February 28, 2021

Archives for June 2020

How Farm Analytics Help You Become More Efficient

By Rodney Legleiter

In tough years, it’s even more important to manage your inputs and to maximize profit. Way too often, I hear people want to maximize yield and, obviously, the more bushels you have the more you have to sell. But if it costs you too much to raise, you might not have increased your profitability by increasing yield. – Eric Marchand, Britt, IA

Eric Marchand farms southeast of Britt, IA. He started farming with his dad in 1997 and has slowly taken over and grown the operation.

As a SciMax Solutions® Specialist I get to help growers utilize their data to help them maximize efficiency and profits. Together with SciMax, I’ve been working with Eric Marchand since 2013, utilizing variable rate seeding, variable rate nitrogen and farm analytics. We took some time to ask Eric questions about the benefits of SciMax.

RODNEY LEGLEITER: How do farm analytics help your farm become more cost efficient?

ERIC MARCHAND: Well, when you can take your farm and break it down, you can see where the profit robbing issues are. You can try to correct them or combat them with different hybrids, different nitrogen rates, different fertilizer responses and variable rate planting in certain areas. SciMax compiles the data from other growers in the area, then helps find different practices that are working versus what isn’t working so you can not only see your farm operation but see what others are doing anonymously. This way you can manage each acre slightly different to maximize your profitability on each acre.

RODNEY LEGLEITER: How do you manage input costs to protect profits?

ERIC MARCHAND: It’s about having the right population of the right hybrid on each acre in each area of the field, as well as optimizing your nitrogen rate, your micronutrients, and even your P and K rates. Going clear back to the basic as-planted map and overlaying that with your yield mapping, you can determine your profitability by field, acre and hybrid.

RODNEY LEGLEITER: Talking about variable rate, you’ve been variable rate seeding for quite a few years. Tell us the timeline and history of how you’ve been using variable rate prescriptions and seeding.

ERIC MARCHAND: In 2013 I purchased hydraulic drives on my planter and knew I could variable rate. Since I had the technology available to me, I tried a little bit of corn in a field or two each year. I broadened that into trying a field of beans based on pH and adding four more corn acres. It went to having a prescription written for every acre of corn and beans that I plan to plant each year. I believe variable rate really pays off in optimizing your population. I wouldn’t say you’re cutting back in the less productive acres. You are cutting back your population, but you’re optimizing your population more than just cutting it back to save seed. Cutting back saves the seed cost, but it also allows the best population on that acre to produce the best yield. Saving input cost, as well as increased yield for return, is a double-ended benefit.

RODNEY LEGLEITER: There’s a misconception that you’re going to cut your seeding costs drastically, but that’s really not the case when you’ve pretty much got the same average rate across the field.

ERIC MARCHAND: You’re right. If you decide the ballpark of what you would flat rate that field by seed, once your prescriptions are written, most of the time you’re within one bag. So you’re not cutting back seed. You’re taking it out of the less productive areas and putting it in the higher producing areas. You’re trying to be a little more offensive in the good ground and a little bit more conservative to optimize the situation in the less productive ground.

RODNEY LEGLEITER: Throughout the years you’ve tried the SciMax Nitrogen program with variable rate nitrogen and you’ve been able to reduce your rates by anywhere from 25 to 30 percent over those acres and still maintain, if not, increase yield. What are the different things you’ve tried with the SciMax Nitrogen® program?

ERIC MARCHAND: Yes, definitely. With the variable rate single application or dual applications, you can cut your rates back. I used Learning Blocks to test different rates to see if there was a yield drag where the nitrogen rates were cut. To start, I used Learning Blocks as a convincing agent, especially with variable rate nitrogen. For too long, guys have thought if I pump more nitrogen out there, I’ll get more yield. And then, you see some of the data that SciMax has shown with reducing nitrogen rates, and it really challenges the comfort zone of the ‘old-time-thinking’ and wanting to dump more nitrogen. We wanted to see for ourselves, so we put a Learning Block out that used my old nitrogen rate and a higher rate. When we got our yield maps and lay over the nitrogen rate learning block we saw little to no change, even sometimes a negative response on the higher rate. It builds confidence to make the decision for the right rates next year. And it’s not only nitrogen, you can start analyzing nitrogen rates to planting population to micronutrients and fungicides. Instead of doing strips where your ground might vary across a field, do a section where you see if what you’re doing really matters. You can start to ask the questions, ‘What if I went and did that? Would I have had the same results anyway? Did I just get a banner year and get a good yield out there? Or did I do the right thing by pushing the population or by cutting the population back?’ The Learning Block tells you changing this did work or, in some instances, maybe changing this didn’t work. But it’s not a test plot from a hundred miles away. It’s your Learning Block right there in your own field.

