2018-The year in review

MoreDataDelivering more data
MFA expanded the partnership between its precision agriculture programs and Adapt-N, a professional software tool that combines advanced crop modeling with soil-type information, field management data and weather to establish in-season, variable-rate nitrogen recommendations. Adapt-N is now available to the entire MFA trade territory. Working in conjunction with MFA’s Nutri-Track and Crop-Trak precision programs, Adapt-N adds another layer of beneficial data for growers by allowing them to leverage field data already available within the MFA system to help maximize yield while minimizing environmental impact.

New nutrition
Two new premium horse feeds—Exceltra and Suprema—were added to MFA’s nutritional lineup. They are the first equine rations to offer MFA Shield Technology. Exceltra is designed for growing, showing and working equine of all ages; Suprema is formulated for the needs of older horses. Both feeds are beet-pulp based and contain low levels of sugars and starches. In addition, the first MFA cattle supplement tub with Shield Technology was also introduced. The new Performance First Tubs are also unique because they are made exclusively for MFA by MFA, rather than a third-party manufacturer.

Dicamba diligence
As concern about dicamba-tolerant technology continued to grow, MFA’s agronomy team took a proactive approach to steward the technology. In 2018, MFA trained more than 1,200 applicators, chemical handlers and retail staff on proper use of dicamba and the Roundup Ready Xtend crop system. MFA also established and scouted a network of “sentinel plots,” and applicators were alerted to stop spraying when the majority of soybeans in their area reached the R1 reproductive stage. The stringent protocol was deemed a success, with a dramatic drop in complaints by MFA customers about off-target crop damage compared to 2017.

Drought relief
After a wet, cold spring, weather woes continued into summer with hot, dry conditions that put much of MFA territory into the worst growing-season drought since 2012. At the drought’s peak in August, more than 88 percent of Missouri was experiencing some degree of abnormal dryness, and both livestock producers and row-crop growers were adversely affected. MFA worked to make sure producers were aware of government relief programs and organized producer meetings to provide information on how to stretch short forage supplies and drought-proof farms for the future.

droneEyes in the sky
Members of MFA’s precision agronomy team earned their wings as certified drone pilots and are now using unmanned aerial vehicles to capture aerial crop imagery to help diagnose insect and disease infestations and nutrient deficiencies. The drones allow MFA agronomists to get an overview of fields and identify potential problems that cannot readily be seen from the ground. Spots of concern will be scouted to confirm the issue. Everyone who operates MFA drones has passed the Section 107 Airman Knowledge Test, received a remote pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration and completed training from the drone supplier.

New nutrition
Two new premium horse feeds—Exceltra and Suprema—were added to MFA’s nutritional lineup. They are the first equine rations to offer MFA Shield Technology. Exceltra is designed for growing, showing and working equine of all ages; Suprema is formulated for the needs of older horses. Both feeds are beet-pulp based and contain low levels of sugars and starches. In addition, the first MFA cattle supplement tub with Shield Technology was also introduced. The new Performance First Tubs are also unique because they are made exclusively for MFA by MFA, rather than a third-party manufacturer.

Commitment to conservation
MFA has long been a leader in promoting practices such as variable-rate fertilizer application, cover crops, nutrient management plans and other environmentally friendly farming methods. Last year, MFA took that commitment a step further by entering into a unique agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to hire our first-ever natural resources conservation specialist. The purpose of the position is to help farmers meet their stewardship goals by working with all three partner organizations. 

Root of the problem
In not-so-welcome news for corn growers, MFA agronomists and the USDA Agricultural Research Service confirmed the presence of northern corn rootworms with an “extended-diapause” trait in northwest Missouri. This genetic adaptation allows rootworm eggs to survive through two winters. Crop rotation is traditionally the cure for rootworm infestations, but extended-diapause eggs lie dormant in the subsequent soybean crop and then hatch when corn is planted again. Hybrid selection and in-furrow insecticides are the best options available to combat these pests, which can cause substantial yield loss and standability issues. If the extended-diapause population continues to increase, MFA agronomists warn that rootworms will have to become a focus of integrated pest management.

Giving Back
In the spirit of cooperation, MFA supports causes, organizations and community activities throughout its trade territory. In 2018, MFA helped raise more than $145,000 to combat childhood food insecurity through the “Drive to Feed Kids” campaign in partnership with Missouri Farmers Care. Additionally, the MFA corporate office raised money for its chosen charity, the Central Missouri Honor Flight. MFA also championed agricultural education, including widespread support of 4-H, FFA and Ag Education on the Move. The MFA Foundation awarded 342 high school seniors $2,000 scholarships, totaling nearly $680,000. A separate fund, the MFA Incorporated Charitable Foundation, also provides support for worthy projects.

Financial Highlights 2018
Consolidated sales $1.76 billion
Pre-tax profits $8.3 million
Cash patronage and equity retirement $5.1 million
Total margin and operating revenue $223 million
Total net worth $165 million
Total assets $496 million

CLICK TO READ more stories from the Feb. 2019 Today’s Farmer Magazine.

  • Created on .
  • Hits: 387

About Today's Farmer magazine

Today's Farmer is published 9 times annually. Printed issues arrive monthly except combined issues for June/July, August/September and December/January. Subscriptions are available only in the United States.

If you would like to begin or renew a print subscription, CLICK HERE and go to our shop. We are proud to offer the subscription for only $15 per year.

 ©2019 MFA Incorporated.


Connect with us.