2019 Harvest Elite Data

They say that data is only as good as the people who submit it, and we’re proud to declare that our farmer-members who are part of Harvest Elite are top-notch operators, managers, and conservationists.

They stand behind the success found in this program and this week we want to share with you the final data coming out of our 2019 Harvest Elite contest.

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Want to join the fun? Contact your YieldPro Specialist for 2020!

 

Essential Work

We’re swimming in uncharted waters, and that statement has absolutely nothing to do with the water standing in the basement of many farmhouses in the area due to the incessant rain.

COVID-19The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down schools, national tournaments, universities,
restaurants, businesses, airlines, libraries and so much more. The financial loss that will
affect nearly every American due to this outbreak could linger for years. And to think, two weeks ago, it seemed to be something only taking place on the other side of the world.

On Tuesday of this week, the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed at the local hospital and immediately level two travel watch was enforced. Level two means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

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Our leadership team had a long and impassioned conversation regarding our business operations during this extremely fluid time.

The safety of our employees.

How symptoms look or feel.

Long-term planning.

Addressing customer needs during a time of social distancing, a phrase that we’d never heard of seven days ago.

How we take care of business, by taking care of people.

We realized with great certainty: Our work is essential.

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When a fuel driver shows up in the morning and loads his truck, he’ll spend the day delivering to tanks that will fill fire trucks, law enforcement vehicles, and semis that will deliver fresh produce or boxed pasta to Kroger.

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Our work is essential.

When a propane driver comes to work and maps his route for the day, he delivers propane to nursing homes, rural churches, houses on 700 W. that are full of e-learning children and tired parents, and he also fills the tank at the hospital so the generator is operational. Then he goes north and supplies propane to the temperature-controlled hog finishing barns with 1,000 head inside.

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Our work is essential.

When a truck driver loads his semi full of corn and departs the ag center, he is delivering corn to pet food factories so beloved dogs can have food available in a few months. He also delivers feed to turkey farmers who will supply Thanksgiving birds, pork producers who are currently feeding out hogs that will be become the next great plate of bacon and also beef producers who will put hamburgers on the grill over Labor Day weekend.

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Our work is essential.

When a YieldPro Specialist drives down the lane of a 100-year-old farmstead and sits at the kitchen table with a grower, he is working with her to map out plans for fertilizer, field work, seed, seed treatment, starter fertilizer, pre-emergence, dormant spray and beyond so that her farm family can supply the food chain and feed the world.

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Our work is essential.

When our IT team shows up to Richmond and enters a room full of wires, technology and computers, they serve as internal problem solvers that ensure farmer-members can pay their bills online during a quarantine, problem solvers that keep phone lines operational to take calls at one of our 40 locations or problem solvers that fix a dispatch glitch in an applicator machine trying to get fungicide on several fields.

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Our work is essential.

When our support staff team shows up to the ag center or office and situates themselves in front of the computer, they’re about to take on a day of processing payments so a family can get propane again in April, paying our bills so the lights stay on here for our continued work and even ensuring our 300 employees get paid at the end of the month.

Our work is essential.

We are not entertainment (though employees’ laughter could argue otherwise on certain days with co-workers at the co-op).

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We are essential.

And we’ll remain operational, working for your family and ours, as long as we’re able.

We are a business that supports the consumer at every angle, and it is a privilege to carry such heavy weight on our shoulders that so many depend on us. We thank you for that opportunity.

Together, we have experienced adversity as an industry, as a nation, and as a world. More importantly, we have always navigated through it –  and we will, again.
Thank you for making our daily work essential.

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You can read more about our commitment to safety here.

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YieldPro’s Success with Grower Andy Bracken

When farmer-owner Andy Bracken volunteered to go on camera and discuss YieldPro’s proven success on his farm, we jumped on the opportunity to pay him a visit.

 

  • Bracken Farms, Lapel, Indiana, has utilized YieldPro since 2004, finding success in many different areas of the program.
  • Grid sampling has offered savings over time that have truly penciled out profitably for their farm.
  • ​The expert and timely support that comes with YieldPro is the greatest benefit they’ve experienced over the years.

Soil diversity,
wasting money and history –
these two cover it all. 

 
Watch this brief video to hear Andy Bracken, Harvest Land farmer-owner, and Steve Dlugosz, Agronomist, discuss the YieldPro benefits Bracken Farms have gained over the years. 

 

 

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Custom Application Education & Exploration

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Earlier this week we hosted nineteen high school students who have expressed an interest in the work that Harvest Land does. These students had all attended our Career Days which we hosted in November 2019. Following the event, they indicated that they were interested in more information regarding Custom Application.

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As we build relationships with students across our region and explain our Co-op and the careers that we offer, it is important that we give them the opportunity to dive deeper into what that entails exactly. It’s easy for us to say, “Here is a TerraGator. You could be a Custom Applicator and operate this someday,” but for a student that has never had the opportunity to operate a machine of that size, that can sometimes seem unrealistic or leave them feeling that they wouldn’t be qualified.

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Our goal of these workshops was to give students the opportunity to actually sit behind the wheel and operate those large pieces of equipment, to try their hand at our Applicator Simulator and to provide the steps that they could take that would lead from graduation to a successful career.

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As a Co-op, successful Custom Applicators are absolutely pivotal for our business’ success.

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Shenandoah (7), Upper Valley Career Center (6), Miami Valley Career Technology Center (1), Hamilton Southeastern (1) and Monroe Central (4) all brought students to the custom application exploration event.

