July 8, 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.

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.

Annual Meeting Held for MaxYield Cooperative

In addition to detailing MaxYield’s positive local and total returns in 2019, CEO Keith Heim reviewed the cooperative’s commitment to further investments, including this grain storage expansion project in Britt, IA at their annual meeting held December 12.

WEST BEND, IA – MaxYield Cooperative® held its 105th annual meeting Monday, December 12 at the Kossuth County Ag & Motorsports Museum in Algona, IA.

Board chairman Howard Haas called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

During the meeting, MaxYield CFO Susan Post discussed the financial results of the cooperative. The audited financial report for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2019 reported local earnings of $1,790,071 with total pre-tax earnings totaling $7.4 million. Both earnings levels were greater than the prior fiscal year.

In his remarks to the membership, MaxYield CEO Keith Heim stated he was pleased with the cooperative’s fiscal results. “I’m also pleased to report that each department at MaxYield contributed positively to these earnings,” he said.

Heim noted that the cooperative continues to have a very strong balance sheet. “Term debt has decreased by over $4.8 million, member’s equity increased by more than $3.6 million and we added over $2.5 million to working capital in 2019. MaxYield also increased retained savings, which now totals nearly $59 million. In 1997, retained savings were ($122,242), so you can see we continue to make significant progress in strengthening the financial position of MaxYield.”

Both Heim and board chairman Haas emphasized that MaxYield continues to invest in the company. “In January 2019 we purchased property near Britt that included three warehouse buildings totaling 17,000 square feet of space, real estate and seed treating and bulk seed storage tanks. Among other capital expenditures, we’ve also committed to building additional grain storage space in Britt and Belmond in 2020,” Heim noted.

Heim went on to say that MaxYield expanded its footprint in 2019. “On August 1st MaxYield and Standard Nutrition Services entered into a joint venture where we will be handling the grain purchasing, grain accounting and risk management at their newly acquired feed mill east of Waverly, IA. Since 1995, MaxYield has provided grain procurement and risk management services to feed mills and end-users, including Kerber Milling in Emmetsburg which is now owned by Standard Nutrition.”

Nominating committee member Rich Harves of Dickens announced the results of the director election. Eric Marchand of Britt was reelected and Greg Guenther from Algona and Don Salton of Dickens were elected to serve three year terms on the board of directors.

Following the annual 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.

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 or www.FromtheField.com.

 

MaxYield Cooperative Announces Positive Fiscal 2019 Results

WEST BEND, IA, – MaxYield Cooperative® recently announced its fiscal results, for the year ending July 31, 2019. The board of directors for MaxYield reviewed and approved the financial audit at their board meeting, held August 22.

MaxYield CEO Keith Heim stated that the cooperative had positive local and total savings to report. “The recently completed fiscal year had reduced corn and soybean bushels in the fall of 2018, compared to recent years and reduced grain drying revenue. That said, the reduced bushels and drying revenue were more than offset by strong margins in most all product areas and disciplined expense control across the cooperative.”

In addition to recent upgrades in Algona and Greenville, MaxYield recently announced the board of director’s approval to build new grain storage in Belmond and Britt in 2020, with each of the bins totaling 725,000 bushels. Heim went on to say that MaxYield’s board of directors continues to place strong emphasis on upgrading and improving facilities, equipment and rolling stock.

MaxYield Cooperative’s Local Savings from Operations for the 2018-2019 fiscal year were $1,790,071 and pre-tax Total Savings for the cooperative totaled $7.4 million.

Heim said that the cooperative’s balance sheet remains very strong. “We continue to build our already solid balance sheet. Term debt was reduced by over $4.8 million, member’s equity increased and we added $2.5 million to working capital in 2019, which is up by over $5.5 million over the past two fiscal years. MaxYield also increased retained savings, which now totals nearly $59 million. In 1997, retained savings at MaxYield were ($122,242), so you can see we continue to make significant progress in strengthening the financial position of MaxYield. Retained savings is a good benchmark putting into perspective the financial improvements here over the past 22 years,” he added.

The cooperative’s annual meeting is December 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at the Kossuth County Ag & Motorsports Museum, located in Algona, IA.

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.

 

 

 

“This is my dream job.” | Colby Kraninger’s Agronomy Specialist Trainee Story

Having a job and having a career you love are two very different things- Colby Kraninger, an agronomy specialist trainee at MaxYield Cooperative, prefers the latter. That’s why, after working for MaxYield Cooperative part-time and as an intern, he returned for a full-time opportunity in the agronomy department. A 2014 Okoboji High School and 2019 Iowa State University graduate, the Milford-native built his post-secondary plans around the goal of working for MaxYield Cooperative. “[While at North Iowa Area Community College] I worked in grain operations [for MaxYield Cooperative in Fostoria]- I wanted to be a grain originator at the time. I eventually realized I didn’t want to pursue a career in [grain]. When I graduated from NIACC, I realized I wanted to become an agronomist after working for MaxYield so I decided to continue my education at Iowa State.” In addition to working at the Fostoria location, he has worked in the dry fertilizer facility at Emmetsburg, agronomy operations in Dickens, soil sampling and crop scouting with SciMax, and most recently as an agronomy sales intern in the summer of 2018.

