Inflation is upon us, now the only question is: For how long and how much will prices keep accelerating? This is a challenge for every business, especially production Agriculture, which operates on thin margins and involves the acquisition and application of a lot of expensive inputs. To successfully navigate the pricing turmoil, you need to know why prices are increasing and strategies to employ to guarantee you have the inputs you need come spring. This is a panel discussion featuring a manufacturer, retailer, and farmer — Darla Huff with Advanced Drainage Systems, Jon Gilbert with Agtegra, and Lee Lubbers of Lubbers Farms.
Matt Miles once believed a yield monitor was a nice — although not completely necessary — gadget for the combine. Today, he won’t let the combines roll if the yield monitor isn’t working properly. Matt and next generation son, Layne Miles, explain the adaptations their farm has made since Layne joined the farm full time in 2016. Technology and data analysis allows the Miles to reduce water use, manage resources, and even keep an eye on straying employees. They explain how they go about gathering and applying data and how you can do the same on your farm to achieve better — more profitable — outcomes!
In a previous episode we explained Plant Growth Regulators (PGR’s). In this episode, Peter Rousenelos and Gunther Kreps of AgXplore join Iowa farmer Kelly Garrett to further explain the mode of action and benefits of using PGR’s on your farm. The big benefit of course is yield — which equals dollars. Even if you’re already familiar with PGR’s, give this a listen as the AgXplore team discusses trials — there’s a reason the company has seen a 3.5 times increase in acres treated! Kelly’s experience with application methods and timing offer practical lessons you can use.
Every successful farming operation has practices that make the business. Likewise, farms are owned and operated by humans. Humans are prone to habit — both good and bad. And all businesses have experienced set backs, but those setbacks make you stronger if you’re willing to learn from them. Generation three and four of fifth generation Henderson Farms sit down for a discussion about practices, habits and failures.
The marketplace is in constant motion. Weather events, foreign trade and production occurrences, crop reports, and other factors create opportunities for gains (and losses!). Seasoned farm operators understand the need to exploit higher returns when the marketplace allows an opportunity to do so. Matt Miles discusses his grain facility expansion and dryer addition. The upgrade creates grain handling efficiencies and this year it’s making him an extra dollar or so per bushel by selling into an inverted market.
Lee Lubbers and his brother started farming when even established farmers had trouble getting loans. It was during the midst of the ’80’s farm crisis. The brothers scraped and toiled to keep improving their financial position — always paying their expenses before themselves. Even so, their relationship with their local bank deteriorated and they were cut loose and left without financing heading into spring. They scrambled, found money, and then went about finding a lender to be their business partner.
Oftentimes urban and suburban encroachment impacts farming operations as farm land is sold off for development. If you’re the fortunate owner who sells former farm property for 30- 50,000 dollars per acre, you simply have a tax problem. But what if you’re the tenant farmer? Where do you go to pick up acres to keep your operation rolling? Chad Henderson rented 1,200 acres 140 miles away to offset land lost to development. After two complete crop seasons farming from a distance, he offers his lessons on making it work.
Lee has been updating all of his color-coded cheat sheets for each of his tractors and sprayers. When they start running, the sheets serve as a quick reference guide to make sure there are no mix-ups in chemical and crop applications.