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Brookside Agra Expands with Agronomy and Risk Management Divisions

Brookside Agra has acquired Freeburg, Illinois-based Cardinal Agriculture Services and is now offering comprehensive agronomy and agricultural risk management services. For the past 30 years, Brookside Agra has developed and manufactured all-natural specialty feed additives and products focused on animal health, agriculture and the environment. This recent acquisition allows Brookside Agra to serve its agricultural clients with a more comprehensive focus.

“Brookside Agra has always been committed to finding the most cost-effective, research-proven and all-natural solutions to fit our customers’ needs,” said Chad Vaninger, Brookside Agra Executive Vice President and General Manager. “Combined with our expertise in all-natural agricultural products, acquiring Cardinal Agriculture Services allows us to provide comprehensive solutions between farms and soil experts to create crop management programs that help growers reach the full genetic potential of their crops in a sustainable and all-natural manner.”

Agronomy Division Services:
• Soil and tissue sampling and analysis
• Fertility and hybrid selection
• Water and feed analysis
• Nutrient monitoring and management
• Manure analysis
• Biological surveys
• Fertility product recommendations

Risk Management Division Services:
• Farm property and casualty insurance
• Crop insurance with precision equipment emphasis
• Livestock insurance
• Precision equipment
• Precision risk management

Brookside’s new Agronomy Division is led by Plant and Soil Nutrition Specialist Ben Elliott, former President and CEO of Cardinal Agriculture Services.

Elliott has worked in chemical formulating and research for the past 10 years and partnered with growers in 40 states and six international locations, covering more than 50 crops for commercial production. He specializes in intensive management for growers adopting new practices based on biological aspects of decision-making, data management and systems integration. He has also served as an advisor to chemical distributors, retailers and agronomists where soil microbiology is the main focus of his research and services.

In order to provide customers with the most accurate and consistent soil testing capabilities available on the market today, Brookside has purchased three John Deere 8 Series tractors and three AgRobotics Autoprobes™ which apply precision agricultural technology to collect soil samples. The machine follows a GPS-prescribed path, collects samples and stores them in a container for lab analysis.

“We are extremely excited to be a part of Brookside Agra and working with their customers,” said Elliott. “Our soil sampling analysis capabilities provide farmers with the answers they need to be their most productive. Our programs include soil and tissue sampling, as well as weather monitoring, water testing, satellite imagery and expert recommendations. Over a five-year period, our programs have been proven to save growers up to 35% on their agronomy program and trimmed input costs by as much as $15 per acre in the initial two years. ”

Andy Rynski, former co-owner of Cardinal Agriculture Services, heads Brookside’s new Risk Management Division. Rynski attended Rend Lake College and was an independent pork producer before he transitioned to working as a site manager for Maschoff Pork Farms. He spent 10 years as a manager for a sow unit and finisher, then spent the next three years with John Deere as a service manager where he was educated on precision-ag and equipment for a six-store dealer network. It was then that Rynski transitioned into crop and livestock insurance where he specializes in livestock operations, precision policies and risk management.

“The days of filling out acreage reports by hand for insurance use are gone,” said Rynski. “We want farmers to spend less time in the office and more time out in the fields making money. Using precision GPS-mapping technology, crop data goes straight from the tractor’s cab to our office, then to our system’s processing software where it creates the reports that the farmer reviews and signs. It’s that easy.”