John Wallendal says his family grows “anything people will pay us for.” Potatoes, sweet corn, snap beans, soybeans, forage corn, peas, cabbage, carrots, alfalfa… you get the picture. And it’s all irrigated.
Quick to make a joke and even quicker to talk of his family, Wallendal takes his relationships seriously so when he says he considers Scott Polzin and North Central Irrigation (NCI) partners in the family business, that’s a real compliment.
“We've been working with North Central Irrigation for over 40 years,” says Wallendal. “We consider them to be our partner. It’s a win-win as we see great value in each other.”
Wallendal’s father was one of the first irrigators in the Grand Marsh area, and Wallendal says the family counts on NCI to keep the farm technology up todate, when it makes economic sense.
“If an upgrade can make us money or save time – which is the same thing, really – we implement it,” Wallendal says.
For example, the farm will use 100 percent Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) next year. Wallendal and his son Eric actively manage the irrigation machines and soil probes, while daughter-in-law Megan writes the VRI prescriptions.
“VRI is only as good as the delivery system,” Wallendal states. “If the system is down due tomalfunctions, it’s useless. Repairs must be done in a timely fashion, and Scott Polzin of NCI and his crew respond quickly. Depending on the situation, we call, text, or email them, and they’re very responsive.”
Wallendal tries to do some repairs and maintenance himself.
“If I spend an hour on it and can’t fix it, I call,” he says. “It’s all about cost. What’s the cost of calling them in over the total acres and yield? It’s a simple decision and I take pride in that.”What’s more important is the trust factor.
“Technology is great, but family is the most important thing of all,” Wallendal says. “You need people you can trust working with you and it’s why we consider NCI family.”