January 18, 2021

Archives for June 2013

MaxYield Interns Explore Key Industries in Agriculture

Group Photo EditsOn Friday, June 21, the 2013 MaxYield summer interns and Client Relations/ Communications Director, Chad Meyer, learned about two important industries of the agricultural world as they toured the Murphy Brown Feed Mill in Hobarton, IA. and the Green Plains Ethanol Plant in Lakota, IA. Both tours were very enlightening as the MaxYield group was able to observe the manufacturing processes and see firsthand all of the elements that go into the production of feed and ethanol.

The first stop was at the Murphy Brown Feed Mill where the interns learned about the various ingredients that are used in the making of hog feed. Many were surprised by the unusual food products that can be recycled and blended for livestock consumption. Being exposed to the basic operations of the mill, the group visited the control room, gained insight on how the feed is originated and transported, and realized the thorough amount of maintenance the feed mill requires to continuously support production.

In the afternoon, the MaxYield bunch headed to Lakota where they were shown the various stages of ethanol manufacturing. Touring different areas of the plant, the interns learned about how ethanol is generated by viewing the fermentation chambers, cooling units, and storage tanks. The group was also able to witness how the plant is controlled and where lab testing takes place on ethanol and its assorted by-products such as corn oil.

Overall, the MaxYield interns really enjoyed becoming aware of the processes involved with these two essential aspects of agriculture. Not only were the tours an excellent educational opportunity, but the day also served as an occasion for a little intern bonding. Thank you to Murphy Brown and Green Plains for giving the MaxYield interns the opportunity to understand a side of agriculture that many people never have the chance to see.




Ready, Set, Grow: Follow the Riggert Brothers’ SciMax Journey

SciMax SolutionsLike many growers, Mike and Brian Riggert are seeking new ways to unlock plant potential and take their farming operations to a higher level through SciMax Solutions.

The brothers, who farm north of Whittemore near the Lotts Creek area, have participated in SciMax Solutions for six years. They each farm more than 1,000 acres, for a total of nearly 2,400 acres of corn and soybeans. They utilize grid sampling, yield monitoring, and variable-rate technology for planting and fertilizer applications, including nitrogen.

This year we’ll be following the brothers throughout the growing season and beyond to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how SciMax benefits local growers and can help you maximize your yield potential.

Q: What motivated you to participate in SciMax?

A: Technology changes fast in agriculture, and we wanted to keep up. We started with grid sampling and yield monitoring and later added variable-rate fertilizer application. We also started doing variable-rate planting and variable-rate nitrogen.

Q: What SciMax tools have been most valuable to you?

A: Variable-rate fertilizer applications have been very valuable. Not only are we making decisions on grid-sampling data, but we’re also looking at the crop’s removal rate, based on the corn or soybean yields. We want to replace the nutrients we’ve removed while building up nutrient levels in the places where they are low. Sometimes we’re able to cut back on nutrient applications. In one field where we normally applied a flat rate of 150 pounds of nitrogen per acre, SciMax helped us determine that we only needed to use 71 pounds.

Q: Why do you like the SciMax Learning Group?

A: The Learning Group covers all the acres in the basic level of SciMax and includes variable-rate planting, variable-rate fertilizer, and more. We enjoy talking to like-minded growers and sharing ideas, because we learn a lot from each other. That’s why we attend SciMax’s meetings and Shop Talk forums, where farmers can discuss the products they like, what forms of nitrogen they prefer, and the types of equipment they’re using.

Q: How does SciMax take the guesswork out of crop production?

A: We meet with our SciMax specialists at least 10 times throughout the year and work especially close with them at harvest. Dan Stokes, our seed solutions specialist, helps calibrate our monitor and conducts yield checks. We also work with Janie Imming, who comes out to the farm to download harvest data into the computer system. After all the data has been compiled, we meet with the SciMax team to view the reports and break the results down on a field-by-field basis. We analyze how each one yielded and how it was influenced by the nutrients we applied. This information helps us choose hybrids and varieties for next year and determine the variable-rate planting populations we’re going to use. We also look at areas where we might want to do trials with fertilizer or other products.

