January 26, 2021

Archives for December 2020

Clay County 4-H Membership Dues Reduced by Contribution from MaxYield Cooperative

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Clay County staff members accept a donation from MaxYield Cooperative totaling $1520. From Left to Right: Isabel Dehrkoop, County Youth Program Coordinator; Sarah Dirks, In-School & Adult Human Sciences Program Coordinator; and Jo Engel, Youth Human Sciences Program Coordinator. The funds will cover $10 of every Clay County 4-H member’s annual dues.

SPENCER, IA – MaxYield Cooperative recently contributed $1520 towards the membership dues for Clay County 4-H members. The check was presented to Isabel Dehrkoop, Clay County Youth Program Coordinator, and other ISU Extension and Outreach staff on December 16th. The funds will pay $10 of the $35 state dues for 4-H members in the county. This membership not only allows students to display and compete with their projects at the Clay County Fair and Iowa State Fair, it also provides them with opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, and community service.

“MaxYield Cooperative recognizes the value that 4-H brings, not only to the youth that participate but also to our communities,” explained Emily Campbell, talent recruitment and communications specialist at MaxYield Cooperative. “Being a 4-H alumna myself, I know that the members of Clay County 4-H will be the next generation of leaders that impacts the world. MaxYield is proud to assist the next generation of leaders in growing as 4-Hers by easing the financial obligation of the families of Clay County’s 150-plus members.”

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

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

ALL Deferred Grain Checks to be mailed January 4th

Due to precautions surrounding COVID-19, ALL Deferred Grain Checks will be mailed

 

Dear Valued MaxYield Grain Clients:

For many years we’ve delivered your deferred grain checks to your nearest MaxYield location for pickup right after the New Year holiday. All checks that were not picked up were then placed in the mail.

Due to precautions surrounding COVID-19, ALL MaxYield Deferred Grain Checks will be printed and mailed on January 4, 2021.

We appreciate your understanding as we do all we can to keep you and our team safe this winter. And most of all, we appreciate your business!!

MaxYield Cooperative Announces Keith Heim to Retire as CEO

WEST BEND, IA – MaxYield Cooperative’s board of directors announced today that Keith Heim, who has led the cooperative as CEO since 2007, plans to retire on July 1, 2021. The board also announced they have retained the services of Hedlin Ag Services located in Ankeny, IA to lead the search for MaxYield’s next CEO. The targeted date for MaxYield’s new CEO to begin at the West Bend, IA-based member-owned agricultural cooperative is July 1, 2021.

Under Heim’s leadership, the cooperative has enjoyed financial strength and stability in addition to significant upgrades in rolling stock and facilities. Heim also led MaxYield through the acquisition of seven northwest Iowa country elevator and ag retail locations from The Andersons, Inc. in 2016.

Prior to joining MaxYield, Heim was the General Manager/Executive Vice President of Farm Service Cooperative, based in Harlan, Iowa, a position he began in 1988.

“We are grateful for all that Keith has done for MaxYield,” said Howard Haas, Algona area farmer and MaxYield’s board chairman. “During his 13 years here, MaxYield’s sales have nearly doubled and the financial strength of the cooperative has never been better. Our balance sheet is very strong and retained savings, which were ($122,242) in 1997, now total nearly $67 million.”

Haas went on to say that’s Heim’s contribution to MaxYield goes beyond just strong financials. “The board has certainly enjoyed working with Keith and we wish him and his wife Deb all the best in retirement. We have appreciated his focus on providing solutions for our members and clients, while significantly upgrading the assets at MaxYield. His commitment to our team members and their safety is something that we are also very grateful for.”

Haas also stated that he expects a seamless transition to the next CEO as Heim has agreed to remain available to MaxYield for a transition period beyond July 1, 2021.

“Earlier this year I expressed interest in retirement to the board of directors and I appreciate their support and the CEO succession plan they developed,” said Heim. “I look forward to continuing as CEO and working with our clients, members and MaxYield team members into next summer. It has been my pleasure to lead MaxYield for the past 13 years and I look forward to working with MaxYield’s next CEO as we begin the transition in July.”

