Fixing Poor Ground: Transforming Marginal Farm Land into Profitable Acreage
19 Jan 2436 min 33 sec

In this informative podcast episode, Damian Mason talks to Concept AgriTek Agronomist Bert Riggan and XtremeAg’s Kelly Garrett about methods to enhance underperforming farm land. Uncover practical tips and strategies for increasing ROI on your least productive farm acres. Learn how to change your approach and farming practices to turn 'poor' ground into a profitable asset. Tune in for expert insights on maximizing farming profits through land optimization.

Presented by Advanced Drainage Systems

00:00 Are you loving your poor ground or are you abusing it? If you love your poor ground, it'll love you back. That's what we're talking about in this episode 00:08 of Extreme Ag Cutting the Curve. Welcome to extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast, where you get a guaranteed return on investment of your time 00:19 as we cut your learning curve with the information you can apply to your farming operation immediately. 00:25 Extreme ag, we've already made the mistakes so you don't have to. Managing your farm's water resources is a critical component 00:34 to a successful and sustainable farming operation. Advanced drainage systems helps farmers just like you increase their yields up to 30% 00:43 with their technologically advanced water management products. Visit ad s to see 00:50 how they can keep your business flowing. Now, here's your host, Damian Mason. Hey There. Welcome to another fantastic 00:57 episode of extreme Ag Cutting the curve. We're talking about loving your poor ground and then it'll love you back. 01:04 I got Burt Riggin, he's from Concept Agritech, and I've got Kelly Garrett, one of the original founding fathers of extreme ag. 01:10 The first thing you're probably saying is, wait a minute. I've tuned into your episodes before Damian. 01:13 I've heard from Kelly Garrett. He's in Iowa. There's no such thing as poor ground in Iowa. Well, maybe, maybe not. 01:20 The reality is that before we hit record, we said, let's face it, every geography has ground that is poorer than others. 01:27 Every farm farms ground that is their best ground and then has their worst ground. And chances are, if you are that farmer, you put more 01:35 of your focus on your good ground. You love it a little bit better. Hey, I've got 10 kids. This guy's a really good athlete. 01:42 I'm gonna show a little bit more shine to him. Hey, this kid over here, you know what? Go over in right field. Just get, get outta the way. 01:48 Let's face it, that's what happens. But we're talking about how you can maximize your returns from marginal soils, 01:54 and we're gonna talk about the classifications, if you will, the different categories that make a soil 01:58 or a farm field poorer. The reality is you have some ground that's worse than others. We're gonna help you love that poor ground 02:05 and make it love you back. Bert, you brought this topic up, I think, or maybe I did on a previous recording 02:11 and I wanted to go with it, so get me started. Well, sure. I mean, you know, we see it every day. Just like you said, every every, 02:20 every farm has your really good soils where you, your, your, you know, your yields are, are, are good, um, you know, 02:27 you can push 'em. Then you have your marginal soils where sometimes you feel like it doesn't matter what you do, 02:34 you're really not gonna get any more than what you, you know, you know, put into it. And then you have some that doesn't matter what you do, 02:44 it just seems to let you down the whole time. And, you know, unfortunately, you know, human beings are creatures of habit. 02:51 So you tend to wanna, you know, funnel your resources into what's gonna, you know, pay you back. 02:57 You know, what you perceive is gonna pay you back more. And, you know, when you're farming, you have to take a look and, and realize that nobody has a hundred percent perfect 03:09 soil, where every time they throw a seed in the ground, they're gonna get, you know, NCGA yields doesn't work that way. 03:16 Everybody's got different levels of soils and, and you know, the thing is to identify what is making those soils not give you 03:26 what you think you need to be getting out of it. And, you know, if you're a 300 bushel average corn farmer, everybody knows it's very difficult to move 03:36 that needle much higher than that. You really have to start digging to try to see where that next advantage is. 03:43 But if you've got ground that's doing 300 bushel an acre and you've got ground that's doing 180 bushel an acre, 03:48 that's a huge difference. If we could get that 180 ground bushel acre up to two 20, that's a huge increase in profitability. 