February 2021 FARM INSIGHT–Are you Farming the Controllables?
Farming is all about managing resources, including money. You can be a low-cost producer and maximize profits by controlling the controllables. Profitability in crop production is about optimizing the genetic potential of the seed you plant. This is achieved by optimizing crop stands, minimizing plant stress and maximizing plant energy production. ProfitProAG has a proven recipe for increasing corn, soybean & cereal grain yields.
The leading cause of reduced profitability in corn, soybean & cereal grain production is premature crop death. Premature crop death is caused by plant diseases due to a lack of energy, which causes the plant to prematurely shut down. This reduces the number of seeds, weight and nutrient density.
Where’s the best soil on your farm? The undisturbed fence line. This nutrient-rich area has deep topsoil, high organic matter, and a lively soil biology, because it has never been tilled or disrupted.
These kinds of conditions enhance plant health while limiting the need for fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. All this translates into higher yield potential, which boosts your profit potential.
But you can’t turn your whole field into a fence line, right? True, but what if there were a way to get fence line-quality soil throughout your fields? It’s possible, when you know the formula.
This is no secret formula, either. It’s the 365 Full-Circle Crop Production System, which we call the “Recipe for Success”, and it comes down to controlling the controllables.
What if you could grow an extra 29 bu/A?
One of those controllables is crop residue management. Has your corn residue been breaking down adequately over the winter, or does it remain on the soil surface from previous crops? Even with fall tillage it still may not break down properly. If it’s not breaking down efficiently, it’s costing you money—and more.
Top producers know that managing this residue efficiently is a “second harvest.” It offers a proven way to cut your fertilizer bill.
Did you know a 200 bu/A crop can offer 40 pounds of nitrogen (N), 50 pounds of phosphorus (P) and 110 pounds of potassium (K) from the residue, based on conservative estimates?
Those nutrients translate into yield. What if you could grow an extra 29 bu/A?
It’s possible with effective residue management. The “Recipe for Success” includes three seasonal crop management phases:
- Phase 1: Crop Residue Management. Never underestimate the power of microbes to break down residue efficiently and recycle nutrients. This “second harvest” promotes soil health, improves nutrient retention, enhances nitrogen fixation, reduces disease and insect pressure, improves yield potential and boosts profit potential.
- Phase 2: At-Plant. Controlling the controllables at this phase helps “jumpstart your yield.” Now’s the time to protect seeds properly to get seedlings off to a strong start. Biological seed coatings offer a seedling- and season-long plant-health enhancement approach while also supplying key nutrients. This will establish a healthy plant below ground and above ground. This phase is critical to the in-season push for higher yields.
- Phase 3: In-Season. Look at most fields across the Midwest, and it’s clear that corn is dying prematurely each growing season. Think “stay green” instead. This is tied to minimizing plant stress during the growing season. (Hint-discover the value of ethylene inhibitors.)
Don’t leave money behind
The “Recipe for Success” works most effectively when you control the controllables with both crop and livestock production. That includes biologically treating manure.
Quick question: do you struggle with:
- Bottom sludge
- Top crusting
Manure issues can create big headaches that cost time and money. The solution might be so small, however, you’ve overlooked it. We’re talking microbes.
When you understand the proper care and feeding of desirable microorganisms and put them to work for you, they can reduce odor and nuisance problems associated with manure storage and handling systems, including:
- The formation of a top crust that harbors flies and maggots, which can carry disease, cause livestock performance issues and affect carcass values.
- Foaming challenges, which can take away from pit capacity and create potential hazards.
- Bottom solids that build up over time and never make it to the field.
The native population of microbes in manure lagoons often can’t produce the necessary enzymes to digest the volume of manure and any toxins fast enough. When manure is treated with the right products, the added microbials help break down and remove a greater range of organic matter at a faster rate
Maximizing the power of microbes improves N, P & K availability while reducing handling costs. This can make a big difference in your bottom line.
Circling back around
All this brings us back to controlling the controllables through ProfitProAG’s “Recipe for Success.” This regenerative, sustainable crop and livestock production system offers a powerful way to transform your farm’s efficiency and profit potential.
Stay tuned for more details. We’ll continue to share more articles and newsletters that dig deeper into the “Recipe for Success” and how it can work for you. We also welcome your questions. Let’s start the conversation today. Thank you and God bles