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Latest News and Information

Check back to see the latest news and information from Ag Spectrum and the scientifically-based Maximum Farming System®.

Make the Most of Irrigation

As an essential component of photosynthesis, water helps drive plant growth. Plant roots typically grow downward and outward to access water and dissolved nutrients from the soil. But, soil water availability and quality in the root zone varies by location, soil type, topography, and precipitation. In places where rainfall is low during the growing season, […]

Inspect What We Expect

  The goal of all Ag Spectrum independent sales representatives is to help farmers maximize return for every unit produced. Albion, Illinois’ Chad Heindselman is no exception. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Chad worked at a co-op and later in seed production until he began his Maximum Farming […]

Soybeans Depend on Soil Quality

Years with lower corn prices lead to many farmers making soybeans a bigger part of their crop plan. The Maximum Farming System® can help make the most of such changes and provide optimal fertilizer management, which varies by crop. For example, corn benefits dramatically from in-furrow fertilization that provides sufficient levels of tissue phosphorus during […]

Avoid Harvest Disappointment with Management Now

Each year the same issues appear across the country. Whether an issue is seen at emergence or while inspecting the success of a foliar program later in the season, many of these problems can be traced back to unforced and avoidable errors at planting. Soil, not the calendar, drives planting decisions. While we understand the […]

Carbon Intensity Scores Provide New Opportunity

Carbon Intensity (CI) scoring measures a farmer’s carbon footprint, and it accounts for factors like cash crop productivity, minimal tillage, and cover crops to build soil carbon stocks. Like it or not, knowing CI scores and how to improve them has never been as important as now looking toward future market opportunities. Soon, farmers who […]

Not All Seed is the Same

Cold germination tests are performed on all seed lots as a part of quality control, but these results are rarely publicly available. When they are provided, comparisons across companies lack validity because no standardized test procedure is legally recognized. Each company has its own unique processes and minimum standards that change with the range of […]

Making Meaningful Change | GR Farms

Garrett Riekhof, owner of GR Farms in Higginsville, MO, implemented the Maximum Farming System® after suspecting he was wasting dollars on conventional fertilizer use. “I still am very confident that the efficiencies that this System gives me allow quite the low cost of production, and I can sleep really well at night knowing that the […]

A System for Feed Quality | Hilltop Acres Farm

Hilltop Acres Farm is an eighth-generation Brown Swiss dairy farm set in the rolling hills of Calmar, IA. They have been utilizing the Maximum Farming System® for over a decade to grow the highest quality feed for their cattle. Their focus on improving soil and crops has led to healthier cows, which produce substantially higher […]

Wheat Nutrition After Dormancy

Timing of nutrition for winter wheat can make or break a crop.   In this interview, Ag Spectrum Farm Manager Consultant Pat Tomlinson and Research & Teaching Agronomist Dr. Jim Smart discuss how the Maximum Farming System stimulates tiller growth as wheat comes out of dormancy. 

The Finer Details of Micronutrient Availability

Even though nutrients are labeled as micronutrients, secondary nutrients, and macronutrients, they are all subcategories within the group of recognized essential elements for plant growth. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are not more essential than zinc, boron, manganese, iron, et cetera. They are all essential, just required in different amounts at different times. When thought about […]

Sharing Insight Improves Agriculture

Access to shared knowledge, experience, and insight is key to improving nearly any skill, especially farming. Noah Fedders, a northwest Iowa farmer, became a Maximum Farming System® Associate because he saw something that he wanted to share with other farmers. “I was initially approached as a prospective customer, but once I heard about the System […]

Make Sense of Soil Test Variation

Soil test values are important indicators of soil chemistry. When properly sampled, soil test values will naturally vary by up to 10% from the “true” value. When greater year to year variation is observed, it is often caused by differences in sampling location, timing, or depth. Sampling point location is often the biggest factor in […]

Manage Residue Cover for Spring Planting

Managing residue cover is critical to maintaining soil biology over winter and preparing the soil for timely planting next spring. Farmers have a significant impact on how quickly residues degrade, how much carbon is retained in the soil, and how quickly soils can warm in the spring. Physical disruption of crop residues as they come […]