03:59 And you know, the beautiful thing about this, you know, love your, you know, pour ground, it'll love you back, is that you can experience much greater gains by giving that, 04:09 you know, marginal ground, a little bit extra love digging into it, understanding the personality of it and working with it. 04:18 And it'll pay you back way more than trying to put in an extra 40% inputs on your better ground. I almost think, and, 04:28 and since we like sports analogies, if we had Mike Evans on here, he's big on sports analogies and, and usually they're good. 04:36 Sometimes it's a little out there. But you know what? He played football, he got hit in the head a couple of times, let's face it. 04:41 And, and, and Kelly and I laughed, cliff at that. Anyway, let's do a sports analogy. Kelly, I got a really good athlete here 04:47 that's been in training for the last 10 years, has been on all the right diet and has been lifting weights and is doing all the, you know, agility drills and all that. 04:55 Your eye is drawn to that athlete. Like that's an athlete, that's a gamer. You got the kid that comes off the farm, 05:00 it's a little bit rough, hasn't really been on the right training regimen. The one that you can probably get more big bump, 05:08 exponential gains on initially is the, the kid that hasn't really been on a weight training program, hasn't been on a diet regimen, 05:15 hasn't been working on agility drills. 'cause you're taking them from unloved un unconditioned to the right level. 05:21 That's how I think a lot of these farm, these fields are, that they've, your eyes aren't drawn to 'em. 05:27 They're not as, they're not as appealing visually, but it's like, damn, if I just gave this field a little bit of attention, I can turn this into a, you know, 05:35 a very good athlete. It's same thing. I think That's absolutely correct. And, you know, just like what Burt said, I would like 05:41 to echo that, that good soil is giving you everything it can. So of course we wanna pay attention to that. 05:47 The right amount of seed, right amount of fertility in my world, the good seal, the good soil actually needs less fertility 05:55 because the microbial system, the biological system is providing that for us organically or naturally, the poorer soil. 06:02 The the the kid that's a little rough around the edges though. There's a lot more low hanging fruit there. 06:07 Typically the fertility levels in my poorer soil are actually higher than they are in my good soil. The reason is that fertility is tied up 06:16 and unavailable to the plant. So the, the parts per million, if you will, of of say your P two 06:23 or the parts per million of your, uh, of your potassium, things like that are much higher 06:29 because the base saturation is messed up. And in my heels specifically where I farm, we have too much calcium, perfectly balanced soil. 06:36 Good soil, uh, would have a characteristic of 65% calcium. I can have 90% calcium. 06:43 And because of that, it, it's really ties up my phosphorus, my P ones go down 06:48 and my parts per million of potassium might be 300, but my base saturation K might be 1.8. Well, that's the reason that the K is 06:58 so high, it's all tied up. So at that point, what we need to do is not fertilize the soil. 07:03 We need to amend it. And what I used to amend it is sulfur and that makes that soil come alive. 07:09 And sulfur is a really inexpensive nutrient, if you will, or relatively inexpensive soil amendment. 07:15 That's why I call it low hanging fruit. I worked with an agronomist years ago and he had a saying, if you fix fix the bad spots in the 07:23 field, you fix the whole field. 'cause it's easy to raise that average. Just like Burke said, let's take that 180 from a two 20. 07:29 Those are the areas to, uh, to really prioritize our time because that is where the biggest gain can be made. 07:36 It's interesting that it still goes on. I mean, you, I think you can understand Burton, you've been in this business, your whole, your whole career 07:43 and, and we talked we're roughly the same age. And, and so I can understand 30 years ago where we didn't have as good of equipment, uh, 07:51 we didn't have as good of understanding, we didn't have as good of technology or even of products. But it seems to me in the last 20 07:57 or 30 years, the strides that we've made, you can get bang for buck off of marginal ground. 08:04 Not if it's a complete disaster. Right. You know, not if it's this field is the mo this field should purely be in CRP, 08:10 but I'm saying some of the lesser stuff, it seems like we're, we've had enough runway now to correct this and it still doesn't really happen. 08:20 Well, and you know, it kind of goes back a little bit what we talked about in our, our previous podcast. You know, when you hit the easy button, um, if, 08:33 if you really want to be serious about maximizing that ROI, you can't take one fertility program 08:41 and stretch it across all your acres, you're either gonna starve your good ground or you're gonna waste a bunch 08:49 of money on your marginal ground. You have to come in and you have to tailor those approaches for the personality of that soil that you're farming. 