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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May 14, 2015
By Aaron Paus

We’re in the middle of a bit of a wet spell right now so we’re in the shop today. We’re about on day three of rain — we’ve probably only gotten 3/4” total, but it’s enough to slow us down. But planting is going well. We got our corn finished up and planted on the 3rd, and it went fairly well. I think we planted about 4,000 acres, but I didn’t count exactly. But we’re off to a good start and things are coming along. We’re working on repairing our soybean drill now, and we’ll head out to plant those once the sun comes out.

About the third day of planting, my AgVenture Yield Specialist Jeremy was out on our farm, and we’ve talked several times since then as well. And our agronomist Jerry Hartsock was in the area, so he stopped by, and I talked to him for the afternoon. Mainly we were looking at seed placement and just talking about how best we could get the seed placed in the best environment that we could. So they were just looking at those and making any small little changes we could to make it better.

The AgVenture Discovery Group session this spring was interesting. We came together to talk strategies for nitrogen, herbicides, fungicides, etc. Currently our variable rate irrigation program is on hold. We had a little bit of trouble with the individual I was using with that program, so we’re in the process of getting that switched over to a new gentleman who will help us with our prescriptions moving forward. But we’re recovering from that and we’ll get back on track soon.

But right now we’re focusing on the 1,500 acres of beans that will be planted next. We have about four days of bean planting from start to finish, and then we’ll be done.

Making the planter smile.

Discovery group members don't brag to each other about acres covered, it is who can drive the slowest. We send pics of our current speed.

Seven-year-old Anna running the planter.

Sunset.

May 13, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (May 13, 2015) – “When I realized no other fire departments in the area had this equipment, I knew that something had to be done.” That’s according to Jason Garing, Captain of the Kentland-Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department and AgVenture, Inc. Systems Administrator. Garing was referring to a RES-Q Tube, a tool used to aid in the rescue of victims trapped in a grain engulfment.

“Farming is a dangerous occupation. We live in an agricultural area where countless bins are monitored by farmers every day. Accidents do happen, and being trapped in grain in a bin is an accident that the statistics prove often results in death. We wanted to be prepared with both the training and the equipment to come to the aid of those in our community who work to put food on all of our tables.”

A report published by Purdue University shows that from 1964 to 2005, 74 percent of reported grain entrapments resulted in fatalities. Historically 70 percent of all documented entrapments have occurred on farms, the others primarily take place at commercial grain facilities.

The gift to the Fire Department was made possible with contributions by AgVenture, Inc., Kentland, Indiana, Infinity Grain Systems of Brook, Indiana and Kentland Elevator and Supply, Inc., of Kentland. Manufactured by GSI, the RES-Q tube is a lightweight aluminum tube used to disperse the grain surrounding the victim in the bin. It acts to stop the flow of grain toward the victim and block any pressure created by the rescuer.
Garing said, “About three years ago, the Assistant Fire Chief and I attended a training course to learn the proper procedures to safely rescue victims trapped in a grain bin. This equipment is relatively new and also helps keep rescuers safe while assisting a victim. When we started to ask other fire fighters who had this equipment, we learned no one in the region had it.”

But according to Garing, “Good people come together when there’s a need.” He added, “We were fortunate enough working with AgVenture, Inc. to ask about funds available for community support. With their help, and cooperation and contributions from Kentland Elevator and Infinity Grain Systems, we were able to purchase the RES-Q tube.”

“Our hope is we never have to use it. But if necessary, it is critical to have the right training and the right equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently.”

Garing said farm safety classes and training videos can help refresh farmers about safety rules. “With summer and or seasonal workers on the farm, and many who come from non-farm backgrounds, it is important to remind those working around grain to take the safety precautions necessary to avoid dangerous situations.” He concluded, “And keep your emergency phone numbers ready when help is needed.”

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

Picture (left to right): Reid and Teresa Beever, of Infinity Grain Systems, Vince Lowe and Jason Garing of Kentland-Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department, Darrell and John Fredrickson of Kentland Elevator and Supply, and Dave Treinen of AgVenture, Inc.

May 11, 2015

KENTLAND, INDIANA (May 7, 2015) Hampton, Nebraska’s Clinton Griess is putting his agronomic and seed experience to work for AgVenture of Nebraska (AVN) Seed Partners. Griess will provide professional seed services and access to AgVenture® brand seed products to area farmers as an AgVenture Yield Specialist.

After serving twelve years in the U.S. Air Force, including service in Wyoming, South Korea and Omaha, Griess returned home to Hampton and his rural roots. For the past several years, he has worked for an area cooperative in agronomic services roles and focused on seed, crop protection and fertility management. Prior to that, he worked in the seed business conducting scouting and other seed sales support roles.

AVN Seed Partner’s Jeremy McCroden said, “As an AgVenture Yield Specialist, Clinton will be a great asset to our customers and to our team. He is a very sharp individual, dedicated, driven, and very focused on providing the best to his customers.”

