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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July 24, 2014
By Jeff Morse

My AgVenture Yield Specialist, Denny, is with me rain or shine...all year-round. We've been working together for a total of about 13 years. Here's what he has to say about our season so far:

"In western Iowa, we started out like a lot of people — extremely cold. To start with, we were very, very dry in the area. A lot of guys were very conservative starting up the year, not wanting to put in much fieldwork. So we dealt with a lot of trash that normally we probably wouldn't have. It seems like a lot of the ground stayed cold all the way through May, and my guys held off planting. We still had a lot of issues with corn coming up, because of the extra trash in the field and the cool temperatures.

Weather is always a variable and we've experienced some problems here with the weather — which I know a lot of other areas have, too — but we had pretty big widespread hailstorm and heavy rains go through part of my southern territory that actually hit Jeff. He had to replant just about 7/8 of what he planted the first time corn and beans. The hail lasted long enough that you couldn't even tell where crop was out there.

They waited almost 2 weeks before they came out and made an evaluation of whether they should replant or not. It looks like some of the smaller corn should've made it, but the hail stayed on the ground long enough that I think it froze the growing point. So there is a lot of replanting being determined a little bit later than normal. But like I say, a lot of places have different things to battle this year like the weather we've had.

We did early up a little bit. We didn't go real early — some guys jump into that hundred day. We didn't do that. We tried to stay 106/108. You still have to go after yields, and to be that far south and to go hundred-day corn, I was afraid we would get beat up in yields. He would be happy to deal with a little more moisture and get more yields then to have something halfway dry - no yields.

He does have a beautiful stand now. Everything he replanted came up in about five days. We planted a little bit thicker and he says I don't think there was a kernel that didn't grow. It's just a little behind right now.

When we replant we plant just a little bit thicker population because you're planting later, so you're only going to get so many ears, so to be real big you'd rather have more ears than not enough. Like I said every kernel did grow too, so for being that time of year, we had good warm temps by that time, and he worked the ground right ahead of it, and he really has a good stand in the ground."

- Denny Kasperbauer, AgVenture Yield Specialist at AgVenture of Western Iowa

July 24, 2014
By Jackson Webb

This season has been an anomaly. The biggest thing is we have not watered one full time around yet. The pivot has run twice. We've had somewhere in the neighborhood of probably 14 inches of rain in the last six weeks.

Normally, three waters is about average. I just went back and looked just for the fun of it — and normally we start about the last week of May and we don't stop until the last week of July...and we haven't. It's just, it's unreal really — so we've had near-perfect growing conditions. We've had probably three days that the temps got up to mid 90s, but it was before pollination — before tassels — and other than that we've been anywhere from the mid-80s to low-90s the past six weeks. We've had almost perfect weather on the corn.

If you got it in in a timely manner this season, you’ve got a great crop. If you did, it’s near perfect. I've got neighbors that didn't get planted soon enough, and it looks awful. Timing is huge this year. I've got a friend down the road (he's actually my chemical salesman), and he's got beans in the pod.  He was planting his beans when I was planting my corn. So the timing this year has been key. Wayne, my Yield Specialist, said it was hit or miss in a lot of spots. I got lucky — or blessed. Not sure which.

Bad-Luck Beans

The beans are a different story. They’ve stayed wet and they’re not growing like they should — one of my neighbors has replanted four times. It's getting kind of frustrating with everything you throw at them, saying well that didn't work. Either that or you get another 3-inch rain. Then, they're right back where they were a week ago. I'm getting real close to abandoning replanting.

With some of the other beans around here, it's not a disaster. I'd say 70% of the crop looks pretty good but then you've got the other 30% that just doesn't look good. It’s hard to decide whether to replant because if you’ve got beans that are blooming and you're going to go back in and replant them, the problem comes at the end of the year- they’re late. So then you're late getting in again. That's how I look at it. Some of it is still knee-deep underwater from the last big rain we got, and all the ditches are full because the water has nowhere to go.

