August 17, 2019

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, for more information

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 and

Dayton Brugman, crop scouting/soil sampling intern

In some ways, interning at MaxYield was like coming home for Dayton Brugman. Not only was he back in northwest Iowa close to his hometown, but his internship has allowed him to learn even more about local agriculture.

“I’ve grown up around MaxYield and heard about how good their internships are,” said Brugman, 19, a 2017 Clay Central Everly High School graduate who is studying ag business at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny. “I worked in Dickens at the chemical facility and at the seed warehouse in Spencer this spring. Treating seed and learning about the different types of seed really sparked my interest in agronomy.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: I grew up on a corn and soybean farm near Peterson, so ag has been part of my life from the beginning. I like it and try to stay connected to farming no matter where I’m at. In the fall, I work for a farmer near Ankeny and run the combine for him.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield internship?

A: I got an early start on my internship since I started here in March 2018. With a MaxYield internship you learn the foundations of agronomy from the roots up. I’ve learned a lot by participating in MaxYield’s plot days, where you learn from MaxYield’s team and speakers from WinField.

I was based out of Everly but had the chance to go all over MaxYield’s trade territory. I got into soil sampling, crop scouting and tissue sampling. While there’s a push on getting the work done, MaxYield always emphasizes learning. It’s not just busy work. The team is also fun to work with.

I’d definitely recommend a MaxYield internship. It’s so much different than writing answers on a test at college. It’s a lot easier to grasp these concepts in the field.

Q: How have you benefited by having Mason Mentink as your mentor at MaxYield?

A: Mason is very knowledgeable about agronomy. He’s always fun to talk to and is good with the clients. His ability to communicate with them is impressive because he knows how to adapt to different personalities. He knows what each client expects of MaxYield and works hard to serve them.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  After I graduate from DMACC, I plan to transfer to ISU in the fall of 2019. I’m undecided about what I want to do at ISU and in my career, but my MaxYield internship is helping me find out what interests me. I know I want to stay in Iowa after college. I’d like to come back to northwest Iowa, because I’m interested in production ag and running our family’s farm.

Editor’s note: Brugman appreciated the chance to have an internship close to home, since he raises show pigs. These pigs have won top honors at the Clay County Fair and have competed in shows including the Iowa State Fair, the World Pork Expo and the Arizona National in Phoenix. Raising pigs is a family affair for Brugman, his parents (Dan and Darcy), his younger brother, Davin, and his younger sister, Dalayna. In his free time, Brugman also enjoys watching sports, including the Minnesota Vikings, ISU men’s basketball and the Washington Capitals ice hockey team. He’s also a fan of the Stanley Cup finals.

Cody Tjossem, crop scouting/soil sampling intern

Cody Tjossem doesn’t settle for average. Instead of just one major, he decided to pursue two majors at ISU.

“I looked into accounting but decided that was kind of boring,” said Tjossem, 19, a sophomore who is majoring in ag business and supply chain management. “I was more interested in business and chose supply chain management because I like how it’s focused on doing things as efficiently as possible.”

When it was time to look for a summer internship, this ambitious, 2017 South O’Brien High School graduate was already familiar with MaxYield. “My brother, Brian, used to be an applicator for MaxYield, and he always had great things to say about the company,” said Tjossem, who visited with the MaxYield team at the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day.

The more he learned about MaxYield, the more he liked the internship program and MaxYield’s core values. “Going into this, I wanted to be able to say I worked hard and got lots of experience here,” Tjossem said. “It’s important to get involved as much as you can, especially leadership positions, and get a lot of life experience.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: My parents, Vernon and De Ann Tjossem, farm near Sutherland and Royal and raise corn and soybeans. I like growing things and enjoy making new things. That’s what a lot of farming is. You put a seed in the ground and see if you can grow it into a good yield.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield internship?

A: While it’s hard to stay busy at some agronomy internships, there’s lots of hands-on training in the field at MaxYield. To actually be able to see and touch the things you’re learning about is great, because it’s nothing like just reading a textbook.