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The event included stations that covered a number of topics, including:

  • Soil Sampling – Operation of RTV and collection of a soil sample
  • TerraGator Operation (and education regarding equipment as well)
  • TerraGator Operation (and education regarding equipment as well)
  • Classroom Session – Custom Application 101
  • Applicator Simulator

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Brandon Lanman, Applicator, visits with a student

Our YieldPro team was instrumental in putting this event on. They organized stations and hosted the site for the day. Harvest Land had applicators join us from various ag centers to teach at the stations, giving the students a true look at the position from those to experience it daily.  Joining us were Brandon Lanman and Duane Brooks (Wayne County Ag) as well as Gaar Holp and Michael Bennet (Central Ohio Ag).

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Duane Brooks prepared a table with an actual look at potash, MAP, and urea as well as scaled equipment and educational manuals.

Danielle Baumer, HR Support at Harvest Land, organized the event. “We truly enjoyed engaging with each and every student that joined us for the Custom Applicator Workshop. We appreciate the time that they’ve taken to learn more about the opportunities that present themselves within our Cooperative and look forward to working with them again, whether it be at future workshops, Career Days, or within internships or employment. If these students are any indication of our future, the future is bright.”

We’re excited to host such students who have a sincere interest in what we do. Thank you to all teachers who made the day out of school possible for these students.

To learn more about this position within Harvest Land, watch this!

 

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Spring Soil Sampling

Is it possible to transition your fall soil sampling to the spring? Of course! And there are many advantages in doing so, including:

  • Avoid the fall rush
  • Receive information back in plenty of time to work with YieldPro specialist throughout the summer to make a sound plan moving forward
  • Consistent soil conditions in the spring, compared to following a dry summer
  • And more!

Tune in to hear agronomist Steve Dlugosz and YieldPro Specialist Roger Boyd discuss the merits of spring soil sampling.

 

 

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2019 Harvest Elite Winners & Results

We recently held our 2019 Harvest Elite banquet where participating growers shared a meal and then learned just who won the yield contest for 2019.

Harvest Elite, you ask? Take a look at this dynamic (and competitive!) program:

The 2019 winners will soon set out on an all-inclusive trip to Cancun!

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We say CONGRATULATIONS to the winners pictured below

They made big decisions in 2019 and yielded success for their family farm.

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Note names and winning bushels on the banners.

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Are you interested in becoming a part of the Harvest Elite group?

Contact your YieldPro Specialist to learn more about the program’s many benefits!

 

Nitrogen Management in Corn

Cost, goals, application rate, timing and stabilizers are all considerations when working to ensure nitrogen levels in your corn are where they need to be.

Harvest Land can serve you at many different capacities depending on your operation and goals.

This week we invite you to watch this brief video to hear Todd Overmyer, Central Crops Manager, and Steve Dlugosz, agronomist, discuss what is available to you to stabilize nitrogen in your corn crop.

 

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2020 Winter YieldPro Crops Forums

“Do you know the best part about 2019?” a farmer-member asked us last week.

“It’s almost over.” he continued.

We appreciate his perspective.

Our hope is that 2020 offers you more reasons for optimism.  You have many places to be this winter, but we hope you’ll join us for one of these meetings.

Crops Forum Page

 

 

Please RSVP to your local YieldPro Specialist!

 

 

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When It Rains During Harvest

Some common consumers are quite concerned about Trick-or-Treat being rescheduled due to the weather. But the forecast that has loomed all week for our trade territory does nothing for the spirit of the farmer who just wants to finish harvest.

Too much rain in the spring means delayed planting. Too little rain in the summer means a choking drought. So what does rain during harvest mean?

Navigating Mud – When it rains during harvest, the obvious problem becomes mud. Combines, semi trucks, tractors and wagons all need to be able to get in and out of fields to harvest and transport the crop. Though they’re each large, powerful machines, they simply aren’t built to operate in the mud, especially when they’re loaded full of grain. Farmers don’t want to get their equipment stuck, and they certainly don’t want to learn what it would take to get them un-stuck!

Increased Propane Usage for Grain Drying – The 2019 crop was planted so late (especially for the northern end of our territory), that we’re facing a barely matured crop, resulting in areas with 30% moisture. Corn dries naturally when it is still alive and 17-snow-harvest_0growing, but with the quick decline in temperature and frost, it’s growing days are over. That means the moisture must be removed mechanically.  Farmers dry grain to prevent any loss of their crop and to ensure they get the best price when marketing it. Most
farmers have access to grain dryers on their farm. By putting the corn through these grain dryers they can dry the grain to the desired moisture level. A large majority of grain dryers are powered by propane, and that’s another input cost for the farmer.

Detriment to Grain Quality – It is difficult to maintain grain quality when you harvest maize_grain_01_0wet grain. Moving the kernels through the combine can easily result in damaged and
cracked grain. Additionally, a farmer would go on to spend the money to mechanically dry it, overall lowering the grain quality. This affects the price they get when selling their grain because damages result in discounts.

Rain during harvest isn’t ideal, but it is another condition that America’s farmers work through when in this lifestyle. Perhaps the silver lining to this literal rain cloud is that this rain will allow the parents and grandparents to see, and enjoy the company of, their favorite ghosts and goblins on this Halloween weekend. Usually, they only stop the combine for five brief minutes to dote over the costumes and perhaps steal a Reese cup or two.

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Harvest Issues and Prioritization​

How do you decide where to harvest first, and when?

  • We’ve already begun seeing stalk issues in harvest, and a simple push test will reveal a lot about your hybrid.
  • Stalk strength will help you determine what you should harvest first.
  • Stalk standability, stalk strength and stalk quality each needs consideration.
  • Growers need to be prepared with a plan to harvest and store late-season, higher-moisture beans.
  • Make sure you give your grain buyer a call now to determine what moisture they’ll be taking so you’re prepared when the crop comes off.

There is more!

Watch this brief video to hear Brandon Lovett, Seed Manager, visit with YieldPro Specialist Kyle Brooks about harvest issues and how to prioritize your fields.