Corn and Soy Grower Boosts Production with Advanced Agrilytics
When Kyle Mehmen made some personnel changes a couple of years ago at MBS Family Farms, based near Plainfield, Iowa, he started shopping around for farm consulting services. A fifth-generation farmer who primarily grows corn and soybeans, he knew he wanted more than typical farm consulting. From his time working as a sales rep for a major ag company, he also knew the founders of Advanced Agrilytics.
“They’re some of the smartest people in the industry,” he says. “No matter what they touch, it’s going to be successful. As I watched their business grow, I saw that they were hiring the best. The cream of the crop.”
Founded in 2015, Advanced Agrilytics recently surpassed one million acres of agronomic influence by delivering on the promise of precision agriculture. Mehmen contacted them and explained his challenges and the goals he has set for his operation.
“The methodology of building management zones at scale has been a problem for us and for the whole industry,” he says. “We can create a lot of pretty maps, but are they always based on the right things?” He needed help finding the answer. “Every year, we have farms that perform poorer than they should and some that perform better. What are we doing to cause that? We had plateaued on yield capacity, and I wondered if we were living up to our potential.”
After a couple of meetings with agronomists from Advanced Agrilytics, he knew he’d made the right choice. He says he was impressed they listened and were willing to start with what he was already doing. “It’s very next-level agronomics, and that’s a place where we are,” Mehmen says. MBS Family Farms had several fields due for soil sampling, and that’s where the collaboration began. “We started the methodology,” he recalls. “They have strong opinions on what not to do as much as what to do. They want you to stop doing something that’s foolish.”
His goal was to develop consistency across his farms and to improve production in the bottom 20% of his fields. The results are apparent after roughly a year and a half of full-time service. “I’ve seen increases in the fields that have been in the system longest,” he says. “We’re seeing the consistency we wanted.”
Mehmen says that many farm consultants he’s worked with in the past have been reactionary, while Advanced Agrilytics takes a more proactive approach. “It’s the next big step in whole-farm agronomic management,” he says. “I don’t know if there’s anything out there like them. It’s very holistic. That’s important to me. It’s an entire systems approach.”
He expresses no doubts about continuing to work with Advanced Agrilytics. “They can take us to the next level, and they’re able to scale with us,” he says. Mehmen recommends the company to other farmers, saying, “You’ll be pretty wowed by what they’re working on. You’ll wonder how you ever grew corn without them.”