Hal Reed is a well-known agronomist, specializing in potatoes, with ICI Taber. I re-introduced Fortified Stimulate Yield Enhancer to him one year ago. Last week, I picked his brain about his experience with Stimulate:
Heather Trenerry (HT): What made you look at Stimulate?
Hal Reed (HR): I work in the agronomy department of an independent retailer. My focus isn’t to sell product, it’s to solve farmers’ issues and increase productivity. We are always looking for specific products that would enhance potato quality. I’ve known about Stimulate but it wasn’t until last spring that we looked more deeply into using it with our growers.
HT: How has Stimulate impacted your growers’ potato crops?
HR: I’m thrilled with the product. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a chemist. I just help people grow better potatoes, and this product works. To start, I had a couple farmers try it. We saw the crop respond well. Now we’ve broadened to where a lot of our growers are using it and it’s been consistently successful.
HT: What specific improvements does Stimulate offer?
HR: This summer’s heat wasn’t as bad as 2021, but it was still 10 or so days of 36 C plus. Potato plants are no different than you or me: normally by 2 p.m. they’d all be a little wilted. But, plants treated with Stimulate just seemed to hold up better under stressful conditions. We also had a hailed field that we top-dressed, plus applied Stimulate to it. I believe that Stimulate was a large part of why it came back as quickly and well as it did.
HT: What are you hearing from your producers?
HR: I deal with very large, very successful potato growers. What they’re saying is that Stimulate is a great piece of the pie. It’s not the whole pie but, once they do seven or eight best practices, we’re seeing some really good results and good ROI. Stimulate fits very well into a program; it’s easy to use; mixes with other products. I think it’ll be something farmers use regularly.
HT: Would you would recommend stimulate to every producer?
HR: No. Stimulate is not something you just buy and throw on. You need to understand the product: when and why you’re doing it, or you’ll be disappointed with the results. It’s not a magic bullet. If you don’t get your weeds under control, your irrigation right and all the other details done well, Stimulate isn’t even going to show up in your results.
HT: Any last advice for farmers?
HR: Two things. First, don’t jump on board with this or any other product just because I or someone else recommends it. Do your own research and preferably trial it on your own farm. Second, don’t be scared to think outside the box: you can’t expect to improve if you keep doing what you’ve always done.