Progressive Ag Services is an agriculture consulting and service business, owned by Matt Boudeman and Paul Schell. Matt started the company in 2014 and Paul joined in 2015. Tyler Scroggins was hired for precision sales and agronomy support in March of 2021. Tyler is the company’s first full-time employee. Progressive Ag Services’ building is located outside of Minier, IL on Olympia Road. The company offers the following services to their customers: Granular Agronomy, Precision Planting, and other technology services. Their customers are located in roughly three clusters of locations. The Atlanta/McLean area, around Mason City/New Holland, and generally the surrounding Bloomington area. Granular Agronomy is used for nitrogen modeling and variable rate recommendations. Precision Planting offers after-market, retrofit parts to enhance planter performance. These tools, along with their other technology services, allow Matt, Paul, and Tyler to provide the best solutions for farmers to maximize their field potential and their profit.
Before Matt Boudeman began Progressive Ag Services in 2014, he was working in ag retail. Matt described that he has always had a passion for helping farmers make better decisions. He stated, “I felt like where I was at in retail, I only had a certain group of people that I could work with. I had to stay within my sales region. I wanted to get back to the farm and thought that starting my own business and working with any grower that I wanted to work with would make me happier in the long run.” Before Paul joined Progressive Ag Services in 2015, he was working for Ag-Land FS. Paul explained why he decided to join Matt and co-own the company; “The prospects of self-employment were really intriguing. I was very interested in the opportunity to build something from the ground up.” Tyler being hired as their first full-time employee is just one major indicator of how much the company has grown since 2014. Tyler decided to join the team as a full-time employee because “it wasn’t just the products and services that they provide, but more importantly the focus on customer profitability and solution-based consulting.” He continued, “They are building a very successful business and it was a team that I definitely wanted to be a part of.”
When Matt and Paul were in the very beginning stages of their business they started by offering soil sampling, fertility recommendations, and nitrogen recommendations to their customers. Over the span of seven years, their business and customer base has expanded greatly. Their custom application business and crop protection sales have really exploded recently. They are currently wrapping up their busy fall season where, after harvest, they do soil sampling, fertility recommendations, and custom strip tilling. Custom strip tilling is where they will put custom application of nutrients in a band (strip) into the field. The farmer will plant over the bands of nutrients in the spring so that there is better utilization of the nutrients by the plants. Matt reflected on the fall, stating, “The weather has been very cooperative to get field work done. We have been very fortunate to have November and the first December where we have been able to finish soil sampling and strip till.” Now that their fall business is wrapping up, Matt and Paul will get into crop protection sales for 2022 and they will work with Tyler to begin preparing farmers’ planters for spring planting. They will install Precision Planting equipment onto the planters.
Matt, Paul, and Tyler are also working on a special, exciting project right now with a customer in Farmer City, IL. They will be installing a Harrington Seed Destructor on a customer’s combine. A Harrington Seed Destructor is an impact mill that mounts on the back of a combine. The chaff (all of the stuff that comes out of the back of the combine) from the combine runs through a mill and destroys 99% of the seeds of the weeds that were growing in the field. Weed seed control during harvest has been fundamental in many Australian farm management plans. It shortens the typical list of weed control tasks and treatments that a farmer typically takes. As weed resistance becomes more of an issue for U.S. farmers, Progressive Ag Services is looking at this technology to assist them in mechanical weed control.