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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December 12, 2014
By Travis Michl

Today we’re hauling corn to the ethanol plant. That’s what we’ve been doing all week — running to St. Louis and hauling grain. St. Louis is about 300 miles round trip, and the ethanol plant’s about 40 miles away, but we’ll do 5–6 trips a day over there.

You might be surprised, but we’re not done with harvest yet. We haven’t harvested anything since Nov. 15, when we got done with corn. We’ve had snow twice and rain every other day, and we haven’t seen three days of sunshine strung together since then. But all that’s left is 150–160 acres of double-crop beans, so it’s a drop in the bucket. We’re fortunate.

But the majority of the harvest went pretty good. Everything kept moving right along. Yields were the best we’ve ever had.

After seeing our yields this year, we decided we’re going to increase our strip till acres. We’re continuing with the fungicide program we have implemented. Everything we did this year ended up being pretty well right. We’re going to try for a repeat next year.

As for what’s next, we didn’t get much fall work done this year. During the first big snow—we had about four inches—it was frozen just a little bit underneath the snow and we did a little chisel plow and ran a couple hundred acres of fertilizer through the strip till bar. But essentially that’s all we got done. We were too wet. We didn’t get any wheat planted this year—it was too wet. We like to have the wheat in by the 15th or 16th of October, but not this year. We just won’t have any wheat, so that’s kind of a bummer.

There’s not much else besides. That’s pretty much the status quo for the winter. We still have 150,000 bushel of corn to haul and 75,000 bushels of beans to haul. So we’ll be doing that. We’ll get a little break for the holidays, but we don’t have much planned. Just another run-of-the-mill winter.

 

December 12, 2014
By Jackson Webb

I haven’t felt burned out in a long time, but this year I feel it. Everybody is ready for a break. It’s been kind of a roller coaster year — from wondering if you’re ever going to get seed in to getting it and replanting beans 4-5 times, to our wet spring and thankfully a wet, cool summer.

We finished corn the first week of September and started on beans and pretty much ran through the bean harvest pretty quick. We finished them on the 24th. Harvest went really well, and it looks to be our best corn crop and probably our second or third best bean crop yet. And now we’re rowed up and ready to plant, so the next thing that will hit the field will be the planter. So we’re looking forward to deer season and duck season and time off now.

A neighbor and I also picked up another 4,000 acres of land and got some wheat planted. It’s up and looking good. We’ll harvest that in May or June. Other than that, we’ve been doing our groundwork. We’re in really good shape as far as field work and preparations for next year. This year we did a good bit of subsoiling and deep tillage. We’re on a three-year rotation, and this was year three. So with the continuous corn, you just get a lot of residue, and you can run into problems. So we burned this year, ran a disk across it and deep-tilled it and then rowed it up.

As far as a cropping plan, Wayne and I are on the third one, just watching the market. This year is a moving target, more so than it ever has been. We sat down and kind of figured out an acreage mix, and that all changed partly because we picked up that other ground. And we came back with a second cropping plan, and now that’s changed with all the wheat we got planted.

Usually it’s done in late November or early December, but the markets can dictate a switch real fast. So I’m sure we’ll be switching varieties up to the deadline. I always tell Wayne, I’m fine if the plan changes as long as there’s some sort of plan in place. Hopefully we’ll have something set this week.

I’m the kind of guy who can’t go sit and enjoy myself if we’ve got work to do. So for lack of a better term, I’m busting my ass trying to get it all done so I can go hunting and just relax.

December 12, 2014
By Aaron Paus

It’s been cold here lately, and today is the best we’ve had in a while, at 45. But we got done with harvest in November, and most of the people are out of the ground here.

Harvest was good. We had some pleasant surprises and some disappointment on some stuff that didn’t go as well as we would have liked. But we’re hauling it out and trying to get situated and organized for the end of the year.

For the last few weeks, we’ve been getting some year-end stuff done — we do a lot of custom work, so that’s getting taken care of; we’re delivering corn on some contracts for December and getting the bills sent. Pretty soon I’ll be looking more closely at the cropping plan.

We’re all frozen over at this point, and we didn’t get any ground prepping done. The cold came about three days before we were done harvesting. We had one little break to get dirt-work done, but we couldn’t rip at all. It’s frozen solid.

As far as insights from the season go, I really haven’t had enough time to analyze it yet to see what worked well. I’m having a hard time trying to find much of anything that we did different that I liked and that I want to repeat.

Initially though, it seems the shorter season did better than the longer season for the second year in a row — it was pretty dramatic on that. So we’ll be shortening our beans from here on out.

 

 

December 3, 2014

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

AgVenture offers growers an exceptionally deep, locally adapted corn hybrid product lineup. As you summarize harvest data for 2014 and solidify cropping plans for 2015, AgVenture’s Dr. Keith Campbell says, “Regarding corn maturities, growers should be aware that corn can adjust its growth and development. Fewer growing degree units (GDUs) may be required to reach maturity when planted on different dates. For instance, when spring planting that begins in early May and is delayed by weather for 2-3 weeks, growers may only note a 4-5 day difference in silking.”

Campbell adds, “We encourage customers to talk with their AgVenture Yield Specialist about your area of adaptation to best define how a new corn hybrid suits your area. Those earlier silking corn products are more likely to adapt to higher elevations and move north of their adapted zones. But if pushed too far north or higher in elevation, there’s a risk that later silking corn hybrids may not reach physiological maturity before frost. Hybrids pushed too far north of their area of adaptation also risk missing the ideal R stage crop development window.” (Source: AgVenture and DuPont Pioneer graphic)

November 25, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 14, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 10, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 5, 2014

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

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

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

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

http://youtu.be/qjv8VY-nDEM

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