08:58 That's why, you know, having those good soil tests, those complete soil tests and having somebody help walk you through, you know, 09:07 what your greatest limiting factor is, identifying it, like Kelly said, he knows, you know, he's got areas where he's got an overabundance of calcium that 09:16 that basically screws up availability of phosphorus and so many other things. But then again, he is got bottoms that have got magnesium, 09:24 you know, that are just through the roof too, you know, and trying to get those ratio, you know, the cow mag ratio, all that kind of stuff, you know, that's, that's 09:33 where you can, you can really make great strides in the marginal ground because typically it is a major problem that can be, you know, identified relatively quick. 09:47 And then you start to develop that plan to overcome it. Like in Kelly's case, you know, putting more sulfur out there, you know, 09:54 but it, it's not, you know, just one thing. But you've gotta take the time and recognize that you have to address the personality 10:01 for every, for every type of soil that you're farming. And you know, once you're not gonna change it overnight, but once you start that ground will respond 10:12 so much better, so much faster. Kelly, the thing that I'm hearing here is, you know, we talk a lot about grower standard practice's a term 10:19 that I never heard that much of until I started working with you guys, but grower standard practice, that that doesn't mean treat every acre the same. 10:27 'cause that'd be, again, that to bird's point, that would be cost, that'd be cost foolish to treat every acre the same. 10:33 So you talked about you are already doing variable, you're doing variable nitrogen, you're doing variable seeding range, 10:38 you're already changing up the variability Part of that is doing this very thing. It's loving your poor ground and loving it. 10:44 You're treating your poor ground differently just in your fertility and in your seeding uh, rates. 10:49 And that happens within a field. Exactly. You know, uh, our dataset used to be by the field. We're gonna go in and fertilize this field. 10:58 We're gonna go in and set the seeding seeding rate the population at this rate in this field. And now it's, uh, on anhydrous and planting. 11:07 It's about a 12 by 12 foot area. I wish we could get it down. So it was a 12 inch by 12 inch area, but, uh, you know, 11:13 the technology just doesn't quite exist for us to be able to do that yet. So it's about a 12 foot by 12 foot area. 11:19 We're constantly changing our rate of anhydrous. We're constantly changing our rate of seed, you know, in that poor ground. 11:26 We, um, we're only gonna plant probably 24,000 seeds per acre in the good ground. 11:31 We're gonna plant 33, 30 4,000 seeds per acre, maybe 32 5. Evans and I are dialing it in, and that's 11:38 because of the yield potential of the ground. And it, uh, it, you know, the, the plant food, the byproduct that I use for my, uh, my base fertility, 11:48 we blanket rate that. The reason is there's so much phosphorus in there. We need more phosphorus in the good 11:53 yielding areas 'cause of the removal. We need more sulfur in the poor yielding areas because of the amendment. 11:59 So that does get blanket rated because of how we need to treat that product. But that product works so good 12:04 because we're putting about 80 pounds of sulfur out there to amend that soil and to make it come alive. 12:10 And then the carbon that's in that product too, that's what we use to amend the soil. And holy cow, I, my neighbors Chad 12:17 and Jeremy, they say it makes a hill farm yield like a bottom farm. That's when you're, that's when you're improving ROI right 12:23 there on your poorer soils. Yeah, and I wanna, I wanna go to that Bert, you know, the person that says, you know what, this is neat, 12:31 but I don't, I don't know if the money's there. It seems absolutely, especially with the array of products that we have available to us now 12:38 and stuff like your products. There was no concept agritech 50 years ago. I mean, we've got fertility, we've got biologicals, 12:46 we've got stuff that, it seems to me that treating some ground that's just absolutely never seen it before. 12:53 It's going to like, like Kelly says, low hanging fruit. Oh yeah, it, it, it is. I mean, you're right. We, we've got much better tools today than, 13:03 than we ever had before. And even though essentially the soil is just one giant chemistry set, 13:11 we have a greater understanding of the chemistry of the soil today than we did 50 years ago. So all of this, all of these things that are available 13:19 to us now really give us the opportunity to dial in and address the greatest limiting factors. And, and it's kind of like putting a crack in a dam, 13:33 you know, once you get that crack started and get a little bit of that water coming out to relieve some of that pressure, 13:39 once you get everything going in the right direction, then all of that water, all of that potential behind 13:47 that dam can now be released and, you know, go on out. And so that's, you know, that's the whole goal is, is spend a little time on that marginal ground, 13:59 get a little bit of advice, see what kind of extra love you can do, you know, can you can give it to try to start moving it in that right direction, you know, 14:10 and it's, it's, it's the difference between, you know, resing a dog versus, you know, paying high dollar for a, you know, a a purebred the rescue is gonna be the absolutely 14:22 most appreciative animal in your arsenal because it knows it didn't have anything for, it showed up on your doorstep. 