RODNEY LEGLEITER: The farm economy is being impacted, more so in some areas than others. Tell me a little bit about your thought of the farm economy and what you’re seeing, how it’s affecting you and what keeps you up at night, as far as the current farming economy?

ERIC MARCHAND: In tough economic years, it’s even more important to manage your inputs and to maximize profit. Way too often, I hear people want to maximize yield and, obviously, the more bushels you have, the more you have to sell. But if they cost you too much to raise, you might not have increased your profitability by increasing yield. I’m proud to say I have a good partner in SciMax by managing input costs and maximizing profitability.

MaxYield and CoBank Contribute Funds to Meservey Fire Department

Christine Sandry, secretary/ treasurer for the Meservey Fire & Rescue Foundation, accepts contributions of $2500 from MaxYield Cooperative and matching funds in the same amount from CoBank.

MaxYield Cooperative recently contributed $2500 plus $2500 in matching funds from CoBank’s Sharing Success program to the Meservey Fire & Rescue Foundation. The contributions, presented to Christine Sandry, secretary and treasurer for the Meservey Fire & Rescue Foundation June 22nd, will assist the department in updating turnout lockers at the fire station.
“MaxYield Cooperative is proud to support our local fire and rescue entities and also to facilitate CoBank’s assistance to the Meservey Fire Department,” said Chad Meyer, client relations/communications leader at MaxYield. “The Meservey Fire Department is a cornerstone of the community and supports several initiatives, including the annual Fourth of July fireworks. We are happy to help in upgrading the turnout lockers for the department.”

The matching funds were provided through CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program, which provides contributions through cooperatives to local nonprofit organizations. CoBank provides loans, leases, and financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.


MaxYield Cooperative Contributes Funds towards Wright County 4-H Membership Dues

Missy Hall (left), program coordinator and Kelly Grandgeorge, office manager, recently accepted a contribution from MaxYield Cooperative that will decrease the cost of 4-H for members in Wright County.

MaxYield Cooperative recently contributed $1300 towards the membership dues for Wright County 4-H members. The check was presented to Missy Hall, program coordinator and Kelly Grandgeorge, office manager, on June 22. The funds will pay $10 of the $35 state dues for 4-H members in the county. This membership provides members with opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, community service and many other worthwhile projects.

“We are thrilled to continue our support of local 4-H,” said Chad Meyer, MaxYield client relations/communications leader. “We want to make 4-H an affordable youth program for local families, especially families that have multiple children enrolled. Also, by paying a portion of each 4-H member’s enrollment fee, we are able to continue our mission of supporting 4-H so that each member benefits.”

The cooperative contributes nearly $13,000 to 4-H in seven Iowa counties annually.

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

About MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative is a member-owned, diversified agricultural cooperative founded in 1915 and is headquartered in West Bend, IA. The cooperative has 25 locations and three Cenex convenience stores in Iowa. MaxYield also provides grain origination and accounting services for three Iowa feed mills. For more information, visit MaxYield online at www.MaxYieldCoop.com and www.FromTheField.com.

Alec Fett races to career highlight win at MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals

By Chad Meyer

BRITT, Iowa (June 16) – Alec Fett raced to a career highlight win Tuesday night, getting the best of Brian Osantowski at Hancock County Speedway’s MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals.

The $2,500 Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod victory came in a nailbiter as Fett had to race his way back to the front and outrun Osantowski and his brother Colby to the stripe.

Fett had won the first heat and finished second in the dash, which put him in the preferred outside line of row for the initial start of the main event. Alec led by narrow margin with Colby on the low line.

Osantowski had opted to not run the dash to save his car, forcing him to start 10th in the main, but by mid-point of the feature was challenging Alec Fett.

Alec Fett earned $2,500 for his Tuesday night MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals feature win at Hancock County Speedway. Fett is pictured with MaxYield East Area Seed Solutions Specialist Matt Keel. (Photo by Chad Meyer)

They raced several times side by side in the second half of the event with Fett narrowly maintaining his advantage at the stripe.

