Working Together to Weather the Storm
For everyone in ag these days, the headline is lower commodity prices. What we do with that reality will determine how successful we’ll be in riding out this valley. With that said, what’s the good news? What can you do to improve your odds? How can we help?
First, we’ve seen some solid downward adjustment in input costs, particularly in fertilizer. It looks like crop protection prices will be flat overall compared to last year and seed down just a bit. It’s hard to gauge just how significant the demand for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® will be, since state approval for the system is still pending. It will be difficult to plan for that until some of the variables are sorted out.
We have seen a strong and growing interest in the Liberty® system to provide an alternative approach in the fight against weed resistance. We gain more information on Liberty beans each year at the Innovation Farm and through our other cooperator plots.
What can you do?
No matter what happens with all the variables, one thing remains constant—it’s critical for you to produce the best crop possible. Keeping costs in line is important, but sacrificing yield to save a few dollars will hurt in the long run.
This is the time to evaluate 2016. If you had a good crop, what did you do to achieve those yields? Stick to those principles as you go into 2017.
For example, don’t ignore the weed pressure you’re seeing right now. Fall application can reduce weed seed populations and give your crops a better chance to get established come spring. A better start means better yields.
Big crops also remove more nutrients, and those must be replaced in order to generate similar results next year. Manage for high yields, because the primary thing that offsets low commodity prices is bushels.
Consider a fungicide application next summer on corn and soybeans. We’ve seen a very good response from that practice. No, it isn’t cheap. But use the data that has been generated and run the numbers. If you can see a positive return on investment, why wouldn’t you do it?
How can we help?
There are so many seed and crop protection options out there. Let us help you sort them out and use them effectively. Thanks to the companies we work with and the tools we have, we can put together combinations of seed and crop protection products that will deliver excellent yields while saving you a few dollars per acre on the front end.
That’s why we have the Innovation Farm, a resource that few if any other companies like ours have. The local data we generate helps us make recommendations that work here where you farm. Others simply don’t have that kind of information to work with.
I strongly encourage you to attend our winter meeting where we’ll be sharing what we’ve learned this year at the Innovation Farm and our plot locations throughout our territory. The date is Jan. 5, so watch for more information and plan to be there to find out what we’ve learned that can help your bottom line.