New product fixes nitrogen in the soil, booster saysFARGO, N.D. — Dan Juneau describes himself as “unconventional.” Some people might use the same description for at least some of the products he sells.
By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek
FARGO, N.D. — Dan Juneau describes himself as “unconventional.” Some people might use the same description for at least some of the products he sells.
Juneau, for his part, says the products provide farmers with valuable alternatives to widely used fertilizer.
Juneau, through his Juneau Sales in Red Lake Falls, Minn., sells “nutrients that make crops grow.” He focuses on products that allow farmers, ones utilizing both conventional and organic practices, to less use nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
His product line includes sea-weed extract, AC Greenfix (a new annual legume) and a liquid-fish fertilizer.
His business, launched in 1987, has customers in 35 states and is expanding into California, he says.
This fall, he’s particularly excited about Blooming Blossoms, which Juneau says uses 126 strains of naturally occurring bacteria to fix nitrogen in the soil, improving yields and reducing fertilizer costs in virtually any crop.
“I want farmers to know there’s an alternative nitrogen source,” Juneau says.
Juneau, an organic farmer, first become interested in alternatives to conventional fertilizers when relatives in Canada told him to pay more attention to nutrients.
Through they years, he’s studied a number of nontraditional products that promise big benefits for farmers.
“A lot of them (product claims) aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on,” he says.
But when he does come across a product that appears to hold legitimate promise, he sends it to farmers he knows for careful testing.
Blooming Blossoms is one such product. So far, 117 customers around the ground, growing about 25 different crops, are testing it.
Most of his customers use conventional farming practices and are looking for ways to reduce high input costs, he says.
Results from the use of Blooming Blossoms have been positive. For instance, wheat yields rise by 10 to 12 bushels per acre, with protein levels in wheat rising 0.8 to 1.3., when the product is applied, he says.
What two growers say
Julius Ferch, who farms near Larimore, N.D., applied Blooming Blossoms to soybeans this year. The beans haven’t been harvested yet, so it’s premature to say what impact the product might have had, he says.
Leon Crowell, a Windom, Minn., farmer, applied Blooming Blossoms to some of his soybeans. The beans, which still are in the field, look good and have an unusually high number of pods, he says.
Crowell says he uses a number of products from Juneau Sales and that’s it is difficult to estimate how much credit for the good-looking bean crop should go to those products and how much to Blooming Blossoms in particular.
Looking for new and better ways of farming is enjoyable, Crowell says.
“This is what makes farming fun,” Crowell says.
Farmers on the Northern Plains who want to try the product in the 2012 growing season need to order it by early February, at the latest, Juneau says.