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.

Planting Early? Put Tour Seed to the Test Next Year

If you’re like many growers in our area, you’re planting earlier in the spring. That often means planting in cold, wet soil. Is your seed up to the challenge?

“When you consider your seed investment, you want the confidence to know that a certain lot number will perform well in cold, wet conditions,” said Brad Engh, agronomy sales team leader for MaxYield Cooperative. “We can test for that.”

While seed companies conduct standard cold germination and warm germination tests, there’s also a saturated cold-germination test you might want to consider. This is a higher-level germination or stress test to determine how seed will germinate under less-than-ideal conditions, including the variable weather conditions that tend to come with early planting.

“There are certain lot numbers that will work best for planting in cold, wet conditions,” Engh said. “We can help you with a saturated cold-germination test, which can give you a higher probability of success with planting.”

PROTECT YOUR SEED INVESTMENT

If you plant early, knowing the cold saturation germ helps you to select what hybrids to plant first and determine what fields to plant them in. The information can also help you adjust planting populations for cold, wet weather conditions.

Engh recommends conducting a saturated cold-germination test in March. The test can be run after the seed has been delivered to your farm, or while MaxYield is storing the seed for you. The MaxYield seed team can help you gather samples for testing.

“After the seed is sent to the lab, it takes about two to three weeks to get the results back,” said Engh, who noted there is a fee for the saturated cold-germination test. “We’ll help you review the results, so you’ll be ready for planting in early to mid-April.”•

LEARN MORE

For more information about the saturated cold-germination test, contact your local MaxYield seed or agronomy specialist. We appreciate your business.

Do This One Things to Kill More Weeds

It’s no secret that using herbicides with the right active ingredients (AI) can help protect your crop from yield-robbing weeds.

But that’s only part of the equation. Did you know the adjuvants you mix with a herbicide can be just as important as the AIs?

“Adjuvants are a key to managing a variety of weed-control issues, including challenging weather conditions,” said Brad Engh, agronomy sales team leader for MaxYield Cooperative. “The right adjuvant helps your herbicide work more efficiently to kill weeds.”

Some adjuvants help reduce drift. Others help the herbicide reach its target zone more efficiently. As weather conditions get drier, for example, cuticles on plant leaves get thicker. This makes it harder for an AI to penetrate the leaf. An adjuvant like methylated seed oil helps the herbicide droplets penetrate the cuticles on the leaves, so the AI can work properly.

The water in the herbicide tank-mix also influences the need for adjuvants. Some AIs chemically bond with ions in hard water containing calcium and magnesium. Ammonium sulfate (AMS) interrupts this chemical bonding so the AI can function properly and get the job done.

AMS is another useful adjuvant, but on its own it won’t help with drift and deposition. That’s why MaxYield is using Array Link®, an adjuvant that works well with Liberty® herbicide. “Liberty is a contact killer, so you need it to reach all of the weed’s growing points,” Engh said. “Array Link has a blend of ingredients, including milled ammonium sulfate, organic polymers and antifoam to help manage drift and provide better canopy penetration.”

When used with post-emerge herbicides, Array Link helps with:

  • improved spray droplet retention
  • improved spray pattern quality (keeps spray on target)
  • improved canopy penetration (better coverage)
  • improved performance

SETTING YOU UP FOR SUCCESS

While growers sometimes know the herbicide they want to use, they are often less familiar with adjuvants. That’s where MaxYield’s agronomy specialists come in.

“As solutions providers, we can help you increase your chances of a successful spray,” Engh said. “We want to set you up for as much success as possible.”•

LEARN MORE

Contact your local MaxYield agronomy specialist for more details. We look forward to serving you.