Looking Ahead to Harvest

For corn, I am thrilled with what Wayne has put on me. I haven't cut it yet, but, my banker asked how it looks, and I said it looks to be one of the best crops I've ever had. It may get to it; it may not, but aesthetically, it looks like the best crop of ever had. End-to-end and side-to-side, it's got a beautiful color — it's kept the color just for the weather we've had.

Up next is harvest. I'm thinking I've got maybe two maybe three waterings left on the irrigated corn. It may be two. The target is this week for harvest, so just around the corner. Realistically it'll probably be the next week after, just because year after year it seems like it gets to 30% and it sits forever. And almost overnight, it drops five points. Normally, I would start around the 21st or 22nd, but Wayne and I have been talking and I think, based on the price and everything else, we are going to push it to the 22nd or 23rd.

July 24, 2014
By Jackson Webb

I work really closely with Wayne, my AgVenture Yield Specialist throughout the year. Here's what he had to say about this season so far:

"During a normal season, we generally do at least three rounds of irrigation and watering. I've told Jackson to start up three different times so far, and he never gets a complete set done before it rains again. Every farmer, from the ones who have been doing this for 30 years to the ones of who have been doing it for 50 years, we've never seen anything like this. For the corn, it’s pretty much a perfect season, despite the challenges we had at planting.

I would say we had marginal planting season for Jackson. We really thought we were pushing the envelope on it, and it was stressful, but I think we ended up with a better crop than we did in 2013. Last year we thought we were pushing it on March 15, and this year we did it on March 18.

It was cold and everything again. We finished up around April 9, and then we went through a cold, wet spell there for about a week. It was high 30s like 39 for a couple nights. We even got frost at one point.

We also have been trying fungicide in-furrow for a couple years. I think fungicide must just be like crack to corn. It just makes it feel better — whether it's real or not, if it makes it feel better, who cares? The corn really emerged evenly and pretty quick, even with the weather we had. It turned around, and we have one of the best-looking crops we’ve ever seen so far.

With soybeans, it’s a different story. It's like a witches brew every time we turn around. They’re stunted they don't want to grow. They’re waterlogged. We've had to throw some stuff at them, like some foliar-fed fertilizer stuff. I’m just out there calling our agronomists, asking what else we can try. We’re getting to the point where we may not replant.

But the corn — the corn is in really good shape."

Finding the Right Seed

I think on irrigated corn, we should be black layer by August 1. We've got some dryland corn — and this is what I'm proud of — it's one of these deals that, normally we could only pull off with AgVenture.

I was fortunate enough to go to our big meeting in January in Florida for production, and I was able to get with our product team and say, “All right guys, I've got to have a corn variety that's 110 days or less that can take some heat stress. I don't worry about the disease package because we're going to put fungicide on it.”

So they start pulling a couple things, saying, Let's try this let's try that. We put the seed in our little strip plot — in our Profit Plot system there's a small plot — and two years ago, I found three varieties that we would work with. I grew a little bit last year on my farm and made sure that this thing worked. We got this great 106/108-day variety, and I say gosh we’re dented right now on it. It's 200-bushel corn no doubt, but with no rain, we saw how good it was. We put an extra 60 units of fertilizer on it whenever we got to tassel. So we’re looking pretty good here.

- Wayne Dulaney, AgVenture Yield Specialist at Dulaney Seed

 

July 24, 2014
By Jackson Webb

AgVenture Yield Specialist Wayne DulaneyDuring the growing season, Wayne (my Yield Specialist) and I are pretty much in constant communication. Here's what he has to say:

"If I haven't heard from Jackson in like two days or something for some reason, I call and say, “Hey are you alright? Is everything okay? What's going on?” And it’s funny, but Jackson gets so upset with me if we have to deviate from the cropping plan. It’s necessary at times, but he does trust me, and I know what to recommend for his farm.

We’ve probably been working together for about ten years now, and at the time I started, Jackson knew more about corn than I did.  I'd never raised a corn crop until I started with AgVenture, so I leaned on Jackson. I learned a lot of things from him just because he was doing a good job.