14:30 That's, that's a good analogy by the way. I wanna talk about the products and the practices, uh, that you've used. 14:35 You know, we talk about sulfur and talk about variable rate fertility, et cetera. I think it's important to also talk about Kelly, again, 14:41 everybody has some of the ground that's more poor than what their base is. I wrote down three things. I wrote down. 14:47 Low fertility would be a category of poor ground. I wrote down topographical. It could be that it's hilly slopey. 14:56 It could be that it's flat and it floods. It could be, there's a lot of things there. And then it could be just mistreated. 15:02 If you've been anytime in a countryside, you know that there's a farm down the road that somebody has been absentee landlord 15:11 or abusing the hell out of for the, for the last three decades, that's poor ground also. And that's because of it being abused 15:18 for the last 30 or 40 years. So I want you to speak to each of those. There's a low fertility already talked about 15:22 that topographical stuff, things you can do to love it. And then the the mistreated stuff, things you can do to start, start that crack 15:29 and start get that, that flow of pressure off of it like birch talking about. Yeah. You know, like your, 15:34 your first one there I believe was low fertility. And we have to pay attention to the removal of, of fertility that we have. 15:41 You know, I, uh, and I'll tell you a lot of, uh, I can sum all three of your problems up into one answer in my environment, 15:48 and then we can break 'em out into subsets. But it is, uh, it's conservation and erosion. I absolutely don't wanna bale cornstalk bales on my ground 15:59 because if you understood the amount of fertility removal that you're doing, you're not selling those bales for enough 16:06 to replace that fertility. So that's, that's low fertility to me. Is it, especially in the hills where I live. 16:12 If you remove those stalks, you're removing way too much. K for example, 230 bushel corn stalks has about 16:19 250 pounds of K in it. That's a lot of money to replace plus the availability of that natural cave versus the synthetic. 16:27 Uh, it's 10 to one. Okay. So there's number one number. And you can also talk about the organic matter. You could talk about the fact that then soil cover those 16:34 stalks are soil cover when you've got 23% slopes and whatnot on your fields. The, the stalks become obviously a, 16:40 a blanket to of protection. I mean, there's all those reasons. Right, exactly. You know, 16:45 so then when you talk about the topography or geography, your, uh, those stocks provide, uh, a lot of conservation and erosion erosion control. 16:55 Yeah. Which then would lead onto your second one, which, what, what was their not second one. 16:59 What was your third, uh, third topic? A history of mistreatment. The, okay, there's your mistreatment right there. 17:05 Poor erosion control. And that's why I talk about conservation in my hills. Those corn stalks that fodder, that residue 17:12 that provides all of it. Everything you have, it provides an answer to all of it right there. 17:18 The fertility, the erosion control, the mistreatment, you know, um, the, the tillage in the hills. That's, that's the reason we're a hundred percent no-till is 17:26 to keep that soil where it's at. Keep that biological system where it's at, and that's how we provide better soil health. 17:33 Bert, I wanna go to you, uh, you know, you've been a consulting agronomist. You've been out here for, uh, you've been, 17:38 you've been walking fields for, I'm gonna guess 35 years. And, and maybe then and maybe then some. 17:45 I think that this is the, like putting the mirror up when we said that a history of mistreatment, maybe it's time for some producers to admit 17:54 that their poorer ground is still poor and, and, and not loving them back. 'cause the mistreat her is you. 18:03 That's right. I mean, you know, I, I, I live in Mississippi. This is the land of scorched earth farming. 18:10 Um, every field that's out there right now is bare. There's very few, very little, if any cover crops that ever get put out. 18:18 You know, unfortunately, a lot of people think wheat is a cover crop. It's not. Um, it actually takes more out 18:25 of the soil than it puts back in it, you know? And even though we're flat as a fritter here in the Mississippi delta, what happens 18:33 with all of this intensive tillage that we have is we destroy the soil structure and we are subject to a lot of erosion. 