MPS In Action Blog

Your Blog for Farm News and Information

Welcome to the MPS In Action blog, your AgVenture Seed Company link to the latest in news, information and education from across our independent Regional Seed Company network and the industry as a whole. Check this space often for the latest tips to increasing production and profit on your farm.

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May 18, 2015

Two teams from South Newton recently participated in the National Land Judging and Homesite contests near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Although all students are FFA members, one team participated in the 4-H division and the other team was in the FFA division.

The 4-H team placed 4th in the nation in both the homesite and land contests. Team members were Logan Glassburn, Kathryn Weiss, Darrin Shedrow and Daniel Shedrow. Glassburn placed 6th individually in the 4-H homesite contest and Weiss placed 10th in the 4-H land contest.

The FFA team placed 30th of 98 teams Team members were Morgan Winder, Ross Kindig, Devan Whaley and Will Fredrickson. Winder placed 40th of 370 in land judging and 16th of 60 in homesite judging. Attending as alternates were Alex Vitous, Grace Kindig, Austin Berenda and Chyenne Deno.

The two teams qualified for national competion by placing 5th in the state FFA contest and State Champions in the 4-H contest.

A big congratulations to all involved!


May 14, 2015
By Travis Michl

We’re right in the middle of planting out here, and so far things are going well. I’ve been working with a new AYS, Colt Halloran, in addition to Mike Davis and Brian Maxwell. Colt and Mike came out to my farm on our third day of planting corn and walked behind the planter, checking seed depth and spacing. They said I was a bit too eager, and the ground was a bit too tacky to plant. They like to stall you just by talking in your fields while the ground dries.

It’s been good getting to know Colt. I have high expectations for him because of all the great experience I’ve had with AgVenture in the past, and we talked about all the insights he can offer and tools we can use to have a great crop. They push me every year by suggesting ways to change the operation and make it grow. But I also push them by suggesting new things I’d like to try and asking how we can work together. I’m optimistic for this growing season, and with the great start we’re off to, I hope we get as good a harvest as last year.

May 14, 2015
By Jeff Morse

We’ve been going through a rough time lately. Two weeks ago today, my father of 93 years passed away. He was my business partner, my mentor and a big part of my life, and I feel lucky to have had a dad like him for so long in my life. So many people don’t get to have their dad with them near as much as I had mine.

He worked with me on my farm up to the end, as long as he could. He was very proud of the fact that he had grandsons that farmed, and myself. I guess he was proud of me too.

So right now we’re running way behind because we’ve been preoccupied the last few weeks. And we’ve had some sporadic rain. This morning we’re fighting with an anhydrous applicator yet, but hopefully in a couple hours here we’ll have it all running and in a couple days we’ll be up and planting corn.

Today we’re at the farm my son manages, which consists of a few hundred acres. We vertical-tilled the whole thing, and it’ll be mostly corn with a little bit of beans. (We vertical tilled all of our corn-on-corn fields this year, but we left our soybean fields alone). We avoided the showers on this particular farm, so it’s drier than others, and we’re pretty well done with our tilling now. In fact, my son is taking the vertical tillage machine home and unhooking it so we can hook up the planter. So we’ll be ready when the sun comes out.

I’ve been talking with my AYS Denny frequently — just this morning in fact. He knows we’re behind, but we’re just talking about when I can be done with corn, because he’ll have beans for me when I need them. As always, he says there’s no use getting out there when it’s muddy and the ground’s unfit. There’s plenty of time yet to plant.

Tags: planting, 2015, iowa
May 14, 2015
By Aaron Paus

We’re in the middle of a bit of a wet spell right now so we’re in the shop today. We’re about on day three of rain — we’ve probably only gotten 3/4” total, but it’s enough to slow us down. But planting is going well. We got our corn finished up and planted on the 3rd, and it went fairly well. I think we planted about 4,000 acres, but I didn’t count exactly. But we’re off to a good start and things are coming along. We’re working on repairing our soybean drill now, and we’ll head out to plant those once the sun comes out.