All together, I don’t think anyone around him has as high APH as he does. Jackson is one of the few I truly rely on. He is my go-to person, when you hear, "Well you can't grow corn behind corn." I say, "Well I've got a customer who's on his 13th year corn behind corn, and we won't take it out because it keeps yielding over 230 bushels each year. When the yields drop off, we’ll rotate it. And he just keeps getting gradually better and better."

- Wayne Dulaney, AgVenture Yield Specialist with Dulaney Seeds

July 17, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA/ROSCOE, SOUTH DAKOTA (July 16, 2014) — New team members, new facilities, and new company growth are driving AgVenture Scherr’s Seed rapid expansion in reach and services across South Dakota and North Dakota. The locally owned and operated, independent regional seed company has hired AgVenture Yield Specialist Shawn Rithmiller to provide AgVenture® brand seed products and professional seed support to customers in the Webster, SD area.
Rithmiller, a native of Webster, joins the company after being fully involved in the community in sales, selling and customer service roles for the past twelve years. Rithmiller spent four years in the military, and moved back to his home community with his wife, Dawn, and their six children.

Steve Scherr, Owner of Scherr’s Seed said, “We are very pleased to have Shawn anchoring our new Webster facility. He is honest, trustworthy, and a loyal addition to our team. He truly knows the community and people across the region. His dedication to serving our customers and his ability to efficiently manage people, products and logistics will really be a benefit to our customers and to Scherr’s Seed.”

Rithmiller will be operating out of their brand new warehouse facilities located on the South side of Highway 12 on the west side of Webster. “The new facilities are nearing completion,” Scherr said. “The new 4,480 square feet building and five bin bulk system will house fully-automated, state-of-the-art seed treatment equipment. We are extremely pleased to put this facility to work. It is an investment in our customers and our communities.”

“Adding the Webster warehouse makes Scherr Seed uniquely prepared to provide a growing number of customers with seed that is managed with the utmost care and precise application of the best seed treatment products on the market,” he added. The addition of the Webster facility makes a total of six locations for the company.

Scherr said the company’s product line up is significantly enhanced as well. “Our product portfolio is deeper than ever. Recent affiliations with key seed genetic and technology suppliers have further bolstered our access to the strongest genetic/tech seed products on the market. We are very excited to see how this will continue to advance our customer’s profitability on every acre.”

Rithmiller said, “Scherr’s Seed is all about integrity. Our team members are all highly trained and are out in the fields providing support to customers throughout the year. Our management tools, our seed and our willingness to work with our customers truly will have a significant impact on both yield and profitability. Having the Webster warehouse allows us to provide timely distribution and accurate service together to the area.”

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 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.

July 15, 2014

PRINCETON, IL/KENTLAND, IN (July 14, 2014) – Bryce Borkgren of Geneseo,Illinois has joined AgVenture Pureline Seed Company. Borkgren will provide customers across north central and western Illinois with access to AgVenture® brand seedproducts and year-round professional seed support services. Pureline Sales and Marketing Manager, Todd Ashpole said, “We are very pleased to welcome Bryce to our company. He has a strong work ethic and a willing dedication to helping each customer maximize profit on every acre.”

Ashpole noted, “Bryce comes to AgVenture Pureline after participating in several intensive internship programs that really honed his customer relationship skills. He listens well and has already brought our customers welcomed support in the field.” Borkgren said, “It is so rewarding to be in the field, working one-on-one with our
customers. Our goal is to help our customers get more profitability from every acre. That requires us to pay very close attention to every seed planted, and its needs throughout the growing season. AgVenture’s practical management practices, such as our Maximum Profit System™ (MPS), help our customers realize dramatic
increases in yield, lower cost per bushel, and greater overall profitability. I look forward to working with more farmers across the area.”