We do tissue sampling early in the week, soil sampling and crop scouting. I also want to learn more about machinery and equipment, and you need a strong base in agronomy to make the most of technology. MaxYield’s team members are always willing to help me learn.

I know the work we’re doing matters because MaxYield’s clients want us to help them learn how to grow better crops.

Q: How have you benefited by having Brian Cable and Megan Phelan as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: Brian is very personable and has introduced me to clients and the various MaxYield team members in the area. This made me feel welcome at MaxYield. I’ve also appreciated all the hands-on experience Megan has given me with tissue sampling and other projects. She’s a good teacher.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I’d prefer to stay in Iowa, but I’ll go where the jobs are.

 Editor’s note: Tjossem likes to be outside, spending time with family and friends, golfing and boating at the lake. He’s involved in ISU’s Ag Business Club, which invites guest speakers to campus to share their stories of business ownership and offer tips on how to succeed in business.

Jason Hinkeldey, crop scouting/soil sampling intern

When he was looking for a summer internship, Jason Hinkeldey didn’t have to look too far from home.

“MaxYield has a good reputation,” said Hinkeldey, 19, a sophomore at South Dakota State University who is majoring in ag business with a minor in agronomy and agricultural marketing.

He became even more confident after he watched YouTube videos of previous MaxYield interns and read their stories. “I knew I’d learn a lot with a MaxYield internship.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: I grew up on a row-crop farm near Alta, Iowa, and want to go into production agriculture.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield internship?

A: It has been quite a trying year due to the weather, but that has also helped me learn a lot about agronomy. My goal for my MaxYield internship has been to gain more knowledge about variable-rate planting and precision ag. I enjoyed going to MaxYield’s test plot near Algona, where we learned about hybrid selection, crop growth staging, weed identification and nutrient deficiencies in plants. Dan Bjorkland, MaxYield’s seed team leader, is a wealth of knowledge.

I learn best with hands-on experiences, because I retain more information that way. I’ve also liked getting to know the MaxYield team. They’re ready to lend a helping hand whenever you need it.

Q: How have you benefited by having Amanda Pederson and Chris Warren as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: Amanda is very knowledgeable and has taught me a lot about crop disease identification and modes of action with various crop protection products. I’ve also worked with Chris Warren with SciMax Solutions, who has taught me a lot about variable-rate technology and precision planting.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I’m a fifth-generation farmer and want to return home to farm full-time.

Editor’s note: Hinkeldey enjoys watching sports and cheers for the Iowa State University Cyclones.

Tyler Hoffman, crop scouting/soil sampling intern

You just never know where you’ll come across a great opportunity. Just ask Tyler Hoffman.

“I want to learn more about the business side of ag,” said Hoffman, 21, a junior who is majoring in ag business with a minor in agronomy at ISU. “When my mom was at a women-in-ag seminar, she talked to someone from MaxYield who encouraged me to meet with Chad Meyer at ISU’s ag career day last fall.”

Hoffman, who grew up on a farm near Graettinger, started asking his buddies what they knew about MaxYield. He checked in with Costas Hatzipavlides, a fellow ISU student who completed a soil sampling/crop scouting internship in 2017 at MaxYield.

“Costas has a lot of good things to say about MaxYield, so I decided I wanted to intern here, too,” Hoffman said.

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: I’ve been around ag my whole life. My parents, Duane and Kimberly, raise corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs near Graettinger. I also like working with growers. I can relate to them, since I grew up on a farm.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield internship?

A: I wanted to become more comfortable talking to growers and have intelligent conversations with them about their unique needs and solutions for their acres. It has helped a lot to learn the basics from soil sampling to crop scouting. This gives me the chance to talk to farmers about everything from switching maturity dates on corn to deciding what needs to be sprayed.

I also like visiting MaxYield’s test plots, where we discuss a lot of different agronomy topics. I learn new things and bounce ideas off my dad.  I’ve learned a lot more this summer through my MaxYield internship than I have in some of my ag classes at college. I appreciate this internship, because it’s hands-on. That makes it a lot easier to grasp the information I’m learning.

