SWCD & NRCS in Benton County, Indiana

How Funding Available in Benton County is being invested into local farmland to improve soil health and reduce nitrate runoff.

Soil and Water conservation on Indiana Farms for sale  SWCD & NRCS in Benton County, Indiana Soil and Water conservation on Indiana Farms for sale

With extensive studies underway in Benton & Warren County to measure the amount of nitrate & phosphorus runoff in our local ditches, streams & watersheds. Several area farmers and landowners in the Big Pine Watershed are voluntarily taking part in nitrate runoff practices intended to prevent future regulation & all the while boost the bottom line to their operation by way of soil health.

“My yields have improved and I have been able to reduce nutrient applications to my fields.” – Don Knochel, Benton County, Indiana

2016 HighLights

From increased yields & better soil health, to a reduction of input costs, local farmers and landowners are realizing benefits of participation in the Big Pine Watershed project.

1,584 Acres | Total acres that received cost share $$$ in Benton County in 2016

2,020 Acres | Total acres enrolled in FieldPrint Calculator

2,544 Tons | # of tons of phosphorus runoff prevented by cover crops in Benton County.

$1.36 Million | Approx. $$$ value of 2,544 tons of phosphorus per USDA Cost study.

For more information about conservation practices, cost-share funding available in Benton County, contact Leslie Fisher at the Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) office at (765)-884-0660.

The Big Pine Watershed Project is currently a voluntary program that landowners & farmers can sign up for today. Depending on the location of your land, there are a variety of programs you may qualify for to get funding that will reduce nitrate runoff & improve the health of your #1 Asset – your land.

Women Farmland Owners Discussion

Free Conservation Discussion & Field Tour for Women Farmland Owners in Tippecanoe county & Surrounding Indiana County area

July 27th, 2016 and open discussion and field tour is available to any women farm and land owners at the Lilly Nature Center, located at 1620 Lindberg Road, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906.

“We estimate that women now own or co-own between one-fourth and one-half of the farmland in the Midwest and they are very interested in farming practices that benefit the health of their land,” said Jennifer Filipiak, associate Midwest director for the American Farmland Trust. “Our goal is to connect these women with each other and with the resource professionals who can help them with their farmland management goals.”

Women Caring for the LandSM meetings bring together landowners in an informal learning format for a women-only morning discussion followed by a more in-depth look at the characteristics of healthy soil and farming practices that promote it. Female conservation professionals are on hand to answer questions and share resources.  A participant from last year’s learning circle commented that is it “wonderful to hear experts who were women sharing their information and passion.”

Following lunch, area conservationists will lead a bus tour to view conservation practices on the ground. Discussion will focus on soil health and cover crops, but will also include water quality, wildlife management and government cost-share programs.  The Women Caring for the LandSM format was developed by the Women Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in Iowa. “We continually hear from women how grateful they are for a women-only learning environment,” commented Bridget Holcomb, executive director of the WFAN, “and they tell us that they are able to discuss issues that they wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing up in any other setting.”

On July 27, coffee and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting will start at 9.  Lunch is provided, and the program will end with refreshments at 3 p.m.

RSVP by 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 22 to Chris Remley, Tippecanoe County Soil & Water Conservation District at (765) 474-9992, extension 3 or chris.remley@in.nacdnet.netIf you need accommodation please notify us when you RSVP.  And feel free to bring a female friend or family member, just let us know when you RSVP!

This session of Women Caring for the LandSM is sponsored by the Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation District in collaboration with Women4theLand and the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. Staff from the SWCD, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other conservationists will be on hand to answer your questions.

More information can be found at the Women Caring for the Land website here:  http://www.wfan.org/our-programs/women-caring-for-the-landsm/

Article Provided by Tippecanoe County FSA Office & the USDA

Tippecanoe County FSA Office

1812 Troxel DR, STE C2
Lafayette, IN 47909

Phone: 765-474-9992
Fax: 855-374-4071

County Executive Director:
Stacy Helbert

Farm Loan Manager:
Eric Peterson

Program Technicians:
Alyssa Holt
Holly Humphrey
Holly Walters

County Committee:
Debra Kerkhove
Michael Peabody
David Swank

An Interview with John Perkins

The Commodity Markets according to John Perkins from Brownfield Ag News

An Interview with the Nationally Syndicated Radio Host

You’ve heard him on your local radio station for years, the distinguished voice bringing you the latest news and reports on the Commodity Market. He’s been relied upon for market predictions and trends in the future of corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle and hogs and is recognized as one of the premier commodity market reporters in the country. While he understands the importance of the markets to Ag communities across the country, John Perkins is more than just the voice, he’s an advocate for vital role that American Agriculture plays in our local and global economies.

