Maximizing Crop Profitability: Why Appearance Isn't Everything in Farming
10 Jul 245m 21s

Farmers often desire a lush, green field, but true success lies in yield and profitability at harvest. Kelly Garrett is joined by Dale from Corteva Biologicals to discuss the crucial lesson that a visually appealing crop does not necessarily translate to profitability. They highlight the shift from traditional farming methods to a more nuanced, season-long approach that includes the careful management of micronutrients, biologicals, and timing of fertilizer applications.

This video includes paid sponsors of The views & opinions expressed in this video are those of and are based solely on the experiences of the XtremeAg team. The use of brand names and/or any mention or listing of specific products or services herein is solely for educational purposes and does not imply endorsement by XtremeAg.

00:00 A sexy crop does not mean a profitable crop. I'm a Kelly Garrett who taught me that lesson last year. We're expanding upon it today. We got Dale hanky here. 00:07 All right. I didn't like the looks of the soybean field last year at your field day. I said, you know what, Kelly? I think we better keep 00:13 the spectators away from this. It looks like crap. And you said, Damien, we're learning about this. 00:17 Um, a sexy crop in June doesn't mean a profitable crop when the combine runs. Now we're standing in cornfield. 00:23 It's kind of an awkward teenage stage. You said, let's not worry about that. Let's worry about profitability 00:28 and what the yield looks like. Come harvest, talk to me. We always worry about the crop not 00:32 having a bad day and things like that. And, and I still don't want the crop to have a bad day, but the definition of that is changing. 00:39 You know, back when I started farming in 1998 and even up through the early two thousands, I, I would've used a very traditional method. 00:46 Uh, let's put the anhydrous out in the fall. Let's spread the P and k after the combine. The only thing left to do after we plant is 00:51 that post chemical pess. And now we understand that all of that front loading and all, and that lack of paying attention 00:58 to micronutrients, that lack of paying attention to biologicals, to p that just produces a lot of vegetation. And so now we're trying to change the plant 01:07 to a season long approach. And we spoonfeed things out there. Be it biologicals, be it pgs, be it micros 01:15 to mimic the release of the organic nitrogen in the soil because we wanna produce a reproductive 01:19 Crop. Dale, this has gotta be a very difficult challenge for you in the industry. 01:23 Farmers don't like to drive by fields that look like they're in an awkward teen stage. Um, landlords certainly don't like to drive by 01:31 and say, yep, that field that looks like it's kind of struggling. That's just a bunch of ugly vegetation. 01:37 Uh, that's my farmer. They don't like that. This is an uphill battle, man. But he's Right. But how do you overcome the aesthetics? 01:45 Yeah, it's nice to have a pretty green crop, but we've gotta get the yield, the bushels at the end of the season. 01:48 It's a season long approach. You have to start off strong and then manage 01:52 that crop throughout the season when you're going across the field before a farmer does that. 01:56 Think about what we're doing and we're going across with a post emergent herbicide to control weeds, to control the pest that's competing with that crop. 02:02 What else is gonna compete with that crop? Weather, stress, any sort of thing that stresses that crop has to be managed effectively too. 02:08 Go ahead and revisit it before we're recording. And we've heard it before, but it's worth repeating 'cause somebody watching this video hasn't seen it before. 02:15 Two years ago you did a soybean trial on population. You went from 150 or 160,000 population down to 34,000 and it didn't look pretty. 02:24 34,000 soybean plants over an acre looks like it could be just a volunteer grow up patch. 02:30 Yes. You know, the, the 150,000 population soybeans, I believe is pretty close to an industry standard. Uh, the population's starting to come down, 02:38 but I spoke at a field day a couple weeks ago. People talked about 180,000 population beans in that trial. We had 60, 91, 20. 02:46 I set the planter at 30, but it wouldn't get below 34. And then we went back to one 50 and I had the 34 and the one 50 right beside each other. 02:53 I understand that, that thinking about 34,000 population beans is very radical. 02:57 Yeah. But if we don't do something radical, we don't learn. Right? And so the beans come up. 03:01 You can imagine what 34,000 looks like. It's not much. My dad was not impressed. Uhhuh and the 150,000 grew. It's very dark green. Oh, growing. Things like that. 03:10 Fast forward to the end of the season. The 90 out yielded the 60 by less than two bushel. So the 60 was the most profitable. 03:18 But the most fascinating thing was the 34 out yielded the one 50 by three bushel 03:23 because all of that crowded population overpopulating of that one 50, all of that dark green, 03:28 that was purely a vegetative response because of competition. It wasn't reproductive. 03:33 And that's exactly what we're talking about. That's an example of what we're trying to accomplish on a wide scale. 03:38 So from your standpoint, Dale, when you're talking to a farmer and they're like, they want that pretty, they want it sexy. 03:42 They want sexy, lots of plants. Come June, drive by, look at my place versus sexy versus profitable. 03:48 What's your counsel? What's your coaching to these people? Well, We're, look, we're managing that crop for 03:54 overall results at the end of the season. It's ROI, you know, so we can have high yields, but it's what we put into that, how we manage 04:00 that crop throughout the season to get you to the positive ROI we're looking at. Sometimes though, we, we go the other way 04:05 and we say we're not gonna do anything to manage this crop. But you know, it had a hard start. 04:08 So I'm not gonna put more into it. Or maybe the market prices are down. That's really when you need to analyze and, 04:13 and see what can I do to get as many bushels per acre with what I'm doing? 'cause we don't wanna give up. A lot of times we start, 04:19 we get the foliar pass, the herbicide on, go to the lake. That's not the mentality 04:23 of these high yield achieving growers or, or 'cause what he's saying is you should really be concentrating on the treatment that gets you at 04:29 that last, the last third. Really the last fourth of the season is what you're talking about. Exactly. The reproductive fertility that we now do. 04:36 You know, we're making a pass at V 10 or 12 usually. Right. You know, towards the end of vegetation. 04:41 Then we're making a pass at R one and another pass at R five, which is incredibly late. But some of the biggest ROIs we see from our 04:48 applications are at R five. We've moved most almost all fertility out of the inferral of the planter. 04:54 And we've reallocated that portion of the budget to R one and R five. I think we're gonna leave it there. Dale Kelly point is a 05:03 sexy crop that looks really pretty driving by when you're going down the road, it might just get you a whole 05:08 lot of compliments to coffee shop. Is it gonna make you money come harvest time? That's the question we're asking. A sexy 05:12 crop or a profitable crop. Which one do you want? Amy Mason coming at you from? Extreme Ag.

Growers In This Video

See All Growers