing your data, and analyzing your data for improved profitability.

Planter Meters This is the month to check your planter meters. February is always a better time to get them tuned up vs. getting to June and wishing you would have! Stop by to drop them off, or let us know and we will come pick them up. A well-tuned planter is always an important first step in a successful crop!

We are currently in the process of finalizing 2021 Planting Plans. If you have changed any plans, or considering doing so, please let us know so we can make necessary adjustments. For those of you that would like to sit down and review your plan, please let us know and we will make it happen.

With the weather we have recently endured it is hard to think we could start sorting and delivering seed in just a few weeks. In the meantime, please let us know if there is anything you need. We truly only have 6-7 weeks to make sure we have the prefect plan in place and be ready to go for a successful 2021 growing season. While that seems like ample time right now, things will change quickly with the longer days and warmer days that will be coming at us quickly!