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Servi-Tech in the News

Good afternoon!

Pete Kruse, Servi-Tech’s director of operations, was quoted in a story in the Dodge City Daily Globe this week.

Here’s the story!

rain 1 rain 2

Amarillo Lab takes part in 24 Hours in the Canyon

Servi-Tech teamed up with a local flower shop in Amarillo and participated in 24 Hours in the Canyon, the only simultaneous road and mountain bike event in the country.

24 Hours in the Canyon is sponsored by Harrington Cancer Center, a non-profit cancer treatment center in Amarillo. All of funds raised goes to patient treatment. Harrington gives away millions in free treatment every year.

  • It is held in Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the US.
  • There are over 650 entries competing in 6, 12 and 24 hour races as individuals or teams as well as non-competitive teams.
  • Servi-Tech paired up with a local Flower Shop, Budding Art and owner, Kerry Smith, who was in their third year of participating.
  • Budding Art/MP² raised just over $10,000 and placed second in fundraising.
  • Budding Art/MP² also had 30 participating entries earning an award for the largest team.

For more information:

24 Hours in the Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon


Team members:
Servi-Tech Crew
Brian Cappilla
Mary Crist
Sarah Crist (Mary’s daughter)
Jordan Hurd
Shane Moore
Ashleigh Richeson
Casey Walden
Brianna Wacura
Todd Whatley


Budding Art Crew
Kerry Smith
Chris Bruckner
Brian Edwards
Vaavia Edwards
Bryson Edwards
Bo Edwards
Billy Emert
Blake Milam
Mark Smith
Troy Vaughn
Betsy Weaver
Walt Weaver
Cody Aduddell
Jeff Wieck
Cole Camp

Mobile App Available for TheProfiler

Did you know there’s a mobile app you can download for your phone and tablet that lets you view information from TheProfiler in your field?

TheProfiler pic

Servi-Tech Expanded Premium Services (STEPS) has been hard at work to put the latest technology into your hands.

This mobile app provides real-time access to soil moisture information that enables agronomists, producers and soil moisture managers to make better use of water through timely irrigation decisions.

The latest version of the app, version 2.5.3, displays the Plant Available Water (PAW) as part of the device overview. The PAW is the water content difference between field capacity and permanent wilting point of your soil at any given depth.

Google play

Google Play (for Android devices)

iphone app

App Store (for iPhones and iPads)


south dakota pic device overview

For more information about STEPS or TheProfiler, go to or contact our office at 1-800-557-7509.

A special thanks to our partners for helping to make the planet more productive: Servi-TechAgSense, McCrometer, and MP2.

Servi-Tech in the News

Good afternoon!

Servi-Tech has a couple of mentions in the current issue of Ag Professional magazine.

Here’s a PDF of the stories.

And here are the photos:

john payne pic2

Caption: Panel and roundtable discussions dominated the annual meeting schedule. Talking to the crowd during the “Precision Ag Implementation in Your Business” consultant panel are (left to right) John Payne, Servi-Tech, Inc., Ransom, Kan.; Blaine Viator, Ph.D., Calvin Viator & Associates, Labadieville, La.; and Matt Weller, Centrol Inc., Marshall, Minn.

andrew vrbka story

Caption: The new president of NAICC, Gary Coukell, stands between the two Crop Consultants of the Year – Tim Moline, left, and Andrew Vrbka- during the presentation of awards in New Orleans.

Finally, some rain

Good afternoon!

We’ve been blessed with several rain showers in recent weeks at Servi-Tech’s headquarters in Dodge City, Kan.


Last night, the heavens opened and dropped almost 3.5 inches in the Dodge City area. (Photo courtesy Servi-Tech’s Director of Operations Pete Kruse)

The National Weather Service in Dodge City said on its Facebook page that Dodge City’s precipitation is .29″ above normal for the year. The weather service has measured more than 15 inches of rain this year in Dodge; we’ve received 6.78 inches of rain in August alone.

This is a big deal to people who live in southwest Kansas (and Nebraska, Colorado, and other states) because of the drought that has lasted for years. The U.S. Drought Monitor has much of western Kansas listed in exceptional drought (it’s updated every Thursday, so this information is from last week).

flooded field

A flooded field that one of our Kansas agronomists checks.

We’re thankful for whatever moisture we get – although it’s kind of weird to see photos of flash flooding in western Kansas.

Here are some links to weather stories in our region:

From The Garden City Telegram (Kansas): Recent rainfall across state shatters records, could ease drought (Aug. 12, 2013)

From (Nebraska): Rain, hail impacts Broken Bow (Aug. 12, 2013)

From The Grand Island Independent (Nebraska): Rain helps crops, but cool weather slowing development (Aug. 12, 2013)

From The Garden City Telegram (Kansas): Cleanup in progress after Wednesday torrent (Aug. 2, 2013)

Kansas cuts 25th billionth bushel of wheat

Good morning!