Optimizing Crop Nutrition

Basic science reveals that soils provide the foundation of crop nutrition. Crops provide the chemical energy required through photosynthesis to feed soils with residues and root exudates. Diverse soil microbes, living in, on, and around those roots use that chemical energy to release mineral nutrients into solution. Crops, microbes, and other soil life then use […]

Soils Provide the Foundation

The Maximum Farming System® is built on key insights about crops and soils that have been revealed through basic science research. Farmers who appreciate this foundation can achieve better outcomes for their operations. At it simplest, this foundation of basic science starts with the recognition that all life on the farm is dependent on the […]

Jumping in with Both Feet | Pierce Family Farms

Pierce Family Farms jumped into implementing the Maximum Farming System with both feet in 2021 after a trusted Ag Spectrum Associate approached them about it. After searching for a long time for a system that would support their soils and crops, they found exactly what they were looking for and dove right in. “There are […]

Doing More with Less | Warner Farms

Warner Farms, a multi-generational farm in Goshen, Indiana, adopted the Maximum Farming System nine years ago. Since implementing the System on their farm, they have seen improvement in their soils and yields while lowering their input costs. “We take what is already there, what God created, and continue to maximize and enjoy the fruit from […]

Looking to the Next Forty

Ag Spectrum has been providing insight and guidance to help farmers become better land stewards for forty years. This longevity is only achieved through a commitment to delivering superior products, guidance, and unprecedented support not seen anywhere in the market. Through company experts, a network of independent associates, and support staff, the Ag Spectrum team […]

Grounded in History, Progressing the Future

Dayne Jessup is passionate about progressing American agriculture while staying grounded in its deep historical roots. The Indiana father of two is carrying on his family’s legacy alongside his wife, while feeding his entrepreneurial spirit as a farmer and Maximum Farming System® Dealer. “I added the System to my portfolio because it supports natural biological […]

Avoid Common Replanting Mistakes

Spring planting sometimes has to be done more than once. Replanting can happen for different reasons. Dr. Jim Smart, Research & Teaching Agronomist for Ag Spectrum talks about some common mistakes farmers can make when replanting.

When to Start Planting

One of the most challenging springtime decisions: when to start planting. Correctly judging when conditions are right to plant can be difficult as farmers evaluate day-to-day soil temperatures, weather forecasts, calendar date, and many other factors that are tough to ignore. Dr. Brian Gardener, Ag Spectrum Technical Director, joins Pat Tomlinson, District Sales Manager, to […]

Discoveries that Changed our Understanding of the Nitrogen Cycle

Since the start of the 21st century, scientists have made several discoveries that will substantially improve farmers’ capacity to recapture applied nitrogen. First, recent studies have shown that nitrogen rich soil organic matter is largely microbial, not plant, residue and is associated with soil minerals. Fertilizer nitrogen cycles into and out of solution throughout the […]

Conditions, Not Calendar Should Drive Planting

May is here and planting is significantly behind in most corn producing states. While farmers want to get going, sound agronomic decisions must take precedence. If soils are too wet and cold, that can lead to problems down the road with lost efficiency for the money spent. “We’re going to put out the most expensive […]

Soils Tell You When it is Time

This spring is a little slower at getting conditions right for planting. Delk Crosier, Maximum Farming Implementation Specialist, says despite the urge to go now, planting conditions must be right, especially given the costly inputs this year.   Click here to further learn why conditions, not calendar should drive planting.

Prioritize Early Season Weed Control

Early season weed control is the best bet to get a handle on hard-to-control weeds in your fields. Dr. Jim Smart, Ag Spectrum Research and Teaching Agronomist, says waiting to control weeds later in the season means the weeds are tougher to control.