18:40 Because when that soil, you know, structure collapses when we have one of our four, six inch rains, uh, then we get sheet erosion 18:48 and all of our topsoil winds off, you know, winds up in the ditches and the bas Hang on, hang on real quick. 18:53 Bert, this is important webert explain, not just to the listener, but to our other guest. Kelly Garrett doesn't know what sheet erosion means 19:03 because that is when you have essentially flat soils where then the water, it becomes so saturated that it takes a tiny layer off it. 19:11 Imagine like taking a sheet off the top of something of your bed, for instance. He has no idea what that is. 19:17 'cause he's never actually seen or operated on a flat field. I've been to his farm. Right. You know, uh, you know, a a a slope field in 19:26 where I live is, you know, a 10th and a half of an, you know, inch fall per acre. You know, Kelly's, you know, he's on like a, 19:33 a a nine 12 pitch on some of his, you know, fields, you know, I mean, his roofer would get extra pay, you know, he was driving the tractor out there 19:42 because that, you know, you, you don't have a tow board. So, So the history of, I, I mean, 19:46 and I was being seriouser obviously we're joking here about that. Not so completely. 'cause his ground is very hilly, 19:50 but about the history of mistreatment, it's kind of maybe almost like holding that mirror up and saying, this ground has a history of mistreatment 19:57 and unfortunately it's, it's due to me. And I think that that's gonna be a hard one for some guys to get over it. 20:03 I'm not poking, you know, we've all done it. We've all, yeah, I grew up in, we, we had fields that that sucked and we're like, ah, you know what? 20:09 We'll take care of that one last, we'll get, you know, you know, it gets it, it just doesn't get the attention, whatever. 20:13 We've all done it. So what can you do to correct that when you finally hold the mirror and say the history of mistreatment is 20:19 me, here's what I'm gonna do. And I want both of you to address that one. Kelly, you can go first. What do you, 20:24 when you finally realize it was you or maybe your dad or maybe your grandfather that was doing the mistreatment of this, what's the corrective measures? 20:33 Well, used to be as a kid you would disc and then you'd come back and field cultivate. And my dad, you know, looked at it 20:40 and he is like, what are we gaining here? You know, he said, we're subtracting moisture. What are we gaining? So that, that's when we went to the, 20:47 that's when we went to no-till. And, and then, you know, when you could still see in the, um, in the fall of the year 20:54 and things like that, you know, especially, you know, we have the spots where the water wants to run and that's probably a little bit of a spring at times. 21:01 You know, that's where we kind of started with the cover crops to get where that more of that root mass there to, to try to hold the, 21:08 hold the soil in the sidehill even after harvest with the cover crops starting there. And uh, that's how that evolution started to be there. 21:16 Now, because of how we have increased plant populations in some areas, now we're taking 'em backwards of course, 21:21 but how we are improving plant health now the problem is dealing with all of that residue, you know, uh, concept Agritech has a pro, has a product, uh, 21:33 residue RX that we have tried, you know, and things like that to help break down that fodder and help build that organic matter. 21:39 And it, it's a constant evolution of things to, to do that. You know, we went from the disc 21:45 and the field cultivator to no-till and, and now we're trying to get that residue to break down, but we certainly don't wanna go back to the disc. 21:52 That's where a product like concept agritech has comes into play. That's where I was hoping, by the way, Bert, 21:57 I wanna hop to you before I do. I heard a couple things there. It began with your father looking at correcting the history 22:02 of mistreatment and again, holding up the mirror and realizing maybe it's me that's mistreating it, getting away from the disc, getting away from over tillage, 22:08 getting away from, you know, obviously I did the same thing. Disc it, disc it twice, then run over the field. 22:14 Cultivator, you went over that ground three and four and five times with tillage before you ever went over the planter. 22:18 It just ridiculous. Then I heard you talk about cover crops. That's gonna be jumping off 22:22 of the high dive for some people. 'cause some people still believe that cover crops won't work for them. 22:27 You and I have recorded about that. Kelly, dear listener, go back and listen to that. 