1960 John Deere 630 LP Standard

Larry Maasdam

Folks in the Midwest have a deep connection to anything that is bred or built in the heartland. This 1960 John Deere 630 LP Standard was built just down the road in Waterloo, and is now owned by Larry Maasdam of Clarion, Iowa. Various online sources, including TractorData.com, estimate there were a total of 734 JD 630’s built, only 16 of which use LP gas as their fuel source.

Larry, who has been featured in our tractor calendar in the past, is committed to maintaining the beauty and history of farm equipment from days gone by. He is also a contributor to the Heartland Museum in Clarion, and this JD 630 LP Standard is featured there as of the time of this printing. More information on the museum can be found on their website at www.heartlandmuseum.org.

This 1960 John Deere 630 LP Standard was featured in our 2021 Tractor Calendar.

 

Gary Dietrich Retires from MaxYield Cooperative

Gary Dietrich, left, is pictured with Mallard Location Leader Ryan Stokes. Gary was presented with a MaxYield cooler as a token of appreciation for his 16 years with the cooperative.

Gary Dietrich is a familiar face around MaxYield Cooperative’s Mallard location. He has spent 16 years with the cooperative, in addition to a stint earlier in his career during the company’s West Bend Elevator Co. days. During his time at MaxYield he’s been a valuable team member, spending much of his time in application and transportation. Gary’s last day was December 15th.

As for retirement plans, Gary says he doesn’t have anything specific on the calendar but is looking forward to kicking back and enjoying life’s next chapter. Congratulations and thank you, Gary!

MaxYield Cooperative Holds Annual Meeting by Mail

WEST BEND, IA – MaxYield Cooperative® recently held its 106th annual meeting. Due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s meeting and director elections were conducted by mail. During MaxYield’s regular board meeting Wednesday, December 9, nominating committee member Rich Harves from Dickens, IA, reviewed the ballots and announced the results of the election to the board of directors.

Reelected by the membership to MaxYield’s board were Jim Black of Algona in MaxYield’s east region, David Garrelts from Emmetsburg in the central region and Barry Anderson of Greenville in the west region. They will each serve a three-year term. The minutes of MaxYield’s 2019 annual meeting were also approved by the membership.

During the December board meeting, Howard Haas was nominated by the board to continue serving as chairman. David Garrelts and Eric Marchand will continue to serve as vice chairman and secretary/treasurer, respectively.

At the conclusion of MaxYield’s fiscal year ending July 31, 2020, the directors reviewed and approved the cooperative’s financial audit. Each Class A (voting) member received a summary of MaxYield’s financial report in their annual meeting packet that was mailed in November.

MaxYield CEO Keith Heim says that the cooperative had positive local and total savings to report. “Each year presents challenges and opportunities and Fiscal 2020 was no different. I am especially proud of how our team performed and showed grit and resiliency during this COVID-19 pandemic. MaxYield is a solution’s provider and I appreciate the solutions our team brings to our members and clients every day. We also appreciate the support of our members as we transitioned to an annual meeting conducted by mail this year.”

MaxYield Cooperative reported Local Savings from Operations for the 2019-2020 fiscal year of $1,512,243 and pre-tax Total Savings for the cooperative totaled $8.6 million.

“In Fiscal 2020, we achieved the second best total revenue in company history”, Heim said. “Most all revenue areas showed consistency with the past year and remain on upward trend lines. Some areas of note include the second best drying revenue year, solid total energy and feed margins, strong total seed margins and exceptional soybean margins.”

The MaxYield board approved using a portion of this year’s available Section 199A tax deduction internally to mitigate the cooperative’s tax obligation. Heim added that the unused Section 199A tax deduction amount of approximately $1.4 million will be passed through to members for possible use on their individual tax returns.

Heim said that the cooperative maintains a solid balance sheet. “Term debt was reduced by approximately $4.0 million. We maintained adequate working capital levels while spending approximately $13 million on capital expenditures during the fiscal year.”

Member’s equity increased by about $2.65 million in 2020, noted Heim. “MaxYield once again increased retained savings, which now totals nearly $67 million as compared to 1997 when retained savings were ($122,242). The retained savings comparison is a good perspective of the financial improvement at MaxYield over the past 23 years.”

