Making Agronomic Decisions With Big Yield Impacts Feat. Mike Kavanaugh

Making Agronomic Decisions With Big Yield Impacts Feat. Mike Kavanaugh

Big decisions from the top always trickle down to the bottom and especially impact your yields. Mike Kavanaugh has been National Agronomy and Products Manager for AgriGold Seed Brands and has now transitioned into Corporate Product & Development Manager for AgReliant Genetics. He’ll discuss some things he’s learned in his transition to the corporate and development side of management. Mike talks about what to look out for and pay attention to so you can make sure you’re making the right decisions that lead to big results.

Making Agronomic Decisions With Big Yield Impacts Feat. Mike Kavanaugh

My goal in this episode is to bring a unique perspective on agronomics concepts that can possibly influence management decisions, yields and profitability. I would like to introduce my guest, Mike Kavanaugh. Over the last few years, Mike has been the National Agronomy and Products Manager for AgriGold. He transitioned into the Corporate Product Manager for AgReliant, still representing the AgriGold brand.

I would like to introduce our guest, Mike Kavanaugh. He has been the National Manager for the Agronomy Department and Products for years. Welcome to the show, Mike.

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Thank you.

As we sit here and having Mike representing Agronomy and Products, he has gone through a little bit of a transition from being on the AgriGold brand National Agronomy Product Manager from an AgReliant and corporate standpoint, a Product Manager for the new products coming out. Mike, tell us about your last few years with the AgriGold brand, what you’ve enjoyed and what you’re looking forward to in this next role.

Thanks, Todd. It’s been quite a ride in this position. I was the Regional Agronomist for AgriGold for about three years. I covered pretty much Southern Indiana, Southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Bootheel and all the way as far south as we sold seed. I did that for a few years and then I came into this role. There’s no doubt about it and as I think back over years, it always boils back to the people that you’ve worked with and made it happen. That puts lots of fire in anyone’s belly to want to find the right product. We want to make sure we were getting good plot programs out there, good experimental hybrids, and finding what works across the country.

Everybody realizes that corn growth and development are not measured on days. It’s measured on heat units, growing degree units.

In those years, we’ve done a lot of things. We’ve increased our agronomy team. We’ve gone from 6 people to about 24 on our team. That’s come to play simply because sales from our sales team increased that much and they needed support. We’ve covered a lot bigger geography. We’ve moved into the deep south and are evaluating 120-day hybrids up north to the Dakotas and Minnesota, getting very active in that 80, 85, 90-day market. Everything in between from Kansas, Colorado, back to the East Coast for the most part. That has been a joy in itself just getting out of Southern Indiana and seeing how small this Cotton Belt, Western Belt and Northern everything.

Years ago, we decided to launch soybeans and that’s been a great ride. We’ve gone from selling zero soybeans in AgriGold to being a major national competitor in five years. That’s been a lot of fun in itself, getting back into the soybean business. We’ve been selling Xtend soybeans with dicamba and Roundup tolerance for a lot of years but now, we are moving into XtendFlex with Liberty tolerance. Also, testing out the Enlist platform. At the end of the day, it’s been about the people that we work with. The people we serve, our customers, bringing the right products to our customers and supporting our salespeople out there on the front line. That’s definitely been extremely gratifying, Todd.

I can imagine, Mike. It was years ago when I first met you. You plucked me out of ag retail and brought me in to be on the agronomy team. I can still remember you said, “Build a 15 to 20-minute presentation on growing better corn.” It was hard for me because there are many pieces that go into growing great corn. I can still remember giving the presentation and you’re like, “That could be a whole breakout session at a kickoff for a grower meeting.”

Seeing how excited you were about me being excited about corn health, corn populations, nitrogen management, it was at that moment that I’m like, “I’m where I need to be.” One thing that I’ve always appreciated about you and the agronomy team within AgriGold is you guys give us the opportunity to go push the envelope every day and go and have goofy projects sometimes or ring the yield bell. Many of the companies don’t have that passion or have that desire to have it in there. I’ve always respected that within our brand and our leadership for us to be able to go out and support our customers to that layer. I’ve always appreciated that.

