Hello, my name is John Niemeyer and I am your soybean agronomist from crop district 8.
I was born and raised on a grain and cattle farm in Breese, Ill. Currently I live near there with my wife, Janice, and our three children: Erica, Abby and Jared.
Since graduating in 1986 from Southern Illinois University with a degree in agricultural economics, I continued with night classes from the University of Illinois. I began working for Alvey Laboratories during college summers as a crop scout and continue to do so after graduations, also assisting in research projects and later moving into crop consulting.
In 1995 I moved to the retail side of the business with Vigoro Inc., and worked through corporate changes to IMC Agribusiness and Royster Clark. In 2006 I took my current role as marketing representative with Agrium, working with the specialty lines of ESN Smart Nitrogen and Rainbow fertilizers. Today in addition to my professional job, I farm our 159-year-old family farm. It helps keep my feet in the ground, so to speak.
My passion for agronomics grew with my occupations after college. Weed control, insect management and seedling diseases interest me. Soil testing and soil fertility were our mainstay, but in southern Illinois soybean cyst nematodes and Phytophthoraroot rot were our nemeses. Soybean varieties with Race 3 SCN resistance were starting to replace the long-time favorite, Williams 82.
Challenges over time changed how we endeavor to grow higher soybean yields. Grid sampling and variable application rates of P and K helped our fields to have more consistent yields. Better cyst resistance varieties and introduction of Roundup Ready® resistance made focus on issues differently. Population management, seed placement and foliar disease were some of the next steps we tackled in advancement.
Today foliar feeding, biological management, drainage economics and weed control issues challenge us. Specialty amendment products to aid in soil health are things we can look at, as well as our ongoing goal to increase the environmental well-being of our planet. All while producing high-quality soybeans economically to deliver to our end-use customers.
John Niemeyer is a marketing representative for Agrium Wholesale Inc. His territories include five states located within the Corn Belt. He’s excited to share his interest of weed control, insect management and seedling diseases as a Soy CCA Envoy.