Here’s a great story from The Hutchinson News (in Hutchinson, Kan):

The 25th billionth bushel of wheat in a century of Kansas wheat production was harvested earlier this month.

Farmer Mike Brown ceremoniously caught grain in a bushel basket on his farm near Colby to mark the achievement, as his son Tanner unloaded the combine into a grain cart.

Kansas Wheat reported the 25th billionth bushel cut last week. According to the association, 25 billion bushels equals more than 1 trillion commercial loaves of bread.

While an amazing feat, it’s not surprising considering Kansas’ rich history as the nation’s breadbasket, producing nearly one-fifth of all the wheat grown in the United States.

Read the rest here.

7.26.13 blog

Wheat is cut near Dodge City in southwest Kansas in June.

3i Show

Good afternoon!

We wanted to let everyone know that we’re at the 3i Show in Dodge City, Kan. this week.

If you’re around, stop by the Servi-Tech booth, which is booth 160 inside. Come get rain gauges, calculators, and  key chains! We also have TheProfiler set up, and we’re ready to answer any questions about it.

We’re also ready to talk about our purpose, which is making the planet more productive (MP2). Come see us if you want to know more!

brent and fred

Brent Schinstock and Fred Vocasek at the 3i Show in Dodge City.

Wheat Harvest

Good morning!

We wanted to share a YouTube video with you about this year’s wheat harvest.

And here are a couple of news stories about how the wheat harvest is going:

In the News: Canola

Good morning!

Here’s a cool story from The Garden City (Kansas) Telegram: Kearny County farmer takes a chance with canola

Along the River Road between Deerfield and Lakin, families and farmers have stopped along the south side of the road to inspect a field of vibrant yellow blooms.

Fred Ritsema, a Kearny County farmer and owner of Lakin Dairy, said his canola field has been in bloom since last week.


Fred Ritsema stands in his canola field near Lakin. Ritsema planted canola for the first time this year. (Photo by Becky Malewitz/Telegram )

Ritsema, who is from Holland, used to grow the crop there and decided to try his luck with the Kansas soil.

Since canola is a winter crop, Ritsema thinks more farmers may be interested in growing it.

Ritsema has farmed in Kearny County since 1997. Growing corn and alfalfa has been difficult in recent years due to the drought.

“This has gotten a lot of farmers’ attention. I think in the near future more farmers will be turning to winter crops instead of summer crops,” he said.

Read more:

ASA Members Talk Water Security, Part 3

Good afternoon!

Our own Fred Vocasek is a member of the American Society of Agronomy (or the ASA). Fred, along with other ASA members, have been talking about water security on a global scale.

Here’s the third part of their interview.

From the interview:

Why isn’t no-till being practiced in developing countries?

Rattan: There are several reasons. One is that the same crop residues that we’re talking about as being important in water conservation have many other competing uses. In developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, crop residues are used for fodder, and for fencing and house construction. And more importantly, residues are used for cooking by many households. You’ve heard the story about the atmospheric brown cloud (ABC)? That originates from cooking by burning biomass, crop residues, and animal dung.

So unless those competing use requirements are met through policy interventions, through education, through incentives, these crop residues will not go back on the land. And if residues do not get back on the land, water does not get effectively conserved.


Planting corn into crop residue builds organic matter in the soil, which helps water infiltrate and holds rainwater like a sponge. But as the United States looks to biofuels to supplement traditional fossil fuels, corn stover and other residues could be be widely harvested here, just as they are in the developing world. Photo: NRCS Soil Health

When you say “incentives,” what are you thinking of specifically?

Pete: Maybe Rattan and Fred won’t totally agree with this, but I think to get change you need to provide an economic incentive. For example, if we want people to stop using biomass for fodder in some of these cultures, they need to see that they can make a better living by leaving it on the land. In other words, everything relates back to the billfold. Or for the subsistence farmer it’s not the billfold, it’s just a better life. So, the trick is finding a way, whether it’s through policy or something else, to create that economic incentive. Because every farmer I’ve ever met in Colorado who has converted over to some of the practices we recommend will say they did it because they could make more money.

Fred: One of the tenets of management is “What gets paid, gets done.” For example, I’ve been in southwest Kansas for about 30 years and I’ve seen a huge change in irrigation systems or water management technology—let’s call it that. And several things have driven that: the increased cost of fuel, the increased cost of pumping. So it’s been somewhat economical to switch over to technologies that are more efficient.

Pete: Exactly. So, for example, if a government policy were in place that would encourage farmers to try a new technology that would be profitable—a seed grant or something, to get people going—that would be good. We don’t want programs that require public input of money forever and ever. They need to be pilot projects that get people started and let them realize the benefits. And then they can take it from there.


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