Q: How have you benefited by having Levi Quayle and Matt Keel as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: Levi is easy to talk to. I’ve learned a lot from him about weed identification and what crop protection products to use. I like working with Matt, too, because he’s also easy to talk to and is fun to be around.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I’d like to stay in Iowa and am open to opportunities. I’ve gotten more interested in the agronomy side of the business through this internship. I’ve found that a lot of people don’t have an interest in agronomy until they have a MaxYield internship. I’m just scratching the surface with what I’ve learned this summer and want to keep learning about agronomy.

Editor’s note: When Hoffman isn’t working or studying, he enjoys working out at the gym, watching Netflix and spending time with his family and friends.

Katie Decker, communications intern

If Katie Decker puts her mind to something, there’s no stopping her. When a friend needed someone to take his senior pictures in high school, Decker handled the job. Even though she was a junior in high school at the time, she did her homework, learned from professional photographers on YouTube and practiced—a lot.

Decker used this same approach when she was selecting an internship. “I was really determined to get an internship this summer,” said Decker, 20, of Rockwell City, who is an ISU sophomore majoring in ag communications. “I did a lot of homework about various companies before the ISU ag career fair. MaxYield stood out because it has such an established, clear-cut internship program.”

Even so, not everyone in Decker’s family thought this internship would be exceptional. “When my grandparents heard I’d be working for a co-op, they thought I’d probably have to run the scale and mow the lawn,” Decker said. “It’s not like that at all. It’s a continuous learning process and great leadership development opportunity here.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: I grew up on a farm near Rockwell City, where my family runs Farmers Best Popcorn. My great-grandfather started Farmers Best as a livestock feed business. My summer job was to go to stores and hand out samples of popcorn and stock the shelves. When I was on my own, I had to step up to the plate. I also found out I liked working in ag.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield communications internship?

A: I’m interested in photography and design, so my goals were to enhance my video production skills and learn from Greg Latza, the professional photographer who works with MaxYield. I also wanted to learn more about the cooperative system and discover how everything comes together to create a successful business.

While I knew about co-ops from growing up on a farm, I never realized how multi-faceted a co-op like MaxYield is. I was surprised by all the different jobs, including Patti Guenther’s role as education team leader.

I’ve liked the work setting here and the way MaxYield focuses on the team. I’ve enjoyed creating training and intern feature videos for MaxYield’s YouTube channel and have liked working on MaxYield’s tractor calendar.

I’ve also liked the field trips, including the chance to work with PSI Printing in Fort Dodge to discuss design ideas for MaxYield’s calendar. I’ve also visited the communications team at CHS in Inver Grove Heights, MN and Paulsen Marketing, the agency in Sioux Falls that designs MaxYield’s magazine.

Q: How have you benefited by having Chad Meyer as your mentor at MaxYield?

A: Chad has worked really hard to involve me in as many things as he can. He prioritizes my career goals around my internship goals.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I’d like to stay in Iowa, because I love it here. I’d also like a job that has a lot of variety every day. Since I’ve already started a photography business, I’ve seen how I can do what I love and live where I want to live, right here in rural Iowa.

Editor’s note: Decker, a former FFA member, is now a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) at ISU. During her second semester of college, she served as a secretary for Sen. Dan Zumbach, who chaired the Senate Ag Committee in the Iowa Senate. In her free time, she enjoys running, spending time at Twin Lakes with her family, and her Golden Retriever, Snickers, and building her photography business.

Leah Bunkers, seed sales and agronomy intern

Sometimes it takes awhile for the right time to come along for a MaxYield internship, but the opportunity is worth it. Just ask Leah Bunkers.

“I talked to MaxYield about an internship a few years ago but already had another internship lined up,” said Bunkers, 22, a senior at South Dakota State University who is majoring in ag business and precision ag.

