Grow forward together

Mar 04, 2024


Story by Claire Hill
Photos by GreenPoint Ag staff Michelle Cantrell and Dylan Robbins
 
Hundreds of farmers, cooperative employees, GreenPoint Ag customers, and industry experts gathered at the Southern Agronomy Summit Jan. 26-Feb. 1 in Huntsville, Alabama, to share insights and address challenges with innovative solutions before the onset of the spring planting season.

GreenPoint Ag, formed in 2020, is a joint venture of Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC), Alabama Farmers Cooperative (AFC), WinField® United, Tipton Farmers Cooperative, Farmers, Inc., and Tri-County Farmers Association. The innovative agronomy company has hosted three summits, and plans are already underway for next year’s event. 

“GreenPoint Ag's commitment to our customer’s success is underscored by the Southern Agronomy Summit, as it reflects our dedication to creating a collaborative ecosystem where everyone involved can thrive,” said GreenPoint Ag Chief Executvie Officer Jeff Blair during his opening remarks. “By bringing together our customers, employees, cooperative members, and industry experts, we aim to strengthen relationships, share knowledge, and collectively overcome challenges in the dynamic agronomy landscape of the South.”

The goal for the Southern Agronomy Summit was to ensure mutual success in the year 2024 and beyond.
“Attending events like the summit helps me stay up to date on the latest innovations,” said agronomy salesman Evan Nease, who works at Smoky Mountain Farmers Cooperative’s Morristown location. “I can become more knowledgeable about new ideas and see how other regions across the Southeast are implementing programs that are helping farmers.”

Nease says that industry partners working together helps farmers succeed, and events like the summit allow for experts, retailers, and farmers to share ideas for everyone’s mutual benefit.

The summit hosted knowledge exchange sessions where participants shared valuable insights, best practices, and emerging trends shaping the agricultural landscape in the southern region.

Attendees also heard from keynote speaker Dr. Fred Below of the University of Illinois, who is known for developing the Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World and the Six Secrets of Soybean Success. His presentation, "The Quest for 300 Bushel Corn," was a favorite among attendees and provided industry information that was both entertaining and educational.

Dr. Below said that the weather remains the greatest single influence on corn yields, but fertility, hybrid selection, and crop rotation are necessary to optimize yield potential.

“Tillage also impacts corn yields,” he pointed out. “And growth regulators and micronutrients are an exploding area in corn management.”

Attendees participated in hands-on workshops on topics of importance to everyone involved in agronomy. Breakout sessions included disease management, spray drones, using biologicals, new varieties and hybrids, crop nutrient management, range and pasture management, soil moisture management, and more. Attendees learned about grid and zone-based soil sampling considerations, ways to increase yields, new insights for spray applications, spray drone applications, and opportunities and challenges in row crop production, to name a few. Breakout sessions were available for attendees to build custom itineraries that were specific to their operations.
The summit also boasted more than 30 industry partners where attendees could foster partnerships and learn more about products that could enhance their yields and productivity.

David Good, the board chairman for Lincoln Bedford Moore Farmers Cooperative, says that he was able to get a lifetime of knowledge in one day. Good, along with his brother and father, grows row crop wheat, corn, and soybeans, and raise commercial cattle on their farm in Fayetteville.

“I feel ready to embrace the challenges of 2024,” said Good. “I enjoyed being able to hear industry experts share their knowledge about things that directly impact my operation.”

Good added that he hopes GreenPoint Ag will continue to host this event for farmers for years to come.
“I think any farmer who works in production agriculture would benefit from spending one or two days learning, networking, and planning for their operations.”

West Tennessee farmer Arnold McIntyre of A&J Farms in Covington said the summit provided him a great opportunity to get away from the farm to learn about how to improve his operations.

“It’s hard to stop, as much as we have going on,” said McIntyre. “But there’s value in education, especially when farmers and industry experts can gather to grow together.”

GreenPoint Ag services member cooperatives and farmers with crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and seed treatment, professional products, field scouting, custom application, and a comprehensive array of agronomy and agronomic technology services.

For more information about the 2025 event or for information about GreenPoint Ag’s wide array of products and services, contact the experts at your local Co-op.

For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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