Podcast: Boosting Wheat Profits - How Lee Lubbers Enhances Protein Levels for Premium Price
6 May 2433m 6s

Lee Lubbers is strategically increasing protein levels in his winter wheat not just for additional revenue, but to avoid financial losses from lower protein content, which can significantly reduce the price per bushel. In discussions with Damian, Lee delves into the agronomic techniques and business strategies for enhancing protein levels in wheat to secure premium prices. This approach mitigates the risk of price docks, which can vary dramatically depending on protein content, highlighting the direct link between agricultural practices and market economics.


This episode is sponsored by CLAAS.

00:00 Increasing protein levels and wheat, that's the topic. It can make you money. It might be a good thing for you to do. 00:06 And that's why we're covering it here on extreme eggs, cutting the curve. Welcome to extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast, 00:13 where real farmers share real insights and real results to help you improve your farming operation. This episode of Cutting the Curve is brought to you by cloth 00:23 where machines aren't just made, they're made for more with a wide range of tractors, combines, foragers and hay tools. 00:30 Cloth is a family business just as driven, demanding, and dedicated as yours. Go to cloth.com 00:36 and start cutting your curve with their cutting edge equipment. And now here's your host, Damien Mason. 00:42 Welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme Ag. Cutting the curve. I've got Lee Luber on here. Uh, extreme Ag Guy from way back when 00:49 outta Gregory, South Dakota. He was on recently on Ag PhD, but it was only for three minutes talking about this topic. 00:55 And that's when I said, let's go a little more in depth so we can help our viewers and listeners make a little bit more money 01:00 with their wheat crop. Turns out you can increase the protein levels in your wheat. This is something that was completely new to me. 01:07 I didn't even realize there were protein requirements and that if you go below that level, you get docked. Also, you can get paid a premium, 01:15 although it's a dirty little world, is what I'm hearing from Lee to get into that without the elevator trying 01:20 to screw you outta your premium that you're due. So we're talking about increasing protein levels in your wheat, why you wanna do it, how you can do it, 01:27 the agronomics behind it, and all of the other things you need to know. So I didn't realize this was even a thing. 01:33 So give us the big picture about the marketplace for wheat as you just did before we hit record, 01:37 and then we'll talk about how you go about doing it. Uh, wheat uh, and protein can get very complicated and, uh, we don't view it just as a way to 01:49 pick up extra money, but also to prevent ourselves from losing money. Uh, because, uh, 12% is the basis 01:58 for protein on winter wheat and, uh, we have to keep it above 12%. So I didn't even realize, first off, 02:07 I didn't even realize there was that much protein in wheat. I mean, it's a, it's a, it's a carbohydrate, 02:11 uh, uh, product. It's an energy, it's an energy cereal grain. I didn't even realize it was 12% to the number. 02:17 But so you said that of the soft red, hard red. And then spring, one of them tends to have more protein, uh, component naturally, and the other one tends to not so much. 02:29 So go through the hard red. So hard red winter, soft red winter and then, uh, spring. Uh, yeah, your hard red winter. 02:37 That's, uh, the most commonly grown, uh, wheat worldwide. Uh, yes, it's used for baking 02:44 and feed uses, multitude of uses. And that has historically the lower protein of the three. Then you get into your soft reds that are raised more east 02:55 of us, like, uh, temple raise them and people like that for their east eastern half of the US that is kind of bridges the gap 03:04 between spring wheat and winter wheat. That, that takes a little bit higher protein that adds more what they call milling qualities. 03:12 And then spring wheat, that's truly for milling. That's your bread and crackers. The, that you get in the box, your loaf of bread. 03:21 Uh, that's where spring wheat is very critical based on protein. There. You need to be in that, you know, you want 03:29 to be like a 15 and higher, you know, I mean, there's guys that are pushing proteins all the way up to 18% 03:36 or more, uh, by that, but, but they're able, with spring wheat, you can manipulate spring wheat easier to get more protein. 03:45 Winter wheat, it's very, it's very hard to do. Okay. So you grow winter wheat. I thought that you were a spring wheat person 03:53 'cause you're in the Dakotas, but you're in the south of South Dakota and you said no, you go north of us 03:58 before you really get into more of the spring wheat. So you are a, uh, a soft par red, soft red winter. You're a hard red winter wheat. 