Four Keys to Optimize Nitrogen

Nitrogen is among the costliest of annual grain farming inputs, so optimizing its use is critical to improving profitability. Consider these four factors when deciding on a nitrogen program to maximize nitrogen efficiency. Balance nitrogen with other essential nutrients. Pay attention to both plant demand and a soil’s capacity to retain, cycle, and deliver all […]

Prudent Preparations for Tar Spot

Since its widespread arrival to the Midwest in 2018, tar spot disease of corn has become an increasing topic of concern for farmers. This year, farmers in several states have reported severe yield losses (e.g. of 30-50% of whole farm averages). In such cases, fields were typically continuous corn where tar spot was noted last […]

Economics Favor Healthy Soils

Nutrient use efficiency can lead to cost efficiency next growing season. With current fertilizer prices being so high, farmers need to find a plan that is good for both their soil and pocketbook. Sticking with a “spread and hope” tactic does not make sense, because soils aren’t buckets that we can pour nutrients into in […]

Optimize Nutrient Use Efficiency

Getting the best nutrient use efficiency possible can help save your farm money heading into the next growing season. Brian Gardener, Ag Spectrum Technical Director, says doing so starts with understanding your soil and soil health.

Foliar Feeding In Summer Can Maximize Crop Potential

By this time of the growing season, farmers may think they’ve done all they can to feed their crop. However, Brian Gardener, Ag Spectrum Technical Director, says there’s another step to ensure you are maximizing your crops potential.

Is Your Corn Set Up Properly?

Recent cool weather across the Midwest has led to concerns about lack of crop growth. After months of preparation, we want to see the crop jump out of the ground and get an early start on what we hope to be record yields. We want that every year, but weather and reality sets in. This […]

Evaluate Your Success

With planting coming to an end soon, now is the time to begin inspecting the success of the planting season. Things like proper planting, stand counts, development of early roots and compaction issues, all provide information for this growing season, and the next. Rob Vincent of Ag Spectrum says it’s important to see how your […]

Use Your Planter More Effectively

The planter can be the most important piece of equipment on a row crop farm, if it’s used properly. Now is the time to look ahead and determine how you might want to make better use of your planter to manage nutrition throughout the growing season. Delk Crosier, Ag Spectrum Maximum Farming Implementation Specialist, says […]

Finding Balance in Soils

When we talk about a soil being in balance, we’re saying that the soil is in a condition that can provide the nutritional support necessary for maximum crop yields. Now to get to that point, the physical, chemical and biological properties of a soil have to all be considered so that both root growth and […]

Treat Your Spray Water

Getting the most out of your crop requires an integrated approach that also gets the most out the products you use in your fields. Ensuring your products are effective not only helps the crop, but helps prevent additional steps the down road. One way to do so is making sure your spray water isn’t costing […]

Time Nitrogen Form to Plant Needs

Getting the most out of all farm inputs is critical for farm profitability, and that includes nitrogen fertilizer. Delk Crosier, Maximum Farming Implementation Specialist for Ag Spectrum and Ohio farmer, says cost is a top decision driver for all inputs, but the greatest cost is in using a product that doesn’t perform like you need […]

Planter Check Up

Soil Health Defined

All farmers these days are interested in improving soil health, but not everyone may know exactly what that means or takes. Dr. Brian Gardener, Ag Spectrum Technical Director, says it’s important to know the basics of soil health and how farm management decisions can impact your soil and your yields.

Choose the Right Corn Starter Fertilizer

Choosing a corn starter fertilizer is about more than getting a good “pop-up” out of the ground for your corn. It’s important, but the real reason to use a starter is to get early-season phosphorus in the plant tissue by V3 to maximize kernel count. Most starters on the market don’t offer available phosphorus and […]

Why A System Matters

With a constant stream of new products coming to market, finding what works best on your farm can be confusing and challenging. Ag Spectrum National Sales Manager Eric Sherwood says the key to a high-yielding, quality crop, starts with a system-based approach. By understanding the fundamental principles of the chemical, physiological and biological processes in […]

The Case for Cold Germ Seed Testing

Seed is a major investment for growers today. Seeds deliver varietal traits, herbicide and pest resistance technologies, and chemical and/or biological treatments to protect the crop from planting through harvest. Because of this complexity, the seed purchasing process can consume as much or more time and study than any other crop input. Despite this, most […]

Fit Nutrition to Hybrid Type

Every season brings new opportunity and new hybrid genetics. While yield determines a farmer’s gross return, they should not focus solely on yield data when making selections. Maximizing yield potential requires finding the right fit of traits and characteristics that match with each farmer’s unique production system. That gives Maximum Farming System customers a leg […]

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