After a feast recently with farmers, crop input providers, custom applicators, and other colleagues at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisc., a quiet, unassuming, and often-overlooked genius of the American agriculture industry was honored for a lifetime of well-documented achievement.
“To Joe Gednalske, world-renowned innovator,” said Mitch Eviston, founder and CEO of Meristem, reading a very special award as he presented it to the legend at Meristem’s Breakthrough to Excellence dealer-partner event in Delavan, Wisconsin. “With great respect and heartfelt gratitude from your friends at Meristem Crop Performance.”
Gednalske is credited with 41 US and international patents for adjuvants, spray application technology and other crop inputs, so Eviston presented him with a one-of-a-kind, custom-made award featuring 41 Turbo TeeJet spray nozzles arranged as an American Flag.
“Joe has spent his lifetime helping farmers and applicators up their game with what they spray through nozzles like these on spray rigs all around the world,” explained Eviston. “It seems appropriate to have 41 of those quality nozzles on this award, each one representing a patent he’s developed in the U.S. and internationally.”
Born on a farm in South Dakota, Gednalske earned both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees at South Dakota State University and soon began work on better accuracy of herbicide applications and then adjuvants that made those active ingredients gain good results. As past director of product development for Agriliance, then Winfield, he is known for developing well-known crop additives such as INTERLOCK™ and CLASS ACT™. Gednalske says he is “semi-retired,” but he returned to service three years ago as Product Development Lead with Meristem.
“I’m still behind Tom Edison, but he’s dead now, you know,” Gednalske joked as he accepted the award. “But seriously, the secret to success is being surrounded by really smart people and I’ve had the good fortune to work with some of the best.”
Gednalske says his latest work with Meristem’s patent pending AQUADRAFT EXTREME™ may prove to be his best work yet. “This latest formulation does something I’ve always been chasing,” he says, “and that’s a combination of an AMS (ammonium sulfate)-based water conditioner and a surfactant with an oil-based drift control agent.” The product went through a successful pilot phase earlier this season and will be widely available for the 2023 crop year.
Rich Gould of Spraying Systems, inventors of the TeeJet brand said he and his team were thrilled to provide the spray tips for the award.
“The Turbo TeeJet® nozzles on that plaque are great examples of drift-control nozzle technology,” said Gould. “They definitely complement the work Joe has contributed to helping farmers and applicators get better results and less spray drift. We thought those nozzles would be a great way to honor Joe.”
Gednalske also serves with the Council of Producers and Distributors of Agrochemicals (CPDA) as manager, value promotion, where he continues his mission to get more farmers to use adjuvants and use them properly. “Getting the right adjuvant in the tank can improve weed control product performance by 20 percent or more,” says Gednalske, “even up to 90 percent over no adjuvant at all.”Back