In my area of Iowa, primarily in Mitchell County, the adoption of strip-till has been huge. There were three or four people that started in the early 2000s, along with my dad, that were pretty vocal about what they were seeing and what kind of benefits they were getting from reducing tillage and going to a strip-till pass. I would love everybody to switch to strip-till and then to no-till down the road, but I understand not everyone is in that mindset. Many growers want to keep doing things the way they have always done things. That’s not always bad, but from a long-term farming standpoint, I believe there are benefits to doing things differently when it comes to soil health and keeping soil around for the next generation of farmers. It's a mindset change, and it has to be the grower’s decision.
Fertilizer prices are on the rise, which leaves growers seeking to better manage their input costs. When it comes to planning for 2022, you may have a ton of questions rolling in your head such as: How can I manage costs? Is soil sampling actually worth the investment? Does variable rate fertilizer really pay?
At this time of the year, it’s easy to feel like yields are largely a function of weather - temperature and rainfall. Over the years in hundreds of grower meetings, I’ve heard that sentiment repeatedly. If you are inclined to think that way, think about this scenario.
"It convinces growers to spread those nitrogen pounds out over the course of the season or minimally making more than one application, and they see improved efficiency. We're talking about less pounds of nitrogen to produce a bushel of corn, and we generally see higher yields at the same time. So, it becomes a win-win." - Mike Manning
"I believe that if we really want soils to be that carbon sequestering part, we need to be explaining to agriculture and producers this whole dynamic of carbon and how it's going to benefit them in ways that they really haven't thought about very much." Dr. Jerry Hatfield
"We know there are dollars left on the table on every acre, it's just a matter of finding it with your farm data." - Lance Meyer, Kansas
LANCE MEYER: Hi, guys. My name is Lance Meyer. I'm an advisor here in eastern Kansas, actually located in the little town of Wellsville, just southwest of Kansas City. I've been with Premier Crop for about a year and a half now, and I work with growers kind of all over Kansas. I’m mainly focused here in east-central Kansas, but I get out west and up north a little bit, so kind of all over.
In this Premier Podcast episode, we're talking with Matt Bowers, Premier Crop’s Eastern Strategic Account Manager and Kimberly Beachy, with ProTech Partners in Indiana. Matt and Kimberly discuss the top three examples of agronomics and economics.
I have never liked the warning "you don't get a second chance to make a first impression." It always seems to futile and irreversible. But one example that I encounter frequently relates to how variable rate applications were first positioned by the ag input industry. Years ago, when GPS was first allowing us to measure differences within fields and variable rate controller technology was being pioneered, the value proposition presented to most growers was "this will save you money."
Private colleges market their low faculty-student ratios to compete with the draw of big universities and the message is it's a place where we know your name. Insurance companies compete by selling the value of an agent when you have a claim vs. a phone number to call – the message is you are more than a number. These savvy marketers know that "me matters" – at some level most of us value being treated as the individuals we are. Being treated as though we are all the same as our peers – whether by age, gender, race, economic situation or other demographic insults our sense of being unique in the world.
Topics: soil health
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.