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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November 25, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA (November 24, 2014) — Ames, Iowa-based AgVenture GroMor, LLC has welcomed Gary Hammitt of Vincent, Iowa to serve central Iowa farmers as an AgVenture Yield Specialist. Hammitt, an agronomy professional with thirty years of experience, will work directly with GroMor customers year-round utilizing his teaching skills, agronomy research expertise, and crop input and fertility management skills.

AgVenture GroMor CEO and General Manager, Jim Groepper said, “Our customers and our company have gained a valuable resource in Gary. His professional dedication to providing practical, science-based methods that improve productivity and profitability align seamlessly with our GroMor mission. Our commitment to our customers includes providing them access to the best seed genetics and technologies along with year-round professional seed support to make that improved profitability a reality.”

Hammitt’s career has been dedicated to teaching and learning, researching and applying practical management solutions to optimize crop environments and yields. For fifteen years, he served as Agronomy Research Manager for the Land O’Lakes AnswerPlot™ farms across a four state region. There, he led research and events for farmers focused on improving farm productivity by using the best possible technology within the agro-ecological environment, and combining that with specific management practices. As an Environmental Management Specialist for the Iowa Soybean Association, he worked on the Boone River watershed to manage environmental incentive programs for the region. The Boone River watershed is considered an area of significance because of its aquatic biodiversity. It was identified in the Upper Mississippi River Basin Plan as an area with significant plant and animal life. It is one of few HUC 8 watersheds that are completely within the state of Iowa. With Iowa Select Farms, Hammitt paired his nutrient management and fertility skills to oversee manure management operations for more than one hundred thirty hog farms.

“Joining AgVenture GroMor is a perfect fit,” said Hammitt. “It is a capstone opportunity that allows me to utilize all of my agronomic skills together in support of our customers. The seed products, the attention to production practices and the professionalism and camaraderie of the GroMor team are each outstanding. I look forward to helping our customers get the most out of their inputs, maximize yields, improve their APH and increase their overall, long-term profitability.”

In 2012, Hammitt’s family was awarded an Iowa Heritage Farm award for having the farm in the family for more than 150 years. He was also the recipient of the Iowa Ag Environmental Leadership Award. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University in Ag Education. Hammitt and his wife, Jenice, have three children.

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.

Tags: AYS, GroMor, Hammitt, iowa
November 17, 2014

JEFFERSON, WISCONSIN/KENTLAND, INDIANA (November 17, 2014) — Menomonie, Wisconsin native Justin Jensen has joined AgVenture Spangler Seed as their newest AgVenture Yield Specialist. Jensen will fortify the independently owned and operated regional seed company’s presence in northwestern Wisconsin. Jensen will work one-on-one with area farmers throughout the year. He will provide producers with access to AgVenture Spangler’s seed products, and support them in gaining more profitability from every acre.

AgVenture Spangler Director of Customer Relations, Matthew Eske said, “We are very pleased Justin will be working with our customers across this region. He’s a hard-working young professional. Justin is dedicated to bringing his customers the seed products and the tools and techniques that help them make the most of every acre.”

Eske added, “We are very confident in our strong seed product portfolio specifically well adapted to northwest Wisconsin. We have an outstanding range of seed products in the 90-100 day range that excel here. In addition, our silage seed products are second to none. This seed fits the way farmers in the area farm. We have 100 years of Wisconsin seed business experience and we put that to work on every farm.”

Jensen said, “I have been so pleased to introduce my customers to our seed products and to our Maximum Profit System™. It is systems-based approach to dramatically increasing yield, lowering cost per bushel and improving overall profitability. Regardless of what prices do, we need to farm smarter and make more out of our crops. I am proud to share our products and my support with customers across the area.”

Born and raised at Jensen Family Farms just outside of Menomonie, Jensen grew up working with dairy cattle, beef cattle and raising crops. The family also has a maple syrup business. A graduate of Chippewa Valley Technical College at Eau Claire, Jensen double majored in Animal Science and Agronomy.

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.