YMP 16 | Big Yield Impacts


That’s good to hear. Everybody has to love what they do. I was told many years ago, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I certainly believe that I’ve been blessed my whole career in that fashion. Todd, it’s amazing to bring that presentation up. I bet I’ve listened to 120 to 150 of those presentations over the years. Every agronomist that interviews for us, we’ve had them give that five keys of continuous corn. It’s an opportunity for us to see what they would do in front of customers, test their knowledge, and see how they organize their thoughts. It’s part of the training. I remember yours specifically. You were pretty excited and passionate that day. Look at you, Todd. You’re the voice of AgriGold.

Also, I get to have a conversation with you, Mike. Here we are. Mike, I’m thinking about jumping into the heart of our conversation. The show is to highlight opportunities that can influence higher yield, corn, and soybeans. This conversation is going to be specific to corn but throughout the season, there are always yield-limiting situations that prevent a hybrid that you’ve selected or we’ve selected in our region that doesn’t allow it to yield to its genetic potential.

I know within the agronomy department, we’ve always talked about the four quadrants of growing good corn, the planting/establishment, growth development, pollination, and grain fill. If we think about the bigger picture of growing corn, that can be overwhelming thinking of all these things. I always like how we brought it back down to quarters. I want to break our conversation down into quarters. First, planting corn and establishing that early plant. Sometimes you call it the first 1 to 28 days of a corn plant cycle. If you could, dive into that piece and tell us the items that can influence a better stand and a better end.

First of all, as we talk day 1 through 28, everybody realizes that corn growth and development are not measured on days. It’s measured on heat units, growing degree units. We coined it from day 1 through 28 because it is catchy. It’s approximately 28 days. We coined that because there are many physiological processes from the time you put that seed in the ground to the time that it’s ready to take off and be self-sufficient. We look at that as approximately 28 days. If you want to talk in GDU terms, it’s about 300 to 350 GDUs. The goal is to get as many plants up as possible. It would be nice to get 100%. All of them emerge at the same time and look identical in these fields. Put a nodal root system on, get it established at about 300 to 350 GDUs, and then be self-sufficient. That’s why we’ve coined it day 1 through 28.

There are many processes that take place. You’ve got your radical root that comes out. You’ve got your seminal roots that are important. Most importantly, you’ve got your mesocotyl. As we talk about this mesocotyl, we refer to it as the umbilical cord because the plant is still living off of the seed. It’s an analogy. Some people get caught up in the physiological terms and say, “You don’t call the seed the mother. It’s not a weaning process.” That’s our analogy of it.

On day 28 or that 350 GDUs, we look at it as the plant has been weaned off of the seed and ready to take off in life and do its thing. That’s why we call the mesocotyl the umbilical cord because that is important. Whenever we’re going out and diagnosing problems for growers and we’re analyzing stand establishment, that mesocotyl tells us many things. The radical tells us if there was any fertilizer burn or anhydrous burn.

The mesocotyl tells us what the environment was like when it was emerging. Was it a struggle? Was there a crest? Did we get 2 or 3-inch pounding rain right after planting? By going back and looking at these processes or the structures of that plant, we can tell. That nodal root system establishes they are 0.75 inch below the soil surface and that’s always a magnificent thing to talk about. With all these structures underneath the ground of that plant, we recommend planting 1.5 inches minimum to 2.5 inches maximum. Our goal would be to plant that 1.75 to 2 inches day in day out. They’ve got adjustments on the back of the planter for a reason and we’ve got to use them.

Pollination is a critical time for production. A phrase that comes to mind is to beat the heat with pollination.