04:08 We are hard red winter, uh, what's raised from Texas all the way up, uh, through North Dakota. 04:14 Uh, that's what we are. You gotta probably go about two to three states over before you start getting into soft red, 04:21 Like you said, where I, if I grew wheat on my farm in Indiana, it's probably soft red winter wheat. Yeah, you're getting into soft red ca uh, 04:29 All right, so you grow hard red winter wheat, you plant it in September, october, and, and then it is, and you harvest it in July, August. 04:38 Uh, and you're part of the world and you're, you're paid if you go below 12%, if you take a truckload in which lots 04:47 of truckloads come off your fields, if they go in and they're below 12% protein and they is that, that's being monitored 04:53 with the soil probe, just like moisture and test weight. When they suck that out of the semi to do a test, 04:58 it also test protein. Yeah. Every load that comes in, they're, they're probing it. Uh, they've got moisture test weight and protein. 05:08 And if you go under 12%, depending on the year, it could cost you 10, 15 cents a bushel or it could cost you 50 05:16 to 75 cents a bushel depending on the year of what all is out there in the world, uh, being raised for wheat, for quality, for test weight and protein. 05:27 So it could be your make or break. So the dock varies based on the gl, the global, or at least regional and national production. 05:38 If there's a whole bunch of, um, protein deficient wheat, we can call it, um, sub 12% 05:46 and you're bringing in more sub 12%, there's gonna be a greater dock because the marketplace doesn't need anymore sub 12% wheat. 05:53 Is that an accurate statement? Exactly. You're gonna get penalized a lot harder. Yeah. Whereas if you're in a year where you just happen 06:02 to have lower pro protein wheat, but in general, the market has produced a fair amount of over 12% protein, wheat, the doc's not as great, 06:10 but I'm guessing if it's under the 12%, it has less uses. It can't go to as many places. 06:17 So it becomes, it goes to cow feed instead of pizza. Yeah. It, it, it does drop the, the marketability, I guess you could say of the bushes you raised. Yeah. 06:28 Yeah. Us usability of it. Yeah. Usability. Yeah. Mm-Hmm. So, okay. Um, you, you are in the one 06:36 that you said winter wheat is harder to get, you can get bigger volume, bigger quantity, bigger bushels, more yield, but you also generally sacrifice protein. 06:45 So talk about those, um, I guess physiological and botanical, uh, components of that. Well, as you work on increasing your wheat yields, 06:58 historically, your protein levels drop and it gets to be more of an issue because you're, uh, outstripping 07:04 what you can get into the plant for nutrients and nitrogen is a big factor on protein. And that's where, like in spring wheat, uh, 07:13 there are proven ways where you can go in, uh, partway through, around jointing and later and run, uh, liquid nitrogen and thin it with water and, 07:25 and proven boost protein, where on winter wheat, if you try the same tactic, it's hit or miss. It might be one year 07:33 and five, one year and four that it works. So it doesn't have the consistency to pay. So that's not feasible in our acres. 07:40 So we had to look like, how can we do this, you know, when it doesn't work with winter wheat. So that was a real Challenge. So the, the, the 07:49 method that's the most foolproof is to boost nitrogen, Is that what you're saying? Yeah. Late, late season nitrogen. That's 07:57 The easiest way to get to increase protein, is to throw more nitrogen out there. But that's wasteful. 08:03 And also, like you said, sometimes there's, it doesn't even work. Yeah. On winter wheat, the, 08:08 the track record is extremely low. It's not even advocated to do it as a common practice, uh, where whereas on spring wheat, you're able to do that 08:18 because it's just, it's a totally different plant. Right. Okay. So, um, so the overuse of nitrogen, 08:26 which was frowned upon environmentally, and we're gonna see more of that, that's not a, a feasible option anyway. 08:32 Plus there's the environmental plus there's the cost, et cetera. So how do you go about getting increased levels 08:38 of protein in your wheat if that's not the way to do it? Planting time, wheat soil, I mean, soil amendments. 08:45 Did biologicals come into play? Is there something about when you harvest? I mean, there's, there's gotta be something here. 08:50 I don't know. I know we preach it quite often in extreme ag, but the systems approach, 08:57 and we started looking at it, okay, this could be low hanging fruit. This could be real profit for us, but how do we get to it? 09:04 We're like, okay, we can't go apply late season nitrogen. That's gonna be not responsible, you know, economically 09:13 or yield wise, uh, or, you know, environmentally not the thing to do when you start looking at sustainability. 