Ellis completes phase of crop nutrition training

Ellis completes phase of crop nutrition training Clint Ellis of Vermillion Fertilizer, was among the first Novartis Seeds dealers to complete the introductory phase of the company's new crop nutrition specialist certification program.

According to Jim Beck, Novartis Seeds forage product manager, only seed dealers and distributors who earn the crop nutrition specialist title will have access to the company's new line of seed products designed to meet specific livestock nutritional needs.

"We're using a combination of traditional plant breeding and biotechnology to develop new lines of nutritionally superior livestock forages," Beck explains. "In conjunction with these technological advances, we're providing our seed dealers with the training they need to properly understand and position the next generation of seed product."

As part of the crop nutrition specialist certification process, Ellis will attend three seminars on livestock nutrition. The first, held Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Ramada Inn in Aberdeen, focused on ruminant nutrition and product placement.

The intensive training program provided seed dealers with an in-depth understanding of dairy and beef nutritional needs, with emphasis on the chemical and biological processes required to convert feed into milk and meat. Beck also explained Novartis Seeds' corn silage ranking system, which evaluates hybrids based on forage yield and forage quality, using data summarizing the physical, chemical and biological profile of the hybrids.

"There are a number of new special products I can offer livestock farmers, and I need to know more than the agronomic of these new hybrids," Ellis said. "I have to understand the livestock nutrition values too. That's the real value to my dairy and beef customers. Certification programs like this one from Novartis Seeds will give me this information."

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