Day 1 through 28 is extremely important. I’d go down another path as we talk about emergence, Todd. We experienced it in the mid-south Corn Belt early planting and planting in cold soils. In 2020, we experienced the same thing but we experienced it on a much larger magnitude across the country. There were customers planting in the Dakotas and Minnesota at the same time we’re planting in Kentucky and everywhere in between. The big question was, “I’m planting in cold soils. Is this the right thing to do?” Todd, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve answered that question.

When we’re planting the seeds, we have to study the technology we have at our fingertips. We’ve got to use it for insights. Those insights are forecasts. At AgriGold, we’ll use what’s called weather trends and our Advantage Acre timeline. It’s not perfect. It’s not weather exact but it’s a trend. The kicker in the spring in most areas is we’re putting the seed in cold soil but the forecast was to be dry. I had this conversation with many customers, agronomists, and salespeople, “If the forecast is 3 to 4 inches of rain before we get any heat units at all, by all means, keep that seed in the bag.”

One thing that we saw was there were microenvironments that got more water earlier. On the bigger scale, those folks that went ahead and planted got that seed germinated. It was a slow process, up and out of the ground. It was a three-week process instead of 4, 5, 6 days. In a sense, the warming trend came three weeks later. The neat thing about it is it was like a magic show. The whole crop emerged at once instead of going out and planting right in front of a four-inch rain and then having to turn around and replant. We saw that many times.

Emergence is important. I’d throw this out also as we talk about Yield Masters and NCGA. That’s not a popular decision to recommend growers plant April 1 all the way from Kentucky to the Dakotas and everywhere in between. It’s not popular whenever you’re looking at accumulating 125 heat units it takes to get corn out of the ground over a 3 to 4-week period. I understand that. I want a perfect stand. I want to picket fence stand as much as anybody does. I certainly understand the benefits of planting early and getting the crop in the ground.

YMP 16 | Big Yield Impacts


I’ve used this analogy several times. People will challenge me and say, “Mike, I planted early last year and I lost 2,000, 3,000, maybe 4,000 plants on average. That was probably the worst-case scenario. I plant a month or month and a half later in May and have a perfect picket fence stand.” I can’t argue with that. My comment back is even if you lose a few 1,000 plants, the other limiting factor is heat and dry weather late in the season. If you’re finishing grain fill two weeks earlier than the later planted, the later planted is going to be 100% vulnerable to heat and dry weather. Whereas only 3% of your other crop would be vulnerable because you’ve got 97% up. That’s how we look at it. Early planting has certainly shown its merits. The goal should always be to get 100%. Picket fence stand get them all up at the same time. That’s not always what Mother Nature gives us, Todd.

If we’ve all learned farming, sometimes you can have the best-laid plan. At the end of the day, you still got to shoot from the hip a little bit based on these microenvironments. We can watch weather trends, watch the forecast, and get a broader trend of what’s going on but you still need to pay attention to what’s going on in your local environment. I had digital meat thermometers at the soil surface, 1 inch, 2 inches down, and track that over a 4 or 5-day type period. There was an evident day and time when we should stop planting going into the big aggressive downward trend. It also gives insight into the reason we plant seed 1.5 inches to 2 inches because once you got to about 1.5 inches, even if the air temperature got cold, it still stayed relatively insulated.

When I went on service calls, anytime that the seed was less than 1.5 inches and got planted into that cold snap, it didn’t survive near as well. The mesocotyls and radicals had issues. It was a dead plant. If we are planting in these challenging situations because we know there are yield opportunities, we might need to tweak some things or pay attention to what our surroundings are telling us. There are opportunities there to still plant early, reduce our risk, but still go after this top in yield.

I agree with you.

One of the things that I learned in the last couple of years, Mike, and was brought out from the NCGA was the Flag Test study. To me, when we’re talking about having higher yields, it all goes back to what I call marketable ears. The higher percentage of true marketable ears you have, the more likely you’re going to have good kernels, round kernels, long kernels. That plant is going to be able to fill everything. We started having non-marketable ears. Through the Flag Test, we found those are the plants that emerged 72 hours or later. If that’s a large percentage, that can ding your yield. It’s almost like playing CSI cornfield backwards. Why did those 3%, 4%, or 5% of the seeds emerge late? A lot of times, it’s something with the plant. Maybe the plant is hot, conditions, or speed. If growers are finding that, I always challenge you guys to go do the Flag Test study because it’s going to reveal the why.