09:20 So we go, how about can we find ways to increase the efficiency of the nitrogen we're putting on? And that's what we kind of targeted. 09:30 And that comes into, uh, when we are, uh, doing our seed treatments in the fall, doing biologicals to help stimulate the soil. 09:39 So on. Then we started focusing more on the approach of what things, what micros are synergistic, what other nutrients or synergistic with nitrogen. 09:51 Well, zinc is very synergistic with it. So we started first working with zinc sulfate that started helping us. 09:58 And then, uh, after getting to know one of the more famous send it twins, Chad Henderson, the king of Boron, uh, we started working a lot more with boron. 10:10 And boron is, uh, very synergistic with nitrogen and it helps at the reproductive phases all. So That's very real quickly, 10:19 we talk about putting these zinc and boron. When you say they're synergistic to nitrogen, does that mean that they help create more uptake or retention, 10:28 or what does it do with the nitrogen to then help All the above. Okay. It, it, what we're always looking 10:39 for in our farm is things that we can do where one plus one equals three. Yep. And that's what we started looking at is like, 10:45 how can we do this when we're, uh, notoriously, you know, raising a crop that's low in protein, we're trying 10:53 to keep it at 12%. And as we're getting higher yields, it's more of a struggle when we're raising 40, 50 bushel wheat, 10:59 the wheat was starving to death. It wasn't a big thing. You had higher protein. Now we're pushing the plants more, 11:05 raising a lot more bushels, but the protein wants to come down. So we're like, how can we do this in a, 11:11 in a sensible manner? Right. And try to get a proven track record and, uh, more of the systems approach 11:18 and filling in the gaps and fertility and looking at all total fertility, all the things that you need to raise that crop. 11:27 Mm-Hmm. Then things started like yield came up, test weights came up, and protein we started to gain in all three. 11:34 Yeah. So that's an interesting thing. So nitrogen is something you've known for a while. Then you said, we can't go out there 11:40 and fling nitrogen around. So you threw zinc in and that did, how are you, how, where does the zinc or the boron get applied? 11:48 Is that time of planning? Is it over the top? Is it, where where are we doing this that gets you the bump? There's a multitude of ways, uh, dry you could go, uh, 11:59 at planting time. You could go in early broadcast, uh, liquid. You can go foliar during the season. 12:07 Uh, that's a common way to do it too. Uh, there's some good micro packs out there you can work with. 12:13 Uh, boron, same thing, uh, in, well, boron cannot be with your seed, so not at planting. That's regardless of the crop. So that is out. 12:23 But you could do that in your broadcast with your dry, uh, you can also run it, you know, uh, liquid, 12:31 you can apply it in the crop in the season, you know, and you wanna get it in the plant and time. So when it's re because it's really key at reproductive time 12:42 where it's pollen set fruit set. That's really what boron is trying to help you with. And it's synergistic with nitrogen. 12:50 So it's like one plus one equals three. Yep. And that's, that's the goal. All right. So the, the, the short answer is you're putting 12:58 it on in more than one. Yeah. We we're not, we have not increased our use of nitrogen. 13:06 We've changed how we do it. Yes. And we've gained across the board, But you're putting boron 13:11 and zinc in at more than one time. Mm-Hmm. To keep, I guess maybe it's like it keeps the nitrogen Keep the levels up. It also, 13:19 that's what's interesting is you throw a little boron and zinc in at three different times throughout the season and it keeps the nitrogen moving. 13:27 Yeah. It keeps you from having a hungry plant, a deficient plant, keeping those levels up. And when we pull tissue tests that at flag time 13:38 and at heading, and, uh, our levels are extremely high. We have great levels. So our plant is not suffering. It's not one thing needing more. 13:47 It has what it needs, but we're not putting on more nitrogen, which is a good thing. Yeah. All right. 13:54 I want hear about this, but we're talking about fertility, uh, dear listener and viewer, 13:57 I wanna talk about nature's here. Nature's, you knows, one of our business partners, they, uh, awesome friends to work with. 14:03 Uh, we were at their booth, a commodity classic, uh, both days. And on fact, if you were a extreme Ag member 14:09 for just seven $50 a year, the last two years, nature's has paid for your admission into the commodity. Classic something you should look into, 14:16 and you might consider becoming an extreme Ag member. 'cause if you are a member, you get access to directly to guys like Lee for a question and answer platform. 