Ashpole noted that Borkgren is one of two new employees recently added to the Pureline team. “Our company has continued to expand our footprint across the area. We have a very deep and exceptionally strong product portfolio that is uniquely selected to perform in this area’s growing environment. We are ready to meet the growing demand with talented, energetic professionals who are dedicated to each customer’s success.”

Borkgren is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin, Platteville where he majored in Agribusiness Marketing and Communications. He resides in Geneseo.

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 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.

July 14, 2014

PRINCETON, IL/KENTLAND, IN (July 10, 2014) – AgVenture Pureline Seed Company has welcomed AgVenture Yield Specialist Becky Nielsen to the team. Nielsen will work with customers across north central Illinois.

Since 1991, the locally owned and operated regional seed company has provided farmers across north central and western Illinois with access to top-yielding seed genetics and leading technologies in their robust AgVenture® brand corn and soybean seed portfolio, along with year-round, on-farm professional seed support.

Pureline Sales and Marketing Manager, Todd Ashpole said, “Our growth has continued as more producers realize the combined advantages of our seed products and practical, tactical production practices. We are pleased to expand our footprint across the area.” He added, “Becky comes to us uniquely prepared to work with our customers one-on-one. She has the practical knowledge of farming in the area having been born and raised on a row crop farm. She has a passion for maximizing seed products in their growing environment, and knows our business very well.”

Nielsen joins the company as a full time employee after having participated in internships with Pureline for three summers. Ashpole said, “We work hard to provide our employees with intensive, focused training. They are engaging in a cooperative relationship with our customers. With programs such as our Maximum Profit System™ (MPS), we look at how the crop performs throughout the growing season. MPS is a systems-based approach to dramatically increasing yield, lowering cost per bushel and improving overall profitability. Becky’s experience on their home farm, watching every aspect of the program work, combined with her extensive background in our company have well-equipped her to succeed with her customers.”

Nielsen grew up on her family’s farm in Putnam County where she has been an active participant in farming operations. She said, “I am so impressed with this company, our products and our commitment to service. Our family farm is 100% AgVenture seed. I know first-hand how it has improved our yields and profitability. I look forward to helping my customers realize those advancements on their farms.”

Nielsen holds a degree in Ag Business from Illinois State University. She resides at Lostant, Illinois.

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 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.AgVenture Pureline welcomes Becky Nielsen as AgVenture Yield Specialist

July 7, 2014

IOLA, KANSAS/KENTLAND, INDIANA (July 3, 2014) — AgVenture of Eastern Kansas has new grid sampling and prescription writing services to offer customers. And at the Four State Farm Show, at Pittsburg, Kansas July 18-20. Owner Tom Woodworth will showcase their new Wintex 1000 hydraulic soil probe which allows them to sample any type of soil up to a twelve inch depth.

Woodworth said the soil sampling services are a new offering for the independently owned and operated regional seed company. “Recently, we sat down with some of our customers to ask them what additional services we could offer to better help them reach and exceed their yield goals. Their response was an overwhelming desire for independent soil sampling support.”

Woodworth took action. He said, “As a result, we are very pleased to offer our SoilMax side of the business to our customers. We have invested in the equipment, software, technology and planning tools to help them get the accurate and timely data they need.”

As precision agriculture technologies and practices take hold in Kansas, Woodworth said the company is fully prepared to be that independent resource for customers. “We have the software to build seeding and fertility prescriptions to plug into variable rate equipment. That’s unique. We are not here to save you money, but to help customers get more money back on their investment.”

On thousands of acres last fall and this spring, AgVenture of Eastern Kansas has sampled soils, used an independent laboratory for analysis, and provided all the information back to the customer. “It is their data. The customer needs to own their own data. Our approach provides them with all the data and allows them to take it to their retailer or fertilizer supplier.”

“We don’t sell fertilizer, fungicides, additives, etc.,” he said. “We want to provide our customers with the tools they need. We can help them be more accurate, test to see if it pays, and understand the economics. It is a perfect match with our AgVenture Maximum Profit System™, a systems-based approach to dramatically increasing yield, lowering cost per bushel and driving marked improvement in overall profitability.”