McCroden added, “Strong product performance the past several years has contributed to our growth across the area. It’s the direct result of selecting hybrids and varieties that are uniquely suited to our Nebraska growing environments, and the intensive, cutting-edge management practices we help our customers put in practice on every acre. It’s a system that works. It is being proven again and again in dramatically higher yields and improved profitability for our customers. Clinton will help us extend our reach and put our products to work on acres across his area.”

Griess said, “It didn’t take me long to realize this was the right opportunity for me. AVN is just big enough to have superior access to the genetics and technologies that are specifically adapted for our area. The company is still small enough that every customer matters. And sincerely, everything we do is for the purpose of working hard together for our customers’ profitability.”

AVN has a refined selection process on both the dryland and irrigated seed products according to Griess. “AVN knows the history of each pedigree, how it was developed, why and where it performs. From pedigree, to production processes and seed treatments, to intensive, hands-on management from planning to planting through harvest, we work directly with the customer. That’s a unique difference. We put it all together for higher yields, lower cost per bushel and improved profitability. I am proud to work with AVN.”

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 seed products 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 8, 2015

KENTLAND, INDIANA (May 6, 2015) — True to their name, one of central Iowa’s newest independently owned and operated regional seed companies, AgVenture GroMor is growing again. The company’s General Manager, Jim Groepper, based in Ames, says, “Growing is a great feeling in our business. Helping our customers grow yields and profitability is what’s driving our additional growth.”

Since the company was launched in the fall of 2013, Groepper says area farmers are embracing the company’s seed product line-up, and the hands-on, year-round professional seed support key to their business’ offering. “We’re pleased to put our seed, our production/management techniques, and our professional support to work on more acres all the time.”

This is no ordinary seed company according to Groepper. “Our value proposition is unique. Along with cutting-edge seed genetics and technologies specifically adapted to and selected for our growing environment, we take a systems-based approach to helping farmers directly increasing yields and improve their APH. In a tough economic environment, that is a distinctive advantage for central Iowa farmers. Helping us reach those customers is our newest AgVenture Yield Specialist Nick Davenport. Nick’s experience will help us achieve those goals on more acres across the area.”

Davenport is a native and resident of Mingo, Iowa. Before joining AgVenture GroMor, he earned agronomy experience working in the ag retail sector in central Nebraska. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in ag business from Iowa State University.

On joining the company, Davenport said, “I was intent on moving back to my home area where I know the people and the agriculture. This company is especially dedicated to their customers. Everyone here at GroMor is both willing and able to work one-on-one with our customers to drive real improvements and achieve higher goals. I look forward to bringing that to my customers.”

Davenport recently returned from the first in a series of AgVenture educational forums. “Professionally, AgVenture helps us develop our own knowledge and skills with intensive training programs. They want us to be fully equipped to support our customers with the latest science, the best seed, and management tools that allow us to deliver better results to our customers.”

Groepper says growth for the young company has come not only from solid seed product performance. “I think the biggest reason for our growth and the excitement surrounding our brand is that we prove what we promise. Our customers have seen what our seed products, together with our professional services, can help them accomplish: dramatic increases in yields, lower costs per bushel, and an increase overall profitability.” He added, “Nick will help us deliver that promise to his customers. We’re pleased to have his help to serve our customers in this growing geography.”

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

May 5, 2015

KENTLAND, INDIANA (May 4, 2015) Lance Shifflet has joined AgVenture of Nebraska (AVN) Seed Partners. Shifflet, originally from Cambridge, Nebraska is moving back to his hometown where he will work one-on-one with farmers across southwest Nebraska, providing them with access to AgVenture® brand seed products and year-round professional seed support.

Most recently, Shifflet served as a district sales manager for a seed company in the Lincoln area. Prior to that, he graduated with a degree in business management from Doane College at Crete, Nebraska.

AVN Partner Tim Weeces said, “Lance has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to providing exceptional service to his customers. We look forward to his ability to deliver real value to his customers.

Weeces said each of the AVN team members is focused on helping customers do more with their farming operation. “Through careful crop planning, we work with our customers throughout the year to help them achieve new yield goals, lower their cost per bushel production and advance their overall profitability. It takes dedication; working in the field throughout the growing season. We are there from the seed selection and planning process, from planting, crop development all the way through harvest to help assure they get the most out of their crop. It’s a partnership that is proving its worth across the region as the AgVenture brand is recognized for making those goals a reality.”

Shifflet said, “This is a great opportunity for me. I am confident in these products and so pleased to have the opportunity to put the products and our services to work in my home community.” He added, “I have learned so much already from the AVN group. They take this commitment seriously and do everything it takes to deliver on their promise. We’ll do that consistently with top-performing seed products that are locally adapted and specifically selected for this area, and being present in the field to assure that success. Sharing that with friends, family and throughout the area is a privilege.”