14:24 You also get the data at the end of the year that these guys crank out on their field trials. And you get special offers like the one I just talked 14:30 about, going to Commodity Classic. So Nature's is focused on providing sustainable farming solutions, helping you get the 14:35 most outta your crop genetics. You spend the money on the seed, you're out there doing the work, you're working in the field, 14:40 you're doing everything right. Well, you know what, now talk about spoonfeeding the nutrition. 14:44 Well, you can do that with Nature's Nature's bio. Okay. That's right. Their liquid fertilizers are powered by Nature's Bio. 14:50 Okay. To target specific periods of influence throughout the growing season via precision placement techniques, as a means 14:58 to mitigate plant stress, enhance crop yield, and boost your farms return on investment. And after all, farming is a business. 15:03 That's why we're talking to Lee about making more money. Go to nature's dot com to learn more about 15:08 how you can use our products to get the most outta your crops. All right, Lee, there's a premium paid for this. 15:14 Um, but you said there's a little trickery going on there. Um, just like the dock can vary if you're sub 12% protein, 15:21 you said the dock could be 10 cents, it could be 75 cents. Well, and wheat's only, what's wheat hovering 15:27 around like six bucks right now? Mm-Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. So 70, 75 cents on a $6 bushel weed, I'm guessing, takes you from making a little money to not making money. 15:37 Mm-Hmm. So, uh, that's a problem. So now we say, all right, I'm gonna do everything I can to be above that 12% because I can't afford no 75 cents doc. 15:46 Now if I'm over 12%, how can I make a premium? Uh, what we do is, uh, we use, we leverage our bushels and the relationships we have in place 15:58 with grain merchandisers. We show 'em the samples that we have, and, uh, a lot of times we have 16:07 the high test weights and the high protein. So they come to us for quality because they need us 16:13 to blend off against all the bushels they're getting from the guys that have not addressed it that way. 16:18 Yeah. They're using us to pick up the average. Yeah. They, they use you to blend, to bring up the average on test weight and protein levels. 16:25 So you've gotta go out and, and, uh, knock off a, a hopper, a combine hopper full, and then do the testing. 16:31 You test it there at your place, and then you walk, you take a picture of it and say, here's what I got. 16:36 Yeah. Uh, yeah, we just go to the elevator so it's unbiased or two elevators, two local elevators, and we show 'em what we've got and, uh, we talk bushels. 16:46 And next thing you know, I mean, if we're not getting the whole premium, so be it. If if we're splitting it with them, 16:52 that's better than losing or, or gaining zero from it. Yeah. So you, so it adds up to real dollars. It Becomes kind of a negotiation, like your, 16:59 your combines are ready to roll and you say, let's just peel off a, a, you know, a a a few bushels here go in 17:05 and say, we think we're gonna get, so is how it works. You go in and say, we think we're gonna get 63 bushels per acre, 17:11 or whatever You get there in Gregory, what the hell do you get in Gregory's, South Dakota? It depends on the moisture. I know. 17:15 83 bushels, I don't know. We, we wanna raise the most bushels we can every year. So you go in and say, we're gonna get this 17:24 many bushels per acre. And when we, uh, and, and then here's what it is. And then they, they test it and say, oh man, 17:30 your test weight's, you know, 61 pounds and your protein levels are 14%. We, and then, and they say, that looks good. 17:37 And you say, well, I know it looks good. Now what are you gonna gimme for it? Is that how it works? Exactly. And, and we leverage those relationships. 17:45 We'll, we'll put it out to a half dozen companies. And, uh, they all have, they're all on equal footing. They all can decide what works best for them. 17:55 And sometimes it depends what the next step in the processing chain is. Uh, one year we got a very good premium. 18:04 It was very specialized. Uh, there was a large pet food company and they wanted our wheat. 18:11 Uh, they started looking at the numbers. Uh, it was blended in with the pet food blend, and they wanted our, 18:19 our wheat So many loads per week for so many months. Yep. And it was very segregated. So we never know what it's gonna be. We just 18:28 Have to the the elevator. The elevator might be not trying to screw you, they're just looking at where they can go with it 18:36 and what the demand is downstream for them. And that's what the kind of offer they can give to you, I'm guessing. Yes. 18:42 Yeah. Basically we, we became our own elevator. So, uh, we'll, we'll do the test local, but, uh, usually they're not even in the 18:51 ball, in the ball game. Who's that? Uh, for where our wheat's gonna go, we're gonna go the next step up. 18:56 It's gonna be to a processor or to Who's usually not who's, who's usually not even in the ball game. 19:02 Uh, local elevators we're our own elevator. Okay. Because we don't run eight to five, you know? Yeah, yeah. Uh, we, we combine whenever the weather's right. 