Q: What interests you about conducting on-farm trials?

A: We like to test new options and see how they work on our acres. A lot of thought goes into our on-farm trials. We try to pick spots in our fields that aren’t prone to drought or flooding, and we replicate the strips four to five times. In 2012, we conducted a fungicide trial with SciMax. We’ve also done corn population trials (with 38,000 plants per acre at the high end). In another trial we tested different nitrogen rates, comparing fall-applied anhydrous with encapsulated urea. This year we’ll have strip trials of variable-rate anhydrous versus encapsulated nitrogen fertilizer.

Q: How does SciMax reflect your philosophy on sustainable farming?

A: As a farmer, you never stop thinking about what’s next, and you always want to do better. Managing nitrogen is like trying to hit a moving target, because weather conditions change, and crop removal rates vary from year to year. Our goal is to apply fertilizer where it’s needed and keep it where the crop can utilize it. We know our farming practices affect people beyond our field. SciMax helps us focus on continuous improvement to protect the soil and water.

Q: Why do you recommend SciMax?

A: There’s a lot of data in precision ag today. The SciMax team members sort through all this and help find solutions so you can specialize in what you do best, which is farming. SciMax gives you the knowledge and confidence to try new things. We get our money’s worth from SciMax. Actually, all their technology, expertise, and information is a bargain.

Editor’s note: Mike, 33, and Brian, 31, are following in the footsteps of their grandfather, Herman Riggert, and father, Elmer, who farmed in north-central Iowa for many years. The Riggert brothers are graduates of Sentral High School (Mike in 1998 and Brian in 2000) and North Iowa Area Community College, where they studied agriculture and farm management. The brothers began farming full-time right out of college and enjoy working together as a family, which includes Mike’s wife, Stephanie, and their three young sons.

My MaxYield Internship: Jake Mullenix

Meet Jake Mullenix – MaxYield’s Agronomy Operations Intern Jake M. Blog Pic.

What is your role at MaxYield Cooperative and how is it different from your role as an intern last summer?Last year I was the grain operations intern and I learned a lot about the maintenance, operation, and organization of grain elevators including grain vacing and sweeping.  This year as an agronomy operations intern, I have been learning how to treat seed and later on I will be driving a tender truck.

 What motivated you to work as a MaxYield intern for another summer? I really enjoyed the people that I have worked with and everyone at MaxYield has been very friendly and welcoming.

What experiences have you had as a MaxYield intern that have made you excited to pursue a career in agriculture? I am the type of person that enjoys being outside and working with my hands, so I am glad that I have had the opportunity to do that with both internship roles I have had.

What valuable knowledge have you gained about agronomy operations? I have gained a great deal of knowledge such as learning how to fill out tickets for seed and how to deal with different types of chemicals.

What is it like experiencing a different side of agriculture from grain to agronomy? It has been really great realizing all of the opportunities that are available in the agronomy world and what new technologies might be arriving in the future.

 What are you most looking forward to as an intern this summer? I am really looking forward to earning my Commercial Driver’s License. I have been talking about getting a CDL since before my first MaxYield internship in the summer of 2012 and I am excited that I am finally working towards one.

Concert to Benefit “Hope for Brad” Foundation

Nashville country singing star James Wesley will perform Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in a benefit for the Hope for Brad Foundation.

The event takes place at the Hancock County Fairgrounds. Tickets are on sale NOW! ($15 in advance or $20 at the door)

The night begins with the North Iowa Shrine Club dinner at 6:00 p.m. and includes a silent and live fundraiser auction.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Hope for Brad Foundation, which provides support to families who are battling cancer and support for raising awareness for colon cancer.

In 2010, Brad Broshar was diagnosed with a rare, genetically-inherited disease that leads to colon cancer. He passed away November 7, 2010 after a courageous battle, leaving behind his wife Steph and two young children.

