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.

Subscribe to MPS in Action Blog
March 11, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (March 9, 2015) – Just last summer, Northwest Iowa Ag, LLC. of Moville, Iowa joined AgVenture in becoming one of the newest independently owned and operated Regional Seed Companies in the country. This month, the young company has announced the addition of seasoned agronomy and seed professional, Doug Stout of Primghar as a Regional Sales Manager and Yield Specialist. Doug will work with local farmers and dealers providing them access to AgVenture® brand seed products and year-round professional seed support in Northwest Iowa.

Spurred by enthusiastic interest in their locally adapted and specifically selected hybrids and varieties, Larry Janssen, Northwest Iowa Ag President said the company is off to a great start and growing strong. “Already, we have had a very positive response from area farmers. We fully expect to see our seed products planted and performing over thousands of acres in northwest Iowa this spring, and growing from here. We are very pleased to have Doug join us, bringing us a wealth of experience and specific knowledge of the region’s growing environments.”

Doug has twenty five years of seed and agronomy management experience having worked closely with farmers across the region in seed and crop protection roles. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University, and is a Certified Crop Adviser. He said, “I am excited about the people, the seed products and the innovative approach to merging agronomics and sound, practical management practices. Small adjustments, shifts in thinking and improvements made add up in a hurry. Our Maximum Profit System™ has proven that together these practices lead to dramatic improvements in yields, lower costs per bushel and improved overall profitability.”

Janssen said what makes their seed company different from others’ is their commitment to their customers’ profitability on every acre. “Our ability to deliver outstanding seed genetics and technologies specific to Northwest Iowa along with the in-field, in-season support clearly provides a differential advantage to our customers. Doug exemplifies the characteristics that we most want to deliver to our customers; integrity, intelligence and honesty. He will help us further build a team of seed professionals. We look to his experience to help us deliver innovative, practical production methods and cutting-edge management techniques to each field.

Doug and his wife, Joleen, have two 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.

March 10, 2015

CLARKSDALE, MS / KENTLAND, IN (March 9, 2015) – Northeast Arkansas crop producers have access to a new set of resources to help them improve their profitability. Dulaney Seed Company has hired AgVenture Yield Specialist Shelby Williams to provide area growers with access to AgVenture® brand seed products and year-round professional crop profitability support.

Dulaney Seed General Manger, Charlie Robinette said, “Based in Jonesboro, Shelby is working directly with crop producers across the northeast Arkansas region. He has an excellent background in entomology in Arkansas’ crop production growing environments. He will be a valuable asset to our customers and to our entire team.”

Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science from the University of Arkansas, Monticello. He pursued graduate studies at Louisiana State University before joining the LSU entomology department full time and managing multiple initiatives across several locations. He worked specifically with corn, soybeans, grain sorghum and cotton crops, assessing and monitoring crop health associated with environmental and insect pressures and their responses to various treatments.

Williams said, “This is such a unique seed company. Our AgVenture Mid-South team members focus on practical methods; applying the science to profitable crop production to each operation throughout the growing season. With tools like the Maximum Profit System™, we are doing so much more than offering seed. We actively provide our customers the tools they need to improve yields dramatically, lower their cost of production per bushel, and to see the results of maximizing each seed’s potential in improved profitability across the farm.”

He added, “We are a close-knit, growing company on the cutting edge of innovative crop production. We’re providing a set of services with a genuine interest, fully vested in our customers’ success. I look forward to a long career, helping advance yields throughout northeast Arkansas.”

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.

March 9, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (March 6, 2014) – AgVenture D&M welcomed more than eighty customers from three states to their annual Winter Conference held this year at the Marriott at Keystone at the Crossing in Indianapolis. The independently owned and operated regional seed company hosted the annual event with their guests attending from Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Featured speakers at this year’s event addressed an engaged audience and brought focus first to the current ag economy. Purdue University agricultural economist, Dr. Michael Boehlje addressed the group framing the economic indicators and global policy issues currently driving the ag economy.

AgVenture D&M’s Owner and General Manager, Mike Davis said, “Dr. Boehlje’s lively presentation emphasized some very important points. While we face lower commodity prices than the past several years, there are great opportunities in agriculture for our customers to become more profitable. He reminded growers to not just do the same things. Do things better. Have a strategy and execute it to manage risk, debt and capital. These are some of the basic tenets of our Maximum Profit System™ and more than ever, these practices will help our customers dramatically increase yield, lower cost per bushel and improve overall farm profitability.”

The Winter Conference provided attendees with a presentation by Jerry Hartsock, Cutting Edge Consulting of Geneseo, Illinois. Hartsock zeroed in on the most important steps to take at planting to positively influence yield. Davis added, “Staying current is crucial. We are pleased to share with our customers the practical production practices that can directly drive yields.

