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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July 18, 2013

Submitted from AgVenture's Seeds for Success - Agronomy Update.

This spring, growers had a great chance to observe side-hill seeps. A late planting season, wet weather and saturated soils following germination have resulted in damping off and dramatically reduced stands on hillsides. A subsoil impermeable layer causes runoff to concentrate in side hill seeps. The resulting lack of oxygen caused seedlings to suffer and/or die and stand loss.

Iowa State University agronomists and AgVenture Yield Specialists across the Midwest note that stands were compromised on hillsides where water seepage caused extended periods of saturated soils. Note these areas for future reference.

Talk with your local Regional Seed Company or your AgVenture Yield Specialist about conservation tillage, no-till or planting perennials to help reduce side-hill seep problems in the future

(graphic Iowa State University, Dr. Roger Elmore).

July 16, 2013

Submitted by Louis Sutton, AgVenture's Product & Technology Manager/Sorghum Lead

Japanese beetles can be a major pest on soybeans and corn field.  Here are a few thoughts...

Scout five areas in the field, if 20% of the leaf structure of soybeans are defoliated in the check areas, then a treatment is needed.

On corn, if three beetles are found per ear, a treatment is required if the corn is still pollinating.  I would treat if I found three on any ear as this can be a very distructive pest. In corn, the beetles will feed on the silks and the ear, they have been known to feed on young tassels.  When scouting the field, pay close attention to the borders as the beetles will show here first normally and if caught early may only need to treat the borders.  

When treating for Japanese beetles, scouting after the treatment is required as a population flare-up can occur with a pest species like aphids and/or spider mites if they are present in the field.  Also, the beetle will reinfest the field and may need to be treated again depending on how aggressive the infestation is, so keep rescouting fields for the pest pre and post spray. 

If you have additional questions, please comment or contact your local Regional Seed Company.


July 9, 2013

Submitted by Jeff Shaner, Product & Technology Manager/Soybeans & Alfafla.

The wind and rain we had not long ago brought Bacterial Blight infections to our soybean fields locally.  Some well-meaning people will be telling you that you have Frogeye or Soybean Rust and that they had better spray as fast as they can.  Bacterial infections are not affected by foliar fungicide applications (although some copper treatments are labeled for soybean and will help only if applied early in the disease cycle).  Some soybean varieties tolerate BB better than others. Infected plants will live on and you will see that the new growth will not show symptoms.

If you have questions about your fields, contact your local AgVenture Regional Seed Company and they will be happy to help you.

July 2, 2013

KENTLAND, INDIANA (July 1, 2013) — More than 150 seed company owners and AgVenture Yield Specialists attended AgVenture, Inc.’s summer conference held recently in Merrillville, Indiana. Conference attendees together celebrated the 30 year anniversary of AgVenture, Inc., the organization that provides leadership, resources and support to the nation’s largest network of independently owned and operated Regional Seed Companies.

The company was founded in 1983 and has grown significantly to represent the AgVenture® brand in 25 states and with market share ranking among the top ten seed brands nationwide. AgVenture, Inc. General Manager, Dave Treinen acknowledged the significance of the 30 year anniversary. “The strength, persistence, and growth of AgVenture come from its unique business model. With independence at its core, AgVenture works with and for our Regional Seed Companies (RSCs). They are successful because they have unmatched access to the latest seed genetics and technologies on the market. They combine that with their staffs of professional, highly trained AgVenture Yield Specialists. And finally, they are successful because each of our RSCs is committed to their customers in their local communities.”

AgVenture Vice President, Jim Groepper added, “This anniversary is very special. It allows us to recognize where we’ve come from. More important and more exciting, is that it marks the beginning of the next thirty years. Our people are very motivated. They continue to help our customers break barriers and achiever higher yields and greater profitability. We work hard to help advance our customers’ knowledge, and combine it with the cutting-edge products and on-site, year-round professional support. We want to make a difference to each grower’s bottom line.”
Groepper attributed steady and vigorous growth for the RSCs in part to the company’s Maximum Profit System™ (MPS). “MPS is a comprehensive, systems approach to achieving unprecedented yield, lowering cost per bushel and improving overall profitability. The tools and techniques in place throughout the country are making a huge difference for our customers. MPS is proving its worth. There’s more profit potential out there and we are helping them capture it – field by field.”

As part of the event, AgVenture Soybean Product Manager Jeff Shaner announced the launch of the MPS High Yield Soybean Strategy. “The industry is clamoring for leadership on how to take soybean yields to new levels. AgVenture customers invested in MPS will be in the forefront of reaching new highs in soybean yields. It involves a committed approach and includes planning, seed and soil health, in-season management, and commitment all the way through post-harvest. We are anxious to put it to work.”

The annual summer conference provides an opportunity for RSCs to engage in professional improvement topics, focus on product updates and share strategic insights between and among companies and individuals.

