Having Up Front Conversations
Customer Highlight: Kim Stoltenberg, Stoltenberg Family Farms
The Stoltenberg family have been loyal customers of All American Co-op and Progressive Ag Center for over 50 years. In 1964, Kim Stoltenberg’s father, Phil Stoltenberg, moved the family to the current home farm location near Grand Meadow. They have been doing business with All American Co-op ever since. The operation today runs about 600 acres of corn and soybean crop. Kim is the 2nd generation to manage the farming business at its current location. His dad Phil still helps out during the spring and fall season when possible. Kim’s son Nash also helps during the busy seasons when an extra hand is needed to get things done.
We asked Kim why he likes keeping his business at All American Co-op and he says it is because of the up-front conversations he has with the agronomy team. Agronomist Brian Beyer has been working with Kim during the 2016 growing season and comments that Kim is easy to work with. “Kim likes to discuss new technology and input choices that Progressive Ag Center has to offer. Kim is pretty progressive in his business model and likes to hear our ideas. He isn’t going to add something new to his platform unless he feels it will support the bottom line.” Kim adds, “In 2016, we did several field scouting’s throughout the growing season on both corn and soybeans. It was after we flew over fields with the drone that Brian and I agreed that it was going to be necessary to apply fungicide to the corn acres, but we both felt that it wouldn’t be needed on the soybean acres.” Kim says, “Having these conversations throughout the growing season is what gives me the peace of mind that I can walk into the co-op and talk to any one of the agronomy staff there, ask any questions that I may have, and get useful answers that help me make decisions. Their product knowledge it top-notch, there are no mind games, just honest answers based on their own experiences.”
This will be the first year that Kim has tried applying fungicide to his corn acres. “It seemed like a sound investment” says Kim. “The 2016 growing season had an ideal set of circumstances that brought plenty of rain. If we believe the old adage that ‘Rain Makes Grain’, we had high hopes for above average yields come harvest time.” However, these above normal rains also offered additional stresses to the crop. “The data that Brian offered, along with the drone scouting and tissue sampling, supported the idea to apply fungicide thru aerial applications.” Timing was key to making this decision pan out. “I think we hit the mark with this decision. When yield results were done, we saw a significant increase in corn bushels on the acres that had fungicide applied to them.” Kim says “I will definitely add this option to the plan for 2017 if needed.”
The 50 year relationship that the Stoltenberg family has had with All American Co-op values the conversations about farming practices, markets, and current events related to production agriculture. “We have seen many people come and go from the co-op staff. That is a normal part of doing business. Brian brings his own farming experiences to the conversation, which makes me feel like he understands the importance of trying to make sound decisions that work for me. That peace of mind is what keeps me doing business with my local cooperative; the people, the service that they bring to my farm, and the experience that supports my business.”