“Our approach to our customers, our commitment resonates more fully today than ever,” said Davis. “Our AgVenture Yield Specialists work directly with our customers throughout the year. Our customers continue to benefit from our products and our team approach to helping them improve profitability. There are dozens of incredible success stories in the group that gathered in Indianapolis. We intend to help them keep making more.”

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.

March 5, 2015
By Travis Michl

Even though the Farm Bill deadline has come and gone, it really didn’t have much influence on my planning. I updated my yields, which we haven’t been able to do for a long time, and I took most of the industry professionals and universities’ opinions.  The vast majority of economists believe that the ARC-County level was the best option for most individuals. We don’t raise a lot of wheat, so that helped narrow it down some more. We updated some base acres and moved some things around to get a more accurate representation of what we’re doing.

But in the end, it’s a safety net — it’s for a disaster. Everybody was sure we were going to get a payment for 2014, until the yields came in. Historically, yield for my county was 147 bushels on corn, and our county average came in at 187. As a county, we had the best yields we’ve ever had in 2014. Some people were disappointed that there were no payments (typically the people who hadn’t sold any grain or didn’t have crop insurance toward the end of the season), but that’s not what the program was designed for. It was designed as a safety net.

Personally, I hope we never get a payment from the bill, because if we never get a payment, that means we had good yields and good price. And that’s the best a person can have and all you can ask for.

 

March 5, 2015
By Travis Michl

We’ve been staying busy over the winter — we’re taking care of cows and getting them through winter. We have about another 25 days until we start calving, so at that point we’ll have a spring calf herd of 40 head on its way. But mostly we’re hauling grain and fertilizer. We’ve got pretty well everything hauled except for some parent seed. I think we’ve got 20,000 bushels of corn left to move and a few commercial beans, but most of it is parent seed.

We’ve been taking a lot of grain to the river terminals in St. Louis for export. We get a lot better basis there, so we haul it to the river terminal and it goes directly onto a barge south down to New Orleans or wherever, where it ships for export.

Most people in this area stay local with their grain delivery. Either they don’t have the trucks to get it down to St. Louis or they aren’t willing to pay to have it trucked. But for us, it’s very well worth the trip.

Finalizing the Cropping Plan

We got the cropping plan all together for this spring and we got the seed all ordered and firmed up. We’ve got our budgets put together and break-evens figured. So now we’re just kind of waiting on Mother Nature to start letting winter go away so we can rock and roll.

That’s one of the advantages of starting your cropping plan in the month of August the year before. If you start your cropping plan far enough ahead and stick to it, you’ll be fine. But if you haven’t got a good firm plan on what you’ll do, there’s no good way to figure your break-even.

Of course, there have been some changes made as the price of commodities dropped and when we got back some yield info at the end of harvest. And when we started looking at our data and the testing from 2014 crop — seeing what worked and what didn’t — of course we made changes. But where we set right now, at the end of February, I’m ready to go.

Looking Ahead to the Early Season

February has been pretty rough here. We’ve had snow on the ground for a couple weeks now, and last week when I got up to haul grain to St. Louis, it was 13° below zero. We’re a little bit warmer than that today — I think it was 22 when I came in from lunch. But it’s time to start moving toward spring.

We didn’t get any fall tillage or prep work done, so when things warm up, we have ruts to fill in and fertilizer to put on. It would be nice to get a run of decent weather here in late March to get some preliminary tillage done and get some fertilizer spread — it would certainly make this spring a lot more enjoyable and then when it’s time to start planting, we can focus solely on that.

We haven’t got the equipment ready to go yet, but it’s in progress. I’d like it to start warming up a little bit outside since we don’t have a huge heated shop. We have a cold shop and some of our machinery has. . . how do I put this. . .  our machinery has outgrown our shop space. So I’d like it to at least get up to 30–40° before we start working on that. And that’s the last major hurdle I’ve got before spring. 

February 27, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (February 27, 2015) – AgVenture Regional Seed Companies from across the Western Cornbelt gathered in Des Moines Iowa this week to hone their skills. More than 40 participants representing eight seed companies were part of this Winter Profit Plot workshop, one in a series of AgVenture’s high-impact educational conferences held prior to planting the 2015 crop.

AgVenture Business Development Manager, Frank Peterson said, “This group of seed professionals worked very well together to sharpen their early season and planting seed production skills. With input from great speakers and lively engagement from these leaders in their own companies, we had a very productive set of sessions focusing on the latest data, the science of seed, and the practicality of profitable crop production.”