Tours of the Kentland AgVenture, Inc. offices were provided as was an open house of Kentland-based AgVenture D&M.

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.

June 27, 2013

KENTLAND, IN (June 26, 2013) – The first annual Earl H. Passwaters Agricultural Scholarship was awarded during AgVenture, Inc.’s annual national sales conference held this week in Merrillville, Indiana. The $1,000 endowed scholarship was awarded to Iowa State University student, Clayton Robison of Winfield, Iowa. Clayton is the son of Chris and Sharon Robison. The scholarship was established in memory of Earl Passwaters, a founder of AgVenture East Coast Seed, who passed away suddenly in 2011. It was offered by Earl’s wife Beth and their children, Brian and Mandy.

AgVenture Business Development Manager Chuck Schneider said, “This scholarship would not have been possible without the generous support of Earl’s family and by the many generous people who contributed to this fund. Many of those who contributed are in this room. It is an honor for AgVenture and our Regional Seed Companies to share in this commitment to young men and women who are dedicating their livelihoods to production agriculture.”

Beth Passwaters said, “The scholarship honors three things that were important to Earl; his family, agriculture and support to young farmers. It is a privilege to share Earl’s passionate support of young people through this scholarship. Our family is grateful to AgVenture and proud to encourage Clayton in his future in agriculture.”

Robison, an animal science student, is very active in crop and livestock management on his family’s corn, soybean and alfalfa farm where they also custom feed pigs, raise commercial cattle and maintain a string of show pigs. He was an active 4-H member and is involved in college organizations, music, sports and community service.

Robison was selected from a pool of candidates applying from across the country. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student pursuing an agriculture degree and with plans to live on a working farm. Applicants must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, demonstrate community involvement and submit an essay about why they chose a career in agriculture and the benefits of having a degree in the agriculture field. Interested applicants may contact their AgVenture Regional Seed Company or the Newton County Community Foundation in Rensselaer, Indiana for more information.

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.

Pictured presenting the Earl H. Passwaters Agricultural Scholarship are Jim Groepper, AgVenture, Inc. V.P., Beth Passwaters, recipient Clayton Robison, Sharon Robison and AgVenture, Inc. General Manager, Dave Treinen

June 26, 2013

KENTLAND, INDIANA (June 24, 2013) — AgVenture D&M, based in Kentland, Indiana has hired Joey Naples as an AgVenture Yield Specialist Trainee. Naples, a native and resident of Carlinville, Illinois will provide West Central Illinois farmers with access to AgVenture® brand seed products and with access to year-round professional seed support.

AgVenture D&M Sales Manager, Brian Maxwell said, “Joey brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to his work. As he begins his training, he will be immersed in our intensive agronomic education programs. Combined with his education and practical experience, he will be well prepared to take our Maximum Profit System™ and other programs to the field.”

The Maximum Profit System (MPS) is an innovative approach to helping growers dramatically increase yields, lower cost per bushel and advance profitability. Maxwell said, “These tools and techniques are practical, effective and have a positive impact. They take into account the entire growing environment – from the seed selected to the crop inputs, to management practices, etc. Joey will help us deliver value through providing solid service to every customer.”
Naples is pursuing a degree in precision agriculture, with anticipated completion of studies and a degree in the summer 2014. He has a wide range of experience, having worked on row crop farms, fresh produce farms, and livestock operations.

Naples said, “I am so pleased to have this opportunity to go to work with the AgVenture D&M team. I have a strong passion for the seed business. I am very willing and eager to work hard for my customers and for this company. Our product lineup is deep and specifically adapted to this area. Our team is dedicated to supporting customers throughout the year. MPS is making a difference for growers across the state, and I look forward to putting it to work on our customers’ farms.”


June 25, 2013


AgVenture Scherr’s Seed has advanced Joe Gaikowski, of Webster, South Dakota, to District Manager. Gaikowski had previously served the company as a seed dealer. He will provide area farmers with access to AgVenture® brand seed products and with year-round professional seed support.

Scherr‘s Seed President, Steve Scherr, “Joe understands what it takes to farm, what it takes to run a business, and how to help others succeed. He brings a dedicated focus to his customers and their profitability. His work ethic and his commitment to his customers’ success have already had a positive impact across this area.”

Before joining AgVenture Scherr’s Seed, Gaikowski was the business owner and operator of Webster Marine, a business he started. His roots are in agriculture. Gaikowski was raised on a family farm near Webster, where in addition to raising crops, the family milked cows. After high school, Gaikowski went to school for diesel mechanics and worked for a local John Deere dealership while farming with the family. He left farming in the late 90’s and then served as service manager at a local marine dealership.

Gaikowski has actively served the community in many supportive roles, including ten years of service on the local cooperative board and eight years on the township board.

