Crops look great

Corn 2016


This past weekend I had the chance to drive through Nebraska and Kansas and crops overall look very good for this time of year. The combination of corn growing degree days and regular moisture has contributed to favorable conditions this summer.

It will be interesting to see how these conditions apply with respect to the stalk nitrate test. Many growers are ordering supplies to see what type of numbers are received before harvest.

Corn prices have gone down quite a bit in 2016. As a result, growers will continue to watch their costs closely and look for ways to keep expenses down.

As growers continue to watch their crops as we get closer to harvest, we encourage you to work with our client service staff to make sure you have your fall sampling supplies in place and you have selected testing packages that will provide you with the right soil fertility information at a price you can afford.

We are only weeks away from fall harvest.



Grubs are Back – Take Action Now!

Brown spots in lawn

Picture Source: Pine Hurst Floral & Green House

Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly noticed some brown spots appearing in lawns adjacent to my property. I am typically proactive when it comes to maintaining my lawn and I like to make sure weeds are in check and if there is a cooler period in the summer, I will take the opportunity to apply more nitrogen, (fertilizer) to insure a nice, thick green lawn. I kept thinking to myself, I am sure glad I do not have grubs in my lawn.

Well, all of that changed in the last couple of weeks.

I began noticing a few,  small brown spots. I wrote it off as the lawn needing more water so I watered a little more the past couple of weeks. Last night as I mowed over these areas, I could see that not only were these areas brown, but they had spread and instead of a few, there were several brown spots. Meanwhile my neighbor’s lawns had particularly brown, dead grass and even more brown spots in their yard. If you dig up these areas, you will see those disgusting white wormy creatures.

The point here is that it does not take much for grubs to appear and spread. The ideal conditions of heat and humidity bring help accelerate the process. Normally, I see grub damage like this in the middle of August. With the higher temperatures and humidity in the midwest, we are about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. Normally in May I add some grub killer to areas where grubs have appeared in past years. I did apply grub killer to these areas and have not seen any grubs. Unfortunately, my back yard, where I had never had grubs before was the area that had the most grubs.

The good news is that grub killer is available at your local hardware store or Home Depot. Don’t mess around with an insecticide as some articles suggest. Go for the grub killer and address the bugs directly before more damage occurs. So if you are seeing some dry areas in your yard, make sure you get to the root cause. Most of the time it’s not about watering more, it’s about dealing with grub activity. If your neighboors have grubs, there is a good chance your lawn will be a prime canddidate for grubs.


Lead in Water – Additional Testing

Lead Testing in WaterLead in water continues to make the news in communities across the country. Many school officials, business managers and homeowners are taking steps to discover more about the quality of their water supply.  A few months ago, I posted this article, Does Your Water Contain Lead? and we received a number of inquiries about this story. Lead Testing in Water is available and supplies/analysis can be ordered online.

Here are some good stories to help inform you of why this is such a big issue in 2016

How to test for lead water lines in your home.

2 Investigators: Does Chicago Tap Water Have A Lead Problem?


Fire Warning – Linseed Oil

fire liquid

Have you thought about restoring the word work on your deck? If you are thinking about this process, you need to watch the following news story. It really highlights the danger of hot temperatures and flammability. In addition, the video really shows that cloths coated in oils can easily catch on fire because of hot temperatures.

This news story is worth watching and should serve as a reminder to be careful with flammable materials this summer.


IFT Annual Conference 2016

IFT Conference 2016The IFT 2016 Conference brings together a wide array of food partners, from ingredients and products to production support and laboratory testing.

I have been impressed with the number of visitors and current clients who have stopped by and shared their current experiences.

There is a tremendous amount of sharing of new ideas and learning where the current market is headed.

Today is the second day of the conference and there will be a number of  topics being discussed in presentations and on the the trade show floor.

If you are attending this show, we would like to learn more about your business and hopefully assist your company with the day to day managerial decisions.

We are located in Booth 4722!



Great Benefits For Fall Soil Grid Sampling Companies

fall soil sampling2016 Fall Soil Sampling

Here are some resources and benefits to Midwest Laboratories Soil Sampling Clients. To take advantage of these benefits, you will need a Midwest Laboratories Account. It only takes a couple of minutes to submit your information online and most accounts are setup the same day they are received during normal business hours. Setup a Midwest Laboratories Account today.

With your Midwest Labs Accounts, all  supply ordering can be done at your own convenience. In addition, you can access all your analysis data information too.

Soil Testing | Soil Sampling

Midwest Laboratories | Contact Us 

Free Soil Bags – Soil bags can be ordered free with a Midwest Laboratories Account – Opening an account takes 1-2 minutes. Soil bags are shipped diretly to your location.

Shipping Boxes – New for 2016,  heavier/reinforced soil boxes to better assist clients with the collection, transportation and shipment of soil samples.

Determine the most appropriate soil testing package Soil Test Packages Online

Shipping Discounts  (UPS, FedEx and Spee-Dee) – Contact a Client Service Team Member or Field Rep Member.
Shipping Labels are $10.50 for UPS  and FedEx and $10.00 for Spee-Dee Delivery. Price is good for Ground Shipping up to 50 pounds.

Stalk Nitrate Bags – A new line of bags were introduced in 2015. These bags are much more durable and made with proper air ventilation

Soil Probes Can Be Purchased Online – Soil Probes are also available onlne for our soil clients

Soil Interpretation Information LiteratureCheck out the most popular soil information documentation here.

Have nematode sample supplies ordered – Order supplies online or check out more information on nematode analysis.

Would like to schedule visit with Midwest Labs Representative this Fall – Please contact the representative in your area

Consistent turnaround time of three days – Turnaround Time of 3 days, including the day it is received. Proper turnaround time is needed to effectively air-dry the soil samples, execute proper soil extraction analysis and review analysis data.

All soil data is available 24×7 on – Clients are in control of their analysis data. They can print data, export data and review data at their convenience.

Need Soil Testing a Soil Testing Bid for a client or big project? – Talk to your local field representative or send your information online to our client service staff.  Turnaround time is typically 24 hours during normal business hours.

Review sample submittal and reporting parameters: Analysis Packages, Email Reports to, Data Analysis Formats – Talk to a Midwest Laboratories Representative for further clarification.

Key Soil Contacts

Client Service Representatives, Ken Pohlman, John Menghini
Phone: 402-334-7770 |  

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Field Service Representatives by Location
Phone: 402-334-7770

Eastern and Central Nebraska, Western Iowa – Tim Mundorf
Send Email to Tim

Iowa, Northern Missouri, Illinois Indiana – Joe Thelen
Send Email to Joe

Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas – Jim Grilliot
Send Email to Jim

Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan – Jim Fasching
Send Email to Jim

Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana – Don Coash
Send Email to Don