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LEXINGTON — In agriculture the landscape can be constantly shifting, leaving farmers and growers in complicated positions. For this reason, O’Hanlon Seed stands ready to help out farmers in any way they can and evolve in the ever changing world of agriculture.
O’Hanlon Seed offers Channel Seed, T-L pivot irrigation, Precision Planting, cover crops, agriculture field custom work or crop consulting to their customers as their needs demand.
Last year O’Hanlon Seed made the change over to Channel Seed and now being on year two with Channel, owner Dustin O’Hanlon said he is “extremely excited.”
O’Hanlon said their growers made the change right along with them and they gained new customers with the switchover. “It was a good move for us,” said O’Hanlon.
The change to Channel was done due to the resources the company has put into Nebraska and local research locations. Bayer, the parent company, has also made strides to become a global leader in agriculture.
Of the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center in Gothenburg, Dustin said “That facility provides a great amount of research and information to have here locally. The same seed I’m selling to my customers has already had a test run in the same soils and climate that they will be planting in.”
The benefit of having locations so close, is O’Hanlon Seed can get information quicker to growers, increasing efficiency and cutting down time.
There are over 30 Channel Seed Corn hybrids alone that will work well in this area. O’Hanlon said this gives producers a larger portfolio to help negate risk and meet their specific needs. O’Hanlon Seed also carries Channel Soybeans, Forage seed, Alfalfa seed, Native Grass seed, and numerous cover crops.
Bayer also has a division called Climate Cooperation, which offers Climate View, available to Channel growers. This allows producers to store precision data and access satellite imagery, which is updated every 10 days, to show the health of crops and can help ensure the maximum number of bushels for the least amount of cost, O’Hanlon said.
Channel Seed has been around since 2009, O’Hanlon said and in 2011 they became a premier independent seed dealer and their growth has been significant and continues to strive to be at the top in their industry.
In a year of seconds, O’Hanlon is also on year two of being a T-L Pivot Irrigation dealer.
During last year O’Hanlon worked with growers, putting up new pivots and helping to service them. O’Hanlon said they are excited to keep offering this service in the many years to come.
“(T-L Pivot) are well respected in the pivot industry,” O’Hanlon said, “They have great knowledge of T-L hydraulics and every other electrical pivot in the area. They have both worked in the area as pivot servicemen for years.”
O’Hanlon said there has not been a T-L pivot dealer in Lexington for close to 30 years now and he is excited to be able to offer this to his ag producers. “It gives producers a new opportunity and option for irrigation, and in talking with producers, I’ve learned there is a great need for pivot servicemen in our area” he said.
In the fall of 2017 O’Hanlon Seed needed a planter. That’s when they began looking at building their own. They built their first custom planter and displayed it at Husker Harvest Days and that’s when things took off.
They now custom build planters or modify them according to their producers’ needs as part of their Precision Planter offering, they have the tool bar built locally and can add a full Precision Planter from the ground up with exactly what the farmer needs and can do it for much less due to low overhead. They originally started with a 12 row planter.
Currently, eight new planters are being built and in a major benefit to producers, they can now custom order their planters to fit their exact needs and specifications. O’Hanlon says this will do away with “cookie cutter” options and help save growers money, focusing on only what they need.
When it comes to cover crops, “we can mix them faster than anyone,” O’Hanlon said.
Cover crops are still a staple of O’Hanlon Seed, which they have been offering since 2005. “We have been in cover crops for a long time,” said O’Hanlon, “we know them and keep adjusting when necessary, to get the best benefit from them.”
Cover crops can help nurture the soil, reduce nitrates and increase yields. O’Hanlon said even in the tight economy, producers are still ordering cover crops, seeing the benefit they provide not only to the environment, but their overall production.
O’Hanlon said they are the only company from a three-state area who can mix cover crops on a large scale and in a timely fashion. He said they can mix up to 5,000 acres per day of cover crops which is markedly above other competitors.
Field custom work is the part of O’Hanlon Seed which saw the largest growth since last year, O’Hanlon said.
O’Hanlon said they started this service after producers were not having enough time to plant. O’Hanlon Seed stepped in to help and make sure things were done right, he said.
“We have the ability and the capacity to do it, so it’s just another service we can offer our growers to help see that those seeds get in the ground in time,” said O’Hanlon.
O’Hanlon Seed has the tools to help decrease growers overall costs, they can do custom work such as drilling, planning, tillage and strip tillage and complete it in a timely fashion, O’Hanlon said.
This benefits growers because they can have a smaller workforce and meet their deadlines. O’Hanlon has noticed, as growers get older they need extra help with this work and O’Hanlon Seed is more than happy to fill the gaps.
“As things change, we evolve, to help customers out all the time,” O’Hanlon said.
They service an area from the Kansas state line in the south, South Dakota border in the north, Ogallala in the west and Grand Island in the east, O’Hanlon said. They can normally take care of 1,000 acres per day and offer this for nearly any crop, except corn.
In 2014 O’Hanlon Seed added a strip tilling with dry fertilizer operation that they offer to their producers. Strip tilling helps decrease costs and gives the ability to get the right nutrients into the root zone of the crop. O’Hanlon said to keep costs down, this is done better with dry fertilizer and placing the nutrients where the crop roots are located.
O’Hanlon Seed started offering custom tillage equipment in 2016. Dustin said this is high cost equipment they can run for producers or they will rent it out to producers, so they don’t have to purchase it themselves. “It’s yet another way to help growers out and minimize their cost,” he said.
Shamrock Agriculture Consulting has been an integral part of O’Hanlon Seed since 2005. Their agronomists are Tyler Gruntorad and Jake Dreiling.
Both go out into the fields during the growing season and help growers with their weekly plant health checks. They also conduct moisture probes in the fields and make sure there is no over or under watering of the crops. Through this they can make accurate irrigation schedules. Although they are monitoring the fields all summer, O’Hanlon said 90 percent of the agronomy work is done in the fall before anything is planted. He says that is when all the data is analyzed, and plans are made.
O’Hanlon said in the ever changing ag business, they are constantly looking into new ideas, different crop styles and they work to stay knowledgeable and help growers adapt quickly, showing them the benefits and risks.
“I always tell my crop consultants they make million-dollar decisions every week,” said O’Hanlon. “We need to do everything we possibly can to help growers survive. We have to make sure they succeed for our success.” He said
Our producers in this area have seen bushel increases every year for the last 10 years, said O’Hanlon; it has increased in some cases up to 60 bushels per acre over 10 years.
In maintaining his goal to be a leader in his business, Dustin has noted the growth in organic farms. Three years ago, due to demand, they started consulting for organic farms. “The industry is leaning this way to meet specialized consumer needs, so we have seen this grow significantly in the last three years,” he said.
Looking ahead to the 2020 growing season, O’Hanlon said, “We do everything in our power to help our farmers out however we can.”