“I have a strong passion for service. With AgVenture Scherr’s Seed, I have the opportunity to bring great seed products to my customers, and also, to provide them with truly outstanding professional support. This team is really amazing. It’s not just about finding the best seed for your farm. Our team members are actually helping customers make adjustments or changes in how they manage the crop. Those shifts dramatically increase yield and profitability. I am proud to bring this package of professional products and seed support to every one of my customers.”

Gaikowski and his wife, Melanie, reside at Webster. Melanie is Post Master at nearby Waubay, SD. Together they have five children and four grandchildren. They are very active in their local parish, Christ the King.

June 24, 2013

AgVenture D&M hosts Seed Leaders from around the country
KENTLAND, IN (June 19, 2013) – AgVenture D&M, based in Kentland, Indiana, welcomed more than 150 seed industry business owners and leaders from across the country to tour their facilities. The Open House event was part of AgVenture, Inc., National Summer Sales Meeting and 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Mike Davis, Owner and General Manager of AgVenture D&M, has been actively engaged in both entities since inception. Davis said, “Back in 1983, I was one of the four principals involved in formulating this unique business model and incorporating the Regional Seed Company model. As the business grew, it fostered development of up to forty regional seed companies across the country. Our company, AgVenture D&M was one of those entities formed. Today, we’re part of the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies, and our reach extends from northwest Indiana throughout central Illinois, and from Kentucky through northern Tennessee.”

Other Regional Seed Company owners from as far away as the Delta to the Dakotas and from Maryland to the Rockies participated in the displays and tours of AgVenture D&M. Mike McKillip, owner of AgVenture McKillip Seed at Wabash, Indiana said, “As Regional Seed Company owners, this has been a great opportunity for us to share ideas and expertise. AgVenture D&M is a proficient example of organization and efficient distribution. And it is in support of our mutual goal: helping our customers become more profitable.”

Davis said, “It has been great to welcome colleagues and others from around the country. Today, I’ve emphasized that each of our companies plays a vital and important role in our local communities, in our states and regions. Together, we are all part of a larger, nationwide network, allowing us to share ideas and information. Independently, we are each local business owners who are crucial to our local dynamics in the agriculture industry and in our communities. Our businesses are growing strong as a result.”

Located at the Kentland location is a 50,000 square foot office and storage facility where they conduct extensive testing for the Maximum Profit System™ (MPS). Davis explained, “MPS is an innovative approach to helping growers dramatically increase yields, lower cost per bushel and advance profitability. Highly predicated on yield, this intensive cropping management program allows growers to make better decisions, effectively measure progress and improve management practices.”

On-site, AgVenture D&M shared MPS proof of concept demonstrations including techniques on planting speed, depth, fertility applications etc. AgVenture D&M also houses state-of-the-art seed treatment facilities. This allows them the flexibility to select and apply seed treatments specific to the pests of the environment into which the seed is planted. Davis said, “We have a very practical approach that uses the best of science, agronomics, and real-world functionality. By combining our seed products, our professional staff and our practical tools, we bring impact to the field and that impact is in overall profitability.”

June 13, 2013

June 10, 2013 - Submitted by Jerry Hartsock, Cutting Edge Consulting and Research

V-6 Corn about to receive Fungicide (60% rate).  Micros and 3-18-18 Ortho. Northern Illinois area.

June 10, 2013

KENTLAND, INDIANA (June 10, 2013) — AgVenture East Coast Seed has hired Hal Mack of Hanover, Pennsylvania to serve the region’s crop producers as their AgVenture Yield Specialist. Mack will focus efforts on working with farmers in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.

AgVenture East Coast Seed President and owner, Mark Davis said, “We are very pleased to put Hal’s extensive experience to work for our customers. His expertise in the seed business and agricultural sales and management will greatly support our company’s ability to help our customers reach new yield goals. Hal will be a great resource in providing our customers with access to AgVenture’s corn, soybean and alfalfa seed products. He will work one-on-one with area farmers to help assure they maximize profitability on every acre.”

Mack most recently worked in sales management in the seed business. Previously, he served in sales and customer service management roles in retail and wholesale distribution in the agricultural field.
Mack said, “This company is truly unique. We bring a dedicated focus to helping growers maximize yield and improve profitability. It will be great to introduce this outstanding seed product lineup to growers across the area. Our products are carefully selected and adapted for our agronomic growing environments. We have access to a huge portfolio of the latest seed genetics and technologies on the market. In addition, we work with our customers throughout the year – not just at seed selection time.”

Mack added that he’s seen the seed business change dramatically in the past ten years. “AgVenture East Coast Seed is committed to helping our customers best understand what it takes to maximize profit. That’s a model that will make a positive difference for our customers. I’m pleased to help this company grow and share our products and services in our area.”

Mack and his wife, Jacki, have two grown daughters, and reside in Hanover.