If you’ve got irrigation, make sure that the water is not the limiting factor during pollination.

It’s probably been an eye-opener for all of us. The Flag Test has been around for a long time. We got to give credit where credit’s due. Randy Dowdy brought that Flag Test to light. He’s traveled around and talked about 500-bushel corn and what needs to happen for that. It resonated across the country with not just farmers but agronomists, salespeople, everyone in the industry how important and valuable the Flag Test is. It’s all over the board as to the reasons that we do get uneven emergence whether it’s the planter, working the ground, a lot of different things. Insects can even affect that. The Flag Test has been a great thing.

Todd, I also want to mention your soil temperature study all the way from 3 inches to 2 inches and back to 1 inch or so. This early planting is something that has become evident in a lot of situations. We’ve found that we have to rely on the sunshine to warm that ground as well. Many people now have thermometers to go out and measure the temperature at planting depth or whatever. Make it part of the conversation. Years ago, it wasn’t necessarily like that. People are realizing that it might be 45 degrees or 50 degrees at 8:00 AM. By 2:30 PM, the soil temperature may be 65 degrees. We see a change from 1 inch, 2 inches, to 3 inches based on how much sunshine we get on a cold day. Start to put that into the equation also as we strive for proper planting depth and proper planting date.

We’re done talking about the value of planting and getting things done as accurately as we can. The plant gets established, the roots are going and the plant is ready to go off to the races. At that point, as long as we got some good heat units, good sunlight, and photosynthesis going on, those roots are wanting to suck up as much fertility as they can. I’m starting to see a lot of folks migrate back to the starter systems, whether it be 2×2, a little bit in-furrow. We can’t get the volume near as high in-furrow, so we’re going to 2x2s. We’re looking at a lot of different combinations of 1030 furrow, UAN, ATS. It seems like the guys who are pushing the envelope on those are building that system stronger and bigger. As the planet gets into heat, drought, stress, grain fields are able to withstand it. On this journey for higher yield, where do you see that playing into this piece?

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Fertility is near and dear to my heart when it comes to raising corn or soybeans, either one. I’m a firm believer in good fertility. Early in my career, I was blessed to work in the retail world and read soil tests, help growers manage fertility levels, make that recommendation of in-furrow or 2×2. My whole career, I’ve been a 2×2 fanatic. Anybody that knows me would agree that I’ve always lived and died by the Cadillac mix. In my mind, the Cadillac mix has about 15 to 20 gallons of starter mix that’s made up of half UAN, half 1030 furrow with 3 to 5 gallons of sulfur, ATS, and a little bit of zinc in there, and a little bit of boron.

That’s been the Cadillac mix 2×2 for over 25 years. It seems like back there in the early 2000s, planters started getting bigger. They were going from 8-row to 16 and 16 to 24 real fast. I had several customers close to home here that said, “I’m getting a new planter for next year. Mike, I’m getting all in-furrow to put on it. What do you think of that?” I said, “I don’t think very much of it. I like it two down and two over because you can put the groceries down there.”

I definitely think in-furrow has its place and it probably has its place when you want to put a little more insecticide on or maybe you’re not in such high fertility soils. Maybe you’re lacking and maybe you are renting some marginal ground that you need to give it some help. Both systems have a place. Over the years, many of these systems have gone 2×2 on both sides, which was a great idea to go that route. I highly encourage people to go that route if they can.