November 14, 2014

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, November 2014

Fall tillage choices directly impact soil quality and productivity, but it is about an entire system, not just an overall choice. AgVenture encourages growers to
consider their entire cropping plan, assessing site specific conditions, soil and water quality considerations, and the crop to be planted in the spring. Fall tillage considerations include:

  • Soil conditions – natural drainage, top soil depth, soil slope, organic matter and soiltexture
  •  Management conditions – residue management, crop rotation, equipment availability and use (combine residue distribution and planter capability to manage different tillage systems), tiling, soil fertility management, and insect/disease history.
November 12, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA/ROSCOE, SOUTH DAKOTA (November 11, 2014) — AgVenture Scherr’s Seed has continued to grow, expanding their reach eastward. The independently owned and operated regional seed company has welcomed Sioux Falls’ Virgil Scherr to their team as a Seed Sales Specialist.

Strong product performance augmented by year-round customized professional seed support has increased demand for the Roscoe, South Dakota-based company’s products and services. Scherr’s Seed Owner, Steve Scherr said, “We’re very pleased to welcome Virgil to our company. His dedicated, practical approach to our products and our customers will be very beneficial to our customers. Virgil is a respected professional who is actively farming himself. He will be instrumental in providing our products to farmers across this area.”

Growing up on a family farm, Virgil Scherr has deep roots in production agriculture. Upon semi-retirement from a successful career in owning and operating a commercial refrigeration business, he has again become immersed in farming.

He said, “In owning and farming my own land, I have concentrated on efficiency in my farming practices. I want to know exactly what the soil and seed together can do to provide top yields and solid profitability. I began working with AgVenture Scherr’s Seed on my own land, understanding how these seed products and the total approach to increasing yields, lowering costs per bushel and improving profitability are effective. I hope to bring these products to other local farmers. Beyond the seed, I look forward to helping them access the team of AgVenture Yield Specialists who can help them maximize their production potential.”

As part of the nation’s largest network of independently owned and operated seed companies, AgVenture Scherr’s Seed has access to a broad platform of selected and adapted seed genetics and the latest seed technologies on the market. Steve Scherr said, “Our seed products have continued to perform well across the region. Our AgVenture Yield Specialists work with customers throughout the year, providing them with access to seed, and to the best, proven management techniques that help them reach and exceed new highs in yields and profitability. We look forward to extending our services to customers throughout eastern South Dakota.

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.
 

November 10, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA (November 6, 2014) — This Veteran’s Day, AgVenture of Nebraska Seed Partners (AVN) has taken time to acknowledge a special customer who has had an exceptional career. AVN owner Dennis Kenyon said, Ray Siekman has been a leader in agriculture. A loyal AVN customer, Ray has grown many corn and soybean seed test plots for AVN while farming over 2,000 acres of row crops, 1,200 acres of hay and pasture and maintaining a cow-calf herd of 100 head of Red Angus cattle near Lincoln, Nebraska. But there’s much more to the story.”

“Leadership and service always have been a part of Ray’s life,” said Kenyon. “His influence in his distinguished military career is something to be acknowledged, respected and honored this Veteran’s Day.”

AgVenture Yield Specialist Dale VanAckeren has worked closely with Siekman the past several years. “Ray was recently honored by the Kiwanis as Farm Family of the year for Lancaster County, Nebraska.” VanAckeren notes, “It was an honor well deserved. His dedication to advancing agriculture production practices has not only advanced his own operation, but has inspired others as he has shared results and encouraged fellow farmers. Beyond his agricultural leadership, Ray has been a highly decorated serviceman. He is the essence of what makes our community and our country great. We are very proud of him.”

Born in Lincoln in 1941, Siekman fell in love with farming on the family farm. From the one room schoolhouse, to vocational agriculture preparation and FFA involvement at Walton, Siekman actively participated, was involved and engaged in agriculture, education and sharing what he has learned. As a member of the ROTC while in college, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation with a degree in vocational agriculture and natural science from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Siekman served at numerous military posts including Germany, Korea and the Pentagon. In 1967-68 during his first tour in Vietnam, he flew a turbo-prop Mohawk during surveillance missions over North Vietnam and during his second tour, flew a Huey helicopter. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Air Medal with 60 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Master Army Aviation Badge, and numerous other medals and commendations. In 1983, while serving at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, he retired after 20 years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel where General Colin Powell presided at his retirement ceremony.