To learn more about the event, log on to www.HopeForBrad.com.

My MaxYield Internship: Haley Banwart

IMG_20130619_095220_945I never would have predicted all of the great opportunities I have had as a MaxYield intern in the past six weeks. My internship experience has been above and beyond what I expected when I first started in May and I can’t wait to go back to Iowa State to tell all of my Ag. Communications friends about my summer. I have been surprised by the number of contacts I have made with other individuals in the agricultural field and this makes me very excited for the endless possibilities of my future career.

Recently I had the chance to meet Greg Latza, a freelance photographer who has been taking amazing photos for MaxYield Cooperative for several years. I had the chance to road trip with him for two days and I had fun learning from him and helping with the photo shoots for the upcoming magazine and calendar.

My favorite part of the trip was having the opportunity to stand on top of the Belmond Elevator where Greg took shots of the new fertilizer plant. The view from there was incredible and I felt lucky to be able to see what the workings of a grain elevator are really like. Despite my fear of heights, I braved crossing one of the catwalks and I even have the pictures to prove it.

Standing on top of the elevator it was amazing to see the flat patterns of Iowan land stretching out into the distance.  From this perspective it was easy to understand the significant impact agriculture has on our communities as I could see miles and miles of fields with little farm towns dotting the countryside.

I am very proud that I come from a rural community and I am even more inspired to use my communications skills to positively convey this lifestyle to those that might not understand the true values of agriculture. MaxYield Cooperative emphasizes the idea of “We See More in Your Fields”. One of my goals as an agricultural communicator is to help the individuals that are not familiar with this mentality to learn what valuable way of life our fields have to offer.

MaxYield Cooperative Supports Emmetsburg Fire Department

On Monday, June 17th, Denny Darling presented a check to the Emmetsburg Fire Department on behalf of MaxYield Cooperative. The donation of $250 was presented at the Emmetsburg Fire Station to Fire Chief, Frank Kliegl, who explained that the proceeds wilEburg Fire Dept. Photol go towards the purchase of new gear for the department including wildfire equipment.

Denny Darling, energy delivery team member at MaxYield, also is a member of the Emmetsburg Fire Department and serves as one of two Fire Captains.

MaxYield Cooperative is a local farmer owned agricultural cooperative that has 18 locations in Iowa and one in Riga, Michigan. They are headquartered in West Bend, Iowa. More information about the cooperative can be found online at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com or www.FromTheField.com.

VIDEO: SciMax Solutions Client Update

June 17, 2013

Beau Dawes, Dallas County, IA

Hope for Haiti: MaxYield Supports Village of Hope

1There are some images you never forget. Just ask Dennis Hrubes, a Britt-area farmer who was stunned by the sights that he and his fellow mission team members saw as they drove five hours from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Torbeck, a primitive region of the country with no modern conveniences such as electricity or cell phones.

“Seeing the survival mode in the people’s eyes was an overwhelming experience,” said Hrubes, who traveled to Haiti for a week in early February to help remodel homes and serve people in need. “One after another the streets and sidewalks were lined with everyone trying to sell whatever they could to stay alive—clothes, worn shoes, old mufflers, and even parts of a butchered hog covered in flies. These are desperate people, and they need to eat.”

When the 13 volunteers reached their destination in the remote countryside, they were encouraged by what they saw at the Village of Hope. Organized by Global Compassion Network, an Eagle Grove-based charity that provides disaster relief both internationally and domestically, the Village of Hope is designed to keep Haitian families together by helping to meet their basic needs for food and shelter.

“The village was nothing like what we had experienced during the trip from the airport,” said Hrubes, who attends the Garner Evangelical Free Church with his wife, Brenda, and participated in the mission trip with people from four churches in the Garner area. “It was as if we were somewhere else—a better place, for sure.”