Todd, something that we’re getting into and finding, there’s a difference in fertility from farm to farm. There’s a lot of farms out there that don’t put 300 and 400 pounds of potash on anymore. Their rates of potash are 500 and 600 pounds. Those are probably few and far between across the country but they realize that if you’re going to take 250-bushel or 260-bushel corn off of on a good year off of some of these acres, you have to put that back. They’re not just putting potassium, phosphate, and other things back.

The bottom line is I am a fertility fanatic. I do still believe in old school keeping the soils balanced and up in fertility. Keeping your pH up where they need to be in that 6.5 to 6.8 range, managing your base saturations, and utilizing starter fertilizers. I’ve almost gotten to call a starter 2×2 an early side-dress because that’s what you’re doing. You’re trying to keep that plant healthy and wanting for nothing season long. That’s where the tissue sampling has been beneficial to some of these high yield growers. They are figuring out where their high-yielding corn is at every step of the way on every nutrient that’s available to that plant or every nutrient that can be measured.

If you’ve got a 300-bushel area out in these fields, you’re monitoring that, and you’re taking that blood test of a corn plant to see what it measures every step of the way, that’s a great thing. That’s where a lot of people are learning that every size doesn’t fit all. The thing that I see with tissue sampling, Todd, is people get discouraged with their numbers and they try to run out there and fix it immediately. What I try to encourage people to learn from their tissue samples is to look at the big picture from what you did this year and try to analyze that and plan for next year to try to improve upon that. I’m not sure if that was what you’re looking for but that’s my whole idea on fertility early on with the planter early side dress.

YMP 16 | Big Yield Impacts


I like how you coined the 2×2 as the early side dress. It makes complete sense. I will echo with you on the tissue sampling projects, the ones that I’ve been involved in the last couple of years. Before AgriGold and when I was in retail, we did them once and it didn’t give us good insight. With the project, it’s systematically polled, we look at trends in GDUs, and we’re methodical in how we grab the information and watch it. I don’t think of it as a reactive tool for the season. I see it more as a scorecard on how well is our current fertility program matching with the crop needs are.

What I found is a lot of our big nutrients, the M, P, N, K, and sulfur, many of the fields were doing a good job front loading but they’re falling off the backside and they weren’t able to successfully go through grain fill because of limiting nutrition. Within those last couple of years, we’ve altered the management practice. Using the same dollars, we’re reallocating those nutrients or the budget, if you will, so it’s not front-loaded and having all the risk on the front side.

We’re at a 75% milk line and there’s a 25% yield left to go. We’ve got the energy and the ability to finish it out. To me, the tissue samples have opened our eyes to which nutrients we need to pay attention to. A lot of times, when we’re working with growers. We might not know how they’re managing fertility but this gives us an avenue, “You’re short in nitrogen. Tell me about your nitrogen program.” “I’m single-shooting ahead of my corn,” or whatever it might be. It evolves the conversation that I get to have with them. To me, the tissue sampling project has been a lifesaver.

It’s been a fantastic, eye-opening experience. We’ve been doing it at AgriGold for several years. The neat thing is, Todd, we’re measuring nutrient values from 350 GDUs all the way up to two weeks before the black layer. Every step of the way, we’re measuring those values. The neat thing is we have a database setup for 150-bushel corn up through 300-bushel corn and there’s a difference. I’m probably as guilty as anybody. Over the years, I probably poo-pooed tissue samples as much as anybody. Until a program was established, the correct protocol, makes a lot of sense. It’s neat to see a trend out there.

What I like about it is it’s calibrated from any yield environment because not everybody is shooting for 300 or 500-bushel corn. A yield master is someone that wants more. Some areas are going from 150-bushel corn to 175 or 200. Regardless of what yield environment you’re in, these systems will work for you to try to get you to the next layer. It’s super important.

It could be 100-bushel to 130-bushel.

The yield ranges are wide across the country and were advised that different environments, different soil types. Mike, let’s take our conversation to that third variable and it’s going to be around the pollination time. Here’s this corn plant. We’ve got good emergence and the early side dress. The nodal roots took off and it’s growing, nice lush. The tassel is out and the silks are out. There’s a lot of risks associated during that time. That’s when the maximum kernels are going to be established. There are a lot of issues from diseases and warm nights. Fertility is still going to be a big piece in there. What are some pieces of advice you would give during that timeframe?

