In the exact geographical center of Wisconsin lies a rural town, population just shy of 900. Surrounded by dairy and livestock infrastructure, and strewn with corn, soybean and alfalfa fields, this is Pittsville, Wisconsin, Home to Stine grower Brad Kremer, his wife, Nicole, and their sons, Gunner and Cole. Here, Brad began his career in agriculture and became an advocate for farmers.
“Public perception and policy are probably the biggest threat to farming in the future. If we don’t tell our story and share our voice, then there won’t be a future,” said Brad.
As president of the Wisconsin Soybean Growers Association and a director of the American Soybean Association, Brad knows well the struggles American farmers face and the need for constant innovation in the industry. This is why Brad is not afraid to experiment with the latest seed technology and planting practices on his farm, including high-population, narrow-row corn — a practice he stumbled upon by accident.
“I was planting corn for my uncle, and it was an old 12 row planter with the dry fertilizer boxes on 30-inch rows. I was too lazy to clean the planter out, so behind the barn I just started double planting. I didn’t want to clean it out, so I just started going back and forth in the field and just jumped over 15 inches. I basically ran out of seed and fertilizer out of sheer laziness. At the time, we didn’t have a forage harvester, so we had a neighbor come in, and that fall we were chopping corn, and where I had the 30-inch rows, he would get all the way to the back by the woods and he would have a load. Where I had the 15-inch rows, he would get about half way back to the field and the load was full. My uncle and I looked at each other, and it was like a lightbulb went on about how much tonnage we got off of that and what that could possibly do.”
Since that day, Brad has been thinking outside the box. And once Brad heard about Stine® HP Corn®, he was positive it was a good fit for his farm.
“WHEN I FOUND STINE AND SAW WHAT THEY WERE DOING, IT WAS A PERFECT ALIGNMENT. WE ARE EXCITED TO BE WITH THEM.
With 250 dairy cows on his farm and plans to expand dairy operations in the coming years, Brad is not only seeking corn hybrids that produce more grain and higher yields, but he’s also searching for tonnage.
“Fifteen-inch corn allows me to have more grain to sell … It’s about our ROI right now in our industry, and as prices continue to decline and be volatile, we have to knock it out of the park; 125-bushel per acre corn just isn’t good enough anymore.”
In 2016, Brad planted Stine 9538-20 brand corn — a 105-day HP Corn hybrid that earned his win in the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest with a whopping 303 bushels per acre.
“I knew as soon as it came up there was something special about that corn. It emerged perfect, it was a dark green color and we had the stand right off the bat … When we rode the combine through it, we couldn’t quite believe what we were seeing. We had a guy come out and certify it while we were combining … He couldn’t believe it with his own eyes. When the dust settled, it averaged 303 corrected dry bushels. I’ve never heard my combine rumble like that, but it was a pretty good feeling. That told us that we can do it; it’s potential.”
Farmers can rest easy that they have an advocate as passionate as Brad Kremer representing their interests in high places. We know we are, and we’re proud to call him our customer and friend.