“The global agriculture market is like a set of dominoes, you flip one and you’re going to knock a lot of others down.” – John Perkins, Brownfield Ag News

An Interview with John Perkins john perkins brownfield ag news johnny klemme

Broadcast on over 380 radio stations nationwide, John Perkins is known as the voice of Agriculture Commodity Markets in the United States. – photo provided

I caught up with John Perkins as he sat in the Brownfield Ag News studios in Jefferson City, Missouri where his Commodity Market Reports are broadcast to over 380 radio stations in 10 states, and got the inside scoop from one of the nation’s leading broadcast journalists.

  • What are the biggest factors affecting the price of corn and soybeans today?

    “Without a doubt, the number #1 factor affecting the price of corn and soybeans is the surplus supply,” said Perkins without hesitation.  We have much larger supplies of corn and soybeans than we’ve had over the last several previous marketing years. On top of that, big corn crops in Argentina and Brazil are affecting the price along with South Africa’s recent bounce back.

    In terms of other sectors in agriculture affecting corn and bean prices, Perkins commented on livestock saying, “Low livestock numbers also play a role in the price and today we are not feeding as many cattle or hogs. The PEVD epidemic has had a big effect on livestock numbers and to some degree, avian influenza are contributing to the current pricing trend.”

    Perkins went on to reflect on the American dollar, stating that “recent dollar strength is definitely having a negative impact on commodity prices. A stronger dollar in a larger sense is typically a good thing for America, but in terms of agriculture and dollar-denominated commodities on the export market it’s not exactly that. U.S. corn and soybeans become higher priced and in turn reduce the export demand – we see this coming into play with corn in particular, but not so much with soybeans.”


  • What could change or influence the current market situation?

    With a tone of concern, Perkins said, “Well, unfortunately, it would probably take a massive crop failure to turn the market around. That’s something that no one wants to see, myself included.

    If we stay in this El Nino weather pattern that is expected to happen this summer, we’ll probably see another bumper crop.  This marketing year we are starting to see signs for an expansion of supply and that continuing into the next two years as well.

    Looking back, we ended the 2013-2014 marketing years with ending stocks of soybeans as 92 million bushels and it’s only grown since. All in all, improved efficiencies, favorable weather, and scientific advancements in hybrid seeds and treatments are all connected to current state of the markets.


  • What excites you most about agriculture today?

    “Anyone with an interest in agriculture is practically required to have some knowledge on a variety of topics. But what excites me most is the potential for agriculture to expand, be more influential, and be more integrated into the lives of more Americans. Food insecurity for many people across the globe will continue to be driving force toward innovations and the success of American farmers.”


  • What’s your long-term outlook for competing in a global economy?

    “As much as we might want to stake our pride on the quality of the grains we produce, we have to recognize that we face competition from a lot of countries that are expanding their infrastructure at a greater rate than we are.

    As recently as last year, America has faced infrastructure and transportation issues that have affected our ability to get commodities out into the market faster than other countries. Long-term, these larger issues should be addressed – getting better at shipping and transportation and getting our grains to market faster are key drivers for our long-term success.”


“Right now we are in a supply bearish environment and it’s a market we haven’t seen in quite some time,” added Perkins.

Interviewing Perkins was a good exercise supply & demand economics. John’s keen on the ways our national and global politics continually shape our agricultural future and ultimately our agricultural heritage. I think John would be the first to say that he doesn’t have a crystal ball into the future of agriculture, but he’s keeping a close watch on the pulse and will continue to be a strong voice each step of the way.

How can you listen to John’s Commodity Reports?

Tune in locally on the radio or visit www.BrownfieldAgNews.com

 

P.S. :  I asked John to give us the run down on The Top 5 Best Places to Eat in Jefferson City, Missiouri

…here they are

 

5

Best Restaurants to Eat at in Jefferson City, Missour

  • Lutz’s BBQ

    The go to for smoked meats, ribs and more. John Perkins recommends you make a visit here first!


  • The Grand Cafe

    Try the steak or polenta cakes… a sure fire win according to Perkins!