When I think about pollination, it is a critical time for production. The phrase that comes to mind is beat the heat with pollination, especially as you move into the mid-South or Southern Corn Belt. It pertains to all over because as we get into the depths of July there, it can get darn hot in North, South, East, or West. That gets back to planting early. If your geography allows you to plant early and you don’t have to worry about a blackberry winter or a late spring frost or something like that, that’s one of the huge benefits of planting early. You’re generally going to get shorter plants and you can throw tassels earlier.

What’s the benefit of shorter plants? A lot of things. One, a lot of people are saying fungicide application. You can be more effective with a fungicide application at tassel than you can an airplane. Airplanes and helicopters are great. We see great results from them. More water equals better coverage. That’s a good thing. As we think about pollination and beating the heat, planning early is one but fungicide applications continue to be. That is the premier time to be putting fungicide on at Bt, whether it’s on the front side or whether it’s on the backside.

Todd, that’s something that can be managed. Here we are, so much fungicide is going to go on these cornfields. There’s going to be airplanes and helicopters in the sky, on the field, and everything. Something to keep in mind, “When should I be spraying if I have that luxury to decide earlier or later?” Let the forecast tell you. If it’s going to be a hot pollination period, then my recommendation is always to try to get the fungicide on the early side of Bt. I say the early side because I’m a firm believer that the ingredients in these fungicides, predominantly the strobilurins, lower the respiration rate in the plant. It’s been documented by these companies. It keeps them from panting all night long like your hot dogs sitting on the porch at night during an 85 to 90-degree summer night. Those corn plants pant in the field as well. They want to cool off. Let’s cool them down with a fungicide.

Let’s try to maximize pollination, keep those plants cool, and maybe get a few more rows around pollinated. If it’s going to be an 80 to 85 degree, if it’s going to be a cool pollination period, by all means, let’s focus on the tail end. That way, we can increase our longevity of fungicide from that R1 period to maybe halfway through grain fill because most of them are going to give you 2 to 3 weeks to control the disease. Other than that, if you’ve got irrigation, making sure that the water is not the limiting factor during pollination. If you can control it, make sure it’s there. That’s all I can say about pollination time.

Mike, I’m glad you called out from an irrigation standpoint, keep it going because I’ve always had conversations with growers. Once they got to the 75% milk line, they tend to want to turn the rigs off. By that time, they’re tired of messing with them, go and check on them, and then flipping them back over if a couple fell over. Where I’ve seen growers be most successful is running it to the black layer because to me, it goes back to thinking how a corn plant works. Below the milk line is where all the juice is and if that juice doesn’t become starch, it’s getting shot out. We lost yield. We got to protect that whole package. I’m glad you brought that too to light for us.

Always irrigate to at least black layer, maybe even on down to 29%. I know some irrigation experts will recommend 28% to 29% to ensure that there’s nothing left on the table there.

Mike, we talked about getting the plan established, going through early growth development, and pollination. We talked a little bit about grain fill. From a harvest standpoint, it seems like the guys that are going after these bigger yields are maybe getting out in the field a little sooner. They’ve got drier setups versus waiting until the corn gets 16%. We know some hybrids, we need to go after them before they get to 18% or 19% because we’re losing yield. Stock quality’s going to be an issue there. What are some recommendations from a harvest standpoint to maximize our yields?

I always like to look at the big picture. Whenever you start harvesting earlier, I know nobody likes that dryer bill. It seems like there are more dryers across the country now than there were years ago. The American farmers figured out how to dry their crops. Early harvest does give you more yield. That phantom yield loss, harvesting anywhere from 25%, 26%, 27% versus waiting until dry corn or 17%, there’s something lost there. I’ve asked the university folks and they haven’t been able to give a definitive answer. It’s a correlation between test weight and water.

