If I asked you if you had a budget, you would most likely tell me you did. If I asked you where you could skim your budget in order to save more for your child’s education, a new truck or a vacation, you most likely wouldn’t know where to start. I know I wouldn’t!
"We have growers who tell us that we're helping them with their economics, which helps convince their lender to give them the full operating line."
It's almost the time of the year when making New Year's resolutions are popular. Ever make a business resolution? If you haven't been using your data to make decisions, how about making that your resolution?
I'm writing this before one of our great American traditions with agricultural roots – Thanksgiving – originally a time to be thankful for the bounty of the harvest. The 2017 crop year harvest has been a surprise to many. How is it possible to produce so much with such adverse growing environments? Here are just two Iowa examples:
Topics: yield analysis
The age-old agronomy equation is, "Yield Equals Genetics (G) by Environment (E) by Management (M)." There is a lot of focus on using data to measure hybrid and variety performance, in other words, to sort out the "G" part of the equation. That can start with your own data and but it can also include being part of "group, pooled or community" data. This allows you to anonymously see yield results from both genetics you planted and didn't plant. Being able to filter results by rainfall, GDU's and soils helps to address the factors that make up the "E" factor and get closer to apples-to-apples comparisons.
Hunters and soil scientists may seem like an odd pairing but they have at least one thing in common – they know and appreciate that nature has an aversion to straight lines. Hunters spend a lot of time in and observing the great outdoors and getting an up-close look at the variability Mother Nature molded upon our landscape. Soil scientists not only spend time looking at the curvy contour lines that represent the transition from one soil type to another but their academic training is about the "how's and why's" of soil formation over the centuries.
In the early 1970s, I was fortunate to work for a farming operation that was serious about soil conservation. Serving on State Soil Conservation boards, building terraces, implementing no-till, when planters and weed control options were crude by today’s standards – they were soil stewards. Because of their mentorship, I’ve always taken soil conservation seriously.