  • Suwaddee Thai

    As far as international cuisine is concerned, Suwaddee delivers on every pad Thai dish on the menu. “The curry wont’ disappoint either,” said Perkins.


  • Everest Cafe

    For the best in Nepalese, Korean and Indian cuisine, Perkins suggest you stop at the Everest Cafe on Missouri Blvd.


  • Jamaican Jerk Hut Food Truck

    You’ll have to keep tabs on their location, but it’s worth searching them out! The jerk chicken is mouth watering!



About the Author

An Interview with John Perkins Johnny Klemme Geswein Farms for sale

Husband, Father & Author

The Back Forty is regular column written by Published Author & Purdue Graduate Johnny Klemme. His reporting, interviews with Ag Experts and more can be found at www.Prairiefarmland.com/blog

Drainage Water Management

Taking Tile to the Next Level

Part 1 of a 2 part series

In agricultural communities across the country there continues to be shift in thinking about the on-farm practice of drainage (think tile) to water management. Every season, more and more producers across the state of Indiana are implementing more than pattern tile systems and moving toward fully controlled Drainage Systems – giving farmers control over the amount of sub-surface water in their fields at any time of the season.

During times of the year when farms don’t require as much water, farmers can manage the amount that is held in the subsoil. With a Drainage Water

Utilizing a control structure (above or below the ground), farmers with Drainage Water Management Systems can decide when and to what extent they want their tile systems to operate.  Drainage Water Management drainage water mgmt illustration Frankenburger

Utilizing a control structure (above or below the ground), farmers with Drainage Water Management Systems can decide when and to what extent they want their tile systems to operate.

Management (DWM) System, landowners get all of the benefits of getting rid of the excess water when it’s not needed as well as draining no more water than necessary from the field. Additionally, with DWM systems, there is a reduction in nutrient runoff reducing nitrate pollution to waterways, ponds, and our interconnected water systems.

  1. With controlled drainage, farm fields achieve full drainage before getting out for field operation.
  2. During the growing season, drainage can be reduced to keep critical moisture in the soil.
  3. In the fallow (post-harvest), productivity & conservation benefits combine when drainage can be turned off completely to retain the water soluble nutrients in the soil profile and reduce run-off.

Two leading factors that influence yield and productivity are excess water and the lack of water during critical plant growth periods.  Research at universities such as Purdue, Minnesota, and Kansas are producing results that show significant increases in yields and reduction in nitrate levels in drainage water. Chris Freeland, the Ag Drainage Project Manager at Dwenger Excavating told us that, “DWM has the capacity to bump yield several percent when managed properly.” According to a study conducted by Purdue University, nitrate level run-off can be reduced by an average of 20% annually.*

Drainage Water Management promises a lot of benefits, but it’s not meant for every farm or field. “Until you know what the challenges are for your field, and have made a solid plan, you can’t justify an investment in DWM,” added Freeland. In her ten (10) years of experience in soil and water management, Chris has helped design pattern tile and DWM systems for landowners across West Central Indiana and as more and more people look to farm smarter in response to rising input costs, Freeland recommends the following to anyone considering DWM on their own farms.

  • Identify Your Goals & Objectives

    Whether the end result you seek is based on productivity gains, water conservation in your soils or if you are worried about potential legislation regarding nitrate runoff, your goals should be identified upfront to ensure the system meets your needs and budget.


  • Create a Plan

    Once you’ve identified the benefits you want to achieve in a DWM system, the local NRCS office can help with a Conservation Activity Plan (known as a CAP 130). This plan is used to determine feasibility, action steps, cost analysis, and ROI. Those interested should contact their district conservationist to get the ball rolling. In many cases, NRCS/EQUIP funding is available to hire a certified technical services provider to create the plan for you.


  • Economics / ROI

    Once you have completed a DWM CAP 130 plan with the NRCS, it’s time to look at the economics. How well can your investment in DWM be justified in yield gains, input savings, and conservation benefits? There are higher upfront costs associated with a DWM system, but when yield is considered a multiplier over time, the economic feasibility for your fields will become much clearer.


According to the USDA’s Indiana County Acres Summary**, nearly 80,000 acres or 30% of the farms in Benton County are ideally suited for DWM, with over 40% of the cropland acres in White County and approximately 18% of Tippecanoe County farms. While those numbers seem large, there are limitations to DWM including higher upfront costs, having the right soil profiles, slope, and topography.  Regardless of your goals, there remains a lot of opportunity to consider how Drainage Water Management could affect your farming operation.