Kenyon noted, “We are so grateful for all the men and women who have served our country in the military throughout the years, and for those who continue to do so today. As our company serves agriculture, we are humbled and proud of the many sacrifices Ray and others have made that allow us to do so.”

Siekman has 3 children, Son Dennis and wife Sue, daughters Anne Marie and Amy Michelle. Dennis also has 5 grandchildren and a special friend, Dianne Deskins. An inspiration to his family, all four of his brothers were members of the Waverly FFA chapter, officers and state farmers, attended University of Nebraska, and were officers in the army. He is a member of the Sesostris Shrine, Scottish Rite, Masons, Military Order of the Purple Heart, VFW and the American Legion.

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.

November 5, 2014

We love when we can share photos and videos from our Regional Seed Companies and their farmers!

Thank you Tyson Privett from Mayberry Seed Co. located in Essex, Missouri for this great harvest video. 

Video by Paul Harris in his his father-in-law, David Wildy's fields around Manila, Arkansas.

Be sure to check out the gorgeous moon at the end!

http://youtu.be/qjv8VY-nDEM

November 4, 2014

IOLA, KANSAS/KENTLAND, INDIANA (November 3, 2014) — Eastern Kansas farmers have a new professional resource to aid them in maximizing yields and improving profitability. AgVenture of Eastern Kansas has hired Leanne Milleret to serve the area as an AgVenture Yield Specialist. The Linwood, Kansas native will work with producers throughout the year to provide access to AgVenture® brand seed products and professional seed services.

AgVenture of Eastern Kansas is an independently owned and operated regional seed company based in Iola, Kansas. Owner Tom Woodworth said, “Leanne is a strong asset to our customers and our company. She will be instrumental in helping us deliver on the tenets of our Maximum Profit System™, a systems-based approach to dramatically increasing yields, lowering costs per bushel and improving overall farm profitability.”

He added, “Leanne’s precision ag knowledge and software skills are helping our customers develop individualized field prescriptions. Ultimately, this approach helps us organize the field’s needs correctly and address those specifically. It’s a holistic approach to effectively improving production and it is working exceptionally well across eastern Kansas.”

Milleret said, “I have a great respect for our customers. They each have their own unique set of challenges and opportunities. As we look carefully at each operation, each field separately, we can accurately help farmers collect data and decipher the information collected. The goal is to best prepare the field fertility environment and production management techniques to maximize their crop production. The approach is making a positive difference for these producers.”

Milleret is a graduate of Kansas State University. She holds a degree in Agricultural Economics with a minor in agronomy. She served as an intern with AgVenture of Eastern Kansas where she participated in an intensive training program. She has been actively involved in her family farming operations.

Woodworth reports the company is very busy this fall assisting producers in soil testing; grid sampling and map creation to identify fertility needs across each field. “We want to help our customers accurately assess what the crop needs to maximize production. They can use their soil fertility information, take the data to their retailer or fertilizer supplier, and make more of their fertility investment. That greatly contributes to better yields and better profitability.”

AgVenture of Eastern 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.

October 23, 2014
By Travis Michl

We started shelling corn September 15, which is typical. But it was slow, wet corn. We had some mud last week too, which always brings a new set of logistical nightmares for harvesting. Nice, deep mud. But it's firming back up this week. We're about two-thirds done on corn, and just started cutting beans yesterday, so we're about 7-8% done on that.

A lot of people here didn't start early because the corn was wet, but we kept a handle on it. We didn't get a lot done every day, but we kept making progress ‘til it was time to cut beans.

It's too early to tell on the beans how they're going to turn out, but they're going to be good, no doubt — it’s just how good is yet to be seen. And the corn is the best corn crop we've ever raised.

I think for the most part everybody's going to have a good crop, but those of us that did the extra work and spent a little extra money on fertilizer and fungicide, we're going to be the cream of the crop, I think.

Harvest Insights

We’ve been doing a little analysis of the stuff we do have harvested — seeing what kind of returns we’re looking at and seeing what worked and what didn't work. It appears that the twin-row corn proportionally out-did the 30-inch row corn on our fields, and it initially appears the fungicide was a big payer this year. These are our initial results, on corn anyway. We harvested a little bit of our strip till corn (which was new for us this year), and it looks like it really performed well, considering we only put on two-thirds the rate of fertilizer on the strip-till part, versus full-rate broadcast. It still produced stellar, stellar yields.

Getting Ahead of the Curve

To hopefully avoid the late-October and November logistical nightmare of elevators being full, we’ve moved all the corn that we don't think we can store on the farm to town. We're hoping that we can cut our beans, get back on corn, and that we don't have to worry about going back to the elevator. Hopefully, we can store the rest of what we've got at home and avoid the nightmare.

I'd like to be done with harvest by November 15, but I don't see that happening. I've got a bad feeling we're going to be eating turkey dinner out in the cornfields. But we’re moving along, and honestly it's kind of fun harvesting the biggest crop you've ever had.

October 23, 2014
By Jeff Morse

Today’s the day—we’re getting the combine ready to start cutting corn and beans. We just got our chopping done on about 50 acres of corn silage for our cattle, and we're ready to start harvesting the rest.

In my neighborhood, I'm probably a little bit behind some of these guys, but beans don't take very long to cut once you start going (if you don't have any trouble). You're taking such a wide swath, and there's just not near as much product compared to corn. There’s about a third less grain to haul to the bins, so our soybeans will be short, hopefully.

And on our corn, some of our later stuff is coming to black layer, so I'm feeling like we might be all right, as long as we can keep the three- and four-letter words away from us—one starts with “I” and one starts with “S.”

We did just have a decent frost here about two weeks ago Saturday, which might have killed the beans. It didn't look like it hit a lot of the corn yet on the higher spots, but on the lower spots it did. But the beans I think are pretty well dead. And I think within the next week there won't be any green stems even left in the beans. And that makes a big difference. Yesterday morning, for instance, my neighbor was cutting beans at 8:30 in the morning. And I've seen some running as late as midnight last night.

As for yields, I think they’re going to be pretty decent. One of my neighbors was in the same spot I was in terms of replanting beans, and he was telling me he had some spots that were 40 bushels per acre and some in other spots that were 55. So maybe we’ll get a 50-bushel average on replant beans. If you would have told me that last June, I would have said you're goofy.

Outside of harvest, we’ve also been busy lately with just a lot of things. My son got married recently, which was exciting. And we've been getting our cattle operation moving forward a little more all the time. We have got our new barn about half full of cows and they'll start calving here in about three weeks. All good things.

October 23, 2014
By Aaron Paus

September 20th was the day we started rolling on harvest, which is just a little later than usual. But we're getting close to being halfway done now, and we’re doing well. Our beans are wrapped up and we're working our way through the corn. And our yields are looking good so far. Our beans, for the most part are looking just a little better than anticipated. The corn is about 10–15 percent better than anticipated. So it's going well.

I haven't gotten to my VRI fields yet, but I think for the June and August we had, our yields there may not show up as differently as they would otherwise. We did a fair amount of irrigation in July, but overall it was a light irrigation year.

We’ve also had good weather, despite a few early freezes — one on Sept. 24, and then a bit harder one on Oct. 10. We really felt going into harvest that we would be dealing with some wet weather, but our warm temperatures came back after we had an early freeze, and our grain moisture has been coming down fairly quickly now due to the warm temperatures.

So other than getting harvest underway, we've just been keeping the operation moving and efficient. We're taking a look at some of the input prices and the price of grain going forward. The $3 corn certainly has got everybody on their toes. I think it was bound to happen—you can't have $7 corn without following it with something lower. And unfortunately, I foresee it getting worse before it gets better.

I don't know yet how the market will affect our plans for next year, but my gut feeling says beans over corn for 2015. But I need to take more time to look at the economics of it and factor in this year's profitability of corn versus soybeans and project that going forward. So at this point I'm not saying I'm going to make any change yet.

But in the meantime, we’re all about harvest. In the next few days, I'm looking forward to harvesting some of my better ground and seeing what the monitor will show when I move on to the good stuff.

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