I don’t know exactly how many years I’ve been working with Wayne Dulaney, but I would say it’s about 10. Wayne and I grew up together, and our parents are still best friends. And when Wayne got into the seed business, he was mainly selling rice before he got into corn. We were laughing about that today even — Wayne said, “You taught me more about corn in my first two years than I ever knew before.” And it’s funny, because now I depend on Wayne more than anything for all my crops.
From the get-go, Wayne asked if I would give him 40 acres—just 40 acres of beans. I thought there was no way it would do well, but I gave it to him. And sure enough, I did everything he asked me to do, and it did really well.
That same year, we decided we were done with cotton, and Wayne asked me to give him all of my beans on the next crop. Since the 40 acres had done so well, I said yes — and that was the second best bean crop I've ever cut.
The next year, Wayne wanted some of my corn, so I gave him 40 acres of corn, and it out-yielded all of our expectations.
At that point, I decided there might be something to Wayne’s technique. With all their programs and everything they do, AgVenture works really well on our farm, and I attribute it to Wayne's attention and the relationship we have. And we might be friends, but from what I've seen he treats everyone like he treats me. It's not just that we’re buddies.
A Year-Round Partnership
The relationship never stops. It's a year-round process. I don't go pick up my seed and Wayne helps me through the growing season and that's it. It's every day. He comes on my combine and we start looking at stuff. He's right there with me. I really enjoy riding the combine, because I can see what worked and what doesn't; what I like and what I don't like. And a lot of times we're taking notes and talking back and forth: “I don't like this; I do like this; I don't like this.” We’re sending pictures. And when we stop the combine, it's not three weeks later that I'm telling him, “I want this and this and this variety for sure, and go find me others.”
A lot of times he'll come back with practices he wants to try. He knows my farm and he knows my ground. He also knows my management practices. He knows what I can and can't do, so he helps me plan accordingly for that variety. And the varieties may change as the markets change, so it's a constant contact back and forth until February when we finalize.
When I get my seed, he knows he doesn't need to babysit me. If I have a problem, he’s here, but usually he just comes by to check on me. And then throughout the growing season he is constantly looking at how the seed and how it's holding in the ground. Wayne is one of the best agronomists I know. He looks at how the ear is sitting and what it looks like; how it looks on the lower end where the ground is buckshot.
He is using me as much as I'm using him. It's one of those relationships that in business I couldn't do without.