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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February 7, 2016
By Aaron Paus

We survived the holidays just fine, and right now we’re just wheelin’ and dealin’ and trying to reinvent ourselves to survive the new economy.

From a research and discovery standpoint, things aren’t quite laid out yet, but we’re close. We’ve met with Jeremy and we’ve got our seed figured out, but we need to figure out some details going forward. I’m actually on the road right now to Illinois to meet with an AgVenture agronomist, so we’ll have a better idea after that.

Focus on Agronomy

The agronomist always has projects he wants us to dabble in — it’s usually something like a new product or implementation practice. This year, we’re looking at doing some of our own grid sampling, and we bought a self-propelled sprayer. We’ve always had to rely on others for spraying in the past, but now we own one. I want to talk to the agronomist about doing some post-emerge side dressing with the urea format. We’ll also talk about what he likes to see for some timing issues.

It’s not going to happen this year, but I’m envisioning if things go well next year, I’d like to add variable rate spraying to our GreenSeeker program. We could do it on the go as a side dressing, based on what the crop is reading. That’s something I’m kind of excited about, but financial constraints this year just aren’t going to allow it to happen until 2017 at the earliest. For 2016, we’ll focus on remote soil sensing and beta testing six automated pivot controls. With all this, Jeremy is involved with everything from top to bottom.

Preparing for the 2016 Economy

There are some real challenges going forward for ’16. We were blessed that we had a rewarding and successful ’15 — the bank is still shaking its head saying, “I don’t know how you did that, but do it again.” Some of the reason for that is we had some nice marketing that we carried into the year. We also had some favorable rains on our dryland fields. We saw yields that weren’t obscene, but they were still very, very good.

Then we’ve just been careful to every day keep expenses in check, though right now it doesn’t seem that way, with the sprayer and in some other areas. It seems like money’s just coming out, and nothing’s coming in; but we’re trying to start filling our own application needs so we can see long-term savings. It’s a big up-front cost, but we’ll save in the long run.

February 7, 2016
By Jackson Webb

Right now, we’re just getting started after enjoying some time off over the holidays and in January. We’re hitting the ground running, and the guys know when we come back, we’re back wide open.

In 2015, we were a bit below what we like to see; a bit below average. We fared better than some and worse than others. The new farm was less than we had hoped, but we got it pretty much whipped into shape now, so hopefully 2016 will see some changes.

Unpredictable Weather

It was seasonably warm in December — we were at 85 degrees for a lot of it. Our El Niño weather is the exact opposite of what they told us how it was going to be. They said it would be a brutally cold, wet winter, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s been wet, but it’s just now gotten cold.

I don’t think that should affect planting time, because we’re all completely rowed up now and ready to plant. We were able to get lots of work done, and now all we’ve got to do is drop in, though I don’t know what the planting season is going to hold with this weather.

Changes for 2016

The biggest change this year is that we’re going to 30-inch rows. We’re switching from 38s to 30s, mainly to streamline planting. I don’t like a wide row bean, and we saw last year that the twin-row beans did real well. But I think we can do a lot better trying to precision plant this year.

Actually, we’re going to use a lot more prescriptions this year as compared to 2015. Last year we kind of planned our dryland separately, but this year we’re going to do a lot more precision stuff. We’d like to start on some variable rate in our fertilizer applications and some others. One thing we’re sticking with is our liquid P & K program. We had great results with that last year, and we’re going to do it again.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the next week or two and get a bit more hunting in before planting starts.

January 29, 2016

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, February 2016

Starter fertilizers can provide essential nutrients to young corn plants during early season growth periods. While it is difficult to predict exactly if yield response will occur, under some conditions, starter fertilizers can greatly improve the potential for yield response. According to University of Illinois research, starter fertilizers provided benefits:

  • Where phosphorus (P) availability is low – readily available P is essential early in the growing season. Young corn seedlings need P near the row on soils testing less than 20 pounds P per acre. However, University of Illinois indicates that even on medium- to higher-testing soils, starter will increase yield potential if the soil remains cool for several weeks after plant emergence. High pH soils (>7.3) often respond well to starter fertilizer since high pH reduces P availability.
  • Cool soil temperatures – in reduced tillage systems, where residue reduces soil temperatures, root growth can be slow, and thus is the nutrient uptake near the seed. Cool soils also reduce the rate of microbial release of nitrogen (N) from soil organic matter. Starters help provide N near the seed. U of I research shows significant corn yield increase 90 percent of the time in no-till situations, but roughly 30 percent of the time in conservation tillage systems. N combined with P gave better responses.