'cause that's a good one. All of you that think, oh, 22:33 cover crops would ever work here. Maybe it would better than you think. I mean, I heard you about previously you talked about 22:39 variable rate, variable rating, inputs, variable rating seed, et cetera. Now let's talk about products. 22:46 Bert, what product, and, and we're not here doing a commercial, it's just what type of products, what category of products can I start using 22:53 or reducing to correct a history of mistreatment on my poorer ground? Well, I mean, you know, obviously concept agritech cells, 23:03 some of these things that, you know, categories that I'm, I'm gonna be talking about. 23:08 But one of the first ones that you really need to take a look at is, uh, you know, bi biology. Um, through all the tillage we've done all the synthetic 23:20 fertilizers, we put out herbicides, pesticides, we have reduced the native biology in our soils, uh, dramatically. 23:29 Biology, uh, in a sense other than working as a symbiotic relationship with your crop, also helps hold your soil together. 23:38 They, they help glue your soil particles together so they can help reduce, you know, erosion from that standpoint by helping that, 23:47 that soil maintain its structure. You know, the other thing is, you know, there's so many people that that burn residue. 23:54 There's so many people that do all these other things and you volatilize a lot of the nutrients that are in the top portion of the soil 24:01 and you volatilize a lot of the carbon. So you can over time actually reduce organic matter. So, you know, taking a look at, 24:09 at especially on your lighter soils, introducing more carbon in, in into your, you know, practice. 24:16 Because carbon not only is microbial food, but every living thing on this planet is carbon based. So you have to have a good bit of carbon there for, 24:27 you know, organisms to grow. And even if you have good organic matter, if you're not working to help maintain that carbon balance, 24:37 then what you see is over time you organic matter will go down because you're burning through it because your crops 24:44 and the microbes and everything else, they've got to have carbon. And so, you know, it takes a long time 24:51 for organic matter to be replenished. So if you're high yield and you're doing all these other things over time, 24:56 you're gonna see organic matter start to creep down. So make sure you putting some carbon back into it. You know, Kelly hit on a good thing with the, 25:04 the residue management. Yeah. Not only is it gonna help return nutrients back to the soil in a form that are gonna be stable, less likely 25:12 to leach and more available to the plants. But what you also see when you do that is, is that, that the, all the good in 25:24 that residue winds up getting put back into that soil that can be converted over into organic matter. And you also help eliminate disease 25:33 because a lot of your, you know, corn stove or, or any crop stove is a, is a place where diseases over winter over time. 25:42 And so by knocking that one leg of that disease triangle out, you can see your disease pressure be reduced 25:48 over time dramatically. 'cause it doesn't have a place to over winter. Kelly, you said this is your favorite, one 25:54 of your favorite topics and we're happy to have you hop on here. Uh, you've talked a lot about balanced soils. 26:00 I wrote that down balanced, and you said once in one of our recordings, I don't think there's as, I don't think there's 26:04 as many cases of a field that's been mined or to go with my, you know, mistreated as maybe it's gotten knocked out of balance. 26:12 Is there a product component to that? If you took on a field, you know, next township over and you know, it's been kind of mistreated, you know, 26:20 it's poorer, but you said, you already said I can get some low hanging fruit, I can really turn this thing around. 26:27 How would you start balance? I mean, what, what are we talking pill clearly, You know, that's always something you hear at the coffee 26:35 shop that a big farmer has come in and rented this ground and they've raped the soil and it's left. 26:42 Well, I'll tell you that I don't think that my soil is any more special than any of the neighbors around here. 26:48 And the soil tests that we have gone and learned and the further education we've tried, there's 4,400 pounds of pota of potassium in the top six inches of my top soil. 26:59 Alright? Nobody has ever come and removed all that. So to say that it's gone is wrong. Yeah. If you want to say that somebody came in 27:08 and mistreated the soil, I would tell you that it, the soil needs amended. It is not low fertility, at least in my region, 27:17 my neighborhood, okay. Here in the Iowa soil. And to me the base saturation is far off because of erosion maybe, or, 27:28 or different, different practices like that. So what I would need to do then is, again, sulfur. Okay? Maybe some residue management, uh, potentially, you know, 27:39 if, if some