Longnecker Fertilizers: On their own, growing

Ames farmers go into fertilizer mixing business

-Photo by Larry Kershner Jeff and Twila Longneckers, pose for a photo behind their booth at the 2017 Iowa Power Farming Show in Des Moines. The family business recently launched out on its own providing fertilizer mixes to clients primarily throughout the Corn Belt.

DES MOINES — On Feb. 1, visitors at the Longnecker Fertilizers booth at the Iowa Power Farming Show were virtually non-stop through the morning and early afternoon.

“We sell a high-orthophosphate starter,” Twila Longnecker said, and people are starting to look at their product.

Longnecker Fertilizers, based in Ames, is in its second year. Owners Jeff and Twila Longnecker were sales representatives for another company, but took the risk to venture out on their own.

“We found blenders in the Midwest who could mix to our specifications,” Twila Longnecker said.

Their business spring-boarded from a clientele they carried over from the other company,and sell fertilizer mixes around Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Minnesota, and this year into Illinois.

“We think it’s (fertilizer mixes) comparable to the brand names,” she said. “And we can deliver from a tote to a semi load.”

As farmers, Longnecker said her family uses all the products its sells, especially 6-24-6 and 3-18-18, as well as others, “so we know they work.”

As an additional service, they also make 28 and 32 percent available.

Longnecker said they keep a team of agronomists on retainers that will assist clients with fertilizer application recommendations based on soil sampling, field imagery history and intended next crop for the field.

Their fertilizer blends can and do contain micronutrients as soil sampling indicates.

The company’s service, she said, extends into the growing season by encouraging customers to do late-spring nitrogen testing “to determine when to add more.”

“We also recommend tissue testing to determine how to make any recovery treatments.”

Starters are just a part of the program, Longnecker said.

“The more we can spoon-feed the crop, the better results we see in the end.”

She said she was apprehensive when the family first set out to be in business for itself.

“But people know our product,” Longnecker said, “and our motto is: ‘Say what we do and do what we say.’

“We believe in ag and we farm. If we can make a little and farmers can save a little, it’s a win-win.”

Longnecker Fertilizers is found at 27300 580th St., Ames, and can be contacted at (515) 382-4441. Its website is www.longneckerfertilizers.com.