Fett nearly went off track as Osantowski got by to lead a couple laps, but a nifty cross over move by Fett put him out front for the rest of the way.

Defending race winner Johnathon Logue and Jared Boumeester rounded out the top five. George Nordman earned hard charger honors after coming out of his last-chance qualifier, starting 27th and finishing 11th.

Feature results – 1. Alec Fett; 2. Brian Osantowski; 3. Colby Fett; 4. Johnathon Logue; 5. Jared Boumeester; 6. Nate Whitehurst; 7. Cam Reimers; 8. Rich Pavlicek; 9. Darren Medler; 10. Blaine Webster; 11. George Nordman; 12. Nate Albrant; 13. Kevin Goben; 14. Mathew Hanson; 15. Charlie Stevens; 16. Carter VanDenBerg; 17. Carter Shumski; 18. Bill Wegner; 19. Autumn Anderson; 20. Robb Nutt; 21. Summer Anderson; 22. Jamie Anderson; 23. Nate Chodur; 24. Christian Sylvester; 25. Jeff Carter; 26. Maguire DeJong; 27. Josh Appel; 28. Robert Moore; 29. Joshua Moulton; 30. Cole Ignaszewski.

MaxYield Seed IMCA Northern SportMod Nationals Set to Invade Hancock County Speedway

WEST BEND, IOWA, June 8 – The IMCA Northern SportMod Nationals is set to return to Hancock County Speedway in Britt, IA. MaxYield Seed is the title sponsor of the event, which will be held on Tuesday, June 16th in partnership with DeKalb/Asgrow, LG Seeds, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, and Croplan by Winfield.

The winner of this year’s 30-lap feature will take home $2500 and the event will pay $300 to start.

“MaxYield Seed is proud to team up with Hancock County Speedway and our agronomic partners to bring another outstanding night of racing to Britt [Iowa]. This event is just one of the ways we show appreciation for our seed clients and growers and we are excited to present this year’s MaxYield Seed Northern SportMod Nationals,” noted Chad Meyer, Communication Director at MaxYield Cooperative.

IMCA Hobby Stocks, Stock Cars and Modifieds will also compete during this event.

The winner of the 2019 SportMod Nationals event was Johnathon Logue from Logansport, IA.

More information about the Hancock County Speedway can be found at their Facebook page at facebook.com/hcspeedway. More information about MaxYield Seed is available at www.MaxYieldSeed.com.

CoBank Contributes Funds to The Grotto of the Redemption

WEST BEND, IOWA, June 4 – MaxYield Cooperative made a contribution of $2000 on behalf of CoBank to The Grotto of the Redemption. The check, presented to Marketing & PR Coordinator Andy Milam on June 4th, will assist The Grotto in updating the shrine’s men’s restrooms. The updates to the restrooms will make them more aesthetically pleasing and allow for easier sanitation.

Andy Milam, Marketing and PR Coordinator for The Grotto of the Redemption accepts a contribution of $2000 from CoBank, presented by Emily Campbell, Talent Recruitment and Communications Specialist at MaxYield Cooperative.

“MaxYield Cooperative is proud facilitate CoBank’s assistance to The Grotto of the Redemption in updating and improving their facilities,” said Emily Campbell, Talent Recruitment and Communications Specialist at MaxYield. “The Grotto is a valued and prominent feature in our community that brings many visitors to West Bend each year, and we are happy to aid in upgrading the landmark’s amenities.”

The funds were provided through CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program, which provides contributions through cooperatives to local nonprofit organizations. CoBank provides loans, leases, and financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.

Belmond Grain Bin Project Update

Over the last couple of weeks significant progress has been made at our Belmond grain receiving facility.

The 750,000-bushel bin has been completed and crews are now working on the inside of the bin, completing that phase of project.

One of the next steps in the future will be to construct the conveyance and grain reclaim equipment to the bin.




Klemme Grain Facility Construction Update

More progress of our grain facility upgrade project at our Klemme location is showing this week.

With the dirt work and site preparation completed for the 750,000-bushel grain bin, construction crews are building the forms to start concrete work on the grain bin itself.

The concrete pad that will support the elevator leg tower was completed this week, shown in the last photo. It’s completion makes way for pouring concrete for the bin foundation and floor.