Coming off his time at NIACC and MaxYield, the agronomy major at Iowa State just felt like the right fit to Colby. “I like talking to people, and I feel like growers can trust me. Since I never had the opportunity to farm myself, I want to contribute to the industry by helping others improve their operations. I’ve just dreamed of being around agriculture my entire life.”

Since starting in his new trainee role, Colby has taken on a variety of responsibilities, from delivering seed to making crop protection recommendations and everything in between. His favorite part of his position, however, is the client interaction. “It’s the number one part of my job- I enjoy being able to use what I learned at Iowa State to help people.”

To help facilitate the transition from college to the full-time workforce, all trainees at MaxYield Cooperative are given a mentor to provide guidance and knowledge. Colby has two. “My mentors are Justin Zwiefel (Agronomy Specialist, Mallard) and Tom Evans (Agronomy Specialist, Superior). If it wasn’t for them I would be directionless in terms of my career. They help keep me on track and show me how to use our agronomy software, how to provide a good [crop protection and nutrient] recommendation, and other important skills.”

Other team members have also helped make Colby’s time at MaxYield great. He especially enjoys his co-workers at the Mallard Location. “The people I work with are really nice- there were two weeks in a row where we just took turns buying each other lunch. We joke around and like to have a good time, and everyone treats each other very well.”

It’s a pretty incredible feeling to wake up and be excited for what lies ahead. For Colby, that happens every day. “This career is pretty exciting. Everyday there’s something to look forward to. In the future, I hope to provide trust to [my] future clients and be equipped to provide them with solutions. Service is key.”

There’s a lot of agronomy sales opportunities out there for new college graduates, but Colby can recommend the MaxYield agronomy specialist trainee role with confidence. “If someone was looking for an agronomy position at MaxYield, I would highly recommend [the agronomy specialist trainee role]. The mentor program is great, and there’s a lot of opportunity to learn and pick up on things while you are starting you’re career which is really comforting. Your questions are always answered by team members in a polite way, and if you have a client question you can’t answer, there’s plenty of resources within the company that are only a phone call away.”

Can you see yourself doing what Colby does? We are hiring an additional Agronomy Specialist Trainee! Seeking a December 2019 graduate from a 2-year or 4-year school with a degree in agronomy, ag business, ag studies, or a related area. For more information or to apply click here or contact Chad Meyer at cmeyer@maxyieldcooperative.com. *Iowa State students: Find us on CyHire!*

Logue finds answers, $2,500 feature win at MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals

Johnathon Logue won the IMCA MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals for a second time on June 25, earning $2,500 for the main event victory. Pictured with Logue is Matt Keel, MaxYield Seed’s Solutions Specialist in the East Region.

By Bill Martin, IMCA

BRITT, Iowa (June 25) – One win in his first 19 starts of the season had Johnathon Logue looking for answers.

He found them Tuesday night at Hancock County Speedway’s MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals.

Logue won his heat, the dash and the Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod main event, earning $2,700 in all for his efforts.

“My car was very, very good,” said Logue, whose one previous victory this year had also been at Britt, on June 7. “It seems like we’ve been on the trouble bus with it all season. To be able to run as well as we did made it a fun night.”

Brayton Carter, Jared Boumeester, Jake McBirnie and Jim Chisholm completed the top five across the stripe in the $2,500 to win feature. Forty-seven drivers from five states were entered.

“So many good drivers come to this event every year. I’ve always loved coming up here,” said Logue, also the SportMod Nationals winner in 2016. “The amount of talent in this division is unbelievable.”

Logue pocketed $200 for winning the DeKalb Asgrow dash, earning the pole start in the main event as well.

After cautions on laps two and four, the rest of the 30-lap feature ran green.

“Jared (Boumeester) challenged on lap 10 and that told me I’d better step up my game,” Logue said. “I wasn’t sure who was moving through the field but the laps really clicked off. It felt like we got to halfway, then I was taking the white flag.”

“I thought ‘Holy cow, we’re going to win this thing.’ I just made sure I hit my marks on the last lap.”

Logue’s lead was scored at two seconds with five laps left and at just more than a second and a half at the finish.

Jamie Anderson started last in the field of 24, finished 12th and earned the $100 LG Seeds hard charger award,

Austin Wolf was the IMCA Modified winner. Kelly Shryock paced the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Drew Barglof won the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock main.

The MaxYield Seed SportMod Nationals had been postponed a week because of inclement weather.

Feature results – 1. Johnathon Logue; 2. Brayton Carter; 3. Jared Boumeester; 4. Jake McBirnie; 5. Jim Chisholm; 6. Doug Smith; 7. Colby Fett; 8. Cody Thompson; 9. Nate Whitehurst; 10. George Nordman; 11. Doug Cook; 12. Jamie Anderson; 13. Josh Appel; 14. Dallas Nutt; 15. Jake Sachau; 16. Cam Reimers; 17. Alec Fett; 18. Carter VanDenBerg; 19. Matt Looft; 20. Jeff Carter; 21. Mathew Hanson; 22. Ronald Hults; 23. Carter Shumski; 24. Dakota Sproul.

