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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October 20, 2014

WAYNE, NEBRASKA/KENTLAND, INDIANA (October 15, 2014) — Colt Campbell of O’Neill, Nebraska has joined one of northeast Nebraska’s fastest growing seed companies, The Seed Source has hired Campbell to serve area farmers as an AgVenture Yield Specialist. He will work with customers throughout the year to provide professional agronomy and seed services support.

The Seed Source Owner, Lowell Schardt said the independently owned and operated regional seed company, based in Wayne, Nebraska, has been growing strong. He says their growth is thanks to excellent product performance, year-round professional seed support, and more customers converting all or additional acres to AgVenture® seed products. “We are very pleased to offer such a deep, effective, and locally adapted seed product portfolio to customers across northeast Nebraska.”

Prior to joining The Seed Source, Campbell worked in ag retail for nearly five years. Most recently, he worked in the O’Neill area in an agronomy sales role with an emphasis on crop health, soil fertility and crop management programs. For two years, he worked as a field technician for a retailer in the Gretna, Nebraska area focusing on crop scouting and agronomy.

Schardt said Campbell brings the team a unique set of strengths. “We are very pleased to welcome Colt to the team. His experience in soil fertility and scouting support our Maximum Profit System™ goals; to help customers dramatically increase yields, lower costs per acre and improve profitability. Customers really enjoy working with Colt and find him helpful, resourceful and dedicated to their success.”

Campbell said, “I am pleased to be part of this company, and to bring these outstanding seed products to our customers. We have a very strong product portfolio that is specifically adapted to and selected for our region. These products perform exceptionally well in our growing environments.” He added, “What I most appreciate is how our team works with customers. We are dedicated to helping them improve their profitability, every year and across the farm. It’s a different mindset than simply selling. It is about delivering the seed, the tools and techniques, and the professional support to the farm all together and making a difference.”

Campbell has a degree in agronomy from Northeast Community College at Norfolk, Nebraska. He resides in O’Neill and will work with customers across northeast and north central Nebraska.

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

October 16, 2014

WAYNE, NEBRASKA/KENTLAND, INDIANA (October 15, 2014) — One year after a devastating tornado swept through Wayne, Nebraska destroying their facilities, The Seed Source, a locally owned and operated regional seed company, is celebrating recovery with grateful appreciation for new facilities and new staff to serve their growing customer base across northeast and north central Nebraska.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had classified the October 4, 2013 tornado at Wayne as a category EF4 tornado, meaning wind speeds were in the range of 166-200 miles per hour. At its widest, the tornado was estimated to have become nearly 1.25 miles wide, significantly damaging or destroying all structures in its wake.

The Seed Source Owner, Lowell Schardt said, “This was a catastrophic weather event for many in our community. We are very fortunate that no lives were lost.” However Schardt and many other business owners in the Wayne area experienced huge losses. But rather than focus on loss, he went to work to rebuild his seed warehouse facilities.

Today new facilities stand on the grounds of the old facilities. They include a 100’ x 100’ warehouse with 18’ sidewalls. The facility is fully insulated with new flooring. In addition, new facilities include a 50’x 28’ business space with offices, a conference room, reception area, kitchenette and restroom. To further protect the integrity of our seed, The Seed Source has also added a 50’x28’ climate controlled room to protect seed from extremes in temperature.

Schardt said, “We looked at this as an opportunity to grow, improve, and build something that can continue to contribute to the community and the region’s farmers. Our company has experienced great growth, especially in the past few years. Our products are performing exceptionally well. Our approach to doing business is decidedly different than many farmers are used to. We focus on helping them get more profitability from every acre.” And he says that as their locally adapted seed products continue to perform consistently well, more area farmers have added acres or gone to 100 percent AgVenture seed.

“Getting the right seed is critical, but that’s only part of the equation,” said Schardt. “We have added four new AgVenture Yield Specialists in the past year to help provide year-round professional seed support to our customers. Our AYS team members work directly on the farm with our customers. They provide the tools and techniques, agronomic support and additional support that help customers dramatically increase yields, lower cost per bushel and improve overall profitability.”

Joining the company in the past year are Blake Hokamp, Chelsea Asmus, Dani Schneider and Colt Campbell. “These young professionals are very hardworking and dedicated to their customers. It is great to see how they function individually and as a team. Together, they complement one another’s strengths, making powerful and professional force. It’s been great for the company and for our customers.”

Schardt has 30 years experience in the seed business working with farmers throughout the region. He said, “Sometimes it takes something significant to propel you to the next level. The tornado helped us rebuild more than facilities. Out of it we have a sharp new team and a great means of reaching more customers across the region.”

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.

October 14, 2014

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

Every year is different. No exceptions. This year, many growers had early wet conditions followed by dry late growing season conditions. Jerry Hartsock, Cutting Edge Consulting, Geneseo, Illinois notes that those conditions can lead to plants cannibalizing their lower stalks and roots to feed the ear. Weak ear shanks are also noted in these conditions. Hartsock says, “If you expect corn to field dry down to 15.5% moisture and then harvest, it is highly recommended to monitor/prioritize fields for harvest as some may become very frail or fragile by then.”

Hartsock’s prioritization tips include digging up plants to examine root systems and doing the "BEND" test on 10-20 standing corn plants can yield much needed information on the condition of the plants’ integrity. Pinching lower stalks can also provide insight on which fields may need to be harvested earliest. “Fields with better drainage, well-fed and those that have had foliar fungicide applied will tend to yield higher and be more structurally sound at harvest. Fields following soybeans may also have better late season integrity than those in continuous corn.”

He adds, “Keep in mind the highest yield occurs at a black layer (32-35% grain moisture). As corn field dries, we lose significant bushels/acre (20-30) due to phantom yield losses. Combining high moisture corn at 25-30% delivers the highest yields and usually the highest returns on profit. On farm drying can usually be completed by about 1/3 of the cost of taking corn to town and paying their drying/shrinkage charges.”

Additionally, Hartsock says consider harvesting those fields first/early that are ear marked for corn again next year to get an advantage of residue breakdown via early tillage. Vertical tillage immediately following the combine in September/October takes advantage of faster breakdown due to increased microbial activity

October 2, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA (October 1, 2014) — AVN Seed Partners (AVN) has continued to expand their reach into southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. AVN has welcomed Nick Vos of Hugoton, Kansas as a Regional Distribution Partner. Vos will provide AgVenture® brand seed products and access to year-round support to the area’s farmer customers.

AVN Seed Partners Owner, Dennis Kenyon said, “We are very pleased to welcome Nick to our team. AVN has worked closely together with Nick through the past several years. He is a very competent producer. His agricultural knowledge and understanding of producing high yielding, highly profitable crops will serve his customers well.” He added, “As we extend AVN’s reach into southwest Kansas and into the Panhandle, Nick will become a ready resource for our customers in the area.”

Vos has been farming his entire life. He emigrated from South Africa in 2006 to settle in Kansas where he became a US citizen. He has been engaged in farming operations in Kansas and Oklahoma since moving to this area. He now maintains a small farm and his Regional Distributorship for AVN. He holds a diploma and technical certification in electrical engineering.

“I have the unique privilege of having worked with members of both AVN and the AgVenture, Inc. leadership teams as a customer and now, as a Regional Distribution Partner,” said Vos. “I have a great deal of respect for this group. I appreciate the high quality of their products, and their strong work ethic. Having been a customer, I know that they stand behind their products. AVN provides unique and practical tools and techniques that allow you to advance yields and improve profitability. I look forward to helping others across the area realize the benefits of the AgVenture seed products and the valuable assets AVN’s team members provide their operations.”

During the past few years, AVN has become one of the country’s fastest growing and most successful independent regional seed companies. AVN now extends across a vast portion of the Central U.S. Great Plains. Kenyon says, “We will continue to grow as our customers experience improved profitability with our seed products. The unique combination of our seed products with our dedicated team members has allowed us to make a significant and positive difference on farms throughout the region.”

Vos, along with his wife, Johanna and two daughters live in Hugoton, Kansas.

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.

October 2, 2014

AgVenture, Inc. of Kentland, Indiana was able to donate to several causes this year and one of them was for the South Newton Elementary School’s bookroom.  South Newton Elementary currently implements Guided Reading Groups where students focus on one literary text and one informational text per week.  Prior to Common Core State Standards, the book room consisted of primarily literary texts.  The school will be using the funds to purchase more informational text for their bookroom.

 

October 1, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA (October 1, 2014) — AVN Seed Partners (AVN) has continued to expand their reach into northwest Kansas and eastern Colorado. AVN has welcomed Goodland, Kansas native Michael Dorn as a Regional Distribution Partner. Dorn will provide AgVenture® brand seed products and year-round support to the area’s farmer customers.

AVN Seed Partners Owner, Dennis Kenyon said, “Our products and our people work hard on the farms across this region. We have continued to build our team to meet the growing demand for our products and our professional seed support services.” He continued, “We are pleased to welcome Michael. His experience in the seed business will provide customers with ready access to our strong lineup of seed products. He has a strong dedication to customer service and brings integrity to each interaction.”

Dorn has spent most of his life fully engaged in agriculture. Prior to joining AVN, he worked for ten years in the seed business serving as an independent seed dealer, and in territory sales management roles. Prior to that, he spent seven years working for a local farm operation.

“With a decade of experience in the seed business, I am very confident in the AgVenture seed products. AgVenture sources seed from multiple platforms, selects and makes available the latest, elite and high-performing hybrids and varieties that are locally adapted to our growing environment in northwest Kansas and eastern Colorado.” He added, “I am very pleased to be working with a company that has its priorities on their customers first, and stands behind its products and its people.”

During the past few years, AVN has become one of the country’s fastest growing and most successful independent regional seed companies. AVN now extends across a vast portion of the Central U.S. Great Plains. Kenyon says, “We will continue to grow as our customers experience improved profitability with our seed products. The unique combination of our seed products with our dedicated team members has allowed us to make a significant and positive difference on farms throughout the region.”

Dorn and his wife, Cortney, live in Goodland, Kansas with their three children, Natalie, Kaden and Adelynn.

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.

 

September 30, 2014

KENTLAND, INDIANA/ROSCOE, SOUTH DAKOTA (September 26, 2014) — Roscoe-based AgVenture Scherr’s Seed has continued their growth. Most recently, the independently owned and operated regional seed company which extends across South Dakota and into North Dakota has welcomed Seed Sales Specialist Matt Bova to the team.

AgVenture Scherr’s Seed President Steve Scherr said, “Performance and follow-through are driving our growth. Product performance has been excellent, and our customers are reaping the rewards. Our ability to provide outstanding seed products that are locally adapted to these Dakota growing environments, combined with the practical tools and techniques that help them maximize profit, have made a significant difference to our customers.”

Scherr said adding Matt to the team helps assure each customer has a trusted resource they can contact. “We are pleased to welcome Matt. He has a great rapport with customers and a dedication to service that exemplifies our family’s focus on service.”

For the past year, Bova has worked with the Scherr family’s precision farming side of the business. Bova said, “I have really gained a deep appreciation for the ProfiZone™ system. It is a unique program that measures, evaluates and calculates multiple layers of data. It looks at soil fertility, soil types, yield data evaluation and tissue sampling. It combines data generated with seed selection, seed placement and plant health. Combined with the Maximum Profit System™, our seed products and production techniques are making a difference for our customers.”

He added, “The Scherr family brings it all together; great seed products, excellent service, and tools and techniques that have a positive impact on overall profitability.”
Bova served as a police officer for nine years in the St. Louis area prior to coming to Roscoe. His wife, Andrea, is completing her nurse practitioner training.

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.

September 24, 2014

These photos show the difference in 4 mph and 7 mph, see the big difference in stand and emergence.

A couple more days of planting will maximize your profits!

Thank you to Chelsea Asmus from The Seed Source in Wayne, Nebraska, for these photos.

 

 

 

September 17, 2014
By Travis Michl

We’re just getting our cropping plan started for 2015. We’re not making any major adjustments for next year — no big crop switches. While I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about the market, I can’t see any economic reason to be planting corn on corn. So we’re pretty much going to rotate everything out.

As far as corn prices go, everybody’s concerned. Who knows how far down we’re going? And input prices aren’t going down that much. We’re going to have to start doing more with less. You can’t cut fertilizer; you can’t cut your chemical program; you can’t cut your seed program. So you’ll have to start placing fertilizer more carefully to use a little less and start tightening your belt a little.

That’s a big part of why the Maximum Profit System is so important. We all knew the gravy days wouldn’t last forever. That’s why before this year we bought a strip till rig with a dry fertilizer applicator on it — so we can start putting a concentrated amount of fertilizer right behind the row and be able to drop it back a little bit versus broadcast spreading. So that’s a very well accepted practice to reduce your tonnage, but not the effect of your fertilizer.

“It’s a Bushels Game”

You need to save as much money as you can, yes, but there’s only so much you can cut. You have to raise more bushels to lower your cost. And that’s where that MPS system comes in. It’s a bushels game. More bushels divided against your cost is always going to be a lower cost. You have to get more bushels out of what you’re doing.

And that message better be resonating with growers over the next few years. What are things we can do to raise more bushels that don’t cost anything? For example, just slowing down the planter helps you pick up bushels. It doesn’t cost you anything — just a hair more fuel and a hair more time. That’s something that anybody can do to raise more bushels and drive down costs.

“Farmers are their own worst enemies”

Those of us that are following MPS strategies, you can really see who’s trying. You can tell the fields that have plenty of fertilizer or have been scouted for stresses. If you’re not careful in your management practices, those issues are showing up this year. There’s a lot of nutrient deficiency and disease showing up. It’s been cool and damp — not a good year if you didn’t spray fungicide. All this is evident if you didn’t follow the MPS.

The plant-it-and-forget it thing, if that’s what you’re doing, you’re fooling yourself. But that’s what 70 percent of farmers today are doing. I think farmers are their own worst enemies when they have this mindset that they can’t break their yield barriers.

For instance, I think I’ve got a legitimate shot of breaking into the triple digits on some of my high management beans this year — but it’s a lot of work. But what’s funny is that what I’m doing doesn’t cost that much more than what other farmers are doing. I’m just doing it differently. I’m doing it better. MPS takes a lot of management and scouting. It means taking care of your plants, scouting them, feeding them right and giving them what they need when they need it. That’s MPS.

September 15, 2014
By Jackson Webb

The Cropping Plan

Wayne and I have started putting together a plan for next year on what the mix is going to be. I’m shifting my mix based on the market, as well as, for my operation, I need more acres. So I’m going to add wheat to the mix to try to achieve that. I’m not a huge wheat fan just because I never gave it a good chance. But Wayne’s not going to let me half-ass it, for lack of a better word.

Down here, we can plant the wheat, cut it, run it through the dryer, and we’re still planting the beans in early- or mid-May. Having the drying capabilities is going to allow me to cut it a lot earlier and get a bean crop and get a double crop. And we can have a respectable yield on our double crop beans.

I tried wheat once on some dryland, and that was the kiss of death. We made money on the wheat and then ate it on the beans. So next season we’re trying a different approach and putting the wheat on some of my better dirt.

I am giving up some corn acres to wheat and beans. I’m going to trim back a little. Not a lot, but a little. And I’m still going to plant my dryland in corn. If I can get in early, the law of averages says it’ll do decent. It makes more than 10-bushel beans. On dryland, if I plant corn, I’m losing less money.      

The Changing Market

Everyone down here is saying, “Well what’ll you plant next year?” And we’re all saying, “I don’t know, nothing works.” There’s no consensus. Nobody really has a clue.

Everyone is really looking hard at the farm bill — the production side and the price side of it. And I think there’s going to be a lot more homework in making decisions. No one has a clue. Some guys are going to go soybeans no matter what. There is a lot of talk of rice. I don’t do rice, but for the guys who are set up for it, rice works.

I think folks down here can get a really good base payment on their rice acres.

I’ve also got friends that are cotton farmers who are thinking of selling their grain equipment and going back to cotton. They got into the corn craze when the prices were good, but a lot of them never were really comfortable with corn. Now they want to go back to something they know. After all, we’re in the Mississippi Delta — cotton is king.

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