People kept telling her about MaxYield, though. She heard more about the company from Todd Meyer, a MaxYield board member from Everly. “I also heard from reliable sources outside the company, including our DEKALB® district sales manager. They told me MaxYield offers really good internships. I valued this unbiased input.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: My family owns a full-service, independent elevator, Bunkers Feed and Supply, in Granville, Iowa. My grandpa started this business 57 years ago, and I’ve grown up in agriculture. I work at my family’s business when I’m home.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield internship?

A: My goals for this internship were to gain more knowledge about identifying issues in the field, like nutrient deficiencies, insects, weeds and disease. I also want to learn more about crop protection product recommendations.

I was based out of Meservey and Belmond and worked out of the Garner location, too. I helped a lot in the seed warehouse since much of the spring and early summer was so rainy. I got to interact with clients when they picked up seed or we delivered seed to them.

Throughout the summer I also spent more time in the field. I helped collect tissue samples on Monday mornings, plus I’ve scouted fields and have pulled corn nematode samples.

I liked how every Monday afternoon we went to MaxYield’s learning plots at Algona and other locations. Dan Bjorklund, MaxYield’s seed team leader, and other MaxYield team members covered different topics each week. They explained the growth stages of corn and soybeans and talked about what was going on in the field right now. These learning opportunities have been really valuable.


Q: How have you benefited by having Cody Ostendorf and Jon Kaduce as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: Cody is like a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. He knows his stuff about agronomy, and he’s good at working with people. Jon is also very knowledgeable. He explains things in a way that’s easy to understand, and he’s very straightforward.


Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I want to stay in the Midwest. I like crops and enjoy the problem-solving aspect of figuring out what’s going on in the field so I can help the client address that challenge. I want a job where I interact with growers, because I’m not as interested in research or operations. My MaxYield internship is helping me get more clarity with my career goals. It’s also helping me decide whether I like working for a big company, a small company or something in between.

Editor’s note: Bunkers and her family enjoy spending time at Okoboji, and she also likes fishing. 

Colby Kraninger, seed/agronomy sales intern

Colby Kraninger is no stranger to MaxYield. While he was a seed/agronomy sales intern during the summer of 2018, he first started working with MaxYield for on-the-job training (OJT) in the grain department at the Fostoria location in the fall of 2014.

“It was a good experience, but I figured out I didn’t want to be a grain originator,” said Kraninger, 22, a senior at Iowa State University (ISU) majoring in agronomy.

During his second OJT, Kraninger worked at MaxYield’s Emmetsburg location and ran the dry fertilizer facility and the liquid fertilizer plant in Dickens. “I thought about being an applicator,” said Kraninger, who earned two associates degrees (one in ag sales and service, and one in ag operations and technology) from North Iowa Area Community College in December 2016.

Kraninger came back to MaxYield last summer to work at the chemical facility in Dickens and help with soil sampling. This summer, he decided to try something new. “I was a little intimidated by a sales internship but decided it would be a good experience.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: I’ve been around farming my whole life. I grew up on an acreage by Okoboji. My brother, Dakota, who is in charge of seed treatments and MaxYield’s warehouse in Spencer, ran a baling operation with me all through high school. We baled small square bales, plus I worked for local farmers. I like the people in ag, and there’s always something new every day in farming.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield seed/agronomy sales internship?

A: Each experience I’ve had has helped me get one step close to the career I’d like to work in after college. I have my commercial driver’s license (CDL) and have delivered seed. I’ve also treated seed and helped my brother in the warehouse in Spencer. I’ve crop scouted, too. I like working with the MaxYield team, because I can ask questions and bounce ideas off them. I also like talking to the farmers who do business with MaxYield. I clock in at Milford, and there’s a lot of farmers in the coffee crowd there.

Q: How have you benefited by having Steve Schany and Tom Evans as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: I’m really comfortable with Steve, because he’s easy to talk to and easy to work with. Tom is a straightforward kind of guy who gives you a list of projects, and you get the work done. They don’t babysit you here and give you a lot of independence.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I’ve figured out I wanted to be an agronomist. I’m coming back to MaxYield after graduating from ISU. I’ve worked with MaxYield long enough that I know a lot about the company. I’m comfortable with the people and the co-op system.