fertility is unavailable because of a base saturation problem, I'm gonna start with the sulfur to amend the base saturation, 27:46 and then I'm gonna maybe start with some foliar, um, I'm gonna start with some foliar fertility applications to treat the plant instead of the soil 27:54 because the plant isn't gonna be able to get out of the soil what it needs. We're gonna put an extra, extra, uh, 28:00 maybe extra budget there. And then, like Burt talked about, you gotta look at biology and we maybe need help starting the biology in that soil 28:08 because it has been damaged, you know, and, and concept agritech would have some products there that we could, you be planner applied is what I would say. 28:17 And we're gonna look at things like that. Um, those are the things that I would do to help jumpstart that soil. 28:23 So I heard introducing biologicals, I heard check on the balance. Uh, you're, you're, you're always big on reduction 28:29 of tillage, et cetera. Um, here's the one that then the person listen to this. So let's say it's not that you're taking over a, 28:37 the reason I pose it that way, let's say it's not that you're taking over the farm in the next township over that you know has been mistreated. 28:43 You finally are admitting that you've got some that you've been mistreating. That's what I was getting at. So 28:48 that person should do the things you just talked about, Bert. Yes. I, if I'm, if I'm looking at some of my ground, uh, 28:55 and I'm gonna say, is the payoff there? Kelly already said there's some low hanging fruit. It's more work though. Is it the work 29:01 or the money that you think is the, the one that you've gotta get your, or or, or change? You talked a lot about you can't treat every acre the same. 29:08 Which one is it the work, the mindset or the, the money? I think, um, you know, e everybody's capable of, 29:17 of running the numbers and seeing, you know, if I just, if I just increase my overall average on marginal ground by 10 bushels an acre on soybeans, you know, they, 29:26 they can run the economics on that. Um, if it is, I don't necessarily think it's the work part because, you know, we talked a lot about how it's, 29:40 it's not maybe changing, you know, anything drastic. It's just moving an application from point to the other point. 29:51 I think, I think really the, what, what the biggest issue is, is that people, you know, you, you, like I said, it just becomes easy 30:01 to treat everything the same because you don't have to do, you know, you don't have to worry about, you know, you always hear, well, I, 30:08 you know, I can't be out there every time we, you know, change a field and you know, I don't really have a good hand that, you know, I can trust to do this or that or whatever. 30:18 You know, at the end of the day, there's a multitude of excuses people can come up with on why they don't want to do something. 30:26 But it, you know, over time, education, taking a look at, at that talking talk to the darn people next door that used 30:34 to have the same soybean average is you. But now all of a sudden, you know, they're, they're, they went from averaging 35 bushels an acre 30:43 to 55 bushels an acre. That's a, that's a game changer for farm revenue. Well, it's a huge difference, by the way, Kelly, 30:51 I just said, all right, it's gonna be a little bit more work. It's not, it's not more work, it's just you've got 30:57 to do different work on different fields, I think is what we're talking about. Because you're still out there doing a thing, is it's, 31:03 and so when I said work, which one's the hardest thing? When you stay, you wanna start loving your poor ground? Is it the work that you've gotta change the mindset 31:10 or the money investment? A lot of people are gonna say, well, that takes a bunch of money to do that. 31:14 I don't think that that's that. I think it's about money. No, It it, it's all mindset and it isn't you. 31:20 I don't believe that we're probably even gonna add a pass. So it isn't the work, you know, and you're not 31:25 Adding, you're not adding an extra, you're not adding an extra step. No. And you're not, you're not adding money and 31:30 You, you know, like, um, in, in our poorer ground, we do turn up the anhydrous, but we turn down the seed. So the budget remains about the same. 31:39 For an example, uh, it's all about the mindset. You know, it doesn't matter if you're talking about somebody lifting weights or, or somebody just going to work. 31:47 Everybody likes to do things that they're good at. They come easy to 'em. And going and looking at that 300 bushel farm 31:55 is a lot more fun than going and looking at that 160 bushel farm, you know, or or relative to whatever a good yield 32:01 and poor yield is in your area. So it becomes a mindset. And you know, when you hear it, the coffee shop, 32:07 what somebody said their yields are, I promise you, they're not telling you on your poor farm. They're always telling you on your good farm 32:14 and it just doesn't want get paid attention to because of mindset and probably ego. But you're Ego. Wait, hey, wait, 32:21 Bert, yeah, Bert, you've been working with farmers for 30, 40 years. Have you're ever been to egotistical farmer? 