Shifflet and his wife, Lisa will make their home in the Cambridge area. He adds, “We both look forward to becoming involved in the community.

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 seed products 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.

April 20, 2015

Insight from Jason Garing, AgVenture's Systems Administrator and Safety Coordinator Team Member...

There are a number of weather apps you can choose from for your smart phone to provide you with weather notifications.  From NOAA radar, Weather Channel, Intellicast, and my favorite – WeatherBug.  Most will give you alerts for severe weather, as long as you select “allow notification” when you are installing.

WeatherBug will notify you not only of watches and warnings, but for other events such as Fog advisories, Fire dangers, Wind advisories, etc.  WeatherBug also has their own monitoring service, which warns me of a dangerous storm in my area before the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning.  You can also get radar as well as lightning strike data from WeatherBug using their Spark feature.  The other important thing to note is to allow your weather app to turn on location services, so the app will update your location as you travel.  On the iPhone, go to Settings, select Privacy, ensure that “Location Services” is turned on.  You can also check your app settings by selecting Settings, then scroll down to the App section where you will find the names of your apps.  Locate your app, such as WeatherBug, and tap to configure Location capability, and Notifications.

For iPhones, there is another warning system built into your device: open Settings, select Notifications, scroll all the way to the bottom and be sure “Emergency Alerts” is turned on.  Last summer we were issues a Tornado warning, at which time not only did my WeatherBug app alert me, but Apple sent out an alert with the tones you would normally hear over the radio/television stations when they interrupt programming to issue alerts.

April 15, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (April 15, 2015) – The Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) Crops Judging Team has placed second in the national North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) contest held in Moline, Illinois. AgVenture of Nebraska Seed Partners (AVN) has offered their congratulations to the team which includes Willem Pretorius, a senior at OPSU majoring in Agronomy. Pretorius is the nephew of Nick Vos, the AgVenture Regional Distribution Partner based at Hugoton, Kansas.

AVN’s Glen Long said, “We are very proud of this team’s accomplishments. Their dedication to improving and increasing their agronomic knowledge has paid off as is acknowledged in their second place ranking in very tough competition. The team competed against large universities with greater resources, and more students in the crops academic area.”

Long noted, “We’re especially proud that one of the team members is part of our AgVenture family. Willem Pretorius is a very sharp young man with a strong passion for putting science, seed and service to good work in the field.” Willem plans to join the company full time to train as an AgVenture Yield Specialist upon graduating from college in December.

The crop judging competition is an intensive classroom and extracurricular endeavor designed around the objectives for the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program which is administered by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). Contestants compete in four areas: an agronomic quiz, a math practical, a lab practical, and a plant and seed identification test.

Pretorius said, “We worked very hard and stayed focused. This is the highest placing our Crops Judging team has ever achieved. We are very proud to represent our school. We also look forward to putting all we have learned to work in our future as seed and agronomy professionals.”

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.

April 14, 2015

From Seeds for Success, Agronomy Update - April 2015

Planting soybeans for maximum yield means planting earlier versus later. University of Illinois research includes 2014 planting date trial data from central and northern Illinois. It shows declining yields with later planting, and losses of more than a half bushel per day of delay.

Soybeans planted April 23rd yielded 95 bushels per acre. Yields on soybeans planted June 15 were 66 bushels per acre.

Regarding varietal differences, research shows there seems to some advantage in choosing to plant fuller-season varieties earlier rather than later, though that strategy tends to work against the goal of using different maturities to spread harvest.

AgVenture’s Jeff Shaner reminds growers, “Earlier planted soybeans maximize the leaf canopy’s ability make the most of photosynthesizing sunlight during the longest days of summer.”
 

April 10, 2015

We were made aware that the application for the scholarship had an error in it very close to the deadline.  That has been corrected and the deadline extended until May 15, 2015.

Please use the website below for any interested applicants.

Website www.jasperfdn.org (scroll down to find the Earl H. Passwaters Scholarship)

April 3, 2015

From Seeds for Success, Agronomy Update - April 2015

Planting time is the most critical time of the year for establishing your yield prospects to maximize profit. AgVenture urges growers to plant into an ideal seedbed – and that includes the temperature. Monitor and record soil temperature to plant into a seed bed at a minimum of 50 degrees F. At that level, emergence requires about 21 days to emergence. Soil temperatures of 70 degrees will allow emergence within as few as seven days.

Note soil temperature:

  • By soil type – temperatures vary among different soil types. Know soil temperature in the same type of soil into which you will be planting.
  • Soil Condition – assess the condition of the soil within the hours you are planting.
  • Planting depth – measure soil temperature at planting depth for a minimum of 50 degrees F and monitor weather conditions to assure temperatures the next 3-5 days will allow that 50-degree temperature to persist.

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