University of Minnesota research rigorously tested starter fertilizers in a variety of growing environments over several years. Results of their studies show that starter fertilizers containing N, P, and Sulphur (S) increased early growth and reduced plant variability of continuous corn with reduced tillage. Yield responses were inconsistent but were more likely on poorly-drained and glacial-till soils. Where starter fertilizers were used containing N, P & S, grain moisture at harvest was also reduced. Potassium (K) starters are important especially in reduced tillage or low K soils. Complete NPK starters typically provide more consistent responses. Always start with your soil test. Consult your AgVenture Yield Specialist.

January 19, 2016

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI/ KENTLAND, INDIANA (January 19, 2016) — “Solid leadership is a critical element in supporting and sustaining profitability for our customers,” said Dulaney Seed Company’s Owner, Terry Dulaney. “As our company continues to grow, we’re pleased to welcome Allen Lyon as our Sales Manager.”

Dulaney said, “Allen’s expertise is managing our team of AgVenture Yield Specialists. We have an exceptional group of professionals that work directly with their customers year round. Allen will provide them with the support and synergies they need to develop additional leadership in the field. He’s a valuable resource for our customers and our team.”

From his rural roots at Indianola, Mississippi, Lyon worked for a local crop duster as a youngster before starting out in the cotton business. From there, he was recruited to work at the local bank where his business and management skills secured a solid career in banking for eighteen years.

Lyon said, “Agriculture has always been my roots and a strong passion. My role is to support our team to ensure that we deliver a 100% positive impact on our customers’ business. We have access to the highest quality seed products that are specifically selected and adapted for each growing environment. We have the highest level of service, and unique crop production management tools. I look forward to supporting this team and serving our customers with the dedicated commitment it takes to advance their goals.”

Despite a challenging growing season in 2015, Dulaney says the Maximum Profit System™ (MPS) contributed to higher yields and higher net returns on farms across the region. “MPS is a comprehensive production management approach to farming smarter. With the support of our agronomy and AgVenture Yield Specialist team members, MPS continues to prove its merit, allowing our customers dramatically increase yield, lower cost per bushel and improve overall profitability. With Allen’s leadership, we will continue to support our customers’ success.”

Lyon is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, and obtained graduate banking certification through Louisiana State University. He and his wife, Brenda, have three sons, Bailey, Wells and Griffin. They reside at Senatobia, Mississippi.

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.

January 13, 2016

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, January 2016

Meteorologists are evaluating comparisons between the current strong El Niño and that from 18 years ago. In December 1997, sea surface height was more intense and peaked in November. According to Alan Buis, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this year, the area of high sea levels is less intense, but much broader. This year’s current strong El Niño shows no signs of weakening, and experts expect the weather chaos to continue the next few months.

NOAA expects many of El Niño’s biggest impacts early in 2016. Conditions favor an El Niño-induced shift in weather patterns starting now and continuing for several months of relatively cool and wet conditions across the southern United States, and relatively warm and dry conditions over the northern United States. In 1997-98, the El Niño caused the January 1998 New England ice storm, mild weather and little snowfall across the northern U.S., and storms across the south. NOAA reports that early in 2015, atmospheric conditions changed, and El Niño steadily expanded in the central and eastern Pacific. Although the sea surface height signal in 1997 was more intense and peaked in November of that year, in 2015, the area of high sea levels is larger. This could mean we have not yet seen the peak of this El Niño (sources: NASA, NOAA, and Alan Buis).

January 7, 2016

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI/ KENTLAND, INDIANA (January 7, 2016) — Dulaney Seed, Inc. of Clarksdale, Mississippi has welcomed Jay Madison of Vicksburg, Mississippi to serve farmers across northeast Louisiana as their AgVenture Yield Specialist.

Madison has a strong professional background in crop consulting, seed sales and management, as well as precision ag support. He will provide his customers with year round, dedicated seed support along with access to locally adapted and selected seed products, seed that meets or exceeds the industry’s highest quality standards and the Maximum Profit System™ (MPS). MPS is a systems-based approach to dramatically increasing yields, lowering cost per bushel and improving overall profitability.

Dulaney Seed’s Owner, Terry Dulaney said, “Jay’s professional experience is a great asset for our customers as well as our company. As we expand our reach further into Louisiana, it’s critical for us to have professionals on staff to work directly with our customers. It’s our goal to help more of our customers across the region advance their goals on more acres year after year. Jay will help put our high yield strategies to work and make that a reality across the region. ”
Madison said, “I am most excited about helping my customers push their yields to higher levels – not just get by with a corn crop, but to employ some of these ideas, production methods, crop management systems, etc.” He added that a lot has changed in northeast Louisiana crop production systems in the past decade. “Now, with our locally adapted seed products, together with our proven maximum profit strategies, farmers here have many new opportunities available to them that drive profitability. I look forward to earning the respect of my customers.”