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.

Three Principles Guide MaxYield’s Board

By Howard Haas, MaxYield Cooperative Board Chairman

If profit is a measure of success, MaxYield Cooperative is succeeding. In fiscal year 2020, we achieved the second-best total revenue in company history.

MaxYield’s local savings from operations for the 2019-2020 fiscal year (which ended July 31) totaled $1,512,243. Pre-tax total savings reached $8.6 million. A lot of those savings have come from AGP, CoBank and Land O’Lakes.

Your cooperative remains in solid financial shape, in part because we live within our means. MaxYield’s directors and leaders take a balanced approach to three key areas of financial management, including;

1.) investing in property, plant and equipment, 2.) timely retirement of bank debt and 3.) retiring some MaxYield equity each year. We achieved this balanced approach again in fiscal year 2020.

As a farmer, the financial security of the company is the priority I’m most concerned about. MaxYield’s financial strength means I don’t have to worry about pre-paying for fertilizer or using deferred contracts.

As a director, however, making decisions to fit this balanced approach isn’t always easy. There aren’t unlimited funds or time each year to accomplish everything we’d like. It’s the same on a farm. Have you ever installed a staircase on your grain bins? I want to have steps installed on my bins, but it’s hard to find crews who have the time to do this and it can be a costly upgrade.

Making sure the right resources are in place when you need them, both on the farm and at MaxYield, requires a lot of strategic decision-making. As we try to meet needs across the company, we use a framework to help guide the board’s decision-making process.

Here are three principles the MaxYield board uses to help make our decision-making process easier and more effective:

  1. CONSULT WITH PEOPLE YOU TRUST

The MaxYield board values input from the co-op’s leaders as we decide where to allocate funds. We also welcome insights from other trusted partners in the industry as we try to do what’s right for the company and MaxYield’s members and clients.

  1. BE WILLING TO LOOK AT THINGS IN A DIFFERENT WAY

If MaxYield is looking into upgrading its grain facilities, for example, efficiency is sometimes the biggest consideration. In other cases, safety is a key driver.

We also understand that our members may have different needs worth considering. While some clients want efficient service and facilities above all else, other clients view equity retirement as a top priority. I’m pleased that MaxYield continues to pay off estates. We’ve also opened another discounted equity offering, plus we’re passing along Section 199A tax benefits to you.

  1. GET INVOLVED

If your priorities are different from mine or my fellow MaxYield directors, you need to let us know. We want to hear from you. Better yet, get involved. Run for the board. We know there are skilled, knowledgeable people out there who can provide tremendous leadership on MaxYield’s board.

Thanks for your continued support of MaxYield. We appreciate your business and will continue to look for solutions that will help keep your cooperative strong, now and into the future.•

 

Running for the MaxYield Cooperative Board of Directors

Democratic member control isn’t just a cooperative principle; it guides everything we do at MaxYield Cooperative. Our members control this business by deciding how it’s run and who leads it.

MaxYield is guided by a nine-member board of directors. The cooperative utilizes three board districts (east region, central region and west region) so members in each geographic area have fair representation on the board. One director is elected each year from each district.

“The governance process is one of the most important components of your cooperative’s success,” said Howard Hass, MaxYield board chairman. “If you’d like to run for the board in 2021, we encourage you to get involved.”

LEARN MORE

MaxYield welcomes new candidates to run for the board. For more details, contact Chad Meyer, client relations/communications leader at MaxYield, at 515-200-5115, or cmeyer@maxyieldcooperative.com.

What’s the Biggest Secret to Success?

By Keith Heim, CEO, MaxYield Cooperative

Think of the last time you stopped by a MaxYield location. Did our team members greet you? Were they friendly? Were they able to answer your questions, or find the information needed to answer them?

These things may seem basic, but they build the foundation that allows your cooperative to succeed. That’s why we continue to invest in leadership and training initiatives across the company so we can serve you effectively.