About the third day of planting, my AgVenture Yield Specialist Jeremy was out on our farm, and we’ve talked several times since then as well. And our agronomist Jerry Hartsock was in the area, so he stopped by, and I talked to him for the afternoon. Mainly we were looking at seed placement and just talking about how best we could get the seed placed in the best environment that we could. So they were just looking at those and making any small little changes we could to make it better.

The AgVenture Discovery Group session this spring was interesting. We came together to talk strategies for nitrogen, herbicides, fungicides, etc. Currently our variable rate irrigation program is on hold. We had a little bit of trouble with the individual I was using with that program, so we’re in the process of getting that switched over to a new gentleman who will help us with our prescriptions moving forward. But we’re recovering from that and we’ll get back on track soon.

But right now we’re focusing on the 1,500 acres of beans that will be planted next. We have about four days of bean planting from start to finish, and then we’ll be done.

Making the planter smile.

Discovery group members don't brag to each other about acres covered, it is who can drive the slowest. We send pics of our current speed.

Seven-year-old Anna running the planter.

Sunset.

May 13, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (May 13, 2015) – “When I realized no other fire departments in the area had this equipment, I knew that something had to be done.” That’s according to Jason Garing, Captain of the Kentland-Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department and AgVenture, Inc. Systems Administrator. Garing was referring to a RES-Q Tube, a tool used to aid in the rescue of victims trapped in a grain engulfment.

“Farming is a dangerous occupation. We live in an agricultural area where countless bins are monitored by farmers every day. Accidents do happen, and being trapped in grain in a bin is an accident that the statistics prove often results in death. We wanted to be prepared with both the training and the equipment to come to the aid of those in our community who work to put food on all of our tables.”

A report published by Purdue University shows that from 1964 to 2005, 74 percent of reported grain entrapments resulted in fatalities. Historically 70 percent of all documented entrapments have occurred on farms, the others primarily take place at commercial grain facilities.

The gift to the Fire Department was made possible with contributions by AgVenture, Inc., Kentland, Indiana, Infinity Grain Systems of Brook, Indiana and Kentland Elevator and Supply, Inc., of Kentland. Manufactured by GSI, the RES-Q tube is a lightweight aluminum tube used to disperse the grain surrounding the victim in the bin. It acts to stop the flow of grain toward the victim and block any pressure created by the rescuer.
Garing said, “About three years ago, the Assistant Fire Chief and I attended a training course to learn the proper procedures to safely rescue victims trapped in a grain bin. This equipment is relatively new and also helps keep rescuers safe while assisting a victim. When we started to ask other fire fighters who had this equipment, we learned no one in the region had it.”

But according to Garing, “Good people come together when there’s a need.” He added, “We were fortunate enough working with AgVenture, Inc. to ask about funds available for community support. With their help, and cooperation and contributions from Kentland Elevator and Infinity Grain Systems, we were able to purchase the RES-Q tube.”

“Our hope is we never have to use it. But if necessary, it is critical to have the right training and the right equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently.”

Garing said farm safety classes and training videos can help refresh farmers about safety rules. “With summer and or seasonal workers on the farm, and many who come from non-farm backgrounds, it is important to remind those working around grain to take the safety precautions necessary to avoid dangerous situations.” He concluded, “And keep your emergency phone numbers ready when help is needed.”

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. Based in Kentland, Indiana, AgVenture provides this growing network of independently owned and managed seed business owners with seed products meeting exacting standards for quality, together with leading-edge genetics and technology. Since 1983, this unique marketing approach has allowed each individual company to match the hybrids and varieties it sells to the specific needs of the geographical area it serves. Combined with professional seed representation at a local level, AgVenture strives to help every grower realize more profit from every field.

Picture (left to right): Reid and Teresa Beever, of Infinity Grain Systems, Vince Lowe and Jason Garing of Kentland-Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department, Darrell and John Fredrickson of Kentland Elevator and Supply, and Dave Treinen of AgVenture, Inc.

May 11, 2015

KENTLAND, INDIANA (May 7, 2015) Hampton, Nebraska’s Clinton Griess is putting his agronomic and seed experience to work for AgVenture of Nebraska (AVN) Seed Partners. Griess will provide professional seed services and access to AgVenture® brand seed products to area farmers as an AgVenture Yield Specialist.

After serving twelve years in the U.S. Air Force, including service in Wyoming, South Korea and Omaha, Griess returned home to Hampton and his rural roots. For the past several years, he has worked for an area cooperative in agronomic services roles and focused on seed, crop protection and fertility management. Prior to that, he worked in the seed business conducting scouting and other seed sales support roles.

AVN Seed Partner’s Jeremy McCroden said, “As an AgVenture Yield Specialist, Clinton will be a great asset to our customers and to our team. He is a very sharp individual, dedicated, driven, and very focused on providing the best to his customers.”

McCroden added, “Strong product performance the past several years has contributed to our growth across the area. It’s the direct result of selecting hybrids and varieties that are uniquely suited to our Nebraska growing environments, and the intensive, cutting-edge management practices we help our customers put in practice on every acre. It’s a system that works. It is being proven again and again in dramatically higher yields and improved profitability for our customers. Clinton will help us extend our reach and put our products to work on acres across his area.”

Griess said, “It didn’t take me long to realize this was the right opportunity for me. AVN is just big enough to have superior access to the genetics and technologies that are specifically adapted for our area. The company is still small enough that every customer matters. And sincerely, everything we do is for the purpose of working hard together for our customers’ profitability.”

AVN has a refined selection process on both the dryland and irrigated seed products according to Griess. “AVN knows the history of each pedigree, how it was developed, why and where it performs. From pedigree, to production processes and seed treatments, to intensive, hands-on management from planning to planting through harvest, we work directly with the customer. That’s a unique difference. We put it all together for higher yields, lower cost per bushel and improved profitability. I am proud to work with AVN.”

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. Based in Kentland, Indiana, AgVenture provides this growing network of independently owned and managed seed business owners with seed products meeting exacting standards for quality, together with leading-edge genetics and technology. Since 1983, this unique marketing approach has allowed each individual company to match the seed products it sells to the specific needs of the geographical area it serves. Combined with professional seed representation at a local level, AgVenture strives to help every grower realize more profit from every field.

May 8, 2015

KENTLAND, INDIANA (May 6, 2015) — True to their name, one of central Iowa’s newest independently owned and operated regional seed companies, AgVenture GroMor is growing again. The company’s General Manager, Jim Groepper, based in Ames, says, “Growing is a great feeling in our business. Helping our customers grow yields and profitability is what’s driving our additional growth.”

Since the company was launched in the fall of 2013, Groepper says area farmers are embracing the company’s seed product line-up, and the hands-on, year-round professional seed support key to their business’ offering. “We’re pleased to put our seed, our production/management techniques, and our professional support to work on more acres all the time.”

This is no ordinary seed company according to Groepper. “Our value proposition is unique. Along with cutting-edge seed genetics and technologies specifically adapted to and selected for our growing environment, we take a systems-based approach to helping farmers directly increasing yields and improve their APH. In a tough economic environment, that is a distinctive advantage for central Iowa farmers. Helping us reach those customers is our newest AgVenture Yield Specialist Nick Davenport. Nick’s experience will help us achieve those goals on more acres across the area.”

Davenport is a native and resident of Mingo, Iowa. Before joining AgVenture GroMor, he earned agronomy experience working in the ag retail sector in central Nebraska. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in ag business from Iowa State University.

On joining the company, Davenport said, “I was intent on moving back to my home area where I know the people and the agriculture. This company is especially dedicated to their customers. Everyone here at GroMor is both willing and able to work one-on-one with our customers to drive real improvements and achieve higher goals. I look forward to bringing that to my customers.”

Davenport recently returned from the first in a series of AgVenture educational forums. “Professionally, AgVenture helps us develop our own knowledge and skills with intensive training programs. They want us to be fully equipped to support our customers with the latest science, the best seed, and management tools that allow us to deliver better results to our customers.”