Volunteers put their hearts in Haiti

The Village of Hope includes clusters of Safe T Homes made from modified grain bins produced by Sukup Manufacturing in Sheffield, IA. During their week in Haiti, Hrubes and his fellow volunteers helped build new homes and added lofts inside existing homes so two to four more people could sleep there.

“While the Haitian people speak Creole, a type of French, we were able to communicate enough to work alongside each other, which was great,” said Hrubes, who noted that the Iowans also attended worship services with the people at the Village of Hope.

Some of the most poignant moments occurred at the Village of Hope’s orphanage, which houses about 30 girls between the ages of five and 12. Many of the children moved to the orphanage because their parents could no longer afford to care for them.

Haitian with hoe“It’s hard to see that much poverty, and it really catches your heart,” said Hrubes, who added that many of the people of Haiti are under-nourished. “These children are living with so little, and they need help.”

The people in the Village of Hope raise chickens and are trying to produce food on the agricultural land surrounding the orphanage. Leaders are installing drip-irrigation systems to raise more vegetables, which will help the community become more self-sustaining.

Since corn, rice, and wheat are also grown in Haiti, Hrubes and his fellow volunteers helped raise donations to purchase a diesel-powered grinder for the Village of Hope. MaxYield Cooperative donated $5,000 for the machine, which can grind corn into livestock feed or cornmeal for human consumption. It can also dehull rice, said Hrubes, who noted that this simple machine creates new opportunities for the people of Haiti.

“It’s an avenue to help them earn more money when they sell their grain. It will also provide better feed for their livestock, which are primarily grass-fed.”

Planting the seeds of hope

The hope represented by the corn grinder is hard to come by in Haiti, which has suffered from a corrupt government and natural disasters, like the catastrophic earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people in 2010.

“These people need hope,” said Hrubes, who paid his own expenses to participate in his first international mission trip. “The needs are so great, and we were willing to do whatever we could.”

Hrubes is grateful for MaxYield’s support. “The donation for the grinder shows how much MaxYield cares about people, and I really appreciate their willingness to be part of this.”

The people of Haiti are grateful as well, said Hrubes, who gained a whole new perspective on life from this experience. “What we did to help needs to be multiplied many times. A lot of people want to help, and it’s rewarding to plant the seeds of hope.”

MaxYield Hosts Brazil Visitors

MaxYield’s Clint McConnell (left) and Harry Bormann (right) hosted Jorge Gracioli (second from left) and Rogerio Cerqueria and his daughter Viviane on a tour of MaxYield.

MaxYield’s Clint McConnell (left) and Harry Bormann (right) hosted Jorge Gracioli (second from left) and Rogerio Cerqueria and his daughter Viviane on a tour of MaxYield.

Recently MaxYield Cooperative hosted three visitors from Brazil who were here to learn more about Midwestern agriculture. The trip and visit was arranged by INTL FCStone in West Des Moines.

While in Iowa, Jorge Gracioli, grains consultant at INTL FCStone in Brazil, and Rogerio Cerqueira and his daughter Viviane toured north central Iowa. Rogerio and Viviane are the owners of a Brazil based agribusiness that is involved in grain commodities.

Their tour began at AGP’s Emmetsburg soybean processing facility and continued with stops at MaxYield’s Mallard, West Bend and Belmond unit train shipping facilities before concluding at FCStone’s office in Chicago.

MaxYield Cooperative is a local farmer-owned agricultural cooperative with 18 Iowa locations and one in Riga, MI. More information can be found at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com or www.FromTheField.com.

Importance of Tissue Testing

Tissue testing is a useful tool in determining proper micro-nutrient uptake in the plants at different stages of growth.

When should you test?

– Corn: V4-V6, V9-V11, VT-R1 & R2-R4

– Soybeans: V3-V5, R1-R2 & R3-R4

What nutrients are tested?

– N, P, K and micros; ZN, B, S, Mn, Cu &Fe


– Data can’t be accomplished through soil tests or yield measuring.

To learn more, view the recent video, below: