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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March 3, 2016

KENTLAND, INDIANA (March 2, 2016) — “We definitely have an exceptional group of innovative producers assembled,” said AgVenture Pinnacle Ames General Manager, Jim Groepper, commenting on the Company’s recent AgVenture University program. The meeting was held at the warehouse in Ames, Iowa and drew sixty participants to this, the second in a series of producer-centric learning workshops.AgVenture Pinnacle Ames’ AgVenture University drew more than 60 participants

Groepper continued, “Our meetings provide inspiring, insightful concepts. This group of committed, professional producers is really embracing the tools and techniques necessary to drive yields and profitability to the next level.”

With three keynote speakers and engaging discussions, the participants from central and eastern Iowa focused on 3 topics. “Given the ag economy row crop producers are facing, we wanted to equip them with specific tools they need to optimize every operation and every input to maximize profitability. In some cases, that means doing some things differently than they have, or trying something uniquely suited to their operation.”

Beginning with nutrient management, Robert Corzatt of Harvest Max Partners, Monmouth, Illinois, gave growers specific ideas and innovative concepts to make the most out of their crop nutrient inputs. Cutting one ingredient in the mix does not always best benefit the outcome. By taking a balanced approach to optimizing all nutrient inputs and optimizing timing of applications, Groepper said growers left with some outstanding, actionable tools toward balancing what happens in the soil and how it feeds the crop for maximum benefit.

Brandon King, owner of BK Acres, Inc., is a producer and precision planting expert from Boone, Iowa. He provided a comprehensive listing of tips to optimize planters prior to planting season. With the equipment he brought in, participants gained some exceptional insights on planter management, down pressure considerations, row cleaners and additional tips to assure planting depth, spacing, speed, etc. all contribute to ideal stands.

Zebin Zhao provided an in-depth presentation on the 4R Nutrient Stewardship approach to developing sustainable agricultural systems. “It was a great way to inform our grower base and engage together in the discussion around this important initiative,” said Groepper.

AgVenture Pinnacle Ames is committed to providing their customers with access to the latest seed genetics and technologies locally selected and adapted to their growing environment. Groepper said, “Our seed quality standards are the highest in the industry. We provide our clients with year-round professional seed support and the tools and additional crop inputs necessary to maximize profit on every acre. We were very pleased with the synergies generated at this program. It was a dynamic and proactive dialogue among the group. We look forward to putting our seed and our methods to work for each customer.”

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.
 

March 2, 2016

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, March 2016

Less than ideal stands result from planting into cold, wet soils or directly before a cold or wet weather event, resulting in significant stand loss. But cold and wet snaps are often inevitable. The chances of establishing a good stand are greatly improved if hybrids are allowed to germinate at least 1-2 days in warmer, moist conditions before a cold-stress event. Hybrids with a higher stress emergence score can help moderate stand losses due to cold stress.

One reason why temperature during imbibition is critical to corn emergence is the fact that seed imbibes most of the water needed for germination very rapidly. To illustrate the rapid timing of water uptake, seed was submerged in 50 F water for 3 hours and weighed at intervals of 30, 60, 120 and 180 minutes to determine water uptake.

Seed imbibes the most water within the first 30 minutes after exposure to saturated conditions. If this early imbibition occurs at cold temperatures, it could kill the seed or result in abnormal seedlings. Growers should not only consider soil temperature at planting, but also the expected temperature when seed begins rapidly soaking up water. Seed planted in warmer, dry soils can still be injured if the dry period is followed by a cold, wet event (sources: AgVenture and Pioneer).
 

February 22, 2016

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI/ KENTLAND, INDIANA (February 17, 2016) — Intensive management, focus on establishing ideal stands, and balanced crop nutrition bring higher yields and improved profitability. That’s the message Mid-South producers heard Tuesday, February 9th at Harlow’s Casino Convention Center in Greenville, Mississippi where Dulaney Seed held their AgVenture University (AVU) Workshop.

Dulaney Seed President, Terry Dulaney said, “Dulaney Seed is fully committed to our customers’ success. We work directly with them throughout the year to provide the cutting-edge information necessary for today’s production environments. This AVU was especially productive as we had engaging speakers who encouraged active involvement from our customer participants. The subject matter presented was explored and discussed with intense focus. It was really an interesting event to watch and listen to the interaction. Our goal is that each customer leaves having learned something new, and something practical to help them increase yields, lower cost per bushel and improve profitability on every acre.” 

Dulaney Seed General Manager, Charlie Robinette added, “We offer producers seed products specifically selected and locally adapted to our growing environments. In addition, we provide every customer with the latest tools and techniques available to help them advance their individual goals. In addition to providing the latest information on seed treatments for our hybrids, our speakers provided specific guidelines for improving Mid-South yields.”

Two cutting edge speakers shared their experience and expertise in raising high yielding/high profit corn crops. David Hula is the 2015 National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest overall winner. He produced 532 bushels per acre in the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated category, and for the second time in three years, he’s set a new record for corn production. David shared his insights and recom­mendations for growers wishing to improve their own corn yields. AVU participants had ample opportunity to ask questions.

Also on the program, Certified Professional Agronomist, Paul Bodenstine with Ag.Systems explored and defined how producers can develop high yield corn and soybean production systems with an emphasis on balanced plant nutrition to improve plant and soil health. He provided specific insights on the significance of local weather events and the importance of timing of key processes during the crop life.

Robinette added, “Our customers come together to share ideas, learn what’s new, and innovate for advanced yields and profitability. Our speakers and our customers’ involvement provided an enriching day of agronomic education.”

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.

February 16, 2016

KENTLAND, INDIANA (February 15, 2016) — Mike Davis, owner and founder of AgVenture D&M based at Kentland, Indiana has received the Indiana Crop Improvement Association’s (ICIA) highest honor – the ICIA Crop and Soils Merit Award. At the Cornbelt Seed Conference in Indianapolis February 4th, 2016, Davis was recognized before more than 290 attendees for his many years of strong support to the organization and to the seed industry.

For forty years, Davis has been actively engaged in the seed business. He is a co-founder of AgVenture, Inc., the nation’s largest network of independent seed companies. He is the founder of AgVenture D&M, a company that has grown to serve customers throughout northwest Indiana, central Illinois and western Kentucky with access to locally adapted, high quality seed and seed products, and year-round professional seed support.

Davis served as President of ICIA in 2011. Through the years, he has provided leadership within the organization through service on committees and the board. At the meeting, ICIA president, Mitch Snyder said, “Mike’s vision, perspectives and support have helped the organization and the industry continue to grow, evolve and effectively anticipate the many changing needs of seed customers. We are very proud of his service and commitment to the seed industry, and his generous support to his colleagues.”

Davis said, “Over the years, I’ve been involved in many civic service roles. The integrity and commitment of the ICIA, and the professionalism of the board is second to none. Working with this group of dedicated seed professionals, I have had the benefit of being exposed to a much broader view of our industry. We work selflessly together for the good of our customers. ICIA provides invaluable resources to improve the quality and efficiency of our business. It’s a great forum for what we do in our business, who we work with, how we can continue to improve.”

ICIA provides seed industry professionals with resources through their work with Purdue University and the Indiana State Chemist. Davis added, “These relationships are strong and directly benefit the work we can accomplish, not as competitors, but as professionals working together to improve the science and business of the seed we deliver to our customers. It’s important for our customers to know they are dealing with people who are dedicated to making the seed industry fair, well-run and productive on their behalf.”

ICIA is dedicated to improving productivity, profitability and the competitive position of ICIA members by providing services to producers, conditioners and distributors of plant products -- enabling them to provide high quality plant products to Indiana, the US, and the world.

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.

February 7, 2016
By Aaron Paus

We survived the holidays just fine, and right now we’re just wheelin’ and dealin’ and trying to reinvent ourselves to survive the new economy.

From a research and discovery standpoint, things aren’t quite laid out yet, but we’re close. We’ve met with Jeremy and we’ve got our seed figured out, but we need to figure out some details going forward. I’m actually on the road right now to Illinois to meet with an AgVenture agronomist, so we’ll have a better idea after that.

Focus on Agronomy

The agronomist always has projects he wants us to dabble in — it’s usually something like a new product or implementation practice. This year, we’re looking at doing some of our own grid sampling, and we bought a self-propelled sprayer. We’ve always had to rely on others for spraying in the past, but now we own one. I want to talk to the agronomist about doing some post-emerge side dressing with the urea format. We’ll also talk about what he likes to see for some timing issues.

It’s not going to happen this year, but I’m envisioning if things go well next year, I’d like to add variable rate spraying to our GreenSeeker program. We could do it on the go as a side dressing, based on what the crop is reading. That’s something I’m kind of excited about, but financial constraints this year just aren’t going to allow it to happen until 2017 at the earliest. For 2016, we’ll focus on remote soil sensing and beta testing six automated pivot controls. With all this, Jeremy is involved with everything from top to bottom.

Preparing for the 2016 Economy

There are some real challenges going forward for ’16. We were blessed that we had a rewarding and successful ’15 — the bank is still shaking its head saying, “I don’t know how you did that, but do it again.” Some of the reason for that is we had some nice marketing that we carried into the year. We also had some favorable rains on our dryland fields. We saw yields that weren’t obscene, but they were still very, very good.

Then we’ve just been careful to every day keep expenses in check, though right now it doesn’t seem that way, with the sprayer and in some other areas. It seems like money’s just coming out, and nothing’s coming in; but we’re trying to start filling our own application needs so we can see long-term savings. It’s a big up-front cost, but we’ll save in the long run.

February 7, 2016
By Jackson Webb

Right now, we’re just getting started after enjoying some time off over the holidays and in January. We’re hitting the ground running, and the guys know when we come back, we’re back wide open.

In 2015, we were a bit below what we like to see; a bit below average. We fared better than some and worse than others. The new farm was less than we had hoped, but we got it pretty much whipped into shape now, so hopefully 2016 will see some changes.

Unpredictable Weather

It was seasonably warm in December — we were at 85 degrees for a lot of it. Our El Niño weather is the exact opposite of what they told us how it was going to be. They said it would be a brutally cold, wet winter, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s been wet, but it’s just now gotten cold.

I don’t think that should affect planting time, because we’re all completely rowed up now and ready to plant. We were able to get lots of work done, and now all we’ve got to do is drop in, though I don’t know what the planting season is going to hold with this weather.

Changes for 2016

The biggest change this year is that we’re going to 30-inch rows. We’re switching from 38s to 30s, mainly to streamline planting. I don’t like a wide row bean, and we saw last year that the twin-row beans did real well. But I think we can do a lot better trying to precision plant this year.

Actually, we’re going to use a lot more prescriptions this year as compared to 2015. Last year we kind of planned our dryland separately, but this year we’re going to do a lot more precision stuff. We’d like to start on some variable rate in our fertilizer applications and some others. One thing we’re sticking with is our liquid P & K program. We had great results with that last year, and we’re going to do it again.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the next week or two and get a bit more hunting in before planting starts.

January 29, 2016

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, February 2016

Starter fertilizers can provide essential nutrients to young corn plants during early season growth periods. While it is difficult to predict exactly if yield response will occur, under some conditions, starter fertilizers can greatly improve the potential for yield response. According to University of Illinois research, starter fertilizers provided benefits:

  • Where phosphorus (P) availability is low – readily available P is essential early in the growing season. Young corn seedlings need P near the row on soils testing less than 20 pounds P per acre. However, University of Illinois indicates that even on medium- to higher-testing soils, starter will increase yield potential if the soil remains cool for several weeks after plant emergence. High pH soils (>7.3) often respond well to starter fertilizer since high pH reduces P availability.
  • Cool soil temperatures – in reduced tillage systems, where residue reduces soil temperatures, root growth can be slow, and thus is the nutrient uptake near the seed. Cool soils also reduce the rate of microbial release of nitrogen (N) from soil organic matter. Starters help provide N near the seed. U of I research shows significant corn yield increase 90 percent of the time in no-till situations, but roughly 30 percent of the time in conservation tillage systems. N combined with P gave better responses.

University of Minnesota research rigorously tested starter fertilizers in a variety of growing environments over several years. Results of their studies show that starter fertilizers containing N, P, and Sulphur (S) increased early growth and reduced plant variability of continuous corn with reduced tillage. Yield responses were inconsistent but were more likely on poorly-drained and glacial-till soils. Where starter fertilizers were used containing N, P & S, grain moisture at harvest was also reduced. Potassium (K) starters are important especially in reduced tillage or low K soils. Complete NPK starters typically provide more consistent responses. Always start with your soil test. Consult your AgVenture Yield Specialist.

January 19, 2016

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI/ KENTLAND, INDIANA (January 19, 2016) — “Solid leadership is a critical element in supporting and sustaining profitability for our customers,” said Dulaney Seed Company’s Owner, Terry Dulaney. “As our company continues to grow, we’re pleased to welcome Allen Lyon as our Sales Manager.”

Dulaney said, “Allen’s expertise is managing our team of AgVenture Yield Specialists. We have an exceptional group of professionals that work directly with their customers year round. Allen will provide them with the support and synergies they need to develop additional leadership in the field. He’s a valuable resource for our customers and our team.”

From his rural roots at Indianola, Mississippi, Lyon worked for a local crop duster as a youngster before starting out in the cotton business. From there, he was recruited to work at the local bank where his business and management skills secured a solid career in banking for eighteen years.

Lyon said, “Agriculture has always been my roots and a strong passion. My role is to support our team to ensure that we deliver a 100% positive impact on our customers’ business. We have access to the highest quality seed products that are specifically selected and adapted for each growing environment. We have the highest level of service, and unique crop production management tools. I look forward to supporting this team and serving our customers with the dedicated commitment it takes to advance their goals.”

Despite a challenging growing season in 2015, Dulaney says the Maximum Profit System™ (MPS) contributed to higher yields and higher net returns on farms across the region. “MPS is a comprehensive production management approach to farming smarter. With the support of our agronomy and AgVenture Yield Specialist team members, MPS continues to prove its merit, allowing our customers dramatically increase yield, lower cost per bushel and improve overall profitability. With Allen’s leadership, we will continue to support our customers’ success.”

Lyon is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, and obtained graduate banking certification through Louisiana State University. He and his wife, Brenda, have three sons, Bailey, Wells and Griffin. They reside at Senatobia, Mississippi.

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.

January 13, 2016

From AgVenture's Seeds for Success Agronomy Update, January 2016

Meteorologists are evaluating comparisons between the current strong El Niño and that from 18 years ago. In December 1997, sea surface height was more intense and peaked in November. According to Alan Buis, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this year, the area of high sea levels is less intense, but much broader. This year’s current strong El Niño shows no signs of weakening, and experts expect the weather chaos to continue the next few months.

NOAA expects many of El Niño’s biggest impacts early in 2016. Conditions favor an El Niño-induced shift in weather patterns starting now and continuing for several months of relatively cool and wet conditions across the southern United States, and relatively warm and dry conditions over the northern United States. In 1997-98, the El Niño caused the January 1998 New England ice storm, mild weather and little snowfall across the northern U.S., and storms across the south. NOAA reports that early in 2015, atmospheric conditions changed, and El Niño steadily expanded in the central and eastern Pacific. Although the sea surface height signal in 1997 was more intense and peaked in November of that year, in 2015, the area of high sea levels is larger. This could mean we have not yet seen the peak of this El Niño (sources: NASA, NOAA, and Alan Buis).

January 7, 2016

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI/ KENTLAND, INDIANA (January 7, 2016) — Dulaney Seed, Inc. of Clarksdale, Mississippi has welcomed Jay Madison of Vicksburg, Mississippi to serve farmers across northeast Louisiana as their AgVenture Yield Specialist.

Madison has a strong professional background in crop consulting, seed sales and management, as well as precision ag support. He will provide his customers with year round, dedicated seed support along with access to locally adapted and selected seed products, seed that meets or exceeds the industry’s highest quality standards and the Maximum Profit System™ (MPS). MPS is a systems-based approach to dramatically increasing yields, lowering cost per bushel and improving overall profitability.

Dulaney Seed’s Owner, Terry Dulaney said, “Jay’s professional experience is a great asset for our customers as well as our company. As we expand our reach further into Louisiana, it’s critical for us to have professionals on staff to work directly with our customers. It’s our goal to help more of our customers across the region advance their goals on more acres year after year. Jay will help put our high yield strategies to work and make that a reality across the region. ”
Madison said, “I am most excited about helping my customers push their yields to higher levels – not just get by with a corn crop, but to employ some of these ideas, production methods, crop management systems, etc.” He added that a lot has changed in northeast Louisiana crop production systems in the past decade. “Now, with our locally adapted seed products, together with our proven maximum profit strategies, farmers here have many new opportunities available to them that drive profitability. I look forward to earning the respect of my customers.”

“I have a very high regard for Dulaney Seed and my team members,” said Madison. “They are small enough to make independent decisions that directly benefit their customers. They are big enough to get the job done efficiently and professionally. The products and services they bring their customers have a profound, positive effect on their customers’ bottom line.”

Madison holds degrees in History and Political Sciences from Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama. He pursued graduate studies at Mississippi State University in entomology before obtaining his crop consultant’s license. Today, Madison lives in Vicksburg, Mississippi with his wife, Laura Dow, and their two sons and one daughter.

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.

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