Seed quality and germination was an important topic discussed. Representatives from AgVenture, Inc. and Indiana Crop Improvement Association presented data exposing AgVenture’s leadership in warm and cold seed germination percentages. Peterson said, “Beyond having the right genetics and technologies working for you, we go the extra step and scrutinize seed to perform at the highest caliber of germination percentages. We worked through our new seed treatment offerings, including protecting from insects and diseases, as well as providing nutrients/biological support to seedlings.”

The workshop content ranged from the most current, research-based studies on seed germination, seed treatments and seedling vigor, to fine-tuning planting practices to maximize profitability. Experts from within and outside the company engaged in lively discussions and inventive ideation on early season crop production practices, sharing the best of their experiences and results.

Peterson called the workshop a great success. “Our RSC owners and their staffs are dedicated to continued education, learning together and challenging one another for the purpose of supporting their customers’ success.”

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.

February 23, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (February 23, 2015) – Cutting-edge information, the science of seed, and the practicality of profitable crop production were the key topics covered in an intensive one-day workshop held this week at the Indiana Crop Improvement Association facilities near Stockwell, Indiana. This Winter Profit Plot program was the first in a series of the company’s high-impact educational conferences to be held prior to planting the 2015 crop. Nearly 40 participants included AgVenture Regional Seed Company owners, marketing managers, and AgVenture Yield Specialists from across the eastern Cornbelt.

AgVenture Business Development Director, Chuck Schneider welcomed the participants and commended them for their dedication to continued learning. “Technologies change so rapidly that it is crucial we stay informed with the most current information available in the industry. Our customers’ production practices and management decisions likewise are ever-changing and adapting to real-time influencers that impact the business of profitable crop production. Our RSC owners and their staffs are dedicated to continued education, learning together and challenging one another for the purpose of supporting their customers’ success.”

The workshop content ranged from the most current, research-based studies on seed germination, seed treatments and seedling vigor, to fine-tuning planting practices to maximize profitability. Experts from within and outside the company engaged in lively discussions and inventive ideation on early season crop production practices, sharing the best of their experiences and results.

Schneider said, “Each of our RSCs is independently owned and operated. Their expertise in seed in their own communities/regions defines their success. When we work together like this, our discussions surface meaningful, brilliant ideas and solutions. Working together, we have yet another advantage in providing our customers all the tools they need to improve profitability.”

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.

February 20, 2015

KENTLAND, IN (February 23, 2015) – Applications are now being accepted for the Earl H. Passwaters Scholarship. The one thousand dollar scholarship is awarded once a year to a college student with plans to pursue a career in agriculture working on a farm. Full-time students with a 3.0 grade point or higher are eligible.

Applicants must submit an essay of 500-1,000 words explaining why they chose a career in agriculture, and the benefits of having a college degree in that field. Applicants also must show community involvement. Students are encouraged to apply online before the March 27th deadline at the AgVenture Facebook page under the scholarship tab. Additional information is available by emailing farmscholarship@gmail.com.

The Earl H. Passwaters Agricultural Scholarship was established in memory of Earl Passwaters, a co-founder of AgVenture East Coast Seed, who passed away suddenly in 2011. Throughout his career, Passwaters was passionate about working directly with young farmers amidst a world of rapidly advancing agriculture technology. With a strong belief in the value of education, he remained committed to supporting their efforts. Through the scholarship, his legacy endures.

The 2015 scholarship is offered by Earl’s wife, Beth Passwaters, and their children, Brian and Mandy. East Coast Seed was founded 2008. Today the company continues to serve corn, soybean, and alfalfa producers across Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, providing them access to AgVenture® brand seed products and year-round professional seed support.

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.

February 17, 2015
By Aaron Paus

The Farm Bill deadline is coming up at the end of February, and I think most people are up and counting on the ARC option. But the bigger question is whether or not to change any of the base acres. Everybody has to update yields, but it’s probably split down the middle as far as whether they’ll change base acres or not.

By updating base acres, you’re able to get your program payments more aligned to what it is you’re actually doing now—in terms of prices, it reflects better. However, there’s still better payments for some of the crops that are no longer planted — the oats, the wheats, the sorghum. Those still actually pay out pretty decent because most people are just looking in regards to corn and soybeans. So one option pays a little better, but one is more reflective on what you’re doing now. So it all depends on what happens over the next five years. Personally, I’m going with ARC. And at this point I don’t think I’m going to change any of the base acres.

The county extension offices are really the ones doing the most of the educating — they’re having the most number of meetings. There are other small, private companies that are doing their own meetings, but for the most part, it’s county extensions.

 

Pages