November 28, 2020

Archives for May 2013

Former MaxYield Intern Gives ISU Commencement Address

It’s not often a former teammate and MaxYield intern gives the commencement address for a major university.

Recently, former MaxYield Cooperative intern Andy Chamra provided the senior address to the ISU College of Ag ceremony.

Andy was a 2010 MaxYield seed/agronomy intern.

The southeastern Iowa native said after his internship, “I was interested in a different geography and wanted to broaden my horizens. I had never worked for the agronomy department of a cooperative before, so I’ve enjoyed trying something new.”

Click the link above to hear Andy’s comments….and why he passed up VERY substantial job offers at graduation….to return to the family farm.

Andy, thank you for choosing MaxYield for your internship, and being a great ambassador to ag and for our company. We wish you all the best in your bright future!







AgFanatics: PODCAST Episode #31 – Market Analyst Karl Setzer

Karl SetzerThe AgFanatics talked to MaxYield Cooperative’s, Karl Setzer Wednesday, May15th.

The discussed his perspective on the markets and what he’s witnessing in the northwest part of Iowa.

Karl also shares his thoughts on corn planting progress in his area, along with some very interesting personal endeavors!

A fun and informative podcast it was!

Take a listen below or, head over to the AgFanatics page.



MaxYield & SciMax Solutions in the classroom

Eric Goodman, SciMax Solutions Specialist, shows the Kindergarten Prep students at Bertha Godfrey how a corn plant grows

Eric Goodman, SciMax Solutions Specialist, shows the Kindergarten Prep students at Bertha Godfrey how a corn plant grows

Over the past year, MaxYield Cooperative and SciMax Solutions has been a business partner with the Kindergarten Prep class at Bertha Godfrey Elementary in Algona.

On Friday, May 10th, Diane Streit, Human Resource Director and Eric Goodman, SciMax Solutions Specialist, visited the classroom to discuss agriculture and the spring planting season.

Last fall the class visited MaxYield’s Algona location to witness what happens during the harvest season. Friday’s visit was a follow up from the fall discussion.

Thank you to Mrs. Goodman and her students for hosting us!

We had a great time showing ag’s importance in Kossuth County, and the world.



Diane Streit, MaxYield HR director and Eric Goodman, SciMax Solutions join the students after class.

Diane Streit, MaxYield HR director and Eric Goodman, SciMax Solutions join the students after class.

Unlocking the Science of Nitrogen Management

SciMax Nitrogen Eric Goodman

Al Laubenthal (left) and his brother Andy, review nitrogen management options with SciMax Solutions Specialist Eric Goodman

With the release of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, it’s more important than ever for farmers to make the most efficient use of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). For more than four years, SciMax Solutions has been finding science-based solutions to help local producers advance conservation efforts and protect water quality.

“It’s all about healthy people, healthy crops, and a healthy environment,” said Peter Bixel, SciMax Solution’s team leader. “That’s why we’re focused on continuous improvement and continue to learn more every year.”

The stakes are high. The Gulf Hypoxia Task Force requires Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus load to the Gulf of Mexico by 45%. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting a strategy that emphasizes state implementation of new and existing N and P management practices for point and non-point sources.

SciMax is leading the way in nutrient management by focusing on four key areas, including:

1. Optimized nutrient rates. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nourishing a crop properly. Sometimes fewer nutrients are required, and sometimes more nutrients are needed, depending on the soil type, crop removal rate, and many other factors. SciMax harnesses the power of modern precision ag solutions and variable-rate technology to pinpoint these needs and spoon-feed the crop, said Larry Arndt, MaxYield Cooperative’s agronomy team leader. It’s not unusual to find ways to cut back on nutrient applications while protecting yield potential. In one field where SciMax clients Brian and Mike Riggert normally applied a flat rate of 150 pounds of N per acre, SciMax helped the Whittemore-area farmers determine that they only needed to use 71 pounds of N.

2. Solutions based on science. While many nutrient management guidelines were established in the 1970s, there are more current, effective systems to determine proper nutrient applications, said Dr. Rick Vanden Huevel, a partner with SciMax Solutions who has worked on nitrogen throughout his career. He favors the Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test (ISNT), a soil-based system that promotes sustainable agriculture, offers growers increased profit potential, and enhances environmental stewardship. SciMax uses field-specific agronomic information to interpret the ISNT data and develop detailed nitrogen management prescriptions tailored to each client’s specific needs. “The ISNT, variable-rate technology, and SciMax have opened up many new opportunities to fine-tune N applications,” Vanden Huevel said.

3. Support for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The nutrient management solutions available through SciMax fit with the Nutrient Reduction Strategy developed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Successful nutrient management is already happening, thanks to MaxYield’s willingness to make major investments in SciMax,” noted Vanden Huevel, who added that growers have enrolled nearly 15,000 acres in SciMax. “Putting these nutrient management solutions into practice hasn’t required a dime of taxpayer investment.”