“I have a very high regard for Dulaney Seed and my team members,” said Madison. “They are small enough to make independent decisions that directly benefit their customers. They are big enough to get the job done efficiently and professionally. The products and services they bring their customers have a profound, positive effect on their customers’ bottom line.”

Madison holds degrees in History and Political Sciences from Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama. He pursued graduate studies at Mississippi State University in entomology before obtaining his crop consultant’s license. Today, Madison lives in Vicksburg, Mississippi with his wife, Laura Dow, and their two sons and one daughter.

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.

December 29, 2015
By Jeff Morse

We’ve been following Jeff and Denny over the past few years as they work together to raise yields and plan for future seasons. Jeff’s sons, Josh and Jared, have joined the farm and work alongside their father — and they’re carrying on the AgVenture tradition. Jared even works for AgVenture as a ProfiZone specialist.

All of them rely on Denny to help select the right seed for their fields, manage in-season applications and plan for the upcoming season. They do it year after year because AgVenture is more than a seed company — it’s a complete plan.

See for yourself and hear it in their own words in this video. Some say it. We do it.

December 29, 2015
By Aaron Paus

Over the last few years, we've been following AgVenture grower Aaron Paus and his AYS Jeremy McCroden. Together, they've implemented new practices for variable rate irrigation as well as managed some great crops. 

During the off-season, Aaron and Jeremy are hard at work producing their cropping plan for the next season. They input data into multiple systems and analyze the results, working with a team of experts. Together, they produce a cropping plan based on solid data, yield history, soil types and management practices — and each year they improve their strategies and find new ways to gain yields. 

Watch this video to hear about the process of writing an AgVenture cropping plan from Aaron himself.

Some say it. We do it.

December 16, 2015

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI/ KENTLAND, INDIANA (December 16, 2015) — Farmers across northeastern Louisiana have gained a new AgVenture Yield Specialist. Dulaney Seed, Inc. of Clarksdale, Mississippi has welcomed Daryl Stapp to their team. Stapp will work directly with customers, providing them with access to locally adapted seed products specifically selected for the northeastern Louisiana’s growing environment. In addition, Stapp will provide customers with high yield strategies that help them maximize profitability on their acres.

Dulaney Seed’s Owner, Terry Dulaney said, “Demand for our products and services continues to grow. As we expand our reach in this important growing region, we see the advantages our customers have using our products and the Maximum Profit System™ (MPS). It’s critical that customers have the right people in place to work directly with them. Combining products, support, and innovative production strategies, our customers are improving yield and profitability.” He added, “Daryl knows this area very well and understands his customers’ needs. We are pleased to have him help us deliver our products and services directly to the field.”

Born and raised on the family farm at Mangham, Louisiana, Stapp raised cotton, soybeans, corn and cattle until the late 90’s. He served in law enforcement for several years before coming back to agriculture where he worked in seed sales, seed research, and agronomy roles.

Stapp said, I am and always have been a farmer at heart. I enjoy working directly with my customers. With years of experience of evaluating plots, and hybrid and variety trials, have the highest degree of confidence in the seed products we offer. They are specifically selected for and suited to our unique Louisiana growing environments.”

“We take a comprehensive approach to helping our customers with every detail of crop planning and management, offering them access to tools and techniques that are proven in this area. Through our MPS program, I look forward to helping my customers dramatically increase yields, lower cost per bushel and improve overall profitability on every acre.”

Stapp and his wife, Janet, and two children live at Lake Village, Arkansas.

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.

December 4, 2015

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, December 2015

AgVenture recognizes several important benefits of utilizing starter fertilizers. They can play an important role in optimal stand establishment and development.
Uneven stands have been reported to suffer corn grain yield reductions from six to as much as 23 percent depending on the severity (Nielsen, 2010; Nafziger, et al., 1991). This yield loss could be significantly reduced by starter fertilizer applications in cases where the primary cause of uneven stands is the inability of the young nodal root system to access sufficient soil nutrients.

Starter fertilizers, small amounts of plant nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are placed in close proximity to the seed, usually at planting. Placement can be directly below, to the side, or to the side and below the seed. Growers sometimes consider broadcast or liquid fertilizer application to the soil surface as "starter"; however, these should not be included because nutrient placement is positionally unavailable to early seedling growth. To be a "starter," nutrients must be strategically positioned to enhance early seedling vigor and development.

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