Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the
world as much as adversity has.
- Billy Graham
A Solutions Disaster
In the mid-'80s, I went to Houston, Texas, to visit a solutions dealership. I was impressed that they were delivering solution by, the B-train load. Also, customers were picking up product. They had a fleet of Terra Gators that would custom apply liquids, and blends were being made by punching in the amount of each nutrient required. A lot of the liquid was being used in irrigation systems. They filled a tank called a puck, and a little pump metered the correct amount into the circle irrigation system. Although irrigation is not a factor here, I thought we could blend liquid Treflan and solution together and apply it to summer fallow for growing canola.
So, we ordered a new liquid Terra Gator. We applied liquid Treflan and about 30 pounds of nitrogen with 28-0-0 solution on thousands of acres. The results, for the most part,
were disastrous and embarrassing. I had consulted with Dow Elanco as to what our plans were, and they were all in favour. They didn't tell me Treflan only kills wild oats that germinate in the treated zone, unlike Avadex, which kills the wild oats as it passes through the treated zone. Plowing was a common practice in those years, so all the wild oats were turned over and buried six inches down while the incorporated zone was only about four inches. The wild oat just came right through. What a mess! Of course, Dow Elanco claimed no responsibility and didn't contribute a dime to help. This was just another experience that added to my distaste for chemical companies. That year, we sold 1,500 tonnes of 28-0-0 liquid. The next year, we sold 300 tonnes because most canola was planted on summer fallow that had been
plowed. The liquid business has recovered and is growing but is being used in crop production and top dressing. It is a safe way to use fertilizer.