32:27 Uh, you know, I just, I I prefer to look at farmers like I do gamblers because you kind of have to be a gambler to be a farmer. 32:35 And you know, a gambler always likes to tell you their last big win, but they never want to talk about how many losses they have. 32:45 You realize you're talk, you realize you're talking to the gambling est of the extreme ag guys right here. And I'm not talking about me. 32:51 I, I do. But Kelly also knows that there's a lot of truth in their statement as well. Oh, there is there. 32:58 But the reason I think that I do so good gambling is 'cause I want to talk about the losses. I expect the wins and I don't, you don't learn any. 33:06 Here's the problem of why I think it holds people back. They always wanna look at the wins. You don't learn anything. Nope. 33:13 What you learn from is the losses. That is so that's where you need to concentrate your time. That's the secret to the success. 33:20 I like it. So while we're on that, since you said this is one of your favorite topics I've ever brought up, by the way, 33:25 we brought up a lot of topics like this, dear listeners and viewers. I mean, there are literally more than 200 episodes 33:30 of cutting the curve out there now, and there's also hundreds of videos these guys have shot. So if you want to continue this, 33:36 this discussion, it, it's real easy. It's right there at Extreme Ag Farm. Kelly said it is one of my favorite topics I've ever brought 33:41 to the, the table here, so why don't you get me out of it. We called it Love your Poor Ground and it'll love you back. 33:46 You've got a history of doing this. You know, everybody says, oh, he doesn't have poor graves in Iowa. 33:51 If you went to down to Chad Henderson's place, he's doing the same thing. He's probably looking at, yeah, 33:56 this was some pretty poor stuff that we picked up eight years ago that nobody wanted. And the first thing we did was boop Boo. 34:02 Some of the same things we're talking about, right? Yeah. Love your poor ground isn't a blanket statement to go across all of the United States. 34:09 Love your poor ground is just relative to your own area and To your own operation, to the, to the yes 34:16 to concentrating on the, on the bottom 25% of your stuff. You actually might get a bigger big bump out of it. 34:23 You know, we're, we're always, we as farmers are always worried about yield. How big is the pile of corn at the end of the year? 34:31 How big is the pile of soybeans at the end of the year? Alright, how big is the pile of wheat? The, the pile that we need 34:37 to be worried about is the pile of money. Yeah. And your pile of money is gonna get bigger if you spend more time concentrating on your poor 34:44 ground relative to your good ground. The good ground's taking care of itself. It's paying the bills. Go prioritize your time on the poor 34:52 ground and improve the ROI there and your pile of money will be bigger at the end of the year. Bert, I think we should leave it right there, 35:00 unless you wanna do one more gambling reference? Uh, no. I mean, my, my saying for all the years I've been in the business is we need 35:08 to quit robbing Peter to pay Paul, make Paul towed his own weight. And that's exactly what Kelly's talking about. 35:14 Yep. Got it. His name's Burt Riggin. He's with Concept Agritech. If you wanna learn more about the products from concept 35:20 Agritech, that's concept agritech and Tech has a k on the end of it, not a c, that's concept Agritech. 35:26 His name is Burt Riggin. He's a good dude. He's a Mississippi guy, he's an agronomist and he knows a lot of stuff, so you can always look him up. 35:32 Uh, Kelly Garrett, Iowa Farmer, who has concentrated on maximizing returns on his below average fields, and you should do the same. 35:40 We just gave you all the reasons why. Again, share this with somebody that can learn from it. If you want to take your learning to the next level 35:46 or just seven $50 a year, you become a member of extreme Ag, you'll get special bonus 35:50 officers from some of our business partners. You'll also get exclusive content and access to the extreme Ag guys, uh, for question, 35:56 answer formats so that you can go a little deeper on topics that interest you. Until next time, thanks for being here. I'm Damien Mason. 36:03 That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve, but there's plenty more. Check out Extreme Ag Farm where you can find past episodes, 36:11 instructional videos and articles to help you squeeze more profit outta your farm. 36:17 Cutting the curve is brought to you by Advanced Drainage Systems, the leader in agriculture, water management solutions.

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