4. Promoting a voluntary approach. Since Iowa has countless soil types across the state and many different types of farming operations, a voluntary approach to nutrient management through SciMax offers a much more practical—and effective—than a regulatory approach, said Bixel, who serves on the Nutrient Reduction Plan Science Team. Bill Northey, Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture who farms near Spirit Lake, agrees. “The tools for successful N and P management aren’t going to be driven by government regulations—they will be driven by innovation. MaxYield Cooperative is playing a huge part of putting this innovation in the hands of producers through SciMax.”

While there’s no silver bullet with the complex issue of nitrogen (N) management, SciMax is taking a key leadership role in nutrient management, Northey added. “The SciMax team has the sophisticated tools that deliver solutions to get more conservation on the ground. Very few individuals or organizations have made the investment that SciMax making to research new solutions, protect water quality, and provide proven, practical solutions that benefit farmers, as well as our non-farm friends and neighbors.”

To see how SciMax Solutions can benefit your farming operation, contact us. 

Corn numbers confuse traders

By Tim Hoskins Iowa Famer Today 

The corn market is on the edge as traders continue to figure out the supply and demand numbers.

Karl Setzer, grain solutions team leader for MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend, says traders expected the USDA to reduce the 2013 corn yield by 3 bushels per acre in the supply and demand report from the 163.4 bu./acre estimate in February due to the delayed corn planting. The report is scheduled to be released May 10

Even with the cut in production and higher corn usage, he says that carryout could be higher than 1.5 billion bu.

“I could make the argument that new-crop corn is $1 to $1.50 per bushel overpriced.”

Setzer says the rains that caused the delayed planting means there generally is adequate moisture for the crop.

He does not think there will be much switching to soybeans mostly due to how fast corn can be planted and possible trouble finding soybean seed.

Old crop is likely undervalued by 75 cents to $1/bu, he adds.

Recently, some ethanol plants have increased their production due to better to margins. However, Setzer says the ethanol-blending margins are still not profitable, which means ethanol margins could be narrow.

On the corn export side, he says U.S. corn continues to struggle. He adds Argentina is holding corn from the world market as hedge against its weak currency. Setzer notes Brazil and China are in talks to approve Brazilian corn for sale to China.

He thinks the spread between old- and new-crop corn will continue to widen before it narrows.

On the soybean side, he says the lack of old beans could hurt demand. Setzer says there is talk soybean crushers will start to shut down earlier than normal because they can’t find beans.

He notes the crush margins are there for soybean crushers with many paying over futures prices. They can go higher and still make a profit.


Welcome Summer Interns!

MaxYield Cooperative will welcome seven interns to the company next week. On May 13th these future agri-business leaders will be on the job this summer learning all aspects of the industry.

We welcome:

Haley Banwart – Communications intern and student at Iowa State University. She is a West Bend native and a former ag scholarship recipient from MaxYield.

Ryan Mayland – Agronomy & Seed Sales intern, student at Iowa State University. He hails from the Britt area.

Amber Wolter – She is from Emmetsburg and will be our Crop Scout intern this summer. She also attends Iowa State University.

Clint McConnell – Grain Industry intern and student at Iowa State University from the Armstrong area.

Ryan Flagel – Grain Operations internship, student at Iowa State. He will spend much of his summer at our Belmond location. He is from Maquoketa.

Jake Mullenix –  Agronomy Operations internship. Jake returns for his second summer at MaxYield, this year learning more about our agronomy operations team.

Welcome to the team! We look forward to your contribution to MaxYield!

R7 Agronomic Tool Grower Video


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Learn more about this revolutionary tool, by contacting your MaxYield Seed representative today!



Hunting With Heroes Returns to Iowa: Families Help U.S. Marines Find Healing, Hope

Lakota Hunting with Heroes

Gunnery Sgt. Benjamin Brodt participated in last fall’s Hunting with Heroes event near Lakota. (Algona Upper Des Moines Photo)

To look at Lance Corporal Carl Pope, Jr., Sergeant Joshua Barber, Staff Sergeant Justin Keiser, or Gunnery Sergeant Benjamin Brodt, you’d see the classic tough, chiseled exteriors of U.S. Marines. Yet these young men who traveled to northern Iowa for the 2012 Hunting with Heroes event are wise beyond their years, having faced the brutality of war and the harsh realities of the aftermath.

“These guys epitomize the fighting spirit and drive of the Marine Corps,” said Jason Becker, who has helped his father, Bernie, spearhead Hunting with Heroes as part of the Wounded Warrior Program for the past two years. “They don’t consider themselves heroes, but after spending the last two years with a handful of them, I certainly do.”

The Marines are members of the Wounded Warrior Battalion (East) of Camp Lejeune, N.C. From the time this year’s group stepped off the airplane at the Des Moines International Airport on Friday, Nov. 9, they were treated to first-class Iowa hospitality. The Marines were welcomed by a contingent of Marines from the Des Moines unit, along with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.

Then the men were escorted to the Lakota area for an unforgettable weekend of pheasant hunting. Generous donations from community members across the area ensured that the Marines’ expenses were covered, from meals and lodging to new shotguns. As a proud supporter of Hunting with Heroes, MaxYield Cooperative provided alfalfa and crop protection products for the hunting grounds in 2012, plus financial support for the event.