It’s a documented fact that you can get more corn if you dry it down fast than if you let it slow dry in the field. As we look at the big picture on the cycle, early harvest also means an opportunity to get in and do fieldwork. If you’ve got the manpower and the labor to get it done, you can get out there and get your fieldwork done, fertility in the ground, lime on, tile rigs going, and improve your drainage. The list goes on and on. You get that field prepared to go through the winter and get prepared to be ready again for early planting. That’s the big picture in the whole cycle to the thing.

Usually, Todd, at 25% to 27% moisture, you’re dealing with a green foliage crop. Lots of people are getting used to seeing green out there. We used to see hybrids die and dry. As you know, that’s not the AgriGold way. We like to talk about the AgriGold look, which is a brown shack on a green stalk at harvest time. Now we have the luxury of putting fungicides on these hybrids that keep them healthy, all the way to the end of the black layer and even green all the way down to 20% moisture.

I love seeing green go back down into the soil. Green residue being tilled into the soil is better than brown dead residue. It only makes sense. I haven’t seen this documented. It’d be a great grad student project and maybe it’s out there someplace. I haven’t seen it. It only makes sense to plow down some of that green stuff versus the dead stuff. To me, there are so many benefits of getting started harvesting early.

The final one, Todd, is hybrid standability in general. We’re putting that plan at risk whenever the yield has been made. Now we got to get it into the bin. The dollars that our customers are spending to put a crop out, I hardly know how some of them sleep at night. It’s the American corn grower. You’re talking about resilience. To be able to tolerate $600, $700, $800, $900 an acre to put out an acre and corn is a lot of money. My question would be, whenever it’s time to get the results and get the bushels, why wouldn’t you get them? Flat corn is something we all despise. None of us like it. That’s certainly one to finish up on and maybe a major benefit of going ahead and starting harvest early.

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A good way to cut in that conversation there, Mike, because we spent all this time planning it, implementing it, and paying for it. Why lose it at the five-yard line? Let’s go get it in the bin. If you look at the bigger picture, let’s get it out, and allow for fieldwork and fertility work to prepare for the next crop. I appreciate you bringing light to that. Mike, we’re winding down the episode here. Do you have any final comments or thoughts that you’d like to share with the group?

I’m moving on to a new role within the company as a Corporate Product Manager. The things I’m looking forward to are finding those needles in the haystack and those next big hybrids for the AgReliant camp that’s going to take our brands to new levels. They’re out there. I’m looking forward to strategizing behind that and finding innovative ways to bring those products to light. I’m looking forward to this new chapter. As we look in the rearview mirror, for those who are reading, if I’ve come in contact with you, I want to say thanks for all your support with the AgriGold brand. Todd, you have been a fantastic employee. I know our working relationship will continue, and I’m greatly looking forward to many good years to come.

I appreciate those closing comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on improving yields and unlock the genetic potential of the hybrids that we have. To me, if you break down the season into the four quadrants like we did and think about the bigger picture, nobody’s ever saying go out and reinvent the wheel. There are opportunities where we can tweak things, listen to our environment, listen to the insights that we’re getting at the micro-level in our regional areas. I think that can play into it.

It’s also important to reach out to the networks that everybody has within AgriGold. Your agronomists, they have some great insight on how to improve yields and profitability. We’re on a lot of acres. We get to see a lot of things and we get to do a lot of goofy projects and you can gain a lot of insight from that. With that, Mike, I do appreciate your time and everything you’ve done for the AgriGold brand. Thanks for hiring me all them years ago.

Thanks for having me.

Have a good one. Thanks, everybody, for reading.

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About Mike Kavanaugh

YMP 16 | Big Yield ImpactsMike has been with AgriGold for 13 years and has served as the AgriGold Agronomy Manager for the last 10 years.

He has recently been promoted to the Corporate Product & Development Manager for AgReliant Genetics.

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