The cooler-than-normal summer hasn’t got me concerned, but I don’t think it’s helped my beans any. I would have liked to see it a little warmer for my crop, but at least we’ve been staying dry.
Travis Michl's goals for 2014 seem simple — just raise a decent corn crop. But considering that he replanted three times last season due to torrential rains, or that 1000 acres of his corn crop burned up in 2012, it makes sense. This year, he's getting the upper hand on mother nature.
Travis Michl farms with his father in Southeast Central Illinois. Together they farm 3300 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and hay, and raise 75 head of beef cow and 2400 head of hog. Outside of farming, Travis and his wife stay busy chasing their four young children, a job he says is equal to two full-time jobs.
Travis’s AgVenture counterpart is Matt Bugg of AgVenture D&M. Matt’s attention to detail and knowledge of the region helped them match the right crop to the right soil types. Together, they’re looking to best mother nature in 2014.
I don't even know how many years we’ve been working with AgVenture, but it’s been a long time. But the reason we stay with them is simple. AgVenture has great service and great products.
The service they provide is very good and very proactive. They’re very aggressive on management, pushing yield, and the whole arena of taking yields higher and further.
All in all, the season is going great. We probably have the best crop we’ve seen in 20 years — or we’ve got a good start anyways. For the first time in a while, we finally got everything planted and growing pretty good, and we didn’t get any big rain to slow things down. It's just been nice. It's been warm enough to keep corn growing, and there’s not too much water to drown it out.
I met Matt in mid-November — he rode on the combine with me a couple different times. Then in February, we really started working together. I was finishing up my cropping plan for the year and finalizing the hybrids and everything else. Here's what Matt has to say about our season together so far:
"It’s tremendous when a grower is forthcoming about where they’ve placed stuff, what their field conditions are like — if they’re wet, if they’re dry; if it drains well, if it doesn't drain well. That really helps getting to those relationships that are an ongoing thing year after year.
We started building our cropping plan for this season in about August of last year. For the most part we’re sticking to it, with minor changes. Mother nature usually has the call with any changes.