Sideline to Dairy Operation Becomes Full-time Seed, Fertilizer Business

7/20/2013 7:00 AM

Dick Wanner


<.000>LITITZ, Pa. — Amos King has been on his 75-acre crop and dairy farm outside Lititz for nearly 30 years. His tie-stall barn, bedded with shavings and gypsum, has room for 45 cows, and he’s also feeding about 50 heifers. Some years ago, King started a seed and fertilizer sideline that’s become a stand-alone business that operates under the name Oregon Ag. The business keeps King and six employees busy.

King was elsewhere on the day of our visit, but an employee described the operation, and what follows is a recap of his comments.

This year, they put about 15 acres into alfalfa and 60 in corn. They sell what they don’t feed. Some 20 acres of the corn ground is in test plots.

Customers will visit the farm sometime in August to look at the crops before they’re harvested, and sometime after that field day, they’ll get a spreadsheet with yields for the different varieties. Yields can vary as much as 10 to 15 bushels to the acre. King deals with three different seed companies, and the test plots help him keep up the varieties that do best in any given year.

Tests are run for both grain and silage varieties, and there are some alfalfa test plots as well.

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