Research Farm at Catlin, Illinois, USA
November 2003 Articles

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Passing (AND Receiving) the Torch!

By Larry Schonert
President, TSM® Services, Inc.

I find myself in a position I never dreamed of here at TSM®. In 1991, it was time for me to start a new venture in my life as I started working with Kent and TSM®.  If you don't think it's a new venture to go from calling a man your father-in-law to calling him "boss", you ought to try it yourself.  Anyway, it doesn't seem possible that Kent is slowly phasing himself out of the picture, and that he is handing the "torch" over to me.

In the past 12 years I have learned a lot about the fertilizer and chemical industry, most of it good, while other parts of it are still yet to be proven as successful, and there are some parts that I think this industry could do without.  I, like Kent, still question the direction that the Certified Crop Advisor business is taking, and the fact that while the premise is good and well intentioned, it has become a money pool for someone who probably doesn't know a whole lot about fertility. Nevertheless, we will maintain our status here as CCA's, in spite of not being in total agreement with it, and voice our opinion on ways we would like to see it improve.

On the positive side however, I love working in this industry with fertilizer dealers and providing the TSM® program as part of the services offered.  With the results that Randy brings in year after year from his test plot data, I am convinced more than ever that TSM® is the BEST fertility program on the market today, bar none.  While we do not win every plot, our 88% winning percentage tells me that it is something every farmer needs to look at!  To me, every farmer should be considered as a candidate for TSM®.

As president of TSM®, I will continue our goal to continually find ways to improve the fertility program, whether it is agronomically, or how it is delivered to each of you as our customers, or any other related areas.  Along these lines, I hope none of you would hesitate to call and talk over some ways that TSM® can provide better service to your business.

Speaking of agronomics, we have been very pleased with the performance of our new TSM® Micro Boost Premix (sulfur already in product).  It is a product that can be applied right along with your UAN or your glyphosate, in either a pre or post emerge application, and very easy to handle.  Interestingly enough, we had our best results on both corn and beans at the 2-quart per acre rate.

We would encourage you to look at this product as a stepping-stone into the TSM® program and to introduce your growers to micronutrients.  There is an early order program in place for this product, as all orders placed before December 31 would receive a 5% discount, to be delivered by March 31 or before.

You may especially look for those farmers who are applying no fertilizer on their soybeans, or on corn where no micros are being applied.  If the results hold true to form, the ROI to the farmer will definitely be worthwhile for them to use the product.  A 250 gallon mini bulk would get this product over 500 acres, so give it some consideration.  For more information, give Randy or myself a call.

Finally, many things have not changed since I first started working here.  One of those is the fact that grower meetings are still the best way to get the word out about TSM®.  We encourage you to hold a meeting some time this winter, especially if you haven't had a meeting the last couple of years.

Remember, you can use your matching dollars to help pay for a TSM® meeting. Again, give Randy or me a call, and let's get something set up.  Until next time and on behalf of all of us from TSM®, we wish you all a joyous holiday, as Christmas will soon be upon us.

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TSM® Services, Inc. assists fertilizer
dealers and growers with the comprehensive
soil fertility program Total Soil Management®
making fertilizer recommendations on more than
90 different crops on all soil types.

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