Hiawatha Implement Co., with John Deere dealerships in Hiawatha and Mound City, Mo., held the first annual Leaders in Economic and Agronomic Decisions (LEAD) event on Aug. 15, according to Hiawatha World Online

The 2.5 hour event was held at the Hiawatha Implement Test Plot in White Cloud, at the Taylor Seed Farm. Nearly 175 attendees from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa participated in four informative rotations at the event. Hiawatha Implement’s Integrated Solutions Department planned the details of the event with all of the departments from both locations chipping in and helping out.

In June of 2016, Hiawatha Implement employees started planning for last week’s event. By August of 2016, a partnership with Taylor Seed Farms was worked out for the 17.4 acre plot featured in this year’s LEAD Event. Most test plots are for testing different types of seed or fertilizer, but the area’s largest John Deere dealership wanted to showcase something different to its customers.

“We believe this is a very important aspect of the agriculture business in this area," said Nicholas Blevins, AMS manager for Hiawatha Implement. "This test plot can help us provide more localized and detailed agronomic data to help the farmer become more profitable. We aren’t here to tell farmers how to farm, but it’s our job to help our customers make better business decisions.”

What was different about Hiawatha Implement’s test plot and the LEAD Event? The dealership didn’t plant different types of seed or fertilize each area differently. Instead, many types of equipment and methods of farming were tested to attain a better understanding of the pros and cons of each specific test. This past spring, during planting season, variances in planting speed tests, seed placement versus anhydrous placement tests, no-till vs. vertical-till tests, soil moisture movement and many other tests were ongoing at the plot.