The generosity of MaxYield and other supporters has been astounding, said Bernie Becker, a rural mail carrier in the Buffalo Center area.

“The Marines had access to some of the best pheasant-hunting ground in all of northern Iowa, thanks to area farmers and landowners. The ground we’ve hunted the last couple of years has been saved for multiple weeks in anticipation of the arrival of the Marines, which is a testament to how serious the community and landowners are about honoring these men by giving them the best hunting possible.”

Banquet attracts hundreds

Hunting with Heroes gives the wounded Marines a chance to get away from military life and the demands of rehabilitation.

“They come to a place where the pace is a bit slower, and they can truly see that people care about them,” said Jason Becker, who works in marketing for Caterpillar, Inc.®

Lakota Hunting with Heroes

Bernie Becker, Sgt. Joshua Barber, Lance Corporal Carl Pope, Jr., Gunnery Sgt. Benjamin Brodt, Sgt. Joshua Barber, and Jason Becker. (Algona Upper Des Moines Newpaper

Nearly 400 people, including military veterans throughout northern Iowa, attended the Hunting with Heroes banquet at the Lakota Eagles Center on November 11—Veteran’s Day. “It’s inspiring to see what our small communities can do, and MaxYield is proud to be part of these success stories,” said Sheryll Denney, MaxYield’s team leader at the GPRE Lakota Ethanol plant.

Kevin Koffler, 30, a sergeant who retired from the U.S. Marines in December, fondly recalls his 2011 Hunting with Heroes experiences. “I loved Iowa,” said Koffler, a Wisconsin native who now works as a crew foreman for a demolition company that handles many projects at Camp LeJune. “When your days are filled with medical appointments and other issues, it was great to get away for a couple of days and enjoy a place where you could relax and not have to worry about anything.”

Hunting with Heroes has turned into so much more than Bernie Becker ever thought it could be. “There’s so much mental, physical, and spiritual healing these Marines need, and each person is different,” added Becker, who noted that these men have been deployed multiple times and have sustained crushed bones, lacerations, head injuries, and more. “While some people are built for adversity, others will take a long time to heal.”

Jason Becker is glad that Hunting with Heroes can be part of this healing process. “When we came up with the idea for Hunting with Heroes, my dad and I hoped to share that with four to five Marines each year as a way to say thank you. The community’s support has also allowed hundreds of Iowans to say thank you. The focus that our community places on this event shows an undying support of our servicemen and women who sacrifice so much for each of us.”

As long as there are pheasants to hunt, Wounded Warriors who want to hunt them, and a community of volunteers to support them, we will continue to host Hunting with Heroes. “Over and over again, the Marines have told us that the pheasant hunting is the reason they came here, but that the people of Lakota and Iowa are what they would remember.”

Get involved

If you’d like more information about getting involved, supporting Hunting with Heroes, or starting your own Wounded Warrior event, contact Bernie Becker at


Fill Your LP Gas Storage Now, Pay in October

MaxYield LP Gas

Get your LP gas storage filled today, during our Summer Fill program. We are ready to fill up your tank now.

And you won’t pay anything until October 20th 2013.

No need to apply. Just order now. Contact your MaxYield representative for LP gas at today’s prices.

Your tanks will be full.

You have one less thing to worry about, and one more way that, at MaxYield, we see more in your fields.

To learn more about energy solutions from MaxYield Cooperative, head to

Dickinson County 4-H Membership Cost Reduced

Brenda Hanson (left), Dickinson County Extension & Outreach summer 4-H program assistant, Sandi Bueltel, administrative assistant, and Karen Byers, county extension director, accept a contribution from MaxYield that will decrease the cost of 4-H membership.

Brenda Hanson (left), Dickinson County Extension & Outreach summer 4-H program assistant, Sandi Bueltel, administrative assistant, and Karen Byers, county extension director, accept a contribution from MaxYield that will decrease the cost of 4-H membership.

MaxYield Cooperative presented Dickinson County Extension and Outreach with a contribution aimed at decreasing the cost of enrollment in 4-H youth programs.

“We are continuing our support of local 4-H and our commitment to our youth,” said Chad Meyer, MaxYield Client Relations Director. “Recently, we presented a contribution for $10.00 per 4-H member in order to decrease the cost of 4-H membership.”

Meyer said the cooperative has two goals in providing the program. “First, we want to make 4-H an affordable youth program for local families, especially families that have multiple children enrolled. Secondly, by paying a portion of each 4-H member’s enrollment fee, we are able to continue our mission in supporting 4-H so that each member benefits.”

The cooperative contributed over $4900 to Dickinson County Extension and Outreach and will contribute more than $18,000 to 4-H in seven Iowa counties annually.

“We believe that 4-H is one of the cornerstones in developing youth and 4-H provides an excellent foundation to build strong families. 4-H also provides a great way for young people to learn more about agriculture and its exciting future,” commented Meyer.

MaxYield Cooperative is a local farmer-owned cooperative serving members and clients in northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and Riga, Michigan. Founded in 1915, MaxYield Cooperative is headquartered in West Bend, Iowa. More information about the cooperative can be found online at and at