AgVenture of Kansas is part of AgVenture, Inc., 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 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.

June 30, 2014

KENTLAND, IN (June 27, 2014) – Kentland, Indiana-based AgVenture D&M has announced hiring Matt Dreiling of Russellville, Kentucky to serve customers in their growing business. The locally owned and operated regional seed company will expand their reach to customers in western Kentucky, providing them with access to AgVenture® brand seed products and their unique approach to maximizing profitability on every acre.

AgVenture D&M Sales and Marketing Manager, Brian Maxwell said, “Growth is great when it allows you to further build a solid team. Matt’s depth of experience in sales and sales management will be a great asset to building our team in western Kentucky. He has proven to be very effective in delivering exceptional service to customers, assuring their many needs are met and expectations are exceeded.”

Maxwell added, “We are deeply committed to our goals of improving profitability on every acre. The strategic management practices of our Maximum Profit System™ have made a significant and positive difference for growers across this region – dramatically increasing yields, lowering costs per bushel and improving their overall profitability. Matt’s involvement will no doubt help us reach more growers across the region.”

Dreiling said, “This is an exciting company. AgVenture D&M has an outstanding product portfolio and combines it with year-round service to our customers. This is a dedicated team, focused on integrity at every level. The business of crop production has seen many changes in the past several years. Our team is highly trained and completely committed to improving profitability. I look forward to putting these unique tools and techniques to work.”

Dreiling, a native of Nebraska, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. He and his wife, Tiffany, live at Russellville with their 17 month old son, Brayden.

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 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.

 

June 27, 2014
By Jackson Webb

I don’t know exactly how many years I’ve been working with Wayne Dulaney, but I would say it’s about 10. Wayne and I grew up together, and our parents are still best friends. And when Wayne got into the seed business, he was mainly selling rice before he got into corn. We were laughing about that today even — Wayne said, “You taught me more about corn in my first two years than I ever knew before.” And it’s funny, because now I depend on Wayne more than anything for all my crops.

From the get-go, Wayne asked if I would give him 40 acres—just 40 acres of beans. I thought there was no way it would do well, but I gave it to him. And sure enough, I did everything he asked me to do, and it did really well.

That same year, we decided we were done with cotton, and Wayne asked me to give him all of my beans on the next crop. Since the 40 acres had done so well, I said yes — and that was the second best bean crop I've ever cut.

The next year, Wayne wanted some of my corn, so I gave him 40 acres of corn, and it out-yielded all of our expectations.

At that point, I decided there might be something to Wayne’s technique. With all their programs and everything they do, AgVenture works really well on our farm, and I attribute it to Wayne's attention and the relationship we have. And we might be friends, but from what I've seen he treats everyone like he treats me. It's not just that we’re buddies.

A Year-Round Partnership

The relationship never stops. It's a year-round process. I don't go pick up my seed and Wayne helps me through the growing season and that's it. It's every day. He comes on my combine and we start looking at stuff. He's right there with me. I really enjoy riding the combine, because I can see what worked and what doesn't; what I like and what I don't like. And a lot of times we're taking notes and talking back and forth: “I don't like this; I do like this; I don't like this.” We’re sending pictures. And when we stop the combine, it's not three weeks later that I'm telling him, “I want this and this and this variety for sure, and go find me others.”

A lot of times he'll come back with practices he wants to try. He knows my farm and he knows my ground. He also knows my management practices. He knows what I can and can't do, so he helps me plan accordingly for that variety. And the varieties may change as the markets change, so it's a constant contact back and forth until February when we finalize.

When I get my seed, he knows he doesn't need to babysit me. If I have a problem, he’s here, but usually he just comes by to check on me. And then throughout the growing season he is constantly looking at how the seed and how it's holding in the ground. Wayne is one of the best agronomists I know. He looks at how the ear is sitting and what it looks like; how it looks on the lower end where the ground is buckshot.

He is using me as much as I'm using him. It's one of those relationships that in business I couldn't do without.

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