The Use of Agronomic Practices to Limit Risk

Today the agriculture industry is full of risk that can affect production and profitability. Risks we face every growing season include volatile commodity prices, market influences, land value inflation, and even the weather. Given how important it is to manage risk from a business standpoint, I want to discuss how key agronomic practices can help limit risk on your farm.

Fertility: In years of high yield there are more nutrients removed from the soil. In recent years there has been a significant yield response to increasing potassium, phosphorus and sulfur levels in a field. It is crucial to continue adding these nutrients to continue having a solid yield in each growing season.

Genetics: It is key to use the newest genetics with the most recent traits to continue with the same productive management practices that made you decent money with $5+ corn and will help continue stable yields at $3-4 corn. With lower corn and soybean prices it is crucial to keep yield high in order to keep cash flow alive.   Genetics will determine your yield and traits will protect that yield, both are essential to get your crop through the unpredictable weather we have each growing season. The difference in national corn yield since 1988 to now is over 40 bushels an acre. Now I don’t believe that is solely due to genetics, but the argument can be made that it has greatly improved out yield over the years.

Precision: A large portion of today’s equipment has yield tracking ability, this allows us to see how yield varies throughout a field. Through our base agronomics of fertilizer recommendations and the technology available today we can generate VRT or Variable Rate Technology fertilizer recommendations, which can be based off  yield removed and soil build. This is an ideal system because you can apply exact nutrients into the soil that were removed.

All of these risk management strategies and more will limit your risk of a lost yield in a growing year and will increase bushels and help pay the bills. Consult with your WS Ag Center salesmen to learn more about the tools we offer to help your risk management plan.

-Tom Arndt


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