Matt Miles is opting not to plant wheat this fall for 2024 harvest. Instead, he’s opting to plant full-season soybeans this spring, which is actually late winter in the Arkansas delta. Matt is making a cropping mix change based on price, manpower, moisture management, farm cost structure, and a few other reasons. He explains to Damian the analytics that go into his cropping decisions. Are you analyzing all aspects of your farm operation and financials to make cropping decisions? This episode will help you!
Farming is a business with high capital investment and historically low margins. Successful farming depends on more than just high yields — navigating the financial aspects of the farm is crucial, especially when the farm economy tightens.
The Member Spotlight is on Iowa’s James Hepp. James — to put it lightly — isn't afraid to try new new things. He got into farming by crafting an arrangement with a retiring operator whose children wanted to retain the farm asset. James shares with Damian some financial and business tips that could help an aspiring young farmer get established.
Starting in August, farmers are presented with purchasing programs for next season’s inputs. Which inputs should you buy now? What programs make sense? How much different are purchase decisions in an era of higher interest rates? Those questions and more are addressed as Damian Mason sits down with Jarod Creed of JC Ag Financial and Iowa farmers Kelly Garrett and Jeremy Muff.
There is an economic principle that states that, after a certain point, each additional unit of input (like fertilizer) will result in progressively smaller increases in output (like crop yield). This means that there's an optimal amount of fertilizer for a given crop in a given soil, and beyond that point, you're just wasting money. Well, as it turns out, much — or maybe even most — of your applied Phosphorous and Potassium is unavailable for your crops. In the old days of inexpensive fertilizer this was less of a problem. However, as commodity prices dip and fertilizer prices remain elevated, you need to maximize your fertility applications. Chad Henderson maximizes his investment by treating his dry fertilizer with a biocatalyst. The $4 per acre treatment yields Chad an additional 12 bushels while using less fertilizer. Agronomist Steve Sexton explains how it works.
Russ Uselton’s farm ground is so rough and rocky, he jokes that he looks south from his Tennessee perch and yearns for Chad Henderson’s red Alabama clay. All kidding aside, Russ — who started from scratch — is building a business on highly erodible, small patch farming, with a mixture of crops and cows. The first generation farmer bought cattle in 2005 and planted his first crop in 2018. Today he runs 200 cow-calf pairs on 1,000 acres of pasture and farms 500 acres of corn and soy. Russ talks to Damian about starting out, why he has to use cover crops, and the creativity required when you only own 40 acres!
About 90 miles from XtremeAg’s Temple Rhodes, you’ll find 29-year-old farmer and XA member Greg Dell. Greg didn’t want to go to college, but his dad wouldn’t allow him back on the farm until he’d worked somewhere else for three years. He explains the growth and learning experience being employed by a large-scale farming operation allowed him. Greg discusses with Damian his aspiration to be better but not necessarily bigger, the value of experimentation, and the farm's profitable expansion into bird seed production.
Are interest rates affecting equipment purchases? Is used machinery still popular? What equipment is selling well at farm auctions? Jeff Wille from Duwa's Auction Service in Wellman, Iowa talks about used implements, auction action, and more with Damian Mason.
Johnny Verell’s farming operation is expanding. Unfortunately, so is Jackson, Tennessee — the city whose sprawl of suburbs and commercial development is knocking on Johnny’s door. Johnny explains his strategy to survive, or even thrive, when bulldozers and concrete trucks roll into fields he once farmed.