Groepper says growth for the young company has come not only from solid seed product performance. “I think the biggest reason for our growth and the excitement surrounding our brand is that we prove what we promise. Our customers have seen what our seed products, together with our professional services, can help them accomplish: dramatic increases in yields, lower costs per bushel, and an increase overall profitability.” He added, “Nick will help us deliver that promise to his customers. We’re pleased to have his help to serve our customers in this growing geography.”

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. Based in Kentland, Indiana, AgVenture provides this growing network of independently owned and managed seed business owners with seed products meeting exacting standards for quality, together with leading-edge genetics and technology. Since 1983, this unique marketing approach has allowed each individual company to match the hybrids and varieties it sells to the specific needs of the geographical area it serves. Combined with professional seed representation at a local level, AgVenture strives to help every grower realize more profit from every field.

May 5, 2015

KENTLAND, INDIANA (May 4, 2015) Lance Shifflet has joined AgVenture of Nebraska (AVN) Seed Partners. Shifflet, originally from Cambridge, Nebraska is moving back to his hometown where he will work one-on-one with farmers across southwest Nebraska, providing them with access to AgVenture® brand seed products and year-round professional seed support.

Most recently, Shifflet served as a district sales manager for a seed company in the Lincoln area. Prior to that, he graduated with a degree in business management from Doane College at Crete, Nebraska.

AVN Partner Tim Weeces said, “Lance has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to his customers. We look forward to his ability to deliver real value to his customers.

Weeces said each of the AVN team members is focused on helping customers do more with their farming operation. “Through careful crop planning, we work with our customers throughout the year to help them achieve new yield goals, lower their cost per bushel production and advance their overall profitability. It takes dedication; working in the field throughout the growing season. We are there from the seed selection and planning process, from planting, crop development all the way through harvest to help assure they get the most out of their crop. It’s a partnership that is proving its worth across the region as the AgVenture brand is recognized for making those goals a reality.”

Shifflet said, “This is a great opportunity for me. I am confident in these products and so pleased to have the opportunity to put the products and our services to work in my home community.” He added, “I have learned so much already from the AVN group. They take this commitment seriously and do everything it takes to deliver on their promise. We’ll do that consistently with top-performing seed products that are locally adapted and specifically selected for this area, and being present in the field to assure that success. Sharing that with friends, family and throughout the area is a privilege.”

Shifflet and his wife, Lisa will make their home in the Cambridge area. He adds, “We both look forward to becoming involved in the community.

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. Based in Kentland, Indiana, AgVenture provides this growing network of independently owned and managed seed business owners with seed products meeting exacting standards for quality, together with leading-edge genetics and technology. Since 1983, this unique marketing approach has allowed each individual company to match the seed products it sells to the specific needs of the geographical area it serves. Combined with professional seed representation at a local level, AgVenture strives to help every grower realize more profit from every field.

April 20, 2015

Insight from Jason Garing, AgVenture's Systems Administrator and Safety Coordinator Team Member...

There are a number of weather apps you can choose from for your smart phone to provide you with weather notifications.  From NOAA radar, Weather Channel, Intellicast, and my favorite – WeatherBug.  Most will give you alerts for severe weather, as long as you select “allow notification” when you are installing.

WeatherBug will notify you not only of watches and warnings, but for other events such as Fog advisories, Fire dangers, Wind advisories, etc.  WeatherBug also has their own monitoring service, which warns me of a dangerous storm in my area before the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning.  You can also get radar as well as lightning strike data from WeatherBug using their Spark feature.  The other important thing to note is to allow your weather app to turn on location services, so the app will update your location as you travel.  On the iPhone, go to Settings, select Privacy, ensure that “Location Services” is turned on.  You can also check your app settings by selecting Settings, then scroll down to the App section where you will find the names of your apps.  Locate your app, such as WeatherBug, and tap to configure Location capability, and Notifications.

For iPhones, there is another warning system built into your device: open Settings, select Notifications, scroll all the way to the bottom and be sure “Emergency Alerts” is turned on.  Last summer we were issues a Tornado warning, at which time not only did my WeatherBug app alert me, but Apple sent out an alert with the tones you would normally hear over the radio/television stations when they interrupt programming to issue alerts.

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