Editor’s note: Kraninger is the son of James and Lisa Kraninger. A 2014 graduate of Okoboji High School, Kraninger was active in his local FFA chapter, where he served as sentinel. He and his brother still run their custom baling operation. They also put in food plots for deer and upland game. A lifelong outdoorsman, Kraninger credits his father with teaching him how to fish. He enjoys fishing at Okoboji and the Webster Lake chain in east-central South Dakota. He spends his Christmas breaks ice fishing at Red Lake in northern Minnesota.

Secrets of Top Producers:

Top 10 High-Yield Management Strategies Revealed

In SciMax Solutions’ High Management Yield Contests, it’s not unusual for top producers to achieve 260-bushel to 280-bushelper-acre corn yields. In 2016, many of the entries were north of 250 bushels per acre.

What’s their secret?

“In the past several years we’ve studied these results and have put together a high-yield management program that’s working well,” said Dan Bjorklund, seed team leader at MaxYield Cooperative. “By working with this elite group of SciMax growers, we’ve identified proven strategies anyone can use to maximize bushels.”

These top 10 strategies include:

  1. Crop rotation. Almost all of the highest yields in the SciMax group came from first-year corn, which is corn following soybeans.
  2. Variable-rate planting. Nearly all of the SciMax growers used variable-rate planting, so they can match higher plant populations with higher productivity areas in the field.
  3. Early planting. “The growers who planted the earliest did the best,” Bjorklund said. “That means April for corn and as soon as possible after corn for soybeans.”
  4. Planting in proper conditions. While Mother Nature’s whims can make it tricky sometimes to plant when the seedbed is ready, it’s a worthy goal. “You run into a lot of challenges if you plant into a seedbed that’s too wet,” Bjorklund said. “When you plant into a seedbed that’s ready, the plants tend to develop the best root systems and produce the highest yields.”
  5. Variable-rate fertilizer. Nearly all of the SciMax growers with top yields used variable-rate fertilizer, including SciMax Nitrogen. “The goal of SciMax Nitrogen is to have nitrogen that’s readily available to the plant,” Bjorklund said. “You also apply the nutrients accordingly, since some areas need more than others.” For both corn and soybeans, the highest yields come on acres with proper fertility levels of phosphorus and potassium, Bjorklund added.
  6. Placing the right seed genetics on the right acres. Selecting the right genetics for the environment in which the seeds will grow is a key to high yield potential. “Use the knowledge of your MaxYield agronomy specialist and MaxYield seed specialist to place the right genetics on the right acre,” Bjorklund said.
  7. Proper fungicide use. Fungicides were used more than 90 percent of the time in the highest-yielding fields in the High Management Yield Contest.
  8. Fine-tuning fertilizer in the growing season. High-yield growers tend to follow some of the practices embraced by Randy Dowdy, the famous Georgia crop producer who has shattered national corn yield contests with 503 bushels per acre and 171 bushels per acre on soybeans. These include checking the crop weekly, using tissue sampling and making management adjustments as necessary, such as foliarapplying nutrients, Bjorklund said.
  9. Genetic diversity. Since there’s no way to accurately predict what weather conditions might influence the next growing season, genetic diversity is a key to success. “Not only is genetic selection critical, but we also need to get the most out of the genetics on each acre,” Bjorklund said. “That involves matching the right genetics to the right environment, rather than just going with the high-yielding genetics from the previous year.”
  10. Sticking with the plan. While these top 10 strategies reflect 2016 data, when excellent growing conditions were common throughout MaxYield’s trade territory, will they still work in high-stress years? Yes, based on observations from 2017. “It’s clear that these practices work in good years and not-so-good years,” Bjorklund said. “These high-yield management strategies are a workable system, not a guessing game. The key is to make these strategies part of your system and then stick to the plan.”

For more information on developing high-yield management strategies for your acres in 2018, contact your MaxYield agronomy specialist.