19:13 Seven days a week, we'll load trucks at midnight or five in the morning. We don't care. Right. 19:18 What about then you acting as your own elevator. You're, you've got now enough, uh, you've got, it is because the, you've built a network, you reach out 19:26 and start saying, here's what we got. Do you have, do, are you to the point where somebody, the pet food company calls you 19:34 and says, Hey, we're gonna be needing stuff, uh, starting in August. What do you got? 19:40 Uh, that's where those long-term relationships come into play. That network that you build, it doesn't happen overnight. 19:50 Once they get to know you, then it, it's, it's, uh, and I think we're headed into more of that. It's more, uh, 19:58 I don't know if you can call it identity preserved or more, they, the end users want to know where it's coming from. Yeah. 20:05 Well, we talk about like a beef. They want traceability. They Talk about source verified traceability. 20:10 Yes. Mm-Hmm. Uh, all that sort of thing. So is this coming, is this gonna be a thing? Like, in other words, five years from now, 20:18 is this gonna be a thing that, uh, a whole bunch of people of a certain, if you're growing 40 20:23 acres a wheat, nobody cares. No. Not being offensive. But the point is of a certain scale, you're going to then say, it's not really a contract, 20:30 but it's like, I've got one of three places that probably want this because they know I'll be, and by the way, we're talking about that sort of thing. 20:39 You kind of got that going already. Is it gonna be more commonplace five years from now? Uh, we feel it's a, it's a wave you're gonna wanna ride. 20:47 You want to be ready for it. Yeah. Between sustainability programs, carbon programs, uh, regenerative agriculture, uh, traceability. 20:57 Yeah. Uh, on uh, what's, how things are raised. Yep. How they're produced. There's just gonna be more coming all the time. 21:06 Lee, what do you 12% below 12%, you start look, getting into dock territory. What, in the last few years, what has your wheat averaged? 21:15 Are you at 14? I mean, 'cause I'm just of a reference. Are you at 18? Are you, you know, you're not double, you're not 24. 21:20 So what's a, what's a real good? We've been running a lot of 14 to 15% protein on winter wheat, which is exceptional. 21:29 And, uh, and also getting high yields and high test weights. Yeah. You know, anywheres from, you know, 62 21:37 to 64 pounds. Well, 12% to 15% doesn't sound like much, but that's 20 to 25% above, above normal or above where the doc is. 21:48 That's significant. And then, like you said, there's a premium in general. And I, we're not trying to get in your pocketbook too. 21:54 I'm not, I don't wanna count all of your money. Just part of it. How much has the premium been the last couple of years? 21:59 Is it 20 cents? Is it 50 cents? It'll vary by the year, but I'd say That we probably varies a little bit. 22:07 Pretty good window. What, what it's enabled us to do, it opens so many more doors to where we can go with the wheat. Yep. 22:17 It does. There, there's more people, but there's a money attached to it. There's a, there's a, it's, is it safe to say 25 cents? 22:24 Yeah. If, if we're not gonna, if we're not gonna gain financially, why do it? Right. You know? 22:28 Is it safe to say 25 cents? Yeah. Easy. Mm-Hmm. Easy. Yeah. Um, agronomically, does this change anything? 22:37 Is your soil looking different after 3, 4, 5 years of putting in the zincs and the borons to get the nitrogen? 22:43 Does it deplete nitrogen? Does it change anything? Does putting more protein in a wheat head deplete the soil of anything that then one in three years from now, 22:52 you've got to amend? Uh, zinc we've, we have focused on for better part of 20 years. 23:00 So we have levels, we have good levels, and boron has been more of a five-year process. And that one leaches that one. 23:09 You, you pretty much need it every year. Zi, we can build our levels. Boron is just a standard practice, you know, but since you 23:17 Said we're Gonna need It, you said to get the ni the protein level up, you've gotta make sure you're using nitrogen. 