Focusing on fundamentals like this is one of the biggest secrets to success in business. It also translates into solid financial returns that keeps your cooperative strong.

MaxYield has achieved consistent earnings in our past three fiscal years. I’m especially proud of how our team has performed during this COVID-19 pandemic, showing grit, resiliency and a renewed focus on the fundamentals to meet your needs.

In fiscal year 2020, we achieved the second-best total revenue in company history. MaxYield’s local savings from operations for the 2019-2020 fiscal year (which ended July 31) totaled $1,512,243. Pre-tax total savings reached $8.6 million. Nearly all revenue areas showed consistency with the prior year and continue to trend upwards. Areas of note include:

  • Our second-best drying revenue year
  • Solid total energy and feed margins
  • Strong total seed margins
  • Exceptional soybean margins

All this equates to a solid balance sheet. We also reduced term debt by approximately $4 million, maintained adequate working capital and invested approximately $13 million on capital expenditures during the fiscal year—well above what we normally invest.

In addition to routine upgrades, we’ve built one new grain bin at Belmond and one in Britt. We’ve also added a new 750,000-bushel bin and other equipment to modernize the grain complex at Klemme. These investments reflect a key business fundamental: if you’re not investing in your company, you’re going backwards.

GROWING MEMBERS’ EQUITY, RETAINED SAVINGS

All fits into MaxYield’s balanced approach to three key areas, including 1.) investing in property, plant and equipment, 2.) timely retirement of bank debt and 3.) retiring some MaxYield equity each year. We achieved this balanced approach again in fiscal year 2020.

Members’ equity and retained savings both grew in fiscal 2020. Member’s equity increased by about $2.65 million in fiscal year 2020. Retained savings now total nearly $67 million, compared to 1997 retained savings of ($122,242)—a dramatic increase in 23 years.

Completed 750,000-bu. bin in Belmond.

This shows you need to have business fundamentals in place long before hard times hit, so you can keep building your balance sheet. This allows you to focus on strategic, long-term decisions, rather than being held captive to short-term, quarterly, knee-jerk reactions.

PUTTING MONEY BACK IN YOUR POCKET

The MaxYield board has approved using a portion of this year’s available Section 199A tax deduction internally to mitigate the cooperative’s tax obligation. The unused Section 199A tax deduction amount (approximately $1.4 million) will be passed through to you, our members, for possible use on your individual tax returns. This is the same opportunity we offered in 2019.

Your MaxYield board of directors also reviews estate requests monthly. We paid approximately $128,000 to estates in fiscal year 2020.

During the board’s August 2020 meeting, the directors approved the distribution of a portion of allocated equities from 1999, totaling approximately $108,000. The board also approved making $500,000 available for a seventh discounted equity offering. The three stock groups for the discounted equity offering will remain the same as last year.

The notable change involves the percentages offered for each stock group:

  • Group 2 is raised from 65% to 80%.
  • Group 3 is raised from55% to 65%.
  • Group 4 is raised from 45% to 50%.

Stockholders will have until end of January 2021 to decide if they want to participate in this discounted equity offering. If you haven’t received a letter in the mail regarding this, contact your nearest MaxYield location.

THERE IS NO COMPROMISE ON PROVEN FUNDAMENTALS

The results of fiscal year 2020 show that although life is full of compromises, there is no compromise on proven business fundamentals. That’s why MaxYield embraces certain non-negotiables, including integrity, client focus, safety, professionalism, empowerment, accountability and teamwork.

Through our leadership training, we’ve discovered that it’s easy to assume team members know how to do something when they don’t, or they don’t realize they’re empowered to do a certain job. We want our team members to be comfortable in their roles and be good at what they do. That’s why we set expectations for our team members and then mentor them across the finish line so they can serve you effectively.

Ultimately, there are no secrets to keeping MaxYield strong. Get the fundamentals down, and the level of everything you do will rise. Thanks for being part of MaxYield’s success.