Pros of Drainage Water Management

  • Water Conservation, helpful in times of drought
  • Improved Water Quality downstream
  • Yield Multiplier / Production Benefits
  • NRCS/EQUIP Funding available

Cons of Drainage Water Management

  • Higher upfront cost
  • Must have the right soils
  • Topography / Slope limitations

It’s worth noting that Drainage Water Management and Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) is not the same thing. SDI is an extension of DWM and once a DWM system is in place, you’re really just a few steps away from accomplishing Subsurface Drip Irrigation, a topic we’ll drill into in part 2 of this series.

Drainage Water Management and Subsurface Drip Irrigation have become very compelling production practices for the farmer of today and tomorrow. With potential for long-term yield boosts in both good and bad weather years, the risk vs. reward of these investments continue to paint a picture that as Chris Freeland puts it, “is more about farming smarter, keeping one of your biggest assets (your soil) as healthy as possible, and developing management practices that have the potential to boost productivity year over year.”

About the Author

Drainage Water Management Johnny Klemme Geswein Farms for sale

Husband, Father, Author, Land Broker & Advisor

The Back Forty is regular column written by Published Author, Purdue Graduate and Farmland Broker Johnny Klemme. His reporting, interviews with Ag Experts and more can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog

 

 

*Drainage Water Management Impacts on Nitrate Loads in Indiana. – Dr. Jane Frankenberger, Roxanne Adeuya, , Nathan Utt, Eileen Kladivko, Laura Bowling, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Purdue University, 2009 – 2012.

**Indiana Cropland Suitable for Drainage Water Management. – USDA Central National Technology Support Center, 2011.

Illustration Credit, Dr. Jane Frankenberger Purdue University.

The Risk & Reward of Farm Data

For many years “Precision Agriculture” and “Big Data” has given early adopters a leg-up in terms of efficiency and bottom line decisions – for others, the topic remains uncharted territory where the pros and cons are a topic of regular conversation.

No matter your preference of machinery, monitors, or software there are several aspects of farm data that should be on your list of concerns; including privacy, security, and how farm data is becoming increasingly valuable to the landowner.

“Right now there are  no real laws on the books that address farm data and no real laws protecting the rights of farmers with respect to their data.”

Todd JanzenAgricultural Law Attorney

Renowned as a legal pioneer in the emerging areas of Ag technology, data and policy, Janzen first made a name for himself leading the charge to preserve the Right to Farm Act, which protects farmers from nuisance lawsuits. Janzen is currently the chair of the American Bar Association’s Agricultural Management Committee.

Todd Janzen, Agricultural Law attorney in Indianapolis is a legal pioneer in Ag technology and policy.  – photo provided  The Risk & Reward of Farm Data Todd Janzen Agricultural Attorney

Todd Janzen, Agricultural Law attorney in Indianapolis is a legal pioneer in Ag technology and policy. – photo provided

Born on a small farm in Kansas and now based in Indianapolis, Janzen is known across the country as a leader, paving the way for the protection of farmer’s rights to the data they collect in field.

Your right to privacy and ownership of your farm data can have a major long term impact on yield, input costs, and land values. Jim Shertzer of FARMServer, a data analytics company born from Beck’s Hybrids, had this advice for farmers and landowners, “Before you sign any contracts for software or data collection, make sure you ask a series of questions about who has access to your data and how you can get all of it back.“

5 Important Factors to Consider

  • Collecting the Data

    The first and most important step in the technology evolution of farming is to simply collect your data. “Farmers have always had this data, it’s just that it might be sitting in notebooks, spreadsheets or hard drives in a lot of locations,” commented Shertzer of FARMServer, “Getting everything into one place (while keeping a backup up copy) represents one of the biggest opportunities to be more successful in the future,” he added.


  • Calibrate Equipment Regularly

    Just as you change filters, oil, and tighten belts, the equipment that is measuring, monitoring, and collecting your farm data needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Make sure you’re running the latest software updates and that your hardware is calibrated regularly. Collecting accurate data is vital to making informed decisions that affect your bottom line. Clean data is just as important as collecting it.


  • Store Data in Safe Place

    Your data is valuable and it’s why big companies are investing so much money into this space. Over time, the data you collect will take up plenty of hard drive storage space and keeping it safe is key to long term profitability. Even if you are using cloud-based software, be sure to make a local backup copy on an external hard drive such as ioSafe or computer. This is especially important in the event that you switch software vendors in the future or sell the farmland. Being able to provide historical data about yields, fertility, and rainfall continue to be ‘on the radar’ to savvy buyers of farmland – the data sets you collect have the potential to influence land value.


  • Farm Data in Leases

    Lease provisions for the ownership or shared ownership of farm data is a topic that is being talked about more and more often. “Savvy farmers, landowners and investors understand that data is one of the best indicators of production value,” commented Todd Janzen.  Janzen predicts that “eventually the law will establish that the “farmer” owns farm data. That means the tenant is the “farmer” and thus de facto owner of the farm data their equipment generates on the leased land.” If this is the case, a farm lease may need to clarify ownership of data and how the rights are to be assigned to the landowner. At the end of the day, consulting with your attorney is the best advice to follow.


  • Your Right to Privacy & Security

    Back in November of 2014, the American Farm Bureau Federation, along with major players such as DuPont Pioneer , John Deere, Dow AgroSciences, National Corn Growers Association and Beck’s Hybrids to name a few, signed and released the “Privacy and Security Principles of Farm Data.”  This document set the benchmark across the United States governing the use of farm data collected from farms via sensor equipment hardware and software. Several of the companies that have signed this document are also in the farm data information business, helping producers collect data and analyze it – some offering services for free and others for a premium feature price.

    The companies that signed off on this document have all agreed that farmers / producers own all of the data collected on the farms they own or lease, and that the producers have the right to control who gets access to said data. As an example, a farmer/producer has the right to allow or prevent their data to be shared with other agribusinesses, CPA’s, attorneys, or landowners/landlords as well as larger nationwide data collections. It’s worth noting that farm data tools like FARMServer (along with other farm management software) make it easy to share or limit the data you share with whomever you choose, giving you the control of the privacy and security.


“Our goal is to simplify precision Ag for farmers by first and foremost ensuring that the farmers own the data. From there it’s about secure web-based platforms that we have built ourselves – we don’t store data on another (third party) platform, this lets us build in more security and privacy.”

Jim ShertzerFARMSERVER Lead

 Todd Janzen suggested in our interview that, “Producers should have a conversation with their technology provider and find out their policy on farm data ownership. Ask them who they share it with and make a determination on whether they have your (the producer’s) best interests in mind.”

We can’t prevent the technology evolution in Ag, but we can influence the way we adapt and move forward with it. The stacks of spiral notebooks that detail the history of weather conditions, hybrid selections, input costs, and your yield maps really tell the story of your farms. When compiled and analyzed, your farm data is extremely valuable to you and to others.

Preserving and protecting your farm data has evolved to become just as important to the farm operation as the other inputs and outputs – everything can be measured and managed. Many would agree that the rewards of doing so far outweigh the risks, but in today’s world a simple ‘click of the mouse’ means you have agreed to all the terms and conditions your software or hardware provider has set forth.

How you value your rights to ownership and privacy of data are decisions only you can make, but it’s definitely worth taking a closer look, asking the right questions, and protecting your rights.

 

About the Author

The Risk & Reward of Farm Data Johnny Klemme Geswein Farms for sale

Husband, Father, Author, Land Broker & Advisor

The Back Forty is regular column written by Published Author, Purdue Graduate and Farmland Broker Johnny Klemme. His reporting, interviews with Ag Experts and more can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog

Local Farms Get a Bird’s Eye View | UAVs on Benton County Farms

Every season we see local farmers checking fields, counting bean pods, inspecting ears of corn or checking for damage dealt out by Mother Nature. While field scouting isn’t new, the methods and tools available continually evolve. New technology, in the form of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) aka Drones, has made its way onto many local farms. This month I talked shop with several area farmers about their thoughts and experience with UAVs. While the uses are varied, the consensus is that a bird’s eye view of the farm can have a real impact.

“When you fly over you get an immediate sense of the whole field and a better perspective of your crop,” says agronomist Jason Carlile of Otterbein.

For the past two seasons, Jason has utilized his personal UAV to scout his fields; identifying issues affecting yields as well as opportunities to improve the bottom line.Carlile’s approach to Agronomy and customer service blends years of practical on-the-farm experience with the latest in technology – giving his farm land and seed customers an edge in terms of weather impact and timing of chemical applications to fields.

“When we can see an entire field that hasn’t tasseled, we can gauge how effect fungicide will be,” says Carlile. “This equates to bottom line value and real dollars.”

How Agricultural Drones Can Help Farmers

  • Early Detection of Weed Pressure

  • Identifying Streaks / Nitrogen Deficiency


  • Timing of fungicide applications


  • Identify the extent of wind / hail / drainage Issues


  • Assist decision-making for input expenses


Most farmers would agree that the first ten (10) rows of a field do not tell the entire story. But, which direction do you go to get the full picture? Is 100 feet in the field far enough? 500 feet?  “When you catch problems in the field early on, before they get bad, there is a real impact on the bottom line. Aerial scouting can accomplish this and save me time,” commented Doug Brummet.

Consider this scenario: A big storm, with high winds and hail passes through Benton County. On the drive to the coffee shop you notice outside rows are damaged… But what does your entire field look like?  “A flyover after a wind event or hail storm would be very beneficial,” said another local producer.  Crop insurance is there for you, but a whole field photo or video goes a long way toward peace of mind.

In terms of input costs and ROI, Mark Flook added, “As margins tighten, an investment into aerial scouting could really provide great ROI. A better handle on crop conditions can help with a more informed decision; that can be the difference in several bushels per acre.”

While aerial field scouting can give people a real sense of confidence in their cash crop, seed, and chemical investments there are some restrictions and limitations. Currently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not allow agricultural drones to be used for commercial purposes. There are also privacy concerns as well as air restrictions that have to be taken into account. The story about the future of agricultural drones is still unfolding; currently they fly a fine line between regulation and agronomic value.

If your great-grandpa had told a story that someday tractors would practically drive themselves, he might have gotten some good laughs at the kitchen table. With aerial field scouting already a reality, what kind of stories will the next generation be telling about the family farm?

In related news, read more about how Benton County Indiana buzzes with new Amazon wind farm

And in our interview with Max Armstrong, he talks about importance of UAVs in agriculture

 

Local Farms Get a Bird's Eye View | UAVs on Benton County Farms Johnny Klemme Land Broker Farm Real Estate Indiana

About the Author

Johnny Klemme is a published author, graduate of Purdue and Professional Farmland Broker. Born and raised on a local farm, his commentary, interviews with Ag experts & reporting on issues important to farming and land real estate can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com

Committed to helping you achieve the highest returns

As leading experts in farmland and wooded property sales & auctions, we provide a complete range of services in the acquisition and sale of your farm land and agricultural investments. 

 

Unlocking Profitability through Farm Data

Farmers are not strangers to taking risks. Whether facing off with Mother Nature each season or marketing the grain crop against the futures market, the balance of risk vs. reward comes with the territory.

As margins get tighter and input costs rise, being more efficient and making better educated decisions are increasingly important. Precision agriculture, gps, smartphones and farm data provide farmers with tools to help increase productivity and profitability in the face of more risk, but where do you start?

Unlocking Profitability through Farm Data rainfall iOS

I recently interviewed Jesse Vollmar, the co- founder and CEO of Farmlogs, a free farm management software that you can use on your smart phone, office computer and tablet. Born and raised on a local farm in Michigan, Jesse and co-founder Brad Koch believe giving farmers easy to use tools at their fingertips will improve profitability, ROI and long term soil quality.

“Everyone wants to minimize input costs, maintain healthy soil and over the long term become more profitable,” said Jesse Vollmar, CEO of Farmlogs.” “It starts by working smarter and giving everyone on the farm an easy way to plan, budget and track what’s actually happening in each field.”

Smartphone Apps such as this one from Farmlogs allow the farmer or employee to input field and activity data as it happens. The more data you input the more efficient you can become. According to a University of Minnesota report, “…more efficient growers production costs were $3.45/bu vs $5.36/bu for less efficient growers.”

How Software Like Farmlogs Can Improve Profitability

  • Rainfall Tracking

    Mother Nature plays such a vital role in your operation. How much time & fuel would you save over time if you didn’t need to drive across the county to know how much it rained? Desktop and mobile phone software sends rain & weather reports direct to you as it happens.


  • Grain Marketing

    How much does a $0.07 cent swing at the local co-op improve your bottom line? Software like Farmlogs can deliver the nearby grain prices right to your phone, helping you make more informed decisions.


  • Activity & Fuel Consumption

    When you understand how much time it actually takes to perform a job on each farm, you get a more accurate picture of how much it actually costs. Where could you save on fuel or labor?


  • Forecast Your Profits

    How much would you profit if your yields are X bushels per acre higher than expected? What does your bottom line look like if grain prices drop 26%? The desktop software and phone apps from Farmlogs let you quickly and easily create scenarios to make more profitable decisions by estimating expenses, yields and the price you’ll sell your grain for.


The Secret & Challenge to Farm Data

As the old saying goes, “you get out of it what you put into it.” Therein lies the secret to unlocking the profitability of your farm data – you have to consistently input farm data. If you have several employees or family members that work on the farm and only one person is inputting or tracking activities and data – your results aren’t an accurate picture of your operation. It takes discipline, repetition and consistency from every person in the operation to unlock the profitability of your data. This is the key to making better decisions that lead to profitability. As software like Farmlogs make it easier to input the data right from your phone, your job will be to make sure everyone on the farm remembers to get in the habit of using the software and phone app every day.

For more information visit www.Farmlogs.com
Farm Real Estate Indiana  Unlocking Profitability through Farm Data Johnny Klemme Land Broker Farm Real Estate Indiana

 

About the Author

Johnny Klemme is a published author, graduate of Purdue University and Land Broker specializing in farm ground in West Central Indiana. Born and raised on a local farm, his commentary, interviews with Ag experts & reporting on issues important to farming and farmland real estate can be found at  www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog

Committed to helping you achieve the highest returns

As the leading experts in farmland and wooded property sales & auctions in Indiana, we provide a complete range of services in the acquisition and sale of your unique land and agricultural investments.

 

 

Information obtained from sources deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

5 Easy Ways to Think About Cover Crops

The idea of cover crops and plants working together is not new. What is new is the evolving science and research for reduced compaction, improved weed control, moisture retention & yield gains. What do you stand to gain in terms of time, money and long term soil health? These are the questions every producer should consider when evaluating cover crop strategies. We sat down with Agronomist Jason Carlile in Otterbein, Indiana to learn more about cover crops and how they are helping local farmers improve their bottom line.

“With cover crops, there is management and a transition period,” says Carlile “but the overall time savings and soil improvement outweigh it.”

  • Start Small | Grow into it

    Whether it’s a farm with rolling hills and water erosion to clay soils and preventing nutrient run-off, think about how improved yields and soil on your worst farmland would improve your overall operation.  Start small in year 1 (perhaps 10% of your acres) and build from there. It’s better to take your time to ensure that you are successful.


  • Create a Plan

    Being Prepared is vital to cover crop success. Take small steps each season to improve upon your plan and work with an agronomist that has experience. Whether you are just dipping your toes in cover crops or planning for years 5, 10 or more, make a plan and learn what works best on your farm.


  • Be Flexible | Work with Mother Nature

    Just as you deal with the weather and Mother Nature today in conventional agriculture, the same holds true with cover crops. Being flexible and adjusting to the way your fields look, the timing of spraying and earlier hybrid seed planting comes with the territory.


  • Park Your Plow

    Think about cover crops as your replacement for fall tillage. You’re shifting dollars from tillage to cover crops and while you’re at it, you’re getting less compaction. Park that plow!


  • Your Time is Valuable

    What could you do with an extra day of your time? What about a full week? Think about cover crops in terms that mean the most to you. With proper planning you can get back the time you’ve been spending in the tractor to focus other priorities.


“Talk to the guys that have been doing cover crops for years, they’ll help you understand the cost & time benefits and avoid mistakes.” says Carlile, “education and proper planning are the keys to cover crop success.”

Just as every farming operation is different from the next, so is a cover crop plan and strategy. Just as the hybrid corn and soybeans you select in the fall may be different from your neighbors, so are the cover crop seeds and your plan to ensure success. According to Carlile, “farmers with fields that are prone to water erosion are a great place to start with cover crops.”  If you can turn around your worst farm, imagine what can be done with your best farm.

As you consider how cover crops could impact your operation, we leave you with this…

About the Author

Johnny Klemme is a published author, graduate of Purdue University and Land Broker specializing in farms, recreational property and development land in West Central Indiana. Born and raised on a local farm, his commentary on issues that are important to the farming and real estate community can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog