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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June 22, 2017

WAYNE, NEBRASKA (June 20, 2017) — Northeast Nebraska’s premier, independently owned and operated Regional Seed Company, The Seed Source, based in Wayne, NE, continues to grow. They have hired Ty Alexander of Bloomfield to serve customers as an AgVenture Yield Specialist. Alexander will work directly with customers providing them access to AgVenture® seed products and with year-round professional seed support.

Lowell Schardt, Owner of The Seed Source said, “We’re very proud to bring Ty on board. He is very smart, hard-working, and truly cares about doing a good job for people. He is an important addition to our growing team. Ty will reinforce our soil sampling, soil testing, and precision ag support services. In addition, he’ll work with our customers year-round to bring them our locally adapted seed products specifically selected for northeast Nebraska.”

A recent graduate of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Alexander earned a degree in Agronomy. Throughout his college career, he participated in internships in agronomy and ag services, including the 2016 AgVenture, Inc. Intern Development Program. Alexander said, “I have been passionate about row crop production my entire life. Growing up working on the family farm provided me with a great foundation for working together with our customers. After my internship with The Seed Source last year, I felt well prepared to take on this new role.”

The Seed Source has steadily grown as more customers across the region employ the AgVenture Maximum Profit System™ (MPS). Alexander explained this integrated approach utilizes the latest tools and techniques to help customers adjust production and management systems effectively. “MPS is a system that I wish I could tell every grower about and share the many successes of the program. We start with cropping plans, and access to the ideal hybrids and varieties specifically selected for our fields. Our seed quality leads the industry. And our Maximum Profit System™ allows each component, each management practice, every input, to have the maximum opportunity to improve productivity and profitability. I look forward to sharing that with my customers, and to working with our team.”

Schardt said, “We have a very well-rounded, team that brings together the best of agronomy, precision, and soils support. Our focus is truly on each customer. Adding Ty to the team will complement our ability to continue to do that well.”

June 19, 2017

JOHNSTON, IOWA (June 12, 2017) — AgVenture, Inc. (AVI) has welcomed Darren Bakken as Seed and Technology Manager. Bakken, a native of Illinois, brings a decade of focused seed industry leadership in research, product marketing, and management roles. He will provide leadership and product support to AVI’s nationwide network of Regional Seed Companies (RSCs).

AgVenture Product and Technology Manager, Scott Hart said, “This is a vital role for our company as we continue to grow and innovate in the industry. Darren has the skillset to accomplish this. He will manage our corn and soybean portfolios throughout their entire lifecycles; from strategic planning to tactical implementation. His leadership and guidance in this role will help AgVenture customers maximize the profitability of today’s products, as we source unique, new, advantageous seed products well into the future.”

Darren Bakken

Matthew Paul, AgVenture, Inc. General Manager said, “Darren has gained insights and experience through his regional and national product team leadership roles, honing his understanding of market dynamics and the competitive environment. With his breadth and scope of knowledge of pedigrees and performance, he is well suited to anticipate, define, adjust, and deliver the product strategies AgVenture customers and our RSCs need to continue to maximize profitability on every acre.”

“AgVenture has an intense focus on finding the best seed products for a specific area,” said Bakken. “That takes walking those fields, knowing the production management and environmental conditions. I really enjoy empowering each of our RSCs to deliver the best fit in seed products. Working together, we have an exceptional advantage in bringing locally adapted, specifically selected seed products to where they have maximum yield potential. I look forward to establishing and nurturing strong relationships with growers, employees and our RSCs.”

Paul said AgVenture is proud to consistently go well beyond the norm. “It’s not just one or a few things we provide or do. It’s an entire platform and methodology, combined with the support growers need to improve yields and profitability. Our Maximum Profit System™ continues to positively influence vast acreages across the country. Through this integrated approach, our AgVenture Yield Specialists help customers dramatically increase yields, lower cost-per-bushel, and improve overall profitability across their operations. We’re confident Darren’s contributions, along with those of our entire network, will continue to support AgVenture’s MPS strategy.”

Bakken attended The University of Illinois where he earned a Master of Science degree in Crop Science (Integrated Pest Management), and dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Economics and Crop Science.

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

May 19, 2017

KENTLAND, IN / CLIFTY, KY (May 17, 2017) — Western Kentucky and northern Tennessee crop producers have a new resource in their pursuit of higher yields and greater profitability. AgVenture D&M has welcomed Devin Skipworth of Clifty, Kentucky as an AgVenture Yield Specialist. Skipworth is working with growers across the region, supporting them throughout the growing season.

Skipworth said, “I am very pleased to be part of AgVenture D&M. For nearly 35 years, they’ve provided customers with the with access to AgVenture® brand locally adapted, specifically selected, high-quality seed products. Our seed consistently performs above industry standards in germination and cold tests. Our seed treatments offer the best protection available.” But according to Skipworth, that’s just the beginning of why he’s so pleased to put his agronomic experience to work. “I cannot wait to see the results our customers get from implementing our Maximum Profit System™ (MPS) on their farms.”

MPS is an integrated approach to helping growers dramatically increase yield, lower cost-per bushel, and significantly increase profitability on every acre. AgVenture D&M Owner, Mike Davis said, “Devin’s dedication to supporting growers at every phase of crop production stands to make a lasting and positive effect on Kentucky and Tennessee row crop producers’ profitability.”

Davis added, “Tight margins can be that pivot point that urge a grower to do things differently, take a new look at how to thrive, and even surpass crop production goals. MPS incorporates a series of tools and techniques that help advance yields and profitability. It is a very thorough program. From cropping plans, soil fertility, planting and in-season management support, to harvesting with perfection, MPS zeroes in on each practice to maximize profitability on every acre. With Devin working directly with customers to deploy these strategies, we look for great results for our customers across western Kentucky and northern Tennessee.”

Skipworth comes to AgVenture D&M with a solid background in agriculture, sales and service. He attended Hopkinsville Community College, and attended and earned a four-year degree from Murray State University in Agricultural Business. He has worked in agricultural retail, in sales, service and management training.

Davis said, “Devin will be a great asset to our customers and their profitability, and to our entire team.”

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. AgVenture provides this growing network of Regional Seed Companies 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.

February 27, 2017

IOLA, KANSAS (February 27, 2017) — Cummings Farms of Yates Center, Kansas was recently recognized as the state’s southeastern district conventional-tillage dryland soybean competition winner. Cummings Farms’ AgVenture® soybeans yielded 77.90 bushels per acre to lead the district and win the category.

Caden Cummings accepted the award on behalf of the family’s farm. He said this is the first time they had entered a yield contest. “We hadn’t even decided to enter the contest until the crop was already up out of the ground.”

“For the past few years,” he continued, “I’ve been working closely with Mike Morrison and Tom Woodworth of AgVenture of Eastern Kansas. They are dedicated to helping their customers through the entire year’s crop planning and execution. The AgVenture seed selection is outstanding and really provides us with soybean varieties and corn hybrids that work well on our ground. Working with Mike, my AgVenture Yield Specialist, I have an extra set of eyes and ears out for the crop all year. It’s really helped us fine-tune and improve our practices and our yields across our farm.”

Morrison said, “Cummings Farms has been building their soils based on soil samples to be sure the right nutrients are available to the crop. They carefully monitor weeds and insects, and treat where appropriate. This spring, the soybean crop looked so good, the challenge was deciding where in the field to select their yield submission. Together we looked at yield maps for the past three years and defined a spot.”

Cummings added, “One of the biggest advantages we saw was that we got the crop in much earlier than is typical around here. It was early May when we planted. We had a beautiful weather window, and the seedbed was perfect. The results were amazing. We had uniform emergence, excellent stand and incredible root systems. The early planting really helped optimize the photoperiod for the soybeans in terms of day length. We will be planting soybeans early again!”

AgVenture of Eastern Kansas owner, Tom Woodworth said, “This was an exciting recognition for Cummings Farms. We’re very proud to work closely with them, and with all our customers. It takes working together to maximize profitability. We are pleased to provide the seed, the expertise, and the relationships that bring higher yields and improved profitably to every acre.”

The annual Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests recognize outstanding Kansas farmers and allow the Kansas Soybean Association, with checkoff funding from the Kansas Soybean Commission, to share what participants learned to benefit all Kansas soybean farmers.

AgVenture of Eastern Kansas recognizes Cummings Farms - Kansas Soybean Yield Contest Winners_TH.pdf

January 13, 2017

The Mid-South’s leading independent Regional Seed Company, Dulaney Seed, Inc., based at Clarksdale, Miss. continues to grow. The company has welcomed AgVenture Yield Specialist Drew Denton to serve customers in southwestern Tennessee.

A native of Bolivar, Tenn., Denton graduated from University of Tennessee at Martin where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Science. He earned a Master of Science degree in agronomy from Mississippi State University. Throughout his college experience, Denton was deeply engaged in crop research, working at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center, and conducting corn, soybean, and cotton research for his advising professors.

Dulaney Seed Sales Director, Allen Lyon said, ““When our team met Drew, we knew that he would be a perfect fit for our Tennessee market as we continue to expand our footprint there. Personal knowledge of the challenges and issues growers face is of utmost importance to Dulaney Seed. Drew’s extensive background in agronomy and research, coupled with his ties to that territory, make him well-suited to serve Tennessee growers.”

Denton said, “Working as an AgVenture Yield Specialist, I look forward to combining my skills and experience in crop production and research. The Dulaney family brings decades of knowledge, and an outstanding team of professionals and services to every customer and every acre. Our AgVenture seed product lineup is a solid, deep portfolio fully suited to our unique Mid-South growing environments. Our hybrids and varieties have been developed for our soils and production environments, tested and proven right here. The broad seed selection options provide Tennessee customers with the ability to have the right options, make solid selections, and spread their risks appropriately.”

He added, “Our seed quality meets and exceeds every industry standard, and our seed treatments are second to none, allowing customers to start with a distinct advantage. I look forward to developing relationships that contribute to my customers’ profitability.” 

Denton resides in Bolivar, Tenn.

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. AgVenture provides this growing network of Regional Seed Companies 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, 2017

Dulaney Seed, Inc. has hired AgVenture Yield Specialist, Bobby Bowlin to serve producers in eastern Arkansas. Bowlin joins Dulaney’s elite team of agronomy professionals providing the highest quality seed products and professional support services to Mid-South growers. 

Bowlin is a graduate of Mississippi State University (MSU) in Starkville Miss, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. While in Starkville, he held a golf scholarship, and was a member of the nationally recognized Mississippi State University Fishing Team. He joined the Mississippi Army National Guard to help pay for school, completed MSU Army ROTC, and while in the program earned the honor of top-ranked Cadet. He earned his jump wings after completing the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga. Born in Jackson Miss. and raised in Rankin County, Bowlin grew up working in his family’s business, Bowlin Foundation Repair, based at Canton, Mississippi. 

Dulaney Seed General Manager, Charlie Robinette said, “Bobby is a very sharp young professional with a dedicated work ethic, and a passion for serving his customers at the highest level. Our company continues to grow. The addition of Bobby to the team will fortify our reach in serving customers in eastern Arkansas.” 

Bowlin said, “I am very excited to launch my career with Dulaney Seed, working directly with growers, and helping them increase their yields and profitability. Working together with my customers, I’ll help them develop a solid three- to five-year plan to help them increase yields 30-50 percent.” 

He explained, “We have an integrated approach to high-yield strategies, helping our customers make incremental adjustments throughout their operation, allowing them to maximize profitability. We focus on placing the best hybrids and varieties in the right soils. We work step-by-step with customers; from fine-tuning planters, to managing in-season pests and crop nutrition, to optimizing harvest. Together, we can help put more money in their pockets and advance their goals across their operations.” 

Robinette added, “Throughout the Mid-South, we provide growers with the highest quality seed, year-round professional support, and with access to innovative, practical production methods that dramatically increase yields and profitability on every acre. We remain committed to helping each customer advance their goals this crop season, and for future.” 

Bowlin currently resides in Clarksdale, Miss. while he completes training. He will relocate to eastern Arkansas to be accessible to the area he serves. 

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. AgVenture provides this growing network of Regional Seed Companies 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 10, 2017

Getting “More Than” From “Less Than” Ground with Cade Bushnell

Cade Bushnell of northern Illinois works with Jeff Jackson who heads up Agrithm in Byron, Illinois. Cade is on a serious upswing in productivity with an eye towards maximum profit. We caught up with him to learn about how he outperformed his acres in 2016.

Cade in field

Tell us about your connections to AgVenture.

Jeff Jackson and I have worked together for over seven years. His dad and I go back further than that. I am certain that I am a better farmer because of the work we do together. Yes, Jeff takes an interest in my seed decisions, but our talks cover the full range of my operation, including fertility, equipment and timing of applications.

You have achieved measurable improvement in yield levels in a short period of time. Most noticeably are milestones on some of your tougher farms. Tell us about that.

All of my farms are on tougher ground. I custom farm some very fertile ground; I know what that looks like. But on my own farms, I’m making big strides to improve organic matter. Cover crops and a never-till system are important to me. Some people refer to crop residue as trash. Trash is what goes in the garbage, but residue is my friend. I’ve farmed with my father since I was a kid, and full time since leaving college in ’82. But in just the past six years, my yield average has gone from 180 to 220 bushels per acre (bpa). That’s not luck, and it’s not the weather. That’s been a willingness to dissect each thing we do and determine where improvements can be made. Everything is on the operating table. (except my tillage).

What else has led to your improved profitability?

I have Plan A and Plan B for each activity I perform. For instance, I have a plan for herbicide application, but what if it rains for two weeks? I’ve already thought about that. Now here’s the thing about Plan B: My goals have not changed, just because I have been flexible enough to adjust according to the current conditions. I am still aiming for high yield and profitability. The decision to move from Plan A is never because I’ve decided that I just don’t want to spend the money. You cannot save your way to prosperity.

Other than AgVenture, where do you go for information and to share ideas?  I attend industry meetings with the intention of participating. When I take the initiative to speak up, it opens to the door to meet friendly people from all over. And whether the speaker is good, bad or in between, there is always something useful I can take home with me. In fact, my notebooks are filled with ideas. Probably the most useful person I ever met was one who looked at my notes and helped me connect the dots.

I also have a friend in Australia involved in agriculture. You would be amazed at how the challenges he faces on the other side of the world correlate to what I do on my farm.

Do you have any parting words?

Every seed company has good products. Can you tell me how to take those products and translate them into more profit on my farm? Can you make me a better farmer? Not many are able to do that.

When I purchase a bag of seed, it contains the promise of untold riches. As soon as I open it, everything I do has the potential to rob me of that promise. I’ve been learning when to get myself out of the way. For me and many of my peers, the part that gets in the way most often is the little voice that tries to tell you the season has turned against you and you shouldn’t continue to invest in the crop. I’ve seen too many people attempt to save $20 per acre on a marginal farm only to give up 20 bushels per acre. That isn’t the way to succeed in business.

 

 

January 10, 2017

We all know how hard it can be to get “more than” from “less than ground.

AgVenture’s, Jeff Shaner interviewed two farmers that have dealt with their share of challenging ground. In these interviews he digs deeper into the challenges they faced and still outperformed their acres in 2016.

Nathan Beard

Nathan Beard of western Illinois works with AgVenture Yield Specialist Matt Davis of AgVenture D&M. Nathan is on a serious upswing in productivity with an eye towards maximum profit.

Nathan in field

Tell us about your connection to AgVenture.

I’ve been farming for 11 years now. Three years ago, Matt started a conversation with me that is still ongoing today — a conversation that got me thinking more deeply about positioning products for each soil type, about how I plant seed, and about how I care for that crop in a way that propels it toward the best result. Matt is always honest with me and never has anything bad to say about the competition. He is present throughout the year so we can plan, observe and execute together.

You have achieved measurable improvement in yield levels in a rather short period of time. Most noticeably are milestones on some of your tougher farms. Tell us about that.

I have one tract of land that has never averaged above 180 bpa. It pitches and rolls and soil types are all over the board. This year we averaged 230 bpa, with one 12-acre piece of fairly uniform ground averaging 332 bpa. Matt and I had a plan to plant the right product at the right population with plenty of in-season care. My Net Effective Plant Stand (NEPS) was strong, so I knew we were in the hunt for great things. Even when June got really dry, we stuck to our guns. If I can do that on my Class C soils, I can only imagine what is possible on my Class A soils.

What else has led to your improved profitability?

As soon as pollination wraps up, I’m at work devising my approach for next year. Pest pressure I observe from disease or insects may be a factor in deviations from my crop rotation. I am already picturing the attributes of the particular hybrid or variety that gets placed in field.

I am also paying more attention to residue management. For instance, a relatively minor adjustment to the boot has made a big difference in how evenly crop residue is being distributed coming out the back of my combine. It all adds up.

Other than AgVenture, where do you go for information and to share ideas?

I communicate one to one with other area farmers. These are guys who are honest about what’s working for them and what isn’t. From there, I initiate concepts and prove them on my own farm. On the flip side, the last thing I want to see is some salesperson with plot results. There are no product placement decisions being made in plots, no adjusting to meet the strengths or weaknesses of your individual hybrids. Don’t get me wrong, I host plots on my farm for observation purposes. But one-size-fits-all strip trials do nothing to inform the way I farm.

Do you have any parting words?

There are things I can do to enhance each crop, but just performing new activities isn’t enough. I’m not looking to waste money on activities. To me it has become obvious that the timing and placement of those activities is where the answer lies. For example, I have moved to spoon feeding N at multiple times of the year and it is paying off. Your most productive ground can be very forgiving. But variations on items such as row spacing or N management can bring a really positive and amplified response on your rugged ground.

I am going to harvest 300-bushel corn and 100 bushel soybeans year in and year out. It’s going to happen sooner rather than later.

 

Watch for part two with Cade Bushnell, coming next week.

 

 

 

January 5, 2017

MINDEN, NEBRASKA (January 3, 2017) — AgVenture Pinnacle (AVP) of Minden, Nebraska has welcomed Craig Oltmans from Holdrege, Nebraska to serve the growing company as Crop Production Specialist. Oltmans has four decades of sales and management experience in agronomy, crop protection and ag retail roles across Nebraska.

AVP Manager Jeremy McCroden said, “We are very pleased to welcome Craig, and we look forward to his leadership as our Crop Protection Specialist. He is putting his extensive experience to work, leading our training, logistics, product safety and crop protection management efforts.”

McCroden said the Regional Seed Company has continued to see strong product performance, which continues to drive their growth. “Our seed product lineup is comprised of the latest seed genetics and technologies that are specifically selected and uniquely adapted to this region’s growing environments. Our seed quality standards are second to none, resulting in greater potential for uniform emergence and stands, right from the start. Working directly with their AgVenture Yield Specialists throughout the year, our customers are implementing high-yield strategies through our Maximum Profit System™. As we have grown, we have included the addition of Innvictis Crop Care products. Craig will play an important role in helping us fully integrate our crop protection products to enhance our seed product offerings in the field.”

Oltmans said, “I am very pleased to work with this team of dedicated seed professionals. I am very impressed with AVP’s dedication to their philosophy, and their willingness every day to do what it takes to help make their customers more profitable. My passion is in teaching and training the sales staff, fully equipping them to provide exceptional support to their customers. Our customers are great people and outstanding producers. I look forward to supporting our AgVenture Yield Specialists as they provide the seed and crop protection support our customers need to enhance their profitability.”

Oltmans is originally from the Holdrege area. He holds an Associate’s Degree from Central Community College, and is a Certified Crop Advisor.

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. AgVenture provides this growing network of Regional Seed Companies 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 5, 2017

MINDEN, NEBRASKA (January 3, 2017) — Chris Bertrand of Hastings, Nebraska has joined AgVenture Pinnacle (AVP) of Minden, Nebraska to serve southcentral Nebraska customers as their AgVenture Yield Specialist. Bertrand, a native of the region, brings 13 years of professional agronomic experience to the growing Regional Seed Company.

AVP Manager, Jeremy McCroden, said, “Chris is a very sharp seed professional who brings us a practical background in row crop farming and ag retail. His history in seed, crop protection and fertility, along with his knowledge of the local area makes him a great resource for our customers and our company. We expect him to make great contributions to the profitability of southcentral Nebraska farmers.”

McCroden reports that AVP has continued its steady growth across Nebraska, northern Kansas and eastern Colorado. “Our focus on seed is making a positive difference on our customers’ bottom lines. We carefully select hybrids and varieties that are specifically adapted to our local soils, crop environments, and production management practices. Our seed quality standards are second to none. When customers start with the right seed in the right growing environment, they have an advantage from the start.”

But it doesn’t end with the seed sale, according to McCroden. “We work with our customers throughout the year to educate, inform and encourage them to use the latest production management techniques that maximize their profitability on every acre. Our Maximum Profit System™ has helped our customers dramatically increase yields, lower per bushel costs and improve overall profitability on every acre. Through our AgVenture University program, we present the cutting-edge techniques that make a difference in high-yield production strategies. As a result, our customers succeed, and our company continues to grow. It’s an exciting synergy with great potential to further enhance our customers’ profitability across the region.”

Bertrand said the combination of the seed, the support provided to customers, and the team at AVP is nothing short of inspiring. “My passion is seed. The seed products we offer are specifically selected for and adapted to the unique growing environments of our area. It’s a holistic approach to making seed choices, and doing what it takes to maximize their potential. I am proud to be part of the AVP team. I look forward to helping our customers realize the benefits of this integrated approach.”

Bertrand and his wife, McKenzie have three children. They reside at Hastings, Nebraska.

AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. AgVenture provides this growing network of Regional Seed Companies 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.

 

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