Find Out How to Grow 80-100 Bushel Soybeans!

Find out what it takes to grow 80-100 bushel soybeans!

Join us for our 80-100 bushel soybean meeting.

Dan Bjorklund, MaxYield Seed Team Leader, will be presenting high-yield management strategies to consider this growing season.

Monday, March 18th
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

MaxYield’s Tire & Auto Service Center – Meeting Room

310 4th Ave. NE
West Bend, IA

Join us for pie and coffee and high-yield management strategies!

Contact your MaxYield agronomy specialist or Mike Hommez at 712-260-4491, mhommez@maxyieldseed.com for more information

Looking for Financing Options?

In these times of tight margins, it pays to assess all your options, especially when it comes to financing inputs for the 2019 crop.

MaxYield’s options include:

  • In-house financing. MaxYield offers delayed-price diesel, summer-fill liquid propane (LP) and terms on fall and spring inputs. Fall inputs can be picked up and applied before payment is due January 20. Spring inputs can be paid for by July 20. “If you pay early, you can also earn discounts,” Post noted. Pre-paid dollars lock in the best prices. “However, our in-house financing offers you a longer time period to pay for some of your big-ticket items,” Post said.
  • John Deere Financial. You can also access financing options through John Deere Financial, which has been a trusted partner at MaxYield for years. “Our relationships with national companies allow us to pass along low rates,” said Chad Hefel, Iowa sales manager for John Deere Financial. “Along with saving money, you can access an unsecured line of credit to help preserve your cash flow on your operating line of credit.”

You can apply for credit or request a credit increase for a John Deere Financial account through the MaxYield Seed website (www.maxyieldseed.com). Getting your application in sooner rather than later is smart, Post noted. “This provides the most flexibility in obtaining the crop inputs you need now and then pay after harvest.”

  • Rabo AgriFinance. MaxYield also has arrangements with Rabo AgriFinance, a global leader in agriculture financing. “This can be the right option for some people,” said Post, who encourages you to visit with your local MaxYield agronomist or seed team specialist to explore your options.

How does 0% financing sound?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I have enough money to make my purchases without a loan. Why should I look into financing?”

There are still some 0% financing deals out there, Post said. “These deals allow opportunities to utilize cash elsewhere. In any case, we encourage you to assess which solutions fit your business, and we look forward to working with you.”

“We provide you choices,” said Susan Post, chief financial officer for MaxYield Cooperative. “We encourage you to do the math, talk to financial professionals like your banker and tax advisor to assess cash flow needs, and determine the solution that fits your operation.”

Maintaining Trust Through Changing Times

Financing options don’t just affect your business. They also impact your cooperative.

“Times have changed,” said Susan Post, chief financial officer at MaxYield Cooperative. “Vendors are asking us for prepaid money sooner and are paying rebates back later in order to stretch the time value of money to their benefit.”

MaxYield Cooperative Announces Fiscal 2018 Results

WEST BEND, IA, – MaxYield Cooperative® recently announced its fiscal results, for the year ending July 31, 2018. The board of directors for MaxYield reviewed and approved the financial audit at their board meeting, held August 23.

“The recently completed year-end showed solid earnings and financial results in a continued challenging agricultural environment,” stated MaxYield CEO Keith Heim. “We had a strong fall 2017 season and even with a very difficult spring, in which some crop inputs and nutrients were simply not applied, seed, crop nutrient and crop protection margins in total were higher than the previous fiscal year.”

Heim added that other noteworthy accomplishments included strong grain drying revenues, increased propane gallons, solid energy margins, plus increased transportation, SciMax Solutions and feed revenues. “Our emphasis on expense control, plus improved grain margins in 2018 also helped us achieve strong fiscal results,” he added.

MaxYield Cooperative’s Local Savings from Operations for the 2017-2018 fiscal year were $1,593,687, and pre-tax Total Savings for the cooperative totaled nearly $4.9 million.

Heim noted that the cooperative continues to build its balance sheet. “This is arguably the strongest balance sheet in our cooperative’s history. Term debt was reduced by $4.4 million, member’s equity increased and we added $3.0 million to working capital in 2018. MaxYield also increased retained savings, which now totals nearly $52 million. In 1997, retained savings were ($122,242), so you can see we continue to make significant progress in strengthening the financial position of MaxYield. We have been and will continue to focus on enhancing revenue and decreasing expenses in this tight economic environment,” he added.

The cooperative’s annual meeting is December 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Britt Community Center, located in Britt, IA.

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 24 locations and three Cenex convenience stores in Iowa. MaxYield also provides grain origination and accounting services for two Iowa feed mills. For more information, visit MaxYield online at www.MaxYieldCoop.com and www.FromTheField.com.