23:23 Does it deplete more nitrogen from the soil, or is it just use more of what's applied? Because usually we, we, unfortunately we based 23:30 A lot of, we're just getting so much better utilization. Yeah, there You go. Because our 23:33 Rates have not gone up, which is great. Our yields have gone up, test weights have gone up, protein levels are gone up, 23:40 and we have not increased our nitrogen application, Your nitrogen application, which is, is great. I mean, that's an environmental story here that we should, 23:47 we should, we should put this on the end of a, on, on our flagpole. That's a, We're actually looking seriously at, 23:54 we're doing some trials, uh, in our farm about even, and, and we have some this year about even, uh, going 24:02 to do some comparisons about even reducing 25 units. Yeah. That, and that'd be huge in the bottom line. Mo money saved is money made, 24:11 especially in the environment we're in now. Always wins. You always give me money saved as money made. 24:20 You always gimme sound. Soundbites, money saved his money, made Redneck wisdom as it's referred to, 24:28 Ladies and gentlemen, if you've never been to Gregory South the Dakota, you go there, you just can go and just sit at the feet of the bald man known as Lee Luber, 24:36 and he'll just keep cranking it out. He doesn't get very many visitors, so he'll probably actually take the time and share with you. 24:42 Alright. My last couple of, uh, points on this. Who originally asked for this product? Was it just a matter of the marketplace needed 12% 24:50 or more to make it work, to make the, the wheat, um, you know, perform the duty of making flour or, or pizza crust or crackers or whatever? 25:01 Was there a, was there a time in your, you've been raising wheat since you were a kid? Was there a time when nobody cared 25:07 and all of a sudden this started becoming a thing? Because I don't know that I've heard a lot about this until recently. 25:14 Uh, seems like, you know, 12% just always been there as the guideline, but there's been more of an emphasis on it, uh, especially 25:23 as people are starting to increase yields as we go, as we progress. So that's where there's like more bushels 25:32 of lower protein wheat getting raised. Yeah. Because the nutrient factor isn't totally addressed. Yep. And yes, you're raising bushels, 25:40 but the quality's slipping. So will we do this with other crops? Will we, all of a sudden will we see, you know, 25:47 we talk about carbon intensity score, and Kelly, our friend Kelly ts very excited about that, that we're going to be getting a premium on, uh, you know, 25:54 carbon intensity and, and we saw high oleic soybeans, which I'm still not even completely understanding. We're gonna have to do an episode about that someday. 26:02 But when we see a thing where protein, protein, premium wheat is a thing, and now it's also protein premium corn or something. 26:13 Well, we see this in other places. You think where there's a chance to add 25 cents a bushel. Uh, we've seen it in corn when we have real, 26:21 with real good test weights. Uh, we've even had large feed mills analyze samples of our corn and they've wanted to segregate it 26:29 and give us a protein or, or premium, a premium On the Protein, protein premium, but a premium for it. And that's the one common theme 26:38 that we've always picked up on, is when people always say they raised a really good crop, they never say it was poor quality. 26:47 They go hand in hand. I've never seen anybody win NCGA in any state, uh, and say, man, I I I did awesome, 26:56 but oh man, the test weight was terrible. Yeah, right. No, they have great test weights. You're raising, you're raising a better product. 27:04 The, the quality and the yield is going hand in hand. And we see it in our own operation too. Uh, uh, yeah. Even on soybean test weight, we see the same thing, uh, 27:15 for when we start showing our test weights, you know? Okay. The basis for is 60 pounds. Corn is 56, soybean 60, 27:24 if you give me 64 pound wheat, and uh, you give me, uh, at least 60 pound beans instead of a 57, and if you give me 61 pound corn versus 56, 27:38 you're, you're, you're getting more, you're raising pounds. It's converted to bushels, but you 27:43 Yeah. Right, right, right. Well, as we, as we always say, yeah, you know, the, the truck goes across the scale, 27:47 it measures the, the pounds. It doesn't get out a bushel basket and, and, uh, you know, and, and then, uh, scrape off the top like we're, 27:55 you know, making a cake. So yeah, you, you throw five more pounds on, there's a whole bunch of more bushels 28:00 that you just grab per acre based on, uh, four more pounds of test weight or three more pounds, 28:04 or five more pounds of test weight. This is interesting. Um, and I'm always wondering down the road, you know, 28:09 we talk about, you said that it, sometimes they'll try and needle you and not get, give you the premium, but when you know what's going on, when you realize 28:17 that most of the bushels that are raised are 12 or sub 12% protein, then you realize you've got something that they need. 28:27 Well, the way we view it, we're responsible for paying our own bills. So the way we approach it, uh, yes, we need each other. 28:35 We need our, the grain merchandisers that we work with, but there's multiple ones out there. And, uh, the way we approach it, we show 'em what we've got 28:44 and then we say, uh, give us your best offer. And if you don't get it, don't whine about it, then maybe you come back stronger next time. 28:51 Because really they're trying to make some money. So are we, we're trying to make a living, so so are we, so are they, I mean, uh, we're trying to, you know, 29:02 make it work for ourselves and for our kids. So it's like, you know, uh, instead of going back and forth, oh, well we bid this what so and so bid. 29:10 No, no. Give it, give us your best shot and, and don't whine about it if you didn't get it. And then if they, if they call, just say, okay, 29:19 well next time maybe you'll be more motivated. I mean, it, it is just, I guess, grain merchandisers. 29:26 I don't get a lot of Christmas cards from 'em and I don't care. You know, I mean, um, 29:32 Well, I mean, the other part of it is, I think one of the educational aspects of this, we talk a lot about agronomics, 29:37 but now we're talking about the business side of it. I think if I'm listening to this and I'm a producer, I'm starting to realize I don't need 29:43 to just take what the damn elevator's gonna give me. I, I mean, like you said, much of the wheat that is produced is winter, 29:50 and that's where you can get yield, but you won't get protein. Much of the wheat that then goes across the scale at the 29:56 elevator probably is sub 12%. If you are over 12%, you should do the sampling and then, uh, go about selling it. 30:04 Meaning go about getting, reaching out to places and saying, I'm I, so we can make people money right here versus them being price takers. 30:12 They can be price askers is what I'm hearing here on a premium protein wheat product. The hard cold realities of it is they're trying 30:21 to buy it as cheap as they can. Yep. To make money and you're trying to get as much as you can to turn a profit. Yeah. So 30:27 In other words, If you're, so you're trying to find that middle ground if you're a wheat furniture, that's the nice way of saying it. 30:31 Okay. And since I like your hard ass approach though. So since you're, uh, uh, advisor on the wheat stuff, then the answer would be if you're gonna grow wheat, uh, 30:39 look at ways to increase your protein levels and thereby do a sampling. And then if you're over 12%, do not just take 30:48 what the local elevator's telling you that they're gonna pay you because it's got a premium attached to it. 30:52 And that premium is gonna vary based on one place to the next, wherever they have to go with it. And the need that they have for premium protein, 31:01 excess 12% wheat, if we're talking about, um, there could be a premium attached to that. You should, you should see seek out a better offer. 31:09 Uh, that's how we, one of the reasons we make our green bins pay is because when the, 31:16 the grain is in our bins, we have control of it. Yeah. And if it's in somebody else's bins, if you take it to wherever and just dump it, you've lost control of it. 31:26 Yes. Uh, you are entitled to get paid for that grain, but you've effectively handed over all control of it. We wanna maintain control of it. 31:35 And that gives us leverage in negotiating. Uh, if you wonder about, he's Lee Lubert, he's also the soundbite machine. 31:42 Money saved is money made. Give us your best shot and don't cry if you don't get it. Um, I can go on and on. I already jotted down those two. 31:48 Anyway, I think we got it here. We're talking about increasing protein levels and wheat. Uh, this is a great subject. 31:54 It's something that I was, uh, very intrigued to buy and that's why I wanted to cover it. Lee, you're awesome. You 31:59 got anything else on the way out the door? Any more? Any more redneck wisdom sound bites from Gregory South Dakota on the way out the door? 32:05 Uh, I would just recommend everyone who raises wheat and their operation to just focus on, you know, the systems approach, fill in the pieces on nutrients, uh, 32:16 work on the synergistic approach of making your nitrogen, you know, more available in the plant. 32:22 And there's multiple benefits, including protein. He's Lee Lubert, he is an extreme ag guy and he also is a, a wheat guy that doesn't, uh, doesn't, 32:31 doesn't, doesn't take a lot of crap from grain merchandisers. 'cause he's gonna increase his protein levels. 32:36 He is gonna get paid for in wheat. So next time, thanks for being here. My name's Damian Mason. This is extreme ag cutting the curve. 32:42 That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve. Make sure to check out Extreme ag.farm for more great content to help you squeeze more profit out 32:51 of your farming operation. Cutting the curve is brought to you by cloths where machines aren't just made, they're made for more. 32:58 Visit cloth.com and start cutting your curve with cutting edge equipment.

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